Weekly Home Sales Snapshot – 7/11/14



Source: Greater Fairfield County CMLS,  HOUSES Sold = Single Family, Multi-Family, Condo/Co-Op


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Is Residential Real Estate Really a ‘Crapshoot’?

Please note:

I NEVER copy posts from someone else and just post them verbatim.

First, it’s just not cool to use someone else’s hard work. Second, if you want to read something why read my copy, just go and read the real thing. Third, I am such a Debbie Do-Good, I am completely paranoid about being sued for using someone else’s content.

BUT, this is the first time I am doing so because I felt the article was so well written and makes such a wonderful point there was nothing I was going to add to change or add to improve it. Since I could not improve upon perfection, I am re-posting verbatim.

If you would like to read the original article at Keeping Current Matters, the original source, please find it here.



Is Residential Real Estate Really a ‘Crapshoot’?

by  on July 9, 2014

Is Residential Real Estate Really a 'Crapshoot'? | Keeping Current Matters

Our founder, Steve Harney, occasionally asks to do a personal post on what he sees as important to our industry. Today is one of those days. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew

That is what a headline announced in a CNNMoney post Monday. They were quoting Karl Case “an economist whose name is synonymous with home prices. He is co-creator of the much watched S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes with Bob Shiller, who won the Nobel Prize in economics last year.”

Case did explain that the commonly held belief that housing prices could ‘never’ depreciate was corrected over the last decade. And it is true that Case referenced a home he bought during that time had lost almost half its value.

However, there were other comments attributed to Case in the article:

  • He bought one home at $54,000 which he later sold for over four times that amount ($240,000)
  • Another home he purchased for $375,000 is now worth a million dollars.

He bet on three houses; one lost 50%, one gained over 400% and the other gained approximately 300%. Sounds like great odds to me.

Give me the dice and get out of my way.

Last week, John Maxfield, in a The Motley Fool blog post, wrote:

“Over the past year, [home prices] are up by 8.9%. Over the past two years, they’re up by 19.7%. Over the past three years, they’re up by 23%. And there’s little evidence that this trend is coming to an end anytime soon…

[It] should be obvious why now is such an opportunistic time to buy a house. Of course, if you want to wait, that’s up to you. But doing so could very well be a source of regret later on down the road.”

Give me the dice and get out of my way.

If buying residential real estate is actually a crapshoot (as the headline claimed), it seems the odds are in the shooter’s hand.

PLEASE give me the dice and get out of my way. I really want to roll.


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A perfect front door color for the summer

I saw this front door this morning and just had to share…

Perfect for summer.


summer door


You can look at many other pretty front door colors I have featured




hereherehere & here


Image: Pinterest/Centsational Girl




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Rental property window treatments – One Realtor’s Opinion

rental w:wo blinds

I have been showing a lot of rental homes lately and I mean A LOT!

For some reason many of them have been vacant when I’ve shown them. Vacant rental properties are both good and bad.

Good because they look nice and roomy and you don’t have to overlook a current tenant’s “style” of decoration…or lack thereof!

Bad because they are spartan and can seem emotionally cold and sad.

One thing I have noticed about vacant rental properties is that some of them have window treatments and some don’t.

The more and more rentals I show, the more I am coming to the conclusion that no window treatments in vacant rental homes is better than having window treatments.

First of all, having no window treatments allows all the light to come in making the rental seem brighter. That’s always a plus.

Second, what makes for a snazzy window treatment is COMPLETELY subjective. When it comes to subjective decorating elements, the less (or none) the better in a rental.

As a landlord, I never put window treatments in my properties because I’ve always wanted to give my tenants their own choice. I have found, over the years of being a landlord, that my tenants like very diverse window coverings and anything I would have chosen probably would not have worked with their decor.

A rental property must appeal to a wide variety of people and renters are not nearly as emotionally invested in a home as someone who is buying it for themselves. Making a rental property seem a bit more “vanilla” is probably better.

Don’t put window treatments in vacant rental properties…one Realtor’s opinion.

Image: Little Victorian
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A memorable front door

Outside NorthAs evidenced by many posts on this blog, I am front door obsessed.

I think it’s because the front door really is a home’s “executive summary” or synopsis. One glance gives a hint as to what you may expect when you see the inside. The front door is a bit of a tease or even a lure. It says, “Come on in and see what sits behind this cool front door.” Or, perhaps it says, “If you think the front door has pizzazz, wait until you see the rest!”

It’s funny, the front door is one of the smallest parts of a home but it can create the largest impact.

Several years ago, when I first became a Realtor, I was hosting an open house for another well established agent. For some reason I recently thought about the lovely home where I hosted that open house and I immediately thought of its front door.

This house had one of the best front doors I have EVER seen.

First of all, it was beautifully constructed. It was big and heavy and had the most stately presence. For me, it evoked an old world charm. The first thing that came to mind when I swung it open was “they don’t make things like this any more”.

It was a tall door that was constructed of substantial wood strips encasing small, individual squares of glass. Pictured in this post are both the inside and the outside.

Inside North

Gorgeous, right!?!

What I find so incredible is that a door could leave such a lasting impression. The first thing I thought of when I remembered that house was its door! I hosted that open house almost four years ago and I can still remember how sensational that door was.

That shows just how impactful a front door can be!


Image: CMLS


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Sunday snooping time! They paid how much for that house?!?

Here are the local property transfers…happy snooping!

I am including Patch.com as a source for property transfers (by town). Originally I did not want to use this as a source because the pages don’t always load properly. I use a Macbook Air and my preferred browser is Chrome and unfortunately the way the real estate sales are coded, the pages appear blank on my computer. If I want to see the pages, I have to switch browsers to Safari. If you pull up the pages and nothing appears, switching browsers may do the trick. Good luck and happy snooping!









The Master ListDarien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Wilton

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Weekly Home Sales Snapshot – 7/4/14



Source: Greater Fairfield County CMLS,  HOUSES Sold = Single Family, Multi-Family, Condo/Co-Op


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Happy 4th of July to Everyone!

Memorial Day

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How to properly display an American flag

House July 4th logo

My brother owns a large, old home in Rhode Island where the July 4th parade plays a prominent role in the town’s history. Every year he throws a large parade-watching bash. I have come to love that party as much as I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is just a simple, honest good time.

His house has the luxurious position of sitting directly on the parade route and he has a big, old porch with rocking chairs that are perfect for viewing the festivities. He decks the place out with large flags and covers the front of the porch railings with large cotton flag buntings. It just looks so good.

Yesterday, as I was reading my mid-week edition of Houzz, there was an ideabook on the proper way to hang the American flag.

Hmmmm, I knew there were rules for such things, but never really paid much attention. At the end of the article there was a link to the proper rules for flying an American flag.

Who knew such a thing existed?

If you are flying an American flag at your house, you might want to take a look here.


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Use glass doors to zhoosh your home

Glass DoorsYesterday I was showing a client a lovely house on a beautiful, wooded property. As we were standing in the dining room discussing ways that it might be improved, we started talking about adding French doors.

Now, I am a long-time French door devotee. I’d put them everywhere if I could. I think they are an instant fix for any house that needs some zhooshing. I have two sets of them in my own house!

My client suggested perhaps telescoping sliding doors, also a stunning option.

It got me thinking that any wall filled with glass…either a large window or a sliding glass door or my beloved French doors…is an instant show stopper. Anytime you invite the outside into your home, you are using the most dramatic decorating tool available. Nature is a calming and soothing visage. Bringing that view into your home can only have the same effect.

As a Realtor, I can tell you windows and light are what EVERY buyer wants and the more the better.

This morning I was reading a great ideabook from Houzz that discussed the different options available for glass doors and where each application might best fit. If you are looking for a way to update your home perhaps some sort of open glass expanse will be just the thing you need.

FInd the ideabook here.

Good luck!

Image: Houzz/Schwartz and Architecture
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