Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

Fairfield & Westport Living- homes, fun stuff & more!


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How’s the Housing Market? Is Now a Good Time to Sell in Westport and Fairfield CT?

How’s the single-family housing market in Fairfield and Westport Connecticut as of the end of March?Take a look at the bullets and graphs below to see how things have changed dramatically this March compared to last March, 2020, and look at the opportunities.

If you would like access to our William Raveis Local Housing Data tool and run your own graphs like the ones below, just send me a note for the link! Here are the specifics. 

In WESTPORT

Single-Family Homes Sales are UP 29% from 31 to 40 homes sold.
The Median Sale Price is UP 29% from $1,375,000 to $1,774,500.
Inventory is DOWN 47% from 289 to 153 homes for sale.
Months of Supply is DOWN 70% from 9 months to less than 3!
Market Time is DOWN 49% from 132 to 67 days.

In FAIRFIELD

Single-Family Homes Sales are UP 69% from 54 to 91 homes sold.
The Median Sale Price is UP 20% from $587,450 to $703,000.
Inventory is DOWN 55% from 479 to 217 homes for sale.
Months of Supply is DOWN 71% from 8 months to 2!
Market Time is DOWN 19% from 96 to 78 days.

The trend of extremely low inventory, increasing median sale price, and short market time continues through March into April, though we are seeing more homes come on the market. The strong buyer demand in the face of this limited choice is still causing frequent multiple offer situations.

Opportunities exist for both buyers and sellers, but the market can unquestionably benefit from more sellers entering the market! Vaccines are here, spring is here, interest rates remain low, and buyers are waiting. If you have been wondering, yes, now is the time to sell.

If you would like to discuss how to buy and sell your home in the current market, you can create your own home search to check out the market, visit my website, give me a call, 203.912.4440, or send me a note below. I’m here to help!

 


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SOLD and New Accepted Offers in Fairfield Downtown and Westport Greens Farms April 1-10, 2021

What has sold in these two hot spots? Which listings have accepted offers as of the first two weeks in April? Check out the lists below!

FAIRFIELD DOWNTOWN – Within a one-mile radius of the train.

There have been five more sales and 10 more accepted offers in Fairfield’s downtown and beach areas during the first two weeks of April.

SOLD:

NEWLY ACCEPTED OFFERS:

WESTPORT Greens Farms

SOLD:

There has been just one (yes, just one) more sale and three more accepted offers in Westport’s Greens Farms neighborhood during the first two weeks of April.

NEWLY ACCEPTED OFFERS:

Reach out to me if you are thinking of making a move, and let’s have a conversation! 203.912.4440


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SOLD and New Accepted Offers: Fairfield Downtown and Westport Greens Farms YTD through 3/29/21

What has sold in these hot spots? What listings have already accepted offers as of the last week in March? The lists are below.

FAIRFIELD DOWNTOWN – Within a one-mile radius of the train.

SOLD YTD:

NEWLY ACCEPTED OFFERS:

WESTPORT Greens Farms

SOLD YTD

Reach out to me if you are thinking of making a move, and let’s have a conversation! 203.912.4440


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Matchmaker Mystery: Do You Have What I’m Looking For? 🏡❤️

Let’s work on this matchmaker mystery together!

One of the challenges buyers are facing, along with would-be sellers, is that they can’t find what they are looking for on the market.

Many agents are sharing the criteria their buyers are looking for with the hope that someone who is thinking of selling may have a match to add to the market.

Here is my urgent buyer wish list,

  1. Westport – New or contemporary style, ~4,000 square feet, 4+ bedrooms, $1,500,000-$1,800,000, (Need two of these!)
  2. Westport – Renovation project or tear-down, 1+ acres, preferably with no wetlands, price flexible.
  3. Westport – Renovation project or tear-down, any property size, preferably with no wetlands, price flexible.
  4. Fairfield – Beach, town, Southport, or University areas, new or like-new home, 4,000 square feet, up to $1,700,000.
  5. Fairfield – Home with charm and character, preferably in the beach area, but open to anywhere in town, 3+ bedrooms, at least 1,400 square feet or room to expand, $700,000-$850,000.
  6. Fairfield – Home with charm and character, high ceilings, preferably in the beach area, center of town or Stratfield areas, 3+ bedrooms, at least 1,400 square feet or room to expand, finishable basement and/or attic, office space, level yard of .16 acres or more, $500,000-$640,000.
  7. Fairfield – Beach area, near Penfield, .23+ acres on which to renovate or build new, under $700,000.
  8. Fairfield – Town center, new or move-in ready 2-bedroom condo for rent, or sale up to $350,000.
  9. New Canaan – Walk-to-train location, 3 bedrooms, preferably new or move-in ready, high ceilings, up to $1,500,000.

If a matching property is found for the buyer needs above, the following new listings will in turn be added to the market,

  1. Westport – Gorgeous new construction home, likely with 4,000+ square feet and 5 bedrooms.
  2. Westport – ANOTHER gorgeous new construction home, likely with 4,000+ square feet and 5 bedrooms.
  3. Westport – Lovely 4-bedroom, move-in-ready home with lovely property in the Greens Farms area.
  4. Fairfield – Charming cape in the beach area.

The lack of inventory is limiting the market despite the opportunity of very low interest rates and an excellent time to sell for all interested home owners.

So if you have something, say something! 😃 If you know of something, say something! 😃 Want to talk options? Say something. I’m here to help, 203.912.4440.


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Financial Stress: 6 Strategies Seniors Can Use to Find Relief

Thank you to our guest writer, Jim Vogel from eldersinaction.org for this article!

Photo by Unsplash

Financial stress is a never-ending problem that can lead to physical and mental health challenges for older adults. While research shows seniors aren’t the group most stressed by finances, they often have unique challenges when it comes to money. Mainly, they have fewer options for finding relief.

If you or a senior loved one is experiencing financial stress, there are some big and small ways to manage the situation. 

1. Get better healthcare and insurance rates.

Now is the time to shop around for your insurance options. You may be paying more than you should or for services you don’t need. Healthcare is a complicated system and can be challenging to navigate alone. You may find ways to save money by talking to an agent. 

We also recommend looking at the costs of other kinds of insurance, like life and homeowners insurance, to see if there are more affordable options out there.

2. Downsize.

The costs of maintaining a larger home can add up. If you’ve got sky-high utility bills and more space than you need, it may be time to consider downsizing. By selling your current home, you may be able to purchase a new home outright and use the remaining money to help fund your retirement. Before putting your home on the market, research how much you can expect to earn from a sale, and make sure you consult an experienced realtor in your area. 

3. Explore alternative transportation.

If you are a senior who is driving less and less, you might be able to save money by changing your transportation methods. If driving isn’t necessary, consider selling your car. This will not only give you quick cash on hand but also save you monthly car insurance payments, as well as routine car maintenance and upkeep. 

Senior support website Daily Caring notes that seniors have many transportation options — some can get everywhere they need to by bus or through a family member, while others take advantage of rideshares or senior-specific public transportation options.

4. Shop at secondhand stores.

Seniors can save a great deal of money by purchasing gently-used items at secondhand stores. There are many upper-end consignment stores that allow seniors to purchase high-quality clothes, furniture, appliances, kitchenware, and other household goods at even greater discounts. Be sure to look and see if there is a certain day or time of day where seniors can take advantage of additional discounts. There are even online secondhand options like Thred-Up and Poshmark. 

5. Take advantage of senior deals and discounts.

Many businesses offer seniors special deals and discounts to help make their goods and services more accessible and affordable. People over 65 can get anything from meals to groceries, entertainment to investments, at special rates and discounts. The Senior List provides one of the most comprehensive lists of senior deals and discounts. These deals can help you enjoy a quality of life that is fun and exciting without worrying excessively about costs.

6. Share meals with neighbors and friends.

Senior isolation can be a serious health condition for people over 65, especially those concerned with finances. They may go out less for fear of spending too much money. However, sharing meals with neighbors and friends can relieve both burdens. You’ll share the financial cost of cooking, while also spending quality, social time with loved ones. Even cooking together can be a social occasion. Seniors who share meals two or three times a week often report a social and financial benefit.

Any health issue can be exacerbated by financial stress and strain, which makes seniors particularly at risk. That’s why exploring these free or low-cost activities can help both the mind and body cope with financial hardships. 

If I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to reach out.


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Get Housing Market Insights in Real-Time!

The 2021 housing market is still hot and median sale prices are still up! 📈⬆️⭐️ 

Did you know you can easily compare real-time sales and inventory trends on our Local Housing Data link which you can keep right on your phone? Or for comprehensive local data reports, sign up for our Local Market Insights newsletter on raveis.com.

Take advantage of all of our curated tools and contact me today, 203.912.4440 to find out the best time to sell!

#2021 #LindaRaymondRealtor #WilliamRaveis #TheBestJustGotBetter #RealEstateMarketUpdate #RealEstate #IntheKnow #NumbersDontLie


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Yummy Take-Out from Fairfield’s Gruel Britannia!

I wanted to share a quick update with you about a yummy dinner we had last Sunday. We enjoyed excellent food and customer service with our take-out dinner from Gruel Britannia! The Shepard’s Pie and Meatloaf were both fabulous. The dishes came with generous portions and either grilled vegetables or a large salad, and delicious flavor! The people working there are very friendly and super organized. We can’t wait to try more of the intriguing options on their menu. Maybe I’ll see you there!


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How’s the Local Housing Market Right Now? Westport and Fairfield CT – February 2021

How’s the single-family housing market in Fairfield and Westport Connecticut as of February? Take a look at the bullets and graphs below to see how things have changed dramatically this February compared to last February, 2020.

If you would like access to our William Raveis Local Housing Data tool and run your own graphs like the ones below, just send me a note for the link!  Here are the specifics. 

In WESTPORT

Single-Family Homes Sales are UP 68% from 25 to 42 homes sold.
The Median Sale Price is UP 44% from $1,115,000 to $1,600,000.
Inventory is DOWN 48% from 308 to 159 homes for sale.
Months of Supply is DOWN 71% from 10 months to less than 3!
Market Time is DOWN 55% from 155 to 70 days.

 

In FAIRFIELD

Single-Family Homes Sales are UP 39% from 36 to 50 homes sold.
The Median Sale Price is UP 33% from $525,000 to $697,500.
Inventory is DOWN 60% from 474 to 191 homes for sale.
Months of Supply is DOWN 73% from 8 months to 2!
Market Time is DOWN 32% from 113 to 77 days.

 

The trend of extremely low inventory, increasing median sale price, and short market time continues through February. The pace of Fairfield’s market appears to be limited even more than Westport’s by the severe decline in inventory. The strong buyer demand in the face of this limited choice is causing multiple offer situations at nearly every turn.

Opportunities exist for both buyers and sellers, but the market can unquestionably benefit from more sellers entering the market! Vaccines are here, spring is coming, buyers are waiting….

If you would like to discuss how to buy and sell your home in the current market, you can create your own home search to check out the market, visit my website, give me a call, 203.912.4440, or send me a note below. I’m here to help!

 


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What You Should Know About Multiple Offers!

The current housing market is facing unprecedented low inventory at a time when demand for home purchasing is high and interest rates are also historically low. The result has been non-stop multiple offers in many markets, especially in Connecticut. Just last week, we had a lively discussion on this topic lead by Beverly Walsh, Vice President of Sales and Sales manager of our Westport office. It’s important for home buyers and sellers to understand how the multiple offer process works. Here’s what you should know!

What are my options as a seller?

WAIT: You can hold off on responding to the offers while you wait for others.

ACCEPT, COUNTER, OR REJECT: You can also make one the following choices. Accept one offer and thereby reject all others. Counter one offer and reject all others. Counter one offer and put aside all others. Reject all offers.

REQUEST HIGHEST & BEST: You can ask for the highest and best offer. You would do this by instructing your listing agent to inform one or more buyers of the multiple offer situation and give them the opportunity to submit their highest and best offer by a specific date and time at which point you will reconsider all the offers.

The goal of requesting highest and best offers is to create a sense of urgency and encourage the highest and best offer from the buyers. However, the risk of doing this is that one or all of the buyers may walk away when faced with this situation because they do not want to be involved in a bidding war. Because the decision to notify buyers of multiple offers and to request the highest and best can have positive or negative results for you as the seller, it is your decision whether to do so, and you should understand the benefits and risks.

A key consideration to keep in mind is that any delay you allow in responding to offers, leaves the door open for your buyers to choose another home that hits the market or to simply change their mind and withdraw their offer. The competitive nature of this market is particularly stressful and emotional for buyers. So it is very important for you and your agent to be sensitive to and respectful of the people on the other end of the offers you receive and to have frequent, honest, and clear communication with the buyer agents during the process.

How do I evaluate the offers?

You should understand whether the buyers are aware of other offers so that you know if their offer has taken this competition into account. Your agent should explain the terms of each offer with you and how they impact your best interests. It will help you if they summarize the key elements of each offer including, price, downpayment, payment method, strength of the pre-approval or proof of funds, timing, inspection terms, contingencies, and flexibility. This will help you to compare them in terms of what is most important to you.

What can I expect as a buyer?

First, you may or may not be informed that there are multiple offers. Your agent can ask if it is not immediately mentioned, but it is up to the seller to decide whether to disclose this. It is also possible that your offer may not be confidential. Many sellers keep the offers confidential, but you should be aware that the seller is not obligated to do so, and it is their choice whether to or not.

How can I make my offer more competitive?

You have a number of variables to work with even though the price certainly carries a lot of the weight. Your agent can ask the seller’s agent what is important to the the seller, and this may provide some direction. Depending on your situation, you may be able to incorporate a number of options that can make your offer more attractive to the seller.

PAYMENT PERKS: If you are financing, try to put as much money down as you comfortably can as this will be perceived as a stronger offer. Make sure you have an ultra-strong pre-approval like the Certified Pre-Approval from William Raveis that verifies your financial documentation and runs your application through the first round of underwriting. This also allows you to close more quickly. If you can pay in cash, this is a plus because it saves time and eliminates the steps involved in the mortgage process. Consider offering more than the standard one-percent earnest money deposit or putting more than ten percent down at contract signing.

INSPECTION WAIVER: If you are a contractor or planning to do extensive renovations, you may feel comfortable waiving the inspection contingency or doing an inspection for ‘informational purposes only”, but if you do this, be sure to check for an in-ground oil tank! If you are a contractor bidding on an estate property, you might offer to empty the house for the sellers. If you are not prepared to spend money and time on unexpected issues, this approach is not recommended.

APPRAISAL GUARANTEE: You could offer to guarantee the appraisal, meaning that you are willing to put more money down toward your loan in the event the property appraises under the agreed-upon sale price.

ESCALATION CLAUSE: This is a statement in which you agree to offer a certain amount above the highest bid. There are some concerns with this approach, and some sellers are not accepting it, but you can call me, and I can fill you in on the details.

CREDIT: Another approach for tipping the scale in your favor might be to offer the seller a credit toward their closing costs.

LETTER: Many people like the idea of the “love letter” in which you write a compelling letter to the seller telling about yourself and why you love the home. This has been discouraged lately though, because it can easily violate discrimination laws. If you do choose to write a note to the seller, be sure that you are careful not to identify yourself in terms of family status, sex, disability, race, color, religion, or national origin because these are protected classes under the Federal Fair Housing Act. It is also recommended to run your letter past your attorney to be on the safe side.

If your offer needs to be contingent on selling your house first, this is a difficult market for that contingency to be competitive in, but I have a number of potential solutions for you. My goal is to find the right solutions to ensure a successful sale and the best possible outcome for my buyers and sellers in this and all other markets!

Give me a call to learn more or discuss your plans, and let me see how I can help. In the meantime, feel free to set up your own search and browse the markets you’re interested in, visit my website, or send a a note below.

Resource: Multiple Offer Situations by Attorney Eugene A. Marconi, General Counsel Connecticut Association of Realtors

 


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Should I Sell My House?

Your home has been just perfect with plenty of space for you and all your needs…until now.

But since the pandemic you may be finding that you, and possibly your family members, have very different needs. This challenging time has certainly given you opportunity to test and evaluate how well your home is serving your changing demands. If you have transitioned to working from home, and may even be alongside your students doing the same, your need for extra space may have become increasingly obvious.

Now you may be wishing you had extra rooms for his and her offices, a homework space, and room for a home gym. If you’re coming from the Manhattan or Brooklyn areas, you are likely craving not just interior rooms, but outdoor space, beauty, privacy and peacefulness. The vicinity to downtown centers and train stations may not be as important as it once was now that the need for frequent commuting is likely a thing of the past.

On the flip side, perhaps your family has college students who have been off to school or will soon be graduating and leaving extra un-wanted space. This would be a prime time to make a move to a better-fitting home. Selling your too-much-space house would also free up your larger home for the many of you who in dire need of more space.

Whether you are feeling too close for comfort or a need to scale back, the current housing market with ultra-low inventory and high demand is beyond prime for sellers, and the current low interest rates also offer a huge opportunity to make a purchase. Feel free to set up your own search here if you would like to peek at market activity near you. Reach out to me anytime if would like to know your options for making a move and want to know what your home is worth in the current market.