Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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What Makes Your House a Home?

From the time you awake, until the time you call it a day, you carry out a pattern of activities that make up your lifestyle.

Elegant Breakfast Nook

Your house is your place of coming and going, of greetings and goodbyes, of good mornings and good nights.

Your routine may be rushed and hectic at times. At other times you may have periods of intense focus or moments of calm, harmony, and serenity.

You settle into your surroundings and set your house up to be comfortable for yourself, your family, and your friends. You decorate your house to reflect your style, tastes, interests, and passions.

Dining Room with Center Piece

You work hard and play hard. Your house is your base for productivity, security, privacy, and recharging.

Zen-like Home Office

Serene Master Bedroom

Comfy Family Room

Your house is the place you cherish, where you feel safe and sound, sometimes happy, other times sad; where you celebrate, gather together, share, work, create, cook, decorate; where you can love and be loved; where you live, grow, rest, dream, and at times sort through the chaos that life often throws at you!

 

Mudroom with Elegant Bench Cushions

Your house becomes an extension of all that you are.  And you become an extension of your house, making it complete. Without you, your house is merely a shell awaiting your energy, chemistry, creativity, excitement, and passion.

Stunning Designer Kitchen

What makes your house a home? You do!

This stunning house at 6 Hillandale Lane is awaiting completeness from you. Come home to 6 Hillandale Lane. There’s no place like home!

6 Hillandale Lane, Greens Farms, Westport CT

Please use the form below for questions, comments and showing requests!

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Nothing Like a Great Back Yard on a Holiday Weekend!

My own back yard in the Fairfield beach area is one commonly referred to as a ‘postage stamp’, though it still manages to accommodate our trampoline and numerous modest get-togethers.  However, some good friends of mine in Westport have a much more spacious back yard with abundant space for fun, games and big-time bashes.  We’ve been to quite a few, with the latest one being Memorial Day weekend 2016!

Awesome back yard at Hillandale House

It turns out, these friends have just moved their social agenda to another gorgeous yard (and home) nearby.

New Home, New Back Yard!

The good news for all of you readers out there is that the wonderful back yard my friends have left now has a brand new house on it that will be ready to support a new source of festivities!

Tucked away just off Turkey Hill South, a new home sits on a quiet country lane cul-de-sac. Carefully designed and finished on four levels, this home will feature elegant transitional style with open flow and ethereal light. Romantic landscaping and plantings surround the level property making it super for entertaining, fun in the sun, and peaceful relaxation.  It is the Hillandale House.

Hillandale House

The builder, Coastal Construction Group, has fine tuned the art of quality home construction by providing careful attention to site design, layout, architecture, craftsmanship and the right property location. As we all know, a home is more than just the place we live, it’s the foundation for everyday living.  Added bonus?  This home is located four minutes from Green’s Farms station and under an hour from Manhattan!

Take a look at the sneak peek video, and visit the listing online and check out a snapshot of the progress!  Perhaps you know someone who has been weighing the options of renovation versus new construction and this may be a consideration?  If you or a friend may be interested, reach out to me at 203-912-4440 or send a note below.

In the meantime, whether it’s Memorial Day, Father’s Day, a graduation party, or just plain summer fun, here’s to a great backyard barbecue!

 


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Winter Open House Tips: Excite, Delight & Invite!

Many people believe that winter is the hardest time of year to try and sell their house. While it’s true that sellers can’t showcase their colorful warm-weather landscaping, there are plenty of other things you can highlight.

The good news about selling in the winter is that the people out looking are typically very serious buyers with a clear timeline in mind for purchasing a home.  Add to this the benefit of less competition to deal with as other sellers wait for the crowded spring market.

One key marketing activity is to hold an open house.  What can you do to make an endearing impression of your fabulous house that offsets any winter doldrums?

Make prospective buyers feel like welcome guests and present your house as though you are hosting a special gathering for family and friends. While your agent highlights all the selling points, the special effort you make will give an enchanting edge toward a special intangible attraction you want buyers to feel that I like to call chemistry!

Start by planning ahead as you would for a big party.

Excite with Winter Curb Appeal
Let buyers see from the street what a warm, charming, romantic and inviting place this will be when they come in.

Consider ideas like a planter or two with colorful evergreen plants and branches, window boxes or hanging baskets.

Winter window box

Image credit: Lea-Ann Vernig

Elegant winter planters

Image credit: settingforfour.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charming winter porch display

Image Credit: HGTV

A bench or trellis can add a nice focal point and polished look to an otherwise bare area.  A brightly colored chair and new welcome mat can go a long way toward creating a fresh look. Here are some photos of welcoming winter homes and a historic winter home for further inspiration.

Romantic winter home

Image credit: insidearciform.com

If there’s snow on the ground, a well-shoveled driveway and path are an absolute must. The last thing you want to do is make visitors feel like it’s a treacherous hardship to get to your house, or worse, let them risk injury.  If parking is tight, clearing some space along the street is also a good idea.

Of course, an adorable snowman fully adorned with your most innovative accessories, and maybe an open house sign can help to set the tone!  Consider leaving some outdoor lights on for an added welcoming glow on an overcast day.  On a practical note, you may want to have a basket of booties inside the front door to keep your house clean.

Make it Delightful and Warm Inside
Think about what makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you visit a friend’s house for a winter get together and aim to delight all the senses.

Light a fire in the fireplace or light candles (real or artificial) on a dining room table and in the bathrooms, simmer apple cider with cinnamon on the stove. play some nostalgic music.

Festive fireplace with candles

Image credit: HGTV

Implement some whimsical touches, such as displaying a card game, a recipe book for creative holiday drinks or hanging brightly colored winter scarves or hats on hooks in a mudroom.

If it’s the holiday season, display festive touches with glass, silver, and natural materials for an elegant, romantic look that will have the broadest appeal. Avoid commercial decorations and religious symbols that may distract, turn off or offend some people.

Use photos to showcase key features of the home that may be hidden during the winter such as colorful gardens, scenic views, a furnished deck or patio or beautiful pool.  Show pictures of the house across all seasons.  This can be done with an open photo album or by framing and hanging a few beautiful photos around the house.

Invite the Guests!
Last, but not least, with your preparations under way, your agent can feel confident about promoting your wonderful open house.  They can get the word out near and far with an ad in the paper, special door-hanger invites to the neighbors to come for the first hour, posts to all the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, a published Event on Facebook to which guests can be invited, the date published on all the real estate websites and the MLS, a bulletin in your town’s local Patch.com and on your agent’s blog, and of course, plenty of  signs leading the way!

If you wonder about the benefits of having an open house, take a look at the discussion of “Open House Pros and Cons” and feel free to leave a comment on the page.

If you have more ideas for hosting a magical open house, please share them below!

CT Post Open House Tips Article


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Realtor Helps with All New “CKC” Salon in Fairfield: Cut. Keratin. Color!

Remember the fun and adorable couple, Michael and Ella from HGTV?  If you missed the original airing of their eposide, it’s airing again September 19th at 9:00 AM on HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation, “An Old House Gets a New Master Plan”.  Click here for a description and show times.

Michael on HGTV's House Hunter's Renovations

Michael on HGTV’s House Hunter’s Renovations

Well Michael and Ella have been back in action with a new endeavor!  About a month ago, Michael called me and said they wanted a new space for Ella’s hair salon.  They wanted to create an all new CKC salon in Fairfield where their clientele could better enjoy a cut, keratin and colour.  Their current CKC was outgrowing its space, and business was booming!

So I ran a search, and the perfect opportunity surfaced.  The owner of a struggling salon business wanted to call it quits and move to Florida making her space available for lease!  It was an ideal property- in a nice busy plaza on the Post Road in Fairfield with plenty of visibility and parking.  The space was a step up in size and amenties but not too big.  It had all the necessary mechanicals and just needed a face lift.

CKC salon & Keratin bar

CKC salon & Keratin bar

We set to work on negotiations, and within a couple of weeks CKC salon & Keratin bar opened its doors in a glamorous new home!

First where they live, then where they work, Michael and Ella have done complete make-overs in their new spaces. For their new salon, they opened-up walls, infused a fresh chic style and brought in all new furnishings!

Now clients enjoy a bright, airy and elegant atomosphere where they are treated like honored guests.  When they come, they can get a specialized Brazilian Keratin treatment for an unbelievable smooth shiny finish as well a precision cut and colour.

I’m lucky enough to have been one of the first customers at the NEW CKC salon, and they were lining up behind me!  Be sure to visit online and in person for your appointment.

CKC salon & Keratin bar
254 Post Road

Fairfield, Connecticut  06824
ckcsalon.com
ckcsalon@gmail.com
(203) 292-5835

CKC salon & Keratin bar

CKC salon & Keratin bar

Photo Aug 13, 3 49 05 PM

CKC salon & Keratin bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, contact me any time for your real estate needs, or even if you just want to hear more about CKC salon & Keratin bar!


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Open House Pros and Cons for Sellers- What Will You Decide?

Many home sellers expect their Realtor to host an open house as part of the marketing activities, but some labor over the decision and others outright forbid it.    Open House

Starting with the Cons, here are some points to consider that may help sellers decide.

These are the most common Cons I hear,

– I’ll have to spend a day cleaning and straightening up!

– Don’t want the Looky-Loos, Nosey Neighbors and Strangers traipsing through my house.

– No one’s going to buy it during an open house.

– Don’t want anything broken, messed up or stolen.

… and some Pros for sellers to consider

1. An open house is typically scheduled well in advance allowing you plenty of notice before having to tidy up, unlike last-minute showing requests that inevitably occur after all your party guests just went home or your kids just dumped their belongings all over the floor.

2. Likewise, sellers with pets will have ample time to arrange for a ‘furry’ field trip as the case may be, instead of having to scramble to pull pets out of the house when the call from a buyer’s agent comes in.

3. Yes, the open house is a chance for your neighbors to come in and see.  This enables them the opportunity to spread the word to friends, family, and potential buyers, or even to consider trading up or down themselves.  Many agents send direct invitations to the neighbors to come to the open house.  Most people move very close to home, within about a 10-mile radius, so you never know!

4. Although it does happen, most homes do not sell to someone at the open house. However, this is an additional form of marketing that gets the word out about your listing. The greater the exposure you have, the better the chance for your house to sell for the best market value.

5. The multi-hour time block reserved for an open house gives you the perfect excuse to go out and do something fun for the day.  If you are careful to store away or remove valuables, fragile items, and prescription drugs, you are most likely to have a smooth open house event, and you can enjoy a worry-free day.

6. An open house gives potential buyers a chance to experience the chemistry they may have with the home after being attracted to it from photos online.

7. An open house enables a pool of buyers that don’t have an agent yet to come and consider it as their new home.

8. One of the most important benefits of an open house is that it’s an event that gives your Realtor a perfect reason to do a big round of promotion for your listing.  The promotion may include everything from email announcements to buyers and agents that link back to your online listing.  It can include a plug on all the social media outlets.  It may warrant a postcard mailing and door hanger invites to the neighbors.  The big day at your listing gets posted on numerous real estate and brokerage websites, which in turn boosts your listing exposure in online search results. The local paper promotes open house events.  And let’s not forget the yard signs pointing out your fabulous listing to everyone in town.

9. Last but not least, the open house enables a “show time” opportunity for your property that is not always practical for everyday appointments.  Your agent can ensure that the lights are all on, the window treatments are open, music is playing, flowers are on the table and the scented candles or simmering apple cider are working their magic.  This creates an excellent first impression for all that attend.  And these visitors could be the ones to direct the final buyer your way!

So when you become a seller, what will you decide?

Drop me a line!

William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance
2525 Post Road, Southport, CT  06890


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Remember the New Law for Smoke and CO Detectors

If you are in the process of buying or selling real estate, remember that the new law in support of adequate smoke and carbon dioxide detectors went into effect January 1st this year.

CO detector

smoke detector

Sellers will be required to provide an affidavit confirming that the required working detectors have been installed or pay the buyer $250 at closing. Here is a brochure explaining the regulation as well as the exact language of the new law.

Although the attorneys handle the affidavit during the closing process, it is best for the parties to be proactive.  If you are the seller, put the required detectors in place when you put your house on the market.  If you are the buyer, make sure your inspector looks for the detectors and includes his findings and recommendations in his report.  If there are missing detectors, ask that they be installed during your inspection contingency period so that there is no misunderstanding about it as the closing approaches and the attorneys raise the issue.

This way all the necessary detection devices will be in place, and there will be no delay in having a completed affidavit in time for your closing!

-Linda

Contact me any time with your real estate questions and for help with your plans.
203-912-4440, Linda.Raymond@raveis.com


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Tune in to HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation!

184 Harborview Rd, Black Rock

184 Harborview Road, Black Rock

Tune into HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation “An Old House Gets a New  Master Plan” on September 19th at 9:00 AM to follow my clients, Michael and Ella on their journey of selling their home in Black Rock and moving to Fairfield to get better schools for their blended family of three kids. Of course, yours truly helps them with this part.  I had originally helped them buy their house in Black Rock in 2010 and then got it sold for them the first day on the market which made them very strong buyers for this new home purchase.

Then the HGTV design team takes over to make their fixer-upper that’s missing one bedroom into a designer dream home that works for the whole family!

Below is a behind the scenes peak with Michael, Ella and the onsite director and camera crew at a lunch break during filming.

Photo Sep 24, 1 33 34 PM

With Michael, Ella the director and camera crew during a lunch break from filming.

The show went well, and Michael and Ella are enjoying their new digs as well as the excellent schools in Fairfield CT!