Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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How’s the Spring Housing Market Doing this Year, 2018?

The 2018 spring real estate market has been hot so far!  I have been busy helping people sell properties, search properties, and make their moves.  I’m ready to help you and your friends too.   Let’s connect on social!

Facebook.com/LindaRaymondRealEstate

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I also invite you to click the graphic below to visit my website and learn more.

What have I been up to this spring?

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Now is the time to stay abreast of the housing market in your Connecticut towns of interest. You can do this by subscribing to the concise monthly housing newsletter pictured below as well as by setting up a property search or mortgage rate watch for yourself.  Click the image to view the selections, and opt-in!

Preview of Local Housing Newsletter

Click Image for Free Newsletter and Home Search Options

As always, feel free to reach out with any real estate questions or comments you may have. Call/text me any time at 203.912.4440 or submit your note below.  Happy Spring!

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Hiking Trails, Water Park, Lake Mohegan- Take Tours!

One of the many super amenities in the town of Fairfield is Lake Mohegan and all the great stuff right around it.  Take tours around the park with our friendly Portuguese Water Dog, Splash.  He will preview some of the fun for you, and then you should come and see for yourself!

The park is open for year-round enjoyment. Splash on trail in winterThere are short and long hiking trails offering gorgeous natural scenery and great exercise for both you and your dogs. The long trail goes all around the lake and takes about an hour to complete.  There are many dramatic views along the way including a deep stream where dogs can jump in from the rocks above.
Splash jumps from a rockThe terrain varies from level to steep and smooth to rocky with exposed tree roots, so don’t go in your flip-flops!

People watching Splash Jump

The short trail doesn’t go as far into the woods and more or less follows the edge of the lake.  It leads to a wonderfully entertaining swimming beach for dogs.  Splash in for a swim!Whether you come with a dog or not, just standing there and watching the action will ensure you witness an upbeat social dynamic among our four-legged friends!

During the summer, the official public swimming beach is open, complete with lifeguard, sandy beach, and marked off swimming areas with ropes at different depths.  Lake Mohegan SummerThere are picnic tables, swings, a snack bar, and restrooms. For the little ones, there is also a water park area to supplement the beach.  It’s an exciting fountain playground with multiple intermittent water-sprays that are sure to delight and surprise its guests.

The lake and surrounding area comprise 170.4 acres managed by Fairfield’s Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation department. Lake access and the parking entrance are at 960 Morehouse Highway.  The park is easily accessed from exit 44 off the Merritt Parkway. Parking is free, and there is a small entry fee for the swimming beach in the summer.

Looking to move into this area? Click the next link to view a move-in ready home on the market right in the Lake Mohegan neighborhood at 229 Adley Road.  229 Adley Rd, Fairfield CTOr send an inquiry in the form below for more information about the lake, more Fairfield amenities or other homes for sale nearby!

 

Splash Photos Courtesy of Karen Kallins

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Get a Realtor on Board!


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Home Buying Tips In A Tight Market – What can a buyer can do to combat tight inventory?

If you are a home buyer and don’t see many options during your initial search online, make sure you get a Realtor on board to help you.  Get a Realtor on Board!

Even though inventory may be low and declining, there are at least three key actions your agent can take for you.  Make sure your agent knows what you are looking for, the location you want and your ideal timing.

  1. Armed with this insight, the first thing your agent will do is set up a search for you in the MLS. This allows other agents to conduct a ‘reverse search’ for your wish list items that could match a new listing they plan to put on the market.  They can call your agent who will then be among the first to know about the new listing that could be perfect for you!
  2. The next action your Realtor can take is to send an email to fellow agents in the offices around the town where you are looking that asks if they have a possible match coming to the market.  This can encourage sellers to expedite their plans and make their property available sooner than they had originally planned.  It also gets you first dibs on these homes!

Sample letter to homeowners

3. Last, but not least, your agent can write a letter or design a postcard describing your dream home and mail it directly to the homeowners on your favorite street or in the area you are focused on.

 

Sample Postcard

 

 

 

If you are a seller dealing with buyers that are circling and taking no action or facing a complete lack of buyers altogether, there are key action steps you can take too.

So don’t give into a slowing market, surge ahead, get the market to work for you, and make your move!

For questions or help in this market, send me a note using the form below.


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Annie and Andrew’s Story

A seasoned recruiter for a financial firm on Merritt 7 in Norwalk Connecticut, Annie knew a good candidate when she saw one.   The perfect asset for the current position was one she had already recruited once before, and that would be her husband!  Given their relationship, Annie’s boss had to step in and seal the deal, but Andrew was on board in no time.

The next step was to move from their home in Avon to a town closer to Norwalk that was affordable and had good schools.  Annie’s boss lived in Fairfield and was a strong advocate.  She convinced Annie and Andrew that this town would fit the bill.

Annie & Andrew

So Annie and Andrew’s agent in Avon called me to help them find a new home in Fairfield.  We spoke on the phone, and I set up their online search.   Immediately Annie saw something she liked and came to see it the next day.  Andrew couldn’t get free until the weekend, and by then the house was gone.  Three more times, the timing was too late or multiple bids got in the way, and three more homes were lost. Homes in their price range in the Fairfield university area were in extremely high demand and flying off the shelf!

Although Andrew liked the homes he had seen, he was still having a little trouble understanding the value for the prices in Fairfield compared to Avon.  Annie and I gushed about the treasured amenities in Fairfield such as the gorgeous beaches, convenient train stations, chic eateries, vicinity to Manhattan and the fantastic vibrant community. I wish I had this video tour of Fairfield at the time! Still, Andrew just shrugged his shoulders and went with the flow, primarily motivated by a quick commute.  New Home in Fairfield

Finally, a lovely pricier home had a price reduction.  We immediately went to see it and this time lucked out.  Annie and Andrew landed a beautiful expanded Cape on a pretty university area street.  They lost no time starting to make memories with their little son George, their new neighbors and all the block parties scheduled for the year.

A short time later, Annie sent me a note that said, “Hi Linda, we love the house, and we have fallen in love with Fairfield.  We have only been in the house a little over a month, but it truly feels like home, and I would say George agrees!  We cannot thank you enough for all of your help. You were terrific to work with, patient and helped us every step of the way. Relocating to a new area is overwhelming, and you really made us feel at ease throughout the whole process.  Thanks again for everything.  We hope to see you around town!”

So we welcome Annie and Andrew to Fairfield and the university area along with some of our other recent new neighbors, Ping and Danian and Rich and Chris.  Annie and Andrew’s story is all about taking that leap toward the next chapter of exciting new beginnings- A new love. A new job. A new town. A new home.  Follow your dreams, and the rest is history in the making!

For questions about your next move, contact me any time!


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How Could the “Wrong Direction” Seem So Right?

That’s what my relocation client asked me as we went to visit five drop-dead gorgeous homes in Fairfield Connecticut.

Ping and her family were moving from South Carolina to pricey Fairfield County.  Although the home sizes were not quite as grand here as what they were used to, I could sense a growing excitement about Fairfield as I shared some impressive numbers including our 11 elementary, three middle and two high schools, five beaches and three train stations.

The Chelsea Restaurant, Fairfield CT

The Chelsea Restaurant, Fairfield CT

A few added highlights like our huge Fourth of July celebration at Penfield Beach, the superb beet salad at The Chelsea and the crazy dog beach at Lake Mohegan didn’t hurt either.   The visual tour was the icing on the cake!

Ping and her husband Danian both worked for the same company in South Carolina.  She took a new job nearby, and he was able to stay with his company and transfer here. Their son and daughter would be going to elementary school.

New home in Fairfield CT

New home in Fairfield CT

The location of the home they chose in the university area was perfect.  Their kids could walk to school.  And when Danian’s parents came to visit, they could walk there with them. They were situated on a wonderful cul-de-sac and already had an elaborate play set in the back yard.  The house was stunning inside and out.  It was beautifully finished on four levels and came complete with a beautiful in-law suite.  And if all that wasn’t enough, the garage was fully equipped with cabinetry and a high-end custom flooring that looked like you could eat off it!

How can something so wrong seem so right?   Welcome to Fairfield!

Congratulations

Congratulations!

Feel free to comment on this post and reach out to me with your questions and real estate needs. – Linda


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Family Comes Back to the Fairfield University Area

Photo Oct 22, 11 07 42 AM

Chris grew up at her parents’ house on Wormwood Road near Fairfield University,  but she later moved to Monroe with her husband Rich.  There they enjoyed more space and land as they raised their two children, both grown up now.

After a couple of decades, they began to tire of the 20-minute minimum drive to get anywhere and the even longer commuting time to both their jobs.  Chris has been a biolology professor at Fairfield U, and Rich was working in information technology  at Bayer Healthcare, also quite far away. So they decided it was time to move back to Fairfield. Chris could be close to her mom who was still in her home in the university area, their commutes would be significantly shorter and they could make very good use of all the cool eateries downtown!

I met Rich and Chris at an open house in 2012, and have been showing them homes on and off since then.  They have always liked the New England colonial with classic charm.   They had made offers on a few homes along the way but found themselves outbid each time.

Finally, one day I happened to be online in the multiple listing service when a new listing popped on, and I knew it was perfect!   I immediately took them to see the charming colonial on Wakeman Road.  They made an offer that was negotiated and accepted, and as of this week they have a new home!  They plan to rent out their house in Monroe for awhile before selling it and will be moving into their new university area colonial right away!

Photo Oct 22, 3 21 17 PM   Photo Oct 22, 3 21 53 PM
If I can help you with your next move or any real estate questions, please let me know by filling in the form below!


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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!