Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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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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At What Price Would You Consider Selling Your House?

My buyer waits for completion in six months.

Buyers are waiting. Home sale prices are up. Interest rates are outrageously low. Is there a price at which you would consider selling your house? If there is a price that motivates you, are there other barriers?

It sure appears to be the perfect storm for owners to want to sell their homes, right? Sure, except for two major roadblocks- As a potential home seller, where do you move with the limited choice in the market? And if you could work through these details, do you really feel ready?

If you are one of these homeowners, here are three things you can do to manage the logistical challenge.

  1. You can list your home with a published contingency to find suitable housing. This relieves the pressure of not having your destination pre-determined by letting potential buyers know up-front that you reserve the right to take the time to find a new home. It also gives you an ‘out’ if you cannot find a suitable solution. You can reach out to me and also select a real estate attorney to learn more.
  2. Alternatively you can put your home on the market and negotiate a long closing period, such as a few months, when you receive an offer- or multiple offers. Many buyers are flexible with timing, especially if they are buying a second home. This will give you time to look around.
  3. A temporary housing plan is another key option. Are you aware that you may even be able to sell your home and rent it back from the buyers for a period of time! This can be an excellent solution for bridging the gap until you find your new home. Even if this is not doable, there are other options. If it is feasible to stay with family, go to a second home or vacation home, or get a short term rental, and put things in storage for a while, this is a great way to take the timing pressure off. It may not be convenient, but it may still be worth it in order to capitalize on the opportunities of this market and move to the home that truly satisfies your current needs and desires.

What if the above solutions are all well and good, but you still feel hesitant? It is even more important than strategizing the logistics to be sure your heart is really in it. You must be sure you are ready to sell before going on the market. Here’s the journey one home seller went through to get ready to ultimately make her dream come true.

Buyers are waiting for homes to enter the market because there is so little to choose from. Take a look at the housing inventory in Fairfield in this graph from William Raveis Local Housing Data. There are only 227 homes on the market as of last December compared to 387 at the same time in 2019, and 411 in 2018. Compare this to the peak month in May of 2019 when there were 627 homes on the market! A buyer right now only has about one third of that to choose from.

Imagine if all you. homeowners who would love to sell but have been sitting on the sidelines decide to go for it using some of the safeguards above? The market would be rich with choice for everyone searching. (yourselves included!), and many more home buyers and sellers would be on the move toward making their dreams a reality!

You can browse around and set up some searches for yourself here if you would like to get a feel for the markets as you think about your plans. Feel free to reach out to me anytime by phone, 203.912.4440, my website or by sending me a note below. I look forward to talking with you!


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How’s the Housing Market Right Now – January 2021?

What’s the pulse of the local single-family housing market in Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut in the first three weeks of January 2021? How many accepted offers? Where are they? What are the price categories? Days on market? Inventory levels and new listings? Here’s an update from the SmartMLS.

FAIRFIELD ACCEPTED OFFERS AND INVENTORY

Fairfield CT locations of accepted offers

69 New Year accepted offers!

Offers are located all over town

PRICE BREAKDOWN?
64% Priced < $1 million
36% Priced > = $1 million

69 Median days on market

At the end of December 2020, Fairfield inventory levels were at historic lows, as illustrated by the graph below from William Raveis Real Estate.

There have been 25 new listings since January 1, ranging in price from $285,000 to $4,295,000.

 

WESTPORT ACCEPTED OFFERS AND INVENTORY

18 New Year accepted offers!

Westport CT locations of accepted offers

Offers appear to be concentrated near the downtown area and the Post Road

28% Priced < $1 million
72% Priced >= $1 million

18 Median days on market

At the end of December 2020, Westport inventory levels were at historic lows, as illustrated by the graph below from William Raveis Real Estate.

There have been 26 new listings in Westport in all price points, ranging from $699,000 to $12,000,000!

So it’s fair to say that the Fairfield and Westport housing markets have been ramping up following the lull of the December holidays and there is a good amount of activity. Despite the new listings that have been trickling onto the market though, there is not enough choice to satisfy the current buyer demand and the added purchasing incentive of low interest rates.

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, or send me a note below. I’m here to help!


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Happy Holidays from My Family to Yours!

(Blooper photo below)

Reach out to me anytime using the form below or via phone at 203.912.4440 or on my website.  Feel free to set up your own home search in the MLS here.
Happy Holidays! 🤗🎉❤️


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Christmas Eve 2020 Was a Great Beach Day at Penfield in Fairfield, CT!

Who would think that Penfield Beach was the place to be at around noon on Christmas Eve 2020?

The temperature was mild but the winds were high, so the walkers, dogs, and sea gulls were there along with about a dozen kite boarders in wet suites. The scene was festive and vibrant as always, and a great way to kick off the holiday week!

What a fabulous town to call home! If you are thinking of making a move, you can set up your own search here to browse homes in any areas that intrigue you. If you are thinking of moving cross-country or overseas, I can refer you to the perfect agent through my elite brokerage network and oversee your satisfaction with them. Give me a call at 203.912.4440, visit my website, or send a note in the form below, and let me lead the way!

#penfieldbeach #Christmas2020# christmasathebeach #fairfieldct #lovethebeach

 


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New Eatery in Fairfield CT Beach Area – Reef Shack FFLD is Open!

Fairfield residents always love a new eatery when one comes to town, and the new “Reef Shack FFLD” has just opened on Reef Road!

The set-up resembles a hybrid of The Pantry, Starbucks, and the beach concession stand with a a separate barista counter and a beach-glam flair. The menu is large and fabulous with eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The space can completely open via glass garage doors to a cute patio with a beach shack vibe.

Charming patio for all kinds of weather!

For some more background, here’s the story from the CTPost. Check out their website at https://www.reefshackffld.com to browse the menu. It’s a good idea to call in your order until they have set up their online ordering service. Be sure to stop by!

Thinking of buying or selling around here?  Set up your own MLS search, and check out the market!

If you have any questions about this post or the housing market in the neighborhood or surrounding areas, reach out using the form below, visit my website or call me direct at 203.912.4440.


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Neighborhood Secrets: Lake Hills, Fairfield CT!

Most Fairfield locals have heard of the Lake Hills Association, but many don’t know much about it, as it remains one of those best-kept neighborhood secrets!  -Until now. 🙂

Beach 2 on Samp Mortar Drive

If you are moving into the area and are looking for some special neighborhood amenities, ask your agent to alert you to homes for sale with deeded membership to this association.

The Association encompasses five private beaches for members along the Samp Mortar Reservoir, each labeled with a sign.

Beach 1 – Tahmore Dr.
Beach 2 – Samp Mortar Dr.
Beach 3 – Mountain Laurel Rd.
Beach 4 – Winnepoge Dr.
Beach 6 – Sasapequan Rd. (not sure why this isn’t labeled “5” on the association’s website!)

In addition to fun member activities like live music and movies, five levels of swimming lessons are offered, starting with the beginner level. Swimming lessons are available for a separate fee for both members and non-members. Class sizes are limited to 10 participants and swim lesson sign-up day is June 9 at Beach 4 from 10 am to noon, so hurry up!  Visit the association website at LakeHillsFairfield.com for a map of the beach locations and more info.  

Eligibility to join the Association is part of the homeownership deed of nearby homes within the designated area in the association bylaws. Joining is optional for some owners and required for other parcel owners, and the membership fee runs about $400 per year at the time this article was written.  Another Fairfield gem nearby that is open to all town residents also deserves a mention here, the park at Lake Mohegan.

One home I sold with deeded Lake Hills Beach access is the totally reimagined home at 2654 Black Rock Tpk which sits just across the street from Beach 6!  Visit my website to see more area homes on the market or to set up a search. As always, feel free to contact me with comments or questions using the at the bottom of this post, and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

2654 Black Rock Tpk

Re-Imagined Ranch in Lake Hills

Here are some additional topics you might like,

Choosing a Real Estate Attorney

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Open House Safety-Neighborhood Watch!

 

 

Another nearby home I recently sold nearby is 345 Steiner Street.  It’s not part of the Lake Hills association but is just a few blocks from the fabulous park at Lake Mohegan and just a short drive to all of Fairfield’s five beaches on Long Island Sound. 

345 Steiner St, Fairfield CT

Cul-de-Sac Charmer Near Lake Mohegan

If you’re curious about homes for sale in this neighborhood or any other area, you can set up your own search here.  Feel free to reach out to me any time by phone,  203.912.4440, via my website, or using the form below.  Royal service when it’s time for your next castle! I’m here to help!

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Fairfield Memorial Day 2018: Photo Gallery In Case You Missed the Parade

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Fairfield rocked the parade today as we remembered our veterans who have fought for our freedom.  Enjoy the photo gallery below, and let’s hope we can keep our freedoms and look forward to more peaceful times ahead!

 

Photos courtesy of Linda Raymond

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This gallery contains 51 photos