Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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Grateful for Our Positive Work Culture at William Raveis Real Estate!

Pictured below are scenes from a fabulous elegant lunch¬†hosted by Bill Raveis and his wife Candy at their Fairfield Connecticut home to celebrate ūüéä the careful selection of our new Southport office manager, Tammy Fenelstein (after Amy Arnheim retired),¬†and getting back to ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ after the pandemic!¬† The festivities began earlier in the day at the weekly morning sales meeting in our Southport office where Tammy was introduced to us. The meeting adjourned with a group photo outside the building.

At Willliam Raveis the company’s mission is to be laser-focused on supporting the agents as their customers. So everything they do is driven by the goal of ensuring our success in serving you. This means providing the best cutting-edge technology, a family of companies to support seamless transactions, key solutions to solving the challenges you face when moving to a new home, the best agent training, and the best local, national, and global marketing resources. So we work hard, play hard, and celebrate our happy clients as we go.

You are right to want to work with the agent who‚Äôs company has a supportive, joyful, family culture which we are so grateful to have¬†at William Raveis Real Estate, because this positive force ūüĆÖ supports everything we do, and I bring that great energy along with all our resources to work for you! ‚̧ԳŹ

If you are thinking of selling in the next 12 months, now is the time to start planning. Call me at 203.912.4440 or reach out using the form below.


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We Found Home Sweet Home by the Sea!

It has been a long road to find the right home in this very challenging market, but we prevailed.

We are closed!

Coming all the way from Texas to the east coast, Robin secured a rental in the Fairfield Beach area for herself, her two children, and her little chihuahua, about a year ago. They were just beginning to feel at home in the new community, when the pandemic hit.

Hunkering down at home as we all were, Robin prepared to renew her lease. However, upon seeing the spiking sale prices, the landlord changed his mind about renting, and told her they were selling the house as soon as possible, giving her only two months to vacate.

In a panic, Robin convinced them to give her a few more months and sent out a text to our neighborhood chat group asking if anyone knew of an available rental.

I reached out and offered to help. After talking with her, and learning what her ideal home would look like and how much she was planning to spend on rent, I suggested that she get pre-approved for a mortgage and put her hard earned money toward a purchase that would build equity for her. As the leader of a large software development group, she had no trouble securing a loan.

So the quest began! Loving the Fairfield beach area, and looking for charm, character, a light and bright feel with room the family and guests, we searched! At first there was almost nothing to look at, but then some homes began to trickle onto the market. Then we found a lovely home and put in an offer. We were faced with ~10 other buyers and were out-bid. We tried again. And again. And again! But the bidding wars were driving the prices out of range.

Unfortunately, the search was taking more time than she had. Her time was up at the current rental, but luckily she found a homeowner nearby that let her rent for three more months. So Robin packed up her entire three-bedroom home and two kids, moved a few blocks away, and unpacked again.

It seemed there was nothing that matched the wish-list for the right price… until we ventured over to the popular beachy neighborhood of Woodmont in Milford. Under construction was a beautiful, bright new home with four bedrooms and finished space on three floors. It even had treetop water views and two balconies! After much negotiation, we secured the home and closed last week.

After so much time being unsettled by a cross-country move, a pandemic, and two limited rentals, Robin had to pack up her family, furniture, and belongings, and move it all one more time. But this time, she can relax, decompress, and enjoy. Finally, a sweet new place by the shore to call home!

Please reach out to me anytime if you have real estate questions or would like to have a conversation about your plans.


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Matchmaker Mystery: Do You Have What I’m Looking For? ūüŹ°‚̧ԳŹ

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


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Top 10 Reasons You Want This House: 6 Hillandale Lane, Greens Farms Westport CT

If you’re in the market for a new home in Westport Connecticut but aren’t sure which one’s right for you, here are the top 10 reasons this may just be the best new construction in town!

6 Hillandale Lane, Westport CT

6 Hillandale Lane, Westport CT

  1. Location, location, location! ¬†(Okay, that’s three, but we’ll only count it as one!). ¬†Situated just around the corner from the Post Road and right off prestigious Turkey Hill South near Martha Stewart’s previous residence, 6 Hillandale Lane is a prime location. ¬†A protected wooded space buffers the property from any sites or sounds from the Post Road, yet the convenience to all the local amenities is there. ¬†The home is also just four minutes from Greens Farms Station and 10 minutes from Saugatuck Station. ¬†It is minutes from renowned Greens Farms Academy, Burying Hill Beach and the vibrant downtowns of both Westport and Fairfield.

    Greens Farms Station

    Greens Farms Station

  2. Neighborhood РThe homes on Hillandale Lane each have a unique character and style.  Each is sited differently on its lot with attractive complimentary landscaping.  The neighborhood is lovely with residents of all ages and includes numerous multi-million dollar homes.
  3. Schools – People relocate to Westport from many places for the sought-after top-notch schools.
  4. Setting – Hillandale House is truly the centerpiece of the cul-de-sac on Hillandale Lane. ¬†It has a commanding yet gracious presence from both Hillandale Road and Hillandale Lane. ¬†At the same time, the home is tucked into the scenic private property and graced by a blend of skillfully designed and nature’s best landscaping that delivers the feel of¬†country¬†living.¬†6 Hillandale Lane Romantic Setting
  5. Views Р This special romantic setting extends its bonus to the indoors, offering stunning views of natural beauty from every room!
  6. Design РThe home exhibits transitional style maintaining a timeless traditional silhouette while adding an upscale modern edge.  Windows are positioned to invite maximum natural light and scenic views.  Materials are top of the line and state of the art, such as Caesarstone countertops that are virtually indestructible, and epoxy flooring in the garage that resists dust, protects the slab, and looks super cool!
  7. Construction Team Р Coastal Construction has been building homes in Westport since 2003 and has built more than 80 luxury homes in Fairfield County. They have fine-tuned the art of quality home construction by providing careful attention to site design, layout, architecture, craftsmanship and the right location.
  8. Use of space – ¬†The design team knows how people like to live. ¬†So they incorporated the perfect blend of open-flow, separate private areas, and spaces for convenience. That’s why the Kitchen with large island with seating is open to the Great Room and the Breakfast Area. 6 Hillandale Ln Kitchen¬†The Breakfast area is spacious enough to fit a dining room sized table and looks out to the backyard and patio. ¬†This open-flow area offers many options for casual dining and entertaining. ¬†The Formal Living and Dining Rooms offer a more intimate ambiance. The Mudroom features a¬†walk-in pantry, walk-in closet and Powder Room for additional utility. ¬†Four bedrooms reside on the second floor, and an additional bedroom with full bath is situated on both the third floor and walk-out lower level. ¬†This provides privacy for various sleeping quarter arrangements. ¬†6 Hillandale Ln Terrace from PatioThe walk-out lower level also includes a private zen-like Garden Terrace offering another separate sanctuary. ¬†If a pool is added, this terrace also serves as access to the full bathroom downstairs. The well-thought-out design offers something for everyone and every occasion.
  9. Garage РPerfect for organizing your extra toys, furniture, bonus fridge, etc. this garage offers an extra half-bay for all your stuff.  With a door into the Mudroom off the Kitchen and a door straight to the backyard, this is the ideal hub to keep the fun times coming.  Did I mention the super cool epoxy floor?6 Hillandale Ln Garage
  10. Great backyard РIf you crave a property that has both utility and undisturbed beauty, this is your place.  The backyard is wide, level, dry and fabulously scenic with a lovely wooded barrier, unlike the contrived, rigidly rectangular yards that snugly abutt their neighbors.  The pool can go just outside the walkout lower level with full bath.  The patio is the platform for enjoying a meal or watching the backyard happenings.  Whether you invite your friends or keep it to yourself, this is the perfect backyard for playtime and relaxation time alike. 6 Hillandale Ln Back Yard

If you would like more information about this property, please submit an inquiry below.  

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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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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 ‚Äėreverse search‚Äô 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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Nothing Like a Great Back Yard on a Holiday Weekend!

My own backyard in the Fairfield beach area is one commonly referred to as a ‘postage stamp’, though it still manages to accommodate our trampoline and numerous get-togethers. ¬†However, some good friends of mine in Westport have a much more spacious backyard 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!

Hillandale Back Yard and Patio

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 backyard 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.

6 Hillandale Lane, Westport CT

6 Hillandale Lane, Westport CT

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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Renovation vs. New Construction – What to consider

Thinking about a home renovation or possibly building a new house? ¬†Along with some key resources to help with this dilemma, here’s a story about a homeowner in the beach area of Fairfield Connecticut that changed their initial plans after weighing all their options.

Jen and Chris came to Fairfield in 2006 and settled into their new home, a cozy Cape in the beach area on Pratt Street.  From day-one, they loved the location and the street.   They figured down the road they would have a baby and then renovate, expand or even add another floor.

New Construction

Fairfield Beach Area New Construction

Fast forward to 2009 when their little boy wasn’t so small anymore, but their house still was, and it was time to expand. ¬†However, when they went to town hall and reviewed the beach area Zoning Regulations, they ran into an unanticipated glitch. ¬†They hadn’t realized that if the cost of their renovations exceeded fifty percent of the market value of their house structure, they would be required to fill in their basement, or stretch their project costs out over several years.

Their other major consideration was the cost of flood insurance in the beach area, especially for houses not compliant with Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA regulations, (FEMA FAQs).  After reviewing all the variables and costs, they changed course.  Instead of renovating, Chris and Jen determined that it would be more cost effective to tear down their house and rebuild.  This way their home would be FEMA-compliant and brand new with the added space they needed plus an attached garage.

If you are having a similar dilemma, there are some additional factors you may also want to consider as well as ways to finance renovations, key new home benefits, and tax incentives.

Beach Area New Construction

Jen and Chris’ New Home

Upon solidifying their decision and hiring a builder, Chris and Jen enlisted my help to find a nearby rental to live in during the construction.  They were not alone since many other families in the neighborhood were also raising their houses, renovating or rebuilding after superstorm Sandy.  We began looking and found some good prospects. Eventually, we secured a great place a few blocks away that was perfect for keeping a handle on construction oversight.

Home Sweet Home!

Jen and Chris in front of their new home!

The process of tearing down and rebuilding began.  And one year later, the new home stood welcoming its owners back to the beloved place where their old Cape once sat.

There’s nothing like home sweet home!

 

 

 

Send me a note if you would like to build new, renovate, and find a rental to help with the plan!

Consider a custom-built or new construction home in Fairfield or Westport.

6 Hillandale Lane, Greens Farms Westport CT

6 Hillandale Lane, Greens Farms Westport CT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How’s the Summer Real Estate Market 2015 in Fairfield and Westport CT

So how’s the summer real estate market in Fairfield and Westport Connecticut? Are sellers listing their homes?¬† Are buyers making offers?¬† Here’s the summer 2015 scoop in Fairfield and Westport with a spotlight on the Fairfield beach and Greens Farms areas.

As of last week, there were a lot of single family homes on the market in Fairfield, 633 to be exact, compared to 542 at the end of July last year!  Fourteen percent (14%) of these houses had accepted offers. This is great compared to only 9% with binders last July.

The beach area market was not quite as strong as the town-wide market, with 12% of listings securing offers. ¬†However, this ratio was more positive than last summer when the beach area’s home sellers accepting¬†offers matched the town-wide tally of 9%. Of the 15 beach area homes with offers, seven were priced over $1 million, four were between $600,000 and $1 million and four were under $600,000. So there was a good range of¬†prices.

Re-incarnation in the Fairfield Beach Area

Click Image for Flipogram!

845 Fairfield Beach Rd

Click Image for Full Listing!

Beach area new construction was exceeding the town’s ratio,¬†with five accepted offers out of 30 listings, or 17%. ¬†Click the image above for a representative¬†view of the construction¬†going on all over the beach area right now. ¬†Direct waterfront in the beach area demonstrated more sluggish activity¬†than the rest of the beach area and town with a¬†10% ratio of offers to active listings, that’s 4 out of 39.

Westport inventory was also high with 402 houses for sale¬†compared to about 350 in July last year.¬† This season’s market was slightly more positive than in July 2014 with 7% of listings taking offers compared to 6%.

Greens Farms was a hot subset of the Westport market, with 12% of the 49 listings securing acceptable offers.  Half of the six offers were listed above $1 million and half below.

2 Hedley Farms Rd

New construction listings in Greens Farms weren’t moving as fast as the rest of the neighborhood with one binder out of 12 listings, or 8%.

So yes, sellers are listing their homes, and buyers are bidding on them. ¬†The ratio of accepted offers to active listings is a leading indicator of what’s to come, and this summer it’s shown variablility based¬†on town, neighborhood, and property type.
As always, pricing your home competitively¬†and staging it for maximum appeal will attract buyers to your listing. ¬†There’s still time before August vacations to get your price right if you’re selling and get your bid in if you’re buying. ¬†Be sure to check out the¬†featured¬†homes for sale below!

Buy one this summer!

Buy one this summer!

New Construction on the Beach, Fairfield Р$2,545,000 New price!
Summer Beach Cottage, Fairfield – $1,245,000 New price!
Carefree Beachfront Condo, Fairfield – $915,000 See Quick-Film!
Like-New Home at the Beach, Lordship Р$879,000 New Price!
Bright Beach Area Colonial, Fairfield – $625,000 Off the market, sale pending!
Charming Cape, Convenient Location, Fairfield Р Off the market to be rented starting October 1st.

Feel free to contact me any time with questions, showing requests or for a complimentary market analysis of your home.


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Great Finds on Both Sides of Town!

Whether you know someone looking for a cute cape close to Black Rock Turnpike shopping and the new Fairfield Metro Center, or a proposed new construction on the beach near Fairfield’s bustling downtown scene and train, there’s a home¬†for the taking!

Fairfield Metro StationHere are two featured properties for sale.  Scroll down for a link to browse all listings or request to have a search set up for you.

Beautiful Updated Cape, also for rent, in a super convenient location near ample amenities and the new train station! Some of the great features include three bedrooms, two full baths, vaulted ceiling family room with sliders, renovated kitchen, covered deck, central air, fully fenced and landscaped back yard with newly expanded shed and double driveways. Opportunity knocks!

A rare moment is here for you. Introducing Beach Life. Have your custom home built by world class craftsmen on a spectacular near-third acre stretch of beach with mature trees and¬†high dunes! Deep sandy beach and¬†51 feet of beach frontage at the coast’s curve offer expansive views of the entire shoreline. Dreamy vistas of changing light, tides and the iconic Penfield Light House never lose their magic. Other multi-million dollar new homes nearby add to the great value and good company. Your home will be finished on three levels with a spacious¬†carport underneath for two cars plus extra multi-use space and plenty of expansion potential. One of the very deepest and highest sections of beach five minutes from town, restaurants and train, and an hour from Manhattan is where you will call home. Get ready for your new beach life to begin!

Photo Oct 30, 11 37 20 AM    Photo Oct 30, 11 47 19 AM

 845 FFBR - elevation- 10 - 21 - 14  Photo Oct 30, 12 55 20 PM

 

 

 

 

Search for your home here¬†or submit a request below. ¬† I’m here to help. ūüôā