Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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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.


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She Finally Decided to Sell Her Home, and It Was a Dream Come True!

The seed was planted years ago that maybe someday they would leave their comfortable bubble in Westport, Connecticut, and follow one of their dreams. They knew they would love to go abroad for a while, pursue the adventure of a live-aboard, or follow their passion for waterfront living.

He was excited to go for it, but she, not so much. Selling their home would allow them to be untethered for a while but the emotional consequences of leaving their home and hometown of 17 years with deep connections to friends, the community, and their love of Westport, was not lost on them. 

For starters, the limited choice of homes on the market made homelessness seem a clear outcome. The process of having to show the house day after day during a pandemic and having to deal with the whole listing, selling, and the moving process felt daunting. How could she argue with her grown daughters who rightly said they should keep the beautiful home they had made perfect over the years by putting their hearts and soles into it?

But, wasn’t this the perfect time? Wasn’t now the time to sell your home, especially in Westport with properties flying off the shelf at record speed for top dollar?

As it turned out, the low inventory and logistical barriers were really not the problems.

Becoming emotionally ready for adventure and following the dream was what she needed to take the leap out of her comfort zone. Only once she was at peace with letting go, moving on, and embracing the adventure, had all the pieces, one at a time, fallen into place.

I had come to see their home and discuss their hopes, dreams, plans, and concerns. Following that, we met via Zoom due to the pandemic. I explained the market, the recommended listing price, options for giving them flexibility for their timing, and shared my custom comprehensive marketing plan which included an added detailed walk-through video for buyers to watch before requesting a showing.

Still, for weeks she struggled with the decision. But as they explored their ideas for their next chapter, she shared their dreams with their daughters who became very supportive of their vision. The response from several friends was also positive and supportive of their decision to sell, and in fact many even said they too had been considering making changes of their own and following their dreams.

So they gave me the green light and I put the house on the market while they went to Boston for the weekend to visit family. During that weekend, I managed 25 showings and multiple offers. They chose a buyer who paid more than their asking price and who was agreeable to a long closing period to give them time to find a new home.

They researched their options and visited potential new homes in various areas. Sure enough, they came upon a fabulous waterfront home further north with breathtaking views that they absolutely loved!

So you may want to ask yourself- Does your home truly satisfy your current needs, wants, and, desires? Can you brace yourself to stretch your comfort zone for some adventure? If so, then now is the time to trust the process, and make it happen!

There are numerous logistical options for making your dream a reality. And there happens to be a jackpot of opportunity presenting itself to sellers right now, with buyers from the New York City area searching in droves, low inventory to compete with, and low interest rates to help you and your buyer with your purchase.

A great way to inspire your journey is to explore our Raveis Escapes website with destination locations featured by local Realtors and browse those areas. Set up searches for yourself in any areas that intrigue you get a feel what’s available there. 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 or send a note below, and let me lead the way!

Linda
203.912.4440


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My Three Favorite Videos of Serene Seaside Homes

Relax and enjoy some calm shoreline beauty to soothe your soul.

Since now is a time of stress for many, I wanted to share my three favorite videos of beach properties that are serene and beautiful to watch.  So click on an image to start the video, sit back, and let them take you away. Enjoy!

Twilight tour on the creek…

Lovely Creekside Home

Glide through this stunning antique home on the creek side of Fairfield Beach Road as dusk approaches.

Soar over the Long Island Sound…

Soak in the beauty of this beachfront and creekside home with jetty views.

A peek at the peninsula…

Soar over and through this delightful home on the peninsula of Fairfield Beach Road.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments using the form below, and I will respond quickly.


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“Water Craft” on the Market at 1690 Fairfield Beach Road!

Commanding a premium location on the road with a coveted dock at the ready, this home will make your dreams come true. Enjoy the blissful existence of waterfront living whether you’re in the water, on a vessel or just taking in the sea breezes! No matter which direction you gaze, awe-inspiring beauty will make your spirits soar, as you have found a true work of art on the water.
Re-imagined in 1993, this home was featured on the cover of book, “Designing with Glass – The Creative Touch” for its soaring ceilings and walls of glass capturing breathtaking water vistas that extend into the clouds.

The cunning design strategy arranges this home ‘right side up’ ensuring the main living spaces are guaranteed the most phenomenal views. Changing tides, a winding waterway, and spectacular sunsets are always on display from the architectural windows and the upper deck. The open-concept space puts the kitchen at the bow featuring a built-in bench, limestone counters, stainless appliances, and of course, an island.

The open dining and living areas in a great room with a fireplace and two fans hanging from the vaulted ceiling complete this space.

The chic master bedroom likewise captures dynamic views of vessels cruising Pine Creek from the lower deck. At high tide, you feel like you’re looking out to sea from your penthouse cabin on the ultimate cruise ship. A guest bedroom, third bedroom or office, elegant hall bath, and laundry complete the garden level. Seaside gardens with a romantic pergola, climbing hydrangeas, flowering crab apple, and roses present themselves at the entrance to this exceptional property and maintain your gaze as you enter the glass-walled foyer.


The home blends natural materials like seabed fossil stone and ultra wide-plank wood floors with high tech surfaces like the UV wind-resistant windows. It marries an antique front door with contemporary architecture.  And it resides on prime waterfront in a vibrant town rich in culture, arts, and history.  Chic eateries, universities, train stations, beaches, and even a SportPlex, are all a few minutes from here and just an hour from Manhattan.  Welcome to Water Craft, your dream come true!

Aerial water view

Click to take a twilight tour!

Please use the form below to request more information or schedule a showing. You can also call or text, 203.912.4440.


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Enchanting 33 Pansy Circle!

Your home is your castle, and enchanting 33 Pansy Circle in Fairfield, is ready to make some dreams come true.  Take a look at the trending story…! 

33 Pansy Circle Photo

Perhaps you or a friend are the perfect addition to this coveted enclave? Everyone here is friendly and supportive of one another. It’s a warm and festive neighborhood atmosphere, and when the weather’s nice, everyone likes to be outside.  The basketballs and soccer balls have been known to bounce around the circle! Other times there’s a peaceful retreat to respective back yards for a relaxing barbecue. The residents can’t wait to greet their new neighbors!

This grand colonial finished on 4 levels is a gem on the university cul-de-sac! Amazing Teen-Suite/NannyQuarters/Office/Yoga Studio or 6th Bedroom with a full bath sits Possible Yoga Studioabove the charming peaked garage. Better than new, and much bigger than it looks from outside, this home features 9-foot ceilings and open flow.

It also offers incredible custom high-end details, including extensive millwork, Klaff lighting, Italian Bertazzoni stove, and even a garage with a gleaming epoxy floor and a Wifi door opener that magically responds to your smartphone commands! The elegant gourmet Eat-In-Kitchen and Breakfast Area open to the generous Family Room with stone fireplace.

Open Kitchen

The second floor includes a Master Suite with luxury bath and jacuzzi tub, three additional bedrooms, a large hall bath with a granite double-sink vanity and separate water closet and bathing area, and a Laundry Room.

Vaulted ceilings top the 3rd level with a large bright Bonus space, 6th Bedroom, & full bath.

The partially finished Lower Level with high ceilings adds 717 sq ft of living space featuring a huge Rec Room/Home Gym with a wall of built-ins, another large room (now the Ping-Pong room!) that can easily be finished, plus tons of storage.

The stylish Mudroom with stone floor leads to the patio and private fenced yard. Sunny Patio

Twilight Patio

This special abode also features in-ground utilities and sprinkler system, energy efficiency, and room for a pool. Walk to Osborn Hill, around the corner from Black Rock Turnpike amenities, minutes to town, train, beaches, and highways from this excellent location.

Take a virtual tour, watch the video walk-through, and check out the listing. Elegant & enchanting! Make 33 Pansy Circle your new home, and let your dreams come true!

As featured in the Connecticut Post!

33 Pansy Cir Hot Property          33 Pansy Cir Hot Proeprty 2

If you have any questions or comments about this post or would like to arrange to see this property, enter your note below, and you will receive a quick response.

 


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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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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 – The 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 –  This special romantic setting extends its bonus to the indoors, offering stunning views of natural beauty from every room!
  6. Design – The 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 –  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 – Perfect 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 – If 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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Fairfield’s Super Seven for Supper!

Hands down, one of the most fabulous features of Fairfield is all the chic eateries downtown. So, I thought I would share seven of my favorite picks for dining and ambiance.
Cafe Madeline
A Friday night ritual for me and my husband, Mark is to pop over to Cafe Madeline on the Post Road, a tiny, personal place, where Madeline is not just the proprietor but also the regular hostess. (You can see her in a white blouse in the photo talking with guests.) The atmosphere is nothing short of charming and, shall we say, adorable.  Madeline’s taste is somewhat eclectic as evidenced by the pink floral sconces, mini white party lights surrounding the glass case with handmade beaded jewelry for sale, and the flat screen that displays musical performances or nature scenes to fit the mood. There are probably no more than 10 tables inside, when it’s warm and pleasant outside, maybe another six or so out on the front patio. The food is always absolutely delicious.  We cannot resist ordering the butternut squash soup, which is rich and flavorful and always comes as a very generous serving. I typically follow that with the “small plate”, Portobello Mushroom with arugula and goat cheese, served hot is unbelievably delish!  Mark always gets the Chicken Piccata, also a small plate. He’s not a fan of the spinach that normally comes on top, so he substitutes it for chopped broccoli, which the staff always remembers and does automatically. Intimate, romantic and wonderful!
TotoAnother favorite where regulars are made to feel like family is Toto.  The Mediterranean-style eatery offers gregarious people and food with a flare. The owner, manager, and team always greet you with a warm welcome and seem genuinely thrilled that you have arrived. The decor’ has a stylish and sophisticated, yet casual European elegance, and the covered patio is in service for most of the year.  An absolute MUST starter (if you like cheese), is the Spicy Feta, served in a mini deep dish as part of a larger appetizer dish. You simply spoon it out and enjoy with some rustic bread. It’s truly a burst of flavor!  The Crispy Calamari Salad is the best I’ve had anywhere. Mark cannot resist the Four Cheese Fettucini, the ultimate decadence!
 
The Chelsea is a funky and somewhat rustic place to have a drink and enjoy a meal.  Rough wood accent walls and ornate wrought iron design elements are contrasted with neon green metal chairs.  The cozy bar hosting stylish guests (all the women seem to wear great shoes- just saying) pulls it all together! Mark says that no one else in town can beat the Chelsea Burger.  I personally cannot live without their octopus appetizer, a dish they tend to vary from time to time.  It doesn’t look huge when it arrives, but there is so much protein in it, you are sure to be full when you finish.  The flavors in my favorite version are spectacular! Large tentacles come with potatoes, greens, onions, and a pickled vegetable that adds a perfect punch!  It’s a must-have in my book, with all the goodness and none of the guilt.  Their Cobb Salad is fantastic too.
Old Post Tavern
For your classic tavern feel, visit the Old Post Tavern right on the corner of the Post Road and Unquowa.  They have been known to have a fun band during happy hour, and the patio is lovely.  If you are a fan of French Onion Soup, go no further.  Something about their blend of cheeses as well as some magic ingredients in the broth makes theirs completely unbeatable!
BodegaIf it’s gourmet Mexican food in a festive atmosphere you’re after, Bodega is the place to go.  Since it’s another tiny place, you may have to sample their top notch margaritas or other specialty drinks while you wait for your table or seat at the bar.  One of Bodega’s delectables is the Ceviche, a deceivingly filling dish posing as an appetizer. The fish, in a specialty cocktail sauce, has a fantastic flavor and comes with some toasted plantains, that in my opinion, make a complete meal.  If you prefer something hot, their Chicken Soup is hearty and delicious.  You can have it mild or spicy depending on whether you opt to dump in the hot peppers served on the giant turquoise spoon.  Burrito Tinga is Mark’s tasty favorite, and my daughter loves the Gombos Tacos. Bodega's Festive Atmosphere
Martel is on the Post Road in Southport and is a cozy place with a bit of a steakhouse feel. The ceilings are high, yet ornate, and there is always an art gallery Marteladorning the walls. Always bustling, the place serves a warm, upbeat atmosphere.  Although there are many excellent dishes here, my husband and I have gravitated toward sharing the Fondue for Two followed by Martel’s House Salad. The salad features marinated tomatoes and an aged Danish Blue Cheese that are fabulous together. If the fondue is off-menu for the summer, an equally rich and yummy alternative is the side order of creamed spinach!  I have it as a meal, with wine, of course.
Last, but not least, we love the Grey Goose, also in Southport, where we once stood elbow to elbow with John Mayer before being seated. The atmosphere can be described as rustic and cozy with an eclectic crowd. Some folks go to hang out, others go for dinner. There’s always a flat screen at the bar featuring a sporting event as well as a crackling fireplace on the opposite wall. Penne ala Vodka, Grey Goose Style is Mark’s staple, while I go back and forth between the Grey GooseLobster Macaroni and the Steak Tips small plate.  The Lobster Macaroni is the absolute best here, with the secret ingredient of truffle oil to enhance the generous chunks of lobster and the crispy cheese topping. The Steak Tips are equally fantastic. Cooked to perfection, they come with a corn salsa and chipotle mayo dip that together, absolutely melt in your mouth!
All this talk is making me hungry!  Be sure to come and try out Fairfield’s fabulous eateries, and should you want to ensure you live right nearby, take a look at the featured home for sale below and send a note through the form with any questions!
Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 4.55.37 PM
P.S. New kid on the block, The Sinclair Kitchen + Bar has recently opened downtown in the Brick Walk. I have been there twice with a positive experience both times.  The patio is great, surrounded by thick trees and protected by a multi-settings awning. The Mussels in a Pot Thai Style (5 additional styles to try!) were delicious, and Mark gave two thumbs up to the Steak Sandwich.  Anyone else, care to weigh in?
Want to live downtown?  Look no further!

254 Penfield Rd, Fairfield CT254 Penfield Road, Fairfield
Walk to Train, Town, & Beach!

OPEN HOUSE Sunday 8/19, 1-3 PM!

For questions and comments about anything real estate, please send a note below.

 

 

 

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Design Your Own Perfect, Custom, Home!

Have you ever dreamt of living in a home perfectly suited to your every taste and need? Did you quickly push the dream aside feeling overwhelmed by the daunting process and decisions you would have to make? You are not alone. But many people have jumped on the opportunity and now relish the sanctuary of their ultimate dream home!

Building custom homes is the current focus of many area builders. Read on to see how one Fairfield County Connecticut builder has evolved as an expert in catering to this special homebuyer. linda-raymond-at-milton-1

I met with Milton Development, a luxury builder in Fairfield County Connecticut, to discuss why they cater to this niche and what’s special about how they do it.  I sat down for a Q and A with the company owner, Ashley Shapiro, to find out why Milton is now a custom home builder, what makes this approach a win-win for everyone, and how they tackle barriers that often make people hesitate to pursue a custom-built home. Here’s what I learned-

Linda: What made you decide to become a custom-home builder? 

Ashley: After building only spec homes for about 12 years and working with buyers to customize the finishes, we discovered that we were really good at working with people to give them what they want.  We realized that we truly want to create the home that is perfectly suited our customers. We learned how to gain a clear understanding of how our clients live and what they love for their home design.  miltonhouseOur motto now is, “We build a lifestyle”.   Almost anyone can build a house, but we are now experts at creating a home that fits one’s lifestyle like a glove.  Not only do we love building the perfect home for our customers, but when we custom-build for people, we are better able to manage our business by avoiding the uncertainties of putting a speculation house on market, and we can pass the savings on to our clients.

Linda: Have you seen an increased demand for people wanting custom homes?

Ashley: It’s more a function of creating a niche.  After years of building homes that people loved, we began to get asked if we could build a home for them.  Word spread, and more people asked.  miltonsink

We currently have 10 custom home projects in the works and have been doing custom-built homes for about a year and a half now. We build in Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk and Greenwich.

Linda: Is there a typical buyer profile you see?

Ashley: It varies, but many come from big cities, often working in the financial sector, and they are coming out here for the schools.  What they all have in common is that they are looking for something different.

Linda: What are the common barriers, questions, and concerns you see from your customers?

Ashley: Number one is timing- how long will the whole thing take? How long to get the land, to do the design process, to complete the construction?  We walk through the timeframe for each phase with them. The land is found by their agent or by us, and we are always involved in that phase to help give our clients a vision. We also explain that some of the phases can overlap. For example, while waiting to close on the land purchase, we can get well into the design phase.  We are very skilled at managing the timing and utilize an online program with the timeline and deadlines for everyone involved, including decisions to be made by the buyer.  Everyone has the same real-time view of the schedule, responsibilities, and progress. So our clients know the timeline and understand that they have as much a role in the timing as we do.miltonkitchen

Many are concerned with all the decisions they have to make in a limited period of time.  We have an in-house designer who is very skilled at helping our clients make decisions based on our understanding of their tastes, desires, and budget.  We also have four renowned designers from outside our firm that we work with.

The next big question is about cost and cost per square foot.  Of course, there are many variables that can impact cost per square foot, which could range from $270 up to $500.  But the beauty of our model is that it is completely transparent.  Our customer buys the land, they pay our direct discounted cost to build, which is all determined in advance, and they pay a fixed fee for our work.  So they know up front what their cost is, and we know how much we will make on every project as well.  Most people think we are more expensive than we are because of our high-end image. We do exceptionally high-quality work and market our services and products accordingly. Our print ads look like Vogue photo shoots, but the reality is that we have a lower cost to build than most builders, so we are less expensive!

miltonlr

Linda. So how would you summarize your differentiators?

Ashley: Our image is very high-end and expensive, but our costs are less than our competitors. Our formula is to alway be completely transparent with the cost to build. We take the time to completely understand how our clients live and what they want, which enables us to create the ultimate home just for them.  We are extremely organized and skilled at guiding our clients so they know what to expect and are helped with decision-making.  We make the whole process as easy as it can be for them. Our background comes from branding and the fashion industry.  We use a select talented group of European designers, and we create homes that are truly unique. Our difference is in the details. We build a lifestyle, and this is a win-win for us and our clientele.

linda-raymond-at-milton-4

To learn more about the process and the builders that do custom-home building, start looking for land for your new home, or to get a personal introduction to Ashley at Milton Development, please send a note below, or give me a call at 203-912-4440. -Linda