Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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Matchmaker Mystery: Do You Have What I’m Looking For? 🏡❤️

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


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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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Quick Sale and Challenging Search, but the Dream Home is Theirs!

After an exhaustive home search, my clients finally came upon the historic home of their dreams in Rowayton and put in an offer. But the pandemic effect was strong and so was the buyer competition.

We closed many weeks earlier on the sale of their home in Southport and had been targeting a new home in Darien. We sold their home to capture the sellers market and hoped to find their new home shortly thereafter. Searching for a special antique home with character and history, it took longer than expected, so they hunkered down in a hotel as their temporary residence and put their furnishings in storage while focusing on the hunt.

However, after losing a home they loved to multiple offers, nothing seemed to stack up to the benchmark my clients now had in their minds. Or nothing lasted on the market long enough for them to see with their busy work schedules. Or nothing matched the price they felt it was worth. After months of looking in Darien, we tried a new focus on Greenwich… and then Rowayton.

A day in the life of a Realtor in Rowayton….

It turns out that this was the special day when the one-of-a-kind gem they had been searching for was found, AND their offer was accepted. After touring dozens of homes across three towns, this historic antique near the Long Island Sound, previously a sea captain’s home, was about to begin a new chapter. This vintage home was number 62 of their home search, but for them, it was new and exciting, and number one!

Thinking of buying or selling in the area? Set up your own MLS search here. Call me today 203-912-4440, or send a note in the form below. We will have a brief consultation about your goals, the market, and if I can help.


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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

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

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If you’re curious about homes for sale in this neighborhood or any other area, you can set up your own search here.  Call today with your questions, 203-912-4440, visit my website, or send a note below.


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When’s the Last Time You Had Your Dryer Vent Cleaned?

Raise your hand if the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned was… never!  I would be raising my hand if it weren’t for the call I finally made last week.  Little did I know I was taking a key step in home fire safety and prevention.

Does your dryer take too long to get a load of towels dry, or even require more than one cycle?  Is there more lint around the lint filter compartment than there used to be?  If you go outside and look at the vent while the dryer is on, are the flaps barely open?  Any of these signs can mean that your dryer vent is long past due for a cleaning!

Firesaft Chimney Service

After seeing excessive loose lint around the lint filter, I began to worry that more lint must be collecting somewhere else behind the scenes. I started thinking this was a fire waiting to happen. Our dryer is upstairs near the bedrooms which made me especially concerned about fire risk. So I called Firesafe Chimney Service to ask if they clean dryer vents, and sure enough, this is one of their standard services. So they came out the next day to take a look.

Tom Butkier, the business owner and licensed servicer for the company was on the job.  Firesafe Chimney ServiceFirst, he checked the hose attachment behind the dryer, and then cleaned the lint from the dryer hose to the wall. He removed a good amount of lint there. Next, he turned the dryer onto the air-fluff setting to send air circulating outward and went to check the vent outside.  He Tom Butkier of Firesafe Chimney Serviceclimbed up with a ladder and took the vent cover off to look inside. To my disbelief, not only was the vent jam-packed with a trash-bag full of lint, there was also an entire old bird’s nest in there!  Clogged Dryer VentIt’s amazing that any air was venting through the system at all!

According to the U.S. Fire Administration,

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

It is recommended by the USFA and FEMA to clean your lint filter after every dryer use and to have your dryer vent ductwork cleaned every year.  Lint Alert Pro

Tom also told me about an excellent wifi-enabled product now available that can alert you via an app on your phone and also send an alert to Firesafe Chimney when your dryer venting is showing signs of being clogged. It can also send alerts for dangers from your washing machine.  This is a key tool for added safety and peace of mind, especially for anyone with rental properties or vacation homes. Simply contact Firesafe Chimney to find out more, then just order it, plug it in, and download the app!

And now that ‘after shot’ I’m sure you’ve been waiting for- Here it is, a spic-and-span dryer duct!Clean Dryer Vent

So, if it’s been more than a year… (or 10!) since you’ve had your dryer ductwork cleaned, and assuming you do laundry, I suggest you wait no longer. Free your dryer ducts from the debris accumulation that’s sure to be stuck in there, and eliminate this fire risk from your home.

Give Tom at Firesafe Chimney a call to clean your dryer vents and your chimney as well, (203) 270-9400 and tell him Linda sent you. You’ll be happy you did! 🙂

Tom Butkier of Firesafe Chimney

For questions about this article, properties, or any real estate needs, feel free to send me a note using the form below, and I will get right back to you.

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