Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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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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My Most Cherished Walking Trail in Fairfield CT!

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Everyone who walks this trail, especially my dogs, agrees that this is one of the most wonderful places to go to decompress and gain inspiration in Fairfield Connecticut’s beach area.   You may find yourself alone with the wildlife (and your dogs), or you may see other people dog-walking, jogging or bicycling. marsh-trail

There is convenient access from several beach area neighborhoods.  One entrance is on Old Dam Road.  You can jump on the trail from the Meadows condo complex off South Pine Creek Road, or you can enter at Mona Terrace by the soccer field and senior center. The latter is my favorite because there is a cut-through from an additional neighborhood near me at the Veres Park cul-de-sac.  A parking lot is also available at the senior center, next to the soccer field.

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When entering from Mona Terrace, I like the fact that you have options. You can choose to go for a short and sweet stroll along the marsh-side path that leads out to Oldfield Road.  Or for a bigger commitment, you can jump onto the wide trail and go through the woods, across the bridge, and past the Meadows condos and Old Dam Road to the end of the trail and back. marsh-trail3

The woods are always peaceful and pretty, but in my view, the vistas along the tidal marsh are where I find my “Zen”.  When it’s high tide, the water winds through the tall grasses, and when the sun hits the water just right, it sparkles through the reeds and tree branches like diamonds! In the summer, the seaside greenery boasts flowers of vivid colors, and a vast variety of birds are busy doing what they do!

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Last, but not least, if you take the full route to the end, you will get the prize.  What makes this my favorite trail is that it narrows along a little strip of raised land, where you start to wonder where you will end up.  But it leads you to the sweetest of surprises.  The tail takes you to a final destination, where (spoiler alert) you are surrounded on three sides by the water of a tranquil lagoon.  Beyond the edge of the lagoon, to the right, you can see two more waterways.  Old Dam Road flanks the lagoon with Pine Creek behind it.  And behind that, you see Fairfield Beach Road and the Long Island Sound.  Three different waterway views all at once, what a rare treat!   Your dogs can go for a swim, you can take some photos as I’ve done here, and then, you can head back to reality feeling renewed.

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For more information about the rich local amenities or any real estate questions, send me a note below or give me a call.

-Linda
203.912.4440

 


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Save Money, Have Fun, Do a 1031!

If you own an investment property and are thinking of selling it to buy a different one (or two), you can do a 1031 Exchange and enjoy great benefits!  What’s so great about it, and how do you do it?

 

Here’s how it works-

  1. With IRS code 1031, owners can defer paying all capital gains on investment smart ladyproperty. This means that if you own property used for business or investment, you can sell it and use the proceeds from the sale to reinvest in another investment property of greater or equal value to avoid paying taxes.
  2. You have to declare that you are doing a 1031 Exchange before you close on the sale.
  3. You have to meet the 180-day rule: Investors have 180 calendar days to complete the exchange and close on all intended purchases.
  4. You have to meet the 45-day rule:  Identify up to three possible replacement properties within the first 45 days of the 180 day period. You can also sell multiple properties and buy one big property.   If you identify more than three properties, the total cost of the identified properties can’t be more than twice the value of what you are selling.  If you identify more than three properties and they end up totaling more than 200 percent of what you are selling, then you have to buy 95 percent- worth of the properties you identified in order to complete the exchange. Your replacement property must cost more than the net sale price of your existing investment property. Identify 3 Properties
  5. You Must use a Qualified Intermediary (QI) to facilitate the 1031 exchange.  The QI takes care of everything for you including preparing the exchange agreement, handling escrow, and coordinating with the closing agents.  The QI must be a third party to the transaction.  He or she can’t just an attorney or Realtor in the transaction that puts the sale proceeds and funds in an escrow account, nor can the QI be a relative. These are IRS regulations.

And here are six amazing benefits of doing 1031 Exchanges-

  1. You enjoy huge savings on taxes.
  2. You can shelter your earnings in real estate, legally!
  3. You can diversify or consolidate your investment property.
  4. You can gain buying power by reinvesting.
  5. You can create more income to build your wealth.
  6. There’s no limit to the frequency or quantity of 1031 exchanges you can do.

Consider an “equity build strategy” suggested by the Midland company (referenced below) that looks like this:

  • Defer paying up to 25 percent in taxes on your gains.
  • Sell a moderately producing property to buy a higher income-producing property and increase your monthly income.
  • Pay no federal, state, capital gain, or income taxes on the sale of the property.
  • Do 1031 exchanges over and over for a lifetime, and the tax liability will never be passed on to your heirs.
  • Base your strategy on cash flow, and you will have success in any market. The key is to get the highest percentage income on your purchase.  Even if the dollar amount is small, it will grow over time.  For example, if you can sell a property making seven percent cash-on-cash and buy a property that makes 23 percent cash-on-cash, you are well on your way to implementing an excellent equity build strategy!  Equity bulid strategy

It’s a good idea to use a QI that is local or that works in many states and is familiar with the varying regulations and taxes in different states. You want a QI that has experience and is bonded and insured. You also want to look for one that is a member of the National Federation of Exchange Accommodators and that is a Certified Exchange Specialist (CEC).

Here are some resources to get you started:

1031 Exchange Made Simple

Midland Self-Directed IRAs & 1031s

For help selling and locating properties, please reach out to yours truly!

 


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Home at Okemo!

Exciting news-

For the first time in a decade, a brand new enclave of homes is being built on the sunny side of Okemo Mountain Resort!

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In 2014, Okemo Mountain Resort was named the “Best Family Resort in North America” by onthesnow.com.  The last two seasons, it’s been tagged with three more top honors. “Top 10 Resorts” in the East (SKI Magazine), Six Best Places to Buy a Winter Home, (Investopedia), and 10  Best Places for Family Vacations, (familyvacationcritic.com). Okemo’s snowmaking expansion now includes White Lightning and Rolling Thunder at Jackson Gore. This increases Okemo’s snowmaking coverage to 98 percent of its trails. With 655 skiable acres, 120 trails, and “New England’s Best Snowmaking” to ensure fantastic ski vacations, Okemo is the place to be!

Okemo Mountain added the amazing Sunburst Six chairlift providing a quick and comfy trip to the summit with cushy heated seats and a wind-shielding bubble.  The new up-and-running Sunshine Quad is ready to bring snow lovers from the heart of SouthFace Village to the SouthFace Express Quad.

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Now Okemo Resort is building the new SouthFace Village!

Here’s a Top 10 List of Impressive Features-

1. LOCATION – Located on the south face of the mountain, residents enjoy first dibs on all the trails with maximum sunshine all day!
2. GATED – The village will be an exclusive gated community.
3. NEW LODGE – It will have its own new lodge with a gourmet eatery, fitness center, indoor-outdoor heated pools and more.
4. SKI-IN & SKI-OUT – With seven new access trails, the residents will enjoy ski-in/ski-out access.
5. 4-SEASONS – SouthFace Village homeowners enjoy nature and the great outdoors year-round while playing golf, hiking, biking, and skiing.

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6. SMART – Homeowners will enjoy the perfect setting, every convenience, energy efficiency, top quality craftsmanship and construction, and the best of New England Nordic design by renowned eco-conscious architect/builder, Bensonwood.
7. VALUE – Exceptional value, location, amenities, efficiency, and quality for the price.  Follow the link at the end of this post for more information.
8. AMENITIES – The fully furnished homes make excellent use of space to accommodate the most guests and also feature excellent energy efficiency, covered parking, convenient gear storage, and much more.
9. OKEMO COMMUNITY – Planned by a proven Okemo developer, this enclave will integrate the exceptional new homes with all the bustling programs and services of Okemo Mountain Resort.
10. BRAND NEW! Need I say more?
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Sugar Maple, their first residential offering is sold out, but don’t worry, it is the first of nine ski-in/ski-out townhome buildings to be constructed.  Happy homeowners of Sugar Maple will be moving in for the 2017 ski season.  The next offering consists of luxury ski-in/ski-out townhomes, single family homes and two exclusive penthouse residences with private elevator access that will be constructed on top of The Lodge at SouthFace Village.

Click the link below for fresh facts on the exciting upcoming offerings including Tamarack, the single family homes, and The Penthouse. To stay abreast of  SouthFace Village development with updates and photos, follow the link below. Feel free to forward this article to anyone else who may also want to be in the know, or send their contact info when you click the link.
Happy Ski Season!

Okemo_sunburst_skier_rider

Ski Okemo

Fun for everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To submit a comment or ask a question about your moving or vacation home plans, send me a note below!

Okemo Resort Realty, LLC is the Exclusive Marketing Agent for SouthFace Village at Okemo. The photographs and representations included are for informational purposes only and are subject to change, or, may be withdrawn by the developer at the developer’s discretion. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in any state.  A Consolidated Public Offering Statement for SouthFace Village At Okemo is available from the developer. The developer of this project is SouthFace Village at Okemo Development Company, LLC and is not affiliated with Okemo Mountain Resort or any other entity that is involved with the operation of the ski area.


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Happy Seller Heads South!

Not a big fan of freezing winters, Joe had a dream that he thought was simple:  sell his condo on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport and move to Florida where life is sunny and warm year-round.

Joe after his closing!

Joe after his closing!

It sounded reasonable enough until he put his condo on the market and didn’t get the quick sale he was hoping for.  After trying to sell with four different agents over the course of three years with one deal falling through at the last minute, Joe was feeling quite discouraged and wondered if his plan would ever come to fruition.

Finally, the following summer, he summoned his spirits again and had his son come up from Florida to help him de-clutter.  Then he called me to come and see his place, and I gave him a list of staging tips that he put into play.  We went on the market and received a good amount of activity but were plagued by low-ball offers by investors and a distressed unit that posted for sale at a rock bottom price by a bank.

As the holidays approached, Joe agreed to withdraw from the market long enough to re-do his kitchen.  I referred a great contractor to him that was skilled and well priced.  Joe shopped around for some good deals on appliances, and viola!
2011-09-30 01.52.54      Joe's Condo AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

With a refreshed look, new kitchen and the New Year, Joe closed on his condo within three months and was off to his dream home in Florida with the weather to match!  Here’s what Joe had to say about it, “I will always be happy to give you the highest recommendation for your excellent customer service and professionalism. I definitely couldn’t have sold my condo without you.  The recommendation to upgrade my kitchen was a big factor.  There were so many condos on the market in Bridgeport, I thought I would never get out of there. But you sold my condo in such a short time frame.  You are a Realtor who cares and gives the best possible customer service one could expect, especially if the seller listens to you and takes your suggestions.  I couldn’t be happier now that I am in Florida.”

Take a look at the video to see Joe’s kitchen transition in action.

Feel free to comment below or request help preparing your home for the market.