Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

Get Housing Market Insights in Real-Time!

The 2021 housing market is still hot and median sale prices are still up! 📈⬆️⭐️ 

Did you know you can easily compare real-time sales and inventory trends on our Local Housing Data link which you can keep right on your phone? Or for comprehensive local data reports, sign up for our Local Market Insights newsletter on raveis.com.

Take advantage of all of our curated tools and contact me today, 203.912.4440 to find out the best time to sell!

#2021 #LindaRaymondRealtor #WilliamRaveis #TheBestJustGotBetter #RealEstateMarketUpdate #RealEstate #IntheKnow #NumbersDontLie


Leave a comment

Searching for that Special Valentine Gift 2-14-21

Happy Valentine’s Day 2021, everyone! After receiving lovely pink roses and a new pink sweater from my dear husband, I am off to try and make the day special for my home buyers as well.

I have found the perfect homes after whirlwind searches in Fairfield and New Canaan for four different buyers and am working on offers. My clients are coming from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York and are ready to put the current low interest rates to work for them. Today I’m off for a second look at a lovely top choice in New Canaan for my New York buyer.

Here I am in downtown New Canaan to make sure this could be the special Valentine gift for my client this weekend.

Even when we are finding that special home, we are facing multiple-offers on all fronts, and I’m utilizing every possible strategy in the toolbox, so wish us luck!

Sellers, this is the time to enjoy top dollar in record time for your property in Fairfield County. If you’re ready and willing to capitalize on this market, please give me a call, 203.912.4440!


2 Comments

Looking for the Best Real Estate Company?

You only need one powerhouse to get the best real estate company and services, and you just found it with William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage, & Insurance. As your agent for this company, I want to share the top three reasons why we are the best real estate company for you, which are the same reasons why I chose to work with this company over all the others 16 years ago!

  1. Private Family-Owned Company – Because William Raveis is owned by Bill, Chris, and Ryan Raveis, it is an agile family-based company that is one hundred percent focused on its customers with no stockholder distractions or obligations. The company’s mission is to serve its agents as their customers to ensure we are poised to be the best at serving you!
  2. Leader in Real Estate Innovation – Our company leads the industry with forward strategic and competitive thinking, cutting-edge technology, and cultivating, training, and by empowering the best agents. Our family of companies also provides our clients with premier mortgage, insurance, and closing services for a seamless transactactifon.
  3. Well-Connected, Next Door & Overseas – Our 4,000 regional agents have you covered here and abroad. Our luxury listings are represented by over 565 premier brokerages across 70 countries. This same network also enables me to connect you to your next purchase overseas.

These three high-level value propositions are key to why we are the best, but there is ample detail beneath, including new tools for us to leverage on a regular basis. And now, the best just got better with our new Raveis Essential and Raveis Premium service packages listed below.

 

I am grateful for the extensive resources William Raveis continuously provides for me to utilize on your behalf. When it rains, it pours with the ever-new and cutting edge resources I have at my disposal. I even received a new umbrella 🙂 !

In all seriousness, my goal is to understand your real estate plans and priorities and to curate a custom solution for reaching your goals. If you would like a deeper understanding of how I can meet your real estate needs, I would love to have a conversation with you. Please feel free to visit my website and company page, give me a call at 203.912.4440, or send me a note below.


3 Comments

At What Price Would You Consider Selling Your House?

My buyer waits for completion in six months.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


7 Comments

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


2 Comments

You Might Say I Went Overboard!

Pine Creek Waterway, Fairfield, CT

My listing presentation at the lovely home on the Pine Creek waterway was scheduled for next week. I had met with the homeowners, completed my market analysis, and created a comprehensive custom marketing plan that included professional photos, aerial views, and twilight views. But I needed a nice photo to use in my presentation materials, and as always, I set out to take my picture.

The home was gorgeous from every vantage point, but the critical view had to combine the dramatic walls of glass facing the water, the fabulous dock, and of course, the water views!

I could not capture everything in one view from the edge of the property. But there was a ramp extending into the water just next to the property that I set out towards to capture my shot. Here’s what happened.

Photo showing scraped knee and shin.
Scrapes!
Photo showing mud all over my legs and shoes.
Dirt!
Photo showing a big bruise on my leg!
Bruses!
Photo showing low tide and the mud at the bottom of the creek.
Mud!
Beautiful photo of the home!
….And the winning photo! (Even the professional photographer didn’t capture this angle!)

Here’s what my client had to say-

That’s my story with a happy ending! Here’s a little more info about this property

Looking to buy or sell a home in the area? Create your own MLS search here to check out the market. If you would like to talk about your plans to move forward and how I might help you, please fill in the form below, visit my website, or feel free to give me a call, 203.912.4440.


2 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

Fairfield Beach in Review: August 2020

Market Activity on
Fairfield Beach Road –  Pine Creek Avenue – Old Dam Road

What’s On the Market?

Active Beach Listings

Fairfield Beach Road

  • 12 single-family homes are for sale.
  • Four are new construction listings priced from $1,500,000 to $3,200,000. Three are complete and sit across the street from the water. Two are under construction, one on the creek, and one on the beach with a creekside parcel and a dock.
  • Seven of the listings are on direct beachfront and priced from $1,700,000 to $5 million.  Two of these have additional creekside property, and one also has a dock on the creek.
  • There are three creek-front listings priced from $2 million for a home with a dock to $2,570,000 for a new home under construction.

Pine Creek Ave

  • There is one waterfront property for sale for $2,495,000.

Old Dam Road

  • There is one property for sale on about a third of an acre that is not on the waterfront for $875,000.

What Sold, Mid-June to Mid-August?

Sold & accepted offers since mid-June

  • Four single-family homes sold since mid-June including three on Fairfield Beach Road, and one on Old Dam Road.  Two were on the beachfront and two on the waterway.
  • One condo across the street from the water sold on Fairfield Beach Road for $715,000.
  • Single-family sale prices ranged from $700,000 for a home not on the water on Old Dam Road to $3 million for beachfront renovation/new construction on Fairfield Beach Road.

What About Accepted Offers?

  • There are currently two homes under contract, a three-years-young beachfront home on Fairfield Beach Road listed for $2,795,000 and a beachfront condo on Pine Creek Avenue on the market for $1,135,000. 
  • Three homes on the beach have accepted offers with list prices ranging from $1,695,000 to $2,395,000.

1690 Fairfield Beach Rd - Sold

There have been nine sales so far this year through August 15 compared to 14 last year during this timeframe, however the five accepted offers should catch us up. One improvement we have seen this year is the beach homes selling closer to the asking price. On average the nine sales this year closed at 96 percent of the asking price compared to 94% last year.

Still, this year’s beach market has been a bit slow compared to other blazing markets driven by the pandemic. For example, in the entire Fairfield Beach Area (including homes closer to town), there were 95 sales year to date that sold for an average of 97 percent of asking compared to 78 sales YTD in 2019 selling on average for 96 percent of asking.

So the word on the street is that we may be in the dog days of summer at the beachfront, but the market overall is still hot!

 If you have any questions about this market and what it can mean for you, please reach out to me at 203.912.4440, Linda.Raymond@raveis.com , or using the form below.  I’m here to help!

 


Leave a comment

Fairfield Beach in Review: June 2020

Market Activity on
Fairfield Beach Road –  Pine Creek Avenue – Old Dam Road

What’s On the Market?

Fairfield Beach Road

  • 13 single-family homes are for sale.
  • Four are new construction listings priced from $1,500,000 to $3,200,000. Two are complete and sit across the street from the water. Two are under construction, one on the creek, and one on the beach with a creekside parcel and a dock.
  • Eight of the listings are on direct beachfront and priced from $1,350,000 to $3,775,000.  Five of these have additional creekside property, and two also have a dock on the creek.
  • Two listings are on the creek priced at $2,195,000 for a home with a dock, and $2,269,000 for a new home under construction.

Pine Creek Ave

  • There is one property for sale, a penthouse condo at Kensie Point, 10 Pine Creek Avenue, 501S for $1,135,000.

Old Dam Road

  • There is one property for sale on a 0.72-acre creekside parcel with a dock listed for $1,980,000.

What Sold So Far in 2020?

  • Four single-family homes sold in April and May including one on Fairfield Beach Road, one on Pine Creek Avenue, and two on Old Dam Road.
  • Sale prices ranged from $580,000 for a home off the water at 57 Pine Creek Avenue to $1,375,000 for a home at 2087 Fairfield Beach Road.

What About Accepted Offers?

  • There are currently two homes under contract, (my listing), a creekside home with a dock at 1690 Fairfield Beach Road listed for $1,095,000 and a newly raised home that is currently under construction on the beach at 1092 Fairfield Beach Road listed for $3,000,000. 
  • Two non-waterfront properties have accepted offers. One condo on Fairfield Beach Road and one house on Old Dam Road, listed for $729,000 and $700,000 respectively.

Sales activity on the waterfront this year has some catching up to do to match 2019 activity. Last year there were seven sales in February through May with sale prices ranging from $980,000 on Old Dam Road to $2,455,000 for (my listing), a large home on the beach with a creekside garage and finished space above it.  The late start of this year’s beach market is not surprising given the onset of the pandemic. However, the real estate market overall has seen an influx of activity from low interest rates and swarms of people leaving New York City, so the word on the street is that ‘summer is the new spring‘, and many anticipate a busy beach market ahead!

 If you would like to discuss the value of your property in this market and how I would market it for you, please contact me at 203.912.4440, Linda.Raymond@raveis.com , or using the form below.