Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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


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Get Local Housing Data in Real-Time!

The 2021 housing market is still hot and median sale prices are still up! ūüďą‚¨ÜÔłŹ‚≠źÔłŹ 

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 to help you make your move and contact me today, 203.912.4440.

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


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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!


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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 ūüôā !

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.


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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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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! ūüôā

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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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 РExceptional 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!

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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.