Fairfield, CT Real Estate News

By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Friday August 1st was the first day of practice for the Fairfield Giants Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading program.  It is an amazing sight - almost 400 kids on a practice field. They come from all neighgorhoods and school districts.  All here to learn about teamwork and responsibility --- and have some fun while learning.... It occurred to me that it takes several hundred volunteers in all capacities to run a program like this.  All contributing time and effort without any monetary compensation....all to help kids learn, stay active and have fun.  I took a moment to think about all the sports programs - Little League Baseball, Recreation Soccer, Recreation Basketball, Lacrosse, etc  All organized and run by volunteers. All contributing their time freely. It took another moment for m...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
What are your three favorite real estate memories?   I find myself taking a minute to reflect on real estate past. I suppose that is what keeps me going.... All those good memories. I am even grateful for the challenges that add spice to my chosen profession. A bad experience can still be a great learning experience. One of the best and many memories is the people I have met along the way.   I have a special fondness for my first office. My associates were my mentors. Each one was diverse, with different personalities and backgrounds.  I have to admit each one of them added something positive to my life, and my career. One of the top producers, was a tornado of ambition and know-how. To watch her in action was awesome. She shared her knowledge, and I listened intently. I was also part ...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
    This evening Mabel went searching for the famous Dog Woods (dogwoods)  of Greenfield Hill, Fairfield, Connecticut.  She also stopped and posed for a few pictures. http://www.greenfieldhillchurch.com Mabel is the first in line for Sunday Worship.  Mabel and the World War I Memorial across the street from the church.      All Dogs Go To Heaven, Mabel. (Next trip, Dog Woods)
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield Pop Warner hosts Annual John J. Sullivan Bowl! The Fairfield Giants Football and Cheerleading programs will host the 41st  Annual John J. Sullivan Bowl over two days starting Friday evening August 22nd   at 7:30PM at Fairfield Ludlowe High School Field.  Fairfield has the honor of holding the very first Pop Warner Football game played each year in the nation.  This year the Fairfield Giants will be hosting the Seymour Tigers teams.  "It is quite an honor for our town to be First in the Nation."  stated Steve Finnegan, President of the Fairfield Pop Warner organization.  "We're very excited to be kicking off a new season and the Seymour Tigers are a formidable opponent.  We're going have our hands full." "We are expecting a large turnout both at Ludlowe on Friday evening and at...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Well the tax rates are now all set. The new fiscal year has begun for Fairfield and its neighboring towns. Here is a quick snapshot of some of the Mil Rates that area towns are using.  This Mil Rate number is multiplied times the Assessment of the property to set the taxes owed for the year.   Bridgeport - 44.58 Easton - 21.6 Fairfield - 18.58 Stratford - 30.51 Trumbull - 23.86 The properties are assessed every five years to redistribute the tax burden.  The Mil Rage is adjusted every year to raise taxes to meet the expense budget of each town or city.
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield Rental Market Update June 2008  While home sales are taking a tumble, the rental market is doing quite nicely.  Units rented are running 11% up over last year and a eye popping 25% up over 2006!  The statistics are for yearly unfurnished rentals as reported by the Greater Fairfield County MLS.  Rental prices while stable compared to last year have grown 6-10% over 2006.  So as you might expect, buyers are turning into renters.  They are prepared to wait out the turmoil in the mortgage and credit markets with temporary housing.  The good news here is that once things turn around there will be a lot of pent up demand coming into the housing market.  Fairfield Update Rentals - Yearly & Unfurnished As of June 30                            2008 2007 08 vs 07 2006 08 vs 06 Closes 19...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Osborne Property (aka 909 Kings Hwy West) Some Observations and Questions...    The Town of Fairfield is currently considering a financial arrangement with a builder on the purchase of a building lot and the covenant to require certain deed restrictions on the historic home at 909 Kings Highway West in Southport.   Here are some of the issues:  The property is currently listed for Sale and Rent There are 7 total listings on the MLS Lot A is the furthest from the corner of Kings Hwy and Oxford and not under discussion. Lot B contains the house. Lot C is the corner lot and the one it is proposed we purchase for Open Space. Lot A is listed for sale at $527,500. Again, this is not the under discussion. Lot B or 909 Kings Hwy (the House) is listed for sale at $819,000.  And has been on the m...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Stratfield Neighborhood Update June 2008 The Stratfield Neighborhood of Fairfield is a shining light in the current gloom surrounding the local Real Estate market.  It is easily out performing it's other highly touted neighborhoods in Fairfield like Southport, Greenfield Hill, the Beach Area and the University Area.  Being down 15% from last year may not sound great but when the town overall is down 42%, this makes Stratfield a real standout for value!  And prices still seem to be appreciating.....another amazing strong point that is sure to make local homeowners smile.  Stratfield has a distinct heritage and character valued by home buyers.  It has maintained the charm from the early 1900's when a trolley car used to frequent Stratfield Road and commuters used to make the daily trek to...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield Condo Update June 2008 There has been much discussion of the downturn in Single Family home sales.  Let's take a look at Condos.  Condos in Fairfield have traditionally been 10-14% of the sales of Single Family Homes.  With Single Family home sales trailing last year by 42%, Condos seem to be following suit.  Prices are off 14 - 18%.  This should create some great opportunity for first time buyers to find a home at a very good discount.  Also, for people looking to downsize, this can be a very good time to find just the right new home.  Fairfield Update Year to Date Sales of CONDOS As of June 30                            2008 2007 08 vs 07 2006 08 vs 06 Closes 37 63 -41% 55 -33% Median Price $350,000 $428,000 -18% $395,000 -11% Avg Selling Price $445,149 $516,457 -14% $462,12...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Southport Real Estate Update June 2008 Southport has always been a great value....combining historic homes, a scenic harbor, a convenient train station for commuters and its own village center.  This mid year update shows sales off 47% from last year.  Prices too have taken a hit.  The Average Selling Price may be impacted by the small number of homes sold but the Median is showing a significant drop compared to last year.  So while the overall market is off, the highend has really slowed down.  Southport Update Year to Date Sales of Single Family Homes As of June 30                            2008 2007 08 vs 07 2006 08 vs 06 Closes 20 38 -47% 22 -9% Median Price $990,000 $1,175,000 -16% $1,120,000 -12% Avg Selling Price $1,120,113 $1,819,145 -38% $1,453,005 -23%                        ...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield - University Area Update June 2008  The Fairfield neighborhood known as the University Area is generally a haven for commuters due to its proximity to the downtown train station.  Some buyers literally time their drive to the station before committing to purchase.  A time in the single digits of minutes is a valuable feature to those that live and die by the train schedule for trips to NY City.  It is a real surprise to see this neighborhood off 53% from last year in closings.  With a average of 6 sales per month and 78 homes on the market, this translates into an average market time of 13 months.  One of the key drivers in home prices in Fairfield is proximity to New York City and all the high paying jobs.  It is quite a statement on the market that home prices in this neighb...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield - Beach Area Real Estate Update June 2008 The Beach Area has seen tremendous growth in recent years.  It has been prime area for "tear downs" and rebuilds.  Zoning Regulations have been modified to limit the size of newly built & newly rebuilt homes.  Now it seems the market has caught up with the Beach Area too. Sales are off 49% from last year.  This is one of the steepest declines in town. There have been 31 Sales in the first six months of the year.  This is an average of only 5 homes sold per month.  With 74 homes for sale in this neighborhood, this spells an average market time of almost 15 months. Selling Prices are off from 7-16%.  The silver lining in this update is that Beach Area homes are more affordable than they have been in a long time.  So for the buyer who has...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Greenfield Hill Neighborhood Update June 2008 The slow market is hitting all segments and neighborhoods of Fairfield.  Greenfield Hill one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town and the location for many of the larger estate properties is feeling the impact of the current real estate slump.  Home Sales are off 43% from last year for the same period.  With 86 homes on the market and sales of 5 per month so far this year, we are looking at an average market time of over 17 months.  This makes planning to move a rather challenging adventure....  Greenfield Hill Update Year to Date Sales of Single Family Homes As of June 30                            2008 2007 08 vs 07 2006 08 vs 06 Closes 30 53 -43% 45 -33% Median Price $1,250,000 $1,200,000 4% $1,185,000 5% Avg Selling Price $1,298,7...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Homes for Sale in Fairfield July 2008 After starting trailing 2007 inventory levels, homes on the market have risen to some historical highs.  The downturn in sales this year has fueled this trend.  This has given buyers many choices to select from.  It also comes with an increase in market time.  The average home is now taking approx 12 months to sell.  This is longer than most sellers want to hear.  With lots of homes to choose from, low interest rates and declining prices, it appears that the buyers market will be with us for the rest of the year....   2007 2008   355 316 -11% 409 340 -17% 417 372 -11% 449 447 0% 492 509 3% 507 523 3% 474 491 4% 445     420     441     416     378      
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield Real Estate and Home Sales Update June 30, 2008 Here we are at the halfway point for the year.  We still find buyers sitting on the sidelines.....waiting and then waiting some more.  The slowdown on home sales continues with closings off 42% from last year.  Prices are lagging 5-10% behind last year too.  Hopefully, the second half of the year will see a turnaround.  We have record inventory of homes for sale, interest rates at all time lows and falling prices on homes.  There are some great values on the market.  This should be a good time for buyers to jump back into the market.   Fairfield Update Year to Date Sales of Single Family Homes As of June 30                            2008 2007 08 vs 07 2006 08 vs 06 Closes 239 412 -42% 335 -29% Median Price $580,000 $605,000 -4% ...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Well, the budget season is over.  Fairfield and its neighboring towns have all finalized their financial plans for the next year.  In this part of the country, tax years or budget years for towns run from July 1 to June 30.  So the new budget starts on July 1, 2008.  The new tax rate takes effect then too. Each year the towns decide how much money needs to be raised from property taxes.  The Board of Finance then sets a new Mil Rate to accomplish this goal.  The Mil Rate is multiplied by the homeowners assessment to calculate the tax bill.  Fairfield's new Mil Rate is 18,58 or a 6.7% increase over last year. Like most towns, a majority of Fairfield's budget is for education -- in the neighborhood of 70%.  The quality of the local school system is one of the two driving factors in mainta...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
Me:  Good Afternoon, ____.  I would like to show your property at ___________________.  (The property is vacant) Listing Agent:  (Very briskly) Why do you want to show it?  It has a deposit. Me:  It is still showing ACTIVE in the MLS.  How solid is the offer? Are there any contingencies? Listing Agent:  (Annoyed) I don't know, I think one. ---I think we are going to close Monday. Me: (Bewildered)   Monday?  So the property is pending?... and the buyers have a mortgage? Listing Agent: (Still resistant)  I don't know.  We are going to close Monday. Me:  Well, if it is not SOLD, why don't you give me the combo, and if my people really want to go through it, I will show it to them, if that is OK? Listing Agent:  OK.  But, I don't know why you want to show it.       The listing agent gave me...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
  This is a response to an article in The Connecticut Post:  Home sales, prices plummet      We deal with the facts about the housing market, and not add to the confusion with spin causing mis-perception.       Professionals who  dispute the numbers from The Warren Group,also need to admit that many Connecticut Real Estate Professionals rely on The Warren Group information everyday for facts and figures.  A couple of examples: The Greater Fairfield MLS Tax Data comes from The Warren Group.  The (CMLS) Greater Fairfield MLS provides municipal tax and sales data for 36 communities in Western Connecticut. This information is gathered by the Warren Group, the publishers of the "Commercial Record" trade paper. The updated information is sent to the (CMLS)Greater Fairfield MLS once the infor...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
      Check out this chart from Compete.com on Zillow and Trulia.  It looks like they are running neck and neck on people count.   Trulia leads by approximately 40,000 people counts.       We market on both Trulia and Zillow, and with the information stated below, I don't think we are wasting time.  I don't favor one over the other.  The goal is exposure of our listings and services.        So, do you think one is trying to acquire the other yet?        Go to compete.com, and type in .com's to see where they fall on the scale.  Its pretty cool!        Timeframe: 04/2007 to 04/2008  45 days starting on     People Counts - Monthly   Interesting Articles Left In the Rain regarding Trulia and Zillow: My thoughts on the recent Zillow, Trulia, and Yahoo! news release... David Harris Sandy Spr...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
Lake Mohegan located off of Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, Connecticut Lake MoheganTahmore Road, off the Merritt Parkway at Exit 15Fairfield, CTPhone: 203-256-3010 Open: Memorial Day - Labor Day  Lake beach with public grills and a picnic area. Admission: $18 per person weekdays, $15 per person weekends It is FREE to walk around the lake on the trails, and picnic. This is a paradise for dog walkers.  Last night, I took my foster dog, Maybelline, for a stroll.  We did a meet and greet as we went.  Dog people are very friendly, and most of the dogs are too!   Dogs must be leashed within 100 feet of the parking lot.   Maybelline is  very well trained and never leaves my side. In fact, she would prefer I did all the walking, and she was carried.  Word of caution:  the trails are full of tan...
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