Fairfield, CT Real Estate News

By Mary Beth Grasso
(Keller Williams Realty)
Today in beautiful 60 degree weather, I got to take out a lovely young couple. They are engaged to wed in August...so in love...so young and innocent. So excited that they were getting to view homes as he works traditional hours and she works every other weekend. So...after a buyer counseling session that ended with her asking me the question, Mary Beth, "friends of ours, like us, have told us that this experience, of buying a house...at the end of the day...you are just depressed. Are we going to be depressed?" I thought long and hard as they are in the lower end of the first time buyer market. The inventory has somewhat slim pickins. So, I sat for a minute and looked them both in the eyes and said, "it is not about the house. It is about the dream you both have of living together and ...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
March 2, 2009  The Public needs to be heard! It's Budget season and Fairfield like every local municipality is going through our version of the Budget Approval process.  I sometimes hear from friends and neighbors that they feel left out of the process or that nobody cares about their thoughts and concerns.  Speaking as an elected official, nothing could be further from the truth.  We want and need to hear from the public.  Let's take a look at the different ways to provide feedback to the Town of Fairfield's Paid and Volunteer Officials. Email or Write Letters. Go to the web and find www.fairfieldct.org  From the list on the left, select Elected Officials.  The next page will provide a list of Names, Mailing Addresses, Emails and Phone numbers.  Mail and Email are great ways to provide...
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By No Longer Active
(Real Estate)
Whenever I’m running a race and happen by an area playing T.N.T. it brings a smile to my face and sends a shiver down my spine.  Last year at this time I joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training ( TNT ) to run my first marathon.  I crossed the finish line on June 1st, 2008 at the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in San Diego and a year later I’m still running with TNT. The names and faces change each season but the work remains the same.  Our primary goal is to raise money for Blood Cancer Research and during these tough economic times all the TNT participants have to work a little harder to meet the fund raising requirements to remain on the team. This season I am taking a break from fund raising and instead working as a Mentor.  I feel fortunate because as in the  lyrics of the ...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
It has been said a million times, print advertising does not sell homes. Say it with me again, print advertising does not sell homes. That's right!  Print advertising does not sell homes.  Home Buyers Are Online.  (Print advertising is usually marketed  online, as well).  Big Real Estate Company versus Small Real Estate Company Sellers will not necessarily net more in this market if Seller pays more, and Sellers do not necessarily need a bigger company to sell in this market. Consumers should know the power of the Internet Data Exchange.  IDX.  The sharing of Multiple Listing Service that allows all brokers to share the same properties on their iindividual company websites. Frustrated sellers have a need for marketing exposure, and at the same time feel that the real estate company they...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit   Frequently Asked Questions In 2008, Congress enacted a $7500 tax credit designed to be an incentive for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.  The credit was designed as a mechanism to decrease the over-supply of homes for sale.  For 2009, Congress has increased the credit to $8000 and made several additional improvements.  This revised $8000 tax credit applies to purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.  Tax Credits -- The Basics    •1.       What's this new homebuyer tax incentive for 2009?    The 2008 $7500, repayable credit is increased to $8000 and the repayment feature is eliminated for 2009 purchasers.  Any home that is purchased for $80,000 or more qualifies for the full $8000 amount.  If the house costs less than $...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
It is one of the Rites of Spring. First Baseball starts with "Pitchers and Catchers Report".  The NCAA Basketball programs call it "March Madness".  But in this part of the country for Fairfield and the surrounding towns it is called Budget Season.  Each town based on size and Town Charter may follow a slightly different process but somewhere between now and roughly May 15th, Expenses are scrutinized & Revenues are estimated by the Board of Selectman and the Board of Finance.  Then at the Annual Budget Meeting of the RTM, the Expenses are approved. Next it goes back to the Board of Finance to set the Mil Rate (aka the Property Tax Increase). Fairfield like most neighboring towns is looking at a projected Tax Increase of 2.5 to 3 percent.  The Budget is made up of Debt Service, the Board...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
For all the good things that happen with technology, there are some shifts in old technology that are replaced by a new wave. In the case of newspapers, they withstood the wave of Television but the Internet is proving a tough task to handle.....it begs the question - who will do the investigative reporting made famous by Watergate, the Clinton scandals and more recently the Steroid scandals in Baseball? Here is the latest on the New Haven Register and their parent company....the New Haven Register's parent - the Journal Register - filed for banckruptcy protection this weekend. The Journal Register follows the Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune into bankruptcy. The collapse of the U.S. newspaper industry has acc...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
February 5, 2009 Tax Credit Update The Senate last night passed an expansion of the tax credit proposal.   The proposal would be available to all purchasers (not just first-time homebuyers).  NAR was instrumental in getting this provision passed by the Senate.  The key elements are: •·        A tax credit in the amount of $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price (whichever is less), with the option to utilize all in one year or spread out over two years •·        The tax credit is available to all purchases of any home from date of enactment for one full year. •·        Able to claim the credit against the 2008 tax return •·        Buyers must occupy the homes for two years as their principal residences •·        Purchases of homes by investors are ineligible •·        Terminates the...
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By Ruthman Real Estate
(Accessibility & The Power to Advise)
       Recently while looking for properties for a first time homebuyer, I came across a photograph of a lovely older home.  As I added the charming home to my list for showing,  a certain thing caught my eye:  "Plastic film on the windows".  Buyers have concerns about  fuel costs, and homes being efficient.  The plastic film may save (somewhat) on fuel costs, but detracts from its attractiveness for a better sale price for the seller. To me, it states: need to replace windows.          What do you think???         
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
I had the chance to speak at a Fairfield Warde High School Economics Class today.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  The students in the class had emailed their questions on Real Estate and Real Estate Investments prior to the class. They were wide ranging and the answers provided a good overview of Real Estate.  Here are the three questions that I used to start the discussion.  I was impressed with how closely they followed the presentation.  I also think it is very good on the part of their teacher that he had to vision to provide this type of presentation.  He also had the vision to bring in an outside professional to speak on the topic.  This is a great model for how schools can partner with their community to enhance the educational opportunities for their students. Not o...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
January 5, 2009 The Town of Fairfield and the Budget Crunch The economy is finally hitting home.  Fairfield, as well as most neighboring towns, is faced with a Budget Crunch.  Revenues this year could fall as much as $3 Million short of the Budget.  There are four main reasons for the shortfall. Tax Revenue - The slowing economy has also slowed collections.  So rather than collecting the stellar 99% or better as past years, tax revenue is falling short.  This estimated shortfall is based on collection performance for the October Quarterly payments.  It will be important to follow the January and April collection amounts to see if the reduced collection percentage is stable or continues to decline with the slumping economy. Conveyance Tax - The Town collects .25% on the sale of each prop...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
I often get asked where to play golf....Here is a list of courses that I have had a chance to play in the local area.  They are all Public.  Most are close by.  I have also included two web sites to check other courses in Connecticut for the more adventuresome.  May all your shots be long and straight! Public Golf Courses Smith Richardson - Fairfield South Pine Creek - Par 3 - Fairfield Fairfield Wheeler - Bridgeport (Fairfield) Whitney Farms - Monroe Great River - Milford Grassy Hill - Orange Orange Hills - Orange Tashua Knolls - Trumbull Longshore - Westport   Other Course Options - Richter Park - Danbury Fox Hopyards - East Haddam Lyman Orchards - Middlefield Search Additional Options - www.ctgolfer.com www.neteetimes.com Practice Facilities Smith Richardson in Fairfield - Driving R...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Happy New Year - Fairfield has a great location.  We generally measure that greatness in how close we are to the major business center of New York City.  However, let's not only look to the West.  Newport, RI is just 110 miles or approximately two hours away. And that convenience can really pay off.... It was the day before New Year's Eve and not a plan to be had..... A thought came to mind and a twinkle to the eye...it was off to Newport to ring in the New Year.  A minor snow storm slowed traffic just a bit but we arrived in timely fashion.  Holidays are generally not off season but this year there were rooms in the Inn...the Marriott in the center of Newport.  The wind was blowing and even a short walk from the car to the restaurant was more than enough to feel it to the bones.  We di...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Golf - Rain or Shine or Snow Don't trust computers?  Want to see that golf ball fly through the air?  Here is the solution.  The Sports Center of Connecticut.  With 60 practice tees that are heated and weather protected, you can swing your clubs 365 days a year even in the snow. They used to say they were closed on Christmas - I guess now they are open.  This Driving Range is part of a complete sports complex with Mini Golf, Batting Cage, Laser Tag, Ice Skating, Hockey Rink and more.  The Driving Range comes with a practice putting surface, Pro Shop and Teaching Pros. I actually find it good to combine sessions at the Golf Training Center with alternate sessions here at the Range.  It keeps me balanced while feeding both parts of my brain - the analytical side that likes to see the swin...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Golf Opportunity! Sunday was in the 60's but you sure can't count on that for the next few months.  It's a new year soon and somewhere in that list of resolutions will be "improve my golf game".  How is that going to happen at this time of year? If you love golf or just want to get a jump on your golf buddies, check out the Golf Training Center in Norwalk.  It is a great way to keep the swing in shape over the winter.  You can work on just about every aspect of your game from putting to sand traps to chipping.  You can even play top courses like Pebble Beach on the 18 hole Golf Simulator. I didn't play much last year.  I am trying to take advantage of the winter months to improve my game.  My swing is just a little rusty.  So here is a place I can stop in for an hour at a time and keep ...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
I just received an Ecard. That in itself is nothing unusual but it was from the Engineering School at Princeton University. What a great way to stay in touch with alumni. It came complete with photos from this past year. It just shows another way the technology in integrated into our lives. Wow....I have be taking a few classes lately on the technology available to stay in touch from social networks like facebook & LinkedIn to the latest in Mapping techonology for Real Estate Web sites to various email tools and even smartphone applications to bring the web to your phone. It is exciting to see all the ways we have to stay in touch.....I wonder which ones will win out....? All the best, Mike
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
The Fairfield Giant Pop Warner Cheerleaders The Fairfield Giant Jr Midget team competing in Disney World today finished in First Place.  They are National Champions.  These thirty girls have beem working since August 1st.  They won their league, the States, the New England Regionals and now the Nationals.  Congratulations to the Cheerleaders, their Coaches and their Parents - all who worked together to make this possible.  Way to go!      
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Fairfield Single Family Home Sales As of November 30, 2008 As we look at the YTD data in the Greater Fairfield County MLS, we see the similar trend continuing.  The Good News is that we have been reasonably stable most of the year running between 30-40% behind last year in the number of homes sold.  After 11 months, we are down 33%.  Are there any silver linings?  Yes.  We have Average Selling Prices down only 13%.  So if you purchased your home prior to 2005, you still will most likely get more than you paid.  However, if you bought your home in the last two years then you may be selling it for less than you paid. The higher price ranges are having the most difficulty.  Homes listed for over $2 Million have sold 58% fewer units than one year ago.  Homes listed over $1 Million are off 4...
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Homes for Sale in Fairfield As of the first week in December, there are 395 Single Family homes for sale in Fairfield.  This listing data comes directly from the Greater Fairfield MLS.  The average asking price for the homes is $1,231,104.  However, they are not all luxury homes.  There are 48 homes that list for under $400,000.  On the other hand, twenty list for over $3 Million.  The most expensive listing is on for $17,500,000 and is located in Southport at 385 Harbor Road.  So while we tend to hear about more expensive homes on the market, there are certainly plenty of choices for buyers in all price ranges.  Just in time for the Holiday Season! May Santa get you a home for the holidays!   Mike
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By Mike Tetreau, ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
(William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT)
Home Styles in Fairfield Based on sales through the first eleven months of 2008, Colonials are by far the most popular home style. This style represents 51% of the homes sold this year according to data provided by the Greater Fairfield County MLS.  Capes were the second most popular style with 20% of the sales.  Ranch Style homes came in third with 10% of the sales. It falls off quickly from there with Split Level homes accounting for 5% of the sales.  Farmhouse style homes come in at 3% of the homes sold. And, Raised Ranches coming in at 2% of the homes sold.  A combination of styles from Antique, to Contemporary, to Bungalow, to Barn style make up the difference. So no question about it...Fairfield has a lot of Style!
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