Jan. 4, 2021

The Differences Between Waterbury And Watertown, Connecticut

 

Are you thinking of moving to Connecticut and you're wondering what town you should settle in? In this episode of CT Life, we're going to talk about the differences between Waterbury and Watertown, Connecticut. We’ll walk you through everything from lifestyle to home prices so you can choose which area is right for you.

Waterbury VS Watertown

While both towns are great for Connecticut living, there are a few key differences between Waterbury and Watertown. One difference is lifestyle. Depending on what you’re looking for, each of these cities is bound to fit your ideal.

Waterbury is known for its great transportation and has a little bit more of a big-city feel. Watertown is a little more rural, perfect if you like a slower pace of life. If you're looking for action, you're more likely going to end up in Waterbury. If you like the country, you're probably going to head over to Watertown.

Socially, Waterbury has more chain stores and restaurants whereas Watertown is known for its mom-and-pop shops and local shopping. Waterbury has more hustle and bustle, especially since it’s one of the biggest cities in Connecticut. Watertown will give you that small-town feel, where you’ll go into the post office and they're most likely going to know your name.

Comparing Housing Prices

If you're considering moving to Connecticut, you're probably wondering what you can get for your money here. Waterbury is generally less expensive than Watertown, at least when it comes to real estate. The average three-bedroom, two-bath house is 1300 square feet and costs $153,000. That same property in Watertown would cost you almost $250,000.

If you don't need a three-bedroom, a two-bedroom property with two baths in Waterbury will cost you an average of $105,000. That same property in Watertown would be $172,000, which is quite the increase. If you want to try renting first in Connecticut, that also an option. A three-bedroom apartment in Waterbury costs an average of $1,100 per month. That same three-bedroom apartment in Watertown would cost $1,500. Alternatively, a two-bedroom rental in Waterbury is approximately $900 and a two-bedroom apartment in Watertown would be $1,100.

Overall, a good rule of thumb when it comes to pricing inside of Watertown is the closer you get to Litchfield, the higher the prices are. The closer you are to the Waterbury side of Watertown, the lower the prices are.

Commute Times And Location

If you're working anywhere near Waterbury and you want to know how long it's going to take you to get to the airport, you're approximately 49 minutes to Bradley International Airport from Waterbury. From Watertown, it’s about 57 minutes to Bradley. If you're moving to Connecticut from New York, you're probably already pretty used to traffic, though it’s something to consider.

Waterbury is more congested than Watertown, though they are making great strides to improve. They are in the process of completing a huge overhaul of 84 and Route 8 called the Mixmaster, and the traffic that used to be at a standstill is already moving a lot faster. Still, it’s not as fast as Watertown. Traffic in general in Watertown is much more manageable since it's more of a rural area. The only time this is a little different is when you're on Main Street. It's one lane in, one lane out, and it does tend to congest during busy times of the day.

Which Town Will You Choose?

I hope this gave you some insight into the differences between Waterbury and Watertown. Besides the fact that they both have water in their names, they couldn't be more different. When it comes to real estate, lifestyle, and shopping, these towns are the opposite—though each has its advantages. If you or anybody you know is thinking of moving here to Connecticut, let us be your resource. We have the insight of all the towns and can help find the one that's the perfect fit for you. Give us a call at (203) 758-0264 and make sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of CT Life. I look forward to having you be one of our neighbors!

Nov. 18, 2020

Is Living In Watertown, Connecticut Right For You?

 

 

Are you wondering what it's like to live in the great town of Watertown, Connecticut? In this episode of CT Life, I’m going to give you the pros and cons of living in this Waterbury suburb located right here in Litchfield County. As one of the fastest-growing real estate markets in all of the state, Watertown is a great choice to experience Connecticut life.

The Pros And Cons Of Watertown, Connecticut

Schools

The population of Watertown has grown to 22,500 people for good reason. One of the pros of living here is the collection of amazing schools, with the iconic Taft School in Watertown being one example. Taft was founded in 1819 and is home to a diverse student-base made of people from over 45 different countries. It is a boarding school that accepts grades 9-12.

Additional schools include John Trumbull Primary School, Judson Elementary, Polk Elementary, Swift Middle School, Watertown High School, and Watertown Transition Academy. Now that you know a little bit about the schools, let's go see some of the fun things to do here in Watertown.

Outdoor Activities

If the sun is shining, you’ll want to check out Veterans' Memorial Park. This park features playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, gazebos, comfort stations, walking trails, and Latins Pond for fishing or hiking. You also have access to horseshoe pits, bocce courts, picnic tables throughout the park, and even an area designated for skateboarding.

Another great way to spend the afternoon is at Hawk Ridge Winery on Plungis Road. It's one of the coolest wineries here in Litchfield County, so you’ll want to be sure to check it out.

Food And Shopping

Main Street in Watertown is where you will find one of the pros of living here. There is a huge variety of stores selling everything from fresh-made bagels to comic books. You’ll also find hair salons, barbershops, automobile centers, fast food, and clothing stores—just to name a few.

Watertown is also known for its awesome restaurants, including Uncommon Grill, 16 Straits, Taps & Taverns, Sakura, the iconic Daveluy's, and one of the best rated Italian restaurants in all of Connecticut, Roma's. Back on Main Street, you're going to find Mangia, Thai Bowl, Jimmy's, Rock Garden Cafe, G's Burgers, and Carvel. Watertown truly has an endless supply of restaurants and all of them are great.

After a great main course, you're going to want to check out something for dessert. Head over to Hardcore Sweets, an amazing shop that’s been featured on the Food Network, Cupcake Wars, and the Cooking Network. You can get some of the best cupcakes here in all of New England.

Here in Watertown, you're going to get the hometown market feel when you shop at places like the Watertown Meat Center and LaBonne's. At the same time, you have the convenience of some big-box retailers like Stop & Shop and Staples.

Parking And Business Space

One con of living in Watertown is the lack of parking on Main Street. However, there's also currently a bunch of vacancies for businesses on this awesome little thoroughfare. Have a business idea? There's no better time than now to take the leap and open it. Give us a call and we'll help you walk through the process of setting up your business and leasing out some commercial space.

Affordability

Now that you know a little bit about what there is to do here in Watertown, let's talk about whether or not this town is affordable and what you get for your money here. One con about living in Watertown, Connecticut is the home prices. When compared to neighboring towns like Waterbury and Thomaston, the values here are much higher—though you do get an awful lot for your money. In 2019, a total of 272 single-family homes were sold. These properties averaged three bedrooms, two baths, seven rooms, 1,685 square feet on 1.1 acres, and were listed on the market for 71 days. The average sales price was $235,664, working out to an average of $143 per square foot.

Also in 2019, a total of 39 condos were sold. These condos averaged five rooms, two bedrooms, two baths, 1,300 square feet, and an average sales price of $167,000. That works out to be an average price per square foot of $126.

Is Watertown Living Right For You?

So what did you think? There are so many other great things that we didn't have time to feature, like Watertown Historic Society, Black Rock State Park, and Sunset Grill just to name a few. There are a lot of reasons to love Watertown, Connecticut, which is why it's one of the hottest markets in the state.

Do you want to see some homes here? Give me or somebody on my team a call and we will get you out seeing properties immediately. While we're meeting with you, we'll also give you a local Watertown guide and introduce you to all the shops that we visited, along with all their contact info and our personal recommendations. We look forward to connecting with you!

Oct. 24, 2020

How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall In Connecticut

How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall In Connecticut

How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall | MyKCM

Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale.

Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet that growing need. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explains:

Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery…These low rates have ignited robust purchase demand activity…However, heading into the fall it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity.”

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), right now, unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace. To have a balanced market where there are enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand, the market needs inventory for 6 months. Today, we’re nowhere near where that number needs to be. If the trend continues, it will get even harder to find homes to purchase this fall, and that may slow down potential buyers. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comnotes:

“The overall lack of sustained new listings growth could put a dent in fall home sales despite high interest from home shoppers, because new listings are key to home sales.”

The realtor.com Weekly Recovery Report keeps an eye on the number of listings coming into the market (houses available for sale) and the total number of listings staying in the market compared to the previous year (See graph below):How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall | MyKCMBuyers are clearly scooping up homes faster than they’re being put up for sale. The number of total listings (the orange line) continues to decline even as new listings (the blue line) are coming to the market. Why? Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.comnotes:

“The post-pandemic period has brought a record number of homebuyers back into the market, but it’s also failed to bring a consistent number of sellers back. Homes are selling faster, and sales are still on an upward trend, but rapidly disappearing inventory also means more home shoppers are being priced out. If we don’t see material improvement to supply in the next few weeks, we could see the number of transactions begin to dwindle again even as the lineup of buyers continues to grow.”

Does this mean it’s a good time to sell?

Yes. If you’re thinking about selling your house, this fall is a great time to make it happen. There are plenty of buyers looking for homes to purchase because they want to take advantage of low interest rates. Realtors are also reporting an average of 3 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars, meaning the demand is there and the opportunity to sell for the most favorable terms is in your favor as a seller.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering selling your house, this is the perfect time to connect so we can talk about how you can benefit from the market trends in our local area.

Posted in Events
Oct. 22, 2020

Is the Economic Recovery Beating All Projections In Connecticut

Is the Economic Recovery Beating All Projections In Connecticut?

 

Earlier this year, many economists and market analysts were predicting an apocalyptic financial downturn that would potentially rattle the U.S. economy for years to come. They immediately started to compare it to the Great Depression of a century ago. Six months later, the economy is still trying to stabilize, but it is evident that the country will not face the total devastation projected by some. As we continue to battle the pandemic, forecasts are now being revised upward. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) just reported:

“The U.S. economy and labor market are recovering from the coronavirus-related downturn more quickly than previously expected, economists said in a monthly survey.

Business and academic economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expect gross domestic product to increase at an annualized rate of 23.9% in the third quarter. That is up sharply from an expectation of an 18.3% growth rate in the previous survey.”

What Shape Will the Recovery Take?

Economists have historically cast economic recoveries in the form of one of four letters – V, U, W, or L.

V-shaped recovery is all about the speed of the recovery. This quick recovery is treated as the best-case scenario for any economy that enters a recession. NOTE: Economists are now also using a new term for this type of recovery called the “Nike Swoosh.” It is a form of the V-shape that may take several months to recover, thus resembling the Nike Swoosh logo.

U-shaped recovery is when the economy experiences a sharp fall into a recession, like the V-shaped scenario. In this case, however, the economy remains depressed for a longer period of time, possibly several years, before growth starts to pick back up again.

W-shaped recovery can look like an economy is undergoing a V-shaped recovery until it plunges into a second, often smaller, contraction before fully recovering to pre-recession levels.

An L-shaped recovery is seen as the worst-case scenario. Although the economy returns to growth, it is at a much lower base than pre-recession levels, which means it takes significantly longer to fully recover.

Many experts predicted that this would be a dreaded L-shaped recovery, like the 2008 recession that followed the housing market collapse. Fortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

The same WSJ survey mentioned above asked the economists which letter this recovery will most resemble. Here are the results:Is the Economic Recovery Beating All Projections? | MyKCM

What About the Unemployment Numbers?

It’s difficult to speak positively about a jobs report that shows millions of Americans are still out of work. However, when we compare it to many forecasts from earlier this year, the numbers are much better than most experts expected. There was talk of numbers that would rival the Great Depression when the nation suffered through four consecutive years of unemployment over 20%.

The first report after the 2020 shutdown did show a 14.7% unemployment rate, but much to the surprise of many analysts, the rate has decreased each of the last three months and is now in the single digits (8.4%).

Economist Jason Furman, Professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the previous administration, recently put it into context:

“An unemployment rate of 8.4% is much lower than most anyone would have thought it a few months ago. It is still a bad recession but not a historically unprecedented event or one we need to go back to the Great Depression for comparison.”

The economists surveyed by the WSJ also forecasted unemployment rates going forward:

  • 2021: 6.3%
  • 2022: 5.2%
  • 2023: 4.9%

The following table shows how the current employment situation compares to other major disruptions in our economy:Is the Economic Recovery Beating All Projections? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The economic recovery still has a long way to go. So far, we are doing much better than most thought would be possible.

Posted in Events
Oct. 21, 2020

6 Reasons You’ll Win by Selling with a Real Estate Agent This Fall In Connecticut

6 Reasons You’ll Win by Selling with a Real Estate Agent This Fall In Connecticut

 

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times, like what we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert you trust to help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), it’s critical to consider the following:

1. Your Safety Is a Priority

Your family’s safety should always come first, and that’s more crucial than ever given the current health situation in our country. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, real estate professionals are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.

2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer

Recent studies from NAR have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumps to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?

3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.

4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage

Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment.

Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was available yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.

5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save on the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.

Bottom Line

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

Oct. 19, 2020

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home In Connecticut?

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home In Connecticut?

Once the kids have left the nest, you may be wondering what to do with all of the extra space in your home. Chances are, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and it may be a great time to sell your house and downsize, maybe even into a single-story home. You’ve likely gained significant equity if you’ve lived in your home for a while, so making a move while demand for your current house is high could be your best step forward toward the retirement goals you set out to achieve several years ago.

The dilemma, though, is where to go next. A big concern for many homeowners who are ready to sell is finding a home to move into, given today’s lack of houses available for sale. There is, however, some good news: the number of single-family 1-story homes being built today is on the rise, improving your odds of finding the right home for your changing needs. In a recent article, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explains:

“Nationwide, the share of new homes with two or more stories fell from 53% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, while the share of new homes with one story grew from 47% to 48%.”

Here’s a map showing the breakdown of newly constructed homes being built by region, and the percentage of 1-story and 2-story homes in that mix:Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

What are the benefits of buying a one-story home?

Still not sure about buying a single-story home? An article from Home Talk covers several advantages of switching from two floors to one:

1. Energy Efficient

“It is easier to heat and cool a single-story house [than] it would be to regulate the temperatures of a multi-story house.”

Most single-story homes only need one heating or cooling unit, and they typically stay cooler than a two-story home, both of which can lead to significant savings.

2. Easier to Maintain

“Doing a general cleaning in a single story requires less effort and you will be able to see all areas that need cleaning and the areas are easily accessible.”

Cleaning and maintenance of a single-story home can take less time and effort, and better upkeep helps improve the overall value of the home.

3. Accessible for Everyone

“A single-story house can be accessed by anyone, whether they are young children or the senior citizens.”

If you’re looking for a house that provides a safe and easily accessible environment at any age, a single-story home may be optimal.

4. Good Resell Potential

“When buying a single-story house, you should consider the resale value should you think of reselling it in case of a circumstance that can happen. Look at the growth rate of that area. Due to the high demand of these types of houses it is [easy] to resell them and depending on the growth rate of an area, it increases in value significantly.”

Single-story homes have a lot of benefits and are often in higher demand. This bodes well for future resale opportunities.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to downsizing into a one-story home. Doing so while demand for your current house is high might make it easier than ever to make a move. Let’s connect if you’re ready to purchase the single-story home you need while homes are so affordable today.

Oct. 17, 2020

Why Pricing Your House Right In Connecticut Is Essential

Why Pricing Your House Right In Connecticut Is Essential 

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.

According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comnotes:

“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”

When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

How to Price Your Home

As a seller, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. You’re thinking, higher price, greater profit, right? But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers and have them looking at the houses your neighbors are selling instead.

Even today, when the advantage tips toward sellers because there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running in the other direction if it isn’t priced just right.Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential | MyKCM

A Trusted Real Estate Professional Will Help

It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working in partnership with a trusted real estate professional. When you price it competitively, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer over the price. Instead, you’ll have multiple buyers competing for the home, and that’s what ultimately increases the final sale price.

The key is making sure your house is priced to sell immediately. That way, it will be seen by the most buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and your house will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

If you're thinking about listing your house this fall, let’s discuss how to price it right so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

Oct. 14, 2020

Should You Buy A Retirement Home In Connecticut

Should You Buy a Retirement Home In Connecticut?

Should You Buy a Retirement Home Sooner Rather than Later? | MyKCM

Every day in the U.S., roughly 10,000 people turn 65. Prior to the health crisis that swept the nation in 2020, most people had to wait until they retired to make a move to the beach, the golf course, or the senior living community they were looking to settle into for their later years in life. This year, however, the game changed.

Many of today’s workers who are nearing the end of their professional careers, but maybe aren’t quite ready to retire, have a new choice to make: should I move before I retire? If the sand and sun are calling your name and you have the opportunity to work remotely for the foreseeable future, now may be a great time to purchase that beach bungalow you’ve always dreamed of or the single-story home in the sprawling countryside that might be a little further out of town. Whether it’s a second home or a future retirement home, spending the next few years in a place that truly makes you smile every day might be the best way to round out a long and meaningful career.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home…We may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.”

According to the 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 3 out of 4 retirees (75%) own their homes, and only 23% have mortgage debt (including any equity loans or lines of credit). Since entering retirement, almost 4 in 10 retirees (38%) have moved into a new home. They’re making a profit by selling their current homes in today’s low inventory market and using their equity to purchase their future retirement homes. It’s a win-win.

Why These Homeowners Are Making Moves Now

The health crisis this year made us all more aware of the importance of our family and friends, and many of us have not seen our extended families since the pandemic started. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see in the same report that 32% of those surveyed cited the top reason they’re making a move is that they want to be closer to family and friends (See graph below):Should You Buy a Retirement Home Sooner Rather than Later? | MyKCMThe survey also revealed that 73% percent of retirees currently live in single-family homes. With the overall number of homes for sale today hitting a historic low, and with the buyer demand for single-family homes skyrocketing, there’s never been a more ideal time to sell a single-family home and make a move toward retirement. Today’s market has the perfect combination of driving forces to make selling optimal, especially while buyers are looking to take advantage of low interest rates.

If you’re one of the 73% of retirees with a single-family home and want to move closer to your family, now is the time to put your house on the market. With the pace homes are selling today, you could essentially wrap up your move – start to finish – before the holidays.

Bottom Line 

Whether you’re looking to fully retire or to buy a second home with the intent to use it as your retirement home in the future, the 2020 fall housing market may very well work in your favor. Let’s connect today to discuss your options in our local market.

Oct. 11, 2020

Buyers Are Finding More Space In The Connecticut Luxury Home Market

Buyers Are Finding More Space In The Connecticut Luxury Home Market

Buyers Are Finding More Space in the Luxury Home Market | MyKCM

A year ago, additional space and extra amenities had a very different feel for homebuyers. Today, the health crisis has brought to light how valuable more square footage and carefully designed floorplans can be. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and theaters are becoming more popular, and some families are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the luxury market.

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains:

“With quarantine concerns still top of mind for many luxury buyers, we see large, sprawling estates making their comeback.

For instance, the last six months have seen a resurgence in the buying of mega mansions and estate-size homes – specifically properties that offer space (both inside and outside), separate home offices, gyms, and private amenities such as swimming pools, yoga studios, and recreation rooms.”

This was not the case at this time last year, as the most recent Luxury Market Report from ILHM emphasizes:

“Exactly one year ago, we reported that demand for large properties, mega mansions, private estates, and luxury ranches had reduced significantly over the previous few years; especially from the younger generation of luxury property buyers.”

For today’s buyers looking for larger homes, steady increases in equity might be what makes a move possible. Leveraging home equity makes it easier to afford the down payment on a luxury home, and current low interest rates are making mortgage payments more affordable than they have been in years. The report from ILHM also notes:

“Luxury real estate prices may continue to strengthen further into the third quarter, as the affluent continue to see large investment returns from the currently strong stock market.

Coupled with the low interest rates, the policies granting (and insisting) on working from home implemented by many employers, and the concerns of the pandemic, all translate to the affluent increasingly trading in their city lifestyle for a home that has it all.”

Clearly, today’s strong gains in home equity paired with record-low interest rates make fall a great time to move up into the luxury market to meet those changing needs.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to gain some breathing room in a larger home, let’s connect so you have the guidance you need to find more space in the luxury home market.

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
June 16, 2020

The Pros and Cons of CT Life

 

Are you wondering what it's like to live in the great state of Connecticut? What are the pros and cons? You're probably wondering how the commute time is to and from work. What are the areas like? How are the schools? Where will you go shopping? What is there to do here in Connecticut?

Hi, I'm Dave Jones and this is CT Life, and I cover all that and more in this episode. Be sure to click subscribe up above and be notified every time we post a new episode.

One of the pros is the location. New York is just 90 miles away and Boston is 100 miles. So whether you're a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan, Connecticut has you covered. Connecticut is made up of mostly smaller towns. In fact, only five cities have populations over 100,000. Those are New Haven, Bridgeport, Stanford, Hartford, and Waterbury. Another pro is in the smaller towns you typically have a little larger yard. The average lot size is 25,000 square feet, which is just over a half-acre. One of the cons of living in Connecticut. We have the second-highest tax rate in all of the United States.

Okay. So now that we know where it's located, let's talk about the commute to and from Connecticut. One pro about Connecticut is several towns have Metro-North terminals that run directly to Grand Central Station. It makes getting in and out of New York City very easy. Another pro of Connecticut is our highway system. There are literally five ways to get anywhere you need to be in Connecticut. So you can find back roads and highways and byways to get you where you need to get fast. One con to living here in Connecticut is we are typically in the top 10 for the highest price per gallon for gasoline.

Okay. So now that we know about the commute, let's talk about details such as school, shopping, and convenience factor. Schools vary very much by the town. There are several places online that you can look up the reviews of the schools. Let your realtor know and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. Every town has an option for public or private schools, depending on where you're located and where you're interested in buying.

One good thing about Connecticut is you're never more than 15 minutes from a shopping center, a big box retailer, or a grocery store. Here in Connecticut, the largest grocery store is Stop & Shop with over a hundred locations. Here, you'll find everything from a fresh bakery to meats and deli. Several locations even have gas stations.

Okay. So now that we know about the overall area a little bit, let's talk about the lifestyle here in Connecticut. One of the pros is Connecticut has a AA baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats, that has an awesome new stadium, Dunkin' Donuts Park. We're also known for our Yukon Huskies basketball and football programs.

If you're looking for nightlife and entertainment here in Connecticut, we have you covered there as well. Connecticut has two of the largest resort casinos in all of the United States, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino. They're known for their award-winning restaurants and five-star hotel accommodations. Here in Connecticut we also have 110 state parks and 100 miles of shoreline. On a beautiful day like today, there is so much that you could get out and do. The one con I can think about living here in Connecticut since the Hartford Whalers left, we don't have a pro sports team.

Another great thing about Connecticut is we are a typical New England state and we have four distinct seasons. During the summer you can expect an average high of about 85 degrees. In the fall, we are known for our foliage and people come from across the US to go to the hills of Litchfield County every year, just to see the leaves change. One drawback to being a New England state is our winters. We have several large snowstorms every year, and you probably want to have a pretty decent four-wheel-drive vehicle just to be safe.


Well, I hope this video gave you some insight into the pros and cons of living in Connecticut. If you should have any additional questions about CT Life or real estate here in Connecticut, don't hesitate to ask. Again, I'm Dave Jones and this is CT Life.