Monthly Archives: June 2008

Aunt Hack, Danbury CT

Aunt Hack, Danbury CT

Located on the western side of Danbury, the Aunt Hack neighborhood is centered on the around the Richter Golf Course. Richter Park, which opened in 1972, has a layout to accomodate golfers of all skills but also has some fairways and rolling greens with bunkers that can be a challenge at every turn. The matured landscaping plus the large tall trees lead to really special fall views againist the natural landscaping.

There are several different styles of homes. On the eastern side of the neighborhood, around the intersection of Cedar Crest Drive and Elmcrest Drive, there are mostly mid 1950s ranches and 1960s raised ranches on about 1 acre lots. As you proceed south from there are a couple different cul de sacs, some with only 1970s colonials and more modern colonials.

A couple of streets do have a mixture of all of these styles. When you are in toward the center of the neighborhood, along Aunt Hack Road and Lindencrest, the primary homes are large mid century colonials and large mid century ranches, with a few newer homes built in the few remaining lots. Once you go around the curving roads toward the western side (roughly where Maple Crest intersects with Aunt Hack Road), there becomes more of an overall variety of homes. Styles and eras range from 1980s contemporaries to modern traditional colonials and some large cape and ranches.

One of the major attractions to the Aunt Hack neighborhood is the superb location for commuting and shopping. The neighborhood  has been easy access to exit 2 of I-84 and is only 7 minutes away from I-84. The location is also ideal for those working in the large office buildings on the west side and southern end of Danbury, such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Belimo, GE Captial, Cartus and Raytheon among others. Many new restaurants and stores has opened down the road on Mill Plain Road .Another feature that makes this neighborhood special in Danbury is the potential to become a member in the Aunt Hack Swim Club, a private association.

There are currently 10 homes for sale in the Aunt Hack neighborhood (per CMLS 5/14/08). Prices range from $385,000 for a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath ranch built in 1968 on 1.2 acres with some water views up to $995,000 for a 5 bedroom 4 full bath colonial with 3950 square feet sited on just under a 1 acre lot built in 1993.With an average list price of $594,289, the average list price is 25% higher than the city of Danbury as a whole, but the current market time is 33% less.

In 2007, 17 of homes were sold in the Aunt Hack neighborhood (per CMLS) with the average list to sale price of 96.5% Real estate sales ranged from $336,000 for the small 3 bedroom raised ranch to $925,000 for a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath colonial. The average sales price in the community in 2007 was $552,750. In the neighborhood so far this year (5/12/08), however 3 sales are pending with the average asking price of $599,767.

Ifyou are or know of anyone that is thinking about selling their home in Aunt Hack or would like a personal tour or for me to send the homes currently only the market in the Aunt Hack neighborhood in Danbury, please call me at 203-796-7700×305, 203-417-0523, or send me an email.

Search for homes for sale in Aunt Hack, as well as the entire Greater Danbury area.

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Community Spotlight: Lake Waubeeka, Danbury CT

Lake Waubeeka is located in southern Danbury,with easy access to Route 7 and I-84. The community has a very wooded and tranquil settings, yet minutes from the Danbury Fair Mall and major businesses. Overall, the community has about 250 homes ranging from cozy summer cottages to completed remodeled & expanded mid century homes as well some newer homes.  One of the things that make Lake Waubeeka unique is that is it one of the few gated communities in the Danbury area.

Lake Waubeeka Sign

The community features several recreational facilities and programs for the resident’s enjoyment.The community features a clubhouse,tennis courts, walking track, 2 beachs on a private lake as well as 550 of woodlands surrounding the community with nature trails.

There are currently 6 homes for sale in Lake Waubeeka ranging from $299,900 for a 3 bedroom fixer upper to $488,500 for a cozy renovated direct waterfront. With the average list price of $369,900 and market time of 80 days (per CMLS 5/2/08), the list price is about 20% lower than Danbury as a whole , however the market time is about the same.

In 2007, 13 homes were spold in Lake Waubeeka (per CMLS) with the average list to sale percentage of 94.1%. Real estate sales ranged from $254,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath 864 square foot home  to $470,000 for a 2 bedroom 3 bath renovated waterfront home with . The average sales price in Lake Waubeeka was $322,385 in 2007. There has not been a sale this year, however there are 2 sales pending.Lake Waubeeka

If you are thinking about selling your home in Lake Waubeeka would like to get a tour of the community or for me to send to the current homes for sale in Lake Waubeeka, please call me at 203-796-7700×305,203-417-0523, or send me an email. 

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New Construction Hot Spots!

Currently in Northern Fairfield County and Southern Litchfield County (Danbury, Brookfield, Bethel, New Fairfield, Sherman, Newtown, Ridgefield and New Milford) there are 389 single family homes built since 2000 currently for sale according to the Greater Fairfield County CMLS (4/22/08). While an overwhelming majority are colonials and farmhouse style colonials, there are the occasional raised ranches and capes. While most of these new construction homes are located on cul de sac developments of similar homes, there are options for people that do not like to live in developments or subdivisions.

There are several different locations where most of these newer homes. Depending on your budget and things that you are looking for, Northern Fairfield County and Southern Litchfield County has a taste of everything. Feel free to contact me additional information on any of these communities.

So, where exactly are most of these homes being built? Here is a quick summary of 5 places where most of these homes are being built:

5)The Club at River Oaks:

This private, exclusive community is located in Sherman, Connecticut. The Club at River Oaks is a private gated golf and residential community. The club opened in 2003 and has gotten acclaim as of the best golf courses in the state. The gated residential golf community has 66 home sites situated on over 300 acres bordering the Berkshire mountains, the Housatonic river and the Appalachian trail. The homes are primarily situated on over 2 acre lots. If you are looking for a private golf course within 90 minutes of Manhattan, the Club at River Oaks might put you in the swing of things.

4)Downtown Ridgefield:

With a charming main street with restaurants, shopping and a park that becomes an outdoor theater in the summer, downtown Ridgefield mixes classic charm with modern amenities. For those looking to own a new home within walking distance to shopping, this is the spot for you in Northern Fairfield County.With newer homes, sometimes next to 150 year old homes, it is a good spot of individuals that do not want to live in subdivisions of homes that all look the same. Land is hard to come by downtown so most of the new homes have replaced smaller mid 20th century homes. You will find a variety of vintage and new/existing homes for sale in downtown Ridgefield.  Downtown Ridgefield is a place to consider when looking for a new home!

3)Western Danbury:

Yes, I am sure most everyone thinks that the only new construction type in western Danbury have been condos or townhomes with recently built communities such as Kensington Woods and Briar Woods built within the last couple of years and currently under construction Rivington development . However, if everyone takes a step back to see the big picture, Western Danbury has been a hot bed for new single family homes as well. With larger subdivisions such as Ridgebury Hills, Deer Park Estates, Westville Estates, Troy Estates, Woodland Estates  plus the recently completed Butler’s Ridge and currently under construction Cannonball Estates and Hidden Glen, there has been a lot of new homes built in Western Danbury. On top of the larger developments, there has been a fair amount of homes built along Middle River Road, South King Street, Long Ridge Road, Brushy Hill Road, Aunt Hack and Franklin Street Extension among others that are not in subdivisions.   

The big lure to Danbury are the low property taxes (for the area) because of all of the shopping, businesses and light industry that help off set the tax bill for city services and schools.  It is a great spot of commuting to New York City or Westchester County.

2)Hattertown Newtown:

Located in Southern Newtown, Hattertown has had much real estate development of recent years for larger homes on more acreage than what is typically found in another hot area of development in Newtown, Sandy Hook. There are still horse properties in Hattertown while there is still convenience to major employment centers including Stamford with is about 45 minutes away and White Plains, New York with is about 1 hour away.

1)Southern New Milford:

Southern New Milford offers commutable country living just 15 minutes north of I-84 and minutes to the village center of New Milford. There is access to Candlewood Lake  and all of the town amenities you would expect. New homes are colonials or farmhouse style colonials with the occasional raised ranch or cape, at generally lower prices than Danbury and Northern Fairfield County. Newer developments include Haldine Estate,Meyer Estates, Fox Ridge Estates,Fieldstone Estates, Farmstead Acres, Deer Ridge Estate,Lillinoah Ridge and Sycamore Trails. In addition, there have been a fair amount of new homes built on Ridge Road, Reservior Road and Second Hill Road among others that are not in subdivisions.

Search newer homnes & new construction in the Greater Danbury Area.

Lakewood Condos,Danbury CT

Lakewood Condos is located in the Pembroke neighborhood in Danbury about 10 minutes north of downtown.With city owned land bordering the complex to the west and north, Lakewood has many amenities to offer the owners of the 108 units of the community. The community is located near local restaurants & business, and also 6 minutes drive south to I-84 and 15 minutes to I-684.

Built by BRT in 1985, the same developer who built other condominium communities in the Danbury area such Park Ridge, Park Brook and Willow Springs, the units are designed for modern living. With several different floor plans ranging from 1 bedroom 1 bath ranch units to 2 bedrooms plus a main level den townhouse style, Lakewood has something for everything. With the average list price of the 4 units for sale (plus 1 under deposit) in Lakewood of $261,320 (per CMLS 4/3/08), the average list price for a unit in Lakewood is 15% lower than the current average listing price and about $8000 under the median asking price for a condo in the city of Danbury making Lakewood an excellent value in the Danbury condo marketplace.

With some many other condo complex to choose from in Danbury, Lakewood ranks among one of the popular choices to due to the wooded set back location from a major commuting arterty, giving residents in the commutity easy access to all of the amenties that greater Danbury and Northern Fairfield County have to offer while maintaing a tranquil wooded and well landscaped setting. For further information on Lakewood, please call me at 203-417-0523. Sellers do benefit from a truely global marketing plan if they decide to sell their unit in the popular Lakewood. Please call me for details!

Search for condos in Lakewood, Danbury CT

Shepherd Hill,Danbury CT

Located in the north eastern side of Danbury in the Stadley Rough neighborhood, Shepard Hill is a 140 unit condo development in a convenient location. With easy access to major shopping on Federal Road and business as well as access to I-84 and Route 7 both north and south, Shepard Hill has one of the most desired locations in the Danbury area. The buildings in the complex has had a new roof put in within the last couple of years. There is also ample resident and guest parking. Community recreational amenities include a playground and pool. In addition, there is easy access to public transportation down the road on Federal Road. There is currently a 78% owner occupancy ration in the community, which banks look favorably on when determining financing.

Shepherd Hill enterance

Built in 1984, the units offer modern open floor plans ranging from 1 bedroom ranch style units to 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhouse style units with a basement garage. The complex and units were designed so many of the residents can take advantage of long range views.  Standard amenities for homes in Shepherd Hill include central air conditioning as well as washer and dryer set up in the unit.

There are currently for 4 units for sale in Shepherd Hill ranging from $186,999 for a 1 bedroom ranch style unit to a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhouse style unit with 2 car garage in the basement offered at $287,500 (per CMLS 4/1/08) with the average list price of $244,825 with the average market time being 61 days.

In 2007, there were 12 sales in Shepherd Hill (per CMLS) with the average list to sale percentage of 96.7%. Sales in Shepherd Hill ranged from $175,000 for a 1 bedroom 1 bath ranch style unit to $284,500 for a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhouse style unit with a 2 car garage located in the basement. Sales for the 2 bedroom 1 bath ranch style units ranged from $220,000 to $228,000. The average sales time (from listed to close) in Shephard Hill was only 71 days, compared to the rest of the Danbury condo market in 2007 were it was 97 days.

If you are thinking about selling your unit in Shepherd Hill or would like to get a tour of the complex or for me to send to the current homes for sale in Shepherd Hill, please call me at 203-417-0523 or send me an email.

Search for condos for sale in Shepherd Hill!

Shepherd Hill PoolShepherd Hill CondosShepherd Hill

Condo buying tips

Following up to the market stats on condos in Danbury ,there are several things to consider when looking to purchase a condo or townhouse in the Danbury area. On top of the things buyers should be looking at for a single family home (like layout and mechincal systems), there are things that are unique to note when looking for a condo:

  • Is the community located in a neighborhood that you would feel comfortable living in? Is it near the places you need or like to go to a lot (work, shopping)
  • Would you feel comfortable in the condo or townhome community?
  • Is the indivdual unit is a location in the community that you like?
  • Has the condo fees gone up considerbly over the last few years?
  • Are there any special assessments on the complex?
  • Is the owner occupancy ratio good?
  • Often times, the community offers some recreational facilties to it’s residents like pools which the expenses for their maitance are included in the monthly homeowners association.
  • Generally, the property taxes on condos are lower than the equilivently sized single family homes since you don’t own any land. Often with newer condos, the property taxes are higher than older units.
  • How is the parking situation for owners and their guests?
  • Carefully review the condo documents. They tell you about the community is run. The laws include things like the budget, construction information, rules on pets, the board of directions, condo fees, surveys and much more information.Condo docs typically include budgets, surveys, information on construction, rules about pets, rules about resale, the condo board of directors, condo fees, and much more. In CT, buyers have 2 weeks review and agree to the terms of the condominium documents before the date they are able to back out of the contract, also known as the cancellation period . If  the buyer is not satisfied with these guidelines, they can back out of the deal with no penalty.
  • Condo fees can really increase the cost of ownership, however there is an upside to them. Be sure to review the budget and make sure it makes sense to you. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.Make sure the some of the funds from the condo fees go toward reserves. The reserve money goes to cover things like repairs like roofs, new siding or exterior paint or plumbing become necessary. The upside is that many condominium communities have private amenities such as fitness centers, pools, tennis courts, that will typically be more expensive elsewhere.
  • Usually condo owners only need a contents insurance policy, which isn’t that expensive. The HOA usually has a policy on the building or buildings againist major distaters and law suits with is paid for with some of the condo fees.Also, condo owners typically only have a contents insurance policy which often doesn’t cost more than renters insurance. Keep in mind that if the cost of insurance goes up, so will your condo fees.
  • Make sure to have a home inspection! No matter how new or attractive a condo might appeal, there is usually something wrong with it because there is no such thing as a perfect house. If something comes up, buyers can negoiate for the repair to be done or be given a credit for the work, or completly back out of the purchase completly.First, if there is a problem, that’s grounds for more negotiation, or canceling a purchase completely. Some buyers think they will be saving money by not having an inspection but within a month or so of moving in, they might find they need a new furnance or water heater.A home inspector should give an idea if the unit things like foundation problems, leaks in the roof, mold, and a lot more!Condo’s can have foundation problems, leaks in the roof, mold, anything!

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Short Sales and Bank Owned Real Estate

As many of you have read in the local paper and seen on the news, there is a ‘short short and bank owned’ real estate phenomenium across the country. The city of Danbury is not immune from this national problem, but the problem is the area is not as far fledged as others in the country. First let me see explain the difference between the two different types of sales.

A short sale is when a bank agrees to discount the loan balance because of an economic hardship for the borrower. The seller put together papers for the bank and were filled out appropriately for the bank to approve it. For the bank to have approved the short sale, they would have the seller sell the house for less than what you owe on the mortgage. The seller would then turn over the proceeds of the sale to the bank in full satisfaction of the debt. The bank would have to approve or disapprove the sale. Banks will choose to do one if they think it will be a smaller loss for them other than foreclosing. 

Bank owned properties (REOS) is a property that goes back to the mortgage company after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. A good amount of foreclose auctions don’t even amount to getting any bids. If there was enough equity in the property to satisfy the loan, the owner would have probably sold the property and paid off the bank. After the unsuccessful auction, the bank does now own the property and handled the eviction process and might do some repairs. The bank will negotiate with the IRS for the removal of tax liens and pay off any HOA dues. Banks do want get get the best price possible and have no interest in ‘dumping’ the real estate they know on cheaply. The properties are generally sold ‘As-Is’ and buyers should do their homework on seeing if the price you would pay (if successful) is comparable to to other homes in the area and should consider the cost of any renovations and time to complete them.

There are currently a fair amount of short sale and bank owned property in Danbury. The information below does come from the CMLS (per 3/3/08).

-Of the 247 single family homes for sale in Danbury, 20 of them are short sales or bank owned. The average market time is 99 days with the average list price of $274,925 compared to the average list price for a single family home in Danbury of $466,588.

-Of the 250 condos or townhomes for sale in Danbury, 22 are short sales or bank owned. The average market time is 73 days with the average list price of $210,700 compared to the average list price for a condo or townhome is $297,032.

-Of the 88 multifamily homes currently for sale in Danbury, 13 are short sales or bank owned. The average market time is 102 days with the average list price of $303,238. The average list price for a multifamily or income property in Danbury is $443,951.

This short sales and bank owned properties present great opportunites for first time buyers & investors looking for real estate in the Danbury,CT area.

Search for bank owned homes & short sales in Danbury,CT.