Monthly Archives: January 2009

Why You Don’t See For Sale Signs in Condo Communities

Often, I get calls from people saying they went into ‘xyz community’ located here, and they want to know more information about it & wonder what it is for sale. To there surprise, there are several units for sale in some of the luxury townhome communities in Danbury, such as Woodland Hills, Kensington Woods and Arlington Woods.

 

All condo & townhouse communities have restrictions written in to the homeowner’s association rules saying what they can and can’t do with the exterior. One of those things is about ‘for sale’ signs. Almost all of the townhome and condo communities do not allow them because they don’t want those units to stand out from the others. Also, they don’t want people driving around in the communities without a reason to be there (visiting friends or looking at property with an agent).

 

See condos for sale!

 

However, if you do decide to drive in to a complex and want more information on what is for sale or to arrange showings to units for sale, please send me an email.

Search for your home like an agent!

A few months ago, my Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has offered a free tool for home buying and selling. It is called listingbook. You need to ask your agent to set you up an account on it. Unlike most other real estate website, data is pulled directly from the Multiple Listing Service’s computer every 15 minute. This is important because I have seen other sites where the listing price is inaccurate and even status is not correct (doesn’t mention if listings are under deposit, pending or even off the market).

The cool thing about listing book is that you see a lot of information .You can see a lot of information which is important to your home purchase, such as:

  • Address
  • Complex or Area Name
  • All of the pictures uploaded for the home on the MLS
  • Room Dimensions
  • Heating
  • Days on the Market
  • Tax Information
  • Information on when the listing price was changed
  • Basement
  • Price per square foot
  • Current Status (sold, under deposit, active, under contract, off market)
  • Item’s included with the sale (oven, washer, dryer)
  • Water & Sewer Information

Home sellers are made aware of the following:

  • Other homes for sale in their neighborhood
  • Review sales of homes in the neighborhood in years past
  • Can see all other homes for sale in the town by price range
  • How many buyers on listingbook matched their criteria to their home
  • How many buyers in a given day looked at their home on listingbook, once the listing hits the market
  • Data on how long other properties have been on the market, and if any & when price reductions where taken
  • What is happening to competing homes (going under deposit, having signed contracts, getting reduced, taken off the market)

Another neat thing about this is you get set up on your search criteria. You can pick what towns you want to live in, style of home, bedrooms, baths, and put in additional features you want or don’t want (guest house, pool, horse property). You will see all of the houses matching your criteria from all of the real estate office’s on the MLS. You can ‘favorite’ and ‘reject’ properties. You can also write notes directly on a listing with any thoughts, questions or comments so your agent can help you out!

Every morning you would get an email if there are any new listings matching your criteria, price changes, status changes and more. This is a great tool that is much more powerful than even realtor.com. If you are interesting in having a listingbook account, please send me an email to Jonathan.Hall@SothebysRealty.Com, with your name and what you are looking for in your next home (town, price range, bedrooms, yard, etc), and I will be happy to set one up for you at no cost or obligation!

You can also search for listings, with not as much information here!

 

Jon

Candlewood Lake Real Estate & Living

p>Candlewood Lake Living & Real Estate

Aqua Vista Beach, Danbury CT

Candlewood Lake is one of the largest man made lakes in the country, and the largest lake in Connecticut. With other 60 miles of shoreline, Candlewood Lake is located in 5 different towns: Danbury, Brookfield, New Milford, Sherman & New Fairfield. It was created in 1928, after the power company had bought out many farmers and flooded the valley with the main reason to store water for a hydroelectric dam. Once completed, much land was bought around the lake and developed into lake communities. Over time, these communities have become a mix of about 75% year round residents and 25% weekend or summer residents.

There are many things that surprise people when they are first beginning their search for waterfront or lake community along Candlewood Lake. One of their first comments are the sizes of the lots. Most of the houses sit on anywhere from about an eighth of a acre to about half an acre. That is because land is at a premier cost. It is also that way. Secondly, there are narrow streets & parking is always a little bit tight compared to other suburban areas built since World War II. This is because the areas where developed as weekend and summer get away destinations, rather than year round homes where not as much traffic volume would be excepted. Some homes don’t even have garages since that is the way they were built back in the 1940s.

A third thing that surprises people is a lack of uniform values in lake communities, compared to typical subdivisions and neighborhoods found in the Greater Danbury area. Many of the houses started off as little bungalows and cabins as weekend or summer homes. Over the years, some of the properties have been added on to (both across & up) while others remain humble cottages. A few have been drop down to their original foundation and rebuilt entirely. In addition, some newer homes have been built on some of the remaining lots. There have been a couple of newer developments on single family homes on water & lake communities over the last few years, such as Shoreview Estates, Mill Pond, Atchison Cove and Sail Harbour, where there are exclusively newer homes of almost similar size, condition and considerably larger lot sizes than other Candlewood Lake communities.

Search for listings on Candlewood Lake!

One thing that varies tremendously lake community is the way the Homeowner’s Association is run and the fees & amenities associated with each lake community. Some associations have very relaxed structure while others are more slight, with some communities not even allowing ‘for sale’ signs on real estate & open houses. Each association has it’s own rules & fees relating to boat dock & mooring. Yearly association dues vary from community to community, going anywhere from $75 to over $4,000. Some associations have just a small beach & boat docks, while others have things like tennis courts, ball fields, playgrounds and clubhouse. There is even an association (the Candlewood Lake Club) that even has a private nine hole golf course!

Candlewood Lake Club Boat Docks

Because of these things, Candlewood Lake real estate prices do vary quite substantially. In the end, it does really just come down to three things: being on the water, having a seasonal view, or just being in a lake community. Generally speaking, a majority lake community homes do start under $300,000, with a few prestigious communities prices starting $400,000 to a minimum of about $700,000 for the newer communities (where houses were built like houses, not just enlarged bungalows & cabins). Seasonal lake views might tack an additional 5% or more on top of lake community prices,depending on how long you are see the lake & caliber of the view. Direct waterfront is a whole another ballgame when it comes to Candlewood Lake Real Estate. Generally, direct waterfront starts around $600,000 & runs up to over $20,000,000. A premium is paid for direct frontage on the lake, level waterfront area and also the view of the lake. See real estate in Candlewood Lake Communities!

Athicson Cove...Picture Yourself Living Here

Mill Plain & Western Danbury CT Real Estate

Mill Plain & the western side of Danbury is the newest & one of the fastest growing area of Danbury. If you read below, you will be why it is very popular.

There are plenty of places to do shopping, most notably being the Danbury Fair Mall. Stores and services in the area include Stop & Shop, Trader Joe’s, several kitchen cabinet & flooring showrooms, a couple of car dealerships, a few gas stations with auto repair shops, banks, veterinarians, gyms and jewelry stores. You can wine & dine with it’s countless restaurants including the Windmill Dinner, Bambino’s, Barca, Prespa, Rosy Tomorrow’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Molly Darcy’s and Pandahouse. Recreational options include Richter Park & Lake Kenosia.

 Real estate options vary quite sustainably in the Mill Plain area. You get newer single family homes (Marina Farms & Ridgebury Hills) and many condos community to choose from including Westwood Village, Lake Place, Kensington Woods, Briar Woods & Rivington.  The neighborhood of Aunt Hack is found in the Mill Plain area, which is regarded by many as highly desirable. Other neighborhoods found in the Mill Plain area include El Morro Estates, Ken Oaks, Ridgebury & Miry Brook, which consist mostly of raised ranchs & split level homes, with some small colonials, capes & new construction.

Search for listings in Mill Plain & Western Danbury!

The Mill Plain area is well connected from commuting. With I-84 & I-684 only minutes from here, it is very easy to commute to White Plains, Greenwich as well as New York City. The Brewster NY train station is only 7 minutes away for a 75-80 minute trip to Grand Central Station. You will also find large corporate parks on this western side of Danbury, including the 1.5 million square foot former Union Carbide Center, the Boehringer Ingelheim campus along the Danbury/Ridgefield line, the Ridgebury office center, as well as several professional buildings found along Mill Plain Road. Another place of employment includes the western campus of Western Connecticut State University (Westconn).

City Center Danbury CT Real Estate

City Center Danbury, CT Real Estate

The heart of Danbury. It has exprienced some tough times since the opening on the Danbury Fair Mall on the west side of town in 1986, but things have turned around over recent years. There are several cultural and education opportunities with the Danbury Music Center, the Danbury Museum & Historical Society, the train museum ,the midtown campus of WCSU and the Danbury Library. The city has invested millions of dollars in the new police station & expansions of the city hall & courthouse, as well as the upgrades at Elmwood Park. Recreation opportunities include the Danbury Ice Arena, Roger’s Park as well as the War Memorial center.  There are loads of small shops, restaurants & bakeries found along Main Street. In the summer & fall months, there is a farmer’s market at Kennedy Park.

There are various real estate options in downtown Danbury. You will be typically looking at older properties on small lots.The homes along Deer Hill Avenue are regarded by many as stately and highly desirable. There are some smaller infill condominium and apartment complexes.  There are several investment opportunities with multifamily homes.

Search for opportunties in Downtown Danbury!

Shelter Rock Danbury CT Real Estate

Shelter Rock is the southeastern area of Danbury. It is a mixed bag with some light industrial areas & 1950s homes. However, since the 1980’s, the neighborhood has been built as ‘The Condo Belt’ since many condominium and townhome communities have been constructed there. They include Birchwood, Woodland Hills, Arlington Woods, Summerset, Autumn Ridge, Tobin’s Farm, the Knolls and Berkshire Hills.Shelter Rock is close to major shopping on Newtown Road, & exit 8 for commuting for points east, west & south yet 10 minutes from the New York State Line. Exit 8 is nearby.

Search for real estate in Shelter Rock, Danbury!

King Street Danbury CT Real Estate

King Street, Danbury CT

Danbury’s country living on the northwest end. You find find an eclectic blend of homes set in a commutable country location. The King Street area is set on the rural upper edge , this community offers many attractive things including quiet streets, wooded property and winding country lanes . There are many different home styles to choose from including classic farm homes, traditional colonials and capes, raised ranches and ranches, custom built homes as well as new construction. From the rolling hillside to the large tracts of wooded land , it is a great place to enjoy all of the seasons. Enjoy the fall foliage for a walk through the woods behind the king street school. Search for homes!