Dec 18

Why You Should Get Off the Fence About Buying a Home!

As the housing market continues to stabilize and show more signs of health and improved conditions, you might be thinking more seriously about purchasing a home, right? Here are some reasons why it’s (still) a good idea to get off the fence — sooner, rather than later.

Mortgage rates are (still) low

During the recession, the rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate loan averaged 4.32 percent. Now, rates are close to that, and there’s no recession! That means they’ve got nowhere to go but up — particularly because the Federal Reserve is expected to end its bond-buying program, which has been credited with pushing mortgage rates to historic lows, in October.

Granted, rates aren’t expected to skyrocket overnight, but don’t think that a small uptick wouldn’t affect your budget. In fact, if rates were to go up by just 1 percentage point, your purchasing power would be reduced by a whopping 11 percent. To put this in further perspective: If you could afford a $400,000 loan at 4 percent mortgage rates, you could afford a loan of just $356,000 at 5 percent. An even smaller rise in rates — say from 4.5 percent to 5 percent — would add $75 to the monthly payment on a $300,000 house with $50,000 down. To see how much waiting could cost you, specifically, check out Zillow’s recent analysis here.

Home prices are (still) affordable    

While home prices, nationally, continue to rise, up nearly 7 percent from July 2013, they are still 11 percent below their 2007 peak. And get this: Home buying is more affordable now than ever before. According to a recent Zillow analysis, U.S. home buyers at the end of the second quarter spent 15.3 percent of their incomes on a mortgage, far less than the 22.1 percent share homeowners devoted to mortgages in the pre-bubble days. This situation won’t last forever, especially as mortgage rates continue to rise.

Buying is (still) cheaper than renting

No doubt, buying a house is a significant purchase, but in a majority of the country, it’s (still) cheaper than renting. In fact, in half of metros in the U.S., buying beats renting after only two years. This can be attributed to historically high rental prices that have helped skew the rent vs. buy decision toward buying for those who can afford it. So if you can afford to buy, now is the time as rents aren’t getting any cheaper!

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog/3-reasons-now-is-good-time-to-buy-158353/

Dec 17

4 Reasons to Buy a Home During the Holidays

In the market for a new home? Here are four reasons to add real estate shopping to your December to-do list.

Bargain prices

Did you know that, historically, home prices are lower in December than in any other month?

As for the overall housing picture, if you’re not yet in the market, you’ll like this news: While home prices are continuing to rise, it’s happening at a much slower pace.

According to a recent report from Zillow, U.S. home values are currently up 6.4 percent year-over-year and have been slowing for nearly two years. Next year home values are expected to grow at 3 percent — roughly half their current pace.  These changing dynamics, and a shift toward healthy stabilization, put more power in the hands of buyers.

Low mortgage rates    

What’s driving affordability? Low mortgage rates. Currently hovering in the 4 percent range, rates are projected to edge up to 5 percent by the end of 2015, according to Zillow Chief Economist, Stan Humphries.

To put this in perspective, did you know that if rates go up by just one percentage point, your purchasing power is reduced by a whopping 11 percent? Find out how much waiting to buy could cost you.

Motivated sellers

If sellers are listing their home for sale this time of year, this likely means they’re serious about shedding the weight of their residences.

Regardless of why that is – perhaps they’ve recently gotten divorced, have to relocate for a new job opportunity, or are under some other personal pressure – this puts you, the buyer, in a much better position to negotiate and ultimately cut a deal, particularly since competition is minimal this time of year.

Tax savings

At the end of the year, everyone is looking for ways to lower their tax bill. And closing on your new home before Dec. 31st is one way to get some breaks.

After all, you can deduct home purchase costs, including mortgage interest, property taxes and points — while you build equity and save yourself a significant amount of money.

http://www.zillow.com/blog/buy-a-home-during-the-holidays-164715/

Dec 16

New Listing! 6 Azalea Court, Farmington

Farmington, CT 060323 beds, 3 baths, $339,900

Comments:

Maintenance free living at O’Meara Farm! Outstanding value for this expanded Rosewood model on a popular cul-de-sac. Home boasts hardwood floors, open living & dining room & sunroom with sliders to patio. 1St or 2nd floor master bedrooms. Throw away your shovels! O’Meara Farm is an age restricted 55+ community.

  • Listing Information:

    • Farmington
    • CT
    • 06032
    • Farmington
    • Hartford
    • $339,900
    • G699685
    • Single Family
    • Resale/New
    • Active
  • Property Information:

    • Single Detached
    • 3
    • 3
    • 3
    • 1999
    • 1822
    • Full Basement, Unfinished
    • Attached
    • 2
    • 4983
    • Central Air
    • Warm Air
    • Vinyl Siding
    • Patio
    • No
    • Cable – Available
    • Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, Microwave, Oven/Range, Refrigerator, Washer
    • Public Water Connected; Public Sewer Connected;
  • Listing School Information:

    • Clb
    • Farmington
    • Keller Williams Realty

Dec 16

Hoping to Buy a Home in 2015? Start Planning Now!

At the start of a new year, many real estate agents’ phones begin ringing with calls from potential buyers who want to get in the market. If buying a home is on your agenda for 2015, now’s the time to begin working toward your goal. Here’s a guide to the home buying experience to get you started.

The dreaming phase

We are all more connected than ever, which makes researching a new home easy and convenient. The dreaming phase — which has no definitive start time or length — means thinking about what you want in a home, exploring neighborhoods and casting the widest net possible.

This phase includes looking at photos of homes online, comparing and contrasting listings or prices per square foot and understanding the price differential between two school districts.

Dreaming happens on your terms and your timing. It doesn’t require help from a real estate agent or mortgage professional. It’s a good time for you to play around with the market, start to get the real estate bug and develop a feel for what could be a reality in the future. Don’t rush, and don’t feel pressured.

Search and discovery mode

When you feel ready to make a reality of the dreaming phase, it’s time to move the process along. Search and discovery allows you to get the facts, build your team and begin to amass a strong approach to pushing ahead. Connect with a local real estate agent and a mortgage lender to get started.

Typically, buyers meet with a real estate agent first, who then refers them to a good local mortgage professional. Connecting with an agent means asking lots of questions about how the market works, school districts and the home buying process in general.

In the dreaming phase, you don’t know what you don’t know. But during search and discovery, you’ll start gathering solid information. A mortgage professional will run some numbers and do a full review of your finances, including pulling your credit. They will marry that data with available loans in the market and teach you about the different loan options.

Full steam ahead

After weeks or months (or sometimes even years) of dreaming, searching and discovering, you will know the market inside and out. You will have seen enough homes to know what you like and don’t like, and you’ll have prioritized your criteria based on what you’ve learned. You’ll have seen many homes come on the market, go pending and close, which will help you understand list price vs. sale price, and why some homes sell faster than others.

When you are full steam ahead, you’ll be online 24/7 and being a home buyer becomes a part-time job. You’ll be in constant contact with your agent, who may be texting or emailing you listings throughout the day.

When a home that matches your criteria comes on the market, get out and see the home in person. Don’t wait for an open house — go view the home ASAP with your agent.

At this stage, you’ll be ready to make offers, and you may miss out on one or two homes before getting one. Or you may move forward on a home, only to find out there are inspection issues. You might even experience a little buyer’s remorse.

All of this is to be expected. When the right home comes along, it will work out because you’ve done all the prep work and have your team in place.

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog/plan-now-to-buy-home-in-2015-166257/

Nov 24

NEW LISTING IN WEST HARTFORD!

West Hartford, CT 061103 beds, 2 baths, $169,900

Comments:

THIS 3 BEDROOM CAPE LOCATED ON A DEAD END IS A JEWEL WATING TO BE POLISHED. SOME BIG TICKET ITEMS ARE DONE INCLUDING ROOF, VINYL SIDING AND REBUILT CHIMNEY. ADDITIONALLY THIS HOME BOASTS CENTRAL AIR, HARDWOOD FLOORS, A 2 CAR DETACHED GARAGE & NICE YARD. THE LIVING ROOM W/FIREPLACE & DINING ROOM ARE BOTH GOOD SIZED. YOUR COSMETIC UPDATES WILL TRANSFORM THIS HOUSE INTO A BEAUTIFUL HOME! TREMENDOUS VALUE AT $169,900!

  • Listing Information:

    • West Hartford
    • CT
    • 06110
    • W Hartford
    • Hartford
    • $169,900
    • G10005191
    • Single Family
    • Resale/New
    • Active
  • Property Information:

    • Cape Cod
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1954
    • 1264
    • 0.1700
    • Full Basement, Unfinished
    • Detached
    • 5064
    • Central Air
    • Hot Air
    • Vinyl Siding
    • Gutters, Paved Drive
    • No
    • Auto Garage Door Opener, Cable – Available, Fireplace, Internet – Available
    • Dishwasher, Hood, Microwave, Oven/Range, Refrigerator, Washer
    • Public Water Connected; Public Sewer Connected;
    • Level Topography, Neighborhood
  • Listing School Information:

    • Sedgwick
    • Wolcott
    • Conard
    • Keller Williams Realty

Nov 18

JUST LISTED!!! BEAUTIFUL DUTCH COLONIAL IN WEST HARTFORD!

West Hartford, CT 061073 beds, 2 baths, $329,900

  • Listing Information:

    • West Hartford
    • CT
    • 06107
    • W Hartford
    • Hartford
    • $329,900
    • G701271
    • Single Family
    • Resale/New
    • Active
  • Property Information:

    • Colonial
    • 3
    • 2
    • 2
    • 1940
    • 1806
    • 0.2300
    • Full Basement, Partially Finished
    • Attached
    • 7377
    • Individual Unit(s)
    • Baseboard,Radiator
    • Aluminum
    • Fence, Fenced Area, Fenced Yard, Stone Wall
    • No
    • Cable – Available
    • Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, Hood, Microwave, Oven/Range, Refrigerator, Washer
    • Public Water Connected; Public Sewer Connected;
    • Level Topography, Neighborhood
  • Listing School Information:

    • Sedgwick
    • Webster Hill
    • Conard
    • Keller Williams Realty

Nov 06

JUST LISTED!!! EASY LIVING IN THIS LIKE NEW 55+, FEATURING 2 CAR ATTACHED GAR, 3BR, 2 1/2 BATHS & AMAZING SUNSET VIEWS !

15 WEST PINE WAY #9 Plainville, CT 06062

3 beds, 2.1 baths, $279,900

Comments:

EASY LIVING IN THIS LIKE NEW 55+, FEATURING 2 CAR ATTACHED GAR, 3BR, 2 1/2 BATHS & AMAZING SUNSET VIEWS OVER THE MARSH FROM YOUR DECK, LIVING ROOM & 1ST FLOOR MASTER BR. THIS LARGEST MODEL END UNIT ON A PREMIUM LOT OFFERS OPEN CONCEPT IN A GREAT LOCATION!

  • Listing Information:

    • 15 WEST PINE WAY #9
    • Plainville
    • CT
    • 06062
    • Plainville
    • Hartford
    • $279,900
    • G700212
    • Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
    • Resale/New
    • Pine Meadow
    • New
  • Property Information:

    • Townhouse
    • 3
    • 2.1
    • 2006
    • 2067
    • Full Basement
    • Attached
    • Assigned
    • 5721
    • Central Air
    • Heat: Warm Air; Water Heater: Natur
    • No
    • 2.0
    • Deck
    • No
    • Slider, Foyer
    • Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher, Disposal, Hood, Oven/Range, Refrigerator
    • Public Water Connected; Public Sewer Connected;
    • 257
    • Grounds Maintenance, Association Insurance, Management, Snow Removal
  • Listing School Information:

    • Wheeler
    • Plainville
    • Keller Williams Realty

 

http://romeara.kwhomesct.com/listing/mlsid/106/propertyid/G700212/

Oct 17

West Hartford Leaf Bag Collection Service Begins Oct. 20

The 10-week program will run through Dec. 26.

West Hartford Leaf Bag Collection Service Begins Oct. 20

From the Public Works Department:

The Town of West Hartford’s leaf bag collection service begins on Monday, Oct. 20 and will continue for 10 weeks until Dec. 26, 2014.

Only 30-gallon, biodegradable leaf bags will be collected; no plastic bags. Leaf bags should be free of grass, twigs, rocks and trash, and should not weigh more than 60 lbs. There is no limit to the number of bags a resident can place at the curb. Simply place your leaf bags at the curb by 6:00 AM on your trash collection day, or sooner, and a truck will come by to pick them up. Crews will advance into other collection areas once they have completed their day’s assignment and may pick-up your bags before your trash day.

Leaf bags are commonly found at hardware and grocery stores. For a listing of leaf bag suppliers, go to the Department of Public Works web site:www.westhartford.org/publicworks.

Public Works offers a residential leaf voucher disposal program free of charge to eligible residents. The voucher program is available during the leaf collection season which runs from October 20, 2014 through December 26, 2014. Vouchers allow your contractor to dump leaves, generated from your residential property only, free of charge. Residents may use as many vouchers as needed during the 10-week collection period to dispose of their leaves. The leaf voucher guidelines and documents are found on the Public Works web site,www.westhartford.org/publicworks.

There are other options to bagging leaves. Consider mulching your leaves with your mower. Make a couple of passes over your lawn until leaves are ground down into a fine leaf mulch. The end product is a good source of nitrogen for spring growth. Leaf compost also enriches the soil in gardens and flower beds.

If you don’t want to wait for the weekly pick up, residents may bring their bagged leaves to the Recycling Center at 25 Brixton Street and dispose of them there. Leaves in plastic bags will need to be emptied in the appropriate area. The Recycling Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Saturday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. An annual fee base permit is required and may be obtained from the Department of Public Works.

Please note leaf bags and leaf piles cannot be placed in the street because they pose a hazard to traffic, clog storm drains and impede snow plowing operations. The Town’s Compliance Officer routinely monitors collection areas and will issue written warnings and then a fine for each day that the leaves remain in the street.

In 2009, the Town of West Hartford went to a leaf bag collection program. Since then, the Town has saved annually about $800,000 in expenses that were incurred with the leaf vacuum program.

In addition, there are many other benefits to the residents and the Town. First, West Hartford residents can rake and bag at their own pace. Residents will never have to worry about missing their opportunity for leaf pick-up because the service extends the entire leaf season. Weather is also no longer an issue with a leaf bag collection. Bags can get collected in rain or snow. Equally important, bagged leaves stay put. No more leaf piles in the street causing hazardous driving conditions, narrowing of the roads, and clogging catch basins. Leaves will not blow into your neighbor’s yard or back onto yours. Lastly, from an environmental standpoint, leaf vacuum machines are heavy energy users and polluters. With less of these types of vehicles on the road, we all benefit from cleaner air.

For more information on the 2014 Leaf Collection program, call the Department of Public Works at 561-8100 or visitwww.westhartford.org/publicworks. You may also call the Leaf Collection hotline at 860-561-7954 for daily updates or turn on West HartfordCommunity Television, Comcast channel 5 or go to their website www.whctv.org.

 

http://patch.com/connecticut/westhartford/west-hartford-leaf-bag-collection-service-begins-oct-20#.VD1lpyldWPw

Oct 14

10 Tips for the October Gardener

10 Tips for the October Gardener

1. Prepare houseplants to come inside before the first frost. Scout for insects and rinse foliage and containers.

2. Pot up tulips, hyacinths and other pre-chilled bulbs and store in a cool, dark place until ready to force. To begin pre-bloom dormancy for amaryllis, stop watering it and place in a cool, dark place.

3. Pot up some chives and oregano to bring indoors and use all winter long. In areas not hit by frost, there is still time to harvest and dry oregano leaves.

4. Plant bulbs: shallots and garlic for culinary use, flowering bulbs for beauty.

5. Beets, parsnips, and carrots can be covered with a thick layer of straw or leaves and left in the ground for harvest, as needed, during the winter. Pumpkins and winter squash should have hard rinds before being picked and stored.

6. Renovate the lawn by thatching or aerating if needed. Keep any areas seeded in September well watered.

7. Replace spent annuals with frost tolerant hardy mums, asters, pansies or kale.

8. Remove plant debris from the flower and vegetable gardens. Bag any diseased plant parts and put it in the trash or take it to a landfill but do not compost.

9. Avoid the spring rush and have your soil tested now by the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory

10. Continue mowing the lawn until turf growth stops.

For more information, please visit the UConn Home and Garden Education Center, or call 877-486-6271.

 

http://patch.com/connecticut/westhartford/10-tips-october-gardener#.VD1kDSldWPw

Oct 10

This Weekend in Connecticut: October 10-13, 2014 – Connecticut’s Cookin’

Connecticut’s Cookin’

Connecticut is cooking up a whole lot of fun during Columbus Day weekend. Sample from more than 150 brews at the 38th Brewfest at the Beach, Ocean Beach Park, New London (Friday). Celebrate the bastions of culinary creativity at the Garlic & Harvest Festival, a must for the garlic lover, at the Bethlehem fairgrounds (Saturday-Sunday). Work off your seasonal indulgences by running or supporting the runners at the NU Marathon & Half Marathon starting at Bushnell Park in Hartford (Saturday).

NU Hartford Marathon banner promo

Enjoy the gorgeous harbor view and the attention to details at the Romance on the Harbor package from theDelamar Greenwich Harbor . Package includes: Deluxe accommodations for two; welcome drink at check-in, in-room bottle of champagne OR wine (choice of red or white); chocolate covered strawberries OR cheese plate delivered to your room; bouquet of flowers and rose petal turndown; $150 dining credit to your choice of the following restaurants: l’escale (French), Valbella (Northern Italian), Morello Bistro (Italian Bistro) or Barcelona (Spanish tapas); continental breakfast in bed for two; and guaranteed 1 p.m. late check-out. Rates from: $515-$595.

More weekend choices:

Intimate Apparel – Westport County Playhouse, Westport 06880
Watch as Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage weaves an intricate tapestry of the joys, sorrows, tragedy, and triumph of a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress in early 20th century Manhattan as she negotiates the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true (Friday-Sunday).

Brew at the Zoo – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport 06610
Enjoy an adults-only event featuring German inspired fare, craft beers, live music and silent auction. Have fun at this early Halloween event by coming in disguise (Saturday).

Chili Challenge/Arts & Crafts Fair – Windsor Town Green, Windsor 06095
Join in this premier festival featuring juried crafters offering handmade products and paintings, refreshments and the ever-popular Chili Challenge (Saturday).

Fiesta Latina – Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven 06510
View performances of traditional and contemporary Latin American music and dance, along with games, a fossil dig, live animals, crafts, face painting, and other activities for the whole family (Saturday).

Chowder Days – Mystic Seaport, Mystic 06355
Stroll through our village and enjoy live music, or climb aboard our steamboat Sabino for leaf-peeping from the water at Mystic Seaport’s Chowder Days. There will be seven kinds of chowders to select from, clam cakes assorted gourmet sandwiches and desserts (Saturday-Monday).

Chowdafest – Calf Pasture Beach Park, Norwalk 06851
Try more than 30 different chowders, soups and bisques; then vote on your favorites. Enjoy incredible cooking demonstrations by award-winning chefs (Sunday).

These highlights represent just a sampling of the many exciting events taking place across Connecticut this weekend. For more information about these and other entertaining activities, use the Events Quick Search on the right side of the page.

 

This Weekend in Connecticut
October 10-13, 2014

MIDDLETOWN
October 10-12 – “A World of Dreams: New Landscape Paintings by Tula Telfair”- Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, 06459. Time: noon-5 p.m. The exhibition A World of Dreams includes new large-scale paintings in which Professor of Art Tula Telfair presents monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that are simultaneously awe-inspiring and intimate. Admission: Free. (860) 685-3355

NORWICH
October 10-12 – 2014 Renaissance in Pastel National Exhibition – Slater Memorial Museum, 108 Crescent St., Norwich, 06360. Time: Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The Connecticut Pastel Society is a statewide fine arts organization with a national outreach. Admission: Adults $3, seniors and student $2, children (12 and under) free. (860) 425-5563

PORTLAND
October 10-12 – Portland Fair – Exchange Club Fairgrounds, Rte. 17A, Portland, 06480. Time: Fri. 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. An autumn tradition with competitive, educational, crafts, hobbies and commercial exhibits, food booths. Admission: Adults $10, seniors $6, children (under 10) free. Free off-site parking. (860) 342-0188

RIVERTON
October 10-12 – Riverton Fair – Riverton Fairgrounds, 16 Main Street/Route 20, Riverton 06065. Time: Fri. 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Old-fashioned country fair on scenic Farmington River with exhibits, animals, vendors, food, midway rides, music, wood chopping events, and more. Admission: Adults $6, children (12 and under) free. (860) 379-0060

LITCHFIELD
October 11 – Fall Festival – First Congregational Church, 21 Torrington Rd., Litchfield, 06759. Time: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Attic treasures, silent auction, book sale, children’s activities, tag sale, baked good, international gift shop, and lunch available. Admission: Free. (860) 567-8705

OAKDALE
October 11-13 – Monty’s Fall Festival – The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village, 1650 Hartford New London Tpke., Oakdale, 06370. Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This Columbus Day Weekend discover free family-friendly activities with admission to the park including fall crafts, moon bounce, scavenger hunt, petting zoo and special events happening every day. Admission: Free with paid admission to the park. (860) 443-4367

ORANGE
October 12 – New Haven & Derby Model Railroad Club Model Train Show – High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Rd., Orange, 06477. Time: 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Show with 100 vendor tables, operating layouts in all popular gauges, both for viewing and for kids to operate and more. Free parking, wheelchair accessible. Admission: Adults $5, students (12-18) $1, children (under 12) free. (203) 795-1020

 

http://www.ctvisit.com/thisweekend

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