Category Archives: buying real estate

Stat Sunday: Owners Are Happier Than Renters

Owning a Home Makes More $ense

A significant majority of today’s home owners and renters agree owning a home is a smart long-term decision. According to a survey released by the National Association of Realtors®, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe over several years it makes more sense to own a home. 

The American Attitudes About Home Ownership survey reported a majority of home owners and a strong percentage of renters “agree” or “strongly agree” that owning a home provides a healthy and stable environment for raising a family and that it helps them meet long-term financial goals. In addition, 93% of owners surveyed would purchase a home again. (No suprise there.)

However, owners and renters do not agree on everything. More than half of owners reported feeling very or extremely satisfied with the overall quality of their family life. Only 1/3 of renters reported the same level of satisfaction. According to Greater New Haven Assoication of Realtors home owners also report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness when compared to renters.  But don’t feel too bad for renters.  A majority surveyed plan on trading in their leases for mortgages and a better quality of life.  63% reported they are at least somewhat likely to buy a home at some point in the future.

Why Aren’t Renters Making the Leap Right Now?

In today’s market, many aspiring home owners are faced with worries about job security and creditworthiness. 3 out of 5 renters surveyed who said they are very or extremely likely to buy considered job security and credit worthiness to be obstacles. Also, 80% of renters noted that having enough money for a down payment and closing costs were also obstacles.  If you’re a renter, this is another good reason to contact a mortgage officer if you are thinking about buying real estate. They will look at your credit and can advise you on what to do to be in the best financial shape to get a mortgage.  See my previous post for more buyer tips.

When Buying is NOT the Best Choice

Buying a home isn’t always the best option for everyone.   There are many factors that go into the decision.  For example, is your job stable?  Do you plan on moving in a couple of years?  Good things to consider if you’re a renter thinking about becoming a home owner. Watch this quick video for more pros and cons of owning and renting.  

The American Attitudes About Home Ownership survey was conducted online within the U.S. and fielded October 6-20, 2010. A total of 3,793 adults, 18 and older were surveyed, including 1,880 home owners, 1,115 renters, and 798 young adults. All samples came from the Harris Poll online database and were weighted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to be representative of the U.S. general population of adults 18 and older. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

Stat Sunday: New Haven County Market Report January 2011

Good News for Buyers!

Sales were down slightly last month in New Haven county when compared to January levels of the past two years.  There were 295 homes sold in New Haven County last month (single family homes and condos).  This is down nearly 30% from the 417 that were sold in January of 2010 and 42% lower than the 509 sales in December 2010.  Last month’s sales were at their lowest level compared to January of 2009 and 2010.   So all these stats don’t sound good for sellers, right?  Well, it’s not BAD for sellers, but it’s definitely better to be buying a house these days rather than selling one. 

I compiled market statistics for New Haven county for last month and have included the report here.  If you want market statistics for a specific Connecticut town please let me know.  I can research information like days on market, average sales price, selling price per square foot and much more.  Shoot me an email with your request and I’ll get you the stats right away.

For Sale: Ranch-Style Condo with River Views in Wallingford


Sip coffee from your deck as you watch the peaceful waters of the Quinnipiac River roll by.  One-level living and handicap accesible, this end-unit condo has lots of windows and is bright– even on dark days!

Convenient to Highways, Shopping and Restaurants! CLICK on the picture to see Detailed Information, including community info) about this nearly-new, 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo priced at $179,900.

If you’re like me and want to see a little more of the surrounding area check out the Google street level map below.  Click on the arrows for a 360 degree view of the neighborhood!

Please contact me with any questions or if you’d like to set up a private showing!

3 Tips for Home Buyers

1. Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan

House shopping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a big disappointment if you fall in love with a house only to realize you can’t afford it.  Avoid this scenario by getting pre-qualified for a mortgage.  Find a mortgage person you trust and have them run your numbers.  It’s much better to know up-front what you can afford, rather than wasting time and energy looking at a house that you will definitely NOT be buying. 

2. Find a Good Real Estate Agent to Represent You (Buyer’s Agent)

In Connecticut, the real estate buyer has a few options in regard to representation.  You can represent yourself (which many buyers do when they first start looking, but then quickly realize a Realtor can help them). You can have the Selling Agent represent you and the Seller (if both parties agree, this is known as Dual Agency). Or you can enlist the help of a real estate agent to represent solely your interests.  This last scenario is called Buyer Agency, and must be agreed to in writing before you and the agent go out house shopping.  In my opinion, all buyers should have a real estate agent representing them.  The agent works solely on your behalf, and it doesn’t cost you a dime!  Your agent is paid by the Sellers/Selling Agent at the Closing, unless you agree otherwise (in writing of course).  If you are shopping for a house there really is no reason why you should not have a real estate agent working for you.  They can help you every step of the way.   There are many rules and guidelines covering buyer agency detailed online at :

3. Never Buy a House in the Dark

Around my mid-twenties I was living in Vermont, strapped for cash, and desperate for a car.  My boyfriend (now husband) and I went to look at a used Subaru wagon at a guy’s house in the town we lived in.  The Suby sounded great from the newspaper ad’s description (translation: cheap) and we were both excited to see what we hoped would be my soon-to-be new car.  When we went to check out the vehicle it was late in the day, and getting dark fast.  We took the wagon for a quick spin around the neighborhood and decided that this Subaru was definitely my next car.   We paid the seller the few hundred dollars he was asking and I hopped back in and drove the car home.  Needless to say it wasn’t the smartest decision I ever made.  When I saw the car in full daylight, I realized it was in much worse shape than I thought.  The big rust spots on the outside of the door went all the way thru to the inside. Not good.  Especially not good in a Vermont winter!  My husband still says the best thing we ever got out of that car was the screwdriver that the previous owner left in it. 

A good rule of thumb: never buy a car or a house in the dark.

Follow these three tips and you are on your way to being one happy home buyer!

The Best Real Estate App For Your Smartphone

The mobile app for your smartphone is definitely a must-have for anyone interested in real estate.  Whether you are actively looking to buy a home, currently selling one, or just curious about the market, the app is very cool! Even real estate agents are using this smartphone app to help get the job done.  (Yes, other agents besides me!)

I like this app mainly because of two features: the “Nearby Homes for Sale” button and the “Nearby Open Houses” button.  You can click either of these buttons for a location-based search of properties on the market and/or ones having an Open House.  So if you’re driving by a house with a for sale sign out front (assuming it’s listed with a Realtor) and you want more information, you can just click on the app and then Nearby Homes for Sale.  (After you’ve pulled your car over, of course.)  Once you click on the button a list of available homes pop ups and Voila! You can easily find the one you’re looking for.  You’ll get detailed information including price, acreage,  and square footage.  You can even see photos of the house if available (and they usually are).   

Sunday drives can even be a bit more productive with this app!  Is there a neighborhood that you like or want to live in?  If you happen to be in that area on a Sunday just click on the app on your phone and tap the Nearby Open Houses button.  Ding! A list pops up (or map view if you prefer) and you’re on your way to checking out the Open Houses in the neighborhood!

There are many more outstanding features to the app and I could go on, but the bottom line is that this is one cool app anyone interested in real estate should have on their phone! You can download the app at

%d bloggers like this: