My Elementary School & Other Weird Places I’d Like to Live

When I was a kid I remember wishing that I could live at my school.  Not because I loved school so much I wanted to be there all the time.  (I was a good student, but let’s not go crazy.) But because I thought it would be really cool to have my run of the place, as my home.  I could envision a classroom as my bedroom, and so on.  To give you an idea of the layout, my elementary school was a single level and rectangular in shape, with one long hallway that ran all the way around the building.  The hallway opened to classrooms on either side, and in between some classrooms, there were long stretches of big windows that opened to courytards in the middle of the school.  As a child I could see having gardens in the courtyards, and playing there too.  I always thought it would be a really neat place to live. 

I still do actually.  I’ve always been able to envision myself living in a non-traditional space like a church or a fire station, or some other random building.  My husband and I once looked at buying a place in Vermont that had a loading dock.  It was a brick warehouse, but was manageable in size.  Manageable enough for us to consider transforming it into a home/studio anyway.  I don’t remember exactly why we didn’t go for it in the end.  But I think the main reason was its proximity to railroad tracks.  (They were about 15 feet behind the building.)  Good for a warehouse, bad for a house-house.

If you’re looking for a non-traditional home right now, there just happens to be a former church for sale in Noank, CT.

It’s definitely unique!  This heavenly property is available for a mere $895,000.  At that price it should be considered a sin not to buy it! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Click here if you’d like to see more information about this home!

I’m curious to hear if anyone out there lives in or has thought about living in a non-traditional home.  Please let me know your story!


Easy Tips to Get Your Home Ready for the Spring Market

Spring is finally right around the corner!  If you’re planning on putting your home on the market anytime soon, make it more appealing for potential buyers (and yourself) with these quick (and relatively easy) tips:


1. Trim bushes around home so they don’t block windows or architectural details. 

2. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.

3. Install new doorknobs on your front door.

4. Repair any cracks in the driveway.

5. Edge the grass around walkways and trees.

6. Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight.
7. Clear toys from the lawn.

8. Install a new mailbox.

9. Upgrade your outside lighting.

10. Buy a new doormat for the outside of your front door.

11. Clean your windows, inside and outside.

12. Polish or replace your house numbers.

13. Place a seasonal wreath on your door.


Whew!  After you’ve tackled all of that, take a break.  You’ve earned it!  Hopefully you’ll earn a few more looks from buyers too.  More looks mean more showings on your home.  And more showings usually lead to the word, S-O-L-D! 

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.

Stat Sunday: New Haven County Market Report December 2010

Most people I know who are interested in Real Estate generally like to talk numbers. For them, and others like them, I’ve started, “Stat Sunday.” Each Sunday I’ll post some new markets statistics for your reading pleasure. 

This Sunday, I decided to start at home, with a Market Report jam packed with facts and figures on the real estate market here in New Haven County.  I figured I’d better get this report in before the calendar turned to February!

Let’s Talk Prices

The Median Sales Price in December was $210,700, up 5.4% from $199,900 in December of 2009 and up 12.4% from $187,500 last month. The Average Sales Price in December was $249,895, up 3.0% from $242,559 in December of 2009 and up 11.4% from $224,375 last month. December 2010 ASP was at a mid range compared to December of 2009 and 2008.

Want more statistics like Time on Market, List Price vs. Sold Price, etc? Click the link to read the full report in a .pdf file. New Haven County December 2010 

Contact Me If You’d Like Market Statistics On A Specific Town!

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