Blog :: 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Market Your Home During the Winter

Top Ten Reasons To Market Your Home Through The Winter and During The Holidays
10 Reasons that cannot be overlooked:

1. Wall St bonuses are expected to be good. Since they are paid in December and January,this is the time when those buyersaremaking decisions.
2. Winter prospects are more serious buyers. Who else wades through snow and subzero temperatures to see houses?
3. Throughout the holiday season, you may restrict showings during your personal family events. Buyers are more understanding at this time of year.
4. There is less competition for buyers.
5. Corporate transferees, who need to buy a home now, cant wait until Spring.
6. You may receive more money for your home now because you have less competition.
7. Your home looks better during the holidays.
8. January is traditionally the biggest transfer month and you must be on the market to capture that market.
9. You may have fewer actual showings, but more qualified and motivated prospects.
10. When you sell during the winter you have an opportunity to buy during the spring, when many homes are on the market.

HOT Private Listing!

Antique Farmhouse on Calhoun St next to Averill Farm. Best Washington location. 22 acres can be divided into two lots. Potential to sell some land to a neighbor or do a conservation easement. Also possible to use existing house as guest house and build larger house in the field. 3 bedroom 2 bath house with office, barns, rustic caretakers cottage. Stone walls, antique trees, and wide open fields. This is what buyers coming to Washington dream of! Expansion plans for house available. Offered competitively at $1,975,000. (Comps 2 years ago at 3.5 mil so 45% discount already priced in!)

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Thanksgiving Rentals

Would you like to spend Thanksgiving in the Country? Do you have an overflow of houseguests and need a place for them to stay? Check out these two short term rentals.

Lake Waramaug. 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths + office with day bed. Comfy family room, lots of flat land, gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar. All newly renovated. Avail November 21st 29th for $5000.

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Washington: 3-4 bedrooms 4.5 baths, all newly renovated, gourmet kitchen. Finished basement playroom/media room with pool table, ping pong, fuse ball. Available November 20th -25th for $3000.

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See www.staceymatthews.com for more photos.


 

Fall 2009: The Market, She's a Changin...

Well, the good news is the market is officially changing. I have never been busier, and I hear the same from other top brokers. Buyers are finally stepping up to the plate and many transactions are getting done. Pricing? Well that is another story.Lets just say there are great deals to be had. If inventory continues to move at this pace and the stock market remains stable, the bottom will be well in place (and behind us) soon. I expect we will have one of the most active Spring markets ever. Since August 1st (in Roxbury, Bridgewater and Washington) there are 19 sales and 3 under agreement.During this period in 2008, there were 12 sales. The 23 deals done (during this period) this year surpasses the 18 that were done in 2007 as well.If you have a specificquestion about market stats, please ask!

 

Here are 5examples of my activity TODAY:

 

 

1) New HOT Private Listing:

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Antique Farmhouse on Calhoun St next to Averill Farm. Best Washington location. 22 acres can be divided into two lots. Potential to do a conservation easement. Also possible to use existing house as guest house and build larger house in the field. 3 bedroom 2 bath house with office, barns, rustic caretakers cottage. Stone walls, antique trees, and wide open fields. This is what buyers coming to Washington dream of! Expansion plans for house available. Offered competitively at $1,975,000. (Comps 2 years ago at 3.5 mil so 45% discount already priced in!)

 

2)Big Price Reduction.

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Upper Church Hill Rd Washington. Great location among multi million $$ estates. Major upside here. 4 bedroom main house, 2 bedroom guest house, pool, pond, newhigh end kitchen, 3 car garage, all flat land. Just reduced again to $1,195,00!

 

3) Big Price Reduction.

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Set amidst 38 acres in Roxbury. 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths,6300 sq feet, wrap around deck. Finished basement with custom wine cellar, gym, playroom. Just reduced again to $1,995,000 (original price $3,100,000).

4) Big Price Reduction.

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Charming Renovated Washington Antique with its own putting green! 4-5 bedrooms, library, play room, sun porch, stone terrace. Just reduced to $695,000 (original price $1,025,000).

5) Sold!

Fast ExtSOLD Offered $825,000
 

 

 

 

NYTIMES Article "Country Places Seeking Squires"

Country Places Seeking Squires

 
Published: September 25, 2009

ROXBURY

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Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times. Literary associations have not yet sold the home of William Styron in Roxbury, above, which has been listed six months. The price has been reduced to $1.895 million.

Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times. Also in Roxbury awaiting a buyer is a colonial with pool and view, $2.895 million.

JUST as the leaves are beginning to turn along the country lanes, Stacey Matthews is anticipating a fall season that will transform the local housing market as well.

Nearing the end of a sales year so abysmally slow that the number of houses sold in Roxbury only ticked into the double digits last month, Ms. Matthews, an agent with William Raveis, has country homes galore to sell here in this part of Litchfield County.

She can offer houses connected with luminaries, houses with drop-dead views, and more than a few with impeccable interiors. But while her target buyers those in line for fat Wall Street bonuses have begun to browse in Litchfield over the past month or so, prime isnt the only descriptor theyre looking for in a weekend property.

Everybody wants a deal, Ms. Matthews said. Thats their No. 1 concern.

Thus, an air of resignation mingles with the scent of fall these days in the Litchfield hills. Throughout a region known to affluent weekenders as the anti-Hamptons, sale prices are generally down about 30 percent from asking, agents said. Many of the properties on the market have been heavily discounted.

Of course, deep discounts dont mean much if a property is grossly overpriced at the start, but the lower prices, accompanied by dramatic drops in overall sales volume, are a reflection of this markets hypersensitivity to slumps on Wall Street.

What we offer is a luxury, and its an unnecessary luxury, said Gael Hammer, an agent with Klemm Real Estate in Washington Depot. You can live without your second home.

The 10 closed sales in sparsely populated Roxbury during the first eight months of the year represented half of last years volume. Rates of decline were similar in Washington (15 sales), Bridgewater (4) and Warren (5).

Sales activity has definitely picked up since July. Klemm reports that 20 properties, worth a total of $30 million, in lower Litchfield are either under contract or on the verge of a contract since early August.

But the wait for this uptick has been painfully long. During previous recessions, the markets finite number of houses offered greater protection, said Mr. Hammer, who has sold in the area for 25 years. In those instances, inventory was never too far out in front of demand.

This time, the countryside has suffered more than some of its suburban neighbors. According to data from William Raveis, as of the end of August, many towns in the countys lower half had at least four years worth of inventory, based on the existing pace of sales. Buyers are using the surplus to their advantage: a house on 29 acres on the Washington side of Lake Waramaug is under contract for upward of $4 million, close to $2 million less than the asking price.

At this point, Ms. Matthews said, I dont even want to take listings from people who just want to test the market and see if they can get their price. They should just wait for five years, because buyers arent interested.

She is busily cutting prices on the listings she already has. Just last week, she reduced the price on the colonial in Roxbury where the literary lion William Styron wrote and entertained for decades.

Still owned by Mr. Styrons widow, Rose, the five-bedroom house is well suited to the weekender lifestyle, with an Adirondack-styled great room, a saltwater pool and a two-bedroom guest house. The downside is the old, worn kitchen, along with other needed updates. It was listed in May for $2.2 million; the new price is $1.895 million.

Elsewhere in town, a 6,000-square-foot Georgian colonial that appears to fulfill even the most demanding checklist has been on and off the market for two years or more. Arresting backyard view? Check, with an infinity-edge pool. Updated interiors? Check, complete with lower-level media room. Ample acreage? Seven. And even better, the property is on a dirt road, a chichi thing, as Ms. Matthews put it, in a place where nearly everybodys playing at living the rural lifestyle.

Still, only since the sellers lowered their price to $2.895 million from the original $3.2 million have buyers started asking serious questions.

Then theres the designer-perfect renovation across from the television actor Michael Lombardis house. Expanded, designed and furnished by the owners of the Tulip Tree Collection, a furniture store in Washington Depot, the house has the kind of kitchen that comes with two of everything (dishwashers, sinks, et cetera.).

Detail-oriented buyers would presumably swoon for the basket-weave patterned floor in the foyer (inspired by a French chateau), the varied tray ceilings, and the raised fireplace in the dining room (affording seated guests equal gazing privileges).

Originally offered at $2.75 million, the house is now down to $2.195 million, with rental as an option.

The second-home slowdown forced Wayne Piskura, the former owner of Tierney Realty in Roxbury, to merge his agency with Klemm. A fixture in the Roxbury market since the early 1990s, Mr. Piskura says he is hopeful that the worst is over.

 

My New AD Format in the LCT

I have received many great comments from people on my new ads in the Litchfield County Times. This is the first time they have ever run this style of ad, and it seems many people noticed. If you saw the ad and have any thoughts, please let me know.

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Catamount Adventure Park

Last weekend we went with our friends, the Bernsteins, to the Catamount Adventure Park.I was expecting a little easy zip lining (and sold it to my friends as such). But no...this is a serious adventure! They have 8 different levels from beginning to expert (think obstacle course in the treetops requiring balance, flexibility and strength). Oh and by the way, I personally challenge you if you think you are an expert (its hard). It involves aseries of rope courses going between the trees and you have to complete one level in order to qualify for the next. Ages 8 and up.

Here I am zipping (this was the only easy part).

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Here is my son: (I have another son too but he wimped out and had to be "saved" by a park ranger and lowered down from a tree). (Promise not to tell him that I sold him out in my blog!)

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And here is my husband:

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Ihighly recommend this Family bonding adventure. Thanks for taking the photos Brad! If you go, let me know what you think. SEE: Day Trips Activities