Robin Kencel

Greenwich Historical Society's Landmark Recognition 2014 Awardees Event

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 8.05.31 AMThe 2014 prestigious Landmark Recognition Program will be plaquing five homes and structures in Greenwich that exhibit remarkable architectural design and significance.  Included among them are the last remaining Gentleman's Farm in Greenwich, an extraordinary estate in back country once owned by the Hirschorns and now owned by Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, the Greenwich post office, the Riverside Avenue Bridge and an Italianate home in the Cos Cob historic district of Mead Ave.

This year's speaker is quite special:   the CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Stephanie Meeks.   Come see some of the rich architectural gems within Greenwich and hear Stephanie speak about preservation-- looking forward. Tickets may be obtained through the Greenwich Historical Society at www.greenwichhistory.org.

 

Summer Safety Program for Kindergartens Held By the American Red Cross

79ec53fd5b5b0ac9e3657c2d44f63eb1This June, The American Red Cross will again be offering their summer comprehensive safety education program called Safety Town for Greenwich children entering Kindergarten. Topics covered in their Safety Town program include automobile, pedestrian, fire, bike, gun, animal, playground and water safety along with information about medicines and poisons. They also will discuss traveling on trains and buses and stranger awareness.

Safety Town is conducted under the guidance of classroom teachers, police officers, firefighters, EMS and other community helpers.

Each child will be fitted and receive their own bike safety helmet. You can register your child at www.mysafetytown.com

Bidding Wars: Or, Why You Should Never Love Something That Can't Return the Feeling

ChessMatchIf you are in the market to buy a new home this spring, you may find yourself with other hopefuls nipping at your heels as you hone in on a property. Certainly if you are looking for a home between $1.5 million and $3 million dollars in Old Greenwich or Riverside you can expect to have some company at the bidding table.

As realtors, we can give you a good sense of history, current trends, and what we have learned in the many hours observing how buyers think, watching how decisions are made and offer numbers arrived at (by the way, the first two of these aren't always accurately reported through the big online real estate sites and the latter isn't something that they can convey). Representing out of town buyers in a multiple bid scenario last week, reminded me once again, that real estate is not always rationale.

The age old, but very effective list of Pros and Cons of a home is a helpful exercise to review the home in a logical way. Ask yourself: At what number would I be comfortable walking away from this house if someone overbids me? The answer to this can keep you from falling into an auction frenzy mentality, as can be the case if multiple offers go to sealed bids or a deadline for submission.

Above all else--and this is the toughest one-- resist falling in love with something that can't love you back.  In the end, a house is just materials.  What makes it a home is you.  And there's more than one place where you can do that.

Nevertheless, losing a bidding war is never pleasant. And hearing "where one door closes another opens", feels like a bad pun when you have just seen the front door that you were hoping to walk through slam shut. Take a breath. Exercise patience. I assure you, there is another house that will find its way to you.

Fifty Shades of Grey and It's Relevance to Greenwich Real Estate

50-Shades-of-Grey-PosterGone are the days when you could simply call your real estate agent to list your home and have it be as simple as a tour with them to review how lights and the alarm system worked. As one client who is days away from completing a re-imagining of their home that included painting the entire first floor rooms, removing curtains, taking away nearly all of their furniture and bringing in a stager, shared, "I love it but you can't believe how much work it's been". For the unveiling of this home, sit tight until March 3rd.

So here's the skinny on listing your home in Greenwich: If you are trying to attract buyers who are young families and particularly young families living or influenced by sophisticated city life such as Manhattan, you need to have them open the door to your home and fall in love with it. And while many folks claim "I can see past the decorating", it's so much easier to catch them at "hello" when the front door is opened.

Creating a feeling often starts with the color palette. 2014 was all about the neutrals-- maybe not 50 grey variations but just about. What colors are going to be popular in home design in 2015?

Like many things, color trends in interior design tend to cycle. Our review of 2015 trends shows that the neutrals will still be a mainstay but color will make a return. And not just any color. Bold colors, including pinks and purples as seen in the new fabrics of China Seas and bedding of Matouk (carried at Lynnens in Greenwich) will be popular along with Mediterranean blues that are reminiscent of the church tops in Santorini. Miles Redd, (a longtime favorite of mine) is always one to watch, and is working in palettes of the 1960s colors. Alessandra Branca, believes that colors inspired by the Renaissance will return.

Are the whites, greys and off-whites gone? Not as long as Restoration Hardware, Johnathan Adler, Mitchell Gold and other major furnishing companies feature them in the their line.

Speaking of color shades, and specifically, Fifty Shades of Grey--the long anticipated movie is now playing at the Greenwich Bow Tie Cinema. On Valentine's Day, you can see it as early as 10:45 a.m. or catch the last show at 9:45 p.m.

Color Forecasting for 2015: Fifty Shades of Grey

50-Shades-of-Grey-PosterGone are the days when you could simply call your real estate agent to list your home and have it be as simple as a tour with them to review how lights and the alarm system worked. As one client getting ready to list their home said to us this week while knee deep decluttering 20 years of home life and considering quite a robust proposal from a stager that includes painting out rooms and staging 13 of them, "This is more than we ever thought about!" It can certainly be overwhelming.

But here's the rub: If you are trying to attract buyers who are young families and particularly young families living or influenced by sophisticated city life such as Manhattan, you need to have them open the door to your home with a sensibility that resonates with them.

Creating a feeling often starts with the color palette. So what colors are going to be popular in home design in 2015? In the past year, we have seen a preponderance of white, ivory, and grey--- all shades. This color combination was established by the the big furniture vendors--Restoration Hardware and their linen look, Mitchell Gold and their white and grey showrooms, Johnathan Adler with his white pottery... the list goes on and on.

Like many things, color trends in interior design tend to cycle. Our review of 2015 trends shows that the neutrals will still be a mainstay but color will make a return. And not just any color. Bold colors, including pinks and purples as seen in the new fabrics of China Seas and bedding of Matouk (carried at Lynnens in Greenwich) will be popular along with Mediterranean blues that are reminiscent of the church tops in Santorini.  Miles Redd, (a longtime favorite of Robin's) is always one to watch, and is working in palettes of the 1960s colors.  Alessandra Branca, believes that colors inspired by the Renaissance will return.

Speaking of color shades, and specifically, Fifty Shades of Grey--the long anticipated movie is now playing at the Greenwich Bow Tie Cinema .  On Valentine's Day, you can see it as early as 10:45 a.m. or catch the last show at 9:45 p.m.

Roofs, Gutters and Snow Damage

IMG_1760Greenwich has seen more  than 14" of snowfall in 2015. The Fieldstone Group has been talking about snow removal, snow safety and protecting your home and property from snow damage. We should have listened to our own advice posted on February 2nd.

We now know firsthand that failing to remove snow from flat roofs and not preparing gutters to avoid ice damming can lead to water entering your home. The only silver lining to this unfortunate experience is that we have solutions to share with you.

Flat roofs:

1.  Shovel.   Really.  The surface of flat rooms are often metal or wood, with a membrane underneath.  If that membrane has a tear, and a large amount of snow is sitting, melting a bit, then sitting, there is a possibility that it can find it's way through a seam into the ceiling of your home.  If water is coming into your home, put heavy contractor grade plastic over the flat roof until the problem can be looked at properly in warmer weather.IMG_1762

2.  Gutter Damming.  Snow melts, gutters back up, and soon there is no way for water to wash off the roof.  As the frozen water begins to melt in the gutters it can also find it's way into the house, working down windows and walls.  Home Depot in Portchester, ten minutes from Greenwich Avenue,  have roof deicing cable kits and roof melt ice.  Amazon has a number of heat cables and deicing products.

 

Snow Safety During The Greenwich Storm

IMG_1751Looks like the weathermen were off by a week because today feels like the "Will it ever stop snowing?" day. While you may be enjoying the replay of those final minutes of that epic Superbowl battle yesterday, take a moment to think about snow safety:

Clear Roofs and Gutters: Last week, we reminded you to be sure snow is not sitting on roofs and that gutters are clear to prevent ice damming. When the storm is behind us, you may want a roofer or your landscaper to brush the snow off the roof and check the gutters.

Check Windows and Doors: Today, we are encouraging you to walk around your house and check window seals. The snow is now over 20". Depending upon the overhang for your windows, snow may be piling up on the ledges and beginning to creep inside, if any seals are loose. The same goes for french doors. Water is the worst nightmare for wood--snow that gets into cracks turns to water and water that sits on wood destroys the wood.

Protect Bushes and Plants: Right now, it's 27 degrees outside--not so bad. So if you are game for pulling on your boots and bundling up, take a walk around the outside of your house with shovel or broom in hand and gently shake the snow off bushes and plants. That will lessen the risk of ice burn and broken branches caused by heavy snow weight.