Blog :: 12-2011
I've been paying close attention to the popular online searches involving Greenwich CT and Greenwich CT Real Estate. This month we have had a lot of activity with the Tudor Jones Greenwich Christmas Light Show and Christmas Tree disposal, which is normal for this time of the year, but some other searches include:
I spend a lot of time looking at the popular searches in Greenwich, CT so that I can cater to what people are interested in on GreenwichCT.com. I hope to write a little something on all of the major topics in town. In addition, this is helpful for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes making sure that my site is indexed well when google comes around.
If you don't see something on my website that you might have an interest in please don't hesitate to speak up. I'm always looking for ways to improve upon GreenwichCT.com. While I'm focused on Greenwich CT Real Estate, I am also interested in talking about just about anything regarding Greenwich, CT.
For those of you who are interested, I have started a section on GreenwichCT.com about short sales. I have spent a lot of time talking to buyers interested in Greenwich CT Real Estate about short sales that occur in Greenwich. As you can read on my short sale section, in most cases buyers don't even know when they are looking at short sales as opposed to standard listings. In most cases I recommend that buyers not specifically look for short sales, but look for the best house for them. If it happens to be a short sale then we know how to attack it!
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to short sales, they happen all over Greenwich ranging from Cos Cob, to North Mianus, but also happen in Riverside, Old Greenwich and even Belle Haven. Although they can be harder transactions than a normal sale, many times they work out great for the buyer and don't add too much stress. That's where I come in and can help out in the process.
Obviously GreenwichCT.COM is the best place to go for your Greenwich CT Real Estate news and information, but for those of you who like to venture out into the digital world a bit more, the town of Greenwich has just revamped its website GreenwichCT.org. After spending an estimated $50,000, the new website went live a couple weeks ago. For those of you who have been going to the website periodically you might see some similarities as the masthead/header is essentially the same. From there the site has been significantly improved upon. I find it a great resource for town information and periodic news.
Greenwich Time recently published an article on the increase in generator supply and how it has become more and more common in Greenwich real estate. Having bought a house in Greenwich that came with a generator I have to say that they are wonderful. I am unlucky enough to live on a street that commonly looses power in any storm, but lucky enough to have a gas line to the house. The previous owner had put in a generator that is tied to the gas line, meaning that it never has to be filled. Wonderful thing.
After the past couple storms all you have to do is close your eyes and listen to see who's powered by a generator. These puppies aren't that quiet. Areas like North Mianus and Cos Cob have been (knock on wood) much more fortunate than most of Greenwich and even Riverside and Old Greenwich. Parts of Riverside and Old Greenwich were defining after storms as every 50 yards a generator was humming.
As I sit here on a snowless Christmas (time) day, I'm curious to see how this winter will play out. While I'm not looking forward to shoveling, I do wish there was snow around here. There's nothing like a great cover of white fluff over all of the homes in town. Lets hope that we get enough snow for a good cover, but not too much that the generators will have to come into affect.
I'm not sure what all of the commotion is about the Prudential sale and frankly don't feel it signifies anything more than a classic division sale/takeover. I have spent a fair bit of time watching the market and trying to figure out how the Greenwich CT real estate market is moving, but have yet to find anything that would bring up this trade. It has nothing to do with the Greenwich real estate market (obviously) and, in my opinion, shouldn't signal that big of a change in the overall real estate market.
For those of you who don't know the full story, Brookfield Residential Property Services purchased Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services for $110 million.
I thought this article started to shed some light on the interesting movements in Greenwich CT Real Estate office closings and sales this year including the closing of Engel & Völkers and the sale of Prudential CT Real Estate to Brookfield Residential Property Services.
Greenwich market tough for local firms
Published 02:41 p.m., Wednesday, December 14, 2011
While our local market is slowly recovering, both in terms of volume and price increases, the toll this housing recession has taken on local firms has been severe.
With high fixed expenses for rent, advertising, utilities and support staff, the pressure of reduced income has caused firms to close branch offices, layoff staff and in two cases shut down or sell their business.
Open for business in 2007, Engel & Völkers' Greenwich "shop" on Greenwich Avenue had a lot of promise.
An excellent walk-in street location (but limited parking) plus access to wealthy European real estate buyers with highly valued Euros made a lot of sense to me.
While the startup of any new business is slow, it did gain some traction but ultimately failed in August.
The store front is now vacant, as many of you have seen.
More recently, Prudential CT real estate, with four Greenwich addresses, has had its corporate sponsor sell its real estate business enterprise to Brookfield Residential Property Services.
However, some Prudential real estate brokerage franchises, including those in Greenwich, will be able to continue to use the Prudential brand, depending on the terms of their franchise agreements.
Like most businesses, real estate is not a walk in the park, or land trust.
Advice to buyers from Barbara Corcoran
The "queen" of real estate and NBC's chief contributor on the topic is Barbara Corcoran.
Having sold her real estate firm, The Corcoran Group, in 2001 for $70 million, she's now the only female "shark" swimming in ABC's popular "Shark Tank" program.
Here's what she advises buyers to ask themselves when shopping for a home.
Are there expensive new cars in the neighborhood?
New cars usually come with young people moving in. Jobs bring them in and that means the market is about ready to turn around.
Can the neighbors afford an average house?
Just because you can afford it, you better make sure that everyone else can afford it. This one's a little puzzling since I don't know how you'd determine this.
What's the average price per square foot in the neighborhood?
The only unemotional statistic is price per square foot. No emotion, no confusion.
Are the cheaper homes in the neighborhood selling? Every real estate recovery starts from the bottom up.
The food chain moves right up the line.
Are there a lot of "For Sale" signs in the neighborhood?
While Barbara says that's not a good omen, it's tough to tell in Greenwich since our ordinances don't allow these signs to be used by realtors.
You'll have to look online using a map view of the area you're interested in.
Staging Tip #22 of 25:
The dining room
Each week I include a staging tip to help sellers turn their home into a real estate product for sale.
If you've been following this series and putting these ideas into practice for your home, you'll appreciate this week's tip focused on possibly the most improperly staged room in the house to buyers in terms of getting them to commit to a purchase -- the dining room.
As you tour houses for sale, you will see dining rooms set with the best china, silverware, stemware, napkins and serving pieces.
The room looks ready for a grand event and it's what almost all realtors recommend.
That's not staging, however, and here's why: It calls the prospective buyer's attention to the beautiful table settings, not the room.
Remember what you're selling.
Clear off the dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.
Remove extra leaves from the table to make it smaller and thereby make the room appear larger.
Unless it's in bad condition or of poor quality, remove the tablecloth to show the beauty of the table.
Two to four chairs are enough unless it's a huge dining room.
Remove any extra dining room chairs especially if they crowd the table or the corners of the room.
Use ivy and a green or contrasting colored ribbon to set off the centerpiece.
Alternatively, you may use a draped table cloth fanned out from the centerpiece to the corner of the table angled toward you as you enter the room to create drama.
Remove any extra serving pieces and knick knacks from sideboards and buffets.
Minimize the viewable dishes in the hutch. Remember: Less is more.
Stay tuned for the living room and bathroom staging tips coming in the next two columns.
I'll then sum them up and give you some compelling statistics on why these steps really help when selling your home.
For those of you who want to free up some space and get out of the house, the town of Greenwich has opened up its christmas tree drop/recycling/disposal locations. They will be open until the end of January.
Please, for the love of god, only drop off tress that have been undecorated. Last year I dropped off my tree at Bruce Park to see three fully wired (with lights) trees in the pile. Seriously....
Here are the drop off locations:
For those of you in need of a last minute Christmas present for me, it's not too late. Run down to the Greenwich Apple Store at 356 Greenwich Avenue. They are open until 5pm today. I'd be happy with pretty much anything they are selling. Always a good idea to support your local realtor and the local shop that has been robbed.
10) Boston Post Road/(Putnam Avenue)
It's a lot of fun to drive down the Boston Post Road on Christmas day. Having been born and raised in Greenwich, I have seen a ton of changes on this street, but one that has always been true is that it has held a lot of traffic, except on Christmas day! It's a lot of fun to drive through town in areas that are normally busy and witness a rare quietness and peacefulness with lights glittering everywhere.
9) & 8 ) Hendrie Avenue & Owenoke Way
Driving right through the heart of Riverside during the holidays is always special. Christmas lights everywhere and kids smiling from ear to ear waiting for Santa.
7) North Street
I have no clue what it costs to light a 90 foot spruce, but it looks fantastic. If you want to see some impressive Christmas decorations take a drive up North Street.
6) Tod's Point/Greenwich Point Park
I don't know what it is about the 150 Acres of Tod's Point/Greenwich Point Park that gets me going, but it has to be one of the best public parks in the country. I'm not one for summer beach time (I can't sit down for more than 5 minutes), so the off-season is actually my favorite time to come. If you drive through the park and stop on the north western side facing all of the waterfront real estate you'll see some pretty impressive decoration.
5) Orchard Street
For those of you who enjoy santa and reindeer, driving through Cos Cob in the winter time will give you some great displays of the big old guy and his horsepower.
4) Sound Beach Avenue
There's something about a retail/town street with its trees and lampposts all lit up.
You've seen me post all about Round Hill Road and the fantastic real estate on this fantastic road. I truly believe it is one of the best driving roads in the north east (behind the Merritt of course). The experience only improves over the holidays (as long as you drive when its dry).
2) Belle Haven/(Harbor Drive)
1) Greenwich Avenue
No matter where I spend Christmas I always seem to think about Greenwich Avenue in the month of December. It's NOT because of the shopping. It's because of the atmosphere.
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