Friday, January 17, 2020

Our 2020 Market Predictions

Today I’m sharing a few predictions about what our 2020 real estate market will do.

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Welcome to 2020: Today I’m going to make a few predictions about our 2020 real estate market.

Looking back quickly, we’ve noticed a continuation of a flat market that became more price point driven. Everything under around the $400,000 price point last year, and I anticipate continuing into this year, was selling at a fairly quick rate.

The higher in price the home is, the harder it is to sell right now. However, in each price point, homes that showed off their inherent value sold quickly. When a home is priced properly for what it is, what it has, and what it doesn’t have, you’re much more likely to sell quickly. In 2020 we’ll see a similar market to 2019, but there’s no need to worry about a recession.

The higher in price the home is, the harder it is to sell right now.

We are now in an election year, and that can affect the stock market. However, people much smarter than I am about financing and accounting believe we will hold steady in 2020 as long as the national economy stays fairly steady. We are currently low on home supply, so if you’re considering making a move, this is the time to sell. In my opinion, the higher price points are going to experience a slight increase in inventory sold because we’re short on supply. If you list your home that’s valued at over $400,000, I think you’ll sell it this year.

If you have questions about our market or anything else concerning real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to speaking with you. In the meantime, have a wonderful 2020!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Help the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury End Domestic Abuse

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury works to help victims of domestic abuse in our community.

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Today I’m joined by my friend and client Eric Egan to spotlight my latest “Hero Around Town”: the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury. Eric is the new chairperson of the board of this great nonprofit, and he’s here to fill us in on everything they do for our community. Their mission is to save lives, and the depth and breadth of the service they provide to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence reflects this mission. 

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch the full message or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure: 

1:14—The top three things they do for our community

2:14—Why domestic abuse relief is a universal need in our society 

3:01—How many people they’ve helped in 2019

3:37—The different services and educational programs they offer 

5:13—Committees in which you can volunteer 

5:53—How Eric got involved with the women’s center

7:13—Wrapping things up

If you’d like to learn more about the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, I encourage you to visit their website. If you have questions about today’s video or there’s anything else I can help with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

Friday, December 13, 2019

How to Bring a Level of Humanity to a Real Estate Transaction

Today I want to discuss humanizing a real estate transaction by taking a look at something that happens all the time in real estate: writing a letter to the seller.

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Happy holidays, everyone! We hope you have a wonderful end of the year and a great start to 2020.

Oftentimes, a buyer will tell me that they’re going to make an offer on a home and that they want to write a letter accompanying the offer to show the sellers that they’re sincere about purchasing their home. I think that’s a great idea, and I usually recommend that they go for it.

However, if I know that the buyer plans to submit a lowball offer and that doing so will only cause the accompanying letter to enrage the seller, I may caution against it. That will only send conflicting messages to the seller.

Adding a human element can often really push things along.

Sometimes, for both buyers and sellers, it’s just about the money. Other times, it’s also about the people. That’s the interesting part of our business: It’s about the people as much as it’s about the money. A home is a commodity that goes up and down with the ebb of the market, but it’s also an emotional purchase and sale. Those are aspects that we in the business need to keep in balance, which we do when we advise a seller to review and take seriously a letter submitted by a buyer or advise a buyer to write and submit a letter with their offer.

Recently, one of our buyers submitted a strong offer alongside a wonderful letter, and we believe that it really helped to bind the buyer and seller together in that transaction, bringing it all down to a human level.

Sometimes, as agents, we need to take a step back from the process and allow the buyer and seller to connect. Oftentimes, this helps things to go smoothly. We don’t always do this since it can only create animosity, but adding a human element can often really push things along.

If you have any questions about writing a letter to a home seller or anything else to do with real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to working with you soon.

Monday, November 18, 2019

This Month’s “Hero Around Town” Is the FAITH Food Pantry

The FAITH Food Pantry is a shining example of what Newtown is all about. Here’s what I mean.

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I recently had the pleasure of visiting the FAITH Food Pantry here in Newtown, and I was lucky enough to be joined by President Lee Paulsen and Vice President Jill LeBlanc to talk a little bit about their history and what they bring to the Newtown community.

The FAITH Food Pantry was started in 1983 by the Reverend Joan Horrowit at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook. They’ve been in the current location for about a year and a half, and they serve around 150 families per month. Winter months are harder because a lot of their clients pay for expenses (heat, electricity, etc.) they wouldn’t ordinarily pay for in the summer.

As Lee and Jill said, so many people are no more than one paycheck away from having a need, and the hardest thing for them to do is walk through their front door and ask for help. They always leave with a smile, though. During my tour, the word “goodness” came to mind. Everyone in there is there to help, and you get the feeling that if you were in need, this would be a safe place to come. 

All the volunteers are Newtown residents, and anyone is welcome to come inside as long as they’re, also, Newtown residents. They specify this because all the money and food that’s provided is done so by the city of Newtown.  

Everyone in there is there to help, and you get the feeling that if you were in need, this would be a safe place to come.

As you might expect, they get an influx of food donations for the holidays, and they’ll have free turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to provide this year. The summer months are when they have their lowest level of inventory, so during that time, they’re always on the lookout for basic items like cleaning supplies, coffee, etc. If you’d like to contribute to their cause, they accept donations on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. I think what FAITH Food Pantry does is a great summation of what Newton is all about. There’s a special kindness that’s exuded in this town, and they’re an example of that. It’s worth noting that they refer to the people they help as “clients” instead of “the needy.”

I want to thank Lee and Jill for joining me for today’s video, and my team and I look forward to hopefully hosting one of their food drives within the month. If you’d like to know more about FAITH Food Pantry, visit their website here.

As always, if you have any real estate questions for me or there’s anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Is your home winter-ready? If not, here are five tips to help you prepare it for the cold season ahead.

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Some of us cringe at the mention of the colder weather on its way, but, like it or not, winter is just around the corner. It’s time to start getting ready for the season, and, for homeowners, this means making sure your property is ready to endure the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures ahead.

With all of that said, here are the top five things you need to do to prepare your home for winter:

1. Turn off and detach all hoses from outdoor faucets. There shouldn’t be any water left in the lines, as they will be some of the first areas to freeze if your home loses heat.

2. Clean out your gutters.
Clogged gutters are among the leading causes of ice damage, so make sure yours are clear. You may have to clean them twice this season, depending on how many trees are in your neighborhood.

Seal up air leaks around windows and doors to keep your house warm and your energy bills low.

3. Clear the downspouts. This way, water will be directed away from your home as things thaw out. The last thing you want is for water to start building up at your foundation.

4. Properly store all outdoor machinery. Now is the time to put away lawnmowers and other such equipment. Storing them high up and making sure they are covered will help deter mice and other pests from making homes in your shed or garage. While you’re at it, make sure to get winter equipment (like snowblowers) serviced ahead of time.

5. Seal up air leaks around windows and doors. This will keep your home warmer and your energy bills lower.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.