April 2008


And a rose by any other name just is not the City of Norwich.

Located where three rivers converge, the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, Norwich was once a bustling and prosperous mill town with a thriving marina.  The place where Abe stayed, the Wauregan Hotel has been renovated and the rich town history is evident in the sprawling campus of NFA.  Founded in 1659 when it was purchased from the Mohegan tribe, I am proud to call myself a former resident.  I previously lived within walking distance of Mohegan Park, the Rose Garden and NFA…I still miss those walks.

Please check out the impressive history of Norwich at:

www.norwichct.org

www.norwichfreeacademy.com

The real estate in Norwich is sprawling to say the least.  The town is made up of the following areas, Thamesville, Greeneville, Yantic, Norwich, Taftville, Occum, East Great Plains and Norwich Town.  There is an abundance of home ownership opportunities for every price range.  Here is a synopsis view for the whole town in the last 3 months…(it covers a big area compared to the much smaller towns I usually post about):  Residential only, Norwich has a fantastic multi-family and commercial market.

Current Active listings:  207                      Range of Value:  $28,000 – $899,900

Current Pending listings:  43                     Range of Value:  $40,000 – $389,000

Closed in last 3 months:  54                     Range of Value:  $45,000 – 380,000

The following facts obtained from The Real Estate Reporter:

Median Sale Price:  $218,000

Median List Price:  $224,000

Average days on market:  72

Average Sale Price (2008):  $179,338

Big Town, Big Post!

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Love Technology, yes I do!  I am gadget girl…got my Ipod with Nike+, my laptop (all wireless and everything), I RSS and long to SMS and MMS with the best of them..hence the reason I invested in a Smartphone.

FYI, I am not Gen X or Y..I am a member of the no name generation (you figure it out…) but truly embrace the concept that the world is on the internet.  I also wholly subscribe to the thought process that this should be an era of quick response…I remember when we had MLS books 3 inches thick and tiny, tiny print we had to scour through for showings (we also had to walk up hill, both ways, through the snow).  Truly, the research part of this business has never been easier or more immediate; I am a fan.

So I went and got me a Smartphone to keep up with the pace.  The name itself mocks me; what does it make me if I can not figure this thing out?  Round one goes to an unnamed brand phone which I went with because it incorporated my previous PDA software; 3 weeks and many meltdowns later it turns out it wasn’t me (Whew!), the phone with my 5 years of data was a lemon.

Round 2 has me deep in reserved like with my new Blackberry.  In the learning curve with great thumb frustration but email accounts were much easier to set up and file conversion is proving my nemesis (fortunately I do back up).  I did manage to SMS and as soon as I get MMS, I will be certain to do it!

A real estate agent on the fly with a world of information immediately available for my clients with just a few taps from my suddenly huge thumbs.  Though my typing teacher is likely mortified by this “smart” technology, I fully expect to master it…shortly.

If all else fails, can I ring you up?  Seven little numbers once connected me with some fine conversation…now those were the days.

SMS, MMS you later :-)!

What’s not to love about this sprawling town?  It’s a little bit country and a bit of a hub on the Jewett City end.

Apparently way back in 1895 that little hub of Jewett City, previously known as Pachaug City, decided it wanted to run its own show so it got separately chartered by the State of Connecticut.  Today, for their efforts, there is 1 mil paid in extra taxes for living within the one mile square area of Jewett City!  You can read all about that fun story in addition to other interesting stuff about Griswold at http://www.griswold-ct.org .

I love the town and the real estate is exciting as well, here is a 3 month review of residential activity in Griswold (which includes Jewett City :-):

Currently Active listings:  80                      Range of Value:  $29,000 – $550,000

Pending listings:  19                                   Range of Value:  $69,900 – $359,900

Closed in last 3 months:  22                       Range of Value:  $84,000 to $408,000

Average Sales Price in last 3 months:  $232,521.27

Short Answer, yes, absolutely, without a doubt!

 

I am a little frustrated with all the negativity surrounding the housing market.  I feel some of the reporting, hyper reactionary speak, is nothing short of propaganda, leaving the public largely misinformed.  The market has definitely changed, there has been some depreciation in prices and days on market for anxious sellers have certainly increased, but the vision of a gigantic popping bubble is irresponsible to the typical homeowner and potential buyers.

 

The New London County real estate market is just fine thank you!  The market is more balanced then it has been in years and with all due respect to those who tried to cash in on the fast pace of a few years ago…real estate truly is not that kind of investment, very few investments are.

 

Let’s look at a more typical situation to gain reasonable perspective:

 

Eleven short years ago, back in 1997, I sold a lovely about to be married couple a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath raised ranch with a 2 car garage for $115,000.  As life goes, this about to be married couple is now solidly married with 2 kids, dog and a want for more elbow room and bigger yard (all the better for wayward baseballs).

 

Working up the comparative market value on my client’s property the range of value is from $230,000 to $240,000.  My client’s house, at minimum, has doubled in value.  On occasion, I tend to quibble with the National Associations of Realtors statistics (I tend to debate statistics at large) but this jump in value for my very real clients fits right in with NAR’s house prices doubling every ten years statistic.

 

This 2008 real estate market is going to work out just fine for this family.  We have hit the pavement in search of their new home and have plenty of selection and there is time for a few viewings and careful contemplation.  Likely, their current home will sell within 120 days and the Hubbard clause is considered again by sellers.  They have been investigating finance options and have plenty of choices there too.

 

Yes, real estate is a fantastic long term investment and I believe that long term can be reasonably qualified as 9 years, which is how often the typical folks move.  Equally important to remember, we must compare apples to apples, 2003 to 2005 were the real estate market in hyper drive which is unsustainable (the “bubble” factor was discussed as it was happening…).

 

The 2008 market is the common sense market!  Plan for a reasonable time frame and I suspect buyers and sellers will be just fine.  

 

 

Oh, and lets not forget that all the while you also have a great place to call home.

I was hanging out in Voluntown this past weekend for soccer and an open house, so I spent much of Saturday and Sunday there and came to this obvious conclusion…this is a small town!  (coming from Lisbon, I know of what I speak).

How did I reach this amazing deduction?  While sitting at the Voluntown school fields, I could see the entire town center which consists of Sunny’s Market (no relation, but love that!), 2 restaurants, 2 gas stations, the town hall, library, school and Bronson’s swimming pools.  We are talking quaint here!

A few favorite places to visit:

Beach Pond:  I heard a rumor that there is a house in the middle of this pond..is that true?  Learned (um,  tried) to water ski there.

Tamarack Lodge:  Just Beautiful!  Surrounded by State Forest

Glasgo Pond:  Serenity now!

Tid Bits:  Lisbon, Griswold and Voluntown share Parks and Rec programs for the kids.  Why oh why was my cell service good at the school but there was none 2.5 miles up the road at my open house? (I was disconnected for 2 whole hours!)

90 day review of residential real estate activity in the lovely town of Voluntown:

Number of Active Listings:  18                     Range of Value:  $145,000 to $635,000

Number of Pending Listings:  6                    Range of Value:  $169,000 to $319,900

Number of closed last 90 days:  7               Range of Value:  $135,000 to $353,500

Average sales price in town:  $219,728.57

Average days on market:  44.43 (included because I am impressed!)

 

Stepping outside my usual rantings on real estate, the current state of the market and my feeble attempts at humor; I’d like to chat you up about the extraordinary community charity event I attended this week, the 2nd Annual Walkin’ on Sunshine Fashion Show in Norwich.

What is so extraordinary you ask?  Aside from the huge undertaking any charity event is to get off the ground, the fact that this organization, The Sunshine Kids Foundation, is soley dedicated and committed to helping children with cancer and that Prudential Connecticut Realty is its 2nd largest contributor (very proud of that we are!  58 offices do their personal best to raise funds for this very worthy organization); THIS magnanimous event was an outpouring of community charity.

A culmination of tireless effort on behalf of the Norwich Pru office (as a recent returnee to the office, I write from the “better late than never” seats) coupled with the colorful talents of LaFrancois Florals and Gifts; they chose to have their event embrace the entire Norwich community inviting other generous businesses including local attorneys, bankers, web designers, advertising execs and the Mayor of Norwich himself to be models in support of the charity.  Booths were set up where other businesses shared  their products (and sunny dispositions) and there was a gigantic silent auction with donated items. 

To say it was a grand event would be an understatement!  But, stuffy it was not.  The Pampered chef lady had me model vibrant pink dish washing gloves, the Silpada gals gleefully nurtured my love for their jewelry (even dug something out not on display),  and I finally met the lady behind the W in R & W heating!  (Good to meet you Wanda!)

Real Norwich folks modeling outfits from Catherines, Jos. A. Banks and Talbots with a genuine attitude of good will!  The audience was a light hearted bunch and all donated generously in support of the Sunshine Kids. 

Please take a moment and check out the Sunshine Kids Organization at www.sunshinekids.org

Also, tons of photos are published at www.NorwichBulletin.com under multimedia

Bless my little cynical heart, the whole thing left me with that warm and fuzzy feeling!  Dig that.

Here we grow...

Home Sweet Home!

Welcome to my town of choice for the last 9 years!  The order of the day in this bedroom community–development and commercial, at that.  The town has grown in the last few years with a new strip mall underway as I type (pic above).  Soon I may never have to drive further than 3.5 miles for anything.

My favorite part of Lisbon, the reasonable mil rate.  Comparatively my property taxes remain reasonable (though the annual budget vote happens soon, last year it took 4 referendum votes to pass the budget).  We have a new school superintendent who seems intent on keeping the public informed of what the budget increases are for…this year it seems mostly about technology in the school.  Public forums and open letters to the community (sent via email no less, right up my alley) seems the mission.  We shall see how it all pans out come June!

Residential Real Estate In Town is as follows:

26 Active Listings                                                    Range of value:  $41,900 to $1,300,000

11 Pending Listings                                                 Range of value:  $104,000 to $365,900

10 Closed Sales in last 3 months                             Range of value:  $39,000 to $454,050

Average sale price is $231,261 for last 3 months

 

 

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