Posts

Ridgefield’s 2017 Year In Review

Ridgefield Market Snapshot
The Ridgefield Real Estate market for single-family homes once again rallied and came out ahead of last year’s market with respect to all key indicators. Overall, the number of homes sold was up 6.3% with 370 homes selling in 2017 as compared to 348 in 2016. The total sales volume also increased by 5.3% resulting in a total of $273,224,044 transacting as compared to $259,407,724 in 2016. The median sales price for a Ridgefield single-family home increased slightly ending the year at $642,500 as compared to $640,000 in 2016. However, the average sales price decreased one percent from $745,424 to $738,443. The sales-to-list price ratio remained the same with homes selling at an average of 96.5% of their listed price.

Condo Report
There were 70 condominium sales in Ridgefield in 2017 ranging in price from $100,500 for a studio apartment to $1,860,000 for a five bedroom, custom-built Main Street luxury condominium in The Elms. The average sales price was $384,920, while the median sales price was $250,000. This compares favorably to 2016 when the average price was $371,990 and the median price was $216,000.

When Are People Buying?
An interesting finding of 2017 is that the seasonality of real estate is becoming less applicable, while consumer confidence seems to be playing more of a factor. Based on the assumption that properties generally take 60 days to close, to have the number of properties closing in the spring (116 properties) equal those in the summer (117 properties) is unusual. The general take-away is that with increased online visibility and ‘arm-chair‘ real estate, no matter the season buyers are willing to purchase if they find what they like.

The Luxury Market
The luxury market in Ridgefield – defined as homes selling for $1.5 million and above – held firm this year with continued strong sales. Overall, 13 luxury homes and one luxury condominium sold in 2017, as compared to 19 homes in 2016. Of particular note, five homes sold between $2 and $3 million, while the $3 million plus segment saw three sales happen. The highest priced home to sell this year closed for $3,318,183. As a Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Specialist, in 2017 I was proud to represent 9 buyers and sellers with homes or condos priced between $1.86 and $3.1 million. Down county towns such as Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan and Westport have all seen an increase in luxury sales. Historically Ridgefield is not far behind.

Good News for Fairfield County
Overall, it was good news throughout most of Fairfield County. The number of homes sold was up, with median price not deviating too much from last year throughout most of the towns we evaluated. Darien recovered from 2016’s decreases, posting the largest year-over- year growth in median price. New Canaan rebounded nicely with a 39% increase in units sold when compared to 2016, which was 24% lower versus 2015. In Westport, the amount of speculative home building is also on the rise indicating a returning confidence in the market. Unfortunately, Redding and Wilton experienced an appreciable drop in median values, possibly due to a lack of high-end market sales. All other towns experienced a relatively flat market when compared to 2016.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Karla’s Musings On A Snowy Day

Happy New Year!

And what a way to start 2018.

While watching the “bomb–cyclone” bury us in inches of snow yesterday, I started to make lists in my head about regular maintenance issues that are often overlooked until they present an issue. Things like: what is the condition of the systems in my house? When did I last get the chimney cleaned? Are the gutters susceptible to ice damming? And so on, and so forth.

It’s easy when we purchase a home to feel overwhelmed with all the maintenance and upkeep associated with it, and as such miss key milestones required to keep it in tip-top shape. And the same can be said for the complacency we project if we’ve been homeowners of the same property for quite some time without issue.

As a quick reminder, here are a few items you might want to schedule now and put in your calendar in order to keep you cool in the summer, warm in the winter and healthy throughout the year.

Furnace or Boiler
Ideally scheduled for September or October, before you really need to depend on it, a routine check-up is key to keeping things running smoothly. Think of it as an investment in the health of your heating system, much like a yearly physical.

Air Conditioning System
While AC is pretty far from your mind while the temperature sits in the teens outside, yearly maintenance slots for AC units book up fast. Call your provider now to lock in an ideal slot in April or May and keep your cool as the temperature heats up.

Septic System
Unless you live in town and are fortunate enough have a town sewer, you will definitely want to get on a plan to inspect and pump your septic every two years. Septic systems can be costly to replace, so finding small problems early – such as invading tree roots or cracks in tank lids – and correcting them early, can save you in the end.

Gutters
Truly an integral part of home maintenance, clean gutters prevent ice damming in the winter, and foundation and basement flooding in the spring rains by making sure water is directed away from the house. Many landscapers make gutter cleaning a part of their spring and fall clean-up, as well as additionally handling excess leaves according to your property. It’s also easy enough to get on a four time-a-year gutter cleaning program if you don’t have a landscaping company. With most companies, you don’t even need to be home – they just come and take care of it and then give you a heads up!

Chimney Clean Out or Gas Fireplace Servicing
Don’t ignore this – it can literally kill you. Carbon monoxide is an issue with an improperly functioning gas fireplace, and chimney fires caused by a build-up of creosote can be deadly. If you haven’t already, put this on the list of must-do’s immediately!

Stay safe and stay warm. Here’s to a great 2018!

Wishing You A Wonderful Holiday Season

GRAT·I·TUDE : the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. It is in this spirit that we say thank you. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Karla Murtaugh Homes
Karla, Jana & Sally

15 Features That Help Listings Sell Faster

According to the National Association of Realtors, some renovations pay off more than others -both in the time a home takes to sell, and in the money you can recoup.

“That means a quick transition into your dream home,” advises Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research at the National Association of REALTORS®. But which renovations are the best?

Hardwood flooring remains the biggest draw among buyers of all generations according to an analysis of popular home features. Listings with hardwood floors have appreciated 14.8 percent since 2015.

Realtor.com® looked at 40 of the most common home features and analyzed applicable listings to find which homes sold in the fewest number of days. For this study, researchers used days on market as an indication of demand for a home feature. The following were the top features uncovered in the survey:

1. Smart-home features (smart thermostats, refrigerators, and locking systems)
2. Finished basements
3. Patios
4. Walk-in closets
5. Granite countertops
6. Eat-in kitchens
7. Hardwood floors
8. Laundry rooms
9. Open kitchens
10. Front porches
11. Dining rooms
12. Energy Star appliances
13. Two-car garages
14. Fireplaces
15. Security systems

To see the full report and learn more about each of these features and why they’re great for resale, visit realtor.com

Ridgefield’s Main Street Voted One Of The Best In The USA…Again!

With big-box stores, megamalls, and online sellers dominating the retail landscape, the pleasure of shopping at mom-and-pop stores in a quaint, small-town Main Street shopping district is getting harder to find. But every state has a few such homespun settings left. Ridgefield was voted number 8 on the list of the best downtown shopping districts in the country — each in a town with a population of fewer than 90,000 residents.

In an article dated Nov. 11, 2017, Andrew Lisa, writes, “The colonial town of Ridgefield is only an hour’s drive from New York City, but visitors will feel far removed strolling through the cozy, 300-year-old town tucked away in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Main Street and Danbury Road are adorned with shops and boutiques, as well as an art museum, an agricultural historical center, a theater, and a playhouse.”

Not bad considering how many Main Street’s there are in America! If you haven’t already, remember to Shop Local and support our fabulous resident owned-and-run businesses. You are guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.

To see our competition, view the slideshow

Katie Brown’s Country Home Featured on 2017 Holiday House Tour

Ridgefield’s biennial Holiday House Tour is set to kick off on December 1st with a tour of seven area homes, including three that were represented in various real estate transactions by Karla Murtaugh Homes. Tour participants are in for a treat as they meander through these very special and equally unique residences decked out for the Holidays. We are also proud sponsors of the tour.

And if celebrity homes intrigue you, don’t miss out on lifestyle-guru Katie Brown’s country estate. Located at 71 Old Branchville Road, it is a unique blend of vintage charm and NYC chic, creating an eclectic bohemian experience. Currently on the market for $1,575,000 don’t forget to pick up a postcard about the property when you visit or click herefor more information.

Also on the tour, Christine and Michael Carnicelli are excited to open their home at 23 High Ridge Ave, which they purchased back in 2014 and have restored to its former glory. This vintage Georgian will not disappoint with its gracious architecture and updated transitional interior design.

And finally, the beautiful properties at The Elms offer Ridgefielders an opportunity to live in a distinguished Main Street community and one of our clients has graciously agreed to let onlookers view the never-before-seen interior of these fabulous residences! Representing a trend towards well-built, high-end design, the home tour at 500 Main Street offers a glimpse into a different type of in-town living.

The committee for the Holiday House Tour has worked tirelessly to create an amazing event and as always, it is one of the most anticipated home tours in the area. Tickets are still available from Bella Home or Squash’s, and can be purchased the day of the event from the Lounsbury House. Proceeds from the Holiday House Tour benefit Tiger Hollow stadium at Ridgefield High School.

Ridgefield Featured in Hallmark Channel’s “Coming Home For Christmas”

Not only is Ridgefield ranked one of the safest town’s in the USA, but it also boasts one of the most picturesque Main Streets.  And now it seems Hollywood is recognizing that too!

Just in time of the Holiday Season, the movie – Coming Home for Christmas – premiered on Saturday, November 18 and aired again on Wednesday, November 22. Main Street Ridgefield is featured at the very beginning the movie, setting the scene for the town where the main character, Lizzie, manages a wealthy estate before it sells.  She has the challenging task of bringing the estranged Marley family together for their last Christmas in the home in which they were raised, and the usual feel-good, tear-jerking Hallmark shenanigans transpire from there.

It’s a pity the location scouts didn’t set the movie in one of our fantastic Main Street properties themselves, such as Ashland Cottage at 321 Main Street.

Here is the link if you’d like to watch the movie: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/coming-home-for-christmas. And if you want to see some of the wonderful Ridgefield Estate Homes that are for sale, contact me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and welcome to the Holidays!

Do You Want To Live Like A Hollywood Producer?

Picture the glitz and glamor of old Hollywood, pair it with every modern convenience and move it all to bucolic Ridgefield.  Welcome to 23 Pin Pack Road.  Home to a noted Hollywood producer, the spectacular residence was recently featured in the Danbury News-Times as its cover story and it doesn’t disappoint.

The sophisticated & enchanting 3/4 bedroom, 1920s mini-estate is situated close to town and reflects exceptional Stone & Tudor architecture. Completely rebuilt in 2011 by an award-winning builder, it features a stunning saltwater pool & spa with beautiful high-end resort like appointments and an exercise area open to expansive outdoor patios.  The exceptional mix of wood & stone, soaring ceilings, multiple fireplaces and amazing millwork are hallmarks, while an incredible gourmet chef’s kitchen and breakfast area connect to a fabulous great room featuring a coffered ceiling & stone fireplace. The master retreat includes a sitting room/office, and His & Her separate baths & dressing rooms. Three additional bedroom options with beautifully appointed baths plus sensational outdoor living areas including stone patios with pergolas and open air stone decking, make this a great entertaining home. An additional charming studio on the property is great as an office or additional workspace. Like no other!

To make an appointment to view the home, please contact me.

‘Fairhaven’ Is A True Fair Haven According To HOME Monthly Magazine

We were thrilled when HOME Monthly asked to feature our beautiful listing on 209 West Lane in Ridgefield for their November issue.  From the minute we walked into the home, we knew it was something special and it seems, so did HOME.

Fairhaven – as it is known – is a wonderful mix of vintage and transitional design that encompasses the best in workmanship, flow and elegant features. Tucked away behind mature trees & setback from the road, it is a spectacularly renovated gem that radiates warmth & sophistication at every turn. Once the home of film star Geraldine Farrar, the floor plan gently meanders from one room to another, seamlessly blending the indoor & outdoor living areas to create a perfect entertaining space. The stunning breezeway, with amazing views of the private yard, connects the lower level pool house to the main rooms including a fabulous updated kitchen, formal living & dining rooms, a study, music room, covered porches & more. The gunite pool & multiple terraces, plus lovely open porches are surrounded by mature trees and fabulous perennial gardens.  The home borders Silver Spring Country Club and you can be in NYC in just over 1 hour to. It’s truly exceptional!

Read more about what makes this home so special in this month’s HOME Monthly. If you are interested in purchasing the home or setting up a time to view it, please contact me.