The Wall Street Journal Spotlights Private Library of Jay Walker, Quotes Ridgefield Realtor Karla Murtaugh

Ridgefield’s Hamlet Hub spotlighted Karla Murtaugh Homes this week after we were featured in this week’s Mansion Section of the Wall Street Journal!

As per the Hamlet Hub – The Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination, an awe-inspiring library located inside the Ridgefield home of Jay and Eileen Walker was featured in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal in a piece titled, “Private Libraries That Inspire”. What’s more, the writer, Katy McLaughlin, shares the real estate expertise of Karla Murtaugh agent with Neumann Real Estate and Christie’s International in Ridgefield who said that libraries can provide a hook for a buyer with an intellectual or scholarly aptitude.

According to the Walker Digital website, the library, constructed in 2002, boasts 3,600 sq. ft. multi-level tiers, “floating” platforms, connecting stairways, glass-paneled bridges, dynamic lighting and music, and specially commissioned artworks that celebrate major achievements in the history of human invention.

“The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination celebrates humanity’s intellectual and emotional adventure of discovery, learning, and creativity by showcasing thousands of rare books, artworks, maps and manuscripts as well as museum-quality artifacts both modern and ancient,” Walker Digital says.

“It is designed to be intentionally disorienting,” Walker told WSJ writer, Katy McLaughlin.

McLaughlin digs into the passion that fuels some of the world’s most fascinating literary collectors, and examines the arduous task of designing, building and maintaining a library capable of housing some 25,000 collectible books.

Walker’s personal collection is not just for him to enjoy, the WSJ reveals Walker’s philanthropic use of the library for school tours and to help raise funds for local nonprofits.

McLaughlin writes, “The Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination is a dramatic example of the rarest of residential amenities: A vast, personal, custom-built repository of intellectual stimuli. In the age of the e-reader, it is a status symbol on par with wearing a Patek Philippe watch when the cellphone already tells the time.”

Read the article in its entirety and view images of The Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination, on The Wall Street Journal online here.

*Image courtesy Walker Digital

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Ridgefield High School 4th Best in Connecticut

U.S. News & World Report has just released their 2019 Best High Schools Rankings, Ridgefield Named 4th Best in the State and #317 in the Country.

U.S. News & World Report says about Ridgefield High School, “Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Ridgefield High School is 71%. The total minority enrollment is 14%, and 2% of students are economically disadvantaged.”

Ridgefield High School is ranked #317 in the National Rankings. U.S. News & World Report says, “Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college.”

The top five high schools in Connecticut

#1 – Darien High School

#2 – Weston High School

#3 – Achievement First Hartford Academy

#4 – Ridgefield High School

#5 – Connecticut IB Academy

U.S. News ranked 17,245 public high schools, out of a review of more than 23,000 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, the number of ranked schools is up from more than 2,700 last year. The new rankings, developed in conjunction with nonprofit research firm RTI International, are based on a revamped methodology that weighs six indicators of school quality for the 2016-2017 school year.

The highest-ranked schools are those whose students excelled on state tests and performed beyond expectations; participated in and passed a variety of college-level exams; and graduated in high proportions, according to U.S. News.

U.S. News also assigned a separate STEM ranking for 250 high schools whose students excelled on AP science and math tests. To be eligible, schools had to appear in the top 1,000 of the overall national ranking, according to the article. Ridgefield High School ranked number 174 in STEM rankings nationally.

Read more about the Best High Schools here.

*Article originally published in Ridgefield’s Hamlet Hub on 04/30/2019

Spring Is Here – Get Ready To Open Those Pools!

Spring market is up and running and everyone is starting to look forward to the long, lazy days of summer. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to profile some of the properties we have for sale, which reside in a community association with a pool — just in case you’re thinking about diving into something new!

132 Mimosa Circle
– listed for $740,000, this beautifully updated, turn-key home features five bedrooms, all updated bathrooms, a beautiful kitchen, sunroom and a finished lower level, and sits at the top of the circle, quietly tucked away with incredible views from the porch and patio. High-end touches such as multiple French doors, a beamed ceiling, crown moldings and lovely trim work, join hardwood floors, an on-trend color palette and lots of large windows to create a comfortable and inviting space. Mimosa Estates features a wonderful pool along with tennis, basketball, a playground, fields and a pond, all in a welcoming community setting. To view more photos and information about the property click here.

58 Holmes Road
– close to town in desirable Westmoreland Estates, this completely updated gem is listed for $885,000 and includes five bedrooms, three full and one half baths, front-to-back living and family rooms, crown moldings, French doors, a finished lower level, and a beautifully updated kitchen with open shelving, professional appliances, and a wall of casement windows overlooking the huge deck, which also offers access to a lower level patio with a hot tub. Always a hit with singles and families alike, the Westmoreland Estates community recreation center includes two pools, a tennis court, basketball court, a pavilion and picnic area, and a playground. Click here to learn more about this home.

24 Old Wagon Road
– a storied history surrounds this completely renovated and updated, immaculate, one-of-a-kind stone manor in West Mountain Estates. Listed for $1,595,000, the home was designed by a famed Yale architect who specialized in weekend homes for the wealthy and built homes for clients as illustrious as the Rockefellers. And the gardens were even catalogued by the Smithsonian! The French-inspired kitchen includes custom Viking appliances, a stone fireplace and beautiful pantry cabinetry, and flows seamlessly into the rest of the house. A conservatory, study, sunken living room, family room, dining room and four spacious, en suite bedrooms join original details such as leaded glass windows, ornate trim work, stone window sills and gorgeous hardwood floors reminiscent of an elegant bygone era. Sweeping views of the grounds provide for beautiful sunsets, while the West Mountain Estates community offers a large pool, a kiddie pool, a spa, two pavilions, two tennis courts, a playground and a soccer field. To learn more about Stone Manor click here.

30 Powdermaker Drive
– located a quick walk to the Pleasant View Recreation Area (PVRA), this traditional Colonial home is listed for $799,000 and is move-in-ready. A beautifully updated kitchen includes high-end, stainless steel appliances and a large pantry, and connects to a breakfast room, vaulted family room, and spacious living and dining rooms. Four large bedrooms join a walk-out, finished lower level opening to the park-like backyard and lovely patio. The 6-acre PVRA property includes a heated pool, kids pool, new pool house, tennis courts, swings & play-sets, ball fields, a basketball court, beach volleyball court and a pond. To view more about this home, click here.

If you have an interest in visiting one of these properties in person or just want to learn more, email, or call 203-856-5534 to schedule a showing.

Ridgefield Real Estate Market Report Q1 2019

The first quarter of 2019 shows promise for a strong spring market with 173 single-family homes currently on the market for sale at all price points. Already this year there are 39 single-family homes that have gone under agreement and a further 34 are in contract. With new properties launching on the market daily, we expect these numbers to rise over the coming months.

In mortgage news, 30-year fixed mortgage rates have again dropped to record lows, sitting at just over 4%, which bodes well for buyers entering the market. Our strongest sales so far this year have been in the under $500,000 range for single-family homes, and encouragingly our high-end luxury market (over $1.5 million) has also had 3 sales this year.

Overall, a total of $33,915,150 transacted during Q1 2019 in contrast to $32,298,800 by this time in 2018. The number of sales stayed the same at 48, while the average days on market has taken a slight jump this year to 208, up from 146 last year. A lack of new inventory could be to blame with some listings languishing on the market for various reasons.

The average sales price rose 5% this quarter compared to the same time last year and sits at $706,566. Interestingly, the median sales price dropped to $567,000 from $619,750, but the increased activity we have seen in the under $600,000 range in this early part of the year may account for the drop. We would expect to see this number rise as the year progresses. Homes are still selling at 96% of the listed value.

As we move into the busy spring and summer markets, we would love to learn more about your home and how we can help you list it for sale. And with more homes coming on the market every day, as well as lower mortgage rates, we would love to help you find your dream home! Contact us today.

To see a snapshot by price, click here.