Category Archives: Real Estate Market Conditions

Real Estate Activity for Ashford Ct, Andover Ct, Pomfret Ct, Woodstock Ct and Windham Ct from 11/22/09-11/30-09

Homes for Sale and the Current Real Estate Market Activity in Ashford, Andover, Pomfret, Woodstock and Windham Ct  from 11/22/09 – 11/30-09

We are tracking the local eastern Connecticut residential real estate activity to keep you up-to-date on the real estate market, and below are the statistics for the past week.

Ashford Ct

Ashford Ct saw one home come on the market as a new listing, priced below 300K, and one home went under deposit, also priced under 300K.

Andover Ct

Andover Ct had 3 homes come on the market as new listings with 1 priced above 300K.  One home, priced over 300K, went under deposit and one home priced below 300K went under deposit.

Pomfret Ct

Three homes on the market in Pomfret Ct had their listings expire, 2 were priced above 300K, there was no other residential real estate activity.

Woodstock Ct

Woodstock Ct had one home, priced below 300K, go under deposit, there were no new homes listed last week.  Ten homes expired, which seems to be very high, sometimes at this time of year sellers do take a break from the market in anticipation that the real estate market will be slow during the holiday season and due to the busy time of year.  Tom and I have often found that this is actually a good time to have a home on the market – with a decrease in listings, your home may be the one to catch a buyers eye.  We have tips and marketing strategies to position our clients homes properly in the market, if you have any questions about when to market your home or why it did not sell, give us a call at 860-429-2853 or email us directly at

Ashford, Andover, Pomfret and Woodstock Ct currently have 153 homes on the market, compared to 163 homes last week.

Windham and Willimantic  Ct

Windham Ct and Willimantic Ct had 6 new listings this past week and all were priced below 300K.  One home, priced below 300K went under deposit and 5 homes, all priced below 300K expired.

Windham Ct and Willimantic Ct currently have 99 homes on the market, compared to 100 homes last week.

Tom and Elaine Burns Bring Their Clients a Full Price Offer!

Yes, we were pleased when, after having our clients home on the market for a number of months, we finally got them a full price offer!  The house had been languishing on the market, and after reviewing market statistics with them, they followed our advice to use our “Current Pricing Strategy” along with some unique marketing strategies. Almost immediately the showings for their home increased dramatically, and within 3 weeks they received a full price offer.

Identity Crisis: A Tale of Two Houses

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FHA Condo Approval Changes – Get your FHA Case Number Before October 1st

Changes are about to occur with FHA in Connecticut and throughout the country, the conditions needing to be met for a condominium complex to be approved for FHA backed financing will change as of Oct. 1, 2009 . Currently, a complex can be on the FHA approval list with 50% of the units having mortgages insured by FHA.  Looking to reduce their risk as the number of loans they have insured in the last 2 years has soared, FHA will now only approve a condominium complex with no more than 30% of the units  having mortgages insured by FHA. 

The FHA website offers a “pre” Oct. 1st approval list and a “post” list – much to my surprise, there are currently no condominium complexes in Connecticut on the “post” list.  I assume that the transfer of information has not been completed yet, but it does give me pause to realize that if a complex was not approved by FHA within the last year, the complex will now have to reapply for approval and I am told that process will take a minimum of 4-6 weeks.

At a recent FHA seminar, the discussion was held that the current list of over 10,000 currently approved condominium complexes will be reduced to 400-500 approved complexes for the entire country.  This is only until the complexes area able to obtain a new approval, but given the new restriction on  30% or less of FHA mortgage insured units, many of these complexes will not be able to overcome that barrier for years to come. 

One of the Attorneys we work with closely has stated that the expectation at the FHA seminar was that only one in 200 currently approved complexes will retain their approved status.  We see many of our first time home buyers buying condominiums under $200,000 and up to $250,000 in the Storrs, Coventry, GlastonburyTolland, Manchester, South Windsor , Willington and Vernon areas with an FHA backed mortgage, so some creative challenges will be facing Realtors, sellers and buyers with these new changes.

FHA has become a central player in financing as a buyer can be approved for an FHA backed loan with as little as 3.5% downpayment.  Most banks and lenders are no longer approving loans with a 3.5% downpayment unless it is guaranteed by FHA.

These changes will take place as of October 1st and if you are a buyer or a Realtor with a client  involved in a condo transaction I would strongly encourage you to have the lender get the FHA case number on or before September 30th.

Recent Storrs CT and Surrounding Area Home Sales – Are Prices Still Declining?

Higher Appraisals = Falling Home ValuesAs I listen to buyers and review the offers coming in on homes for sale in the Storrs area,  Tolland County, Windham County and Greater Hartford areas, it does not look  like  home prices have leveled off yet…and one of the indicators we are now seeing of this is the appraisal.

I had an interesting conversation with a loan officer last week who stated that she felt Connecticut property prices in the Storrs, Tolland County and the Windham County areas were starting to go up.  

I was pretty surprised to hear this – and when I asked her why, she said because she is no longer having any problems with homes appraising at the agreed upon sales price. She said, in fact, many appraisals are now coming in OVER the sales price.  This immediately made a bell go off in my head and supported what we have been seeing  in the market: housing prices are still going down.  I even wrote a blog about an appraisal coming in $20,00 above the selling price just a couple of weeks ago. Continue reading

Tom and Elaine Burns Help Clients Buying a Home in Mansfield CT Save $20,000!

Save Money When Buying CT Real EstateWe recently helped clients save $20,000 on their Mansfield CT home purchase!  After about 6 months of looking at homes for sale in Storrs Mansfield CT, they finally found the right home and they were ecstatic when the appraisal came in and the savings were confirmed: the appraisal was $20,000 higher than the price they were buying the house in Mansfield for! 

Is Saving Money for CT Home Buyers a Bad Thing?

Banks are difficult these days, but honestly…I did not expect that this would be a problem.  Really? They could not approve the loan because the house was worth so much more than the price they were paying for it. Does this make sense to you?  Continue reading

UConn School of Engineering – Positive Impact on Storrs CT Real Estate

UConn's School of Engineering is HiringHow does the School of Engineering at UConn have a positive impact on Storrs Mansfield CT real estate as well as other Greater Hartford towns?  The answer is easy:  The School of Engineering is hiring new faculty members!   So…what  does this mean whan we look at the reports about  the real estate market – does it impact the news we see everyday? 

Just this morning one of our clients emailed me and said “I can’t take it anymore. We’re in a recession, we’re heading out of a recession, it will get worse, it’s getting better…it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know what to do anymore!” Continue reading

CT Pending Home Sales on the Rise!

CT Pending Home Sales are UpThe Great Hartford Association of Realtors reports that for the second month in a row, pending home sales have risen over this same time period last year.  In May, Connecticut pending home sales in the Greater Hartford region rose 3.54% in comparison to May of 2008.  This includes the regions we work most strongly in – Tolland County, Windham County, Hartford County and CT lake area homes as well as the UConn area.

CT Pending Home Sales: 4 Month Streak

In regards to a short-term comparison of month to month changes, CT real estate continued to show a four month increase in Connecticut pending home sales.   The National Association of Realtors reports that pending homes sales throughout the contry have also continued to rise for the fourth straight month in a row.  Continue reading

CT Real Estate and Baseball – Are You In the Swing?

Take a Swing  at Real Estate in CT!

Take a Swing at CT Real EstateSpring is really in full swing! We sponsor  Mansfield, CT Little League,  AAU Team Connecticut Baseball, and sell a lot of homes throughout the year, but Spring is typically the busiest real estate (and baseball) season. It seems like hundreds of CT kids are swinging bats and yelling “heads up” when the ball goes flying!  The CT real estate market is in full swing, too…and what about the similarity between a pitcher trying to get a batter to take a swing and a home seller “pitching” to a buyer hoping they take a swing!  

CT Real Estate Optimism?

For real estate, we have a cautious and yet optimistic outlook by the National Association of REALTORS economist, Lawrence Yun. He states:  “Housing affordability conditions have been at historic highs, but now the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit is beginning to impact the market.  Since first-time buyers must finalize their purchases by November 30th to get the credit, we expect greater activity in the months ahead and that should spark more sales by repeat buyers.” Continue reading

CT Home Prices: Does a Drop in Prices Mean a Drop in Property Taxes?

Will CT Property Taxes Go Down?

Everyone asks me this question, so I thought it would be a good time to discuss it as there seems to be lot of confusion  – the short answer is, unfortunately, no. Lower CT property values do not mean your property taxes will go down. CT Homes - Price vs Property Tax  The value of your home does not determine the budget for the Ct city or town you live in – and the money for the budget needs to be raised no matter what our homes are valued or assessed at.

CT Tax Assessments 

This is the way it works: The  tax assessor of each and every Connecticut town and city is required to list the value of all properties by Oct. 1st of every year. This is called the GRAND list – not sure what is so grand about it, but that is what it is called.  Every year all the new construction is added to the list,  increased home values when additions and improvements are made to are added in, as well as land development, etc.  Even without doing property revaluations, in a busy, upswing economy, this all adds up to a bigger GRAND list.  Continue reading

A New NAR Saga for Connecticut Home Buyers and Sellers

NAR ReportsThose Crazy National Association of REALTORS® Guys Are at It Again –  Giving Lots of Stats on Connecticut Housing!

Remember them?  NAR? Whacky, zany guys – who would have thought that the entire National Association of REALTORS® would be so kind as to release reports about housing, just so people like you and I, who live in Connecticut, could read them.  Do you believe it?  Then they give us statistics for the entire country! I mean, who doesn’t love a good housing report, right?

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