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Taxes Going DOWN In Westbrook, CT - 05/28/11 11:59 PM
Westbrook CT Taxes are going down in 2011! The town recently voted for a modest decrease in taxes for the coming year. The town was able to reduce taxes due to careful planning and budget management. The town didn't have massive layoffs. Services haven't been cut. The budget even increased slightly this year. But the town was able to use a budget surplus from previous years to offset the budget increases. This keeps home ownership in Westbrook affordable. The economy is hurting and many towns are struggling with tough budget decisions. Often poor planning in previous years has let to large (0 comments)
A Tale of Two Homes - 05/27/11 08:04 PM
Today was a great week. The highlight if this past week was when one of my buyers had their offer accepted on a home in town. After a month of looking they narrowed down their list to two homes, both in the same neighborhood. The homes were similar in size, in price and the locations were just about equal. My clients ended up only pursuing one of the two homes. Why did they pick one home over the other? They picked the home that looked nicer on the outside. They picked the home that looked nicer on the inside. You see, (3 comments)
Lighthouse Point Park - Morris Cove Residents Get Parking Relief - 05/25/11 11:59 PM
Lighthouse Point Park in the Morris Cove section of New Haven is one of Southern Connecticut's most popular public beaches. Close to town, and right off I-95, it attracts thousands of visitors each year. Each year 12,000-15,000 visitors stop through during a typical Memorial Day Weekend, and the sunny weather forecasted for this weekend should bring out similar numbers. As the case with many public parks, the parking situation near Lighthouse has been a problem for both guests and residents who live near the park in the Morris Cove neighborhood in New Haven, CT. While both season and daily parking passes (0 comments)
Did you miss today's graduation at Yale University? Was it the overcast weather? Or you couldn't find parking? Maybe you didn't have the time to come to New Haven? Not a problem - you can watch the broadcast online at the Yale Daily Bulletin!
yale on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free A new feature this year was the inclusion of social media during the entire Yale University 2011 Commencement. Search for Twitter posts with #yale11 hashtags. Check out Yale's running commentary and photos on the Yale Facebook Page. Tom Hanks spoke yesterday at Senior Class (4 comments)
New Haven CT had a celebrity visit today - Tom Hanks gave a speech to Class of 2011 Graduating Seniors for this year's Senior Class Day. Yale's Senior Class Day is held the day before the formal Commencement (Graduation) Ceremony. Traditions for Yale's Senior Class Day include wearing funny hats, reciting the Ivy Ode and singing Yale's alma mater. The events of this year's Commencement Weekend, including Tom Hank's Class Day speech, are being LiveCast on Yale's Daily Bulletin. You can also download the events on their website for the next few days.
Yale University Commencement 2011 - 05/21/11 11:21 PM
Yale University Commencement 2011 will take place on Monday May 23rd, 2011. This year's Yale Graduation events take place over the entire weekend and include many guests, including Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks will give a talk to graduating Yale seniors on Sunday May 22 for Class Day. As always, Monday's Yale Commencement Speaker will be revealed during the Commencement. This year marks Yale's 310th Commencement Ceremony. If you are unable to attend the Yale 2011 Commencement in person, you can watch the Yale 2011 Commencement LiveStream Broadcast on the Yale Daily Bulletin. Updates for Yale's 2011 Commencement will be provided through (2 comments)
The Circus for a Fragile Planet is performed by the touring theater group ARTFORM. Formed a decade ago in Middletown CT, ARTFORM is known for performing at events throughout New Haven County and throughout the region. The Circus For A Fragile Planet is ARTFORM's well known act, performed over 100 times throughout New England. Like most of ARTFORM's events, the Circus for a Fragile Planet promotes environmental and educational issues. Tickets are (2 comments)
It Is Up To You, Mr. Seller - 05/17/11 05:20 PM
William James Walton's blog gives sage advice to people selling their home: "Sellers, if you are serious about selling your home, only you, based on the actions that you take, can determine whether your home sells or not. Your actions during the selling process must be consistent with your need to sell or your want to sell, and especially if you both need and want to sell your home." Your actions need to match your needs. Via William James Walton, Sr. Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group): It Is Up To You, Mr. Seller So, Mr. Seller, you’ve made (0 comments)
Bank of America Offers Free House When A Checking Account Is Opened - 05/17/11 12:14 AM
OK, I'm kidding here. I'm not kidding about the free house, but I am kidding about getting a gift for opening a checking account with Bank of America. Bank of America is offering free homes to 150 select people in Chicago. In her article on Bankrate.com, Marcie Geffner writes about Bank of America's plan to offer homes for free to get rid of some foreclosures. Their plan is to unload of some of their extra properties and help solve urban blight problems in the city.
What would 150 free homes do to home values in Chicago? I could make a (76 comments)
The US Federal Government reached their debt limits tonight. The Federal Government's budget is more complex than a standard household budget, but the same concepts remain: Do you spend more than you earn? Do you consider personal budgets when you work with buyers? Do you discuss with buyers what they can afford to spend each month, as opposed to what they are pre-qualified to purchase? Do your buyers understand how different types of mortgages alter their monthly payments? I have this discussion early in my relationship with my buyer clients. While so many agents focus on the purchase price, they (5 comments)
Looking For Trouble In All The Wrong Places - 05/15/11 11:59 PM
I treat home inspections as sacred. This is the buyer's chance to research the physical health and safety of the home they intend to buy. I encourage my clients to hire a professional inspector and review any areas that are of concern. Over the past few months, I've found customers who ignored the big picture and spent a large amount of time looking for problems or issues that were unlikely to exist. Examples: Toxic Chinese Drywall - I have one client who is very afraid that he is going to buy a home filled with Toxic Chinese Drywall. While a number (4 comments)
Your home was lovely, but my clients can't afford YOUR price! - 05/14/11 08:20 PM
I work with many buyers who are relocating to the New Haven CT area. I was working with some clients today who have their heart set on moving to a certain neighborhood where there are currently three homes for sale. All of the homes are roughly the same age, size and condition, yet my clients are only going to view two of them. What is wrong with the third home? The price.
One of the homes in this neighborhood is priced about 15% higher than the others. It would be highly unlikely that this home would ever appraise at (6 comments)
The Prom King of Shelton Connecticut And Other True Stories - 05/12/11 11:53 PM
James Tate, a senior at Shelton High School in Shelton, CT, is a hero. James became famous this week for being suspended and banned from attending the school's Senior Prom. When you think of his punishment, keep in mind that this is a a day and age when schools have increased violence, cheating, bullying and a decrease in learning, standardized scores and graduation.
What was James Tate's crime? See for yourself:
That's right. James and some of his friends came up with a creative way to ask a young woman to the Senior Prom. They cut out letters with (5 comments)
Today I had my first featured post! The blog, "I Sell Homes For Fun, I Don't Need To Get Paid" was first published last night as a Member's Only Post. When I found my post staring at me on ActiveRain's main page, I decided it was time to open it up to a wider audience. My inspiration for this change came from Kevin Tomlinson's blog this morning. The featured post is a milestone for me. I made the commitment to the 31 Days of May Challenge and I've more than doubled the number of blog posts since the Challenge started (4 comments)
I'm a big fan of Skype. I work with a number of clients who travel internationally and have vacation homes on the CT Shoreline. Skype makes it easier to call people in other countries. I'll frequently have video conference calls with customers and friends alike who live overseas. As long as both parties have an Internet connection, you can reach each other. I have Skype installed on my Android phone so that I can call international numbers without incurring hefty international call rates and fees. I'll save minutes off my plan using Skype for some calls, and make international calls (3 comments)
I Sell Homes For Fun - I Don't Need To Get Paid! - 05/11/11 12:00 AM
I had a deal fall apart yesterday due to inspection issues. The house was in a good location, and it fit my buyer's needs, but my clients couldn't deal with the problems discovered found during the home inspection. Since the Seller refused to make any repairs prior to closing, my clients decided to move on and restart their home search. I got a call this morning from the listing agent for this home. The listing agent said that she and her Sellers are both upset and confused over the fact that my Buyers walked away from the deal. The listing agent (71 comments)
If You Build It, They Will Come! How To Get More Prospects Into Your Next Open House. - 05/09/11 11:58 PM
I've read many articles on how to handle prospects once guests arrive at an open house. Very few of these tips for open houses touched on how to build traffic for an open house. Generating traffic is key - the extra interest will help sell the home, and open houses are a perfect opportunity to reach out to new prospects and neighbors. I've attached some methods that have helped me generate more guests for an open house: 1) Advertise Online. Advertise your open house on Realtor.com, on Trulia, on Craigslist, on your broker's website, on your personal website, and even on (4 comments)
Today is a day to celebrate our mothers. I thought the most appropriate way to celebrate Mother's Day on ActiveRain would be to share our fondest memory of how our mothers made our houses into a home.
Here is my story about my mother, Linda Silverstone, who passed away a little over 11 years ago and is still very much a major influence on my life: My mother loved flowers, especially tulips. My childhood home in Woodbridge, Connecticut was frequently filled with flowers. My mom's love for tulips extended to her home decorating - (5 comments)
Going Down? What we all can learn from ActiveRain's server problems. - 05/07/11 12:00 AM
ActiveRain.com was down today. For many hours. On a busy Friday during real estate's busy season. What is important here, other than web hosting and server management, is learning how to respond to problems and reach out to customers during a major service outage. Every company is going to have problems. How a professional or an organization handles problem situations is the true gauge of character and professionalism.
Lessons Learned From Today's Server Downtime: 1) Social Media - Active Rain used social media today to keep users updated. ActiveRain's Facebook Page was filled with updates about the site outage. Bob (12 comments)
The information Google Analytics gives webmasters about site speed is crucial for determining: Specific pages in a website which are taking a long time to load (and could thus be turning away users who are impatient with slow load times) How fast does your website load for people in different regions Browser Differences - Does your site load faster in IE, Firefox or Chrome? Why should you care about (4 comments)
Google Apps - The Best Free Cloud Service or The Best Cloud Service? - 05/04/11 12:09 PM
I'm a huge fan of Google's "Google Apps" service. I currently use Google Apps to power a few different business websites. For my core real estate domain, www.CTProperty.com, I use Google Apps to manage our email, host a shared calendar and store documents. It makes things much easier when everything is in one central place. Managing the account is easy, and I can create an account for a new team member in a matter of minutes.I have used cloud-based services for years. I find Google Apps to be of the same or higher quality as services that used to cost me (3 comments)
Are you in danger of losing your home in Guilford, CT? N2N May Be Able To Help - 05/02/11 11:54 PM
Times are tough. Many have found themselves out of work for months or longer, and struggle to make payments on their home. Others rebounded from a job loss but are strapped with extra payments from their time away from work. For those who live in Guilford CT and are in need of financial support, new options are avaliable to help you through these tough times. For people in need of help, the Neighbor-To-Neighbor Lifeline in Guilford, CT can offer some help through grants to individuals and families in need. The organization was able to help 10 families who were in danger (1 comments)
Not Your Ordinary Faire - The Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Guilford CT - 05/01/11 11:50 PM
I work with many clients who are relocating to Connecticut. Today, while driving with a buyer from out of state, I was asked if Halloween was celebrated in Guilford CT during the Spring. At first I was caught off guard by this question.... why would he ask today if we celebrated Halloween when it is May 1st? And then I saw this: Now his question made sense. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire is in town this week!
The CT Renaissance Faire is one of many cultural events that take place in Downtown Guilford on the Guilford Fairgrounds. Thousands attend each year (1 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.