The Best Real Estate Deal in Stratford’s Paradise Green as of October 22, 2020

If you’re house shopping in the North end neighborhood of Stratford, you might be looking for something – anything- affordable in the Paradise Green area. With multiple offers taking the most attractive homes off the market within days of being listed, it is challenging to find something good in today’s market. After looking around at homes listed in this area as of October 22, 2020 I have found one gem that is still available.

The home at 695 Wilcoxson Ave is a 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom colonial offering 1,661 square feet of living space on a 4,792 square foot lot. This pre-war home was built in 1918 and offers a ton of charm with stucco siding, large windows, arched interior doorways, hardwood floors and a fireplace. The overbuilt design elements of prewar homes are just charming. After World War II, homes were built cheaper and faster to quench the demand of the booming suburbs. They just don’t build them like they used to.

695 Wilcoxson Ave

This home is listed at $284,900 and has been on the market for over two months. Considering the speed and competition with which surrounding homes are going for, it is surprising that this gem is still available. It is within walking distance just down the road from Wilcoxson Elementary school, one of the best grade schools in Stratford. The only downside that I can see with this home is that Wilcoxson Avenue is a busy road with quite a bit of traffic. However, the location is reflected in the price which still offers a great deal for this area. We think it will go contingent soon, as there is very little supply on the market today.

View from Charlton Street

This home also has an oversized two-car garage which is also unusual for the area. Most homes are lucky to have a single car garage, though the early prewar garages that are still standing are a real treat. The detached two-car garage makes a great workshop space or storage space.

Two Car Garage

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

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Living in the Lordship Neighborhood of Stratford, Connecticut

Lordship is a sleepy, quiet waterfront neighborhood on Connecticut’s Gold Coast which overlooks and is surrounded by Long Island Sound. Settlers first arrived here in 1639 when it was originally known as Great Neck. It’s been said that Lordship is a “town within a town” because it feels so different from the rest of Stratford. I would agree with that. In fact, the first time I came here, the drive over the causeway reminded me of Old Saybrook, another Connecticut shoreline town where I grew up.

When my wife and I were newly married and looking to buy our first home in 2016, we began looking in Lordship. That Old Saybrook familiarity led us to place an offer on a wonderful 1950 cape on First Avenue with views of the Sound from the front yard. We couldn’t believe how affordable the price was. We were outbid by the only other offer which was $32,000 over the asking price.

This beach enclave features several public as well as private beaches; Long Beach and Short Beach are two public town beaches available for all Stratford Town residents who acquire a beach parking pass. In the middle, Russian Beach is for town residents only. For trips to Long or Short Beach: as of 2020, the daily rate for non-residents was $20 Monday-Thursday and $40 per day from Friday to Sunday.

The North end of Lordship features Sikorsky Memorial Airport, the only airport in Fairfield County. This airport provides some great visual entertainment for beach goers, who can watch small aircraft gliding low over the Sound and beach as they come in to land. It is a really unique part of Southern Connecticut, and is just another piece of aviation history that makes Stratford great.

The Historic Curtiss Hangar in Lordship, Stratford

Next to the runway is the historic 1929 Curtiss Hangar, which has seen visitors such as Igor Sikorsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Juan Trippe, and Howard Hughes. After years of going derelict, the building is scheduled to be renovated and turned into an aviation museum. Let’s hope this project is completed within the next few years.

Restoration in Progress

Traveling further down Stratford Road to Park Boulevard will lead you to some incredible views of the Sound. Homes here run the gamut; they vary from the affordable vintage cape or ranch all the way up to large modern homes and even some new construction. Several new homes were completed in 2019-2020 and a few are under construction now in October 2020.

New Home Construction on Park Boulevard, October 2020
View from Great Neck, Stratford
Beach Walk in Lordship, Stratford

On Summer nights, groups of young people can be seen riding around on long boards, bicycles and Vespa scooters down to the beach. The beach life vibe is alive and well in the Lordship neighborhood. This is truly an idyllic place to grow up: all of the benefits of a small beach town life, conveniently located just one hour to New York City. If you enjoy access to the Sound, water front homes and an active lifestyle, this place just might be for you. This is Stratford’s best kept secret.

Ocean front home in Lordship, Stratford
Long Island Sound Views in Lordship, Stratford

The center of Lordship offers few amenities such as: a small deli, a pizza shop and a convenience store. The newly renovated Surf Side hotel and Little Pub are popular new spots to visit right on the beach. Recently, a zoning change was made in the area to allow for more commercial development. Like the rest of Stratford, Lordship is no longer forgotten and the area is seeing new money funding the thoughtful development that it deserves.

To read more stories about the Lordship neighborhood of Stratford, Connecticut click here.

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

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91 Woodland Ave, Stratford, CT 06614

Now for sale is a super cute 1920 ranch style bungalow with 1,181 square feet of living space, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This small vintage home was initially listed for $259,750 but after a recent price drop is now available at $235,000. Incredibly, this home was last sold in November 2016 for only $110,000 which was an incredible buy for this neighborhood.

This 100 year old home is unique to the surrounding area for several reasons: it has a stucco exterior, an unusually large lot size of 9,147 square feet and is a pre-war home. Most property lots in this area are approximately half that size, so they’re in the 5,250 square foot range. Prewar homes (built before 1935) are also more rare to find as the majority of the housing supply in Stratford was developed rapidly after World War II. They just don’t build them as well as these prewar homes anymore! Finally, the stucco exterior is not often seen in this neighborhood, which offers a warm vintage charm.

This little gem is also currently the cheapest single family home on the market right now in Paradise Green, with a large lot size that offers the potential for future expansion. Considering the house right next door is under contract (listing price $349,900) this home may offer a good opportunity for someone to buy, renovate and expand.

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

192 Reed Street, Stratford, CT 06614

This wonderful Cape is situated on one of the best streets in all of Paradise Green: Reed Street. This quiet north-end street has seen a lot of buying and selling activity this year, with homes in the area selling extremely fast. According to public records this home last sold for $269,000 in 2018 and appears to have since undergone a serious amount of renovation. The home was listed in September 2020 at $349,900 and appears to have gone under contract in contingency within 3 or 4 days – very fast!

This picture-perfect 1940 home was built during World War II and features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms featuring 1,373 square feet of living space. This corner lot is surrounded by mature trees and sits on the corner of Reed street and Woodland ave. It’s just a short 5 minute drive to Metro North Stratford station and a 5 minute drive to catch the Merritt Parkway – an ideal convenient location for commuters yet offers all of the peace and quiet of Paradise Green.

Directly neighboring this home on the adjacent corner is 91 Woodland Ave, which is also currently for sale. This neighboring home is a cute 1920 ranch bungalow with 1,181 square feet of living space. It was initially listed for $259,750 but after a price drop is now $235,000. Incredibly, this home was last sold in November 2016 for only $110,000 which was an incredible buy for this neighborhood.

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

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Home Sold for $11,100 Over Asking Price in Paradise Green

One of the best streets in the Paradise Green neighborhood of Stratford, Connecticut is Reed Street. This beautiful tree-lined street with sidewalks is unique in that part of the street has mature forest land behind the odd numbered homes. While most homes in Stratford are surround by neighboring property on all four sides, a section of Reed Street has no neighbors directly behind the homes because of a wooded area offering greater privacy. This wooded area is also known for a variety of wildlife such as wild turkey, turtles, deer and white egret birds. Any additional privacy is a highly sought after resource in these quiet suburbs.

Recently, a home in this area located at 51 Reed Street sold on October 8, 2020 for $376,000 according to public records. The listing price was $364,900 which means that it has sold for $11,100 over the asking price. While we don’t know what other factors went into the deal such as agreed upon repairs or closing cost assistance, we do know it sold over the asking price by looking at public record. We do know that the bidding wars leading to highest and best offer scenarios are pushing up prices quite a bit for Paradise Green homes as of late; that may be the case here, too. Like we recently reported, it’s no secret that housing is extremely hot in this neighborhood.

This 4 bedroom 2 bathroom Cape was built in 1940 and has 1,916 square feet of living space on a 6,098 square foot lot. Before it was listed for sale, it appears that significant investment was made into it with new siding, possibly new windows, what looks like a new roof and a newly paved driveway. Additional upgrades and renovations were likely performed on the interior as well. Overall this is a really beautiful home on a quiet street.

Comparably sized renovated Capes not far from here in Fairfield, Connecticut can be found at around $500,000. So once again, Stratford is providing some good value here. However, the public school system in Fairfield features a higher rated Elementary, Middle and High School compared to Stratford, according to Great Schools rating system. The balance between space, affordability and school system quality is certainly a difficult decision to make when home shopping in Fairfield County Connecticut towns.

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

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886 Riverton Terrace, Stratford, CT 06614

This prewar 1936 colonial was listed just five days ago for an incredible asking price in today’s market. For some reason the seller appeared to grossly underprice the home, at an amazing ask of $244,900. Perhaps this was a brilliant strategy to create a lot of interest and spark a bidding war. This three bedroom, one bathroom home of 1,534 square feet is on an oversized lot of 0.26 acres. Whats more remarkable is this home is on a dead end street at the very north end of Paradise Green just below the Mill River Country Club.

This home looks to be in relatively good condition for the price, with various updates already made. This dead end street is one of the best streets in Paradise Green. The dead end would almost guarantee a very livable and safe street for a family with children. Its also a very quiet street due to being a dead end, where most streets in the neighborhood have a medium amount noise because of the through-traffic.

I heard there are at least 8 other offers on the house, maybe more. I am predicting that the house will likely sell for $30,000 over the asking price – around $274,900 is my guess. Even at this price, it looks like a great buy as it is very difficult to find a solid home in this price range on a dead end street in the neighborhood. It always comes down to the location. Two equivalent homes on different streets (different surroundings) cannot truly be considered comps. I will update this post to share what the sale price is once it becomes recorded in the public town records.

Since this is a larger than usual lot (double lot) the owners of this property over the years decided not to subdivide and sell the land for a new construction. Throughout Paradise Green, there are very few original lots of this size remaining, as most were split off and sold during the boom years of construction. Who can blame them? It must have been tempting to subdivide and sell off some land for a profit, and perhaps then sell your own home and move. Most lots in this neighborhood are half the size, non-conforming by today’s zoning standards, and are around 0.13 of an acre. This lot is still 0.26 of an acre, so there is a nice wide space between this home and the neighboring house to the right.

With that amount of space, I would relocate the driveway to the right side of the house and tear up the current one located on the left. I would then replant that left side with a lawn and add a wall of emerald green arbor vitae plantings for additional privacy as the neighboring house is close.

Stay tuned for new blog posts coming soon where I’ll share a few other rare original “double” lots that were never subdivided. There is one property on Reed Street and another around the corner from Reed on Meritine Ave with the original double lot size. These are cool to see because you can kind of imagine what the town used to look like before World War II, when the homes were more spaced out with larger yards and less population density.

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

540 Harvard Ave, Stratford, CT 06614

First up on this week’s Homes for Sale is 540 Harvard Ave in Stratford, Connecticut. Harvard Ave is a beautiful street located off of East Main Street in the Paradise Green neighborhood. This prewar Cape Cod-style home was built in 1924 according to public town records. It features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 977 square feet of living space on a 4,792 square foot lot. This little gem also features an enclosed front porch, garage and is really well maintained and updated.

This unique home was sold in December 2016 for $221,500 which we believe was a great value buy at the time. After performing extensive renovations and investing into the property, the house was again on the market August 2020 for $249,900. In today’s market I believe this home is slightly underpriced and would be better priced for the seller in the $265,000 range based on the demand in this area and the excellent condition and location of the home.

The Town of Stratford, Connecticut last performed a town-wide reevaluation of properties for tax purposes in 2019. Property taxes dropped from $5,557 in 2019 to $5,178 in 2020 on this home, which is a modest decrease and overall a positive sign for the town going forward. Historically, property taxes and the mill rate in Stratford have been high relative to surrounding towns.

What’s unique about this cute home is that it has a twin, right next door. This home’s twin is located at 550 Harvard Ave (pictured below) which was also built in 1924. It is also a two bedroom home, though it has one bathroom. It is in equally wonderful condition for a prewar home in Paradise Green. These two homes were likely built by the same builder and are the exact same house – or at least they were in 1924. Talk about finding a similar comp! It’s also interesting to mention: 2020 property taxes for 550 Harvard are $5,588; more than its twin despite having one less bathroom.

550 Harvard Ave

550 Harvard Ave last sold for $229,000 in January 2018 which was also a great buy for a wonderfully updated home on this quiet street. I continue to admire the twins of Harvard Ave on our neighborhood walks around Paradise Green.

Check out the slider below to do a side by side comparison of these homes!

540 Harvard Ave + 550 Harvard Ave Comparison

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Information posted is merely the opinion of Time or Space for entertainment purposes only. All information published can be found in Town Records which is made available to the Public.

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Housing is Hot in Stratford’s Paradise Green Neighborhood

Paradise Green is a quaint North-end neighborhood in the Fairfield County suburb of Stratford. This neighborhood is nestled along the beautiful Housatonic River that empties out into Long Island Sound next to Milford. It’s located above I95 and below the route 15 Merritt Parkway. In the center of the neighborhood is Paradise Green Park, a large triangular shaped green situated between Huntington road and Main Street where the farmers market operates during the summer months.

The Paradise Green neighborhood is within walking distance to Longbrook Park, which is next to beautiful new athletic fields, and offers many shops and restaurants on Main Street. On Main Street you’ll find brick oven fired pizza, a wine shop, an American tavern, a donut shop, bakeries, coffee shops, Italian restaurants and more. This area is excellent for commuters due to its convenient location. Paradise Green residents will enjoy a 5 minute drive up north to get on the Merritt Parkway or a 5 minute drive south down to the Stratford metro north train station.

Fairfield County is now experiencing a very hot seller’s market this year due to several factors; read more about that here. Paradise Green is arguably one of the best neighborhoods in Stratford due to its convenient location, good schools and amenities. This neighborhood has beautiful mature tree-lined streets with sidewalks, offering a high quality of living in a peaceful suburban setting that’s perfect for families. New York City transplants and Connecticut homebuyers looking for a safe and affordable place to call home often land here.

Homes in this area are well-kept and often extensively updated with a wide range of styles to choose from. Smaller ranch homes, two story colonials and a mix of large and small pre-war homes can be found here. Pre-war homes are more rare as the building boom in town didn’t take place until the post-war years once servicemen returned home. With the support of the 1944 GI bill promoting home ownership, low interest mortgages helped fuel the growth of the suburbs.

The Great Recession from 2007-2009 had a large impact here in Town. Foreclosed homes resulting from this recession were still widely available in 2015-2016 when I began looking at homes in Stratford. However, from 2015-2019 home prices recovered dramatically, nearing pre-recession levels. The pandemic in 2020 has further pushed the already hot market into an even hotter one, with homes going under contract within a day or two and prices at or above historical peaks.

Even with home prices continuing to rise, Stratford still offers the best value proposition in Fairfield County today. Beautifully updated 3 bedroom homes in the $350,000 price range in Stratford would easily reach into the $500,000 range and beyond in the town of Fairfield, just over 10 minutes drive away. While these two towns offer different benefits, the fact remains that Paradise Green offers quite a lot for those looking to affordably break into a Fairfield County town on the metro north train line.

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