30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Falls to Record Low for 11th Time This Year

Mortgage rates in the US have fallen again to a new record low. The average rate for a fixed thirty year mortgage fell to 2.8% a rate so low it has historically only been seen on 15 year fixed mortgages. Now might be a great time to refinance or consider a cash-out refinance if you have built up equity that you want to tap into. Keep in mind that cash out refinancing will typically result in a slightly higher rate than this historic low. The more equity you cash out, the higher the rate will be.

When I purchased my home in October 2016, exactly four years ago, the best rate available was 3.5% which was a very good rate back then. If you are in the position to find a modest home for a fair price in today’s market, the 2.8% rate is a really great long-term rate. Then again, experts are predicting rates will continue to slide this year and possibly into early next year.

The falling mortgage borrowing rates are just one more variable putting upward pressure on home prices; while rates may be historically low, the combination of low inventory in the suburbs and strong demand is pricing out a lot of people despite the opportunity to lock in a low rate. As rates climb once again, moving or buying a new home becomes less attractive, easing pressure and prices in the market.

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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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Moving from New York City to Connecticut in a Pandemic

According to data recently reported by the New York Times, as many as 10,000 or more people fled New York City for the Connecticut suburbs in search of safety in the form of more space. The current pandemic that we are living through has forced many city residents to cut their time in NYC short and make the decision to buy a house a little earlier than maybe they had planned to. The situation has been especially hard on families with young children at home, where trying to balance working from home with the entire family sharing a small city apartment space has been challenging.

With the exodus from NYC to CT that began in Spring 2020, many people are evaluating the various communities and towns Connecticut has to offer. The further away from NYC you get, the more affordable and spacious housing becomes. Stamford, Greenwich and Darien are generally a 40-50 minute commute into Grand Central on Metro North which is one reason housing is so expensive in those towns. Further out, Westport becomes a great option for families, as this town offers some of the highest rated school systems in the entire country.

Choosing a community to live in is usually based on budget range and also what one is willing to compromise on. It’s no surprise that the Fairfield County towns with the best school systems close to New York City will have the most expensive homes. There are some bargains to be found within a reasonable commuting distance however, in towns like Fairfield and Stratford.

Stratford is currently the most affordable town in Fairfield County, though home prices are rising fast here too due to the small supply of available homes for sale. To read more about the state of the Connecticut housing market in Fairfield County, read our recent report here.

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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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