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.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

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.

Suggested Reading:

How to Be a Real Estate Investor

Atomic Habits

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.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

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.

Suggested Reading:

City Farmhouse Style

Ultimate Guide to Home Repair

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.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

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

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

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.

Suggested Reading:

City Farmhouse Style

Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Styles

Down to Earth: Laid-back Interiors for Modern Living

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces by Joanna Gaines

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.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

Suggested Reading:

The Book on Negotiating Real Estate: Expert Strategies for Getting the Best Deals

The 2020 Seller’s Housing Market in Fairfield County, Connecticut Explained

The COVID 19 pandemic continues to affect nearly every element of daily life around the world. Here in Fairfield County, Connecticut we continue to see those pressures come through in real estate in the form of a very hot 2020 sellers market. As it becomes clear that we may not return to a normal way of life anytime soon, those who can move out of New York City continue to do so at an alarming rate.

High-income earners from the city are choosing to relocate to Connecticut suburbs for good reason: excellent public schools systems, space to remain socially distant, space to allow for a home office and a diverse educated community. Space has never been more in demand than right now. Top choices to relocate in are towns such as Greenwich, Darien and Westport. These towns have proximity to NYC, a metro north train station and top-rated public schools. Their property taxes also remain relatively low due to a strong tax base.

Middle-income earners escaping the city will be pushed farther out into the outer limits of Fairfield County such as Fairfield and Stratford. Fairfield is a great shoreline town with good schools, moderate taxes and beautiful beaches. However, home prices in Fairfield remain too high for most in the middle-income bracket. This will force them to look either north into Trumbull and Monroe or further east into Stratford.

Stratford remains the second most affordable Fairfield County town (second only to Bridgeport) and provides a tremendous value even as property values continue to climb. Stratford has some good schools depending on what neighborhood you live in. Some neighborhoods suffer from underperforming schools. Stratford has several beaches, a metro north train station and a diverse, working class community. Property taxes are high relative to the surrounding towns, though home prices have historically been significantly lower than neighboring towns.

Home prices all across Fairfield County are finally recovering back up to the pre-recession levels of 2006-2007. The current seller’s market represents a perfect storm from the lack of inventory supply and the strong demand for space due to the pandemic. Many homes right now are seeing multiple offers, highest-and-best offer scenarios, and are selling over the original asking price. New York City expats are battling locals in price bidding wars for an ever smaller selection of homes on the market.

As prices continue to rise across Fairfield County, home owners who would like to sell may have difficulty navigating this market. While their current homes are now easier to sell at higher values, finding a new home they can afford – and win- without tough competition will be a challenge. This further constrains the supply of homes, which in turn puts upward pressure on home prices.

Interest rates on home loans are at an all time low. It’s common to see 3% and 3.125% 30-year rates at the moment, which allows buyers to afford more expensive homes. With interest rates predicted to remain low for the foreseeable future, this has also contributed to home price growth this year.

As 2020 transitions into 2021, many real estate experts expect the home prices and sales in Connecticut to remain very strong.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

Suggested Reading:

The Book on Negotiating Real Estate

Time or Space

Making a purchase decision on a home and what town that home is located in certainly presents a myriad of variables to consider. Though, despite the complexity of this analysis, it often boils down to this one simple choice: time or space.

You can choose a home much closer to your work place, saving time commuting. Time is fleeting, it’s the only thing we can’t create more of. To save time, space is often substantially compromised. One less bedroom, one less bathroom, less privacy, increased population density. Maybe a smaller home is more affordable and you won’t need to work as much to afford it. That means time saved, too.

Alternatively, by trading time for a longer commute, you will almost always gain more space. That big bonus room, an extra acre or two, more privacy, lower population density.

The name of this blog, Time or Space, is a nod to this concept.

To get notified when we post new homes for sale, subscribe to our email club here.

To read more on Real Estate Finance, click here.

To read more on Home Design, click here.