Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bloomfield CT Cape For Sale

This 3/4 bedroom cape cod style home for sale in Bloomfield is quality, custom built and a one owner home. Many updates throughout, some interior rehab necessary to kitchen, great starter or downsize house, conveniently located near highways and schools. Offers encouraged at the new price of $209,900. Call Lewis & Beth for more details and to schedule a private showing. 860-508-7855 or

Find out what similiar homes are selling for.

Find other homes for sale in Bloomfield.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Staging a Home to Sell Faster and for More Money!

Staging a Home to Sell Faster and for More Money

By Barb Schwarz,

Home sellers and REALTORS® have two priorities: sell the property fast and for as much money as possible. Market-sensitive pricing and a well-executed marketing plan to get the most attention in the marketplace are, of course, crucial. Equally important is to make sure a property makes a great first impression. These days, with more than 80 percent going online to begin their home search, it’s imperative that the first impression not only is made when visiting a home, but as important through pictures in Web listing.

Statistics gathered by shows that 94.6 percent of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP®) sell within 33 days, compared to an average of 196 days for homes that are not staged. Homes staged by ASP®s stay on the market 83 percent less time than a home that has not been staged.

Completion of Home Staging: Thursday. Contract: Friday.

Too good to be true? Not at all. Just ask Carmen Wilber of DeLand in East Central, Florida.

Carmen, ASP®, and owner of Style Fusion Home Staging, recently got a call from the owners of a vacant home that had been on the market for two months with plenty of visitors yet no offers. Those who had seen the home, the REALTOR® representing the home shared, couldn’t easily visualize what it would like to live in the home. It was clear the property needed to be staged.

After an initial walk-through of the house, when Carmen described her staging process and the improvements she recommended, she went to work.

Using accessories and furniture, Carmen focused on staging the rather large open area in the house that visitors had mentioned was hard to see exactly how they would use. She carefully added a dining table set and a sofa group, together with table arrangements, rugs, dishes, flower and candle arrangements, even teddy bears and other items you would find in child’s room. Carmen created a welcoming atmosphere with just enough furniture and accessories to still make the areas feel airy and spacious. She carefully kept a balance between each section of the space – dining, living and sun rooms – by her selection of colors and created a playful and intimate spot for the little ones in the sun room.

By Thursday evening, the home was ready to be shown. By Friday, the REALTOR® sent a message to Carmen to let her know the home was under contract.
“This staging assignment really speaks to how effective home staging is, and the difference it makes,” said Carmen.

Stager and REALTOR® Partnership

Home stagers and real estate agents are teaming up more and more to give turnkey service to the seller. “The agent’s job is to get the property priced and to do the marketing to get it sold. My job as stager is to merchandize the property so that the marketing pays off,” Carmen says, adding that her partnership with the REALTOR® representing the home she staged is a true example of how important it is for both to work hand-in-hand with both shared and separate responsibilities.

“In the case of the Winter Park home, the home staging investment definitely paid off quickly,” added Carmen.

Win-Win for Agent and Stager

The home stager generates money for the agent because without the house staged it sits and in the end the agents either get little commission or none. Therefore, working together, the seller wins, the agent wins, and the stager wins.

HOME SELLERS: Email me at for a FREE HOME SELLER Guide



Thursday, March 24, 2011

You're Invited To Our Open House: Sunday the 27th of March from 1-3 pm

17 Saxton Brook Drive, Simsbury

This Chic & Trendy 4 bedroom colonial is sure to please! Located on a cul-de-sac street in the Squadron Line School District, gorgeous custom kitchen, updated baths, walkout lower level, move-in ready! Price Reduced to $359,900 and ready for offers! Come see...come'll buy!

CALL Lewis & Beth at 860-508-7855 with your questions and to schedule a private showing of this great home and others.

FREE & INSTANT home values at

SEARCH hundreds of homes for sale locally and nationally at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The New Normal!

The New Normal: 5 Facts You Must Know
By Real Trends, Inc.

Fact 1: Homeownership rates has dropped to 1998 levels (around 66%) and there are apparently 750,000 excess vacant homes (around 2,025,000 total homes vacant.) Source 2010 Homeownership rates

Fact 2: Home prices are falling again; the housing double dip is here. Many economists expect further price (value) depreciation in 2011. Search your city at to give your clients a third party view.

Fact 3: From the peak in 2006 US homes are expected to lose close to 36% + in value nationwide. Compare this to the great depression when prices were down 25.9%; since June 2006 we are down 26% GreatDepression

Fact 4: In 2010 repossessed homes reached the 1 million mark. 1 out of every 45 mortgage holders received a foreclosure filing in 2010! Foreclosure Filings There were only about 5 million re-sales. If 20% of the market is Bank REOs and another chunk are short sales then every listing is competition. You can't exclude distressed properties from your comparables.

Fact 5: 72% of the major US metro areas had an increase in foreclosures in 2010 over 2009. Some areas are seeing increases already in 2011.

SEARCH hundreds of homes for sale locally and nationally at

FREE and INSTANT home values at

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sellers: Don't Spend Big on Finishing Touches!

Finishing Touches

The reality today is that sellers don't want to spend big to get their house in tip-top shape for buyers. The good news is that there's plenty they can do for free or at a very low cost.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey | February 2011
Even with forecasts for a rise in home-improvement spending this year, it’s still going to be a challenge to convince sellers to pay for upgrades that will please buyers. But with so much housing inventory available, your listings need to be looking their best. That’s why Terrylynn Fisher, CRS, GREEN, a salesperson and staging specialist with Empire Realty in Walnut Creek, Calif., helps her clients focus on the little things that will make the biggest impact at showings. “We need to try to take what sellers have and add to it to make it as appealing as possible,” Fisher says. “There are a number of affordable things you can do to improve the appearance.”


You may not be able to convince sellers to shell out money to professionally stage their home, but getting it sparkling and clutter-free requires little more than elbow grease. After clearing away clutter, polish the hardwoods, clean the countertops, and dust the light fixtures. You can make a stainless steel sink shine with thrifty cleaning remedies such as baby oil or club soda, according to Fisher likes Howard Products’ line, which includes Restor-A-Finish (about $5 per can). It comes in various wood finishes and can be used to polish cabinets and even blend out minor scratches and imperfections.


Box it up. Most people pack up after they sell the house, but why wait? Sellers should start packing as early as possible—ideally, before they put the home on the market.

Show off the laundry space. Buyers will be impressed if the laundry room is fresh, inviting, and organized. Make sure light bulbs are working, and hide soaps in a cupboard or line them neatly on a shelf.

Focus their attention. Pick a focal point for each room. For example, the focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed, and for a music room, it’s the piano. If a room is mostly empty, you can help draw attention to a corner with a plant or mirror.


Hardwoods are on most buyers’ wish lists (red oak being the most popular, according to the National Floor Trends 2010 market study). Hardwood flooring averages about $5 to $15 per square foot, plus about $2 to $8 per square foot for installation, so it’ll be pricier than vinyl, carpet, or other options. But it can make a huge difference. You may find less expensive hardwoods by going directly to installers, who buy their inventory wholesale, Fisher notes. If it’s a small area, the upgrade won’t be as expensive, says remodeling industry expert Bill Millholland, an executive vice president with Case Design/Remodeling Inc. To imitate the look for less, try vinyl or Bamboo flooring, a sustainable resource that resembles wood but averages $4 to $6 per square foot.


Call the experts. Dirty, worn carpet may benefit from professional cleaning, ranging about $180 to $390 for a 1,300-square-foot home.

Refinish it for cheap. Practically any beaten-up hardwood can be salvaged with refinishing, about $340 to $900 for a 15-by-15-foot room, according to Call a professional tile company to freshen up ceramic tile grout—or, for do-it-yourselfers, hardware stores sell grout paint.

Add a layer on top or bottom. One other option for lackluster flooring: Use an area rug, even over carpets. It’ll add a splash of color, and bring definition to living areas. If you’re adding inexpensive carpeting, consider upgrading the carpet pad, Fisher says. It’s only about 50 cents more per square foot and it will make a budget carpet feel luxurious, she says.


New lighting fixtures are a quick way to create ambiance. Just avoid brass lighting fixtures, which had their heyday in the 1980s. More contemporary choices are brushed nickel and chrome finishes. Also, rust and oil-rubbed bronze are becoming more popular as more home owners set out to have lighting that doubles as an accent feature, says kitchen and bath designer David Alderman, 2011 National Kitchen and Bath Association president. Use lighting to highlight special features—pendant lights to show off that kitchen island or sconces to illuminate a foyer. Under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen is affordable and makes countertops sparkle, Millholland says. Fluorescent light strips tend to be more affordable and easier to install than puck lights.


Go natural. Open those blinds and wipe down the windows. You’d be surprised at how much a simple window cleaning can instantly improve natural light.

Save on energy costs. Compact fluorescent bulbs remain the go-to choice for energy efficiency. Early CFLs didn’t always deliver on light quality or convenience, but they now come in warm, neutral, and cool colors, and major manufacturers are now enclosing the spiral tube in a conventional bulb shape.

Don’t forget the basement. The biggest problem with basements is a lack of adequate lighting. While the natural-lighting flow often can’t be altered, adding lights will create a sense of open airy space on a par with the rest of the house. Paint walls an opaque color so natural light will appear brighter.


A few gallons of paint can go a long way in making a home more chic—and the cost can’t be beat. Covering a 12-by-12-foot room with two coats will cost you about $50 to $100, including supplies. “A home’s interior painted in a pale yellow or light green, or even beige, gives buyers an idea of what they can do with a space,” says Bill Fields, vice president of merchandising for the Lowe’s paint division. Reserve darker or trendier colors for accent walls or to highlight details such as a fireplace or an arched doorway, says Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing at BEHR Process Corp., a paint supply company based in Santa Ana, Calif. Common color picks for accent walls are dark red, green (not lime green, though), or a stone gray. Or instead of introducing a new color, use the paint in the rest of the room as a guide, choosing a color that’s three shades darker. To bring depth to a long hallway, Fields suggests painting the wall at the end of a long hallway a different shade than the others.


Shine with sheen. Flat or matte finish is difficult to clean and shows scuffs. Increasing the sheen can brighten rooms. Eggshell or satin bounces light off the walls to make spaces seem larger. Semi-gloss, higher on the sheen level, is a good option for kitchens and bathrooms since it’s easy to clean, Fields says. And gloss, the shiniest of all, is best for big “statement” areas, such as the front door, Woelfel says. But gloss accentuates flaws, so use it sparingly.

Create monochromatic harmony. Use different variations of the same color throughout the home. The Paint Quality Institute, a paint education resource, refers to this as “layering.” Choose a color card, which usually has about three or four similar hues, and use two or more colors from the single card. Use the lighter colors in the main living areas and darker shades for the rooms that branch out, such as the bedrooms, Woelfel suggests.

Paint the baseboards white. But don’t use stark white, which can take on gray tones against some wall colors, says Woelfel, who suggests antique white or Navajo white as better options. If the home has dated stained-wood trim, simply painting it off-white can bring it up-to-date. But don’t forget to use a primer first.

7 Ways to Create a Cohesive Style

Small updates will have a more dramatic impact if home owners are careful to keep the styles consistent and find ways to draw out the home’s best features. Here are some tips from experts on how to make small improvements pay off.

1. Concentrate on big impact rooms. Be selective about what you do. Kitchens and bathrooms still usually offer the most bang for your buck, says remodeling industry expert Bill Millholland, executive vice president with Case Design/Remodeling Inc.

2. Go neutral. Don’t introduce too much color to the “bones” of the home. You don’t want buyers to see too much bold color on cabinets and walls and say, “‘I have nothing to go with red,’” says Terrylynn Fisher, crs, green, a staging consultant at Empire Realty in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Buyers will have a tough time seeing past it.” Stay neutral with walls, cabinets, and fixtures. Bring in pops of colors through accessories.

3. Consult an expert. A professional stager or remodeler can work within your budget and pinpoint where best to spend your dollars. For a list of contractors or interior decorators, ask colleagues or friends for recommendations or check the Web sites of organizations such as the Real Estate Staging Association or the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

4. Know when inexpensive won’t work. Certain projects simply can’t be done cheaply, especially in a high-end home. “If it’s a luxury home, replacing the vanity with an off-the-shelf product from a big-box store isn’t going to cut it,” Millholland says. “Most consumers will be able to tell that you did something cheap. They won’t even see the value of it, so you’re better off cleaning what’s there and having it appear its best.”

5. Find inspiration. For design guidance, grab a catalog from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, or Williams-Sonoma. “Anything you see in there is fairly consistent with what the average consumer is looking for,” Millholland says.

6. Plan your budget. Even small projects can carry a premium if a contractor is needed for installation. For labor savings, bulk your work, grouping several projects in a full day’s work rather than hiring a handyman or contractor for separate hourly jobs, Millholland says.

7. Complement the architecture. If it’s a two-story colonial home, avoid overly contemporary updates, such as stainless steel countertops. Likewise, if the exterior is modern or contemporary, stay away from traditional styles, such as dark wood or classic lighting fixtures, Millholland says.

VISIT for FREE & Instant housevalues

VISIT to search hundreds of homes for sale

CALL Lewis and Beth at 860-508-7855 to discuss your real estate needs and to schedule an appointment with us.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Story: A Jump in Mortgage Rates Puts Pressure on Buyers to Buy Now!

March 2011 Market Update

Gradual progress in the housing market continues at a steady pace without government support. The market has shown remarkable improvement from the initial drop after the expiration of the home buyer tax credit this past July. Although higher-than-normal distressed sales skew the overall picture of home prices downward, inventory continues to shrink and sales continue to rise. The rock-bottom interest rates of 2010 are likely to trend upward. As economists anticipate rates at or above 6% by the end of 2012, buyers are moving off the sidelines and into the market.

A good sign for long-term market stability is that the median down payment on conventional mortgages has risen to 22%, up from 4% in 2006 and slightly above the 20% standard in the 1990s. This may keep buyers looking in slightly lower price ranges, but it is a good sign of future sustainability for homeowners and banks alike. There are still ample opportunities for those who would like down payments below 20%, including some conventional mortgages and those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development loans.

As the economy improves, stimulus efforts by the government and the Federal Reserve Board will gradually wind down, which typically means rising interest rates. Meanwhile, buyers continue to benefit from historically favorable buying conditions and sellers are encouraged by increased market stability.

Home Sales

in millions

The increasing trend in existing home sales activity continued through January, and for the first time rose above year-ago levels when the home buyer tax credit was in effect. This marks the sixth monthly increase since July when the tax credit expired, and indicates a recovery that’s gaining a firmer footing without government support.

Watch This Month in Real Estate:

VISIT to search hundreds of homes for sale locally and nationally.

VISIT for a FREE and INSTANT market value of your home.

CALL Lewis and Beth McIntyre to discuss your real estate needs. 860-508-7855

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You're Invited! Bloomfield Open House Sunday 3.13.11 from 1-3 PM

7 Cyrus Lane, Bloomfield
This brick beauty is quality built and ready for your personal touch! New 30 yr architectural shingles, new windows, furnace, oil tank, cook top, remodeled bath, gleaming wood flrs, & security system, too! Reduced to $209,900

Search hundreds of homes for sale locally & nationally at

INSTANT and FREE Market Value on your home


Lewis and Beth at 860-508-7855


Lewis and Beth at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thinking About Selling Your Home? First Impressions Do Matter!

Are smart upgrades worth it? This year’s Cost vs. Value Report, by Remodeling magazine, provides ample support. The annual survey uses input from REALTORS® in 80 cities to rank home remodeling projects according to those that bring the greatest cost recovered at resale. And looking at the five projects that topped the list, it’s clear that first impressions really do matter when sellers list their home.

Big-bang projects can make or break a sale from the moment potential buyers exit their car. A midrange entry door replacement brings the highest payback at a national average of 102.1 percent, followed by a midrange garage door replacement, at 83.9 percent, and an upscale redo of the siding at 80 percent of the cost. Step into the home, and a midrange kitchen remodel recoups an average 72.8 percent. Gaze into the backyard, where a wood deck addition also generates a 72.8 percent return.

Also noteworthy in this slow-growing economy is that four of the top five projects are "midrange" projects aimed at budget-conscious sellers. If sellers still balk at the price tag, take note of our tips for completing the projects on a tidy budget.

This article is courtesy Realtor Magazine

CALL Lewis and Beth at 860-508-7855 to discuss this article

VISIT for an INSTANT and FREE market value of your home or condo

VISIT to search hundreds of homes for sale locally and nationally

EMAIL for a free report about cost vs value

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bloomfield, CT: Drastic Price Reduction on this Brick Beauty!

       Custom Built One Owner Brick Cape.  Just Reduced to $209,900

NEW furnace, windows, architectural roof, updated bath, hardwood floors, fully applianced, MUST SEE!
Call Lewis and Beth at 860-508-7855 for more details, email us at  and visit

Search hundreds of homes for sale at

FREE online market evaluation of your home at

We help our clients buy and sell real estate in the Farmington Valley and Greater Hartford communities:
Bloomfield, Avon, Canton, Farmington, West Hartford, Canton, New Hartford, Burlington, Barkhamsted, Hartland, Granby, Simsbury, East Granby, Suffield, Enfield, Windsor, Windsor Locks, Somers, Broadbrook, Ellington, Coventry, Tolland, Glastonbury, and beyond.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Granby Public Schools Announce New Summer Learning Programs!

Granby Public Schools in collaboration with the Granby Education Foundation are excited to present a new summer learning opportunity for children entering grades 3-9 in 2011 who are interested in learning about Chinese Language, Chinese Culture and Global Studies.
The Global Summer Learning Academy will take place for 10 days beginning June 20th and ending July 1st. The sessions will run from 8:30-12:00 at Wells Road Intermediate School.
Students will rotate daily through three courses: Chinese Language, Chinese Culture and Global Studies. The Global Learning Academy, sponsored by the Granby Education Foundation, presents a three phase Chinese learning opportunity for children entering grades three through nine during the 2011-2012 school year.
 The three learning opportunities include:
  • a two week Global Learning Summer Academy (June 20 – July 1);
  • a four session Global Learning Saturday Academy (October 15, 22, 29 and November 1);
  • culmination in a Global Learning Event to be held during International Education Week (November 14-18)
To Learn more about the community of Granby, VISIT

Search hundreds of homes for sale locally & nationally, VISIT

FREE market value on your home at

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Attention Home Sellers: Remodeling Dollars: Top 5 Projects!

Creating a memorable first impression with home improvements pays off, according to Remodeling magazine's "2010-11 Cost vs Value Report." And most of the top projects don't require a major investment.

EMAIL me for a copy of your FREE copy of this report

VISIT for a FREE and INSTANT market value on your home

VISIT to search hundreds of homes for sale locally and nationally