West Hartford, CT Real Estate News

By Rebecca Makas
(William Raveis Real Estate)
As part of a $1.1 million funding for the arts the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism awarded a $15,000 grant to the West Hartford Art League.  The grant is for the annual Art Walk which displays artwork of various mediums in store fronts and store windows in West Hartford's downtown area.The Art League is one of 44 organizations statewide that were awarded grants this year, as announced this week by Governor Jodi Rell.Last fall, sixty three merchants in West Hartford Center displayed artwork by more than 120 various Connecticut artists.  The Art League is using this year's grant to expand the walk, which will have it's five year anniversary in September.As a resident living right outside of West Hartford Center, I know how wonderful it is to have constant new reasons to go sho...
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By Rebecca Makas
(William Raveis Real Estate)
The town of West Hartford's Leisure Services Department in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department offer literally dozens of summer programs for kids from both inside of West Hartford and other towns.  There are 2 week sessions, that start the week after public school ends.  They run from 8:30 - 4:40 daily, with extended care available until 5:30 daily.  Best of all, you can register for these day camps as well as other individual classes as well in things like dance, sports, crafts for kids, magic ONLINE!  The link is below.http://www.west-hartford.com/leisureservices/Summer%20Programs.htmMy son Ben is 8 1/2 and went to Fernridge Park's Funtastic program last year.  He had daily swimming lessons in the huge Park pool, along with daily free swim.  They played all kinds of s...
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By Rebecca Makas
(William Raveis Real Estate)
A Social Studies teacher from Hall High School has been named Teacher of the Year by the New England History Teachers Association.  Elizabeth Devine won the award, and has been a teacher at Hall for many years.  The award was given to Ms. Devine at the Northeast Regional Social Studies conference, held last week in New Haven, CT.  The committee made specific mention of Devine's work with Advanced Placement US history students, and her Human Rights program at Hall.Congratulations to Elizabeth Devine and Hall High School!
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By West Hartford CT Real Estate Agent | West Hartford Realtor | www.CTMike.com
(ERA Broder Group)
When making a financial decision as well as a life decision as important as a home purchase, you are best served to study data and details of the location you are considering.West Hartford CT Real Estate has been strong throughout the past five years, dodging trends of other markets, and maintaining value as well as sales. (as show by the graph below)This valuable data can help you determine what price range to shop in, how to best situate an offer, how to prepare for your move, among many other things. Your only chance to do your homework is BEFORE you go to contract. I encourage you to ask your Realtor the questions that matter. Have them provide the data you are looking for. This is a fantastic market for both buyers and sellers (those priced right!). West Hartford CT Real Estate is ...
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By Bonnie and Melinda, Your West Hartford Real Estate Specialists
(Re/Max Premier, Realtors)
The West Hartford market is starting to come alive. Agents who have been lamenting about the slow market are hearing the phone ring and starting to put deals together. We had a listing in the mid $200's - very sweet 3 BR, 1.5 Bath Colonial, and after over 40 showings there were no takers. Then this last week, after 5 weeks on the market - 3 offers! Another starter home we were getting ready to put on MLS got snatched up before we had a chance to make it "live"!Inventory is still very low. An agent with some out of town Buyers was saying the other day that there isn't anything to show them. So keep your fingers crossed, but we think it's going to be a great Spring!
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By Brent Bell, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, Hartford County
(RE/MAX Premier, Realtors)
How many popular neighborhoods are there in West Hartford? Different people would argue for all of them! Webster Hill provides an elementary school within walking distance for most students (Conard High School is also just a few steps away for most). Also close by are West Hartford Center, the Noah Webster House, Rockledge Golf Course and 2 entrance ramps for I-84.  In Webster Hill, bordered roughly by Boulevard, I-84 and South Main Street, houses sold (median #) in 29 days over the course of 2007! Buyers liked what they found and usually found theirhomes quickly (fastest sale in 2 days and slowest 415 days). There were 57 single-family homes sold, at prices ranging from $425,000 to $145,000, with a median price paid of $257,500. That median price was for a split-level home with 1,244 s...
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By Brent Bell, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, Hartford County
(RE/MAX Premier, Realtors)
LAST YEAR -In February 2007, the citizens of West Hartford were concerned. They received new assessments from the town as a result of revaluation - many people seeing a doubling of their assessment (The state requires assessments every four years, but West Hartford managed a seven-year hiatus, from October 1, 1999 to October 1, 2006). The town cautioned that you could not apply the 46.19 mill rate to the new assessment. A significant growth in the town's grand list would mean a lower mill rate. After state-level political change to allow a phase-in of up to 5 years of the new assessment, West Hartford elected to limit the first year change in assessment to a maximum of 25% more than the October 1, 1999 assessment level, and the new mill rate decreased to 38.63. On average, homeowners ex...
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By West Hartford CT Real Estate Agent | West Hartford Realtor | www.CTMike.com
(ERA Broder Group)
I recently had a discussion with a friend who now calls West Hartford CT his home. He and his wife, along with his two children are incredibly happy and thrilled with their community. All too often, you hear about the taxes of CT and the expense of living here. Well, that is often tied to feelings of value. We don't mind paying for things when we know they are worth it... and that is the case for West Hartford, CT. (If you missed my past post about Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center.. here it is: http://activerain.com/blogsview/316349/West-Hartford-CT-Real ) Their school system is rivaled by almost all towns in CT. Teachers seek jobs here, parents seek homes here, and students get an education like no other. I could make this a long winded blog about each area, neighborhood, and ...
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By Jon Sigler, South Windsor Homes for Sale 860-306-8029
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
So you’ve decided to buy a home. Maybe you are a newlywed, and you and your new better half are happy in love and off to pursue the American dream.  Maybe you’re an unhappy renter, tired of throwing away your hard-earned money every month for your landlords house. Perhaps you’re a savvy investor looking to turn a profit from the current West Hartford real estate market. Whatever your reason, you’re ready to buy, and you’re want to buy right now. Purchasing a home can be a exciting, weird, and intimidating experience — occasionally all at once. But by following a few simple steps, your transition from shopping to proud owner can be an easy one. Getting Credit Its' Due It can be pretty tempting to log on the internet and search for the home of your dreams, but before you click your mouse,...
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By Bonnie and Melinda, Your West Hartford Real Estate Specialists
(Re/Max Premier, Realtors)
How are we finding the West Hartford market? Inventory is currently quite low, even considering normal seasonal trends. Why are Sellers holding back? Many listen to the media, and don't want to list their home until the housing market improves, or perhaps until Spring arrives. But what many people don't realize is that the Real Estate market is very local in nature. In our market, this is a great time to sell - there is so little competition this time of year.So what is a Buyer to do? We are working with several Buyers who are looking for specific types of houses, and there is virtually nothing to show them. So we can only hope that as Spring approaches, more houses will hit the market. On the other hand, it appears that Buyers are becoming more "picky". They also listen to the news, an...
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By West Hartford CT Real Estate Agent | West Hartford Realtor | www.CTMike.com
(ERA Broder Group)
West Hartford CT Real Estate is a thriving market. (Michael Chenkus)I have told everyone I know how excited I am for the opening of the new Blue Back Square, located just East of charming West Hartford Center. The real estate market in West Hartford has thrived through market changes, mainly due to the development and focus on growth.I went out last week and enjoyed an incredible dinner at Grant's (Filet Mignon with gorgonzola, creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes) and then caught a movie at the new Criterion Cinemas, part of the new Blue Back Square. I was thoroughly impressed with my entire evening.The energy and vibrance reminds me very much of a Hoboken, NJ neighborhood, or even a SoHo street in Manhattan. Condos, housing, retail, and plentiful parking make this a destination in Cen...
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By Rob Giuffria, GMS, President|Broker|Loan Officer|REALTOR
(Tea Leaf Realty)
By: Rob Giuffria, GMS; 1-860-796-4555I believe the case study method is one of the most effective vehicles for learning and I would like to begin a new series for home seller and buyers. This is the first in a series of real world real estate examples that includes actual stories and the associated outcomes. Names might be changed and figures amended to protect the innocent/guilty client. However, these stories are real! Please email me at Rob@TourRealtors.com for questions regarding this series or visit me on-line at www.RobGiuffria.com. Thanks for visiting! Client During an open house, I was approached by gentleman who said that he was an investor and that he regularly bought homes, updated them, and resold them at profit. I later learned that he was a professional (doctor/lawyer) and...
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By Susan Smith
(Rooms That Work LLC)
Great news!  Crate and Barrel is opening at Blue Back Square in West Hartford October 18th!  (Corner of South Main & Memorial Drive).  Sure beats driving to Boston or Providence!I just love their clean lines and warm colors.  It's a home stager's dream!  Just think of all the shipping charges I'll save!
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
Now that the West Hartford budget has been amended and the mill rate has been set at 38.63, many are wondering how they will calculate their property taxes.  One thing to keep in mind is that they will be based on a 5 year phase-in if your assessment from 2005 to 2006 increased by more than 25%.  Let's do a quick example and hopefully this will help...Let's say your 2005 property assessment was $100,000 and your 2006 property assessment was $200,000, so a 100% increase.  Your taxes for this year will be based on 1.25 times your 2005 assessment.  So,$100,000 x 1.25 = $125,000 then multiply this by the mill rate to get your taxes$125,000 x .03863 = $4,828.75 = your tax bill for this yearBut what happens in the next 4 years?  Well, the difference between your 2006 assessment and the 1.25 a...
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
Every year West Hartford has a weekend-long community celebration.  This year's event will take place next weekend on June 2 and 3.  You can enjoy a multitude of vendors selling arts and crafts, games and rides for kids, a 5K race, and some great food.  The celebration takes place in West Hartford Center along Main Street.Celebrate West Hartford is held rain or shine.  Make plans to stop by for a few hours to check out the sites and the progress of Blue Back Square.  Here's a link to the official website if you'd like more info.
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
According to an article today in the Hartford Courant, the West Hartford Taxpayers Association (WHTA) is about 400 signatures away from forcing a referendum on the recently adopted town budget.While I understand the concern that property taxes will rise by approximately 6.6% for all West Hartford homeowners, I don't believe cutting the budget is the way to go.  West Hartford draws and retains residents because of the perception of excellent services and the public school system it offers.  Every weekend I see evidence of this when people from Bloomfield, New Britain, Newington, etc. flood open houses.  The reason they are looking to move?  "I want my kids to go to the West Hartford schools."  If the WHTA is successful in collecting the necessary signatures, their recommendation will be ...
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By Jessica Beganski
(William Raveis Real EState)
If you are considering a move to West Hartford, CT in the near future, you should know about their property records database.  Their online database is a model for other towns in the state, providing instant access and detailed information for anyone seeking information about real property in town.Some features: free online access no login required search by property address detailed property information including sales history, photo, permits, and building sketch interactive map, allowing you to select neighboring properties without knowing address comparable sales info by address and also shows you location on map in relation to property you're comparing you can even pick a place of interest, say a golf course, and view properties near that location Some towns offer limited informatio...
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
From the Hartford Courant on April 12, 2007...West Hartford town officials announced an electronics recycling day on Saturday, May 5.  Residents who have old household electronic equipment they want to dispose of can recycle the items at no charge.Recycling will take place at the town's public works facility at 25 Brixton St. from 9:00am to noon.Residents can recycle the following items: computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, televisions, video-cassette recorders, copiers, fax machines, radios, stereos, and rechargeable nickel-cadium batteries.No commercial electronics will be accepted.  Proof of residency will be required.If you would like more information, visit the vendor's website at www.WeRecycle.com 
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
Last week I talked about property taxes in West Hartford making housing unaffordable for some folks.  This week it seems that we might want to look at affordable housing in CT in general.  The Courant ran an interesting article a few days ago...A Home They Can Buy...Here's a link to the official HOMEConnecticut site if you'd like to learn more...HOMEConnecticutPersonally, when I moved here 3 years ago, I was surprised at how affordable housing actually was compared to other areas where I previously lived; Vermont, Boston and the DC area.  However, I also live in Hartford, a town that often gets overlooked during home...
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By Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI
(RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS)
I realized the other day that I get to see how Blue Back is progressing every day, simply because I work in the Center.  Some West Hartford residents might not visit quite that often, or you may just be curious if you're from an adjacent town.  Here's a quick visual update of the progress on Blue Back Square.  HealthTrax is scheduled to open late May.  The Heritage condos are planning for late 2007 occupancy for some units.  Here are some recent pics of the construction...                        
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