Single Family Home Sales Jan 1 - Sep 30

Westport Sales

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2019 Stats:

Highest Sale: 261 Hillspoint Road $10,000,000

Lowest Sale: 58 Saugatuck Avenue $251,251

Days on Market: 84 (median), 114 (average)

Closing Price: $1,182,500 (median), $1,383,920 (average)

Closing to List Ratio: 96%

Average Lot Size: .93 acres (1.0 acres median)

Average Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 4/5


Weston Sales

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2019 Stats:

Highest Sale: 38 Langner Lane $2,135,000 (KMS Listing)

Lowest Sale: 21 Saw Mill Road $183,225

Days on Market: 81 (median), 119 (average)

Closing Price: $687,000 (median), $795,704 (average)

Closing to List Ratio: 96%

Average Lot Size: 2.34 acres (2.11 acres median)

Average Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 4/4


Fairfield Sales

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2019 Stats:

Highest Sale: Highest: 3236 Congress Street $3,250,000

Lowest Sale: 21 Saw Mill Road $183,225

Days on Market: 68 (median), 85 (average)

Closing Price: $590,000 (median), $711,762 (average)

Closing to List Ratio: 96%

Average Lot Size: .66 acres (.28 acres median)

Average Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 4/3


Norwalk Sales

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2019 Stats:

Highest Sale: 8 Nearwater Road $3,000,000

Lowest Sale: 35 W. Rocks Road $189,000

Days on Market: 65 (median), 87 (average)

Closing Price: $486,509 (median), $584,753 (average)

Closing to List Ratio: 97%

Average Lot Size: .46 acres (.29 acres median)

Average Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 3/3


Wilton Sales

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2019 Stats:

Highest Sale: 8 W. Meadow Road $2,450,000

Lowest Sale: 18 Sugarbush Court $275,000

Days on Market: 85 (median), 119 (average)

Closing Price: $720,000 (median), $790,306 (average)

Closing to List Ratio: 96%

Average Lot Size: 1.89 acres (2.01 acres median)

Average Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 4/4


Sunday's seem made for brunch...

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Spend Sunday morning as you wish and then head out for a late breakfast/early lunch that will tide you over until dinner.  Absolutely perfect for #realtor life, where hosting Sunday afternoon open houses is the norm.

Over the years, we’ve all tried many places – some have come and gone while others have stood the test of time. Give our current favorites a try and let us know what you think.

Tried and true, in Easton is The Olde Bluebird Inn.  Great atmosphere, super friendly staff and of course, an awesome breakfast. Equally great are the Westport icons — Dunville’s and the Sherwood Diner. In Blackrock, Haborview gets an enthusiastic thumbs up for its variety of delicious breakfast sandwiches and omelets.

 Lavish and more traditional brunch buffets can be found at Via Sforza (with an Italian flare) and The Pearl in Westport.  For those willing to venture a bit out of Fairfield County, The Wharf at the Madison Beach Hotel was voted ‘Best Brunch’ in New Haven County by Connecticut Magazine, and includes a signature raw bar among the more traditional offerings. The Bacon Bloody Mary comes highly recommended!

 A special brunch menu, with a French flare, is offered at Martel in Fairfield.  In Westport you can’t go wrong with the atmosphere (or food) at Terrain, the Greenhouse Café , the Boathouse at Saugatuck or Tavern on Main (with bottomless Bloodies, Bellini’s & Mimosas for those not working in the afternoon!). In Wilton, the Schoolhouse at Cannondale will delight with entrees ranging from a French Toasted Brioche to the Schoolhouse Burger with Black Pepper Truffle Aioli

Artisan in Southport has blended offerings – a small buffet, plus a special menu featuring delights like Coffee Rubbed Sunday Brisket.  Need we say more?

 Of course, there are those days when nothing can match draw of family favorites cooked in your own kitchen….Bon Appetit!

 

Halloween Traditions

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Every town has “THE” neighborhood where at least one October 31st you and your child or (gasp) your child alone with friends will go trick or treating. Whether that is Salem Road in Weston, the Gault neighborhood in Westport or the “beach” in Fairfield or Westport, fun will be had and copious amounts of candy will be gathered.

Over the years, alternative ways of celebrating the holiday have emerged. Town centers offer Halloween parades with treats distributed by the stores and Trunk-or-Treating options have arisen out of concerns for safety. Non-profits have gotten into the Halloween business too, offering enjoyable events where proceeds benefit some great causes. Is this the year to start a new tradition?

 A Haunting at Mill Hill, Norwalk Historical Society 10/18-19, 10/25-26 7:30-8:30pm

 “Tour the Mill Hill Graveyard! Ghostly entities are waiting to share their true stories of death, murder, insanity and destruction. A murderous train conductor, a heroic soldier from the Battle of Norwalk, and a young girl who perished on the trolley tracks at Mill Hill are some of the ghosts you will encounter along the way.

At the end of the tour, take a photo with the spirits in the new “Hauntagram” Photo Booth…if you dare! Created by local haunted house and special effects experts, George Holomakoff and Greg Kling, bone-chilling surprises await!  Celebrate your survival with refreshments in the 1826 one-room schoolhouse. Suitable for ages 8 and up. “

Things that Go Bump in the Night, Wilton Historical Society 10/19 6-7:30pm

A spooky night for kids ages 8 - 12. Parents are invited to enjoy a glass of hard cider while waiting.  Co-sponsored by Kiwanis.

 Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival (Tokeneke PTO) 10/19 (10-4pm)

For over fifty years, the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival has transformed the Tokeneke Elementary School, located on Old Farm Road in Darien, into a Halloween-themed haunted house and amusement park.  Kids of all ages can find seasonally theme games and activities, a wide variety of rides plus delicious food.

Halloween Parade Darien Community Association 10/25 10am

“Dress up your little ones and bring a bag for trick-or-treating at the doors of local merchants along the way to Tilley Pond. Then join us for snacks and a special show with our favorite magician “The Amazing Andy.” His magical talents will amaze you and your child, and his wonderful antics, humor and sleight of hand will keep even the youngest magic enthusiasts entertained. Meet at the parking lot next to the Darien Fire Station opposite Post Corner Pizza.”

Kidzfest Touch-a-Truck & More! Human Services Council 10/26 10 am — 3 pm

A Halloween event features over 50 vehicles that dig, climb, rescue, honk & fly. Costume parade (1pm), games, face painting, crafts, music, dancing and more.

$5 Entrance fee benefits Human Services Council, the Children’s Connection

Scare Fair, Weston Girls Scouts at Weston Historical Society 10/26

The Weston Girl Scouts create a spooky atmosphere in the antique barn and set-up a wide variety of games, crafts & activities, including kiddie land, moon bounce, cupcake and cookie decorating for all to enjoy. Costumes are encouraged.

There will be a Silent Auction with many creative baskets designed and donated by the Weston Girl Scout troops, and a wide variety of merchant and individual donations.

Halloween on the Green Fairfield Museum & History Center 10/27 12 – 4pm

“This family event, presented by the Fairfield Museum and the Town of Fairfield, will feature trick-or-treating, giveaways, performances, music, food trucks, bounce houses, games, hayrides, crafts, activities and more! The beloved Costume Parade begins at 1:00pm!”

Trunk or Treat Weston Women’s League 10/27 4 — 6pm

 Located in the secured parking lot of Weston Intermediate School, families decorate their own cars and pass out candy to trick or treaters. (Geared towards 10 and under.)

Hoot & Howl Darien Nature Center 10/28 4 — 6pm

“A not-too-spooky Halloween party will feature festive outdoor play, magic shows, children’s campfire stories, crafts, refreshments, face painting, games with prizes, s’mores, animal encounters, and more!”

 Main Street Halloween Parade Westport 10/29 3:30pm

The parade will proceed up Main Street, turn right onto Avery Place, then turn left on Myrtle Ave to Town Hall and Veterans Green. Children may trick-or-treat along Main Street and in Town Hall. 

Entertainment, refreshments and a small gift will be provided on Veterans Green across from Town Hall at 4 p.m.

 


Prep Now!

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It never hurts to plan ahead.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, now is the time to start preparing. That’s true whether you’re putting it on the market soon, two years from now (when you’re due for a work reassignment), or even five (fingers crossed the last kid finally graduates!).

Prepping your house can be a daunting task. It’s a lot easier if you do it in small, manageable chunks.

Why not start now?

The change of seasons is a perfect time to assess the condition of your house. This fall, go beyond resurfacing the driveway, washing the windows and cleaning the gutters — check the roof and chimney while you’re at it. 

Then step back and look at your home from the street. Maybe it’s time to add some outdoor lighting, re-do the driveway and paint/replace the front or garage doors.

Fall is also the perfect time to improve your landscaping. Add trees, shrubs and other plants now. This will give them time to get established, before the heat and dryness of summer. Pruning and lawn care – weed control, covering brown spots and the like – are essential for optimal spring display.

All satisfying projects that are sure to improve the curb appeal of your home.

Inside, start with maintenance tasks. When were your mechanicals last serviced? Make sure the fireplaces are in tip-top conditions. If not, an inspector will say so – and the buyer will want to negotiate repairs and cleaning. 

Decluttering is critical but can be overwhelming, we know. Tackling that chore one room at a time makes it – well, not easy or enjoyable, but certainly more manageable.

Next, try to view your home from the vantage point of a prospective buyer. Is it finally time to get rid of worn carpeting, remove old wallpaper, refinish hardwood floors?

How about that new kitchen you’ve dreamed of? Why not do it now? You’ll add tremendous value to your property – and the next owners won’t be the only ones to enjoy it. Imagine spending the holidays in your new space!

Is it time for a bathroom renovation? Maybe you’ve thought for a while about adding a deck or outdoor living space, or finishing the basement. 

You can get good ideas about what to do by checking out homes currently on the market. See the difference between those that are updated/prepped, and those that aren’t. And give us a call (203-295-4375) — we are happy to give you some ideas to get started.

It’s all sound advice. It also sounds expensive. If you have a few years left in your home, at least you will have time to appreciate the improvements.

If you are thinking of listing your home soon – we have a solution. Let Compass Concierge front the costs!

This unique service helps you maximize your home’s value. We front the cost of improvements – staging, flooring, painting, landscaping, pest control, electrical work, kitchen and bathroom renovations, water heating and plumbing repair, and more. There are no up-front costs, no hidden fees, no interest payments. Ever.

We guide you through the process, from budget to vendor selection through completion. When your home sells, you pay the cost of services provided – nothing more.

We’re very proud of KMS Partners’ Compass Concierge service. Contact us now for more details.

Even if you’re not planning to sell until your kid finally moves out of the basement….

 

 

Summer is NOT Over Yet — Enjoy that Cocktail Outdoors!

Summer’s un-official end doesn’t mean the days of sipping a cocktail outdoors are over. We’ve scouted out a few locations that have outdoor patios designed just for that …. AND have a happy hour line-up to entice you.

Geronimo’s is on Post Road in Fairfield, just over the Westport border.  You’ve driven by, seen people on the patio and thought hmmm a tequila bar? Well, Monday through Saturday from 4 -7pm you can try their classic margarita, house wine, skillet nachos and/or short rib taquitos for just $5.  They have other specials too.  You’ll probably enjoy it so much that you’ll hit their late night happy hour too – from 9pm to close.

Nearby, Local Kitchen & Craft Beer Bar also has happy hour specials on Tuesday to Friday from 4 - 7pm. Their patio space is smaller but their beer selection can’t be beat. Draughts, house wines and well drinks $4, small plates $5. Oh, and Mondays? Specials like $3 draughts from 3pm to close.

 Parker Mansion, on Riverside Ave in Westport has a nice deck overlooking the Saugatuck River and weekdays specials from 3 to 6 pm.  Or stroll down to the Whelk, where happy hour specials continue until 6:30, (Tues – Friday) with drink specials and $1 Copps Island Oysters.

Relax on the patio at Amis Trattoria, in Westport’s Bedford square, with a signature cocktails for $7 Monday through Friday (4 to 6pm). Snacks, like Sal’s meatballs ($2 each) and Bufalo ricotta bruschetta ($5) pair nicely with wine and beer specials, on tap for $5.

In SONO, Washington Prime features 50% off select appetizers, raw bar and drinks every day from 4 to 6 pm. Sundays? Enjoy a bottle of wine (under $125) for 50% off. Nearby, The Spread offers daily specials weekdays from 4:30 -7, half-priced bottles of wine on Sundays & Mondays and $1 oysters Tuesday from 4:30 until close.  A hip, sleek eatery with indoor/outdoor dining, featuring inventive dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

 Offering outdoor heaters like others on this list, but the fireplace really extends the outdoor fun at Cactus Rose in Wilton.  Their specials run Monday-Friday, from 4 to 6pm.  Save 30% on all appetizers and chose your favorite – red or white – sangria for $7.

We say savor the summer, head out and enjoy!

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Just Who Were the Bankside Farmers?

Nearly four centuries ago, the Bankside Farmers were a thing.

In the fall of 1648, five men from Fairfield — Thomas Newton, Henry Gray, John Green, Daniel Frost and Francis Andrews — acquired land from the Native American Machamux tribe, on what is now Beachside Avenue and Sherwood Island. They earned the “Bankside” nickname, because of their location on the banks of Long Island Sound.

What was originally open fields, ponds, streams and tidal salt meadows, full of shellfish and wild grain, soon became farms. The Bankside quintet — mostly God-fearing, upright Puritans (except Newton, who traded liquor and gunpowder with both the Indians and the Dutch) — prospered. They were helped by slaves, and cheap Machamux labor.

In 1666, the area — called “West Parish” — became a separate entity. The name was officially changed to Green’s Farms in 1732. By that time a church of the same name, which also served as the center of the town’s social, economic and political functions, was already two decades old.

The Bankside Farmers’ original settlement grew steadily westward. Farms sprung up on Compo Road (the Indian name Compaug meant “the bears’ fishing ground”), then along the Saugatuck River. (That name meant “outlet from a tidal river.”) Eventually, development spread north, particularly on the west bank of the river.

By 1835, residents had grown tired of being part of three surrounding towns: Fairfield, Weston and Norwalk. Wherever they lived, they had to travel far for official business. They wanted to control their own destiny. That year, the town of Westport was incorporated.

Over time, the Bankside Farmers were lost in the mists of history. Soon though, their name will live again. This time, it’s on the west bank of the Saugatuck River.

KMS Partners is proud to announce Westport’s newest residential project. Twelve luxury condos are rising on Wilton Road, at the former Save the Children site. It’s just north of the brand-new office complex — and only a few steps from the exciting Meatball Shop/OKO/ Bartaco restaurant scene in and around National Hall.

“Bankside House” will be Westport’s finest condos. Designed by the innovative Roger Ferris + Partners architecture firm, and built by award-winning developer David Adam Realty (think Bedford Square), they’re a unique opportunity to have all the conveniences and beauty of a home in downtown Westport — without any of the maintenance.

The four-story building features two- and three-bedroom homes. The open layouts and oversized windows of each light-filled residence frame both the river, and Westport’s charming town center across the way.

Each Bankside condo offers private outdoor living space, and river views. Of course, all include the luxury finishes and craftsmanship of a custom Roger Ferris home.

Three units have been listed, at prices ranging from $2.599 million to $3.450 million. See floor plans and other information for the 2-bedroom penthouse, 3-bedroom northwest corner Unit 2C, or the 2-bedroom Unit 3C or the full Bankside website . All 12 condos will be completed by 2021.

Westport has come a long way since five farmers wandered over from Fairfield. But after nearly 400 years, we have not forgotten the importance of living “bankside.”

(Want to learn more about the Bankside condos -- and many other amazing Westport properties? Contact us at 203.295.4375)

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You've Found Your Place in this World, Now Make it a Healthier Home

On average, we spend 65% of our time at home. Hopefully, we at KMS Partners have helped you to find a home in which you can be happy, feel comfortable and at peace. Now let’s make sure that it is a healthy environment too! Here’s some tips to get you started.

 For an Overall Healthier Home:

  • Ventilate your home:  If the outside air is clean, and it generally is in Fairfield County, use it! (see Air Quality Index)  If not, or if you are susceptible to allergens, install interior air filtration. Have a crawl space? Install a vent fan to keep the humidity level down, preventing condensation, the spread of musty odors, mold and mildew, which can trigger allergies and asthma. 

  • Let in the light. Humans need light. And they need to see nature. Open up windows and shades to see what is outside and let the outside in.

  •  Add mats on both sides of your front, side and back entrance doors. Up to 80 percent of the dirt that gets tracked inside—along with countless allergens, bacteria, and lawn chemicals—can be caught with washable matting before it makes itself at home. Take it a step further and remove your shoes. You don't want to know what attaches itself to your shoes throughout the day. Don't bring this into your home and spread it around

  •  Be certain your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work and change their batteries regularly. Life expectancy of these life-saving devices is 10 and 5 years, respectively.

  •  Any home built before 1980 probably has lead paint somewhere. Remove lead (professionally) from your home. It's a harmful neurological toxin.

  •  Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. High-efficiency particulate air filters are best for sucking up dust, dust mites, animal dander, and fleas. Use a crevice tool on upholstery and a brush attachment on dust-catching curtains and lamp shades.

  •  Add oxygen-generating house plants.  Some like orchids and succulents are ideal for bedrooms as they release oxygen at night. Spider plants, peace lilies, philodendrons, and aloe vera can help neutralize formaldehyde (found in furniture) and benzene (found in car fumes and paint). Snake plants, English ivy, Boston and asparagus ferns, and Areca and bamboo palms are good neutralizers too. All are mood-boosting and studies show improve concentration and memory!

 A Healthy Kitchen (no, we’re not talking about your food choices!):

  • Repeat, ventilate! A vented hood, or open window help when cooking, especially with gas.

  • Always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach. Every household extinguisher is labeled A, B, or C, which tells you the types of fires the extinguisher is effective against. A is ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth; B is flammable liquids, such as gasoline or cooking oil; and C is live electricity. Did you know they make magnetic pressurized cans to attach to your range hood? They are designed to pop open from the heat of flames, spraying sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

  •  Avoid plastic and non-stick cookware: Glass and cast-iron are best.

  •  Use filtered drinking water. A whole-house water filter is best. When was the last time you changed your water-dispensing refrigerator filter?

  •  Don’t exterminate with chemicals, investigate.  Find the source of your pest problem and tackle it with an integrated pest management (IPM) program. Eliminate food, water and hiding places with routine cleaning and clearing of clutter in and around home; eliminate the existing population (trap or biologically control); remove entry points to your home through caulking and fixing broken doors, window or screens).

 Bedrooms: Sleep well, be well

  •  Make the bedroom the room where you focus on healthy sleep. Remove things that activate the brain. Darken the room thoroughly and eliminate any blue light that stimulates.

  •  Make it quiet. Heavy curtains or those lined with sound-reducing lining work well. Add a layer of sound-proof windows. Use earplugs if you need to…

  •  Let your bed air out before you make it each day. This will allow mite-friendly moisture to evaporate. Airing out your pillows and vacuuming the mattress will help control mites too. Don’t forget to wash sheets, duvet covers, and bedspreads once a week in hot water to keep asthma-inducing dust mites under control.

  • We breathe about 11,000 liters of air every day; a third of all that air you breathe will be in your bedroom. A good air purifier is wise. A houseplant works wonders too. Don’t forget to air out your dry cleaning. Take off plastic bags before you come inside so that any residual perchloroethylene, a common dry-cleaning solvent and suspected carcinogen, can evaporate. Better yet, look for an organic, perc-free dry cleaner.

  • Most humans sleep best in a room with a temperature between 65-70 degrees. Keep the bedroom cool at night.

 Bathrooms, beyond the surface cleaning:

  • Repeat ventilate! To keep moisture at bay, run your ceiling vent fan after every shower. Install a switch timer to make sure it runs at least 20 minutes.

  •  Avoid air-fresheners and personal products that contain toxins. Generally, he more fragrant, the worse they are. Buy products with few ingredients. Avoid soaps with antimicrobials.

  •  Look for effective green cleaners labeled as certified safer by a third-party organization like EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal, or ECOLOGO. Did you know a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, left on grout for 30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing, outperforms chemical grout cleaners?

  •  Swap out vinyl shower curtains for washable nylon or polyester ones. Vinyl can contain phthalates, which may be hazardous to reproductive health.

  •  Replace failing caulk and cracked tiles to discourage mold from growing behind the walls.

 Basement, from the ground up:

  •  Measure and control radon. This odorless natural gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Use a test kit to measure levels every few years and after any basement work.

  •  Keep it dry. De-humidify the basement. A small de-humidifier can work wonders. If you own a sump pump, check it monthly to be sure it is working properly.

  •  Schedule an HVAC checkup to make sure furnaces, boilers, and water heaters are properly venting carbon monoxide. Replace filters every three months. Electrostatically charged pleated filters do a particularly good job of removing allergens.

  •  Homes built prior to 1970 probably have asbestos. Check for flaking asbestos around pipes and boilers. Call a professional for remediation.

     Avoid carpets: a hard floor is easier to maintain, keep dry and avoids mold. Choose lime plaster walls over drywall, or at a minimum, choose the paperless drywall which is less vulnerable to moisture.

  • Don't store chemicals in the basement, even when sealed. Many paints have harmful chemicals.

Outside Your Home:

  •  Avoid harmful pesticides and herbicides. Runoff is a major source of pollution in rivers and lakes—which helps explain how nitrates and weed killers can end up in your drinking water.

  •  Beware of the air quality of attached garages. Ventilate your garage well and never leave a car running inside the garage. Safely dispose of half-empty containers of dried-up paint, stain, and solvents. Store gas in a no-spill container.

  •  Secure the envelope of your home: seal exterior cracks and holes and have a proper vapor barrier.

  •  Replace gas-powered lawn gear for quieter, fume-free electric and manual options.

  •  Be security conscious and secure the perimeter of your home. Solar powered, motion-detecting lights can be effective.

  •  Establish a pet checkpoint. Dogs showers are being added to mudrooms and lobbies across the country. At a minimum, use a fine-tooth comb to catch fleas before they come inside and treat cats and dogs with a monthly tick-and-flea medication. Flea shampoos and collars contain pesticides, which can rub off on kids and furnishings.

 

 

 

Single Family Home Sales January 1 - June 30, 2019

Westport Sales

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Highest: 2 Driftwood Point $6,300,000

Lowest: 5 Clinton Terrace $331,000

For more detailed information on the Westport market, click here.


Weston Sales

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For more detailed information on the Weston market, click here.

Highest: 38 Langner Lane $2,135,000 (KMS Listing)

Lowest: 81 Blue Spruce Circle $227,950


Fairfield Sales

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For more detailed information on the Fairfield market, click here.

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Highest: 3236 Congress Street $3,250,000

Lowest: 32 Bronson Road $79,110


Norwalk Sales

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Highest: 3 Harbor Bluff Lane $2,475,000

Lowest: 51 Baxter Drive $204,200

For more detailed information on the Norwalk market, click here.


Wilton Sales

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Highest: 8 W. Meadow Road $2,450,000

Lowest: 9 Sunset Hill Road $285,000

For more detailed information on the Wilton market, click here.


Supporting Great Organizations

Real Estate is not just about houses, it's about people.  It’s about finding a community where you belong. All of us at KMS Partners love the welcoming communities in which we work and live. We support these communities by giving of our time, talent and treasure to a variety of charitable organizations that aid and enrich the lives of those in Fairfield County.  As active volunteers, we are also fortunate to meet and enjoy the company of many friends and neighbors.

There are lots of worthwhile organizations and countless ways to get involved.  We’ve had a busy 2019 already, helping a number of organizations with their fundraising efforts.  A little about our involvement and the organizations follow (titles link to their websites). Give us a call if you want to find out more or want to lend a hand in future events — we promise it is rewarding and fun!

 Weston Historical Society

“The Weston Historical Society discovers, collects, and preserves our heritage and makes it come alive in the context of local, regional, and world events for our residents and future generations.”

Financially supporting their mission, KMS Partners has been a sponsor of the Weston Historical Society (WHS) since 2017.  Team member, David Weber, is a very active member of the WHS Board of Trustees.

 David leads various projects for WHS, including the “Landmark Homes of Weston House Tour” that was held on June 2nd — an enormous undertaking and significant fundraiser for WHS.  KMS Partners Mary Ellen Gallagher, Laurie Morris and Michael Mombello volunteered as docents during the tour and Susan Seath assisted in selecting the homes for the event.

Music at the Barn, a summer concert series is another of David’s projects.  The series culminates in Westonstock, a Fall event that is sure to also have many KMS hands on deck!

 Wakeman Town Farm

 “The mission of Wakeman Town Farm is to serve the community as an educational demonstration center for sustainable living.  Wakeman Town Farm offers a wide array of educational programs in agriculture, land stewardship and animal husbandry which serve to inspire the community to unite for the mutual benefit of a healthy environment and a more sustainable future.”

 KMS Partners became a formal financial supporter of Wakeman Town Farm (WTF) in 2019. 

Assisting with fundraising efforts for WTF, KMS team members Mary Ellen Gallagher, Kim Harizman, Sheila Keenan, Laurie Morris and Karen Scott spent July 20th at Family Fun Day, providing lemonade to several hundred attendees. The team will also be helping at Harvestfest and Octoberfest this fall.

 Westport Sunrise Rotary Club

 “We are a committed group of business and professional individuals who come together for fellowship, and service. We share a common desire to improve our community – both locally and internationally. Our motto is Service Above Self but we make sure we have fun at the same time.”

Sheila Keenan, a founding KMS Partner, has been an active Rotarian for over 20 years. Recently given the “Unsung Hero” award for the district, Sheila’s contributions are vast!  You probably saw Sheila at the Sunrise Rotary booth during the Westport Maker Faire and/or Farmer’s Market. Sheila and fellow Rotarian/team member Michael Mombello were both active with the Club’s main fundraiser — The Great Duck Race on June 1st. KMS Partners also financially supported the event which raised $45,000 for beneficiary charities.

Food Rescue US

“Food Rescue US is committed to ending American food insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from grocers, restaurants, and other food industry sources to food insecure families throughout the U.S.” 

 Beyond helping rescue food, KMS Partners’ work with this wonderful organization includes hosting a new fundraiser “Pools, Patios & Pergolas – A Luxury Tasting Event”. While Kim Harizman took the lead, all team members were actively involved in putting this successful event together.  Thanks to the support of our wonderful communities, the July 13th event raised over $10,000 to help end food insecurity in Fairfield County!

Elderhouse

“ElderHouse is a safe, active and caring place where seniors can spend their days involved in activities, returning home to their families in the evening. Older adults benefit from active engagement, health monitoring and individualized care. Caregivers benefit from reliable, affordable, high-quality services for their loved one. The result is better health and well-being for families in our communities.”

Karen Scott, a dedicated supporter of Elderhouse in Norwalk, reluctantly agreed to participate in their March 21st fundraiser “Dancing with the Stars”.  She spent hours learning and perfecting the dance routine at Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Her efforts and those of her fellow dancers, paid off — it was an enjoyable and very successful night for Elderhouse. Of course, Team KMS was there in support of both Elderhouse and Karen!

Westport Historical Society

“Our mission is to inspire the holistic discovery of our town’s history inclusive of our collective heritage and its place in the larger American story.”

Team member Michael Mombello sits on the Advisory Council for Westport Historical Society. Involved in many events, Michael most recently helped in planning and day-of-activities for the Hidden Garden Tour on June 9th.  As a house captain, Michael recruited fellow KMS team members as volunteers to lead tours throughout the day.

As you can tell, KMS Partners is a true partnership, helping and supporting each other while sharing resources, ideas, tips. We are proud to work together to benefit community organizations. And these are just a few of the organizations/events we participate in – the fall and winter are just as busy.  Join us, won’t you?

Our Great Move!

A little over six months ago, KMS Partners joined Compass. To be honest, it wasn’t just a good move. It was a great one!

 Before the move, we knew our clients would benefit from Compass’ cutting-edge technology and innovative marketing efforts. We were sure we’d be supported by forward-thinking, energetic and seasoned agents. Throughout the real estate world, Compass is known as the future of the industry.

 All of our expectations have been met -- and surpassed. We are excited to share some of our favorite Compass features with you.

 Compass’ culture emphasizes collaboration. That’s always been a hallmark of KMS Partners. Now, though, we work with a national network of agents, enthusiastic marketers, experienced career coaches and social media gurus. All are filled with that same spirit of sharing and helping. Every day, we learn something from them. (They learn from us too!)

 With Compass’ version of a company-wide social media site, we all trade stories. We ask for recommendations and referrals. We get info first and fast -- before it’s released to the general public via MLS and other listing services. We’ve developed a real community online.

 We love Compass’ game-changing Concierge Program. Compass advances the funds to allow sellers to prepare their homes for sale.  This can range from painting, staging, landscaping and more.  One client already used it to make $16,000 in home renovations. The house sold in two weeks!

 It didn’t take long to learn the power of Compass’ custom data dashboard. It’s easy to see -- and show clients -- exactly how the market reacts to the current list price of a home. Concrete data helps us quickly tweak our digital campaigns. Through the dashboard, buyers and sellers also realize how wide Compass’ reach really is.

 Many clients were already familiar with Compass in New York City and other major markets. As they start looking for homes in Connecticut, the transition is seamless.

Change is never easy. But working for such a dynamic young company, with its infectious positive energy, entrepreneurial attitude and can-do philosophy, energized all of us. We embraced the learning curve. Soon we were looking at the real estate world through new, digital eyes.

 On a personal level, Compass is also a great fit for KMS Partners. They are very respectful of our experience, local knowledge and professionalism. And our results continue to impress — 29 completed transactions thus far in 2019, a volume of just under $40 million; 10 pending transactions and 32 active listings.

 Can you feel our excitement? Want to learn more? Just call us 203.295.4375; email kmspartners@compass.com -- or this fall, stop in to our new office, the handsome new building at 54 Wilton Road, Westport. Our fabulous view of the Saugatuck River is just one more reason we’re so glad that KMS Partners and Compass are now a full-time team!

The KMS Lobster Roll Face-off

Heaps of sweet lobster meat on a buttery toasted frankfurter bun....a favorite summer treat for most New Englanders! We decided to take an unscientific survey, polling the KMS Partners, to find THE best lobster roll in or around Fairfield County.

The results were inconclusive but whether you are a Connecticut purist (warm, with lots of melted butter) or a fan of the traditional Maine lobster roll (cold, with a little mayo and extras), we do have some great options for you! Get ‘em to go – they make a perfect beach or concert meal. Or enjoy the seaside atmosphere at some of these great locations.  Either way, we think your taste buds will be happy.

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Michael Mombello generally likes his “cold with mayo, celery, lemon and a bit of onion” but he claims the CT style at Knot Norm’s is “flat out amazing”. Seconded by Sheila Keenan, we say it is definitely worth a try!

(Hot lobster steamed and then poached in house made lobster butter. Topped with micro celery and lemon juice - yum!)

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David Weber stands by the rolls (and everything else) at Heibeck’s Stand. “Fairfield County's best lobsta roll is at Heibeck’s on Route 7 in Wilton! Surprising yes, but voted best in surveys and I can say everything from this roadside stand is great.”

Mary Ellen Gallagher was torn —

#1 for its authentic atmosphere and fresh caught lobster at Guilford Lobster Pound (top photo); “the rolls are awesome and eating outside on the dock in beautiful Guilford Harbor makes a perfect end to a summer day” 

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#2 for its amazing lobster rolls is The Seven Seas in Milford. Eat at the bar (free popcorn while you wait); knowing this place has been thriving for 50 years. They must be doing things right!

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Kim Harizman and Karen Scott went with the relatively new, fast, casual concept of Match Burger Lobster – featuring both a hot and cold roll, and of course, burgers. Eat-in or Carry-out. Choices, choices.

Sheila Keenan, while agreeing with both Kim and Michael’s picks, has another favorite.  She can be found at Westfair Fish and Chips on a weekly basis – for their lobster rolls as well as other great seafood.

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Surprising to us, we had two non-lobster lovers in the group. Susan Seath enjoys it occasionally, when it is hot.  We think she should give LobsterCraft a try – The Coastal will make her a true believer. If she can convince Laurie Morris to go with her, we think she would enjoy the Maine-style Dirty Maynard.

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And of course, for the grab-n-go variety to take to Levitt Pavilion, you can’t beat Stew Leonards!

So there you have it.  Can you squeeze eight lobster rolls into your summer?!

 

Summer Fun

Whether you’re a longtime homeowner, a new arrival or a summer renter, you share one thought: Let’s make the most of these months!

 Summer fun is a big part of what got you here. There’s a lot going on between now and Labor Day. Here at KMS Partners, we’ll make sure you don’t miss any of it.

 The Levitt Pavilion is Westport’s free outdoor summer series. Six nights a week, the handsome stage with sloping lawn on the banks of the Saugatuck River hosts concerts (rock, jazz, folk, military bands, kids – you get the idea) and other entertainment. Bring a picnic, open the wine – and did we mention, it’s free?!

 Fairfield’s thriving music scene includes summer concerts at the Sherman Green Gazebo, smack in the center of town. Nearly every night at 6:30 p.m., a band plays. Kids romp, adults socialize, and of course there’s plenty of places to get ice cream nearby. It’s as Norman Rockwell-esque as Fairfield County gets.

 “Music at the Barn” is a special Weston Historical Society series. There’s a Steely Dan Cover band June 23; jazz sensation Chris Coogan July 14, and Otis and the Hurricanes August 18. An all-day “Westonstock” Woodstock-style event on September 14 is not to be missed.

 For a comprehensive list of concerts in surrounding towns, check out Fairfield After Dark

 About the only thing you can’t buy at a Sidewalk Sale is a sidewalk. Everything else – clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, furniture, antiques, sports equipment, stuff – is available in racks and on tables. Prices are often slashed.

Westport’s (downtown and Playhouse Square) is June 28-30.

Fairfield’s (downtown) includes a street fair, on July 20.

 For nearly 50 years, the Fine Arts Festival has cemented Westport’s reputation as an arts town. The nationally recognized, juried event features 175 painters, photographers, sculptors, printmakers, glassblowers, jewelers and more. This year’s event is July 20th  and 21st.. There’s lots more going on too around Main Streets, including Westport Library’s annual book sale (July 20-23, on Jesup Green) The sale includes just about every book printed, and CD and DVD ever made (it seems).

 The next week (July 27-31), Pequot Library hosts its own incredible book sale. Over 100,000 items (including music and movies) are featured, in the Southport institution’s handsome building.

 You may not think of a library as a place to spend your summer, but Westport Library’s newly transformed building is definitely worth a visit. BTW, the grand opening is Sunday, June 23 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

 What’s summer without 4th of July Fireworks?

Westport’s are July 3. Compo Beach hums all day with picnics, marching bands and other fun. A ticket is required to park at the beach. Fairfield’s are also July 3, at Jennings Beach. Music starts at 6 p.m.; the pyrotechnics begin at 9:15.

Weston sets off its fireworks on the actual 4th of July, at the middle school — a community-wide 4th of July Celebration. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Bands play, magicians perform, and the entire town comes out. Tickets required.

 If sunsets are your thing, one of the best spots around is Compo Beach. South Beach – with its barbecue grills, picnic tables and alcohol-is-fine policy (no glass though!) – is where the cognoscenti gather to gawk.

 Want a bit of action beyond sunset-watching? Westport’s Parks and Recreation Department sponsors a summer road race series, every Saturday at 8 a.m. The first one is 2.3 miles; each week is longer, building up to a 10-mile finale the Saturday before Labor Day. It’s competitive, with plenty of camaraderie. Those 12 and under can also compete in Westport’s Age Group Track Events on Thursday evenings.

 How about golf? With public courses in Westport and Fairfield you have options! Longshore Women’s Golf Association (Tuesdays); Longshore Ladies Nine Hole Association (Thursdays); Longshore Men’s Golf Association has a summer weekend calendar online. Fairfield has leagues (Men’s, Women’s and Senior’s) that play at H. Smith Richardson or the South Pine Creek Par 3 Course – details here.

 The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Point-to-Point Swim is Sunday, July 28. Swimmers of all ages and abilities race from one jetty to the other, in this very popular Y fundraiser.

 No story about summer in these parts is complete without a mention of the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. Thousands of visitors stream to Westport’s Levitt Pavilion and environs to enjoy world-class blues music and mouth-watering barbecue. There’s plenty of other food too, and lots for kids to do. This year’s event is September 1 and 2.

 That’s a lot! We know you can’t do everything. But there’s one more summer highlight we hope you’ll consider. On July 13 (5 to 9 p.m.), KMS Partners Compass presents “Pools, Patios, Pergolas.” You can admire the luxurious outdoor living spaces of three fabulous Westport homes, while sampling food and custom cocktails from three award-winning caterers. It’s a benefit for Food Rescue US - Fairfield County, a fantastic organization that works hard to ease hunger.

 We hope to see you there. And of course, at many of these other great events. Now that’s what summer here is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compass to the Rescue

KMS Partners is a true partnership. We all share resources, ideas and tips; we tap into each other’s skills and talents.

We are also proud to partner with community organizations. We believe firmly that a real estate company is more than a business. It is a vital part of its town. And it is imperative that we do as much as we can for all our partners in it.

One of this area’s most effective and efficient non-profits is Food Rescue US. Founded in Norwalk -- and now national, with 18 chapters -- its mission is simple: Take food from organizations that have too much, and distribute it to those with too little.

The mobile app is key. Volunteers pick up the food, then deliver it a couple of miles away to homeless shelters, food pantries, senior centers and other service agencies.

Over 140 rescuers are active in Fairfield County. Area donors include supermarkets like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Stew Leonard’s -- as well as Fairfield University, Norwalk Hospital, Bridgewater Associates and GE.

“People want to serve in a direct, impactful way,” says Nicole Straight, Food Rescue US’ local site director. “It’s so powerful to take food that would have been thrown out, and bring it directly to people who need it.”

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Beyond helping rescue food, KMS Partners’ partnership with this wonderful organization now includes an exciting fundraising event “Pools, Patios & Pergolas – A Luxury Tasting Event”. On July 13th, we’ll showcase several of our most intriguing properties to guests. Each location will feature a top caterer, offering a different cuisine plus fun music and signature cocktails. We will take advantage of the season highlighting magnificent outdoor spaces. In addition, we will announce a new and exciting residential project at the final location. Details forthcoming.

One ticket buys access to all venues, food and drinks. 100% of ticket proceeds will help Food Rescue improve its technology, and pay full-time employees.

Every Food Rescue US volunteer, donor and agency believes as we do, in the importance of community involvement. All are equal partners in this endeavor.

We could not be more proud to be partnering with this wonderful organization.

(To download the app, search for “Food Rescue US” in the Apple or Google Play store. For more information, go to www.FoodRescueUS.com )

from The Wall Street Journal…

Seeking Pristine Condition with feature-rich Kitchen and Master Suite

For centuries, the tony suburbs of NewYork City have been a haven for the rich, who bought luxurious estates on sweeping acres. But many of today’s home buyers, no matter how wealthy, seek the opposite — smaller, smarter houses on compact lots that are ready to be moved into. Read more, including KMS thoughts by following this link — Gilded Age Luxury to Home Improvement Show Mentality

Price Point Differentials

The outlook for real estate sales in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Westchester County, New York, is bifurcated. The market for homes priced at under $2 million is slowly improving in both counties. But sales of estates are down dramatically, with no change in sight. Read on Outlook: Cautious With a Touch of OPTIMISM