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Welcome to Greater Norwalk

Platinum Properties 144 East Avenue • Norwalk, CT 06851 • (203) 853-2455 • www.kw.com


There is a reason Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is one of the nation’s leading retail mortgage lenders • • • •

Wide selection of conventional & government loans PriorityBuyer® preapproval Wells Fargo Closing GuaranteeSM1 Responsive service and professional knowledge

Count on one of the nation’s leading retail mortgage lenders to help you find the home financing that fits your needs.

Call a home mortgage consultant today. Michelangelo Manco

Home Mortgage Consultant Phone: 203-329-4405 Cell: 203-253-8772 Fax: 866-617-2321 777 Summer St Stamford, CT 06901 Michelangelo.Manco@wellsfargo.com

1. Available on all qualified purchase transactions. Other terms and conditions apply. See a home mortgage consultant for details. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801. 101005 101005 - 03/11

Giovanny Salgado

Home Mortgage Consultant Phone: 203-319-5007 Cell: 203-556-1872 Fax: 866-662-2649 2507 Post Road Southport, CT 06890 Giovanny.F.Salgado@wellsfargo.com


Service Providers ADK Electric, LLC Ari Karagiannis............................................... 203-260-6124 Allstate/Haimoff Insurance Group, LLC Michael Haimoff............................................. 203-855-8444 Arianne O’Donnel, Attorney Arianne O’Donnell........................................... 203-972-3465 Bartells • Pagliaro Architects, LLC Roger B. and Chris P....................................... 203-838-5517 Paul N. Bologna & Associates Paul N. Bologna, CPA...................................... 203-348-3555 Broad River Animal Hospital Kim Foley....................................................... 203-846-3495 Ed’s Garage Doors, Ltd. Rich Cunningham........................................... 203-847-1284 M. Fuentes Painting Marvin Fuentes.............................................. 203-613-2664 Herbalife Philip Contreras.............................................. 203-557-6294 Hocon Propane Don DeRosa................................................... 800-801-3835 HomeGuard Environmental Gary Stone..................................................... 203-323-8000 Jon’s Moving & Delivery Jon Spalding.................................................. 203-515-1600 Kaiser-Battistone Bill Hall.......................................................... 203-629-3273 Law Office of Mayra M. Rios, LLC Mayra M. Rios................................................ 203-316-9014 Lucca Plumbing, LLC Domenic Lucca............................................... 203-220-8325 Mike’s Septic Service Mike Maiorino................................................ 203-852-8885 Norwalk Roofing, LLC Henry Vargas.................................................. 203-667-6933 Phoenix Limousine Diego Jimenez................................................ 203-845-2329 Reliable Tree Service Bob & Tracy Lawrence..................................... 203-846-1241 David R. Stebbins, D.M.D. David R. Stebbins, D.M.D................................ 203-866-0415 TEC Engineers Richard Dominick........................................... 203-722-5206 Tuscan Oven A Trattoria Jon Paul Pirraglia............................................ 203-846-4600 Two Men And A Truck Fred Shaw...................................................... 203-831-9300 Vigleone Construction Co., LLC Joe Vigleone.................................................. 203-268-7571 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Michelangelo Manco....................................... 203-253-8772 Giovanny Salgado........................................... 203-556-1872 WES - Welte Electronic Systems Paul Welte..................................................... 203-325-4554 Zibi Painting Zibi Kowalczuk................................................ 203-623-6261

Welcome Dear Friends, Keller Williams Platinum Properties is pleased to welcome you to Greater Norwalk and to offer you this Resource Guide. We created it with you in mind, so you can have an informative and resourceful overview of our charming communities. This Guide was designed to help make your move easier and to answer some of your questions about the area. Our professional sales executives are dedicated to providing the best customer service and are always ready and willing to help you with your housing needs. Here, you will find that our sales professionals treat you as an extension of their family. Welcome to our neighborhood! We are proud of our commitment to provide exceptional service for all of our clients. Real estate industry sources agree that Keller Williams Platinum Properties has home buyer satisfaction rates that are among the highest in this business. We are a leader you can trust as you make this important decision. Know that you can count on us to make your move a smooth transition. This Guidebook is filled with useful information about the greater Norwalk area, its history and its many interesting opportunities. Many local businesses and professionals were invited to co-sponsor our booklet because of their excellent reputation. We thank them and ask you to keep their services in mind. We invite you to take some time to get to know our towns a little better. Those who live here know the greater Norwalk area as a welcoming place where families enjoy a wide range of activities. Feel free to contact your agent with any questions you may have. Warm Wishes,

William M. Karchere, CRS, CRB, Operating Principal Office: 203-853-2455 • Cell: 203-858-2241 144 East Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851 www.ctplatinumhomes.com wm.karchere@kw.com • www.CTHomeConsultant.net

Platinum Properties 1


Contents

1

Welcome

7

Culture & Events

14 Moving Tips

1

Service Providers

8

Area Attractions

17 Moving Tips for Pets

2

Business Index

9

New Residents, Map

4

Norwalk and Surrounding Towns

10 The Opportunity in Home Sales

19 Questions to Ask Your Realtor® before Purchasing a Condo

6

Recreation

13 Reasons Why Today May Be the Day to Trade Up Your Real Estate

20 Service Profiles

Energy Audit TEC Engineers...................................... 20 Engineers TEC Engineers...................................... 20 Excavation Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Garage Doors Ed’s Garage Doors . ............................. 18 General Contractor Viglione Construction Co, LLC............... 18 Home Improvement Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Home Theater/Audio/Video WES - Welte Electronic Systems............ 18 Insurance Allstate/Haimoff Insurance Group......... 15 Lead Abatement HomeGuard Environmental.................. IBC Limousine Service Phoenix Limousine .............................. 19 Masonry Viglione Construction Co. .................... 18 Mold Remediation HomeGuard Environmental.................. IBC Mortgages Wells Fargo Home Mortgage..................IFC

Moving & Storage Jon’s Moving & Delivery Services.......... 15 Two Men And A Truck............................. 15 Nutritional Supplements Herbalife.............................................. 20 Painting M. Fuentes Painting.............................. 12 Zibi Painting......................................... 20 Plumber Kaiser-Battistone.................................... 3 Lucca Plumbing, LLC............................ 11 Propane Gas Hocon Propane................................... IBC Restaurant Tuscan Oven A Trattoria........................... 3 Roofing Norwalk Roofing, LLC............................ 12 Security/CATV Systems WES - Welte Electronic Systems............ 18 Septic Service Kaiser-Battistone.................................... 3 Mike’s Septic Service........................... 20 Tree Care Reliable Tree Service............................ 20 Veterinarian Broad River Animal Hospital................. 16 Waterproofing Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18

Business Index Alarm Systems WES - Welte Electronic Systems............ 18 Animal Hospital Broad River Animal Hospital................. 16 Appliances Hocon Propane................................... IBC Architects Bartels • Pagliaro Architects, LLC........... BC Asbestos Abatement HomeGuard Environmental.................. IBC Asphalt Paving/Driveways Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Attorneys Paul N. Bologna Associates.................. 11 Law Office of Mayra M. Rios, LLC........... 16 Arianne O’Donnell................................ 12 Basement Waterproofing Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Builder Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Dentist David R. Stebbins, D.M.D.................. 3, 20 Drainage Viglione Construction Co., LLC.............. 18 Electrician ADK Electric, LLC.................................. 16

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Norwalk: A Vibrant, Diverse City

B

lessed with more than 1,400 acres of parks and shoreline recreation areas, Norwalk is a delightful blend of the urban and suburban, the trendy and the traditional. Founded in 1640, Norwalk is located in Fairfield County, 40 miles northeast of New York City, bordered by Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Wilton and Long Island Sound. Diverse in population, the city has moved forward aggressively into the 21st century while maintaining contact with its agricultural and seafaring past.

Home to 85,597 residents in 2010, the city consists of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own style and character suggested by names such as Silvermine, Bettswood, Cranbury, Wolfpit, Rowayton and East and West Norwalk. Over the past 10 years, the city has undergone a revitalization that continues today. Representative of this revitalization is the historic South Norwalk area. Slated for destruction in the 1970s, it was saved by public and private efforts to become a thriving “city within a city” that features well-preserved architecture that houses an eclectic array of shops, galleries, restaurants and nightclubs. The area is anchored by The Maritime Aquarium, with its frequently changing exhibits, an IMAX theater, and more than 1,000 marine animals. Plans are being developed to extend this renaissance to the nearby Wall Street area in the heart of Norwalk. An eclectic mix of artists’ lofts, senior housing, office space and retail stores is being planned to continue the refocusing and refining of Norwalk’s future. A city is often measured by the vibrancy and diversity of its cultural activity, and Norwalk does not shrink from such measurement. Besides the numerous parks, museums and galleries, which include Heritage Park, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, and the Rowayton and Silvermine Guild arts centers, Norwalk is the site of numerous events that give both breadth and depth to life in the city. The Norwalk Concert Hall, adjacent to City Hall, is the home of both the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and the Norwalk Youth Symphony, both of which offer numerous concerts, featuring contemporary and classical music. In addition, there is the annual Director’s View Film Festival, Shakespeare on the Sound, The SoNo Arts Celebration and the Norwalk Oyster Festival, sponsored by the Norwalk Seaport Association. Add to the mix an international boat show, a jazz festival, a wildlife refuge center, a harbor SPLASH Festival and the Round Hill Highland 4

Scottish Games, and you have a cultural menu large and diverse enough to please any palette. Norwalk’s commitment to the education of its children is reflected in the school district’s current budget of more than $149 million, which supports the system’s 12 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools. The city also is the site of Norwalk Community College, and is within a half-hour’s driving time of 10 other colleges and universities. Home to a wide variety of electronics, research and manufacturing companies, as well as headquarters for several major corporations, Norwalk, which received a triple-A credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, has been pursuing an aggressive program of modernization and building to ensure that it remains an attractive, convenient and efficient place to do business. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Norwalk is its historic harbor, one of the most important centers on Long Island Sound for recreational boating, commercial shell fishing and other water activities. There are 15 marinas and 13 private


clubs with boating facilities in the area, as well as five commercial facilities. In addition, there are more than 1,800 berthing spaces and 500 mooring locations in the harbor. However you wish to rate a city—by its dining and shopping, its cultural events, its business environment, its schools, climate, municipal services or recreational opportunities—Norwalk would be high on the list of places to live in Connecticut. Distinctly aware of its history yet fully committed to the future, the city more than lives up to the catchphrase on its website: “The right place at the right time.”

New Canaan, an affluent community of New England, is located in the southwest corner of Fairfield County and holds the enviable designation of “The Next Station to Heaven”—a well-deserved title. This inviting town offers a breathtaking natural setting for comfortable living, superb social and cultural amenities, and convenient travel to the metropolitan centers. Population: 19,736 (2010 Census)

Weston is a rustic town of sweeping fields, ponds, riverside vistas and thickly wooded forests. The natural splendor of the area is undoubtedly a prime attraction to residents, but when coupled with comfortable commutes to urban centers, a solid school system and excellent recreational offerings, Weston is a choice spot for family living. Population: 10,179 (2010 Census)

- Printed with permission from the Norwalk CitizenNews - Waterfront & Elegant Homes.

Darien

is an attractive blend of comfortable seaside living and easy travel to the corporate world, just 50 minutes from the hub of Manhattan—making it a popular choice for executives and professionals and their families. Settled in 1645 and formally incorporated in 1820, the seclusion and beauty of Darien were well-kept secrets until 1920 when affluent artists and writers discovered the natural splendor of this coastal site. Since then, Darien has grown into a prosperous community, rich with history and enjoyment, and dedicated to the promotion of education, cultural/social development and conservation of natural resources. Population: 20,731 (2010 Census)

Fairfield

is ideally positioned for elegant living, an abundance of leisure activities and convenient travel to metropolitan areas. Situated on Long Island Sound, Fairfield’s 6-mile coastline and pristine beaches are a summer playground for water sport enthusiasts and sun worshippers alike. Overlooking the Mill River, several beautifully landscaped parks offer the tranquil pleasures of picnicking, bicycling, walking and nature study. Residents may swim in freshwater at Lake Mohegan and, in the winter months, ice skating is enjoyed at Owen Fish Park, Sturges Pond and Gould Manor Park. Professionals will find Hartford and Manhattan equidistant from this captivating atmosphere. Population: 59,404 (2010 Census)

Westport

offers the best of all worlds to a diverse and culturally exciting population. Located on Long Island Sound, the breath-taking oceanfront scenery and charming country landscape, attractive amenities and comfortable commutes to metropolitan centers attract families, executives and people from the creative arts. Impressive waterfront properties grace the coastline, while magnificent estates, country houses and streamlined contemporaries dot the countryside. Population: 26,343 (2010 Census)

Wilton is a highly desirable residential community with fine

open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), beautiful historic architecture and a wealth of excellent services. Convenient travel to the business and commercial centers of Stamford, New York City and White Plains make Wilton particularly attractive. Population: 18,064 (2010 Census)

5


Recreation

N

orwalk has approximately 1,000 acres of beaches, parks and recreation areas, with Calf Pasture Park and Cranbury Park being the largest. Several marinas and a golf course are open to the public. There are also private country, yacht and beach clubs. The City has dozens of basketball and tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds, miles of walking, biking or skating paths and, of course, open space for quiet walking in any season.

Beaches

Calf Pasture Shady Beach Bayley Beach, Rowayton

Cranbury Park

190 acres of public parkland. The park area includes a pavilion, playground, outdoor restroom, 18-hole Frisbee Golf Course and Sculpture Garden. Dogs welcome.

Gallaher Estate

A beautiful Old English Stone Estate nestled within 190 acres of public parkland (Cranbury Park). The facility is open to residents and non-residents for parties, luncheons and weddings. 6

Oak Hills Park Golf Course

Oak Hills Park Golf Course is one of the finest municipal golf courses in the state of Connecticut. It is an 18-hole golf course, designed by Alfred Tull and opened in 1969. It is located at 165 Fillow Street in Norwalk. Many recent improvements enhance its appeal and playing challenges. Located in mid-city Norwalk between I-95 and the Merritt Parkway, it is convenient for residents and non-residents. www.oakhillsgc.com

Veteran’s Park Marina

Open to residents and non-residents. The maximum boat size is 18’6”. Dinghy slips are also available for those with harbor moorings. For fees, services, rules and regulations, contact the Harbormaster. 203-849-8823


Culture & Events Culture Center for Contemporary Printmaking The Center is housed in an historic 19th Century Carriage House renovated to include a gallery and studios. Equipment includes six intaglio and lithographic presses, a Vandercook press, an acid room, silkscreen facilities, a paper mill, a black-and-white photography darkroom, an exposure table for photo printmaking and state-of-the-art computers. Located at 299 West Avenue. Lockwood-Mathews Mansion The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is one of the earliest and finest surviving Second Empire Style country houses ever built in the United States. The Museum is open mid-March through December. Located at 295 West Avenue. Maritime Aquarium and IMAX Theater The centerpiece of the SoNo Historic District revitalization project, the Maritime Aquarium sits on the waterfront near the heart of SoNo’s historic oystering community. It is a non-profit institution whose mission is “to encourage an appreciation for science and global ecology by giving visitors an entertaining, hands-on look at the animals and history of Long Island Sound.” Fun and educational activities for children and adults include a 110,000-gallon shark tank, seals, river otters, jelly fish and other creatures. Enjoy spectacular IMAX movies on the giant six-story screen. Located at 10 North Water Street. Mill Hill Historic Sites Sites include the Governor Thomas Fitch Law Office, Cemetery, Schoolhouse, and Town House Museum. Located at Wall Street and East Avenue. Norwalk Concert Hall Located at 125 East Avenue at Norwalk Town Hall. Norwalk Museum The Norwalk Museum is located on the

corner of N. Main St. and Marshall St. in the heart of South Norwalk. The Museum has a gift shop, three storefront exhibits, The Lockwood Gallery and archives.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children Stepping Stones invites children to explore, imagine, create and discover new experiences every time they visit! All of the exhibits, designed for children ages 1 to 10, encourage hands-on exploration and discovery, incorporating the themes of Science and Technology, the Arts, Culture and Heritage. Located at 303 West Avenue.

Events

Silvermine Guild Arts Center The Silvermine Guild Arts Center is an important, exciting community of artists, art students and art patrons. Together they share a commitment to enhancing the cultural life of the region. Begun in 1948, the New England Exhibition was the first juried exhibition held at Silvermine. Renamed the Art of the Northeast, this annual exhibit remains our most prestigious show. Over the years, this exhibit has featured the work of many prominent artists, including Louise Nevelson, Elaine de Kooning and Milton Avery. Located at 1037 Silvermine Road in New Canaan. Sheffield Island Lighthouse In 1827, a lighthouse was built on 53acre Sheffield Island to mark the dangerous ledges at the entrance to the city’s harbor. The lighthouse can be reached by ferry from Norwalk. Shakespeare on the Sound Every June, thousands flock to Pinkney Park in Rowayton for the annual outdoor production of Shakespeare on the Sound.

Community Cooperative Nursery School Art Show A high-energy show exhibiting a wide variety of quality fine art, this is a fundraiser for the Community Cooperative Nursery School, taking place during the month of June. Located at 4 Trolley Place, Rowayton. Norwalk Boat Show Norwalk Cove Marina There’s something for everyone’s taste and budget at the Northeast’s most popular in-water boat show in September, with expanded space and more than 750 of the newest and best in yachts, cruisers, sport fishers, performance boats, personal water craft, inflatables and a sampling of sailboats. Norwalk Jazz Festival February, Veteran’s Park Oyster Festival September, Veterans Park Round Hill Highland Scottish Games August, Cranbury Park SoNo Arts Celebration August, South Norwalk 7


Area Attractions Arena at Harbor Yard 600 Main Street, Bridgeport 203-345-2300 Ballpark at Harbor Yard 500 Main Street, Bridgeport 203-345-4800 Barnum Museum 820 Main Street, Bridgeport 203-331-1104 Bates-Scofield House Museum 45 Old Kings Highway North, Darien 203-655-9233 Boothe Memorial Park & Museum 5800 Main St., Stratford 203-381-2046 Bruce Museum of Arts and Science One Museum Drive, Greenwich 203-869-0376 Cannondale Village Cannon Road, Wilton 203-762-2233 Captain’s Cove Seaport One Bostwick Avenue, Black Rock Harbor, Bridgeport 203-335-1433 Connecticut Audubon Society, Nature Center 2325 Burr St., Fairfield 203-259-6305, ext. 109 Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport 203-394-6565 Darien Historical Society 45 Old Kings Highway North, Darien 203-655-9233 Discovery Museum & Planetarium 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport 203-372-3521 Earthplace Nature Center 10 Woodside Lane, Westport 203-227-7253 Easton Historical Society Adams Schoolhouse 345 Westport Rd., Easton 203-261-2090

8

Fairfield Museum & History Center 370 Beach Road, Fairfield 203-259-1598 Garbage Museum 1410 Honeyspot Road Extension, Stratford 203-381-9571 Historical Society of Greenwich Bush-Holley Historic Site 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob 203-869-6899 Housatonic Museum of Art Housatonic Community College 900 Lafayette Boulevard, Bridgeport 203-332-5052 Hoyt Barnum House 713 Bedford Street, Stamford 203-329-1183 IMAX Theater The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 10 North Water Street, Norwalk 203-852-0700 Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Mathews Park 295 West Avenue, Norwalk 203-838-9799

Ogden House & Gardens 1520 Bronson Road, Fairfield 203-259-1598 Perry House 1128 W Broad Street, Stratford 203-377-3779 Putnam Cottage 243 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich 203-869-9697 Rowayton Historical Society 177 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton 203-831-0136 Sheffield Island Lighthouse & Ferry Ferry departs from Hope Dock, Washington & North Water Streets, South Norwalk 203-838-9444

Trumbull Historical Society 1856 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull 203-377-6620

Weston Historical Society Coley House and Farm 104 Weston Road, Weston 203-226-1804

SoundWaters Schooner Cove Island Park, 1281 Cove Road, Stamford 203-323-1978

Monroe Historical Society 31 Great Ring Road, Monroe 203-261-8554

Stamford Historical Society 1508 High Ridge Road, Stamford 203-329-1183

Norwalk Museum 41 North Main Street, Norwalk 203-866-0202

Switchtower Museum 77 Washington Street, South Norwalk 203-246-6958

Shoreline Star Greyhound Park 255 Kossuth Street, Bridgeport 203-576-1976

Modern House Man c/o Gramophone Shop 103 Main Street, New Canaan 203-216-8774

Norwalk Historical Society 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk 203-846-0525

Stratford Historical Society 967 Academy Hill Road, Stratford 203-378-0630

Weir Farm National Historic Site 735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton 203-834-1896

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 10 North Water Street, Norwalk 203-852-0700

New Canaan Historical Society 13 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan 203-966-1776

Stepping Stones Museum for Children Mathews Park 303 West Avenue, Norwalk 203-899-0606

Shelton Historical Society 70 Ripton Road, Shelton 203-925-1803

SoundWaters Coastal Education Center for Environmental Education Cove Island Park, 1281 Cove Road, Stamford 203-323-1978

National Helicopter Museum Eastbound Railroad Station 2480 Main Street, Stratford 203-767-1123

Stamford Museum and Nature Center 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford 203-322-1646

Westport Historical Society 25 Avery Place, Westport 203-222-1424 Wilton Historical Society & Heritage Museum 224 Danbury Road, Wilton 203-762-7257 See also: www.coastalctinc.com www.norwalkct.org www.visitfairfieldcounty.com


New Residents The Towns of Lower and Mid-Fairfield County, Conn. Connecticut Redding Ridgefield Easton

Westchester County

Weston Wilton

Fairfield

New Canaan

New Jersey

Bridgeport

Norwalk

Stamford Greenwich

Westport

N

Darien

Long Island Sound New York City

Adobe Illustrator Harald Olsen 4/19/2005

VOTER REGISTRATION To register to vote in Connecticut, you must be: • 18 years old on or before election day • A citizen of the United States • An established resident of Connecticut (proven by automobile registration, driver’s license, rent receipts, etc. Check with your local Registrar of Voters to determine what is acceptable). Voter registration is permanent. You only need to re-register if you change your name or address.

AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION New residents have 60 days to register their automobiles. You will need to bring: • Your out-of-state title and registration certificate • An insurance card, obtained from your agent; acceptable form of identification • Proof of inspection of safety and emissions from a certified inspection station for vehicles 10 years or older, or VIN verification • Costs vary from $38 to $75

DRIVER’S LICENSE New residents have 30 days to apply for a license. You need to bring: • Your current driver’s license, birth certificate or passport and a recent photo • Verification of residence and Social Security Number • A vision test and a written test are both required • The fee will depend on whether you are issued a license for five or seven years. (Your date of birth and the date the license is issued determine the length of time it is issued for).

For your convenience, you may view and download all forms at www.ct.gov/dmv. Costs vary from $66 to $77.

TAXES Connecticut has a personal income tax of 3%, 4% or 6.5% for couples, varying with income levels. There is also a: • Capital gains tax, imposed on the sale or exchange of capital assets • Dividend tax, if adjusted gross income exceeds $20,000 • State sales tax of 6% on nonexempt items. Examples of exempt items include: food, prescription drugs, individual items of clothing that have a value of less than $50, property rentals, etc. • Personal property tax, includes items such as cars, boats, etc. • Cabaret tax on all sales of food and drink, where entertainment is provided and alcoholic beverages are served

LICENSES & PERMITS Required for: • Marriage (obtain from town clerk) • Drinking (legal age is 21). May use Connecticut’s driver’s license or a liquor purchase card obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles • Boats and RVs (boats with engines register with Department of Motor Vehicles) • Hunting and fishing (issued by town clerks) • Guns: local police department issues permits only for their jurisdiction; state police issue statewide permits; mandatory fine for illegal possession • Auto Info: www.CT.gov/dmv; (800) 842-8222 9


The Opportunity in Home Sales

By Donna Dollé

L

et’s face it, when properties were going sky high, it was a foregone conclusion that there had to be a crash. And that is exactly what happened. We all hear the stories about short sales and foreclosures. But, do we know what an opportunity this current real estate market is for both sellers and buyers?

How does that affect sellers? We know the suffering of people who bought their homes at the height of the market as I mentioned earlier: short sales, foreclosures. This has not been a pretty picture. However, anyone who purchased their home before the sharp rise in prices—provided they did not cash out on their equity—still will make a profit on the sale of their home. Looking at the statistics for Norwalk, the average sales price of homes has increased from this time last year to this year. The chart below demonstrates this fact:

Think about it. Prices came down—a lot! Interest rates are still low; even as they are slowly rising, they are still a bargain. Five percent? I remember when interest rates were 16%. It didn’t stop people from buying—just cut out a large segment of available buyers. When those interest rates were high, the kinds of mortgage programs available were restricted and everyone needed to put 20% down. Now, the mortgage programs available are much more flexible. Twenty percent down is desirable, but not necessary, even though the requirements for a person to be approved are as strict as they were back in the day. Taking the availability of mortgages (banks are waiting for people to come in wanting a new mortgage—the money is there) and taking the lower house prices, it’s a buyer’s heaven.

# Bedrooms

Current Year Statistics 8/21/10 - 2/17/11 Avg. List Price Avg. Sales Price SP:LP Ratio

Avg. MT Sold

2

$519,000 $497,062

95

79

3

$579,387 $549,872

94

111

4

$685,558 $648,851

94

105

Previous Year Statistics 8/21/09 - 2/17/10 # Bedrooms

Avg. List Price Avg. Sales Price SP:LP Ratio

Avg. MT Sold

2

$344,114 $331,357

96

96

3

$539,596 $506,382

93

108

4

$604,662 $567,996

93

114

Source: CMLS

Looking at these statistics, there are a few other things that stand out. The average Sales Price to List Price ratio is almost the same this year as last, but the average market time is quite a bit less in the 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom homes, and only slightly more in the 3-bedroom homes. These are all good signs for the future. In conclusion, this tough time in real estate is really an opportunity. For sellers, prices are coming up and taking less time to sell. For buyers, although prices are rising, they are still a bargain compared to the “Bubble.” This real estate market shouldn’t be feared. It should be welcomed as a time to re-adjust our thinking and our actions.

Donna Dollé Dollé Partners Consulting and Sales, Keller Williams Realty Office: 144 East Ave, Norwalk, CT Home Office: 28 Geneva Rd, Norwalk, CT 06850 Home Office Phone: (203) 855-7564 • (203) 554-0028 (Cell) http://donnasellsct.com/

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Paul N. Bologna & Associates Attorney at Law, CPA, CFP 4Real Estate 4Loan Modification 4Short Sales 4Foreclosures 4Refinancing

Paul N. Bologna, CPA, CFP 184 Atlantic St., Stamford, CT 06901 (203) 348-3555 - fax: (203) 348-2555 - mobile: (914) 643-6034 email: paul@bolognalaw.com

LUCCA PLUMBING LLC No job too small We guarantee prompt and professional plumbing repairs

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Arianne O’Donnell, Attorney at Law Specializing in: 3 Residential Real Estate 3 Wills, Trusts & Estates 3 Business Formations 203.972.3465 Fax 203.972.3703 144 East Avenue, Suite 200, Norwalk, CT 06851

mail@attorneyodonnell.com

NORWALK ROOFING LLC

M. FUENTES PAINTING Interior

4Asphalt 4Cedar 4Copper work 4Flat

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HENRY VARGAS NORWALKROOFING@HOTMAIL.COM (203) 855-5700 • Cell: (203) 667-6933 Licensed & Insured 12

exterior

Benjamin Moore • All work guaranteed Marvin Fuentes Stamford, CT • (203) 329-4405 mfuentes.painting@gmail.com


Reasons Why Today May Be the Day to Trade Up Your Real Estate By Jeff Grossarth

I

f you’re like me and you’re always looking for the bigger, better deal, then a trade up in real estate may be an option you want to consider. Whether you could use more space, a better neighborhood/school district, have a growing family or any other reason, the current real estate market presents many unique opportunities. Most people are only looking at how much money they might lose on their current home if they sell now, but what they need to look at is how much they will gain on their trade-up purchase. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you bought your home for $400,000 five years ago and now it’s worth $300,000. You might say, “Hey, that’s $100,000 or a 25% loss I would incur if I sold today! There’s no way I can take such a hit right now.” That’s the wrong attitude! The right way to look at it is this: If you go out and buy the home of your dreams, it also will be at a discounted price based on the current market. So, if you find a home that was worth $800,000 five years ago, but is now on the market for $600,000 (a $200,000 discount) you’ve just made $100,000 on the trade! Not only that, but think of the money you saved on property taxes because you bought your dream house for $600,000 instead of $800,000. Next thing you’ll want to do is break out your trusty crystal ball and fast forward to five years down the road when the real estate market has gone up 20%. I know, I know—I’m a big dreamer! Anyway, when that happens, your old house will have a gain of $60,000 and your dream house gains $120,000. Taking these numbers into account, you just made another $60,000! So, if you’re dreaming about that bigger home in a better neighborhood, then look no further than today’s market. The thing is, you probably couldn’t afford that dream home five years ago, and in another five, you might not be able to afford it either. You need to capitalize on our current real estate market and get yourself into the home you’ve always wanted! One thing I want you to remember when searching for your dream home is this: do not focus only on price when trading up. The market is flooded with big homes that look affordable, but a bigger home means bigger expenses. You might be able to afford the mortgage, but you can get lost in the maintenance

and utilities associated with owning a larger home. Everyone deserves a better life, however, you need to be realistic. Talk to a Realtor® today and find out about all the factors involved in trading up in today’s market and if it makes sense for you.

Jeff Grossarth, Keller Williams Realty, 203-209-9037, 144 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851

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Moving Tips

q

Contact security/alarm company to arrange for service in your

new home. q

 Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s or renter’s,

medical and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home. q

 If you’re packing yourself, purchase packing boxes from your

local mover. Pack items that you won’t be needing for the next month.

8Three Weeks Prior q Make sure travel arrangements and reservations are in order. q

 Arrange to close accounts at your local bank and open

accounts in your new locale. Don’t forget about automatic deposit and payment items.

8Two Weeks Prior q  If moving out of or into a building with elevators, contact the building management to schedule use of the elevators. q

8Eight Weeks Prior q Contact movers for estimates or to reserve a moving van. q

 Clean out your attic, basement, storage shed and other big

storage areas. q

 Start to use up things you can’t move, such as frozen foods

and cleaning supplies. q

 Contact the chamber of commerce, your real estate agent

or visitor’s and tourism bureau in your new community for information on your new city.

8Six Weeks Prior q  If you’re moving at an employer’s request, verify what expenses may be reimbursed. q

 For out-of-town moves, contact the IRS or your accountant for

information on what moving expenses may be tax-deductible. q

 Inventory and evaluate your possessions to determine if

anything can be sold or donated. q

q

arrangements for your move.

8One Week Prior q  Withdraw the contents of your safety box, pick up any dry cleaning, return library books and rented DVDs, etc. q q q

Give away plants not being moved.

q

 Prepare specific directions to your new home for your moving

company (include your itinerary, emergency numbers, etc.).

8Two to Three Days Prior q  Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Block doors open so they can’t accidently close on pets or children. q

and obtain copies of your personal records or request forwarding to new contacts.

8Four Weeks Prior q Make change-of-address notifications. q

Arrange special transportation for your pets and plants.

q

 Contact utility and related companies (gas, electric, oil, water,

telephone, cable and trash collection) to establish service at your new home. Contact current vendors, but remember to keep telephone and utilities on through your moving date. 14

 Disconnect major appliances and prepare for the move. You

should request the gas company to disconnect your gas dryer, oven and any other gas appliances. q

 Pack a box of personal items that will be needed immediately

at your new home. Ask the movers to load this box last or transport it yourself.

 If some of your goods are to be stored, make the necessary  Contact schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants

 Drain gas and oil from power equipment (lawn mowers, snow

blowers, etc.).

arrangements. q

 Take pets to the veterinarian for any needed immunizations.

Get copies of pets’ veterinary records.

 Locate all auto-licensing and registration documents and

contact local authorities for information about possible property tax rebate and related information.

 Contact the moving company to review and confirm the

q

 Set aside those things that you are transporting yourself so

that they are not mistakenly loaded by your mover. q

Contact your mover to confirm arrival time of the moving van.

8Moving Day q Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water). q

 Read your bill of loading and inventory carefully before you

sign them. q

 Keep contracts, bills and other moving papers in a safe place

until all charges have been paid and all claims have been settled.


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Moving Tips for Pets By Michele K. Lamothe, D.V.M.

Prior to the Move 8Obtain a suitable carrier for the pet to travel in. If flying, contact the airline about size requirements. If traveling by car, the pet should either be secured in a carrier or fastened into a pet seatbelt. Pets should never travel loose in an automobile. If the pet is not normally comfortable traveling, short car rides prior to the move to get them used to travel is beneficial. Acclimate them to the carrier by offering them treats, playing with them and petting them in the carrier prior to the move. 8Contact your veterinarian about any necessary health or other certificates that might be needed for travel. Pets must be up-to-date on rabies vaccination for interstate or international travel. 8If traveling by plane, contact the airline regarding requirements. 8If traveling by car over several days, obtain a medical summary for your pet from your veterinarian in case emergency veterinary care is needed. 8Contact a veterinarian in the area you will be moving to see if the new location has infectious diseases that might require additional vaccinations or preventative medications. 8Make sure the pet and carrier have identification with the pet’s name, your name, new address and cell phone number. A microchip could also be considered as a form of permanent identification for the pet. Make sure the microchip company has your new contact information. 8If traveling by car over several days, research hotels that allow pets, since many do not. The Move 8Bring enough supplies for your pet until you will be able to unpack at your new home: food, treats, water and food bowls, litter box, leash, harness, collars, plastic bags (poop scoop), extra towels, any medications or supplements. 8Don’t give your pet any food or water for a few hours prior to travel.

8If your pet is normally anxious in the car, consider use of a pheromone spray, Rescue® Remedy, a tranquilizer or motion sickness medication. Consult with your veterinarian about what would be best for your pet.

Moving In 8Consider use of a pheromone spray, collar or plug-in in your new home. Consult your veterinarian to see if this is ok for your pet. 8Try to keep to your pet’s routine as much as possible. 8With cats, try to have as much unpacked as possible before moving them in, or consider confining them to a few unpacked rooms while the rest of the house is set up. The continual changing of the new environment as the house is unpacked can create a lot of anxiety for cats. 8Do not let outdoor cats out of the house for at least a month, then for the following month, let them out for short periods of time while you are home, until they learn their new surroundings. Do not leave dogs outside unsupervised in your new environment— take them out on a leash.

Dr. Michele Lamothe is a veterinarian and co-owner of Broad River Animal Hospital in Norwalk, CT. Please visit www.broadriveranimalhospital.com.

17


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Questions to Ask Your REALTOR® before Purchasing a Condo By Luisa Rijo

W

e’ve all heard about how terrible the economy has been, whether we’ve personally experienced its effects or not. This has financial ramifications especially for condo owners, as the growing number of foreclosures can deprive associations of the assessments they need to cover insurance, maintenance and other costs that can undermine property values. Whether you are downsizing or becoming a new homeowner and you are considering purchasing a condo, there are a few things to look out for that your Realtor® should keep you informed about.

8How many units are vacant or abandoned? We find that these units may fall into disrepair. 8Owner to renter ratio 8Upcoming assessments

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8Lawsuits against the association 8Financial budget sheet for the previous year and current year 8Current foreclosures. Why? The individual facing foreclosure will most likely let their HOA fees go past due before their mortgage payment. This only adds a burden to current homeowners that have to make up for fees for a unit owner that is unable to pay. In some cases, an association can foreclose on a property for non-payment of dues. Even if the association isn’t the mortgage holder on the property, the association was formed before the mortgage and they were “first in time.” The association can file documents for each property, giving them the right to collect dues and have an interest in the property. Make sure to sit and have this discussion with your REALTOR® and your attorney so that you are aware of any problems that may come down the line prior to making that important purchase.

Luisa Rijo, REALTOR, GRI, MS with Fritz Group Happy Home Sellers at Keller Williams Platinum Properties in Norwalk. An active member of CAI-Community Associations Institute and President of the Board of her condo association. Follow her on www.linkedin.com/in/luisa0523.

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Welcome to Greater Norwalk  

Keller Williams Realty Guidebook for Greater Norwalk, CT, area

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