Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Rivington – a WCI Community in Danbury, CT

Rivington, a WCI Community in Danbury, Connecticut – is one of the areas newest complexes.

  • THE HILLS – for families of all sizes – is located on 321 acres between exits 1 & 2 off I-84 and approximately 60 minutes from NYC.  This neighborhood has a clubhouse, playground and outdoor swimming pool. 

 

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I’ve recently had the pleasure of selling one of the model homes in Rivington to first time homebuyers who absolutely love their home!

 

As of 8/22/2010 – there are 2 resale listings available ~ CLICK Here to View Listing Sheets ~

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April 30, 2008 Posted by | Condo/Townhomes, Connecticut, Danbury, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIFE AS A REALTOR – Realtor Open House Day (3)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Realtor Open House Day this past Wednesday.  An associate of mine, Carolyn, and I attended a Marketing & Technology Seminar  in White Plains, NY.  The seminar was given by Realtor.com and was educational.  Unfortunately, it took us over 30 minutes to exit the parking garage!

We made our way back into Brewster, NY – making it to only 1 Open House in Brewster – but well worth it.  The home is was listed for $349,000.  It’s backyard leads up to Tonetta Lake and the 2 car garage has been converted into a home office – perfect for home based entrepreneurs.  Currently, the homeowner houses her clothing business for plus size designs, Love Your Peaches. 

Looking to save lots on gas by just taking a few steps from your home to your office – AND – when it’s time for your lunch break, looking at this view can be inspiring.

Interested in viewing this home?  Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment to tour this home, Tonetta Lake and the Village of Brewster – just minutes from Interstate 684.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Brewster, Buyers, Uncategorized, White Plains | , , , , | Leave a comment

Going to School in New Fairfield, Connecticut

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As Spring is blooming and buzzing all around us, more and more people are out shopping for a Home.

One very important question that every buyer should ask their Realtor is for a School Report.  Whether you have children or not, buying in an area with a good school system is also important for re-sale purposes.  Since you may want to sell your home in a few years to buyers that are interested in the school’s. 

                                                          

To learn about New Fairfield School’s, <CLICK> or New Fairfield High School.

Most school reports can be e-mailed to you – and most schools have their own website.  Need assistance?  I’ll be happy to help. Or – HomeFair.com has free school reports on line.

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                                                                Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

April 25, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Connecticut, New Fairfield, New Fairfield Schools, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Coyotes and Foxes and Deer…and Bears – Oh My!

I Spy a ..... DEER!There are many “critters” living and roaming in my backyard here in New Fairfield, Connecticut – my very own Animal Kingdom.  Having moved from Mount Vernon then to Harrison – both in Westchester County, New York – I was accustomed to seeing squirrels, raccoons, and once an opossum.  Then, almost 4 years ago, my family and I made our way into Connecticut.  

New Fairfield was ideal since it neighbors Brewster – which is just over and into the New York border -making my husbands commute, via 684 to New York City, quicker and easier. We were also able to take advange of lower property and sales taxes as well as the lower automobile and homeowner insurance.  

We moved in August of 2004 with 5 kids, our pup Jolu, kitty Moe and a tank full of Goldfish.  And, every year we seem to add a new – what we now call “pets“, to our home!

We first started with families of deer, sometimes seeing 7 at a time – my lucky number.  Can you Spy the deer in the photo?  Then towards the end of our first year, we spotted our first fox – adorable!  I nick named him Foxy Pooh – very original.  My neighbor had a Mother Fox and her 2 cubs living in his backyard – too cute!

Our second year in New Fairfield we were introduced to Black Bears– although, only hearing of them – never seeing them – yet!  They went from being spotted in the Pootatuck State Forest – miles away – to just a few blocks away!

Into our third year, one warm summer night, we officially heard the coyote, howling in my driveway at the moonlight – or could he have been howling at the light from my bedroom window?

 Now we will soon be getting into our 4th year and I’m awfully curious what new “pet” we’ll be adding.  Maybe a Moose

Living in New Fairfield, makes coming home feel like we’re going to my Mom’s country house – except it’s our house and we get to come home everyday to a town filled with nature and animal life.

 Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Connecticut, Fun Post, New Fairfield | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IT’S SPRING – LET’S GO GARDENING!

  Spring is in full bloom all around here in Connecticut and New York.  Everyday it’s getting “greener” and more colorful – Yeah!  The only sad part for me during Spring time is, once again, being reminded that I do not have a “green thumb“.  My brother inherited the gardening skills in our family. 

green-grass-leonid-mamchenkov                                                                     Leonid Mamchenkov – Flickr.com

But OH! – how wonderful the internet is. 

  • HOME DEPOT has a Garden Club, Tips on Landscaping, Watering Wisdom and Container Gardening.
  • LOWE’S has Creative Ideas for Outdoor Living, Plant and Wildlife, Growing Zones and Eco-Friendly Living.
  • HGTV has information on Butterfly Gardening, Rain Barrels: Save on Your Water Bill! and for ME – Advice for ALL – THUMBS Gardeners!

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 So to all my fellow “All – Thumbs Gardeners” – Don’t fret, check out these great sites with loads of information.  And let me know which site you found most helpful.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Gardening, Spring | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REAL ESTATE FOR THE BIRDS

As I was driving around New Fairfield CT, I couldn’t help but notice all the birds nests – and of course that   made me think … What if I was a Realtor for the birds??  Most of you should know me and my silly thinking by now!

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 Nests are scattered through-out trees in Connecticut and New York. In just 3 miles, my mother and I counted almost 20 nests!   How did they pick and choose their “home”?

tree-silhouette-neilsphotography                                                     Neilsphotography – Flickr.com

I also wondered what would being a Real Estate agent for birds involve?  Would I need to search for the tallest tree – a strong and sturdy one?  Maybe an oak tree – a maple or pine tree.  I wonder if their criteria would include having to find the perfect tree near homes with bird feeders and bird baths – BUT – none near homes with cats!

bad-kitty-sskennel                                                                           sskennel – Flickr.com

Hmm?? Most trees are awfully high and most birds tend to make their “home” on the very top.  Suddenly, I feel I’ve developed a fear of heights! 

looking-up-formalfallacy-dublin-victor                                         formalfallacy @Dublin (Victor) – Flickr.com

Won’t you be my neighbor?

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Fun Post, New Fairfield, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIFE AS A REALTOR – Realtor Open House Day (2)

On Wednesday, it was Realtor Open House Day again here in Putnam County!  An associate of mine, Carolyn Wachter and I, set out for our visits to our offices new listings as well as others.

It was a beautiful day, and the first home on our agenda was in Kent, NY – moving on to a new 55 and Better community, currently in construction in Carmel, NY and then – without even knowing – we made our way to Patterson, NY to view an older home – which is always at the top of our must see list.

The Federal Style House, built in 1795, is owned by an Academy Award Winning Actor.  The wide-plank floor boards, the numerous fireplaces, the architect throughout the home was mesmerizing.  I always find myself wondering what it must have been like living here over 100 years ago – no electric, running water, telephone – no television!

In the Patterson Historical Society Book, where this home is featured, Carolyn read that a previous owner would bring her cow into her room at night to sleep.  I couldn’t help but think, “If These Walls Could Talk”. 

The listing agent took us on a tour of the home from top to bottom and into the barn-turned-guest-house overlooking the 41 plus acres estate – BEAUTIFUL!

Oh, and I was also able to view “The Oscar” sitting in the corner of a room – the cherry on top of a perfect day – my day… in the Life as a Realtor.

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 WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

April 18, 2008 Posted by | Carmel, Kent, Life as a Realtor, NY, Patterson, Realtor Open House | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Pre-Approved First – Then Go House Hunting!

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Most buyers tend to start their house hunting on-line through sites like REALTOR.COM, TRULIAand many other sites.  Then, they may contact a Realtor, possibly the listing agent to an interesting home they’ve spotted on line.

The next thing they know, they’re scheduling an appointment to view homes and one day, it happens…

They find “the one” – their dream home,  their casa or castle.  They begin to picture themselves, their furniture and belongings in the home.  They may even start picking out paint colors and think of where to place the furniture – getting more and more wrapped up in becoming a homeowner.

Then, they contact a mortgage broker – since their offer, after negotiating, was accepted – Yeah! Or maybe not.  What if that house’s monthly payment isn’t affordable – what if their credit scores have changed – what if they need a bigger down payment?  These are all questions that could sometimes be answered with a simple phone call.

With all the changes in the Mortgage Industry, contacting a mortgage broker or lender is crucial.  It will save you much dissappointment and give you peace of mind while shopping for your first or next home.

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Call me for a list of fantastic people to assist you in any and all questions that you may have.  For now, check out DML Mortgage’s Link.  Paula Ventura or David Litchman are great!

April 17, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Mortgage | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Fairfield High School Musical – “Kiss Me Kate”

This past weekend, New Fairfield High School presented “KISS ME KATE” – a musical version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”  This play-within-a-play unfolds which each of the four main cast members’ on-stage performance being complicated by what is happening in their off-stage life. 

The play was truly entertaining and unforgettable – and not just because my daughter, Amanda, was one of the “Dancers.”  Well, maybe a little 🙂

The show had 4 performances throughout the weekend and everything from the choreography, scenery, costumes and the entire energy of the show was superb!

As a proud mom and resident of New Fairfield, I look forward to the next High School production.

April 16, 2008 Posted by | New Fairfield | | Leave a comment

Does Heaven Need A Realtor?

Yesterday, while driving home from Poughquag, NY, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the sky looked.  It was blue with large cotton ball clouds all around.  By late afternoon, when the sun started going down, it’s rays lit numerous clouds making the sight breathless.  Which then led me to think – DOES HEAVEN NEED A REALTOR?

sky-in-flower-aussiegall                                                       Aussiegall – Flickr.com

Heaven goes on and on – it’s a never ending place of peace, happiness and beauty where I know my dad is. But with all this space, I wonder if there is someone, like a REALTOR Angel, in charge of showing where someone should “live”??

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I’m thinking there’s no worry of choices since every inch of Heaven is beautiful – there is no price range – no need of staying within your commuting time.  There’s no fear of falling behind on your mortgage or taxes – no fear of foreclosure.  There’s no dreading of having to do the chores that come with homeownership and most of us really don’t care to do – like mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters and painting. 

As a compassionate Realtor, I put myself in my buyers shoes.  Respecting their price range, hopefully minimizing the chance of them getting behind in their house payments.  Being diligent in my search, sometimes looking in both states of Connecticut and New York and all 5 counties.  Dedicating many hours as I am always available and committed to each and every client. 

Why?? Maybe I’m a Realtor Angel in training.

sunshine-aussiegall1                                                              Aussiegall – Flickr.com

Now, please note, I am in no rush to take on this position!!  I hope to have many, many more years with my FAMILY and in a career that I absolutely love.  Real Estate is part of my life – life here on earth.  Which reminds me of a quote I once read – “The Best Investment on Earth, is Earth”  by Louis Glickman 1957.

 the-future-is-in-our-hands-aussiegall                                                                               Aussiegall – Flickr.com

April 15, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Fun Post | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rain, Rain Go Away …

I know it’s SPRING and “Spring Showers Bring May Flowers” – AND we need the rain to help our landscape turn “GREEN” – AND the rain helps to wash away the last traces of winter – like all the sand on the side of the road – AND of course I know how important the rain is for our reservoirs, rivers and streams.

Although, the rain – I must admit, is the only part of Spring that I’m not very fond of.  Why?

Getting soaked to the bone while watching your child’s soccer game isn’t fun.  Especially since most all sports are played on Turf Fields here in New Fairfield, CT.  Therefore, a game DOES NOT get canceled unless there is lightening!  So, even all geared up with an umbrella, raincoat and boots doesn’t make a difference since the wind blows the rain every which way.

My almost daily trips to the supermarket, yes – daily! I have 5 kids – many times to  SHAW’S, can become a battle of trying to make it to your car and get you and your groceries in before getting drenched! Ha! Never happens for me! I always seem to misplace my keys – forgetting that I purposely put them in my pocket instead of my purse so I could pull them out quicker.  Once I find them, I seem to forget how to open the trunk?? Turn to the left – no it’s the right! NO it was the left and now I’ve locked it again!

                                                                                 

And my other rain complain – showing homes when it’s pouring out.  It’s difficult taking in the outside of a home when your rushing to get in – hoping that your clients will be considerate and wipe their feet – and hoping that if they do decide to venture out onto the deck or yard, it’s AFTER they’ve viewing the rooms with the cream colored carpeting. I’ve found myself many times cleaning up behind them, trying to leave the home as it was. 

Although,  as my mother always says, look for the good in a bad situation“.  The GOOD in House Hunting in the rain is we can see if the home has any water issues – leaking roof, puddle in the basement or any other water damage or moisture.

So if it’s raining out – no problem!  I just hope to remember to wear my waterproof mascara next time!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY for most of these photos!

April 13, 2008 Posted by | Life as a Realtor, Spring | , , , , , | 2 Comments

LIFE AS A REALTOR – Realtor Open House Day

Theraputic Horse FacilityEvery Wednesday is Realtor Open House Day here in Putnam County, New York.  As a Realtor, Open House day is informative and fun!  We view new listings and meet each listing agent.  We also have the opportunity to get to know the area the home is located in and network with other agents.

Viewing my office’s own listings is important for us to be prepared for buyer calls.  It is impossible for a listing agent to input every bit of information about a home into the listing sheet.  Therefore, the listing agent shows us around, pointing out updates and facts about the home.  This also helps if your an agent searching for a buyer who is viewing homes on line, viewing photos is never the same as actually being in the home – especially if there are little or bad photos! 

Agents will host their Realtor Open House by serving lunch, dessert or give a bottle of wine.  They also pass out a listing sheet on the property and answer any questions that we may have.

On our last Open House day, we had beautiful weather and I was able to take of few photos on our journey from one house to another.  This photo was taken at Pegasus Farm – a Therapeutic Horse Facility in Brewster, NY.  The other Realtors watched – and laughed –  from the car as I attempted to take this photo – this cutie was very big and very intimidating!

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Brewster, Life as a Realtor, Realtor Open House | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homebuyer Seminar

CENTURY 21 V.J.F. REALTY is hosting a FREE HOMEBUYERS SEMINAR.  It will be held at our office which is located on 973 Route 22 in BREWSTER, NY.

This event will be held on 2 dates this month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  – THIS Saturday April 12th  ~ and ~  Saturday April 26th

Get answers from professionals about buying a HOME in TODAY’S market.

Should I buy now?   ~   Is my credit good enough?   ~   Can I afford it?

We will have Mortgage Brokers on hand for an instant Pre-Approval and Discount coupons!

More Information on:

Price Negotiation + Home Inspection + Purchase Agreement + Property Appraisal + Title Insurance + Closing Costs + MORE!

Guest Speakers include:  REALTORS, ATTORNEYS, HOME INSPECTORS and MORTGAGE BROKERS.

If you can’t make the seminar, I can e-mail you info!

For more information please feel free to contact me –

Cell:  203-648-2619 or E-mail: diana.santos@century21.com

View our WEBSITE 

 Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Buyers | , , , | 1 Comment

Selling in the Spring Market

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If your considering SELLING in the SPRING MARKET – wonderful!  Warmer temperatures, longer days, flowers peeping from the garden and NO MORE SNOW!!   SPRING is a great time to LIST  your home!

As a REALTOR, putting a home on the market involves many things:

           > Doing a CMA – COMPARATIVE MARKETING ANALYSIS – Here we view  your home to compare it to similar homes that are currently on the market, pending a closing and most importantly, those that have sold in the past few months.

           > Upon receiving the LISTING,  forms are signed and agreements are made – listing time length, commission amount, number of Public Open Houses to expect, marketing material and other items which should also have been discussed during the CMA.

           > And before taking photos and video for the virtual tour – Going over how to show your homes best potential by DECLUTTERING, CLEANING, and ORGANIZING

Bring out that handy tool box.  A screwdriver, glue and touch-up paint goes a long way.  Don’t give a potential buyer many “To Do” things.  Walk around your home and try looking at it through a buyers eyes.  Take your own photos and see what needs to be changed or packed away.  Also, invite a friend or family member who doesn’t live in your home to “pretend” he’s a buyer.  Just remember not to get upset when they tell you to pack away your 152 collection of Unicorns – maybe leaving out 3 of your favorite will make it easier.

      A helpful way is to remember to appeal to all 5 senses:  

SIGHT– organized, clean, decluttered, bright, and a neutral color palate with touches of color here and there by using flowers, candles and throw pillows. 

SMELL – Use candles cautiously, bake cookies – which also helps with TASTE – who’s mouth wouldn’t water while smelling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?   And better yet – leave out a few!   You can also use Plug-ins or dab light bulbs with vanilla, anything that smells good.  But please remember, if you haven’t cleaned the kitty litter or thrown out the smelly garbage – none of this will really help.

HEARING Soft music playing in the background will help buyers feel relaxed.  But watch your choice of music and don’t have it on too loud. 

TOUCH– have counter tops, door knobs and handles clean.  No one likes to have sticky fingers when they go to open a cabinet – and yes, they will open them along with closets. 

            > Once an agent has a listing – the fun begins!  Many PHOTOS  are taken along with a Virtual Tour VIDEO.  In my office, we use a professional company and I also take numerous photos for my Blog and many other sites that I advertise my listings on.  Most people will first view a home on-line or through a still photo in a Real Estate flyer or brochure – so GOOD photos are important!

Then, the SHOWINGS begin!  – along with a REALTOR OPEN HOUSE and PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES.  Hopefully, you’ll have enough notice before a showing to spruce up  – but if you don’t, there’s nothing wrong with shoving your teenagers dirty laundry under his bed.  It’s better than having it piled on the floor and viewed by a potential buyer.

GOOD LUCK!

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?                           sold-2

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Home, Sellers | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Spring – Let’s Go House Hunting!

It’s official – SPRING has sprung!  With beautiful weather here in Connecticut and New York on Saturday – it was a perfect day to go HOUSE HUNTING.   I had the opportunity to go searching again with FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS  in New Fairfield and Danbury, Connecticut. 

Showing homes in nice weather makes even the gloomiest home look somewhat appealing.  The sun shinning, the warm temperatures, flowers starting to appear, robins looking for food – you can’t help but feel good. 

My BUYERS were clearly happy and are even considering 2 of the homes we viewed.  Nice weather does put people in a good place… to look and BUY

As a REALTOR, the Spring weather makes showing homes an even greater pleasure for me.  There is no driving on icy roads, viewing – or trying to view snow covered yards.  No starting in the late afternoon making it to only 2 homes – until it becomes pitch dark!  AND my biggest issue – the COLD! 

Unfortunately, 1 out of every 5 to 6 homes I’ve shown this past winter were VACANT and had little or no heat if they had been winterized.  Brrrr!

There is a big difference in peoples attitude.  I’ve noticed that buyers tend to keep their hands in their pockets, or arms folded because they’re cold – so – they don’t go around opening cabinets and look behind shower curtains.  They don’t want to bother going to the basement and FORGET about going out to the deck to see the views. Way to cold – even buying them coffee and donuts midway doesn’t seem to help for long.

But, Ahh! SPRING!  My clients check EVERYTHING out – from the “crawl space” to the attic.  Sitting down in the livingroom, getting the “Feel” of the HOME. Then take walks, viewing the entire property and taking in the neighborhood.   

During this time of the market, I am ALWAYS running late – and love it!  Why? Because my BUYERS are HAPPILY taking their time and enjoying their search for their dream of becoming a HOMEOWNER.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

April 8, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Spring | , , | Leave a comment

First Time Blogging for Diana’s Neighborhood in NY & CT

My very first BLOG post ever thanks to a good and patient friend Diane who has her own BLOG  here.                 

This is very exciting for me because I am very passionate about my FAMILY, HOME, PETS, NEIGHBORHOOD and my career as a REALTOR with Century 21 V.J.F. Realty  – specializing in 2 states and 5 counties:    

             NEW YORK – Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties  ~ and ~

             CONNECTICUT – Fairfield and parts of Litchfield Counties   

In my BLOG you will find information and events in the neighborhoods I service for both BUYERS and SELLERS – and from time to time posts on anything revolving in and outside a HOME.

Please come back and visit dropping me a comment and a suggestion.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

April 7, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Connecticut, NY | , , , , , , | 6 Comments