Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Does a Car Wash Have to Do With Real Estate?

Last Sunday at my church, Trinity Church of Greenwich, I arrived to find that the high schoolers were holding a car wash to raise money for their upcoming houseboats trip.  Your car would be cleaned while you were in church.  Since multi-tasking is pretty much my middle name, this was hugely appealing.

I don't know about you, but I have to admit I don't always participate in these kind of car washes.  I've had a few too many experiences of driving away with more than my fair share of soapy streaks sporting my vehicle.  

But , being a realtor, the most angst-filled part of my job is making sure that my car is clean at all times.  Not the inside, mind you.  A canvas bag can be found in the backseat most days that holds any of the materials or random items that I need for the day.  My challenge is on the outside.  No matter where I park-- and I actually think about it-- trying to avoid dust storms, trees that "shed", or crowds of birds, it's tough to keep a dark blue car sparkling for more than a couple of days.

So, whenever possible, I brake for car washes.

I was not disappointed on Sunday.  The high schoolers did a fantastic job and I came out of church just as this group of kids in  the photo above were finishing up the wheels.  Yup, they even did my wheels!

What does a car wash have to do with real estate? Simply this.  Whether it's a car or a house that you have on the market, the condition of it matters.  Whether it's clean countertops, organized closets, or a sparkling car, an impression is created.  And as my mother always said, you don't have two chances to create a first impression.

P.S.  Speaking of dirty cars, have you ever seen Scott Wade's dirty car art?   He turns dirty car windows into works of art.

Contact Robin Kencel for help locating and acquiring a home or rental.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Glimpse at Old Greenwich on Memorial Day with a Bird's Eye View of It's Real Estate

Lately, I have been working with an adorable couple looking to purchase their first home here in Greenwich.  They are no strangers to the area as the husband grew up in Fairfield County.  We found a perfect rental town home for them last fall in the center of Greenwich, which has given them time to get to know the different faces of Greenwich, and they have settled on wanting to find their permanent home in Old Greenwich  or Riverside. 

It is easy to see why Old Greenwich and Riverside have such fiercely loyal communities.  I took part in this year's Memorial Day Parade as a member of the League of Women Voters Greenwich chapter, and it was right out of a chapter from my youth.

To the left here, is a car that thought it was a ladybug.  Note the attention to detail down to the feathered eyelashes on the headlight.  I wonder if it has a mind of it's own like Ted (if you haven't seen it, put the movie TED on your must see list if you don't mind a bong toting, smarty mouth stuffed animal).

Someone spent a lot of time and creative energy getting this little  bug ready for a ride down the red carpet of Sound Beach Ave.

Then there were the people representing the organizations themselves, largely from Old Greenwich but from the larger community of Greenwich as well.  Civic pride is an allusive thing and not always felt until a day when a parade is in action.

My hat is off particularly to the Old Greenwich Garden Club, the different school marching bands, youth sports teams, cheerleading groups and of course, the firemen and policemen.

Here is our merry band, the League of Women Voters, with "Susan B Anthony" at our helm.

I will leave you with some real estate stats on Old Greenwich, all based on recent one year data. 

18% of the 606 homes that sold in Greenwich during the 7/8/11-7/8/12 period, were located in Old Greenwich.  Old Greenwich homes sold at a higher price/square foot than those in the other Greenwich communities at $534/sq. ft. vs. $440/sq ft.  Old Greenwich homes sold at a slightly higher Sales to List Price at 94% and were on the market 8 days more on average (139 Days on Market) than those selling in the rest of the town.  The average size house that sold in Old Greenwich during this time was 2,688 sq. ft.

It's 7 a.m. and the sun is shining full on already.  Might be the perfect day to head down to Tod's Point and grab an ice cream at Darlene's Heavenly Desires, just one of the mainstays of Old Greenwich and a treat in itself.

Contact Robin Kencel for help locating and acquiring a home or rental.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Birthday Celebration

Every morning after my work out with Tina the Trainer or Bikram yoga at the Yoga Center on Greenwich Avenue, I work my way down to Versailles for a cappuccino and nibble of the day's pastry samplings.  Most mornings, the "regulars" are there, including John, a hedge fund guy who reads the financial rags while he grabs some breakfast.

Max, a waiter there, was even more buoyant then normal on a recent morning.

Meet Max

"John bought me a pair of shoes for his birthday!" , Max told me.  "Gucci loafers!"

Apparently, it was John's birthday and he came in at lunchtime telling Max they needed to take a walk down the Avenue.  First stop was several doors down, Richards clothing shop.  It was John's birthday and he shares a tradition that I also have-- give away gifts to whomever comes to your mind on your birthday.  It is such a delight to surprise someone with a reverse gift on your birthday.

As Max said, "I love the shoes but what was even more fun was that they were so unexpected!"

Try the tradition and see how you feel!

Contact Robin Kencel for help locating and acquiring a home or rental.