Now that you guys know I’m moving, I thought it’d be fun to partner with a local realtor and dive deep into the current Greenwich, CT market! I’ve also been getting lots of requests to do more Greenwich-related blog posts from my Instagram audience, many of whom are looking to escape the city (I don’t blame you!). Keep reading for Lisa Migliardi’s answers to all your real estate questions about buying a home in Greenwich, CT!
Hi everyone, I’m Lisa! I have been in real estate for five years, and now more than ever – home has never been more important! Having been privileged with some amazing buyers and sellers, both locally and from afar, I love being able to share both the real estate process and all parts of Greenwich with my clients.
Born and raised in Greenwich, I am the oldest of three girls. While we’re all 2 years apart in age – we were actually all pregnant together, which is such a special experience! My sons Mason and Morgan are 2.5 and 1.5 – and funny enough – my parents welcomed SIX grandsons in just over 2 years! At my next home I am obsessed with having a “bunk” room, I love the idea of having my boys and my nephews being able to have awesome sleepovers!
When I’m not chasing after my kids or working on a deal, I am watching Dead to Me on Netflix (I love that Christina Applegate’s character is also a realtor!) and wishing that Häagen-Dazs still made their honey vanilla ice cream for binge night (but I’ll settle for homemade pistachio!).
A (Lisa): “Mid Country” Greenwich is very popular right now. Many long time New Yorkers are finally making the move to the suburbs. Young couples, and especially those who have young kids (or plan to start a family soon) want to buy properties with privacy and much more square footage. While quarantining, they have decided they want acreage which will allow for their children and pets to have yard space, and many also desire pool sites or a pool. Many will also be working from home and commuting less in the foreseeable future, so they want additional bedrooms that can be converted to home office spaces, and gyms. Mid- country marries the peacefulness of “country” living while offering a close proximity to all of the perks of a big town.
A: I absolutely believe that you should work with a local Realtor. Unfortunately, many realtor sites have a lot of misinformation, and those sites aren’t able to keep up with local markets and are unable to verify their information. Agents who specialize in a specific area will always be able to provide data that a website wouldn’t. It’s important to have someone to help educate you on the process, work, and fight on your behalf, and a computer program isn’t going to do that.
Hi guys, it’s me Helen just popping in here for a minute to say that I can’t imagine going though this process without a realtor! As much as I love scrolling through listings on Zillow, I’ve learned first hand how their information can be inaccurate and outdated.
A: Do some light homework, and continue to research the local market. Connecticut just recently began re-allowing public open houses. I recommend that you attend a number of open houses in close proximity to your home (if planning to sell), or in the locations/school districts that you have interest in (if you’re planning to buy). Most tech savvy agents will also offer virtual open houses for states that are still heavily affected by Coronavirus, or for individuals that just want to be cautious. Interview your top choices (socially distanced or virtually) and have a list of questions ready. If they answer your questions honestly and intelligently and then you should expect that they will be a good fit in assisting you with your real estate needs.
Referrals are another extremely helpful way to select an agent. Ask your family or friends who’ve they worked well with, as working with an agent who has rave reviews by people you trust is someone that you definitely want in your corner for the home buying/selling process.
If you’d like to learn more about Lisa or reach out to her, click here!
A: First time home-buying is a very exciting time, but it can also be very stressful. It is paramount to select a seasoned and successful team, so that they can educate, organize, and streamline the process for you. Each state, and their individual towns have their own multiple listing services (MLS), as well as their own order of operations for buying locally or from afar. You should connect with an agent well before you’re planning to buy, so that they can explain what will be involved each step of the way. They can then put you in contact with a number of professionals to ensure that the order of operations runs smoothly and successfully from becoming pre-approved, to house hunting, submitting an offer, inspections, clearing contingencies, and closing on your first home!
A: Many people lean towards a “turn-key” property because it’s fresh and has never been lived in. Some buyers want to just bring their toothbrush, and not have to worry about anything else. The interiors and systems of these properties obviously also require less immediate attention and maintenance. You are however, paying more to have someone else do all the work for you in advance.
Not all new construction is created equal, and sometimes it can be worth the extra time and money to customize a property yourself. New construction aesthetics usually aligns with the current trends, and some buyers want to create their spaces to best suit their lifestyles and design preferences. You don’t necessarily have to have the funds to renovate already set aside, as some people chose to complete renovations in phases. That way they can live in their house concurrently (and therefore avoid paying for a rental property), and also take time to financially plan and complete each design.
Another option is to discuss a possible construction loan with your broker and bank. There are certain fine points associated with doing that which can include a higher interest rate. Another consideration when selecting this option is the additional timing associated with the renovation. Depending on the scope of work, the process can take multiple months or even years. Delays with orders, contractors, and most importantly with the decision-making process can accrue unforeseen costs.
A: In addition to their down payment, buyers have closing costs that they will need to pay on the day of the closing. When you initially speak to your mortgage broker or bank you should ask them for a breakdown of additional costs so you can plan ahead. Closing costs will likely include loan origination fees, appraisal fees, title searches, title insurance, deed recording fees and attorney costs. Depending on the close date, buyers will also be responsible for prepaid costs such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
Sellers also have costs to consider in addition to sale price. Sellers are responsible for compensating the real estate brokerages coordinating the transaction, as well as conveyance tax, and attorney fees. As of July 1st, 2020, the state of Connecticut adopted a Mansion Tax which applies additional conveyance for the portion of properties sold over $2.5 million, but there are additional details and incentives so it’s important to speak to your agent or attorney and stay informed.
A: Prior to applying for a mortgage, I recommend working to improve your credit score so that it’s at its peak for when you’re ready to apply. Take advantage of a website that will provide you a free credit report (the whole report, not just the score) so that you can go through the report and dispute any errors that are negatively impacting your score. Afterwards, I recommend that you speak to a few mortgage brokers and banks in order to ensure that you’ll receive the best interest rate, and lowest associated fees to close. The banks will require that you fill out an application, but it does include a hard hit to your credit so do your homework and plan wisely.
A: Greenwich isn’t just the most southern town in Fairfield County, it’s also the largest. Greenwich offers unapparelled square acres with sprawling back country estates to properties that border Long Island Sound. While the real estate is slightly more expensive, the taxes are one of the lowest in the state, which is a huge incentive for residents. Greenwich also has something for everyone with award-winning shopping, dining, arts, parks, beaches and education.
My family has been rooted in Glenville for 90 years. Hands down, the best Greenwich pizza is Glenville Pizza on Glenville Road. I have memories of grabbing a slice after Maverick practice and it is so special that I can share that with my two young boys all these years later. If you’re near downtown Greenwich I highly recommend Meli- Melo Creperie. The casual French fare has been a staple on Greenwich Avenue for 30 years. Their menu is expansive and very reasonably priced, and very family friendly. Save room for dessert, the Nutella Crepe is amazing! Also located downtown, The Perfect Provenance is a quite special mix for both shopping and dining. They have the most perfect housewarming gifts!