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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Real Estate Report: Building Inspection Angst

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

Whether you are buying or selling a home in Westport, the first hurdle after an agreed upon offer is the building inspection. Image
Featured Home: this home at 14 Greenwood Lane is listed at $2,999,999. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s Westport/The Gibbons Group.

An offer to purchase customarily includes a building inspection clause, which is to be completed by the buyer within five to ten days after a signed binder agreement, and at the buyer’s expense.

This beginning part of the transaction creates worry for both the buyer and the seller.

The buyer is concerned about purchasing a home that has unforeseen issues, as well as defects that are costly to repair. It is not all that common that a detailed inspection does not uncover any problems, however minor they may be.

The somewhat tricky part is what is reasonable to request of the seller. Expectations of a perfect home can create heightened emotions and a sale or purchase can fall through if those expectations are not met.

On the other hand, a seller plays the waiting game until the buyer responds with “it’s a go,” or asks for repairs or a reduction in price.

The sellers may feel that they have negotiated a low enough price to address what may be considered as “nit-picky” items.

Nerves can sometimes get the better of either party, or both.

Purchasing a newly built home does not mean there won’t be any issues, and purchasing an older home and expecting everything to be in perfect condition is not realistic either.

The best way to address any concerns for either party would be to focus around safety and “protect your investment” matters rather than cosmetics, what is considered useful life when a component is functional, or on minor concerns that could be considered reasonable wear and tear.

As always, consult your agent and/or attorney for the best advice that pertains to you and your specific situation.

Market Stats

There are 376 homes actively on the market and have been listed for an average of 112 days, with a cumulative market time of 206 days. The average list price is $2,267,090 and the median price is $1,799,000.

A home on Beachside Avenue is the highest priced property for sale at $32 million, and the lowest available priced single-family is a three-bedroom cape on Richmondville Avenue for $477,500.

Thirteen new listings came on the market in the last seven days, and no properties came back on the market after being under deposit, or temporarily withdrawn. Twenty-three properties had a price change.

Four properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and nine properties went into pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close.

The average price of those nine properties was $1,612,444. There are currently 21 homes in CTS status throughout Westport, and another 52 properties scheduled to close town-wide, with an average price of $1,331,092.

Closings: There were nine single-family homes reported as sold in the last week, and they were listed on average at $1,612,444 with an average market time of 156 days. There were 76 status changes in the last seven days.

Condos: There are 11 condominiums that are available, and they have been listed an average of 53 days. Their average listing price is $680,027 and the median price is $599,000.

The highest priced condo in town is listed at $1,195,000 and is a two-bedroom home located at Terra Nova, and the lowest priced unit for sale is a two-bedroom townhome at Hills Lane for $335,000.

There was one new listing this week, and no homes came back on the market, There were no price changes,  and one property went under the initial stage of deposit, and one home entered pending status.

There are two properties town-wide that are currently in CTS status, and there is one property scheduled to close that is listed at $269,000.

One sale was reported during the last week, and was listed at $649,000. There were four status changes.

Rentals: If you are interested in renting year round, either furnished or unfurnished, there are 91 homes or apartments available. The median price is $6,000 per month and the average price is $6,838 per month. These year round rental opportunities have been on the market an average of 50 days.

There are 48 short-term rental opportunities that are available, and they have been on the market an average of 98 days. Their average price is $15,264 and the median price is $12,250.

Please note that seasonal rental prices are sometimes listed as an aggregate price for the season, or they can be listed as per the monthly rental cost.

Source: Market Data is compiled from the GFC-CMLS and represents activity through our local MLS system. Private sales are not included in these statistics.

Featured Home

This home at 14 Greenwood Lane is listed at $2,999,999.

This positively exquisite 17-room custom colonial was built in 2014 by HOBI award-winning Barrington Builders, and exudes elegance and ease of living in a quiet location that is also commuter friendly.

Beautifully sited on a level 1.11-acre lot on a double cul-de-sac, this six-bedroom home offers the finest craftsmanship and attention to details throughout 7,500-square feet of living area, including custom moldings, and 9-foot ceiling height on all three levels.

The exceptionally sunlit living room has double crown molding, and a fireplace with custom mantel.

A banquet-sized dining room also has double crown molding and wainscoting, as well as a fully appointed butlers pantry.

The custom gourmet kitchen was handcrafted in Vermont and has floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with beautifully designed and strategically placed down-lit glass display accent doors, as well as a “hidden” pantry.

Top of the line appliances include Wolf ranges, and a twin Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. The oversized center island with vegetable sink has a matching Carrera marble counter, and seats three comfortably.

The breakfast bay with transom topped French doors opens through a columned entry to the family room, which has coffered ceiling, and a natural stone fireplace. Both access the expansive 798 square foot blue stone patio with outdoor fireplace.

The main level study has custom built-in book shelves and cabinets, and transom-topped French doors that also lead out to the patio.

Upstairs, a romantically inspired master bedroom has a fireplace and tray ceiling. The luxurious suite includes dual walk-in closets, and French pocket doors to a sumptuous bath with radiant heated flooring, separate tub and glass enclosed shower, two vanities and water closet.

There are four additional bedrooms on this floor, and each are en suite.

The finished walk-out lower level has 9-foot ceilings, another en suite bedroom which could be perfect for a nanny or au-pair, a game room and large recreation area.

Schools—Long Lots, Bedford, Staples.

Extras and items to note—six bedrooms, six full and two one-half baths, four fireplaces, audio system, security system, hydro-air heating system, Nest controls, Sonos, three-car oversized garage, generator, pool site

Annual taxes are $37,691.

Listing/photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s Westport/The Gibbons Group.

Judy Szablak
(Editor’s Note: Judy Szablak of Coldwell Banker Westport - Riverside, Fairfield County CT Realtor since 1984 is author of “The Art of Buying or Selling a Home,” and featured on HGTV’s real estate show, “Desperate to Buy.” Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit her online at


Posted 08/02/16 at 11:09 PM  Permalink


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