House Matters Recap! Oh What a Night! - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Scroll to bottom for photo gallery of the night!

Oh what a night! Our September 27th “House Matters” event was an absolute blast, and we wanted to make sure we gave a quick recap for those who weren’t able to attend, but were hoping for a synopsis.
A major theme of the night was about the state of the market in Darien, New Canaan and Rowayton. Many women expressed equal parts interest in, and concern with, listing their house in a “bad market”. I put that in quotations because Realtor Amanda Spatola had a different opinion. As she pointed out, the market itself is actually not doing badly at all. Compared to the previous 5 year average, home sales are only down 4%, and both sale prices and list to sale ratios remain stable. On a macro level, Consumer Confidence (a leading indicator of household consumption and thus a leading indicator of Real Estate activity) is trending at all time highs, bolstered by strong GDP data, low unemployment, only marginally higher rates, and a not-so-bad stock market.
The staggering statistic that everyone is focused on is Inventory being up 32% over it’s 5 year average– scary, and doesn’t seem to jive with the aforementioned positive trends. So what’s the actual deal? Well, new listings are only up 1% year over year, which tells us that the bulk of the inventory is carry over. The backlog in inventory is largely the result of a county-wide downward price adjustment. Sellers who bought at the top of the market recoup their investment, and many list without consideration for today’s market.
Moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to sell if you’re ready, but be realistic about pricing your home for Today’s market. Don’t let your home become old inventory. Remember that, generally speaking, your home gets its most significant attention in it’s first several weeks on the market. Sell quickly because it’s a great time to buy! Amanda will discuss all of these topics and more in greater detail on her youtube series. Stay tuned for more information!
Lighting!! Makes or breaks a space. Look for unique options. Circa Lighting is great! But there’s so much more out there. The advances in architectural lighting are astounding, year by year. Lighting is a great moment to go custom, too… Note: lighting mounting heights (chandeliers and sconces) and locations like undercounter or no overhead at line of edge of counter. Everything on dimmers!
When traveling, stop into home stores and antique shops and see what you fall in love with. (Buy what you love… I love designing around things that mean something to people!) If you’re dining in a restaurant and you love the aesthetic, take pictures. Same with hotels. Notice what you love and are drawn to… trust your instincts. Related: Keep note of key dimensions in your house… that big bare wall, or some nook you need to do something with, ceiling heights for lighting. That way if when you’re traveling or randomly see something unexpectedly, you can immediately find out if it’s a viable option.
Don’t Wallpaper every single room in the house. Break it up a bit. Don’t Skim on area rugs. Do not buy rugs that look like postage stamps in a room. Fill the space and show a foot or less of border around the room to make it a cozier space. Furniture should not be floating half on half off the rug. Tips: Indoor/Outdoor rugs – great for all living spaces. Dash & Albert also has some really soft and muted tones that look more luxurious and like a wool carpet.
Temppaper- if you live in a house and don’t want to decorate because you know you will eventually move…order Temppaper (peel on wallpaper) for the Entry foyer or Powder Room or a few spaces to make your home cozier at a fraction of the cost.  You can do it yourself.

Lindsay Rand McGuckin
VP Sales at RAND Insurance

The biggest investment most people will ever make is in their home. Protect the sizable financial investment you’ve made with a comprehensive homeowners insurance that only an experienced and local insurance professional can provide.

Contact Lindsey: [email protected]
Greenwich / Riverside – Darien / Rowayton – New Canaan
Phone: 203.409.4637

Brian Cossari
Landscape Architect

When planning to sell it is imperative to perform a critical analysis of your home’s curb appeal. You can’t sell your home if you can’t even get the buyer out of their car… how many people have arrived at a home for sale and said “I am not even getting out?” The kitchen could be stunning, but if the curb appeal isn’t there no one is going to see it.

To do this Brian suggests approaching your home as a guest… what does that mean? In today’s hectic lives most people zoom in their driveway, open their garage door and park inside, never actually experiencing the exterior entry to their own home. This is the exact opposite of how a potential buyer will first experience your home. Some simple updates to make your home more marketable include a fresh new mailbox with crisp lettering including full address. This way even if a buyer is performing a “drive by” without the realtor they will know they are in the correct place. Next instead of parking in the garage, park your car in the guest parking space or wherever the realtor might park. Now is the time to be critical… walk to the front door. I don’t mean march quickly or catching up on emails and staring at your phone. Walk slowly and purposely. The pace you would walk if you were balancing a full cocktail. I call this the “cocktail walk.” Be critical!

Is the walkway smooth and stones secure? Are the beds mulched, edged and free of weeds? Are the bushes trimmed? Is the front porch full of cobwebs? Is the front door paint peeling or faded?  While the realtor is fumbling with the lock box your buyer is looking around with a discerning eye! These improvements are simple and can even be D.I.Y. projects that will not break the bank.

Brian Cossari, licensed landscape architect from Hoffman Landscapes. Brian started his career with Hoffman as a college intern over twenty years ago and is now the branch manager of the firm’s Landscape Architecture & Outdoor Construction department. Brian is Hoffman’s landscape architect for the New Canaan area and has designed many swimming pools, spas, patios, outdoor living and dining spaces, and more for clients in the area!

A blend of Creativity, Craftsmanship & Care for Distinctive Properties Since 1987
Contact Brian: [email protected]
Phone: 203.801.2037

Peter Deane
Managing Principal of DEANE Inc.

Selecting a professional or team of professionals to collaborate on your project will deliver a positive experience and the most rewarding outcome. For those seeking to spruce up your kitchen before you sell there are four areas to consider
1. Paint your cabinets if they are dark
2. Install new counter tops if they are dark or laminate
3. Install a new backsplash if you replace your counter tops
4. Install new decorative hardware.

Managing Principal of DEANE Inc., a high-end residential custom cabinetry design firm, for over 20 years. Peter has built a reputation on delivering award-winning design in custom cabinetry for his clients homes. His work has been featured in the editorial pages of national publications such as LUXE Magazine, Greenwich Home & Estates, and Serendipity.

Contact Peter: [email protected]
Visit: 189 Elm Street
Phone: 203.972.8836

Alan Schoening
Senior Loan Officer at Bank of America

Speak with your mortgage broker before you begin your house search. The industry has changed and there are so many more loan options now. Most of my clients can actually afford more than they realize!
Alan Schoening, Senior Loan Officer at Bank of America (NMLS 867705). Alan has been in the mortgage industry for 12 years and is currently part of #1 mortgage origination team on the East Coast. Alan splits his time between New York and Westport and services all of the towns in between.

Lauren Jordan
Guest MC


Thank you to Lauren Jordan for making the night full of laughter! You can catch Lauren performing Oct 11 @ 8pm at Dangerfields on 61st and 1st in NYC. Make it a date night or a girls night in the city!

For more on the House Matter panelists and other industry experts, visit our resource page “Home Sweet Home”


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