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Dance

Whether you hope to pursue a professional dance career or simply wish to learn a few new moves there are classes in a variety of disciplines. From ballroom to hip-hop, Broadway to classical; New Canaan offers wonderfully diverse opportunities for all ages.

New Canaan Dance Academy (203) 972-9174 – www.ncdacademy.com

The New Canaan Dance Academy, founded in 2001 by Elaine Young, offers training in multiple dance styles to students of all ages ranging from 3 years old to Adult. Elaine grew up in London, England, where she studied Classical Ballet, Jazz and Tap dancing. The Academy’s goal is to create a safe and nurturing environment in which students can realize their full artistic and physical potential under the guidance of teachers who have been formally trained in classical dance techniques. Teachers constantly monitor the progress in a student’s core body strength and body alignment to ensure the optimal foundation for technical development.

New England Academy of Dance (203) 972-3265- http://www.neadance.com/

Established in 1968 the Academy was started by Doris Driver who appeared in Broadway shows and as a Rockette. Their outstanding instructors provide careful training based on the Royal Academy and Vaganova methods, which build strength, flexibility and grace in the dancer. Their program emphasizes proper technical and physical development while instilling a love and appreciation for the art form of dance. They offer a broad range of classes for all ages, including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, yoga, pilates, zumba and adult ballet.

Walter Schalk School of Dance (203) 762-7508 – www.walterschalk.com

Walter Schalk performed professionally on a number of variety and television specials started the his School of Dance in 1957. He began with 13 Ballroom students and now, more than 57 years later, the dance school teaches more than 1,200 students each year. Classes are broken down by grade level and students are invited to perform in their Holiday Spectacular and a fantastic Broadway-like dance Revue in which every student has an opportunity to perform in up to three routines. The Dance school is where you learn to dance, have fun, learn social etiquette, build confidence, make new friends, and are taught by a professional staff.

The Studio 203-966-7056 – www.thestudioperformingarts.com

The Studio provides an artistic outlet for all ages. In a fun, encouraging and challenging environment, our instructors provide valuable information and insight into what is needed to succeed in the performing arts. We specialize in small, interactive classes to maximize the personal attention available to each participant. Instruction areas include musical theatre classesacting classesvoice classesdance classes, and private voice, piano, guitar, dance, and acting lessons in New Canaan, CT.

Performing Arts Conservatory 203-966-6177- performingartsconservatory.com

The Conservatory is a teaching institution that offers a professional multi-disciplined performing arts program to New Canaan and surrounding communities. Our goal is to awaken, nurture and train each student’s creative potential and confidence by offering professional training, workshops and performance opportunities. The Conservatory will provide the techniques and skills needed to learn and grow in the field of the performing arts through Private and group classes in musical theater, acting, voice, theater dance (jazz & tap) fairy tale theater and audition prep.

New Canaan Monthly Real Estate Report – Market Report March 2015

Despite all of the snow and cold temperatures this winter, first quarter sales in New Canaan kept pace with 2014. We had 34 houses close in Q1 compared with 36 last year. Average price and median price are down a bit versus last year at this time, but it’s too early to place a lot of weight on these figures. Inventory is building quickly now that the weather is warming. For more information and charts please click on.. March 2015 Market Report

 

 

Winter Blues? Maybe not……

winter 2015

Despite record cold and snow drifts that swallowed mid size cars, the real estate market has shaken off the freeze. 90 single family residences, 9 condominiums and 19 land listings came on for sale since January 1, 2015. Some of these properties were taken off the market for the 2014 holiday season and reintroduced with adjusted pricing, but many are new.

Call this the bonus market, which precludes the traditional spring market. With checks in their bank accounts buyers are now more confident about their purchases. They are still looking for value and new or updated continue to be their preference.

Since beginning of the year there have been 22 single family homes sold, 11 others have signed contracts and 19 additional homes have accepted offers awaiting contracts.  4 condominiums have sold with an additional 7 pending and 4 others have accepted offers. Building remains strong with 2 land listings pending and an additional 14+ acre property, that will be sub-divided, with an accepted offer.

Inventory is still low with many homeowners waiting for better weather to show off their properties.

Staging on a Budget…5 Essential Rules and Tips

If you want potential buyers to choose your property over the competition, staging your home can make your house stand out from the crowd.

Staging is a new concept for most sellers, but a crucial step in getting your house sold. Presentation is everything!

As a marketing tool it helps to get people in the door. Today’s buyers look on the Internet before contacting a realtor to show them the house. If you don’t have beautiful pictures of your property they will not take the time to visit your home.  It also adds perceived value to your home which can translate into a higher sales price.

Home owners can make the changes themselves or hire a professional home stager. Professionals have an expertise that the home owner may lack to successfully stage their home.  They comes into the home with an unbiased eye. They are not emotionally attached to the home or the objects within it, allowing them to be objective, which is essential for a successful stage and ultimately a quicker and profitable sale.

Should you choose to do it yourself, here are some rules and tips to follow.

Rule # 1:     DE-PERSONALIZE

People want to envision themselves in the house – not you. Children and wedding photos may be important to you, but are a distraction to the buyer and prevents them from seeing their family in the home.

staging mantle - depersonalize

Rule # 2:     MAXIMIZE

Declutter and organize. This will maximize the space in your home. Children’s toys strewn about and rooms stuffed with that extra table or chair make the place seems small.   Closets packed tight with clothes gives the illusion of a lack of closet space. Consider temporary off site storage.

staging closet 2

staging kitchen

Rule # 3:     SANITIZE

The easiest and cheapest way to stage your home is to just clean it. Dirty dishes in the sink, pet and garbage smells and grim in the bathrooms are a turn off for any buyer. Nothing is better than walking into a house that smells and looks fresh. Take the extra time to wash down walls, floors and baseboards. Clean, sparkling windows brighten the space.

Rule # 4:     MODERNIZE

Unless you live in a new construction (2009-2014), or have done a recent renovation, every home can benefit from a little updating. Buyers will offer a lower price if they feel the house is dated. Simple changes such as replacing the kitchen and bathroom hardware from brass and gold to nickel or chrome creates a fresh, contemporary look. A new coat of paint, or stain, on those dated cabinets will dramatically transform the space. Organize cabinets inside as well as out.

staging kitchen cabinets

staging kitchen cabinets a

staging kitchen

Rule # 5:     NEUTRALIZE

Color can make or break a buyer’s interest in your home. Your daughter may love her shocking pink walls, but the buyer will only see $$ signs if the colors do not match their own style. A new coat of a gender neutral color is one of the most inexpensive ways to change a look and also to modernize. Consider removing or raising window treatments to allow the light in which makes a room feel spacious and inviting.  

staging living room

staging living room 2

staged living room

 

Here are a few related articles you might want to read prior to putting your house on the market.

 

 

Sales Down..Prices Inching Up..New Canaan CT 2014 Real Estate Market Report

The chart says it all… sales were down 6.7% from last year. The housing market, along with the job market, are still in recovery mode.  The good news for buyers was an increase in inventory, which at one point reached 364 homes on the market; however, homes listed between $1 and $2mm continue to be in high demand.

Yearly Tally of Monthly Sales in New Canaan

There was also a bit of good news for sellers as sales prices are beginning to rise from the dramatic decrease we experienced during the recession. The median sales price rose approximately 18.7%.

A big increase in the median price doesn’t necessarily mean prices are up. The real story is that high-end buyers were enticed by markdowns. So while there was more high-end activity, the prices were mostly disappointing for sellers.

Sellers need to be patient as it took longer to sell that house (199 days in 2014 vs 119 days in 2013) due to increased inventory and aggressive pricing. Pricing is key.

Single family Homes Sold by Price

The local housing market is still recuperating. We can’t call it transformed because there are people who want to sell but who can not because they owe more money on their homes than they can get for them.

Credit continues to be tight which is slowing the housing market when would be homebuyers have trouble getting financing. Hopefully this will ease up in 2015.

 

 

 

Connecticut Vs. New York Real Estate Closing Costs

While most homeowners are focused on the rising cost of home prices, they might not realize closing costs are rising as well. According to RIS Media, “Each year lender’s origination fees account for the lion’s share of the increase. Since 2010, origination fees, which include lender’s charges for services such as underwriting and processing have increased  27.1%. Bankrate.com’s annual survey of closing costs found that most of the rising cost is tied to fees charged directly from lenders.”

Five states led the way in increased closing costs: Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Wisconsin and New York.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ohio, Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri and Washington DC had the lowest closing costs.

Some lenders have not increased their fees. Buyers should compare good faith estimates from at least three different lenders to get the best deal.

Below is a comparison of closing cost for New York and Connecticut, prepared by Kim Weintraub from Atlantic Residential Mortgage. If you are considering buying a home in either state know your options and be aware of all fees.

***NY mortgage tax is standard on all loans and is based on the loan amount***
***Mansion tax is paid on any purchase price above $1MM***

Comparison of Closing Costs NY Vs. CT

Comparison of Closing Costs NY Vs. CT