Crossing the Border for Real Estate Wednesday

I widened the search for homes into Connecticut at or under $450K and at first found only houses that were ripped from murder and mayhem headlines….

Or ones where fixing it up might take more money than the purchase price…


But then, as I scrolled down and down, into a lower price point, the more adorable houses appeared. I was searching too high at $450.

Here, 14 Nolan Street in Norwalk, a hip happening town for young families, at $328k, a three bedroom one bath charmer, 1260sf, built in 1872. Looks adorable and move-in ready. Lovely front and back porch. Gorgeous back yard. White picket fence.

The downsides: one bathroom and no garage but if that’s not a deal breaker for your family, I think this is a winner. It looks much larger than the listed square footage and with the large backyard, a young family might take the outside as a trade-off for the smaller interior.

Another home that looks lovingly cared for, my bet is by very clean Italian (redundant) grandparents, 289 Flax Hill Road, also in Norwalk.  at $379k. 3b, 2.5ba, 2811 sf.

The neighborhood looks tidy as well, lots of bungalow-style homes, lived in a long long time. Nothing one would have to do, but things one could do – reconfigure the kitchen – the space is quite large – add an island for sure. Update the paint colors in the whole house, add some more landscaping outside, bingo.

Comparing apples to apples, I’d buy house two, the one on Flax Hill. Two car garage, twice the interior space, more bathrooms.

But hey, if small and under $450k doesn’t do it for ya boopie, how about a little Cinderella Castle in your life. Woodstock, CT, all for a mere $39MILLION! Funny the listing says Address Withheld. Bonus, the price is Down from $45million. Grab it while you can. It’ll go quickly at this new reduced price. 75 acres. 18,000 square feet. LSD extra. I’d love to know the history behind this build, what the neighbors think, why the owner is selling…chris????


The interior …no comment.

20 thoughts on “Crossing the Border for Real Estate Wednesday

  1. Speaking of search, I like everything about your new blog format except the search options. The old format was easier and found more posts. Did something change with WordPress or is it the way you save posts?

    Peter is right that you blogged about this castle before but I can’t find it either and we should be able to.

    1. I have struggled searching for posts too and I think it has to do with the new format, not me. I try and add tags and categories to each post that make searching later relevant but for the castle I searched Real Estate, nothing, I searched Woodstock, nothing except today’s post…..frustrating.

  2. Try Realtor. com -450 Brickyard Rd in Woodstock, CT for the castle listing. Would love to know the story behind the place. They should get a better housekeeper, one who knows how to make a bed. Hope Egypt doesn’t call asking for its mummy back.

    As for the two more modest abodes, I’m having a hard time deciding between them. My heart says the older yellow house but my practical side says the Flax Hill property will probably appreciate more in a shorter period of time.

    1. I noticed the poorly made bed too and wondered if the photographer took a nap in between shots.

      My heart goes with the yellow house too. It’s heartening to know that young families can buy really nice homes for a relative song.

      1. $379 is a relative song? You need to get out of New York. Watch Fixer Upper from Waco Texas. Homes there go for a real song $125 and under.

      1. Nice guy. Not! That article was written in 2011 so I’d love to know what happened. I need an Oprah Where Are They Now. Mostly I feel
        sorry for all the children this crazy man has sired.

  3. Those Norwalk bungalows are not exactly aspirational…..very nearby neighbors.
    So it’s all about the neighborhood. Have not been there recently. Could be great.
    Portchester is closer to NYC by 30 minutes.
    Any 450k homes in the Porkchp?

    Or Montana and Wyoming?

    Makes me wonder what available with big sky
    in like Montana or Wyoming?

    1. I watch the young families I know WANTING near neighbors. Ironically they grew up in back country settings but are looking for just the opposite now. I don’t know either of those Norwalk neighborhoods either other than looking up and down via Google Earth. Looked decent to me.

      Haven’t searched Port Chester. Will do that next time! Good suggestion.

      As for Wyoming and Montana, add a digit or two. We’ll have to wait for Catherine to get home to tell us about price tags out west. Maybe she can host a Wednesday Real Estate Western Edition.

    2. Good morning East Coasters! Suckers.

      Thanks for the question about real estate here in JH. It took us a long time to decide where to live, Jackson proper or outside, like Moran or Wilson. The big conversation was do we buy lots of acreage, a ranch, or a house-house, in a neighborhood. I felt our first house should be in a neighborhood – we’re not exactly ranch-hand types, but I got outvoted by the children and hubby, who said the whole reason for the move was to change our lifestyle. Then we had to find something in a budget – real ranches in JH area START at about $10million and go up. So that was out. The next best thing we agreed was to buy a home on a few acres abutting a ranch so we could feel the wide open spaces but not own and manage them. It was much harder to find such an animal, especially keeping a budget in mind. The RE agent saw us come in the first day, with what he assumed was a rich NYer look and was utterly disappointed that we had a modest price range in mind (modest for JH, not modest by Norwalk). He took us all over the place for us to get a sense of where we felt suited us. It took us three trips out to find what we wanted. If we really fall in love with the experience and our move, the ultimate goal is to buy land and build a home, but we are a long way off from that. First, we have to move in. Happy Easter everyone.

      To answer the actual question, finding anything here for under $450 means a trailer in the middle of nowhere. Here’s what’s listed for under $500k.

  4. I’d take Nolan. It’s in a much better neighborhood, almost in the outskirts of quaint Silvermine, and convenient enough to New Canaan that you could pretend you live there or send your kids to St. Luke’s.

    1. So much strange in that article but my biggest takeaway was that their property taxes are only $27k!

      Don’t you feel sorry for the neighbors?!

      PS: I finally had the time to watch all 25+ minutes of the video you posted in the Cuba thread. It was excellent. Thanks.

  5. The gardener my parents have used for nigh onto forty years took every extra penny he had and bought PortChester houses – single family and duplex. He’s been very successful and has created a nice retirement for himself from his early planning. The downside to buying in PoCho is that your house may be cute, priced right and single family but be sandwiched between multi-family dwellings where nary a person speaks English.

  6. One of my dearest friends has been renting a house in Portchester for about five years now. While the move resulted from an unexpected and unwelcome exercise in downward mobility, the house is cute and the location has some definite benefits. For one thing, she never needs to lock her doors. What with all the law enforcement officers and firemen in the neighborhood, the multigenerational families where someone is always home, the barking dogs, and the acute shortage of street parking, even low-level crimes of opportunity are rare events. Plus her landlords (a husband and wife team) are zealous protectors of their investment and value her as the good tenant she is. Plus, you can walk to … the train station … Frankie & Louie’s … Davy Byrnes. (I wish I was local enough to watch March Madness at Davy Byrnes. I’ll bet they went bananas when Villanova won.)

    So, hats off to Anonymommy’s gardener. Plus, who cares if your neighbors only speak Portuguese?

  7. There are many pluses to living where you can walk to everything and where hard-working people choose to call home. Police, fireman, plumbers, carpenters – all need a roof and most can’t afford the neighboring Greenwich, so PortChester becomes a perfect alternative to raise a family, or in the case of your friend, to downsize when tough times call for it. PortChester has come a long way, from the days long long ago when it was very unattractive and parts unsafe, the advancements probably due to the first generation immigrants who are now successful enough to buy and renovate rows of homes. But today, even with all its success and improvements, PortChester like Mount Kisco, has serious illegal immigrant problems, those men who can’t get work, those who skirt the law, public drunkenness, petty theft, etc. Yes, the majority of illegals work hard and are law abiding but not all. More power to your friend to have found a neighborhood where she feels so safe, but I lock my doors here in Bedford. I watch too much Dateline I guess.

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