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January 2007


REAL ESTATE

Deeds & Don'ts
By Lily Oliver

INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA REAL ESTATE DEALS

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A Touch of Tuscany
The Merryall section of New Milford represents Litchfield County at its most sublime: posh, private and picturesque, with residents including Joan Rivers, Diane von Furstenberg and John Richardson. Lindsay Law, former president of Fox Searchlight Pictures, is selling his fabulous Merryall home, which is blessed with the spirit and setting of a Tuscan villa: The circa-1790 Colonial on nine-plus acres welcomes visitors through a wisteria-covered loggia. Standout features include a double-height living room and fabulous new kitchen. It also offers three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, and is listed for $1.3 million with Gael Hammer of Klemm Real Estate in Washington Depot (860-868-7313).

Market Forecast 2007: The Rules, Rewritten
It's official: it's a buyers' market. Trouble is, it appears to be a buyers' market with no buyers. The indicators are all in perfect alignment: inventory is at a record high; interest rates at a near-historic low; prices have stabilized, even dropped. So why did brokers see just a trickle of traffic until Thanksgiving, after which time activity stopped altogether? Granted, the holidays are always slow. But the volume of existing-home sales was down nearly 10% when comparing October 2006 to October 2005—which, in Connecticut, added to an already bloated inventory of unsold homes, now estimated at 25% above the norm.

"Buyers are waiting to see if the market has really bottomed out. They don't want to commit if prices are going to decline further," says Mark Foreman, president of Connecticut Association of Realtors.

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