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Tim Bray's Blog

By Tim Bray | Broker in Mystic, CT
  • A New Way to Search for Homes Priced Well Below Market Value

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Mystic  |  May 3, 2012 11:40 AM  |  330 views  |  No comments

    The following example can be applied to properties in all price ranges in every town in CT. We are extremely excited to be able to add even more value to our clients than ever before.


    Are you planning to purchase a home in these towns in the next 6 months? Did you know that there are currently 130 properties on the market between $200,000-$300,000?

    What if you could have inside information on the pricing for these 136 properties? How helpful would it be to know which of these 136 homes are priced well below their current market value? Don’t you think having access to this kind of information would help you to make the right decision about which properties to consider buying?

    I have developed a system that can give you access to just this type of insider information and, in the process, save you thousands of dollars by showing you which properties to avoid …the ones that can’t sell because they are overpriced.

    For example, based upon my analysis of the 130 houses on the market in Stonington, Groton, Ledyard & North Stonington, 36 appear to be underpriced. 17 of the 36 could be underpriced by more than 10%. 6 of those 17 properties may be underpriced by more than 20%, and one of the 1 properties appears to be underpriced by 35%. More importantly, 75 properties (55% of the inventory) are not worth looking at because they are grossly overpriced and can’t sell for one reason or another.

    Why waste your time looking at properties that are not priced to sell? Our system will give you a competitive advantage over all the other buyers in the marketplace, because you’ll be able to concentrate your search on the properties with “hidden value” in their prices, and that alone will save you time, energy and money.

    This is not something new…I have been using my system for months and have many satisfied clients who have used my system to buy houses with hidden value in them.

    Here is what some of our recent clients are saying about our Home Buying Process.

    “The daunting task of searching the inventory of potential homes is scary in itself. Then comes the stress involved with knowing if the "perfect" home is reasonably priced. You find yourself asking, “I love this home, but are we about to overpay to get what we want?" The system introduced by Seaport Real Estate Group will likely help to ease this stressful situation that often faces many buyers. This system provides a tremendously efficient solution to sifting through the inventory of homes and finding those which you not only love, but that are reasonably priced. There is no longer valuable time wasted viewing properties, which have no chance of selling due to their aggressive sales price. This system is likely to help several home-buyers in the near future, just as it did us."

    -Myles and Megan Horst

    Amanda and I would like to thank Tim for his outstanding dedication in helping us find our home. Tim's new program made the search for a home more efficient by streamlining the search results based on our preferences as well as price. This new program, developed by Tim, helped to quickly and accurately determine how well a property was priced based on numerous factors, which saved us a great deal of time and allowed us to act promptly on well-priced properties. Being first time home buyers can be an arduous process but Tim, along with the use of his new program, has made it much easier.

    - Nick and Amanda Ward

  • Masons Island Properties For Sale

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Mystic, Home Buying in Mystic, Home Selling in Mystic  |  February 23, 2012 12:20 PM  |  468 views  |  No comments



    Click Here
    to view all of the available Properties being marketed on Masons Island. (Updated every 30 mintues)

    Click Here to view all of the available Properties in all of the Stonington Waterfront Communities.

    The typical property on Masons Island sits on .43 acres and was built in 1964 with 2,070 SF and 3 bedrooms. There are currently 77 homes on the island that are utilized as second homes and not occupied on a year round basis. This represents 29% of the homes.

    MASONS ISLAND is one of southeastern Connecticut’s premier coastal communities and is located adjacent to downtown Mystic serving as a natural barrier between the Mystic River and Fishers Island Sound. The island is approximately 1.2 miles in length from North to South and .8 miles in width from East to West making it the largest island in the state. Its central location, equidistant from New York and Boston, offers visitors and residents a lifestyle like no other on the New England coast.

    Masons Islands landscape is exquisite, diverse, and one with nature; offering sweeping views of two great bodies of water, an abundance of protected natural elements like the 47-acre Nature Preserve with walking trails, serene salt marshes filled with indigenous birds and wildlife to rocky shores and sandy beaches.

    The island is separated into two parts: northern and southern. The northern portion of the island serves as its entrance point and is open to the general public offering access to residential homes, multiple marinas, dockage and recreational open space.

    The southern section of the island is a gated community with private roads, open space, beaches, dockage, a private Yacht Club and access to Enders Island (a spiritual retreat). The Masons Island Yacht Club provides facilities and instruction for sailing and small boat racing, swimming, tennis and bocce along with many other social activities.

    Boating enthusiasts of all types will enjoy Masons Island because of its location, superior dockage capabilities and convenient amenities. The island separates the mouth of the Mystic River and world renowned Fisher’s Island Sound making it a perfect spot for boating, fishing, sea kayaking and clamming. Being three miles east in the Atlantic and three miles west to Long Island Sound also makes the location ideal for Yachting.

    If you have any questions about Buying or Selling a waterfront home in Stonington contact a local expert or call 860-245-9200 to speak with a relocation specialist.

  • Fundamentals - Why Won't My Property Sell?

    Posted Under: General Area in Mystic, Home Buying in Mystic, Home Selling in Mystic  |  February 23, 2011 3:17 AM  |  560 views  |  1 comment

    Over the past decade, as pricing began to inflate artificially, we were lead to believe that the real estate market was lined with gold.  All of the fundamentals no longer seemed to matter.  Values of commercial properties were no longer correlated to income but to projected future appreciation. Residential properties were experiencing a similar scenario where you could not lose.  People were anticipating that the market would forever increase and the Market Value of their properties would do nothing but compound.  

    Some of the fundamentals ignored were as follows:

    Competition:  If a certain type of property is introduced to an area and begins to sell at higher than normal prices then this will cause other properties of similar caliber to be built in hopes of attracting similar results. Example: A $600k home is built and sells quickly in close proximity $250k properties. A new subdivision is then built with homes in the $600k range.

    Conformity:  Value is created when a property is in harmony with its surroundings. Maximum value is realized if the use of the land conforms to existing neighborhood standards.

    Contribution: the value of any part of the property is measured by its effect  on the value of the whole.

    Example: Installing a swimming pool may not add value to the property equal to the cost.

    Highest and Best Use: The most profitable single use to which a property may be put, or the use that is most likely to be in demand in the near future.

    Increasing and diminishing returns:  The addition of improvements to land and structures  increases value  only to the asset's maximum value. Beyond that point, additional improvements no longer affect a property's value.  As long as money spent on improvements produces an increase in income or value,  the law of increasing returns applies. At the point where additional improvements do not increase income or value, the law of diminishing returns applies. (There is an easy formula that can be used to find this threshhold)

    When the bottom fell out of the market, all of these principles came flooding back and left property owners in complete shock and financial ruin.  These principals are here to stay until we have some sort of artificial influence that allows us to make the same mistakes all over again. Until that time, property owners who made mistakes will be forced to hold, sell at fair market value, or walk away.

    Hold on...time out!! This is not a perfect world...not everyone has this information, common sense, or knows the value of a dollar. Sometimes people just want what they want and are willing to pay the price.

    I completely agree.  The market is imperfect no matter how much we analyze the numbers. Buyers and sellers do not have all the information that the most educated agents possess. Therefore, it is our conclusion that there are outliers that skew the numbers but they are few and far between.  These outliers occur much more often in waterfront communities, vacation communities,  etc.  We rarely see outliers occur in residential communities that do not have a very specific draw that increases the value of land.

    The issue today is not only that "dumb money" is hard to find, but a certain phrase in most offers that states "Property must appraise at or above the purchase price". Often times we are able to fetch a purchase price greater than sales comparables woud suggest...but this phrase is making it more difficult to close without negotiating again.

    There are very effective strategies used to dispose of these properties but they include intense marketing, pricing strategies, and a willingness by all parties to accept the reality of the market we are in .

    Do you know of a unique property that deserves special attention?


  • Stunning 1925 Baltimore Home Replica (35 Windswept Lane)

    Posted Under: Home Buying in 06268, Home Selling in 06268  |  September 25, 2010 3:15 AM  |  713 views  |  No comments

    35 Windswept Lane  

    Elegant sophistication was the inspiration for this Replica 1925 Baltimore Maryland Estate Home which embodies the pinnacle of master craftsmanship and resides on 3.75 acres of pastoral and lush woodlands.  The home stands at the end of Windswept Lane which was built as a one sided road with-in an existing old farm lane bordered by indigenous trees and stone walls.  The road fits with-in the natural setting and contours unencumbered by curbs and catch basins prevalent in most new road construction today.  

    The five level, 6,400 square foot roaring 20’s styled luxury home exhibits the artisanship and craftsmanship reminiscent of the finer estate homes and mansions built during the 1910 – 1930 eras which has been virtually absent from home construction for nearly 80 years. The home is designed and constructed with 21st Century technology with many outstanding features, which include heated stone floors for comfort, generator back-up, home audio systems that store over 6 months of continuous music and Viking appliances to name a very few. 

    Additionally, this home incorporates a Geothermal (geo-exchange) environmental system at its core.  

    Own the Entire Windswept Lane for Your Private Estate with your home located at the end of the Cul-de-Sac OR, Option of Selling Four Buildable Lots with Covenants in place.

    (Lots are available for purchase. Cost is not reflected in the purchase price).  

    Windswept Lane is conveniently located just off of East Road which is one mile South on Route 195 from UCONN’s Storrs Campus.  The North and East sides of Windswept Manor are bordered by UCONN’s Department Of Plant Science Research and Teaching Facility 153 acre farm.  The back side or West side features a conservation easement that serves as a permanent natural buffer.


    20+ Page Digtal Marketing Packet

    Article - (The Roaring 20's meet the 2000's) The Day.com

    Construction Video

    Home Living Connecticut

    Visitor Information Guide to Mansfield

    New Resident Guide and School Information

    Mansfield Town Hall

    University of CT Lifestyle

    Storrs Center Project

    Call Bray Consultants at 860-245-9200 if you have an interest in this property or know of a property that deserves this type of marketing.

  • Award Winning Property Offers Much Desired Lifestyle in CT

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Mansfield Center, Home Buying in Mansfield Center, Home Selling in Mansfield Center  |  September 1, 2010 2:40 AM  |  854 views  |  No comments


    This beautiful residence is an award winning Yankee Barn home
    developed on 12 handpicked acres  featuring woods, three ponds,
     lush meadows, a Christmas tree farm and a 100-year-old barn. 
    This extraordinary investment offers a simple and serene, yet
    luxurious lifestyle accented by many amenities.   

    The layout of the home was designed to offer easy living, open
    space, and carefree entertainment.  The great room showcases
    cathedral ceilings and an open floor plan which ties the kitchen,
    dining room and breakfast area together splendidly.  The large
    master bedroom suite is located in an ell at one end of the house
    for privacy and comfort.  The ell was angled to visually separate
    that area from the rest of the house.  The additional bedrooms are
    located at the other end of the home over the garage.  

    Off the kitchen is a 9-by-12-foot casual breakfast area with blue
    stone floors and skylights connected to an amazing sun-filled
    greenhouse leading to a enormous deck overlooking the ponds
    and expansive yard. Located off the Master Bedroom with
    cathedral ceilings is a gorgeous sunroom as well as a wet and dry
    sauna.  At the opposite end of the home you will find a professional
    dog grooming room, laundry room, and spacious 3 car-garage.   

    Note: House appeared in Yankee Barn Publication(2002) & Won
    Second Place( N.H. Home Builders(2003). In Feb. 2003 issue of
    Timber Homes Illustrated, Barn Style Living Book(2005).  







    Does your home deserve this type of marketing? Call Bray Consultants @ 860-912-7137 for more information.

  • Buy Now....Sell Never

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Stonington  |  March 13, 2010 4:00 PM  |  281 views  |  1 comment

    We all have stories of visiting amazing vacation properties that were purchased by a great grand father back in the hay day and passed down from generation to generation. Lakefront cabins, mountain retreats, or ocean side getaways where the family returns for gatherings, relaxation, and reflection.

    As guests visiting these properties, I often wondered why my family did not have one of these properties. Had we missed an opportunity? Will that opportunity arrive again?
    The time is now…After-all, the population continues to grow, great locations are limited, and deals are abundant. Create your own luck by flushing out these opportunities and helping families to achieve the American dream. Encourage families to hold onto these properties for generations and never plan to sell.
  • Are condo's a risky investment in this turbulent market?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Waterford  |  March 13, 2010 10:05 AM  |  229 views  |  1 comment

    I am often being asked if I feel that Condo’s are particularly risky in these trying times. Let me shed some light on the condo market and try to help you make the best decision possible. I will focus in on the primary resident condo market as opposed to investment properties in Aspen or on the ocean. Condos are built with a specific client in mind. Condo owners are typically first time homeowners who have good credit, previously were renters, who wish to enter the housing market. They often times use the condo as a stepping stone into the single family housing arena but can not afford to do so at this time. Or the condo owner enjoys the relatively maintenance free lifestyle that a condo offers.

    The risk in ownership and potential depreciation in value lies in the age of the condo, management, Home Owner’s Association, availability of other condos in the complex as well as the town, taxes, and the barrier to entry for developers in the market place.

    There are very few condo complexes in my region that I would recommend. The first thing that I look at would be the town in which the complex is located.

    1. Has the town approved similar condo complexes that have yet to be built and would be in direct competition with the one in question?

    2. More importantly, do the existing complexes or the one you are looking at have approvals in place for the developer to build more when the market shows signs of turning?

    These two questions are critical in determining your risk and the probability of a further decline in value. Developers can typically be much more aggressive in their pricing of individual units and you will rarely win when trying to go head to head in competing for the attention of buyers.

    3. Pay close attention to the spread between the cost to rent, own a condo, and a detached single family. The greater the gap in between these three factors will reduce your risk.

    Tim Bray
    (B.S. Real Estate & Urban Economics-UConn)

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