Home Buying in Hartford>Question Details

Nick, Home Buyer in West Hartford, CT

Need an agent in Hartford CT

Asked by Nick, West Hartford, CT Tue Jan 25, 2011

Im planning to relocate from California to West Hartford (area) for work and family. I need a lot of advice regarding the area and which cities west hartford or surrounding areas are the best. Im looking to buy a single family home but also interested in multi family/duplex. I would like to know the best neighborhoods, best area for a return on investment, how the market in CT is doing... California is a mess :(. Also... what are rental values like for a multi family home... are they easy to rent etc. Ohh... and I was told... CT is on a mill rate. what isthe mill rate right now?
Im hoping to team up with a realtor who has experience and knowledge of the area. Im sorry for all the qustions but please if you can take a few min to answer as much as possible I would appreciate it. Im planning to move around summer time. I own a condo in CA and plan to keep it... therefore Im only able to buy between 150-300K
Thanks for your help and support

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West Hartford does have a reasonable selection of multi-family homes. They are mostly two and three-family homes and usually located in the southern and eastern portion of the town. They are regularly available for less than $300k, though homes in good condition and closer to West Hartford Center can go for much more.

Currently, the market for these sorts of properties favors sellers. The number available has fallen over the past few years, so demand from buyers is out of balance with supply from sellers. It is not uncommon to see multi-families listed and then quickly go under contract as multiple investor buyers bid against each other.

Rental rates in West Hartford are generally stronger than in surrounding towns, though they obviously depend on the particulars of the unit ... location, condition, size. Most multi-family homes are made up of 2+ bedroom apartments that are 1,000+ sqft and can easily bring in more than $1,000 per month. CraigsList dominates the rental scene here, so check that out for a better sense of how much rent you could command.

Mill Rates are a good place to start when comparing taxes between towns, but there are other factors involved too. West Hartford has a higher mill rate than other towns, at 38.38 ($38.38 in tax per $1,000 in assessed value). As you look through listings online, be aware that the property taxes are often incorrect. West Hartford did a phase-in during their most recent revaluation in 2006 but then froze it part of the way through. So our local MLS actually calculates the taxes wrong and not all agents correct them. There's a page on the Town of West Hartford website (West Hartford Tax Estimator) where you can confirm values.

Finally, the single family market in West Hartford overall has trended in line with the overall County (http://www.amybergquist.com/blog/2011/01/17/our-2011-predictions/). One exception is the West Hartford Center area, which was very strong in 2010, definitely a seller's market. You can find homes in town at all price points from the mid $100s through the millions. You should have a nice selection of property styles and locations with a $300k budget - it's all about what you like in an area. The most common type of houses in town at that price point are 3 bed, 1.5 bath colonials at about 1,500 sqft, in a 1940s to 1950s vintage, but there is a nice variety.

$300k will generally get you a little more house in some of the surrounding towns. And other towns do have more active, and more favorable to buyers, markets in multi-families. There is a wide variety of possibilities in Greater Hartford. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Nick, Good to hear that you are coming to our coast:) The mill rates are different in each town. Each property is taxed for a value, that is determined by the town assessors. Our market is still in decline, but, with spring market around the corner, it should pick up for the boom of the season. Rentals are different in each town, as well. Depends on the home, the location and the condition of the home. You may want to get a pre-approval before you start looking. With all the new banking regulations, it would save you time to have that in place when you arrive. If you need a referral for a local banker, just let me know. You can check out my profile on ActiveRain.com, or just Google my name:)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
I have been working with an amazing agent - her name is Nancy Avery and she works our of the Glastonbury William Ravies office. Here is her site:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
I live in West Hartford and have been in the real estate business for 11 years. I have impeccible references and specialize in helping people buy homes for less than they are valued. In fact that is all I do I am an exclusive buyers agent and therefore only work with buyers. I would be happy to help you...call me at 860-817-0069.

I know of a beautiful 3 family home in West Hartford that hasn't gone on the market yet, you could scoop it up before anyone else even sees it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Hi Nick, I would suggest you look at Southington, CT. Its a nice town, low taxes, great school system (if that's a consideration) and everything is nearby. Its less than a 30 min commute to West Hartford. I have family there and have spent a great deal of time there as well. As in all of Connecticut, prices are down, but you will get a good ROI in time. Rental prices will be higher, but there are not many available in town. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks,
Chris
Web Reference: http://www.southington.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
Hi Nick,

I guess the first question for you to settle is where you'd like to live. Depending on the city, each one has some great neighborhoods. The mill rates for all of the towns in CT are located on my website, so you can get a good idea of the relative costs of a home in that town. (From the Home page, hover on the left on the FOR BUYERS tab and the PROPERY TAX RATES option will appear.)

The CT market is still sluggish with folks worrying about their jobs. But that makes it a great time to buy. Lots of inventory and low interest rates are a perfect pair! Your price range would fit either a single family or multi-family home in most town in the Greater Hartford area.

Rental prices have increased a bit; there was actually an article in the Hartford Courant about it recently. I've done rentals and find them fairly easy to fill as long as they're in good condition. A one bedroom would go for around $700; two bedroom around $800-$900; 3 bedroom around $1000. Again, it depends on location, of course.

Anyway, I hope this is a good start for your thought-process. If you'd like more specific information on a few of the towns, I'd be glad to help.

Lisa Giller
Gillette Real Esate
cell (860) 221-8971
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
Hey Nick-

Lots of individual questions in your post, so it's probably best to deal with them in a conversation. My wife and I work together as a real estate team and enjoy working with relocating buyers. I/We would be happy to help with you move ... just let me know if you would like to set up a time to talk.

Best regards,
Kyle
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
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