Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Announces Kristy Jelenik, Development Director

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Announces Kristy Jelenik, Development Director November 14, 2016, NORWALK, CT – With a passion for promoting philanthropy creatively with the greatest impact for positive change for the Fairfield County community, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has announced the appointment of Kristy Jelenik as the Development Director. Kristy Jelenik joined Fairfield County’s Community…

via Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Announces Development Director — Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

TechXel Stamford, Enterprise Accelerator, Launches on January 18th

TechXel Stamford Venture Experts Series: Doug Campbell on Team Building –Wednesday January 18th, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM – Workpoint Stamford 290 Harbor Drive

TechXel Stamford, the first enterprise accelerator in Fairfield County, is launching on January 18th to better prepare tech ventures to compete in a shrinking pre-revenue funds pool. Their timing is perfect since start-up creation nationally is currently at a 40 year low.

The January 18th session focuses on team building. Common wisdom is that investors care even more about the people who will execute an idea and the strategies to do so than the idea itself. There are so many great ideas that lack the right people to execute. Their message is that investors invest in people not technology.

Series Description: As the first in its 12 week Wednesday evening series of expert presentations on elements for successful venture development, TechXel Stamford LLC, presents distinguished author, speaker, executive coach and entrepreneur, Doug Campbell, The Success Coach (www.thesuccesscoach.com),  Register here::



2016 v. 2015 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

2015 2016 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 740 715 -3.38%
SF Median Sold Price $574,350 $555,000 -3.37%
SF Median Sold PSF $262 $255 -2.52%
SF Newer Homes* # Sold 74 65 -12.16%
SF Newer Homes Median Sold Price $975,000 $875,000 -10.26%
SF Newer Homes Sold PSF $264 $277 4.81%
CN Total # Sold 509 613 20.43%
CN Median Sold Price $303,500 $317,000 4.45%
CN Median Sold PSF $249 $251 0.98%
CN Newer Homes* # Sold 125 163 30.40%
CN Newer Homes Median Sold Price $875,000 $490,000 -44.00%
CN Newer Homes Sold PSF $454 $305 -32.78%


There was a significant increase in demand for condos in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 20% more buyers of condos overall, and 30% more buyers who bought newer condos (built in 1990 or later). Even though more buyers were willing to commit to a condo purchase, they refused to pay more per square foot compared to last year, and their budgets were lower.

Fewer buyers bought a single family home in 2016 compared to 2015. Accordingly, the median price and price per square foot slipped downward since these homes became more difficult to sell. Even though fewer newer homes sold in 2016, buyers were willing to pay almost 5% more per square foot to secure a newer single family home.

These numbers suggest that there is still strong demand for home ownership in Stamford. 715 single family units sold in one year reflects a healthy amount of activity historically. However, buyers are increasingly price conscious and they have high expectations for modern features and design. Prices will most likely remain affordable in the near-term due to this high level of discernment shown by local buyers. The lack of newer inventory will also continue to constrain demand.

Click here to see homes that reflect the median price and median psf for 2016.

Please note:
*”Newer Homes” refers to single family homes and condos built in 1990 or later.
Condo data does not include coops
“Newer Homes”data sets are subgroups of the total figures
Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only

Mason Dixon Smokehouse: Drawing a New Line for BBQ – Stamford, CT — OmNomCT

Once upon a time, Mason Dixon was a line that clearly divided the North and South, but now–in Stamford–Mason Dixon is a Smokehouse that clearly divides killer BBQ from, um, well, pretty much all the rest. Yup, as we shared back on October 1, Pitmaster Nestor Laracuente was on a mission to open up a new BBQ joint, a joint that […]

via Mason Dixon Smokehouse: Drawing a New Line for BBQ – Stamford, CT — OmNomCT

My Favorite Real Estate Resources

These resources are great for a macro analysis of the real estate market. When I work with investors, national trends and economic cycles that impact financing, inventory and demand will influence how they make decisions about what to acquire and how long they will hold certain assets. If you are looking for a micro analysis about your specific property, make sure to understand the macro environment and then put a laser focus on local data. I am always here to help with any real estate decisions.

Case Shiller Index https://us.spindices.com/indices/real-estate/sp-case-shiller-ny-new-york-home-price-index

Joint Center for Housing Studies http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/

National Association of Realtors http://Realtor.org

AEI’s American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk http://www.housingrisk.org/;

Fannie Mae http://www.Fanniemae.com

Freddie Mac http://www.Freddimac.com

Realtytrac http://realtytrac.com

Housingwire http://Housingwire.com

Mortgage Bankers of America http://www.MBA.org

Federal Housing Association www.FHA.org

JP’s Charts http://www.jparsons.net/



3% Down Home Run Program with no PMI. Now that’s incredible!

My colleague, Ross Marlin, was kind enough to remind me today of the Home Run program for home buyers in CT. Here are the loan specifics, which are really fantastic and can save you thousands of dollars!

  • 3% down payment on conforming loans and 5 % on jumbo loans
  • No PMI (private mortgage insurance)
  • 2% of loan amount back at closing for closing costs
  • Rates on par with market rates.
  • 640 min credit score required (depending on loan amount and debt-to-income ratio )
  • Must own no other real estate at the time of closing. (Buyer does not need to be a first -timer)
  • Must take a free 8 hour Buyer Counseling class available at Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. (But otherwise it’s standard processing, review of assets, income, etc.)
  • Ratios are firm but reasonable. If you can’t prove you paid your last 12 months of housing payments on time, it’ll be more strict but still reasonable.
  • For condos, the loan requires 5% down and the credit limit is 660.

Please feel free to contact Ross Marlin with any questions.

Ross P Marlin
Home Lending Officer
Citibank, N.A.
Cell:(203) 524-3939
Office: (203)-341-2019
NMLS Identifer: # 1070860




Do You Have an Empty Wall?


I recently attended an artist exhibit at Fez, 227 Summer Street in Stamford. The event was part of their Artist in Residence Program, and it featured Kathy Muir, a Scottish photographer and singer. The room was filled with people discussing initiatives to increase venues for art and cultural experience throughout the state. I am interested in these initiatives since they impact quality of life in CT, which impacts demand for real estate and property values. I had a few questions for Kathy, especially since her photography is truly “wall worthy” and would enhance any room in your home. Her photos are mesmerizing representations of nature, people, places and still life. You can see them at http://kathymuirphotography.com/


Can you share the story of how you became an artist?

That is a great question. In all honesty, the first time I thought of myself as an artist was only three years ago when I moved to the States. I had been writing for oh, at least 20 years but had never gone out there and performed. The reason for this was quite simple: I wrote songs because I wanted to write, never really thinking about financial reward or otherwise. I often draw a parallel to a painter. I mean, a painter paints because he needs to; it’s in his creative genes, not because he expects to make money.

Anyway, when I moved to the States a friend of mine heard my music and thought I was really good. He called me an artist. I denied it at first, but over time I finally gave in!

With that newfound belief, I have been pretty relentless in expressing my art as extensively as possible.  I think I am in the studio working on my 35th song.

First and foremost, I am a singer-songwriter. However, I enjoy writing not only lyrics but short stories, stories inspired by images, or poetry inspired by images.

With regard to photography, like many folks I have always taken photographs. Again, I only started to pay more attention as to how I was taking my shots in the last four or five years. I think that with any art form, or any skill for that matter, it takes many hours of effort to actually hone. I found myself increasingly drawn to black and white imagery combined with a square format instead of the regular 4 x 6 type format. There is something about the square format that is challenging and more satisfying.


How do you think art improves communities?

I often say that art is not a creative delicacy it’s a creative need. Often people can think that “art” is fancy; that it is only for a select few.  In fact, art is for everyone and it is this alone that helps to create a bridge for communities.  There are so many ways in which art can be embedded in a community. I know of a church group back home in Edinburgh called Messy Church.  On Sunday afternoons moms and dads come to the local community center and watch their children paint, draw, play games, and even join in themselves! There is a group in Boston called ArtLifting that empowers homeless and disabled individuals through the sale of their artwork.  These are just two examples.  Closer to Stamford we can’t ignore the wonderful work done by the Loft Artists Association, a diverse group dedicated to sharing their appreciation of the power of art with the community in which they work.

As you can see, Art is everywhere in the community!


What advice would you give home owners in regard to choosing art for their homes?

I would say it is a personal choice. Also, I think that you should consider the space in which you are showing art. The setting of a painting, drawing our photograph can either dilute or enhance the energy of the art we see before us.

I would say consider the light in the room, any reflections that may hinder the appreciation of the art; and consider how much space should be given around the art. If you are still unsure, go to galleries in and around Fairfield County as they give some great examples of framing and the space between.


Here’s the info about the Artist in Residence Program at the Fez:

The Fez supports artists of many types, both musically and visually. The Artist in Residence Program allows artists to proudly showcase local artists in our restaurant through exhibition in our dining room. The restaurant, moderate in size, offers an intimate viewing. Most important, the space offers excellent exposure with a steady stream of new patrons.  The Fez seats at least 350 people per week.

Current Exhibit: Featuring the Photographic Genius of Kathy Muir
“PLACES IN OUR MINDS”  February 8th – May 14th

You can learn more about Kathy at http://kathymuirphotography.com/