Monthly Archives: October 2008

Ira’s Picks for Antiquing

Clients and guests are always asking me for key places to antique in the area. My must go to shops are:
Volume One Antiques, and the newly opened Privet Houser.t. facts right here in Kent and Michael Trapp in West Cornwall. Weekends are best to hit these shops but private viewing appointments can be arranged by calling in advance.
–Ira

http://www.ruralintelligence.com/index.php/handg_section/handg_articles_shopping/privet_house_a_shopping_revolution_in_warren_ct/

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Ira’s Real Estate Market Perspective

The times are definitely changing and no matter which way you lean politically it seems we all want and need strong change.  It is also during these times we need to allow ourselves space to break from the implosion of negative news so we can better decide how to move forward and in fact create change. 
  
A weekend home tends to be the perfect haven for getting away from it all.  For those who do not own, I also find renting a home or staying at a small Inn /hotel offer a similar respite. The key is to get out of one’s daily surroundings/habits and truly to give oneself permission to rest. 
  
I am continually asked the question “How is the Litchfield County real estate market?”  Whether I am at the Inn or the office, this is the question.  The numbers constantly contradict themselves but below is my perspective on the market: 
  
Year to date through the end of September, unit sales in the key weekender towns are down over 20%, however some towns such as Cornwall, Kent, Lakeville/Salisbury are up. 
  
State of Connecticut sales as reported by The Warren Group show home sales fell 32.4 percent to 2,489 from 3,683 in August 2007, representing the slowest sales pace for the month of August since 1992. Year-to-date sales are off 26.4 percent, dropping to a total of 17,211 from 23,397 recorded during the first eight months of 2007. 
  
Median prices are down but only by single digits 
  
Inventories are relatively flat and as I have always said, it comes down to quality versus quantity. When you connect with a property you like do not think that another one will be around the corner, as most likely it will not. 
  
– Should you or shouldn’t you buy?  This is a personal question.  If your financial world is stable, now is a good time to buy. Serious sellers know they should entertain offers. Interest rates are still low and yes, mortgages are available. If you are uncertain it is probably better to rent, as this is not a good time for quick turnarounds. 
  
The only thing I can say we must all do is to take a break from the media, enjoy the bounty and beauty of autumn and when the time comes vote for what you believe in.  As always, I hope this newsletter finds you well.  If I can be of any assistance in helping you find a home or listing and selling your home please let me know. Sotheby’s International Realty has over 200 listings in the county as well as a stronghold in Fairfield County, Westchester County and Manhattan with an international network of buyers and sellers. 
 
Best Ira,
Sotheby’s International Realty 
 
Phone 860 927-7724
Cell 917 626-3481 
Ira.Goldspiel@sothebysrealty.com
igoldspiel@aol.com

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Exploring | Great Williamstown Inn

Williamstown, Massachusets

Williamstown, Mass

JOURNEYS; 36 Hours | Williamstown, Mass. 
Published: May 24, 2002 – New York Times 

After working this past July 4th weekend, I really needed a break and found this lovely Inn on over 300 acres. Many of our guests ask for places to go to extend their trip. This is definitely one of them.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A02E3DB1F38F937A15756C0A9649C8B63

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All About Covered Bridges

Bulls Bridge in Kent, Connecticut

Bulls Bridge in Kent, Connecticut

Engineering marvels of their time, the historic covered bridges of Litchfield Hills provide a scenic backdrop for picture perfect photos anytime of year. Best of all, two of three covered bridges in Northwest Connecticut can still be crossed by auto traffic.

After exploring New Milford, take Rte. 7 north for 10 scenic miles following the serpentine course of the Housatonic River to South Kent. Here you will find Bull’s Bridge whose roots date to the Revolution. The bridge you see today was rebuilt in 1842 using the town and queen truss design. Over the years, one bridge replaced another as each was washed away by high water and ice. During the Revolutionary War, Kent supplied the Continental Army with iron ore, goods and soldiers.
Local history has documented that George Washington had an accident at Bull’s Bridge in 1781. What happened has never been told in detail, but one thing is clear; one of his horses, perhaps his own mount, fell in the raging Housatonic River. One exciting bit of confirmation appears in George Washington’s own expense account for March 3, 1781. The first travel expense of the day noted: getting a horse out of Bull’s Bridge Falls, $215. The amount spent indicates that it involved quite a rescue operation. It must have taken time and the General was on his way to make plans with the French for naval support of New York. Any ordinary horse might have been allowed to stay in the river. It might be assumed that this was no ordinary horse, and that perhaps it was Washington’s own mount. Today, we can only wonder.
Continuing on Rte. 7 north, take time to explore the center of Kent before visiting Kent Falls State Park. Here you will find an excellent reproduction of a Town lattice-type covered bridge common in the area. Itiel Town, an architect from New Haven CT patented a lattice truss design in 1820 that was used in all three-area bridges, as well as in covered bridges nationwide. This design allowed builders to make longer, stronger covered bridges. Continue on Rte. 7 north past bucolic scenes reminiscent of classic postcards and calendars depicting rural New England to the jct. of Rte. 7 and 128. Spanning the Housatonic River, the iconic barn red West Cornwall covered bridge is a symbol of the early history of the area.
Known locally as a “Kissing Bridge” because of its long dark span that encouraged carriages to slow just long enough for courtship, the bridge was built in 1841. Using an Ithiel Town design, the bridge has an intricate Town and Queen truss lattice pattern made from red spruce. The bridge marks the boundary between the towns of Sharon and Cornwall. If time allows, be sure to explore the quaint village of West Cornwall. Today, we can admire this photogenic gem thanks to the citizens of Cornwall, who worked to save the bridge from being phased out. In 1973, their efforts were rewarded nationally by winning first prize as an “Outstanding Example of Preservation of a Historic Site” from the Federal Highway Administration.

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