Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 5 Years?

May 24th, 2016


Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 4.0% over the course of 2016, 3.4% in 2017 and 3.0% in the next two years, and finally 2.8% in 2020 (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.2% over the next 5 years.

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

The prediction for cumulative appreciation slowed slightly from 25.0% to 24.7% by 2020. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey are still projecting a cumulative appreciation of 9.9%.

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

The Presidential Election and Its Impact on Housing

May 19th, 2016

Every four years people question what effect the Presidential election might have on the national housing market. Let’s take a look at what is currently taking place. The New York Times ran an article earlier this week where they explained:

“A growing body of research shows that during presidential election years — particularly ones like this when there is such uncertainty about the nation’s future — industry becomes almost paralyzed. A look at the last several dozen election cycles shows that during the final year of a presidential term, big corporate investments are routinely postponed, and big deals are put on the back burner.

The research is even more persuasive on the final year of an eight-year presidential term, when a new candidate inevitably will become president.”

We are seeing this take form in the latest economic numbers. However, will this lead to a slowdown in the housing market? Not according to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the National Association of Realtors.

The Impact on Housing Throughout 2016

Let’s look at what has happened and what is projected to happen by these three major entities.

National Association of Realtors

“In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007.”

Freddie Mac

“Recent data darkened the growth outlook for the first quarter of 2016. However, despite the disappointing economic reports, we still forecast housing to maintain its momentum in 2016.”

Fannie Mae

“Consumers and businesses showed caution at the end of the first quarter…(but) Home sales are expected to pick up heading into the spring season amid the backdrop of declining mortgage rates, rising pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications, and continued easing of lending standards on residential mortgage loans.”

Bottom Line

Even during this election year, the desire to achieve the American Dream is greater than the fear of uncertainty of the next presidency.

Cozy Cape for Sale in West Hartford!

May 19th, 2016

Listing Details

42 Farnham Road, West Hartford, CT 06119

Price: $269,900



MLS number: G10115216

Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 2

Square footage: 1,398

Call Laurie Murray at (860)-212-8305 to see if this property is still available and arrange a showing.

Perfect Location!

Not only is 42 Farnham Road a quick 10 minute walk to West Hartford Center, this home is extremely close (approx. 5 min.) to the beautiful Elizabeth Park bordering Hartford! As summer approaches, you won’t want to miss out on everything Elizabeth Park has to offer. For starters, you can stroll through the breath taking rose gardens when they’re at full bloom, either on a free tour or at your own leisure. In addition, enjoy the exciting and hip 2016 summer concert series, Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00pm.  Overall, Elizabeth Park is a diverse environment; perfect for a romantic night out or a fun family gathering!  You can also experience casual dining at the Pond House Café, which overlooks the park property.

Elizabeth_Park,_Hartford,_CT_-_rose_garden_1Elizabeth Park Concert

House Beautiful!

The house has many updates including an efficient, compact kitchen with granite countertops, glass tile backspash and stainless steel appliances.  The L-Shaped living/dining room provides great space for entertaining.  There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout them main level and a wood-burning fireplace for cozy winter nights.  Both full baths have been completely updated and the 1st floor bathroom has a tiled, step-in shower.  There is a lovely sunroom which opens to the wood deck and private fenced back yard.  Other features include vinyl replacement windows, newer architectural roof, natural gas heat, new hot water heater and single, detached garage.

Quiet, yet Friendly Neighborhood

This picture perfect 3-4 bedroom Cape is located on a quiet street, close to both West Hartford Center & Blue Back Square.  Farnham Road is a peaceful, residential area with friendly neighbors, composing a tight-knit community.  There is also a hidden gem called “Vanderbilt Park”, right around the corner, which includes a small recreation area with playground equipment.

Master Bedroom Options

One of the unique features of this property is the many possibilities of the floor plan.  Need a 1st floor master bedroom?  No problem!  Either of the two spacious bedrooms on the main level could be the master bedroom.

There are also various options to utilize the spacious second-floor.  The current owner uses part of this space as a home office area; however, it could easily be re-purposed as a walk-in closest or dressing room to make an incredible master bedroom suite (like the one pictured below)!  By designing this space, you will create the p29DSC_0142erfect entry into the second floor, newly renovated bathroom.


Refreshed Price!

Recently reduced to $269,900, you don’t want to miss out on this exceptional deal!

Click here to see all 42 images of 42 Farnham Road


The Cost Of Waiting To Buy A Home

September 16th, 2015

The Cost Of Waiting To Buy A Home | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their July edition of the Housing Affordability Index. The index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.

NAR looks at the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) which is determined by the median sales price and mortgage interest rate at the time. With that information, NAR calculates the income necessary for a family to qualify for that mortgage amount (based on a 25% qualifying ratio for monthly housing expense to gross monthly income and a 20% down payment).

Here is a graph of the income needed to buy a median priced home in the country over the last several years:

Qualifying income | Keeping Current Matters

And the income requirement has accelerated even more dramatically this year as prices have risen:

Qualifications | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Some buyers may be waiting to save up a larger down payment. Others may be waiting for a promotion and more money. Just realize that, while you are waiting, the requirements are also changing.

West Hartford Center Home for Sale!

July 26th, 2015

You’ll Fall in Love with this West Hartford Center Home for Sale!

55 Bonny View Road, West Hartford, CT  06107

Price: $435,000
MLS number: G10053716
Bedrooms: 4  Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 2,331

Call Laurie Murray at (860) 212-8305 to see if this property is still available and arrange a showing.

You Will Love the Convenient Location of this West Hartford Home!

Wonderful opportunity to own a beautiful West Hartford Center home that is located just under one mile from nearby shopping, dining and entertainment!  This home features a formal living room complete with a fireplace, traditional dining room with a built-in corner cabinet, a cozy first-floor family room with a fireplace, and an eat-in kitchen with tons of cabinet space. All four bedrooms are on the second floor along with a full bath featuring a skylight, and the spacious master bedroom features a vaulted ceiling and a gas fireplace. This home also features first floor laundry, natural gas heat, central A/C, and a two-car garage. The backyard features a great deck and a gorgeous manicured yard, perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Spacious Master Bedroom overlooks Beautiful Deck and Backyard!


Click here to see additional images of this West Hartford Colonial

Backyard Perfect for Entertaining!

If you love to entertain, there is no better place to do this than from the beautiful deck and backyard of this West Hartford Center home. This deck and yard are perfect for outdoor dining or lounging and soaking up the sun.  Partially fenced on one side with another side lined with gorgeous perennials makes the yard pretty private if you want to enjoy some quiet time.  However, this community offers lots of opportunities to connect with your neighbors with many seasonal get-togethers, holiday strolls, progressive dinners and block parties.

West Hartford Center

Shopping, dining, and strolling are just under a mile away from this home in West Hartford Center. Enjoy dozens of restaurants and different entertainment options such as the outdoor summer concert series in Blue Back Square, or enjoy a movie at Bow Tie Cinemas. This home is also walking-distance from the elementary, middle, and high schools (Webster Hill Elementary School, Sedgwick Middle School, Conard High School). This home is close enough to everything that you can walk, however the street itself is very quiet with mostly local traffic. Its not uncommon to see neighborhood kids setting up games of foursquare or street hockey in the road, bike riding on the sidewalks, or enjoying nice walks with their dogs.

(Photo: ctmainstreet.org)

Find Similar Homes in the Area

Contact me if you’d like more information about this West Hartford Center home or any other local properties.  I’m happy to help!

July, 2015 Market Update… See How CT Stacks Up!

July 22nd, 2015

45% of Homes Sold in Less Than A Month! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • West Hartford, CT homes have sold on average in 54 days during the first half of 2015.
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.
  • Homes sold in 60 days or less in 35 out of 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Only 7 states had a median sold date longer than 90 days.

Every real estate market is different.  Need help understanding what’s happening in your area?  Check out your home’s value and see what’s selling right in your neighborhood… visit www.lauriemurray.smarthomeprice.com.

55+ Condo for Sale in Windsor, CT at River Town Village

July 22nd, 2015

Search current inventory of 55+Condos For Sale in Windsor, CT

Listing Details

55+ Condo for Sale in Windsor, CT  06095

Beautiful free-standing town home at the end of a quiet cul de sac.

112 Brook Lane, Windsor, CT

River Town Village (55+ Complex)
Price: $279,900
MLS number: G10052486
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,442

Call Laurie Murray at 860-212-8305 to see if this property is still available and arrange a showing.

You Will Love the Open Floor Plan of this Beautiful Condo!

Thinking of downsizing?  Tired of lawn care and snow removal? (Let’s face it– who isn’t after last winter?!)  Then read on…

A wonderful opportunity exists to own a stunning 55+ condo in Windsor (pop. 29,044), a quiet suburb located just north of Connecticut’s capital.  This stand alone townhome at River Town Village, built in 2005, is part of an active adult community (55+) with 59 homes situated on 55 acres of land with over 25 acres of open space.  The townhouse with over 2,400 sq. ft. is an entertainer’s dream with a wide open kitchen & great room with high ceilings, a gas fireplace and exquisite natural wood finishes.  The gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar and table space make dinner parties fun & easy!

The 1st floor master bedroom features a walk-in closet & spacious full bath.  There are two additional bedrooms each with their own full bath (great for home office and guest quarters or visits with the grandkids!), and hardwood floors throughout most living areas except for ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths.  With natural gas heat, central A/C, an attached 2-car garage and maintenance free living– heating & cooling are very affordable and you won’t have to spend your free time mowing or plowing!  The clubhouse offers space for residents to gather & socialize– playing cards, sharing meals or celebrating holidays.  This pet-friendly complex is the perfect place to call home!

Wide Open Floor Plan & Private Back Yard Space!

Wonderful open concept living!

55+ Condo for Sale in Windsor, CT

Private backyard backs up to woods.

Click here to see additional images of 55+ Condo at River Town Village in Windsor, CT

River Town Village, conveniently located near I-91 and just 10 minutes to Bradley International Airport, is a desirable 55+ condo complex in Windsor, CT.   With it’s close proximity to the city of Hartford, you can be downtown in 10 minutes for work or leisure events, or 20 minutes to Springfield MA if you’re heading north.   This central location provides easy access shopping at nearby restaurants & shops at Evergreen Walk (12 mins.) and West Hartford Center  (20 mins.)

All of the homes in the subdivision are free-standing and the average lot size is .40 acres.  The Homeowners association in this neighborhood is second to none.  Streets are always well cared for, lawns are manicured with the utmost care, and snow removal is completed quickly and professionally so you won’t be stuck at home.  There are walking trails and several parks nearby for outdoor enthusiasts as well as the Windsor Dog Park for canine fun and summer concerts on the town green.

Enjoy maintenance-free living at  River Town Village in Windsor!  Contact Laurie Murray, Keller Williams Realty at 860.212.8305 for more information or to schedule a private showing of 112 Brook Lane, Windsor, CT 06095 or other homes like this!

Find Similar Homes in the Area

Windsor, CT Summer Concert Series



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Laurie Murray

Keller Williams Realty

(860) 212-8305 Mobile/Direct


“Serving West Hartford & Nearby Communities.”



Baby Boomers: Home Is Where the Heart Is!

March 26th, 2015

Baby Boomers Find Freedom in Housing | Keeping Current MattersWithin the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard. Let’s take a look at why…

In Merrill Lynch’s latest study, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices” they surveyed nearly 6,000 adults ages 21 and older about housing.

Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”

Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.

The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold”. When where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you like. (see the chart below)

Crossing The "Freedom Threshold" | Keeping Current Matters

As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.” 

On the Move

According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses”. See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.

Reasons for Moving in Retirement


Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with less children at home that they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, please contact me for help with planning your next move– whether it’s relocating to a new area or realigning your space needs in Greater Hartford, I can help!

23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury – Elegant Country Living Just Minutes to the City!

March 23rd, 2015

23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury – Your Private Retreat Awaits!

(Search current inventory of Luxury Homes in Simsbury, CT)

Luxury Living in Simsbury!

Stately Elegance at Twilight

23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury, CT 06070

Price: $1,095,000
MLS number: G10024307
Bedrooms: 4-5
Bathrooms: 4 Full, 2 Half
Square Footage: 5,258

You Will Love the Breathtaking Views of the Farmington Valley from almost every room of this Beautiful Home!

Located at the top of one of Simsbury’s most exclusive private lanes, this elegant and spacious 5-bedroom, 4.2-bath Colonial set on over 2 acres has been well-loved & meticulously maintained.

23 Cobtail Way Simsbury

Family Room with Floor to Ceiling Windows!

23 Cobtail Way Simsbury

Breakfast Room

The grand foyer and center hall lead to an inviting 2-story family room with a wall of windows taking full advantage of the spectacular views—the perfect place to relax and unwind!

The beautiful white kitchen with granite island & table space adjoins the family room and creates a homey environment.  Features include newer GE Profile stainless steel appliances, JennAir cooktop and fresh paint.


A sophisticated library with cherry built-ins, formal living room and dining rooms (each with their own gas fireplace), two ½ baths and a convenient mudroom complete the main level.

23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury

Office with views!

23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury

Master bedroom

The loft at the top of the staircase provides a tranquil sitting area. Wake up to magnificent views from the master bedroom suite featuring a gas fireplace & luxe bath with skylights. Three additional bedrooms (one with a private bath), plus a huge front-to-back bonus room with a full bath (currently used as a media room) offer many options—teen suite, au pair quarters or guest room with separate staircase to the main level.

The laundry room is conveniently located in the 2nd floor hallway. A fully finished walkout lower level provides an additional 1,150 sq. ft. of living space for game room and/or exercise. French doors lead to an amazing patio with circular pergola and lush professional landscaping.  All new mechanicals , natural gas heat, whole house generator, new septic pump, central air conditioning, central vac, 5 gas fireplaces, fresh paint inside & out, new driveway. The best part– enjoy a stress-free lifestyle with an easy commute to Hartford.

Click here to view all photos.

The Perfect Floor Plan for Family & Entertaining!


Many Updates Over the Years…

2014     Exterior House Painting
2014     New Driveway
2014     Septic Sewage Pump
2014     Culligan Water Softener
2013     2 Gas Furnaces & A/C Condensers
2011     Tiled Garage Floor
2011     Installed Balustrade System
2010     New Kitchen Appliances
2004     Patio, Pergola & Landscaping (Includes retaining wall, pathways, sitting walls, patio, stairs, pergola with round columns, arbor, trellis, lighting, grading & extensive plantings)
2004     LeafGuard Gutter System

Click here for the virtual tour of this spectacular property.

Simsbury, CT – The Quintessential New England Town!

Located just outside of Hartford, the Town of Simsbury is the ideal location to raise a family.  An historic and charming town center, Simsbury offers exciting places to dine, shop, listen to outdoor musical performances, take a ride along the bike path, swim or golf at the Simsbury Farms Recreation Complex and so much more!   The community takes pride in Simsbury Public Schools, which are recognized as some of the best in the state with outstanding educational opportunities in engineering, biomedical sciences, arts theater and music, and an extensive selection of extracurricular opportunities.

Located near the base of Talcott mountain, 23 Cobtail Way is just 3/4 mile from the Hublein Tower Trail and Penwood State Forest.  It is also a quick ride (7.5 miles) to West Hartford Center and an easy commute to downtown Hartford.   The setting offers complete privacy in a convenient location!

Contact me for more information or to schedule a private tour of 23 Cobtail Way, Simsbury, CT.

West Hartford State of the Town Address: 2015

February 13th, 2015

West Hartford State of the Town Address:  2015

West Hartford continues to be a great place to live, work and visit.  Our mayor, Scott Slifka, provided an insightful and entertaining summary of the year in review in West Hartford’s State of the Town Address which was held at Wampanoag Country Club on January 29, 2015.  Attendees enjoyed the address as Mayor Slifka shared his unique perspective not only as mayor, but also “a guy with a day job, a commuter, a kid in the school system and the owner of 2 homes in town”.  Mayor Slifka dubbed 2015, “The Year of Sustaining Momentum”, and assessed West Hartford’s performance in five key areas over the past 12 months:

1.  Are we keeping you safe?

2.  Are we educating your kids?

3.  Are you getting value for your home and your tax dollar?

4.  Are we creating an environment for economic growth?

5.  Are we leaving a responsible legacy?

You can watch the entire broadcast courtesy of WHC-TV:

West Hartford State of the Town Address

West Hartford State of the Town Address: 2015