Southington Landscape in Transition

The Southington portion of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is actively undergoing change. The”Rails to Trails” pathway is 4.1 miles in length and spans distance between the Cheshire/Southington town line north to Hart Street in Southington.

Asbestos was removed from Ideal Forging at High and  Center Streets May 4, 2015. According to the Record-Journal report, Weston Solutions Inc., supervised the initial 2013 cleanup when the bulk of hazardous materials such as oils, manufacturing chemicals, acids and florescent tubes were removed in 2013. Site cleanup required specific demolition permits from the state for asbestos removal.

Peck, Stow & Wilcox was located in Southington and employed over 1000 workers spanning decades dating back to 1785-1795 under iterations of the combined names, Roys & Wilcox, Solomon Stew and Seth Peck.

The development of the Linear Trail is such a positive addition to Southington. The flat trail is a great use of open space and provides a resource for exercise enthusiasts: a win-win for all. It seemed a natural fit to look at the surrounding areas and plan for the removal of vacant buildings such as Ideal Forging and nearby empty factories. The Hartford Courant reported New York developer Meridian Development Partners Southington purchased The Ideal Forging property in 2005. The recession delayed a retail-residential complex project slated for the 14-acre parcel. The wait is over and signs of change are seen throughout the landscape.

Piles of rock wait to be taken away while blocking the view from homes that line the trail. Rusted metal artifacts truly look the part of relic technology. That view will continue to evolve as debris is replaced by new construction. It will be interesting to see how the integrity and idyllic feeling of open space the trail currently offers will blend with that of a mixed use space site plan.

Another factor to consider is crowd logistics. Southington is best known for its annual Apple Harvest Festival with a 5K run, the yearly Italian-American street fair, weekly music on The Green concerts and big turn outs for parades.  With new housing situated so close to populated events – be prepared to get your maneuvering skills ready!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Real Estate and Timing Your Move

Whether a first time home buyer or baby boomer who wants to make a move, the timing of a real estate transaction can determine how well the outcome is. Watching interest rates is one indication of predicting the market but when it comes to real estate moves sometimes choice isn’t a factor.

Sites like Zillow and apps that alert you to new listings are great for buyers. Running comps have real estate agents vying for customers. The Internet has given realtors a run for the money. Both buyers and sellers are savvy – who wouldn’t be? The tools are there..to some extent, free for the research.

According to Dan Lovallo of CTTalking.com Connecticut was ranked in the the top ten list of states for foreclosure rankings. To entrepreneurs specializing in quick flips, maybe this is good news. If you have cash to spend and some construction skills – have at it. For working folks trying to land a space to call home, the price point for Connecticut foreclosures isn’t the same as those areas where prices are lower overall.

A cursory search for Southington foreclosures yields 97 results on Zillow. List numbers vs. foreclosure numbers reveal stark differences in price for property. The price of $215,542 is Zillow’s suggested foreclosure price, or 31% below ‘Zestimate‘ home value of $312,381.

Screen Grab Zillow.com

While square footage accounts for how much house you get for the money, location often determines what people are willing to spend. The CT Post reported Connecticut’s average high school reading score of 299 increased seven points since 2009 out of a possible 500 contrasted with the national average reading score of 287. Reading and equally positive math scores in Connecticut confirmed favorable results overall for the state.

Housing market reports from The Washington Post indicate ‘stalling’ activity. The picture in Southington shows no signs of a deflated market.  Big houses selling for $399K suggest the town’s ability to attract a strong buyer base. Would you buy big if you could afford to, or have any of the lessons of buying outside the comfort zone influence your purchase?

Can you afford to buy new or does the idea of a foreclosed property in a good neighborhood present the right time to seize an investment opportunity? When it comes to making a property purchase, do yourself the favor and be a smart consumer. Shop for the best rates and take the time to compare school ratings. Lastly buy what you can afford, certainly no more – you need a little ‘living’ wiggle room.

IMG_6601

1579 Meriden Ave. Southington Foreclosure © Margaret Waage