Building Permits – why you need them..

BuildingPermit

Building permits are mainly about safety.  They enforce construction standards.

The first reason to obtain a building permit is that it’s illegal not to. If you fail to get a permit for work that requires it, you can be fined or you may even be forced to remove a building or tear out completed work. Not only do they keep your contractor honest and your insurance updated, but they are necessary if you decide to sell your home.  The permit process is a matter of public record.  If you renovate or add to your home, the new information must match the town tax records.    If you are planning a home improvement and not sure whether a permit is required, check with your local building officer

Landscaping – the Frame Around your Home

Spring is here again and landscaping is now at the forefront of our minds. A beautiful yard frames your home like a picture, adds visual delight and, most importantly, adds value to your property. Buyers will recognize the value and pay the price when they see well designed gardens and well groomed lawns. Investing in landscaping is money well worth spending…..unless you prefer living in this kind of home…

A house built on a rock on the river Drina is seen near the western Serbian town of Bajina Basta, about 160km (99 miles) from the capital Belgrade May 22, 2013. The house was built in 1968 by a group of young men who decided that the rock on the river was an ideal place for a tiny shelter, according to the house's co-owner, who was among those involved in its construction.  REUTERS/Marko Djurica (SERBIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTXZWGT
A house built on a rock on the river Drina is seen near the western Serbian town of Bajina Basta, about 160km (99 miles) from the capital Belgrade May 22, 2013. The house was built in 1968 by a group of young men who decided that the rock on the river was an ideal place for a tiny shelter, according to the house’s co-owner, who was among those involved in its construction. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (SERBIA – Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TRAVEL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – RTXZWGT

Multi-generational Living on the Rise

Changes in both demographic as well as economic factors are fueling the need for multi-generational homes.   The growing student loan debt is now making it financially more attractive for college graduates to return home rather than moving out on their own.   Grandparents are living longer, and the cost of elderly care continues to rise.   These and other factors make multi-generational homes very attractive to a growing number of  buyers.   But they are hard to find.    One home in Westport beautifully designed to suit this need is 9 Country Road, offering multiple private suites, ample space and a superb location.   Call for an appointment anytime, 203-246-9065.

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Connecticut Conveyance Tax

ConveyanceTax

The Connecticut Conveyance Tax – often an unexpected surprise at the closing.  When selling a home in Connecticut, home sellers are responsible for paying a conveyance tax at the time title passes to the new owner.   There are two conveyance taxes due:  one to the state and one to the municipality where the property is located.

Some real estate transactions are exempt from conveyance tax, including transfers between spouses, sales to certain non-profit entities, and foreclosures by sale.  The state conveyance tax is .0075 (.75%) of the sales price up to $800,000.00.   Any amount above $800,000 is taxed at .0125 (1.25%).  The municipal conveyance tax is 0.0025 (.25%) for most towns. There are 18 eligible municipalities that are permitted to impose a tax of up to 0.005 (.5%).  Norwalk is one of those.

When preparing to sell your home and calculating the proceeds you will likely get from the sale, don’t forget to include the conveyance tax.  On a sale of $800,000 the state portion would be $6,000 and the municipal tax would be $2000 ($4000 if you are selling in Norwalk).