Kelly Moves to Suburbia
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
For months, our daughter Kelly and her husband David spent many Sunday afternoons going to open houses, and lots of them. They also were constantly doing internet searches and went to multiple private showings. Looking in Fairfield, they were competing with many other (well-heeled) home hunters that were looking to escape from NYC due to COVID. The competition was fierce and many times they were outbid on houses which often ended up selling well above the initial asking price. New listings would go under contract the same day that they went on the market. It was a feeding frenzy. As with any house hunting experience, price is always a determining factor. House prices in Fairfield can be mind boggling. The closer the proximity to the train station or the water (location, location, location!), the higher the price. It was a challenging process, but they were eventually rewarded for their persistence and perseverance.
After an exhausting process, they closed on their new home at the end of November. The house needed work and updating but they had a vision of what the house could be and were able to look past what the house was. One detail that I feel was one of the best features was the beautiful ½ acre parcel of land, bordered with stone walls and many mature trees. Once they closed, one of the first things they did was to retain an architect to help bring their vision that was in their minds to a reality on paper. After some back and forth they came up with a set of drawings and blueprints and were anxious to start the transformation. After some walk throughs with various contractors, the timing and scheduling was starting to happen.
There were several walls that were being removed, a staircase reconfigured, a bathroom and a lower- level family room needed to be gutted to the studs. It was demo time, and they needed a dumpster. Sledgehammers, crow bars, saws, jackhammers, and many different tools of the trade were needed. Kelly and David were no strangers to hard work, and they took on doing the demolition themselves. This was no small feat, as the house had ¾ plaster walls, which made the process slow-moving and grueling. Dave’s father and I helped with the demo and various other projects along the way. Kelly was always armed with a paintbrush and roller or could be seen making countless trips to the dumpster (they filled 4 dumpsters so far). Paul came by to help as well. They say it takes a village…
They moved into the house January 14th, and there is still much construction left to be done. Each time I see what progress has been made, a smile comes to my face. Their hard work is paying off in spades.. Trips to Home Depot are part of their regular routine and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Part of their vision is an addition that will be a master bedroom suite and expanding the 2-car garage and adding a 3rd bay. That project will be phase two and will commence come springtime. That will be another adventure into itself but at least they will have a little break from construction activity.
Moving from condo life in a Stamford high rise to the suburbs in Fairfield was a big step for them. No more elevator rides to the 7th floor, no more community pool or doorman to greet them. They now have their own deck overlooking a nice private yard. Dave is looking forward to working in the yard in the spring (he already had his first poison oak experience). Life is good!
Cathy and I look forward to enjoying a barbecue on the deck with them and playing some bocce in the yard. We also look forward to having a cocktail with
Kelly and me enjoying a cigar with Dave and savoring the moment.
We are happy for them!
Until the next Tom’s Take…