Buyer’s Market? No, A Return to a Normal Market
Year-to-date, sales of residential units in town are down 6% from 2004 but cash volume was up 1.6%, for an annual appreciation rate of 7.6%. Nothing awfully alarming here, but there’s another statistic that ought to give Greenwich sellers pause: the “wishful appreciation” gap, or the difference between what new listings asked for this year (17.7 % higher than 2004) and the actual appreciation of 7.6%. In other words, home sellers over-estimated the value of their house by 10%. Until that is acknowledged, houses will linger on the market (inventory is up 16.4%). If yours is one of them, you know what to do.
The Market has Moved Online
A recent analysis by Real Trends reveals that, for every marketing dollar spent by the real estate industry, 39% goes to newspaper advertising and only 11% for online marketing. The company suggested that the industry model reduce newspaper advertising to a mere 10% and bump online expenditures to 52%. I think they’re right; more important, so does my employer, who is already all over the internet and committing to more. Homeowners want to see their house advertised in print, so we all do it, but it’s not an efficient way to distribute information to buyers. The current model for advertising in Greenwich is this: each house is showcased, in a cycle, every few weeks, for one day each time. Open houses are advertised in row after row of small photos and the consumer must wade through them all to find houses in her price range that appeal to her. If she could instead specify a price range, click a button and immediately find every relevant open house that day, with directions, or every listing, wouldn’t that be easier? That’s why the industry has moved online and that’s how your house is going to sell. It’s all about price and accessibility of information; not about how beautiful your house looks in print.
Contra Dancing Right Here In River City
Although the history is murky, the name “Contra Dance” probably began life in 17th Century England as “Country Dance”. The dance form was adopted by those cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the French, who changed the name to contre dance and tried to claim it as their own. Ha!
Or so says the Oxford English Dictionary (sort of). Regardless of the difficulty in tracing its name, however, the dance itself is rather simple to describe: dancers form a series of lines next to each other, males alternating with females. A “caller”, backed by musicians –a fiddle, often a clarinet or accordion and other instruments, depending on the style of the band – explains each new dance’s moves – usually four different moves to a cycle, or about 30 seconds spent with each partner. The dance couples practice by completing the moves – the final is a spin – and then switch partners, with the male moving down the line, the female up. When everyone is somewhat confident that they know what they’re doing, the caller strikes up the band (which plays reels and jigs) and the dance begins.
Often, there is a lot of confusion at first, especially when the lines are filled with inexperienced dancers like this writer. But by the time everyone has worked through the line, their moves are less awkward and fewer mistakes are made. So, moving back down the line a second time the dancers really begin to have fun; they don’t have to think so carefully about what they’re supposed to do and can just enjoy the music and the movement. Of course, when that dance finally ends, everyone has to learn a new series of moves for the next one. Life is like that.
Its fun, great exercise (you’ll be sore for days), a teens-to-octogenarian activity and you can find it right here in town at the Round Hill Community Church where they’ve been holding such dances the second Saturday of every month since 1974. By tradition, and because many of the earlier dancers were Brunswick and Daycroft grads who wanted to see their friends, there is also a Thanksgiving weekend dance, tomorrow 8:00, with a beginners’ class at 7:30 (there’s an “experienced dance” from 4-6 but if all this is new to you, you probably aren’t going to that). Cost is usually $10 but it’s $15 tomorrow, which covers the cost of the band, use of the hall, etc. You’ll spend more than that at your Lotte Berk class. Come as a single or a couple – you switch partners after each dance, women and men ask each other to dance and age, size or pulchritude is irrelevant, lucky for me. Www.Roundhill.net for further information.