Real Estate

It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Northeast Elementary School


Northeast Elementary School is located in North Stamford and has approximately 625 students. Northeast is a Responsive Classroom Leadership School that focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. The Responsive Classroom Program also includes Morning Meetings, Academic Choice, Guided Discovery, Rules and Logical Consequences, and Home School Communication. Enrichment and remedial programs are also provided.

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The school is close to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, the Stamford Historical Society, and the Bartlett Arboretum. These institutions offer unlimited opportunities to the students at Northeast School. Students are exposed to the arts through direct instruction in the performing and visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, and art appreciation through a cooperative relationship with the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.


School Mascot

Northeast has a large bilingual program for Spanish-speaking students and is the home of the district's elementary Hearing Impaired Program. The school encourages everyone to attend the Signing Celebration in the spring when the entire school demonstrates their ability to use American Sign Language. Northeast also puts on an annual school-wide musical and other cultural based events.

It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Newfield Elementary School


In the quiet residential neighborhood of Pepper Ridge in Stamford,  you'll find Newfield Elementary School - with approximately 625 students.

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Newfield is a Responsive Classroom Leadership School that focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. 


According to the principal, Lisa Saba-Price,  Newfield has a strong focus on engaging our community this year, and very excited about their new partnership with Neighbors Link.  Students are learning at their own pace and are given the time they need to succeed and develop deep knowledge of subject matter. Newfield School staff works diligently to provide new ways for students to grow stronger socially and academically. This school strives to ensure each and every moment enables our students to enjoy learning and become strong 21st century learners.



In April 2015, officially announced that the Newfield Garden Program had been selected as a WINNER of the Jamba Juice œIt's All About the Fruit and Veggies" Garden Grant. Thirty youth programs were selected from over 400 applications for this year's award!

Student have won numerous academic awards as well as art and writing contests. Community organizations present informational programs to various grades throughout the year. Student Council is a vibrant philanthropic organization that serves the community by collecting funds, food, and other items for those in need. The school also has a mentor literacy program whereby individuals from the community meet with students to support learning as well as offer individual attention.



It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Roxbury Elementary School

Respect   Ownership  eXcellence

Roxbury ROX with Good Character!


In this Westover neighborhood, Roxbury Elementary School is on Westhill Rd, across from Westhill High School which is on Roxbury Rd.., funny, is it?

Roxbury School is striving to build a positive school culture and help students demonstrate our character strengths. With approximately 625 students. Roxbury values academic excellence, teamwork, character development, college readiness and family engagement.

Roxbury, in partnership with a supportive community, inspires and prepares all learners through a challenging educational experience to achieve their full potential as productive citizens. The staff provides a challenging, yet supportive, environment. Teachers differentiate instruction to help students understand new concepts and to enable students to demonstrate their understanding of content in a variety of ways.

roxbury-school roxbury-sign The School Improvement Plan is focused on increasing reading and math proficiency in all grades. Roxbury also participates in instructional data teams to analyze and monitor student performance. In order to build and maintain a positive school climate, Roxbury has adopted Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a system that is focused on improving student™s academic behavior and behavioral outcomes. It ensures that all students have access to the most effective instructional and behavioral practices and interventions.

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It’s All About The Journey … Your Neighborhood School Profile: K.T. Murphy Elementary School


K.T. Murphy School has successfully served the Cove community for more than a century. The school was originally known as the “Cove Schoolâ€, a one-room schoolhouse located on Weed Avenue. (The original structure, now a private home, still stands today.) In 1893, Katherine T. Murphy was hired as a teacher at the Cove School and was appointed principal in 1913. She remained as principal until her retirement in 1948, for 35 years! The name “Cove School†was changed to its present name “The Katherine T. Murphy School†in February, 1946. The school went through expansion & renovation over the years and K.T. Murphy reopened in 1990 after the last renovation, an integral part of this historic neighborhood.


K.T. Murphy today has approximately 550 students, strives to create a learning environment that encourages and enables each individual to reach their academic, social and emotional potential. K.T. Murphy is a Responsive Classroom Leadership school, which focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. K.T. Murphy has also enjoyed a partnership with GE Capital for more than 15 years. Over the years, this partnership has provided students with many special opportunities such as a pen pal (ePal) program, one-on-one tutoring, field trips, and many classroom and school wide activities.


K.T. Murphy Elementary School welcomed new Principal, Sherri Prendergast this year. Prendergast is a Stamford native who has worked in the Stamford Public Schools for 24 years. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher at K.T. Murphy. In her welcome letter, she expressed her commitment and excitement of coming "home" to the school. She mentions KT Murphy has always been a school where forward thinking is at the forefront.

K.T. Murphy continues to look to the future, striving toward our goal of providing the best possible education for each and every student, also remains proud of the unique heritage.

It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Julia A. Stark Elementary School



Character ... Strength... Focus - these are the key elements for education at Julia A. Stark Elementary School, which is located in the heart of Glenbrook in Stamford. The school has approximately 600 students and in 2015 welcomed Edith Presley as Principal and Joseph Claps as Assistant Principal.

Stark follows the Responsive Classroom school model, which focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills, and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. The Responsive Classroom Program also includes Morning Meetings, Academic Choice, Guided Discovery, Rules & Logical Consequences, and Home School Communication.

Stark also employs Positive Behavioral Instructional Support programs to build a positive school culture. Stark provides many after-school programs including Audubon Club, Broadway Kids Club, Dance, Hands-on Science, Animal Embassy, Sports Clinic, Computer Club, and Young Mariners.

glenbrook-sign julia-a-stark

High expectations, a rigorous standards-based curriculum, and adherence to best practices create an environment to support student achievement. The staff collaborates to improve student achievement and foster a caring, safe environment. The school is also committed to family-school partnerships. The PTO sponsors many educational and fun events for families. The School Governance Council works to improve communication and enhance family engagement.


Stark participates in instructional data teams to analyze and monitor student performance. Through these analyses, teachers identify student strengths and weaknesses, discuss strategies and determine a plan of action to increase student achievement. Students in grade 1-5 are invited to attend a before-school program to receive small-group reading intervention. After-school extra help in mathematics is also provided.

A true neighborhood school in the Glenbrook community!

It's All About The Journey ... Outdoor Kitchens.

This is for the food lovers. What’s better then a dream kitchen … outside!

Here are some examples of great outdoor kitchens and how to make your own. Guys will love this because the grilling options are fantastic and they will feel like they are a gourmet chef.

Safety First


Before you start decorating you want to make sure you choose quality craftsmanship. Make sure you pick equipment and counter tops that are built for durability to protect your investment. HGTV says when choosing counter tops you want ample space and that 24" to 36" counter depth is the bare minimum. When choosing a style, go with a high end stone! It won’t stain, retain odors or fade in UV sunlight.


Time to choose the floor


When choosing your flooring consider foot traffic, spills, rain, wind, ice and fireproof materials.

Stone, concrete and tile are the best options. Stone is pricey but gives you a natural look and a feel of elegance. Concrete will give you versaitle durability and is good for cold weather climates. Tile is the most affordable option and can give you many different looks.


Last but not least the appliances!


Choosing the grill can be the most fun, and the most challenging aspect of your new kitchen. A few things to consider: a side burner is always a bonus, you can make /heat sauces or boil water while you’re grilling; how about a pizza oven, you can have it custom made or purchase a DYI kit; an overhead vent is important, especially if you are cooking close to the house.

Other appliances to consider: a sink can be very functional, how about a refrigerator/beverage cooler to keep food and drinks fresh and at hand and don't forget about storage-builtin drawers & storage can make life so much easier!

Whether or not you add a dream outdoor kitchen enjoy the grilling in this season and make use of their wonderful yards.










It's All About The Journey....How To Make Your Yard The Envy Of The Neighborhood

Having trouble growing grass or just can't seem to get inspired? Here are some ways to make your yard the envy of the neighborhood, as well as living up to your expectations.

Get some Mulch


Sometimes quick and easy is the way to go. If you are having trouble growing grass or your front yard just needs something fresh, try mulch. It's not expensive, does not take a lot of time and brings a different look to the yard. You can then add flowers and bushes to give it something a little extra.

Other "Hardscaping" Options

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If you find plain mulch a little boring - spark it up! Do some contouring with other mediums such as white pebbles, river rocks - let your imagination run wild. You can also get creative with design, have some fun!

Make a Wish!


Having a water fountain either in the front or the backyard can bring a whole new look and can tie your landscaping together. You can get one of these at any of your local hardware or salvage stores like United House Wrecking in Stamford. They can be pricey depending on the size but you can also find deals at outlets or flea markets. Some other decorative ideas include surrounding the fountain with lights so it is really an eye catcher at night.

Light the Way


Lighting is can be both functional and decorative and today, there are so many options! You can find these lights almost anywhere from the internet to high end stores and they can range in price from surprisingly inexpensive to over-the-top. From solar models to hardwired-your choice can really showcase your home in a different light.

On our next journey we will touch on how to make a

backyard your oasis.

It's All About The Journey ... 30 Mind-Blowing Sceneries That Totally Define Connecticut

Connecticut scenery is arguably some of the best in the United States. From mountains, to rivers, to rolling plains, Connecticut has a little bit of everything. In fact, we are known for having back roads so lush with greenery that you forget you’re on your way to work! See the beauty come to life on screen in these gorgeous photos captured by photographers during their travels through the Constitution State.



1. Mystic River



2. Wadsworth Falls, Middlefield

Patrick Franzis/Flickr

3. Litchfield

Christopher Wisker/Flickr


4. Short Beach, Branford

Michael Levine-Clark/Flickr


5. Fairfield Country Club

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


6. Hartford

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7. Farmington River Valley

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8. Southport Beach

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


9. Pine Creek

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


10. Indian Well State Park

Trenten Kelley/Flickr


11. Buttonwood Farm, Griswold



12. Old Saybrook



13. Collinsville

Patrick Franzis/Flickr


14. Kent



15. Lighthouse Point

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

16. East Granby

Doug Kerr/Flickr


17. Pine Orchard Pier, Branford




18. Rocky Neck State Park

Jay McAnally/Flickr


19. New Haven

Chris Lewis/Flickr


20. Tod’s Point, Greenwich

Vin Crosbie/Flickr


21. Talcott Village

Jill /Blue Moonbeam Studio


22. Pequonnock River Rail Trail

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23. The view from Cobble Mountain



24. Sleeping Giant State Park

Michael Shaheen/Flickr


25. East Rock Park

Jack Says Relax/Flickr


26. Quinnipiac River

Chris Lewis/Flickr


27. Avon



28. Compo Beach, Westport

Matt Hintsa/Flickr


29. West Cornwall Bridge

Jay McAnally/Flickr

30. Hamden

Kyle Garrity/Flickr

Connecticut’s beauty is definitely worth talking about. Is it as pretty as you remember?

It's All About The Journey ... Spring Market 4-1-1

Are you thinking of becoming a

Spring Success Story?


lack of inventory

The 2016 spring market's biggest challenge for the real estate industry seems to be the lack of available housing inventory for sale. Here are a few experts and their thoughts on the subject:

David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders:

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.â€

Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist with Trulia:

“We are in a time of short supply, which is great news for sellers because they will likely be faced with multiple offers due to the little inventory out there…Buyers will be up against a lot of other people and against a short supply of existing homes.â€

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with NAR:

“First-time buyers in high demand areas continue to encounter instances where their offer is trumped by cash buyers and investors. Without a much-needed boost in new and existing-homes for sale in their price range, their path to homeownership will remain an uphill climb.â€

Fitch Ratings:

“One important issue that has restrained sales and starts is inventory. On an absolute basis, inventory has not expanded as much as in past recoveries, leading to less selection for buyers. This is especially true for existing home sales but is evident for new home construction as well. When it comes to U.S. housing inventory, more is better."

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply-measured by NAR to be four months in January. For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.â€

It could be the perfect time for you to get in on the action-Spring market is in full swing now-don't wait too long!

Courtesy of KCM

It's All About the Journey ... Finishing off - In the Basement!

Finishing a basement can bring you a double bonus. It provides additional living space for a fraction of the cost of an addition to the house - the walls are already there, electrical and plumbing lines are easily accessible, and no additional foundation supports are necessary to start construction. Also, a well-finished basement can add value to your house when you go to sell it – just don’t expect to get back all the money that went into it.

finished basement

The average basement remodel recoups about 69% of the original cost, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report†from the National Association of Realtors. As with most remodeling projects, rarely does anyone get a 100% return on their investment. Improvements should be done to both enhance your lifestyle and to increase your homes’ selling potential.

Finished basements are particularly conducive for use as media rooms, music rooms, a home office or a recreation room. In all of these spaces, separation from the main living areas can be a plus!

Before you get started on your renovation, here are several things you need to know:

Know the Code

code book

It would be great to convert unused space to additional living space, but does your basement meet the building code requirements for livable space? You must be in compliance with codes for ceiling height, and egress windows and/or doors. It's also time to check with your local municipality to see if you'll be required to get any permits. This is particularly important if you're planning plumbing, heating and electrical work, which most likely will need to be inspected.

Keep It Dry


Check for any water issues in your basement before beginning the planning process. Obvious signs are pools of water or drips coming through the below-grade walls or around windows and the bilco door. Check outside to make sure the ground is graded away from your foundation. Also look for cracks in your foundation walls and repair that damage if necessary. If there is a continuing water issue, there are a number of remedies available - from sump pumps to perimeter French drainage systems.

Ceiling Heights/Options

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As mentioned above, ALWAYS get necessary permits and know the building codes before you start a basement renovation (even if your contractor says it might not be necessary - it will become necessary when it's time to sell). If you have concerns about ceiling height, consider installing a drywall ceiling rather than a drop ceiling. Drywall ceilings will give you a few more inches of headroom. Costs are comparable. Inserting plastic access panels into a drywall ceiling will provide easier access to valves in the pipes above.

A drop or suspended ceiling offers a way to both conceal and provide access to electrical and plumbing lines via the removable tiles. These ceilings will reduce the amount of overhead space available, so keep that in mind when planning.


Egress Windows and Doors

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Basement living space requires emergency escape and rescue openings. Whether it is an egress window or an egress door, it has to open to the outside and open easily without the use of keys or tools. It must also follow code requirements for the height and width of basement egress windows.

Keep Out the Cold


Even after taking care of any moisture issues, your basement can become a damp place. Check with your contractor to see if you'll need to add a vapor barrier to the walls and/or floors prior to framing and finishing off these surfaces. You may also choose an insulation that includes a vapor barrier on both sides. Adding insulation will not only help control the temperature inside your basement, it may also add another layer of moisture control. Other options include a spray foam insulation. Be sure to check code requirements for this type.


Recessed Lighting


Recessed lighting in a basement is a good option because it doesn’t take up valuable overhead space that a light fixture would. It’s also easy to install if you decide to opt for a drop ceiling.


The Utility Room is Not for Finishing

mechanical room basement

Any space housing an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) unit or units and water heaters need to remain clear, open, unfinished and ventilated. These spaces have specific code requirements for spacing and framing, plus you'll need access for inspection and/or repairs.

A finished basement can be terrific “found space†but before you start daydreaming about all its’ potential, make sure your basement is a good candidate for renovation - if not, there’s nothing wrong with extra storage!