Setting The Stage For High-Value Deals: The Story Behind The $4.2 Million Taunton Lake Property Sale
At a time when interest rates are high and inventory is low, every sale can feel like a big win for the realtors. Some home sales still stand out as trend-defying and potentially even trend-setting, however.
One such example is the recent sale of 15 Taunton Lake Road, which was formally conveyed on January 17. The 13,300 square foot waterfront property, which boasts four bedrooms and eight bathrooms, sold at the final price of $4.2 million. It was, according to the Assessor's Online Database, constructed in 2006.
The Newtown Bee had the opportunity to speak about the story behind this sale with Sales Vice President and Luxury Property Specialist Connie Widmann, who leads a team ranked #10 in closed units and #13 in sales volumes across all large teams companywide at William Raveis.
Widmann told The Bee the story began when she was “just leaving an appointment and got a call from a New York number.” The caller identified himself as Ryan Serhant, a highly prominent New York City realtor.
“He was friends with the owners of the property,” she related, “and asked if I was interested in working with them.”
Serhant’s offer was eagerly accepted by Widmann, who already had some familiarity with the property, having been inside it prior to its original purchase by its now-previous owners, her clients.
“At the time that they purchased it, it was one of the largest sales in town also, at $3.3 million,” she said.
According to Widmann, she and her clients decided to separate the original property into two separate parcels, marketing the main house at 15 Taunton Lake separately from a three-acre parcel at 23 Taunton Lake valued at $750,000.
The process for preparing the property for sale involved a significant amount of preliminary labor.
“There was quite a bit of preparation that went into it,” she said. “We worked with a team to prepare the house by staging it, eliminating elements that no longer needed to be there.” Widmann’s team opted to rely on Tracey Trado’s team at TCT Designs, who assisted with the process of furniture layout, soft goods, and the overall presentation of the property.
With regard to the property itself, Widmann described it as “stunning. It’s over 1,000 feet of water frontage. You are the point at the head of the lake. It’s quite spectacular. On a daily basis, you see bald eagles, osprey, all kinds of duck and owl life. Each time you enter the property, it’s a different look.”
According to her, the very architecture of the 9,056-square foot home was designed to take advantage of its orientation relative to the sun for profound aesthetic effect.
“The way it was originally designed … the sun rises from the back of the house and sets at the front of the house. When the sun is setting, it’s almost like a pink glow because of the way the brick face is. It’s quite magnificent, especially at dusk.”
The property was on the market for 176 days before the appropriate buyer was identified, Widmann said.
With regard to the experience of playing a driving role in the process of making such a sale, she shared with The Bee that “it was really terrific. I really enjoy working at this level, and it was a tremendous amount of work … At that level you are actively managing more of the process than you might in a standard transaction. There are a lot of details that you have to ensure stay together and follow the dotted line to get to the closing table.”
Widmann also drew an interesting connection between this particular sale and the more general market dynamic of Newtown as a whole.
“I think it’s exciting to know that here in Newtown, there are — I believe — other properties that can command this kind of value. We just haven’t ever seen them go on the market. Hopefully, this sale is inspirational to other folks who own beautiful homes that may want to sell them in the future.”
According to her, a sale of this magnitude carries with it the potential to set a larger trend, especially in the case of Newtown, where many homes have been “beautifully upgraded” but have nonetheless never made it to the market.
“We are in a situation right now, where in November and December the interest rates shot up to seven percent,” she explained. “When that happens, the market slows way down. We have incredibly low inventory.”
As those rates begin to drop, approaching the six percent figure, buyer interest begins to inevitably grow, but Widmann cautioned “we have absolutely no indicator that the inventory situation is going to grow.”
These kinds of market conditions could provide a rare opportunity for potential sellers to make good on the heightened value of their homes relative to when they were originally purchased.
“The real reason that so many sellers are not selling is that they have two, three, four percent interest rates …” she explained, “when in fact they really should consider it, because the rates will fluctuate, and there’s great opportunities out there. The equity that they have in their homes at this time is tremendous.”
According to Widmann, the Taunton Lake property — purchased at $3.3 million only seven years ago, and sold at $4.2 million plus $750,000 — is a powerful example of that fact.
Reporter Owen Tanzer can be reached at email@example.com.