Local community and real estate information for Cheshire CT by your Cheshire Real Estate Experts, Sally Bowman Real Estate

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Top 10 Maintenance Tips for your Cheshire Home!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

Home maintenance is considered a chore for a reason. Between work, taking care of the kids, and other cleaning that needs to be done around the house, it often gets pushed to the side. It’s something that no one wants to spend their free time doing and can seem tedious.  However, it can help cut energy costs and preserve Your Home's Value for the future. By doing regular, easy home maintenance tasks you can keep your Cheshire home in tip top shape!

Follow these Top 10 Tips for simple home maintenance.

1. Do a Deep Clean

Perform a deep clean on everything inside of your house. Remove accumulated dust, dirt, and grime buildup throughout the rooms in your house. Clean appliances. Get rid of any mold and mildew buildup in rooms where moisture accumulates. Not only will this clean help your home looking its best but it will also allow to identify any potential problems in your house that might need further attention and repair.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent is one of the leading causes of house fires. Ensuring that this does not happen is incredibly easy to do! Along with cleaning out your dryer lint trap every time you use the dryer, you should regularly clear the dryer connection. The dryer connection is the tube/pipe that attaches the appliance to the outdoor vent. Pull the tube out and vacuum it clean of all the lint that has been accumulating within the pipe and the pipe connection. After cleaning it out, reattach the pipe to the dryer and make sure that it is properly connected.

3. Clear Out Your Drains

No one wants to shower while standing in water up to your ankles. Make sure to keep your drains cleared out to avoid more serious problems such as a sewer backup. For less severe drain clogs, pouring boiling water down the drain can fix the issue. If that doesn’t fully clear it up, use a snake to remove the blockage. Always keep your plumber’s phone number handy if problems persist. Purchase a hair strainer to prevent the issue in the future.

4. Replace Your Toilet Flapper

A leaky toilet tank can prematurely wear out the toilet and cause water damage to the bathroom floor. If you notice that your toilet is leaking, the flapper needs to be replaced. After turning off the water supply to the toilet using the valve in the back, empty the tank by flushing the toilet. Remove excess water left in the tank and the flush chain from the lever. You can then slide the existing flapper off and replace it with the new one. Reconnect the chain and turn the water supply back on.

5. Fill Holes and Cracks in the Wall

There are very simple and cheap fixes to cover small holes and cracks in your drywall. A cosmetic sponge can be used to fill those holes. Cut it down to size, push it into the hole, and spackle over it. For those small cracks, add a bit baking soda to strong, fast acting glue and spread the mixture over the crack. This will create a strong surface that can easily be smoothed down by sanding it.

6. Fix Your Windows

Avoid high energy bills by ensuring that your windows are keeping in the cold air or heat. With the cold winter months approaching in Connecticut, you want to make sure that heat does not escape your home. Check the caulking around your windows. If there are any cracks or holes, remove the existing caulk with a box cutter and then apply a new line of it along the seam. To get a straight line of caulk, use painter’s tape. Remove the tape while the caulk is still wet. You can also fix a drafty window by applying an inexpensive insulating window film to the glass. Find a tiny hole in the glass? You can repair it with clear nail polish! Allowing the nail polish to dry in between applications, keep adding layers of the polish until it is flush with the glass.

7. Get Rid of the Squeak Below Your Feet

Do you hardwood floors squeak when you walk of them? There is an easy fix for that. The culprit of the creak is moisture. Identify the floorboards that are creaking and sprinkle talcum powder on them. Take a makeup brush and sweep the powder in the cracks between the boards. This will help to soak up the moisture and remove the noise.

8. Clean Your Fridge Coils

Your refrigerator is one of the items in your home that uses up the most energy. To help cut your utility costs, there is a simple fix. By vacuuming the coils underneath or in back of your fridge, you will keep it running as efficiently as possible.

9. Inspect the Safety Features in Your Home

Make sure you and your family stay safe in your home by inspecting your fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. For the fire extinguisher, make sure that it is in an easily accessible spot, check for adequate pressure, and ensure that no wear and tear has occurred. For the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, dust them off, ensure that they are working properly by pushing the test buttons, and replace batteries if necessary.

10. Take Care of Your Gutters

Protect the exterior of your home and avoid more serious damage by regularly clearing your gutters of debris and buildup. If your home isn’t too tall, you can safely clean the gutters yourself by using a ladder. Remove all the muck that has been accumulating in the gutters. Then, take your garden hose to flush any remaining debris out and to make sure that water flows properly through them. If you notice that your gutters are sagging or pulling away from the house, replace the fasteners and hangers. As the leaves begin to fall this Autumn, it is important to make sure that your gutters are ready for any weather that comes our way. 

For more homeowner tips, visit our website!

Cheshire Students Head Back-to-School on Monday!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

It's been a long, fun summer...now  it's time forthe students of Cheshire to embark on a new school year!

Classes begin August 29th for the excellent Cheshire School System. Here are some important links to keep in mind for the year:

Parent/Teacher Portal- Check your students progress with this fantastic portal. Make sure to receive and establish your login information.

Bus Schedules- 

A few Bus Riding Notes:

Students should be at their appropriate bus stop ten minutes before the scheduled pickup time.  The bus will not stop if the student is inside the house, garage, or on the front porch.  

Parents/guardians are responsible for the actions and safety of their children to, from and at the bus stop and to and from the school assigned. Parents are responsible for their children being transported in any vehicle other than a school vehicle going to and returning from school.  

A parent, guardian, or responsible older sibling  (3rd grade or above) MUST be at the assigned bus stop of a kindergarten student or student with special needs when the bus picks up or delivers the student to and from school.  When no responsible party is available, bus drivers will contact Transportation and return the child to school or to the Transportation office, and it will be the responsibility of the parent to pick up the child. 

Walking Distance: Students who are in kindergarten shall not be required to walk farther than one-half (1/2) mile to school or to the bus stop;  students who are in Grades 1 through 6 shall not be required to walk farther than one (1) mile to school or to the bus stop; students who are in Grades 7 through 12 shall not be required to walk farther than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles to school or to the bus stop. 

Walking Area: means the area encompassed by the student’s walking route. 

Request for Transportation Changes – Student address changes and temporary busing changes should be submitted in writing to your child's school for review and approval.  The school will then email your request to the Transportation Department.  Available Seat Petition forms and Accommodation Petition forms should be submitted directly to the Transportation Department. No requests can be granted verbally over the phone.  Due to the issues that must be addressed at the start of the school year, any Available Seat Petition forms received after August 15, 2016, may not be processed until September 8, 2016. 

Transportation Opt-Out Form- If your student will not be utilizing bus service either to or from school, please fill out a Transportation Opt Out form.  Your decision is not binding.  If at a later date you decide that your child needs bus transportation, please contact the Cheshire Public Schools' Transportation Coordinator to request service (two school days' notice is requested.)

Annual School Calendar

Lunch Menus

Parent/Student Handbook

We wish all our students a fantastic new year!  

'Do your Best...Be your Best....Achieve your Dreams!'

When is the Best Time to Buy and Sell a Home in Cheshire?

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

Buying or selling your home can be an overwhelming process....and everyone wants to know if there is a secret formula to guarantee success in finding your dream home or selling your current home. Besides working with an Experienced Real Estate Team that can help you and your family every step of the way, there are also real estate trends that give insight into the right time to buy or sell your Cheshire home

Summer isn't just a great season for its warm weather and vacation time with family......it's also the perfect time to buy and sell your home! In general, the most "closed" transactions occur during the month of June. There is a high volume of home sales in the early summer. This does mean, however, that sellers started to put their homes on the market in February or March. To account for the large amount of closed transactions in June, contracts likely began during the spring months. As a buyer, you will find the most inventory during July. Although it might seem like this results in a highly competitive market for sellers, don't fret! Historically, the end of July and August show strong closings. As a seller, August is your prime summer month! There tends to be an upward swing in buyers during this month, partially due to the upcoming school years and the desire to have the family settled prior to the first school bell. And for those buyers that maybe had deals fall through during the previous months, there is new inventory on the market towards the end of summer for you. With a strong real estate market currently for both buyers and sellers, summer is the best time for your to buy or sell your home in Cheshire! 

If you want to take advantage of this great time to buy a home in Cheshire, the Sally Bowman Real Estate Team will help you find the perfect home to suite your needs!

Here are three featured properties currently on the market:

725 South Brooksvale Road, Cheshire CT 

This 4 bedroom, 3.2 bath home is a stunner. Built in 1930, this 3,745 square foot home was remodeled within the last few years to include all the latest amenities. Some of the great extra features of this house include an in-law suite and 3-season porch. It sits on 1.84 acres of land. Cool of in the warm months in the fabulous in ground pool. This home is listed at $599,900.

55 West Ridge Court, Cheshire 

Find yourself in a brand new home in the beautiful neighborhood of Meadowview Estates. This is the perfect family home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It is 2,517 square feet. Enjoy plenty of time outdoors on the 1.96 acre property the house sits on. This home is listed at $479, 900.

This gem of a home was built in 1955 but features all the amenties of a new home due to the recent updates completed. There are gorgeous hardwood floors throughout the 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. It is 1,422 square feet and has a finished lower level. This home is perfect for anyone who loves to bike, walk, or hike due to its close proximity to Farmington Linear Trail. It is listed at $254,900.

 

If you are interested in Buying or Selling your home in Cheshire, give the Sally Bowman Real Estate a call today or visit our website.

Resource: Homes.com

Tax Free Week in Connecticut!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

It’s almost time for students in Cheshire to head Back to School! One of the favorite things about this time of year is annual back to school shopping! The state of Connecticut helps families by having a TAX FREE WEEK in which clothing and footwear priced less than $100 are exempt from sales and use taxes. This year’s holiday is August 21st through 27th. Bring your student to the mall and take advantage of these special savings! We have provided the guidelines below to help make your shopping trip easier.

 

Clothing and Footwear

Most clothing and footwear priced under $100 is eligible for the exemption from state and local sales tax during the holiday. The exemption does not apply to apparel that has been designed specifically for athletic activities or protective use. The exemption applies to each individual price of the item and not to the total on the invoice. This means that customers can purchase a shirt for $30 and a pair of shoes for $80 at the same time, and both items will qualify for the exemption. Coupons, discounts, and rebates can be used for purchases as long as the final sales price still meets the $100 limit. Accessories and bags are not exempt items. Additionally, the holiday does not apply to the rental of clothing, alterations, or cleaning services. Note that qualifying items can be purchased in person, online, telephone, or by mail to use the tax exemption.

 


 

 

Stock up on all your child needs this weekend for back to school during the tax free holiday. Make sure to check out the offerings by our local Cheshire retailers!

Happy shopping!!

 

The New Cheshire Food Pantry

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

The town of Cheshire makes sure that it is a great place to live for all of its residents. We take pride on making sure that we all support each other as a community. The Cheshire Community Food Pantry, an independent 501(c)3, non-profit organization, serves 154 households, which accounts for over 300 residents, in Cheshire every week! The Cheshire Community Food Pantry provides a necessary service. Any resident of the town that is facing economic hardship is able to apply for assistance. The pantry is set up with the client choice model, allowing them to select the food they want on a weekly basis. In order to better serve our community, the food pantry is getting a brand new facility at 175 Sandbank Road!



The Cheshire Community Food Pantry will occupy a newly built 6000 square foot building. It sits on 2 acres of land which was donated to the city by the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections. The building will be energy efficient. It will provide increased storage for perishable and non-perishable foods, allowing for more donations! Clients and volunteers will have separate entrances for better privacy. The facility will also have an outdoor produce garden, ensuring that clients have access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables!

 

 

Progress on the facility has been great and residents were able to recently view the site at a "hard hat" open house. The new pantry is scheduled to be completed by November. This $1.1 million facility is being funded by a grant from the State of Connecticut for $465,300 and through the generous donations made by residents, organizations, businesses, and other philanthropic groups. Donations have been collected through the Capital Campaign called "Feed Our Future". They are currently ONLY $50,000 away from their $600,000 goal! Help our community by contributing to this great cause. DONATE HERE today! Any additional funds raised will help towards the operational costs of the pantry.


Tax Exemptions Available to Cheshire Residents!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

Did you know that you might be eligible for a Tax Exemption?! The Town of Cheshire offers several different exemptions to eligible residents. But you have to hurry! The deadline to file for these exemptions is fast approaching. Here is the list of exemptions that you might be eligible to take:


 

 

  • The Veteran’s Exemption provides a $1,500 reduction for a property owned by a qualified veteran. It applies for specified periods of service with the Armed Forces. You must file your original DD214 papers or a certified copy by October 1st, 2016 with the Cheshire Town Clerk in order to be eligible.
  • Disabled veterans are eligible for a separate exemption that provides a $2,250 to $4,500 reduction for a property owned by a qualified veteran. The reduction amount is based upon the degree of disability. In order to qualify, disabled veterans must submit their Veterans Administration’s disability rating to the Assessor’s Office by the October 1st deadline.

  • There are Additional Veteran’s and Local Veteran’s Exemptions available to Cheshire residents. These exemptions are based on income requirements. Income is based on the 2015 calendar year and includes adjusted gross income plus all additional income. To qualify for the State of Connecticut Additional Veteran’s Program, applicants must make less than $32,200 if single or less than $42,900 if married. To qualify for the Town of Cheshire Local Option Additional Veteran’s Exemption, applicants must make less than $54,800 is single or less than $61,500 if married. Eligible veterans need to provide their 2015 federal income tax returns and/or proof of income by October 1st to the Assessor.
  • The Tax Exemption for the Blind is available for any residences that are legally blind. Eligible applicants can receive a $3,000 reduction to the assessed value of their property. The deadline to file your certification with the Assessor for this exemption is January 1st, 2017. You may also be eligible for an additional $2,000 exemption based on your income. This exemption is available if you make less than $35,200 if single or less than $42,900 if married. The application for this exemption has an earlier deadline of October 1st.
  • Residents in Cheshire that own a building which is exclusively used for farming are eligible for the Farm Building Tax Exemption. The Farm Building Tax Exemption ordinance allows for up to a $100,000 exemption for such buildings. Be sure to file two notarized annual applications by October 31st with the Assessor to qualify.

 


All paperwork for eligibility needs to be submitted to the Assessor, which is located in the Cheshire Town Hall (84 South Main Street). If you have any questions regarding these exemptions, please call the Assessor’s Office at (203)271-6620.

Connecticut Schools Rank in the Top 5 in the Country!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

It’s almost time to head back to school! The quality of the local school districts within a state helps strenghten the local economy, improve home values, and creates a sense of pride. We are happy to announce that our state has made the grade.......Connecticut was ranked as the #3 state with the best school districts in the country!!!


To determine the rankings, financial website Wallethub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia and looked at two key dimensions, School System Quality and School System Safety. Within these dimensions, 17 metrics were used to evaluate the scores. These metrics included factors such as student to teacher ratio, standardized test scores, dropout rate, percentage of certified teachers, school safety, and disciplinary incident rates. Connecticut came out at the head of the class! Not only did our state rank 3rd for the overall score, but the School System Quality ranking was the 2nd best in the country! Our students continue to excel academically, earning the 4th highest reading test scores and tying for #1 for the highest average ACT scores!


Cheshire Public Schools is a stand out amongst the state’s great school districts. It ranks as the 22nd best school district in the state, according to Niche! Cheshire earned high marks for academics, health & safety, teachers, and extracurriculars & activities.


Excellent academics start at the elementary school level. Cheshire has four amazing elementary schools that are dedicated to supporting and cultivating our community’s youth......Chapman Elementary (Current Homes for Sale near Chapman), Doolittle Elementary (Current Homes for Sale near Doolittle), Highland Elementary (Current Homes for Sale near Highland), and Norton Elementary (Current Homes for Sale near Norton). Get your child on the path to academic success by enrolling them at one of these fantastic schools today!


Congrats to Connecticut and Cheshire Public Schools for your recognition and for proving why there is no better place to call home!!!

Cheshire Ranks As One of the Top Places to Retire in Connecticut!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

Congrats…..you’ve retired!!! Now it’s time to decide where you want to lay down roots for those days of freedom ahead of you. Finding a community to retire to is a major decision that involves a lot of factors. Affordability, access to amenities, closeness of friends and family members, and weather all come into play when looking for the perfect place to retire. Wanting to retire in Connecticut? With its 100 miles of coastline and close proximity to major metropolitan areas, Connecticut is a great state to call home. Look no further than CHESHIRE, which was recently named one of the TOP Places in Connecticut to retire!!


Niche, a city and neighborhood ranking website, recently ranked the top communities in Connecticut to retire. The rankings are based on several different metrics which helped them determine the livability of the community for retired residents. These metrics included percentage of residents aged 65 and older, access to healthcare, weather, cost of living, crime and safety, and much more.


It is no wonder that Cheshire made it to the top 20 communities on the list! Cheshire has been recognized as one of the safest cities in the state. With great amenities and entertainment facilities within the city itself as well as in the nearby metropolitan area of New Haven, there is plenty to occupy your time with in Cheshire. There are also amazing state parks, national forests, and beaches close to the town. Enjoy the great outdoors with the over 200 days of sunshine in Cheshire. The city also ranked high for its ease of access to doctors and medical facilities.


Let us help you retire to the great community of Cheshire by finding your dream home today!!! Check out our Current Home Listings.

20 Places to Visit in Connecticut This Summer!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

The summer is coming to an end but there are still plenty of beautiful days ahead. From Cheshire it is easy to get anywhere in the great state of Connecticut. Social discovery platform Odyssey Online recently listed the top things to do for the rest of the summer in Connecticut. Check out all our state has to offer as you enjoy the summer weather at one of these amazing locations.  


Connecticut Beaches With almost a 100 miles of ocean coastline, there are plenty of beautiful beaches to visit in the state. Grab your swim suit, beach towel, and your family and friends for a day of sun and sand.

Candlewood Lake Head to the largest lake in the state for a day of recreational fun. Go for a boat ride, catch some fish, or go swimming.

Black Rock State Park (2065 Thomaston Road, Watertown) Go camping at one of the 78 different sites at this state park. There are wooded, open-air, and cabin sites available. With over 439 acres of natural space, there are plenty of activities to fill your day with including hiking, stream fishing, field sports, picnicking, pond fishing, and swimming.

 Sleeping Giant State Park (200 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden) Lace up your hiking boots and head to this scenic state park. Walk up the 1.5 mile trail to the stone observation tower at the top of Mt. Carmel for a view a spectacular view of New Haven and Long Island Sound.

Tory's Cave For the truly adventurous, try spelunking in this marble solutional cave. It is located in New Milford, approximately near 480 Kent Road.

Lee's Riding Stable (57 East Litchfield Road, Litchfield) Saddle up at Lee's Riding Stables and enjoy a relaxing horseback ride through the Connecticut countryside.

Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm (461 Cornwall Bridge Road) Head out to the farm to pick your own seasonal produce. Currently stock up on some delicious raspberries, peaches, blueberries, pumpkins/gourds, apples, and sweet corn. You can also purchase some homemade treats at the farm store.

Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park (161 Brownstone Ave, Portland) This quarry adventure land has plenty of exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy. Jump off a cliff to go swimming in the refreshing waters. Rent a kayak for a fun workout on the water. For adrenaline junkies, check out the zip lines, rock climbing, wake boarding, and scuba diving. Passes are available online.

Sports Center of Connecticut (784 River Road, Shelton) The sports loving family will have endless activities to enjoy at the Sports Center. There is mini golf, lazer tag, bowling, batting cages, paintball, and the only double-decker ice skating arena in the world! Hours and Schedules for the facility.

Connecticut State Capitol Building (210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford) Learn about the history of our great state at the stunning capitol building. This national historic landmark was opened in 1878. Take one of the weekday tours to see Connecticut historical artifacts and statues, visit the Hall of Flags, and learn about the legislative process.

Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana (157 Wooster Street, New Haven) Grab a slice at this Connecticut staple. Opened in 1925, Frank Pepe's is one of America’s oldest pizzerias. Still using the same techniques that started it all, diners are able to taste the original New Haven-style thin-crust pizza.

Sweet Rexie's Candy Shop (1552 Post Road, Fairfield) Satisfy your sweet tooth by stopping by this amazing candy shop.

Avery's Beverages (520 Corbin Avenue, New Britain) Try your hand at making your own old-fashioned soda! This historic local business allows visitors to learn about the soda making and bottling process before mixing your own bubbly treat.

Southington Drive-In (995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Plantsville) Park your ride at this great outdoor movie theater. Screenings are held every Saturday and begin at sunset. There are great family friendly movies scheduled for August, including Inside Out, Ghostbusters, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Lake Compounce (822 Lake Avenue, Bristol) Head over to North America's oldest continuously operating amusement park! This Connecticut institution boasts the world’s #1 wooden roller coaster. In addition, there are other thrill rides, a water park, Kiddie rides, and live entertainment daily. Tickets and Passes can be purchased online.

Action Wildlife (337 Torrington Road, Goshen) Go on a safari adventure in Connecticut! Along with the 50 acre wildlife safari, visitors of Action Wildlife can enjoy the petting zoo and museum gallery.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo (1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport) Marvel at the over 300 animals housed at this spectacular zoo. Take a ride on the colorful carousel, grab a bite to eat at the zoo's cafe, and visit a tropical rainforest as birds fly around freely overhead.

Mystic Seaport (75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic) This Museum of America and the Sea is one of the nation's leading maritime museums. Located on over 19 acres, the museum has a recreated 19th century coastal village, 500 historic watercrafts, a shipyard, and exhibit halls.

Maritime Aquarium (10 North Water Street, Norwalk) Learn about the creatures in Long Island Sound at this great aquarium. Touch a live stingray and shark! See a spectacular documentary at Connecticut's largest IMAX® movie screen.

Ferry to Long Island Head over to Bridgeport to embark on the ferry to Long Island. Enjoy the trek over Long Island Sound before exploring the many communities on Long Island.

Cheshire native Harvey Barnum receives Huge Dedication!

by Sally Bowman Real Estate

Yesterday, in Washington DC, the Navy destroyer USS Harvey C. Barnum was named at a ceremony in honor of Marine Medal of Honor recipient and Cheshire native Harvey Barnum!! 


Harvey Barnum was a lieutenant with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines during the Vietnam War. He received our nation's highest award for heroism for his actions in a December 18, 1965 battle outside of the village of Ky Phu. When his company was ambushed in the battle, the company commander and radio operator were killed. Lt. Barnum bravely assumed command of the rifle company and led a successful counterattack. Barnum remained in the military for many years, retiring in 1989 as the Navy for Reserve Affair's deputy assistant secretary

 

The Arleigh-Burke class destroyer DDG-124 will complete important missions for the military around the world. Construction on the destroyer will be done in Maine at Bath Iron Works. The USS Harvey C. Barnum will be 509 feet long and reach speeds over 30 knots. It is expected to join the fleet by 2024. It is the sixth ship to be named for a Medal of Honor recipient. It is an incredible honor for these brave men who have displayed service and sacrifice in order to keep our country safe. 


 

 

Congratulations! Our own hometown hero!! Thank you for your service, Harvey Barnum.

 

Resource: Marine Corps Times

Photo Credit: Cpl. Chi Nguyen/Marine Corps

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Sally A. Bowman Broker, Licensed in CT
Sally Bowman Real Estate, LLC
220 Old Towne Rd
Cheshire CT 06410
Phone: 203.272.2828
Cell 203.687.8026
Fax: 203.272.2702