New Listing! Priced-to-sell! 286 Ivy Drive – Bristol, CT

A spacious Dutch colonial is looking for a new owner to love & live inside!

$194,900286 Ivy Dr collage

The home sits on a corner lot with a flat, open & fully-fenced backyard with huge deck!

It is in the desirable Northeast neighborhood within walking distance to schools!

A big kitchen with room for an island or table features newer stainless steel appliances and tile. The living room and great/family room are HUGE with a combined length of nearly 4o feet and a cozy wood stove/fireplace.

There are 3 bedrooms (could be 4 if no need for formal dining) & 2.5 baths.

A full, partially-finished basement has plenty of space to finish additional rooms and currently has a workshop.

The handicap-accessible addition on the back of the home has its own entrance, full bath & could be used as a great/family room.

The right buyer will need to give this home some TLC to restore it to its full glory. The seller has priced this home  according to the work it needs and because of this it is truly priced to move!

See more photos & listing information at my company website

Call 860-462-3196 or email to schedule a showing!






The Landing of Farmington – Delivering a Fresh Approach to Assisted Living

Hollis & Ann - The Landing-2

Hollis Hartman & Ann Zak in front of The Landing of Farmington, An Atria Senior Living Community. Construction will wrap in early fall.

(Article will also appear in the Observer Newspapers Friday, August 14, 2015)

When I write my column each month, I tend to look for different reflections and interpretations of home, as a concept and a place. I know I’m not the only one out there whose parents have uttered some version of “You’ll never get me into one of those old-folks homes alive!” So when I happened to pick up some info on a new assisted living facility opening just down the road in Farmington, it seemed refreshing. I like to see people turning old ideas and stereotypes on their heads.

I met Hollis Hartman, Community Sales Director; Ann Zak, Executive Director and Pamela Dumont-Filby, Regional Sales Director for New England at the new construction site for The Landing of Farmington. The Landing is an Atria Senior Living Residence, one of eight in Connecticut, 147 in the U.S. and 40 in Canada.

“One of the things we hear all the time is that this is not a big scary place anymore, unless you wait too long and don’t make your own decisions,” Pamela said. “When we educate people, we say look at where our world has come. The scary thoughts that people have are always turned around when they walk into a facility like this and go ‘wow!’ The next generation won’t be afraid of assisted living… It’s never too early to look at assisted living.”

Atria is a very well known company in CT of our buildings the occupancy rate is about 97% full. It’s a desired location already.”

The Landing hopes to begin moving in residents in November of this year. In the meantime, they will have consumer based information and education sessions once a month. Those will be topics related to seniors. In July, there was one on heat stroke and dehydration. This month’s session will be on fraud protection. (Contact The Landing for more details.)

“One big point of difference for Atria is that we have an excellent culinary program,” Pamela said. “We have multiple choices of where to eat in the community. We have a formal dining room as well as a bistro. The dining room is more of a restaurant with anytime dining from 7 to 7. There’s no scheduled seating time. The other thing that’s different is that we’ve been doing farm-fresh food for years. We don’t base our culinary programs on corporate-based big dining plans. No two Atria communities serve the same thing on any day of the week. Fair Haven, Massachusetts right on the water is probably going to be doing something different than we would here in Farmington, CT. We have one town in Hopedale, Mass that’s got meat and potatoes, all the time! We serve to our clientele and all our chefs are very well appointed executive chefs.”

“We do a lot of things to shake it up. Our residents need variety. Imagine if you had to go to the same restaurant 365 days a year. We do recipes of the month, where we’ll take one of our residents’ home recipes and have them help cook it and then have everyone vote on whether the chef did a good job.”

In addition to approaching food differently, Atria communities are based on a mission using the philosophy of The Engaged Life. The programming under this philosophy is based on studies on aging, recognizing that people are living about 20 years longer than in the past.

“We want to know what’s going to keep them healthy and thriving and independent,” Pamela explained. “What’s going to make them tick? The biggest resistance for people to move into assisted living is that they think they don’t need ‘assistance’ yet. We want to keep them independent.”

Atria bases all their work with residents on what they call the eight components of whole person living. These include – socialization, cultural/creative, intergenerational, volunteerism, exercising mind and body, lifelong learning, spirituality and hobbies.

Pamela explained how important the civic and social engagement is to their residents. “We want people to work, to tap into what they did all their lives. One of the biggest things that helps people thrive is letting them know that they’re still important today. There’s one man in Massachusetts who comes down to the front every day and has a little crowd and he tells them jokes. If he were living home alone he wouldn’t be doing that.We have resident counsel. If we recognize someone likes to be bossy, we’ll put them in charge! The executive directors get feedback once a month at a formal meeting. We recognize emotional and mental needs.”

Each community has the autonomy to build their calendar according to the residents who live there. Instead of randomly scheduling activities, The Landing will poll people moving in to see what their hobbies and interests are.

Socialization and engagement are just one part. “We believe people can learn new things their entire life, no matter what their aging process is,” Pamela said. “When someone learns something new, it triggers something up here,” she said, pointing to her brain. “It triggers something. We want constant triggers to have people keep looking forward to tomorrow.”

The facility will accommodate a mix of residents who drive and some who don’t. Whether they just have the car there for familiarity or drive at all, they have an included parking spot. A community bus will travel in a roughly 12-mile radius for anywhere residents need to go.

Hollis explained that there are quite a mix of options in the 86 traditional assisted living apartments and 23 memory care apartments. “We have studio apartments as well as semi-private apartments that offer residents their own space but a shared bathroom at a lower price point. We also have one and two bedroom apartments and those can have one bathroom or two, so residents have a lot of choices. The apartments will have full sized refrigerators and a microwave so if residents want to make meals in their own apartment, they can. We will have a media room, a theater, a library, a physicians’ exam room, and physical therapy space. A sidewalk goes all the way around the property so that residents can walk safely on a level terrain all the way around the building.”

“Another great thing is that we are pet friendly, so no one has to leave their best friend at home.”

The Landing will also have a Memory Care community. This area will be safe for those who might not be so safe on their own. “There’s a lot more cueing, more direction,” Hollis said. “They’ll have the same menu choices and great activities. If it’s appropriate, they can get together with the other residents in our assisted living. The area will be smaller and more comfortable for someone who might become easily overwhelmed.”

“The backyard here is beautiful. It’s nestled into the trees. We will have a huge upper level deck for people to sit outside and dine. The view is amazing.”

As far as safety, The Landing will have 24-hour coverage by certified nurses aides in the building so that if there is a problem in the middle of the night, they can reassure the resident and make sure that they’re safe and comfortable. Every apartment has its own emergency alert system. All utilities will be included and there are separate temperature controls in every apartment, so each resident can be individually comfortable.

“People choose their own apartments and we never ask them to move,” Pamela said. “We also own and manage our own care. Our caregivers are Atria employees. We see them every day, so if there’s a slight change, we know.”

There’s no long-term commitment for residents. A potential resident can try the community for 30 days and can leave any time with 30-day notice. “This is a month-to-month rental so everyone has options, always,” Pamela said. “We want people to be happy each month, so we’re very hospitality-driven. We have to meet those expectations and give them the lifestyle that we promised.”

“It’s wonderful to work for a company that focuses on individual residents,” Hollis said.

In addition to the many amenities for residents, the quality-driven employee program, requirements and rewards keep great people on staff, to lend to a comfortable, familiar atmosphere for residents. I encourage those in the care, culinary and housekeeping fields to check out the website below for more information on that.

“[Our staff] are very involved in the development of our company,” Pamela said. “We have these things in place to attract good people. Some of our buildings have 15-20 year employees. In healthcare? That’s unheard of.”

You can learn more if you Check out The Landing’s website or call (860) 284-0505.

BryCorp Builders Integrate New Construction and Responsible Conservation

Jerry-Michael-Christine Bryant

Jerry, Michael & Christine Bryant outside their Clearwater Creek model home.

(Post will also appear in the July 31st edition of the Bristol Observer –

I have been fairly vocal in my opinions about how much I love old architecture; reusing our resources and being kind to the places we live. When a contact of mine emailed me to let me know there was a new subdivision being built in Burlington that might be worth an interview, I was hesitant. That is, until I heard that it was specifically being planned to incorporate and preserve the wetlands area in which it’s being built. That caught my attention. We have to face that construction will continue as long as humans exist. There have to be responsible ways to do this without hurting the land we build on.

Michael, Christine and Jerry Bryant joined me in a luxurious model home on top of a hill on a beautiful day last month to explain what their business and project were all about. It was located right next door to the home being built that they themselves will live in with their baby daughter starting this fall.

“We started BryCorp back in 1984,” Jerry shared. (He is Michael’s father and Christine’s father-in-law.) “My brother Bill and I started off as excavation contractors and gradually got into building homes and building roads. Six years ago or so, Bill and I started phasing ourselves out and Michael took over the company. Mike took over and ran with it. That’s where we stand today.”

Christine is a licensed realtor who co-lists the homes with Summerfield Realty and handles the marketing for BryCorp. She works closely with buyers to customize their homes exactly how they want, from flooring to fixtures, paint and wall trim.

Michael handles the day-to-day building that needs oversight and manages the excavation.

The company does excavation themselves and hires in subcontractors for home building, framing, sheet rocking and similar work. Jerry is primarily a consultant to the company now.

“I go out to wetlands meetings and that sort of thing,” Jerry said. “Commission members know me for having done business going back 30 years. They’ve seen me multiple times and there’s a certain level of trust that I’ve developed.”

Clearwater Creek, the conservation project that introduced me to the company, and is approximately 75 acres with 35 lots for homes.

“We knew we wanted to go the route of a conservation subdivision,” Michael said. “The property abuts the Nepaug Reservoir Property. Initially when we were planning the road layouts, we had many options. The property has road frontage on two different roadways. We wanted to put the entrances to minimize the impact to the wetlands crossings on the land.”

“After a few layouts, we were able to create a whole project with zero building touching wetlands crossings. There are a total of three larger wetlands crossings on the property. We were also able to incorporate all of those as sensitive areas for the preservation aspect.”

Almost 30 acres, or roughly 40%, of the property is in preservation areas. Residents will be able to interact with and respect the wildlife and land, as it exists naturally.

“We were working with the engineers with different layouts for at least a year,” Michael said.”

“Yes, then they put a series of different alignments out in the fields and Michael and I went out and walked them,” Jerry explained. “We would look at one and say, ‘no, this isn’t going to work or you have to move this’. There was a lot of back and forth, design time, go back and walk the fields. There was more than any other development I’ve worked on. It was significant.”

BryCorp chose to work on this development in Burlington because of their roots there, but also because of the very specific nature of well, the nature, in Burlington.

“What’s interesting about Burlington is that almost 50% of the land here can never be developed,” Jerry said. “Much of it is watershed and state forest. We liked this piece of land because of its location near the reservoir and the Burlington waterfalls. It was difficult to develop but we were happy to get it. That’s why we spent so much time trying to make the roads and houses fit the land, not the other way around. Other’s will move heaven and earth to make the roads fit. We spent a lot of time and frankly a lot of money to build it this way. It was certainly not the cheapest, or highest-density plan we could have built. But we knew that going in. That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to produce a project we could be proud of.”

“It’s not just about money,” Michael said. “It’s about that pride in the land, development, homes and quality of materials that we use. Even when things aren’t the least expensive, we feel they’re the best for our work. The end result is a beautiful, top quality home.”

Integrated into the preservation aspect of Clearwater Creek is an environmentally responsible storm water management system. Once they had the layout set, the storm water management was figured out to use the land and the rain, with about 10 total rain gardens, level spreaders and bioswales; all examples using land grading, native vegetation and other non-destructive techniques to pull storm water and snow melt away from infrastructure and reuse it back into the environment.

“These measures use the vegetation fed by the rain water to filter out pollutants,” Christine explained. “Storm water runoff is one of the major pollutants in our water. It helps recharge the aquifer with cleaner water. It’s much more like the natural process on undeveloped land, so we tried to mimic that.”

“Typically… they put these huge holding ponds,” Jerry explained. “You have to devastate a lot of land to build those things and they’re costly and difficult for the town to maintain.”

Because of their responsible planning, proactive outreach to neighboring landowners (and their feedback,) BryCorp passed easily through the zoning and hearings with the town, which in zoning is no small feat.

“We were also very conscious about where we put the preservation lines,” Christine said. “Especially with the areas that are important to addressing the water quality, the riparian areas, the steep slopes… We tried to position most of the developed area so that those preservation points start just before the slopes.” Aluminum boundary markers were placed on trees on each plot so homeowners know to not build and cut trees in those areas.

Jerry also mentioned that erosion and sedimentation control are a huge issue for many developments. “Previously what’s been done, is people use black plastic silt fences, which are only marginally effective and aren’t usually installed correctly. They also have a capacity and too much erosion can overtake these fences. They rarely get taken up and they’re not biodegradable. So we decided to use the stumps from trees we cleared. We put them in a grinder, which produces a shredding type of wood scrap, like spaghetti. Around the entire project, we made berms with these shreddings. They can be permeated enough to let water through, but stopped the erosion. When the project is wrapping up, we simply go in with a backhoe and just swoosh them away, they biodegrade, and it’s done.”

Homes in Clearwater Creek can be built in about five months. There are 13 different floor plans with between 2750 and 3400 square feet to choose from. The price point is in the area of $500 – $600 thousand. “We wanted each home to have its own personality and be different but still match the neighborhood,” Christine said. There is an old quality and craftsmanship look in new homes.

“We do a lot of different things from the insulation in the walls and ceilings to the windows and doors being Energy Star rated, that make the homes energy efficient and above code,” Michael said. The garages in the homes are even insulated. There is a list of home details that you can download here.

Read more about the project and its available homes at or call (860) 404-2336.

The Plainville Campgrounds: Your Burning Questions Answered (and some genuinely sweet stories, too)

(article & shortened versions thereof originally appeared in the Observer newspapers on July 10th, 2015)

I grew up in and around Bristol. Plainville, being the next town over, always served as a fun place to go swimming, ride bikes or visit some farms. We also always drove from New Britain to Bristol on Camp Street prior to the new highway extension opening in my college years.

On Camp Street, there is a familiar area attraction that all Bristol and Plainville residents know exists, but at the same time, know very little about. That area is the Plainville Campgrounds. It’s known by its candy-colored cottages and upbeat décor, but the history and present of the Campgrounds is much more surprising and delightful than I could have imagined.

Chris and Cliff Coty walking Beatles the cat

Cliff and Chris Coty walk their cat, Beatles, on their deck

As I spent two hours walking the grounds and talking to residents, I could hardly believe that I was in the middle of Plainville, and not in some quiet lakeside retreat in Vermont. Even the cars whizzing by on Camp Street faded into the background as I sat, surrounded by trees and friendly neighbors walking dogs (and cats!)

If you look in our Plainville edition (,) you can find a more in-depth history of the campgrounds. There is also an exhibit going on My column this week focuses on these charming cottages as the homes they are, and the people who call them home. For brevity’s sake, the story goes that 150 years ago, the camp began when various Methodist churches (beginning with the New Haven District) each built cabins for outdoor revival, retreat and fellowship. You can still see the original placards announcing town & street names of the parent churches on many of the cabins. The tabernacle (pavilion), chapel and dining hall all still exist in nearly original forms. Since the 1950s, the campgrounds have been privately-owned and are a seasonal residential community focused on preserving the architectural history and social community, including through non-denominational worship services.

The Pelletiers

Greta and Albert Pelletier bought their cottage 12 years ago after renting briefly for a couple of months to see what the area was all about. They live on the campground from May through October and spend the rest of their year on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. They are a vivacious, affectionate couple who are very involved in the campgrounds’ community.

“When we first came here and rented, it was because we’d just sold our large colonial home up on Chippens Hill,” Greta said. “My mother had passed away and we went back to Florida, but our children all still live within five miles of here. We wanted to come be near them in the summertime, so I put an ad in the paper to find a place and my daughter was contacted by the then-president of the campground, who said he might have just the place for her parents.”

Greta and Albert Pelletier

Albert & Greta Pelletier outside their cottage

“When she told me where it was, my reaction was, Sharon, what did I ever do to you as a child that you want me staying there?

“Living in Bristol,” Albert said, “We had all those same thoughts of lore and oompa loompas that people spread about the campground.”

Greta and Albert love that the camp’s Chaplain organizes worship services in July and August. There is also a homeowner’s association that collects dues that pay for the road and green space maintenance of the grounds. Residents get together to help with other duties like garbage collection (one of Albert’s jobs). Residents can work on their cottages on their own or hire in help but cannot change the architectural integrity of the buildings or add to the footprint of their homes in any way.

The great majority of residents in the campgrounds are retired, but some younger folks are coming in or spending weekends there.

“This house sure feels like original construction,” Albert laughed. “If you look around, you can see the exterior wall is on the interior. The cottage is covered in some masonry-type compound.”

“I just sit here and say to myself I love our cottage. I’d describe it as warm,” Greta said, smiling.

The Pelletier’s cottage, which I had a chance to tour after we talked, is decorated with lots of Americana items and special personal memorabilia. There are three screened-in porches (Greta’s favorite part) including one hidden off the loft-like bedroom upstairs, under the dormer of the roof and behind delicate lattice woodwork.

“It takes a little more time each year to clean up and clear the cottage out when we get here the older I get,” Greta laughed. “Some folks here have cleaning people, I hired someone to wash the windows.”

“The awesome part of it to me, even after being here for 12 years,” Albert said, “is to look out here over the walkway, or what we call Bristol Green, or to walk down to the circle and just sit there and look at all the structures that were originally put up for the ministers who would visit. Some of those are huge, of course. Some of the congregations would stay there too.”

“I’m quite active in the showing of cottages for sale,” Greta explained. “As I’m taking them through, I explain that they’re buying a piece of history but also a lifestyle. You don’t find this in too many places anymore. I’d describe it as very caring and loving. We take care of one another. We genuinely like one another!”

Greta and Albert weren’t the only ones to share their love of the community activities, especially pizza night on Fridays, Wednesday potluck, exercise classes and even Wii Bowling.

The Pelletier’s cottage is tan now, but was Barbie doll pink when they bought it. This wasn’t lost on their granddaughter, of course. They had it painted after about five years. Many of the cottages, by tradition, have three colors on the exteriors. There aren’t many campgrounds like Plainville’s anymore, but several residents mentioned a similar area on Martha’s Vineyard.

Other quirky features of the cottage include a precariously-short stairway up to the bedroom (for a 5’11” Observer writer anyway) and an attic storage space that used to serve as a tunnel for the grandkids to crawl from the bedroom to overlook their grandparents in the kitchen.

“I like the close neighbors here,” Albert said. “When we first lived here, I’d collect the money for pizza night and go get the pizza. It was a good way to get to know all the neighbors.”

“The house next door is like a gathering place sometimes,” Greta said. “If he’s sitting outside, we don’t have to wait for an invitation. We just go sit and talk and the crowd grows bigger.”

“You can rent the dining hall here,” Greta said. “One of my favorite stories is that our children gave us a 55-year wedding anniversary and 75-year-old birthday party there, all in one big party.”

“When we first came here, I wanted to buy,” Albert said. “She told me, go ahead. I could feel it in my heart!”

The Kornasiewicz’s

Donna and Ted Kornasiewicz just bought their cottage last fall. “Our son lives in West Hartford,” Donna said. “We wanted to be close to him. We would always come up and rent a place with our family each summer. So last year I went online and searched for ‘Connecticut campgrounds,’ and this came up. We decided to take a closer look and thought why not buy it? It was economical to do to spend the summer here.”Donna and Ted Kornesiewicz

The Kornasiewicz’s spend their winters on the Gulf Coast of Florida. They describe their cottage as rustic and small but comfortable. “The cottage is pretty much the way we bought it,” Ted said. The couple just had to buy their furnishings, which they did largely through thrifting and estate sales to match the period of the home. “We did repaint the porch and pressure wash the deck,” Ted said.

“We didn’t have to restore the place,” Donna said, pointing out details like the lovingly-replaced stained-glass window and original rounded-top wooden doors, almost church-like in their size and detail. There is a large, vaulted living area and kitchen, a small, efficient bedroom, and a bathroom, as well as porches on both the front and back.

“I love that the cottage is in a wooded area,” Donna said. “It feels like you’re in the country but you’re so close to the stores and the main roads. Everyone here is so friendly. We just love sitting on the porch and enjoying the fresh air. It’s too hot to sit out when you’re in Florida in the summer. There are so many birds and it’s quiet.”

“There are also a lot of places to go around here,” Ted added. “We love to hike on all the trails around here and we like to tag sale.”

Pam Burbank

Pam Burbank is no stranger to the Plainville Campgrounds. Her grandfather owned the cottage on Circle Street many, many years ago. “I have a register that shows I was here as a little girl in June of 1952 with my parents,” Pam said. She showed me the register itself as well as a large binder, chronologically filled with land and building records, photos and other notes about the cottage and campground, that her grandfather and then her family have kept.

“The West Haven Church built this cottage in 1898. I think that a lot of the people who came to stay here were youth. The boys stayed downstairs. [Pam showed me a knothole in the wood where a mischievous boy had hidden his name on a scrap of paper.] At the top of the stairs is a chaperone’s bedroom, with originally the only double bed. There were five other rooms where girls slept. They were like cubicles. They just had a single bed, a dresser, a chair and room to walk to the window. There was a hallway down the middle leading to the upstairs porch. Those girls were safe, I’ll tell you.”

Pam Burbank & register

Pam Burbank with her grandfather’s guest register

“When my grandfather bought the cottage from the church, we came up every summer, especially for church conference. We knew a lot of the other families who came. Over time, the camp grew away from church-specific and became more like summer homes for retired couples.”

“This cottage was owned by several people and it came up for sale last summer, so I found out about it and bought it.” Pam spends just a few weeks in the summer at the cottage, then goes back to her work teaching in Texas. Cottages for sale tend to be in the $25,000 – $35,000 range. This depends on how much renovation has been done to each. Each owner gets accepted as an association member before they move into the community.

Pam describes her cottage as an evolving place. “When they opened the cubicles all up, it made a master bedroom. My grandfather was a carpenter. He’d always change the walls up their and you never knew what it would look like! I bought the house with the purple trim like this. My husband Michael loves the color too.”

close up of Pam Burbank's register

a closeup of the guest register

“My sister also lives here in the summer, so it was nice that I could buy this and make it available to share with family.”

“I love the master bedroom and the upstairs porch. I feel like I’m sitting in a tree house up there,” Pam said smiling. Her house overlooks the chapel and one of the main roads. “I remember the big meetings in the church and tabernacle. There were big group meetings for youth in the dining hall too. We used to run around and play hide and seek between the cottages so maybe they organized those events to keep us from bothering all the little old ladies at night!”

Julie Gagliano

Another longtime resident is Julie Gagliano. She bought her cottage in 1992. She describes it as comfortable and Victorian style. Her late husband and she picked the colors blue, pink and cranberry together to paint the outside. “The true friendship of so many residents and my front porch, looking out on the ‘circle’ where friends drop by for a drink, be it ice tea or other drink, are my favorite parts of the campground,” Julie said.

“When we bought the cottage, my brother commented, ‘you’ve got to be crazy.’ It was truly horrific inside. There was an abundance of raccoon ‘doo’, buckets of nails, cans of broken glass, oil stained floor, old benches and a lot of other non-usable trash.   There electricity, water, sewer or septic system. But we had vision and with hard work and my husband’s talents, we transformed, the cottage, as so many others have, into a lovely home.”

Bright, Oversized Cape on Chippens Hill – 262 Aldbourne Drive, Bristol, CT 06010

Quick Facts:
Listed at $261,999 | 3 (large) beds, 2 full baths | 1.06 acres | 2-car garage | full+ partially-finished basement

IMG_0795 copyMake this spacious home your own! Property is an oversized reproduction Cape, custom-built in 1980. The home sits on over an acre of land spread over a gentle sloping yard and lightly wooded area, making the backyard private and perfect for entertaining. The home is close to the new K-8 school, golf course and farms and boasts beautiful views in a highly sought after section of town.

Inside, on the main floor, there is an open-layout kitchen/dining/sitting area with tons of custom cabinets and built-ins galore! The living room is very large and bright with new windows and is adjacent to a large tiled foyer with coat closet.

A breezeway area features more built-ins and a large laundry closet. The two-car garage attached to the house has ample vaulted ceiling space perfect to add lofted storage above the rafters.

The first of three bedrooms is on the main floor and is very large with a good-sized closet, lots of windows and a cute sitting area.

Upstairs, the second bedroom is also huge and has two oversized closets (you have to see them to belive them!) and ample space for a king-size furniture setup and additional seating area furniture.

The smaller third bedroom with dormered gables is large enough for a queen bed and features two enormous closets that go back deep and include shelves on one side.

Both upstairs bedrooms have been recently repainted and refinished in the trim/closets.

Both upstairs and downstairs have full baths that have been well maintained but may need a little updating depending on buyer’s tastes.

The full-footprint basement with recently updated hatchway includes an extra storage area beyond the size of the footprint as well as a partially finished area.

The home has central air, three-year-old windows and a two-year-old washer & dryer (included.) The roof, furnace, water heater and kitchen appliances have all been replaced in the last 10-15 years.

Sarah Johnson – CT Realtor | 860-462-3196 | |



Sneak Peek! New listing at 416 Cotton Hill Rd., New Hartford, CT 06057

416 Cotton Hill Rd New Hartford CT 06057  0002

Check out the listing preview here

Picturesque is a very evocative word. You may think of a painting or a photograph in a magazine.

Quiet rural roads. with residential homes and farms lead to a winding crushed stone driveway lined with pine shrubs and a lively frog pond. Beyond the sprawling front yard and blossoming apple trees, 416 Cotton Hill Road and it’s red barn appear. The beautiful reproduction Cape home (built in 1985) is nested atop a hill on a sprawling 3.3 acres (two adjacent parcels)

The first floor features a large eat-in kitchen with a wood stove and bay window. Next room over, find a formal dining room with a lovely chandelier. In the living room, a large corner fireplace balances with a slider to a three-season porch. A half bath and a den with a library-style wall of built-ins round out the floor.

A 2-story exposed brick chimney climbs upward with staircase wrapping around. The second floor includes a master suite with soaring cathedral ceilings in the bed and bath as well as a massive walk-in closet. The master bathroom has a large jacuzzi tub doubling as a shower with a private window facing the fields beyond.

Two additional bedrooms with lots of natural light are large enough to fit queen-sized beds and furniture.

Outdoors, a 2-car garage is attached to a 3-stall horse barn with a large workshop and loft.

The seller of the property, a resident of over a decade, praises its privacy, spacious, open layout and abundance of storage (including a full, unfinished basement and storage in attic.) Even with its quiet rural atmosphere, the property is less than 15 minutes from major shopping and dining in Torrington and Litchfield. Activity area Brody Park is just minutes away and features swimming, kids activities and live music in the summer.

This is a ready-made equestrian property, with the stables and land for three horses.

Make your dream home come true here!

Request a viewing or more information or 860-462-3196

Sarah Johnson – CT Realtor

Greening Your Home – A cheesy inaugural post / St. Patty’s Day homage

I don’t own a lot of green clothing. Teal? Yes. Green? No. So I wore a green necklace, picked up some fresh green food from a great local farm and decided I’d post some wisdom from some folks who could help us “Green” our homes!

Amy Merli, who is the founder of the incredible, in-its-5th-year Trashion Fashion Show, gave me a few clever ideas:

  • “You can kitchen compost using jars” (We use old coffee tins)
  • “Put more plants in your home for air filtration” (that’s means you, asthmatics!)
  • “Use nontoxic cleaners such as vinegar” (I love this one! It gets the grease off of everything.)
  • “You can start your own herb garden on a sunny windowsill. Once you’ve grown them, you can dry them and keep them in jars.”

Leesa Freeman, who is a local author, a mom and an overall eco-conscious warrior, suggested a couple:

  • “Leaky windows – Older homes tend to have older, inefficient windows. If replacing the windows is too cost-prohibitive, a window insulation kit can save your electric bill. Use the enclosed double-sided tape to attach the plastic sheeting around windows and shrink with a blow-dryer. Voila! Instantly warmer windows.” (So true. My dad’s been doing this for years!)
  • “Programmable thermostats –  If your family isn’t home most of the day, there’s really no reason to heat or cool the house for just the cat. (Yes, I love mine, too, that isn’t the point, though.) A programmable thermostat allows you to run your heater/air conditioner when you need it, and adjust the temp up or down when you don’t, without worrying about forgetting to change it when you are rushing out the door in the morning.” (That’s a great point! My cats are spoiled anyway!)

Finally, I asked Nicholas Meister, who runs a company called Potential Energy, LLC and always has great ideas for energy savings.

  • “When buying CFL bulbs, look for the highest lumens-per-watt ratio. Lumens measure the amount of light a bulb gives off, while watts measure how much energy a bulb uses. A typical lumens-per-watt ratio for a fluorescent bulb is 60:1. This compares to only 15:1 for an incandescent bulb.”
  • “Redirect the gutter downspouts 5 – 10 feet away from the foundation’s perimeter to reduce the amount of humidity absorbed through the foundation into your basement. This will help reduce the electric consumption of your home’s dehumidifier.”

Remember, even if you can implement just a couple of these, you’re making a difference in your home, your budget, and the earth.
Go green!!
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