Somerset Condominiums featured in The Courant

West Hartford, CT Real Estate: Relax All Year Round At Somerset

By Margaret DeMarino

July 27, 2012

In his jazz standard "Summertime," George Gershwin wrote: "Summertime and the livin' is easy." At Somerset condominiums in West Hartford, easy living is available all year round.

Somerset residents enjoy socializing in the warmer months with impromptu happy hours in the outdoor pergola area and neighborly barbecues on the outdoor patio. In wintertime, they can revel in the fact that they don't have to lift a finger (or a shovel) for outdoor maintenance.

And in all four seasons, residents take advantage of another key selling point: location.

The Somerset sits on the corner of Albany Avenue and King Philip Drive, close to the heart of what's happening in West Hartford. "We're just shy of three miles from Blue Back Square and about 15 minutes from Hartford," says Lisa Barall-Matt, broker associate at Re/Max Premier Realtors in West Hartford.

With condominiums starting at $249,900, Barall-Matt said the community offers a financially viable option for those wishing to take advantage of the city amenities and village charm offered by the area's profusion of restaurants, cafes, shops, parks and universities. "The big draw here is that there is limited new construction of affordable condos in West Hartford," Barall-Matt says.

Somerset was built just five years ago and has attracted a diverse array of residents. "In the beginning, there were a lot of long-time West Hartford residents who were downsizing," Barall-Matt says. "Now, it's definitely more young professionals." One attraction is the access to area hospitals, including the University of Connecticut Health Center which draws many medical residents.

Security is the first thing you notice when entering Somerset. The hallway includes an intercom system with a camera so all visitors can be clearly identified. Once inside, style takes over. "There is a dramatic entrance with two sitting areas in the lobby," Barall-Matt says.

Another popular feature of Somerset is the spacious community room which has a kitchen fully outfitted with appliances, a dining area, several seating areas, a flat-screen TV and a fireplace. "People ooh and aah over the community room," she says. "It's a really great space; it gets used a lot. People can just hang out or invite friends over to watch a game."

The community room has accommodated bridal and baby showers, brises and anniversary parties, even an after-Thanksgiving-day brunch. Occasionally, the owners organize a pot luck get-together for residents. "It fosters a feeling of community and is a real selling point," says Barall-Matt.

On Friday afternoons, people gather in the outdoor pergola area to celebrate the end of the work week. "You can see people out there socializing with cocktails," she says. There's even a gas grill for residents to use at an outdoor patio area with picnic tables outside the community room. "You often see people out there barbecuing," says Barall-Matt. "There's an older set that plays cards in the community room." Somerset also has its own gym. Its secure access allows for maximum flexibility to accommodate all schedules. "People love the fitness center and not having to leave their own building to work out or having to pay for a club membership," she notes.

Another amenity is the library where residents can borrow or swap books and curl up for a good read in a comfy setting.

Six of Somerset's 79 units are currently available, with two different floor plans. The Aventura is a 1,600-square-foot model that features one bedroom with a den and the Monterey is a 1,200-square-foot model with two bedrooms. Both layouts feature two full baths. Two of the available units allow for buyer selection of cabinetry, hardware and upgrades such as crown molding, hardwood floors in the bedrooms, electric or gas stove, and more. Some upgrades are also possible in the other existing units. Buyers are attracted to the units by their spacious layouts. "People love the nine-foot-high ceilings and how spacious the units feel for their size," Barall-Matt says.

Both condominium models feature a kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances as standard. A granite breakfast bar opens to the living room and the other side of the kitchen opens to a dining room. The kitchen and dining rooms have hardwood flooring as standard as well as crown molding. The living room features a gas-burning fireplace in most units.

In the two-bedroom Monterey layout, the central living area separates the two bedrooms. "Having the bedrooms and baths on separate ends ensures privacy," notes Barrall-Matt.

The master baths features ceramic tile floors and a ceramic tub and shower surround, as well as a double sink with granite countertop. The second full bath has a single vanity sink with granite countertop and also features ceramic tile and surround.

The condominiums are well-lit and feature plenty of larger, high-efficiency windows. Every unit has a laundry area with a full-size washer and dryer, central air, gas heat, public water and public sewer. Wireless internet access is available in the building for a fee.

The Somerset also provides ample storage space. Units feature a coat closet, his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom, a second large closet in the guest bedroom (where applicable), a hallway linen or pantry closet, as well as additional storage space in the laundry area. Each unit has a locked storage area in the basement and there is either single-stall garage parking or a carport.

The building is ideal for residents with mobility issues. "It's the only ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) recognized building in the area," says Barrall-Matt. One resident is a young man who uses a wheelchair. "He said he thought he would never be able to own a home," she says. "But with wider doors and other features, we can accommodate someone with a disability at Somerset."

Somerset's property manager lives on-site to make sure that residents' needs are immediately addressed. A $280 monthly condominium fee covers water, trash removal, ground maintenance, snow removal, management fees and master association insurance. Each owner is allowed one pet - either a small dog or a cat - with the possibility of approval for a second pet.

For more information on Somerset, contact Lisa Barall-Matt of Re/Max Premier Realtors at 860-614-9650.

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