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Actor, Sailor Gets Hooked on Houses

The thing Doug Werner likes most about Rowayton is not having to get in a car. “I can walk from my house to the stores and restaurants,” he said. He can also walk to his office, Connecticut Coast and Country Real Estate , which is right in the heart of the village. “Two of my kids go to school in New Haven and they get there by train,” he added.

Doug’s route to Connecticut began in Illinois, where he grew up. His first career as an actor – “I was on the soaps, in commercials and did guest star appearances,” he says, took him to Los Angeles, San Diego and New York. “The areas I lived in always seemed to be going through renovation,” he said, explaining how he became fascinated by real estate. “I watched the upper west side in New York as it started to change, and I got hooked,” he said.

Following on the heels of friends who’d moved out to Connecticut, Doug and his wife, Leanna, both avid sailors, arrived in Rowayton in 1981. “I got my feet wet with a renovation project – and then went and got my real estate license,” he said. He started working for William Pitt in 1985 and was soon managing the office for the late Mr. Pitt. Doug still works under the William Pitt/Sotheby’s umbrella but he recently formed his own team, together with fellow brokers Bruce Baker, Ellen Kelley and Linda Malpass, in order to provide even better service to clients. The team has a second office in Darien.

Doug is confident that house sales are starting to pick up in Rowayton. “Between 2000 and 2008 we had sales of more than 100 units each year. In 2009 that number dropped to 35, but it’s picked up in 2010,” he said. Some 70 units are currently on the market in town: they are waterfront properties, as well as townhouses and cottages with gardens and swingsets.

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