LOCATION: Stratford, CT
SIZE: 2,020 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This morning Your Mama received—along with every other property gossip, we presume—an entirely unexpected press release that announced Albanian-born professional ballroom dancer Tony Dovolani has listed his humble (and perfectly ordinary) home in historic and suburban Stratford, CT with a $399,000 price tag.
Stratford, in case some of the children aren't familiar with the Greater New York metropolitan area, is about 62 miles from Midtown Manhattan along the jam-packed and traffic choked I-95 corridor between Bridgeport and Milford. The community was founded in the late 1630s by Puritans who probably found its geographic location at the mouth of the Housatonic River that pours into the Long Island Sound ideal for all the obvious reasons.
Since 2006, Mister Dovolani—now pushing 40 but still in possession of the firm body of a 25 year old—has twinkled his fox trotting toes on the long-running and still wildly popular Dancing With the Stars program. Over his 15 consecutive seasons the champion dancer has shaken his money maker with a long list of celebrity and semi-celebrity ladies such as professional wrestler turned actress Stacy Keibler, the legendary Jane Seymour, baby factory Kate Gosselin, Kathy Ireland—the model not the decorator, radio sassy pants Wendy Williams, and tennis great Martina Navratilova. Early on Mister Dovolani received an Emmy nomination for his Jive dancing choreographic efforts and last fall he won the hotly contested dance competition for the first time with partner Melissa Rycroft.* Mister Dovolani, so our research reveals, co-owns a small but growing chain of dance studios with—among others—the Chmerkovskiy brothers Maksim and Valentin, also of Dancing With the Stars fame, and their father Sasha.
Property records show Mister Dovolani and his wife‚ Trendelina "Lina" Jani Dovolani,** purchased the residence in March 2005 for $391,000.
The Dovolani's middle-class-modest, vinyl sided residence was built in 1999 near the tail end of a cul-de-sac on a .17 acre lot according to the Fairfield County Tax Man and the 2,020 square foot house—listing information called it a raised ranch, whatever that is—has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and, unusually enough, two kitchens.
The upper level living area is an open-concept living/dining/kitchen space with (molding-free) cathedral ceiling and smooth yellow-blond hardwood floors where Mister and Missus Dovolani can quickly and easily clear out their few bits and pieces of "formal" furniture and cha-cha, quickstep and tango themselves into a frenzy in front of a (gas) fireplace. A sliding glass door in the dining area steps out to a small deck with stairs down to the lower level terrace and backyard. The kitchen certainly looks neat, tidy, functional as well as, well, economically outfitted.
Two not particularly big family bedrooms on the upper floor share a small hall bathroom while the fairly compact, wood-floored master bedroom, also on the upper level, has direct access to a private bathroom. Listing photos show the stylistically challenged and already outdated but well-maintained bathroom has a soaking tub set into a beige-tiled corner and a separate shower stall with one of those molded plastic inserts that—quite frankly—give Your Mama the heebie jeebies.
In addition to an attached two car garage with convenient direct entry, the lower level walk-out basement has a half bathroom and a fully-carpeted family room furnished with little more than a black fabric sectional sofa so big it extends onto the tile flooring in the home's adjoining second kitchen and dining area. Multi-paned sliding glass doors open to a stone-tiled terrace set into the reasonably flat lawn in the partially fenced and not particularly private backyard. Listing photos show a free-standing shed around the side of the house for storing the lawn mower and other gardening implements.
A thorough sift through various property records data bases reveals Mister Dovolani not only previously owned homes in South Salem, NY, and Ellenton, FL, but may currently own a two-family situation in Bethel, CT, bought in August 2003 for $305,000. Could be occupied by family. Could be an investment property. Could be it's owned by another guy also named Driton Dovolani.
*Truth: Your Mama had never heard of Miz Rycroft before. So, natch, we did a little digging on the internets and discovered she's a bit of a reality show denizen. In 2004 she won a coveted spot as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader on some reality show competition about winning a spot as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. In 2009 she popped up as a contestant on the 13th season of The Bachelor, a televised match-making throw down in which a stiletto-shod pack of romantically hungry (and arguably desperate) women compete for a single eligible (and usually well-built) bachelor-man. Miz Rycroft was selected as the winner by her bachelor catch but, bless her heart, was quickly and unceremoniously dumped for the gal who came in second place or the the runner-up or whatever you call it.
**How much, children, does Your Mama l.o.v.e. Mister Dovolani's wife's name: Trendelina "Lina" Jani Dovolani. Say it out loud. It's magnificent the way it rolls across the tongue, really, but anyways...
listing photos: Coldwell Banker