Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values and water supply to opportunities to thrive. We want to help you find your place in Northern VT. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

 

 

June 28, 2024

Ten Not-so-Weird Tips for VT Home Buyers

 

1. Communicate openly with your real estate agent! Let them know your must-haves, deal-breakers, and budget to avoid wasting time on unsuitable property features. #HouseHunting

2 🗝️ Be candid about your financial readiness. Share your pre-approval funding information and discuss your preferred financing options with your agent.

3: Candor is key! Identify your timeline and expectations for Closing. This helps your agent write offers for you that align with your schedule as well as budget.

4: Express concerns that you have about a property at the showing. Your agent can investigate potential issues, prevent expensive surprises for you, and better filter the next property that looks promising.

5: Keep communication open. If you see an interesting property, share your thoughts immediately with your agent. Tell them your ideal days and time ranges, and go see it asap.

6: Before making an offer, ask your agent to investigate the property a bit more. This includes subdivision plans, surveys, waste-water permits, listing history, aerials showing land contours and neighbor proximity. #DueDiligence

7: 📝 Don’t sleep on it! Let your real estate agent know your reservations about local features such as a gravel pit, riverbank or noise. They can help you find a location that fits your lifestyle. #LocationMatters

8: Ask your agent to note any significant red flags they notice, such as signs of deferred maintenance or potential legal issues, and any seller preferences or requirements.

9: 🔄 Update your agent on your changing preferences. Your priorities can shift during the house-hunting process as you see and hear more details.   #RealEstateGoals

10: A strong partnership with your real estate agent is vital! By being flexible and proactive, you will reduce the time and energy needed to identify your ideal property and price.

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Don’t have a buyer’s agent yet? Call, text or email us. We love to help buyers purchase their just-right property.  

 

June 28, 2024

VT Real Estate Listing Terms to know

Vermont real estate rules require specific terms are used to describe the status of a property listing. Those terms are often misunderstood. Here’s a primer on the differences of a key few.

Active

This identifies a property that is available for purchase, and if you want a showing as a ready, willing and able buyer, you can expect to schedule a showing within 48 hours of your request, unless the listing explicitly states ‘delayed showing’ to a specific later date.

Active Under Contract 

This identifies a VT property where the seller has accepted and signed a contract for purchase with a buyer. This does not mean the deal is “closed” or “sold”. There may be contract contingencies to be satisfied first, such as a property inspection or financing. What it distinctly means is the Seller is willing to continue showing it to other buyers, who may want to make a back-up offer.

Pending

This identifies a property where the seller has accepted and signed a contract for purchase with a buyer, just like Active Under Contract. The only difference, then?  The Seller does not want to continue showing it to other buyers.

Withdrawn

This identifies a property where the seller has an agency agreement to market it, but the Seller does not want to actively market it on MLS, or other major websites. The reason? It may be the seller is simply dealing with recent storm damage/cleanup or even something unrelated to the property.

Expired/Terminated

These terms identify a VT property where the listing agreement expired. Or, the seller and listing agency mutually agreed to end their listing agreement early. In VT, listing agreements can be up to a year in duration. The reasons for not renewing an agreement are many. It can simply be that the Seller’s changed their mind about selling the property.

Would you like to better understand the market as a buyer? Give us a call, text or email. We love helping buyers and sellers become fully informed about VT real estate rules and best practices.

 

June 28, 2024

10 Important Phrases in VT Property Listings

Searching for your #VT country dream home online can be exciting, but it’s important to look beyond the photos and catchy descriptions. A property listing will highlight the properties’ best features and may not openly note potential issues. Here’s a guide to help you spot hidden hints in online listings to make sure you’re making a well-informed decision.

1.    “Cozy Retreat”: Tall people, listen up!  Cozy retreat can mean it’s lovely, tiny and A-okay. But it can also mean to expect low doorways, small rooms,  closets and few electric outlets per room. Upstairs rooms may be unheated and have minimal area that is not under the roof line/eaves, thus tough for tall people to stand comfortably.  It may need many small changes to be convenient for modern living. And, the storage areas may be few, too.

2.    “Fixer-Upper” or “Needs Some TLC”: If a listing says this, it could be a sign of underlying issues like water damage, and roof or foundation problems that Seller simply can’t or won’t tackle. On the other hand, it might be in excellent condition, but simply have dated bathroom and kitchen fixtures and finishes.

3.    “Rustic Charm” : These terms sound delightful, and also suggests the property perhaps has outdated, limited or no permanent system for heat, water and electric demands.  It might just mean lots of interior wood surfaces and a big woodstove for heat.

4.    “Sought-After Location”: While it’s great to be in demand, this could also just be a focus on the most valuable feature. This helps VT buyers look past concerns with any existing foundation, roof and mold damage that might have been unaddressed.  It could have an unbelievably steep driveway and yard…in a highly preferred school district. Or, very close to a busy highway.

5.    “Open Concept”: This term is often used to describe a wall-free layout between living, dining and kitchen areas. It might offset potential concerns elsewhere. Big permanent ones, like being in a flood zone, steep property or being situated close to a busy road. You should be aware early before a showing, if these scenarios are a deal-breaker for you.

6.    “Historic Details”or “Vintage Features”: Similar to rustic charm, this phrase can mean beautiful tiger-wood baseboard trim, a slate roof or a connection to the Underground Railroad. But it can also mean potentially outdated components that need modernization for healthy living. This may mean addressing asbestos siding, lead paint trim, vermiculite insulation in walls and tired, sagging floor joists.

7.    “Natural Landscaping” ,”Mature Trees”: While a natural setting *is* Vermont, it might also mean dense or overgrown vegetation. Or Oak, Birch and Maple trees. This can mean pests; large like deer and small like ticks. In the Fall, you may be dismayed by the volume of beautiful leaves refilling your gutters and yard.

8.    “Beaver pond”: This might seem downright adorable. This also indicates wetlands. Wetlands can have valuable state and global habitat and floodplain functions. Some are subject to state restrictions to protect them. You may love the idea of hearing Spring frogs peeping at night, however, and so just seek to understand how close it is to the current or future house site.

9.    “Cosmetic Upgrades”: While a fresh coat of paint on new drywall in a basement and on-trend lighting fixtures are nice to see in place, don’t forget to look for potential underlying issues that perhaps were unaddressed. Sellers may not be in a position to address larger issues and so put their energy into what they could tackle to prepare their property for sale. Have your buyer agent ask.

10. "Quintessential" Vermont farmhouse. With an older VT farmhouse, you can rightly expect original details oozing charm from every finish and feature. You may also expect a stacked-stone basement showing its familiarity with water infiltration, lead based paint on finishes, older electric wiring, odd room layouts and non-level floors. 

 

Ask your real estate agent to find out more information than is online. This includes service receipts, property documents and even aerial photos with flood and wetland overlays.

By paying attention to clues and advice from a local expert you will know what you don’t know. And then, you can an informed decision about whether a property is a match for you.

June 28, 2024

Start Hiking on and Around the LT

Get Started! Vermont’s Long Trail: Trailheads, Crossroads, and History

Vermont’s Long Trail is the oldest continuous footpath in the US. It extends over 272 miles along the spine of the Green Mountains. This iconic trail offers breathtaking scenery, challenging terrain, and a deep, quiet connection to Vermont’s natural beauty. Many have hiked at least some of it. You should consider it!

Long Trail History:

The Long Trail was the vision of Vermonter and Assistant Principal James Taylor (no, not that James Taylor). He had grown frustrated with only 40 trails to Vermont’s highest peaks at the time.  Soon after, the Green Mountain Club was established in 1910 in Burlington, to make a ‘long trail’ happen. The first leg created was the 29 miles between Smuggler’s Notch and Camel’s Hump North. Later, volunteers and professional woodsmen from the VT Forestry Department completed the trail–over the next twenty plus years. The GMC still maintains and protects it today.

Vermont’s Long Trail, or “LT” holds the distinction of being the oldest, long-distance hiking trail in the United States. It inspired the creation of the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail (AT). A portion of the AT is also the Long Trail through Vermont.

The LT is Accessible. Many Side Trails are LT-Adjacent

The Long Trail is very accessible! Hikers can reach it through many side trails, as well as its own trail heads and road crossings. In Vermont, there are a total of eighty-eight blue-blazed side trails to explore. That’s another 166.1 miles. Here are just a few.

First, the LT is accessible from multiple trails around Mount Mansfield, both in Underhill and Stowe. Then, in Lamoille County, the local LT trailhead first crosses Route 108 as it goes through Smugglers’ Notch above Jeffersonville Village. In 2023, that trailhead received improved parking and bathroom facilities. The Long Trail also crosses Route 15 in Johnson. If you need to replenish supplies, take a minute to walk to Johnson Farm & Yard nearby; they have a substantial hiking and camping gear section. About a half-mile more North, the Long Trail crosses the Lamoille River on a fantastic suspension bridge, then crosses Hog Back Road. There is decent informal off-street parking there. A mile later, the trail takes hikers past Johnson’s quietly famous Prospect Rock. It then crosses Plot Road in Johnson. There is another trail head off Codding Hollow Road in Waterville with a dedicated gravel lot. Hike there from Johnson’s end of their abandoned end of Codding Hollow Road as well. It can also be accessed by the Davis Neighborhood Trail in Johnson. Much later, the LT crosses Route 118, with a gravel parking lot, and large sign to alert you. From there, a hiker could test their endurance with a 3-ish mile hike from 118 using the Babcock Trail around Big Muddy Pond and back to the LT. Farther North, hikers can arrange day hikes on Burnt Mountain, on the many trails off the LT, in parking areas on Route 58, also called Hazen’s Notch Road.

So, throughout the Long Trail in Northern VT, road crossings, trail heads and side trails serve as access for those seeking LT-adjacent hiking adventures. Pick one, soon.

Lace up your boots, Go See Something

In conclusion, Vermont’s Long Trail offers a singular opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the Green Mountains. With easily accessible trailheads and side-trails, and typically informal, free parking, this historic footpath offers adventurers a way to explore and create memories. Whether you’re a day hiker or a thru-hiker, the Long Trail is the path to Vermont’s pristine wilderness and outdoor heritage.

Want to start hiking part of it? Visit the Green Mountain Club first. They have gear and trail tips, maps, and plenty of free common sense to get you started hiking safely each season. Also, read up on the principle of Leave No Trace when hiking. And, look into mapping apps that work even without a cell signal.

Want to live near it? Contact us if your goal for buying property in Northern VT includes living near hiking trails!

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Sources:

https://vtdigger.org/2021/06/20/then-again-james-taylor-father-of-the-long-trail-had-plenty-of-help/   Retrieved 9/16/23.

https://www.greenmountainclub.org/  Retrieved 9/16/23.

 

June 28, 2024

VT Places to Walk or Hike after your Weekend Lunch. Yes, In Winter.

Vermont has multiple places to go to burn off some energy or lunch any day of the week. Being a small state, they are all pretty close by. Many are wide, level and flat, so ideal for groups with varied energy and knee health. Consider these options, check the trail map details, dress for the weather conditions, and go!

Here are some year-round area public and private trails in Northern VT.

1.    The Short parts of the Long Trail. The “LT” has many side trails for short hikes. Consider accessing them in Belvidere, Johnson, Smuggler’s Notch/Cambridge, Underhill and Jonesville. Consider the terrain and skill levels noted. Visit the Green Mountain Club, [who designed, built and maintains this epic trail system] for pro tips on hiking in every season, a link to their offline LT trail app and more.

2.    Underhill’s Mills River Park Trails. off Rte 15 has accessible level trails through farm fields and elevated looping trails with nice wide, but sometimes muddy trails. There is a specific off-leash dog area. You will find nice views of Mount Mansfield in places, Dutch-Belted cattle grazing in others. Park at Mill River parking area and cross the bridge to get started. Map kiosk.

3.    Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.  (LVRT) A level, wide, gravel finished surface, totaling 93 miles. Due to 2023 July flooding, some areas of the trail are out of commission for the time-being. There are plenty of parking areas along the LVRT route to choose your out-and-back walk. In Cambridge; park along Route 15 past the traffic rotary and your walk can be Northwest across the Lamoille on a walking bridge, or East along the banks, toward Johnson. May be groomed for dogsledding and XC in the winter.. Portions shared with VAST snowmobile club.

4.    Cricket Hill Trails. in Hyde Park. Access nine hiking/walking trails off Route 15, near the high school. Or bring your mountain bike for 11 more trails. Not a town owned trail system.

5.    Westford Town Trails. Accessible. Maintained by their Conservation Commission of volunteers, access the trail map here. Start with the many loops of the Maple Shade Town Forest Trails  behind the Elementary school.

6.    Cambridge Town Trails. link you with many other area trails including Brewster Midlands Trails, Alden Bryan Brewster River Trail and the LVRT. Some trails are wide and level, others are more a typical hiking trail; narrow without finished gravel surfaces and not always level. Some may be closed in Winter, where they go through a VT designated winter deer yard. Park at Brewster River Park, by taking a left on Canyon Road off 108 North, then a quick right before the covered bridge. Check the map for many other off-street parking options.

7.    Peter Krusch Nature Preserve. Park in their lot at 316 North Cambridge Road in Cambridge. Then, pick the 2 mile round trip on the Main Nature Trail. Consider one of two side-spurs as you go.

8.    Fairfax Town Trails. Called the 100 Acre Woods, these two looping town trails offer almost two miles to walk. Park at 2739 VT-104, Fairfax.

9.    Georgia Town Trails. Take your pick; from the 2 mile loop on 44 acres of Russell Green Natural area, Silver Lake Woods 1.75 mile combined trails accessed off Blake Road, Mill River Falls Natural Area or Falls Road, an old town road.

10.Morristown Trails. Access from three parking areas on Bryan Pond Road. Walking out and back on old town road 43 between gates will get you 3 miles. Many loop options as well.

11.Stowe Recreation Path. This is a 5.3 mile paved trail offering mountain views, crisscrossing the Little River. Many parking options. Walk or bike! Bike maintenance stations. Groomed in Winter.

Wondering which other towns offer town trails? Ask a local Realtor experienced in the area where you are looking to buy property. Or, call the Town offices during their regular business hours. Check back here too, we are keeping a list.

 

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates