Kathy O'Brien

Now's the time to sell your home!

2020 Is the Year to Sell Your Home! It's a Seller's Market....

The Northern Vermont Board of Realtors tells us that January started off strong for the housing market in the region, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals.

New Listings decreased 14.6 percent for single-family homes and 41.3 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 8.0 percent for single-family homes but decreased 18.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Inventory decreased 56.7 percent for single-family homes and 65.4 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Overall, the signs point to a continued Seller's Market.

More specifically, in Chittenden County:

The Median Sales Price for a Single Family home saw a 1.8% increase year-to-date versus 2020.

While the Median Sales Price for a Condo/Townhouse also saw a 1.8% increase year-to-date.

Chittenden County continues to outpace price increases for the entire Northern Vermont region and sellers are seeing significant benefits to selling in today's market.

Worried about finding your next home? Don't be! That's what our team is here for, too. We have the knowledge and expertise to find that next safe spot to land when your current home sells! 




Make the most of your Home Inspection

Be Prepared for Your Home Inspection. A Good Inspection Leaves No Stone Unturned!

Home inspection checklist:

You should start preparing for a professional inspection when you initially tour the home, before making an offer. This will give you an idea if there are any areas you want the inspector to pay special attention to. A good inspector will address these issues in the report you pay for. Use this checklist to help figure out what to look for, both ahead of time and in the final report. If any of these items aren’t covered in the inspection report, ask why.

Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?

Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?

Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced?

Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?

Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks?

Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.

Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there’s a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)

Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?

Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?

Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator?

Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?

Odor: Does the home smell? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet basement.

2021 Likely to continue to be a sellers market!

The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS® (NVBR) recently released its market statistics for December 2020. The information is derived from data contained in the New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

December is normally one of the slowest months of the year but strong buyer demand across most segments of the market, buoyed by near-record low interest rates, continue to drive a healthy sales pace in the face of a new wave of COVID-19 infections and a softening jobs market.

New Listings decreased 4.3 percent for single-family homes but increased 31.0 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 13.6 percent for single-family homes and 31.3 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Inventory decreased 54.7 percent for single-family homes and 57.0 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 14.8 percent to $350,000 for single-family homes and 1.1 percent to $242,500 for townhouse-condo properties. Days on Market decreased 41.8 percent for single-family homes and 21.7 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 56.3 percent for single-family homes and 57.1 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

With low mortgage rates and strong buyer demand in most market segments, the housing market of early 2021 looks to continue the trends we saw in the second half of 2020. Low inventory and multiple offers on in-demand properties and market segments are likely to remain common while the market waits and hopes for a boost in new construction and a surge in home sellers to help provide more balance to the market.


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    Home Design Trends Emerge from the Pandemic's Influence

    Are you wondering what's trending in home design? Well, the Pandemic is influencing new design trends, according to Realtor.com. 

    The stress of 2020 is causing an overhaul in home design. For example, open floor plans are now being considered too open as households seek privacy for work and school while everyone is at home. As a result, home offices are growing in demand as buyers search for a new home.


    Open floor plans are getting divided up. Homeowners are looking to create nooks or pockets for Zoom calls, lounging, exercising, and e-learning, design experts say. "New buyers are asking for homes with more separation, as sometimes multigenerational families share a home and need space and privacy amongst themselves,: Yorgos Tsibiridis, a broker at Douglas Elliman in the Hamptons, told realtor.com. 


    Homeowners are craving nature in the pandemic and are bringing in more houseplants and indoor gardens. "During the pandemic when it was difficult for some to get their daily dose of nature, people started bringing the outdoors in with natural materials in their home," Julie Busby, founder of the Busby Group at Compass in Chicago, told realtor.com.


    Wood-grain kitchen cabinets and counters are trending, offering a touch of organic and natural materials. Bill Darcy, CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, told realtor.com this may be another sign of tying home design elements to nature. Instead of all-white kitchens or painted cabinets, more homeowners are adding in wood-grain cabinets and wood countertops on to their kitchen islands, designers say.


    Fireplaces fire pits, patios and decks, screened-in porches, and outdoor kitchens have all gained popularity during the pandemic. The outdoor kitchen is particularly trending, as homeowners add outdoor refrigerators and dining areas in their backyards or create a more elaborate space that includes a fully equipped kitchen outside with a stovetop and appliances.


    Smart home innovations are increasingly entering the bathroom. "Touchless appliances including motion sensors for lighting, and smart temperature control for bathroom floors will be more popular in the next year, Darcy predicted.

    Visit www.realtor.com for it's full list of 2021 home design predictions.Home Design Trends


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      The winter sky will shine brighter than it has in more than 800 years!

      December 21st may be the darkest day of the year, but look for the confluence of Jupiter and Saturn to make it brighter than ever! As in it's not been this bright in more than 800 years. WOW! Light brings us hope in the darkest of times. In a year like no other in our collective experience, we need hope and the promise of better things to come. We can shine together and take care of each other during these very dark days of winter. Where will you be when Jupiter and Saturn bring such bright light to all of us?https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/vermont/christmas-star-vt/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=vermont&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=nlbuttonB1

      Confluence of Jupiter & Saturn

      Dr. Anthony Fauci and his wife, Dr. Crhistine Grady, Give Thanks during this COVID Holiday.

      Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading epidemiologist shared what he's grateful for with Story Corp. His recording with wife, Dr Christine Grady, aired on NPR last week.

      While families across the country are faced with being separated this Thanksgiving due to COVID-19, one family is continuing to lead by example: the Faucis. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the public face of the federal government’s effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic, sat down to record this conversation with his wife, Dr. Christine Grady.

      They met in 1983, while working together at the National Institutes of Health. And now, 37 years later, they are both leaders in their respective fields. Still, they made time to look back at family life and the sacrifices they, too, are choosing to make this holiday season.

      Originally aired November 20, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.




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        Focus on your personal finances! Up your game with Bankrate.

        BankrateWhat's your Personal Finance IQ?

        That can be a scary question that we often avoid. But, check out Bankrate and their resources. Learn insightful tips and gain knowledge to help you make wise financial decisions. Are you thinking about making a real estate move -- purchase or sale -- they have worthwhile tips. Take a look. 




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          COVID has changed our lives and how we want to live

          COVID continues to affect our world and lives in many ways, leaving us separated from many of the people, places and things that we love and value. What it's led us to see more clearly is that we may want to live differently, in a space that better fits our needs. Well, the good news is that the market remains active and home prices remain strong, while interest rates remain low. A win/win for sellers and buyers.