Blog :: 2019

Birding on your doorstep

Winter in Vermont can lead to a new hobby: Birding! If you're at all like me, you'll enjoy watching from your window the variety of birds that come literally to your doorstep. Here's more about how to have fun being a "winter birder."

Hills Point Properties

To the lake, with this trio of Hills Point, Charlotte properties that our team sold in short order!

Shown in order:

209 Hills Point features direct lakefront footage, and went under deposit in just five days this past August 2019.

608 Hills Point is across the street from the lake and sold summer 2019.

701 Hills Point offers direct lakefront land and sold summer 2018.


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    Snow on the pumpkins!

    Snow came early here in Vermont and you might still see snow on some pumpkins as you stroll around town. But, more likely you'll see holiday lights glimmering, wreaths with their beautiful bows adorning homes and storefronts, and lovely vistas of snow-covered fields and mountains. The holidays are always a great time to be in Vermont and why not venture out to a place you haven't yet visited to experience the best the season has to offer! 

    Take a trip up to Franklin to take in the visual spectacle of it's Lighted Parade.

    Or head to Hotel Vermont in Burlington for one of its Mini Holiday Markets that features local artists and their wares, along with scrumptious hot chocolate, vinyl spinning seasonal tunes and a cozy fireside atmosphere that just can't be beat!

    You won't want to miss Arts Riot in Burlington for a fun evening of more than 20 bands doing short sets, sponsored by Foam Brewers.  Short sets, great food, music and fun! 

    And, take your pick of one or more of these great restaurants that feature fireside dining and top-rate ambiance during the winter season. 7Days. gives you the skinny on all of them!

    Stay tuned for more ways to make the best of every day in the Green Mountain State! 


    Listings We Love



    Sometimes we can't help but play favorites. Check out some of our top picks below — and see why we can't get enough of them. (Psst … they're all available if you're ready to move.) 
    LA Beach Bungalow
    The beachy bungalow 
    What we love: admiring that bold, beautiful backsplash. 
    See every angle
    Vermont Estate
    The elegant estate 
    What we love: thinking about all the books we could read in that library. 
    Just picture it
    Historic Victorian Home
    The historic Victorian 
    What we love: dreaming about a long soak in that clawfoot tub. 
    Imagine that
    Chic Nashville home
    The chic retreat 
    What we love: soaking up the panoramic views from that indoor patio. 
    Take it in
    Dallas Midcentury Home
    The Mid-Century masterpiece 
    What we love: picturing post-pool hangouts in that living room. 
    Zillow, ‌Inc.
    1301 ‌Second ‌Avenue, ‌Floor ‌31
    Seattle, ‌WA ‌98101
    © ‌2006-2019


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      Climate Change is Real

      Clients of mine moving from Sonoma to Vermont

      This is the view from their home ..... see below

      Does everyone know that this is a case of climate change ?

      A cold front in the Midwest is pushing winds to the west and the fall winter rain is late - unheard of situation 

      Climate change is real 

      Bless our area being grey and cold !

      Send some good thoughts  to these residents !






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        The Raven's Nest

        The Raven's Nest

        The Raven’s Nest
        Building My Getaway
        For many years during midlife, I led the transient
        lifestyle of a commuting airline pilot. Twenty plus years of a
        suitcase always open either coming or going. A life of splendid
        vistas perhaps, but unending bouncing around from place to place
        amidst chaos and noise. I longed for my little spot to retreat
        to. And so, I spent many, many days off from the commute,
        searching for a suitable spot that would provide the privacy and
        peacefulness I longed for.
        After several years of continuous searching, I found 4523
        Duffy Hill Rd. more average than I had envisioned, but the spot
        is breathtaking. I was hooked. The task would be daunting as
        this was 105 acres of raw land, i.e. no electrical power; no
        well and no driveway. And the building site I chose was a long
        way uphill. AHH, but the potential was, and I dare say still is,
        So, having made the decision to go ahead with a huge task,
        I set about to design a house that would blend to the site and
        be, at once, smallish cozy and efficient, yet open and airy and
        take advantage of the splendid views.
        For the six years until my forced retirement at age 60, I
        spent countless hours in hotel and in the back of airplanes
        whilst commuting, sketching and resketching plans. It had to be
        simple, open and affect maximum utilization of space. It was at
        times, very frustrating to blend the needs into an efficient
        design. I learned a lot.

        I was very fortunate to find a master wood working guru in
        my neighbor Rodger Adkins. Rodger was eager to assist me with
        the project and we hired another local carpenter to assist. The
        three of us set to work enclosing the timber frame erected by
        the Liberty Head Post & Beam Co. of Huntington, VT. The
        adventure commenced the second week of July, 2002 and continues

        yet, as there is no boundary on what this special site can
        I have now reached a turning point in age, relationships
        and financial capabilities whence it is time to pass the torch
        on to new owner(s), who are likewise smitten with this special
        place and who also see the vast potential it holds. Fresh
        visions will continue to enhance the natural splendor of this
        I depart with the satisfaction that others will gather on
        the porch, wine glasses in hand and converse in low tones about
        the magnificent unfolding sunset, the deer in the meadow below,
        and of plans for the X-country ski trail; or the sugar house, or
        the guest house or...
        The Raven’s Nest really is an as yet, unfinished canvas.
        August 2017



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          Look at what one of my creative clients is doing!

          Did you know there's a shrimp farm in Vermont

          By Ike Bendavid 

          CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) When you think of Vermont agriculture, dairy or maple probably come to mind. But our Ike Bendavid found out that a shrimp farm has popped up in Charlotte.

          What once was a dairy barn, is filled with 80,000 shrimp in a landlocked state.

          Reporter Ike Bendavid: What do people say when you tell them you are growing shrimp in Vermont?
          John Brawley: They kind of go, 'Whaaaaa??'

          Brawley spent most of his career growing oysters in Massachusetts. The former UVM student decided to come back to Vermont to be a shrimp farmer.

          Ike Bendavid: It doesn't have that fishy smell.
          John Brawley: No.
          Ike Bendavid: Why is that?
          John Brawley: Because they are all alive. If they were dead you would smell them.
          Ike Bendavid: That's a good answer.

          The tanks are filled with a few thousand gallons of saltwater which took months to balance with the bacteria to keep the shrimp alive. The brown color of the water comes from the animals' food.

          "The gist is maintaining water quality, preventing diseases, making sure the water is survivable for the shrimp," Brawley explained.

          So why grow shrimp in Vermont? Brawley says shrimp are usually imported long distances from exotic locations. He says his farm-raised shrimp have nothing added to them and will bring a local and fresh ingredient to menus around the state.

          "These shrimp will be unprocessed, head-on, which is hard to find because the shelf life for head-on shrimp is relatively short," Brawley said.

          Ike Bendavid: When you hear shrimp from Vermont, what goes through your mind?
          Dana Pontbriand/Vermont Meat and Seafood Market: The initial reaction is like, 'What?' It sounds pretty odd.

          But not odd enough to stop Pontbriand from putting it on the market. The owner of Vermont Meat and Seafood plans to put the Vermont shrimp on their seafood shelves next to fresh seafood from around the world. He says educating customers is key.

          "If shrimp were never frozen, that really matters to people. And if you are helping out a local business with us and him, I mean, it's a pretty cool story," Pontbriand said.

          Shoppers say what they look for is quality.

          "I found being in Vermont things taste good. So, if the shrimp taste good just like in the Gulf or anywhere else, I would buy it definitely," said Matt Miller of Pennsylvania. 

          Back at the farm, the big question is about taste and Brawley approves.

          "It's more savory, more shrimpy flavor," he said. 

          Some restaurants have featured the shrimp in events already this year but you can expect to see the shrimp on menus and in markets by the end of the year.



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            Save The Date! Single Parent Program Celebration!


            Be a part of the ripple effect


            Please join us for the annual celebration of the 

            Champlain College Single Parents Program, 

            now in its 32nd year.


            The Single Parents Program lifts up single parents in our community by providing exceptional advocacy and support to its participants through workshops, access to resources and services designed to help students reach their educational and professional dreams.  

            Graduates gain relevant skills through post-secondary education to become financially independent which has a multi-generational impact.

            Hosted by Diana McCargo & Peter Swift, 

            Liz & Jim Foster, and Betsy Rich 


            Thursday, October 3, 2019
            5:30-7:30 PM

            Cocktails & hors d' oeuvres

            Philo Ridge Farm, 2766 Mt Philo Road,
            Charlotte, Vermont 05445


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              First Half 2019 Stats

              We are pleased to provide our noteworthy stats for the first half of 2019. We've accomplished some great results with our new website, paid search ads, print advertising, and social media. Click on the image below to view the full report from Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty. 

              Contact the Kathy O'Brien Team for all of your Vermont real estate needs. We're happy to share our expertise with you!

              1st Half 2019 Stats: Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty