Vermont Real Estate Market

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.

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?

Confluence of Jupiter & Saturn

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.

Improving The Equity Of Your Home

I found this article to be relevant! Many sellers feel the value of their home does is not impacted by cosmetic improvements or fall out from the recession. The value of a home IS affected by supply and demand as this article points out.

Look at the improved equity position on a 15-year mortgage vs 30-year mortgage. Equity is the difference in what your home is worth and what you owe. Ideally, as the value goes up and the unpaid balance goes down with each amortized payment made, the equity grows from two directions. This dynamic leads to increasing a person's net worth much faster than many other investments. A homeowner has minimal control over value. It is necessary to maintain the property to avoid depreciation and make good decisions on capital improvements. After that, appreciation is generally controlled by supply and demand and the economy. Mortgage management is something that the homeowner does have control. Making the decision to select a shorter term mortgage at a lower interest rate can have an impact on equity build-up. Lower interest rates amortize faster than higher interest rates which will also affect equity growth. Currently, it is possible to get a 1% lower rate on a 15-year mortgage than a 30-year mortgage. Compare two alternatives of a 30-year and a 15-year mortgage. The payments will definitely be higher on the shorter term because it pays off quicker. However, if a person can afford the higher payments of $362.53 more per month in this example, the equity will be greater. Even after you take into consideration the higher payments, the increased equity is $17,236 at the end of the seven-year holding period.

Another decision that can affect equity build-up is making additional principal contributions along with the regular payments. Whether you're making an occasional lump sum payment toward principal or regular monthly contributions, it will save interest, build equity and shorten the term on a fixed rate mortgage. Estimate your personal savings with this Equity Accelerator.

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Investing in Lake Champlain Listings

Lake Champlain real estate is back in 2011 and prices are more reasonable than ever! I've noticed that sellers are finally pricing their lakefront homes realistically after reading and hearing bad news over the past 24 months even hearing stories at cocktail parties about the neighbor who took a loss on the sale of his home. But was it really a loss? Perhaps not! If you have lived in your home for over seven years, you have gained a profit; the declines only occurred in 2009 and 2010. Like the stock market, real estate investments are cyclical. Prices go up and down, and if you stay in your house, just like owning a stock for 20 years, you'll make some good money. The only avenue to speculate on real estate is through niche property, such as waterfront homes, bought at a good price. And this year, along with the next two to four years, will be an excellent time to buy a property on Lake Champlain or a lake-view home close to Burlington or in the Champlain Islands.

Real Life Success Stories

I had a client that bought a small cottage for $80,000 ten years ago and built an additional small, energy-efficient house on the three acres. Now the year-round property is worth approximately $500,000. The property needed a new septic ($20,000) and construction was about $200,000.

Ten years ago, another client bought a small summer cottage for $125,000 and it is now valued at $350,000. In another prime example, a summer lakefront cottage on Thompson's Point in Charlotte sold for $120,000 in 1996 and sold last year for $550,000 with renovations, but I don't think the renovations were more than $100,000! These opportunities still exist on Lake Champlain and on other lakes in Vermont. And it is a joy to experience a Vermont summer on a peaceful lake. Even if you only make it to Vermont for a couple of weekends a year, the rents on Thompsons Point in Charlotte can be as high as $1,200 per week. A great investment! Another worthy investment strategy is to find a short sale or foreclosure on Lake Champlain.It's a gift to live on Lake Champlain

Has the Economic Bubble Hit Vermont Real Estate?

The price category under $350,000 is active - not great - but active. Homes over $550,000 are having a tough time. Buyers just keep waiting. Of course, the banks are tough on lending. But why don't buyers simply write up offers? The Bubble has not hit us thanks to conservative building policies in Vermont. Sales are down by 20% in Chittenden County and sellers must be prudent about their list price if they want to sell in a timely fashion. Buyers should "go for it", though! Trade and throw out some offers, you would be surprised. Sellers will negotiate because they want to sell!