Kathy O'Brien Realty - Lake Champlain & Vermont

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Blog :: 2011

Vermont Real Estate Sales Look Bright in 2011

Vermont real estate values were not immune to the economic recession of 2009, but sales continue to recover this year. Despite a roller coaster of changes in consumer confidence and the national real estate market over the past seven years, property sale prices in Chittenden County had a net increase of 27.3% during that time period. Lake Champlain real estate turned out to be a safe investment, even through the financial crisis.

In talking to my clients and colleagues, I have found that Vermont buyers and sellers are becoming more confident in the market day by day, and are really starting to negotiate and do business again. I am very excited about the 2011 real estate market. I look forward to meeting new buyers who are once again following their dreams of owning property in Vermont.

Recently, I worked with a young family from Massachusetts. They had always had Vermont in the back of their minds as an ideal place to settle and eventually retire. What may have seemed like a far-off dream soon became a reality once they took action. After years of imagining, it only took four months and a few visits to decide to buy property now. A great choice of inventory, favorable interest rates, and some creative financing made the journey to closing a smart choice. With two kids just heading off to college, this couple has many years to enjoy their new property as a second home before retiring here. Why waste any time? There is so much of Vermont and Lake Champlain to explore and enjoy right now!

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    Lakefront Property at its Best...Take it from a Survivor!

    Harbor Island, Grand Isle VT More than any other property on the market right now, Harbor Island in Grand Isle reminds me of the awesome, life-changing experiences I had on Survivor. I felt lucky being invited back to participate in Survivor All-Stars. Imagine the lifetime of adventure and enjoyment that awaits the buyer of this unique island property.

    This four-acre island in Lake Champlain is connected to the shore by a causeway, offering a year-round living opportunity. With over 1650 feet of private lake shore including beaches and docks, summer will be blissful. An Adirondack-style home with large porches and stunning 180-degree views of the Green Mountains provides a cozy retreat in wintertime.

    Kathy Competes in the Final Challenge Northern Vermont and Lake Champlain have so much to offer. Downtown Burlington, where you will find fine dining, shopping, and theater on the Church Street Marketplace, is only 30 minutes away from this private island retreat. Traveling north, you could be in Montreal in an hour. Both Burlington and Montreal offer easy airport access for business travel or inviting guests to your new home. Don't miss this unique opportunity. Let me show you this amazing property and maybe you can invest in your own Survivor experience!

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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