Blog :: 2019

Burton to add a Music Venue

Zoning Change Will Allow Burton to Move Forward With Music Venue

 

The proposed concert venue space at Burton - FILE: SASHA GOLDSTEIN

  • The proposed concert venue space at Burton

The Burlington City Council on Monday night approved a controversial zoning change that will allow Burton Snowboards to move forward with a conceptual plan to build out its Industrial Parkway facility with music venue Higher Ground as an anchor tenant. 

A large council majority approved an amendment to the Enterprise-Light Manufacturing District, a South End area that previously limited performing arts centers to Pine Street and capped them at 5,000 square feet. Under certain conditions, the amendment will allow for such venues to be built up to 15,000 square feet on Industrial Parkway, where Burton owns 155,000 square feet of space between two buildings.

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Councilor Joan Shannon, a Democrat whose South District contains the affected area, was the lone no in the 10-1 roll call vote. Councilor Chip Mason (D-Ward 5) recused himself. 

Now that the amendment has passed, Burton can begin the process of relocating Higher Ground from South Burlington. It also intends to lease space to Talent Skatepark, which closed its indoor park in South Burlington last summer. 

Additionally, Burton wants to create a food hall at the complex. Mad Taco co-owner Wes Hamilton said Monday that his restaurant is eager to open there, as is Misery Loves Company. 

The vote came after impassioned testimony on both sides of the issue. Proponents said the project aligns with the South End’s vitality as an arts hub while opponents expressed worries over increased noise and traffic in what is largely a quiet residential area. 

Justin Worthley, Burton’s senior vice president of human resources, said the company will fully participate in the permitting process, during which time such issues will be addressed. He said Burton has envisioned this build-out for at least 12 years. The company  has hosted dozens of public tours, Worthley said, and representatives have attended a handful of Neighborhood Planning Assembly meetings to explain the plans. 

While Burton may have good intentions, neighbor Ben Traverse said, the company won't be able to build better city infrastructure around the facility. That is up to officials, who Traverse said should wait until the area is better equipped to handle the increased traffic before allowing the zoning change to go forward. 

Some concerned citizens noted that there were more than 100 police calls to Higher Ground in a year’s time. Alan Newman, a part-owner of the music venue, clarified that only two of those calls resulted in arrests. 

“It's only reasonable to determine that if this venue takes place in Burlington and it’s larger, the police will be called even more,” resident Gail Asbury said. 

Others suggested the council delay the vote until the Champlain Parkway is built. 

 

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    Housing Summit on Tuesday in Burlington VT

    Image: Burlington Housing Summit.

    Burlington Housing Summit
    June 11, 2019 at Contois Auditorium in City Hall

    For many years, Burlington has faced a housing crisis. Meanwhile, right now, progressive cities around the country are looking to housing policy as a solution to many of our central challenges, and reforming outdated land use policies that increase income inequality, promote sprawl, and drive up rents. Here in Burlington, we can do the same. 

    Please join us on June 11 for the Burlington Housing Summit, where we will delve into our housing challenges, opportunities, and key policy reforms. We plan to emerge from this summit with a list of priority housing initiatives that the Administration will spearhead in consultation with the City Council, the Planning Commission, housing stakeholders, and the public in the coming months. Our goal will be to deliver draft ordinances for these priority reforms to the City Council for action this fall.

    We know that beyond the next few months, there will be more work to do. To this end, the Summit will also include space to hear from the community about other ideas we should consider in the future.

    We need all of your voices at the Burlington Housing Summit. Together, we can take a step toward a future where housing is a human right and where Burlington is the sustainable, vibrant, affordable, inclusive, and equitable place that we strive to be.

    Burlington Housing Summit schedule:

    Noon-5pm          Working Meeting

    • 11:30am          Check-in and lunch
    • Noon               Welcome
    • 12:05pm          Keynote from Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender
    • 12:30                Questions with President Bender
    • 12:45                Address from Mayor Miro Weinberger
    • 1:00                  Presentations on 5 Specific Housing Policy Reforms
    • 1:30                  Break
    • 1:45                  Break-outs to Workshop 2 Policy Reforms:
                                      Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Parking minimums
    • 2:30                  Break
    • 2:40                  Break-outs to Workshop 3 Policy Reforms:
                                      Housing Trust Fund, Short-term rentals, and Energy efficiency in rental housing
    • 3:25                   Break
    • 3:35                  Open Space: Self-organized, small group discussion
                                      What other housing policy reforms should be on the City’s list for the future?
    • 4:40                   Close and next steps

    6-8pm                   Town Hall Meeting

    • 6:00                        Welcome
    • 6:05                        Keynote from Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender
    • 6:20                        Address from Mayor Miro Weinberger
    • 6:30                        Questions with President Bender and Mayor Weinberger
    • 6:40                        Overview of 5 Specific Housing Policy Reforms
    • 6:50                        Overview of following hour
    • 7:00                        Open House on 5 Housing Policy Reforms
                                                Attendees talk with City subject matter experts about these 5 areas
    • 7:25                        Open Space: Self-organized, small group discussion
                                                What other housing policy reforms should be on the City’s list for the future?
    • 7:55                        Close and next steps

    Exact schedule and timing subject to change.

    *** The noon-5pm working meeting is open to all but free advanced registration is required through Eventbrite. For the 6-8pm Town Hall Meeting, no registration required, though RSVP through the Facebook event is helpful. See you there! ***

    For a preview of the Summit, see this video with Mayor Weinberger and the City's Meagan Tuttle and David White:

    Keynote Speaker:

    Lisa Bender is the President of the Minneapolis City Council, where her housing policy achievements include leading the City Council’s adoption of the Minneapolis 2040 Plan, a comprehensive plan to guide growth, prioritize racial equity, and fight climate change; authoring the City’s Inclusionary Zoning policy; and writing the City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance.

    First elected in 2013, President Bender has also championed the implementation of the City’s Complete Streets policy, including securing $400 million for investment in complete streets; led the adoption of the Midwest’s first $15 local minimum wage; and advocated for community-led approaches to public safety. President Bender earned a Master's Degree in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and has over a decade of experience in shaping transportation and land use choices to make cities more equitable and sustainable.

    Lisa will be the keynote speaker at both the working meeting and the Town Hall.

    About the Policies:

    At the Burlington Housing Summit, we will workshop several key housing policy reforms, and hear from partners and the community about how to get these right. The Summit will prioritize remaining, unfinished business from the City's 2015 Housing Action Plan. These policies include:

    Housing Trust Fund –                                   restoring and increasing funding to the City's Housing Trust Fund, which provides grants and loans for the promotion, retention and creation of long-term affordable housing
    Learn more about the Housing Trust Fund: "Housing Trust Fund," City of Burlington, last updated May 2019.

    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) –           rule changes to make it easier to create small houses or apartments that exist on the same property lot as a single-family residence, which are known as Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs
    Learn more about ADUs: 1) "The ABCs of ADUs: A guide to Accessory Dwelling Units and how they expand housing options for people of all ages," AARP, 2019 [PDF], and 2) "Accessory Dwelling Units in Burlington," CEDO, February 2019 [PDF].

    Short-term rentals –                                     regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb in order to balance the economic benefit for Burlingtonians with potential impacts on renters and neighborhoods
    Learn more about short-term rentals and cities:

    Parking minimums –                                     changing the parking we require for new homes, especially in the downtown
    Learn more about parking minimums: 1) "People Over Parking," Planning, October 2018, and 2) "How Parking Requirements Hurt the Poor," The Washington Post, March 2016.

    Energy efficiency in rental housing –         updates to protect renters from unreasonably and wastefully high utility costs
    Learn more about energy efficiency in rental housing: 1) "Cities Hold the Keys to Greener, More Efficient Homes," Rocky Mountain Institute, April 2019, and 2) "Time of Sale Energy Efficiency Ordinance," Burlington Electric Department.

    The Administration's goal is to deliver draft ordinances for reforms in each of these areas to the City Council for action this fall. We also know that there is more work to do. Along with discussion of these five areas, the Housing Summit will also include space to generate a list of additional policies that the City should consider for the future.

    Background:

    When we create more homes in our urban centers, we fight climate change by structuring our land use in a way that requires less energy to meet our heating, cooling, and ground transportation needs. Downtown residents produce half or less of the climate emissions of their suburban counterparts.

    When we create more homes, we strengthen our local businesses by addressing their top concern: that our shortage of housing makes it tough to attract and retain workers and create new jobs.

    When we create more homes, we share the costs of our high-quality public services and amenities over a larger tax base.

    When we create more homes, we open up the opportunity for welcoming new Burlingtonians into our neighborhoods, and becoming a more racially diverse and inclusive community.

    When we create more homes, we fight income inequality in the most potent way we can as local officials. Indeed, President Obama released a report just before he left office citing local regulations that stifle housing creation as one of the country’s major drivers of income inequality.

    When we create more resources for those experiencing homelessness, we make good on our deeply-held value of caring for the most vulnerable in our community.

    In short, when we create more homes, we are taking a step toward a future where housing is a human right and where Burlington is the sustainable, vibrant, affordable, inclusive, and equitable place that we strive to be.

    Other progressive cities around the country are taking up the mantle of housing reform. In Minneapolis, a grassroots group Neighbors for More Neighbors just successfully advocated to upzone large swaths of the city to address its history of redlining and exclusion. In Seattle, Boston, Madison, and other cities, progressive activist groups are pushing the forces of the status quo to say yes to more housing, with the goal of creating truly walkable, affordable, and diverse cities.

    Burlington faces a similar, long-simmering challenge. For decades, well-intentioned but highly restrictive land use rules have kept housing supply from keeping up with dramatically rising demand. As a result, the average Burlingtonian spends more than 40 percent of their income on rent, making us one of the most expensive communities in the country to live in.

    For the last seven years we have been charting a different course with a two-part strategy: 1) We have continued Burlington’s proud legacy of building as much permanently affordable housing as possible; and 2) We also have pursued policies and proactive efforts to create more homes for households of all backgrounds. This second strategy recognizes that there will never be enough subsidies to solve our housing problems with traditional affordable housing solutions alone, and both permanently affordable homes and all new homes are important.

    This effort to increase more homes for all – more housing supply – is working. There has been anecdotal evidence of this for a while, including last spring when Seven Days reported that the 300 new beds in Champlain College’s 194 St. Paul Street building were “spurring competition to fill student rentals that once could practically lease themselves... In response, some landlords are cutting rents. Others are waiving deposits.”

    We are now starting to see this progress in the data. The City recently commissioned a study of vacancy trends in the apartment market. We studied vacancy rates because very low vacancy rates drive rent increases and often other problems for tenants and the City. The report findings are clear. During the years 2006 to 2011 the city produced only 67 new apartments and had an average vacancy rate of just .7 percent during that period. Over the past seven years housing production jumped to 579 new homes and the average vacancy rate more than doubled to 1.5 percent.

    Now, 1.5 percent is still too low. We will need to see sustained vacancy rates of twice that or more to get to our affordability and inclusion goals. However, these trends of increased new homes and rising vacancy rates refute the idea that new housing supply doesn’t matter, and should be seen as a call to more action.

    There is much more for us to do. For years, we have had consensus that numerous local regulations were getting in the way of creating new homes, but progress to reform them is not happening quickly enough. In order to make more timely progress, we need to bring focus and urgency to this effort.

    To that end, the Mayor’s Office will host the Burlington Housing Summit on June 11 in order to review a range of key housing policies that we first outlined in our 2015 Housing Action Plan, including: Our downtown parking policies, rule changes to create more Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) throughout the City, increased funding to our local Housing Trust Fund, policies to regulate short-term rentals, and updates to protect renters from unreasonably and wastefully high utility costs. The Summit will also include space to hear from the community about other ideas we should consider in the future.

    We plan to emerge from this summit with a list of priority housing initiatives that the Administration will spearhead in consultation with the City Council, the Planning Commission, housing stakeholders, and the public in the coming months. Our goal will be to deliver draft ordinances for these priority reforms to the Council for formal vetting and action this fall.

    For decades, our community has struggled with the cost of housing. Let us resolve together that 2019 will be the year we accomplish the structural fixes needed to make housing for all a reality.

    - Adapted from Mayor Miro Weinberger’s annual State of the City address, April 1, 2019

     

     

    Contact the Mayor

    Miro Weinberger, Mayor
    City Hall, Room 34
    149 Church Street
    Burlington, VT 05401

    Phone: 802-865-7272
    Email: mayor@burlingtonvt.gov

     

     

     

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      Mortgage Rates Drop encourages more home buying

      Drop in Mortgage Rates Could Put Market in 2005 Territory

      The recent plunge in mortgage rates may help the market for home loans surge to a 14-year high, according to recent housing forecasts. In the past month, mortgage rates have posted their biggest drop in a decade, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.08 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey.

      The rate decline has enticed more home buyers to enter the market, prompting mortgage demand to reach its highest level since the fall of 2016. Mortgage applications jumped 18.6 percent last week as borrowers rushed to lock in lower financing costs. Mark Watson, director of forecasting for mortgage advisory firm iEmergent, predicts $1.2 trillion in home lending this year, which would be the best year since 2005. “We think the lower mortgage rates will create a huge push, partly from millennial buyers,” Watson told HousingWire. “That is going to support strong growth in home sales over the next several years.”

      iEmergent projects a 3.9 percent increase in total home loan volume this year. That’s more optimistic than other forecasters, such as Freddie Mac, which is predicting a 1.5 percent increase in total mortgage lending for 2019, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, which predicts a 1 percent gain.

      But the threat of higher mortgage rates is diminishing. The Federal Reserve announced at its January meeting that due to a slowing economy, it does not plan to raise its short-term key interest rates again this year. Therefore, mortgage rates will likely stay low for a while, which will bode well for the housing market, Watson says. “The benefits of the decline in mortgage rates that we’ve seen this year will continue to unfold over the next few months due to the lag from changes in mortgage rates to market sentiment and ultimately home sales,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

      iEmergent predictions. Visit source link at the end of the article for more information.

      © iEmergent

       

      Source:

      Low Mortgage Rates May Drive Home Purchase Lending to 14-Year High,” HousingWire (April 8, 2019) and “iEmergent’s Mortgage Forecast Update: Why We’re Staying Put for 2019,” iEmergent (April 3, 2019)

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        The "Burlington " Bike Path

        Some interesting information from the City of Burlington about the "Bike Path".

        �

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        family friendly biking with kidsromantic bike getawayshistoric rail trailswildlife trailshistoric rail trailsbike northeast waterfallsbike and beaches

        Island Line Trail : Burlington Waterfront Bike Path

        Vermont Rail Trails
        Northern Vermont�

        Urban Legend, Waterfront Parks, Beaches, Bike Ferry, Family Friendly, Wildlife Watch
        Trail Description

        Location:�Along the shore of Lake Champlain. City of Burlington to Colchester, Vermont in Chittenden County.

        Trail Length:�12.5 miles

        7.5 miles to Winooski River, 8.2 miles to Airport Park and an additional 5 unpaved miles on Colchester Causeway section of the Island Line Trail.�

        Trail Surface:�Asphalt�

        Trail Difficulty:�Easy

        Trail Use:�Bicycling, runners, walkers and in-line skaters.

        Trail Features:�Lake Champlain vistas,, 0.5 mile elevated bike trail bridge over the Winooski River, waterfront parks and beaches.�

        Caution:�Multi-use recreational trail. Ride responsibly.�

        Mountain Bike Trails Near Burlington, VT
        Colchester - South Hero Trail�
        Mobbs Farm Mountain Bike Trails
        Hinesburg Town Forest Mountain Bike Trails
        Lake Champlain Bikeway Network

        �

        Island Line Trail - Burlington Bike Path Map

        Note:�The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features.�Read Full Disclaimer.

        Directions :�Burlington Waterfront Bike Path trailheads with parking.

        mile 0: Oakledge Park (2 Flynn Avenue)
        mile 2.1: Union Station (1 King Street)
        mile 3.4: North Beach (9 Institute Road)
        mile 5.1: Leddy Park (290 Leddy Park Road)
        mile 8.2: Airport Park (201 Colchester Point Road)

        Island Line Trail - Burlington Waterfront Bike Path Description

        Both the 7.5 mile paved Burlington Bike Path and the 5 mile Colchester Causeway Trail are part of the spectacular Island line Trail. The southern section of the Island Line, The Burlington Waterfront Bike Path, is the pride of Burlington, Vermont's largest city. It's urban riding at it's best with its bicycle and pedestrian friendly downtown.

        The Burlington Bike Path runs north and south on the former railbed of the Rutland Rutland-Canadian Railroad along Lake Champlain from the southern end of Burlington at Oakledge Park to the northern end at the mouth of the Winooski River. There it meets up with the 5 mile unpaved�Colchester-South Hero Trail, the northern section of the Island Line Trail. A new 0.5 mile long elevated trail bridge now connects the two trails.�

        The route runs along Burlington's Waterfront, offering gorgeous Adirondack mountain views and Lake Champlain vistas the entire way. It connects 6 waterfront parks and parallels an active rail line for about two miles. Explore the many historic and cultural sites along or near the bicycle path, stop for a picnic and swim at North Beach, one of several waterfront parks along the route, or just relax on a bench to admire the sunset.

        The best place to start is from the historic Union Station located at the western end of Main Street in the heart of Burlingtons waterfront, where showers, a health club and bicycle lockers and racks are available. Located next to the station is the Local Motion Trailside Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote safe bicycling and other recreational activities on the bike path.�

        Cycling maps, air, info and advice are available as well as snacks. Outside the Center are trailside tables where you can relax and watch the world go by. While you are there, pick up the "Cycle the City" brochure for a 10-mile, self-guided historic loop tour which passes the historic Ethan Allen Homestead.

        North Beach

        Located right off the Burlington Bike Path at the end of Institute Road off North Avenue. Facilties include swimming, picnic areas with grills, a full service snack bar and playground. A lifeguard is available from the end of June to August 22 and weekends up until Labor Day, weather permitting. An outfitter set up at the south end of the beach, offers kayak and canoe rentals as well as a variety of kayaking classes and expeditions on the lake. Hey! There is even a foot shower to wash your feet before putting your cycling shoes back on.

        Other beaches along the path are�Leddy Park�and�Oakledge Park. Both offer a swimming beach (no lifeguards), grills and picnic tables and restrooms. Access is free to walkers, runners, bikers, and roller bladers via the Burlington Bike Path.

        North Beach Campground

        Camp right along Lake Champlain. Operated by the Burlington Department of Parks and Recreation, it offers a premier municipal sand beach, shaded campsites and picnic grounds. The Burlington Bike Path goes right through the campground, making it a very convenient overnight stop on a longer trip or a weekend cycling getaway.

        Reservations: 1-800-571-1198

        Urban Reserve

        An industrial site until the 1960s, the Urban Reserve was purchased and cleaned up by the city of Burlington to preserve forty-five acres of prime waterfront property as a "land bank" for future generations. Residents have the challenge and opportunity to participate in planning for it's future. The reserve is open to the public for walking, fishing, birdwatching, biking and offers nice lake views.

        Ethan Allen Homestead

        Situated in an idyllic setting overlooking a quiet stretch of the Winooski River. Learn about Vermont's most unusual and flamboyant folk hero and life in the 18th century. The homestead and grounds are open from sunrise to sunset. Enjoy the spectacular scenery, riverside picnic areas and walking trails. (no restrooms available).�

        Phone: 802-865-4556 / Website: www.ethanallenhomestead.org

        Getting there by Bus

        The CCTA 11, the FREE College Street shuttle is a primary link from the Bike Path to downtown Burlington and the University of Vermont. All CCTA buses are equipped with easy to use bike racks, which hold 2 bikes.�

        See www.cctaride.org for schedules.

        ��

        Historical Notes

        In 1899 the 3.5 mile causeway was built by the Rutland-Canada Railroad to connect the New England seacoast with the Great Lakes region crossing this stretch of Lake Champlain. The line included 41 miles of track, six miles of marble causeways and trestles, and four drawbridges. Built in only one year, the Rutland and Canadian was a spectacularly scenic railroad.

        Rail operations ceased by 1961. The conversion from Rails-To-Trails began in 1973. With the help of State and federal funding, Burlington's Bike Path was completed in 1986.

        �

        �

        For More Information

        Burlington Parks and Recreation

        Phone:�(802) 864-0123
        TTY:�(802) 863-0450

        Website:�Burlington Parks & Recreation

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          155 Spear Street Charlotte - Land

           

          Listed by Kathy O'Brien and Patrick O'Connell of Four Seasons Sotheby's Int'l Realty

          This 130.9 Acre Parcel is located in a prime location in Charlotte Vermont with elevated 180 degree views to the Green Mountains. With clearing there will be strategic views west to Adirondacks. This rare piece of land has good soils for septic capability. Meadows, woodlands, streams and a beautiful pine forest. Build your dream home and have land to create a sustainable lifestyle or simply enjoy. The build sites are high on the ridge while the incredible low areas are stunning as quoted by a Vermont Naturalist that has been on site: "The multiple sunny meadows on the south and north side are beautiful. The wetlands that surround the streams running through the center of the property are gorgeous with a mix of sedge meadows and shallow marshes. The hemlock dominated forest on the east side of the stream is majestic dotted with pools of water- these tracks of land used more by wildlife then people are the exception to the norm in Charlotte. The forested streams and intact wetlands also protect water quality and support the health of the Laplatte River which runs nearby" - end quote from the naturalist. Currently the owners have the Laplatte Organic Beef Cattle grazing a portion of the land for Vermont Current Use Tax Benefits. The land may be subdivided into three lots only per the family wishes. A once in a lifetime property and 20 minutes to downtown Burlington Vermont. With a subdivided lot - this will facilitate infra structure expenses.

           

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            33 McGregor Point - One of a kind Lakefront property

            33 McGregor Point- Listing for Sale

             

            Listed by Kathy O'Brien of Four Seasons Sotheby's Int'l Realty

            Need an inspirational world to live in? This 10 acre private setting on Lake Champlain is the answer. Sun drenched rolling lawn to 500 feet of direct easy access lakefront is a rare commodity on the lake. The beach is terrific for swimming, kayaking and docks for boating. The southeast exposure is stunning with views that go on forever. The west sun in the evening on this land is serene and beautiful. Be sure to watch the video online!.McGregor Point is a private enclave on a broad section of Lake Champlain only 45 minutes to Burlington Vermont. The owners have taken pride in enhancing the property with quality architectural details. The great room has a wall of glass to the view and an open floor plan to the kitchen. Warm wood trim finishes add to the mix of handsome stone/granite fireplaces, tiles & wood flooring throughout the home. The first floor master suite is complete with a custom built loft/office and spa bathroom. Porch with hot tub opens to expansive mahogany deck facing the views. Two additional bedrooms are upstairs with private balcony, bath and open hallway with overlook to lake views! A full walk out lower level with full floor to ceiling windows facing the lake has a family room with fireplace, bar, bath and two rooms. The newer built attached 3 car garage has a perfect space above to finish as a guest area or in-law suite. The radiant floor heat and central air conditioning was designed per smart energy audit. Vermont lake living at it's best!

             

             

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              One Loan for Purchase and Renovation

               

              One Loan for Purchase & Renovations

              The FNMA HomeStyle conventional mortgage allows a buyer to purchase a home that needs renovations and include them in the financing.  This facilitates the purchase of the home and the renovations in one loan rather than getting a separate second mortgage or home equity line of credit.

              The combination of these loans should save closing costs as well as interest rates which would typically be higher on a home improvement loan.

              The borrower will need to have an itemized, written bid from a contractor covering the scope of the improvements.  Any type of renovation or repair is eligible if it is a permanent part of the property.  Improvements must be completed within 12 months from the date the mortgage loan is delivered.

              • 15 and 30-year fixed rate and eligible adjustable rate loans are available.
              • Typical FNMA down payments are available starting as low as 3% for a one-unit principal residence to 25% for three and four-unit principal residence and one-unit investment properties.
              • Borrower must choose his or her own contractor to perform the renovation.
              • Lender must review the contractor hired by the borrower to determine if they are adequately qualified and experienced for the work being performed. The Contractor Profile Report (Form 1202) can be used to assist the lender in making this determination.
              • Borrowers must have a construction contract with their contractor. Fannie Mae has a model Construction Contract (Form 3734) that may be used to document the construction contract between the borrower and the contractor.
              • Plans and specifications must be prepared by a registered, licensed, or certified general contractor, renovation consultant, or architect. The plans and specifications should fully describe all work to be done and provide an indication of when various jobs or stages of completion will be scheduled (including both the start and job completion dates)

              Up to 50% of the renovation funds may be advanced for the cost of materials after the closing of the loan.

              This mortgage does have a provision for the borrower to do a portion of the work themselves if it doesn't exceed 10% of the total project and it must pass inspection on completion just as the contractor's work.

              It is recommended that borrowers thoroughly research this program before they commit to a loan.  For detailed information, see FNMA HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage and Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2017-02.   It is important to work with a mortgage officer who is familiar with these loans who can guide you through the process.

              Contact me, Kathy O'Brien, to talk about renovation and purchase loans.

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                266 South Union Street Burlington Vermont

                 

                 

                Listed by Kathy O'Brien and Patrick O'Connell of Four Seasons Sotheby's Int'l Realty

                Much admired 1896 Historic Burlington Hill Section Brick & Marble Style Victorian home located on one of Burlington's most desirable streets. The house has served this family well since the floor plan is smart & can flex as families grow or shrink! Friends and family gather in the warm, bustling new kitchen, lounging on sofas or propping up the central island, with a glass of wine while the chef does their magic. With 10 ft ceilings, nicely scaled rooms & period architectural detail, the first floor offers elegant formal spaces as well as a cozy living room with fireplace. A breathtaking entry with cherry & oak grand staircase leads to the stunning landing with floor to ceiling 19th century Tiffany windows. The Master suite boasts a copper soaking tub, gas fireplace, curved turret bedroom & custom walk in dressing room/closet (this room was once a bedroom). A generous bedroom, tiled bath with claw foot soaking tub & stall shower, laundry room & back staircase complete the second floor. The third floor with a large family room, two bedrooms with lake views, bath & small kitchen was perfect for the owners two teenage boys. It's great for guests. This home has been lovingly restored and meticulously maintained by the current owners. "It's a beautiful home, but more importantly, it's alive, living and breathing with us, meeting our needs before we even know we have them". Ideally located within walking distance to downtown Burlington and Lake Champlain.

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                  Spring To Do List for Homeowners

                  To-Do List for Better Homeowners

                  Checklists work because they contain the important things that need to be done.  They provide a reminder about things we know and realize but may have slipped our minds as well as inform us about things we didn't consider.  Periodic attention to these areas can protect the investment in your home.

                  1. Change HVAC filters regularly.  Consider purchasing a supply of the correct sizes needed online and they'll even remind you when it's time to order them again.
                  2. Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors annually.
                  3. Create and regularly update a Home Inventory to keep track of personal belongings in case of burglary or casualty loss.
                  4. Keep track of capital improvements, with a Homeowners Tax Guide, made to your home throughout the year that increases your basis and lowers gain.
                  5. Order free credit reports from all three bureaus once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
                  6. Challenge your property tax assessment when you receive that year's assessment when you feel that the value is too high.  We can supply the comparable sales and you can handle the rest.
                  7. Establish a family emergency plan identifying the best escape routes and where family members should meet after leaving the home.
                  8. If you have a mortgage, verify the unpaid balance and if additional principal payments were applied properly.  Use a Equity Accelerator to estimate how long it will take to retire your mortgage.
                  9. Keep trees pruned and shrubs trimmed away from house to enhance visual appeal, increase security and prevent damage.
                  10. Have heating and cooling professionally serviced annually.
                  11. Check toilets periodically to see if they're leaking water and repair if necessary.
                  12. Clean gutters twice a year to control rainwater away from your home to protect roof, siding and foundation.
                  13. To identify indications of foundation issues, periodically, check around perimeter of home for cracks in walls or concrete.  Do doors and windows open properly? 
                  14. Peeling or chipping paint can lead to wood and interior damage.  Small areas can be touched-up but multiple areas may indicate that the whole exterior needs painting.
                  15. If there is a chimney and fires are burned in the fireplace, it will need to be inspected and possibly cleaned.
                  16. If the home has a sprinkler system, manually turn the sprinklers on, one station at a time to determine if they are working and aimed properly.  Evaluate if the timers are set properly.  Look for pooling water that could indicate a leak underground.
                  17. Have your home inspected for termites.

                  Instead of remembering when you need to do these different things, use your calendar to create a system.  As an example, make a new appointment with "change the HVAC filters" in the subject line.  Select the recurring event button and decide the pattern.  For instance, set this one for monthly, every two months with no end date.  You can schedule a time or just an all-day event will show at the top of your calendar that day.

                  By scheduling as many of these items as you can, you won't forget that they need to be done.  If you don't delete them from the calendar, you'll continue to be "nagged" until you finally do them.

                  If you have questions or need a recommendation of a service provider, give us a call at (802) 862-3540.  We deal with issues like this regularly and have experience with workers who are reputable and reasonable.

                   

                   

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                    Woonpioniers is an eco-friendly, prefabricated cabin with bent wooden walls.

                    A Dutch Sculptor’s Prefab Cabin Has Curved Pinewood Walls

                    From Dwell Magazine

                    By Michele Koh Morollo – 

                    A Dutch Sculptors Prefab Cabin Has Curved Pinewood Walls

                    View Photos

                     

                    Built as a live/work space for a sculptor, Indigo by Dutch practice Woonpioniers is an eco-friendly, prefabricated cabin with bent wooden walls.

                    In the Dutch hamlet of Giethmen, Amsterdam–based practice Woonpioniers has completed Indigo, a prefabricated home and studio, for sculptor Lia Harmsen. The custom, 861-square-foot, modular home has fully glazed walls on the front and back, allowing natural light to fill the entire space. A central wooden volume contains the kitchenette, bathroom, and shower, and a set of steps with built-in drawers lead up to a spacious sleeping loft. 

                    Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, Prefab Building Type, House Building Type, and Gable RoofLine Sculptor Lia Harmsen rents the dwelling to guests whenever she travels.�

                    View PhotosExterior, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, Prefab Building Type, House Building Type, and Gable RoofLine Sculptor Lia Harmsen rents the dwelling to guests whenever she travels.�

                    Sculptor Lia Harmsen rents the dwelling to guests whenever she travels. 

                    Photo by Henny van Belkom

                    Photo Categories: exteriorwood siding materialmetal roof materialprefab building typehouse building typegable roofline

                    Exterior, Gable RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Prefab Building Type Chosen for their climatically self-regulating properties, the materials used for Indigo are eco-friendly and non-toxic.�

                    View PhotosExterior, Gable RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Prefab Building Type Chosen for their climatically self-regulating properties, the materials used for Indigo are eco-friendly and non-toxic.�

                    Chosen for their climatically self-regulating properties, the materials used for Indigo are eco-friendly and non-toxic. 

                    Photo by Henny van Belkom

                    Photo Categories: exteriorgable rooflinewood siding materialmetal roof materialprefab building type

                    Exterior, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, and Gable RoofLine A sky-lit window brightens the sleeping loft.

                    View PhotosExterior, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, and Gable RoofLine A sky-lit window brightens the sleeping loft.

                    A sky-lit window brightens the sleeping loft.

                    Photo by Henny van Belkom

                    Photo Categories: exteriorhouse building typemetal roof materialwood siding materialgable roofline

                    On the studio side to the north, the wooden volume provides space for stonework tools and a kitchen countertop. In the living room to the south, the volume accommodates a small kitchen and leads to the bathroom, which sits under the lofted bedroom.

                    Exterior, Cabin Building Type, Wood Siding Material, Gable RoofLine, and Metal Roof Material The back of the volume acts as a wall that separates the living spaces from the sculpture studio.�

                    View PhotosExterior, Cabin Building Type, Wood Siding Material, Gable RoofLine, and Metal Roof Material The back of the volume acts as a wall that separates the living spaces from the sculpture studio.�

                    The back of the volume acts as a wall that separates the living spaces from the sculpture studio. 

                    Photo by Henny van Belkom

                    Photo Categories: exteriorcabin building typewood siding materialgable rooflinemetal roof material

                    Dining Room, Concrete Floor, Chair, Table, and Wood Burning Fireplace All the interior woodwork, including the bed and staircase drawers, was custom-made by Blind Interieur.

                    View PhotosDining Room, Concrete Floor, Chair, Table, and Wood Burning Fireplace All the interior woodwork, including the bed and staircase drawers, was custom-made by Blind Interieur.

                    All the interior woodwork, including the bed and staircase drawers, was custom-made by Blind Interieur.

                    Photo by Henny van Belkom

                    Photo Categories: dining roomconcrete floorschairtablewood burning fireplac

                     

                     

                     

                    Staircase, Metal Railing, and Wood Tread A hearth by de Vogelsangh warms the live/work prefab.�

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