Sold in Stowe, VT

LC Sign-2.jpg

I recently sold a Lodge Condominium at Stowe Mountain Resort to a couple from Connecticut who had been to and skied at Stowe. But when their summer vacation plans last year took them to Burlington, they decided to take a day trip to Stowe. And, the rest, as they say, is history. Now, they'll be planning day trips to Burlington, if they can tear themselves away!

Can I help you find yours?
write or call 802-730-4343

Why Did Home Sales Drop So Dramatically Last Month?

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which covered sales in November. The report revealed that sales:

“…fell 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million)…”

That revelation gave birth to a series of industry articles, some of which quoted pundits questioning whether the housing market was slowing. In actuality, there is one rather simple explanation to much of the falloff in sales last month. It is likely the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on October 3. These regulations caused house closings to be delayed by an extra three days in November as shown in the graph below.

 

Days-to-Close-KCM.jpg

Three days might sound like a minimal difference. However, since there are only approximately 20 days in a month that a closing would normally take place (Mondays through Fridays), losing three days constitutes well over 10% of all closings. These sales are not lost. They are just moved into the next month’s numbers. In a DS News article on the subject yesterday, Auction.com EVP Rick Sharga explained:

“The most likely cause for the weak sales numbers is a delay in processing loans due to the new TRID mortgage requirements imposed by the CFPB. This is the biggest change in mortgage document processing in many years, and there have been numerous reports within the industry of problems implementing the process and the new documentation that comes with it.”

So how is the housing market actually doing?

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

We can see immediately that demand to buy single family homes is increasing over the last few months - not decreasing.

Bottom Line

No matter what last month’s sales numbers show, the housing market is still doing well as demand remains strong.

Just Listed in Hyde Park Village

Country living in a village setting!

 

This renovated and now like-new 2004-built (see attached list of improvements) farmhouse is on the main street of one of Vermont's most quintessential villages.

Spacious single-level living with an open-floor plan, and a wood-burning stove that warms the west wing: kitchen, guest bedroom, dining, & living rooms. Red-birch floors, custom kitchen cabinetry (new dishwasher, range, and refrigerator), and fine woodworking details throughout.

Super-sized exercise /rec /family room. Large ¾ bath and laundry room (new washer & dryer) with new cabinets & built-in shelving. Walk-up attic could be finished with additional living space and is plumbed for a third bathroom.

Basement renovations and improvements are extensive, and include new footings and retaining walls, new high-efficiency Rinnai heating system & hot-water heater. See new basement walk-out in photos. Owner's shop is in the attached 2-car garage. Raised-bed young edible gardens. Municipal water & sewer.

$ 315,000 ☆ See the complete MLS #4449693 listing here.

Can I help you find yours? Write or call 802.730.4343

Just Listed in Wolcott, Vermont 05680

A Beautiful & Peaceful Land Parcel with Views

MLS #4445135 DETAILS HERE

If you've ever imagined building your own home in Vermont, take a look at these 5.41 acres that I've just listed in Wolcott: it's a beautiful and peaceful land parcel, with spectacular views, on Elmore Pond Road. It's been surveyed, engineered, and permitted for a 3-bedroom home. Fewer than 5 minutes to Lake Elmore.

 

Can I help you find yours? Write or call 802.730.4343

Just Listed in Hyde Park, Vermont, 05655

Big Views, big windows, lots of light

MLS #4445135 DETAILS HERE

 

This is a charming light-filled home with country and mountain views, which makes the property feel larger than its 1.05 acres! A hammock in the tranquil setting of the back yard will make your eyelids heavy and lull you to sleep as you drink in the views and and an expanse of puffy clouds. The photos below will complete the story:

Can I help you find yours? Write or call 802.730.4343

Just Listed in Jeffersonville, Vermont

Private "Crow's Nest" Master Suite with views

 290 Curran Drive S
Jeffersonville, VT 05464

Come home to this high-on-the-hill house, with its totally private “Crow’s Nest” Master suite, affording picturesque views all year long. You’ll feel like you’re living in a nature’s paradise.

Enjoy watching local-area wildlife from every window; and, in the summer, choose from local rivers or Lake Champlain (54 minutes) for canoeing/kayaking and fishing. In the winter, you’ll be only 14 minutes from Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and 52 minutes to Jay Peak Resort.

You’ll have plenty of room for your vehicles and toys in the just-under 900 s.f. 3-bay attached garage. The full-sized basement, with direct-access to the garage, provides an abundance of space for all of your summer and winter sports gear. It’s large enough for an in-home gym/workout area, a play area, plenty of storage, and even a ski-tuning bench!

It’s an easy commute to Burlington, as well as to all points North and South. This is an Energy Star Certified Home.

See the detailed listing here

Just Listed in Belvidere, Vermont

Exudes charm at every turn, inside & out...

MLS #4438550 Details here

This river-front home exudes charm at every turn, inside & out — it's a meticulously cared-for, recently updated and renovated in the last year home tucked back in the tree line, just feet from the elbow of a 90-degree turn in the North Branch of the Lamoille River.

It's in a paradise of exquisite gardens & beautiful meadow views, and has the "best swimming & fishing holes in the area, just steps from the front lawn." The 24'x24' heated 2-car garage that was previously converted to a studio can easily be repurposed, was built to support a 2nd-floor addition. Just 30 Minutes to Smuggler's Notch or Jay Peak.

Updates include a new Rennai heater, Refrigerator, & Washing machine. Most walls were re-skimmed and painted.

This is a perfect primary or getaway home - you'll feel like you're on a permanent vacation.

Can I help you find yours? Write or call 802.730.4343

Home Prices are Climbing Faster and Faster

But this is not a bubble

Real Estate News   |  Apr 24, 2015 |  By: Jonathan Smoke

This spring buying season is off to a strong start—in fact, prices are going up faster than they were just a few months ago, according to nearly every recent metric. So does that mean we’re in a bubble?

Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply. After all, existing-home sales were up 9% year over year in March, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Inventory is also increasing, but not as fast as sales, resulting in a tight supply getting even tighter.

An equilibrium level of supply on the market is considered to be six to seven months; supply has been under five months since December. Looking at every quarter since 1988, when supply was under five months, prices rose 8% year over year on average. When supply was in the equilibrium range, prices went up only 4% on average.

The median existing home price in March was $212,100, up 8% over last year, according to the NAR. The median list price in March on realtor.com® was $220,000, which was up 11% over last year.

During the peak years of the housing bubble, from 2003 to 2005, the data on supply versus price appreciation looked very similar to what we are seeing now. But there are key differences, which is why I’m confident that on the national level, this is no bubble.

Read the rest of this article at Realtor.com to see why, this time, the price increases should stick .


As chief economist of realtor.com®, Jonathan Smoke leads its efforts to develop and translate real estate data and trends into accurate and relevant consumer and industry insights on housing.

Q1 2015 Real Estate Market Data for Stowe VT, Lamoille County, and Waterbury VT

The Stowe, VT real-estate market began 2015 as a strong and stable market. While sales were down slightly compared to Q1 2014, the increase in activity, showings, offers, and contracts signed by the end of Q1 2015 is pointing to a year of potential growth. The real-estate in the rest of Lamoille County, excluding Stowe, saw some contraction this quarter, but is expected to move into positive territory with the arrival of warmer weather. Finally, the Waterbury market was not only stable in Q1, but this market is gaining in all significant categories.

Click here to see the complete Q1 2015 reports for Stowe VT, Lamoille County, and Waterbury VT.

Sold in Stowe, Vermont!

The sale of this Fannie Mae-owned and fully-furnished townhouse at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa closed 2 weeks ago. The single-most important criteria for this family of 5 was proximity to the Stowe Recreation Path.

After touring the family through a variety of single-family homes, condominiums, and townhomes, which I mapped to show the distance from each to the Recreation Path, this was clearly the best choice and at a great price!

Upon closing, the new owners immediately placed their townhome in the Stoweflake rental program; and, so far, have spent every weekend here in Stowe!

Read what this buyer had to say about working with me.

Can I help you find yours?
write or call 802-730-4343

The Five Golden Rules of Home Staging on a Budget

The Five Golden Rules of Home Staging on a Budget

When you show your home’s best features by staging it effectively, you help increase your final selling price without breaking the bank. In fact, on average, sellers receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home.

The five golden rules are:

De-personalize: While your family photos are beautiful and your kids’ drawings on the fridge are adorable, buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the house- and that means putting away your photos, clearing your closets from unnecessary clutter, and using matching hangers to give your closet more visual impact.

Maximize: Declutter and maximize the area in your home. Stuffed closets make your closet space look insufficient, so consider storing excess belongings offsite. You can also quickly improve your bedroom’s aesthetic by using gender neutral colors when accessorizing so that the color scheme appeals to more people. A headboard, a cohesive color scheme, and a few decorative items also improve the look of a bedroom, while removing extra clutter (office furniture, power strips, televisions, etc) will make the room feel more relaxing.

Sanitize: No one wants to move into a dirty home, so clean your home to make it much more appealing to prospective buyers. Clear your countertops to make the space look larger, and enhance the open feel with white bath and hand towels on display. Clean dirty shower doors with a solution of one part muriatic acid and ten parts water. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two essential areas of the home, and they can make or break a deal.

Modernize: A dated-looking home means a lower offer, so modernize your home wherever possible. Small changes, like replacing gold fixtures or brass and wooden cabinet hardware with nickel, chrome, brushed silver, or stainless steel, will go a long way towards updating your home. You can quickly update the look of flat appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators by using stainless steel stick-on coverings or specialty appliance paints. While you’re in the kitchen, go ahead and declutter your cabinets, drawers, and oven- buyers will look inside every nook and cranny. Also, you can make your kitchen space look larger by removing rugs.

Neutralize: Keeping a neutral color scheme can help your buyers envision themselves in your home, especially in a statement-making area like the dining room. Set the table simply to create visual interest, and add a vase with fresh flowers for a beautiful focal point. Add lighting and emphasize any natural light your home gets using a mirror and subtle lamps. Don’t forget to adjust your window treatments to maximize your staging. Keep your curtains neutral or choose ones with subtle designs; sheer curtains also let in more light so that your home looks more appealing. Set the rods as high as possible and use thin rods to maximize the space.

A few simple tweaks can increase your home’s selling price by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Use these guidelines to stage your home effectively so that you get the best possible price on your house.

Click on "Read More" below to see a great home-staging Infographic.

Read More

Sold in Morrisville, Vermont!

215 Bridge Street, Morrisville, VT sold 01-27-2015

The sale of this Fannie Mae property closed earlier this week. I represented the buyer, who is building an inventory of rental homes with foreclosed and/or otherwise distressed properties, and making the necessary and cosmetic repairs and improvements. For a foreclosure, this home is in amazing condition, with beautiful wood floors and trim. He moved quickly and bought it at auction for about 27% of its assessed value.

Can I help you find yours?
write or call 802-730-4343

Sold in Stowe, Vermont!

Pinnacle Road, Stowe, Vermont

Pinnacle Road, Stowe, Vermont

This Stowe, Vermont home had been on the market for more than 6 years without any offers and very few showings. The explanation was simple: over-priced homes don't sell. When I took the listing in Summer 2014, I persuaded the seller to reduce the price to a point at which I knew that I could and would sell it. We came back on the market at the right price; and, within less than 24 hours we had 3 requests to show. Within 48 hours we had our first offers that, unfortunately, weren't executed; and, just five months after listing it, it was under contract. The sale closed last week!

Can I help you sell yours?
write or call 802-730-4343

Attaining the American Dream: 5 Financial Reasons to Buy

American Piggy Bank.jpg

Heading into 2015 many people have their sights set on buying a home. The personal reasons differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities. Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership his paper - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.

Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income...On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.


Credit: The KCM Blog