Blog

Welcome to our blog!

Below you will find information on real estate, our local area, and the community. Please feel free to comment on any posts, we would love to hear what you think! 

Spring Has Sprung!

It's that time again. Spring skiing!

Despite the unusual year, we have had an amazing 20/21 season here at Okemo with more snow than we’ve seen since the ’70s. Everyone did their part and we are now well on the way to returning to our lives.

As I sit here on the Mountain, the sky is a bright blue, the temps are hovering around 50 degrees and skiers are taking full advantage. We hope you had the opportunity to visit us here in Ludlow. This year Okemo will be closing on April 4. Plenty of time left to strap on your skis, snowboard, or snowshoes and hit the trails.

Enjoy the rest of the season. We'll see you this summer for more fun!

The Smart Buyer's Guide!

The Smart Buyer’s Guide!

 

Welcome to the Smart Buyer’s Guide! Our team at William Raveis Vermont Properties has a combined 60+ years of experience working with buyers. We know that searching for real estate is a complex process, and often buyers feel lost when navigating this alone. Our team offers you a new buying experience that is well-rounded, effective, and comfortable. We have compiled our favorite buying tips to help guide you in this process. 

 

1. Find a Realtor & Commit:

The first thing we tell buyers is to find a Realtor or a Real Estate office that you love and commit to them. Working with one agent is a lot easier on you, and the agent themself when you commit to it. This will ultimately provide you better service as the agent is able to do all of the searchings for you. There’s no need to contact every listing agent you find… let your agent do the work for you. We have access to both properties listed by us and through our cooperative agreements with other agencies. We can find you a home anywhere in the Okemo Valley, both on and off Okemo Mountain, and in the Lakes Region. Leave the home search to us.

 

 

2. Enjoy the Team Experience:

When we refer to ourselves as a “team”, we mean it! Our office works uniquely, as all of our agents are on the same team here. This means the agents work together on every transaction and every listing. As a buyer, you will always have an agent available to take you on a showing or to talk to you about specifics on a listing. Our team is made up of five agents and our office is open daily, which allows us to have at least one agent on duty every day of the week. Being a buyer has never been easier with the help of our team!

 

 

3. The Inside Scoop:

Finding an agent who is familiar with the area you are searching in and can access the “inside scoop” is a highly underrated tip. Ideally, you want someone with insider knowledge of commercial trends, local schools, and even developmental plans. Furthermore, you’ll want an agent who has connections and knowledge about local vendors that will help you with the buying process and beyond. Our team is known for our specialized knowledge in the Okemo Valley and Ludlow area as we have focused our efforts on this immediate area for 60+ years. We can assist you in finding a local and trusted builder, electrician, interior designer, mortgage lender, and so much more. 

 

 

 

4. Receive Automatic Market Updates:

The real estate market moves quickly, which is why you need to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information that you can. Our office is constantly sharing new listings with our buyers, whether it be through direct emailing or via our automatic market updates from our website. Most second party real estate sites are not the most reliable when it comes to current listings, as you often will find listings that are already under contract or even sold. Stay up-to-date by signing up for automatic market updates from our team! You will get added to a specific buyer group, so if you are looking for a slopeside ski home, we will make sure you get any new listing that fits that specification. Visit www.vtprop.com/user/register/ now!

 

 

5. The Power of Marketing:

Pick a real estate office that has a marketing powerhouse to assure you get the best buying experience. Our office is a William Raveis affiliate, which means our marketing power is incomparable to our competitors. We have access to state-of-the-art buyer services through William Raveis, including:

  • Local Market Insights - Receive a comprehensive email with the most current data delivered to you quickly and accurately, straight from the people that know best. Transparent, clear, and honest.
  • Local Housing Data - View local housing data, total inventory, median sales, unit sales, market time for sold, and recent sales.
  • William Raveis Mortgage - Working hand-in-hand with our agents, the mortgage team finds the most competitive interest rates and enables quicker closings.
  • William Raveis Insurance - Offering client coverage for homes, rentals, automobiles, and so much more. 
  • William Raveis Luxury Properties - Search the Luxury Properties Network, which is the most direct and effective route for affluent home buyers.
  • Raveis.com & Vtprop.com - Search the largest database of listings on either of our user-friendly websites.

Our marketing power doesn't stop there, we also have an in-house marketing team that constantly keeps our buyers up-to-date with new listing blasts via email and social media. Providing our buyers with new listings as soon as they hit the market is a priority!

 

 

We are proud of the services we provide, the manner in which we conduct business, and the outstanding results we achieve for our customers year after year. If you are beginning your home search, our team is ready to help. We will be there every step of the way. Contact our team anytime, any day. We are open 7 days a week and we always have an agent ready to take your call. (802) 228-8877

 

Thank You! We are your 2020 Market Leaders!

The #1 Real Estate Team in the Okemo Valley

 

As we enter into a new year, our team at William Raveis Vermont Properties has so much to be thankful for. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, which is why we feel so grateful for the people that brought a little bit of light into our lives this year. We appreciate the trust you have put in our team!

 

Let our team of experts assist with your real estate needs in 2021 and beyond. Our informed, service-oriented team has specialized knowledge of this unique market and will be by your side every step of the way. Our teamwork shows as we wrapped up 2020 with the highest sales volume in the Okemo Valley!

 

 

Thank you again! We couldn't have achieved this without the support from our customers, clients, friends, family, and community. 

 

We look forward to another successful year!

 

Best Wishes,

The Vermont Properties Team

Thank You to the Okemo Community!

 

As we enter into a new year, our team at Vermont Properties has so much to be thankful for! 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, which is why we feel so grateful for the people that brought a bit of light into our lives this year. 

 

To start, we are so lucky to be part of this wonderful Okemo community. It has been amazing to see our neighbors and friends reach out to us during this difficult year. Through all of the ups and downs, we have seen members of our community come together to support each other. Whether it be through a Virtual Ski Swap to benefit OMS or the donations we received for our Annual Coat Drive, this community never stops sharing the love! We thank everyone who supported us this year… we couldn’t have done it without you!

 

We would also like to thank the team at Okemo Mountain for allowing us to safely continue to do what we love the most. Ski days are a long-standing family tradition that nearly all of our owners are part of, which is why we feel so grateful that we are able to start off the new year on the slopes of Okemo. From the General Manager to the Mountain Ops team, the crew at Okemo has worked tirelessly to provide a safe and wonderful environment for us all to enjoy - thank you!

 

Last but not least, we would like to thank all of our first responders in our surrounding communities. From the Ludlow Fire Department to the Ludlow Health Center, thank you for keeping us safe and continuing to work diligently during this time. We were happy to provide our local doctors and nurses with meals this year and look forward to providing more support to our local heroes. Our community wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you!

 

We look forward to seeing what 2021 has to offer, but we know that no matter what, our community will come together in times of need and get through things as a unit. Thank you to our Okemo Valley friends, family, coworkers, and first responders. Cheers & Happy New Year!

 

The 2020-2021 Ski Season!

The ski slopes are in our sights as we enter another winter season here in the Okemo Valley! The first few days of November have already brought fresh snow to the area, leaving several inches on the ski trails at Okemo. These early snowstorms are getting us excited for the ski season ahead of us and it’s coming up quickly. The 2020-2021 season will kick off with Okemo’s Opening Day on Wednesday, November 18th! 

 

With Opening Day just a few weeks away, we wanted to make sure you are prepared for the season ahead. Here are some tips to get your winter off to a smooth start!

 

1. Epic Pass & Reservation Days

Did you purchase your Epic Pass yet? Now is the time to do so before it’s too late! If you already purchased your pass, you need to prepare fo the Pass Holder Reservations period. All Pass Holders will have access to reserve certain days for the 2020-2021 ski season, starting on November 6th and concluding on December 7th. Lock in your Priority Reservation Days ahead of time to ensure you have a safe trip this winter. General lift ticket sales will go live on December 8th for day-trip visitors. For more information, please visit www.okemo.com

Image: Okemo Mountain Resort

 

2. Ski & Snowboarding Tuning:

There is nothing better than a fresh grind and wax on your favorite pair of skis or snowboard! The early season conditions will demand responsive and sharpened skis, which will make it easier for you to maneuver as you get your ski legs back in motion. You will thank yourself later if you bring your gear into one of our local Ski Shops before your first day on snow. Stop by one of the many shops including The Boot Pro, Darkside Snowboards, Totem Pole, Northern Ski Works, or Tygart Mountain Sports to get yourself a season tune. 

Image: The Boot Pro Ski Shop

 

3. New Winter Gear from the OMS Ski & Snowboard Swap:

Now is the time to make sure that you have your winter gear ready to roll with winter conditions rolling in. Looking for a new or used pair of skis or snowboard? Our friends at Okemo Mountain School are hosting a Virtual Ski & Snowboard Swap from November 2nd - 27th. Visit their website to check out their online store and help support Okemo Mountain School. All sales benefit OMS! 

 

4. Ludlow Dining Reservations & Gift Cards:

As you begin to plan your winter vacation here in the Okemo Valley, be sure to include the fabulous dining options into your itinerary. One of the best ways to support our local restaurants is by purchasing a gift card ahead of time! Due to the current climate, our restaurants are only seating a portion of guests that they normally would, which means we need to support them now more than ever! Make your reservations early and think about purchasing a gift card for a holiday present this year. Our small town thanks you!

Image: Homestyle Hotel |  Ludlow, Vermont

 

5. Clean Out Your Gear Closet & Donate to our Coat Drive!

Crack open that gear closet and start sorting through your winter gear! Chances are you have some gear you don't use anymore, and we have a great solution for that! Our team at William Raveis Vermont Properties is accepting outerwear donations all month long for our annual Coat Drive! Please stop by our office located at 29 Locust Hill Road to donate. Donations should be clean and in good condition with working zippers. We are open from 9-5 p.m. Monday - Saturday and 10-4 p.m. on Sundays. Our team members will collect your bagged outerwear at our front door, where you can kindly leave it there for us. Thank you for keeping our community warm this season!

 

We can't wait for you to join us at Okemo this winter. Be sure to tag us on social media at @williamraveisvermontproperties as you enjoy your winter getaway. See you on the slopes!

 

The Ultimate Okemo Valley Fall Guide

The Ultimate Okemo Valley Fall Guide

The lush hills of Maple, Hemlock, and Birch trees in the Okemo Valley are beginning to change and peak foliage is right around the corner. Fall is in the air, which means our favorite Fall activities are calling your name! It’s no secret that Vermont is the ideal place to enjoy the crisp days ahead, so we compiled the team's most highly recommended Vermont activities together right here for you and your family and friends to enjoy this Fall. 

 

Fall without apple picking is like Winter without snow! While there are fresh-picked apples at our grocery stores and the Ludlow Farmers Market, there is nothing quite like finding that perfect apple to snack on as you walk through the orchard. Visit Wellwood Orchards this season to pick your own Macintosh, Honey Crisp, or Cortland apples and beyond. Located in Springfield, Vermont, this stunning orchard is just a quick drive from Ludlow, so don’t pass this one up!

 

Take a hike! While hiking is very popular through the Summer months here in Vermont, climbing our hills in the Fall is equally as fun but has the added benefit of soaking in the foliage views from the top! Some of our favorite hikes to view the painted landscapes include Echo Lake Vista Trail in Plymouth, the Healdville Trail to the summit of Okemo, and the Bicentennial Trail in Brownsville. Pro tip: Bring a pair of binoculars! Not feeling up for the exercise? No problem! Take the Sunburst Six Chairlift to the summit of Okemo. 

 

The Oktoberfest taps are already flowing! Grab a cold one at our favorite breweries, bars, and restaurants in the Okemo Valley. Visit Outer Limits Brewery in Cavendish or Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater Corners to enjoy a seasonal beer in the fresh Vermont air. Head over to Main + Mountain, The Killarney, Mr. Darcy’s, Homestyle Hotel, DJ’s, and other local Ludlow spots to relax with an autumn-inspired brew. 

 

There truly are countless locations to view the bright foliage in the Okemo Valley, but here are a few of our favorite and convenient places to visit this season. First up is Okemo Mountain, whether you are at the base area, the summit, or at the top of the fire tower, you’ll definitely witness some tress showing off their saturated leaves. Next, stroll over to the Ludlow Cemetery and head to the upper level, which offers you a sweeping view of Okemo Mountain and all of its red, yellow, and orange glory. Go for a kayak or canoe trip on any of our lakes in the region to find awe-inspiring foliage views in the most serene of settings. 

 

Don’t forget to head to the Vermont Country Store for the quintessential Fall outing. Featuring hot apple cider, wooded paths to explore with leaves crunching beneath your feet, maple-flavored goodies to taste test, and the best photo-op spot next to their pumpkin-filled tractor. Visit the Weston or the Chester location, they will not disappoint you!

 

We hope this Fall guide will be your go-to for navigating the Okemo Valley this season. Please remember to refer to the State of Vermont Cross-State Travel Information due to COVID-19 as you begin to plan your trip to the Green Mountains. Have a safe and fun Fall season!

Happy Fall!

- The Vermont Properties Team

The Okemo Valley is open for business and fun

Vermont and the Okemo Valley are beautiful in the summer. Thankfully, we are able and excited to welcome our summer friends once again. 
There is plenty to do, from the lakes region to mountain activities and beyond, you can find something for everyone. In The Village, your favorite restaurants are open for business. Even better, outdoor seating is available. It’s the best seat “in” the house!

The shops have opened their doors beckoning you in to find that something special. Take a drive out to the lakes region and pick a lake. Fishing, boating, and camping make for a great weekend getaway. Of course, the Mountain is always here waiting for hikers and bikers to tackle the snowless trails or take a leisurely ride up on the chairlift. And who can forget the Okemo Valley Golf Club? Enjoy a great lunch with your friends on the patio at Willie Dunn’s Grill, then head out to tackle the championship course. Vermont is open for business!

Welcome home to the Okemo Valley. We look forward to seeing you once again.

 

“Stay-at-Home” Real Estate

 

William Raveis Real Estate offices across the country are introducing new ways to conduct business during this unprecedented time. Our team at Vermont Properties has turned to virtual tools that allow us to continue to provide exceptional real estate service to our clients and customers. The way we do business may look a bit different, but we haven’t changed at all! Our team is always here to assist you in your search or answer your questions regarding Okemo Valley real estate. We have incorporated the following tools in order to not only keep our team safe, but to remain available to you!

 

 

1. Live Home Tours - We know how important it is for our buyers to see every inch of the home before they decide to make a purchase, which is why we are offering live home tours to you! Clients can virtually discover every feature of the home even though they are not there in person. Our team has been tuning our skills on video chats via FaceTime, Zoom, etc. and we are ready to take you on a tour through the home of your dreams. 

 

2. Virtual Home Tours - Although this is not a new tool to us, our virtual home tour links have proven to be valued more than ever. While you are browsing our homes that are currently listed for sale, you can click the link “Virtual Tour” and sit back, relax, and watch us take you through the tour.

 

3. Local Market Insights - As a William Raveis affiliate, we have access to incredible, state-of-the-art real estate tools. One of our favorite tools is the William Raveis Real Estate Local Market Insights (LMI), a subscription service for your chosen areas. Our clients can stay in the know about the real estate trends and housing data in the Okemo Valley within the past 30 days. The LMI provides you data and facts straight from the source, including up-to-date home values, inventory, median sale price, and more. We love the LMI because of its clear, direct visuals and the simplicity of use. To start using the LMI, click here

 

4. Digital Postcards - Our team is well-known for our amazing digital and hard-copy postcard reach. During this time, we are sending digital postcards exclusively. Our in-house designer creates these custom marketing pieces to share real estate highlights including new listings, price reductions, sold properties and more. These digital postcards are hyperlinked to the property highlighted, which will redirect you to our website for further information. Do you want to receive digital postcards? Sign-up on our website at www.vtprop.com.

 

5. Social Media - While keeping a social media presence has always been important to us, we have made it a point to continue to post on our platforms without missing a beat. We have made sure to include not only real estate updates to our Facebook and Instagram pages, but we have also shared numerous posts about how to support local businesses, stay-at-home activities, and so much more. Follow along at @williamraveisvermontproperties on Instagram and @vtprop on Facebook. 

 

6. Best-in-class Websites: Raveis.com & Vtprop.com - Last but certainly not least, our team hosts two incredibly user-friendly websites. Raveis.com is the umbrella website, which features all of our office listings, as well as other affiliate listings across the country. You can also find videos and information about the Raveis company culture, digital flipbooks, digital magazines and more. Our office website, www.vtprop.com, is easily the #1 tool our team uses on a daily basis. We have worked with our web developers to create a seamless experience for our customers. Everything you need to know about real estate offerings in the Okemo Valley is found here. We break down the area by Condominiums, Country Homes, Mountain Homes, Lake Homes and Village Homes. You can chat with us any time directly on our site, too! Continue or start your search today at www.vtprop.com

 

At Vermont Properties, our top priority is to keep our team, customers, clients and all of our families safe and healthy. We continue to monitor the evolving situation to ensure that we are conducting business in the safest way possible. With expertise, care and compassion, we will build new foundations together. From our family to yours, please stay healthy and enjoying your real estate searching from home.  - The Vermont Properties Team

COVID-19 Update in our Real Estate Market

 

Buy, Sell or Wait? What’s Changing and Isn’t? Coronavirus and the Real Estate Market

 

Though we have made it through some highs and lows in the past, this unprecedented global health threat posed by coronavirus is unlike any other potential market disruption we’ve experienced before.

In this time of uncertainty, our clients and customers are asking a lot of questions. As your local resource for up to date market analysis, we want to try to address them the best we can while understanding, that the market is in constant flux.

 

First, know that William Raveis Vermont Properties top priority is the safety of our clients and team members. We are working diligently to stay informed and follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommendations.

 

We don’t yet know how long it will take to restore normal public health and return to everyday living. But we will get there by working together. And we will come out stronger.

All of us at William Raveis are working hard to assess the impact on the Okemo Valley real estate market. Unlike the financial markets, real estate data emerges over time. 

 

Here’s what we do know: 

  • Buyers and sellers will still conduct business, but everything will happen much more slowly. Escrows might not close until Vermont’s shelter-in-place order is lifted and offices can reopen. Appraisal timelines will suffer as well. Anything that requires in-person out-of-the-house presence simply won’t happen until the end of April.
  • Mortgage interest rates are at near historic lows and may go even lower.
  • Today’s conditions are far different from those that led to the 2008 recession. Runaway lending led to the drop in housing prices then. It was a structural problem in real estate finance that has since been fixed.
  • Historically, real estate is a good long-term investment and a hedge against inflation.
  • Buying a house is not just an investment - it’s your home.

 

How is William Raveis VT Properties responding?

  • Our No.1 priority is the health of our community. Following CDC recommendations, we are taking social distancing and sanitizing very, very seriously. We encourage everyone to stay safe and stay home.
  • Pursuant to the shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of Vermont, we have canceled all open houses and showings until the order is lifted. Disregard for the Executive Order is a violation of the Realtor® Code of Ethics.
  • We are leveraging our digital platform and tools to enable buyers to tour properties with videos and virtual tours, like this. 
  • We are constantly analyzing market data and watching for significant shifts. Luckily, the first busy cycle, which starts in December, typically ends in mid-April so we have strong data from a healthy first few months.  The second cycle starts mid-July so hopefully, we will see things settling down by then.
  • We are planning to send regular updates to keep you informed as conditions change.

 

Thoughts for buyers:

  • Tour virtually. We are making that possible.
  • Review your down payment and available cash. You may want to shift your price point.
  • Focus on finding the home that works for your family. Yes, price is important, but so are your housing needs.

 

Thoughts for sellers:

  • You’ll probably be approached by bargain hunters, but remember that serious buyers are still shopping for homes.
  • We are still getting inquiries from buyers that will be ready to buy once life is back to normal. We recommend you stay listed so you are ahead of the curve.
  • It may take longer to sell your home as we make logistical changes in how we show your home. 
  • Expect some “Wait and Sees.”
  • If you are in the midst of repairs and renovations to get your home ready to list, be aware that delivery of imported building supplies may take longer.  

 

Thoughts for everyone:

Remember that home is where the heart is. It’s your sanctuary while we live with less contact with the rest of the world. Relish the home that shelters you and your family, and let that feeling be your guide as you make your real estate decisions.

We are here to help and listen. Call us at 802-228-8877 or email Info@vtprop.com with any questions or concerns. We’ll always tell you the truth, and we won’t pretend to know what we don’t know. 

Our thoughts are with you as you work to protect your loved ones, neighbors, and friends.  

 

 

February Events at Okemo!

The Okemo Valley is your destination for winter fun this month! There is so much to do for friends and family who are visiting Okemo throughout February, so we decided to put together a list of upcoming events for you to check out while you are in town on your ski vacation. We hope to see you out on slopes or at one of the fun events below!

 

Saturday, February 8th - Demo Day at Winterplace

Winterplace at Okemo is hosting another Demo Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Test out your favorite ski brands on the slopes all day long. You might even find a pair of skis that you will want to take home with you! Located at Winterplace, this is a great opportunity to get to know the slopeside condominium complex and our team with be there under our VT Prop tent to answer your real estate questions. Come say hi to our team, try out a pair of skis and enjoy the day on the slopes. 

 

Saturday, February 8th - Snowcat Excursion

Have you ever dreamed of taking a ride on a Snowcat? Then this is event is for you! Sign-up to grab your spot on this epic Snowcat Excursion at Okemo. The cozy cab is perfect for a group of friends and family to spend a night traversing Okemo’s ski trails through the night. You will remember this adventure for the rest of your life! For more details, head too www.okemo.com. Can’t make this excursion? There are two other Snowcat Excursions happening on 2/15 and  2/22.

 

Saturday, February 15th - Torchlight Parade & Fireworks

This event is a fan-favorite! Head to Okemo’s base area for a spectacular torchlight parade of skiers traversing down the main face, followed by an amazing fireworks show. Want a better view of the show? Join the guided snowshoe tour at 4:30 p.m., giving you enough time to reach the top of A&B Quads to watch the show at 6p.m. Pro tip: Start the evening off with apres ski at The Sitting Bull Restaurant and then head outside and relax by the fire while you catch the Torchlight Parade and fireworks show from the base!

 

Sunday, February 16th - Shake N’ Skate

Okemo’s Ice House turns into a dance party on ice at Shake N’ Skate! The rink turns into the ultimate party with live music, colorful lights and party games. Skate the night away with friends and family after the day on the slopes. Bring your own pair of skates or rent a pair at the Ice House. For more details, visit www.okemo.com

 

Saturday, February 29th - Comedy Night

Our team at William Raveis Vermont Properties is excited to sponsor the 18th Annual Comedy Night at Okemo! This year’s entertainer is comedian Kara with a ‘K’. She has been on America’s Got Talent and she puts on a seriously hysterical show. This is the perfect opportunity to grab your friends and laugh the night away with them while supporting OMARA; the Okemo Mountain Area Racing Association. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.Tickets are on sale now for $30 at www.go2omara.com and at our office on 29 Locust Hill Road in Ludlow and at the Wine & Cheese Depot. Buy your tickets soon as this event tends to sell our quickly. We hope to see you there!

 

February is a jam-packed month for family fun. We look forward to seeing you at Demo Day or Comedy Night! Think snow and ski you later!

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