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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! 

Accolades for Okemo Mountain's Snow Crew

We all know that Mother Nature took the winter off, where is she...Florida? Despite her vacation, the snowmaking team at Okemo Mountain did not hesitate to step up and take over her duties.

Anyone who skis on the Mountain knows how great the conditions are, but do they know how they became so great? Locals know that when they look up at the Mountain late in the day or early evening and see what looks like a cloud of snow hanging in the sky over the trails that the snow crew is out in full force. These guys head out when everyone else is headed home. They are the uncelebrated crew that takes to the Mountain using every tool at their disposal to be sure the next day's conditions are awesome.

Every year the HKD Ski Area Management "I am a Snowmaker" award is given to outstanding snowmaking individuals. This year the award has been expanded to recognize six standout snowmaking crews, rather than individuals as in previous years, from mountain resorts across North America. This new award recognizes that successful snowmaking is a team effort.

When faced with a less than stellar snow season, eastern snowmakers have stepped up big time. This has been one of the most challenging winters in a very long time, especially in the Northeast. It is no surprise that three of the six finalists in the prestigious HKD Ski Area Management "I am a Snowmaker" award are from eastern resorts. Chosen from hundreds of resorts throughout the entire country, these teams are the best of the best.

The team from Okemo announced, "If our snowmaking team was a professional sports team, our mascot would be an arctic wolf." They also said their ideal long-range weather forecast is for "temperatures colder than a pint of Ben and Jerry's." And in case you wondered, if they could train one celebrity to be a snowmaker, they'd choose Chuck Norris. Why? "Because he can make snow with a cold stare."~ SAM Ski Area Management

You can tell from their interview that they possess the camaraderie, humor and dedication necessary to be a successful snow crew.

Check out their entire interview at http://www.saminfo.com/iam/okemo-mountain. You are going to love these guys and likely, if you're a local, they are your friends and neighbors.

So, the next time you know that the weather has not been good to us here in Ludlow, you know who you can thank for creating the best possible conditions day in and day out.

Vermont Properties congratulates the all the snowmaking crews, but an extra kudos goes out to our own local boys. Keep up the great work guys; we appreciate all you do!

As the Okemo Snow Crews says "No Guns, No Glory!!

Congratulations guys!

Spring Flings on Okemo Mountain

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Okay… so we are ready to wave the white flag at Mother Nature… Yes, she threw us a curveball this winter but as expected Okemo Mountain rose to the occasion and went full force taking over her duties. Great job by their team and the entire Okemo family!

As we head into the spring, excitement is building for the first outdoor music event on The Mountain. The season will kick off with Sugar Daze on Saturday March 12th. Sponsored by Vermont Properties and presented by Volvo, Sugar Daze is a free outdoor concert extravaganza in the Jackson Gore courtyard with a beer garden and delicious food available from 2:30- 8:00 p.m. Admission is FREE!

The Musical lineup includes:
3:30pm-4:30pm: Seeking Homer
5:00pm-6:00pm: Chadwick Stokes from Dispatch & State Radio
6:30pm-8:00pm: KT Tunstall


In April, Hops in the Snow will take over the Jackson Gore courtyard. This one-day beer festival will feature new seasonal beers and ciders. Okemo will be firing up the BBQ for the occasion and offering delicious eats. Not to be confused with Hops in the Hill in August, this single day event is a great way to sample the new seasonal flavors.

Keep your eyes open for Hops in the Hills as well as the entire line up of shows for the Jackson Gore Summer Music Series, all sponsored by Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. We hope to see you there!

These events are just the beginning to a jam packed season of entertainment on Okemo Mountain.

Check out our Upcoming Events Page and the Okemo Events Calendar for more information on these and other events.

As Always, your friends at Vermont Properties will be at these and other events, be sure to find us and say hi!

 

 

                  

Comedy Night 2016!!! Join us on Okemo Mountain

Join us on Saturday February 20, 2016 for Comedy Night.

Steve Sweeney, legendary Boston comedian is coming to Okemo Mountain for this year's comedy night.

 

Well known for appearing in films such as "There's Something about Mary" and "Me, Myself & Irene", Steve has also performed at the famous Ding Ho Comedy Club with Lenny Clarke, Dennis Leary and Jay Leno. Steve uses his famous Boston characters to point out the absurdity of life and human nature. Something we can all laugh at!

 

Always a sell-out show, tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 at Vermont Properties, Okemo Mountain, Okemo's Jackson Gore and The Wine & Cheese Depot.  If still available, tickets may be purchased at the door for $28.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Show begins at 8:00 p.m.  Appropriate for ages 21 and over.

 

This year's proceeds for the show will benefit OMARA, Okemo Mountain Alpine Race Association. (OMARA). OMARA is a non-profit booster club founded to support the young athletes, families and coaches of Okemo Competition Programs and Okemo Mountain School. Vermont Properties & Development has been a proud supporter of OMARA for many years.

 

This yearly event is sponsored by Vermont Properties and Development, Inc.

Thank you to Okemo Mountain Resort for once again providing the venue.

 

Join us in the great room at the Okemo Clock Tower base lodge.

Get your tickets quickly; this event will sell out again this year.

 

For more information, please call Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. at 802-228-8877 or visit our web site to see all Upcoming Events.

See you there!!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

It is the middle of December and we have been waiting with bated breath for Mother Nature or her designee to step up and bring us some snow. She still seems to be slacking but there is some good news. The Snow Gods have decided that enough is enough and have stepped in to answer our prayers. Overnight Friday, the snow began to slowly fall; by Saturday morning there was ground cover. We all woke to find Ludlow and Okemo blanketed in white. We admit, it is not a lot, but it is enough to get us excited and coupled with the colder temperatures, Okemo is able to step in with their upgraded snowmaking system and cover the trails.

We may have gotten a late start this year but having a little taste has reminded us that it is indeed December and the snow will eventually bury us. Vermonters are known the make do with what they have and to make the best of any situation. After all when life gives you lemons, make lemonade; when life gives you cold weather, make snow. Okemo is doing a great job rising to that challenge. As my grandmother would say..."If you don't like the weather in Vermont, wait a minute and it will change".

Don’t let the reports of warming temperatures or El Nino scare you. Okemo will make the best of this situation; we will have snow waiting for you. You have only to show up; Okemo will take care of the rest. Of course if you decide to stay, Vermont Properties will take care of that for you.

If you are in Ludlow and have the time to stop by 29 Locust Hill Road and say hi, we would love to meet you. We are directly across from the Okemo Golf Club in the big red farmhouse. 

6 Best Places to Buy a Winter Home in Vermont... Okemo is One!

Investopedia, a premiere Internet site dedicated to providing information for investing education, personal finance and market analysis, recently posted an article titled

 “6 Best Places to Buy a Winter Home in the US”.

As you can imagine, we were thrilled to see Okemo Mountain make this list. Anyone who has spent time in this area already knows what a special place Vermont and most specifically, Ludlow is. Even through the years of growth, both have maintained a small town feel that many come to Vermont to experience. The team at Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. are proud to be active members of this special community and the premiere real estate agency both on and off Okemo Mountain and in the Lakes Region. Below is an excerpt of the article; you can click on the link above to read the full story.

Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, Vermont

Why: Okemo topped the list of OnTheSnow.com's “Best Family Resort in America” in 2014 so if you’re looking for a family vacation destination, this might be it. According to Bonnie MacPherson, director of public relations at the resort, Okemo got this No.1 rating because the family who owns the operation understands that “families are looking for activities they can enjoy together on and off the slopes.” Take the Muellers, Tim and Diane. They bought a home at Okemo Mountain Resort in 1982 for themselves and their two kids; they still spend their winter vacation there but now their grandchildren come along, too. The resort boasts “options for every level, available from the top of each chair” with 121 trails, 655 skiable acres and, thanks to snowmaking equipment, a “weatherproof” ski vacation. Okemo is a three-hour drive from Boston, just under five hours from New York City.

What’s Available Now: Well, not exactly now. A brand new development at Okemo called SouthFace Village is not quite finished – it should be fully operational for ski season 2016. It’s in a sun-all-day, ski-in/ski-out location (you can go from your fireplace to your first run in two minutes tops) with homes that come fully equipped “from flatware to the flat screen TV,” according to the marketing materials. You can choose a 1- to 4-bedroom homes with prices that begin in the mid $400,000s.

Winter in Vermont Already? ~ The Snow has Made an Appearance!

It is barely the end of October and the pumpkins and mums have a white coating this morning on the porch of Vermont Properties.

As we sit on the cusp of autumn and winter we know what is in our not so distant future. The Old Farmers’ Almanac is once again predicting a cold and snowy winter for the northeast. Now, I know some of you might be thinking… Farmers’ Almanac? What next, are they watching the wooly bear caterpillars too? The short answer is, yes…yes we are; but before you fall down laughing, know that these two indicators of our winter weather are usually on target. Granted, we Vermonters may have some strange ideas but many have stood the test of time. They have been passed down from generation to generation. And really, isn’t that one of the reasons you love Vermont so much?

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, ”New Englanders will once again experience a very frigid winter”, with lots of snow in the forecast again this year. January and February are being flagged as experiencing some very heavy winter weather (aka SNOW) which is expected to last through to March. So sharpen your skis and boards, the East Coast is gearing up for some ideal mountain conditions.

Of course, Okemo has their fantastic snowmaking upgrades all ready to step in should Mother Nature take a vacation. Either way, we will have you covered…. In snow!

Stop by and see us when you come to Vermont. If you decide to stay, we can help you find your very own piece of winter paradise.

Dig out those long johns or Hot Chillys, whatever keeps you warm. You’re going to need them!

Breaking up is Hard to Do! You Deserve a Great Agent.

Meeting a new real estate agent can be like starting a romantic relationship; the introduction, a whirlwind courtship, followed by the commitment. You start by “hanging out” on the weekends, spending a lot of fun time together as you check out home after home. The rush of something new is exciting as you work together toward a common goal. It’s all good! Until it isn’t!
What happens when the excitement starts to die down and those little things start to bother you? The things you thought were quirky are now just plain annoying. How do you know when it is time to call it quits and move on?

Here are 5 warning signs that tell you it may be time to tell your agent…”It’s not me, it’s you”.

Missing in action
Where is that enthusiastic person you started with? Suddenly you texts aren’t returned, emails are not answered and you are getting sent to voicemail. You finally get an answer or a halfhearted call back 3 days later with no apologies.

High-pressure sales tactics
Each time you find something that might be right for you (or not) you start to feel like your agent is trying to sell you a used car. There are all kinds of reasons why you should buy/sell or rent. But are they your reasons? You come away from conversations feeling anxious and questioning yourself.

They’re not listening
You’ve taken the time to sit down and create your criteria list complete with deal breakers.
You bring these to your agent. Despite this, the agent continues to show you homes without several of your coveted features or homes out of your price range. You grow tired of trying to explain what you are looking for.
It is clear; your agent is not listening to you. Do you really want to spend another weekend with this person?

They stand you up
You leave work early and rush to meet with your agent only to find out they are not at the office or you receive a last minute call to cancel without explanation. Of course agents have other clients in their lives but failing to communicate is not acceptable. Your time is just as important as theirs. Yes, life happens, but when it happens over and over, red flag!

They make decisions for you
You found the place! You’ve submitted an offer. It’s all good but… your agent neglects to ask if you would agree to a later closing date. Instead, they take it upon themselves to reply for you and the sellers accept a different offer. Why didn’t your agent just ask you? Full representation does not mean making decisions on your behalf.

Just like any new relationship it can be easy to convince yourself you’re overreacting or being too demanding. The difference is that this is an important business relationship and should be given priority. If you’ve done your part to communicate openly with your agent and you’re not 100% satisfied, go ahead, move on and find an agent who meets, then exceeds your needs. They are out there!

At Vermont Properties, we will listen, respect your time, work on your behalf and always be available to meet your needs. Our team approach guarantees that regardless which of our 3 agents you reach, that agent can and will take care of you. If you are in town, stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Road. We would love to meet you and exceed your needs!

Congratulations to Kevin Barnes, newest CIPS Designee


Kevin Barnes of Vermont Properties and Development has completed the requirements to earn his CIPS designation.

Recognized by the National Association of REALTORS®, the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designee has undergone specialized training needed to complete international transactions seamlessly and with reduced risk.

Only agents who have completed the rigorous coursework and demonstrated considerable experience in international business can call themselves a CIPS designee, and use the name and logo.

CIPS designees must complete 5 full days of study focusing on the critical aspects of international transactions, including:
• Currency and exchange rate issues
• Cross-cultural relationships
• Regional market conditions
• Investment performance
• Tax issues

Agents who have the CIPS designation are well-informed and prepared to work with international clients to ensure a smooth and seamless experience for foreign buyers.

Real estate is a complex field, one that requires continual training. The CIPS designation is critical for brokers and agents who want to provide the best possible experience for their international buyers and sellers. Working with a CIPS designee is your best and most trusted resource for navigating the international market.

Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. is proud to have Kevin Barnes as part of our experienced team of Agents. While there are over 2800 CIPS designees worldwide, there are only 7 in the entire state of Vermont.

Congratulations Kevin on your most recent accomplishment, obtaining your CIPS designation! From all of us at VT Prop, we are proud to have you on the team!

Summer Fitness Ideas in the Okemo Valley

Summer is officially here! Unfortunately not only is it here, but it will be gone before we know it. Coming into August, here are some summer fitness ideas to work into your schedule before the warm weather eludes us again for months!

While relaxing in the sun is a wonderful way to de-stress and let your mind wander towards anything other than the usual day-to-day and week-to-week tasks, some of us ignore an incredible outlet for both mental and physical health… exercise! Sure, skiing and snowboarding are awesome exercise in the winter, but what about summer, you may ask? The village of Ludlow has nearly countless options for fun, rejuvenating, relaxing, and exhilarating exercise. We promise there is something for everyone! Just some of the options include: biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and golf.   

Hiking: With Okemo Mountain in the heart of Ludlow, who could ask for a more convenient hiking spot? Okemo offers many trail networks to enjoy and explore, and if you’ve already taken advantage of these beautiful trails and are looking to expand your hiking horizons, there are MANY more breath-taking locations within an hour or two of Ludlow. For more information on hiking at Okemo, please visit Okemo Mountain's website.

Biking: Okemo has an exciting new activity to offer visitors of all fitness levels, ages, and experience at their Evolution Bike Park! The Evolution Bike Park is a lift-serviced mountain biking experience that includes trails for people of all levels of experience. From first-timers to veteran mountain bikers, everyone is sure to enjoy this park! For more information on the Evolution Bike Park at Okemo.

Canoeing/Kayaking: The Ludlow/Okemo area is home to 3 pristine lakes for visitors to enjoy: Echo Lake, Lake Rescue, and Lake Pauline. For more information on boating, fishing, and outdoor swimming, check out Your Place in VT for more information

Stay cool and stay fit out there!

As always...If you are in town stop in and say hi. We would love to see you!

Another Busy Season at Okemo

The 2014/15 ski season is winding down. As we come off one of the snowiest ski seasons in history here in the northeast we take stock of winter and reflect on how busy we continue to be here at Vermont Properties and Development. As real estate professionals we are often asked when the busiest sales time of year is.  Typically the answer is "going in to and out of the ski season"; this holds true again this year!

The number of closed transactions continue be up from previous years and interest rates remain low.  Many buyers we work with are very savvy about this information and use it to guide decisions. What does this mean? People are buying houses to take advantage of these conditions and we are seeing available inventory for certain properties decrease.

Do you have your eyes on a property? Better jump before someone else does and remember, we are here for you every step of the way and beyond!