Ludlow Real Estate

It's Real Estate Season!

On March 20th at 6:45 p.m. all the snow will melt, the trees will bud, crocuses will bloom and the birds will be singing.  Well… maybe not, but it is the first day of spring.

What we can be certain of are two things. Spring skiing will be awesome and it is the beginning of prime selling season for real estate. The weather is getting warmer and people are getting out there. This is also the time of year when houses will begin their transformation. Green lawns, blooming flowers and bright sunny days draw people out to look at houses. It has been a long dark winter and spirits are high. It is time for a fresh start.

There is an influx of new listings and inventory comes back up. Choices are everywhere, but don’t wait too long. Just like you there are other potential buyers looking for that special place, if you find something you love, you better grab it. If not, other homebuyers are waiting in the wings.

Vermont is a special place year-round but spring brings something wonderful to Vermont. We begin to earn our name as the Green Mountain State. So come to Vermont and find your dream home. Whether you are looking for your primary home or a second home in the Lakes regions or on Okemo Mountain, Vermont Properties can deliver.

Come join us as our State comes alive with the bounties of spring! We look forward to meeting you.

A Visit to President Coolidge's Home in Plymouth, VT

This week we are taking a closer look at Plymouth, VT. Located along scenic routes 100 & 100A, Plymouth is actually comprised of two small villages, Plymouth and Plymouth Notch. Well known as a national historic treasure, its biggest claim to fame is as the birth place and final resting spot of President Calvin Coolidge. You can check out the State Historic site and even visit his homestead! The Plymouth Notch historic district offers a step back in time. Stroll the streets and visit the general store, church, and other buildings which contain much of the original furnishings. The Center of town has been precisely maintained almost as it was at the turn of the century.

While on your walk be sure to stop into the Plymouth Artisan Cheese factory. Started by John Coolidge, father of President Calvin Coolidge, this is one of the oldest cheese enterprises in the U.S. You can complement any cheese you may pick up with a stop into the Long Trail Brewing Company.

From adventurous snowmobile tours and skiing in the winter to spending the day in the sun at one of the local State parks, Plymouth has something for everyone, every season of the year.

After falling in love with this beautiful place, you can explore Plymouth homes for sale here, or call Vermont Properties and Development to find your own piece of Vermont.

Plymouth Vermont

Find your Perfect Place on Okemo

The 2014-15 ski season is off to a great start! We have had some nice natural snow and perfect temperatures for Okemo to “fill in the gaps” with their upgraded snow making capabilities.

As we begin the new year, I thought we should take some time to take a fresh look at the various complexes on Okemo. From intimate 1 bedroom units at Okemo Mountain Lodge to big homes on Solitude there is something for everyone.

Winterplace remains a favorite on the Mountain. Winterplace offers a convenient location mid mountain and within walking distance to the half pipe and the earliest snow making on the Mountain.

Solitude delivers some of the best long range views and convenient trail access. Though centrally located on this busy mountain, it lives up to the given name providing privacy at the end of the day.

Jackson Gore is an upscale community offering slope-side living and top notch amenities for the entire family. Convenient access to dining, shopping and mountain services; everything you need is just a short walk from your door.

Trailside consists of five distinct villages, each with unique styles, features, and ski access. Expansive views of Ascutney and Ludlow Village can be seen from many of these units, a spectacular sight at night.

Kettle Brook is one of Okemo's original slope-side communities. With Okemo's Bull Run and Kettlebrook trails just outside your door you enjoy coveted ski on/ski off access making this a prime location wtih a private setting and classic alpine style condos.

Ledgewood is a unique and contemporary complex comprised of seven buildings and located directly on the maintained Ledgewood ski trail complete with snow making. 

Snow Trak consists of twenty one single family homes on the convenient Snow Trak trail; each with beautiful views and luxurious floor plans.

Okemo Mountain Lodge (OML) provides easy access to base area slopes, main lifts and skier services. Located at the base of Okemo Mountain, this ski in/ski out condo location is a favorite option for busy skiers.

Alpen Meadows is a community of single family homes on cul-de-sac style roads with private wooded settings, convenient shuttle service to the slopes and close proximity to Ludlow Village.

No matter your preference, Vermont Properties can help you find your perfect location both on and off Okemo. Come Live Where you Play!

 

 

Buying or selling a second home: Have someone in your corner

Buying or selling a second home is unlike dealing with your primary residence. There are many challenges to this process. The biggest obstacle is that you are likely not even in the state where you have decided to purchase or sell.

For buyers, social media brings everything right to your fingertips. You can research an area, find your perfect spot and even zero in on a couple of properties. Ultimately, you will want a professional Realtor® in your corner. Your Realtor® will manage all the back and forth work and eventually help negotiate the sale or purchase of your second home. A great agent will also work on your behalf with local service providers, contractors, and attorneys etc., to get every last detail in place. A real estate agent with knowledge of the area, local markets and preferably one who specializes in second homes will be your eyes and ears locally.  Some agents now have the designation of RSPS (Resort and Second Property Specialist). These are agents with advanced certification who specialize in buying, selling or managing properties for investment, development, retirement, or second homes in a resort, recreational and/or vacation destination.

Once you have made the decision to buy or sell your second home, your next big decision will be who to call. If you are in Vermont near the Okemo/Ludlow Valley your decision is quite easy. The agents at Vermont Properties and Development are your local specialists for second home properties, both Kathy and Alyson have their RSPS designation. With a combined 40 years of experience in this area, Kathy, Alyson and Kevin can meet all your needs from start to finish and beyond. And when the hard work is done and you have successfully purchased or sold your second home; they do not forget about you. You are now part of their Vermont family; the team is with you long after the closing. You can call on Vermont Properties for all your future needs. Sometimes it may just be a call to check in and say hi! That is the best call of all.

Vermont Properties Real Estate TeamVT Properties & Development

 

Seasonal Rentals on Okemo- A Great Option to Explore

Seasonal Rentals can be a great option for people who do not want to commit themselves to purchasing a second home in Vermont. "The Season" which generally runs from mid-November to mid-April is prime time to experience all the winter fun of the Okemo Valley.

From slope-side ski condos to single family mountain homes or lakeside properties, there is something for every budget. These rentals typically come with many amenities that owners enjoy; these amenities are extended to the renter for the entire season.

If you already own your piece of Vermont and find that you do not use it throughout the season, you may want to consider renting it out. Renting out is a great way to offset costs and having people use your home in your absence helps keep the property in good working order. Just be sure to have a professional agency like Vermont Properties manage the details of your rental.

Many folks who now own their place in Vermont started out doing a seasonal rental. After all, once you experience the Vermont lifestyle, you are called back to the Green Mountains time and again.

So, come to Vermont, find a nice seasonal rental to suit your needs. You will likely decide that you want to stay as often as possible and buy a home of your own to enjoy our four-season area.

Vermont Properties and Development can help you find your seasonal rental or buy that second home you've been dreaming about.

Whether you decide to rent or buy....Come join us in Vermont, we look forward to meeting you!

4-season resort drawing ALL PROPS

Autumn in Vermont- a Norman Rockwell Painting

As I sit on my porch, I am reminded that the dog days of August will soon give way to cooler days and nights here in the Green Mountains. While we mourn the end of summer we look forward to the spectacular display of autumn colors. Our famous sugar maples will paint the mountains in explosive shades of scarlet,  gold and yellow. It is Autumn in Vermont!

Drive along most any road in Vermont and be transported back in time to a Norman Rockwell painting. White churches and small farms dot the countryside. Old time country stores with rockers on their porches invite you to stop and sit a bit, slow down and enjoy the most beautiful time of year in the northeast. Even the locals are not immune to the fireworks like display. Just like any other place we have our four seasons-but with a twist. Winter, spring , summer and foliage seasons all take turns bringing their unique beauty to Vermont.

The best part is that these cooler temperatures invite us to still enjoy many of our favorite summer activities. Hiking, fishing, biking and golf all take on a different feel with the spectacular Vermont foliage as a backdrop.

Soon the snow will begin to fall, the first flakes often pushing out the last of the brightly colored leaves. The reds and golds soon to be a distant memory as winter takes hold of the Okemo Valley. Come to Vermont, stop by our porch at VT Properties, take a seat, enjoy the cooler weather and all the beauty that comes with the changing of the seasons. We look forward to seeing you.

Fall Sign Card

Right Time for First Time Home Buyers

As we watch the economy rebound, real estate sales have been a strong indicator of overall economic health.

As we anticipated, fast, cash only sales are declining. As the real estate market improves and inventory declines we are poised for rising home prices just as interest rates are increasing. With this in mind it may start to look like you could be priced out of the housing market. However, some believe now is the perfect opportunity for first time buyers to get their foot in the door before the end of 2014.

Home prices are still off their high

Home prices are rising, but considering how far they fell in 2008 there is still some great deals to be had. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, average U.S. home prices are currently at summer 2004 levels.

As the economy improves, first time home buyers will likely see significant appreciation in the years to come if they are able to get in now before both prices and rates increase.

Interest rates are expected to keep rising

Although interest rates are still very low, they are rising. Some experts believe that rates could reach 5% by the end of 2014. A percentage point here and there may not seem like a lot but even a small bump in interest rates can mean a significant jump in your monthly payment.

A good example: consider a $400,000 mortgage at 4.2%. You will pay about $300,000 in interest on a 30-year mortgage. Increase that by a mere .7% (4.9%) and your overall payback increases by more than $60,000 over 30 years, that is more than $360,000 in interest alone!

Rental costs are also rising

This is where the first time home buyers need to really think about the costs of home ownership. While there are compelling reasons to rent rather than buy, these reasons are usually personal in nature, i.e. you move around a lot, your job location changes, etc. A good rule of thumb when you feel like it is time to put down roots is to consider the price/rent ratio, your buying power and the local housing market.

Overall, you should look at your personal finances and really consider if buying is right for you. It may not be, but consider that experts believe that it is unlikely the housing market will be as appealing next year. Interest rates and home prices are both likely to be considerably higher and you may indeed find yourself priced out of the market in more ways than one.

If the time is right for you to buy a home Vermont Properties can help you find your home on or off Okemo Mountain, in the Lakes Region and the Okemo Valley. Stop by and say hi!

sign with flowers

A fresh coat of paint! A fresh look for your home

Thinking about selling your house? Paint your house! Your Realtor ® can be a trusted advisor, suggesting any changes that you should make to sell your home.

What is the one thing 94% of all real estate agents agree will help sell a house? A fresh coat of paint! Sellers who invest in an interior paint job may find their homes are on the market for a shorter time and may get higher offers. It sounds easy enough but careful consideration of colors is important. Remember, you are not painting to suit your taste. Rather, finding colors that appeal to the broadest array of buyers is key!

Buyers need to mentally "move in" to your home. Depending on the impression you want to give, consider the following information.

Enlarge a space

Cool colors reflect light and can appear to recede, enlarging small areas. A monochromatic color scheme can also make a space feel larger. To really create a feeling of spaciousness in a room, choose a soft blue, spa like green or cool gray.

Create calm

Organic shades of green, brown and blue elicit a positive response from most people and are a great choice for personal spaces, like bedrooms. They're neutral to live with and aren't likely to result in a "Get me out of here!" reaction during home showings.

Embrace intimacy

Warm colors, like sandy beiges, rich browns and muted reds or plums, will give a cavernous space a sense of intimacy. These cozy colors work well with wood floors, bronze finishes and some period.

Highlight a feature

Create an accent wall to highlight a special feature - like a fireplace or built-in bookshelves - but don't overdo it. Avoid choosing a bright or dramatic color. Instead, select a color that is 2 or 3 shades lighter or darker than the one on adjoining walls.

Camouflage the unwanted

Paint heater vents and other unavoidable fixtures the same color as the walls to minimize distractions - they should not be the first things buyers spot when they visit your home.

What colors get the most favorable reactions? Depends on the room.

Kitchens should invite you in

In the kitchen it's good to stay in the orange, red and yellow families. These work well because they're food related, but it's important to still make them soft, appealing and neutral.

Bathrooms can be tricky

Bathrooms tend to be smaller so keep it light colored. Keep it in the light yellows or tans. Perhaps you can pick up colors from the tile floors. A favorite color idea is the "spa" colors like muted greens and lavenders. You can always use accessories or soaps to give it a pop of color.

Bedrooms are your haven

Ahh, the sanctuary of the house; especially important to stay away from bright colors. Choosing something neutral in tone that will work with the flooring and flow in to the master bath. You do not have to match the master bath but do keep them coordinated. You want people to have a sense of flow.

Home Offices should be cozy

For all us "old school" people who like the traditional colors. This is the space. In the home office warmer, richer colors are welcomed. People often expect an office to be painted with cinnamon, dark brown or even dark blue. These colors make the space an area to work and relax and impart comfort in the familiar.

The color to avoid may surprisepaint cans

What color should you avoid? Seems like this is an easy one but most people don't even consider it.   Surprisingly, white is the color to avoid. Many people will paint everything white thinking it is neutral; in fact it is a bright color.

 

 

Decisions about paint colors can seem overwhelming. Just stick to a few solid rules and stay away from trends and you will be fine. Select muted colors for the most universal appeal. Avoid dramatic darks or brights that may cause buyers to react negatively. And of course, avoid white, the brightest color of them all! Choose a warmer or cooler tint instead.

Happy painting!

Real Estate Sales a Good Indicator of a Recovering Economy

It is difficult to keep track of the recovering economy and all the factors that come in to play. One clear indicator of our economic state is real estate sales. Quite often the state of real estate sales are a clear indicator of an economy's strength (or weakness). Sales have been strong across the board with the northeast leading the way. A report in May shows that buyers swarmed builder lots allowing the real estate market to experience the biggest gain of new home sales in 22 years.

While demand for new homes climbed in all four regions of the country, the Northeast led these sales with a 54.5% jump. Sales of existing homes also increased by their largest gain in three years, up by 4.9%

Growing demand for new homes will give a much-needed boost to the construction industry, which in turn will boost economic expansion.

"Confidence is percolating up through the economy, making people reach for big purchases like new homes," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York,"

As confidence in the economy increases, potential buyers finally feel as if they are in a position for long-term stability. This feeling of economic stability coupled with still low interest loans and slow home price increases continue to support home ownership affordability.

This frenetic pace has been felt here at Vermont Properties and Development. The traditional "slower season" did not materialize this year and we expect to remain just as busy. We have both the staff and  listings of existing homes and building lots both on and off the Mountain. We can meet your needs in the Okemo Valley on Okemo Mountain and in the Lakes Region.

Check out our website for details. Or stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Rd in Ludlow, VT. We are across from the Okemo Golf Club.

good office pic summer small

Spring has sprung and so should you!

Lowering inventory has been a national headline grabber. Following an exceptionally busy winter selling season, we are anticipating the spring selling season will bring a surge of new properties to market.

This is a time of year when buyers and sellers come out of real estate hibernation. Considered to be one of the best times to list your home, it also becomes a great time for buyers to take a fresh look at what is on the available.

Sellers, if you are thinking about listing your home we are already entering the best time to get your house ready to list and sell.  Typically this process starts in February when the snow is still on the ground. As the snow melts people are venturing out and taking a look around. With a renewed sense of energy the market can take off quickly as the summer progresses.

Although the spring is prime listing season, no need to worry if you weren't ready in time. The most important item in your arsenal is an experienced local Realtor®. These professionals can help you any time of the year get the most out of the real estate market, whether buying or selling your home. We are fortunate in Vermont to have a true four season state and local Realtors® know how to take advantage of all that Vermont has to offer

Stay informed about the local market. Vermont Properties and Development can help you find your perfect home no matter the season. Give us a call at 802-228-8877 or stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Road, Ludlow; across from the Okemo Golf Club. Heidel-View-Fox Run B-6