Blog :: 2020

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! 

“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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    Our 2019 in Review!

     

    Thank you to our dedicated customers & clients! We had an oustanding 2019! Thanks to our extensive marketing approach, knowledgeable team, and fantastic clientele, we continue to lead the Okemo Valley Area in real estate sales. We appreciate the trust you have put in our team and excited to share our final 2019 market statistics within the Okemo Valley and Ludlow specifically. 

     

    #1 in Okemo Valley for Overall Sales Volume 

     

    #1 in Ludlow for Overall Sales Volume

     

    #1 in Okemo Valley for Overall Sales Transactions 

     

    #1 in Ludlow for Overall Sales Transactions

     

    #1 in Okemo Valley for Closed Single Family Homes

     

    #1 in Ludlow for Closed Single Family Homes

     

    #1 in Okemo Valley for Closed Condominiums*

     

    Our team is beyond excited with our performance this year, but it wouldn't have been possible without you. Let our team of experts assist you with all your real estate needs in 2020 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. 

     

    THANK YOU! - The Vermont Properties Team

     

    All statistics are based on New England Real Estate Network reporting and real estate transfers reported to the state of Vermont. Based on sales in Ludlow, Mount Holly, Plymouth, Cavendish and Chester, Vermont, unless otherwise stated. *Full-ownership condominiums.

    New Eats at Okemo Mountain!

    New Eats at Okemo Mountain!

    by Abby Stone

     

    Okemo Mountain rolled out several new restaurants and updated some of their culinary options for the 2019-2020 season, so I couldn’t help myself but to eat my way through the new digs and write up a very unbiased review for you all. I may be small but this girl can eat! I’ve spent the last 24 years of my life thoroughly enjoying and trying new foods in my home town, Providence, RI and I’ve lived at Okemo for the past three years, so I have a good grasp on what these culinary changes mean for the mountain. I urge you to take your lunch break at one of the new spots on the hill and let us know what you think about it too using #vtpropeats.

     

    43º North | Solitude Day Lodge | Previously known as Epic Restaurant

    I began my food tour with lunch at 43º North, which has been rebranded and reimagined from its predecessor, Epic Restaurant. The restaurant sits at the base of Solitude and is surrounded by chairlifts and slopeside homes, offering you a great view of the energetic outdoors, along with a new outdoor deck. As far as the interior goes, they ditched the purple and blue walls that once adorned Epic and gave it a fresh new paint job, featuring silvers and grays. The bar area now has more seating with high-tops and picnic-style high-top tables for bigger groups. The beloved wood-burning fireplace remains in place at the center of the room and it was even roaring on a quiet Monday afternoon. Diving into the French-inspired menu, I was seriously pleased by the variety and their unique take on some classics. Remember, your girl likes to eat so don’t judge me on this…. I ordered the following: Mesclun Salad, French Onion Soup, Basket of Truffle Fries and the Peppercorn Blue Cheese Burger (split this one with my date!) The salad was fresh and crunchy with just the right amount of dressing with pickled onions and radishes. I ordered my first ever French Onion Soup and it did not let me down! The melted gruyere and carmelized onions bathed in the ultra-flavored broth made for a delicious moment. Don’t even get me started on the truffle fries… I only ate them an hour ago but I miss them already, so take my word and order them! The blue cheese was delightfully torched onto the burger and made our taste buds dance. To wrap it all up, the service continues to be top-notch, making this my number one lunch spot whether you are skiing or not!

     

     

    Robin’s Roost | Summit Lodge - Lower Level | Previously extra seating & Vermont Pizza Company

    My next stop was Robin’s Roost; a new southern-style eatery located on the lower level of the Summit Lodge. Get dropped off by the Sunburst Six and ski right into the lodge for a pit stop. Adding this restaurant was a genius move in my opinion. Before this addition, the space was just extra seating and was home to the Vermont Pizza Company, which was only open on some holiday weekends. Robin's Roost is now super cozy and features TV’s for sports fans, views of the snow-covered treelines and seating around the electric (but cozy) fireplace. The best part? Robin’s Roost is open DAILY with sit-down service, which is a huge move for Okemo to offer a better guest experience. My date and I grabbed a window seat and ordered the North Country Hushpuppies, Downsouth Wedge Salad and the Soup of the Day; Cheddar Broccoli. The hushpuppies were crisp on the outside and packed with a sweet maple-jalapeño punch and teamed up with a delicious apple butter dip…plus, they are gluten-free! The wedge salad was a monster, featuring bacon, tomatoes, candied pecans, smoked jalapeños, and croutons, which made this a full meal for me! The soup was creamy and hit the spot on this chilly ski day. Overall, the food is very impressive considering the fact that you are eating at over 4,000 feet. The southern tang is unique and offers a different food style on the mountain. I’ll definitely be back to try out the Backwoods Bones Wings and the Fried Green Tomatoes.

     

    Summit Lodge Cafeteria | Summit Lodge - Upper Level | Previously home to the Sky Bar & Original Cafeteria Space

    Entering into the main level of the Summit Lodge is a completely different experience now. The partitions have been removed, creating an open space from front to back with the cafeteria in the middle. The exposed beams are now highlighted with new iron light fixtures and new tables and chairs. It used to be quiet on a weekday at the Summit Lodge, but now it is the new hang out spot where locals come to gather for their 11 a.m. coffee break. This is a great option to stop for a mid-day snack or lunch if you don’t want to ski all the way down to the base area. There are lots of classics here like chili, soups, french fries, burgers and more. My go-to is grabbing a hot tea and a granola bar and taking a seat by the window to soak in the panorama views of the Okemo Valley. The updated space is exactly what the Summit Lodge needed. The food hasn’t changed too much at the cafeteria, but it’s clearly getting so much more traffic than previous years. Looking forward, Okemo plans to continue to activate this space this summer to make it truly epic. Miss the Sky Bar? Head downstairs to Robin’s Roost for the new full-service bar!

        View of Summit Lodge Cafeteria Line

     

    Sugar House Cafeteria | Sugar House - Mid-mountain 

    The Sugar House is a great lodge to stop and warm up at if you can’t quite make it down to the base lodge or if your toes can’t handle another lift ride. The Sugar Lodge as a whole, has essentially remained the same as far as food options go with Smokey-Jo’s (an oldy, but a goodie!), Thai Noodle and the cafeteria essentials. Enjoy the famous Pulled Pork Sandwich on the deck at Smokey-Jo’s or keep warm inside with a Thai Noodle bowl. There were a few updates including the new TVs that display the menu items and the trash reciprocals that feature composting! The upper level remains the same with extra seating, however, the lower level has now been transformed into the ultimate hangout for Okemo’s Ski School, known as The Sugar House Mudroom. This is now the hub for the instructors to bring their groups to and settle in for a hot chocolate break or lunch on the hill.

     

     

        View of Sugar House Cafeteria Line

     

    I’m feeling a combination of excitement and pleasure when it comes to the changes that Okemo has incorporated in their culinary world on the slopes. There are so many great places to grab a bite to eat no matter which part of the mountain you are on. The Vermont Properties team and I continue to look forward to the future of Okemo and Vail Resorts with new additions coming soon. Cheers!