Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father’s Day Facts for Ludlow VT


In honor of Dear Old Dad, we are taking a week off from discussing Ludlow VT real estate. Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and there is plenty to do around Ludlow VT and Okemo Mountain to celebrate with the special father in your life.

Here are some little-known facts about Father’s Day:

- There are approximately 66.3 million fathers in the United States.

- The word "Dad" dates back to the sixteenth century, or possibly even earlier. It may have originated with the Welsh word "Tad" (meaning father), which later mutated to Dad. The word "Father" is derived from the Old English "Foeder".

- A father ocean catfish carries the eggs of his young in his MOUTH until they are ready to be born (which may take several weeks!). During that time he cannot eat anything.

- Father penguins remain on their feet in arctic temperatures for 60 days or more to protect his eggs, he also cannot eat while guarding his eggs.

- Neckties lead the list of Father’s Day gifts, and there are 10,416 men’s clothing stores around the country.

- Other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts include those you may find in dad’s toolbox, such as hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers. You could buy some of these items for dad at one of the nation’s 14,755 hardware stores or 5,280 home centers.

- There are 23,018 sporting goods stores. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad such as fishing rods and golf clubs.

- There are approximately 98,000 “stay-at-home” dads. These are married fathers with children under 15 years old who have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home.

- Nearly 69 million Americans have participated in a barbeque in the last year — it’s probably safe to assume many of these barbeques took place on Father’s Day.

We’ll be back next week to discuss Ludlow VT real estate. Meanwhile, enjoy a fantastic weekend with dad and call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com to begin searching Ludlow VT real estate now!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why Stage Your Ludlow VT Real Estate

“Staging” Ludlow VT real estate for sale has become a hot trend in the industry. Unlike some trends that are more trouble than they’re worth, however, this is one trend that can really pay off! Here are 12 reasons why you should consider staging your home on the market:

1. Turbo Boost Sales Time
Experts all agree and studies show staged homes sell quicker – sometimes up to 50% faster - than non-staged homes. Typically, when a home has been on the market for some time, buyers and agents will assume there must be something wrong with it or that the seller will be anxious to sell and will take much less than the asking price.

2. First Impressions Are The Most Important
People’s first impression of your listing is critical. Staging gives you the best opportunity to make a positive first impression rather than a negative one. The stronger the impression, the less likely a potential buyer will be bothered if some things aren’t perfect.

3. Gone In 60 Seconds…
Psychology experts have proven that people react based on emotion and then seek logic to back up the feeling. From a real estate perspective, a buyer will make an initial reaction in less than a minute whether they like your listing or not. Then, after the potential buyer's initial decision has been made, they will either confirm that decision or rescind it in the next 6 to 20 minutes as they tour the property. This is why proper staging is critical for any listing.

4. Ready, Set, Go – Move-In Ready Sells Faster

A properly staged listing not only appears to be in “Move-In Ready” condition, but it really is. Staging a house for sale means that every component of the house is as close as possible to model condition. All buyers prefer to buy a home where they can just move-in and start enjoying life. This is especially true for vacation homes, where buyers may not have a lot of time to devote to “updating” the property.

5. Imagination Not Included
Did you know that only 5% of the population can truly visualize how beautiful a home can be or see past the clutter, grime and so-so appearance? It’s true. Help potential buyers see themselves happily living in your listing and let the offers come pouring in. For vacation homes, help buyers envision themselves enjoying a family vacation in your property and reaping the rewards of renting it out to others on vacation.

6. Be the Needle In The Haystack

Staged homes have a much greater competitive advantage over houses that are not staged. Experts are predicting that more and more listings will be sitting on the market for sale in the next few years. Some areas have already seen a 100-300% increase in available inventory and average time on market. A staged home stands apart from other listings because it has been properly merchandised to bring out the best qualities of the listing.

7. No Skeletons In The Closet

Staged homes project an image of being well maintained and well cared for. The underlying psychological message that is sent to potential buyers is that it’s worth more. More importantly, staging helps remove a certain degree of risk that a potential buyer might have about buying a house that is in disarray.

8. Appraise It High Or Go Home

As more and more homes become available, you need every advantage possible. One marketing advantage you might overlook is to create instant loan to value (LTV) by getting an appraisal after the house is staged. If you can show a potential buyer how much the home is worth i.e. appraised value and the sales price is less….instant value. It will sell faster because it appears to be a better deal.


9. Move To The Head Of The Class

Real estate professionals never like to show a house that’s not going to impress their buyer. A well-staged home could easily be described as “staged to sell” which means that it’s going to impress their buyer. Staged homes are always at the top of the list when it comes to which properties an agent will show.

10. The Exception To The Rule – The Buyer’s Rule

Would you show a house to a buyer that didn’t meet their exact criteria? Maybe…but ONLY if the house is staged properly and gets clients excited. If an agent knows that a listing shows really well, but doesn’t match the buyer’s criteria exactly, it’s possible they’ll show it anyway. A well-staged home could be the one to get a buyer excited enough to make an offer.

11. Peace, Love and FREE Advertising

Brokerages love showcasing beautifully staged homes because they draw more business to their firm. They usually invest considerable money to advertise a well staged listing to generate leads for other agents. Why not use this to your advantage – the more advertising your home can get, the better!


12. Show Me The Money!

The better a home shows, the higher it will sell for - which means more dollars in your pocket. Non-staged homes are more likely to require price reductions in order to sell as opposed to staged homes, which are more likely to enjoy a number of offers, or even a bidding war or a sale above the asking price. Information provided by AHS.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ludlow VT Vacation Home Trends

Although this article uses a beach vacation rental condo as an example, the tips included are valuable for any Ludlow VT vacation home owner as well.

Here are some of the many tips for retaining loyalty among your renters:
- Forget neutral! Bring on the “vacation-y” d├ęcor, but try not to go overboard!
- Furnish with easy-to-use furniture that is easy to clean and can withstand wear and tear
- Stock up on plenty of family-oriented indoor activities like board games and playing cards
- Include some homey touches like a binder of local restaurant menus or personal tips on local attractions

To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate or owning your own vacation home, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching for Ludlow VT property on the MLS!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Homes That Save Vermont Home Buyers Money


More Vermont and Okemo Mountain buyers are taking the environment into account when searching for a home—they’re looking for earth-friendly features that translate into lower energy bills and less pollution.


I found this article by Linda Legner discussing how Vermont home sellers can make their home stand out from the rest and attract earth-friendly buyers....

This growing trend gives you the opportunity to make your listing stand out from the rest by calling attention to all of its energy-efficient amenities, from properly-sealed windows to Energy Star appliances.


Whether your listing is a brand new condo or an old Victorian, just a bit of investigating can uncover many “green” features that will grab buyers’ attention. Use this list to identify areas of the home where energy efficiencies may be lurking:


  • Appliances and lighting. From the laundry machine to the dining room chandelier, energy-efficient products are proven to save money and consume less energy. To confirm that various products outperform average standards, look for the blue-and-white Energy Star label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues this designation only to products that are among the most efficient on the market. The Energy Star Web site provides a comprehensive list of all Energy Star Qualified Products.

  • Insulation. Air leaking through exterior surfaces—such as walls, windows, the roof, and the floor—can waste 25 percent to 40 percent of the energy used to heat or cool a home, according to Energy Star. Local building codes and the U.S. Department of Energy specify acceptable insulation, measured in R-values. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. If your listing has insulation that surpasses local standards, that’s an advantage you can tout to potential buyers. Be sure to mention insulation installed in attics and crawlspaces. Also, don’t forget to point out wraps, sealants, foams, and tape installed to reduce air moving through the gaps around framing, piping, electrical wiring, and outlets.

  • Windows. Depending on the climate and total glass area, windows account for 25 percent to 50 percent of a home’s heating and cooling needs. But technological advances in window materials mean much better energy efficiency. U-Factors rate insulating ability for windows; the lower the U-Factor, the better the insulation of the window. Typical U-Factor values range from 0.25 to 1.25. If your listing has insulated window frames or frames made of low-conductance materials (wood, vinyl, or fiberglass), you should call out these features to potential buyers.

  • Heating and cooling systems. Efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment consumes less fuel, emits less pollution, and generally requires less maintenance. A furnace’s heating efficiency is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating, or AFUE. The U.S. Department of Energy requires all furnaces sold in the United States to have a minimum AFUE rating of 78 percent, which means that the furnace converts 78 percent of the fuel to heat. Only ratings of higher than 90 percent earn the Energy Star label. Similarly, air conditioners should have at least a 10 seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. Energy Star requires a SEER rating of 12 or higher.
    If the home has zoned systems that allow different areas to be heated and cooled separately, let potential buyers know that these features deliver additional operating savings. Point out programmable thermostats with timers and variable-air controls, as well as ceiling fans. Let buyers know if a fireplace has glass doors and a heat-air exchange mechanism, which returns warmed air to the room instead of letting it escape. And don’t forget to promote radiant flooring, which heats from the ground up and eliminates the draft and dust problems associated with forced air heating systems.

  • Landscaping. Well-done landscaping can greatly reduce heating and cooling costs, protect the home from winter wind and summer sun, and help control noise and air pollution. Also, some species of trees, bushes, and grasses require less water than others, or are naturally more resistant to pests so they require fewer pesticides. Learn what kind of plants and trees are growing around the house and promote all of their benefits to buyers. For more details on what to look for, visit Landscaping for Energy Efficiency, an online guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • The entire house. Some new homes are rated for overall efficiency by the Energy Star program. A new home certified through the Energy Star program performs at least 30 percent more efficiently than houses built to the 1993 Model Energy Code (or 15 percent more efficient than your state energy code if that is more stringent). The Energy Star designation is verified by an accredited home energy rater and displayed on the inside of the circuit breaker.

Even if your listing isn’t a home that buyers would traditionally think of as being green, it is sure to have at least some eco-friendly features that will give it a marketing edge. Let potential buyers know how the home will help their energy bills and the environment, and you may be surprised at how fast you can clinch the sale.


Learn More...

Energy Star Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced Energy Star in 1992 to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The label is now on appliances, lighting, home electronics, and other products. It also covers new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Glossary of Energy-Related Terms
The acronyms alone can be confusing! If you can’t recall what AFUE measures or what SEER stands for, come to this glossary for clarification. You’ll also find definitions for hundreds of energy-related words.

Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home
This site, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, offers energy-saving tips for all areas of the home, plus a variety of booklets you can download and print in English or Spanish.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
This portal site by the U.S. Department of Energy provides links to other Web sites and online information on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baby Boomers Setting the Latest Ludlow VT Real Estate Trends

We know that the Baby Boomers account for a large part of the real estate owning population in America; the majority of Ludlow VT vacation home owners are also of the Baby Boom generation. It should come as no surprise, then, that these folks – not the typical “trendy” crowd - may be the latest trend-setters in vacation real estate also.

Sounds unlikely, but it is very true! As
this article in the Wall Street Journal explains, designers and architects are catering more and more toward this fast-growing segment of the population. Not only are more Baby Boomers planning to stay in their homes through retirement (as opposed to moving to “assisted living” or a retirement community), but they are also the ones willing and able to purchase vacation real estate during this economic downturn. This influx of aging vacation-home buyers has triggered home renovations and new construction including halls and doorways wide enough for walkers and wheelchairs, and master suites and laundries on the ground floor so residents can avoid stairs. Now, the technology behind home appliances and fixtures is catching up – making all kinds of appliances and home design elements more senior-friendly.

Some of the innovations in home design and appliance re-design include:
- Stoves that monitor pots to prevent boiling over
- Adjustable typeface on appliance control panels
- Faucets that turn on and off with just a touch anywhere on the spout
- Dishwashers designed to be mounted at a more comfortable height
- Refrigerators with doors and storage designed to reduce bending over
- Adjustable volume/pitch of oven alarms

Last but not least – yes, there is even a toilet on the market with an electric-blue nightlight built in and a motorized heated seat cover that rises with the touch of a button. I don’t think you’d have to be a senior citizen to enjoy that kind of amenity during a late-night bathroom visit!

The impact these trends will have on the real estate market as a whole is uncertain, but with more Baby Boomers purchasing Ludlow VT vacation homes, light-up toilets may be a standard amenity before you know it!

To learn more about trends in Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also contact us to request services here!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ludlow VT Real Estate Tip: Navigating Home Inspections

Home inspections are not just for new home buyers! As we have discussed in previous posts, it is extremely important to have your Ludlow VT real estate inspected professionally on a regular basis – especially if you are using it as a vacation property – to ensure you keep up with any necessary maintenance or repairs.

Professional home inspectors examine existing homes using professional standards as a measure to accurately report their condition to parties involved in a real estate transaction, or to the existing owners looking to repair or renovate.

Home inspectors offer many types of inspections to suit Ludlow VT real estate owners’ needs – some of these include:
- Pre-Listing Inspections
- Pre-Purchase Inspections
- New Construction Inspections
- HUD/FHA Inspections
- Multiunit Inspections
- Annual Maintenance Checkup

When purchasing a home, it is realistic that a buyer could save thousands of dollars by having a professional home inspection performed. Moreover, in areas with extreme weather circumstances, inspectors can help locate potential problems or damage that may be hidden to the naked eye.

To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate or for a referral to an experienced home inspector, please call me at 802-3531983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching for Ludlow VT real estate here!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tips for Remodeling Your Ludlow VT Vacation Home

This article from 2nd Home Journal offers a fantastic list of tips for remodeling your second home. If you already own a Ludlow VT vacation home, you probably already know that remodeling a second home presents unique challenges. Below are the 10 main tips, and the article contains the full details on making your spring remodeling projects a success!

- Do your research; prioritize your needs
-
Hire a competent designer or architect
- Define your total project budget
- Design for low maintenance and sustainability
- Get three bids
- Do reference checks
- Plan at least a 10 percent contingency fund
- Synchronize payments with work completed
- Hire an experienced project manager
- Anticipate issues and stay focused

Ready to learn more about owning Ludlow VT real estate? Please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching for a Ludlow VT vacation home here!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cool Website Alert! Find Ludlow VT Gas Prices

There’s no denying it – the cost of gas is rising through the roof. Some areas are even seeing gas prices as high as $4 a gallon! But not all gas stations are created equal, and gas prices can vary widely even in the same city. Before you fill up, check out GasBuddy.com and enter your ZIP code to find the very best (and worst) gas prices in Ludlow VT.

For information about Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also request a complimentary market valuation of your Ludlow VT home here!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Does Ludlow VT Real Estate Compare Nationally?


Check out this website to see how Ludlow VT real estate valuation compares to other cities across the country. This site is not only informative, but it shows that – despite the national media’s attention to the real estate slowdown – much of the national real estate market is still valued fairly, making it a great time to buy.

To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also fill out this form to request a complimentary market analysis of your Ludlow VT home!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Encouraging News For Ludlow VT Real Estate Vacation Home Buyers


According to the latest research by the National Association of Realtors, 1/3 of all real estate transactions in 2007 involved second or vacation homes. Although sales declined overall when compared to 2006, the proportion of vacation home sales was still near-record.

Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, said lifestyle factors and strong demographics remain positive for the vacation home market. “Investment considerations are secondary for vacation-home buyers, so there is some dormant underlying demand,” he said. “A peak of population is moving through the prime years for buying recreational property. It is welcoming to see investment sales returning to pre-boom activity.”

To learn more about investing in Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin receiving automated emails containing Ludlow VT real estate that matches your criteria here!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Owning a Ludlow VT Vacation Home

This article from the Wall Street Journal offers a great, comprehensive overview of purchasing and owning Ludlow VT real estate to be used as a vacation home. It follows the story of a couple beginning with deciding to purchase in VT, to maintaining the property, and how they chose to handle renting the property.

Important topics for all vacation home owners that are covered include:
- Researching the local rental market and important factors to consider
- Determining fees/maintenance costs ahead of time
- Deciding who will manage and maintain the property
- Deciding how rental income will be received and used
- Determining the IRS status of the home (second home or vacation home?)
- Drafting a rental contract

For more information about purchasing Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also request complimentary e-books and relocation information here!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What You Need To Know About Ludlow VT Tax Rebates

Congress’ recent $170 billion economic stimulus plan is centered around new tax rebates; unfortunately, the details of the plan are foggy at best, leaving Ludlow VT real estate owners and taxpayers with questions about the rebates and how they will benefit. The details are still being worked out by the Treasury Department and the IRS, but here are some facts that have been made available:

- To be eligible for a full rebate, single tax filers must have 2007 adjusted gross income (AGI) below $75,000. These filers will get rebates up to $600.
- Joint filers must have AGI below $150,000 and are eligible to receive rebates of up to $1,200.
- Parents will receive $300 rebates per dependent child and there is no cap on the maximum number of children eligible.
- Filers who do not owe income taxes because of various credits and deductions but who do have at least $3,000 in income (can include Social Security or disability payments) will get $300 rebates per person or $600 per couple.
- The rebate is a one-time tax cut – an advance on a credit you’ll receive on your 2008 return.

If you make the IRS deadline and file your taxes by April 15, you can expect to receive a rebate check in the mail sometime between May and July.

Why not put your 2007 tax rebate toward the purchase of a new home? To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate, please visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com or begin searching for homes here. For more personalized service, please call me at 802-353-1983.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Bumpy Streets of Ludlow VT

What do potholes, mud season, and black flies have in common? They are all “indigenous to Vermont,” jokes Ludlow Municipal Manager Frank Heald. Along with the blessing of our snowy white winters comes the inevitable result of less-than-smooth roadways.

This article from the Rutland Herald is a half-serious look at the trials and tribulations we all face as we navigate the [sometimes bumpy] streets of Ludlow every day, and addresses what is being done to help relieve the problems. Check it out and let us know what you think is the most infamous road hazard in Ludlow!

To learn more about living in Ludlow or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. To request a complementary market analysis of your home, please click here!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Land Loan Financing




United Country Mortgage is now offering Land Loan financing for qualified applicants. Click here to find out more.
Let me help you find the right property, then call the United Country Financing team to secure your mortgage.
To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate or market trends, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also sign up to receive automated emails of new listings that match your criteria here

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ludlow VT Real Estate Update

Attention, potential residential or vacation home buyers! CNN.com is reporting that now is the best time since 2004 to purchase a home.

The research and statistics compiled in
this article show that, overall, prices are dropping across the nation as interest rates remain low.

To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate or market trends, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also sign up to receive automated emails of new listings that match your criteria here!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Add Some Green To Your Ludlow VT Home

It seems like everywhere we turn these days, products and services we use every day are “going green.” With so many ways available now to help the environment, it may be overwhelming to figure out how exactly you as a homeowner can make changes. This article from RealEstateJournal.com details five ways homeowners can add “green” upgrades to their home, saving money and increasing their homes’ values at the same time. Below is the list of suggestions, check out the article for full descriptions of each item:

- Washers that save energy and water
- Toilets that conserve water
- No-VOC paints
- Smart thermostat applications
- Low-flow faucets and showerheads

To learn more about owning a Ludlow VT home or Ludlow VT real estate, please visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com, or call me at 802-353-1983. You may also begin searching the MLS here!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Truth about Second Home Buyers in Today's Real Estate Market.

This article is presented with permission and written by Denise Lones, M.I.R.M., CSP

Journalists are still riding the bandwagon of fear, reporting that second home purchases are going to be no more. Just last week, I heard a pundit advising people to keep their money in their primary residence because of the “impending recession”.

This is ridiculous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to popular belief, investing in a second home is—and will continue to be—a smart buying decision for many homeowners.

We live in the wealthiest country in the world. Second home buyers are not going anywhere. While the media hems and haws about all the unfortunate people who are in hard times, they completely ignore the fact that there are others who still have lots of money to invest. And what better investment than real estate—even if it’s not your primary residence?

I’m even going so far as to make a radical prediction:

Second home purchases will rise in the next five years.

That’s right—rise! Not diminish.

Here’s why:

1. As people age, they experience an increased need to have more quality of life and time away from home.

People love to get away. If they have the money, why not? They want a lifestyle change—the ability to go to a “home away from home”. Whether it’s a cottage in the mountains or a seaside shanty, there’s nothing like having a secondary place to escape to.

2. People have money and they want to invest it.

Traditionally, real estate is more stable than the stock market. This makes it a much more attractive investment for anyone skittish about putting their hard-earned money in the hands of Wall Street sharks.

In addition, the recent and dramatic drops in the Dow Jones have stirred up many valid fears among investors. For that very reason, real estate will continue to be the safer investment—guaranteeing that second-home buyers are here to stay.

Tell your clients about what’s going on. Don’t hold back. Crunch the numbers for them so that they see the incredible value of a second home.

3. People love to own real estate.

The very idea of being a “real estate investor” is enough to make some people purchase a property. Having that label is a sign of prestige, and raises people’s perception of themselves.

Whether or not you find this type of vanity attractive or repulsive, forget about how you think. Again, think like they think. It’s an undeniable fact that such people exist. They love nothing better than to go to cocktail parties and parade their wealth in front of others—describing their properties in detail.

Rather than despising these people for their snobbery—which many of us fall into the habit of doing—learn to love them for their ability to supercharge your business. With just a handful of wealthy investors as clients, a real estate agent can make a fortune.

4. Second-home communities are creating rental income possibilities for investors.

Many developers of second-home communities know that by including certain services, investors will take advantage of the additional income they may receive. Services such as having a concierge on duty 24/7. Or rental pools that encourage owners to rent during the off-season.

Developers have known for a long time that there is a huge market of second-home investors out there. By installing such services from the get-go, they maximize the potential of their community to attract them.

They know people will rent when they’re not there. Why pretend they’re not going to? Now, they encourage them instead. It’s a win-win for both the developer and the investor.

5. Having the ability to purchase a second home is an attractive trait to lenders.

Remember that second-home buyers have a solid track record being the owner of a first home. If a mortgage is all paid for and the buyer is looking to invest in a second one, then chances are this is a good client for the lender. It’s just plain easier to find financing if you already own a home.

Add in possible rental income and lenders become even more enthusiastic.

Side note: I know many of you reading this are struggling with mortgage payments of your own and can’t imagine buying a second home, especially in the current economic climate.

But in order to function best as a real estate agent, think outside of yourself. Think like an investor with a lot of capital. Where would you rather put your money—in volatile stocks or in a second home that you know will appreciate in value over the next 20 years?

As a real estate agent, what an opportunity it is to educate your wealthy clients about the value (and joy!) of investing in a second home rather than a Wall Street portfolio that has a higher chance of going bust.

Don’t listen to the media. Don’t listen to conventional wisdom. Don’t listen to people in financial trouble.

Second-home buyers are here to stay. Find them. Educate them. Help them make more money. When you do, you’ll see your own bank account grow.


Thank you Denise for allowing me to use the article

Irene

To learn more about buying a second home on Okemo Mountain VT or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also request a relocation package by clicking here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Okemo Mountain VT Trivia





Whether you are an Okemo Mountain VT homeowner or a visitor to the area, you’ll find these fun facts interesting:

- There are 624 acres of skiable area and 117 runs on Okemo Mountain
- Lift tickets were 20 cents in 1956, when operations first began
- Okemo is Native American for “All Come Home”
- The summit is 3,344 ft.
- A “Beach House” used to be at the top of the mountain instead of the Summit Lodge that stands now
- The trail Home Stretch used to be named Ugh

To learn more about Okemo Mountain VT or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also request a relocation package by clicking here.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vermont Investment Property




Chester, Vermont Seven Unit Apartment House The house is approx 120 years old, the two back apartments were added about 20 years ago they are 3 bedrooms each with their own furnace and hot water heater tenants pay their own heat and hot water. The main roof of the house is slate The roofs over the porches are asphalt. The foundation is stone - there are 2 basements, one for the front apartments with the main furnace and water heater and one for the back 2 apartments with their own water heaters and furnaces. Each basement has an outside entrance bilko doors. The outside of the house is Clapboard. The outside of the front potion of the house was painted during the renovations. The front of the house has mostly original windows, some storm windows. The house is heated with oil throughout. There is no gas. All the stoves are electric and all the tenants pay their own electricity. There is town water and sewer. The house is on approx 1.5 acres of property with parking for 12+ cars along the side and in the back, it is on a main street (rte 103), across from Chester Town Hall; an ideal location, walking distance to store. Good Numbers! Call or e-mail for more info. Owner/broker
MLS #2801839

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ludlow VT Home Buyers – Why Get A Home Inspection

Buying your Ludlow VT home is one of the most significant decisions and biggest investments you will ever make. A professional home inspection will enable you to learn a great deal about a home, help give you peace of mind and answer some important questions. Whether you are buying or selling, you will have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of a particular home.

Homebuyer Benefits:
You will gain an education of the home, top to bottom, so that you will know exactly what you are buying.. This information will help you to buy with confidence knowing that a true professional has carefully evaluated and inspected your future home.

Home Seller Benefits:
For sellers, a pre-listing inspection can detect previously unknown problems or potential upgrades that you wish to address prior to selling your home. Being aware of issues in advance will allow for disclosure of problems, which can result in smoother transactions for all parties.

Good Hiring Practices:
1. Hire a Professional.
Confirm your home inspector is a member of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) – http://www.ashi.org/ and National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) http://nahi.org/.

2. Obtain a printed report.
Make sure you are given a complete, written report of your inspection results, preferably with photos included.

3. Attend the inspection.There is no substitute for the being at the inspection. The report provided is only a part of the inspection. When you attend the inspection, you can ask questions, and become more familiar with your home, you'll gain greater comfort and confidence in your buying decision.

If you are ready to take advantage of the current Ludlow VT real estate market, please begin by calling me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching the MLS here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ludlow VT Real Estate Update


With the first month of 2008 complete, experts have begun to speculate on how the real estate market will fare for the rest of the year. A continuation of soft market conditions is forecast for existing-home sales in the months ahead, with improvement expected by the second half of this year if loan limits are increased, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales activity is expected to remain soft through the first half of the year despite a generational low in mortgage interest rates. “Existing home sales have moved narrowly since last September, but when the full impact of higher loan limits for conventional mortgages begins to impact the market there is likely to be a notable rise in home sales and prices,” he said.

If you are ready to take advantage of the current Ludlow VT real estate market, please begin by calling me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching the MLS here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Calling all Farmers and Horse Owners - New Listing




1800's authentic Vermont Farmhouse on 227 acres, in Topsham Vermont, just waiting to be restored (but can be lived in now)! There are mostly new windows and some new wiring - 5 bedrooms, plus extra rooms. There is a 165ft barn, with electric and water and 8 bays, hay storage for about 5000 bales. Some of the land fronts the Waits River, has about 100 acres of hay land, pastures, a pond, apple orchard, trees and views! Close to Snow mobile trails. Included is a newer (2000) 3 bedroom, 2 bath doublewide to live in, while enjoying the beauty, the wildlife and watching the farmhouse come back to life. This land is perfect for organic farming!

Friday, February 08, 2008

In a Buyer’s Market, Seek Incentives!

A “buyer’s market” occurs when there are a lot of homes for sale and they are staying on the market for a long time. During times like this, home buyers are in a great position to negotiate for lower prices and incentives.

The guidelines for buyers' incentives vary among loan options, so make sure to get pre-qualified first so you can ask your loan officer about the allowable incentives for your loan program and down payment.

So, what can you ask for? Here are some ideas:
If you are putting ten percent or more down, you can ask for up to six percent of the price of the home. If you are putting less than ten percent down, you can ask for three percent of the price. This “cash back” could be used to cover your non-recurring closing costs (things like points and mortgage fees that you only pay one time), or to cover the cost of extensive repairs to the home, if they are needed. Most loan programs will only allow you to apply incentives toward non-recurring closing costs. Your Realtor will make sure that the incentive request is spelled out clearly and thoroughly in your offer to purchase the property.

If you are paying cash for a property, you have much more negotiating power when it comes to the selling price if you state in the offer that you will be paying cash. In a buyer’s market, sellers are generally seeking a quick and “painless” sale: i.e., one where they do not have to worry that the deal may fall through due to credit or loan problems.

When asking for incentives in an offer, it is important to make sure you do not get taken advantage of by a lender who may inflate your loan costs to “use up” the incentives you negotiated. An experienced and perceptive Realtor will be able to help make sure you are protected.

It is important to avoid “loading up” your offer with a lot of contingencies (such as offering to purchase the home, but only after your current home has sold), especially when you are pursuing incentives. Doing this makes it less certain you will actually close, so a seller will be less likely to offer financial incentives in hopes of a quick sale. The one contingency you always want to include, especially in a buyer’s market, is that your offer is contingent upon the property appraising at or above the purchase price by the lender's appraiser.

For more information about Ludlow VT real estate, please visit
IsellVermontRealEstate.com or call me at 802-353-1983. To receive a complimentary e-book on moving or preparing to sell your home, please click here!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Interest Rate Cuts – What Does It All mean?


When the Fed lowers interest rates, as it continued to do this week, everyone gets excited and there is a lot of buzz about the real estate market. But – when it comes to you and me – what do these lower interest rates really mean? Here are some examples:

Homeowners: If you already have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) on a home, you could save hundreds of dollars a month if your loan is pegged to Treasury rates, which have fallen considerably thanks to the Fed's recent cuts. The catch is that many buyers in more expensive areas resort to “jumbo loans,” which are typically pegged to slower-moving indexes that remain elevated. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage (not a jumbo loan), you could consider the cost of re-financing (think origination fees, appraisal fees, closing costs) against the savings of a lower interest rate for your monthly payment.

Borrowers: Several banks lowered their prime rate, which forms the foundation for car loans, home equity lines and other loans. But you must carry a whopping $5,000 credit card balance to save just $12.50 annually from a quarter-point rate cut.

Consumers: Lower rates threaten to boost inflation and the price of imports. So far, inflation has been held in check, and foreign companies generally are holding the line on prices.

Savers: Falling interest rates normally would whack rates on CDs and other savings. But the cash crunch has spurred many banks to prop up such rates.

Travelers: International vacations and business trips cost more because the dollar has sagged in the wake of the Fed's cuts. But it could be buoyed if other central banks trim rates.

In short, unless you are about to purchase a new home and can take advantage of the new lower interest rates by locking in a fixed-rate mortgage now, you may not end up seeing a whole lot of benefit to the interest rate cuts.

To learn more about Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching the MLS here!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Okemo Mountain VT Vacation and Investment Home Taxes

Continuing with last week’s discussion about preparing for tax season, I wanted to spend some time this week covering issues related to paying taxes on vacation homes. Many homeowners in the Okemo Mountain area use their property as a vacation home – but can these homes truly be claimed as vacation properties?

This article from RealEstateJournal.com answers this and other important questions, such as:
When and under what circumstances do I have to pay taxes on rental income?
What sort of deductions can owners of rental properties take?
If my vacation home is considered a secondary home (not a rental home), what deductions can I take?

Once you have determined which category your property qualifies as, there is a helpful chart in the article that will give you an idea of what to expect as far as property taxes this year.

Other helpful links on this topic:
IRS Publication 527: Residential Rental Property
IRS Tax Topic 415: Renting Residential and Vacation Property
IRS Publication 925: Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules

To learn more about owning an Okemo Mountain vacation home or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-3531983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching the MLS here!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Getting Ready for 2008 Tax Season


It’s official – tax time is upon us. If you are like many Americans, just the thought of getting organized enough to start the paperwork can be overwhelming.

This article from BankRate.com details 7 steps to help get you ready to file your 2007 taxes. I’ve listed the steps below, but please check out the article for more helpful hints!

- Prepare for the arrival of your records (designate an envelope or folder to store all of the records you’ll receive in the mail)
- Track down social security numbers (make sure you have the correct SSN’s for everyone in your family)
- Find your forms (if you are not filing electronically, download the necessary forms or pick them up at a post office)
- Decide how you want to do your taxes (Do-it-yourself or hire a pro? Paper and pen or computer software?)
- Consider electronic filing (find out if you qualify for Free File!)
- Use direct deposit (it may not be as exciting as receiving that refund check in the mail, but it’ll save you a trip to the bank!)
- Don’t panic!

I’d like to add my own advice: if you bought or sold a home in 2007, pull out those closing documents and start making copies! You will need to provide proof of your purchase or sale (usually a closing statement will suffice), along with any loans that were taken out or paid off in 2007. If you have lost any of these important documents, contact your Realtor who can help you track them down.

If 2008 is going to be the year for you to invest in a home of your own, please visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com and begin searching Ludlow VT real estate here. You may also call me at 802-353-1983.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Get The Latest Okemo Mountain Ski Conditions!


Ski season is in full swing here in the Ludlow VT area. Whether you live here or are visiting Okemo Mountain, chances are you want to know the latest details about the snow conditions on the slopes. This snow report is updated regularly and – best of all – you can even sign up to have the report sent directly to your cell phone or email! You’ll be the first to know when the powder’s fresh or when the slopes are closed.

To learn more about Okemo Mountain or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also click here to receive one of my complimentary eBooks on buying or selling your home.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 Ludlow VT Real Estate Predictions


Happy New Year, Ludlow! I hope that everybody enjoyed a very happy holiday season and that 2008 is off to a great start for you and your family.

The
National Association of Realtors has published its predictions for the 2008 housing market, and the data looks positive so far. Most noteworthy is the trend toward improving existing home sales.

Lawrence Yun, senior NAR economist, said “Now that mortgage conditions have improved, some postponed activity should turn up in existing-home sales over the next couple of months, and I expect sales at fairly stable to slightly higher levels.”

Existing home sales are expected to rise to $5.7 million in 2008 – making it the fifth highest year on record. Existing home prices, which declined 1.9% to a median of $217,600 in 2007, are expected to go back up about .3% in 2008. As Yun noted late in 2007 “even with a modest decline in the national aggregate price this year, it’s important to keep in mind that nearly two-thirds of the metro areas in the US are showing price increases … the apparent disparity results from fewer sales in high-cost areas, so a change in the mix is dragging down the national median home price.”

To find out the latest trends in Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. To begin searching for Okemo Mountain VT homes, please use my
complimentary MLS search.