Vermont Custom Cedar Log Cabin on 15+ Private Acres

This quintessential Vermont custom-built log cabin on 15+ acres is snuggled in a cove of maples, with privacy and gorgeous panoramic views from its hilltop setting. There are 5 acres of cleared pasture in which you can grow your own food or raise your own farm animals; and, 10 acres of treed land for exploring, hiking and harvesting your own firewood. It's an efficient home with a wood-burning insert in the field-stone fireplace in the living/dining area, and a woodstove in the finished basement.

Wildlife abounds. Snow shoe, cross-country ski, hike, or bike right out your front door. Good place for RC (remote control) flying. Tap into the maples for your own maple-syrup supply. Enjoy the small orchard of hazelnut trees, blueberry bushes and apple trees. Relax or dine on the front porch and enjoy the expansive views, or write the great American novel - inspiration awaits you!

See the complete MLS listing here.

Can I help you find yours?
Call (802-730-4343) or write for more information

From the DeliBakery at Trapp Family Lodge

Photo of the Day

Mountain BIking at Trapps yesterday with my riding buddy Jeff Beattie. We came out of the woods, headed down the road to Trapp's DeliBakery for the lagers, and enjoyed this view to the east.

 The view to the east from Trapp Hill Road at Trapp Family Lodge

Welcome to Vermont's Byways

Welcome to the Vermont Byways. Explore Vermont's secondary roads and immerse yourself in local communities, unique character of various Vermont's downtowns. www.Vermont-Byways.us

YOUR KEY TO VERMONT

Travel along Vermont's scenic byways and discover the shortest route to meeting the people and places that make Vermont such a special place.

The best way to experience Vermont is to tour the roadways that wind through the mountains and meet in the valleys. These are the roads that take travelers through Vermont's forests and farmland to historic villages and towns that are vibrant hubs of culture, commerce, and recreation.

Vermont's 10 designated byways range in length from 14 miles to more than 400 miles. An exploration can range from an afternoon to an entire summer.

Tour the byways by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or train. Any mode of transportation on Vermont’s byways provides access to museums, art galleries, antique auctions, and curio shops. Trailheads, swimming holes, waterfalls, hikes, and valley views await travelers at every bend. Side excursions unearth the sublime, such as world-class music festivals and outdoor events of every kind. Delightfully down-to-earth occasions to break bread with locals include country diners, farm stands, and church suppers. Each stop along the way creates memories that linger long after the vacation ends.

Themed itineraries are available to jumpstart Vermont byway adventures. For foodies seeking local flavors, there's Chews & Brews. Arts & Culture reveals Vermont's creative spirit, while History & Heritage shares the state's varied past. For physical pursuits from mild to wild, Outdoor Recreation serves it up. Access these itineraries for each of Vermont’s 10 designated byways and start planning a byways journey today.

For entertaining and educational commentary along the way, download the Gypsy Guide before hitting the road. Explore the Vermont Scenic Route 100 Byway, the Mad River Byway, and the Green Mountain Byway as though a personal tour guide were leading the way. Download the Vermont Route 100 Byway Gypsy Guide on the App Store or Google Play. 

Begin your Green Mountain Byway journey, click here. To learn more about the Green Mountain Byway, which encompasses Stowe, Moscow, Waterbury, Colbyville, and, soon, Hyde Park Village, click here.

For more information about Vermont’s 9 other byways, click here.

For information about exploring Vermont’s byways by rail, visit www.vermontvacation.com/amtrak.

Selling? How to get ready for a showing in 10 minutes or less!

8 tips to help homesellers prep on the fly


by Leigh Brown - May 27, 2016

 

Key Takeaways

  • Be sure to eliminate any clutter around the house -- even if you have to hide it like a little kid.
  • Take out the trash, and stash the laundry.
  • When you're selling your house, it's crucial to leave during a showing to let the buyer's agent work.
I know! The worst part of selling your home is showing it! Here are some tips to get the biggest items covered so you can get out of the way and the buyers can make a great offer! We love our successful sellers and want YOU to be successful too!

Read the complete article by Leigh Brown, at Inman.com

Leigh Brown is a full-time residential Realtor, speaker, coach and smartass. She works in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market with Re/Max Executive Realty and can be reached @leighbrown on all networks.

Who Pays the Highest Property Taxes?

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2016

The average median property tax rate across the nation is 1.31 percent. That means a home owner with a home valued at $200,000, on average, pays an annual amount of $2,620 in property taxes, according to an analysis by CoreLogic’s data team.

Illinois has the highest median property tax rate at 2.67 percent. Hawaii, on the other hand, has the lowest at 0.31 percent.

“While higher median tax rates are seen primarily among states in the northeast, a notable exception is Texas, which has a median property tax rate of 2.17 percent,” CoreLogic reports. “Typically, the states with the highest property tax rates, with the exception of Illinois, have multiple levels of tax collection. Conversely, the majority of states with low median tax rates have a single level of collection at the county level. Other than Hawaii, the lowest median property tax rates are primarily in the Rocky Mountain region and southeastern states.”

CoreLogic calculated the median overall property tax rates nationally by state. Researchers took into account all taxing and collection entities. Take a look at the chart below to see how your state ranks.

Source: “Comparing the Real Cost of Owning Property Across the United States,” CoreLogic’s Insights Blog (April 27, 2016)

Buyers Need to Be Ready for Some Competition

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016

The spring housing market is heating up and demand is high across the country. Some would-be buyers who were outbid last year or couldn’t find a home to fit their needs are returning this spring. They’re more determined than ever to buy too.

But the competition will likely be steep again this spring.

“Would-be buyers face a dilemma: There will be more homes on the market over each week of the next three to four months, but there will also be even more prospective buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “We are entering the busiest season of home buying with the lowest amount of inventory in three years. To be competitive, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage and be ready to act quickly if they find a home that meets their needs.”

The median list price nationwide continues to inch higher and some markets are seeing long-awaited increases to inventories, although those increases been slight, according to realtor.com®’s latest housing report.

“Listings are growing as they normally do this time of the year, but because demand has been growing faster than supply, homes are selling faster,” says Smoke. “So the monthly trend is the normal seasonal pattern, but the year-over-year decline is reflective of demand being stronger than supply for more than a year, which is resulting in fewer homes available and faster-moving inventory.”

The median list price for March is $238,000, up 3 percent from last month and 8 percent higher than a year ago, according to realtor.com®’s preliminary analysis of this month’s data.

This month, there were 3 percent more homes for sale compared to February. The extra inventory is a welcome sign for buyers, but inventories are still 2 percent below what they were a year ago. That means the inventory crunch is still plaguing many housing markets.

Due to these limited inventories, home sold faster in March, spending a median of 77 days on the market. That's 20 percent faster than last month and 13 percent faster than a year ago, according to realtor.com®’s housing report.

Also, showing demand is strong, realtor.com® says its preliminary analysis of site traffic data shows that it likely grew 20 percent in March over last year, and there were 40 percent more searches for houses on the site than a year ago.

Source: “America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets in March 2016,” realtor.com® (March 30, 2016)

Tax and Home Records Checklist: What to Keep and For How Long

Want to purge your records — and rest assured you have all the documents you need when you need them? Read on.

By: Dona DeZube

If you're going to file a claim or take a deduction, you'd better have the paperwork to back it up. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

If you're going to file a claim or take a deduction, you'd better have the paperwork to back it up. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Unless you’re living in the 123-room Spelling Manor, you probably don’t have space to store massive amounts of tax and insurance paperwork, warranties, and repair receipts related to your home. But you’ll definitely want your paperwork at hand if you have to prove you deserved a tax deduction, file an insurance claim, or figure out if your busted oven is still under warranty.

Except for tax paperwork, there’s no official guideline governing exactly how long you have to keep most home-related documents. Lucky for you, we considered the situations in which you might need documents and came up with a handy “How Long to Keep It” home records checklist.

First, a little background on IRS rules, which informed some of our charts:

  • The IRS says you should keep tax returns and the paperwork supporting them for at least three years after you file the return — the amount of time the IRS has to audit you. So that’s how long we advise in our charts.
  • Check with your state about state income tax, though. Some make you keep tax records a really long time: In Ohio, it’s 10 years.
  • The IRS can also ask for records up to six years after a filing if they suspect someone failed to report 25% or more of his gross income. And the agency never closes the door on an audit if it suspects fraud. Just sayin’.

HOME SALE RECORDS

How Long to Keep It

As long as you own the property + 3 years


As long as you own the property

Until the warranty period ends

As long as you own the property

As long as you own the property + 3 years

As long as you own the property + 3 years


Forever, just in case a lender says, “Hey, you still owe money.”

Document

Home sale closing documents, including HUD-1 settlement sheet                       

Deed to the house

Builder’s warranty or service contract for new home

Community/condo association covenants, codes, restrictions (CC&Rs)

Receipts for capital improvements

Section 1031 (like-kind exchange) sale records for both your old and new properties, including HUD-1 settlement sheet

Mortgage payoff statements (certificate of satisfaction or lien release)


Why you need these docs: You use home sale closing documents, receipts for capital improvements, and like-kind exchange records to calculate and document your profit (gain) when you sell your home. Your deed and mortgage payoff statements prove you own your home and have paid off your mortgage, respectively. Your builder’s warranty or contract is important if you file a claim. And sooner or later you’ll need to check the CC&R rules in your condo or community association.


When you read the complete article at Houselogic.com, you'll find out what documents you'll need, in the categories below, and for how long you should keep them:

  1. ANNUAL TAX DEDUCTIONS
  2. INSURANCE AND WARRANTIES
  3. INVESTMENT (LANDLORD) REAL ESTATE DEDUCTIONS
  4. MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but isn’t intended to be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice.

Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for more than two decades. She lives in a suburban Baltimore Midcentury modest home on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.

Brain Drain: 5 Low-Maintenance Features Millennial Buyers Will Love

RISMedia's Housecall

Posted on Mar 7 2016 - 4:24 pm by Suzanne De Vita

The low-maintenance movement has taken hold across generations of homeowners. For millennials—the leading segment of homebuyers—the lower, the better. So summarized by Jill Waage, editorial director of home content for Better Homes and Gardens:

“They want to use their brains for other things, not for remembering whether they adjusted the heat or closed the garage door.”

Smart home automation has answered that call (admittedly with a few questionable products), all but guaranteeing low-maintenance living. Still, there are other, lesser-known low-maintenance features millennials may want to consider when hunting for the home of their dreams.

A brick home, for instance, doesn’t demand the maintenance required for wood or vinyl siding. It won’t rot, and its color won’t fade, sparing the homeowner the expense to repaint the exterior.

“Brick itself is a relatively low-maintenance building material, thanks to its durability and color retention,” explains Jason Hargraves of Angie’s List.

Similarly low-maintenance is metal roofing, which, according to Paul Kazlov of Global Home Improvement, is “one of the most durable roofing materials available on the market.” Properly installed metal roofs don’t absorb water, reducing risk of damage from the elements and lessening the potential for costly repairs.

Inside the home, low- or no-maintenance features are practical in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Among the “least fussy finishes,” coins Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico, are black stainless steel and quartz.

“Stainless steel has dominated appliances for decades. The only knock against the material is that it can be prone to smudges and fingerprints,” DiClerico says. “That’s creating a lot of interest in black stainless steel.”

Thanks to its matte surface, black stainless steel resists smudges, significantly cutting down cleaning efforts. And quartz, which is non-porous and stain- and scratch-resistant, doesn’t require deep cleaning, either—or sealing, like other countertop materials do.

Wall paint can also be low-maintenance, given the right finish in the right room. Satin paint is a cinch to clean, and can be especially practical in the kitchen or bathrooms; semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboards and moldings.

“No matter what paint you go with, our experts agree: steer clear of the cheapest choices,” says Stacy Giordullo, also of Angie’s List.

The common denominator among all of these features, of course, is the low-maintenance factor—but they’ll also serve millennials well come resale. Now that’s a no-brainer!

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online associate editor. She reserves her brain space
for all 151 pages of the script of "Titanic."

Read this article at blog.rismedia.com

Too Much Love Can be a Bad Thing

19 Ways You're Killing Your Home with Kindness

Kick these deceptive "home improvement" habits STAT

 

Home owners can overdo it when it comes to the upkeep of their home. This Old House recently spotlighted several ways that home owners’ enthusiasm for home ownership may actually harm the house.

1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage can be dangerous, particularly with incandescents or halogen lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. "Using a bulb with too-high wattage will cause the fixture and its wiring to overheat," he notes, which could then allow the heat to travel to the wall or erode the insulation on the wires and lead to a house fire. Check the fixtures label to make sure you use the correct wattage.

2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could be putting your slab at risk. As these trees grow taller, their roots will go outward, potentially pushing up the paving and causing it to buckle or crack. This Old House recommends planting small trees that will remain under 20 feet at maturity and that are at least 10 feet from paved areas. For larger trees, leave at least a 20-foot radius.

3. Overscrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. "Cleaners with a grit or grain to them will wear away at the finish and dull it," Kohler's Mike Marbuch told This Old House. "That will make the sink more prone to gunk sticking to it—actually making it look dirtier." Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.

4. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Recessed lighting is known as causing heat-sucking air leaks, especially when the fixtures are unsealed in vaulted ceilings. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC). Also, use as few recessed lights as you can, especially when it comes to adding them to cathedral ceilings or in rooms directly below unconditioned attics.

5. Spreading too much mulch outside. “Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. “If you’ve mulched so much that tree trunks and flowers’ and shrubs’ lower branches are covered by or dragging in it, you’ve gone overboard.” Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.

6. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes. The black edge can occur from using ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners. This Old House recommends using warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth to clean mirrors. Or if you do use the sprays, spray it onto a dry cloth first and not directly onto the glass.

7. Repainting too much. “Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100 percent acrylic-resin exterior paint.

8. Fertilizing too much. Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency warns over-fertilizing can cause “nutrient pollution,” which is when nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from lawn fertilizers and then leads to an overgrowth of algae that can even pollute local waterways. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.

View all 19 tips at This Old House.

Sold in Stowe, VT

LC Sign-2.jpg

I recently sold a Lodge Condominium at Stowe Mountain Resort to a couple from Connecticut who had been to and skied at Stowe. But when their summer vacation plans last year took them to Burlington, they decided to take a day trip to Stowe. And, the rest, as they say, is history. Now, they'll be planning day trips to Burlington, if they can tear themselves away!

Can I help you find yours?
write or call 802-730-4343

Why Did Home Sales Drop So Dramatically Last Month?

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which covered sales in November. The report revealed that sales:

“…fell 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million)…”

That revelation gave birth to a series of industry articles, some of which quoted pundits questioning whether the housing market was slowing. In actuality, there is one rather simple explanation to much of the falloff in sales last month. It is likely the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on October 3. These regulations caused house closings to be delayed by an extra three days in November as shown in the graph below.

 

Days-to-Close-KCM.jpg

Three days might sound like a minimal difference. However, since there are only approximately 20 days in a month that a closing would normally take place (Mondays through Fridays), losing three days constitutes well over 10% of all closings. These sales are not lost. They are just moved into the next month’s numbers. In a DS News article on the subject yesterday, Auction.com EVP Rick Sharga explained:

“The most likely cause for the weak sales numbers is a delay in processing loans due to the new TRID mortgage requirements imposed by the CFPB. This is the biggest change in mortgage document processing in many years, and there have been numerous reports within the industry of problems implementing the process and the new documentation that comes with it.”

So how is the housing market actually doing?

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

We can see immediately that demand to buy single family homes is increasing over the last few months - not decreasing.

Bottom Line

No matter what last month’s sales numbers show, the housing market is still doing well as demand remains strong.

Candide Thovex Doesn't Wait for Winter

Candide Thovex is back. The legendary Frenchman has recently directed an new video for Audi as part of its new quattro® campaign. The 3-time X-Games gold medallist, Freeride World champion, and state of the art filmmaker has applied his magic touch to another awesome video, filmed entirely without a snowflake in sight.

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