Blog :: 02-2008

Money Magazine Supports Buying Now

I just read an article afew days ago in Money magazine which validates what we have been telling our customers for months, which is buy now. The article talked about the fact that interest rates are for all intensive purposes hovering around a two year low and there is plenty of inventory available to choose from which makes it a buyer's market. It doesn't makesense right now to try to time the bottom of the market. If you wait 12 months to see if prices drop more, in the long run you could end up having higher payments due to the very real possibility of interest rates rising which they will more than likely do. Here's an example of what I mean. If you purchase a home now and have a mortgage of $250,000 with a 6% interest rate amortized over 30 years, your principal and interest payment will be $1,498.87. Now if you wait a year and get lucky enough to buy the same house and save $20,000 so that you can take out a $230,000 mortgage, but the interest rate rises to 7% then your principal and interest payment will be $1,530.19. So in this case you are increasing your payments by $31.32 a month, not taking into account that if you have your own home to sell, that you have probably lost the extra down payment moneyfrom the price decline in your home because you waited to sell. So all in all, if I were contemplating buying or selling, I would do it now, just like Money magazine says.

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    Fashion Show at Convention

    I don't believe what I have agreed to, but I have. I agreed to be ina fashion show at the Century 21 International Convention this week in Orlando. I got a call from the guy in charge of events for Century 21 and he said my name was referred to him by someone who said I might beup for some fun at the convention. He said they were going to have a fashion show on Friday featuring a new line of clothing that Century 21 was promoting. If IparticipatedI could keep the clothes, so I said sure, thinking that I could get lost in the crowd on stage. Well I just found out that there will be only 7 of us coming out on stage individually in front of 8000 people. Just to let youknow, I normally reallylike to fly below the radar at these types of things, so I still am asking myself what the heck was I thinking??? Anyways, I am going to go through with it and put myself out of my comfort zone.Iamgoing to have a positive outlook on thisandwill try to makethis a fun experience. Who knows, maybe there will movie star scout there and I'llget chosen to be in the movies next.Ok, maybe I'm still not thinking.

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      Orlando or Bust

      Next week is school vacation for the kids and we are heading to Orlando because I have the Century 21 International Convention that I will be attending. The timing works out this year that work can be mixed with pleasure. I don't know who is more excited to go, the kids, or me and my wife. Yes it is that time of the year that we get a little spring fever. We went to a boat show this past weekend that I think deepened the desire for warmer weather. We arelooking forward togoing outside in a tee-shirt and shorts. We live here in Vermont, but we certainly love the warm weather. In fact,I think we appreciate it sometimesmore than someone who lives in a warmer climate. Anyways, maybe we'll see Mickey when we are down there. If we do, I'll tell him Vermont says hello.

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        The Today Show at Sugarbush

        How ironic that I just went skiing at Sugarbush last week, which I had not done in ages and the Today Show just did a live shoot there this morning at 7:00. I think they did an excellent job and the beauty of Vermont was well represented on their newscast. It further substantiates what I have been telling you all along. Vermont is not just a beautiful state, but it is a state of mind as well.The sunwas shining brightly this morningagainsta clear dark blue ski. The temperature was hovering around 8 degrees, and I thought to myself, that mother nature really takes care of us here. She makes it just cold enough, just long enough that it keeps hordes of people from moving here which preserves our serenity, protects us from over building and maintains a lower carbon foot print for our us to enjoy the outdoors to its fullest. Sure we have to travel out of the state to see a professional sporting event or to visit a big time city. But we don't have to fight the traffic jams on the expressways, our air is cleaner to breath and our crime rate is way below the national average. Yes, the Today Show was here this week, and the hosts were shivering at times outside as they did their live broadcast.They were struggling to get their hats and gloves on just right to try to stop the cold.I chuckled to myself,because Mother Nature had decided toattend the event this morning.Yes she was there, and she made sure she provided our guestswithsome good-old Vermonthome cookin of her own. Just the way we like it.

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          My Century 21 Open House Contest

          Starting March 3rd Century 21 International will be running a contest that could net someone $21,000 and an HDTV. Sellers and their Century 21 listing agent will be encouraged to create a 1:15 minute open house video. This video should be entertaining, emotional, humorous and or creative. Consumers will select the top 10 entries that will be submitted on youtube. The Grand prize winnerwill be selected by the Century 21 Marketing Department committee and win $21,000 and an HDTV. There will be other prizes as well. If you would like to sell your home and have some fun doing it, give me a call or e-mail me today so we can enter your home in this ground breaking marketing opportunity.

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            April Open House Month

            In the month of April Century 21 International will be promoting Open House Month. There will be a number of events and promotional spots highlighting current inventory on the market. Sellers will be able to get additional exposure for their homes and the consumer will be able to get a better grasp of what the choices may be in their market place.If your home is listed with us between now and then, you will be able to take advantage of the National campaign and all the marketing that Century 21 International will be doing for this event. There will be televison, radio and web exposure for all those individuals who are willing to participate. Call me today and let's get your home listed prior to this event. Hey if we sell it before then, would that be a bad thing?

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              The Skiing is Great

              I went skiing this past Saturday at Bolton Ski Area. It is only 23 minutes away from Burlington which is so incredibly convenient. I think we live in such a magical place. We received 15 inches of snow on Wednesday and it was sunny with very little wind which made the trips up the lift so much more enjoyable. The snow was still on the trees especially on the top of the mountain, which always seems to be the case and we have to remind ourselves not to take this view for granted. My kids will chime in when I say, "you know what?" And they will say, "yes Dad, it's so pretty it's like a postcard." I guess they have heard it many times before. We met a guy riding up the lift who transfered here from Wisconsin ten years ago before he had kids. He said his wife wanted to transfer while they were young and did not have kids. The only reason he agreed to the move was because his wife had shown him an aerial view of Burlington bordering Lake Champlain with the mountains in close proximity. He is an avid sailor and skier so he was up for the move. Anyways he now has too small children and loves it here and he says he can't imagine a better place to raisehis family. I guess I am not the only onewho thinks that way.

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                A place to call home

                Located on the Northwest side of Vermont and bordered by Lake Champlain this is truly one of the nicest places you'll ever want to experience. Two blocks away is Church Street our pedestrain walkway lined with restaurants, shops, galleries, and the Flynn theater. Modeled after Fanueil Hall in Boston, this brick-lined street is a hustle and bustle of summertime performances and activities.

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                  Local Broker Hits Grandslam for kids

                  It's not often in life that you get a chance to positively affect a whole community, but that is what has happened for us this past year in Burlington, Vermont. Being an avid baseball fan and coach for several years in our wonderful community we realized that we only had one regular size baseball diamond for the largest city in our State. Justone field for6 teams and about 90kids 13-19to use other than at the high school. This in itself created plenty of hardships concerning scheduling, usage and travel distance for the kids. Recognizing the need for another field wetargeted an old men's softball field that was hardly being used,for restorationand reconstruction into a baseball field. Originally it had been a baseball field back in the early 1920's. We formulated a committee of volunteers, got a change of use by the city and were approved tofundraisethe necessary funds to replace the drainage around the field, build dugouts, a new back stop, a utility shed a batting cage anda wholelot more.It wasa huge undertaking and was going to cost over 200k to complete. To make a long story short, we have had some wonderful people jump on board to support and donate a large portion towardsthis project including large donations from a local business man, major league baseball's tomorrow fund and many individual donors. Year to date, we have raised almost enough money tocomplete the project. The drainage system andhalf of the field was installed this past fall and we willfinish the project in the spring of 2008. It has been incredibly rewarding to spear head this "Field of Dreams' project and it has truly takena communityto raise this field. Soon the boys will be able to walk and biketheir way to practice and actually have home games which they have not had in the past on the middle school level for this area of the city. I can't wait to see their faces when it is complete and we are able to yell "Play Ball" for the boys of summer.

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                    Experience Counts

                    I am entering my 24th year selling real estate this year and I must say that I still love the feeling of being able to help someone buy their dream home and sell their current home. It never seizes to amaze me how incredibly rewarding it is to use my expertise to help other people attain their goals. I have learned alot over this period of time about real estate markets, investing, speculation, and negotiations. It is an emotional transaction for both the buyers and the sellers and typically is one of the biggest financial transactions that most people experience during their lifetimes. There are times that no matter how hard you try, things can become difficult. It is during these times, that the service we provide becomes invaluable to our buyers and sellers. You see, more than likely I have experienced this situation before, and because of this, I can help you through it. There really is not much that I haven't seen and very rarely am I surprised by circumstances that arise. Because of this, I am confident that I can handle most any real estate transaction that you look to be involved in. After 24 years, I know I can get you into your investment property, condo or dream home too.

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                      Snowy Week

                      An unpredicted ice storm roared into the area on Wednesdaymorning around 7:00 am making the roads treacherous to drive on. There were many accidents and a number of school cancellations due to a build up of ice under the 5 inches of wet and heavy snow. Usually this small amount of snow doesn't affect us much, but combined with the thick frozen ice beneath it, caused the best laid plans for an easymorning commute to dissapear. There were many cars off the road and one police cruiser had been rear -ended on the entry ramp to I-89 off Shelburne Road. The roads no sooner werecleared up by the afternoon and another 5-6 inches came in overnight on only to wake up to it all over again!!! The trees are still snowcovered and relect the winter beauty that Vermont has to offer this time of year.

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                        More proposed legislation that would limit our housing stock

                        Water Buffer

                        The House Fish, Wildlife and Natural Resources chaired by David Deen (D-Westminster) has continued its work on H.549 a bill that would implement a 50-foot waterway buffer around all waters of the state. The committee was scheduled to vote the bill out on Friday, but do to strong opposition from many in the regulated community and also with concerns from the Agency of Natural Resources the committee postponed the vote and will continue to work on the bill over the next couple of weeks. The HBRA would like to thank members from Rutland that called their local representative on the committee to voice their concerns about the bill. It is clear that their efforts helped in slowing down this bill. The HBRA still has concerns that streams that only flow part of the year, called intermittent streams, are still included in this bill. The association will continue to push for its removal. Thank you to our local homebuilder association forproviding us this information and keepingus abreast as to what is being proposed in Montpelier during this legislative session. If you are for housing in Vermont, call your legislator and tell them that you are against this bill.

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                          Legislative update From our Local Homebuilders Association

                          Smoke Detectors

                          The Senate Commerce, Housing, General and Military Committee began to take up testimony last week on a bill, S.226, which would mandate that all new smoke detectors installed be photoelectric detectors. Currently builders are only required to install either ionization or photoelectric smoke detectors. Local firefighters have begun a recent push to only allow photoelectric detectors to be installed. They believe these photoelectronic detectors to be safer. Many studies conducted by Underwriter Laboratories and others though seem to indicate that there is no statistical difference between the two. The HBRA is currently coordinating with the committee to take expert testimony from the NAHB building codes department on this issue. Stay tuned for more updates on this topic and more during our legislative session. (HBRA) stands for Homebuilders and Remodelers Association in our local area. They have provided us this information in an attempt to keep us informed on current legislative issues being discussed in Montpelier.

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                            Motivation keys the Movement

                            A wonderful thing is slowly starting to happen in our local real estate market. Sellers are starting to realize that it is no longer 2004, and I say this without any intended disrespect. Yes, deals are becoming possible because people are becoming much more willing to accept the reality of our situation. There seems to be an excitedhush and expectation that we are begining to feel the positive effects of low interest rates and a pent-up need for sellers to sell and buyers to buy. I am not saying we are out of the woods yet with the economy and therefore things could take a turn. But we are noticing that more deals are being made and the silence is starting to become less prevalent.

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