Blog :: 01-2012

Keeping Your Home Exterior In Shape | REALTORS® Identify Exterior Replacement Projects

An Example of a Home in Poor Condition

We are often asked what are good projects and items to do to increase or keep the value of your home.  In the following article you will see what exterior projects are the most important in terms of an investment by homeowners.  Curb appeal is key, not only from the actual street, but from the web as well.  If your home does not present itself well in either the likelihood it will be shown and sold is greatly reduced.

In Vermont with the weather we get it is important to take care of exterior features to maintain value.  Roof's and siding can easily fall into disrepair if they are not cared for.  These are two areas we see sellers having to fix or address after a building inspection.  Keeping those items up to date and in good shape will help sellers realize great returns on their homes.

To reach more about exterior replacement project, click below.

REALTORS® Identify Exterior Replacement Projects as Best Investment for Homeowners.


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        Stowe Restaurants -- Some of Our Favorite Places

        Harrisons Restaurant


        Many ski towns offer a variety of food, but not a variety with quality.  Stowe is known for having both; here are a few of our local favorites:

        Harrison's, ask for Andrew and Kathy Kneale, the mother and son duo that has been pleasing locals with their food for decades. Casual dining located in the Stowe village below the Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate office, try the mussels or cheese burger, both are amazing.

        Frida's Taqueria brings traditional Mexican to Stowe. Known for clean, crisp flavors and local ingredients, Frida's offers something not normally found this far north. The tres tacos platter offers you variety; the fried cod, fried oyster, carnitas and carne asada are just a few that bring Mexico to the cold north.

        Cork located in downtown Waterbury, VT at the corner of Stowe Street. This wine bar and market was just opened by a long time friend Danielle Nichols. She offers a wide variety of beautiful tasting wines along with a cozy atmosphere. Stop by on your way to Stowe for a drink and pick up a bottle on your way out the door.

        Piecasso Pizzeria, NYC slices in Stowe also rated Top 11 slices in America by Travel and Leisure Magazine. They have a great family set up and also a cool bar and game room, plus the pizza is great.

        Gracie's, another Stowe Classic, run by Archie, you'll never leave there hungry. Known for their burgers, Gracie's take it to the next level. I love the boxer and their famous chicken sandwich.

        Cactus Cafe is Stowe's Tex-Mex favorite. Offering their famous jalapeño chips at the table, beware they bring the heat. Also on the menu are slow smoked pulled pork tacos, a southern twist to a Mexican standby. Wash it all down with their Mansfield marg!

        McCarthy's is the only stop for breakfast in Stowe. They've been serving it up for over 30 years and know how breakfast should be done. Ask for Diane, she'll probably be at the door waiting for you with a smile. Their homemade corn beef hash is made from scratch, just like the maple nut bread.

        For more formal dining try:

        Michael's On The Hill located in Waterbury center, just south of Stowe. This chef owned restaurant sources local foods at a very high quality. Offering tasting menus and creativity, Michael's if perfect for a romantic dinner. Try their Manhattan, made with port wine, as a bourbon lover; I give it two thumbs up.

        Hen Of The Wood located just off I-89 in Waterbury this kitchen has been cranking out high-end food for many years. The unique location and old stone mill offers a view of the river and waterfall which is only match by the quality of the food.

        Kitchen Table Bistro, a bit further away, located in Richmond, but well worth the drive. As with the other two they locally source their food and offer a stunning wine list. The menu changes with the seasons and offers a real look into handcrafted Vermont food.

        Farm to School, Lunch Redone | Vermont Life Magazine - Re Do Lunch Winter 2011 - 2012

        Example of a healthy school lunch

        School lunch has been an issue brought up again and again over the past year.  How do schools work within their budgets, but at the same time provide nutritious and quality food to growing kids.  Keeping it affordable is usually the main driving factor, which is why some schools classify pizza as a vegetable.  One Vermont school, Harwood Union, has made the effort to combat this issue by keeping it local and embracing a farm to school outlook.  They coupled this with the hiring of a professional chef.  Harwood is one of 200 Vermont schools that participate in some sort of  farm to school initiatives. To read more about Harwood's efforts click here: Vermont Life Magazine - Winter 2011 - 2012.

        Click here to learn more about Vermont's FEED program

        Cool Glass Sculptures | Motion Studies | New England Home

        Work from Little River Hotglass Studio: Vortex Series

        The glass blowing of Toots Zynsky of Pawtucket R.I. is featured in this month's New England Home Magazine.  She uses some amazing colors and shapes to create real pieces of art.

        If you're looking for local glass artist in the Stowe area check out the work of Little River Hotglass Studio & Gallery where Michael Trimpol has been blowing glass since 1995.  Down route 100 you can also visit Ziemke Glassblowing Studio also opened in 1995.

        To read more about Toots click the link below.

        Motion Studies | New England Home.

        Vermont Life Magazine - Ski The East Winter 2011 - 2012

        Photographed by Curtis Savard

        When you think of ski movies these days you think of remote locations in Alaska that are only serviced by helicopters, but think again.  Local film makers, Geoff McDonald and Chris James of Meathead Films have created  ski movies which features ski east of the Mississippi.  This year's film "Prime Cut" has skiing in the streets of Boston, at Killington as well as other Eastern location.  To read more about the creation of Meathead Films and their movies click below.

        Vermont Life Magazine - Winter 2011 - 2012.

        Housing Driven by Jobless Rates | HouseLogic Poll Finds Voters Driven by Jobs, Housing in 2012 Election

        Vermont Unemployment Rates

        Jobs have been in the forefront of everyone's mind since the economic downturn.  The lack of jobs and poor housing markets seem to go hand in hand.  Many areas that were hit hard by one or both still have a long way to go to recover.  Those areas that had stable or slight dips in one or both have been able to recover more quickly to a stabler market.

        Vermont's jobless rate took a dip in November, the third straight month of declines, to 5.3 percent compared to the 8.6 percent nationally.  The Morristown-Stowe area rate was 5.7 percent, which is much lower than the 6.8 percent from November 2010.

        To read more about jobless rates and the election click here:

        HouseLogic Poll Finds Voters Driven by Jobs, Housing in 2012 Election

        To read the article in the Stowe Reporter dealing with jobless rates click here:

        State Jobless Rate Takes a Dip


        Stone Work Taking To The Next Level | Stowe, VT Stone Masons | Rocks Star | New England Home

        Stone Wall Created by My Eathworks

        The work of Lew French takes viewers and property owners to new levels of creative ideas.  His stone work has become famous throughout the world.  For interesting local Stowe, VT stone work check out these local stone workers and landscape artists.

        Looking for landscaping ideas that are state of the art and work within the naturally surrounding  environment contact Ian Ambler, a long time family friend.  You can reach Ian at Ambler Design.

        For local stone workers who are bringing stone work to the next level check out Thea Alvin who owns My Earth Work.  Thea is bending stone as if it were water.

        Also contact Matthew Karlin of Matthew Karlin Masonry who laid the majority of the stone work at the new Stowe Mountain Resort.  Matt can be reached at 802-363-5019, tell him fellow Brew Crew ski bum member McKee sent you his way.

        Read more about Lew French's designs by clicking below.

        Rocks Star | New England Home.


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                  U.S. is top 2012 property investment pick | Reuters | Vermont Commercial Real Estate

                  Interesting article relating to commercial properties in 2012.  The U.S. ranks top investment pick according to the 20th annual survey of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) members. 

                  While this only deals with large cities the same factors that make them appealing to investors also come into play on a smaller scale for local commercial properties.  Commercial properties often take longer to sell and can remain vacant, but with a growing economy and lower jobless numbers (see up coming blog on Jan 5th regarding lower jobless numbers) they become attractive quickly.  The Stowe area has many commercial options and several have started to attract new businesses to the area.

                  To read the full article click below:

                  U.S. is top 2012 property investment pick | Reuters.


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