Real Estate News

Wire Fraud is Close to Home

Wire Fraud can affect all of us, and we want to make sure you don't become a victim.  It essentially boils down to one simple thing - if you receive a request to 'wire money' to anyone, pause and make sure to verify the source.  What is happening, is the wire fraud scammers are creating emails that fully replicate those that might otherwise look familiar to you, for instance, from us, your attorney, or lender.  They will send you a personal email requesting that you "wire funds for your closing", or other, only to be ultimately routed to a bogus account.  This has actually happened recently to a buyer and the representing real estate firm, in the region.  So, be aware, be vigilant, and if you ever receive any correspondence that appears to come from us or your attorney, please contact us immediately.  One of the ways you can flesh out this illegal procedure, is by looking at the actual email address in the email header.  In other words, if it looked like the email was coming from us - The Smith Macdonald Group - look to the right of that to see the actual address in parenthesis.  If it's a scam, the email address will not be a familiar one.  This rule of thumb can be applied to other potential junk mail or email scams, from the likes of Pay Pal, Amazon, etc., asking you to 'verify your account information', for instance.   Another tip is to not generate any sensitive information via email, including attaching instructions for wiring money into any of your or others accounts.  This information can be scraped, and used illegally.  Also make sure you have the proper Malwear protection on your computer to help identify cyber threats.
 

She Put the S in The Smith Macdonald Group

Peggy Smith is the Heart and Soul of the Smith Macdonald Group, and is the owner of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate.  The Group was formed when Mckee joined Peggy in 2010.  It grew again when Maggie joined in 2016.  They have been #1 in the Stowe market for the past 3 years.

The Smith Macdonald Group has consistently led the market, largely due to the reputation Peggy has built over the years, and her sheer hard work.  Peggy still works as much as she has, since she started in the real estate business over 40 years ago, so, she's ready to help with any transaction related to buying or selling. 

Peggy can be reached at (802) 793-3566, or Peggy@Stowere.com.

Stowe Inventory Remains Low - Market Update

As we approach the end of the 2nd quarter of the year, we thought we’d give a quick update on the market. A recurring theme continues - that of Buyer demand continuing to be strong, and inventory low. So far, the buying and selling season has already been a busy one. As we enter the most active period of the real estate sales market, this is a very good time to sell. Buyers are ready, and with the lack of inventory, they are looking for more choices. For Buyers, it’s still a good time since interest rates have remained at one of the lowest levels ever, and if prices rise, the sooner the better to buy.  

As you may be aware, the Vail purchase of Stowe Mountain Resort operations was recently completed. Many ask if that has had an impact on real estate sales. It’s still a little early to be quantitatively definitive about that, but many are talking about it, and feeling that overall, it is of economic benefit to the region. In addition, we have been seeing a pretty clear positive impact in some segments of the market. When the news first broke about the impending sale, there was an uptick in sales of condominiums located near the Mountain.

Since the start of the second quarter, there have been a total of 25 residential closings, which includes 16 condominiums. The price range is from $106,000 – $3.3 million, which is a Mountain Cabin, at Spruce Peak.  Currently there are 24 residential properties under contract, ranging in price from $199,000 - $1.495 million; 2 of the pending sales are over $1 million, 7 of them are condominiums.  

This is just a overview, but if you are thinking of selling, it is a great time to list your property. If you are thinking of buying, new inventory remains tight and have educated representation in this market, will work to your advantage. Let us know if you have any questions, and how we might help you reach your real estate goals, and assist you through the process.

New Stowe VT Residential Listings for Sale

Real estate Inventory remains at one of the lowest levels we've seen in years.  Buyer demand remains high, and so does the expectation for new residential listings and choices.  As we enter into the spring selling season, more listings will be coming on the market.  In the meantime, here are a few special properties which we have just recently listed for sale, representing a really nice variety of choices for today's buyer:

774 Barnes Hill Road, Stowe VT | Asking: $595,000

Apple trees and natural landscaping accent the meadow on this 10 acres parcel.  Sitting on a knoll overlooking a large swimming pond, this Cape-style contemporary home has gorgeous views of the Worcester Range.  The master suite on the first floor looks out on the pond and a small screened cabin. The house is filled with light from the oversized windows.  For more details, including photos, inside and out, visit the property profile.

3 Bed | 3 Bath | 2 Car Garage | 10.2 Acres

 

 

152 Houston Farm Rd, Stowe VT | Asking: $760,000

Surprising gem in the heart of Sugar House Hill. Just off the Mountain Road this home offers a quick trip to the ski hill, access to the bike path, close proximity to restaurants, and quiet beautifully landscaped surroundings.  Enjoy summer evenings or morning coffee on the screened-in porch.  The perennial garden and stone wall create a colorful accent to the view.  For more information, you can find out more about this property here.

3 Bed | 3.5 Bath | 2 Car Garage | 1.56 Acres

 

 

1275 Notchbrook Road, Stowe VT | Asking: $265,000

A condo in the mountain high looking out to open sky. Oh so fun with outdoor pool heated in the winter, way cool! Windows looking to the view, plus the ski trails too. Everything is there for you, no upkeep to do. What could be easier than living here? Among the mountains and the deer.  Such a perfect place to be.  If you visit, you will see, that life in Notchbrook is the best.  A perfect place to enjoy a rest. Click here to learn more about this unique opportunity.

2 Bed | 2 Bath | 1 Carport | 1400 Square Feet | Unit 21AB

 

Introducing a New Macdonald to the Smith Macdonald Group

We are proud to welcome Maggie Macdonald to our award-winning family business, the Smith Macdonald Group of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate. Maggie is an experienced real estate professional with deep roots in the Stowe community, who brings a successful background in sales, advertising, and project management to the Stowe area real estate market.

Maggie will join us in providing trusted advice to our clients. Like Peggy, who has been a pillar of the Stowe community since 1973, and McKee, who has been an award-winning real estate salesperson in both New York City and Stowe, she is committed to providing impeccable customer service. Maggie is forward thinking, innovative, and very tech savvy, which means our clients will benefit from state-of-the-art marketing and sales strategies. 

As a multi-million dollar sales associate at The Corcoran Group in New York City, and Prudential California Realty in Lake Tahoe, Maggie consistently delighted clients and exceeded their expectations. She helped launch an exclusive riverfront condo development at Winooski Falls, as Director of Sales and Marketing at The Cascades.  Maggie’s advertising clients trusted her to produce cutting-edge digital campaigns that were both creative and technologically advanced. She will bring this wealth of experience back home to Stowe, where she is ready to help clients navigate the local real estate market.  

Please join us in welcoming Maggie back to the Stowe area, where she will provide every client, no matter how large or small, with personalized strategies for success. With her first-hand knowledge of our unique community in the heart of the Green Mountains, Maggie will be joining us to help enhance the opportunities for all of our buyers and sellers in Stowe and the surrounding areas. 

Stowe's Exceptional Properties

Summer is the time when we see a lot of properties come on the market, in Stowe.  There is never a better time for buyers to have so many wonderful choices.   Stowe is highlighted by so many things, like being a world class 4-season resort.  There is skiing, riding, mountain biking, concerts, craft breweries, acclaimed restaurants, and a wide variety of arts and activities.  Stowe is also known for its exceptional properties, and luxury homes.  Each has its unique qualities, along with special features and benefits.

Here is a sampling of some of our current luxury properties, listed for sale.

Luxurious living on 11 private acres with a winding driveway leading to an exciting contemporary home with beautiful landscaping. From the moment you enter the home you know this place was created for the view: every window looks to mountains, gardens, and pond.

For additional details, price, and a virtual tour, you can go to our website.

Want to be able to ski home or leave from you house to cross country ski, mountain bike or hike? This is the perfect home for you. This home has never before been on the market, and is located in a very desirable area, just before the Toll House.  Lots of privacy, yet easy access to Stowe Mountain Resort.

For more information on this property, you can go to our website.

Rarely does a home become available that checks the boxes for most every kind of buyer. Imagine walking into your home and looking straight out onto a massive pond with Mt. Mansfield as a backdrop. Enjoy the easy access to Stowe village and Route 100 South, yet have privacy on 11 acres of beautiful land, surrounding you.

For more information on this property, you can go to our website.

 

Want a Smarter Home?


Smart home technology today, is providing homeowners with so many more ways to simplify tasks, save money, increase security, and feel more comfortable, whether at home or away.  This technology is becoming more and more important to buyers; and you might be surprised to find that many of the options are affordable, and provide the ability to be navigated right from your smart phone.

If  you go to this webpapge you will find an interactive interior where you can quickly find lots of helpful tips for every part of your home.  You can turn your lights on before you get home, turn your heat up or down while on vacation, have your entertainment system hidden in your light sockets; and even unlock the door for a service person, while you're at work.  Technology has come so far, that you can now actually have a cup of coffee awaiting you when you arrive home after a long day. 

For more information, and additional state of the art smart home ideas, you can visit this site.

   Source: ColdwellBanker.com   Photo: Kasalis.com   

Stowe Restaurants -- Some of our Favorites Revisited!

 

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

Markets & Quick Eats:

Cork located in downtown Waterbury, VT at the corner of Stowe Street. This wine bar and market is operated by a long time friend Danielle Moffat. 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. 

Commodities Natural Market, newly opened in Stowe, this is the second location for Commodities the other being the East Village in NYC.  Run by Michael and Audra Hughes Commodities offers a full array of natural and orgainc products from prepared foods to bulk items.  Commodities has a ton of local products ranging from cheese, veggies, bread to beer and wine. 

Casual Dining:

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. Known for their mussels, but everything that comes out of the kitchen is great. 

The Bench locatied on the Mt. Road (Rt. 108) just after the movie theater, this new addition to the Stowe restuarant scene has been welcomed by locals and visitors.  Offering wood fired food and tons of beer on tap it makes for a great combo after spending the day on the slopes.  The wings rock and my kids love the mac'n'cheese and pizza. 

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. 

Phoenix Bar & Table, owned and operated by long time local resturant operator and chef Jack Pickett, Phoenix offers a varitey of seafood and unique eats that span the world.  The kale and wedge salads are terrific as well as the po-boy sandwiches.  A great option for lunch and dinner.  

Plate, located on Main Street, next to Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate, offers locally sourced Vermont food made in a healthly Califorina style.  They offer everything from vegan and gluten free to a full gamut of meat options.  

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. 

The Roost & Flannel, located at Topnotch Resort, these are two nice options for different kinds of fun.  The Roost offers a relaxed environmnet with good bites to share along with craft beer and cocktails.  Enjoy shufflepuck or relax outside by the fire.  Flannel, is a more formal dining setting, a bistro with flare and great patio seating. 

Formal Dining:

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. 

2014 Year-End SM Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report

2014 Year-End SM Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report

 

Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our 2014 Year-End examination of the Stowe, Lamoille and Waterbury residential and land real estate market.  This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in 2014 and compares them to closings that took place during 2013.  Since closings usually occur four-to-eight weeks after a contract is signed the sales activity charted here reflects transactions that closed during and through the end of 2014, and does not include contracts signed that have not closed.

In 2014 the Stowe market continued to show steady growth from 2013, with an increase of 9% in units sold.  There were 89 total units sold in 2014, setting a record high for the past 10 years.  2014 brought about a more rounded market across all price points, with the sub $500K market leading the way with 53% of the market.  The luxury market saw significant gains, with sales finally breaking through the $2 million mark.  Given the sales were more evenly dispersed throughout the market the median and average pricing rose by 30% and 10% respectively, these shifts were mainly due to the sales above $2 million.  There were slight increases in units on the market, 18%, and months of supply, 17, which is indicative of a more stable market with positive indicators.  As we progress into 2015 with a stronger US economy we expect to see those economic trends translate into continued growth in our local market.

The Lamoille market (excluding Stowe) was stable year over year with only a 11% gain in units sold.  The luxury market, above $400K, had a 50% increase in sales in 2014, 10, compared to 5 in 2013.  Movement on this end of the market is important as it has been stalled for many years.  The Waterbury market had a slight dip of 8% in 2014 compared to 2013, but given there were only 34 units sold in 2014, we consider this to be a very stable market.

Smith Macdonald Group ranked 3rd in the state of Vermont and 194th nationally among all Coldwell Banker teams, second in sales among all brokers in Stowe and Lamoille County and top 25 in all of Vermont.  Whatever your real estate needs in the coming year, Smith Macdonald Group is the market and technology leader and we encourage you to take advantage of every resource we can offer you.
 

Click the link below to access our website and download our full Smith Macdonald Report.

2014 Year-End Smith Macdonald Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report

Waterbury, VT Real Estate Report | Stowe Blog

Waterbury, VT Real Estate Report

Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our examination of the 1st six months of the  Waterbury, VT residential and land real estate market. This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in the first six months of 2014 and compares them to closings that took place during the first six months of 2013 and to Q1 2014. Closings usually occur four-to-eight weeks after a contract is signed for that reason, the sales activity charted here reflects transactions that closed during and through the end of the 2nd Quarter, and does not include contracts signed that have not closed.

Summer is in full swing in the Waterbury-Stowe area with green stretching as far as one can see. We are quickly reminded of how wonderful summer can be in Vermont after the long winter season. Here at Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate we've welcomed the changing of the seasons with a change of our own, we've moved the office location to the Center Stowe Village. Our new location keeps us on Main Street, but also allows for us to invest in the Stowe area community.

Waterbury actually saw a slowdown in terms homes sold by 13%, but since it is a small market with limited options the active summer market should work to reverse this trend.

A market in transition requires expertise to navigate it properly if you are a buyer you need to be fully educated and ready to move. As a seller proper pricing and marketing remain essential, but working with an expert who can produce the best results will have the greatest impact on your bottom line.  Whatever your real estate needs, Smith Macdonald Group is the market and technology leader and we encourage you to take advantage of every resource we can offer you.

Waterbury, VT Residential Sales

While the Waterbury market did decline in sales, 13%, this was only due to two fewer sales that the 1st six months of 2013. Given Waterbury's small market size, 47 active listings, and lack of inventory below $400K, well priced homes still move quickly from the market. Since the start of the summer there have been increased showings and activity within this market and a true picture of whether the market will reverse its decline will likely be determined over the next few months.

 

Waterbury 2nd Qtr 2014 Res

Waterbury, VT Land Sales

From a land standpoint there were only 4 sales this year compared to 1 last year. Even though there was an increase in sales the median and average pricing dropped by 28% and 33% respectively. Of most significant note the months' of supply declined from 180 to 22 months, this may have the largest impact on the land market.

Waterbury 2nd Qtr 2014 land