Blog :: 2007

Real Estate Resolutions

Real estate today has a whole new meaning than it did three years ago. Gone are the days when a Seller could put their property on the market no matter what condition it was in and sell it within several weeks. It is best to be prepared in today's market. If you are selling or thinking of selling I urge you to click on this link and read the following resolutions. You will find them very helpful.

Click for: Real Estate Resolutions 

Wow it's been too long!

I have to say it has been awhile since I have written in my blog. The Fall flew by and real estate in Stowe continued to sell which shows that Vermont is somewhat insulated from the rest of the country. I thought you might find this article interesting. It gives a great perspective. I hope ou all have a wonderful holiday and the best news of all is that THERE IS SNOW IN STOWE!

I recently came across this article by Bernice Ross, it gives an outlook on Real Estate in 2008. I thought I would share it with you. Please read on...

Outlook for Real Estate in 2008 

In all the years I've been writing this column, I have never received such an outpouring of response as I did from the two November articles on how media coverage of negative housing news is hurting our industry.

In spite of gloom and doom of recent news reports on the state of the nation's housing, there is plenty of good news, the most recent of which comes from the National Association of Realtors.

Laurence Yun, the chief economist for NAR, had plenty of positive news for Realtors at last month's conference. Yun attributed much of today's subprime mortgage problem to greed. Wall Street wanted the 10-12 percent return that subprime mortgages yielded as opposed to the smaller returns from more traditional mortgage products. His take on the Wall Street types: "They gambled. They lost."

Yun's outlook for 2008 sees a shift from greedy speculators to serious homeowners. 2008 will be a year of opportunity where there will be serious, healthy business. Furthermore, Yun predicted that the market returns to normal by 2009.

According to Yun, one of the biggest mistakes that reporters make is talking about national trends. Nationally, 2007 was the fifth best year ever on record. Home prices declined about 1.5 percent after a 50 percent run up in prices.

The challenge is that national numbers are pretty much irrelevant. Yun argues that talking about national averages is about as effective as having a national weather forecast. Like the weather, all real estate markets are local. In fact, you may have a buyer's market and a seller's market operating within a single market area based exclusively upon price point. Here are the other key pieces of positive news from Yun's economic report:

1. New housing starts: Even though these are dropping, there was too much building in recent years. The market is simply adjusting to normal supply-and-demand pressures. The inventory is "being controlled which makes stabilization occur more quickly."

2. Foreclosures: According to Yun, the 41 percent increase in foreclosures has resulted primarily from investor-heavy real estate purchases in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada. The majority of these individuals are flippers whose investments did not payoff. More importantly, the number of foreclosures in Utah, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina is actually declining.

3. Under-priced markets and superstar cities: Although the coastal markets are still overpriced, Middle America is under priced. Nevertheless, Yun cites a new trend termed, "superstar" cities. These cities will command premium prices, regardless of what the market does. There is so much wealth concentrated in these areas, that measurements are simply not predictive. In addition to London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, Yun also identified San Francisco, Miami and Seattle as potential new superstar cities.

4. The recovery has started: Other than the three states hit heavily by job losses in the automotive industry (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio), the states that first experienced a downturn in the Northeast, are now in recovery. Specifically, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island were the first to feel the slump and are now well into a recovery. Furthermore, there appears to be a pent-up demand for first-time buyer properties due to a large number of Gen Ys (born 1977 to 1994) that are now buying their first homes. Falling interest rates will motivate many of these buyers to step into the market now.

5. New jobs and corporate profits are still strong: Corporate profits are still strong with companies as diverse as Microsoft and Jack Daniels reporting close to record profits. Furthermore, the economy has generated 4 million net new jobs and wages are rising.

6. A weak dollar may harbinger more foreign investment in U.S. real estate: Although the decline of the U.S. dollar will end up costing us more when we go overseas or purchase imports, it has resulted in more manufacturing jobs returning to the U.S. It also may mean more foreign investment in U.S. properties as well. Just a few years ago, the Canadian dollar was only worth 70 cents in U.S. currency. Today, the Canadian dollar has been hovering at about $1.05 to $1.10 U.S. What this means is that we can expect more Canadians and Europeans to be purchasing U.S. property, because our prices are approximately 50 percent cheaper than they were just three years ago.

7. Real estate: Still the best shelter: For those agents who represent reluctant first-time buyers, Yun points to some interesting research from the Federal Reserve. Between 1995 and 2004, the average renter accumulated $4,000 in wealth. In contrast, the average homeowner accumulated $184,400. Furthermore, the typical homeowner holds their property for six years. Within this period of time, NAR's research shows that approximately 97 percent of the homeowners will have a positive equity position after that period of time.

Bottom line: 2008 represents the best window that buyers will have to find excellent deals with excellent financing. Get the word out there. If they wait, prices and interest rates will be higher and the reluctant buyer may be forced out of the market.

Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of Realestatecoach.com, is the author of "Waging War on Real Estate's Discounters" and "Who's the Best Person to Sell My House?"

Hot Topic: Green Building

As a REALTOR in Vermont, I hear more and more about Green building. I recently came across an article on RISMedia addressing the issue: "Real Estate Industry Leaders, USGBC Discuss Next-Generation 'Green Buildings'"

The sum up the issue well in this statement: "Green building has moved from a frill, to a necessity,..."

Interested in reading more? Click here to read the full article.

Coyotes in the Night

Hmmm. Fall is in the air in Vermont. The nights are cool, the down comforter is out and the air is crisp. The mornings bring fog in the valley and for those of us that live in the hills we are treated to an amazing view. There is nothing more exciting than to be out for a morning walk and see the top of the mountains crystal clear and the clouds floating below creating an ocean of clouds.

We were treated to a meteorite shower this week. Nothing could possibly be more beautiful than the bright starry sky showering us with its own form of fireworks. Of course it requires one to be awake after midnight or like me, set the alarm for 1 am. The dogs and I stumbled out of the house to sit on a lawn chair and gaze upward upon a catherdral of lights. I felt as if I was watching a symphony orchestrated for me and only me, (the dogs seemed less interested in lifting their heads). After awhile they decided to head back to the house for a more cozy bed, leaving me still entralled at the sight.

The night sounds came back into focus once the dogs left. Seldom do I get to experience the night in such detail. The forest around me came alive and I could hear in the distance an owl announcing his presence. Minutes later I was treated to a chorus of coyotes with the sopranos and altos blending into song. It was a glorious eery sound, sending chills through me. What a priviledge to be showered with falling stars and the chorus of coyotes.

Sometime when your day is going downhill quickly and you feel the world spinning out of control, if you are fortunate enough to be in a place where you can observe the night sky.... Get Up, Go Out and rejoice. Despite all the terror, destruction and horror of this world remember there is beauty, love and joy in something as simple as coyotes serenading the night sky.

Comments

  1. Jason Ganz on

    Great post! I am gonna share it with my own blog readers at [my site]! Thanks.

    Carlson Real Estate Stowe VT Affiliates with Coldwell Banker

    We are excited to announce that as of August 2, 2007 Carlson Real Estate is affiliated with Coldwell Banker.

    We are still an independently owned office with all of the advantages that Coldwell Banker has to offer. It is the leading nation real estate franchise and is recognized as "the name" in real estate. There are many advantages for our clients and customers. In this day of technology it is difficult for the small agency to compete. It is important for us to offer to our clients the latest in technology and to get national and international exposure for our listings. The referral system is a global network which is available through Coldwellbanker.com.

    One of the main features that is important to us is the Previews program. Previews offers marketing for the luxury properties and reaches a global audience. Coldwell Banker participated in over 50% of all luxury sales in the United States. As a certified Preview agent I am able to have access to the top luxury buyers and am able to get more exposure for my clients.

    Other programs that are offered through Coldwell Banker are the Home Protection plan. This is an insurance policy that a Seller can take out on their home to cover appliances, and systems that may break in the period of the year that the house on the market. This policy can be passed on to the Buyer. Another feature of this plan is that the payment for it is not due until the closing on the house. This protection costs approximately $500.

    Coldwell Banker offers a Sale Ready Home Program. We have a checklist that will make a Seller's home ready for sale. This includes a home inspection, title search, staging the home, checking that permits are in order and current. Once the home complies with the Home Ready Program we can advertise it as a "Home Ready" property. This is an advantage to a Seller as it will make a very smooth closing process and will give the Seller an edge with buyers.

    Another feature is "Lead Router". Simply, this is a system of contacting an agent within 3 minutes after a lead comes into our web. You will be secure in knowing that if an inquiry comes in on your property there will be an agent responding to that inquiry within 3 minutes. Ninety-five percent of all potential customers have their first contact with the Internet. Lead Router is one of the best ways to make sure that these leads are not lost.

    There are many advertising campaigns that Coldwell Banker runs nationally and we are able to take advantage of these through special mailings, epostcard, enewsletters and radio/tv advertising. This could never be possible as a small independent agency.

    We feel that our clients and customers deserve the most up to date and best service that we can provide. After many months of research we found that of all of all the franchise companies available, Coldwell Banker offered the most comprehensive services and has the largest consumer brand recognition. What does this mean to you if you list with us? Since it is the most recognized brand. more traffic will be brought to our office and this gives you much more exposure, giving you the ability to sell your house sooner. In today's market this is a huge asset to you.

    Please stop by my office, respond to my blog, or email me at peggysmighsq@aol.com . You can also check out my website at: Peggysmithvt.com and you might be a lucky winner of one of our new Coldwell Banker products. This could even be a vacation at one of the RCI resorts offered to us through Coldwell Banker or a gift certificate at Tiffany's. You never know what might be in my basket of goodies.

    To Search the MLS check out my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog

    Need Studio Space or Are You a Hobbyist?

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    This is an opportunity for the artist, contractor, woodworker, boat builder or car enthusiast to have 3,000 sq. ft of work space with a 5 bedroom home attached. Added bonus is a studio apartment for rental income. Currently used as a sculpture studio, the possibilities are endless. The home features wide pine floors, several decks, and gallery space. No need to go outside into the cold to your studio, there is inside access. Lovely views of mountains and 5 miles from Stowe, Vt. Located in an area that has an active art community with excellent schools. Here is an opportunity to live and work in a country atmosphere, yet be close to the airport for easy access. All this for $680,000. You can't beat a set up like this if you want space to work and live at home.

    For full listing information on this listing checkout my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog

    How to Sell Your House (in a crappy market)!

    If you are interested in learning some of helpful points to your sell your house, I recommend you watch this video:"How to Sell Your House (in a crappy market)!".

    Sometimes it is better to listen to what experts outside of Vermont have to say. It is a quick and easy video to watch, just four minutes long. It offers good advise on selling your home in the current market. Go to How to Sell Your House and see what the experts have to say.

    Also I am offering a FREE book on "Who's the Best Person to Sell My House?". Just make a comment on my blog and I will be happy to send you a copy

    To Search the MLS check out my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog

    Moose Sighting !

    I was coming back from Elmore into Stowe on the Elmore Mt. Road in the middle of a pounding rain storm with my windshield wipers on high when from out of the woods ,on the left hand side of the car, ran a moose! I missed hitting him by about a foot.

    It has been many years since I have had a moose sighting. The other times I was walking in the woods. This is a bit scary because you don't know if they might have a calf with them, they are sick, or aggressive. The size of a moose is very impressive. This moose being so close to my car, gave me a first hand comparison. The moose which was a young male was almost taller than my BMW station wagon.

    After he ran in front of my car, he stopped and tried to decide which way to turn. I kept hoping that it would not be in my direction. After looking like he would go back where he came from he moved to the side of the road and looked at me for a few minutes as if to say,"You can pass now," and then he moved on into the woods.

    I was a bit pissed that I was out on a property with a client getting soaked, and I was driving along anxious to get out of my wet clothes when the moose showed up. After sitting there watching him I drove away still wet but happy. It was a warm summer afternoon and I thought if I were a child being in those woods in the pouring rain would bring laughter to me; so I found that child and enjoyed the pleasure of what had transpired this afternoon.

    P.S. Another friend just told me she saw a huge snapping turtle crossing the road yesterday. With all this rain the forest and wetland creatures must be on the move to dryer areas.

    To learn more about Stowe VT check out my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog

    Business Opportunity: The Miller's Thumb

    This is a perfect seasonal business for someone who wants to work but doesn't want to be tied down. In the village of Greensboro, Vermont just a block from the idyllic Caspian Lake sits the Miller's Thumb, currently a retail store of worldly goods and Vermont products. The building is a 1700's gristmill with all of the charm of hand-hewn beams, soft patina pine floors, and a peek hole to the river that literally runs below the building. There are many opportunities for this building besides the existing business. It would be perfect for an artist studio, museum, and/or gallery. Since the septic is limited it would not be suitable for a restaurant or residence. Greensboro, Vermont home to Caspian Lake is a thriving summer community of beautiful homes surrounding the lake and hillsides. Generation after generation has come to this area, with the summer homes being passed down through the families. Very few of the cottages on the lake come available for sale. Families begin to arrive around Memorial Day and return home after fall foliage. The Miller's Thumb has become a destination store for Vermonters as far away as Burlington, Vermont. And for those people driving through or living in the area it is a pleasant store to browse and bring visiting guests. Not to mention that it is the only store in the area besides the famed "Willy's" country store. Currently the gristmill building is for sale at $339,000. A price for the retail business is available upon request. Call me (Peggy) and get a private tour; we will drive through beautiful open farm land, preview the Miller's Thumb, and then have take out sandwiches from Willie's store and a picnic on the town beach. On the way home we can stop at the local farm stand for organic vegetables, and at "Connie's Kitchen" for homemade pies and cookies. Rumor is that she has the best coconut cream pie in the county. So make a day of it and see what the pleasures of the Northeast Kingdom bring and what fun it would be to own the Miller's Thumb.

    For full listing information check out my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog

    Thoughts after the Fourth of July

    Two days ago for the 33rd year I witnessed the Moscow Parade. I watched as the Women's Lawn Chair Brigade clapped their lawn chairs together with precision, while thinking of my three friends that lost their battle to cancer. They participated until they could march no longer. Next came the Men's Marching Band and what a joy to see the grandson of another friend on his shoulders. Other evidence of the next generation came marching by and I thought how wonderful to see the generations participate.

    For those of you that do not know anything about this parade there are certain rules. The floats are not allowed to be put together until the morning of the parade. Most times there are political statements to be made, such as global warming. This year, Al and Tipper Gore (not the real ones) were riding behind a group of teenagers bearing signs of what Stowe would be like in 2020.There would be tennis in December, scuba diving in November, soccer in January and other summer events would take during our normal snowy months. Of course, it would not be a parade without Paris Hilton in attendance. Some Stowe politics involved our beloved Bob Barnes dressed up as a bride unable to hold her wedding at his Peterson Brook Farm. He was denied an events permit due to noise pollution. And every parade needs fire trucks. Stowe Volunteer Fire Department shined up their trucks and tankers and brought every piece of equipment they own out to show off to us. What a spectacular array.

    So ends another year celebrating our freedom. But I wonder just exactly how much freedom we have left. Are we losing our right to chose, are we mixing church and state where specifically in our constitution it forbids this? Have we lost our voice by giving the President more power than he has the capacity to handle? Do we have a right to impose our values on those that are raised with other values? What has given us the right to allow prisoners to languish in prisons without a right to a fair trial? Is this the country of the free and the brave? I think we are a country of cowards and complacency not to stand up for our beliefs, to insist that our government represent the people.

    I spent my youth in Gettysburg, PA. and I would like to include that famous speech given during the Independence Day celebration on the site of the cemetery dedicated to the unknown soldiers. As a child on Memorial Day I walked with all my classmates over these graves strewing flowers in silence. It was a very poignant moment, even as a child I understood that these men fought for our independence. In conclusion I ask you all to read this Gettysburg Address and ponder how far away from this we have come.

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    We should remember that the government is "of the people, by the people, for the people." It is time to take a stance for what we believe in and take back our government.

    To learn more about Stowe VT real estate check out my website: Peggysmithvt.com

    Subscribe to Peggy Smith's Stowe VT Real Estate Blog