Bill Martin

Real Estate and COVID-19 UPDATE


Real Estate and COVID 19

Limited in-person Real Estate appointments may be arranged as of Monday, April 20, 2020.  Our agents at Greentree Real Estate are here to serve you, whether that is a limited in-person appointment, answering questions, or handling any of your Real Estate needs. 

Call or contact Greentree Real Estate, today!  802-453-5232

Greentree Real Estate Welcomes Casco

Monkton, VT -- Greentree Real Estate is delighted to welcome Margo Plank Casco as their seventh licensed Real Estate Agent.   Margo joined Greentree in September 2017 as a newly licensed Realtor.   

Margo is a native Vermonter from Charlotte who graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Arts.  She has extensive experience as a photographer where she worked locally for over five years post college.  She transitioned into banking for the past six years with concentrations in business banking and personal banking including home lending. 

"With Margo's enthusiasm for the industry and experience with home lending and photography, we are thrilled that she is starting her real estate career with us!" Bill Martin, owner and managing broker of Greentree Real Estate.

Margo loves traveling, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs in their newly renovated home in Hinesburg.  She is a passionate and active volunteer for Hands to Honduras ( which is a partnership program bringing together North American and Honduran communities to provide educational, technical, cultural, and humanitarian assistance to the Atlántida coastal region. She looks forward to working with both buyers and sellers and can be reached at (802) 453-4190 or

Greentree Real Estate is located in Monkton, Vermont and is owned by Bill and Phyllis Martin and Katrina Roberts.  Greentree Real Estate serves both buyers and sellers primarily in Addison and Chittenden Counties and throughout the Champlain Valley. For more information, please visit


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    Greentree Real Estate goes above and beyond with Lab Camp

    At Greentree Real Estate we recently sold a house in Milton and told the owner that we would foster her Chocolate Lab until her new home was ready.


    The owner was trying to explain to her young son where their dog Ruby was. She told him that Ruby was at Lab Camp for the summer.

    We finally got them all to sit still for a picture. Here is Nellie, Lola, Ruby, Dozer and Malcom at Lab Camp:


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      Drones in Real Estate Marketing

      Nationwide in real estate we have been hearing a lot about the use of drones to take aerial pictures of properties for sale.

      The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has now proposed rules regulating the use of drones due to mishaps with air traffic and also due to Homeland Security issues.

      Well, here in Vermont at Greentree Real Estate we don't use drones. We use a professional photographer - Buzz Kuhns - who goes up in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk with a local pilot when to take aerial photos of the many properties we represent for sale.

                       Adirondack feel home in Lincoln VT                            Lake Champlain home in Addison VT


      Interested in having your home featured on many local and over 100 national websites with aerial photos for sale by Greentree Real Estate? Contact one of the eight agents at or call 802-453-5232. We are local and we are here to help you. We even photographed our office in Monkton.






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      Vermont Restaurant Week

      The end of April brings a lot of rain showers, muddy roads and Restaurant Week to Vermont!  It's the perfect time of year when the season is changing as well as menus, and Vermont's finest restaurants show their stuff.  I've got 3 planned reservations and hope to make a few more!  Here's a link to the detailed website where you can see what restaurants are participating and what prix fixe menu options are being offered.


      The recap -

      What: Vermont Restaurant Week

      When: April 24th - May 3rd

      Who: Too many restaurants to name --- take a look at the website!

      How: Visit

      Bonus: The event raises money for the Vermont Foodbank so you eat wonderful food and it benefits others.  It's a win/win!

      What's So Special about Composite Decking

      Although our Vermont spring stillfeels a bit chilly, it won't be long before we are all barbecuing on the deck in the warm sunshine. Just thinking about this fabulous pastime made me check my deck to see how it weathered this past winter. And, like many of you, my raised 12 x 24 deck needs a good cleaning and staining and maybe a board or two replaced. I try toconvince myself thatit really only needs a little maintenance every two years or so, but honestly, it should be stained every year with the amount of harsh weather we receive. Also, at 13 years old this summer, we might be looking at replacing it in the near future.composite deck 1 If this sounds familiar, then maybe you too have considered an alternative to pressure treated wood. I am seeing composite decking more and more as I show homes and buyers always have a positive response. "Oh, that's great - No staining!" The compositelumber that is used for making decks isa mixture of wood fiber, plastic, and some type of binding agent. These ingredients are put together to form a material that is denser, stronger, and heavier than wood alone, a wood-plastic composite. Trex, Timbertech and MoistureShield are three common composite decking companies.Composite decking is resistant to rot, doesn't warp, won't give people splinters, and doesn't need to be painted, stained or sealed! (I'm sold!) composite deck 2But of course, like everything there is a downside. Composite decking is usually more expensive. When comparing your optionsof the initially least expensivepressure treated wood, exotic woods that will have a longer deck life but be more expensive, or composite decking, the up front costs of composite may be worth it. Composite decking costs often fall between those two wood options anddo have different varieties that can fit mostbudgets. So, the next time you look at your deck and the can of stain, you might justify the cost of low maintenancecomposite decking over the lifetime of the deck. .

      Does It Stay or Does It Go? The rules of personal property in Real Estate transactions

      This question often comes up in a real estate transaction, "What's included in the sale?" or "What's not"? It's very important to ask these questions with your RealtorBEFORE you write an offer, and if you aren't sure, confirm with the Seller. Personal property can get a little tricky, so here's some basics to help you sort through it.

      Do they stay or do they go?

      Do they stay or do they go?

      • Curtain RODS convey with the home. Curtains themselves DO NOT. As a general rule, if property is fixed to a wall with screws, nails, orbolts, it's part of the structure and will convey with the property. If you love the curtains there is a good chance that the Sellers may not be usingthe exact same ones at their new home, and may leave them as a courtesy if you ask. But you MUST ask for them in the contract, or expect to have bare windows when you move in.
      • In a majority of transactions, some appliances will convey with the property. The most common appliances to be included are stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. Don't just assume the microwave, air conditioner, dehumidifier, washer and dryer are being left behind for youjust because you see them at the home when you view the property. Be sure to confirm what the Seller is including in the sale, and understand that any other item you wish to have conveyedmust benegotiated.
      • So, what about woodstoves, hot tubs, snow blowers and lawn mowers -- These items are also occasionally included in the sale, with the most common ones being wood stoves and hot tubs. Some lenders prefer to haveaccessory items such as lawn mowers and snowblowers NOT included as part of a purchase and sale contract. So if you are going to ask for them, youmay want to confirm with your lender that it's acceptable prior to writing them in a contract.
      • What aboutthe bedroom set of furniture?When it comes to large amounts of furniture, this MUST be handled outside ofthe real estate purchase and sale contract.You can ask your Realtor for guidance on when theappropriate time will be to negotiate the possible purchase of furnishings that the Seller maybe leaving behind.
      • And as a Seller, what if you wish to dig up Grandpa's rose bush to bring to the new house? Trees, plantings and shrubbery that are in the ground are considered to be part of the property and convey with the property. Occasionally we do have a Seller that will ask to bring a lilac or rush bush, or some special plant with them to their new home. This must be disclosed to the Buyer and written in the listing information. The seller will also need to repair any hole made and re-seed the area if necessary as a courtesy.
      • Lastly...ceiling fans, fancy chandeliers and lighting: Lamps do NOT stay with the home as part of the purchase, but all other lighting fixtures that are afixed to walls are conveyed with the property unless otherwise specified by the Seller. If the seller is taking a special chandelier to hte new house, then they must purchase a replacement light fixture to be included in the sale.
      Have fun shopping for homes this spring and remember....ASK FIRST and then WRITE IT IN THE CONTRACT!

      New Refreshed Website -

      We just completed a new design of our website, and are so excited to share it with you. We've been a client of Union Street Media for many years and enjoyed the process of updating some elements. Many clients have told us that they truly use and enjoy the content on our site, but as with all technology, we felt that the overall design could be "refreshed" as they say to make the site lookcleaner and easier to use for our clients. Please let us know what you think! We love the new look, the multitude of search options,and how easilyaccessible the new design comes across.

      Screenshot (5)

      For example, if you're just doing a quick targeted search, you can now use the new google search bar option on the top of every screen where it says "Find Properties". Or if you are starting to do research for a spring or summer purchase, we recommend creating a free account where you can save searches, make comments and even setup appointments to view homes. You can do this under the "Simply and Save Time" feature on the top left of any page. As always, we value your feedback and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

      YES - Clean the Dryer Lint!

      dryer lintYes, this is a pile of dryer lint, and yes, it can cause a house fire. I'm writing about dryer lint because my dryer was broken and we just had it serviced on Friday. I thought my dryer, the venting, and the overall system was "clean" because I had actually had it serviced just three years ago. Guess what, the technician pulled out three times the lint seen in this picture from around my dryer drum AND within the vents going to the exterior of our home.So note to everyone - If you have not taken apart your dryer and had all the vents cleaned recently, as in the past year, DO IT! If you don't believe me, listen to Consumer Reports. Here are some tips they provide on keeping your dryer unit clean and reducing the risk of dryer lint fires, which are real.

      • Use metal dryer ducts to help prevent dryer fires. Consumer Reports says that flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the most problematic because they can sag and let lint build upat low points. Ridges can also trap lint. Metal ducts, either flexible or solid, are far safer because they don't sag, so lint is less likely to build up. In addition, if a fire does start, a metal duct is more likely to contain it. Seetheir dryer venting safety report for more tips as well as photos and a dryer-venting video.
      • No matter which kind of duct you have, you should clean it regularly. In addition, remove the visible lint from the lint screen each time you use your dryer (this is the easy one!). This not only will reduce the risk of a fire, but your clothes will dry faster and your dryerwill use less energy. If dryer film is a worry, there is certainly no harm in occasionally cleaning the lint filter with warm soapy water and a small brush.
      • Clean inside, behind, and underneath the dryer, where lint can also build up.
      • Take special care drying clothes stained with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishingoils and stains. Wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of these chemicals on the clothing, and line dryinstead of using a dryer.
      • Avoid using liquid fabric softener on all-cotton clothing made of fleece, terry cloth, or velour. Inthe Consumer Reportsflammability tests,liquid fabric softener added to rinse water accelerated the burning speed of these fabrics. If you want a softener, use dryer sheets instead.
      • Buy dryers that use moisture sensors rather than ordinary thermostats to end the auto-dry cycle. Thermostats can allow the dryer to run longer than necessary.
      • Occasionally wipe the sensor with a soft cloth or cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to keep it functioning accurately. Sensorsare usually located on the inside of the dryer, just below the door opening, and can be hard to find. They are usually twocurved metallic strips, shaped somewhat like the letter "C".

      OK, I'm sorry (well not really) that I just added something to your annual spring cleaning To Do List, but this is important. It's easy to forget, but has a very big consequence. If you don't want to deal with doing this yourself, here are two local companies that can help out. Quality Duct Cleaning in Westford (802) 893-7716 Chuck's Heating and Air Conditioning in Colchester

      Fun Vermont Facts

      I love our little state and for some of you that haven't lived here all your life, or are contemplating a move to the Green Mountain State, I thought it would be fun to share a few interesting tidbits. We're more than just fall foliage and maple syrup you know! (Although we do produce more maple syrup than any other state.) 1. Vermont was the first state admitted to the Union after the ratification of the Constitution. 2. With a population of fewer than nine thousand people, Montpelier, Vermont is the smallest state capital in the U.S. 3. Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a McDonalds. (I love this one!) 4. In ratio of cows to people, Vermont has the greatest number of dairy cows in the country. 5. Vermont's largest employer isn't Ben and Jerry's, it's IBM.

      Vermont State Capital

      Vermont State Capital

      6.Vermont's state capitol building is one of only a few to have a gold dome. Atop the dome is a statue of Ceres. 7. Until recently, the only way a Vermonter could get a drivers license with their photo on it was to drive to Montpelier. 8.Vermont was, at various times, claimed by both New Hampshire and New York. 9. Until 1996, Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart. 10. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream company gives their ice cream waste to the local Vermont farmers who use it to feed their hogs. The hogs seem to like all of the flavors except Mint Oreo. 11.U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on the fourth of July. Born in Plymouth 7/4/1872.
      President Calvin Coolidge

      President Calvin Coolidge

      12.And yes, we don't allow billboards! (Really proud of that one!)

      We're small but mighty and a really interesting place to call home.