Real Estate Market News

Property Inspections - A MUST!

People buy homes year around, but here in Vermont, we do see a surge of purchasesbetween April and October when the weather is more favorable. As we are about to enter into this year's buying season, I would like to give all buyers out there some important advice- Get a Property Inspection! A property inspectionoccurs after a contract has been established andthe purchaserhires a third party inspector whowill review many ofthe home'smajor attributes. This inspection is usually conducted within the first twoweeksafter an offer is accepted. In most transactions, this property inspection is written as a contingency, so that the purchasers must be satisfied with the inspection results before proceeding with the transaction. The inspection may include, but is not limited to: the roof, foundation, heating, plumbing, water, septic, electrical, structural, mechanical, flues & chimneys and other major components together with all appliances included in the sale of the subject property. The inspector may not however do invasive inspections such as drill holes, take off siding or cause damage to the property in any way. A purchaser may choose any inspector he or she wishes as long as the inspector is not related to the purchaser, but as a convenience here is a Partial List of Vermont Inspectors. Occasionally I will have clients or customers that elect not to have a property inspection. In most of these cases, the purchaser is an investor, purchasing a home "AS IS" and will waive a property inspection in lieu of negotiating a more aggressive purchase price. But keep in mind, the property inspection is your only chance to "kick the wheels" of your new home before closing! It's better to find out what's wrong with your new home BEFORE you own it and have no recourse.

Housewarming Gifts

Being that we are in the midst of the gift giving season, it got me thinking about House Warming Gifts. The ones my husband and I received when we built our home in 2002 really stand out in my memory. Becoming a homeowner is such a huge accomplishment, and I remember settling in with a new frame here and a beautiful plant there..it really made our new house feel like a home. My in-laws purchased our first ever washer and dryer and gave it to us as a housewarming gift! A smile still comes to mind when I think of how excited we were over not needing to go to the laundry mat! But housewarming gifts do not need to be that extravagant or expensive. Some common ones are indoor potted plants, or perhaps a bottle of wine. But I thought a few practical ideas might give you something to consider if you have a friend or relative entering into home ownership.
Bucket2

Mop bucket filled with household items

CleaningSupplies

Cleaning Supplies

A collection of cleaning supplies in a bucket can be a very useful gift. Or, a simple toolbox with a level, hammer, some screws and anchors for hanging pictures, and the all purpose electric screwdriver. I love mine! Another idea is a Swiffer set - that company has tons of options for cleaning. I also love the idea of a rake and shovel, or even a small step ladder. The homeowners are going to need these things! The other unique idea I came across was stocking someone's fridge. Imagine after packing and unpacking boxes for days, some friends arrive with bags of groceries and staple items for the pantry. Tell me that won't be appreciated! So, we all love vases and picture frames, but maybe consider a practical alternative if you're in the housewarming spirit this season!

Keep Your Home on the Market this Winter

Many sellers think that once the snow starts to fly, they should take their home off the market for a few months so it will appear new and refreshed for the spring. Any Realtor will tell you, "If you want to sell your house, you need keep it active". You can't sell a home that isn't available for buyers to see. If you are still a doubter, here are some good reasons why keeping your home on the market even in Vermontwill help you sell it. snow 2 snow 3 snow pictures 1) Homes look lovely all decked out for the holidays. What a wonderful time to showcase the warmth that your home can provide to new owners! 2) Less inventory to compete with! Come April, your home may have 25 competitors, but in the middle of the winter, you could have less than 10. 3) Even with the parties and family visits, you can still allow access to your home. It's OK to ask for additional notice or make some limitations on evenings when you're entertaining. 4) Buyers that look in the winter are serious. If a buyer is looking for a new home in the winter, they aren't just window shopping. 5) And lastly, with all the technology available to buyers today, the winter weather does not have to be a huge deterrent. Much of the searching and pre-qualifying for a new home is done on-line before the actual viewing takes place. Soshovel those walk-ways, put out the twinkle lights and keep your house on the market. You'll be so happy when the listing rush happens in March andApril that you're not a part of it!

Property Tax Adjustment

If you have purchased a home recently and you discovered that the town you live in has your property's assessed value at GREATER than what you paid for it, there is a chance you can get your property taxes reduced.A few localtowns did their periodic assessments at the height of the market, so some buyers are purchasing homes in this current market with tax assessments at much higher values.

Now every town in Vermont does things differently (we all know that!) but the process is generally quite simple. 1. Contacproperty tax imaget your town treasurer to find out the how and when to file a grievance. Many towns do it in the spring, others are on-going. 2. Contact the Realtor you used and ask them to provide you with a few comparables - these are homes that sold around the time you purchased yours that support the reduced assessed value you wish to obtain. For instance, if you purchased a home for $350,ooo and the tax assessment is at $425,ooo, you would want to have some property closures of similar style homes that fall into that $350K range. 3. Make sure to have a hard copy of your purchase and sale contract and any closing documents - some towns will request that. Some towns will also request a letter in writing stating what you are looking for, or possibly have a form for you to fill out, but that's about it. Let us know if you've had experience with this or have anything to add!

July Market Statistics

Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS Releases July 2013 Market Statistics The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS (NVBR) has released its real estate market statistics for July 2013. The information is derived from data contained in the Northern New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. Comparisons to last year at this time: New listings increased 8.6 percent to 253 new properties Median sales price increased 2.0 percent to $255,000 Days on Market was down 20.3 percent to 76 days. Months supply of inventory was down 34.9 percent to 6.8 months Pending Sales rose again this month, up 5.5 percent to 173 There continues to be a lot of activity in all three counties, said Kathleen Sweeten, Executive Vice President of NVBR. The housing market in northwestern Vermont is doing well. Buyers are in the market which reassures homeowners that market conditions make this a good time to sell. *The entrire report may be viewed at http://www.nvbr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/July-2013-Market-Statistics-Release.pdf The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS (NVBR) is the Voice for Real Estate in northwestern Vermont representing over 600 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

June Market News

June 2013 Market Reports As potentially the brightest sun in the current economic recovery, housing activity has followed the mercury higher this summer. Interest rates and new construction activity have been in the spotlight lately, fueled by concerns over tapering Federal Reserve activity and ongoing inventory constraints. Watch for indications that more homes are selling in less time and at higher price points. Also watch for sellers returning to an inviting marketplace, which will help replenish neighborhoods with new listings. New Listings were up 4.8 percent for detached homes and 24.4 percent for attached properties. Pending Sales increased 16.9 percent for single-family homes and 26.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties. The Median Sales Price was up 9.5 percent to $230,000 for detached homes and 6.8 percent to $203,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 15.5 percent for single-family units and 15.2 percent for townhouse-condo units. The economy which generates the jobs that fuel housing demand continued to improve at a moderate pace during the second quarter of 2013. Budget sequesters and sluggish export growth have taken a back seat to housing recovery and stronger consumer spending. Interest rates could flirt with 4.0 or 4.25 percent again but the days of 3.3 percent interest are likely behind us. Courtesy of Vermont Realtors

Market News--May 2013

May 2013 Market Reports Were halfway through the year and it seems our collective attention has shifted from monitoring price and sales gains to eagerly anticipating more new listing activity on the part of sellers. This shift is the result of an imbalance between strong demand for homes and constrained supply. In some markets, purchase agreements are being written up directly after a showing. Your experience and local market conditions may differ, but the market as a whole has summertime heat. New Listings were up 16.9 percent for detached homes and 50.3 percent for attached properties. Pending Sales increased 12.0 percent for single-family homes and 23.3 percent for townhouse-condo properties. The Median Sales Price was up 4.0 percent to $205,000 for detached homes but decreased 11.5 percent to $175,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 15.9 percent for single-family units and 15.3 percent for townhouse-condo units. Interest rate risk is back in the headlines after Fed chief Ben Bernankes latest testimony on Capitol Hill. The Federal Reserve Bank is considering decreasing its $85 billion a month bond asset purchases, which have been holding interest rates at or near historic lows. This is mostly the result of an improving jobs market, which is a good thing for real estate. Courtesy of Vermont Realtors

April 2013 Market Statistics

April 2013 Market Statistics The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS (NVBR) has released its real estate market statistics for April 2013. The information is derived from data contained in the Northern New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. Comparisons to last year at this time: New listings increased 23.5 percent to 310 new listings Median sales price increased 7.9 percent to $250,000 Inventory continued to drop, down 30.8% to 876 homes Pending sales rose again this month, up 15.4 percent to 202 With all the activity in the market right now, the average length of time a house stays on the market has decreased. The number of listings increasing is a good sign. However, the market is very strong right now. Homes are moving fast which is keeping the inventory supply down, said Kathleen Sweeten, Executive Vice President of NVBR.

March 2013 Market Statistics

Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS Releases March 2013 Market Statistics The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS (NVBR) has released its real estate market statistics for March 2013. The information is derived from data contained in the Northern New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. Comparisons to last year at this time: New listings decreased 2.3 percent to 257. Median sales price increased 2.9 percent to $239,000 Inventory continued to drop, down 35.0% to 817 homes Pending Sales rose again this month, up 14.9 percent to 185 Tight inventory levels and increasing demand seem to be supporting the increase in median sales prices. All three counties in northwestern Vermont continue to be strong, with Franklin County leading the way in the number of new listings and change in median sales price, said Kathleen Sweeten, Executive Vice President of NVBR The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS (NVBR) is the Voice for Real Estate in northwestern Vermont representing over 600 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Existing Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February

February existing-home sales and prices affirm a healthy recovery is underway in the housing sector, according to the National Association of REALTORS. Sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices show 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says conditions for continued housing improvement are at play. Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing home sales to rise. Though home prices are rising fast, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable, he says. The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.53 percent in February from 3.41 percent in January; it was 3.89 percent in February 2012. Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 630,000 in February but are 8.6 percent above February 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $238,800, which is 7.6 percent above a year ago. Information included in this article courtesy of RISMedia For more information visit www.realtor.org