Heney Realtors News

2013 - A Year of Growth for Central Vermont Real Estate

How is the Central Vermont real estate market?

This is a frequently asked question and a good one too;  the health of the housing market is an economic indicator that impacts buyers, sellers, and everyone in between.

We took a look at some key indicators of  real estate in Central Vermont for 2013 using data compiled from some major sources and compared these 2013 indicators to the previous four years. One major source we utilized is the multiple listing service (MLS), where the majority of Vermont real estate sales transacted by licensed brokers are recorded. In addition to MLS, we utilized the Vermont real estate sales online database which gathers information from the Vermont Department of Taxes to create a comprehensive list of all real estate sales that may or may not be recorded in the MLS. From the statistics gathered, it is exciting to report that growth and improvement summarize Central Vermont real estate market in 2013.

The key indicators that we looked at are the number of sales of single family residences, average sale price, and number of days a property was on the market. The towns focused on while looking at these indicators are:  MontpelierBarre, U32 (BerlinCalaisEast MontpelierMiddlesex and Worcester), and Northfield

The information presented below will specifically be about the number of sales of single family residences in Washington County, categorized by town.

In 2013 home sales increased in every major community as compared with the number of home sales in 2012. 2013 also produced the highest number of Central Vermont Real Estate home sales for any year in the last five years.

NUMBER OF SALES BY TOWN

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Barre City

60

64

41

55

76

Barre Town

59

55

51

71

102

Montpelier

74

57

58

61

75

U32

51

58

58

51

96

Northfield

27

18

22

26

48

Totals

271

252

230

264

397

                               

                                                                                                     Graph

As you will note above, Barre Town posted a strong increase year after year and the U-32 towns  posted an amazing 88% jump after four years of consistent numbers. Waterbury posted around 57 residential sales.

Numbers don't lie. Considering the overall increase of number of sales in 2013 and the kickoff of activity we've experienced in the new year, we expect 2014 to be another year of steady growth for Central Vermont real estate.

Check out what is on the market now at our new and improved website heneyrealtors.com and don't forget to visit our Facebook page!

Tax Time and Closing Statement

Real Estate Tax timeTax Time (YAY!) and Your Settlement Statement

If you bought or sold real estate during the 2012 calendar year, you may be able to deduct some of the closing costs for tax purposes. You may also have a gain or a loss to declare. Either way, you'll need the HUD-1 settlement statement.  Of course, you'll want to talk with your tax adviser for the specifics.

In order to deduct any closing costs and expenses, you'll need a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement. That's the closing statement that looks like a long ledger. One side showed the buyer's closing costs and sources of funds. The other side showed the seller's closing costs and funds received.

For accountants and closing attorneys, it's super fun. For most people, it's interesting at best, and dreary at worst.

You took a copy of it home after the closing, although it's not uncommon for those documents to get filed and then misplaced during the ensuing move.

So, if you need a copy, you can get one from your Realtor's office or from your closing attorney. If you bought or sold property using Heney Realtors, you can call either the Montpelier or the Barre office. You can also email your agent.

If it helps make things easier for you, you can also shoot me a quick email, and I'll get a copy of your settlement statement to you.

By Ray Mikus, Heney Realtors

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December Market Update--You Know You Want to Know!

Ray Mikus

The November real estate numbers are in. See below for the total listings, sales, and new listings in Montpelier, Barre, U32, and Northfield. At the bottom of this post, you can see what sold, for how much, and how long it took.

Active New in Nov Under Deposit Closed in Nov Closed Nov 11-Nov 12
Barre City 65 7

5

1 65
Barre Town 62 4 3 10 74
Montpelier 43 7 8 6 67
U32 54 2 11 5 57
Northfield 49 4 3 1 27
Totals 273 24 30 23 290

 

And comparing to a year ago, the biggest "wow" data is the total number of sales. An additional 45 sales in the comparable 12-month cycles is huge in a market this size. The gain was spread throughout the market towns, with only the U32 towns seeing fewer sales year on year. Again, on the whole, the Central Vermont real estate market appears to be very healthy.

 

Also, the renovation of the new office at 135 Washington Street in Barre is just about finished. Feel free to stop by and see the new digs anytime after 12/15!

New 11/11 New 11/12 Closed 11/11 Closed 11/12 Closed 11/10-11/11 Closed 11/11-11/12
Barre City 7 7 4 1 45 65
Barre Town 11 4 1 10 53 74
Montpelier 8 7 3 6 63 67
U32 4 2 5 5 62 57
Northfield 4 4 1 1 22 27
Totals 34 24 14 23 245 290

 

 

 

And here are the closed transactions for November. Remember that I'm a total real estate nerd and have researched each of these transactions individually to learn the history. For example, a property that was on the market twice in a row for four months each time should, in my opinion, show as being on the market for eight months.

 

I also include any seller concession at closing as a reduction in total sale price. Makes sense to me because that's really the net purchase price. Also, that's how appraisers look at the sales.

 

Someone asked this last time...DOM means Days on Market. That might be on the test.

Town Address Original List Final List Closing Price DOM
Barre City 26 Hill St $108,500 $99,500 $97,000 156
Barre Town 836 Graniteville Rd $112,500 $90,000 $82,500 210
Barre Town 284 Route 14 $109,000 $105,000 $85,000 160
Barre Town 23 Cogswell $109,000 $109,000 $101,500 440
Barre Town 23 Meadowcrest $139,900 $139,900 $133,000 34
Barre Town 14 Panther Dr $145,000 $145,000 $133,920 17
Barre Town 115 Middle Rd $159,900 $159,900 $149,500 401
Barre Town 264 Middle Rd $198,500 $195,000 $184,785 91
Barre Town 5 Scenic View $229,000 $219,000 $204,000 148
Barre Town 26 Pine Ridge $225,000 $225,000 $210,000 41
Barre Town 280 Richardson Rd $365,000 $285,700 $265,000 114
Belin 339 Browns Mill $179,000 $179,000 $174,019 16
Berlin 180 Chandler Rd $230,000 $199,000 $180,000 791
Calais 42 Marshfield Rd $61,000 $28,000 $17,500 159
Calais 760 Kent Hill Rd $349,000 $349,000 $267,500 1184
East Montpelier 579 Bliss Rd $325,000 $299,000 $290,030 62
Montpelier 20 Independence Gr $132,000 $124,900 $118,243 161
Montpelier 172 Berlin St $194,500 $148,900 $135,900 370
Montpelier 26 Pleasantview St $179,000 $159,000 $152,000 528
Montpelier 11 Colonial Dr $214,900 $214,900 $192,500 70
Montpelier 6 Greenfield Terr $284,000 $267,000 $248,000 152
Montpelier 11 Merrill Terrace $325,000 $325,000 $312,000 7
Northfield 94 Expansion Lane $35,000 $35,000 $31,000 120

 

Want more? Or want to talk about what these numbers mean to buyers and sellers? Call or email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September Real Estate Market Report for Barre, Montpelier, U32, and Northfield

By Ray Mikus

Here are the numbers for August:

 

Active New in Aug Under Contract Closed in Aug Closed last 12   months
Barre City 76 10 3 7 66
Barre Town 78 15 12 9 65
Montpelier 52 11 6 10 66
U32 79 12 7 5 61
Northfield 56 5 3 4 25
Totals 341 53 31 35 283

 

And comparing to last year:

New 8/12 New 8/11 Closed 8/12 Closed 8/11 Closed   8/11-8-12 Closed 8/10-8/11
Barre City 10 16 7 2 66 51
Barre Town 15 11 9 5 65 58
Montpelier 11 11 10 5 66 63
U32 12 9 5 7 61 65
Northfield 5 2 4 1 25 19
Totals 53 49 35 20 283 256

Discussion:  Even if it's been awhile since your last math class, and even if you've never had an economics class, this is going to make sense: Compared to last year, there were fewer new listings, and more sales in the Central Vermont market. That adds up to a reduction in inventory and a very clear sign that the market is shifting toward normalization. And, perhaps even toward a sellers' market. There, I said it.

On the rolling twelve month cycle, four of the five distinct markets saw an uptick in the number of sale. U32 was the only market that experienced a slight dip.

Looking at August's sales, it's interesting to note that the average sale price in Montpelier was very close to the average sale price in Barre Town. And, taking away the $742,500 sale in Northfield (a bit of an outlier), Barre Town and Montpelier were the markets with the highest sale prices.

VA and RD Loans: These loans can be very attractive to lots of buyers. VA (Veterans' Administration) loans are available only to those who have served in the military. RD (Rural Development) loans are available to everyone, and allow for up to 100% financing backed by the USDA.  Check with your favorite lender, or contact Heney Realtors with questions.

But there's a big catch. Both of these loan programs require the property to meet certain standards. The loan products tend to work better on newer homes and those in better condition. Things like cracked or peeling paint, ungrounded electrical outlets, and lack of handrails can prevent a property from qualifying.

Which means that if you're using RD or VA, you need to be very careful about the details of the houses you're looking at. If you're a seller, and an offer comes in with a buyer using one of these loans, know that there may be some additional repairs or improvements needed to bring transaction to closing. Who has to pay for them? That's all negotiable.

Lease-Purchase Options: I get a lot of questions about these (also known as "rent to own"). They can work in some circumstances, but they need to be structured correctly. They also depend on unique circumstances for both the buyer and seller. The seller needs to be comfortable as a landlord. Also, the seller must not need the money from the sale to move on to the next house (because the money won't be there until the sale, sometime in the future).

The buyer needs to be very confident that a purchase will be in the foreseeable future (6-12 months, generally, but it's all negotiable). Buyer must have a substantial non-refundable deposit for the "option". 5-10% of the purchase price wouldn't be uncommon. And the buyer must be able to remedy the reason they can't buy right now. For example, if it's a question of credit needing to be improved, the buyer better be reasonably sure that credit can be improved in the lease-purchase timeframe.

Oh, and for the love of all that's holy, get an attorney to draw up the documents.

Quote of the month:  "It had all that great original character, and then no one screwed it up." That was Jane after previewing a meticulously cared for 1920s Montpelier craftsman house. I think she meant that there was nothing to undo.

Getting Smarter: Did you know that you can become even more of a real estate expert than you already are? Like Heney Realtors on Facebook, and learn about hot new listings, get interesting "market slices", and win karma points with our contests. I realize that karma can only be apportioned by the forces of the cosmos, but I can pretend, right?

Looking for Something New? Heney Realtors is actively looking for Realtors, licensed assistants (or those willing to become licensed), and administrative assistants. Business is good now, and looking to expand in the near future.  Honestly, we need more good people to allow us to serve the growing number of buyers and sellers we're seeing. Experiences are helpful, but not necessary. We can train the right people. Call or email for more information.

August's Home Sales

Town Address Original Price Final Price Closing Price Days on Mkt
Barre City 190 Fairview $99,900 $99,900 $96,900 10
Barre City 29 Warren $119,000 $119,000 $120,000 11
Barre City 4 Daniel Drive $225,000 $199,000 $187,900 123
Barre City 43 Circle $109,000 $105,000 $94,000 236
Barre City 122 Batchelder #7 $127,800 $127,800 $122,000 338
Barre City 11 Westwood Pkwy $140,000 $135,000 $125,000 356
Barre City 34 Fecteau #25 $195,000 $175,000 $173,500 539
Barre City Average $145,100 $137,243 $131,329 230
Barre Town 13 Lisa Drive $375,000 $375,000 $365,000 6
Barre Town 22 Orchard Terrace $140,000 $140,000 $140,500 34
Barre Town 5 West Skylark $169,900 $159,900 $145,900 36
Barre Town 104 Sugarwoods $297,000 $297,000 $285,000 38
Barre Town 80 Cassie $153,000 $153,000 $153,000 67
Barre Town 58 LePage $189,000 $179,000 $150,000 225
Barre Town 20 Countryside $300,000 $265,000 $250,000 318
Barre Town 479 Cutler Corner $399,000 $344,900 $315,000 500
Barre Town 24 Granview $175,000 $149,000 $148,410 838
Barre Town Average $244,211 $229,200 $216,979 229
Calais 104 Justa Rd $246,000 $199,000 $196,000 31
Calais 6067 Route 14 $189,000 $175,000 $165,000 774
East Montpelier 405 Haggett $209,000 $209,000 $199,500 100
Middlesex 24 Bolduc $177,000 $177,000 $177,500 57
Worcester 104 Worcester Village Rd $259,500 $248,500 $248,500 136
U32 Average $216,100 $201,700 $197,300 220
Montpelier 3 Pleasant $248,000 $248,000 $245,200 3
Montpelier 273 Berlin $184,000 $184,000 $178,000 12
Montpelier 23 Roberts $180,000 $180,000 $177,000 33
Montpelier 20 Deerfield Dr $254,900 $254,900 $235,000 82
Montpelier 3 Taplin $155,000 $102,000 $94,500 117
Montpelier 26 Woodrow $384,000 $385,000 $370,000 174
Montpelier 212 Cityside #53 $208,900 $208,900 $188,000 235
Montpelier 95 East State $228,000 $224,900 $210,000 274
Montpelier 179 North St $278,000 $278,000 $238,500 358
Montpelier 10 Hubbard Park Dr $320,000 $305,000 $305,000 446
Montpelier Average $244,080 $237,070 $224,120 173
Northfield 5 Riverside $40,000 $40,000 $35,600 39
Northfield 1443 Hallstrom $112,500 $112,500 $106,100 141
Northfield 745 Freeman $975,000 $825,000 $742,500 1164
Roxbury 1025 Thurston Hill $203,000 $189,000 $168,000 67
Northfield Average $332,625 $291,625 $263,050 353

June 2012 Market Report--You Know You're Curious...

We know that you pride yourself on having complete mastery of the Montpelier/Barre real estate market. That's why you come to this site.

 

Here's a snapshot of the market for June. Most surprising was the low number of new listings and closed sales in Montpelier.

 

Active New in June Under Contract Closed in June Closed last 12 months
Barre City 65 15 13 10 66
Barre Town 72 15 14 7 67
Montpelier 51 4 17 2 66
U32 69 15 11 8 73
Northfield 56 12 5 1 28
Totals 313 61 60 28 300

 

And then, to compare across time, check out how June 2012 compared to June 2011 as far as the size of the inventory, the number of sales, and the overall activity. June turned out to be a slower month than might have been expected. Still, year on year sales are higher in 2011-2012 than the previous year.

 

New 6/12 New 6/11 Closed 6/12 Closed 6/11 Closed6/11-6/12 Closed 6/10-6/11
Barre City 15 15 10 7 66 63
Barre Town 15 15 7 11 67 64
Montpelier 4 14 2 13 66 65
U32 15 20 8 7 73 57
Northfield 12 13 1 4 28 20
Totals 61 77 28 42 300 269

 

 

Here are the June 2012 sales for Montpelier, Barre, U32, and Northfield. Don't get all bent out of shape by some of those cheap sales right at the top of the table. There were a few foreclosures that had been on the market for YEARS and finally sold.

And yes, that one lonely sale in Northfield last month?  That was me.

 

Town Address Original List Price Final List Price Closing Price Days on Market
Barre City 33 Maple Ave $108,000 $19,900 $27,000 413
Barre City 65 Hill St $172,000 $69,000 $69,000 1180
Barre City 15 Mill St $86,500 $86,500 $86,500 6
Barre City 160 Seminary St $100,000 $88,900 $80,500 97
Barre City 11 Downes $119,900 $119,900 $120,900 7
Barre City 4 Crescent $129,000 $129,000 $75,000 100
Barre City 194 Washington St $164,900 $139,900 $145,900 740
Barre City 132 Batchelder St $165,000 $147,000 $140,000 1002
Barre City 113 Country Way $238,000 $199,950 $190,000 382
Barre City 43 Nelson $230,000 $230,000 $220,000 60
Barre Town 51 Church Hill Rd $126,500 $39,900 $36,000 795
Barre Town 16 Carnes Rd $125,000 $97,300 $91,500 586
Barre Town 12 Orchard Terrace $127,500 $127,500 $120,000 99
Barre Town 3 Wilmuth St $134,900 $134,900 $134,900 7
Barre Town 61 Middle Rd $209,000 $169,900 $162,500 386
Barre Town 17 Sunrise Rd $225,000 $200,000 $200,000 58
Barre Town 306 Camp St $240,000 $224,900 $214,000 231
Montpelier 16 Mountainview $186,500 $186,500 $185,000 7
Montpelier 58 Wheelock $198,000 $192,000 $180,000 258
Berlin 540 Route 12 $289,000 $265,000 $263,800 253
Berlin 19 Black Rd $319,900 $319,900 $295,000 184
Calais 272 Apple Hill Rd $155,000 $155,000 $147,500 3
Calais 214 The Cove Rd $299,000 $179,000 $170,000 1454
Calais 9879 County Rd $265,000 $265,000 $250,000 39
East Montpelier 3978 County Rd $190,000 $175,000 $166,000 367
East Montpelier 1550 Center Rd $214,000 $214,000 $220,000 4
East Montpelier 140 Maplewood $289,900 $289,900 $275,000 13
Northfield 342 Central St $268,000 $255,000 $245,000

Be Smarter--Like Heney Realtors on Facebook

We have a wide audience of readers for our Montpelier/Barre real estate blog. Some of you are locals, some of you are far-flung (yes, we consider Australia to be far-flung).

The updates and commentary that are making you a genius are only part of what's available. Check out our Facebook page. You'll find the fastest updates on new listings, price changes, and all sorts of information you'll want to know regarding the Montpelier and Barre real estate markets.

But it's also fun. There are contests, prizes, quizzes, the popular "Day in the Life" updates, "Market Slices" (come on, you know you're curious about that!), community information, and more.

Let's make it official. You know you like us. Go to Facebook.com/heneyrealtors and really like us.

--Ray Mikus

November Real Estate Market Report--Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, and U32

 November Real Estate Market Report--Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, and U32

Ray Mikus, Broker

Heney Realtors

Here are the unofficial real estate numbers for the Montpelier-Barre area.

  Active in Oct New in Oct Under deposit in Oct Closed in Oct Price Change in Oct Sold Last 12 months
Barre City

69

5

8

2

17

48

Barre Town

67

2

7

7

7

64

Montpelier

52

3

8

5

7

65

U32

61

8

6

6

6

59

Northfield

42

4

4

4

4

22

Totals

291

22

33

24

41

258

 And, comparing to last year...

  Active '11 Active '10 New Oct '11 New Oct '10 Sold Oct '11 Sold Oct '10 Sold Oct '10-Oct 11 Sold Oct '09-Oct '10 Absorb. Rate 12 months '10-'11 Absorb. Rate 12 months '09-'10
Barre City

69

72

5

11

2

7

48

68

1.44

1.06

Barre Town

67

54

2

3

7

12

64

67

1.05

.81

Mplr

52

44

3

9

5

5

65

63

.80

.70

U32

61

64

8

7

6

2

59

64

1.03

1.00

Nfld

42

39

4

7

4

1

22

26

1.91

1.50

Totals

291

273

22

37

24

27

258

288

1.13

.95

 

Going Through the Numbers: Ok , that's a lot of data.  Looking through this, Barre City appears to be the market with the most volatility. 17 price changes in October. Half the new listings this October than last October.  20 fewer sales in this 12 month cycle compared to last year.  Is it the time to buy in Barre City? It looks like it to me...

Another set of numbers worth talking about is the absorption rate. That's the ratio of homes on the market to the number of homes that have sold in the last 12 months. Montpelier's absorption rate is .8 of a year, meaning that right now, there's a nine month supply of housing at the current sale rate.  Overall, in this Central Vermont real estate market, the total absorption rate rose to 1.13 in October, meaning that there's roughly a 13 month supply of housing. I'm not freaking out. You shouldn't either.

 

You Know You're Curious

Real Estate Voyeur: Get your attention with that headline? I've made the analogy before that real estate is like love. It's natural to want to know what an ex is up to. Same thing with a home that you may have looked at online or seen in person.  If you're ever curious about whether a house sold, or what properties have sold for, just call or email. I might know off the top of my head. If not, I'm a pretty good private eye. Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. For more on this topic, visit the real estate voyeur blog post.

 

 

 

You Just Never Know:  Popular belief is that October is a slower part of the market.  Properties are so individual. Recently, I had a listing that had three offers on it in two days. This wasn't a steal of a property. It was priced correctly in this market, it showed well, and then, BAM. Three offers.

Here's why I tell you this:  Sellers--There are buyers out there who are ready, willing, and able to make good offers. It happens all year round. If you're discouraged, hang in there. You just never know.

Buyers--There are other buyers who are ready to jump into this market. Waiting a few days, or weeks while you eyeball a property won't always work.  If you see something that you like, or if your Realtor tells you about a good deal, be ready to pull the trigger. (And yes, I can tell you when there's a particularly good deal...)You just never know.

October's Closed Transactions

Town Address Ask Price Sale Price
Barre City 58 Blackwell St $54,900 $42,500
Barre City 7 Elmwood Ave $139,900 $139,900
       
Barre Town 11 Short St $99,900 $80,000
Barre Town 442 Websterville Road $134,900 $128,000
Barre Town 20 Hillcrest Ln $149,900 $144,900
Barre Town 193 Richardson Rd $179,900 $175,000
Barre Town 246 East Cobble Hill Rd $219,900 $200,000
Barre Town 31 Barre View St $235,000 $229,000
Barre Town 410 Camp St $329,000 $310,000
       
Berlin 13 Cecile Ave $179,900 $175,000
Berlin 69 Hideaway Drive #9 $226,900 $215,500
Berlin 1433 Darling Rd $795,000 $739,000
Calais 31 Back St $191,000 $191,000
East Montpelier 670 Cherry Tree Hill Rd $296,500 $275,000
Middlesex 441 Center Rd $169,900 $170,000
       
Montpelier 6 Independence $142,900 $142,900
Montpelier 215 Barre St #108A $164,900 $162,900
Montpelier 30 Sibley Ave $245,000 $225,000
Montpelier 13 Terrace St $319,000 $294,000
Montpelier 20 Baldwin St $359,000 $350,000
       
Northfield 1363 Route 12 A $39,900 $37,500
Northfield 28 Riverside Ln $49,500 $37,500
Northfield 1370 Turkey Hill Road $49,900 $46,000
Northfield 528 Turkey Hill Rd $137,500 $115,000

 

Halloween Costume Winners:  This year's contest had lots of great entries. Check them all out at

You Know You're Curious

www.facebook.com/heneyrealtors. Click on the Halloween Costume Contest album to see them.  Relishing my role of arbitrary judge (with Carol helping me, of course), here are the winners:

No Dilly Dallying Award:  Matt and Heather Martin, Kyle and Talitha Landis-Marinello, Jen Sugai

Cutest Baby Costume: Kristen and Phil Whitman (and their Blue Bear)

Best Birthday/Halloween Costume--Believe it or not, there were two entries of people with birthdays right around Halloween--Pat and Steph Smart.

Best Family Costume--Joanie LaPointe and her gruesome family. Please tell me that's makeup.

You Know You're Curious

You Know You're Curious

Don't be a stranger. Call or email if you have any questions about buying, selling, or investing in real estate. Also, if you know anyone who you think would enjoy getting this report, let me know.

Halloween Costume Contest!

What's So Scary About This??

It's time again for the Halloween Costume Contest. This year, we're making it easier than ever to enter.

All you have to do is take a picture, and then upload it to the Heney Realtors facebook page. Should be easy to remember...it's facebook.com/heneyrealtors.

Prizes (yes, plural) will be awarded for any number of arbitrary categories. We'll also make an album so that all of our fans can check out the other great costumes.

Note: The first three entries will win the coveted "No Dilly Dallying Prize".

Entries are due by Wednesday 11/2.

So get out there, get creative, have fun, and get your photo uploaded!

October Market Update--Check Out the Numbers

October's Unofficial Numbers--By Ray Mikus

  Active New In September Closed In September Under Deposit Price Change
Barre City 80 7 3 7 21
BarreTown 77 15 7 9 10
Montpelier 64 11 6 7 8
U-32 74 4 8 12 11
Northfield 43 4 0 5 9
Totals 338 41 24 40 59

And comparing to a year ago ...

  New To Market September 2010 New To Market September 2011 Closed September 2009-September 2010 Closed September 2010-September 2011
Barre City 14 7 67 51
BarreTown 9 15 62 64
Montpelier 5 11 67 66
U-32 9 4 65 64
Northfield 7 4 26 18
Totals 44 41 287 263

 

Clusters

For all the talk about the decline in sales, and the state of the real estate market, look at how tightly clustered sales have been in this area. Barre Town, Montpelier and U-32 all had nearly identical 12 month sales in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Barre City and Northfield, well, the number of sales were down.

But don't think that sellers in Barre City and Northfield aren't aware of that. Look at the number of price changes this month in those two markets. Sellers who are staying in the market are going to sell their houses. Those that are testing high prices have gotten their answers. No jumping to conclusions! There are houses that are priced correctly and are still on the market.

Gettin' Smart

I recently had a great opportunity to expand my professional knowledge at the annual Vermont Realtors' Conference in South Burlington. For two days, I took courses and networked with some great people, including the President of the National Association of Realtors Ron Phipps and the Government Affairs Director for the Vermont Association of Realtors Chris MacDonald.

Just about everyone from our office was able to attend and take courses. I took a specialized course on property evaluation (residential and investment), a course on the new RESPA requirements and a course on cooperative and effective negotiation. All in all, it was a great two days. I did miss being in the office, though.

Fast Movers

Recently, our office has had two properties that were listed and then within days went under deposit. That tells me that buyers are hungry for properties, and that when they find the right one, smart buyers aren't wasting time. In both cases, the buyers were able to move fast and were able to get ahead of other offers. Getting the inside scoop from a Realtor who really tracks the market helped these folks immeasurably.

Most Improved Player

This month's most improved player award goes to 58 Wheelock Street in Montpelier. The first time I saw the house, I made some recommendations on how to make it show better to buyers. I always do that to help my sellers. But these sellers took my advice and ran with it. They took up carpet to expose beautiful hardwood floors, took off, um, "vintage" wallpaper in the dining room and, er, "antique" wallpaper in the upstairs landing. Both of those are now a crisp, clean white. The house is breathtaking. Like I said, most improved.

Low Lying Fruit

Investors looking to add to their portfolio of multi-family properties are in one of the best markets in years. Rents for apartments have remained steady over the course of the economic downturn, but prices have come down significantly. Plus, there is a great supply of investment opportunities. Owner occupied multi-families can get in with 5% down and 80% of the rental income can count toward financing ratios. Talk to me or a lender for details. Non-owner occupied still needs 20% down in most cases. There are deals out there. I'm happy to help you run numbers and find some tasty properties.

  Active Multi-Family Properties Closed In Last 12 Months
Montpelier 15 3
Barre 39 4

 

Are you kidding? With cap rates in many cases exceeding 10%, low interest rates and stable rents there are some buys out there in the multi-family investment property market.

September's Closed Transactions

Address Town List Price Sale Price
28 Fairview St. Barre City $115,000 $105,000
8 East Parkside Barre City $124,900 $119,000
1 Waterman St. Barre City $165,000 $158,000
       
98 Miller Road Barre Town $109,900 $115,000
111 Websterville Road Barre Town $134,900 $136,900
325 Beckley Hill Road Barre Town $156,000 $148,000
27 Waterman Barre Town $165,900 $159,000
5 East Street Ext. Barre Town $180,000 $170,000
79 Cassie Street Barre Town $169,900 $174,000
731 Graniteville Road Barre Town $80,100 $76,000
       
141 Vine Street Berlin $225,000 $228,000
104 Highland Avenue Berlin $250,000 $230,000
62 Route 302 Berlin $129,500 $122,700
       
50 Mugford Rd. East Montpelier $28,500 $26,500
500 Rt. 14S East Montpelier $115,020 $115,100
       
10 Dolan Road Middlesex $208,000 $200,000
194 East Hill Rd Middlesex $300,000 $300,000
136 North Bear Swamp Middlesex $195,000 $194,500

Central VT Cleans Up After Irene

Communities share the relief effort 

Volunteers take a break in Moretown. Photo by Phil Scott

Following tropical storm Irene's path through Vermont is frightening. This storm presented in the form of heavy rain and the results of these torrents of water is difficult to imagine. Some communities were left unscathed while others were ravaged, and Montpelier seemed to have only minor damage when compared with nearby towns.

Barre fell on the "unscathed" list this time, which is most fortunate as they are still recovering from flooding at the end of May. Communities that received extensive damage in this central part of Vermont are Northfield, Moretown, Duxbury and Waterbury. Each in its own way is experiencing the members of the community coming together to rebuild. Although the Labor Day festivities have been cancelled in Northfield, the word is out for people to come help clean up instead. Efforts there are being coordinated with the assistance of Norwich University.

In Moretown, one home that we have been representing for sale was especially hard-hit with water flowing through the main floor. The owner said that yesterday some 36 people arrived to help them attempt to save their home.

Waterbury's downtown and several neighborhoods are digging out of the mud and rubble, but a walk down their main street makes it clear that the help on the ground is working quickly to provide services to those in need in as many numbers as they can muster. Thatcher Brook Primary School is the volunteer coordination center for clean up activities for Saturday, September 3. There is a volunteer coordination meeting at 9:00 AM at the school if you wish to join tomorrow.

For more up-to-date information and more ideas about how you can help, please check the #VTresponse blog.

- Tim Heney