111 Pine Tree Lane, Fayston VT

Exceptional craftsmanship and quality are only the start in this custom-built 3BR/3BA Colonial. The stunning property features 9′ ceilings, plastered walls/ceilings, and hardwood floors. Brazilian soapstone, Kitchen cabinets of pecan wood, and a native soapstone island round out the chef’s delight. Custom solid fir staircase leads to a second floor that highlights an open office loft and two BR suits, including a MBR with walk-in closet and en suite bath of Carrara Marble. A radiant slab warms a full daylight basement, bedroom, a full finish rec room, a bathroom of slate & true quartz, & more storage than you’ll ever need. The east-facing site has abundant sunshine, total privacy, perennial gardens that will make the neighbors jealous, a gorgeous sun-drenched deck, and a tree-house you’ll have to fight the kids over. The 2-car garage features enough room for all your toys, a third bay to store you gear, and an unfinished space above, wired and plumbed for future expansion. Perched in the woods between Mad River Glen and Sugarbush Resort in the popular Fayston neighborhood of Hiddenwood, this is truly a mountain-town, where world class adventure is not just for the lift served – back-country skiing, hiking, the best mountain biking in the east are de rigueur for the citizens of this recreation paradise. So turn off the phone, get out of the city, the Green Mountains are calling you home to the Mad River Valley. Delayed Showings begin Saturday,...

125 Carlyle Road, Warren VT

Really nice, well maintained cape in an exceptional location, a few minutes from world class skiing at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. This 3+ BR cape sits on a beautiful, private, landscaped lot with loaded perennial gardens and total privacy along the shuttle route to Sugarbush. Three Bedrooms upstairs, and additional office/sitting room/extra room downstairs. Ten minutes from town, 5 minutes from the slopes, even closer to some of the best mountain biking in Vermont, practically out your back door, health and racket club, walking and hiking trails, back country skiing, Warren Village and the world famous Warren Fourth of July celebration. Be a part of the renaissance at Sugarbush. Whether you are looking for a vacation home, a forever home, or just an affordable escape to the outdoors, you’ve found your landing spot at Sugarbush, in the beautiful Mad River Valley of Vermont. Take a deep breath, you’re...

Snowside #10, Fayston VT

Spacious, bright and modern, this exceptional 2- bedroom condo sits in one of the best locations at Sugarbush; amazing views, minutes from the ski trails at Mt Ellen, but far enough away to escape the crowds at the end of the day. Wood Floors, custom finishes throughout, gas fireplace. Enjoy world class skiing right out your door, enjoy apres at Mount Ellen’s renowned Green Mountain Lounge and ski home at the end of the day. If the side-country is your preferred adventure, Slide Brook Basin is practically right out the back door. In the warmer months, jump on your Fatbike and shred for miles on the best cross country biking trails on the east, or stay at home and enjoy outdoor swimming and tennis on site. No matter where your adventure takes you, make your home in the Mad River Valley right here at the...

Drumleys #17, Warren VT

UNDER CONTRACT. Spacious, bright and modern, this multi-level three bedroom condo sits in one of the best locations at Sugarbush; minutes from the ski trails, but far enough away to escape the crowds at the end of the day. Hop the shuttle to Sugarbush and enjoy world class skiing a few minutes away, or if the side-country is your preferred adventure, the Catamount Ski Trail is literally right out the back door. In the warmer months, jump on your Fatbike and shred for miles on the best cross country biking trails on the east, or stay at home and enjoy outdoor swimming and tennis on site. No matter where your adventure takes you, make your home in the Mad River Valley right here at the...

North Lynx #65, Warren VT

UNDER CONTRACT. Excellent launching pad for your Mad River Valley, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen and Central Vermont adventures. World class skiing a stones throw from your front door, this 4 + bedroom multi-level condo has room for the whole family, some guests, their friends, sleeps 12 like that. Including a master bedroom suite, first floor laundry, open dining and living room, a brand new wood burning fireplace, tons of new windows, two decks, sunny east-facing exposure, amazing mountain views, a really well run association, tons of improvements that have already been paid for, and resort shuttle service at your doorstep. Park the car, grab the shuttle, hit the slopes in time for the ski season. At $175,000, this may be the best value available at Sugarbush this...

South Village #19, Warren VT

UNDER CONTRACT. The Villas at South Village. Outstanding 3BR/3BA unit in the lower phase at South Village. Close to the ski area but tucked away in the quietest of spots, just around the corner from world class skiing at Sugarbush Resort. Ride the shuttle to the ski area, work your way home through the woods at lunch time, resort living has never been easier. Wood burning fireplace, master suite, cathedral ceilings, plenty of room for the whole family, and even some friends. Exceptional maintenance program, free standing units, no shared walls, these are true townhouse designs. Very well maintained and priced to sell before winter. Get out of the rental rat race, and join the renaissance that is Sugarbush Resort. Be Better...

Sterling Ridge #2, Warren VT

UNDER CONTRACT. Immaculate 2BR/3BA condo, minutes away from world class skiing at Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen. Exceptional location on the Mountain Shuttle Loop. Open concept kitchen, dining room and living room layout. Cathedral ceilings, gas fireplace with native stone surround, efficient propane heat, and loads of storage, both inside and out. Large outdoor storage for skis and mountain bikes, large closets in every room, plus a rare one-car garage with extra room for all your adventure gear. Decor is vintage, in excellent condition and neat as a pin, but ready for your personal touch or all out update. Either way, just turn the key and walk right into your next Vermont adventure. Get out of the rental rat-race. Leave the car in the garage and hop the shuttle to the greatest skiing in New England, right here at home in the Mad River Valley. Be Better Here. Ski It If You Can. Wherever you preference, start the journey at Sterling...

Pine Tree Lane, Fayston VT

UNDER CONTRACT. Exceptional craftsmanship in this custom built 3 bedroom Appalachian style log home. Constructed from 98 hand-picked northern Vermont softwoods, and constructed by a second generation master log craftman, this stunning home is located at the end of the trail in the popular Hiddenwood neighborhood of Fayston. The south-east facing site has abundant sunshine, ample land for recreation and total privacy. Huge covered porch for three season relaxation, and a second deck for dining and sunshine. The interior is open and casual with a gorgeous chef’s kitchen, hardwood flooring throughout, open beams and 9′ ceilings. The second floor features three bedrooms and a master suite with walk-in closets, cathedral ceilings through, second floor laundry and custom finishes at every turn. Located moments from world class skiing at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, skiing is not all this home has to offer, perched in a ridable location from some of the Valley’s most treasured mountain biking and hiking trails. Location is just another great feature for this Mad River gem. Whether you’re looking for a year round home or a stylish vacation getaway, make this beautiful retreat the starting point for all your Vermont adventures, right here at home in the Mad River...

Shady Tree Lane, Fayston VT

SOLD! Outstanding 3+ bedroom, Eberle designed New England Saltbox, located at the end of the road in the popular Hiddenwood neighborhood. The south-facing site has abundant sunshine, ample level land for recreation and gardening, extensive vegetable gardens and flower beds. The interior is modern, open and casual. Native slate counter tops in the kitchen and a combination of cork and hardwood flooring throughout the main living space. The open floor plan allows for several different living spaces, all with 9-foot ceilings, open hemlock beams and a radiant slab to keep your feet cozy all winter long. The second floor features a two-room master bedroom/office suite with cathedral ceilings and two additional bedrooms, while the bonus third floor offers a loft for over flow sleeping, game room or playroom space. Located moments from world class skiing at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, skiing is not all this home has to offer, in a ridable location from some of the Valley’s most treasured mountain biking and hiking trails. Listing #...

Wild Turkey Lane, Fayston VT

SOLD! Outstanding hilltop property constructed in 2001. This extraordinary custom home is perched on 6.8 private acres with views of Sugarbush Ski Resort. An open kitchen of tile, marble and cherry extends into a dining room adorned with over-sized windows and a field-stone fireplace. The double fireplace opens into a living room with mountain views and space for the whole family to relax after...

Harris Hill Road, Fayston VT

SOLD! Extraordinary quality at every turn in this custom designed and elegantly constructed replica of a German Barn. Exquisite trim work, stained glass doorways, custom lighting fixtures, suspended post and beam loft and built-in finished three-car garage. Radiant heat, stainless chefs kitchen, soapstone and marble counters. Multi-tiered stone gardens, level lawn, apple trees and exclusive privacy. Property includes several ponds, artisan stonework, a babbling brook, private teak deck and furniture, close proximity to town and closer to world class skiing at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen ski areas. Whether you’re looking for an exquisite ski home, a stylish retreat or a deluxe year-round abode, you need not sacrifice the luxury you’re accustomed to. Listing #...

Snow Creek #52, Warren VT

SOLD! Updated and stylish Snow Creek condo on the ski slopes at Sugarbush Resort’s Lincoln Peak. Completely renovated open kitchen with soapstone counters, maple dining bar, custom iron work bar stools, custom lighting and fixtures throughout. Be a part of the renaissance at Sugarbush. Ski out, ski back, leave the car keys on the counter until the trip back home. Everything you need is right here, home at Sugarbush. Be Better...

Mad River Valley Real Estate – 2016 Year In Review

As 2016 approached an end, it seemed like just about everyone I knew was happy to kiss this one good bye. We came off an awful 2015/16 ski season, the after-effects of which were hard on local businesses and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The fall brought lots of sadness to the Mad River Valley, and the ongoing drama of the presidential race did little to calm people’s nerves. From a purely real estate perspective, however, 2016 was a barn-burner, and there seems to be little on the horizon to indicate 2017 will be any different. As the presidential campaign came to a close, the stock market rallied into uncharted territory, with most major indices hitting all time highs, before flattening into an early 2017 slump. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when the bulls run on Wall Street, good things follow in real estate, and we are riding the coat-tails of the second longest bull market in history. There is a natural tendency for investors to go conservative following a big run, and real estate has returned to top dog status as the best place to put your money in the long run. While median home prices nationally have returned to pre-crash levels, housing starts are half what they were in 2005 and foreclosures are at a 17 year low, easing fears that this is just another growing bubble waiting to pop. Combine this with a national glut in inventory, you have the makings of the perfect place to park your money as the outlook for Wall Street is a little less cheerie for 2017.  Optimism is...

The Year In Review on the Mad River Valley Real Estate Scene

Overall 2015 was a very good year in the Mad River Valley Real Estate Market. Volume was up, prices were up and winter finally appeared at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, following an extended hiatus. Yet numerous people still approach me and ask “how’s the market” and the expression on their face betrays the unease they clearly feel. I suppose it is natural to be skeptical, considering that the most tumultuous financial disaster in our nation’s history still remains vivid in our memories, and that disaster badly damaged much of the perceived equity many had staked in their homes. We still feel the after-effects, and will continue to feel them for many years to come. It’s difficult to feel entirely whole, even some time on. So I perform a healthy exercise when an imbalance appears between perception and my day-to-day observations in this market. To counter that inevitable skepticism, I went to the numbers and found some reassuring data that should make even the heartiest skeptics feel better. In fact there were 86 residential sales in 2015 which represents a 15% increase in sales volume over fiscal year 2014, which had been the previous high-water mark since the crash. Furthermore, the median home sale price increased from $284,500 in 2014 to $303,325 in 2015 – an increase of nearly 7%. More importantly this is the first time median sales of homes in the Mad River Valley have topped the $300,000 mark since 2008, when the median reached a pinnacle of $325,000. The 86 residential home sales represented the highest volume of sales since 2004, which was arguably at the...

3 Keys to a smooth Real Estate transaction

When you work as a Realtor, you are involved in all kinds of real estate transactions. There are easy buyers and difficult sellers. There are easy sellers and difficult buyers. There are unrealistic requests and there are outrageous holdups. And there are misunderstandings – sometimes lots of them. But most buyers and sellers don’t do this for a living so these hold ups, challenges and misunderstandings feel like a much bigger deal than they need to be. A good broker will help their client understand, but in the moment, it is hard for a buyer not to feel frustrated. So what can you do to ensure a smooth transaction?   Get pre-qualified before you start shopping – this seems obvious, but most buyers take it for granted.  The math is easy and most people know what they can afford because they are already paying rent. Furthermore, they can go online and find any number of free mortgage calculators, pop in the down-payment they can afford and an interest rate that seems about right, and instantly find a monthly payment that works for their particular income profile. However, buyers are frequently lulled into a false sense of security simply because they have saved a reasonable amount of money for a downpayment, and they earn enough to cover a likely mortgage. Yet knowing what a buyer can afford is very different from what the bank thinks that buyer can afford; and since the bank is taking on most of the financial risk, buyers have to play by their rules.  There are any number of things that can affect a buyer’s loan...

Pre-Sale Building Inspections

I used to think that these were a bad idea. Conventional thinking was that the Buyer would do this anyway, so why spend money to uncover things that another may not care about. Furthermore, any inspections performed provide a checklist of items which must now be disclosed, and once disclosed they must be dealt with. All true, and that’s the point. You can pay for it now or pay for it later. But usually later is while you are under Contract, and then you will pay. In a big way. The real estate market has become competitive like never before. Like. Never. Before. Not the old days when buyers were abundant and sellers could hold out for the best offer and the most favorable terms. Today’s market features higher inventory and picky buyers who have no tolerance for ill informed Sellers and homes in poor condition. Spending time looking at a home unworthy of the asking price, for many buyers, means missing out on the better homes that more discerning Buyers are already making offers on. Competition today means being the best home, at the best price, with the best features (for the money) and the least number of headaches for the buyer. And that means finding out what’s wrong with a home PRIOR to listing it, and then marketing the property in it’s best possible disposition. So where do you start? That’s the easy part: Plan Ahead. Give yourself a couple of months. If you wish to sell in the spring, call the Realtors in February. Get no fewer than 2 opinions about price, and if they are...

6469 W VT Route 17, Buels Gore VT 05487

Rare find for sale in Buels Gore, Vermont – 2 miles to Mad River Glen Ski Area, 4 privately situated acres with a cozy, modern, 4-season camp and engineer designed 3 bedroom septic system already installed. Choose between the Scandia wood stove or direct vent propane for heat. Perfect as a cozy camp, a starter home, a vacation retreat or a place to park your Airstream until the time is right to do more. No matter the use you’re one step closer to home in what just might be the best value in Central Vermont. Now Ski it if You...

“Here’s the bad news…”

When was the last time you heard a Realtor say that? Probably never, because Realtors generally don’t like to give bad news. They like to tell you everything is great. They like to tell you that it’s the perfect house and the perfect price and the perfect location. They like to tell you that an offer is coming in. They like to tell you that the feedback on that showing was great. So why haven’t you had a showing in a month? Why haven’t you had any offers? Why is your house still on the market? Although there are many factors and many different market conditions that can affect the marketing plan for your home, there is probably some bad news that’s being filtered, and as a Seller in the real estate market you are entitled to the bad news alongside the good. So be weary of strangers bearing gifts (and Realtors who only have good news). “I can’t sell it for that” – this is my favorite tidbit of bad news. I don’t like listing properties that are over-priced, so generally I don’t. And even though I rarely say no to a listing, I am usually blunt and honest about its market value, which can turn off a prospective Seller. But before you think that this is a terrible thing, consider that it only gets worse when your Realtor tells you what you want to hear instead of what is actually on their mind. If your Realtor pitches you a high price and you accept their advice, now they have to try and sell it for that.  If...

3 Strategies for Making a “Sweet” Deal in a Competitive Real Estate Market

You found a home you want to buy, and now you are ready to make an offer. Immediately the Seller’s agent informs you that there are multiple buyers interested and that they are expecting multiple offers. It sounds ludicrous after the 5-year market adjustment of the Great Recession, but bidding wars happen in all sorts of markets. In the Mad River Valley real estate market that I call home, they happen practically every day. If your default is to panic, take a step back and breath deeply. The last thing you want to do is over-react to the very ordinary possibility that there are other people interested in the same property you are. There are plenty of innovative ways to “sweeten the deal” without turning a good deal into a bad one. 1. Money talks – If you have cash you should utilize this position to your fullest advantage. Financing contingencies create great uncertainty for Sellers because they control nothing and the outcome is weeks away, by which time the “losers” in a bidding war may well have moved on. If you have the solitary cash offer, you are immediately in first place. Just don’t balance that by making a crappy, low-ball offer. Alternately, if you don’t have the cash, you can still make an attractive offer with the most favorable terms. This is not the time to strategize with your broker about how “low” the seller might go. With multiple buyers interested there is an excellent chance that the property will garner close to full asking price. As long as you can afford the loan and the market supports the...

Tips for first time home buyers in the Mad River Valley (and beyond).

Tips for first time home buyers It’s easy for someone who works in the real estate industry to minimize the stress involved in the home buying process. After all, we do this for a living. We work in a world of legalese; of purchase and sale contracts, building inspections and contingencies. The language and processes are genuinely second nature. And for real estate professionals who work in tourist economies such as the Valley I work in, the purchaser’s can be just as experienced as their professional counterparts, buying and selling real estate on a regular basis, which can make those professionals poorly adapted to working with beginners. But for the homebuyer who is doing this for the first time, the process can be fraught with obstacles big and small, real and imagined. Because in most cases a home is the largest investment a person will ever make, it is not something to be taken lightly – but armed with the proper information, it can be a truly enjoyable and equally edifying process. Be the most informed person in the room – This may sound stupid, but many home buyers start the process without any real understanding of what they’re looking for. They don’t know what mortgages cost, they don’t know how to figure out principal and interest, they don’t know what closing costs are, they don’t know how much cash they need to put down. They just know that they are sick of paying $1200/month in rent when they can be paying towards ownership. But ignorance is not the path to success and educating yourself before starting the process will...

Cash-flow Real Estate Investing

There was a time not too long ago, when the consensus, long-term, safe investment was real estate. And there was really no close second place. Theoretically values always increased, so as long as you kept making the payments, you were going to cash out. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but cash out you would, virtually regardless of the property type. Fast-forward a few years and never has there been a greater disparity between that time, which seems so long ago, and the current state of the residential real estate market. While real estate values are actually on the increase for most of the largest demographic indicators, prices are still fluctuating here in vacation-land, and prospective investors are still watching with skepticism. Therefore, said investors bounce between the notion of moving forward and investing in a stabilizing market with great potential, and the risk of repeating the past, where values plummeted and fortunes were lost. Investors are getting better prices, but recent history has taught us that nothing is guaranteed, and despite plenty of strong evidence to the contrary the possibility still lurks that values could begin sliding once again. So there is a propensity to wait. Meanwhile, the Millennials are staying at home longer than any generation has ever before – eschewing independence for the security of their parents basement and eventually moving into a rental property rather than buying. Again, recent history has taught a new generation that the “american dream’ of home-ownership maybe wasn’t such a great dream. Or, to be a bit less cynical, maybe it just wasn’t for EVERYONE. Maybe the new “american dream’ is to...

Why Buy When I Can Rent (hint: so you can retire)

I think that there are, in general, people who are buyers and people who are renters. If you are predisposed to settle down, wish to establish roots in a community and inclined to invest and build equity towards a future, you already have an answer to this question. If you have not already bought, then you are probably just waiting until the right property comes along. If you like to go with the flow and land where the winds blows you, then maybe renting better suits your lifestyle. For me, I knew when I first moved to the Mad River Valley that I was going to stay here for a long time. The holdups were simple things – I was young, had plenty of time to get serious, and wasn’t sure whether I wanted a house, a condo, or a piece of land to park my Airstream on (I don’t own an Airstream, but I really want one). But it was also about money. While real estate in the Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston was relatively affordable, interest rates were outrageous – 9.5% at the time. It was, in fact, FAR cheaper to rent, even if I held no equity in that property. I could rent an apartment for $600/month whose equal would cost me $1200/month to buy. The numbers didn’t work. It was a temporary solution, but lower interest rates stagnant real estate growth and soaring rental rates over the past 5 years have changed that dramatically. Build a Nest Egg If you think of a home as an investment, rather than a place to live, you start to...

Mad River Valley Vermont Real Estate – Time to Refinance

We have been talking about historically low interest rates now for so long that homeowners and homebuyers have actually begun to take it for granted that they will remain historically low. Well, if you follow the news, you already know that the Fed will begin putting an end to that some time in June. If you have decent credit and a job, you might as well make the call to your friendly neighborhood mortgage guy and see what bounty awaits for your mindfulness. When I made that call I found that the savings over the life of my mortgage were over $50,000; thats a lot of cake no matter how you split it up, and it cost me next to nothing. When you work in the Mad River Valley real estate industry as I do, you speak with a great many mortgage brokers. And when you listen to what the good ones have to say, you can learn some very interesting things. You might even save a few bucks in the process. Case in point. I started receiving notices from the bank that owns my mortgage about 6 months ago. They were offering me exceptional,  good-looking, super-terrific opportunities to refi my current mortgage, and lower my monthly nut by increasingly significant numbers . Of course they were. I’m one of their best clients, right? It must be because of my exceptional reputation, my obsessive compulsive tendency to pay early and often, all the referrals I give that tiny local bank in the Citi. I’m not a number, I’m a name, for heavens sake. This is clearly my reward. Needless...

8 Ways to screw up your home sale

Anyone who knows me (personally or professionally) will tell you that I have an opinion about most everything. Be that as it may, I try to limit opinions that I put down in writing to the topics I actually know something about. One such topic is the business I make my living in – the real estate industry; in particular the Mad River Valley Real Estate industry. I recently read what I found to be a fairly revealing story by Michael Corbett of Trulia on selling your home in Time Online,  I was struck by the simplicity of the message, and found the subject matter to be topical. Entitled “8 ways to screw up your home sale” the message is pretty clear. These are the mistakes that many home sellers make. And despite the fact that they make these mistakes, those that follow seem to make the same mistake. And when their house doesn’t sell, they find another Realtor, and make the same mistakes again. According to Corbett, the mistakes are: Selling FSBO, Over-pricing your home, taking lousy photos, refusing to make obvious repairs, keeping all your junk and clutter, ignoring the backyard, hiding issues from prospective buyers, and letting your ego interfere in negotiations. First of all, I agree. But I’ll elaborate because this is really important, and it’s one of the reasons the real estate industry is treading water, as it is. FSBO’s Owning real estate is personal. Selling real estate is business. Separate the two and hire someone you trust. Unless you work in the real estate business for a living, you fall into the 1st...
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