Montpelier, VT Real Estate News

By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Montpelier Condominiums at the Lane Shops   When people call into my office asking for a condo with one-level living and within walking distance to town, the condos at the Lane Shops and The Foundry are the units that are at the top of the list. These modest two bedroom condos win over on location.     Located right on the North Branch of the Winooski River, the condos at Lane Shops and The Foundry are just a couple of blocks away from the Kellogg Hubbard Library, and the vibrant Main Street. Some of the units have decks or balconies overlooking the river. There’s a footbridge crossing over to Birchgrove Baking for morning croissant and to Meadow Mart for everything else.   The units are a mixture of flats (single level living, be they on the first or the second floor) and townhouses (...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
  Montpelier Condos at River Station (Barre Street Condos) The newest condominium development in Montpelier, River Station (sometimes referred to locally as “The Barre Street Condos” offer unmatched convenience and access to Montpelier’s vibrant downtown. They were built in 2007-2008 as a centerpiece of the continuing gentrification of Barre Street.  They stand on the site of old granite sheds, and, with a neighborhood grocery store and a fantastic local restaurant right in the middle of the development, there’s a very tangible sense of history and old neighborhood.   See all the condos available in Montpelier. Built with a conscious, these units have highly efficient heating systems. They feature a variety of layouts—some flats, some townhouses (first and second floors). Many units hav...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Perched atop, you guessed it—Murray Hill, these Montpelier condos have breathtaking views of the charming city below, and the Green Mountains surrounding it. They were sited perfectly to get bright sunshine, and have all the amenities and modern comforts that you expect at this point in your life.       The condos at Murray Hill were built in phases in the 1980s and early 1990s. You’ll find a mixture of townhouse style units (upstairs and downstairs) and flats. Some units offer one-level living without stairs, and others have just a couple of stairs into the unit from the parking area.   Sizes vary as well. Some units have two bedrooms, others have three. Those with three tend to be townhouse, and many have a first floor bedroom. Some of the units feature open loft areas that many home...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Montpelier Vermont Condominiums at Independence Green For anyone looking for a condo in Montpelier, the perfectly sized units in Independence Green could be the perfect fit.  There are different layouts available. The majority are townhouse style condos (upstairs and downstairs).   Built in phases in the 1970s and 1980s, you’ll find a variety of upgrades. I’ve been in some units that have all the original harvest gold kitchen appliances, but most of these condominiums have seen updates, especially regarding flooring, windows, lighting, and kitchens. Many units have also added very comfortable propane stoves (the kind that look just like woodstoves, but operate automatically with a thermostat—very easy, and very clean).   See all the Montpelier condos currently for sale.   Most of the c...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
This is as much a personal comment as professional.  Last night, my wife and I met with Montpeler-based designer/architect Sandy Vitzthum.  I know, realtors are supposed to have these perfect HGTV houses with cutting edge building material and space maximization.  Yet another difference between me and most realtors, I suppose. Our house has three main issues.  Those who have been here may want to add a few more, but we focused in on three issues.  In about 45 minutes, Sandy had given us fantastic ideas on how to transform the space (some subtly, and some more radically).  We talked about sight lines, circulation, definition of space, and more. I'm good at what I do, but those are not things I would've ever thought about.  That's why I go for expert advice. I'm excitedly waiting to get t...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Flooding in Montpelier?  It's not a complete surprise.  I mean, the town is in a valley, and there are two rivers that come together right downtown.  Throw in a late winter bombshell of a snowstorm (I'm hearing reports of up to 30 inches in some areas), warm weather, and a little rain, and guess what?  Flooding in Montpelier.   The post office and other stores downtown are sandbagging and moving electronics off the floor, just in case.  Fortunately, the town installed electronic gauges in the Winooski River in various places to monitor the water level, and to give as much advance notice as possible in the event the river actually does come out of its banks. So, I guess the advice is to be ready to get wet, and don't get in the way of any emergency vehicles that you may encounter.
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Is it the season, or what?  Lately I've been showing a lot of multi-family properties in Montpelier.  There are only eight for sale right now, and I think I've been in all of them in the last week.  I think that's great.  There's some pent up demand for multi-family properties, not the kind where people have been looking and looking and looking and can't find anything.  No, this feels more like the kind where people really want to look, and really want to buy, and are finally at peace with the situation. My children, it's ok to invest in real estate.  It's ok.  No penance needed on this one. But, be patient with tenants.  I had two apartments cancel showings today because of this crazy stomach bug that's zipping around Montpelier.  Two out of ten.  But still, 20% that were up all night ...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Cityside Open House Join me at an open house on Saturday February 5, from 12-2 at 96 Cityside Drive in Montpelier.  You may think it's a condo...but it's not.   Nope, this is a free standing classic colonial, with four bedrooms, an open floorplan, and beautifully refinished floors.  Plus (did I mention it's not a condo?), it has its own yard. I always have refreshments when I do an opening a house for sale in Montpelier or Barre.  However, I don't usually map out the menu until just a couple days before the event.  So, stay tuned.  Maybe I'll tweet about what I'm planning on bringing. Seriously, don't let the snacks rule the day.  This is a great house.  Lots of space, a good design, a two car attached garage, and a covered front porch with views to Camels Hump. If you're around, stop b...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
The third Tuesday of each month is the Montpelier Agents' Caravan.  It's a great chance for new listings (those that have come onto the market within the past month) to get a quick shot of exposure.  All of the Realtors in Washington County are invited to attend the caravan, and they usually take just a couple of hours. As a Realtor, and a student of the Montpelier real estate market, it's very important for me to see all the homes for sale in Montpelier.  I need to know what they look like, how they feel (even how they smell) so that I can advise my clients.  I need to know them inside and out to ensure that my comparative market analyses are accurate.   I need to be able to stop and say to a buyer whom I'm representing as a buyer broker, "You know, based on what you just told me, I ma...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
If you're looking to turn over a fixer-upper, location is going to be key.  Here are three possible candidates in Montpelier.  Location makes resale easier, and in the game of turning properties, minimizing holding time and carrying costs is critical. Montpelier Fixer Uppers The little one on Main Street might be the easiest--it's smaller, needs significant cosmetics, and the location should make for a quicker resale (plus, you're changing its property classification from "project" to "quality first-time buyer candidate"). The bigger one on Main Street feels like it should be a 2 or 3 family.  Permit expenses will chew into your return on that.  But, again, good location.  This appears to be solely in need of cosmetics.   Pearl Street is a gem of a location--The Meadow.  New roof, newly...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Sometimes good ideas have unintended consequences.  New condo rules working their way through legislature may be an example. Condos are residences that are individually owned , but have a common ownership interest as well.  For example, I own the space including the interior walls, the floor, and the ceiling.  But, with all the other owners, we share the roof, the driveway, the exterior, the external utilities, etc.  If anything needs to happen with any of those common areas, it is paid for by the condo association. The association's budget comes from association fees (condo fees) that are paid by each owner, usually monthly. There are also rules about what can and can't happen in the units.  Because there are rules, a budget, and common ownership, condo developments also have a board (...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
New to the Market in Montpelier You know you want to know all about the new listings of homes for sale in Montpelier.  Well, here you go.  In the last 30 days, there have been six new listings, covering a wide range of property type.  Even within these six listings, there are condos, modestly priced homes, single family homes, and upper end homes.  I've long said that Montpelier has one of everything...this is just another data point for that theory. New Listings-Homes for sale in Montpelier Check out the listing on College Street-you're seeing that one even before some realtors.  Call it an inside scoop. For more about the Montpelier real estate market, visit www.MontpelierBarreRealEstate.com. Be smart.  Remember Ray.
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Attention Murray Hill Condo Owners-I have buyers!! To anyone living in any phase of Murray Hill in Montpelier, I have buyers who are interested in living there.  Currently there are 16 condos for sale in Montpelier, but none in Murray Hill (including Cityside).  Ok, technically there is one.  And I had an offer on it, but then the seller up and pulled it off the market.  So, it's still listed as "active" on the MLS, but, practically speaking, it's not. There are a couple other Montpelier condo associations that have a little more inventory right now.  Freedom Drive and Independence both have a couple units for sale.   I have a condo listed in River Station on Barre Street (come on, keep the gentrification of the Barre-O going!).  And there's a heck of a deal on a 2 bedroom in The Foundr...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
I had been in negotiation for several days on a home for sale in Montpelier.  In this case, I was representing the buyer.  We were close, only a few thousand dollars apart.  The seller was doing an interesting negotiating dance:  Sometimes not moving in price, but suggesting he would if we came up.  Huh?  We presented our best and final offer, and the seller's response was not to accept, and not to counter, but, again to suggest there could be a counter.  We're talking about another thousand dollars or so in purchase price. My buyer made another offer on another home for sale in Montpelier, and it was accepted.  Not three hours later, the first seller came back and said he would take our last offer.  Too late.  We're already in contract.  Trying to eke out just another thousand dollars ...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Fast Search:  Montpelier Homes for Sale Montpelier Homes for sale from $100,000-$200,000 Montpelier Homes for sale from $200,000-$300,000 Montpelier Homes for sale from $300,000-$400,000 Why make it hard to find the homes you're looking for?  I figure that I may as well make your job as easy as possible.  Plus, my wife's working on a grant and I'm avoiding going home to hear about bio-infomatics. Be Smart.  Remember Ray.
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
I always tell my buyers and sellers that there is usually a flurry of activity right when the contract is written, and then again in the days before the closing.  What I don't expect to have to contend with is not knowing all the facts about a property until hours before a closing. We were all moving forward on a purchase of a multi-family property in Montpelier.  At 4:30 on the day before the closing, we find out (and I'm with the buyer on this one) that one of the tenants hasn't paid rent in six months.  That's a pretty big deal for a couple of reasons: 1.  The underwriting was based on all of the occupied units producing rental income. 2.  The offer was based on not having delinquent tenants/possible evictions.  There's a difference between a multi-family property in Montpelier with ...
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By Teresa DeLuca Merelman, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, SRES, GREEN, AHWD
(Pall Spera Company Realtors)
AARP:  5 Best Places to Live the Simple Life Where to find low costs, minimal stress, and lots of fun. by: Sarah Mahoney | from: AARP The Magazine | May 2010    Photo by Holly Harris/Getty Images             Montpelier, Vermont Vibe: Norman Rockwell, with a twist of politicsPopulation: 7,800 Median housing price: $159,060 Average commute: 22 minutes Average number of sunny days: 157 per year Most relaxing way to spend an afternoon: World-class skiing less than an hour away, at Stowe Simple fun for less than $10: Sampling a pastry at La Brioche Bakery & Café Who knew?: Montpelier is the only state capital without a McDonald's restaurant. It may be the smallest capital city in the United States—one local official affectionately refers to the intersection of Main Street, home to City Hall,...
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By Mark Montross, Listing and Buyer Specialist
(Catamount Realty Group)
AARP Magazie has listed Montpelier, VT as One of the Top 5 Places to Live the Simple Life. The article lists low costs, minimal stress and lots of fun places to visit and things to do as the reasons why Montpelier is a great place to call home. Over 300 cities were screened for characteristics including low unemployment, low cost of living, low traffic congestion, availability of cultural activies and outdoor recreation, amongst many other traits. This community of 7,800 people boasts the smallest state capitol and is also the only state capitol which does not have a McDonalds!
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Some experts thought we might see a drop in activity as the tax credit(s) ran out at the end of last month, but that doesn't appear to have happened in Central Vermont.  Here are the numbers for May.      Active New to the Market in May # Sold # Contingent # That Changed Price # Sold in Last 12 Months Active/Sold Ratio Montpelier 57 7 5 2 7 89 .64 Barre City 70 15 5 1 10 77 .91 Barre Town 65 8 1 1 9 69 .94 U-32 82 12 2 2 13 62 1.32 Northfield/Roxbury 36 3 3 1 4 36 1.00 Plainfield/Marshfield 14 1 0 2 0 10 1.40 Williamstown 22 2 0 1 4 20 1.10   You can see that for the Montpelier real estate market, the Active/Sold Ratio is creeping downward.  For May, there was roughly a 7.5 month supply of homes on the market. I've heard a rule of thumb that suggests an inventory of 5-7 months indicates...
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By Ray Mikus, Green Means Go!
(Green Light Real Estate)
Ok folks in Montpelier, if you haven't gotten your brand new 2010 reappraisal in the mail yet, it's a-comin'! As you may know the state mandates each town to reassess when the assessed values fall to 80% of market values.  In Montpelier, that happened a couple of years ago, but there were some, um, issues with that re-assessment.  So it was done again in 2009. When you get your new assessment, you're going to go bananas.  (Keep reading for some comforting words.)  Just remember that you can challenge the value.  The city has a guideline, but basically you can challenge based only on these three criteria: •1.        You think the value is wrong.  That's a pretty vague one, so more or less, if you want to challenge the assessment, you can. •2.       You don't think your property was fairl...
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