Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

July 31, 2020

3 Home Features Modern Buyers View as Essential

Are you ready to become one of the nearly 5 million people who will buy a new home this year? If you answered yes, then you need to view researching the homes on your local market as a must. Rushing through the home buying process is a recipe for disaster.

Before you hit the market looking for a home to purchase, you should probably make a list of features you want. Having this list will make this process easier for you and your real estate agent. Below are some of the most popular features most modern home buyers view as essential.

3 Home Features Modern Buyers View as Essential

1. Energy Efficient Windows, Doors and Appliances

Being a homeowner can be both stressful and expensive. Most new homeowners are adamant about finding ways to reduce their monthly utility bills. Accomplishing this goal will require you to find a home with tons of energy-efficient upgrades. Modern home buyers typically go for homes that have well-insulated doors and windows. If a home has old and drafty windows, it will cost you a lot of money to replace them.

You also need to check out the appliances in a home before buying it. The last thing anyone wants is to buy a home filled with outdated and energy wasting appliances. If you are unsure about how to assess how energy-efficient a home is, consulting with your real estate agent is smart. These professionals have extensive knowledge of modern homes, which is why getting guidance from them is so crucial.

2. Having a Garage Comes in Handy

Storage space is something most home buyers want tons of. Buying a home with limited storage space will result in tons of headaches in the future. One of the best ways to increase the amount of storage space you have access to is by investing in a home with a large garage. Not only can a garage provide you with storage space, it is also a great place to park your vehicles.

As you inspect potential home purchases, be sure to assess the condition of the garage doors. If the doors look old or damaged, you will probably need to replace them if you decide to buy the home. While this is an expensive upgrade, it will improve curb appeal and can help to make your new home more secure.

3. The Power of Landscape Lighting

The outdoor features a home has is also something you need to consider before making a purchase. Choosing a home that has landscaping lights is a wise move if you care about curb appeal and security. These lights are also a great way to highlight the architectural appeal a residence has.

Most homes that have landscaping lights will also have an appealing landscaping design. Before you buy a home with a great landscaping design, you need to make sure you can afford to maintain it.

Are You Ready to Buy a New Home?

If you are ready to invest in a new home, contact New England Landmark Realty.

Posted in Home Buyers
July 9, 2020

The Best Kept Secrets to Help You Buy a Home

The Best Kept Secrets to Help You Buy a Home

Buying a home is a huge investment. In fact, it is the biggest investment most people will ever make. If you are ready to make this purchase, you likely want to get a great deal. Several things that will help you with this are found below.

Keep Your Money in Place

It isn’t a good idea to make any significant purchases or move your money in any way approximately three to six months before you purchase a new home. You can’t afford to make any significant changes with your credit score or profile. Lenders want to have proof you are reliable and want an easy-to-follow paper trail so they can help you find the right loan for your needs. If you open a new credit card, acquire too much new debt, or buy many high-ticket items, you will find it difficult to get a loan.

Be Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There is a huge difference between a buyer who is pre-qualified and one that is pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Anyone can get the pre-qualified status; however, if you take it a step further and get pre-approved, it means that a lender has looked into your financial background and information and know how much you can afford and based on this how much they are willing to lend you.

When you are pre-approved, it will help you save energy and time, so you aren’t going from place to place looking at houses that you won’t be able to afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around to find the best interest rates and the best deals. Be sure that you do plenty of research ahead of time to ensure there are no hidden costs in the loan that you are pre-approved for.

Avoid Being Caught in a Border Dispute

It is important to have a survey of your property done so you know precisely what you are purchasing. When you know where the property lines are, it will help save you the hassle and frustration of a property dispute with your neighbors. Also, in most cases, your property taxes are based on the amount of property that you have, so it is essential to have a precise and accurate map created.

Don’t Attempt to Time the Market

You should not obsess with attempting to time the market and determine when the right time to buy really is. It isn't possible to figure out what the housing market is going to do. A good time to buy is when you find the ideal house that you can afford to purchase. Remember, real estate is cyclical, and it will go up and down. If you attempt to wait for the right time, you are probably going to wind up missing out.

When it comes to buying a new home, there are more than a few factors you must consider. When you are informed and know what to consider is the best way to ensure that you get the property you want and need.

Posted in Home Buyers
May 15, 2019

I Can't Hear You!

 

 

NELANDMARK blog

 

Every Realtor has had a near disaster in their career. I am no exception.

 

There’s the one about the seller who insisted on learning everything they could about buyers before letting them through the door. A long list of questions. Talk about opening yourself up to violating Fair Housing Regulations. Yup, we had to fire that one.

 

Fair Housing Regulations are in place for a reason, and the Justice Department can levy fines up to $100,000. Recently social media advertising platforms have been fined for allowing advertisements that violated Fair Housing regs. Bottom line is that no one has the right to discriminate against anyone when it comes to housing.

 

What does that mean for the average home seller and their Realtor? I suspect some home sellers don’t even think about how questions may be interpreted by buyers. But we need to be very careful in the questions we ask to eliminate even the impression of discrimination. 

 

Personally, I do not know of a situation in Vermont where a Realtor has been called on this, but the risk is there. We don’t hesitate to cancel a listing contract if a seller insists on putting us in danger of a violation. Luckily it has only happened once. I like to believe Vermonters really do not want to discriminate, so we don’t run into it very often.

 

In talking with a potential buyer the only thing we should be asking them for is a pre-approval letter. If they are financially able to purchase, that’s all we need to know. 

 

If you have any real estate or Vermont related questions, let me know. Happy to answer all questions.

Cindy Lyons, co-owner and principal broker

New England Landmark Realty

Posted in Business
March 12, 2019

Tips for Selling Your Home in 2019

 

If you are planning to sell your home in the upcoming year, a few strategies can help you do so quickly. As you may already know, the longer your home sits on the market, the less likely it is that you'll find a buyer who offers your asking price. The best strategy for homeowners looking to sell their homes in 2019 is to set the stage using the following tips.

Clean Out the Junk 

A home that looks spacious is going to sell more quickly than one filled with clutter. Organizing your home and removing all of the junk that you've collected over the years is an excellent way to showcase the house. Decluttering your home will make it appear roomier, and allows interested buyers to see the structure's floor, walls, and aesthetic potential.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent 

If this is your first time selling a home, finding an experienced real estate agent can make all the difference in a quick sale. A knowledgeable REALTOR will guide you in the tasks needed to encourage a quick sale. New England Landmark Realty has 16 professional agents to help you!

Fix Broken Items 

Best impressions bring the best offers. While the broken light switch in the basement may not be on your list of priorities, it certainly is going to impact a buyer's interest in your home. Not keeping up with repairs makes homeowners look sloppy and disinterested in regular upkeep tasks. Potential buyers may wonder what else needs fixing. Don't give a buyer any excuse to offer you less for your home.

Set a Fair Price 

Before you set your asking price, take a look at what similar homes in the area are selling for at the current time. While your agent is going to provide you with the market value of your home to help guide your decision, that number may be considerably lower than your initial expectation. Finding out what other sellers are getting for their homes before you discuss your price with your agent provides a clear starting point that helps take out some of the emotional contexts to this type of decision. 

Spruce the Place Up with a Fresh Coat of Paint 

Before you run to the nearest paint store and pick up a few cans of paint, take a few moments to research popular trends in color choices. Studies show that exterior paint colors such as brown and green turn potential buyers away, while tried and true shades of white, blue, and grey are more likely to draw home buyers to your door. For interior walls and trim, you should opt for neutral colors. This strategy allows interested buyers to imagine their furnishings inside of your dwelling. 

Sell Now Rather Than Later 

The general rule of thumb is that many buyers begin to look for a home come spring. Particularly true for families with school-age children. It's a favorite time for home shopping, and with a more significant number of prospective buyers, you stand a better chance of receiving competing offers which always increase the sale price.

In the winter less inventory means less competition for buyers and anyone looking in the dead of winter is serious about buying. Either way, the truth is simple. If you don't list it, you can't sell your home. 

If you want to sell your home quickly, take the time to figure out all of the angles. Clean it and fix it up. Call us at New England Landmark Realty to help you determine what it is worth then get some help selling it. The first few weeks of a listing are always the most important ones. Get your home ready before you place it on the market for the best shot at selling it quickly in 2019.

Call us at 866-324-2427

Feb. 13, 2019

Local Tips on Local Charm

Central Vermont is all about local charm. From organic maple syrup to hand-blown glass to whimsical toy stores and bookshops; there’s a reason people love the Waterbury area. Check out this list from an 8th generation Vermonter to find a few special spots around town.

Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio

Hand blown glass has an element of mystery and magic to it, but Glenn Ziemke lets visitors take a step inside his world of molten glass. His store and studio share a wall, one that has been replaced by a massive window. It’s almost like looking into an aquarium, a visual only increased by the glass fish he crafts in a rainbow of colors.

Don’t know anything about glass blowing and how it works? A full diagram of the process and knowledgable staff are ready to answer your questions as you watch, shop, and wonder. This hidden Waterbury Center gem gives you a peek into a hand-crafted art that keeps both tourists and locals stopping by.

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Posted in Local Business
Feb. 11, 2019

Freshen Up your Kitchen: Organize and Decorate

By: Holly Pembroke • Interior Decorator • Middlesex, VT.

This time of year when the cold makes you want to hibernate and we all dream of flying away to an exotic beach, I crave hearty meals and retreat to my kitchen to cook and bake so I can fill the house with good smells and warmth.

Our old farmhouse kitchen is cold in the winter and nothing warms it up like cooking, baking, and decorating with plants. I added a mini Lemon Cypress tree to our kitchen counter to make it a bit cozier and remind myself of summer. Let’s talk about more ways to keep your kitchen fresh and inviting this year.

Creating a beautiful and functional kitchen can be overwhelming and often not seen as a priority. Here are a few steps to help the job feel more manageable.

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Posted in Home Improvement
Jan. 23, 2019

Waterbury Winterfest: Uncommonly Vermont

Like many towns in Vermont, Waterbury has a slogan. Labeled as “Uncommonly Vermont”, Waterbury is a town that prides itself on being as purely and wholly “Vermont” as possible but doing it in a way that others do not.

 

What exactly does that mean? Well, in January and February, it means Winterfest, and it means going above and beyond in providing ways for both locals and visitors to enjoy the town and the fresh mountains of snow.

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Jan. 11, 2019

Redecorating for a Fresh New Year

By: Holly Pembroke • Interior Decorator • Middlesex, VT.

With the start of the new year comes the motivation to make changes to both ourselves and our homes. January is the perfect time for reorganizing, purging, and redefining. My home is no exception.

I transformed my daughter's room from an overwhelming play space to a peaceful and relaxing retreat.


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Posted in Home Improvement
Dec. 10, 2018

Simplistic Beauty & Holiday Decorating

By: Holly Pembroke • Interior Decorator • Middlesex, VT.

As I get ready for the holidays I think about traditions and what this time of the year means to me - family, home, comfort, giving, and simplicity. Around the holidays it is so easy to get lost in the schedules, parties, and stress. It can be overwhelming and expensive - but it doesn't have to be.

I have a sign in my kitchen that says "keep it simple". That sign has been with me for 10 years as a reminder in my life and in my approach to decorating. To me, simplicity is beautiful. I highly recommend the book Lagom; a wonderful message to remind us of balance in everyday life. In Swedish the word Lagom means not too much, not too little. 

This year for holiday decorating I challenge you to keep it simple. 

Use things we already have in abundance in Vermont and bring in something from the outdoors:

  • pine cones
  • branches
  • greenery

Be creative and don’t spend a lot.

I am excited to showcase some of my favorite holiday decorations and inspiration from some of my closest friends.

Karen

Every time I walk into Karen’s beautiful mountain home, whether it’s holiday time or not, I feel so at peace with the natural elements that she has brought inside. Her birch trees are so simple, yet so spectacular.

 

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Nov. 15, 2018

Renovated Vermont Farmhouse | Home Design

Landmark is excited to announce that we have a new guest blogger, Holly Pembroke, who will be bringing us her expertise on interior design and all things home staging! Please enjoy her blog:

My partner and I renovated an 1890’s farmhouse in 2017 with the help of an amazing team.  When we first looked at the house, it was vacant, cold, and dark, but I could see and feel the love and energy in that house.  

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