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The Condo Guy Team has Moved to Downtown Burlington!

Come Visit Us at Our New 40 Main Street Location!

I'm incredibly excited to announce that The Condo Guy Team has relocated to a new Office Space in Downtown Burlington! We made the move in order to be able to best serve our clients, customers and their interests. From our new office at 40 Main Street, located in the vibrant heart of Burlington, we can almost reach out and touch many of our past and current clients at Burlington VT's Condominium Communities like, College & Battery Condos, Westlake Condos, Hinds Lofts Condos, Stratos Condos and the Vermont House Condos. We're thrilled to be in a neighborhood where you can run into Past and Present clients while taking a walk to grab lunch or to get a cup of coffee.

Our team is still vitally integrated with RE/MAX North Professionals and the new Burlington location has allowed us to further expand our footprint to include our Colchester, Cambridge, Middlebury and now Burlington offices. We're honored to be able to serve so many communities in Northwestern and Central Vermont. 

Have a Free Cup of Coffee on Us!

I'd love the opportunity to show the community our new office and remind everyone of our total commitment to helping Buyers and Sellers of Vermont Condos. Email me at condoguy@condoguy.com or call or txt me at 802-922-8768 and we can set up a time to have a coffee in Burlington, discuss the real estate market and provide a free consultation, or just catch up to say hi.

Free Valuation & Consultation!

As the busy real estate season is upon us, I want to remind everyone that we're always available to provide a free valuation of your existing home with no obligation or provide you with a free consultation on selling or buying in today's market. We're passionate about all things real estate and would love to share The Condo Guy Team's 20 years of experience with you. 

Quote: "Sometimes you need a Change of Scenery"  

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    Burlington Rental Units on The Rise - Are New Burlington Condos on The Horizon?

    New Burlington Area Rentals Coming on The Market

    You've probably seen the construction sites and cranes while driving around Greater Burlington. A great deal of residential construction has been has occurred recently and a great deal more is near completion or planned for the future. Some notable examples are Liberty House located in former Burlington College/Burlington Diocese property, Bartlett Brook Apartments on Shelburne Road in South Burlington an the much discussed Burlington Town Square Development City Place

    A recent Seven Days article highlighting the construction of New Champlain College housing on St. Paul Street on the site of former Eagle's Club. The article examines the impact of recent and planned apartment construction stating that "By December, though, the Chittenden County vacancy rate had risen to almost 3 percent, according to South Burlington real estate firm Allen, Brooks & Minor. That's nearly double the average rates of the previous couple of decades. At least 362 rental units were constructed last year in the county, and another 448 are due this year, including those at 194 St. Paul. In the longer term, with big projects such as Cambrian Rise on North Avenue and City Place on Church Street approved for construction, more than 2,000 units are in the pipeline."

    The impact of increased supply will likely lead to the stabilizing or lowering of rental rates and there's some anecdotal evidence that this is taking place. This new availability is welcome news to those competing to find rental housing in the tight Chittenden County rental market.

    How Do New Rental Units Impact The Burlington Condo Market?

    What impact will new rental units have on the equally tight Burlington, VT Condo Market? Well it's impossible to predict the future, but if developers have difficulty achieving acceptable occupancy rates or are unable to charge the necessary rents to make such projects feasible, they may find it attractive to build more condominum units or convert already approved projects from rentals to condos. Such a shift would add much needed housing stock, particularly for the first time homebuyer segment and those seeking amenities and convenience. 

    It's widely agreed upon conventional wisdom that The Burlington Real Estate market needs more housing of all types. The increasing number of rental units we're seeing now will hopefully open up some of the bottle necks that we're seeing in both condo sales markets and rental markets. Whatever transpires, The Condo Guy Team will be on the front lines helping Vermont condo sellers and buyers. Stay tuned!

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      Low Supply of Existing Chittenden County Condos for Sale But New Construction Abounds!

      Low Supply of Chittenden County Condos = Seller's Market:

      Although the weather has remained wintry cold in Vermont in this early spring 2018, the Vermont Condo Market is beginning to heat up! Demand remains strong as mortgage interest rates remain low if slightly higher than recent years. Continued low inventory of Chittenden County condos is creating pent up demand and supply continues to decrease. Recent Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors (NVBR) statistics indicate that there is currently a scant 2.6 month supply of condominiums for sale in our region. Conventional wisdom is that a 6 month supply of homes is a balanced market and anything less than that is a seller's market. Anecdotally, there are increasing reports of multiple offers and condos selling above asking price with contingencies being skinnied down to increase the strength of offers. 

      Can't Find an Existing Chittenden County Condo to Buy? Try New Construction!:

      Although finding a condo that you like can feel like a search for green grass among the slush and muck of Mud Season, there are a variety of options for those seeking New Construction. (Click following town names for links to listings): There are New Construction Vermont Condo options currently available in Hinesburg, Williston, South Burlington, Essex, and Jericho 

      New Carriage Homes like this one in South Burlington offer the maintenance free living of traditional condos, but offer a stand alone structure. 

      Most new construction Chittenden County Condos are come with a higher sticker price than existing Chittenden County Condos, with little to no room for negotiation but offer cuting edge construction techniques, high-end features like central air, 9ft ceilings etc., increased efficiency and the ability to make many of your own selections on items like flooring, paint color and floorplan. 

      Contact Us Today!:

      Whether you're looking to take advantage of this tremendous seller's market to capitalize on the sale of your VT Condo, or you're in the market to buy an existing condo or something newer, The Condo Guy Team is your one stop shop! https://www.condoguy.com/contact-us/

       

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        Radon Gas: Awareness & Resources

        What is Radon Gas?

        When a buyer has found the perfect Vermont Condo for their lifestyle and we sit down to write an offer, a question that almost always comes up when we're discussing about Property Inspections is radon gas. My clients and customers often ask, "what is radon?"

        According to the EPA: "Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer... You can't see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. Radon can have a big impact on indoor air quality."

        Radon Testing

        Because of the serious potential adverse health impacts of radon, I advise my clients to test for radon in a home they're purchasing in most circumstances. Home inspectors often offer radon testing services. These services will likely increase the cost of your overall home inspection. For a condo or single family home, tests are generally in the $150 range but can vary. Free test kits are available through healthvermont.gov but since testing with these kits takes "3-12" months, they often aren't practical for a home purchase transaction. Tests offered by home inspectors can provide results after a 48 hour testing period. It's important to note, particularly for Vermont Condo Sellers, that certain conditions are required to provide accurate test results. These conditions can include keeping all windows and doors closed during the 48 hour testing period and 12 hours prior. This can be more of an inconvenience result in the summer months. I am not a radon expert and defer to Certified Home Inspectors, the EPA and Health Vermont on recommended radon testing protocol and costs.

        Here is an excerpt from the healthvermont.gov website regarding testing: 

        "Vermont law does not require a radon test as part of a real estate transaction. For real estate transactions or other cases where a quick test is needed, the Health Department Laboratory, private labs, and building supply stores sell short-term radon test kits. Request a kit under the Environmental Testing and Drinking Water Testing Order Forms section.

        Short-term testing may be done in the basement if the buyer plans to use it as a living space. If you are using short-term test kits, the EPA recommends using two testing devices, placed side-by-side. See the EPA’s Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon(link is external) for more information."

        Test Results and Radon Mitigation

        The following is information from the healthvermont.gov and EPA provide some guidance on acceptable radon levels:

        "Radon, which is measured in units of picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air, can be found both inside and outside your house. In Vermont, the average radon level in the outside air is 0.4 pCi/L and the average level in homes is about 2.5 pCi/L.

        The EPA has set 4.0 pCi/L as the action level for radon. If your test result is at or above 4.0 pCi/L, you should seek help from a certified mitigation contractor(link is external) to reduce radon levels in your home. Radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L still pose some risk, but you can reduce your risk by lowering the radon level in your home. Most radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in a home to 2.0 pCi/L or lower.

        If you have tested both your indoor air and your water for radon, using the Radon Contribution Calculator may help you estimate how much of the radon in air is due to radon in the water supply and how much is due to air entering the home through the foundation."

        Conclusion

        As you can see high radon levels can often be addressed using a certified mitigation contractor. Elevated radon levels do not necessarily mean the end of the line for a home sale, but it's important that both Vermont Condo buyers and sellers understand the safety implications of radon and how to test and mitigate for it. Again, please utilize the EPA  and healhvermont.gov for more information

        Please Contact us at 802-655-9100 at anytime regarding o

        Have a safe condo day!

          

         

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          VT Condo Fire & Safety: Smoke Alarm Requirements

          Safety First!

          No one wants to endure the devastation that a fire can bring. In an effort to make our homes safer, the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety (say that 10 times fast) enforces code requirements to insure that a minimum level of protection is present in Vermont condos. 

          VT Fire Safety Inspections:

          For the purposes of Fire Safety, condos are generally considered multi-family dwellings. As such, when ownership of a condo is being transferred, the Division of Fire and Safety requires that a Fire Safety inspection is done prior to closing. The Fire Marshal will note any violations in a report completed at the time of inspection or shortly thereafter. Any major violations need to be corrected prior to closing in order for the Division of Fire Safety to provide a Certificate of Compliance. Most real estate attorneys will require that the Certificate of Compliance is in place before recommending their buyer clients close on the property. In short, a Certificate of Compliance is needed to close. Many attorneys now see this as a title issue. 

          Smoke Detectors:

          As codes have been updated over the years to improve safety, one of the most common violations that comes up during the sale of VT Condos is inadequate Smoke Alarms. All smoke alarms within a condo must be Photoelectric type and must be "In the immediate vicinity of sleeping rooms, inside each sleeping room, and on all floor levels including the basement". Some requirements vary depending on how many Condo units are in each structure and the age of the construction: These include whether the units have to be interconnected, hardwired with battery backup, have 10 year lithium batteries, or whether sprinklers are required. For a more complete list of regulations, check out this convenient sheet provided by the Division of Fire Safety. 

          More Information:

          Please utilize the Division of Fire Safety website for more information. We'll have fiollow-up blog posts regarding Carbon Monoxide detectors, Fire Extinguishers, hand railings and more. The Condo Guy Team is also happy to meet with you in person for a free seller consultation to discuss this and other issues that may arise during the sale or purchase of your VT Condo. We recommend always adhering to Division of Fire Safety Codes and Requirements and using licensed electricians whenever necessary. Contact us at anytime with thoughts or questions you may have. 

          Have a fantastic and safe condo day!

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            Happy New Year 2018!

            What a Year - Strong Seller's Market - Thank You!
            2017 was a tremendous year for Vermont Condos! Locally, Year to Date over 2016, the average sale price was up 3.3%, new listings were down 3.1%, and average days on market was down an astonishing 35.5%! In Chittenden County in November, there was a miniscule 2.8 months of available inventory supply. (a 6 month supply is considered healthy, 6 mo.+ is a buyer's market and less than 6 mo. a seller's market). All of these statistics (courtesy of NVBR) indicate a very Strong Seller's market for Vermont Condos. Mortgage Rates remain competitive and demand appears to be strong. If you are considering taking advantage of this market and selling your condo in 2018, we'd be happy to provide you with a free valuation and seller consultation.Click here for more details.

            Thank you to all of our clients, past and present, for making 2017 such a great year. We helped scores of Vermont Condo Buyers and Vermont Condo Sellers this year and look forward to making 2018 a big success. Our Team wishes you and all your loved ones a Happy and prosperous New Year! 

            Winter Wonderland at The Intervale

            With winter here in full force, I find that if I don't get outside often enough, I'm apt to go a little stir crazy. One great way I've found to beat cabin fever is to strap on some Cross Country Skis and head to Burlington's Intervale. Here, inside of VT's biggest City you'll find 5mi. of trails where you can cruise along the banks of Winooski River or race across snow covered farmland. Head to the Ethan Allen Homestead to see how Vermont's Founding Father lived  for more information check out the Intervale's websiteThe Intervale is close to a number of Vermont Condos, including Riverwatch Condos, The Cascades Condos, The Millyard Condos and many more!

            What I'm Reading - Buyers Act Fast: Existing Homes Are Selling Quickly

            This Realtor.com article  provides a national statistical analysis showing the surge in sales among existing housing inventory. This trend is pronounced here in Vermont where development can take longer than other markets to be realized. 

            Musings

            "It's only really cold out if you're not on your way somewhere warm"

             

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              Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 8

              North Beach Burlington

              North Beach & Nature Walk

              I'm always seeking that which hidden in plain sight. In Vermont, there are so many opportunities to discover new places to enjoy, and for those of us that have been here a long time, it can be a revelation to visit somewhere you haven't been in the while. I recently made a trip to Burlington, Vermont's North Beach for a fall day by the water and took a revealing nature walk in Shelburne, Vermont under the light of a full moon by the upper La Platte River.

              North Beach 

              Burlington's North Beach is an integral part of Burlington's Geography. Accessible by car from North Ave just past Burlington High School and accessible by bike and foot via Burlington's renowned Bike Path. In my life, North Beach has been a respite on hot days, the early site of the Vermont Reggae Fest, an important landmark while running the Vermont City Marathon. I recently visited North Beach with my family for the first time in years. Since it was off season we parked at Burlington High School and strolled through the campgrounds. We were taken aback by the number of campsites and facilities available for RVs. We joined up with a newly refinished part of the bike path where we saw loads of bikers still enjoying the amazing resource well into the year. As you get closer to the beach you cross through a pedestrian tunnel made of corrugated metal that takes you under the bike path. This is a fantastic spot to test out your yodeling skills with any 4-year-olds in your life. We took a stroll on the beach, admired the remaining foliage and incredible views of the Adirondack mountains and took advantage of a world-class playground. This is a great spot for a stroll with the family at any time of year and in the fall you feel as though you have the place to yourself.

              Condos Close to North Beach in Burlington: Northshore Condominiums, City Bluffs Condominiums, Fairmont Place Condominiums, Park Place Condominiums, Westlake Condominiums, College & Battery Condominiums, Stratos Condominiums,   

              Upper La Platte River

              This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to participate in a Nature Walk guided by Duncan Murdoch of Nature Connection Guide. His organization provides guided walks through beautiful areas in Vermont influenced by a Nature Based Mindfulness tradition practiced in Japan known as Shinrin-Yoku. The walk I participated in tool place in the Upper La Platte River Natural Area, managed by the Lake Champlain Land Trust. This lovely area has undergone a restoration project involving the planting of many new trees and efforts to protect rare species in this important watershed. During the nature walk, we were encouraged to immerse ourselves in our surroundings by taking time to listen to the river, take in the sights of the forest under moonlight and experience the moon from an open pasture. At the end of the evening our guide prepared a delicious and warming cup of tea made from foraged white pine needles from the surrounding forest, This guided walk provided a truly nourishing way to experience nature in a world that is often difficult to disconnect from.

              Condos Close to the Upper La Platte River: The Terraces Condominiums, Gardenside Condominiums, Watch Hill Condominiums, The Gables Condominiums, Shelburne Cliffs Condos

              What I'm Reading

              Brain Rules by John Medina : A Fascinating look into the brain's function and the importance of exercise, sleep, diet on how we think learn and feel

              Musings

              "Breathe often"

               

                    

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                The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 7

                Town & Country 

                Living in Greater Burlington provides the joys of a vibrant small city with cultural offerings that believe its tiny population and pristine nature filled with rolling mountains, dense woods and meandering rivers only short distances from each other. This past weekend I took in some live music in Burlington on Friday night and headed to the mountains with the family on Saturday morning. 

                Moosejaws: A Rock & Roll Mythology by Stolk

                After putting my son to bed, I left home at the seemingly irregular and unwholesome hour of 9pm last Friday. I made way into Burlington, to Club Metronome on Main Street. Metronome is situated at the top of a spiral staircase above the iconic nightclub, Nectars (brief real estate aside: both the nightclub and business are currently for sale. Call me for details!). Both are home to incredible live music, good times and fine drink. Club Metronome has forever embedded itself in my memory with recollections of many sweaty nights of unskilled but unforgettable dancing to 80's music at "Retronome". On Friday I was there to see MooseJaws.

                I lack the journalistic skill to aptly describe the experience that is MooseJaws, so I'll keep it brief. In the quiet town of Belvidere, Vermont, there lives a demon Moose (the eponymous MooseJaws) who's awoken from his slumber by four Burlington teenagers exuding the scent of sin who've taken to a cabin in the woods for amorous adventures. Although it may sound... different, this is a tightly constructed and highly engaging hour of music. Eerie storytelling and voice tracks are mixed with full-out rock & roll with echoes of AC/DC, Devo, Weezer and absolute originality. This is Stolk's 4th performance of MooseJaws and I highly recommend you catch the next one. There are rumors of a recorded version being released in the future for which I will be on the advanced copy waiting list.

                Waitsfield, Warren & Sugarbush

                I awoke early with the family on Saturday and we made the trip to the Mad River Valley to visit Sugarbush Resort . It's been years since I've been to Sugarbush. I am not an avid downhill skier, lending to my general lack of coordination and inability to manage gear. I was impressed by the beautiful lodge and amenities at Lincoln Peak. Although it was an absolutely shimmering fall day, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We hiked up ski trails on the left side of the mountain (with a 4-year-old on my shoulders part of the way for extra cardio) and on the way down we traversed through the wooded trails. I'm in awe that my fellow Vermonters navigate this violently winding and steep terrain on purposefully slick planks attached to their feet. You are superheroes to me. After our trip up the hill we had a nice picnic outside the lodge where we watched staff set up for what was sure to be a picturesque Vermont wedding.

                On the way back home we stopped at Canteen Creemee Company to indulge in one last frosty treat on their final day of the season. I know it's unwise to make such a statement on the internet, but I think the Canteen Creemee is the best there is. The intensity of flavor, slight firmnes and hint of ice make for a creemee like no other. 

                After skipping some rocks in the Mad River and a quick delicious coffee from the Sweet Spot we stopped at the Madsonian Musuem, a favorite of ours that offers interactive displays of everyday objects created with high design in mind.

                What I'm Reading

                Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon: This one is for pure pleasure. A mystery about the murder of a famous composer killed at the Venice Opera House starring the redoubtable Commissario Guido Brunetti who navigates the ancient city seeking the culprit. You can almost taste the salt air from Venice's lagoon in this atmospheric tale. 

                Musings

                "It must be important if remembered"

                   

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                  We are Hiring!

                   

                  Real Estate Team Coordinator:

                  One of Vermont's top real estate teams is seeking an enthusiastic administrative professional committed to world-class service for our customers and clients. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the real estate industry while growing as a professional. Ideal candidates will possess a positive personality, excellent verbal and written communication skills and the following qualifications:

                  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and excellent general competency with web-based software programs.
                  • Exceptional organizational skills with both electronic and paper documents and files.
                  • A valid driver's license, a dependable vehicle and the ability to carry out occasional physical tasks: Primarily installing and removing real estate signs in Chittenden County (Mileage reimbursement provided). 

                  Primary Duties Include:

                  • Real Estate Listing Entry and Management (Both the Multiple Listing Service, MLS, and internal files)
                  • Lead Mangement and documentation
                  • Scheduling with potential clients, current clients, contractors, Real Estate professionals and others
                  • Creation and management of marketing materials including print, social media, newsletters etc...

                  Initially starting at 25 hours per week with the ability for a flexible schedule. Additional hours and expanded role possible for the right candidate. We provide a fun, results-based work environment and excellent training in the exciting world of residential real estate. Great opportunity for advancement and the possibility of licensing for the right candidate. We'll happily train the right candidate. Apply today! 

                  Email resume and cover letter to David Parsons: condoguy@condoguy.com

                   

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                    The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 6

                    Little Jerusalem
                    Hidden Gems of The Queen City

                    My love for Burlington, Vermont runs deep, and the same can be said for the culture and history of our fair city. I started out taking the bus into Burlington when I was 12 years old to experience what to me was a teeming metropolis. I loved to people watch, explore out of the way shops and cafes and walk around until my feet were tired. Not much changed during my time at UVM and the subsequent decade I spent living in the different neighborhoods of the Queen City. I still spend lots of time walking around for pleasure and the business of selling Burlington, VT Condos and I still find new things to marvel at with every visit. 

                    Little Jerusalem

                    In the heart of Burlington's Old North End, in and around Archibald and Hyde Streets, is a neighborhood rich with history. Known as "Little Jerusalem", the neighborhood became home to a vibrant Jewish community comprised of immigrants from Lithuania and other parts of Eastern Europe starting in the late 19th Century. For an in-depth look at this story important to our state's cultural fabric view this 2014 PBS Documentary: "Little Jerusalem".  

                    On a recent visit to Archibald Street to check in on a duplex listing of mine, two gentlemen were hard at work doing maintenance outside Ahavath Gerim Synagogue also known as Old Ohavi Zedek. They had been kind enough to call me to let me know they'd found one of my RE/MAX signs on the Synagogues lawn. After learning that amazingly, they were 5th generation attendants of the temple, they were kind enough to invite me in for a tour! Built in 1885, the synagogue is one of the oldest still in existence in the United States. It has beautiful brick construction and extensive glazing on the exterior allowing the interior to be flooded with natural light. Once inside, one is taken aback by the gorgeous trompe l'oeil painting of Jerusalem's famed Wailing Wall, and the ceilings are painted a cerulean blue like the sky on a beautiful day. I chatted with my new friends about the incredible history of the area and thanked them for the tour. Another story and amazing artifact of Little Jerusalem's history is that of the Lost Shul Mural. This beautiful mural painted in 1910 to serve as a temple altarpiece was recently rediscovered, restored and moved through an incredible feat of engineering to Ohavi Zedek Synagogue on North Prospect Street where it currently resides.

                    Burlington Vermont Condo projects near Little Jerusalem include Riverwatch Condos, High Grove Condos, Hyde Street Condos, Haley Court, Orchards Condos, Bright Street Condos, Manhattan Heights Condos, Solomon House Condos, Sun Terrace Condos, Union Court Condos, and Walnut Street Condos

                    WRUV

                    The Condo Guy is proud to Underwrite and support WRUV! As a UVM alum, I spent many days tuned into UVM's own WRUV 90.1. I always loved the eclectic, human driven music selection that can change mood and tone from moment to moment. I learned of many of my favorite artists from WRUV and it served as a sound track of my youth. As I became older and more boring, I found myself gravitating toward VPR and Podcasts about positive visualization. Recently my friend DJ Johnny, a fellow UVM Grad moved back to Vermont and resumed his role as a WRUV DJ older, wiser and with better taste find him on the dial from 6-9am on Thursdays for his show Salad Days. I now listen again regularly and find myself better for it with musical surprises around every corner.

                    What I'm Reading

                    Landlords are taking over the US Housing Market: Bloomberg News Great read on the current state of the US housing market. Homeownership rates are down, but those who own homes as investments, own more of them.

                    Musing

                    "Letting go gives me a firmer grasp"      

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