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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving provides us with an opportunity to give pause and collectively express gratitude for the things that matter in our lives. I'd like to take this opportunity to list a few things that I'm thankful for this year.

1. My family and their health

2. My friends or chosen family and their well-being

3. My clients and customers whom I have the privilege of serving and allow me to make a living

4. My colleagues and peers throughout the real estate industry that make my work possible

5. The beautiful State of Vermont which offers unparalleled beauty and a supportive community

6. My home which provides a place of solace and joy for my family throughout the year

7. My neighbors who make my home a welcoming place

8. The good fortune to have access to healthy and plentiful food with which we celebrate Holidays

9. The ability to move freely and experience nature

10. All of those that provide selfless service both as volunteers and professionals to protect us all 24 hours a day 365 days a year

For the above reasons and so many more, I am sincerely Thankful. I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving

-David Parsons

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    New Office Open House and Mixer

    Please join Burlingtons newest real estate office, RE/MAX North Professionals Downtown, home of Matt Hurlburt Group and David Parsons Condo Guy and Todays Homes of Vermont.� We will have local beer and drinks poured by the fabulous Arts Riot Crew, light snacks and spectacular Burlington views.

    Hosted by: Matt Hurlburt and David Parsons

    Where: 40 Main Street, 5th Floor, Suite 550, Burlington, Vermont

    What: Open House and Mixer

    When: October 11th, 2018, 5pm-7pm

    Parking available: Walk over or ride your bike, but we have a parking garage and metered parking along the streets.

    For further information, visit our Facebook page or contact:

    Sarah Ku, sarah@condoguy.com

    About Matt Hurlburt Group: A small family group that has specialized in client services for over 21 years. The Matt Hurlburt Group provides time tested, experienced, and knowledgeable services, with the clients input, each step of the way. Past-represented properties vary from new construction projects, investment properties, single-family homes and condominiums. The Matt Hurlburt Group is committed to providing a high quality of service and clear communication.

    http://www.matthurlburtgroup.com

    About Condo Guy: With over 2200 condos sold since 1999, The Condo Guy Team has been providing solid advice to buyers and sellers of Vermont condos real estate for nearly 30 years. The Condo Guy knows the Vermont condo market and has the systems and experience to exceed expectations and deliver peace of mind in what is often an overwhelming life event.

    http://www.condoguy.com

    About RE/MAX North Professionals: Vermonts #1 RE/MAX Office is focused on providing the best results and service in the industry! Agents at RE/MAX North Professionals listen carefully to understand your real estate goals and work hard to create solutions that make sense. These agents know Northwestern Vermont from top to bottom, inside and out, the greater Burlington Vermont area, from Middlebury to Swanton, and Lake Champlain to the Green Mountains.

    The new Burlington location has allowed to further expand the company footprint. Four office locations include the Colchester, Cambridge, Middlebury and Burlington offices with a total of 36 dedicated and dependable real estate agents.

    http://www.homesvermont.com

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      Back to School!

       

      Back to School,  Time to Sell Your Home!

      It’s that time of year again!  The new school supplies, the fresh haircuts, the sweet back to school sales, the early chaotic mornings, the packed lunches, the yellow buses, the thousands of Instagram back-to-school photos and of course the very excited parents practically jumping for joy… Hello teachers! Goodbye summer! We can't help but feel motivated to get the school year off to a great start!

      Maybe you’re one of those parents. The feeling of ‘it’s time to get stuff done’ is lingering in the air. Perhaps you’re a brand new empty nester and you’re realizing that you might need to downsize.  Either way, it’s definitely a time of renewed energy inviting change and new opportunities.  It could also prove to be a great time to put your property on the market.

      Back to school?  A good time to sell?  That might sound pretty far off from what you’re used to hearing.  You’ve been told time and again that spring and summer are the best months to put your home on the market.  While yes, they are indeed busy and competitive seasons for residential real estate, you tend to see some very serious buyers in the fall.  Factor that in with less competition and you can likely expect to see a quick and easy sale.  Many home buyers shopping in the fall have a deadline to work with, especially in a state where the winter weather may prove to be challenging for a move. In this scenario, a home shopper will be less likely to haggle if the property meets their needs.  Fall’s lack of inventory is a dream for the motivated seller.  If buyers have fewer homes to consider, yours will simply stand out more.

      The Weather

      Did you know that the cooler weather and smell of pumpkin spiced lattes can help too?  If you're trying to sell your home, buyers need to have an easy time imaging themselves (and their own holiday traditions) in your home. Therefore, the holidays can prove to be a perfect time to have your home on the market.  If you put yourself in the home buyers’ shoes, you can imagine the instant connection to a home that provides classic festive décor, inviting aromas and a general feeling of coziness.

      We are here to help!

      When it comes down to deciding when to put your home on the market, remember every home transaction is different and every market has its own quirks.  Home buying and selling is personal and the best decision you’ll make will be the one that fits your specific situation. Every season has a benefit and fall should not be overlooked. We’d be happy to help guide you through the pros and cons of each selling season and provide you with our experiences to lead you toward an informed decision when listing your home.

      Don't hesitate, reach out today!

      Quote: "The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." -Herbert Spencer

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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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