Blog :: 08-2017

The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 4

groton state forest

Although the Vermont Condo Market moves ever onward the dwindling final days of summer are upon us. Nights are getting cooler, The College Kids are coming back and the mountains are turning rusty. We're all asking "where did the summer go?" And with any luck, you'll be able to summon amazing memories of recent months that answers the question.

The Kids Are Back in Town: Burlington, Vermont Hotels and People Watching on The Church Street Marketplace

An old UVM friend of mine was visiting from the west coast this past weekend. He was eager to see what Burlington looked like these days and wanted to be near the action so he booked a room at The Downtown Burlington Hilton Garden Inn. Unbeknownst to my friend, it was welcome week for UVM and Champlain College. Due to the influx of visitors, prices were on the high end everywhere in town and he was happy to find one of the few vacancies left. When living in a town one has little reason to visit hotels. Although the "New" Hilton has been around for a couple years it was the first time I'd set foot in the hotel on the corner of St. Paul and Main Streets in Burlington. I'll admit that I was surprised when I walked in to find such a Metropolitan Hotel hiding in plain sight in my little Queen City. The Lobby, reception, and bar offer sophisticated space with a warm variety of textures highlighted by local art. I met my old classmate and we made it up the well-worn cobblestones of Church Street to one of Vermont's most famous icons, Ben & Jerry's. The line extended all the way to the entrance but moved quickly. We chatted as we waited for sweet treats, surrounded by eager new first-year college students experiencing a right of passage. By some miracle of time, the students grow younger as I remain the same age. It occurred to me as I received my fresh waffle cone filled with Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz that it had been 20 years since our first days at UVM. We sat outside and watch the people pass on a beautiful summer night as we reminisced.

Over the years we've had many clients purchasing Burlington Vermont Condos for their student and grad student children. Some of the more popular condominium projects for this use are Riverwatch Condos, Vermont House Condos, Ledgewood Condos, Stratos Condos, Millyard Condominiums in Winooski, among many others.

To The Woods: A Night at New Discovery in Groton State Forest:

After an albeit mellow night on the town, I was ready to seize one of the last summer weekends and escape to the woods. My companion and I met with another old College friend and made our way to The Groton State Forest where we'd reserved a beautiful tent site on Osmore Pond at New Discovery State Park an incredible facility on beautiful Osmore Pond. On our short 20 hour trip, we packed in fishing by canoe on the pond where we faced numerous, ferocious 2 inch Perch, an amazing campfire meal and a sweet hike to Owl's Head Mountain where stunning views in every direction bring awe and calm. If you look out across the expanse over Kettle Pond, you can see Camel's Hump in the distance. I'd love to spend another night in this beautiful place with old friends, but it's time to get on back to school and back to VT Condos.

What I'm Reading: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

A Compilation of lessons learned from interviewing over 200 world class performers in every field imaginable. There's something for everyone in this book and the format makes it easy to skip around. A key takeaway for me has been the prevalence of meditation as a common practice of some of today's best thinkers. 

Musing:

"After the solitude of night comes the companionship of morning"

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    The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 3

    shelburne museum

    A demanding schedule in the dynamic Vermont Condo market requires that I make the most out of all my free time. This past weekend, my wife worked an incredible event to benefit her non-profit organization (see below), so I had the good fortune of spending a full day with my son. It was a beautiful summer Saturday and we were both excited to make the most out of the day.

    Shelburne Museum

    As a Shelburne Native, I made many visits during my formative years to the Shelburne Museum, an incomparable Vermont gem. With a breathtaking and expansive collection of fine art & folk art, a seemingly endless number of historical objects, and bucolic grounds dotted with significant historic buildings transported to the site as if by magic, Shelburne Museum is a must-see on any visit to Chittenden County in Vermont. It would be easy to spend an entire week exploring the delights on display, but with so much to choose from a morning or afternoon visit can be very satisfying. We took a ride on the period carousel, made alive with hand-carved and painted horses. Afterwards, we explored the circus tents with incredible poster art relaying the significance of the circus in American life. Next, we visited the town meeting hall, the carriage house, a jailhouse from Castleton and a one-room schoolhouse from Vergennes. The toy shop is a must stop with little ones. We saved the Paddle Boat Ticonderoga for last, wandering its decks and imagining an elegant Lake Champlain journey in a different era. Many condos in Shelburne are walking or biking distance to the Museum including, The Terraces Condos, Gardenside Condominiums, The Gables Condos and Watch Hill Condos. 

    Magic Hat Artifactory-Wall to Canvas Event-To Benefit The Shelburne Craft School

    After a terrific morning at the museum, we stopped by the Magic Hat Artifactory. Magic Hat was one of the pioneers of Vermont's craft brew explosion and remains a must stop on any brewery tour. Each year in August, Magic Hat hosts a live art event called Wall to Canvas in which regional artists transform blank canvases into masterpieces. Influenced by street art and set to a DJ'd soundtrack, the energy of the event is unbelievable. Visitors watch the process unfold and have an opportunity to buy a piece of there very own at a live auction capping off the event. Proceeds benefit The Shelburne Craft School: a 72-year-old Vermont art/craft institution and integral community resource offering classes in woodworking, clay, metalsmithing, and visual arts to people of all ages. Take a class today! Full disclosure: My amazing wife, Sage Tucker-Ketcham is the Executive Director of the Craft School as well as an accomplished artist in her own right. Magic Hat is located nearby Locust Hill Condos, Eastwood Commons Condos, Harbor Watch Condos, and Overlook Condos.

    Addison County Field Days

    No summer is complete without a trip to the fair. We went down to the Field Days in hopes of launching the iconic RE/MAX hot air balloon, but a raging storm got in the way. We did still make time for cotton candy, a couple rides and the 4H dairy barn where we mingle with some gorgeous prize winning cows. After a long and fulfilling day, we headed home to recharge and get ready for a full Sunday of work and the next weekend on the horizon.

    What I'm Reading

    Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins. Mr. Robbins has positively impacted the lives of millions throughout the world. This book offers inspiring advice and a roadmap to transforming your life... in an instant. 

    Musings

    It's easier to climb hills when you think of them as undulations 

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      The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 2

      montreal

      Special occasions call for special adventures. This past weekend marked my 10th wedding anniversary, so I entrusted the ever capable Condo Guy Team to help our many buyers and sellers navigate the booming Vermont Condo market and headed north to beautiful Montreal.

      Only 95 miles separate Burlington, VT from Montreal, QC and the trip can be made in 2 hours by car. The time taken can vary depending on border traffic. In the event increased border traffic is likely, I recommend trying one of the more rural crossings at Morses Line or Alburgh. They'll add miles to your trip, but it's a terrific way to see more remote parts of Northern Vermont and Southern Quebec. Don't forget to bring your passport! https://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/cross-us-borders 

      Things to Do: Just Walk/Bike!

      Montreal is alternatively known as "The City of Festivals" and it's nearly impossible to walk around the city without coming across a world-class event in progress. During the course of our 24-hour trip, we encountered a triathlon, thousands of immaculately costumed anime superfans, a tremendous fireworks display and stunning public art. I'm a firm believer in ditching plans when traveling and just walking around interesting places and waiting for happy accidents. If walking isn't your thing, take advantage of Montreal's amazing public bike system, Bixi. Montreal offers easily navigable bike lanes throughout the city offering for ease of travel.

      Places to Go
      Montreal is filled with many varied and distinct neighborhoods and we barely scratched the surface in our short trip but found a unique flavor in the few that we visited including Old Montreal, The Plateau, The Gay Village, and Downtown.

      There's so much to see and do in Montreal. I can't wait to return to explore more. I could write a whole series of entries regarding the incredible restaurants, bars, hotels, museums and galleries that the city offers. On our short trip, we ate a lovely dinner with friends at their home, had a hotel breakfast and grabbed quick, economical sandwiches and salads for lunch at a couple of the city's great and countless Pret a Manger (ready to eat) spots.

      What I'm Reading

      Influence by Robert Cialdini - A fascinating read on the science of persuasion and what causes we, humans, to do what we do. Based on empirical evidence yet communicated in an accessible manner. 

      Musings

      Great things can be accomplished at any time during the day.

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        The Condo Guy Weekend Recap: Episode 1

        VT Sculpture Park

        In addition to my devotion to real estate and all things Vermont Condo related, I do get out once in a while to enjoy the incredible sights and experiences that our community offers. Summer affords many opportunities to take in Vermont's natural beauty and vibrant culture. Below are some discoveries made on this most recent quintessential VT Summer weekend. 

        Lemon Fair Sculpture Park | Shoreham, VT  

        Among the beautiful rolling hills of Addison County, you'll find Lemon Fair Sculpture Park. This incredible display of sculptural art is arrayed across an expansive field surrounded by stunning scenery. Along the mile long mowed path, you'll encounter stunning and varied sculptures created by a diverse range of artists. The combination of man made beauty surrounded by Vermont Vistas makes Lemon Fair Sculpture Park a unique and rewarding experience. I can't wait to go back! 

        Dedalus Wine | Burlington, VT 

        As a parent of a young son and as a Realtor, I don't get out to eat very often, but I had the distinct pleasure of dining with old friends visiting from out of town at the Dedalus Wine Bar this past Saturday. The food, service, wine, and ambiance were all out of this world. Every aspect of the meal and setting was incredibly thoughtful, from the wine list and menu all the way down to the glassware. Our knowledgeable and helpful server recommended delicious wines which we paired with nearly everything on the menu all of which we shared. Some of the standouts were bread with ploughgate butter ( I had no idea butter could be so good), Sardines with Chorizo and arugula and Sausage over Lentils. In the heart of Burlington's thriving Pine Street, Dedalus is a great place to break bread with friends and drink in life. Be sure to check out their beautiful retail space with an incredible wine selection and a wide array of cheeses, charcuterie, and sandwiches. 

        What I'm Reading 

        I recently read Ronda Kaysen's article in the New York Times. Her article entitled, Smaller Housing Markets Lure Individual Investors offers a fascinating look at a new trend in real estate investment; Home purchasers priced out of in expensive coastal cities are buying investment properties sight unseen in more affordable markets and contracting out property management.

        Also in the New York Times I found a spotlight on Vermont and Green Mountain Power and how they lead the nation in bringing renewable power into our communities.

        Musing

        "Pay close attention when the sun is in your eyes"

         

         

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