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Inspect Repellant

 
 
I wanted to recount a recent "event" during a home inspection I attended as the listing agent. Why was I at this home
inspection, you might ask, given that I represented the seller and not the buyer?
 
Good question!
 
My seller was elderly, not well, and unwilling to leave his house, all of which was okay with the buyers and their
agent.
 
On the day of the inspection I had a nagging feeling that I had better check in during this inspection because I wanted to
make sure all was going as it should be.  The truth is, I knew my seller had a cantankerous side.
 
I arrived about 5 minutes after the buyer, her two-year-old son, her father, the inspector, and buyer's agent. There was an ominous chill in the room. But I was determined to be cheery and greeted everyone, and then asked my seller how he was doing.
 
He said, "Fine, but I have one question. When in HELL did a home inspection become a chance for people to have a God. Damn.
family outing?"

Well! It was to get worse. The next thing that happened was he called the inspector not only ignorant but also an arrogant pr**k.  He might not have been wrong, but that's really beside the point.
 
Needless to say, this deal soon fell apart. Are you surprised?
 
This whole event (and believe me, I've toned it way down) only reinforces the unwritten rule that if you are a seller, even a super friendly, nice seller, DO NOT REMAIN IN THE HOUSE during a buyer's home inspection.
 
Remember the inspection is for the BUYER. 1) The buyers are paying for it and they should be allowed to openly ask questions, look at systems, and make all the comments they want about how they might start thinking of rearranging furniture and decor. 2) The buyers' agent will be there the entire time and his/her duty is to make sure neither the inspector nor the buyers do anything untoward while in the house. Finally, 3) it's really not fun to watch an inspector pick your house apart but that's their job.
 
My advice, therefore, is to go out and do something indulgent during the approximately three hour inspection time.  You'll have more fun and most certainly, so will everyone else!

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    Kicking back at the BOH

    What do William Howard Taft, Eugene Debs, Helen Keller, John Philip Sousa, Roseanne Cash, great parking, and a horse all have in common?

    If you live in central Vermont there is only one answer to this question. The Barre Opera House!

    A classic “small” opera house which has been defined by, and helped define Barre's identity and character for more than a century, the Barre Opera House (located above the municipal offices in downtown Barre) is a real Central Vermont treasure.

    I had the pleasure recently of seeing Roseanne Cash there - their first "sold out" show of the 2017-2018 season - and it was absolutely amazing. Though it was sold out, it didn't feel crowded and just looking around the audience, I could tell there wasn't a 'bad' seat in the house.

    But the horse? Really?!?

    Really!

    A neighbor of one of my colleagues at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties was an employee in the box office the day the fabled horse was ridden up the stairs to perform onstage. My colleague couldn't remember the performer or name, but a quick review of the Barre Opera House website refers to “Tom Mix and his horse.” Mystery solved? You tell me!

    In the meantime, I'm heading out to check out the restaurants in Barre—look for future posts on this subject that include the Cornerstone Pub, the Firehouse, the Quarry, and more.

    My goodness, do I love Barre!

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      Pursuing the Dream

      One of the greatest pleasures of my job as a realtor in Vermont is assisting individuals and couples in finding the Vermont home of their dreams!  I stress “Vermont” because a little over 2 years ago, my husband and I relocated from Maryland.  Living in Vermont was our dream for many reasons and we actually searched for years to find our forever home.  

       

      After several years and several real estate agents later we found Sue Aldrich and, with her help, our dream came true.  

       

      From personal experience, I know what it is like to go through the process of looking at an unending list of properties to find the perfect home.  The process can be daunting, frustrating, and (sometimes even) downright miserable but finding a real estate agent who understands your wants and needs is way more than half the battle.  

       

      Because of my personal experiences finding the right home, relocating to another state, and finding the right agent, it gives me even greater pleasure doing what I do. So the big question now is, How may I help YOU? 

       

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        Hut One, Hut Two...Hike!

        For most of the fall my husband Ken and our dog Gus have hiked the length of Vermont on the Long Trail in four-day increments.

        I dropped them off for the first time north of Jay Peak, at the Canadian border, and retrieved them for the final time in Williamstown, just over the Massachusetts border. Ken and Gus started their hike in Jay with mild temperatures in the 80s and sunny blue skies. The splendor of Vermont’s fall foliage season was in full display on their first morning and followed them as they wound their way south on the trail.

        Stunning mountain views, cloud forests, and clear streams and waterfalls were daily experiences. But not even these prepared them for the wild blueberries they found on one of their mountain tops that delayed them for several hours!

        Evenings were spent around a campfire with other overnight hikers before sleeping in huts built and maintained by the Green Mountain Club.

        It was pouring rain when I picked Ken up in Massachusetts, but his spirit was not dampened. He and Gus had experienced the majesty of Vermont from miles and miles of its highest ridges.

        Hiking the entire Long Trail is not for everyone, but most anyone can experience a portion of it within a reasonably short drive of your home, especially if you live in Central Vermont.  As if one needs yet another reason to buy real estate in Vermont...!"


         

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          Comfort At A Lower Cost

           
          I love learning new things which is one of the reasons I love being a Realtor--life long learning!
           
          I went to a class recently that was led by Efficiency Vermont, a Green Building specialist, an appraiser qualified as a competent
          Appraiser of Green Properties, and a financing representative from the Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU).
           
          Laurie Fielder from VSECU gave us a great presentation about their VGREEN loan program (there are several versions of them) which are specifically for making your home more energy efficient with solar panels, insulation, new windows, alternative heating systems or any "thermal" method that tightens up your house for both winter and summer. If you're like me, November is when I finally get around to thinking about this, and putting on my snow tires...
           
          Best of all, these improvements can be paid for by folding the payments into (a refinance of) your mortgage. The new monthly utilities costs plus your mortgage end up being less than if you hadn't done the improvements! This is not only easier on your pocket book and better for your personal comfort, it substantially reduces your carbon foot print.
           
          So, save money, feel better and be a do-gooder all in one fell swoop! Not only is this great information to share with all my Buyers and Sellers but it's something I am going to do for my own home. Aren't you glad I shared this?!

           

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            Setting Ghouls for Halloween

             
            Setting Ghouls for Halloween
             
            Everyone loves treats more than tricks on Halloween, but if your looking for a great non-sugary treat to enjoy on Halloween, spend a little time in the early evening checking out some of the amazing decorations some folks have put together on their lawn.
             
            In our wonderful capital city of Montpelier, one such treat, a spook-feast for the eyes, is just off north Main Street on College.  The owners decorate every year  AND they encourage kids to come walk amongst the goblins.  A few days ago I took my grandkids and they were squealing with delight! 
             
             Another 'treat' is that the entire city does a 'trick or treat' on Halloween when it seems like ALL the local merchants handout candy, I believe it starts at 4PM and goes to about 6.  We went last year and it was safe, fun, all the kids kept running into their friends in costume...unbelievable but totally unique Vermont!
             
            Please let us know what some of your favorite decorated houses are!
             
            Happy Trick or Treating!

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              The Knead for More Dough

               
              Life in central Vermont is oven viewed from afar as either a quaint farmhouse in a lovely rural setting, or a small village with a green, with every house surrounded by a white picket fence.  The only item missing from both these visions is the home-made apple pie cooling on the kitchen window sill.
               
              I love to bake, and I love these images of village/country living in Vermont, so while I, as a Realtor, have the "house" part covered, I wanted to spend some time getting more up-to-speed on the "baking" part.  My research led to a recent visit to a local flour mill.
               
              On one of the latest, beautiful, mid-October weekend days found me headed east (and a little south) to the nearby King Arthur Flour Mill in Norwich, VT.  WOW, that's all I can say. Wow.  I could have taken the highway and been there in under an hour, but I wanted to "get lost" among the secondary roads of central Vermont to experience the full effect of the season.
               
              If you've not been to King Arthur Flour, what a treat. First they have an amazing bakery filled with windows that allow one to view the breads, etc., actually being made. Second they have an amazing (did I already say amazing?) restaurant that is not the place for dieting. 
               
              Well of course I took a break to enjoy their delicious food!!
               
              Finally they have amazing (there's that word again!) store with all their products available for sale.  Prices were less than I anticipated.  Exceptionally helpful staff.  Easy drive from Montpelier/Barre, especially while the leaves are still in their various shades of glory.
               
              Regardless of where you live, or want to live, make sure your house has a generously-sized kitchen window sill...maybe I can help you with that!

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                The Smallest Things Matter

                 

                One of the coolest things about being a Realtor in Central Vermont is driving around all the little villages and towns on October 31st. I get to see all the little kids and their parents going from business to business and house to house trick-or-treating! My kids are all grown so this is a fun way to relive their childhood costumes. I love the home-made costumes and the store bought ones as well. The littlest ones start at 2 pm and, as dusk settles in the older kids arrive in small groups of friends. Their laughter and excitement is infectious and rejuvenating. Just another fantastic Vermont tradition that I get to enjoy every year!

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                  Historic homes

                    As a real estate agent in Central Vermont, I go into a lot of very old basements/cellars. They are frequently damp and a little spidery but the laid up stone foundations, painstakingly and lovingly put in place 150 or more years ago, are still functioning the way they were designed. They let ground water in and they let ground water out.   Buyers who are unaccustomed to old, historic New England homes don’t get why they can’t have a dry basement AND all the historic charm of an 1820 home. You can have it all but it might come at the cost of installing a new foundation which you might want but may not need. I guess I am just a non-apologetic lover of the old homesteads with cellars that work just fine.    

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                    Autumn in Vermont

                      As I walked my fur babies through the crackling of the fallen leaves last night, I smelled the sweet smell of wood smoke, undoubtedly coming from one of my neighbors’ wood stoves. Many folks get sad at this time of the year because it heralds summer’s end. I, however, find autumn to be one of the most invigorating seasons. The oncoming winter will bring cross country skiing and ice skating, a world enveloped in crisp white snow and long dark nights which present the perfect time for reading great books, playing piano, cooking hearty stews but, most importantly, connecting with family and friends around the wood stove. Of course I have a wood stove! It gives me warmth and happiness all winter long.   So, as a Realtor in Vermont, here is my advice: remember to have your wood stove and chimney (or pellet stove, fireplace, boiler or furnace) cleaned and serviced every year. Stay warm and safe every winter!    

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