Where Have All The Vermont Houses Gone?

Essex neighborhoodVermont is small, our population hovers around 620,000. Yes, that’s the whole state – men, women, children. We have never had a housing “boom” like other states. Demand for housing has outstripped our supply over the last few years. In certain price ranges there are perhaps 40 – 50 buyers looking at the same house.

The housing shortage in Vermont is ongoing. History, regulation, geography, topography, economics, etc. all play a role in the current state of our housing stock. Even in a “normal” year people have a difficult time finding a house. In the not-so-distant past buyers could find 10 houses that would be on their list of potential abodes. Now, there are none. Zip. Zero. Nada. Or, okay, maybe one – but there are 20 showings and all contracts need to be submitted within 72 hours. This causes a frenzy. Houses are popping up on the internet and disappearing – all within a day.

Discouraging? Sure. Now the good news. We have, so far, helped all of our buyers find a home. Through it all — the shortage, the bidding wars, the crazy rush to get in – we have guided our clients through the process.

We are here for you too! Contact us to help you find and close on your new home.

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4 Updates to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

sidekix-media-UDDULE_eIBY-unsplashWe all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to our biggest investment – our home. So how do you get the best price possible when you’re ready to sell? You don’t have to go crazy with expensive renovations, a few small and simple updates can make a big impact.

Here are 4 updates to get your home ready to sell:

Declutter. This one is free! This should be the first step in prepping your home for sale. Take down the family photos and knick knacks and pack them away. If you have a room that feels particularly ‘full,’ edit the furniture – store the excess pieces neatly in the basement, garage, or rent a storage unit.

Fresh paint. A new coat of paint does wonders for any room – and it’s one of the most affordable options to update your home. Stick with neutral colors so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

New lighting. Old (usually brass) lighting fixtures will really date a space. Refresh your home with simple lighting in nickel, black, or even a neutral wood finish. When buyers see these fixtures modernized, it makes them feel the whole house has been updated.

Update hardware. Similar to the lighting – old fashioned brass or porcelain knobs and drawer pulls will make a room look dated. Freshen you kitchen or bathrooms with modern hardware in a black finish or metal finish that matches other elements in the room.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, or to start looking for a new property, we can help! Contact The Weaver Team today 😉

Are My Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Outdated?

hannah-busing-5we-PtvuCyE-unsplashTruth be told, cooking at my house often involves a smoke alarm. It’s tempting to climb on a step stool to disconnect the pesky alarm, but I have become efficient at opening windows and doors to “fan” the smoke out of the house. Once the smoke clears it’s a good time to check on the rest of the alarms.

It’s also a good idea for you to check on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure you have the proper alarms installed.

The State of Vermont’s Fire Safety site (https://firesafety.vermont.gov/) provides homeowner information. It’s always good practice to check on the type of smoke alarm. The site states, “Many existing Vermont homes currently have old outdated ionization smoke alarms installed. These old alarms need to be replaced. The division recommends to homeowners that when you are replacing alarms that you update to a photoelectric smoke alarm now and not wait until the time when home is being sold.”

When you do sell your house the attorney’s require a Compliance Certificate to verify installation to comply with Vermont’s requirements.

Here is the form: https://firesafety.vermont.gov/sites/firesafety/files/files/forms/dfs_forms_smoke_co_cert.pdf

As always, if you want more information on getting your house ready to sell, contact The Weaver Team and we will get you set up for home selling success!

The Weaver Team’s Favorite Things

Step aside Oprah, our list features everything Vermont and maybe even a little something Pennsylvania 😉

truffles_f07fab6a-5b1c-4d31-b181-87db93b711d4_1024x1024A Box of Chocolates. Our local favorite is Snowflake Chocolates. Everyone loves chocolate and this Jericho-based family run operation has never let us down. We love the traditional assortments and the truffles. The customer service is unparalleled. They ship or you can pick up your order curbside.

Tree Ornaments made in the U.S.A. With a nod to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, we are decking the halls with a custom ornament from Mayhem Metalz in Beaver Falls, PA.

Scented Candles. We only buy them at Willow House located in Shelburne, VT. This month we are burning a Balsam Fir candle. Our all-time favorite is Buttered Maple Syrup.

Warm Woolen Socks. Buy them at Danform Shoes. This is where we stock up on our favorite Darn Tough socks. The wool socks are made in Vermont and you can pick them up curbside.

52301-p-crock-and-tray-hero-w-lrgHandmade Stoneware Pottery. We love the glazes Bennington Potters offers, and their serving dishes and sets are perfect for anyone who enjoys entertaining and serving up a beautiful table spread.

Deliciously Sweet Cupcakes. With a plethora of flavors sure to please anyone’s palate, you cannot go wrong bringing some Superb Cupcakes to a party … or stashing some at home when you need a sweet pick me up.

Netflix original movie The Prom. We like it for Meryl Streep’s line “I’m from Zelienople Pennsylvania.” Jennie’s hometown!

Your Checklist for Home Selling Success

14-1492149877-pic3This is not your basic checklist! As real estate professionals, this compilation relies on our years of experience to help our clients get “ahead” of many issues that come up when a buyer looks at a house.

Grab a screwdriver – You’ll be surprised at how many loose screws you find. Strike plates, knobs, etc. tighten them up for a closer fit.

Mr. Clean is your friend – We swear by the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean marks on walls without damaging paint. Works well on flat paint, you don’t have to worry about harming the surface.

Dust busters – Grab a duster that has a long handle and then, look up! Sweep away dust from your fan blades, vents, and corners of your room where dust accumulates on the ceiling

Where are my keys? – Start looking for your front door keys now especially if you typically enter your house through the garage or another door. Make some copies and test them out.

Spruce up those sills and screens – Exterior window sills are often neglected, inspect them for peeling paint and rot. Survey window screens for rips and tears and replace any that are missing.

HVAC tune-up time – It’s tricky to schedule these in the winter months, but call to get your furnace serviced and inspected yearly. If you have central a/c get this done during the summer.

Radon test – Safety first. You can read all about radon gas here: https://www.epa.gov/radon. Get your house tested in the winter months as your house needs to be “closed up” for a few days.

Is your chimney safe for Santa? Call a chimney company to make sure!

Walkway safety — Get ready for winter weather with salt/sand and a shovel. Replace or repair any tripping hazards on the way into your house such as loose bricks or cracked concrete walkways.

Contact The Weaver Team for additional items to get your house in tip top condition for selling!

3 Ways to Light Up Your Life: Outdoor Inspiration for Your Backyard

Embrace the shorter days and cooler weather with a strategy to light up your surroundings.  We all want to stay outside and enjoy our yard space. If you’re not able to build a fire feature, then set your space ablaze with our lighting suggestions.

Gather ‘Round the Fire – If your municipal laws allow, set up an area to have an outdoor fire. Add a fire feature like a Fire Box from Mayhem Metalz. Made in the U.S.A. and shipped to your door! You won’t be disappointed. Carolyn hosted a Full Moon Fire Pit Party and everyone stayed until well into the evening. Don’t forget the s’mores!

Light Up Your Porch or Deck – Do you prefer white lights or a strand that “pops” with some color? Either way, check out your local hardware store or dig up some Christmas lights. Loop the outdoor string lights around your porch posts or your deck railings. You’ve got plenty of choices for power options – we love solar. Jennie has a set of solar string lights strung along her fence that charge all day and come on at dusk. For plug-in lights, invest in a timer to put them on at dusk. Stock up on batteries if you choose battery lights, many have built in 8-hour timers.

Trees That Twinkle – We found these amazing Weeping Willow Lights and are just trying to figure out where to put them!

If you want additional tips to brighten your home and your outside space, like us on Facebook to get our Tuesday Tips!

C’mon Get Cozy: Decorating for the Fall

1509030266860Welcome to decorating season! From now through Thanksgiving we will be refreshing our décor to reflect the upcoming season and holidays. This month we want to share our Fall decorating tips. From September through Thanksgiving our clients ask us for decorating tips. Take a quick trip to buy seasonal throw pillows and blanket throws. Stop by your local craft store for twinkle lights and autumn leaf garlands. Here’s what we do:

Layer your look. We start with a “base” of autumn accents in September through early October. Pick areas in your house where you can display fall “vignettes” of leaf garlands, scented candles, throws, and pillows. No need to rearrange entire bookshelves or curios, just “add” autumn color to your palette.

Add twinkle lights. As the days get shorter we like to add accent lighting to our displays. Lights with timers are the best. Carolyn has a remote control for her lights but she can’t find it … that’s a whole other blog post.

Mid-October – we bring out the “boo!” Jennie has a classy collection of skull-themed Halloween décor and Carolyn’s theme leans more toward “The Great Pumpkin” with Snoopy rising out of the Pumpkin Patch. Just layer it on top of your autumn base.

November – Now you see the method to our decorating – just strip off the “scary” and you’re left with the autumn hues to carry you through your Thanksgiving Feast.

If you’re looking for more decorating tips and tricks, “like” and follow us on Facebook for our Tuesday Tips.

Laundry Room Safety Check: My Story

6a9356e5a1f3b04b68ec25490352d2e5If you follow our blog you know that the real estate biz is not all glitz and glam as represented in the media. If you watch “Million Dollar Listing” or other such shows you may be lulled into thinking that we drive around in our luxury vehicles all day and host lavish buffets at our listings.

On the Weaver Team we spend our time helping clients navigate all aspects of their sale including laundry room safety. This month, Carolyn hired a Dryer Duct Cleaning company to check out her 8-year old dryer duct. Surprisingly the technician found that the dryer duct had separated and lint and hot air was blowing in the attic. Luckily he had the tools to fix the problem. We never would have known if we hadn’t had it serviced.

This month’s blog focuses on safety in the laundry room. There are three things to check in your laundry room:

Dryer Duct Cleaning – one of the main causes of house fires is a clogged dryer duct. Getting this cleaned and inspected is worth the time and effort.

Electrical Outlet – check to see if the outlet servicing your washer and dryer is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

Hoses – swap out your hoses for a higher grade model.

If you need trusted service providers to help with getting your laundry room up to today’s codes, get in touch.

We specialize in helping you get your house ready to sell – from staging, quick fixes, and pre-inspections, we’ve got you covered! Contact us to see what your home may be worth in today’s market.

Do’s and Don’ts for Staging Your Kitchen

photo-of-white-kitchen-4682110Everyone’s first question about staging their house is, “What should I do with my kitchen countertops?” Most days none of us have our countertops “photo-ready.” Right now my countertop boasts a blender, a toaster, a large white pitcher, a bowl of fruit and bananas and random dishes drying on a dish towel. Yours may have a coffee maker, knife block, canisters, and assorted water bottles. What stays? What goes?

Don’t take everything off your countertops. Some Realtors will tell sellers to “take everything off.” Others ignore the clutter and say, “oh, it’s fine.” In our opinion the “take everything off” approach gives the impression that the house is vacant. When you leave everything on the counter the photos tend to look too busy. We suggest a balanced approach to give the impression of a well-organized countertop. So, yes, if you have a classy cannister set, leave it. If your coffee maker is overtaking your counter then stash it in a cabinet. Fruit is always a good idea.

Do invest in some new dishtowels. Coordinated dishtowels help define your dishwasher or range.

Don’t remove your rugs and runners. Keep your rugs and runners as long as they are coordinated.

Do clean off your kitchen island and find an appropriate accent piece. Flowers are passe.

Don’t forget about your lighting. If you really want to make a your kitchen “pop” then consider updating your light fixtures. A quick trip to the lighting aisle yields a big return.

Do call us if you need an electrician to install your new lights. Don’t mess with the electric unless you really know what you’re doing.

And, lastly, don’t forget you’re never alone when you’re transforming your house with The Weaver Team. We’ll help you get your kitchen “show ready.” Contact us today for a virtual staging appointment to get your house in tip top shape.

Safe Showings: Do’s and Don’ts

98197322_666623473898167_8624237915972567040_oWhat does it mean to be safe when you’re looking at houses in the midst of a pandemic? While there is no way to be 100% protected, you can minimize your risk of exposure. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Don’t attend weekend Open Houses. 25 people are allowed to be in a house at the same time. These events are hard to manage. Touching, coughing, sneezing, and the inevitable dropping of one’s face mask to breathe, etc. are just some of the activities that will occur.
  2. Do wear a mask. This is a requirement by the sellers.
  3. Don’t wear gloves more than once. Use fresh gloves for every house. If you must open drawers, doors, refrigerators, etc. grab a pair for each house.
  4. Don’t take off your shoes. Wear contractor booties. We have never been a fan of walking barefoot in stranger’s houses. Now, even more so.
  5. Do use wipes on surfaces that you touch after you leave the house. Once you get to your car wipe your hands, phone, steering wheel, keys.
  6. Don’t plan on using the restroom.
  7. Do spritz some Sanitizer on your hands. For the extra special scent of “clean.”
  8. Don’t linger in the house. Look at the house and talk outside.
  9. Do bring a trash bag to dispose of used items.

We’ve always been clean freaks on the Weaver Team, little did we know that our cleaning fetish would now be necessary for all real estate agents! Carolyn stocks her showing bag with bleach wipes, sanitizer, 409 spray and paper towels to ensure that our buyers are ready for any house they enter. We also prep our sellers on best practices and ensure other agents showing our listings are prepared.

If you’re a bit skeptical about looking at homes or listing right now, contact us to walk you through the new process.