Rising Rates & Our Local Market

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How do interest rates impact our local Vermont real estate market? Good question considering that rates have jumped from 3% to 6% over the last few months!

Here are 3 insights about our local market based on our many years of experience in “all” market conditions:

1.     Buyers will adjust to the current mortgage rate. The most important factor for buyers is their “monthly payment” and their comfort level with that amount. We often hear, “I don’t want to be ‘house poor’” meaning that they want to be able to pay their mortgage and have discretionary funds. This may mean that they readjust their “purchase price” down to suit their household budget.

2.     Sellers may have fewer qualified buyers depending on their list price. We have seen more “cash buyers” over the last few years however we predict the new buyer pool will seek mortgage loans. This means that there will be fewer cash buyers in the market. Some properties will be impacted more than others.

3.     In any market there will always be people who need to sell and people who need to buy. Our local real estate market is driven by life circumstances rather than speculation. This means that our market will remain more stable than other parts of the country.

 Making the decision to buy or sell is always stressful and wrought with questions. If you want more information about the current market and how it applies to your situation reach out to see how we can help you!

5 Upgrades That Buyers Love

HGTV Smart Home 2022 in Wilmington, NC

HGTV Smart Home 2022 in Wilmington, NC

If you follow our blogs you know that Carolyn works with buyers and sellers in the Northwestern Vermont market. Buyers are “wowed” by certain features that may surprise you.

Here are our top 5 upgrades that buyers love:

  1. Trex or other types of composite decking – Previously this type of decking was a luxury item but now, due to the rising costs of pressure treated lumber, many houses are opting for composite decking. No more staining!
  2. Gas fireplace inserts – Nothing beats the smell of wood burning in a fireplace on a crisp Vermont evening, but the wood, ash, and family allergies sometimes puts a damper on this scene. Today’s updated inserts and realistic flames impress most buyers. No more chopping wood!
  3. Freshly sealed driveways – Vermont driveways take a beating. Snow, salt, sun, and the inevitable fading and cracking. A freshly sealed driveway upgrades your curb appeal instantly.
  4. Smart thermostats – Buyers love this energy efficient feature that you can control from anywhere with your phone, and helps reduce heating and cooling costs.
  5. Solar panels – Buyers get excited when they see solar panels for an alternative energy source. More people are driving electric vehicles in Vermont and they want to add charging stations to the system.

If you’ve been thinking about selling and want more information on any of these “wow” factor features, reach out! We will help you with everything – from the beginning to closing the deal.

Let It Snow! How Weather Effects the Real Estate Market

Snowy SpringWe are obsessed with the weather. When The Weaver Team works from home one of our favorites is The Weather Channel.  People often ask me, “Does it slow down in the winter?” Well, yes, in normal times. Then, they ask, “When is the best time for my property to go on the market?”

Today, April 19, 2022 we have scheduled a full day of showings for our newest listing. I asked Alexa if it was going to snow last night and she said, “there is no snow in the forecast.” Right now, 4” of snow and increasing rapidly. Our lilac tree split under the weight of the heavy, wet spring snow.

Still, we persevere.  The buyers and Realtors will show up to see the property. But, there will be snow, wet shoes, and wet coats to shed upon arrival. The boundary lines are hard to decipher amid a sea of white.

So, when is the best time? We like May 1st to minimize the chance of snow for photos, showings and other reasons. Who can resist a front porch with a fresh spring wreath and pots of colorful flowers? Ah, but that is still an aspiration here today. We would love to continue this blog but Carolyn needs to find her boots and winter coat for today’s showings.

Stay warm and dry out there, Spring will be here in a few weeks, we are certain!

If you want more information on the seasonality of real estate, reach out – we are always available to help with all of your Vermont real estate needs.

What Does ‘Broom Clean’ Mean for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers?

pexels-cottonbro-4108715One person’s “clean” is another person’s “yuck.” In the realm of real estate there is an ambiguous phrase embedded deep in the purchase contract and it reads something like, “property to be broom clean and free of all occupants and belongings.” What about vacuuming the carpets?

Let’s decipher the legalese for the average buyer and seller. What does “broom clean” really mean? First of all, who has a broom? We vacuum, we Swiffer, we mop, right? I think we have a broom in the garage. Witches have brooms, early colonists used brooms to sweep around the hearth, but in the 21st century we have Dysons, Sharks, and fancy cleaning tools.

So, does “broom clean” mean I need to vacuum and Swiffer the floors? Sure, if that is your idea of clean. Others may go one step further and mop or steam mop the floor. One of my favorite clients introduced me to a steam mop when she was getting her townhouse ready for sale. Wow! Steam mop versus broom, no contest.

Because the purpose of a broom is to sweep the floor many sellers just focus on this when moving out of the house. Other “hot spots” that need cleaning include showers, glass shower doors, tubs, sinks, etc. But what area is overlooked the most? If you guessed the “inside of cabinets and drawers” then contact us right away for a prize.

When you sell or buy with The Weaver Team you don’t have to worry about these pesky cleaning issues. Did you forget to clean the kitchen drawers, no worries! The Weaver Team will head to your house with our hand-held vacuum for last-minute cleaning. We still don’t know how we would use a broom …

Seller’s Market: Do I Really Need To Stage My House?

sidekix-media-t294_ZZP2pg-unsplash“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is a well-known idiom that simply does not apply to real estate. Unfortunately, buyers do judge your house. If you wonder what they say we recommend binge watching Love It Or List It on HGTV.  Your house may be eliminated, or, even worse discounted in the buyer’s eyes well before they ever visit.

On the Weaver Team, the combination of Jennie’s keen sense of style and trends combined with Carolyn’s exhaustive knowledge of buyer mentality benefits our sellers by setting them up for maximum profit potential.

Staging is not just getting your house show ready, it is an important part of the sales process to help you maximize your profit at the end of the transaction.

This is the real reason that you need a professional consultation – Photos.

Yes, the buyers don’t just start judging your house when the cross the threshold, they start online scrolling through photos on their favorite real estate app or site.

Jennie and Carolyn have staged and sold hundreds of homes using our combined knowledge of home trends and current buyer preferences.

If you’ve been thinking about selling, call us for a consultation to see how we can get your home ready for the market.

Winter Is Coming: Will The Hot Real Estate Market Cool Off?

pexels-jeffrey-czum-2501965Is the real estate market cooling off? No.

Will the shorter days and longer nights put a damper on buyer activity? No.

Will houses stay on the market for more than a day or two? No.

Will prices continue to rise? Looks that way.

Navigating the real estate market has been a challenge for the last few years. Multiple offers on properties. Many “cash, no contingency” offers are hard to beat for the average buyer who needs a mortgage loan and simply wants a home inspection. Houses that sold a few years ago show up on the market again with eye-popping prices.

The last quarter of 2021 shows no slowing of prices or buyer activity thus far. Low interest rates and low inventory continues to drive market activity. All price ranges are competitive. This may sound depressing for buyers but there is hope.

What do we predict for 2022? If you want to dip your toes into the fast moving waters of Chittenden County real estate, reach out. We have a track record of success for buyers as well as sellers. Our networking, relationships, and strategies guide our buyers to their goals.

We can’t wait to help you find your Home Sweet Vermont!

Nightmare on Elm Street: True Real Estate Stories

nathan-wright-igpwuxZofgo-unsplashCozy up next to a fire and enjoy these strange tales from our real estate travels.

The Hot and Winding Road

It was a hot August day and Jennie was taking photos in a vacant house in the middle of nowhere. She stepped out and the door locked behind her. Unable to access her car keys or phone (left inside) she made the two mile trek to the closest general store to request a rescue. To this day we are not sure who or what caused the door to lock.

The Tale of Two Cats

The sellers should remove all personal property from the house prior to the new owners moving in, but does that include the family’s felines? A fellow Realtor phoned me with the news, “The seller will pick up her two cats later, they are in the yard.” Would they be retrieved or would they wander the neighborhood forever looking for a new home? Rest assured the felines are not haunting their former abode, their owner did return for her pets.

The Reluctant Mover

Sometimes people just don’t want to move. The day before the sale of Mr. Smith’s house I stopped by to see how his packing and moving was coming along. He greeted me with a big smile and told me he had several friends helping him load items into a truck. A cursory glance around the house led me to believe he had not yet begun to pack. Moving boxes were unassembled and the house was chock full of items to be boxed and loaded out. I stopped by the next morning and there he was in the same clothes as the evening before, rumpled and tired and seemingly unaware that he had to move. It looked like he had been up all night playing a poker game rather than packing. Would Mr. Smith pack his belongings and vacate? A few hours before the new buyers would take possession there was no truck. After calling in many favors we finally succeeded in sending Mr. Smith on to his next location. Maybe he wasn’t planning on leaving after all.

We hope you enjoyed our true real estate tales. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humidity: When Do You Need a Dehumidifier

dehumidifiers-kr-2x1-tease-200716It’s been a hot and humid summer here in the northeast. Temperatures and humidity levels have been similar to those in the south. Sometimes the “sticky” feeling creeps into your house making it damp, unpleasant, and smelly indoors. Laundry in the basement level of your house can create the perfect storm of dampness and moisture.

If the humidity level hits 50% then it’s time to take the moisture out of the air. High levels bring unwanted problems – mildewy smell, dampness, and sometimes mold. A dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air and replaces it with dry air. You will need to empty your dehumidifier at least once a day. Many people run a hose to a basement utility sink. Just make sure that the hose doesn’t get knocked out of the sink, then you will have unexpected water on the floor – yes, that’s happened to me, but that’s another story.

Take It Outside: 3 Tips To Stage Your Backyard, Porch, or Deck

deck-decorating-63Summer is officially here and it’s time to get your exterior living spaces “show ready.” Even if you’re not selling your house it’s fun to add some quick and easy items to your outdoor spaces.

From decks to patios to porches, here are our top 3 tips:

Patio pots filled with annuals – Colorful patio pots are trending right now. The bigger the better! Instant color and décor for your pool area, deck, or front porch.  If you’re local, pick one up at Red Barn Gardens, RedBarnGardensVT.com.

Summer wreath for your front door – Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas! Add a decorated grapevine or straw wreath to compliment your style. Looking for inspiration? Lemons, strawberries, or even a red, white, and blue theme will make your front door “pop.”

String lights – There’s always a spot for string lights on your porch, patio, railing, or even in front of your garage. If you don’t have an electricity source try some solar lights.

We specialize in staging your home for sale or just for fun! Contact us today for a complimentary home visit for more tips, tricks, and “on trend” advice.

Appraisers, Inspectors, and Assessors: Friends or Foe?

Home inspectorIt’s easy to get mixed up when you’re bantering about real estate terms. Here’s a handy guide to follow:

Appraisers: Appraisers assess the value of your house for a mortgage lender or for your own information. If you are selling your house or refinancing your house the mortgage lender will send a licensed appraiser to complete a lengthy report. The appraisers report is a “wild card.” We don’t know which properties the appraiser will choose to compare to your property. In a real estate transaction the purchaser’s lender hires an appraiser to visit your property.

Inspectors: Building inspectors assess the condition of the structure of a property and its major components. Inspectors write lengthy reports that familiarize you with the property. The report may include items that need to be repaired or replaced. Inspectors sometimes uncover mold, structural issues, etc. that are not easily assessed by buyers or sellers.

Assessors: The town or municipality keeps an “Assessor’s Card” on every property for taxation purposes. Your “assessment value” may not be an indication of the current market value. Assessor’s Cards may also be called Lister’s Cards or Property Reports.

For more information on all aspects of real estate transactions reach out to The Weaver Team, we will guide you through the entire process of selling your property or buying a new home.