Relocating. Moving Up. Downsizing. Moving On …

Market Update: June 2016

SOLDJune is traditionally the peak of the real estate market in Northwest Vermont – with the highest number of property sales closing and buyer activity still strong. This year, a decline in inventory is affecting the market in a number of ways. InChittenden County, 10% less residential inventory coming on the market has translated to the same number of closed sales as in 2015 (715)- but a 6% increase in the median sale price. This represents a modest appreciation in value, multiple buyers making offers on well-maintained, well priced homes and increased sales of mid to higher end properties. Investor activity remains strong with an additional 10 multi-family properties closing, and an increased median sale price of $380,000 (a 23% increase over the same period last year).

The trends in Chittenden County bode well for neighboring Franklin County. Despite a slight decline in the number of residential properties coming on the market, the number of closed sales for the year has increased by 21% (an additional 42 homes sold.) And these sales are closing more quickly than last year; on average, homes are on the market for 109 days (listing to closing) vs. 148 days in 2015! Properties that have been on the market for an extended period of time are now selling as buyers search for affordable options. The median sale price in Franklin County is $198,800 vs. $279,900 in Chittenden County.

In Addison county, residential sales are showing a slight uptick for 2016 as the 2nd quarter gains momentum with a 10% increase in properties going “under contract”. The bright spot in the market is land sales. So far this year, 45 pieces of land have gone under contract or closed as compared to 25 lots in 2015. The median sale price for land is $92,000.

The season may just be getting started for Grand Isle County, as vacationers enjoy the lake shore communities. Contrary to the other counties in northwest Vermont, there is an increase in properties coming on the market; however, the sales are increasing as well with a 14% increase in sold, single family homes during the 2nd quarter.

If you have considered selling your property, now may be the time to do so. I’d be happy to meet with you to advise you on preparing your home for the current market – be it taking care of some deferred maintenance, staging the interior, making some “Smart Home” improvements and pricing to best position your home for today’s buyer.

Relax… with a summer to do list
While you’re enjoying the long days of summer, what could be more relaxing than tackling a few home improvement projects that will give you peace of mind, comfort… & a little savings?

Price, location, and condition will always be key selling points of a property. However, energy and utility costs are also important factors in the cost of home-ownership.

We asked Patty Tashiro of Fruitfull Energy, an energy consultant in South Burlington, for a couple of small, energy-saving measures that a homeowner could tackle in one summer afternoon.

“The first step is knowing what uses the greatest amount of energy in your home,” says Patty Tashiro.

Start with the Biggest Energy User

On average 31% of your energy costs are spent on heating your home. If you are a Vermont Gas customer, pick up the phone and see if you qualify for a free audit(802-863-4511). Let trained professionals do the work and organize the contractors, while you enjoy the benefits of greater comfort, in the winter AND summer, and lower costs in the future.

You can also install a Programmable Thermostat. Simply by turning your thermostat back 7 – 10 degrees during the hours you’re at work or asleep, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling. One popular programmable thermostat (or wiFi thermostat) is the NEST, which also allows you to control your thermostat from your mobile device. A wiFi Thermostat unit is a way for homeowners to add smart technology features to their home at a cost of $99 – $250, depending on the unit. The technology has advanced allowing additional brands to enter the marketplace. Learn about and compare the brands here.

Lighting is Low Cost & High Return

Changing a light bulb is easy for any weekend warrior and can add up to $165 savings per year. By swapping out your incandescent bulbs for an LED bulb not only will you save, but the average lifespan of an LED bulb is 20 years – 25 times longer than incandescent. Don’t just change one. Buy in bulk & change them all.

New Appliances are Good Investments

If you’re looking to update some of your appliances, be sure to check out the current rebates offered by Efficiency Vermont . Did you know if you’re considering updating your dryer – it may be cheaper to also update your washing machine at the same time as most operate at the highest efficiency when paired together. Thinking of buying a new refrigerator & moving the old one into the garage? Believe it or not, it is even cheaper to buy TWO new ones, as the old ‘gas guzzler’ of a fridge can’t compare in efficiency to new models! It is best to recycle it and make the new one work for you. Or purchase a smaller, new one, to handle the overflow from the garden at harvest time!

Have more questions or interested in getting an energy assessment on your home?Contact Patty Tashiro of Fruitfull Energy… and have fun as she helps you ‘Reduce the Juice!’ Live in South Burlington or know someone who does? Learn more about the South Burlington Energy Prize.

We are proud to have been voted “BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY” for the last 7 consecutive years. Can you help us make it 8? Cast your vote for your local favorites in the Seven Daysies.