Vermont Real Estate and Community News

June 14, 2019

DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in 7 Easy Steps



Turn your backyard into a cozy camp spot by making your own fire pit. This DIY project is easy to complete, and you'll be inviting friends and family over for s'mores in no time.


Get ready

Before you begin building, consult your local fire code to see if fire pits are allowed in your city and, if so, how far away the fire pit has to be from a structure.

Gather your supplies:

  • Bricks for the fire pit wall
  • Gravel
  • Twine or string
  • Tape measure
  • Stake
  • Large shovel
  • Trowel
  • Tamp
  • Level

When purchasing bricks for the fire pit wall, go for something sturdy like retaining wall bricks or concrete pavers. Some home improvement stores even carry bricks specifically designed for fire pits. Use a layer of firebricks, which have higher heat resistance, on the inner layer of the fire pit as an extra safety measure.

Now that you have all your supplies and you’ve checked your local fire code, you’re ready to build!

1. Create a circle

Pick a spot for your fire pit (ensuring that it is located a safe distance from any structures, bushes or trees) and insert a stake in the ground where the center of the pit will be.

Tie one end of the string or twine to the stake and measure how wide you want your circle to be.

Typically, a fire pit has a diameter of about 4-5 feet. Cut the string and tie the other end to the handle of a trowel. With the string or twine taut, drag the sharp end of the trowel around in a circle, creating a line in the grass.

2. Shovel out the grass

Using a large shovel, dig out the grass inside the circle.

For safety purposes, the hole for a fire pit should be about 6-12 inches deep. Be sure to call 811 before you start digging to ensure there are no utility lines buried under the spot you’ve chosen.

3. Tamp down the dirt

If you don’t have a tamp, you can just use the bottom of your shovel.

4. Make sure the circle is level


Get down on the ground with your level to ensure that the surface is ready for the bricks. Keep making small adjustments until it’s completely level.

5. Add gravel

Put a pretty thick layer of gravel in the fire pit (at least a couple of inches). Spread the gravel around evenly.

6. Arrange the bricks

After you’ve spread the gravel around, arrange your bricks in a circle and stack them in layers until the fire pit wall is at least 12 inches tall.

For extra safety, you have the option to put an inner layer of firebricks. Though you don’t need to use mortar if the bricks are heavy enough to make a sturdy stack, you can use an outdoor fire-resistant mortar between the bricks for extra stability.


7. Relax & Enjoy!

Gather a couple of Adirondack chairs, some firewood, a few friends and campfire treats to get full use out of your new fire pit.





Posted in DIY Projects
June 6, 2019

8 Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller's Market

Buying a home always has its challenges, but when you're trying to do it in a seller's market, the difficulty can reach a whole new level!

What's a Seller's Market?

A seller's market is one where there are more people buying houses than there are homes for sale. This usually means that you're likely to face stiff competition from other house hunters like yourself. 

How Templeton Real Estate Can Help:

At Templeton Real Estate, we keep a close eye on market trends and we are always staying ahead of the game by coming up with new strategies and ideas to help our clients in this competitive market. We help our clients find the home of their dreams, at the right price! Let us help you, so you don't have to go through this confusing and competitive market alone! Here are 8 tips we think you need to know about buying a home in a today's market:


Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved 

Before you start shopping for a home, getting pre-approval from your lender will let you know just how much buying power you have. It will also help in giving your offers more credibility, which helps tremendously in a competitive market. Setting a firm limit on how much you're willing - and able to spend on a home can also help to ensure that you don't go over what you're comfortable with when you get into high pressure multiple offer situations. 


Tip #2: Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent

Choose a sharp agent! In today's market, more than ever it's important to have the best players on your team. Find an agent who not only has proven expertise but is also highly responsive and efficient. At Templeton Real Estate Group, we will work tirelessly to find you the home of your dreams, give you the correct strategies to ensure you get it and provide a smooth and seamless transaction all the way to the closing table.


Tip #3: Have an Open Mind

When the inventory of homes is limited, you may not be able to afford to wait for the "perfect" house to hit the market. Don't be too choosy when it comes to looking at homes. For example, you can add on an extra bathroom you were hoping for, down the line, but you can't change the home's location.


Tip #4: Consider New Construction

Considering new construction? You may find that new homes have more features and better pricing in these market conditions. 

Lot 2 Spear Street, ShelburneLot 2 Spear Street, Shelburne

Tip #5: Be Vigilant

Your agent should keep a constant eye on new home listings. When you find something you like, be quick to set up showings. You'll need to be ready to make a fast yes or no decision on the houses you're interested in.


Tip #6: Set a Competitive Offer

In a seller's market, if you want to be in the bidding war, sometimes your offer will need to be higher than what the seller's asking. Some agents price homes under value to stir up a bidding war. We will help you figure out what the home is worth and together we will come up with an effective strategy to present the best possible offer to the seller while also ensuring you do not overpay for the home. 


Tip #7: Limiting Conditions and Demands

Sometimes the best offers do not come down to price but rather conditions. Try to put away your lengthy list of demands. Attaching conditions to your bid will weaken it in the eyes of the Seller. Offering a sizable earnest money deposit can strengthen your offer, and skipping certain contingencies like Radon, Water tests or in some cases the home inspection are effective ways to make your offer look more appealing if you cannot offer a higher price. You should also be prepared to accommodate the seller's needs, such as being flexible on the move-in date if that is important to them.


Tip #8: Consider Waiting

If your situation allows it, you might consider postponing your purchase until the market cools down. There are some drawbacks to doing this. First, it's hard to predict when a market will shift, and depending on the economy, and other factors, it could be years until conditions improve. 

Don't get carried away with the pressure to buy, even in a seller's market. Remember that a home decision has long-term impacts on your financial future, and it may be better to let a house go than make a poor decision that could leave a financial burden in the future. 


Templeton Real Estate would love to help you along this exciting home buying journey! Give us a call at (802) 488-3487 so we can get you set up with a free consultation that will get you all of the information you need to start making your home buying goals a reality! 


Posted in Buying a Home
May 30, 2019

5 Easy Spring DIY Projects that Add Instant Curb Appeal

Spring is the perfect time of year to focus on your home’s curb appeal. Your home’s positive appearance from the street can make a huge difference when it comes to selling your home.  Make a good first impression, with these small, inexpensive improvements to your yard and home’s exterior, adding to a dramatic upgrade. Templeton Real Estate 

Group suggests trying these 5 easy DIY projects to homeowners.

Refinish or paint the front door

A peeling or weather -beaten front door can detract from the front of your home. Painting or refurnishing the front door can cost as little as $20 and may only take a few hours or less. Try painting the door with a stand-out shade that coordinates with the other exterior colors of your home.

Use Lighting

Nothing says “unwelcome” like a dark, unlit house. Not only does landscape lighting add ambiance, but it also helps prevent accidents and keeps unwanted intruders away. Consider putting in a simple, three voltage system that plugs into any exterior outlet. You can do this for path lighting, up lighting and indirect lighting.

Don’t neglect your mailbox

Whether you have a box mounted to the house, a letter slot next to the door or a 

freestanding box on a post near the street, a new mailbox can add a splash of curb appeal.

It can be as easy as improving the landscape around your box if it stands on the edge of your driveway or adding a fresh coat of paint.


Spend time on landscape projects

Few projects add as much charm and color to a house as flowers 

Consider spending time with other landscape projects around your house such as, adding new mulch, trimming any tree in windows. Build your own window box or buy one from a garden center. Use a plastic liner to prolong the life of the planter and simplify fall cleanup. If you don’t want to arrange your flowers on your house, plant flowers in pots to place on the front stoop or along the walkway.

branches that obstruct views of your home, and mowing your lawn.

Discover the magic of power washing

If you’re not getting a pressure washer out every spring, you’re wasting a golden opportunity to transform your property. Just about anything outside can be fixed and cleaned with a pressure washer, from dirty sidewalks and siding, to cobwebs and mud splatters. If you don’t own one, they can easily be rented for under $100. It’s a super versatile tool to wash exteriors, cars and kids toys.







Posted in DIY Projects
April 9, 2019

House Hunter's Huddle

Exciting News!

We are teaming up with Inspired Closets and Organize My Home, Vermont Mortgage Company, State Farm and Bauer, Gravel and Farnham, LLP to bring you an incredible House Hunter's Huddle!

Geared towards first time home buyer's and those just looking to get a little extra information, we are breaking down everything you need to know about the home buying process from start to finish! Come check out the new and beautiful Inspired Closets space while you enjoy a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres and get tips and tricks from the best in the business!

We'll go over everything from pre-approvals and loan qualifications, to walking you through the benefits of using a Buyer's Agent and how we'll help you find the perfect home! We'll teach you all need to know to get you from contract to close and everything in between! And as an added bonus Organize my Home will even have some awesome tips on how to organize a home you'll love!

Join us Tuesday, April 30th from 6 -8 PM at 17 Echo Place in Williston!

We're looking forward to seeing you and having some pre house hunting fun!

Use this link to register for FREE!

Feb. 20, 2019

Life Reasons to Sell in 2019

  • Relationship Changes - Moving in with a partner or separating. Sometimes families are melding and either need a larger home together or just pick one house. Perhaps it's a separation and one person cannot maintain the home alone / or no one wants to. So many variables! 
  • Empty Nest - The kids have moved away to college, they're growing up with kids and families of their own now. What do you do? Some chose to downsize. Less space, 
  • Retirement - Piggy backing on the Empty Nest reason, some people choose to move into a nice active community. Some opt to move away from their homes here in Vermont and venture somewhere warmer (and on winter days like these, could we really disagree?). 

When you're ready to talk, even about the sensitive topics, Jonathon & Templeton Real Estate Group are here for you. To guide you through the process. With confidence and understanding each step of the way. 

Call 802-488-3487 or email

Source: "Why Do People Sell Their Homes?" - The Balance

Feb. 18, 2019

New Agent, Jordan!

Welcome Jordan!

​Jordan grew up here in Vermont. Loves the state and plans to continue living here and build a successful real estate career. She is a first generation college graduate from UVM, class of 2018. Graduated with a bachelor's in arts, majoring in sociology with a minor in community entrepreneurship. In her free time​,​ Jordan enjoys doing yoga, snowboarding, hula hooping and reading. She also enjoys live music/concerts and will often go to show's around the area, even if she doesn't know the band at first! Outgoing, ambitious and a team player​, she is thrilled to be a part of the team and I am looking forward to working with everyone! 

"Positivity leads to success. Surround yourself by positive successful people and you too, will be positive and successful."

"I am very much into having a positive outlook on everything and believe that that is the first step to achieving success."

Feb. 13, 2019

Personal Reasons to Sell in 2019

Some and certainly not all of the personal reasons for selling your home this year:

  • New Job or Transfer - It happens. sometimes it's as simple of a reason as wanting to reduce your commute. 
  • See Family, More or Less - Frequently moving to be near relatives as families grow, age, or expand.
  • Up for a New Challenge - Flip or fix it up and make it your own. 
  • Different Interests & Priorities - Some people want to sell so they can travel, pursue a hobby or lighten the load for the responsibilities that come with home ownership.

If any of these apply, Jonathon and Templeton Real Estate Group would be happy to be your guide from start to finish. Ensuring that you feel confident and comfortable each step of the way.

Call 802-488-3487 or email to start the conversation!

Source: "Why Do People Sell Their Homes?" - The Balance

Feb. 8, 2019

We Love Your New Kitchen!

8 Downes Rd, Underhill VT

3 Bed | 3 Bath | 10.5 Acres

For more information, visit and don't forget the Matterport Tour!

If you love the peace and beauty of Vermont, you'll love this property! More than 10 acres, beautiful gardens and landscaping add an abundance of character. The patio is a tranquil paradise. Perfect for an evening of entertaining or starting your morning with a relaxing yoga session, even a cup of coffee. The three-season porch with recessed lighting and skylights is another beautiful feature, allowing you to admire the surrounding beauty. Inside, the light floods into the home though the large windows and french doors.

The kitchen is newly and beautifully updated! Two bedrooms, both have been freshly painted and updated flooring share the full bath. Fall in love with the master's beautiful hardwood floors, custom closet and beautiful panoramic window that brings Vermont inside! The master bathroom has a glass stand up shower with a rain shower head, and a vanity with a unique top and wide sink. The basement is partially finished and fully functional, use the space as you'd like.

Updates on the house include: all new standing seam & shingle roof, new cedar shingle siding, all new Pella windows and doors and in addition to having been re insulated the heating system was upgraded to high efficiency boiler/water heater with all radiant floors on the main level and baseboard on others! Take full advantage of other perks to this property, such as: a large 2-car garage, a trail, the potential to subdivide and close to Smuggler's Notch!

Feb. 6, 2019

Financial Reasons to Sell in 2019

In addition to downsizing because of financial life changes, people have other reasons finances are motivating their move!

  • Moving Up! - Outgrowing your home is one thing, but has your income? Perhaps you're making more now and thinking about an upgrade. Something bigger or flashier, a dream home come true if you will.
  • Deferred Maintenance - Also known as the "I don't wanna" reason. Some people don't want to put a new roof or replace other facets of the home. Sometimes, moving before such improvements can save you money. However, be careful how long you wait! 
  • Cash In Equity - "Some homeowners can't stand the fact their place is worth all that money and they can't, as the saying goes, "eat the house."

If these reasons may apply to you, call Jonathon and Templeton Real Estate Group. We'll work together to get you where you need to be! We have the resources and connections to get you the best experience possible. 

Dial 802-488-3487 or email for a free consult!

Source: "Why Do People Sell Their Homes?" - The Balance

Feb. 1, 2019



To see other homes like this, visit! Call Jonathon Templeton if you're thinking about building! 802-488-3487