Vermont Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 12, 2020

Organize Your Home for the New Year!


With a new year comes the urge to start fresh and set intentions for the future. It’s also a great time to stop procrastinating on those projects you’ve been putting off, particularly getting your home organized. Purging your home of unnecessary clutter promotes a healthier mindset and makes room for positive change in other areas of your life. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can implement to help organize even the most cluttered of areas, leaving your home feeling beautiful, clean, and orderly in 2020.



Start by thinking about what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. According to tidying expert and best-selling author Marie Kondo, when you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are really clarifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best life. The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Many people have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking.


It can be extremely easy to become overwhelmed when facing a big organization project. To lessen any anxiety, you should first make a list of specific, actionable items to accomplish; e.g. sort through “junk drawer” or organize the pantry. Checking the items off as you go will give you a real sense of achievement while helping to keep you on track.



The kitchen is typically the messiest or must cluttered room in a home with a lot of hiding places and ways to cover up clutter. What’s more, the kitchen is a high-traffic area that everyone in the house uses, which means there are multiple hands in every space.

  • Start by focusing on an area that will be the easiest to tackle to help build the momentum (e.g. utensil drawer)
  • Empty each of the drawers and cabinets, placing the items on the countertop in their respective categories. Once everything is empty, review each category and get rid of the items that are no longer needed or wanted.
  • Tip: Use drawer dividers to keep your tools neatly separated


Like the kitchen, the living room is another high-traffic area of the home that everyone uses. The living room (or family room) can have many functions, such as relaxing, entertaining, play, etc., which can often leave the space full of clutter.

  • Identify anywhere clutter accumulates, such as coffee tables and console tables, that serve as “catch-all” places for items
  • Return items that belong in another room to their storage spaces, then return living room items to their proper storage spaces



Although your bedroom is meant to be a serene, calming space, it can often end up in a state of disarray with overflowing drawers, cluttered surfaces, and clothes strewn in all places. Your day begins and ends in your bedroom, so getting rid of any clutter will help you feel more at peace (and most likely sleep better too). Likewise, having an organized closet will save you time, space, and money, while also helping to get your day started on the right foot.

  • Buy storage for under the bed to stow away seasonal clothing or bulky items, such as extra bedding, pillows, or throws
  • Clear off nightstand surfaces (tip: choose a nightstand with drawers to stash all your miscellaneous items e.g. books, Kleenex, hand cream, etc.
  • Identify any clothing, shoes, and accessories that you haven’t worn in the past year and add them to a donation box
  • Reorganize your clothing by type and color


Whether you work from home every day or routinely find your work following you home from the office, your home office can easily become one of the rooms that you spend the most time in. For this reason, it’s important to make your home office a clean, organized space that inspires creativity and fosters success.

  • Establish a well-ordered, efficient filing system and file away any loose papers (tip: make your categories color-coded)
  • Organize your books by genre, color, or size depending on your preference
  • Throw out any writing utensils that are dried up or no longer usable
Nov. 16, 2019

DIY Project - Weatherize Your Doors!

We think it’s safe to say that winter has officially arrived in Vermont! What better time than after some of the first snowstorms of the season to realize your house isn’t as warm as you want it to be?! Having gaps or poor weather stripping around an outside door could mean you're losing up to 15% of the money you spend heating your home! Here is an easy do-it-yourself home project that will save you money on heating this year!

You'll need:

Weather stripping, utility knife, screwdriver, wooden block or book, tracing paper and pencil, cardboard or playing cards and scissors.

Now let's get started!


  1. You will first need to examine the weather stripping on the bottom of your door to see if there are any holes or worn areas. If so, pull the weather stripping toward the outer edge of the door until it completely releases from the grooves on the bottom. You will need to measure your old weather stripping then buy another piece that's slightly longer. Cut it to fit with a utility knife then push the barbs into the grooves of the bottom of the door until secure.  Pry the old weather stripping from the inside of the door frame using a flat-head screwdriver. Buy new foam-filled vinyl-tube weather stripping and press it into the slots on the inside of the door frame. Insert on the top and both sides by pushing it in with your fingers.
  2. Now it’s time to check for other door gaps. You’ll do so by seeing if your door is square. If it’s square, you won’t see large gaps around the door when it’s closed. It’s easiest to see this in the sunlight, but if it’s dark, simply use a flashlight to see if there are any large gaps. If you do find a large gap, that means you need to shim a hinge (or two). You will need to determine which hinge needs to be shimmed. If your door hinges are on the left side and you see gaps appearing on the upper left side or lower right side of the door, you must shim the bottom hinge. If the gap appears on the lower left side or upper right side, shim the top hinge. The hinge that doesn’t get adjusted will now act as a pivot to angle the door correctly.
  3. Now that you know which hinge to shim, let’s go over how to insert them. Use a book or wooden block to place under the outer corner of the door while you work. Remove the frame screws from the hinge identified, but leave the hinge attached to the door. Use a piece of paper to trace the hinge cutout or mortise on the door frame. Use that to trace the template onto a thin piece of cardboard or a plastic playing card. Place the cardboard or playing card shim into the mortise and screw the hinge back into the frame over the shim. Close the door and see if the gap still exists. If it does, you may need to shim the middle hinge of the door as well as the top or bottom to create more of an angle.

Now that you are done weather proofing your door, you will save money on your heating bill and stay warmer through the winter! And bonus: it also helps keep the heat out and the cool air in, during the summer, so you'll be more efficient all year round!

Nov. 5, 2019

Winter Home Buying Benefits

November is here which means winter is just around the corner! While it’s true things slow down in the winter, whether it be staying in by the fire on a blustery night, or home buying, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s why:


Less competition

Because not everyone is willing to look at homes in Vermont's winter weather, that leaves winter buyers with more opportunity to be selective. While this may mean less inventory to choose from, the chances of buyers successfully buying any home are higher during the winter. Fewer buyers mean fewer competitive, multiple offer situations – meaning less chance for someone to swoop in and top your offer. This is also a benefit to sellers as decreased inventory means less competition for you as well!


Motivated sellers

Generally, sellers that have their home listed during the winter months are more serious about getting it sold. This means you may be able to get a better deal than you would in the spring and summer months. Make sure to think strategically about your offer because you don’t want to offer an unreasonable amount and sabotage yourself.


Use the cold weather to your advantage

Vermont winters aren’t for the weary and neither are Vermont homes. Use the weather to your advantage by looking at homes in not-so-favorable weather. What better time to find out if the windows and doors are drafty, how weak the insulation is, or if there are problems with ice dams. You can't do that when previewing homes in the spring or summer, but winter is great for that!

It is important to remember; however, the things you can’t see. That is why it’s important to gain information on when the roof was replaced last, the condition of the deck if there is one and whether the septic tank has been serviced or not. Those are items on the checklist that may not be as easy to inspect with frozen ground and snowfall.


First-time home buyer’s advantage

While inventory drops about two-thirds on average during the colder months, that’s not entirely true for first time home buyer inventory. Less-expensive homes actually see an increase in inventory of about 7 percent in the last three months of the year, as compared to the spring. This means if you are on the hunt for a starter home, the winter can actually be the perfect time of year to buy!


Save Money

Mortgage rates have been at historically low levels for quite some time, so the odds of them increasing next year is viable. Taking advantage of the current rates is a very smart move!


Ready to take the home-buying leap? We're here to help - even through a snowstorm!


Visit our Buying page for more information on how we can help you navigate the home buying process, and reach out to us to schedule your free consultation and let us help you get started! 

Email: | Office: 802.488.3487


Oct. 19, 2019

Tricks to Trick-or-Treating

Once October rolls around, the sweet scent of Halloween is in the air! From trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins, to haunted houses and costume parties, the fun never ends! Even amongst the sugar high, it is very important to remember to always stay SAFE during the holiday festivities! Here are some easy tricks to follow:

Costume Safety

-          Avoiding masks is best because they can easily obstruct vision

-          If you allow your children out at night, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and give them each child a flashlight with new batteries

-          Ensure that Halloween makeup is non-toxic and test it on a small area of skin ahead of time

-          Remove Halloween makeup before your children go to bed to avoid skin irritation

-          Swords and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible

-          Have them wear a well fitted costume to avoid trips and falls


When They’re Out-n-About

-          If going out trick-or-treating, a responsible adult should always accompany minors

-          If your older children are going alone:

o   plan and review a specified route prior that is familiar and well lit

o   plan on a specific time they should return home

o   make sure your child has their cell phone on and fully charged

o   walk with a group of friends and stick with them

-          Instruct your children to not eat any of their candy until they return home. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats

-          Instruct your children to NEVER accept a ride from strangers

-          Instruct your children to stay on the sidewalks when possible

-          No matter what in life, always look both ways before crossing the street

Pumpkin Carving

-          Small children should never carve pumpkins. Let them draw with markers and have the adults do the carving

-          Consider using an alternative to a candle, such as a small flashlight or glowstick

o   If using a candle, a votive is safest

Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and away from any path where visitors may pass close by

-          Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended

Home Sweet Home Safety

-          Remove any objects that a child could potentially trip over such as hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations

-          Sweep away any wet leaves from sidewalks and steps

-          Check outdoor lights and replaced burned-out bulbs

-          Keep pets in separate room away from trick-or-treaters

-          Alert law enforcement immediately if you see any suspicious activity


Driving on Halloween

-          Drive slower than the speed limit and be on high alert on Halloween especially in residential neighborhoods

-          Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, medians and curbs

-          Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances

-          Turn your radio down

-          Don’t pass other cars stopped in the street

-          Know that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30pm so be especially alert during those hours


We hope everyone has a spooky and safe Halloween!


Sept. 27, 2019

7 Home Upgrades That Will Attract Millennial Homebuyers

Keeping up with millennial housing trends could be one of the best investments you make this year if you are considering selling your home. There's a common misconception about millennial's being uninterested, or simply unprepared for, home ownership. That is false, because an analysis published on in early 2019, found that millennial accounted for more than 40% of all new home loans. 

As for home sellers - there's a decent chance that some of the house hunters who show up to your property are going to be in the millennial age range, so it can pay off to know your prospective buyer demographic and home upgrades that can attract their attention.


We have come up with a list of some home upgrades that can put your home on the top of their list!


Smart Home Technology

Millennial's have a reputation for being tech savvy, so it makes sense that they would be interested in whole-house connectivity, including automation options that allow them to control things like thermostat, sound system, garage door or security system alarm from their phone. 


Gathering Spaces 

When selling your house, one of the most important steps is staging. And if you think, you'll have some first-time buyers show up for an open house or showing, it is important to emphasize areas of your home where potential buyers can gather with friends and family.

Energy-Saving Appliances

Millennial buyers tend to be on the lookout for ways to reduce the expenses incurred by homeownership. One natural option is energy-efficient appliances. 

Replacing your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher with Energy Star-certified can be a good way to signal to potential buyers that there are savings embedded in your property.



Neutral Colors

This is actually good advice no matter which homebuying demographic you're appealing to. Most hose hunters prefer soft, neutral colors to anything bright or garish, and millennial's are no exception. When looking for colors, consider choosing soft grays or warm tans for more of a neutral room.

USB Chargers

Smartphones are ubiquitous, and millennial's are going to have their eyes open for easily available charging stations. ultimately, this small investment can really help you sell your home!



At Home Office

If your house has more than a couple of bedrooms, you may consider re-configuring one to look more like an office setting, demonstrating to buyers how flexible the space can be. In recent years, remote work opportunities are on the rise, and millennial buyers may be eager to find a space that's created for them to set up their at home work space.




Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 21, 2019

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist


Fall is approaching fast, the leaves are changing and you can feel the air turning cool and crisp. We created a checklist for you to follow for your home maintenance projects.

Indoor Tasks

Get heating system serviced 

  • Have your heating systems inspected and repaired if needed. 
  • Replace all the filters.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to reduce heating energy costs.
  • Move anything flammable away from your heating system.
  • Clean out your ducts so your heating system will work more efficiently and cut down on any dust that causes respiratory problems.


  • Check and test your pressure valves on your water heater for any leaks.
  • Have a licensed plumber insulate pipes in the basement garage and attics against freezing.
  • Disconnect exterior plumbing including hoses, outdoor faucets and sprinklers. Drain and winterize or hire a professional to help. 
  • Know how to shut off the main water valve in case if freeze.

Windows and Doors

  • Change out summer screens to winter storm screens.
  • Repair any loose window or door frames.
  • Install weather stripping and caulking to defend against drafts.
  • Inspect any storm doors and windows for broken glass. 

Insulation and Ventilation

  • Seal any cracks in the foundation or walls. 
  • Check attic and basement for moisture and replace as needed.
  • Move any insulation that blocks vents to prevent ice dams. 
  • Check ridge vents or vents at eaves for any plants or debris and remove.
  • Check screens for any unwanted pests and call an exterminator if needed. 


  • Check hoses attached to sink, washer, refrigerator and dishwasher for any leaks and repair.
  • Clean out lint from dryer and around that area to prevent any fire hazards.

Safety Gear

  • Check your carbon monoxide detector or install one.
  • Test your smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and alarm system if you have one.
  • Review home evacuation plan and practice it a few times.

Outdoor Tasks

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clean out any leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts to avoid rot, pests and rusted gutters.
  • Check support brackets to make sure none are loose.
  • Make sure no water is coming down behind the gutters.
  • Check that water isn't draining and pooling near your foundation or driveway.
  • Check your roof for any curling, flashing or leaking vents as it can be a sign of gutter problems.


  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned to prevent fire hazards.
  • Have the flue tested for a tight seal when closed.
  • Check for any soot or creosote buildup, as this can be a potential fire hazard.

Landscape and Patio Work

  • Fertilize and reseed your lawn in preparation for the cold season.
  • Prune trees and shrubs so they'll grow a bit more before winter. 
  • Hire a tree service to trim any trees close to power lines or your home to avoid outages or caved-in roofs during the winter.
  • Repair your sidewalks, driveways and front steps to prevent any slips.
  • Check and repair your railings to avoid any mishaps.
  • Store outdoor furniture so it doesn't get damaged by the snow.

Pool Preparation

  • Hire a professional to winterize your pool.
  • Store chemicals in safe area. 
  • Lay the pool cover over it to protect it.



Posted in Home Improvements
Sept. 14, 2019

5 Flowers to Plant this fall


Many people believe that flowers are just for the springtime, but don't put those garden shovels away just yet! Fall is a wonderful time to plant and enjoy, too. As we approach the season, start planning with these 5 Fall flowers that will add color to your garden!



Mums are a classic fall and winter plant that can be seen in many gardens! You'll find these plants in yellow, orange, white, shades of red and pink-purple. If you purchase potted mums, transplant them to them to your garden or bigger flowerpot. They're hardy and will come back in the spring!


These daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped flower heads come in multiple varieties ranging from 8 inches to 8 feet depending on the type.These flowers bring delightful color to the garden in late summer and autumn!


Marigolds are a favorite, no-fuss annual that can bring the color of sunshine to your garden. Watch these flowers bloom from late spring until fall with full sun and some well-draining soil. Marigold seeds germinate quickly, within just a few days, and bloom in about 8 weeks. This quick sense of satisfaction makes them a great first-time gardening project. This plant is a great companion in your vegetable garden and can help protect your veggies from predators and pests. 


These pretty flowers are versatile and heavy blooming, and perhaps the perfect fall flower. These flowers are ideal as ground covers or hanging baskets. Bonus: Plant pansy in the fall and in many areas, they come back to bloom again in the spring!

Black-Eyed Susan

Bold and dramatic, black-eyed Susan offers golden-yellow daisy-shaped flowers. a favorite of bees and butterflies, it brightens any landscape or container garden planting. Black-eyed Susan looks particularly good with mums and asters.






Posted in Outdoor projects
Sept. 7, 2019

5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Windows


Luckily replacing windows is not an annual necessity or even something that needs to be done every five years. Windows can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, which is good news as replacements are expensive. However, replacing your home's windows when it's time can help extend the life of your home and help keep your family comfortable all year round. 

Knowing when to replace your windows can be tough. Many of our clients have held out for another year or season because they didn't know whether or not they needed replacements. Here's five signs it's time to replace your windows.


1. Your Home Feels Drafty

A sure sign for windows when they begin to shrink, break or not close properly. This allows warm air to travel out of your home during the winter months and can destroy the energy efficiency of your home. If it seems like your electric bill is out of control, try placing your hand in front of one of your windows to determine the amount of air escaping.

2. The Window is Difficult to Open and/or Close

Fighting with your window is not a part of your job as a homeowner. If it seems like the tracks an your window just won't go together anymore, then it may be time for a replacement. If you're looking for a quick fix to get you through one more season, try rubbing the tracks of the window and frame with dishwashing soap. This will help them glide easier and will give you a little extra time to save up for replacement.


3. The Window Won't Stay Open

If it seems like there is no way to keep your window open, short of putting a piece of wood to prop it open, then it may be time for a replacement. This can be dangerous and a safety hazard, especially if you have children. It's best to replace that window before fingers get smashed.


4. You Can't Lock Your Window

When your window don't properly lock, the security of your home is threatened. It makes it easier for intruders to enter, which puts your family and possessions at risk. Not only could this occur, but the escaping air can increase your electricity bill during the summer and winter, as well. If repairing the lock is an option, it's often best to do that first. If this does not work and the window simply won't stay locked, then it's time for replacements.


5. Condensation Forms on the Inside of Your Windows

One of the strongest indications that you need new windows is when condensation or ice starts forming inside your window. If the window is shut and locked, but you wake up to find condensation on the inside, it's likely time to replace your windows. During the winter you may see ice on the inside or serious frost. Both of these are hazardous, as they can cause mold to grow on the whole frame and cause even further damage. We suggest replacing your windows with this problem as soon as possible to minimize more issues. 



Posted in Home Improvements
Aug. 24, 2019

5 Clever Pantry Organization Ideas


The perfect pantry situation is at the top of everyone's wish list! You've seen those beautiful pantry setups on Instagram and Pinterest, and now it's your turn to tackle this area in your kitchen! Need some more inspiration for your pantry? Here are 5 pantry organization ideas to upgrade your current snack situation!


1. Glass Jars with Lids

Store your dry goods in glass jars with lids to keep your pantry modern and clean. All you need to do is empty out your snacks into the glass jars, and toss out the packaging. This is a great way to reduce the clutter in your pantry, and we love the aesthetic appeal it gives!

Another bonus is that the airtight seal from a glass jar with a lid can keep everything from going stale!


Buy the jars here!


2. Metal Wire Baskets

Metal baskets are great for keeping similar items all in one place. For example: bags of chips, fruit, veggies, etc. Baskets are also great for holding items of all sizes because they can hold a large amount of quantities. Baskets look great on the shelves and you can find various colors and sizes at most stores. 

We like these ones here.



3. Spinning Organizer for Spices and Condiments

It's easier to prepare your favorite recipes when you know exactly where all the ingredients are. Get yourself a turntable to keep all your spices and condiments in one easy to see place. 

A spinning organizer can work great inside your kitchen cabinets too and they help to maximize storage space by getting rid of all the clutter on your shelves. You can use it to organize your fridge or put one on your counter top for easy access and to keep your space looking mess free!



4. 2-tier Snack Organizer

This 2-tier snack organizer makes it so much easier for you to organize the smaller snacks in your pantry. That includes cereal bars, chocolate bars, or even tiny bags of chips. This is a great way to free up space on your shelves and makes it even easier for you to grab a snack when you're on-the-go!



5. Chalkboard labels

Who doesn't love a good label?! Once you empty out your snacks and other dry goods into separate containers, use chalkboard labels to organize them. You can get a set of these for a very small price. Labeling your containers makes everything look more cohesive and it's easier on the eyes. It's both visually appealing and you can find whatever you are looking for with a quick scan. 


Posted in DIY Projects
Aug. 22, 2019

Helping Kids Adjust to Their New Home and Neighborhood


Navigating a big change like moving has its hurdles. It can sometimes be particularly difficult for kids to adjust to their new home and neighborhood. Parents, keep in mind it may be hard for them because they could be leaving their friends, starting in a new school, and having to get used to new places. It can take some time for kids to adapt to new experiences. Here is a list of several ways to make it easier to help your kids during a transitional move:


Establish New Routines ASAP

Family routines tend to become lax while you go through the moving process. More than likely, you've grown away from regular mealtimes and bedtime routines and that can be disruptive to children. Even though you're in a new environment, begin to set some schedules and routines as soon as you can in your new home. While you're settling in, consider making new rituals- how about a new tradition of Wednesday taco night in the new house?

Let Kids Help Design Their Room!

Your kids may not get as excited about new window treatments as you do, but setting up their new rooms will be fun! Let them be apart of picking out the paint color or bedding! Take a tour of the new room(s) before moving in, so they can get a sense of what their new room could look like. While it can be fun to pick out new things, it may also be best to set up the new room in a similar layout to their old one so they can feel more comfortable.



Don't forget about your pets!

Moving can also be difficult on your pets, and getting them settled in the new home will also benefit the kids. If you have a dog, explore new places to go on walks, or run around. Taking them to a dog park, is a great way to get outside and get to know your community, while also meeting new people with dogs. 



Meet the Neighbors!

Seeing the new neighborhood kids out playing will be a welcome sign to you and your kids. Get over as soon as possible to introduce your family to the neighbors. These people can be a great source of information on community events, schools, teachers, and other topics of interest. After your family has settled into your new space, suggest a pizza night or other informal gathering at your home so you can all become better acquainted. 

Explore the Neighborhood Together

You can't get the full feel for a neighborhood until you drive through a few times. Ideally, visit at different times of the day during the week and weekend. Check out the local parks, library, rec center and other kid-friendly neighborhood facilities in your new area. Making sure they stay within your family's safety rules, let the kids explore some of these new attractions on their own. Encouraging their independence will help them feel more confident while adjusting to their new home and neighborhood.


For these and other helpful tips visit:

Posted in Family