Blog :: 2019

Skiing in Vermont - Winter Vacation Homes

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We've received our first snow of the season last week!

Even though it may have only been a dusting, it has us gearing up for winter and ski time here in Southern Vermont. Time to break out your winter gear and get your equipment ready. Below is a list of the ski resorts in the Southern Vermont area. 

Ski Resorts in Our Immediate Area:

Bromley Mountain Ski Resort - Click here for Bromley's Website

Bromley plans to kick off the season on Saturday, November 23, weather permitting. Season pass pick-ups begin November 11th. 

Walking up to the Base Lodge this winter is going to look a little different. They've made a few minor tweaks to the Base Lodge Entrance to better the overall guest experience. They've re-positioned the entrance to improve guest flow in-and-out of the lodge (reducing guest congestion) and prevent snow/rain from dripping over the doors. Plus, they've added heaters to the entrance to keep the Base Lodge warmer.

They've also relocated the snow gun on Lower Twister (previously located under the lift) to Lower East Meadow, to prevent the snow from blowing directly at the lift and give them the ability to blow snow at any hour in a full 360 degrees. As for the trails, their crew spent some time this Summer/Fall widening the Ridge, Sunder, No Name Chute, Lower Twister, Spring Trail and Blue Ribbon in efforts to get the trails back to their original widths.

They plan to open for the 2019/20 Winter Season on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Early season operations are as follows: open November 23-24, suspend operations November 25-28, open November 29-December 1, suspend operations December 2-6, open December 7-8, suspend December 9-12, and open for full-time, 7 day a week operations on Friday, December 13.

Stratton Mountain Resort - Click here for Stratton's website

Stratton's projected opening day is Saturday, November 23, 2019.
Lifts start spinning at 8:30am
9am Get a chance to try before you buy! Full jacket and pant combo of The North Face new waterproof winter line "FutureLight "

10am - 3pm Visit the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan for a Family photograph.

11am - 3pm DJ Joe Bell will be entertaining the crowd in Grizzly’s

12:30pm Join the North Face Doggie and Me Hike and bring your pup alongfor a free guided hike! Attend all 6 hikes and you will get the chance to enter in a raffle for $100 North Face gift card! All participants will receive a free give and in store exclusive discount!

Magic Mountain Resort - Click here for Magic Mountain's website

Since Ski Magic’s purchase of the mountain in 2016,  Magic has continually invested in new snow-making infrastructure. Currently their snow-making system covers 50% of their trails, including the West Side, to insure quality skiing even when New England weather doesn’t always cooperate.

Magic has dramatically expanded its lift capacity since 2016 with now 6 total lifts to insure minimal to no lift lines even on their busiest days. All lifts are centrally located at the base area for easy access from the lodge. 2 of them are fixed-grip chairlifts that service the upper mountain. The iconic Red Chair (2 person) and new Black Line Quad Chair (4 person) service the top of the mountain from the base area. The Green Chair (2 person) services the easier mid-mountain. Because these chairs are fixed grip, they are rarely on wind hold. At the bottom of the mountain there are also 2 handle tows, one that services our terrain park and one that services the tubing park. In our Learning Center, we have a new Sunkids “Magic Carpet” lift for beginners and families.

Tubing park plans on opening 11/29 while skiing opens 11/30.

Okemo - Click here to view Okemo's website

Okemo Mountain Resort and the surrounding area is the outdoor enthusiasts dream come true.

The wintertime brings exceptional Vermont skiing and snowboarding on snow that is known as one of the best skiing and riding surfaces in the East year after year. While other mountains talk a big game, they've proven that it takes a lot of pipe, water and power - with highly trained, completely dedicated teams at the reins - to make it happen.

Opening day is 11/22.

Killington Ski Resort - Click here to view Killington's website

Following the single largest investment in on-mountain improvements that took place for winter 2018/19, they’re excited to announce even more improvements for the future. The new experiences and improvements unveiled during the 2018-19 season included Woodward Peace Park, new Snowdon Six Express bubble lift, return of South Ridge lift service, three tunnels in busy trail intersections with a fourth slated for construction this spring, K-1 Express Gondola improvements and new RFID ticketing, all of which significantly enriched the guest experience and made the resort more accessible to all.

The highlight of their improvement plans is the replacement of the K-1 Lodge. A two-year project, skiers and riders will be welcomed into a brand-new state of the art facility for winter 2020/21. Additional improvements include a new quad chairlift to replace the North Ridge Triple and snow-making enhancements consisting of pipe replacement, new low-energy tower guns, and new semi-automatic hydrants. Extensive snow making improvements are currently underway at out sister resort, Pico Mountain.

They are open now.

Mount Snow Resort - Click here to view Mount Snow's website

Mount Snow is a premier four season resort located in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont featuring four mountain faces of downhill skiing and snowboarding - including one of the East's best terrain parks, Carinthia - slopeside lodging, golf at the acclaimed Mount Snow Golf Club as well as flexible wedding and conference facilities. Other activities include snow tubing, ski & snowboard lessons, downhill mountain biking and a full schedule of festivals and events. Mount Snow is also a member of the Peak Resorts family.

Opening day is 11/15.

Interested in a vacation home in the ski areas? Check these out!

126 Minute Man Lane - Peru (Bromley Village)

Luxury Living at Bromley Village. The current owners have lovingly renovated this 3 bedroom home since taking ownership in 2011. Enter through the spacious mudroom with radiant heat in the tile floors, shiplap paneling, tin roof, and ski storage closets with boot warmers. Once inside you will love the warm and welcoming living room with hardwood floors, cathedral ceiling, reclaimed barnwood ceiling and beams, stacked stone facing on the fireplace, and sliders to the large deck. The gourmet kitchen/dining room features Viking and Thermador appliances plus a brick fireplace for indoor grilling. There is also a sleeping loft above the kitchen. The house features two wings off the main living space. The master wing to the left includes a sauna, luxurious master bath with radiant heat, 2 sided gas fireplace you can enjoy from the soaking tub or master bedroom, and cathedral ceiling. The wing to the right starts with the foyer which leads to a cozy den with built in book shelves, and corner wood burning fireplace. The den leads on to the hot tub room with wet bar which connects via slider to the outdoor living space. Beyond the foyer and den are 2 additional guest bedrooms including a spacious bunk room plus 2 additional fully renovated baths with radiant heat. The tasteful furnishings are negotiable. Bromley Village features shuttle service to the base of Bromley Mountain plus the pool, tennis courts and clubhouse with exercise room are a short distance away.

20 Blackberry Lane - Peru (Bromley Village) 

Calling all skiers, this Bromley Village contemporary has loads of space for your large group to fill. The heart of this home is the open living room, dining room and bar area with fireplace, vaulted ceilings, natural woodwork and sliders to the deck area. The gourmet eat in kitchen features Thermador gas cooktop, hood and double wall oven and Sub Zero refrigerator with soapstone counters and sink. The lower level game room is an excellent place to unwind after a day on the slopes. The upper level features two bedroom suites, one with jacuzzi tub and sauna as well as two loft areas and laundry. The lower level also includes 3 additional bedrooms and baths including a bunk room. Bromley Village provides shuttle service to the slopes as well as pool and tennis for the summer months.

91B Sun Bowl Ridge Rd, Stratton 

Exceptional opportunity to own at Solstice. Private location, ski in - ski out directly onto 91 trail from your backyard. Offering 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths including master suite with gas fireplace and exterior balcony. Open kitchen, dining, living room with vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace. Patio and attached garage, pool, hot tubs and shuttle service to the base of the mountain complete the package.

Contact us today for all your real estate needs! 802-362-4067

Sources: bromley, stratton, magic mountain, okemo, killington, mount snow

What to Expect from a Home Inspection When Buying a Home

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Congratulations! Your Offer to Purchase Your Dream Home Has Been Accepted. Now What? 

Whether or not you are getting a mortgage for your home or paying cash, it is in your best interest to order a home inspection. This way, you'll be alerted to any potential problems that may need to be addressed prior to closing. It will also give you peace of mind, which is priceless. 

When your real estate agent writes your offer to the seller, make sure they have a home inspection contingency in place. This will give you the option of negotiating repairs and costs as well as giving you the opportunity of canceling the contract if need be. 

Things to Look for When Choosing a Home Inspector

Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with a list of numerous home inspectors in the area they may have worked with before. You can also find a home inspector by doing an internet search so you're able to read reviews.

A home inspector's job is to identify any reasonably discoverable problems with the home such as a leaky roof, faulty plumbing, structural problems, HVAC systems, appliances, electrical systems, and more. 

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Prior to Hiring Them Could Include:

Do you belong to a professional association?

There are many associations for home inspectors, but some groups confer questionable credentials or certifications in return for nothing more than a fee. Make sure the association your home inspector names is a reputable, nonprofit trade organization.

How experienced are you?
Ask inspectors how long they’ve been working in the field and how many inspections they’ve completed. Also ask for customer referrals. New inspectors may be highly qualified, but they should describe their training and indicate whether they work with a more experienced partner.

How long will the inspection take?
On average, an inspector working alone inspects a typical single-family house in two to three hours; anything less may not be thorough.

How much does a home inspection cost?
Costs range from $300 to $500 but can vary dramatically depending on your region, the size and age of the house, and the scope of services. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

Will I be able to attend the home inspection?
The answer should be yes. A home inspection is a valuable educational opportunity for the buyer and a refusal should raise a red flag.

Systems Typically Inspected During Visit

As thorough as a general home inspection is, the home you’re hoping to buy might also need a more specialized exam, such as from a structural engineer or a septic system expert. That’s because, general home inspectors may not be certified to evaluate structural issues, for instance, or have the specialized equipment necessary to get down and dirty with septic components.

To be sure, general home inspections cover a lot. But the inspector can only inspect what he sees, such as:

  • Plumbing - They should thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate larger problems.
  • Electrical - You should be informed of the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room. 
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • HVAC - The home’s vents, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. The inspector should be able to tell you the water heater’s age, its energy rating, and whether the size is adequate for the house. They should also describe and inspect all the central air and through-wall cooling equipment.
  • Doors and Windows
  • Ventilation/Attic Insulation - Inspectors should check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawl spaces. Insulation should be appropriate for the climate. Without proper ventilation, excess moisture can lead to mold and water damage.  
  • Structural - The home’s “skeleton” should be able to stand up to weather, gravity, and the earth that surrounds it. Structural components include items such as the foundation and the framing.
  • Exterior - The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, doors, siding, trim, and surface drainage. They should also examine any attached porches, decks, and balconies.
  • Roofing - A good inspector will provide very important information about your roof, including it's age, roof draining systems, buckled shingles, and loose gutters and downspouts. They should also inform you of the condition of any skylights and chimneys as well as the potential for pooling water.
  • Fireplaces - They’re charming, but fireplaces can be dangerous if they’re not properly installed. Inspectors should examine the vent and flue, and describe solid fuel-burning appliances.

On the other hand, a basic home inspection doesn’t routinely include a thorough evaluation of:

  • Swimming Pools
  • Wells
  • Septic Systems
  • Structural Engineering Work
  • The Ground Beneath the Home
  • Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Chimneys - wood-burning fireplaces are a good example of what an inspector can and can't do. The home inspector will make sure the dampers are working, check the chimney for obstructions like birds’ nests, and note if they believe there’s reason to pursue a more thorough safety inspection. If you’re further concerned about the safety of a fireplace, you can hire a certified chimney inspector; find one through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
  • Radon - A colorless, odorless gas that can seep into your home from the ground, radon is often referred to as the second most common cause of lung cancer behind smoking. What to look for: Basements or any area with protrusions into the ground offer entry points for radon. The Environmental Protection Agency publishes a map of high-prevalence areas. A radon test can determine if high levels are present.
  • Asbestos - A fibrous material once popular as fire-resistant insulation, asbestos was banned in 1985. However, it’s often found in the building materials, floor tiles, roof coverings, and siding of older. If disturbed or damaged, it can enter the air and cause severe illness. What to look for: Homes built prior to 1985 are at risk of having asbestos in their construction materials. Home owners should be careful when remodeling because disturbing insulation and other materials may cause the asbestos to become airborne.
  • Lead - This toxic metal used in home products for decades can contribute to several health problems, especially among children. Exposure can occur from deteriorating lead-based paint, pipes, or lead-contaminated dust or soil. What to look for: Homes built prior to 1978 may have lead present. Look for peeling paint and check old pipes. To get a HUD-insured loan, buyers must show a certificate that their older home is lead-safe.
  • Other Hazardous Products - Stockpiles of hazardous household items — such as paint solvents, pesticides, fertilizers, or motor oils — can create a dangerous situation if not properly stored. They can easily spark fires and can cause illness or even death if ingested, even in small amounts. What to look for: Check all the corners, crawl spaces, garages, or garden sheds in the home. If these products are found, make sure you ask for their removal and get a disposal certificate prior to closing.
  • Groundwater Contamination - When hazardous chemicals are disposed of improperly, they can seep through the soil and enter water supplies. A leaking underground oil tank or septic system can contribute to this. What to look for: Homes near light industrial areas or facilities may be at risk, as are areas once used for industry that are now residential.

Your Options After a Home Inspection is Completed

A home inspection can help identify deficiencies in a home you’re considering purchasing. If the inspection reveals problems are at work or repairs are needed, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to fix those issues. You can also ask for credits toward your closing costs in order to make up for repair costs.

If you have a home inspection contingency in place, and the issues your home inspector finds are deal-breakers, you may be able to back out of the purchase entirely. If you decide to go this route, you should be able to receive the deposit you put toward the purchase back in full.

Here are your options after a home inspection reveals problems

  1. Ask the seller to make the repairs themselves
  2. Ask for credits toward your closing costs
  3. Ask the seller to reduce the sales price to make up for the repairs
  4. Back out of the transaction (if you have an inspection contingency in place)
  5. Move forward with the deal

While a home inspection can sometimes be nerve-wracking, you're one step closer to closing on the home of your dreams!

Sources: National Association of Realtors and Houselogic and The Balance