PreviousNext
Slideshow Divider

Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.

TRY IT NO THANKS

Maple Sweet Real Estate

gear-iconAdvanced Search

      Clayton-Paul Cormier

      Epic Vermont News. Alterra Mountain Resorts to Purchase Sugarbush early in 2020

      The Ikon Pass. The Ski Travel Revolution.

      The writing was on the wall when Vail Resorts forked over $41 million for Stowe in 2016. We here in the not-a-single-stop-light Mad River Valley felt the tremor and when Sugarbush owner Winthrop Smith, formerly of Merril Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith started talking about industry take overs and hopping planes out west...  The news of the sale of Sugarbush to Alterra Mountain Company, pending regulatory approval, in January of 2020, has broken.

      Epic, really. The excitement was born when the Epic Pass began back in 1992, taking real flight in 2012 and expanding the resorts list agressively forward including Vail Resorts 2016 purchase of Stowe.

      Sugarbush will be part of this formidable ski area collective across the planet, bringing an infusion of new blood from far and wide, reinvigorating our tiny little corner of paradise and introducing this magical place.

      Brush up on your international languages and bring your google translate on the lift. Here comes some serious fun which will lead to all kinds of adventure and international exchange that will boost area property values and raise the bar for what our provincial localvore culture is called on to serve up. Gone will be mundane menus limited to hamburgers and french fries. Bring on the poutine, confit du canard, unagi and kangaroo steaks. Internationalization, one planet, one love. Today the Ikon pass includes over 40 destinations from California to Chile, Europe, Australia, New Zealnd, and Japan, the one upmanship yielding so much treasure. Niseko, part of the Ikon pass, is even closer to my heart as I lived in Hokkaido for nearly ten years. Sapporo is a wonderful city to visit and a spring board to the island's stunning hot springs. The Epic pass recently added the 10 Hakuba Valley resorts into its fold.

      Compare platforms: Sugarbush has major bragging rights. Ikon is the stunner with better graphics and better tech relative to archaic looking Epic.

      But Vail Resorts, as anyone who's skied the back bowls at Vail, is a heavy hitter. Having gone to school in Boulder in the early 80's, Vail was mind blowing. They've expanded since the early 60's when Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, Aspen ski guides, founded the mountain, with Vail going public in 1997 before the Gillet Holdings bankruptcy and when Leon Black of Apollo Managment took over. 37 ski resorts in the US, Canada and Australia including Vermont resorts Mount Snow, Okemo and Stowe. Here's the comprehensive Wikipedia lineup:

      Name

      Location Date opened Date acquired Notes Citations
      Vail Ski Resort Eagle County, Colorado 1962 N/A The third-largest ski resort in the United States.  
      Beaver Creek Resort Near Avon, Colorado 1980-81 N/A    
      Breckenridge Ski Resort Breckenridge, Colorado December 16, 1961 1996   [7]
      Keystone Resort Keystone, Colorado November 21, 1970 1996    
      Heavenly Mountain Resort Lake Tahoe December 15, 1955[8] 2002    
      Northstar California Placer County, California December 1972 October 25, 2010   [9]
      Kirkwood Mountain Resort Kirkwood, California   February 22, 2012   [10]
      Afton Alps Denmark Township, Washington County, Minnesota   December 6, 2012   [11]
      Mount Brighton Brighton, Michigan 1960 December 6, 2012   [11]
      Canyons Resort Park City, Utah 1968 May 29, 2013 Acquired on a 50-year lease. [12]
      Park City Mountain Resort Park City, Utah December 21, 1963 September 11, 2014 In 2015, Vail merged the Park City and Canyons resorts under the Park City Mountain Resort name, connecting them with a gondola. [13][14]
      Perisher Ski Resort Perisher ValleyAustralia 1951 March 30, 2015. Vail's first Australian property.  
      Wilmot Mountain Kenosha County, Wisconsin 1938 January 19, 2016    
      Whistler Blackcomb Whistler, British Columbia, Canada January 1966 August 8, 2016 Purchased 75% interest in Whistler & Blackcomb Partnerships (balance owned by Nippon Cable)  
      Stowe Mountain Resort Stowe, Vermont 1933 February 21, 2017 Vail's first resort on the East Coast of the United States. [15]
      Mount Sunapee Resort Newbury, New Hampshire   September 27, 2018[16] Owned by State of NH but operated alongside Okemo, first resort in New Hampshire to be operated by Vail [17]
      Okemo Mountain Resort Ludlow, Vermont   September 27, 2018[18] Purchased alongside Mount Sunapee.  
      Crested Butte Mountain Resort Crested Butte, Colorado   September 27, 2018[19] Purchased with Mt. Sunapee, Stevens Pass, and Okemo. [17]
      Stevens Pass Stevens Pass, Washington   June 4, 2018 Purchased alongside Mount Sunapee, and Okemo.  
      Falls Creek Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia 1946 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Hotham.  
      Hotham Alpine Resort Mount Hotham, Victoria, Australia 1925 February 22, 2019. Bought from Merlin Entertainments along with Falls Creek.  
      Mount Snow Dover, Vermont 1954 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Hunter Mountain Hunter, New York   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Attitash Mountain New Hampshire   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Crotched Mountain New Hampshire   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Wildcat Mountain Ski Area New Hampshire 1933 September 24, 2019. Wildcat trail cut by CCC in 1933. Original gondola started operation in 1958. Peak Resorts acquired Wildcat in 2010.  
      Liberty Mountain Resort Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania 1960 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Roundtop Mountain Resort Pennsylvania 1964 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Whitetail Resort Pennsylvania   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Jack Frost Pennsylvania   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Big Boulder Pennsylvania   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Alpine Valley Ohio   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Boston Mills Ohio   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Brandywine Ohio   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Mad River Mountain Ohio   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Hidden Valley Missouri   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Snow Creek Weston, Missouri 1986 September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.  
      Paoli Peaks Paoli Township, Indiana   September 24, 2019. Bought from Peak Resorts along with 16 other mountains.

      Alterra, also headquartered in Colorado (Rocky Mountain High), is backed by the Crown Family, among America's wealthiest families worth, according to Forbes, $8.8 billion, The Crown Family owns Aspen Skiing Company and, with very deep pockets, puts a lot of muscle into Alterra. 94 year old Lester Crown is founder Henry Crown's son. From a humble start in building supplies provision including (are you listening local excavators?) sand and gravel. Henry and his brothers learned early on on how to leverage borrowed money, evenutally taking control of General Dynamics.

      Kate Tracy wrote this put a smile on your face 5280 Mile High Magazine expose on how the ski conglomerate war is tearing her love live apart. Who would have ever thought?

      Feeling social? Here are Ikon and Epic on facebook. 

      Hey. This is serious. Territorial competition has fallout. Deborah London, in a November 9 tweet: 

      "EPIC SKI PASS TRYING TO STEAL $699 from me. They want to renew my pass automatically but they removed Arapahoe basin from the pass and never notified me-hmmm, I don’t know anybody that likes to pay for something that they’re not getting, do you?

      I used to ski Arapahoe Basin, or A Basin (this year added to the Ikon Pass in a shrewd chess move) while a student in Boulder and adored it. There was this massive cornice to drop off, the closest I'd ever come to being an eagle.

      What a coup for Ikon. What a coup for Sugarbush. What a coup for Win Smith, on top of the Mountain Collective pass option, another great ski the world vehicle providing two days each at plus 50% off additional days at Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Arapahoe Basin, Banff Sunshine, Big Sky, Coronet Peak/The Remarkables, Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, Mammoth Mountain, Mt. Buller, Niseko United (Japan), Revelstoke, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush, Taos, Thredbo, and Valle Nevado (Chile). Global Affiliate resorts include Chamonix (France). It gets better and better.

      What do you know about this pending acquisition and what are you thinking about it? Post your comments and let us know.

      On the other hand if all you're interested in is expanding or moving your footprint, call us to either list and sell your own Vermont property or set up showings to pick up a house or two, or a ski area if you're really feeling ambitious.

      Ad Astra.

      Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for info on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land or to get more information on Vermont real estate. 

      See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

      Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.

      Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.

      Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

       

        Comments

        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        Shock the Monkey. Keep Your Vermont Drinking Water Bacteria Free. Chlorination 101.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Clarity. Purity. Divine. Water. 

        So many run for the hills to the gorgeous Vermont Green Mountains in part to escape Babylon, the concrete jungle and all that congestion brings including crowds and pollution. Vermont is a utopia, far from the Madding Crowd where you can hear the coy dogs howl in summer, listen to the silence of snow falling, and swim in pristine rivers and some of the best swimming holes on the planet, sip the drops off the melting icicles in winter.

        We exalt in our drinking water. My last log cabin in paradise shared a spring with five or so other homes, all drawing from the same overflowing bubby underground water supply framed by a rudimentary concrete tile (large vertical pipe), running across the fields of azure through a plastic hose that the beavers would seek out and nibble through in a primal attempt to start a new beaver dam, another story entirely. That spring water was some of the most delicious I've ever tasted. 

        In Northfield there's a famous spring with a spigot by the side or Route 12A that many flock to with their containers, just off the Dog River, providing drinking water to connoisseurs from near and far. We are fortunate in so many ways in Vermont chief of them perhaps is our abundance of water, seeping up through the ground across the land forming wetlands, springs, bogs, mush back yards, itinerant springs and often in abundance. Yes, our mountains are very green and in we're in no danger of running dry anytime soon even if some wells aren't consistent producers or have gone bone dry in drought.

        Yet all is not golden in Lala land. Even the most delectible water can have impurties, chief of which are the bacteria e-coli and coliform, the two basic scoundrels property inspectors test for when purchasing a house up here.

        Shocking isn't it?

        And shocking is usually the tonic called for. Primitive really, dumping a gallon or more, or less, right into your well to chase off the villains interrupting that soothing perception of perfect paradise. Mom knew what she was doing in the laundry room with Clorox, bleach in essence, purifying those whites, kicking out the stains and disinfecting the family germs.

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Here's a link to the State of Vermont Instructions on how to disinfect your water that may be helpful, though it's advisable to hire a professional water purification company to do the honors including re-testing.

        Reshocking at higher concentrations and or allowing a longer sitting period before flushing can bring redemption but even reshocking can fail. In those unusual but far from rare cases, it's the big guns that get brought to the table. 

        Enter Ultraviolet Light filtration which one water purification company rep this week confidently guarantees clean retest results 99.9% of the time. This week I received an estimate, including installation, @ about $1,600. Compare that to shocking which might run in the $350 to $450 range, isn't guaranteed, and is likely to be a recurring tool in the fight for bacteria free water. UV systems do require maintenance and service and replacing the UV bulb, depending on manufacturer guidelines, may be part of that regimen. These sleek powerhouses zap the bacteria but don't filter out other impurities including pernicious radon in water (absolutely worth testing for as it's a major carcinogen) which is more commonly treated with carbon filtration depending on concentration levels.

        Helping to keep you safe and healthy is a major concern at Maple Sweet Real Estate as there is almost always more than meets the eye. Having an experienced professional at your side can mean the difference between health and illness and means much more than having just valuable comparative property value insight. You are the most important part of your home and safeguarding you and your is paramount. The key to your health. 

        For more information on health in your home, water purification company recommendations, or on any facet of buying or selling real estate, you're most welcome to call me on my cell at 802-793-1515 or reach me at claytonpaul@maplesweet.com 

        If you are an expert in the field of water, it would be fantastic to hear from you to help fine tune the information above.

        Maple Sweet Real Estate delves deeply into myriad issues affecting Vermont property owners, sellers, and purchasers.

        Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for info on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land or to get more information on Vermont real estate. 

        See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

        Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.

        Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.

        Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

        Have you Served? Real Estate Financing for American Servicemen, Servicewomen and Veterans in Vermont

        Maple Sweet Real Estate proudly helps American servicemen and servicewomen buy and sell Vermont homes and property.

        Navigating the complex ins and outs of securing home mortgages is complicated. Here's a primer to help you understand valuable considerations in the quest to secure the best military service financing options.

        VA (Veterans Administration) loans are mortgages guaranteed by the US Dept of Veterans Affairs but provided by various private mortgage lenders and not, as often thought, by the US Government. VA loans are intended for vets, active military, reservists and select surviving spouses with no down payment and, as per Wikipedia, allow for "103.3 percent financing without private mortgage insurance (PMI) or a 20 percent second mortgage and up to $6,000 for energy efficient improvements."

        Do you know your credit score? While the FHA  miniumum is 500 or 580 if puttiing 3.5% down, many lenders require a 620-640 miniumum vs the 680 sought for conventional loans. Benefit from relaxed credit requirements. Traditional DTIs (Debt to Income Ratios) for conforming loans are 28%. For VA loans it's most often 41%, quite a bit more lenient and, in certain cases up to a whopping 80%.

        Skip paying PMI Unlike conventional and FHA loans, VA loans don’t require monthly mortgage insurance. On a $250,000 mortgage, FHA’s annual mortgage insurance can add $170 per month to your mortgage insurance.That's $2,040 a year in savings for veterans borrowing $250k.

        Receive a  COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to qualify. Apply by mail with this application or apply online via the VA eBenefits portal.

        While there are myriad advantages to VA Mortgages, they are not free. The VA funding fee ranges from 0 to 3.3% of the loan amount are paid to the VA. It may be financed and some may qualify for an exemption. VA funding fees range from .5% to 2% of the loan amount unless the loan applicant receives 10% or more in disability compensation. For first-time homebuyers, the funding fee is typically:

        2.15% of the loan amount for those who've had active duty service.

        2.4% for those in reserves/national guard and

        3.3% for subsequent uses by active or reserve, national guard

        Most other closing costs can not be rolled into the loan but can be paid, if agreed to, by the seller(s), as well as up to 4% of the gross loan amount in contract related concessions.

        Maximum loan guarantees without down payment vary by county but are the same in all Vermont counties, $453,100. Compare this to the United State Dept of Agriculture Rural Development loan limit for Washington County, the highest in Vermont, $239,000.

        For more detailed info check out the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairsthe VA website , this VA home loans fact sheet or connect with a Veterans United loan specialist in more detail at 855-233-2427.

        To help you find Vermont lenders providing VA loans, here's a list to start with and a summary video from Quicken Loans to help shed light on VA loan requirements and loans.

        The most enjoyable part is of course finding the right home for your VA Mortgage. We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today to schedule a showing or with any VA Mortgage or other Vermont real estate questions. And most of all, thank you ever so much for your service.

        Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for info on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land or to get more information on Vermont real estate. 

        See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

        Maple Sweet Real Estate delves into myriad issues affecting Vermont property owners, sellers, and purchasers.

        Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.

        Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.

        Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

          Comments

          1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

          Listing Spotlight: 369 Strong Road, Fayston VT

          This Fayston, VT home was constructed in 2005 with a high-end design and energy efficient features. There are 6 bedrooms, including a handicap-accessible guest room on the basement floor. It is a beautiful hillside home with stunning mountain views. The kitchen is upgraded with blue mica cast concrete counters, stainless steel appliances, 6-burner stove, a wine cooler pantry, and a formal breakfast nook overlooking the backyard. The wrap-around porch in the backyard is the perfect spot to enjoy during spring, summer, and fall.

          Fayston VT Home: 369 Strong Road369 Strong Road, Fayston VT

          Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 1Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 2

          Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 3Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 4

          Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 5Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 6

          Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 7Fayston VT, 369 Strong Road - image 8

          Contact me to schedule a tour of this home! Click here to view the listing details.

          Listing Spotlight: 1698 Plunkton Road, Warren VT

          1698 Plunkton is a beautiful historic home in the Mad River Valley town of Warren, VT. On 7.5 +/- acres, this home abutts the Green Mountain National Forest and has stunning views year-round. Snowshoe the property in winter, grab a kayak to explore Blueberry Lake or hop on the recently built wonderful mountain bike trails during warmer months. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, high-end kitchen, radiant heat, and a wood stove sauna below the pond.   

          1698 Plunkton Road, Warren VT - photo 21698 Plunkton Road, Warren VT - photo 31698 Plunkton Road, Warren VT - photo 41698 Plunkton Road, Warren Vermont - photo 51698 Plunkton Road, Warren Vermont - photo 61698 Plunkton Road, Warren Vermont - photo 71698 Plunkton Road, Warren Vermont - photo 8

          Contact me to schedule a tour of this home! Click here to view the listing details.

            Comments

            1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

            The Trump Effect on the U.S. Housing Market, by Clare Trapasso, realtor.com Senior News Editor

            The article below is from Realtor.com, written by Senior News Editor, Clare Trapasso.

            Trump-housing-market

            LPETTET/iStock

            By now everyone on the planet knows that the majority of polls were wrong. Dead wrong! Donald Trump was elected the 45th U.S. president in a stunning upset. And his presidency is expected to have a profound impact on the nation and world.

            Sure, everyone right now is obsessing over what kind of impact the new president-elect will have on immigration, taxes, international relations, and trade policies. But we have a more specific query: What will the real estate mogul turned most powerful man in the world mean for the future of residential housing? (We are realtor.com® after all.)

            In the short term, probably not all that much.

            However, we do know that the incoming president will limit the federal government’s role in the real estate market, as was outlined in the 66-page Republican Platform 2016. So, longer term, the implications of this for home buyers, sellers, and owners could be sweeping.

            Related Articles

            As for now, “our November elections come at one of the slowest time of the year for sales, so I doubt we will see much disruption to the normal seasonal pattern” of home buying and selling, says realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke. “However, one short-term risk could be if the [election] has a big impact to financial markets that lasts more than a few days.

            “About half of voters got what they wanted,” he adds. “If this does impact purchases, it is more likely to be in blue states and not the red heartland.”

            Could Trump make the housing market ‘great again’ for buyers?

            A Trump presidency could be a boon for home buyers struggling to save up for a hefty down payment.

            That’s because he has promised to cut taxes and shrink the number of tax brackets from seven to three. This could, in theory, leave buyers with more money to spend on the homes of their dreams.

            And it could give the luxury market, which has been slowing down as of late, a boost, says James Harris, one of the star real estate agents on “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.”

            “For the high-end, luxury market, it may turn into something very positive,” he says.

            But real estate analysts were quick to point out that some of the reforms laid out in the Republican platform could potentially force buyers to plunk down larger down payments or pay higher interest rates. That could be problematic for those without a few extra million dollars in their bank accounts.

            “The heart of Republican support—blue-collar, middle-aged workers—are the people who will [be affected] the most,” says Bob Edelstein, co-chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “It may be harder to get mortgages, and those that will be available will be less advantageous.”

            Adios, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

            It appears that the Republican Party, now led by Trump, wants to do away with—or substantially shrink—both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although the language in the platform was a bit vague. It referred to the business models of the pair as “corrupt” and allowing “shareholders and executives [to] reap huge profits while the taxpayers cover all losses.”

            Trump hasn’t yet provided a replacement plan for the current system, which relies heavily on both Fannie and Freddie.

            The Republicans will also stop the FHA from providing taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages to wealthy home buyers. The FHA typically insures loans for low-income, first-time, and other buyers who don’t have enough for a 20% down payment.

            Hit the road, Dodd-Frank?

            The Republicans have also said they want to repeal—or at the very least, limit—the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The act provides more oversight of financial institutions in the wake of the housing bust that plunged the nation into a recession.

            Trump’s party also wants to get rid of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or subject it to congressional appropriation). The bureau, created through Dodd-Frank, is charged with protecting consumers against predatory financial services companies, including those providing mortgages.

            Dodd-Frank and agencies such as the CFPB are key to ensuring financial markets are kept in check and act fairly, says Edelstein.

            However, Republicans allege that its “regulatory harassment of local and regional banks, the source of most home mortgages and small business loans, advantages big banks and makes it harder for Americans to buy a home” in the platform.

            Unfortunately, no one at realtor.com has a crystal ball to see into the future of residential real estate under America’s new commander in chief. But it doesn’t look like demand from aspiring home buyers will taper off any time soon.

            The election is “going to absolutely create a short-term uncertainty like Brexit,” says Harris. “But in the long run, I think everything will be fine.”

            Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com. She previously covered finance for a Financial Times publication and wrote for the New York Daily News. Clare also teaches journalism at a local college, loves food festivals and bike trips, and enjoys playing with her dog.. Follow @claretrap

              Comments

              1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

              Vermont's Fall Foliage

              Vermont Fall FoliageSummer is coming to an end in Vermont. We are beginning to see signs of fall, from early morning chill to seasonal flavors and the turning of leaves. Vermont is famous for its beautiful change of color in fall. It is in the early stages, and soon most trees will be vibrant shades of orange, yellow, and red. Some trees that are known for their color change are maple, oak, and birch.

              This is leaf peeper season. Visitors from surrounding states travel to Vermont to get a glimpse of the fall foliage. Residents get outside to take in the array of colors and enjoy all that Vermont's fall has to offer. Whether you are traveling from afar or a Vermonter, there are many ways to take advantage of leaf peeping. The peak of foliage is usually in late September to early October, which is a popular time for Vermont vacationers. This is also an ideal time for hiking, biking, apple picking and much more.

              To celebrate the season, fall foliage events & festivals:

              Click here for more events and festivals happening throughout Vermont in September and October.

                Comments

                1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                Sixty Nine Million Pounds. An Industrial Cathedral.

                Sixty Nine Million Pounds. A town named from a fist fight, Doctor Paddocks pulling hemlock splinters from the fighter's back and buttox.

                The largest block of granite ever quarried in Barre, Vermont, which took one thousand seven hundred flat cars to transport the smaller blocks it was cut into. Barre, Vermont is stone. The Vermont Granite Museum (VGM) @ 7 Jones Brothers Way in Barre, VT is an Industrial Cathedral, breathtaking in size and scope. Stone Arts School.

                Walk through the doors to discover clusters of plaster and stone sculptures cut by master-craftsman and modern artists, drawings, sets, polishing wheels and molds inside this spectacularly renovated massive warehouse. Built 130 years ago along the Winooski River Stevens Branch in an area once known as Wildersburgh. It was known as the Ellis Island of Vermont with sweat and toil from Scotland, Itlay, Spain, Canada, Norway and Finland. The population exploded between 1880 and 1894 from two to ten thousand.

                 

                 

                Religious inspiration, granite fest, buffing discs, rockfire, work in motion, a monumental renovation six and a half million dollars later and wonderful charitable cause. Email the museum to arrange your tour or donate today. 802-776-4605.

                The North Barre Granite Boys at work in the 1942 Granite Shed, from the VGM facebook page.

                Maple Sweet features blog posts on a wide array of real estate related subjects including architecture, art and culture. For more information Vermont real estate, the VGM, on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land connect to maplesweet.com, e-mailinfo@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965. See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

                Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details. Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

                  Comments

                  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                  Summer Farmers Markets in Vermont

                  Vermont's farmers market season is just around the corner.

                  With over 30 markets throughout the state, these weekend events provide residents and visitors a chance to meet local farmers, florists, business owners, artists, and more. A few towns continue their markets throughout Winter, but nothing compares to Summer markets. Many Vermont farmers markets are a community gathering, with live music and outdoor seating.

                  Burlington Vermont Farmers Market

                  Farmers markets first started in Vermont in the 1970s. Since 1986, the number of markets has grown from 19 to 64. The Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA), along with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, work to organize these community events. 

                  From Burlington to Brattleboro, each market gives you the opportunity to meet and support local farmers. 

                  Click here to find a farmer's market near you.

                    Comments

                    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                    When the Levee Breaks

                     

                    Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is green for a reason. 

                    Water.

                    We have an abundance, in stark contrast to Colorado and other parched western states where humidity levels are low and desert can be found. 

                    Vermont water oozes out of the ground even in the absence of rain, delicious spring water coming forth. Many houses across the state are lucky enough to tap into this ground water resource for their drinking water. It's so delicious, a cut above drilled well water. You can taste it. 

                    But when the skies cloud over and the big rains come or the snowmelt flows over the river banks, watershed becomes a curse. The mountains and ridgelines serve as giant canyon walls, the valley streams and rivers swell and, under just the right circumstances, unleash floods of awesome power that can sweep away entire houses and the land underneath them.

                    1927 flood, two years before the Great Depression, was massive. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) didn't exist until five decades later, established in 1978. Hurricane Irene struck August 20th, 2011, followed by also devastating Hurricane Sandy the very next year in 2012 resulting in 13 million in private insurance claims in Vermont. Homeowners' insurance policies don't cover flood insurance, instead provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

                    Needless to say, when you're buying a house in Vermont you should be well informed as to the local watershed and if it lies in any flood zone. FEMA has this fantastic mapping tool. Type in the property (residential, commercial or any other) address and hit enter or the search tab. The "View Map" tab pulls the local Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) but the "Interactive Map" tab pulls a much more detailed version which makes it possible to see if even part of a house falls in the 100-year zone AE which would mean a major hike in flood insurance rates. The FEMA site has excellent information too on the various flood zones, flood insurance, and this tutorial on how to read a flood map. Zone AE includes more detailed information including Base Flood Elevations (BFEs). If a property is in the 100-year flood zone insurance rates are calculated based on the BFE and relative elevation of the lowest level of the house, including the basement floor if there is one (regardless of whether it's a dirt or concrete floor).

                    Banks can require the flood insurance even if only a small portion of the land (not structure) is in the 100-year zone. If it seems clear your structure is not in the 100-year flood zone and you don't think your lowest structure floor level, including the basement, is below the probable BFE, then it may be worth hiring a surveyor to create an elevation certificate and determine your structure location BFE (base flood elevation). Insurance agencies recommend having the BFE prepared. The ballpark surveyor cost is in the $400-$500 range. If high and dry, including the basement floor elevation relative to the BFE if you have a basement, you can file an LOMA (letter of Map Amendment) to request a change and flood zone designation and have FEMA reclassify your property as property out of the 100-year flood plain.

                    The table above is a rough (not intended to be accurate) indication of what the yearly flood insurance rate might run based on $175,000 of coverage. FEMA will insure up to $250,000 on residential and $500k on commercial and if you're borrowing money to purchase the bank will require flood insurance if the property falls into the 100-year flood plain for the mortgage amount or structure value, whichever is least. For a basement six or more feet below the BFE, it could run several thousand or more a year. One Hancock, Vermont property owner recently received an estimate of $4,800 per year to insure $175,000 home with a basement six or more feet below the BFE, rivaling yearly taxes. Every foot is rounded up or down at the half foot mark. 5" gets rounded down, 6" rounded up. Local insurance agents may find it hard to even roughly estimate what your flood insurance premium might be. Agencies call the National Flood Center for rates, 800-759-8656.

                    Pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings are those, as per FEMA's website, "buildings built before the effective date of the first FIRM for a community" and before "detailed flood hazard data and flood elevations were provided" and usually "before the community enacted comprehensive regulations on floodplain regulation, designed to help people afford flood insurance (via subsidized rates) even though their buildings were not built with flood protection in mind." Such subsidization is on a 5-25% diminishing track until rates hit market level.

                    For some purchasers this added carrying cost can be back breaking, lead to foreclosure and incur significantly longer marketing periods to sell. In some cases this 100 year flood zone properties suffer from dramatically lower sale prices as fewer buyers can handle the elevated level of carrying expense.

                    If the property falls in Zone X, the 500-year flood zone, no federal flood insurance is mandatory though maintaining a policy may make sense. To counter risk, some jack up the entire house and replace their foundations with higher foundation walls to elevate the lowest level above the BFE and avoid costly yearly flood insurance premiums. Others resignedly have their basements filled in, eliminating the sub-BFE level altogether.

                    Maple Sweet Real Estate delves deeply into myriad issues affecting Vermont property owners, sellers, and purchasers.

                    Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for info on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land or to get more information on Vermont real estate. 

                    See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

                    Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.
                     
                    Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.
                     
                    Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

                      Comments

                      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.