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Brad Dousevicz Elected President of the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Northern Vermont

It is with great honor that we report that Brad Dousevicz, of Dousevicz Real Estate, was sworn in as the 2013 President for the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Northern Vermont for 2013, at it's annual meeting on January 7th, 2013. Brad has served in a variety of roles over the recent years, and was most recently the Vice President of Finance for the HBRA, and is excited to be part of such a wonderful group of builders, suppliers, and associate members. It was an exciting evening with guest speakers including Jerry Howard- CEO of the National Association of Homebuilders. Jerry offered our membership a unique perspective on not only the improving (yet fragile) market conditions, but the interesting and pivotal role national politics play on the homebuilding and real estate markets. The association was also honored to have Governor Peter Shumlin in attendance as well. Governor Shumlin emphasized his commitment to support the overall housing industry in Vermont, but also committed to providing support on a national basis as well as the standing chair of the democratic governors association when he meets with President Obama later this year. Brad will be attending the National Association of Homebuilders home show in Las Vegas January 22-January 24. The show provides extensive and world renowned educational opportunities in real estate marketing, home construction, development and real estate law.

Should I Market My Home During the Holidays?

Now that the snow is starting to fly, and the Christmas music is on the radio (feels like non-stop Jingle Bell Rock), the team at Dousevicz Real Estate fields this question quite a bit. Should I market my condo or home during the holidays? Are there even buyers looking right now? Will it affect my sales price? There are more reasons to market your home for sale during the holidays than not doing so. For starters, buyers that are actively looking for a home during this time of the year tend to be serious buyers, that need a home in the very near future. Why else would they be looking at such an otherwise busy time of the year? The other reason is that the levels of inventory tend to decrease during the holiday months, which means you- the seller- are competing with many less homes for sale. Less competition means your home moves to the top of list for many buyers. If your home is like ours during the holidays, it feels warner, and cozier during the holidays. The Christmas tree, lights on the front shrubs, a roaring fireplace (if you have one!) all add to the "homey" feel we see during the holidays. A selling feature, to be sure in any market! Another point worth mentioning, is that people starting new jobs often start at or near the 1st of the year, which means there is usually a higher number of people in house hunting mode. I will say that showing your home during the holidays also has it's list of challenges too. The biggest one is the ability to show with little notice (24 hours or less) is often difficult when you have kids home from school (whom seem to make a mess in less than 5 minutes in ANY room, don't they?), trying to cook a family meal, or when you are in the middle of a present wrapping frenzy! Simply put: if you can keep the house clean and it isn't too much of a burden on your family, the benefits of marketing your home during the holidays outweighs the alternative. Happy Holidays, and Happy Selling! Brad Dousevicz and the Dousevicz Real Estate Team

Finding the Perfect Luxury Condo in Burlington

We at Dousevicz Real Estate constantly field questions as to the availability of Luxury Condominiums in Burlington. Often times we field email and phone calls from out of state buyers, but often they are local people looking to downsize their large house in the country to a simpler and more convenient "city" lifestyle- the kind that Burlington can offer. So, where do we suggest when looking for luxury condominiums in Burlington? Here are a few ideas:
  • The Westlake. Westlake in Burlington is a project that Dousevicz Real Estate developed a few years ago. It's located directly on Battery St in Burlington, and is equally located between the Lake and Bike Path, and the Church St Marketplace. Location, coupled with the breathtaking views on floors 4-9, and you have the ideal opportunity. The condo's are primarily 2 bedroom, and range in Square Footage from 1600-2400 for one of the larger penthouses. Currently, we have one unit on the 8th floor that is available for $695,000. Luxury finishes, amazing view, and convenient location.
  • College and Battery. Our company constructed College and Battery about 15 years ago. Most of the upper floor units have great views of the lake, and it benefits of an equally great location like Westlake. The units range from 800sf to penthouses in the mid 2000 sf range, and range from 1-3 bedrooms. I've previewed a few of the condos recently placed on the market with some buyers, and although some of the units could use some "sprucing up" (kitchens, bathrooms, flooring) you can often find a great condo with tremendous potential at College and Battery.
  • The Hinds Lofts. Developed a year or so after Westlake, the Hinds offers a convent St Paul St location closer to the Church St Market place than Westlake and College and Battery, and offers really hip loft style designs. It was an old manufacturing plant, converted to upper end condo's, so you'll find some post and beams eclectically mixing with Bosch appliances and granite counter tops. Most units are 1000 sf or so, and range from 1-3 BR. A bit of a younger clientele here, given the location closer to downtown. A "cool" option for the younger buyer, for sure.
Some other options in downtown Burlington for the upper end condo is 81 S Williams, the Hood Plant, and some other smaller units scattered throughout the city. Give us a call today to schedule your showing!

Looking For New Construction In Chittenden County? Here Are Some of Our Favorite Projects:

We've supplied previous blogs that focus on new construction in the area, and specifically, what you should look for and expect when taking on a new construction home. Today, we'll focus on some of the more popular projects in the area. Each of these range in price, location, and amenities. We'll do our best to provide a synopsis of each, but feel free to give Brad a call or email him for information on each. We're always happy to help. South Burlington: Dorset Links. This is probably the newest neighborhood in South Burlington, and the homes are in the 2000+ Sqaure Foot range, and are priced in the low to mid $400's. Things we like are the good sized lots (.3 acres or so) and the fantastic location off Dorset St. As mentioned, this is a new project, so we are very curious to see how the lots are laid out, and the quality provided in the homes. Cider Mill. The Cider Mill in South Burlington has been a project that has been in construction for a few years now, and is making nice progress, even with the downturn in the economy back in 2008-2009. There are smaller footprint "carriage" style homes, and larger 3000 SF single family homes that offer larger lots. You can build either home now and in the future, and the project has many more lots available to build moving forward. You can build a 2700 SF home for roughly $480k, and there are some "resale" units (homes that were built for a previous original owner that are now on the market) that start in the low $400's. We like the great location off Dorset St, and the street layouts providing for a safe environment for the kids to play, or for a quiet walk with your family. South Village. South Village is a ambitious project on the line between South Burlington and Shelburne, located off Spear St in South Burlington. By "ambitious" we mean-- large, and forward thinking. Some unique characteristics of South Village are the HSA garden provided on site, the planned soccer fields, preserved land, walking trails, etc. The home will eventually consist of 200+ residences- an ambitious number for our "neck of the woods." South Village has been actively (and successfully) been marketing some beautiful homesites that abut the preserved land priced in the mid $400's. Homes are sized in the 2500 SF range. We really like the location, and amenities provided. It looks like they are providing green certified construction, which is a benefit as well. Essex Village Haven. This is a Dousevicz Real Estate project, so of course we love it! Village Haven will consist of 24 homes, 12 of which are constructed and occupied at this point. Square Footages range from just 850 feet with our "Champlain Cottage" and go to the low 2000 SF mark with our Arlington and Stratford models. Prices range from $250k, to the low $300's for our larger 3 BR home with additional space above the garage for a 4th BR, or storage space. If your looking for a single family home priced in $300k and below range- this is a great option. Conveniently located in the heart of Essex Junction within walking distance to schools and amenities. Dunbar/ Laurel Drive. If you're looking for an attached condo/ duplex style unit in the 2500+ SF and priced in the low to mid $300's- you've got a great option located at Dunbar and Laurel Drive. The duplexes on Dunbar are located in Essex Jct, while the Laurel Drive duplexes are located in the Essex Town area. Both have great open floor plans, and a good amount of Square Footage. Nature's Way. Nature's Way is the Pinewood's neighborhood latest addition. For some back ground, Pinewood is located in Essex Town, and was originally developed in the 70's, with more homes added throughout recent years. Consisting of roughly 39 homes priced in the mid $400's, you are sure to find a floor plan that works for you and your family. We love the location and eventual street layout and design of the neighborhood. High View Drive. The homes at High View Drive will offer larger lots than they "typical" new construction opportunity that range from 3-6 acres! Nice. You can build a 2500 SF home for the mid- $400's at this location in Essex. Williston Overlake View. There are a few lots to build on this neighborhood conveniently located in Williston. Priced in the mid $500's, for a 2800 Square foot home, Overlake is a great location for the discriminating buyer! We really like the location in Williston, and lot sizes. For more new construction opportu

Interest Rates for the Vermont Home and Condo Market- Where are they now?

If you are in the market for a home or condo in Vermont, and the greater Chittenden County areas- Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, Essex, Shelburne, Charlotte, etc, you have no doubt been keeping a keen eye on interest rates these days. If you haven't done so, you need to start! The timing of when you lock in your interest rates as it relates to your closing date is critical. You don't want to lock in too early, for example, and potentially lose your remarkably low interest rate. As far as TODAY'S interest rates go, they are standing close to 3.6, depending on the financial institution you check. When checking rates, be sure you see the rate that is most applicable to you--30 year, 15 year, number of points down, etc. The rate of 3.6 is 30 year, no points. The rate will change significantly based on the terms that fit best for you and your family. Moving forward, if you would like to check the historical averages for mortgage interest rates, please see a site we visit regularly; http://mortgage-x.com/trends.htm This site will be an invaluable resource in tracking national rates, and you can then compare them to what your local Vermont institution may be offering at any said time. Other links that we check frequently are some of the local Burlington/ Vermont lenders, to check on daily rates. Here are a few of our favorites:
  • www.vtfcu.com
  • www.peoplestrustcompany.com
  • www.nefcu.com
That's all for today. We hope this entry on Mortgage Rates has helped you as a buyer. Remember; an informed buyer is a smart buyer!

Important Sales Data for Chittenden County and the Surrounding Area- Homes and Condo's are on the move!

If you are in the home or condo market in Northwestern Vermont- South Burlington, Colchester, Williston, Essex, Burlington, Shelburne, Charlotte, etc, than you have no doubt been keeping a keen eye on the sales in our area. Today, we'd like to provide you with some important sales figures as it relates to our market, because the data does matter!
  • New Listings are down from May 2011, from 335 to 310. This is ultimately good news for the average seller, less homes on the market means less competition for your home to sell. On the building side of things, we are seeing a lot of people chose to remodel their homes, instead of putting them on the market. This could have something to do with the decreased inventory this year.
  • Pending sales are up to 182, from 149. This is a dramatic increase of 22% from the previous year. Buyers are on the move, and willing to move quickly on the right home or condo--also, this proves that banks have money to lend to qualified buyers.
  • As no surprise based on pending sales figures, Closed Sales for this year are up 32%.
  • The average days on the market for a home is now 116 days. This is slightly up from last year at this time, which was 111 days. As a side note, we at Dousevicz Real Estate just experienced a home located in the right area, priced for the right amount, that was on the market for just 3 DAYS. The market is warm in a lot of areas, and HOT in select areas of our region.
  • Both the median and average sales price are up 4.3% and 5.6%, respectively. The last two points, when read together, means that sellers are holding out a bit longer for more money for their home or condo. This is a very healthy sign of the market improving.
  • The inventory of homes for sale is currently 1137, which is a 13.9% decrease from the previous year.
All in all, the data for Burlington, and the surrounding areas is very good as we enter the Summer months. Looking for more information, or just want to discuss the market a bit more? Contact Brad today!

Some Simple "Need to Know" Financing Facts, and what requirements have changed in recent years.

It's no secret that the financing of a home is a bit more challenging than it was back in 2007. After all, relaxed and often unregulated lending practices got us all into the market crash of later 2007 and 2008, and yes, even Vermont Real Estate suffered some of the consequences. So how does the new lending landscape affect you, the future home or condo buyer in Vermont, and what can you expect to provide for the successful approval of your loan? Here are a few details: - The first thing you'll notice is that the typical maximum amount you'll be able to get a loan for is roughly 80% of your future home's value. In 2007 it was not unheard of to hear of loans for 100% of a home's value. Now, if you are a first time home buyer, there ARE programs that will allow you to qualify for very LITTLE money down, and in some cases ZERO cash down. This is not the norm, however, for the typical home buying public. -You should plan on having FICO credit rating score between 680 and 720. If you are thinking of buying a Vermont Home or condo in the next few months, it is a great idea to check your credit score, and see how you can improve it. You'd be surprised how quickly you can increase your credit score by 100 points or more in a few short months. -The amount of income you can spend on your home, and related home expenses is usually around 38%. If you're above this amount, you may not qualify for the loan you are looking for. For history's sake, this amount in 2007 was closer to 45%. -You'll need to verify your employment 10 days prior to closing. If you're thinking of making a career change, do it AFTER you close on your home. For that matter DO NOT buy any major purchases prior to your home closing! In 2007, you only had to verify your employment 45 days prior to closing. In closings that we've managed this year for our clients, we've seen that well qualified buyers are getting their loans, with very little frustration. As long as you are aware of the above mentioned guidelines, your loan should go through the process smoothly, and you'll be enjoying that new home or condo in no time! For more questions on financing your next home, or just questions on what to do next, contact Brad Dousevicz at 802-238-9367. Happy to help!

Top Cities in New England - Vermont Has It's Fair Share!

Golocalpro.com recently just ranked the best cities in New England based on such indicators as: Economics/ Prosperity, Safety, Culture, Health, and Quality of Life. It's no surprise that a Vermont town made the list--but FOUR? Wow. That's right, 4 local towns made this list. They are; South Burlington, Essex, Burlington, and Colchester. As someone who actively markets and sells homes and condos in each of these markets, along with living in Colchester myself, I can fully understand why each of these towns made the list. They each have wonderful attributes, ranging from excellent schools, access to wonderful and healthy lifestyle choices, and interesting and neat things to do around town. In addition to the criteria outlined in this analysis, the real estate has been fairly stable, and a good invest for most in each of these downs. Give a call to Brad about buying or selling in any Chittenden County town, including the ones that made this prestigious list- South Burlington, Essex, Burlington, and Colchester.

Green Construction in Vermont--What Certifications are Builders Using this Building Season?

As we move into the construction season, we at Dousevicz Real Estate have fielded many questions as they relate to new construction, and what things buyers should look for in Green Certifications when they are buying a new home in the Burlington and outlying areas of South Burlington, Essex, Williston, and Colchester. Today, we'll explore what you as a buyer should look for in Green Home Construction, as well as the certifications and what they mean to you. Some builders certify their homes, some don't. We ALWAYS recommend that buyers of new construction buy a home that is certified GREEN. Why? A green label is easy to put on an ad, but a green certification gives MERIT to a new home that is labelled green. The main reason for this is that a green certification provides for a 3rd party to come in and verify a home's energy rated by examining the home throughout the construction process. The verifyer will examine framing techniques, insulation quality, energy efficient fixtures, and much more. Most verifyers will perofrm a "blower air test" on your home when it is complete, to ensure proper sealing has occured, and the home is "tight" and not leaking more air than necessary. We at Dousevicz Real Estate use our local 3rd Pary Energy Verifyer, Efficiency Vermont for all of our certifications, and we suggest new home buyers with other builders ask for the same. Efficiency Vermont is now using Version 2.5, but any home that is finishes AFTER June 30, 2012 will be required to use Version 3.0 for certification. Contact Brad Dousevicz at Dousevicz Real Estate for any questions about what you should look for in the Vermont Green Home of your dreams! 802-879-4477

Happy New Year! Vermont Real Estate is Having and ACTIVE Start to 2012!

Dousevicz Real Estate is having a record start this year--in fact, it's looking like our BEST first quarter in years. Conversations with other leading agencies are saying the same thing--buyers are ACTIVE and on the HUNT for the hottest properties. Condos in South Burlington, homes in Essex, Colchester, Shelburne- you name it...the market is very active. Buyers are coming to the table with realistic offers, and sellers are open to negotiate. Deals in our office have been put together in a matter of hours--not days this quarter. A great sign of confidence, motivation, and great buying atmosphere. Why? Well, interest rates are still at record low levels. This, coupled with low and steady home prices means home affordability has never been better. Some other factors that come in to play-- especially in Vermont is weather. Buyers have been out and about, looking at properties, and not locked up in their homes trying dig themselves out of a huge snow blizzard (I'm a skier- I NEED to look for the positive side of a snowless winter!) The good news is Vermont is not the only place feeling a busy and active market...it's a national trend, and that is exactly what the housing industry needs at a time like this. Positive News! See the link from the National Association of Realtors: http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/12/phs_nov So, if you are thinking about making a move, call or email us today! Join in this active market-- we'll be looking back at these times in a couple of years saying "that was the time to buy!" Brad Dousevicz Dousevicz Real Estate