Monday, February 22, 2010


Are you in the market for some new appliances or perhaps a new item of furniture for your home? If so, you may want to wait until Saturday, March 6th- VERMONT"S TAX FREE HOLIDAY! On March 6th items costing under $2,000 (and for non-business use) will be exempt from state taxes. The tax free day does not pertain to automobiles and other vehicles. HOWEVER, if you have been looking to make your home greener, Energy-Star rated appliances are applicable! For more information, please click here.

If you are looking for a new home to outfit, I can help you with that too! Feel free to call or e-mail me to get started on your new home search today!

-Jamie Wright, REALTOR

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Something to be HAPPY about:

Chittenden County residents might be frowning about the lack of snow in our area this winter (with the exception of the HUGE New Year's storm that dumped three feet of snow in Burlington), but that doesn't mean that we don't have a lot to be happy about! just posted their second annual list of the happiest states in the nation- and Vermont is ranked #6!

How does one measure happiness? For this particular study, researchers interviewed more than 350,000 American adults about six sub-categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work enviroment, physical health, health behavior, and basic access. After compiling all the data, Vermont's average well-being score was 67.4. (This initially seemed a little low to me, but then I realized that the #1 ranked state- Hawaii- had a score of 70.2 [so if the results were curved, Vermont would have received a 97.2!!]).

If you are looking for ways to increase the amount of happiness in your home, make sure to check out my previous post with ideas on how to spread happiness in your house! As always, if you are looking for a NEW home to make you even happier, feel free to call or e-mail me today!

-Jamie Wright, Realtor

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Cash for Refrigerators"?!

Everyone remembers last summer's "Cash for Clunkers" program in which car dealerships were offering rebates for consumers who traded in their old, gas guzzling vehicles for new, more fuel efficient cars...BUT did you know that there is a similar program for consumers wanting to trade in their older appliances for more energy-efficient appliances?
The State Energy Efficient Appliance Program differs from state to state. To see what incentives your state is offering and when the program(s) will begin (as there are specific time parameters), click here.

Before you get too excited, this program is not applicable to ALL appliances and only certain ENERGY STAR qualified and high efficiency rated appliances are eligible for the rebate. In Vermont, the program has already begun for consumers looking to purchase new gas tankless water heaters, gas furnaces, and gas boilers. In March, the program will begin for those purchasing new refrigerators and clothing washers as well. To find out more about the incentives in Vermont specifically, click here.

This is great news to potential sellers and home buyers! Increasingly, buyers are becoming more and more aware of the energy efficiency of a home- so sellers that take advantage of this program could be winning twofold: making their homes more energy efficient while also making their homes more attractive to buyers! If you are a buyer that has recently bought a home that "needs a little updating" (or have plans to in the near future) this could be a wonderful opportunity for you to make some improvements while saving money!

Feel free to call or e-mail me today if you would like to discuss selling your home or purchasing a new the incentives out there continue to grow!

-Jamie Wright, Realtor

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Low interest rates = increased purchasing power!

By now, virtually every buyer has heard that interest rates are near historic lows....BUT, do you really know what that translates to in terms of your monthly payment or how much home you can afford? The other day Heather Myott from Coldwell Banker Mortgage shared this very enlightening calculation, and I thought I would pass it along!

Take the following scenario for example: If a home has a purchase price of $200,000 and a buyer is putting down 3.5% at the current rate of 5.2% for a 30 year fixed rate loan, a buyer's monthly mortgage payment would be $1,078.33.

Now, take the same example as above, but pretend the interest rate increased by 1% to a total interest rate of 6.200%. The new monthly mortgage payment would be $1,202.75. *That's an extra $124.42 that the buyer is paying EACH MONTH!*

To put a different angle on it: IF at the increased rate of 6.200% the buyer wanted to keep the same monthly payment of $1,078.33 (from the first scenario), the buyer would have to purchase a home for $179,000- THAT'S OVER 10% LESS HOME FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY!

If you are considering purchasing a home (and potentially taking advantage of the homebuyer tax credit), a great place to start is by speaking with a well-qualified lender that can tell you exactly how much home you can afford. Feel free to call or e-mail me today, and I can put you in touch with a fabulous lender who can help you get pre-approved QUICKLY!

BOTTOM LINE: Economists are predicting that interest rates will experience modest increases in the second half of this year, so don't wait to start your home search! Although we have no way of knowing precisely when interest rates will rise or by exactly how much, we DO know that interest rates ARE incredibly low RIGHT now! So why risk being able to (potentially) afford 10% less home?!

-Jamie Wright, REALTOR

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Perfect Pre-Game Activity: Open House this Superbowl Sunday!

I have NO idea how someone hasn't snatched this amazing property up yet, BUT I will hosting an Open House here (75 Muirfield Road in Burlington) this Sunday, February 7th, from 1:00-3:00 stop by and see this home for yourself!

JUST REDUCED FROM $399,900!! This custom-built Burlington home is located in the new north end's highly sought-after Appletree Point. The 3 bedroom, 2,5 bathroom Cape offers 2,000 square feet of living space- with lots of potential for expansion on the lower level! The home features a light-filled open floor plan, gorgeous master suite with huge walk-in closet and recently redone master bathroom, inviting living room with wood-burning fireplace, and more! Located just one block from the city park with tennis, basketball, and access to the bike path! Get settled in this home before the warm weather arrives so you can enjoy the neighborhood pools and private beach! At $387,500, this home won't be around too much longer!

If you would like additional information on this home (or any other home for that matter) please feel free to contact me today! (802)846-9530 or

-Jamie Wright, REALTOR

Directions: Head north on North Avenue, turn right onto Staniford Road which becomes Appletree Point Road, then take a right onto Muirfield Road. The home is located on the left...look for the sign!

Monday, February 1, 2010

When Less Does More

Yesterday, I read an interesting statistic: The average size of a new home decreased in 2009 for the first time in 3 decades! The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2009 the average size of a new home was 2,215 square feet- a slight decrease from the highest average of 2,277 square feet for a new home in 2008. Increasing awareness for energy efficiency, the softening economy coupled with rising building costs, and the downsizing of many baby boomers have all been factors in the (slight) shrinking of the American home.

Despite a smaller home size, homeowners aren't necessarily decreasing their demands for the numerous functions a home must serve. Many rooms are serving double duty, storage is being added where ever possible, and homeowners are learning de-clutter and simplify. I found this article on, Small Ideas for Small Spaces, that offers some advice and inspiration for working with smaller spaces. (Bonus: smaller home = less to clean and maintain!)

If you are looking to downsize your home, please feel free to contact me today, and I will get you started on finding your new (more manageable) home! You can always search all of our listings online, just by visiting Hickok & Boardman's website .

-Jamie Wright, REALTOR

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