Steve Lipkin

Vermont Economic Recovery & Relief Package

Source: State of Vermont 

On May 20th, Governor Phil Scott outlined an economic recovery & relief package using $400 million of $1.25 billion the state received as part of the Federal CARES Act.  The two-phase plan first addresses the businesses and industries that were impacted most, with $310 million designated to sectors that are in need of immediate relief.

Included in phase one is $50 million designated for housing assistance, with the majority of the funds to be used to cover situations where impacted tenants cannot pay rent and as a result, landlords are financially impacted.  The program is open to all rental property owners with a maximum of 20 units assisted per owner.  According to, "payments will be disbursed through housing service provider(s) selected through the RFP process with oversight authority through the Department of Housing and Community Development."

The second phase consisting of the remaining $90 million focuses on long-term recovery and investments in broadband internet, job training, permit modernization and additional housing assistance.  It is estimated that over 13,000 Vermont households could be assisted using funds from phase one of this newly enacted bill.

For more details on the package, check out the COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center on the state of Vermont ACCD Website  or view / download this informational 12 page Resource Guide.  

For additional insight or questions on the VT Multi Family real estate market, don't hesitate to email us anytime at or give us a call at (802) 846-9575. 

Working Through the Challenges of COVID-19


To Our Valued Clients, Customers & Community,


I hope you and your family are well. It’s hard to put into words the many emotions that we are all facing in dealing with this unprecedented health crisis. Like you, we are taking things one day at a time while remaining resilient and steadfast in our goal to continue to provide our clients with the same above & beyond level of service that members of our team have proudly offered for the last 30+ years in our local community.

Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by COVID-19 across the globe. As the virus continues to impact our community and everyday way of life, we feel that is it important to communicate with you directly to share more about the steps that we are taking to help do our part in limiting the spread and keeping the health & safety of our trusted clients and team members as our number one priority.

We have asked the dedicated agents and staff of the Lipkin Audette Team to work remotely, with additional technology and support being provided by the amazing leadership team at Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman.

Until further notice, all upcoming open houses have been canceled. Fortunately, many of our listings have interactive virtual 3D tours enabling Buyers to tour the entire property from anywhere with an internet connection.  Accordingly, we are substituting personal meetings with Facetime or Microsoft Teams, contracts and all documents are seamlessly being passed & signed electronically using Dotloop. We feel very fortunate that our commitment to advanced technology is allowing us to continue to serve our valued clients and community.

Recognizing the vital importance that Home plays in everyone’s life, we are constantly adapting and will continue to help our community list, sell and buy homes. If there is anything we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to email us at or give us a call at [802] 846-8800. We are amazed by the support and love that our community has shown in these difficult times and are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to help and support our neighbors in need!


Best, the Lipkin Audette Team

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) | Policy Reform

Exciting news for Burlington Property owners!

Photo: James Buck | Seven Days

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been long been legal in the city Burlington. However, until now, a rigid zoning policy had effectively limited the number of legally permitted and constructed ADUs to just 45 over the last 10+ years. 

On February 18th, 2020, the City Council unanimously adopted the proposed zoning reforms for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Burlington.  According to the City of Burlington’s website, “The goal of this reform is to encourage the creation of ADUs to support homeowners as they age in place, provide a flexible option to help owners continue to afford their homes and add additional affordable housing options within existing neighborhoods”.

Recommendations for this legislation were provided by the City’s 2018 ADU White Paper as well as input from the Mayor’s 2019 Housing Summits.  The following changes to the ADU ordinance have now gone into effect…

  • Creating an ADU is no longer the primary reason for a project to go to the DRB and the conditional use requirement for creating an ADU is removed.
  • ADUs no longer require a dedicated parking space.
  • The maximum ADU size in a primary home is now 800 square feet or 30% of the gross floor area of the home; whichever is greater.  This change allows smaller single-family homes to create an ADU that is at least 800 square feet, regardless of the previous 30% guideline.
  • If stormwater impacts are addressed, up to 650 square feet of the lot area are exempt from lot coverage limits.  This change addresses the difficulties that homeowners with smaller lots faced with regards to coverage limits.

For more information or to share your input with the City of Burlington, check out the following links…

Accessory Dwelling Units | City of Burlington

ADU Policy Reform | City of Burlington

IMPORTANT NOTE: ADUs may be used as short-term rentals; however, property owners who plan to do so will be required to meet the zoning requirements for “short term rentals”, click HERE for details.  Most notably, short-term rental ADUs are required to provide a parking space and the property’s primary residence must be owner-occupied.

** If you are interested in learning more about how creating an ADU will impact your Burlington property values give Steve a call at [802] 846-9575 or email us at

Burlington CityPlace | Redesigned Proposal

UPDATE: In a presentation delivered to the Burlington City Council at their meeting this past Monday, the developers behind the Downtown Burlington CityPlace project unveiled their latest redesign concept. The redesigned proposal keeps intact the original concept of mixed-use space but reduces the number of stories on each of the two towers from fourteen to ten. The updated concept would also make use of the current remnants of the Burlington Town Center Mall in addition to the building that used to contain Macy's.   

Even with the reduced height, the tower on the Cherry Street side is still expected to contain 280 to 300 apartments, with 20% of the units qualifying as “affordable” as per Burlington’s inclusionary zoning ordinance.  At the other end, a 175-room hotel will occupy the Bank Street side of the property with retail space filling the first floor of each building. Additionally, the new plans also call for an "adequate" number of parking spaces be located both in between and below the two tower structures (Seven Days, CityPlace Burlington Developers Unveil Scaled-Down Proposal, 2019).

Image Courtesy of the City of Burlington


Mayor Miro Weinberger addressed the new plan at the Burlington City Council meeting on Monday saying, “What you've laid out tonight represents the potential of achieving all the major goals the city laid out as we sat down to this process years ago,” listing housing and jobs among the benefits. “This represents a step in the right direction toward fixing a part of the downtown that has long been problematic, but we certainly [have] a long way to go” (City of Burlington, Press Releases, 2019).

For more information on this topic or other stories that impact Burlington, the surrounding communities and its residents; give us a call at [802] 846-8800 or email us at



City Market Moving Forward with Plans for South End Store!

Burlington City Councilors unanimously voted to send necessary zoning changes to the Ordinance Committee which would allow City Market/Onion River Co-Op to open up a 2nd store on the corner of Flynn Avenue and Briggs Street in the South End of Burlington near Oakledge Park. The main reason for opening another store in the same city is to alleviate the pressure in the busy downtown store which opened in 2002 and has limited parking. The co-op's general manager says they hope to break ground in June 2016 and open the new store in June 2017. The new store will be 1/3 larger than the downtown store and they expect $12 million in sales during their first year. 

Check out the full story on burlingtonfreepress.com

Check out City Market here:

We at Lipkin Investment Properties are very excited for the new City Market store to open as it will be located just a few blocks from our Hickok & Boardman Realty office and will give us another lunch and quick grocery stop option!

Looking to move to the Burlington area or sell your Burlington home, condo, or multi-family property? LipVT is the #1 real estate team for sales in Burlington for 3 years in a row now! Visit us at, call 846-9575, or email with any questions about Burlington Vermont Real Estate. 






VHFA 1st Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program!

Vermont Real Estate VHFA First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance ProgramVHFA Vermont Housing Finance Agency

Governor Shumlin recently joined leaders from VHFA, the Vermont Legislature and the business community to launch a bold new effort to help the state's first-time home buyers. Each qualified buyer will receive up to $5,000 for down payment and closing costs. There is mounting evidence that the escalation of these costs in recent years, combined with other economic hardships lingering from the recession, are preventing many young Vermonters from buying their first home.

The new program will provide first-time home buyers who use a VHFA mortgage with up to $5,000 that needs repayment only if the home is sold or refinanced. "Because our typical customer is buying their first home and is eight years younger than the average home buyer statewide, VHFA is a great vehicle for reaching those households struggling most to save for a home," explained Sarah Carpenter, VHFA's Executive Director. Nationally the recession reduced homeownership rates by 15% among young people (aged 35-44) - far more than among older age groups, according to the Census.

View the full article here:

This is an amazing opportunity for 1st time home buyers! For more info about the new down payment assistance program (called the "ASSIST loan"), please visit There you will also find a list of participating lenders such as Vermont Federal Credit Union, Northfield Savings Bank and Union Bank.

This is also a great time for SELLERS if you have a home you think might make a good "Starter Home" for these lucky buyers! Contact us for a FREE Market Analysis to help determine the value of your home!

We at LipVT are your local experts when it comes to home buyers making their very 1st investment in real estate! Please visit us at or give us a call at 802-846-9575 to learn more about this dynamic marketplace and the terrific opportunities for buyers and sellers.


Champlain Housing Trust Gets DRB Approval for Old North End Development

Burlington’s Development Review Board (DRB) gave final zoning approval to a proposal by Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) for a new 42-unit development in the city’s Old North End, Burlington Free Press staff writer April Burbank reported on October 29th.

The unanimous vote was cheered by CHT’s director of real estate development Amy Demetrowitz, “I think it’ll just really improve the aesthetics of the neighborhood, and it’ll bring just some really critical needed affordable housing to Burlington.”

According to the Free Press article, “The project represents a significant redevelopment of the area between Bright Street and Archibald Street by adding a three-story apartment building, two duplexes, a building with three units and a total of 44 parking spaces….The project will be organized as a co-op with one-to four-bedroom units…”

The project will involve the demolition of three existing buildings on Bright and Archibald Streets. CHT expects to begin construction in May of 2015.

Looks like more big and exciting changes to Burlington’s Old North End, (O.N.E.). As always feel free to reach out to with any questions or comments!


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    Adopt-A-Drain Program Comes to Burlington

    As part of an ongoing effort to improve the city's stormwater management system, Burlington's Department of Public Works is trying an outside-the-box approach. Part community crowdsourcing, part old-school stewardship, the city will ask "Drain Defenders" to make sure a storm drain of their choosing is kept clear of debris, ice and illegal dumping. In exchange for their vigilance and elbow grease, Drain Defenders will be allowed to name the drain (Burlington's website stipulates only that the names be appropriate). 

    With over 2,000 storm drains inside the city limits, residents should have their pick. According to a Burlington Free Press article from October 24th,2014, approximately 10 drains had been adopted as of the afternoon of Thursday October 23rd.

    An overwhelmed stormwater system can contribute to property and infrastructure damage, pollution, and other public health concerns. I hope this innovative city project will help to free up the time and resources of Public Works so they can keep our great city running smoothly.

    What other applications could Adopt-A-Drain be applied to? What if the Bike Path was opened to a similar program?

    As always, please reach out to the Lipkin Team for all your Real Estate needs!


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      Advice for Pricing Your Home

      Although it's great to do your homework before selling your home, don't rely on popular tv shows and websites to come up with your home's sale price. Pricing a home is not an exact science, there are many factors to consider. Your best bet is to "leave it to a professional" - a real estate agent or an appraiser. The process of determining your home's value involves several steps including a thorough walk-thru, a detailed comparative analysis and extensive market research. To learn more on this topic read "Pricing Your Home for What it's Worth" from the Sunday Boston Globe.

      The LIPKIN TEAM is happy to help you with this process and is here to answer any questions you have regarding Burlington area real estate.

      Potential Burlington Waterfront Developement

      What's the best use for the waterfront near downtown Burlington? Do you think it would be best used for restaurants, hotels, shops, a park and a scenic place to stroll or how about a 9-acre rail yard? As you know, we currently have the latter. A Seven Days article by Kathryn Flagg [2/29/12] on the subject makes it clear that this is no new discussion - nor are we any closer to a plan of action. One major problem: what to do with the rail yard? You can't just pick up and move that kind of infrastructure.
      BTV TrainYard

      BTV TrainYard

      Vermont Rail System (VRS) operates 350 miles of track and Burlington is the northern terminus. It's a very important hub for freight in the county and north. It would not only be expensive to move, but it would need a suitable place. Some places that have been proposed are Williston, Shelburne and the airport industrial park. The new Burlington mayor, Miro Weinberger, was quoted as saying, "You've got a use there that's not just going to disappear overnight." He went on to say that it would be a huge investment and chances are that's not going to happen at a time like this when finances are tight. There are plenty of other issues, too. Neighboring property owners  say the area is a maze of unclear property lines, easements and leases. Defining who owns what will be a challenge. How to develop the waterfront is another issue. Should it just be a park? Should condos and hotels be allowed that would block the lake view? Mayor Weinberger has suggested a top-notch, four-season marina with an expanded boardwalk, shops and boat slips. Other cities such as Chicago, Toronto and even Plattsburgh have moved their rail yards to develop waterfront areas. Moving the railroads out creates very valuable land. What will Burlington do and how will it affect property values? Let us know if you have any questions or comments. If you have any Burlington area real estate questions, be sure to contact us.