Blog :: 2012

Burlington City Council Weighs in on Rental Housing!

The city council recently voted to extend the zoning limit of 4 unrelated residents per housing unit into the downtown Burlington district. The map below shows the area this would affect.  The Burlington Free Press Article does mention the single family homes with 5 or more bedrooms would be grandfathered unless current use was suspended for a year. Please contact us with any questions regarding this or any other Burlington Investment Property.

2012 Multi Family Sold Properties

Below are some of the multi family properties sold in 2012.  The inventory of Multi Family properties is at a 10 year low - contact us if you are thinking of selling!
  • Ranked #1 Multi-Family Agent in VT* in 2010 & 2011
  • Over $25 Million in Multi Family Sales since 1998
  • 14+ Years Experience as a Landlord & Realtor®
  • Zoning, EMP, Fire Safety & 1031 Specialist
Click here for our Sold Multi Family Properties! Click here for our Sold Single Family/Condo Properties! Search for all Sold Properties!

The Northwest Vermont Multi-Family Report from Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty

Multi-family properties demonstrated a strong early 2012, with sold listings jumping 19% across Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties from January through April. The region has traditionally shown strong interest from some investors, drawn by the areas growing professional class and student enrollment as well as low vacancy rates. Chittenden County captured the bulk of the multi-family transactions, with 89% of the regions 25 sales of properties such as duplexes and apartment buildings. Franklin County recorded 8% of multi-family sales, while Grand Isle recorded one such transaction. Addison County didnt record any multi-family home sales during the first four months of 2012. Its been a great start to the year, with well priced properties moving fast, notes Steve Lipkin, a Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realtor specializing in multi-family properties. Low rates and a lack of attractive alternatives for your investment dollars, as well as vacancy rates that are very low, are helping investors decide to be in real estate. Northwest Vermont is attracting investors who are seeking to diversify their holdings beyond traditional investments, while tapping into historic low mortgage rates. Within Chittenden Countys multi-family market, Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty handled one-third of transactions, or more than the combined market share of the regions next two largest agencies handling multi-family sales, for the 12-month period ended April 2012. There are indications demand may continue to grow throughout 2012, as the number of pending listings in Chittenden County jumped 70% during the first four months. Pending listings are properties under contract that havent yet closed. Multi-family properties are selling for closer to asking price, and days on the market have dramatically dwindled during the first four months of 2012.  The average days to market a multi-family property during the period shrank to 64 days, compared with 211 days a year earlier. In Chittenden County, the median sale price jumped 7.5% to $285,000, while average days on market shrank to 63 from 199 in the  year-earlier period, indicating pent-up demand from investors, with well-priced and well maintained properties selling quickly. Burlington boasted the largest market share in Chittenden Countys multi-family market, with 13 of the countys 20 transactions. Home to University of Vermont and colleges such as Champlain College as well as a growing professional base, Burlingtons vacancy rate has hovered between 1% and 2%, below the first-quarter national average of 4.9%, which has fallen to the lowest rate in a decade. With lower-than-average vacancy rates, Northwest Vermont multi-family properties are receiving interest from out of state, as well as from within Vermont. As in Chittenden County, there are signs that Burlington multi-family sales may continue to strengthen this year.  Pending listings more than doubled from the year-earlier period, while average days on market dropped dramatically, to 66 days during the first four months of 2012, compared with 263 a year earlier. Well-priced and well-maintained multi-family properties have been in demand. With investors seeking value, the median sale price in Burlington slipped 5.9% to $315,088. Among Chittenden Countys other towns, Winooski recorded six multi-family transactions, double the number recorded last year. Average days on market shrank to 48 days from 164, while the median sale price declined 4.9% to $244,250.   To view the full article or read about other segments in the makert click here:  

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.

Burlington Airport plans to sell houses

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Anyone want a cheap house? Here's a unique opportunity! This Burlington Free Press Article says that the Burlington International Airport has been buying nearby houses from willing sellers. This is the fifth year they've been able to use federal money for this special program.  They've bought 144 homes in South Burlington, where the airport is located, and another 60 are targeted for purchase. The airport paid above-market price but is selling these homes for $1500 or less! Yes, you heard that right. But there's a catch... The reason the federal government is sponsoring this program is the noise around airports affects the quality of life of local residents. Many of these homes were built back when the airport was just a small airstrip. Those days are long gone, but the homes are still there. The increased noise has come with major airlines and the Vermont Air National Guard.   There's a possibility that the noise will get even noisier if Vermont  gets the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The announcement for whether that will happen or not is due any time. Public hearings will follow. So, the airport has a choice: sell and move or demolish.  By offering the homes for sale, the airport can save a lot of money in demolition costs and landfill fees - about $25,000 per house. The buyer can benefit by relocating the homes. They can be moved to other sites or disassembled and rebuilt elsewhere. One moved home has become subsidized housing in Washington County. The plan is to fill in the basement holes and landscape the areas. The interim director of the airport, Robert McEwing, said they will meet with the city soon and then advertise the availability of the homes. So, if you're interested, this should be coming up soon. Don't hesitate to contact us for any local real estate information.

Former Mayor Moves Overseas - Burlington Hill Section Home on the Market!

It is with mixed reactions that I post this blog about my parents moving overseas and selling the home they have owned and lived in for the last 25 years.  The Seven Days article titled "A Former Mayor's New Direction" details Peter Clavelle and Betsy Ferries' move to Albania.

Now, at age 62, Clavelle has moved to Albania. He has a five-year contract to oversee a local governance project in the eastern European country. Albania is about the same size as Vermont, but has a population that is five times larger....

Interviewed in the kitchen of her home on South Union Street, Ferries confesses that it isnt easy to leave Burlington behind. Three of the couples four children Luke, 27; Will, 23; and Awil, 20 live in the Queen City, while Jae, 24, works for an international development company in San Francisco. Ferries and Clavelle are the legal guardians of Awil, a refugee from Somalia whos set to graduate in June from Burlington High School.

Here is a link to the 4+ bedroom 3 bath 2848 sq. ft home at 291 South Union Street Burlington VT. If you would like to view this home, give me a call at (802) 846-9556 or email me at Thanks, Luke

Route 7 Vision - Investment Opportunity!

Become part of the new vision for Route 7 in Shelburne.  In the Burlington Free Press Article titled Design team has 'vision' for the U.S. 7 corridor, the free press explores the possibility for changes to Route 7 also known as Shelburne Road.

The report also suggests connecting cul-de-sacs that feed onto U.S. 7 to help create a grid of streets that allow off-highway movement in the town. And form-based zoning, which emphasizes appearance rather than the use of a district, would allow the town to encourage building with a desired look as well as mixed-use, commercial, residential development important, the report says, because the town has a shortage of both office space and of affordable housing.

Here is a great opportunity for investors to benefit from the new "vision" for Route 7.  4253 Shelburne Road in Shelburne already has a fully leased 5 unit apartment building as well as a clubhouse rental situated on 4.4 acre parcel with significant development potential. Contact Us today to learn more about this opportunity or to set up a showing - (802) 846-9575.