Happy New Year to you! As most of us do at this time of year, we reflect on what has happened over the past year and what we want to have happen in the coming year. I find that my own behavior contributes to the success that I enjoy, whether it is a personal success or a professional one.
So I wanted to take a moment and outline some of the thoughts that I hope to keep close this year. Consider these some great ideas to improve your life in 2012!
Here is wishing you the best year you can possibly have!
Until next time, Irene
Chester is an amazing town in Vermont. It is a town of churches and some of the most interesting and colorful vistas in New England. You can enjoy the quaint town of Chester with the historic Village Green and the Stone Village, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places – livable structures made from local granite.
Just a month after the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene, Chester held the 37th Annual Fall Festival on the Green, sponsored by the Chester Rotary Club. Over 60 Vermont and New England Artisans, Crafters and Food Concessions gathered in booths spread over the Green in the center of town. Mark your calendars for next year -this is a great fall event to attend!
New Businesses are opening too. The Inn Victoria expanded their business by adding a retail outlet, “Ye Olde Shoppe at Inn Victoria” which will focus on Vermont foods, Vermont made jewelry and other types of goods their guests are looking for while staying in Vermont. There is a new gallery, museum and art school in Chester as well! The Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts (VTica) hosted an open house at the beginning of this month. Located on Depot Avenue across from the Jiffy Mart just off the Chester Village Green, there was a timely photographic essay of 50 images from professional and amateur photographers chronicling the destruction and rebuilding of south/central Vermont in the aftermath of the storm.
There are well established businesses also contributing to Chester’s charm. Bill Austin’s Antique Store has the largest collection of Antiques around and he refurbishes many items himself. It’s quite an experience walking through all the rooms of his store! After antiquing at Austin’s, step into MacLaomainn’s for lunch!
MacLaomainn’s is a Scottish style pub located at 52 South Main Street and Deb and Alan Brown opened their doors in 2008. Their Scottish style menu is unique to this area featuring traditional fish pie, haggis, mince and tatties and steak pie. They also offer pizza, Angus burgers, hot dogs and more! The atmosphere is just what a pub is intended to be – a community living room where everyone can feel at home.
This year the Browns added to their offerings by opening the Great Hall – a conference room, event and music hall which can seat up to 95 people comfortably and is located directly behind the pub. Their hope is that the Great Hall becomes a place where people will comfortably gather with family and friends.
Chester is a delightful town to visit and I’m sure you will discover the warm and inviting atmosphere coming from the local businesses and local people. Come see – you can’t get away from that Vermont spirit!
Until next time, Irene
I am pleased to announce that my friend Joe Milliken will be contributing to my blog weekly about local sports and happenings in Vermont…A bit about Joe; Joe Milliken is a freelance writer, music journalist and local sports writer, living in Bellows Falls, Vt with his wife Kelly, son Nate and daughter Erin. Visit Joe at http://www.jemwriting.com.
Right between Killington and Okemo ski resorts. Located just off VAST (Snowmobile Trails) there are possibilities for direct access to the trails the building features a heated garage which would be a perfect place to store and work on your sleds. It is also equidistant to echo lake and Woodard reservoir and just down the road from the Coolidge historical sites, Long Trail brewery, and the village of Woodstock this is the perfect location for year round vacation or daily life! There are 4 bedrooms, 4 large bathrooms, and an updated kitchen. Each room has individually controlled thermostat, and a propane fireplace. The building is very energy efficient! Owner financing available – this is not a drive-by – Priced to sell! $229,900.00
Slopeside Condo on Mount Ascutney. Only 6 miles from 91. Just think 1 week a month for 52 weeks. Unit includes a lockout that you can rent during your week. Ascutney offers: •30 km of beautiful Vermont trails
•8 cross-country ski loops
•Group & Private lessons offered.
No reason to rent for the season when you can have all this!
Offered for this low price: $89,900
In real estate terms this is, indeed, a buyer’s market–a time when the supply of South Central Vermont real estate for sale far exceeds the demand. And that is good news for those of you who are house hunting, for you may well find just the deal you’ve been looking for. You can certainly make an offer that is below the asking price and ask the seller to add upgrades, pay closing costs, or otherwise provide incentives for you to purchase that particular piece of South Central Vermont real estate. Even if you may be holding most of the cards, however, here are some tips to make your search easier and more successful.
THE IN-PERSON SEARCH:
To sell or not to sell? That is a question with which many seniors are wrestling these days. One the one hand, older homeowners are faced with rising maintenance costs, personal physical constraints, a desire to live a more carefree and less complicated lifestyle, a realistic look at future needs, such as being near public transportation and/or quality health care, and living in a “too-large” home. On the other hand, they are reluctant to leave a neighborhood where they are known and respected, move further from friends and family, consider downsizing and parting with treasured items, and undertaking the seemingly overwhelming job of emptying one home and setting up another. In addition, they don’t want to give up the security or the memories tied to their current home.
Finding Real Estate Agent
A knowledgeable and understanding real estate agent who is familiar with the needs and desires of the 55+ set, combined with the services of an attorney who specializes in both real estate and estate planning and an accountant who deals with senior tax implications, can be invaluable to you in looking at all aspects of selling your South Central Vermont real estate and helping you determine what is best for you. Senior Expert Margie Behr also advises that you think about taking out a home equity loan before you put your house on the market and that you involve your whole family in the decision-making process.
If you do decide to sell, BankRate.com cautions you to first get a written market analysis and a financial evaluation which will help you and your team of advisors address the realities of the market, your investments, and tax objectives.
Because it offers year-round recreation, investing in South Central Vermont real estate can be quite profitable and safe. Such a transaction can also be challenging, especially for first-time investors, and requires prior planning, a time commitment, realistic goals, and careful consideration of the following factors.
1. Selecting a property. First decide on a location and the type of property you are interested in. You will want to consider proximity to good schools, public services, shopping centers, highways, recreation, etc.
Another decision will deal with the type of property you want to own–a single family residence, a multi-family unit, or a vacation rental home. Discuss with you realtor and tax advisor the pros and cons of each to decide which will be most advantageous for you.
2. Examining your finances. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, investment property expenses can also include taxes, property management fees, utilities, insurance for fire and floods, repair and maintenance costs, condo fees, and periods of vacancy. Be prepared to have cash on hand for a 20% to 30% down payment (or investigate other options). A helpful tool to assist you in calculating costs and probable financial outcomes is www.GoodMortgage.com.
Also keep in mind that long term (5 to 10 years) ownership is usually best for the average investment. The shorter the length of time you hold the property, the greater the risk.
Don’t rent for the season until you see this: Ground Floor – 1 Bedroom condo on the Okemo Shuttle Bus Route. Minutes from Okemo – Gas Fireplace, washer/dryer in unit, A/C and heat. Granite counters, tiled and wood floors, Whirlpool bath. Indoor pool, hot tub and exercise room. Priced below town assesment.: $99,900.00.