southern vermont real estate

This month’s featured town – Weston, VT

Weston Playhouse on the Green

Weston, Vermont is a beautiful village and never more so than during the Holidays.  Originally part of Andover and called “West Town” it was incorporated in October of 1979 because Markham and Terrible mountains blocked travel between the town’s halves.  Route 100 South out of Ludlow to Weston has always been referred to as Terrible Mountain – most people don’t know there is an actual mountain named as such!

As beautiful as Weston is while driving through town, there are hidden treasures as well.  Vermont’s oldest professional theater, The Weston Playhouse Theater Company was founded in 1935. This non-profit organization serves a community of artists and audiences through a broad spectrum of dramatic works and educational programs.  Visit for the exciting shows scheduled for next season.  

The Kinhaven Music School is celebrating 60 years next July!   They offer four classical music programs each summer providing a music making experience where friendship, mutual support, learning and community are always present.  Find out more about the music classes and workshops for both youths and adults at

Do you know about the Benedictine Priory on Priory Hill Road?  Founded in 1953 and inspired by a monastic tradition reaching back to the earliest centuries of the church, a community of Benedictine Monks have created their own community about four miles north of the village.  All are welcome to visit and the Chapel, Visitor’s Center and grounds afford an atmosphere in which quiet reflection and prayer are accessible to all.  More information is available at

I chose to write about Weston in December because of its small town beauty during the Christmas season.  What could be more beautiful than shopping during the Holidays?!  The Christmas Shop has the best selection of Ornaments you’ll find.  Artistically placed and decoratively arranged, this shop provides an experience you won’t want to miss. 

Then take a walk across the street to the Vermont Country Store.  This is the original store founded by the Orton Family in 1946 along with their first catalogue.  Think of catering to a farmer’s wife back in the day – they still adhere to old fashioned values set forth by Vrest and Ellen Orton.  The Vermont Country Store takes pride in being purveyors of the practical and hard to find.  When you check out their website at you’ll find their Customer Bill of Rights – including a 100% guarantee.  The Vermont Country Store is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts with superior customer service!

There are many Inn’s and places to dine and I couldn’t do justice to them all by naming them here.  If you have never been to Weston, visit the Village of Weston Website for more detailed information. 

The entire village of Weston is listed on the National Register of Historic Places so the “prettiest village in all of Vermont” will be preserved for future generations.  Weston is magical under a blanket of snow!  I hope to see you on a Sleigh Ride in Weston soon!

Vermont Country Store


Until next time, Irene

This month’s featured town – Cavendish, VT

Cavendish, Vermont is full of surprises.  Located in Windsor County and named after William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, Cavendish also includes the village of Proctorsville and saw its first settlers in June of 1769.

Cavendish is a very unassuming town.  As you drive around the beautiful Vermont countryside of Cavendish and Proctorsville, at first glance you don’t realize the history and thriving businesses located here.  Would it surprise you to know that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer, historian and Nobel Prize winner called Cavendish his home for many years?

How many times have you driven past Mack Molding, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing service and injection molded plastic parts to companies in a range of industries?  Founded in 1920 and a family run business with headquarters in Arlington, Vermont, it might surprise you to know they have 1,800 employees at 10 locations with annual sales of $300 million.  This is a company with no long term debt and a 5A1 D&B rating – the highest available!  Learn more about them at

Do you know where the Cavendish Canine Camp is located?  If you visit their website at you’ll find an excellent description of where they are; “nestled within the green mountains of Vermont and just outside the village of Ludlow”.  This wonderful canine boarding facility prides itself on the quality and conscientious care they give your pets while you are traveling or working.  Their canine guests have supervised social playtime and a “quiet time” mid-day.  The feline campers also get playtime to roam and socialize in their very own “cat room”. 

I am so proud to live in Vermont that even three months after the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene I feel compelled to mention just one or two storm related items.  First, if you go to their website you’ll never know how my friends at the Cavendish Canine Camp were affected by the storm.  They were closed during the months of September and October and while open now, the main entrance from 103 was washed away by the storm and it is very exciting to see excavators rebuilding now!

There is another business that deserves storm-related mention; The Village Clipper in Proctorsville.  While a huge section of Route 132 was being repaired by the Army National Guard, several Guardsmen came in for haircuts.  Julie and Paula would not accept their money, thanking them for the amazing job they were doing for us here in Vermont. 

I don’t think that you can blog about the Cavendish/Proctorsville area without talking about Singleton’s General Store.  Located just past the junction of Route’s 103 and 131 on Route 131 Singleton’s is known for its Vermont smoked meats, cheeses and other Vermont products.  They also have a great selection of clothing and footwear suited to this area and a sporting-goods section for all of your hunting and fishing needs. 

That doesn’t tell you half the story!  A family owned business since 1948 when Bud and Mary Singleton with their six kids opened Newton’s Store in Reading, it took until 1978 for them to buy the land and open in their current location.  Tom Singleton joined them in 1976 with his brother John – and Sheba – their Doberman Pincer.  All of the children contributed to Singleton’s but only Tom and his wife Linn remained to take over in 1999 when Bud retired.  The Singleton’s take pride in Customer Service – whether it’s servicing the local’s needs or those visiting from out of state.  Visit, or come into the store – you won’t be disappointed. 

I love Cavendish and currently make it my home!  I have so much more that I could say so I’ll settle with – come and experience what I have known and come to love!  Looking forward to seeing you in town!

Until next time, Irene


This month’s featured town – Chester, VT

Chester Town Hall

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!

Chester Depot

Until next time, Irene

This month’s featured town – Ludlow, VT

Main Street, Ludlow Vermont

When I decided to write about the town of Ludlow this month I envisioned a completely different blog from the one I am writing.

 I would have told you about the 250th celebration of Ludlow’s charter and posted a picture of the new flag designed to represent the occasion.  I might have mentioned the two kinds of coffee from the Vermont Coffee Company in Middlebury that Java Baba’s sells.  I could have told you that the Ludlow Shipping and Copy Center has relocated to 100 North next to Bella Luna and introduced you to Pam Timmerman.  I might have mentioned that the Coleman Brook Tavern is one of four Vermont Restaurants to receive the Wine Spectator Best of Award Excellence in 2011.

I could have given you the basic information about Ludlow.  It is a town in Windsor County, Vermont with a population of 2,449 in the 2000 census.  The village was well developed before anyone thought of skiing on Ludlow Mountain.  Now Ludlow is proud to be the home of Okemo Mountain, a very popular skiing area.

Ludlow is a town of natural and historic wonders, self – reliant and community – spirited people and shops and galleries that feature local favorites.  On Sunday August 28th, Ludlow was hit very hard by Tropical Storm Irene.  The Black River could not hold the steady and constant rain over a 24 hour period and overflowed its banks quickly and devastatingly in many parts of town.  You’ve seen the devastation to homes, businesses and our roads on television in the newspaper and on the internet. 

What you don’t see is the community spirit, the banding together and the progress that has been made so quickly!  Neighbors checked on neighbors and assisted when needed.  Second – homeowners called upon locals to check on their property – by car or on foot.  DJ’s opened their restaurant on Monday night offering a free buffet for anyone who needed food.  Knight Tubs was open for business on Wednesday even though their parking lot was destroyed and their basement flooded.  Shaw’s supermarket opened just one week after they were flooded – in a temporary tent set up in the parking lot. The Ludlow Health Center made the Dental Center its temporary home.   There are many businesses that didn’t flood and remained open.  The Local Ski Shops traditionally open on Labor Day weekend and so they did – business as usual in Ludlow!

These resilient and spirited people of Vermont are moving quickly to get their businesses open to be able to serve the community and return the town of Ludlow to the vibrant little village it is.  Kudos to everyone for working hard and fast, finding creative and temporary solutions and keeping the Vermont spirit alive!  Come visit!

Until next time, Irene


Ps:  and I’m NOT taking the name of this tropical storm personally!

Land on Twenty Mile Stream Road; Close to Okemo!

First time on Market – parcel has stone wall around 3 sides, private road along the 4th side. Just look across the road (paved) to see what may be a view. Power and phone on property, Approx 800 feet of frontage on 20 Mile Stream Road – Cavendish Vermont. 199,900.00

Only 3 miles from Woodstock Vermont!

Wow! 10+ acres of raw land right on Route 4 in Hartland. Only 3 miles from Woodstock! There is over 1200 ft. of road frontage directly on route 4. Over 1 million cars can pass a year. Possible views from top of land. This would make an incredable investment! Electric at Road.  There is a partial driveway plumbed in.  Only $349,900.00

The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT

Written by:  Joseph E. Milliken, 
Publish Notes: 

Valley Business Journal Chester, Vt. April, 2011

The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT
The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts Is Coming To Chester, VT

CHESTER, VT.-The Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts(Vtica)in Chester was realized last year and is the creative dream of colleagues Robery Sarly and Abby Raeder, who have a vision to help breathe life into and enlighten the South Central Vermont arts community. “We have been living in Andover(near Chester)for over a decade and realized that somehow, something was missing from this part of the local Arts community,” Robert Sarly said in a recent interview. The center is currently being constructed at 15 Depot Street, and is currently targeting a summer “soft opening.”

Photos courtesy of Vtica

“Chester is simply essential New England… charming, with a town green and many quaint inns, restaurants, crafts and antique outlets, and great proximity to some of the finest foliage and skiing in New England,” Sarly said. “Also, all around the Chester area there are scores of brilliant artists who had come to inhabit the raw beauty of the Green Mountains and simply escape the maddening crowds.” The institute will offer exhibit space and a performance stage, as well as space for artist workshops and other support facilities to encourage and promote creativity.”Many local artists are indeed, a little like ourselves and having found God’s green acres and have settled down to creating spiritually meaningful interpretations of their lives… and ours. Created in stone, on canvas and fabric, in colors and textures that seduce the imagination and remind us of the deeper meanings of life that is all around us.”

One of the focuses of Vtica is to provide local artists the creative center to reawaken us with deeper meanings, and have assembled a wide circle of interested supporters including watercolor and acrylic artists and oil painters, sculptors and craftspeople, live performance artists, local business leaders, in keepers, restaurateurs and others. “These are the avant garde of the new creative economy that Vermont needs to stimulate a revitalization of not just art, but the broader business community as well,” Sarly said.

Another of Vtica’s focuses is to help bring people back in touch with the power and meaningful spirit of the creative imagination. “We all have this aspect buried within our hearts and souls, but it has sometimes been suppressed or forgotten in the business of our modern, materialistic life. Vtica offers us all a place to experience and learn how important the imagination can be to survive in modern life.”

Vtica will serve and assist artists and anyone interested in exploring new ideas, or to view the various works on display, see a scheduled performance or to seek available instruction. “The impact of Vtica will grow through networking with all people with an artistic sensibility, along with other galleries, museums and art schools,” Sarly concluded. “Especially those on the State of Vermont Arts Trail, that crosses through the middle of Vermont from New Hampshire to New York.

“In our own modest way, we intend to change the world for the better by bringing the creative imagination back to the heart of life experience. We will feature local, Vermont artists, but all artists will be welcome, and the cross-fertilization of contemporary art ideas and techniques from around the country and the world should make the Vtica even more exciting than a local art gallery or museum would otherwise.

“There are already many artists who satisfy the market for classic bucolic transcription; what Vtica is trying to support is more cutting edge. We intend to strengthen and make accessible the kind of artistic interests that are more reflective of the spiritual. This is a journey of self-discovery.” To learn more about the Vermont Institute for Contemporary Arts, visit their web site at

Bellows Falls Football Reveals State Championship Banner

By Joe Milliken

The Bellows Falls Union High School football team recently
revealed their newest championship banner, after winning the 2010
Vermont Division III state title last fall. The Purple Gang players and
coaches also received championship jackets for their accomplishments.
The banner was unveiled before the start of a recent BF boys’
basketball game at Holland Gym in Westminster.
    During a convincing tournament run the Terriers’ first defeated
Oxbow at home, 33-8, before traveling to Castleton State College and
beating rival Windsor in the final game, 39-22. Bellows Falls went 8-3
overall on the season. The championship was the schools’ 11th state
football title  and the first for head coach Bob Lockerby, who took the
reins five seasons ago, after the retirement of long time Terrier coach
Bis Bisbee. Only Mount St. Joseph has more high school football
championships (12) in the state.
    The Terriers will certainly be looking to pull even with MSJ in the
football championship department, as the Purple Gang will return several
key players from this season’s title team, including quarterback Jeremy
Kilburn, running backs Joe Aslin, Bruce Wells, Cooper Long, Forest
Coleman and defensive back Will Bourne, among others. They also have
several up-and-coming players that got a taste of varsity football this
season, which should go a long way towards helping them create an impact
next season.
    “This is just a great night for the players and coaches,” coach
Lockerby told the crowd before the banner was unveiled. “These kids
worked extremely hard all year, and it’s a great feeling to bring
another football championship back to Bellows Falls.”

     Joe Milliken is a freelance writer based in Bellows Falls. Visit Joe at

Invest between Okemo and Killington



Multi Family
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
Interior: 2067 sqft
Lot: 0.50 acre(s)
4738 Route 100A
Plymouth, VT 05056

Irene Gaffigan Irene Gaffigan

Bean Group
(802) 353-1983
[email protected]


Listed by: IRene Gaffigan

Nearby properties for sale,%20VT%22listing%20type:for%20sale&mcenter=43.531082,-72.73414&orderby=modification_time

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6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

While you’d like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.

Home not selling? That could happen for a number of reasons you can’t control, like a unique home layout or having one of the few homes in the neighborhood without a garage. There is one factor you can control: your home price.

These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.

1. You’re drawing few lookers

You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.

2. You’re drawing lots of lookers but have no offers

If you’ve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.

3. Your home’s been on the market longer than similar homes

Ask your real estate agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and you’re pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.

4. You have a deadline

If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend.

5. You can’t make upgrades

Maybe you’re plum out of cash and don’t have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isn’t as well-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.

6. The competition has changed

If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what’s still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.

More from HouseLogic

How to ready your home for sale at little cost

How to review offers on your home

Other web resources

Setting the right price

More on setting the right price

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who made strategic price reductions that led to the sale of a Wisconsin property. A frequent contributor to many national publications including, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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