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 www.westonplayhouse.org 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 www.kinhaven.org.
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 www.westonpriory.org.
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 www.vermontcountrystore.com 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. www.westonvt.com
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!
Until next time, Irene
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.
Space and Sunshine
Chester – Fabulous 3 bedroom, 2 bath, open floor plan contemporary in one of Vermont’s favorite towns. Many upgrades within past year including: kitchen, baths, flooring and all new windows and doors. Close to skiing – beat the Sunday traffic home from Okemo! $385,000.00
Everyday life can get crazy at times, many people fantasize about running off to their own personal retreat right here at Okemo. But how do you know which Okemo vacation home is best for you?
Do you want to be in the middle of a all the activity, or enjoy the peace and quiet of a secluded location? Is a condo at the mountain your cup of tea or a farmhouse tucked away in the woods? Whichever environment you prefer, here are some things you should consider:
Regular upkeep is more difficult with a vacation home than with your primary residence, but no less important. The value of the home, both as an investment and as a place you enjoy visiting, depends on good maintenance.
If your primary residence is not far from Okemo, you may want to make weekly visits to mow the lawn, water the garden, clean the gutters or shovel snow. If doing it yourself is impractical, consider hiring a vacation property management company to provide maintenance services during the times when you’re not using the home.
Visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com to learn more about Okemo and buying a vacation home or give me a call for more personal service.
5 Reasons To Buy Okemo Mountain Vacation Home
With the stock market in turmoil, many people are looking for alternative investments. Most of us are scared to death of jumping into the market right now and wondering what to do with their nest egg…other than sticking it under the mattress.
Christine Karpinski, director of Owner Community for HomeAway.com (an online vacation home rental marketplace) and author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment, says buying a vacation home is an excellent home is a good investment right now.
Okemo Mountain home values are down right now, but history shows they always rebound, making a vacation home a great long-term investment. Christine doesn’t recommend buying with the thought of flipping it in a year, but buying as a long term investment.
You are probably asking why buying a vacation home is a good investment.
First, there are deals to be had. Prices are lower than a few years ago during the peak of the housing bubble. The excessive number of foreclosures is also keeping prices down and inventory up, making sellers more negotiable.
Interest rates also remain reasonably low, with rates hovering 6-6.5 percent. If you have good credit, there is mortgage money to be had.
Below are Christine Karpinski’s 5 Reasons Why the Vacation Home Rental Market Is Holding Strong…Even in our Weak Economy
1. It’s easy for consumers to find information on vacation homes. By visiting respectable websites travelers can quickly find the vacation home that’s right for them. HomeAway’s network of vacation rentals includes over 300,000 properties all over the world, making it possible for almost anyone to find one within a two- to three-hour driving distance from their home.
2. Vacation homes tend to be less expensive than hotel rooms. This is especially true if you’re traveling with extended family or a group of friends. HomeAway recently contrasted a three-bedroom vacation rental private condo in Orlando with a popular three-star hotel and found that the condo was cheaper by more than $1,700! “That’s a big difference, and in a tenuous economy it seems even bigger,” notes Karpinski.
3. When airfare gets expensive, people start taking road trips instead. Even with gas prices relatively high, it’s still far cheaper to drive a couple hundred miles to your mountain cabin than to fly to some lavish vacation destination. “Even with the bad economy, people need to take vacations,” says Karpinski. “In fact, psychologically, they may need to get away more than ever. A fairly inexpensive stay in a nearby vacation home is the perfect solution.”
4. The weak dollar makes U.S. tourist destinations attractive to European travelers, whose currency is still strong. “On my recent trip to Hawaii, I noticed a lot of German tourists,” notes Karpinski. “And when I speak to many of the vacation homeowners I work with, they confirm that they’ve encountered a surprisingly high number of European travelers lately.”
5. Business travelers still need a place to stay. When corporations must meet with business associates-who increasingly hail from overseas-they need good lodging solutions. Enter the vacation home. “More and more executives are putting their guests up in vacation homes instead of cramped, impersonal hotel rooms,” notes Karpinski. “It’s a far more comfortable option; plus many companies work out deals with homeowners whereby they can get ‘volume discounts.’ It’s a win/win for all parties involved.”
Learn more about buying a Okemo Mountain vacation home by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give us a call, 800-659-1819 #103.
One of the biggest decision Ludlow and Okemo Mountain second-home buyers must decide is whether or not to rent their property when they are not using it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one-half of all second-home owners leave their home unoccupied for more than 330 days a year. The question becomes, will your vacation home be a financial burden or a financial cow with the rental income is can generate, thus paying for itself
Renting does have its pros and cons. Some owners don’t like the idea of ‘strangers’ in their home. Others don’t want the hassle of being a landlord, especially a long distance landlord. And then there is the decision to give up the prime vacation season for rental income. The flip side is renting your vacation home provides a stream of easy money.
EscapeHomes.com offers advice and tips when considering a Ludlow and Okemo Mountain vacation home purchase and deciding whether renting out that home is right for you:
Before You Buy
If you already know you will rent your vacation home, consider these questions as you look at properties:
Is there a rental market in the area?
What is the average rent that your neighbors receive?
If you are looking in a development, are there any by-laws which restrict your rental capabilities?
Is this a seasonal area or year-round location?
The answers to these questions will help you select a more lucrative property for your vacation home.
How do you decide when to rent your property and when to use it yourself? Since you are buying primarily for your own fun and enjoyment, you shouldn’t sacrifice this. If the home is in a one-season area, for example, summers at the Maine coast, then giving up that time of year for rental income defeats the purpose of having the home. In this case, you might look for a long-term (9-month) renter for the off-season, among the local population, while you use it in the summer. On the other hand, if you buy a winter ski condo or chalet, it is still highly rentable in the summer time for the mountaineering types. If you buy a property for weekend use, perhaps there are local people who need a Monday-Friday escape option. In short, if you balance your own needs with the market demands, you get both fun and money.
For successful renting, first find out the going rental market rate. Second, determine if you want to market it yourself, or use a rental agent. Self-marketing takes time, but often generates more qualified renters as you are not competing with all the other properties of an agent. Third, be sure to arrange for a property manager. This is different from a rental agency. The manager will take 10 to 20 percent of the rent, and free you up from cleaning, being on call for maintenance (especially important if you live far away), and dealing with the daily needs of the renters.
Make it Personal
By far, the most important factor in success is your personal investment in the process. This means your personal contact with your renters. From a simple welcome note and local maps to a thank-you note and on-going contact, your relationship creates a repeat flow of guests who not only love your second home as much as you do but also pay for the privilege of using it. What could be better?
If you are considering buying a Ludlow or Okemo Mountain vacation home, give us a call, 800-659-1819 #103. We are glad to provide you with the information you need to make a good buying and renting decision.
Think you want to rent out your Ludlow or Okemo vacation home, but don’t want to handle the day-to-day details yourself, we can recommend a reputable Property Manager.
Continuing with last week’s discussion about preparing for tax season, I wanted to spend some time this week covering issues related to paying taxes on vacation homes. Many homeowners in the Okemo Mountain area use their property as a vacation home – but can these homes truly be claimed as vacation properties?This article from RealEstateJournal.com answers this and other important questions, such as:
When and under what circumstances do I have to pay taxes on rental income?
What sort of deductions can owners of rental properties take?
If my vacation home is considered a secondary home (not a rental home), what deductions can I take?IRS Publication 527: Residential Rental Property
IRS Tax Topic 415: Renting Residential and Vacation Property
IRS Publication 925: Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules
To learn more about owning an Okemo Mountain vacation home or Ludlow VT real estate, please call me at 802-3531983 or visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com. You may also begin searching the MLS here!
Once you have determined which category your property qualifies as, there is a helpful chart in the article that will give you an idea of what to expect as far as property taxes this year.
Other helpful links on this topic:
According to this MSN.com article, it could indeed be possible for a vacation home to pay for itself in the long-run.ISellVermontRealEstate.com. Or, click here to sign up to receive automated emails of new listings that match your criteria.
Investor Christine Hrib Karpinski offers these three basic rules for purchasing and managing a vacation home:
– Vacation homes need to be rented 15 to 17 weeks a year in most areas to break even.
– Internet advertising is essential. Karpinski recommends advertising your home on 3-5 web sites to ensure the maximum amount of exposure.
– Consider cutting out the middle-man and being your own rental agent.
Karpinski also suggests asking yourself these four questions before jumping into vacation home ownership:
· Are you ready to do the research to find the right home in the right area for you?
· Are you willing to give up the use of your property during peak season?
· Are you willing to put in the necessary work, including advertising and maintenance duties?
· Can you hold on if things get tough?
If you are ready to begin your search for a Ludlow VT vacation home, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
If you are considering purchasing an Okemo Mountain VT vacation home in time for ski season, you may be curious about how you will be taxed on the prospective property.This article from Smart Money magazine explains how you can purchase a vacation home and afford to pay the taxes on it. In addition to covering timeshares and multiple residences, vacation homeownership is broken down into three main groups for tax-related purposes:ISellVermontRealEstate.com. Or click here to see my current listings!
· Use a lot, rent a lot (home is considered a personal residence but income must be accounted for)
· Rent a lot, use a little (home is considered a rental property)
· Use a lot, rent a little (home is considered a personal residence and income does not have to be declared)
If you are thinking of purchasing a Ludlow VT vacation home, please call me at 802-353-1983 or visit
Today’s mortgage market is uncertain, to say the least. Because of this, many investors and second-home buyers are jumping to the conclusion that paying cash is always the best way to finance their investment home.Real Estate Journal. Read her response and remember that an experienced Realtor is your best resource to help you find a lender who will give you sound, unbiased advice on the best way to finance the purchase of your dream home.click here to begin searching the Ludlow VT MLS. You may also visit my website or email me to learn more about Okemo Mountain real estate. I would love to help you invest in your dream vacation home!
Paying cash certainly eliminates the risk that comes with rising interest rates and the growing rate of foreclosure. But does it limit the tax benefits of homeownership? And can you really afford to have that much money invested in one asset?
This is the question that was recently posed to columnist June Fletcher in the