Friday, September 25, 2009

Burlington VT Ranked #1 by Children's Health Magazine

September 24th, 2009

Burlington VT

Having lived here now going on 31 years, I am always excited each time Burlington and Vermont are recognized by independent organizations for the extraordinary quality of life we are so lucky to enjoy. Over these many years, this area has been recognized on so many levels I have simply lost count. It is a great testament to the quality of the people in this state and in the Burlington area that invest themselves so wholeheartedly into making this area so vibrant and special. We are truly blessed.

Having said that, another honor has now been bestowed upon Burlington. Children's Health Magazine (CHM) has just ranked Burlington Vermont as the #1 place in the United States to raise a family. ( )

Citing school per pupil spending and graduation rates near the top in all the United States coupled with a high percentage of the population having earned advanced degrees and a high median family income level as strong indicators of overall great health and a well educated population.

Additionally, an educated population by and large also enjoys better health and Burlington seems to fit that trend as well.

CHM notes Burlington has the lowest obesity rates in the country. Having the fewest fast food restaurants per capita and possibly because of the many outdoor recreational pursuits many of its residents enjoy seasonally and the importance of local, organically produced produce, meat and poultry, The Queen City continues to blaze her path of excellence.

Congratulations Burlington!

Call me at 802.238.5256, email me at or post your comments at Burlington Vermont Real Estate Blog or go to my website at Vermont Real Estate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Burlington Vermont Breaking News!! First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Expires 11/30/09

September 23rd, 2009 Burlington, VT

The Obama Administration's Gift to first time homebuyers is set to expire on November 30th, 2009 or in 68 days. One of the qualifications to receive the credit is you must have closed on your property by the last day of November. This gift to help first time homebuyers is equal to $8,000, not an inconsequestial figure if you are trying to make the leap from renting into homeownership.

At present, it is not uncommon for a closing to take up to FIVE weeks from the time the price of the property you want has been negotiated between you and the seller and is considered "under contract." If you have been considering taking this important step, now is the time you need to be looking in earnest. With closings taking up to 5 weeks, you would need to have a house under contract darned close to October 19th, 20th, 21st. Somewhere in there.

Interest rates for a home loan are at historical lows right now. They have nowhere to go but UP and many people believe that, indeed, they will!!

Rest assured, I will work tirelessly to find you just the right property and put it "under contract" by the third week of October for an end of November closing.

It is worth noting there is talk to try to get the time period extended both in Congress, by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and citizen groups. At present, it is only talk. Nothing concrete has been set to extend the offer.

If you are renting in Burlington VT, Williston VT, Colchester VT, Winooski VT, Shelburne VT, South Burlington VT, Hinesburg VT, Milton VT, Richmond VT,Jericho VT, Underhill VT, Essex VT or Charlotte VT and would like help finding the perfect property, please call me at 802.238.5256, email me at or post your comments at Burlington
Vermont Real Estate Blog
or go to my website at Vermont Real Estate.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lectures - Film Series - Workshops at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont

Beginning on October 1st, 2009 and running through November 21st, 2009 Shelburne Farms will be hosting eight Lectures, a Film Series and a set of Workshops under the heading“Transition
Toolkit: Learning Opportunities For A Sustainable Future.”
This phenomenal set of events is the culmination of sponsorship of the following organizations: Shelburne Farms, Burlington Permaculture, Transition Shelburne and Transition Charlotte. All events are open to the public and you are sincerely encouraged
to attend.

During this eight week period, topics will range in the following areas:

Week One - The Context For Transition

  • Oct. 1st: Lecture - “Sobering Realities, Exciting Possibilities”
  • Oct. 2nd: Film - “Global Gardener”
  • Oct. 3rd: Workshop - “Reducing Your Eco-Impact” *

Week Two - Permaculture

  • October 8th: Lecture - “Caring for the Earth, Caring for People”
  • October 9th: Film - “Global Gardener” *
  • October 10th: Workshop - “Hands-On Permaculture Design”

Week Three - Water

  • October 15th: Lecture - “More Important Than Oil”
  • October 16th: Film - “Flow” *
  • October 17th: Workshop - “Using Rain Barrels”

Week Four - Home Heating

  • October 22nd: Lecture - “Home Heating 101?
  • October 23rd: Film - “The End Of Suburbia”
  • October 24th: Workshop - “Reducing Your Heating Bill”

Week Five - Garbage and Sewage

  • October 29th: Lecture - “Gone Today - Here Forever?”
  • October 30th: Film - “Garbage Warrior” *
  • October 31st: Workshop - “The Joy of Composting”

Week Six - Food

  • November 5th: Lecture - “The Story of Food”
  • November 6th: Film - “The Power of Community” *
  • November 7th: Workshop - “Welcome to Root Cellars”

Week Seven - Transportation

  • November 12th: Lecture - “Getting Around Better”
  • November 13th: Film - “Who Killed The Electric Car?” *
  • November 14th: Workshop - “Bike Commuting Made Simple”

Week Eight - The Psychology of Change

  • November 19th: Lecture - “Moving Beyond Fear - Taking Action Now”
  • November 20th: Film - “A Convenient Truth” *
  • November 21st: Workshop - “Envisioning A Positive Future” *

All Events are located at Shelburne Farms unless noted with an *. Check website for details, more information and registration at or call 802.985.9830.

Senior, student and workstudy rates available.

Single Tickets as follows:

  • Lectures at 6:30pm $15
  • Films at 7pm $5
  • Workshops 10am -12:30pm $35

Flexi-Pass as follows:

  • Any 4 lectures $45
  • Any 4 workshops $100

The Whole Enchilada

  • Covers every event $325

I should mention in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a member of the Steering Committee of Transition Shelburne and a general member of Transition Charlotte. Your participation in these organizations is encouraged and we would welcome you.

Call me at 802.238.5256, email me at or post your comments at Hurd's The Word or go to my website at Shelburne Vermont Real Estate.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Every Year It Happens...

September 10th, 2009 Charlotte, Vermont

Okay. Who hit the switch?

Every year it happens... Every single year.

With the waning days of August giving way to the chilly taste of September, school aged kids and adults scurry to get settled back into their routines. Endless trips to Staples, the latest fashions in clothing, homework, kids trying to fall asleep earlier than their summer clocks allowed and waking up bleary eyed and grumpy as the crush for the bathroom resumes.

But the other switch that's as noticeable and reliable is our weather.

Have you felt it? The crispness in the air. Morning dew on our windshields, mist hovering over Lake Champlain, ponds and rivers in the early morning hours...

Have you heard it? The late summer crickets in their evening symphonies...

Have you smelled it? Farmers in their fields cutting, harvesting and fertilizing for next year...

Have you seen it? The sun setting earlier. Our recent Harvest full moon, Jupiter glowing bright red, colors on the edges of our forests and meadows turning...

Have you tasted it? Our gardens and CSA's are in mad harvest to our dinner tables, apple cider is flowing again, cider donuts (yummmmmm) and the sweet smells of our orchards...

And what is it about the sunsets this time of year in Vermont? The angle of the sun to the earth to Vermont. The clouds. The air. Sunsets are amazing in the early stages of fall in Vermont. Some of my best photographs seem to come at this time of year!

The bugs are gone. The hiking is better. The kayaking is better. Colors abound. The gardens are full. And we are having the most incredible stretch of sunny, warm, beautiful weather I can remember. Pushing three weeks now. June and July's incessant rains have become distant memories.

So, get out into Vermont. Hike the Long Trail in our lovely Green Mountains. Kayak the Paddler's Trail on Lake Champlain. Take your bike through the Shoreham, Panton, Charlotte and Shelburne orchards along the Lake Champlain Bikeways route, or simply take a drive up Route 100.

Before we recede into our homes with the advance of colder days to come, it's time to stay outside just a little longer. Time to notice all the bounties life in Vermont affords. Time to savor summer's memories...

Call me at 802.238.5256, email me at or post your comments at Burlington Vermont Real Estate Blog or go to my website at Vermont Real Estate.