Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making Sense: Burlington Vermont's Foreclosure Rate Update

Burlington Vermont Real Estate

October 29th, 2009

Burlington VT

I was interviewed by CNN/ this past Tuesday to comment on the foreclosure filing increases over the past few months being recorded in the Burlington metro region. The reporter, Julianne Pepitone, asked me several questions about our real estate market. The gyst of her reporting indicated that the Burlington metro area has had a significant increase in foreclosur

e filings. She juxtaposed Burlington's numbers with four other larger metro areas that had had major foreclosure increases lumping these areas together in a manner that suggested something more dire.

Further, last week, Vermont Public Radio (VPR) interviewed a Statistics Professor, Vince Bolduc, from Saint Michael's College in Colchester VT on how perverted the Vermont statistics are given that we have such a small population base. Actual numbers of foreclosures in the Burlington metro market per month have risen from 10 per month up to 12 per month. These numbers are hardly anything to be alarmed about.

In fact, Vermont as a state as recorded on June 11th, 2009 had the lowest rate of foreclosures of any state in the entire United States. Now that is something we can be proud of on a number of important levels. (These statistics were compiled by RealtyTrac (, the nations leading source for online foreclosure properties.)

In addition, RealtyTrac reported that 1 in every 357 households nation-wide received a foreclosure filing in August 2009. Vermont's foreclosure filing rate was 1 in every 9,437 in that same month. However, in July 2009, it was 1 in every 28,312 a 200 percent change from July and an 83.3 percent change from August 2008. When these statistics are examined more closely, we can see the percentages may be startling but the actual numbers are not.

We all know our economy is hurting and hurting badly in specific areas across our country. We need reporting accuracy, not hyperbole and a steady hand on the tiller combined with our resourcefulness and resiliency. Vermont has so far weathered this economic storm admirably.

If you are interested in purchasing a Home in and around Burlington VT, please call me on my direct line at 802.238.5256 or email me at

As always, please feel free to place your comments at Hurd's The Word or go to my website at Burlington Vermont Real Estate.

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Burlington Vermont Realtor Earns NAR’s New Green Designation

October 19th, 2009

Burlington VT

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) awarded Chris Hurd its newest Green Designation over the weekend. Mr Hurd is the first Realtor in Burlington Vermont and Chittenden County to have achieved this distinction. He is one of only 9 Realtors across the entire state of Vermont who have fully completed NAR's education/certification process and become fully certified.

Mr. Hurd recognizes that Green Real Estate is altering fundamental market dynamics. Studies now show that two-thirds of consumers are paying attention to green homes and buildings; they recognize the link between green properties, cost savings and healthy living. Chris seeks to be a positive force for change with his clients and within his community as NAR's newest Green Designee.

NAR's Green Designation is a real estate designation designed for residential, commercial and property management professionals looking to green their businesses and their lives. When you earn NAR's Green Designation, you'll gain:

  • A comprehensive understanding of what it means to go green and the concerns of consumers seeking green knowledge about real estate

  • Valuable real estate education that broadens your abilities in the eyes your clients, prospective clients and associates

  • Enhanced ability to participate in the green real estate market

  • Ongoing specialized training and resources that help you stay on top of green real estate issues and trends

  • Access to customizable members-only marketing tools to help you build your business and gain a competitive edge

If you are interested in purchasing a Green Home in and around Burlington VT, please call me at my direct line at 802.238.5256, email me at or post your comments at Hurd's The Word or go to my website at Burlington Vermont Real Estate.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sustainability Series Continues This Week at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont

Recently, I completed my course work for acquiring the National Association of Realtors new Green designation. In keeping with my commitment of bringing new awarenesses to those of you who are sensitive to issues of sustainability, green building practices and smart developments/communities, I want you to be aware of the Lecture, Film & Workshop Series currently underway each week for the next 7 weeks running at Shelburne Farms. Last week, I attended the 3 part series on "Assessing Our Eco-impact." Each event was first rate. The presenters imparted their immense knowledge on their subjects. The documentary "Home" was stunningingly filmed and carried both messages of our stark realities and hope.

Transition Tookit Series:
Learning Opportunities
for a Sustainable Future.

Events for Week Two: Permaculture

Lecture: Thursday 6:30 Ed Center, Farm Barn at

Shelburne Farms $7.

As we consider the convergent crises of climate change, peak oil and economic ‘uncertainty’, we can become anxious’ and stuck, or embrace one of the greatest opportunities in generations: to restructure society so that it is based on ecological and ethical principles, as well as local resilience. This presentation introduces the concept of permaculture, and explores the ways we can design and establish our homes and communities as ‘human ecosystems’ that are not only less fuel reliant, but also beautiful, productive, ecologically restorative, and wholly nourishing. To learn more about permaculture visit:

Film: Shelburne Town Hall 7PM, $5 Sugg. Donation

The Global Gardener tells the story of permaculture founder and practical visionary BILL MOLLISON. For nearly two decades Mollison has traveled the globe teaching permaculture, the method of sustainable agriculture and human habitat design that he and David Holmgren developed. Permaculture weaves together ecosystems, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, water management and human needs into intricately connected productive landscapes. The Global Gardener shows how Mollison helped empower people to turn environmental wastelands, in places as different as the dessert and inner cities, into beautiful, food producing landscapes. An inspiring testimonial to the ability of people and nature working together to heal the planet, while providing for humanity.

Workshop: South Gate Cottage at Shelburne Farms.

10AM-2:30PM, $20, (bring a bag lunch)

Join Keith Morris, a professional ecological designer, for a day of practice ‘in reading a landscape’, and exploring the potentials for home-scale food and energy production, waste management, and ecological regeneration. We’ will focus on the design process, articulating goals, analyzing a site, and generating graphical representations of our interpretations and design ideas for the South Gate Cottage at Shelburne Farms. Bring a big pad of paper, colored markets and your creativity! To learn more about permaculture visit:


Keith Morris has been applying his life-long love of nature and people to permaculture and ecological design since 1996, and has worked professionally as a designer, farmer, natural builder, and educator facilitating healthy and healing human ecosystems since 2000. His work integrates community building, ecological regeneration, shelter and structures, and diverse, nutrient-dense food production into beautiful and productive whole systems. He teaches at Sterling College, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, the University of Vermont, and has worked for USAID Farmer to Farmer in Nigeria and Ghana.

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.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Best Neighborhoods in America: The Five Sisters in Burlington VT

Men's Journal magazine in their June 2009 issue listed the thirty best neighborhoods to live in in America. They noted that "a neighborhood with real soul can make a vibrant city even better. And enclaves of unique vitality can breathe life into unsung workaday towns. No matter where you live, finding just the right 'hood is what really makes a place home."

With names like Catherine, Charlotte, Caroline, Margaret and Marion you'd think I'd be giving you the list of dates my rambunctious neighbor had last week alone. But in all seriousness, this is the neighborhood known in Burlington Vermont as the "Five Sisters." Located about a mile's walk south of the Church Street Marketplace, Burlington's hub, and about a three quarter mile walk to Lake Champlain, this neighborhood has a lot to offer.

Sleepy, quiet and close to it all including the University of Vermont, the Five Sisters neighborhood is highly sought after. Homes, when they come on the market, last for a very short time. If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you just may wind up being counted as one of her fortunate residents.

All within walking distance, one can easily find yoga studios, coffee shops, bakeries, gourmet food markets, breakfast, lunch and dinner places and lots more. On Saturday's, there's the Farmer's Market in downtown Burlington's City Hall Park.

Typical homes are kinda bungalowy with friendly front porches and many have been renovated. It is not at all uncommon to buy in this area and see intrepid renovations quickly underway. The scale in this established neighborhood seems to feel familiar in that special way. You know what I mean. It just feels right. Small, tree lined streets, kids headed to the nearby park, people on bicycles... It feels real, not contrived.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Five Sisters neighborhood of Burlington Vermont, please call me at 802.238.5256 or email me at

As always, please feel free to place your comments here at Burlington Vermont Real Estate Blog or go to my website at Burlington Vermont Real Estate.