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Informational

The Battle of Great Hosmer Pond

Great Hosmer Pond has been a significant part of the Craftsbury, VT community since the mid 40’s when lakefront cabin development began. This serene hideaway allowed residents to enjoy the lake all summer on their boats as well as along the shoreline.   

Fast forward to 1976 when Russell Spring founded the Craftsbury Outdoor Center – primarily focused on sculling (a.k.a. rowing). The outdoor center thrives simply due to the fact that Great Hosmer Pond is “the greatest place on Earth to scull, end of story” according to managing director Troy Howell.

However, as of late, there’s been some resistance to the COC. Motorboats and scullers simply cannot coexist on a lake as narrow as Hosmer. There isn’t enough room. The lake is only 160 feet wide at its broadest part, which would typically mean motor boats were prohibited on the body of water. However, since the lakefront properties date back to the 40’s and 50’s the use of motorboats has been grandfathered in.

Managing director Troy Howell again explains, “If there are 40 to 50 scullers on the lake, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to water-ski.” “By the same token, if there are even three motorboats on the lake functioning at high speeds, it’s virtually impossible to scull.”

The conflict in Craftsbury is at a breaking point, and if a solution isn’t found soon it might boil over.

Shared access to public facilities hasn’t been particularly troublesome in Vermont up until this point due to our low population density. However, as more and more patrons begin to summer in Vermont and use our lakes it’s a problem we could see arise more frequently.   

For any of your real estate questions or concerns contact Steve Lipkin and the LipVT team at Steve@LipVT.com or 802-846-9575.

Do You Own Your Land?

Photo: Farmland in Thetford, Vermont. One of the many VT towns effected by land leases. 

Donna and Travis Jocelyn woke to a rude awakening when a title search on their property in the closing stages of their transaction revealed an enormous obstacle; The City of Burlington owned the land they had called their own for years. The couple had been looking to downsize from their New North End residence to a small condo to mitigate property taxes. After much discouragement in their selling process, finding a buyer was a blast of new hope – until the buyer’s attorney conducted a title search to make sure there weren’t any unpaid taxes on the property. A document dating back to the 1700’s created by the governors of New York and New Hampshire, still under British sovereignty, revealed the land was in fact owned by the City of Burlington for potential land leases for fundraising purposes. Provisions in these leases would allow settlers to occupy the land for “as long as grass grows and water runs,” allowing occupants to settle on, but never sell the land. Eventually the individual towns became responsible for these land leases, and over time they stopped collecting rent. The City’s claim on these deeds hasn’t been a problem until now as analysis of record is becoming much stricter. Burlington, just in time for the sale, granted a quitclaim deed releasing all claim to the property and transferring it to the Jocelyns. It’s expected that hundreds, if not thousands of Burlington residents will be effected by the land leases in the coming years. Officials are discussing a possible solution to the problem – a statewide policy that terminates the city’s three century old claim to the land. Until then, purchasing title insurance as soon as possible after the acquisition of a property will help avoid this obstacle for homeowners and investors alike. Contact Steve Lipkin and the LipVT team for more info!  

Sinex and Burlington - A $200 million Disagreement

Photo: A 3d model of how the town center will look post development.

The clock is ticking for Burlington Town Center owner, Don Sinex. For some time now, Sinex has been working to redevelop the struggling downtown Burlington Mall. Sinex is seeking a zoning change to allow for a height increase which Sinex says is necessary to increase density to make the $200 million development viable. Reaction is still mixed among Burlington residents with strong opinions on both sides. Opponents to the development site concern that a zoning change allowing any part of the complex to rise to 14 stories will create a dangerous precedent and irrevocably change the city skyline. Those in favor say the change is necessary to improve the city’s chronic housing shortage and will help create jobs. Stay tuned to see if the approximately 1,000,000 new sq ft of development will be taking place, 246,000 of which are dedicated to retail, 340,000 to office, 307,000 to residential and 355,000 to a new parking garage. 

To read the full article:

 

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2016/05/25/burlington-town-center-owner-pushes-back-opposition/84920172/ 

 

 

 

 

Queen City landlords get an energy boost!

An interesting business opportunity has slid on to the plate of Burlington multifamily property owners.

Photo: Building performance specialist Jeremy King inspects a Burlington multifamily property for heat fluctuation using an infrared camera.

There's been a long time tug-of-war between Burlington landlords and tenants. Why would a Burlington landlord fret over a tenant's high heating bill? On the contrary, why would a tenant give thought to maximizing a landlord's long-term investment in their property?

The simple answer: neither does. And that's exactly why numerous Burlington multifamily properties have been neglected as far as improvements go in the past years. 

Energy Champ, a program developed by Vermont Gas Systems and Burlington Electric Department, is a possible solution to the predicament. The program is split into two stages. Stage one for a landlord is having energy auditors conduct a walkthrough of the entire building. The auditors use tools such as infrared cameras to determine how well the structure retains heat, and calculate the investment a landlord would need to make to achieve total heat efficiency. Stage two of the program for the landlord is making the improvements suggested by the auditors.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Vermont Gas Systems and the Burlington Electric Department will cover up to 75% of the total improvement cost the landlords incurr. 

This has created an awesome opportunity for Queen City landlords. Not only can they do their part in making our planet energy efficient, but they can keep tenants in their properties longer as tenants tend to stay in an apartment longer the lower the heating bill is. They also have a darn good chance at increasing the resale value of their property more so than what they invested in Energy Champ. 

To read the full article: https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/life/green-mountain/2016/02/21/landlords-burlington-leap-energy-upgrades/80397658/

Bessery's Meat Market Redevelopment

Wondering what happened to Bessery's Meat Market in the New North End of Burlington?

They are rebuilding the store to include a new buther shop, quality deli and creamee/italian ice window.  In addition to the first floor store there will be two 2 bedroom apartments on the second floor.  

Bessery's is offering a discouunt if you invest in their future - 

http://www.besserysqualitymarket.com/crowdfunding.html .

Please let us know if you have any questions or are interested in Burlington Real Estate.

 

City Market Moving Forward with Plans for South End Store!

Burlington City Councilors unanimously voted to send necessary zoning changes to the Ordinance Committee which would allow City Market/Onion River Co-Op to open up a 2nd store on the corner of Flynn Avenue and Briggs Street in the South End of Burlington near Oakledge Park. The main reason for opening another store in the same city is to alleviate the pressure in the busy downtown store which opened in 2002 and has limited parking. The co-op's general manager says they hope to break ground in June 2016 and open the new store in June 2017. The new store will be 1/3 larger than the downtown store and they expect $12 million in sales during their first year. 

Check out the full story on burlingtonfreepress.comhttp://bfpne.ws/1OItvwh

Check out City Market here: www.citymarket.coop

We at Lipkin Investment Properties are very excited for the new City Market store to open as it will be located just a few blocks from our Hickok & Boardman Realty office and will give us another lunch and quick grocery stop option!

Looking to move to the Burlington area or sell your Burlington home, condo, or multi-family property? LipVT is the #1 real estate team for sales in Burlington for 3 years in a row now! Visit us at www.LipVT.com, call 846-9575, or email Steve@LipVT.com with any questions about Burlington Vermont Real Estate. 

 

 

 

 

 

VHFA 1st Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program!

Vermont Real Estate VHFA First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance ProgramVHFA Vermont Housing Finance Agency

Governor Shumlin recently joined leaders from VHFA, the Vermont Legislature and the business community to launch a bold new effort to help the state's first-time home buyers. Each qualified buyer will receive up to $5,000 for down payment and closing costs. There is mounting evidence that the escalation of these costs in recent years, combined with other economic hardships lingering from the recession, are preventing many young Vermonters from buying their first home.

The new program will provide first-time home buyers who use a VHFA mortgage with up to $5,000 that needs repayment only if the home is sold or refinanced. "Because our typical customer is buying their first home and is eight years younger than the average home buyer statewide, VHFA is a great vehicle for reaching those households struggling most to save for a home," explained Sarah Carpenter, VHFA's Executive Director. Nationally the recession reduced homeownership rates by 15% among young people (aged 35-44) - far more than among older age groups, according to the Census.

View the full article here: http://www.vhfa.org/news/blog/governor-kicks-off-new-down-payment-assistance-program

This is an amazing opportunity for 1st time home buyers! For more info about the new down payment assistance program (called the "ASSIST loan"), please visit www.vhfa.org. There you will also find a list of participating lenders such as Vermont Federal Credit Union, Northfield Savings Bank and Union Bank.

This is also a great time for SELLERS if you have a home you think might make a good "Starter Home" for these lucky buyers! Contact us for a FREE Market Analysis to help determine the value of your home!

We at LipVT are your local experts when it comes to home buyers making their very 1st investment in real estate! Please visit us at www.lipvt.com or give us a call at 802-846-9575 to learn more about this dynamic marketplace and the terrific opportunities for buyers and sellers.

 

Champlain College's Eagles Landing Project to Move Forward

After two years of legal disputes, Champlain College is planning to break ground next Fall on the Eagles Landing project to be located on Saint Paul Street at the site of the vacant Eagle's Club and nearby parking lot.  The new and improved design will consist of 104 units, housing 290 Champlain College students, and will generate roughly $400,000 in tax revenue for the City.  Read the entire article from last week's Seven Days. 

As always, feel free to contact the LIPKIN TEAM to answer any questions you have regarding Burlington area real estate.

 

Advice for Pricing Your Home

Although it's great to do your homework before selling your home, don't rely on popular tv shows and websites to come up with your home's sale price. Pricing a home is not an exact science, there are many factors to consider. Your best bet is to "leave it to a professional" - a real estate agent or an appraiser. The process of determining your home's value involves several steps including a thorough walk-thru, a detailed comparative analysis and extensive market research. To learn more on this topic read "Pricing Your Home for What it's Worth" from the Sunday Boston Globe.

The LIPKIN TEAM is happy to help you with this process and is here to answer any questions you have regarding Burlington area real estate.

L.L. Bean coming to Burlington, Apple store may follow

LLBean-BurlingtonMallBurlington Town Center Mall will see some big changes this Fall, just in time for the holiday shopping season.  L.L. Bean is currently scheduled to open on Cherry Street in late October.  Also, new mall owner, Sinex, is in preliminary discussions with Apple to open a retail store at the mall entrance on Church Street.  Click here to read the complete article from the Burlington Free Press. As always, feel free to contact lipvt.com if you have any questions regarding Burlington real estate.