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Are You Pondering a Pond?

It may not have been the hottest (or the driest) summer in the Northeast Kingdom, but it was still a beautiful one. It was also one of the busiest in real estate we’ve seen in the last few years – and it’s still going strong! Recently, the team at Tim Scott Real Estate has listed several properties with private ponds. What better way to spend Vermont summers at home with your own place to swim, fish, or just relax by the water?

350 Partridge Lane, Danville


This country home on 19+/- acres has a private setting but is just a few miles to Danville village. The expansive back deck overlooks the backyard and pond. Surrounded by perennials, this home is perfect for those who love to entertain!

299 Maple Lane, Danville

Love to play outside? Here is a 34.5+/- property with so much to offer! Not only does it have a pretty stone landscape pond near the spacious home, there is a larger swimming pond on the lower property. Next to the big pond is a tree house that is solar powered. Fire-pits, patio, deck, sauna, hot tub, pool, fields, barn, outbuilding and close to LV Rail Trail!

1353 Hines Place, Walden

Here is a property for the nature enthusiast! Land borders Steam Mill Brook Wildlife Management Area - over 10,000 acres of state owned land! Solar-powered home is on 20.5+/- and has a large spring-fed pond. Large outbuildings for your toys!

651 Sutton Road, Wheelock

This well-maintained ranch style home is on a 5.3+/- acre lot, faces a pretty view, has lots of perennials, and a perfect little pond in the backyard. Sliding doors from the kitchen area lead to a rear deck which makes for easy outdoor eating. 

263 Bedor Lane, St. Johnsbury

The pond on this property is located next to the 4-stall horse barn and is just one of the many appealing features. Colonial home faces an amazing mountain view, has an attached 2-car garage, a riding ring, on 31.44+/- acres!

Own a Piece of Peacham History with Mack's Mountain Farm

I believe few would argue with the statement that Peacham is a very charming Vermont town. Settled in 1776 the village has a pretty view of the mountains, the delightful Peacham Café, and streets lined with eye-catching historic homes. Many of these houses have small signs on their front lawn stating the year it was built and the name of the house. It is no wonder why so many flock to Peacham to photograph its beauty, especially during the foliage. The community-oriented town holds many festivals such as a Fall Foliage Festival and the Fourth of July Tractor Parade. During such events, these “Historic Homes of Peacham” are often an attraction and photographed by tourists and locals. The neighborly homeowners often welcome spectators… just another alluring trait of Peacham.

 You may be familiar with the book “Historic Homes of Peacham”. This beautiful hard-covered book was created by members of Peacham’s Historical Homes Committee. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. A copy can be purchased through the Peacham Historical Association , at the Peacham Corner Guild (open seasonally)  or the Peacham Library. The book has wonderful old photographs and gives you a glimpse into the history of the many homes we admire.

 Recently TSRE listed a property about half way up Mack’s Mountain on Lanesboro Road. This antique home is featured in the book titled “Mack’s Mountain Farm”. The house was built in the early 1800s. When you compare the two photos it’s apparent the house has changed since the first photo taken in 1880, as houses often do. According to the write-up, the home is a Classic Cottage but “…the door surround is unusual. It features three-quarter-length sidelights with clapboarding continuing beneath them and a wood lintel atop the door and sidelights.” The house still features the three-quarter sidelights.

 The property has had many owners since the first recorded owner Moses Watts in 1792. After 200+ years, it’s hard to say for certain which house details are original and what was added over the years. Yet, it is obvious much of the character of this home is antique. Hand hewn beams have been exposed in the ceiling of the living room and kitchen, there are wide-board floors, wainscoting, built-ins, and so on. This home has been loved but is ready for the next home-owner who appreciates the character of an old Vermont farmhouse and can give it the attention it needs.  The house sits on 40 +/- acres and is enrolled in Current Use which helps with the cost of property taxes. Click here to view the listing.

 On the topic of “Historic Homes of Peacham” there is another TSRE listing featured in the book. On page 30 you’ll find “Hobart’s Barn” one of the oldest barns in Peacham. “Hobart’s Barn” is in the village and on the lot of 480 Bayley Hazen Road. The home was built in 1819 and has a perfect combination of antique details and modern updates. You can check out that listing here.

 I want to extend a big thank you to the Peacham Historical Association for keeping the history of Peacham alive in the community. 

Tim Scott Real Estate Celebrates First Anniversary

It’s hard for me to believe it’s already been a year since the launch of Tim Scott Real Estate. It feels like a paradox because the year went by so fast, yet the transition was so smooth that it seems like this company has been operating for much longer than that.
 
I am a native to this area and wouldn’t choose to live and work anywhere else. The communities of the Northeast Kingdom are so supportive and have a sense of togetherness that is not always easy to find. After over a decade of selling real estate in the Kingdom, starting my own company was the next logical step. As a third-generation Realtor®, real estate and the love of Vermont appears to be a family trait. Starting TSRE came full circle with so many pieces of the puzzle fitting perfectly together; such as drawing inspiration for my logo from the one that my great uncle Walter Scott used when he sold real estate in St. Johnsbury.  Or that I purchased the building that my mother, Mary Scott, sold real estate out of at one time in her career – that combined with her decision to join my company. 
 
Mary Scott is one of the hardest-working agents I know. She impresses me daily with her work ethic and her enthusiasm to continually evolve with the ever-changing real estate industry.   She has not only a passion for real estate, but also a genuine love for people. She remains friends with her clients, is involved in the community, and enjoys her new-ish role as a grandmother. Mary joining the company was a vital part of the successful first year. Thank you, Mary.
 


On the other side of the spectrum, I’d also like to thank Libby Ratico. Coinciding with the TSRE anniversary, Libby is also celebrating her first anniversary as a Realtor®.  Any real estate agent will tell you, this is not an easy business to succeed in and the first years can be the toughest. Libby entered this field like a rock star and has had a tremendous year! Her willingness to go above and beyond for her clients is one her many traits that I value.  

 
 
Last, but certainly not least, is Linda Pakus. I have been fortunate to have been working with Linda since 2013. Linda has held a Vermont Real Estate License since 2008 and has been working in the industry since. Linda does so much on a day-to-day basis. She brings many talents and creativity with her that allows our company to offer our clients more personal attention and a higher level of service. Linda is in charge of everyday operations, handles all of the marketing, and supports our busy agents. I can tell you with the utmost certainty that I and my company, would not have enjoyed the level of success it has had without her. Linda is an indispensable asset to the TSRE team.
 
There are many, many, people to thank for making TSRE’s first year such a positive one. All the local professionals that I work with, the TSRE clients, my supportive wife and daughter. And of course, my dog, Donnie, the unofficial social media mascot of Tim Scott Real Estate. Thanks for a great year – here’s too many more!

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford

Meet Your Local Professionals: Part 2 - Steve Dukette of Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspections

There are many parts to a real estate transaction. While a real estate agent will guide you through the process, it is often a team effort with several professionals along the way to ensure a successful closing. At Tim Scott Real Estate, we have the privilege of working with many local professionals who really go above and beyond for their clients.

An important step as a buyer after your offer is accepted on a property is to have a home inspection. This step is optional but highly recommended. Sellers are obligated to disclose all they know about their home, but there can be issues that the home owner is unaware of.  A home inspector’s job is to look at a long check list of items including the grounds, structure, electrical, plumbing, roof, and more. The inspector will report which items are in good condition, in need of repair, and can recommend appropriate professional(s) to get a quote if necessary.

It can feel very overwhelming to a buyer. A good home inspector will take the time to educate their clients, answer questions, and present them with house issues without panicking them. I can tell you from personal experience that Steve Dukette embraces all those qualities.

Steve is a Vermonter. He grew up in the north end of Barre, Vermont and now resides with wife and business partner, Sue Dukette, in Troy, VT.  They have two grown children; a son who lives in Colorado and a daughter who lives in New Hampshire with Steve and Sue’s granddaughters, ages 15, 5, and the newest addition, born in February of this year.

Steve has been a home inspector since 2002 and opened Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspections, LLC with Sue in 2007. Sue is the Client Office Coordinator. The team also includes Inspectors Aaron “AJ” Houlne from Campton, NH; Barry Sykes from Derby, VT; and Jamie Milholland.

TSRE: Is there anything a buyer can do to prepare for a home inspection?

Steve: Set aside 2-4 hours for the inspection without distractions. Be with your inspector the whole time, give them space to do their work but ask questions and let them know your concerns. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the home and how it operates. When you get the report, it will make more sense to you because you got to see it firsthand.

TSRE: Do you have advice for a first-time home buyer about the home inspection process?

Steve: Try to be calm. Take a first-time home buyer’s class – you will learn a lot! You are the CEO of this process, be your own advocate. Surround yourself with true professionals. Interview all potential parties in the buying process; loan officer, Realtor®, home inspector, etc. Go with who you are comfortable with. If it doesn’t feel right, interview others until you have a great team that will fully represent your interest 100%.

TSRE: What is something that has changed in your profession since you started?

Steve: Reporting! Some companies were very old-school, using a single paper for an inspection report with hand-written data. We were the first in our area to use a digital report with pictures. Today’s reports are very detailed as more interested parties are looking at them aside from clients/Realtors®.

TSRE: What is the strangest thing you discover during a home inspection?

Steve: A note on top of a quilt that read “Line this coffin with the quilt before putting me in. Thanks.”

TSRE: How far will Covered Bridge inspectors travel?

Steve: We service the northern and central regions of VT & NH with locations in: Troy, VT; Derby, VT; and Campton, NH. Having multiple licensed inspectors in both VT & NH we can service most requests for inspections, even when under tight time frames.

To contact Covered Bridge Professional Home Inspection you can call them at (866) 388-2692, email info@coveredbridgeprofessionalhomeinspections.com or visit online www.coveredbridgeprofessionalhomeinspections.com

Meet Your Local Professionals Series: Part 1 - Melynda Miller and Melyssa Whitcomb of Union Bank

Melynda Miller and Melyssa Whitcomb of Union Bank
There are many parts to a real estate transaction. While a real estate agent will guide you through the process, it is often a team effort with several professionals along the way to ensure a successful closing. At Tim Scott Real Estate, we have the privilege of working with many local professionals who really go above and beyond for their clients. 
 
This blog is the first in a series focusing on our local professionals specializing in different areas of the home buying/selling process and companies who provide services for home repairs and upkeep.
 
If you will be financing your home, the first step in the process is to talk with a mortgage loan officer. Considering that first step, I thought it would be fitting for the initial blog in this series to be with a local mortgage loan officer. I decided to double the fun and talk with Melynda Miller and her twin sister Melyssa Whitcomb, both of Union Bank.
 
The sisters are Northeast Kingdom natives. They were raised in Burke, VT and both built houses close to their parents and reside there with their husbands and kids. Melyssa has 2 boys ages 20 and 13. Melynda has three kids ages 13, and the “lucky one” to have twins of her own, a boy and a girl, age 11. 
 
TSRE: It’s a fun fact that twin sisters are in the same profession at the same company. How did it become that you both are mortgage loan officers at Union Bank? 
 
Melyssa: I started in Dec 1992 as a teller and the bank was hiring so Melynda applied and was hired in July 1993. At that time it was Citizens Savings Bank and they employed a lot of family members.  We both started out as tellers and have worked our way up the ladder.
 
TSRE: When a home buyer is ready to talk to a loan officer, what type of information can that person expect to provide? 
 
Meylnda: I like to see their tax returns and current paystubs along with a list of their monthly debt.  Before we get too far into the pre-approval process, I like to know that debt to income, to ensure they can qualify for purchase price they want to be in.
 
TSRE: How long does the loan process take?
 
Melynda: We can usually have the loan closed in approximately 8 weeks.
 
TSRE: Where do most Union Bank Loans go?
 
Melyssa: We are one of the top producers for first time home buyers with VHFA. These loans are transferred to US Bank. This is a great program so if the customer is a first-time home buyer, we really encourage them to go this route as there are many benefits. We also offer VA & FHA loans which are transferred to Colonial Savings Bank. The other loans that we do, we keep them in-house.
 
TSRE: Does Union Bank service all their loans?
 
Melyssa: We service all our loans except for VHFA, FHA & VA
 
TSRE: What are some advantages of using a local bank?
 
Melynda: The biggest advantage of using a local bank – you can stop in and speak to the lender in person. Even if we sell your loan and you have questions, we encourage you to stop in and speak to us. Most of the time, we can answer your question or we can tell you who you need to speak with to get everything resolved.
 
TSRE:  What are some surprising factors that effect a credit score? What advice would you give to someone trying to improve their credit score?
 
Melyssa: Limits on credit cards.  Anytime you go over the half way credit limit on a credit card, you are lowering your credit score.  Also, the more credit cards you have, the lower your credit score will be. Quickest way to increase your credit score – is pay down on the balances. If you have no credit, I recommend you open a credit card, use it and pay it off in the same month. There are a lot of different ways to increase your credit score. The easiest way is for us to look at your credit report and then we can give you recommendations on what you need to do.
 
For more information visit unionbankvt.com or contact Melynda or Melyssa:
 
Melynda Miller, Union Bank Residential & Consumer Lender
364 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, VT, 05819
P  802.748.5970
 
Melyssa Whitcomb, Union Bank AVP - Branch Manager, Residential & Consumer Lender
183 Depot Street, Lyndonville, VT, 05851
P  802.626.1711

Restaurant Opportunity in the Northeast Kingdom

Here is an excellent opportunity to invest in the Northeast Kingdom! The Wine Gate Restaurant in downtown St. Johnsbury is established and operating. The current owners (who have no intention of closing prior to it being sold) have done a fabulous job creating an inviting space and a desirable menu. One could truly step in and continue the flow they created or put your own custom style into it. The dining room seats 50 comfortably, plus there is a covered patio that seats an additional 40.


The business is available for purchase on it's own or with real estate. Building is nicely maintained and has other commercial spaces currently leased, plus a banquet room. 

If this is a profession you have considered, but not sure of the next steps to owning your own business, you can read more about local resources from our blog post: "Starting a Small Business in the Northeast Kingdom"

Contact Mary Scott with any questions or to arrange a private showing.
Mary@tsrevt.com 

 

6 Commercials to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

There is no place like home for the holidays! There is so much to love about this festive season; decorating the house, getting together with family and friends, the food, the spirit, and the commercials! Here are a few favorites (so far) we've seen this year.


1. Coming Home for Christmas by Heathrow Aiport



2. The Greatest Gift by Sainsbury



3. Frankie's Holiday by Apple



4. Come Together by H&M, directed by Wes Anderson



5. Exactly What You Wish For by Toys "R" Us



6. Hooking Up Grandma's House by Xfinity




Happy Holidays!

5 Wonderful St. Johnsbury Stores to Shop This Holiday Season

If you don’t get a chance to shop downtown St. Johnsbury very often, Small Business Saturday (November 26th) is a perfect reason to check the stores out. You will love the variety of unique gifts, many that are very reasonably priced and items you that cannot find online or at big box stores. Plus, you don’t have to get up at midnight to wait in line (bonus)! 
 

1.  Moose River Lake and Lodge















Chances are when you walk into the front door you will be greeted by “Nelly” (pictured) the store owner’s friendly dog. And if that’s not charming enough, the contents of the store will win you over. True to its name, this store has a classic “lodge” atmosphere with rustic houseware items, bear skin rugs, antlers and taxidermy. There is also high quality clothing and outerwear, jewelry, books, a kid’s corner, and an excellent selection of wine and chocolate.  Plan on spending some time as the store is large and bursting with great gift ideas – too many too list here! 


2. Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild















If you’re looking for one of a kind, unique gifts then the Artisan’s Guild is a must-shop! The store is filled with a collection of handcrafted items from over 100 Vermont artists. Amazing prints and paintings, jewelry, pottery, ornaments, yarn, glass works, wood works, and so much more. Don’t forget to check out the back-room holiday exhibit when you’re there. 
 

3. Boxcar and Caboose Bookshop and Café















Shopping can be exhausting! Boxcar and Caboose is the store to get your caffeine fix! The cafe has a wide variety of tasty espresso and coffee beverages. You’ll enjoy browsing the great selection of books with latte in hand. Be sure to check out the Vermont section including books, Vermont Life Calendars, and Vermont handmade greeting cards. A great place to find gifts for the kids on your list with a nice assortment of toys. Another bonus; the colorful corner known as Hobo’s Candy Stop. Every stocking needs a little candy in it!
 

4. All About Flowers















You may have noticed this shop on Eastern Avenue especially since their recent storefront renovation. You will fall in love right when you walk in the door. There is much more to this shop than its lovely assortment of flowers. Beautifully arranged, it feels like a store that Joanna Gaines would visit. Candles, home decor, and a festive selection of ornaments, plus wine and gluten-free beer. A great place to pick up a Yankee Trader or secret Santa gift. 
Shop Local Saturday Special: 25% of wreaths
 

5. Sunshine Boutique and Jeweler















A favorite of the greater St. Johnsbury area for many years! If you’re thinking jewelry as a gift for someone but not exactly sure what, this is the place to go. The sales team at Sunshine is very friendly, helpful, and incredibly knowledgeable.  They will guide you in finding the perfect gift. The store also has a beautiful selection of pottery, clothes, lamps and much more.
 Shop Local Saturday Special: 20% off one item.
 
 
And that's just the beginning! There are many more wonderful stores in St. Johnsbury. Also, consider gift certificates to the local restaurants or movie theater. Happy shopping and have a great holiday season!

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Consider Resurfacing Rather Than Remodeling

It’s inevitable. Homes get out dated. As décor trends go through their cycles, what was once a modern, hip feature (such as avocado-colored appliances) becomes what a home buyer will consider a flaw.
 
When a consulting with home home owners, Tim Scott Real Estate can help decide what improvements will help the property sell and be the most cost effective. However, everyone’s budget is different for prepping their home. Typically, remodeling the kitchen is not a realistic or cost effective. Considering that kitchens are a common top priority for home-buyers, there are less expensive and less invasive ways to update a kitchen - consider resurfacing and painting.
Recently, a TSRE client took it upon themselves to do a transformation to their home. For the kitchen they resurfaced the countertops, painted the walls and the brick, and updated the light fixture. The bathroom got a resurfaced sink and tub, new faucet and new paint. The results are fantastic! Check out the entire listing here.
 
While there are do-it-yourself kits available for resurfacing counter tops, our client hired Let’s Face It out of Derby, VT to do the project for them. They were very pleased with the results, and the efficient and timely manner in which the company worked. You can contact Let’s Face It at (802) 673-0012 or email letsfaceitvt@gmail.com.
 
 

5 Tips to Avoid Moving Day Panic

Whether you’ve lived in your home for a year or sixty years, have a large house or a small apartment, moving day can be a tremendous chore if you’re not prepared. It’s truly amazing how your possessions can seem to multiply as you start to pack them. If you are selling your home, your house has to be “broom clean” prior to closing. If you put off moving to the last minute, it can be a very stressful experience. Here are some tips to consider before you reach the point of moving day panic.

 

1. Start the Day You Decide to List Your House.

One of the very first tips the team at Tim Scott Real Estate will give you, once you decide to sell your home is to remove excess clutter. This is one of the most beneficial rules of staging – plus it gets you started on the packing process. Go through closets, cabinets, basements, garages and if you’re not using it - either pack it, donate it, or toss it.

 

2. Make Some Meals Ahead of Time.

Once you’re in the nitty-gritty of packing up to move, often you are too tired to cook – plus you may have already packed away pots and pans. A few weeks prior, make some meals you can freeze such as lasagna, pot pies, or casseroles. You’ll save money (and maybe a few calories) by avoiding continuous take-out.

 

3. It’s Going to Take Longer Than You Think.

Consider what you own, the amount of furniture, etc… if you figure it will take two days to get everything packed up, do yourself a favor and add a day or two to your estimate. It’s better to give yourself too much time than not enough.

 

4. Have a Little Help from Your Friends.

Make sure to recruit help! That’s what friends and family are for, right? Ask a few extra people in case it turns out someone can’t make it that day. Don’t forget to tell them there will be food and beer too…and don’t forget to provide it! Pizza is always a crowd pleaser – or perhaps one of the meals you cleverly made ahead of time.

 

5. Call in the Professionals

Worried that your well intentioned, yet clumsy brother-in-law might do more harm than good? Call a professional moving company. Allen and Coles Moving Systems out of Lebanon, NH offer a full range of moving services. (866) 257-2114

Also, if you’re feeling that you’ll end up with a good pile of stuff that needs to be tossed, consider calling Fred Harris of EZ Trash and schedule for a trailer to be there or for him to come get it with his dump truck. He’s very reliable and reasonable rates. EZ Trash (802) 748-0144 or easytrash@gmail.com

 

Good luck with your move! Contact the Team at Time Scott Real Estate with all your real estate questions.