Local Professionals

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