Windham County Meet Your Realtor 2022

Page 1

Meet Your Realtor


A special publication of the Brattleboro Reformer Saturday, March 26, 2022

Kristen Ziter Taylor was honored in 2018 as Remarkable Women Entrepreneur of the year. Recognized for integrity and dedication, Kristen’s firm, Brattleboro Area Realty, since 1973, has been voted Best Real Estate Office 19 years running by Market Surveys of America and the Reformer’s Readers Choice Best Real Estate Agency 5 years running.

If you are thinking of buying or selling this spring please give us an opportunity to assist you. We’ll help you take those first steps and will always go ABOVE and BEYOND for you. Kristen Ziter Taylor, Broker/Owner Angela Sherman, Office Manager/Broker VT & NH Christine Lewis, Broker VT & NH Victoria Woods, Realtor VT & NH Rebecca Seymour, Realtor VT & NH Kerry Mulverhill, Realtor VT & NH Randi Ziter, Realtor VT & NH

Stephanie Wilde, Realtor VT & NH Tim Berg, Realtor VT Emily Mousel, Realtor VT & NH Emily Webb, Realtor VT & NH Marica Jansen, Broker VT & ME Stephanie Peduzzi-Baker, Realtor VT


402 Canal St, Brattleboro VT 05301

802-257-1335 •

Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022 | Meet Your Realtor 2022

Real estate financing options The decision to buy a home is significant. Real estate is the biggest investment the average person will make in his or her lifetime, which underscores just how significant the home buying

decision can be. The real estate experts at Zillow recently reported that the national median price of a home in the United States is $272,446. However, since the National Asso-

ciation of Realtors reported a record low housing inventory late in 2020, the average house price has been rising rapidly nationwide. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimates the

median home sales price at $374,900, and certain states have much higher prices. WOWA, a real estate and finance technology company, says the average sale price of a home in Canada was

Conventional lending Conventional lending refers to when a bank or another financial institution loans a home buyer money to buy a home. This is one of the most common ways to fund a home purchase. Personal credit score as well as credit history help determine eligibility and interest rates for conventional loans. Availability of assets as well as income level are some additional determining factors. Conventional loans are traditionally 10-, 15- or 30year notes and will require a certain percentage as the down payment to secure the loan. The bank will determine the down payment requirement, which is typically somewhere between 3 and 20 percent. METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION

Brattleboro Reformer |

Sally Fegley


$679,051 in July 2021. Most people do not have $300,000 to $600,000 in savings on hand to purchase a home in cash. That means they’ll need to rely on financing to pay for their dream homes.

I take good care of my clients. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, The Masiello Group Contact Sally at 802-380-8272 or Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – The Masiello Group |”

Megan Quinn Hi! I’m Megan, I’d like to introduce myself as a sales agent at Southern Vermont Realty Group. I have been managing seasonal and short term rentals in the Mount Snow area for over a decade and earned my real estate license in 2020. Over the years I have developed an extensive knowledge of Southern Vermont and have built a network of local connections that benefit sellers and purchasers alike. I take pride in assisting my clients in meeting their goals in this market and am not afraid to hustle. I am one of only 28 certified Resort and Second Home Property Specialists in the State of Vermont. Helping sellers and purchasers navigate the sale and purchase process, even from afar, is where I excel.

Give me a call, I’d love to connect! Megan Quinn, RSPS Sales Associate Southern Vermont Realty Group 802-430-4552 cell 802-464-2585 main office

FHA loan A Federal Housing Administration loan is issued by an FHA-approved lender. These loans are designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers, according to the financial guide Investopedia. FHA loans require lower minimum down payments and lower credit scores than many conventional loans. FHA loans also require mortage insurance up front, plus annually for 11 years or the life of the loan depending on the length of the loan.

HELOC A Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC loan, borrows against the available equity in your home to create a line of credit, much like a credit card. These funds can be used for large expenses or to consolidate

Private money lenders Individuals investing in real estate who do not intend to use a property as a primary residence may turn to private money lenders. These investors can tap into capital from personal connections and lend at specified interest rates and payback periods, according to Fortune Builders, a real estate investing resource. Keep in mind the interest rate will likely be higher with a private lender than through a conventional lender. The repayment term also will be shorter.

VA-backed loan

According to the real estate research firm CoreLogic, annual home price growth during the pandemic was the most the group had ever seen in its 45 years of tracking home prices. Since the World Health Organization first declared a pandemic in March of 2020, home prices have risen dramatically. CoreLogic reports that median home prices across the United States increased by 18 percent between July 2020 and July 2021. The increase was even more significant in Canada, where data from the Canadian Real Estate

Association indicated home prices had risen by more than 38 percent between 2020 and 2021. Such increases were welcome news for individuals who already owned their homes, but many individuals who did not found themselves priced out of the market. The good news for potential home buyers is that median home prices are not expected to increase as much in 2022 as they have since the onset of the pandemic. In fact, CoreLogic forecasted a 2.7 percent appreciation between July 2021 and July 2022

Christine Lewis I love real estate and the community we live in and how it has supported me for over 30 years. I practice with passion and represent my buyers and sellers with unmatched dedication. Enthusiastic, loyal customer and client support keeps me #1 in local sales most years. My personal goal is to help buyers and sellers fulfill their dreams. I would love to have you call me when you are ready to make your next move in real estate.

Voted Best Real Estate Agent 2019, 2020 and 2021 by Brattleboro Reformers Readers Choice

Christine Lewis, Broker 802-380-2088 Licensed in Vermont & New Hampshire 402 Canal St, Brattleboro, VT 05301


Emily Zak Webb Realtor

“Home is where the heart is.” I grew up in Dummerston, VT in a home built by my parents. As an adult, I have lived all over the US, and abroad, and am thrilled to once again call southern Vermont my home. There is a wealth of historic architecture and details in homes in this area, and my experiences updating my own 1880’s farmhouse can help you imagine the possibilities. I have a wide range of professional experience and connections in the real estate industry, most recently focusing on management of multi-family properties. Listening to your needs is key to me, and my background in marketing gives me a constructive, critical eye when helping you sell your home. I understand how stressful and emotional the home buying process can be, and I would love to help you find a smooth pathway to your next home!

Contact Emily at Brattleboro Area Realty Licensed in VT and NH 802-246-7110 Email is

Having been born and raised in Townshend, and now raising my own children here I have a deep appreciation for the beauty and lifestyle that southern Vermont has to offer. It’s been an absolute privilege to help others achieve their real estate and lifestyle goals over my nearly 18 years working with buyers and sellers across the region. Since opening the doors of my own Brokerage, Southern Vermont Realty Group, in 2020, I have been fortunate to build a dynamic team of full time, full service Realtors® with a wealth of expertise and knowledge! If you are looking for a local real estate expert to help guide you successfully through your real estate journey, please give us a call.

(802) 464-2585

Jacki Murano Owner/Broker

Brattleboro Reformer |

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a program for acquiring loans through conventional lenders that will be partially guaranteed against loss through the VA. This enables a lender to give better loan terms, such as the option to pay no down payment. Interested parties need to qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility and then work with qualified lenders.

Did You Know?

Meet Your Realtor 2022 | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022

higher-interest rate debt on other loans, according to Bank of America. It may be possible to use a HELOC to secure funding to make improvements to a home for those who want to flip it as an investment property. • 278 VT RT 100 West Dover, VT 05356 3

Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022 | Meet Your Realtor 2022

What to know about refinancing a mortgage Historically low interest rates have made now a good time to be a homeowner. According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in mid-September 2021 was 2.86. Just ten years earlier, the average rate was 4.09. That’s a significant dip, and one that’s saving today’s homeowners tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgages. Interest rates dipped during the pandemic and have remained low ever since. That’s unlikely to last forever, which has given many homeowners a sense of urgency regarding refinancing. Refinancing can be financially advantageous, but there are some things homeowners should know prior to contacting their lenders.

Brattleboro Reformer |

Refinancing does not always save money over the long haul It’s hard to blame homeowners who jump at the chance to refinance their mortgages. Refinancing is often associated with significantly lower monthly payments, and such savings can be used to finance home improvements, pay for tuition or build retirement

Refinancing can be costly Lower monthly payments might be the number that


catches homeowners’ eyes as they look to refinance, but it’s important that homeowners recognize that refinancing is not free. In fact, the personal finance experts at Kiplinger note that refinancing incurs many of the same costs that homeowners had to pay when they signed their initial mortgage papers. That includes fees, taxes and appraisal costs. These costs are sometimes paid up front, but they also might be rolled into the loan balance. In the latter instance, homeowners could be paying interest on their refinancing costs. Homeowners who are refinancing solely because of lower interest rates should know that some lenders raise interest rates to compensate for refinancing costs. That can negate the savings and end up costing homeowners more money than the original mortgage.

As a child I spent countless hours skiing and exploring from my family’s home in Windham. My wife and I chose to make Townshend our home 8 years ago in order to raise our daughter in a close-knit community. Having spent so much of my life living in and learning about Windham County affords me extensive knowledge of the surrounding area and its towns. 25 years in corporate sales honed my negotiation skills and taught me how to finalize a deal. Smooth transactions are essential in real estate, and my years of experience in multitasking and management keep the moving parts aligned. I take pride in helping buyers craft an offer that will stand out in this competitive market and in directing sellers to the offer that best suits their needs. My love of working with people coupled with my passion for real estate have led me to becoming the President-Elect of the Crown Point Board of Realtors. I look forward to helping buyers and sellers navigate transactions in today’s ever-changing market.

Eric Scott

Vermont Sales Associate Grafton Office Office 802-843-2390 Cell 908-370-1619

View our new listings at Caring about our community since 1965

119 Western Avenue Brattleboro, VT 802-254-6400 • 800-388-5454


nest eggs. However, homeowners won’t necessarily save money over the long haul if they’re refinancing an existing 30-year mortgage with another 30-year mortgage. The mortgage experts at Mortgage Calculator note that a Change Terms mortgage refinance is characterized by a shift to a loan charging a lower interest rate. The initial savings with such a refinance are undeniable, but changing from one 30-year to another 30-year restarts the mortgage clock, which can add years to the time homeowners will be repaying their debt. As a result, homeowners may end up paying more interest over time than they might have had they just kept their initial mortgage. Homeowners interested in a Change Terms refinance may want to look into switching from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage. A shorter term mortgage will increase the monthly payment, but the loan will reach maturity much faster, greatly reducing the amount of interest homeowners will pay over the life of the mortgage.

Celebrating our 57th Year!

118 Route 100 West Dover, VT 802-464-8900 • 800-666-1911

When remodeling a home with the ultimate goal of making it more attractive to prospective buyers, homeowners can benefit from taking stock of current trends, including the style of home that’s most popular. According to a 2020 survey of more than 5,000 adults across the United States, modern farmhouse is the most favored house style. The survey asked participants to choose from a selection of styles, including mid-century modern ranch, Spanish colonial/southwest, bohemian craftsman, Italianate, French chateau, and Tudor. The modern farmhouse style was the most popular choice in 42 of the 50 states, proving that home style preference is not beholden to geography. Respondents gave a host of reasons for favoring the modern farmhouse look, including that the style is “aesthetically appealing but not boring” and that it looks “simple, cozy, and not too busy.”


Heidi Bernier

Robert Doyle

As a lifelong native of VT, with nearly 25 years of experience as a Real Estate Agent, licensed in both VT and NH, I offer my customers and clients a keen familiarity of the area and the local real estate market. I take pride in providing personalized service, catering to the individual requirements of my clients and customers, along with a creative marketing approach. Trained in representation of homebuyers, as well as sellers, I earned my CBR designation (certified buyer representative) in 1996. Many people and services are required to bring a transaction to a successful closing. My years of working full-time in the field of Real Estate have gained me the contacts and experience needed to guide my clients and customers through the process. If you are considering selling or buying property, I would welcome the opportunity to be of assistance.

Robert has been in real estate since 1985 and is consistently one of the top producers for southern Vermont in both listings and sales. He is always among the highest producing agents in Windham County achieving an impressive sales volume currently in excess of $200,000,000 and counting. In 2013, ‘14, ‘15,‘16 and 2022 he was the top producing agent for Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors Brattleboro Office and currently continues to be among the top producing agents company wide. Robert has been named the 2020 and 2021 Top Agent in Vermont, by RateMyAgent. Robert received only the highest ratings from his customers and clients to gain this recognition.

Contact Heidi at Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors Office is 802-254-6400 x135 Cell is 802-380-1585 Email is

Contact Robert at Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors Office: 802-254-6400 ext.133 • Cell: 802-258-1101 Office Fax: 802-254-6403 • Email is

Realtor, CBR, Licensed VT & NH


Karen Hoppe • 802-258-1902 • Licensed in VT & NH Helping folks navigate one of the most complex and exciting processes of their life is so rewarding. Buying or selling a home can be challenging, I am a problem solver by nature and find ways to make those challenges a little less overwhelming, maybe even having a little fun along the way.

Karen Hoppe, Realtor™

I am licensed in VT and NH, and am certified as a Real Estate Negotiation Expert. Call today to start your search, or get your home ready for sale!

Brattleboro Reformer |

Buying or selling, I can help you navigate today’s complex market

Meet Your Realtor 2022 | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022

Did you know? 5

Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022 | Meet Your Realtor 2022

Factors to consider before investing in real estate


Brattleboro Reformer |

where to look for a new home. That vetting process is equally important, albeit slightly different, when buyers are consider investing in properties they don’t intend to live in. Real estate can be a great way to diversify an investment portfolio and earn extra income. Before shopping for an investment property, novice investors may want to consider certain factors

Jim Bellville

AJ Bellville A.J. is the first e-PRO REALTOR® in the area and prides himself in the use of technology to not only improve the marketing of properties, but also in assisting buyers to find their next home as soon as it hits the market. He also prides himself on furthering his education by earning the CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), ABR® (Accredited Buyer Representative), e-PRO®, EcoBroker®, RSPS (Resort and Second Home) and SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure) designations. Previously affiliated with Coldwell Banker, A.J. earned national sales awards with inclusion in the International Diamond Society, as well as the International Sterling Society. Born and raised in Vermont, A.J. took a seven year sabbatical from the area to attend college and work in the Washington, D.C. area. While there, he earned a double degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Maryland (“Fear the Turtle”), while also managing stock market and bank accounts. After seven years of traffic and the “big city”, A.J. decided to return to his roots.

Contact AJ at Bellville Realty Office: 802-257-7979 x1 Cell: 802.380.5514 Email: Serving VT and NH


The appreciation of real estate over time has long made owning a home or an investment property a sound financial strategy. Prospective home buyers spend considerable time looking for a property they’re hoping to call home. Various factors, including property taxes and the reputation of local schools, may be considered as homeowners decide

Bellville Realty

“Jim prides himself on being the real estate agent that really cares and puts the needs of his clients first. He also understands the power of online marketing, driving him to have a personal real estate website in addition to using dozens of real estate portals and launch sites to market his listings. A native of the Brattleboro area, Jim grew up in Guilford, Vermont wandering the woods and exploring the hills surrounding his home. As he got older, his natural wander-lust kept him travelling the roads of Windham and Cheshire Counties, exploring places he hadn’t been and making new friends along the way. Jim attended Lehigh University before transferring to the University of Vermont to double major in English and Technical Theatre. While at UVM, Jim was proud to serve with several volunteer organizations, including The Vermont Children’s Magazine and Volunteers in Action as well as serving in several leadership positions in the UVM chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a coed community service fraternity. After college, Jim served as Sales Manager and Sales Trainer for several national companies, including supervising eleven satellite stores throughout Vermont, New York and Massachusetts during the holiday season. Jim’s whole approach to real estate is to provide the best and most complete possible information to his clients and to allow them to make the decision best for them. He is not afraid to work on his client’s timeline, sometimes working with them for years before the perfect home was found.”

Contact Jim at Bellville Realty Cell: 802-380-0684 Website:

to determine if real estate is the best investment vehicle for them.

Rental potential and the local labor force Location is a significant factor to consider when investing in real estate, but recent shifts in how and where people work could change the real estate investment landscape. A 2020 Gartner, Inc., survey of more than 300 financial executives and leaders in the finance industry found that roughly 25 percent will move at least one out of every five of their on-site workers to permanently remote positions in the years ahead. Economists note that this shift to remote working could be among the more lasting trends to emerge from the pandemic. Before investing in real estate, prospective investors should examine local trends to see if more and more locals are working remotely, and whether or not that’s affecting the market for rentals.

To flip or not to flip Flipping properties gained popularity in the second decade of this century, but figures from the

Bellville Realty is proud to serve the real estate needs of Brattleboro, Vermont, and the surrounding area. A full service real estate agency, we provide services throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Whether you are planning to sell or buy a home, land or commercial property we can help.

255 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT • 802-257-7979 •

Property Condition Product shortages were another trend to emerge during the pandemic, and disruptions to the supply


chain will not necessarily go away anytime soon. In addition, the cost of various products associated with home improvements, including lumber, skyrocketed during the pandemic. The National Association of Home Builders noted that while lumber prices declined in 2021, the price of lumber packages quoted to builders remained high. That means real estate investors who invest in properties that will need work could be forced to pay a lot to fix these properties. And ongoing supply chain issues could extend the time it takes to renovate a property. Investors must be able to bear these costs and lag times to make the most off their real estate investments.

Did you know? It’s no secret that a good-looking lawn can entice buyers when selling a home, but homeowners may not realize just how much they can benefit from even the smallest investments of time and money in their home exteriors. According to the Top Agent Insights Q2 2019 Report from HomeLight, low-cost outdoor home improvements to a landscape provide sizable returns on investment. For example, the report found that a $268 investment in a lawn care service can lead to a $1,211 increase in home value at resale. Similarly, $340 worth of fresh mulch can increase


home value at resale by $769. More than 85 percent of real estate professionals who participated in the HomeLight survey recommended other small and

simple projects, including removing dirt, grime and cobwebs from a home entrance and trimming trees and shrubs prior to putting a home on the market.

List with the Leader! Just look at our CLOSED TRANSACTIONS for 2021 compared to our closest competition!*

Meet Your Realtor 2022 | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022

property database curator ATTOM Data Solutions indicates that returns on investments in flipped properties declined for the third straight year in 2020. Though flipping can still yield a strong return, investors may not realize the returns on flipped properties that they might have realized as recently as five years ago. Potential investors should conduct some research regarding real estate market trends, including flipping data where available, to make the most informed decision possible.

B H & G T H E MA S I EL LO G R O U P — 851 Berkley & Veller — 629 Four Seasons Sotheby’s — 369 Re/Max Town & County — 306 Brattleboro Area Realty — 294 * Based on closed units from MLS Statistical Reporting for 2020 for all towns in Windham County, VT & Cheshire County, NH

it ’s more

THAN A PLACE WHERE you hang your

Hat & Coat



you call Home.

Lisa DiBernardo NMLS#103744

NMLS # 70986

Cell: 802.689.0904 70 Landmark Hill Drive, Ste. 204 Brattleboro, VT 05301

Brattleboro Reformer |



Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, March 26-27, 2022 | Meet Your Realtor 2022

Service that’s as elevated as your standards. FOURSEASONSSIR.COM

This Spring Presents Sellers with a Golden Opportunity 1. The Number of Homes on the Market Is Still Low Today’s limited supply of houses for sale is putting sellers in the driver’s seat. There are far more buyers in the market today than there are homes available. That means purchasers are eagerly waiting for your house. Listing your house now makes it the center of attention. And if you work with a real estate professional to price your house correctly, you can expect it to sell quickly and likely get multiple strong offers this season.

2. Your Equity Is Growing in Record Amounts

Brattleboro Reformer |

According to the most recent Homeowner Equity Insight report from CoreLogic, homeowners are sitting on record amounts of equity thanks to recent home price appreciation. The report finds that the average homeowner has gained $55,300 in equity over the past year. That much equity can open doors for you to make a move. If you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about how rising prices will impact your next home search, rest assured your equity can help fuel your move. It may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Increasing While it’s true mortgage rates have already been climbing this year, current mortgage rates are still below what they’ve been in recent decades. In the 2000s, the average mortgage rate was 6.27%. In the 1990s, the average rate was 8.12%. For context, the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate, according to Freddie Mac, is 3.85%.

And while recent global uncertainty caused rates to dip slightly in the near-term, experts project rates will rise in the months ahead. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, says: “For homebuyers, we believe that borrowing costs will likely rise with the increase in mortgage rates….” When that happens, it’ll cost you more to purchase your next home. That’s why it’s important to act now if you’re ready to sell. Work with a trusted advisor to kickstart the process so you can take key steps to making your next purchase before rates climb further.

4. Home Prices Are Climbing Too Home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years because of the imbalance of supply and demand. And as long as that imbalance continues, so will the rise in home values. What does that mean for you? If you’re selling so you can move into the home of your dreams or downsize into something that better suits your cur rent needs, you have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve by leveraging your growing equity and purchasing your next home before prices climb higher. And, once you make your purchase, you can find peace of mind in knowing ongoing home price appreciation is growing the value of your new investment.

Bottom Line If you want to win when you sell and when you buy, this spring could be your golden opportunity. Get connected with a local real estate professional so you have the insights you need to take advantage of today’s incredible sellers’ market.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

As a REALTOR, Mike always prioritizes and puts his clients’ needs first. With exceptional communication skills and a strong business acumen, he provides his clients with a friendly, productive, and beneficial relationship. One of Mike’s goals is to turn transactions into interactions. He works with his buyer and seller clients to learn and understand their needs, and employs methods best designed to achieve and exceed their goals. As a designated Accredited Buyer’s Representative and certified Real Estate Negotiating Expert, Mike is licensed in both Vermont and New Hampshire, and is also a member of the local, state, and National Association of REALTORS. Outside of work he is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys skiing, hiking, and paddling. Contact Mike today by phone at 607.759.1082 or

With over a decade of experience as a skilled woodworker and a portfolio of personal real estate investments, Keith is poised to meet the needs of his clients by bringing understanding and an eye for craftsmanship to work. Whether helping a buyer write a contract or assisting an owner with the best strategy to sell their home, Keith puts his clients needs first. “Keith is certainly one of the top realtors not just in VT, but in all of New England. We are so grateful to have connected with him! He was always quick to respond to calls and emails, usually within minutes or seconds, and he gave us exceptional advice all along the way. We give him our strongest possible recommendation; he is simply the best!” — Jamie K Contact Keith today by phone at 201.248.1499 or

Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty 148H Route 100 | PO Box 1761 West Dover, VT 05356


“super responsive”...“a pleasure to deal with”...“very professional”...“knowledgeable of area and market”...“would highly recommend”...“plan on doing business with him again” Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.