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Matt Hurlburt Group


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Buyers are Looking for Burlington, Vermont Homes. Should Yours Be One of Them?

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Buyers Are Searching For Your House!!!

Buyers Are Searching For Your House | MyKCM


The most recent Pending Homes Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors revealed a slight bump in contracts with an increase of 1.6% in December. This news comes as existing home sales are also forecasted to be on pace for 5.54 million in 2017, a 1.7% increase over 2016, which was the best year for sales in a decade.

The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.

According to NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun,

Pending sales bounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract.

So, what’s the problem?

Buyers are searching for existing homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand! The Group has buyers right now looking for a new home, but are not finding that perfect match. YOU may be on the fence about selling. Is it time to downsize? Upsize for a growing family? Headed out of state? You may want to seriously consider if now is the time to get into the market!!

Yun went on to explain,

The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing cost. Sales will struggle to build on last year’s strong pace if inventory conditions don’t improve.” (emphasis added)

What does all this mean for you? 

Buyers are looking! If you are considering selling your home this year, the early months of 2017 will be a great option. Call us today to discuss how you can capitalize on current market conditions. Let our Risk Free Listings give you piece of mind that you will be utilizing over two decades of experience in the greater Burlington, Vt. real estate market.   Expect More.

Boomers are Staying in their Burlington, Vermont Homes!

by Matt Hurlburt Group

In the Burlington, Vt. housing market, there seems to have been an accepted progression for homeowners going from starter home, to gradually moving into one’s dream home, then, downsizing after becoming an empty nester and finally, into a retirement home. However, Marianne Cusato’s 2016 Aging-in-Place Report indicates that many older Americans don’t plan on following that pattern.



61% of homeowners above the age of 55 intend on staying in their homes indefinitely. 2/3 of them believe that the home’s layout will serve their needs without having to make aging-related improvements.

Some of the reasons being cited for staying in place are:

  • 66% say their home is conveniently located
  • 38% say they live close to their family
  • 68% say they feel independent in their home
  • 54% say they are familiar with their neighborhood
  • 66% say the feel safe in their home

Renovations that might be considered for their current home are things like grab bars in the tub or shower, shower seats, taller toilets, handheld shower heads and additional handrails on stairways.

The report’s conclusion is that regardless of a homeowner’s age, they want to thrive in their home. The same emotional reasons that causes a person to want to buy a home are the things that cause them to hold onto them if is practical. It is nice to see practicality in today's society!

If you do find yourself in the market, call today to experience the difference that a family real estate group can offer. We feel that, regardless of where you are in your life, you should always Expect More.



Is your Burlington,Vt. house not selling? Here are some tips!

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Is your Burlington,Vt. area home still sitting on the market? Why? Location? Condition? Price?

Here are a few quick things you can do to spruce up the "condition."

Changes to Consider for Your Home

personal belongings cluttered in a home's attic, a DO NOT home selling tipMany home sellers feel overwhelmed when they are trying to sell their home for a number of reasons: There is the daunting task of decluttering, the sometimes unexpected repairs that have to be made, and the seemingly endless list of squeaky doors and minor fixes that buyers would notice almost immediately.

And all of this happens in a short time. (Read this Popular Mechanics article about what surprises this first-time home seller experienced to get an idea of what can happen.)

 Feel Less Stressed Later

You are in the perfect position right now to do what many Burlington,Vt. home sellers do not think to do while their home is on the market, It may feel like going backwards, but if done properly, these little things can make a big difference in your end result.

1. Necessary Repairs?

Free yourself from future stress by making any major repairs now, whether that is repairing the HVAC or replacing the hot water heater. If you have an aging HVAC system you might consider replacing it now for several reasons. First, new and modern systems are way more efficient than they used to be. That means you’ll start saving on your fuel bill right off the bat and buyers will be more generous with an offer if they see a shiny new furnace instead of that rusty old clunker you used to have. Some pretty simple things like adding extra insulation overhead will pay you big dividends too. You can probably bring your current insulation up to R-49 or higher for under $2,000 dollars. And remember, when those guys are in your attic blowing in insulation, it costs very little to go a few inches deeper. If your house is old and the insulation has settled over time, you should see a big difference immediately in both comfort and reduced heating and cooling costs. Insulation not only keeps heat in but it also keeps heat out on those hot summer days.

paint roll and paint brushes2. Go for Neutral Colors

If you want to give your walls a fresh coat of paint, opt for more neutral colors. During home showings, neutral colors and decor make it easier for home buyers to picture themselves living in your home, which is your ultimate goal. If you’re not a good, neat painter this might be one project worth talking with a professional about.

3. Start Decluttering Now

Home sellers often find that decluttering is one of the more frustrating and overwhelming tasks, but if you start cleaning the clutter now, you will thank yourself later. Buyers can't envision their things in a space completely dominated by your belongings. Less, in this case, can mean more.  A good rule of thumb: If you don’t love something and use it, lose it. It’s a perfect time to go through all your closets and get rid of clothes you no longer wear or have gone out of fashion. You can bundle up all your unwanted clothing and donate it to a local thrift store or someone like the Salvation Army and take a tax deduction for your donation in most cases. That not only leans out your closet but could put more money back into your pocket at tax time.

4. Deep Clean Your Home Periodically

small vacuum cleaner on dark floors in a homeSometimes it feels like the little things pile up quickly, don’t they? Try to stay ahead of minor maintenance and cleaning tasks by:

  • cleaning fixtures and light switch covers
  • fixing broken doorbells
  • repairing squeaky doors
  • dusting high and low
  • cleaning floors and windows

5. Refresh Your Front Entrance

During the home selling process, making a fantastic first impression is the key to getting buyers in the door. Refresh your home’s curb appeal by purchasing a new welcome mat, painting the front door, and polishing or replacing the doorknob. Be sure and look all around your front entry and remove cobwebs,  bird nests, etc. from over door sills, outside light fixtures, etc. This can mean the difference between an offer and a drive by.

List Your Home with Us for a Smooth Experience

We hope you found these home selling tips helpful. We know that selling a home can be overwhelming, especially if the unexpected happens. But we want to make sure that you have as painless of a sale as possible, so we will do everything we can to help you sell your home for top dollar and in a short time. So when you do decide to list your home, just give us a call.

The Matt Hurlburt Group       Expect More.

WARNING! Don't trust a website to value your Burlington, Vt. home!!

by Matt Hurlburt Group

A large part of our data research for our sellers is arriving at a suggested price we believe we can sell a home for in the Burlington, Vermont area.  

Not a week goes by that we don’t hear from a buyer or seller insisting that a property is worth a different amount than the bank appraised it for. We get it: everyone wants to gain the most value from their transaction… so why do the home valuation sites tend to get it so wrong?

Here’s why: they don’t see the whole picture.

It’s the real estate equivalent of looking at an iceberg from the surface.

Don't rely on the tip of the icebert

AVMs are only the tip of the iceberg- (insert disastrous Titanic analogy here.....)

To truly understand the value of a Burlington, Vermont area home requires more than just knowing the number of bedrooms, baths and square footage. To get the full picture, you need the advice of an experienced real estate professional.

Essentially, if you think accuracy is important, you need to know the difference between an AVM and a BPO:

AVM stands for Automated Valuation Method. Essentially, it’s software that reaches out for publicly available data and then uses that data to offer a suggested value. This is what Zillow’s popular Zestimate is– a quick result produced by software that can’t see the whole picture.

BPO stands for Broker Price Opinion, and it’s a much more thoughtful and market-informed process. Here, a real estate professional who knows, works, and  lives in the area, uses their actual brain to improve upon the data provided by an AVM. A BPO allows us to take into consideration what we know to be true about intangible values like good design and tasteful upgrades– stuff that requires human understanding in order to derive a meaningful conclusion. You can trust an algorithm, or you can have over twenty years of experience in your corner, working in your best interest.

We also take into consideration current, local market conditions like an area’s Absorption Rate, current interest rates, current inventory of comparable homes for sale,  pending sales, and many other factors about Burlington real estate that a robot cannot do.

The bottom line is that AVM’s are fine until you’re serious about buying or selling. Then, it’s time to call your local real estate professional (yep, I’m talking about the MHG!). Do you know anyone that would like to know what their home is actually worth? We can help.

The MHG not only offers Risk Free Listings, but also our own home valuation system to get you started in the process. Using your information, we complete a Comparative Market Analysis to give you the most up to date and thorough BPO possible. Better yet- once we have given your home our careful attention-we sit down face-to-face and walk you through how we came to our value. Lets see an online site do that. You are not a robot, so why trust your home value to one?  

Shouldn't you Expect More? Call or message today to see the difference a family group of professionals can make for you!  Expect More.


Avoiding Buyers Remorse in Burlington, Vt. Homebuying

by Matt Hurlburt Group

"Remorse is the poison of life."  ~Charlotte Bronte

How To Avoid Having Regrets About Buying a House

Buying a house is a huge decision and not one to rush. And it is not something you want to regret later.

Surveys showed that 1 in 4 buyers would not buy the home they are in if they could do it again! Another survey showed that 52% regret something about their home or the home buying process.

It does not matter if it’s your first house or the fifth, you do not want to regret such an important purchase!

Buyers regret can happen when buying anything (Bad lunch choice, perhaps?)  Regretting buying a home can be devastating since this is usually the biggest purchase you will ever make.This is why it is important that you know how to avoid home buyer’s regret.  Here are some of the most important things to remember when entering the market.

house home buy buying steps process understand

Whether you have home buying knowledge, or if this is your first jump into the market, the best way to prevent buyers regret is by having an experienced buyers agent on your side. Most experienced buyers agents will close more home sales in a month than the average person buys in their entire life! After 21 years, we feel that we are experts in the market and can guide you through the peaks and valleys that you may experience.

We will be able to explain the house buying process. We can also recommend other professionals who you’ll need during the house buying process such as inspectors.


house home buy buying budget

Many people start looking at homes BEFORE they determine their budget. Know your buying power- call a lender before even looking online.

The main reason to get pre-approved before looking at houses is to ensure you’re able to get a mortgage. Mortgage brokers understand the constantly changing mortgage regulations and lenders requirements.Your mortgage professional can help you understand how much cash you need for down payment and closing costs. Your lender should give you a closing cost estimate that outlines all of your costs for owning that home.

A closing cost estimate will explain your home buying costs and your approximate monthly mortgage payment. Obviously, this is an important way to avoid having buyer’s regret! One common house buying regrets is using a small down payment. I know no money down sounds attractive, but it may not be the best option for you in the long run. A small down payment means paying PMI or private mortgage insurance.

Also, you MUST remember all the other stuff that you must pay for when you own a home. Some common additional expenses are:

  • Insurance

  • Internet

  • Trash

  • Cable

  • Water

  • Electric

  • Gas

  • Cost to Commute

  • HOA Dues

  • Property Maintenance

  • Property Taxes

Your monthly housing budget should include the mortgage payment PLUS all the additional expenses. This will help reduce the chance you experience any buyers regret.

house home buy buying budget set setting maximum price

ALWAYS remember your maximum price. Do not get caught up in the excitement and start bidding out of your financial lane. It is always better to NOT buy a home than to overpay! Whether it is a bidding war or multiple offer situation does not matter. You have a budget and you must stick to it! It is possible the bank will approve you for more than you should spend. I know this sounds crazy but the banks will lend some people more money than they should…Don’t Let This Happen to You!


understimate house home repair rehab remodel price cost

Maybe you have found a home that is almost perfect. All you need to do is take down a wall, add a few windows, build a new master suite, etc etc…

There is nothing wrong with having dreams about how you’d like to improve your home. Making home improvements takes time and money. If you lack time and money, you could soon regret buying a house! Do not overestimate the renovations and repairs that you can safely do or afford. Rehabbing takes a toll on your bank account and on relationships as well. The smart thing to do is to get some estimates before you make an offer. Most contractors offer free estimates that could help you avoid buying a home that you cannot afford to improve. You must find out if there are any laws, rules or regulations that could prevent you from making any changes. This could mean talking to HOAs, Zoning and Regulation Departments, Historic Districts, etc.


house home buy buying patience

One of the biggest causes of home buying regret is rushing the home search. Many buyers wonder how many homes should I look at? There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  It is possible that you could find the right house after just looking at a couple of houses (HGTV Style) or it may take 20-30 showings to find the right match.

Most home buyers know when they find “the one”. If you feel unsure after making an offer, you should remember to stay calm. Second guessing yourself can cause you to have buyers regret in the future. Call it intuition or a gut feeling or whatever you want. But you will know when it is "the one."


house home buy buying future

You need to think about the future. How long do you intend to stay in the home? If the bedrooms are upstairs, will that cause a problem when you are older? If there a possibility that you will need to move in the future, then you must consider a home’s resale value. Hope for the best but plan for the worst!


house home buy buying want need

You probably won’t ever find a house that is perfect. To make the correct decision for you and your family, we strongly recommend the following list:

Some of the most common NEEDS you should consider:

  • Number of Bedrooms

  • Number of Full Bathrooms

  • Minimal Square Footage

  • Size of the Lot

Too few bedrooms or bathrooms is often a cause for regretting a home purchase. There may come a day that you need additional bedrooms or bathrooms! If a home does not check the "needs" boxes, we would strongly advise you to mark it off your list.  You risk regretting your decision if you do not stick to fulfilling your needs first.

What are some common wants?

  • Open Floor Plan

  • Updated

  • Style or Type of Home

What are some things that could make you say “No Way!”

  • Location

  • School District

  • Unique Features

Knowing your wants and needs means your agent (MHG agents, of course) will be able to find more homes that suit your unique criteria!

Unique features such as a pool or a shop can either be good or bad depending on the buyer. These features will affect how much you enjoy the home and how attractive the home is when/if you need to sell.


size matters importance house home buy buying

You want to avoid buying a home that is too small, as being cramped will cause regret. Since a larger home is more expensive to buy and own, it can also cause you to regret your purchase. You must decide what size home is best for your lifestyle and budget to avoid  home buyer’s remorse! Another size that matters is the size of the property. A larger yard means time or money must be spent on yard maintenance. You must decide what size home and lot is best for you.


house home buy buying location importance

“Location, Location, Location,” may seem like an overused expression but it is absolutely true. You must consider the importance of location when buying a home! You can change, update or improve many things about a house. But you can never change the location! Don’t let the condition or price of a home is cause you to ignore the location! Do some research and investigate the neighborhood. I suggest visiting the neighborhood at different times. Drive by the home at different times and if possible, both during the week and on the weekend.

You should try to talk to some of the neighbors if you can. We always recommend a weekend stroll through the neighborhood. Say hello, bring the kids, the dog, even relatives, and just talk to the people you meet. We find that neighbors are always willing to share.

Some questions to research are the distances to shopping, medical facilities, and your work or business? If your commute takes too much time it means missing stuff that is more important to you!

Some things to consider when looking at a home’s location include:

  • Busy Roads or Railroad Tracks Nearby

  • Distance to Work and Shopping

  • School District

  • Nuisances Such as College Housing or Manufacturing

  • Neighboring Properties Style, Upkeep, Type

Remember that traffic varies greatly during the day and from one day to the next. The noise from traffic as well as the safety concerns should never be overlooked! If you ignore potential problems about the location, you could find yourself annoyed down the road.


make making offer house home buy buying

Finding the right property is only part of preventing house buying regrets. Writing an offer correctly is also essential! The internet has made finding homes for sale much easier than years ago. You can even find lots of information about the house buying process also. But that does NOT take the place of having the experience and knowledge to write an offer that is the total package! We are looking out for your best interests when writing an offer. When you have decided to make an offer, make sure your agent helps you understand the offer.

A good offer protects you by getting you the best price, terms, contingencies, conditions, costs, dates, etc. As your agent, we should explain in detail what you’re signing and what it means. There are ways to write a contract that will help to protect a home buyer. Every home is different, every buyer is different and every offer is different. We will be able to take all the various factors into consideration when writing an offer for you.

If the listing agent writes an offer for you, it is highly unlikely that your offer is in your best interests! The price may be correct but you have to ask yourslef who the agent is truly representing in this transaction.


ask home house buy buying questions

Some people are embarrassed to ask questions about the home buying process. Answering your questions, and providing education is part of our job! Neglecting to ask questions almost guarantees a case of home buyer regret later on! If we don’t know the answer, we can suggest the appropriate professional that does.

house home buy buying regrets remorse conclusion

Home buying regret is too common in real estate. The good news is that there are agents out there who will remember to act in your best interest to ensure that you move into the home you want. As always, our family team here at MHG is available to help you get started. From introduction to closing, we are there for you every step of the way.



Selling in Burlington, Vermont? Tips and MHG Seller Services

by Matt Hurlburt Group

What services does the Matt Hurlburt Group offer to our clients? 

  • When we host an open house, we are there to sell your home! Other agents may seize the opportunity to build their own businesses and find buyers without agents, our only goal is to sell your home.
  • We solicit feedback from every agent who shows your home so we know how Buyers are reacting to it.
  • We provide weekly status reports (or more often if you want) about the number of showings, the feedback about your home and what’s been happening in the market while you’ve been listed.
  • 24 Hour Exposure! Online, Print, and Video that is specifically designed to sell your home quickly and at the right price!
  • Call us! You will get a person to speak to that knows you, your home, and the latest information about your sale. 
  • All of this is Risk Free to all of our sellers. 


Your home is ready, the price is right, the marketing has worked, and the Buyers want to see it. Here’s our best advice for showing your home to potential buyers:

1. Be flexible with showing times

Selling your home is an inconvenience, there’s no denying that. But if you want top dollar for your home, you’ll want to be flexible with when you allow people to see it. Remember that most people work from 9-5 Monday-Friday, so they’ll most likely want to see your home in the evenings or on weekends.

2. Leave your house during showings

While I’m sure you could tell potential Buyers all about your renovations and the leaky basement, Buyers aren’t comfortable looking at a house when the Sellers are home, so it’s best to let them explore at their own leisure. Go for a walk, catch a movie or temporarily move in with a friend—do whatever you need to do to allow potential Buyers free reign.

3. Make sure your home is always in top condition

Make your bed, do the dishes, wash the floors, clean the litter box—and always remember to crate the dog (or better yet, take him with you).

4. Open Houses

While the official stats are that 4% of houses sell as a result of an open house, our personal experience is that they’re much more effective than that. Open houses allow potential Buyers (and let’s face it, curious neighbors) to see your house in a non-threatening, low-pressure environment. Many a Buyer who wasn’t in the market to buy a house fell in love at an open house.

5. Feedback

Remember: what really matters in selling your home is what Buyers are seeing and feeling. Responding to their concerns and objections in a timely matter will go a long way to reducing how long your home is on the market.

As always, we are there for our clients for every step of the way. Contact us today to see why you should Expect More. 


If you’re in the market to buy a house in Burlington, there’s a lot of due diligence that you and your MHG Agent will have to do. Here’s a list of 10 important questions to ask before making an offer:

1. Have there been any water issues in the basement? With wild weather swings, some years haven’t been kind to home owners. Given some of the basement flooding that has happened, most Sellers should know if they have a wet basement. Find out if there have been any issues and what (if anything) the Sellers did to waterproof the house.

​​2. Is there any knob and tube wiring in the house? Much of Burlington's housing stock is older, (vintage? classic?)  and many houses still have knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube wiring is often hard to find and given a house may have changed several times in the last few years, the Sellers themselves may not know they have knob and tube – but it’s an important question to ask. 


3. Can I get copies of the water and gas bills? It’s important to know how much your utility bills are going to be, and there’s no better way than asking the Seller for their bills. Unusually high or low bills are a good indicator of the energy efficiency of the home.

4. Have there been issues with any of the neighbors? Here’s where you have to hope for some honesty (smart Sellers would disclose any ongoing issues). 

5. Were the renovations completed with permits? Are copies of those permits available? If you’re buying a home that’s been renovated, this is an important questions – a lot of renovations require permits (and thus get inspected), but it doesn’t always mean that the home owners got the permits. We often run into renovations that should have had permits and didn’t, so each house has to be evaluated separately.

6. Is anything in the house rented? In Burlington, it’s pretty common for hot water tanks to be rented and it’s important to know all the costs you’ll be taking over.

7. Is there any history of pests? Always a good question to ask. It’s safe to assume that most houses may have issues with squirrels, raccoons, mice, or other pests.

8. Are the pipes lead? Has the supply line from the city been changed? Understanding not only your water cost, but also any potential water issues can be important. City water will have available public information about water quality. If it is a private well, has it been tested? 

9. Is there anything else about the house we should know? Sellers have a duty to disclose anything that could materially affect the buyer’s enjoyment of the house. This is always an important question to ask.

10. Disclosure, disclosure disclosure! Have the sellers filled out a Property Information Report? Ask to see it before any offer!


There are more, but we will be there, helping with due diligence, every step of the way. 

Expect More.

What do buyers agents do? Why not just handle it yourself?

Buyer Agent's Job


As a Buyer Agent’s, our job is to get you from Point A (Would-be Buyer) to Point B (Happy Home Owner) in a safe, simple, and professional manner. More specifically, it’s our job to:

1. Educate You About the Neighborhood

Choosing a new neighborhood is part of the fun! We will play a critical role in educating you about the pros and cons of various neighborhoods. You could  go knocking on doors and speaking to neighbors, but it is not necessary. We can help you understand the neighborhood schools, crime rate, transportation options, demographics, nearby restaurants/shops/services and the trends that are happening in that neighborhood.

[See our related: Burlington Neighborhood Guide]

2. Perform Due Diligence on the Property

Another critical role is helping you do your due diligence on the property. That involves:

  • Being there to fully  investigate the property. This means going into the scary basement, looking for signs of knob and tube wiring, failing windows, or strange plumbing/ heating issues. We also can refer you to outside professionals as necessary.

  • We ask the important questions: Have there been any water issues in the basement? Were the renovations completed with permits? Are there any issues with the neighbors?

  • We investigate and report back  the ongoing costs of the property (hydro, heat, water, etc.)

One of the Buyer Agent’s most important jobs is to make sure you don’t buy the WRONG house.

3. Negotiate Price and Contract Terms

The Buyer’s agent works for the Buyer, so their job is to negotiate the lowest possible price with the best possible terms for the Buyer. We investigate the price history of the homes you’re interested in, the prices of comparable homes recently sold in the neighborhood and what’s happening right now in the market. Helping you understand how the differences between properties affect value (for example, lot size, the number of bathrooms, finishes or view) is crucial when making big decisions. Buyer’s agents also protect you by making your offer conditional on, for example, obtaining suitable financing or performing a home inspection.

4. Help You Find the Home

Long ago, a Buyer’s Agent’s primary role was to introduce properties to buyers. There was a magical book that contained all the homes for sale and if you wanted to buy a house, you hired an agent to find out what was for sale. Enter the internet. Today’s Buyers are often identifying the homes they are interested in themselves…but that doesn’t mean that Buyer Agents don’t play an important role in locating homes. Sometimes that means introducing the perfect home that was overlooked because it didn’t fit the initial criteria or neighborhood or finding an opportunity to buy a house that seemed out of budget (but really won’t be after negotiations). Fact: what you think you want when you begin your home search is often not what you decide to buy in the end.

5. But Wait! There’s More!

A Buyer’s Agent will also:

  • Help you determine your needs, wants, and priority criteria

  • Reduce financial surprises by helping you determine the full cost of buying a property and the ongoing costs of owning it [Related: Closing Costs]

  • See ‘potential’ in a home and educate you on value in the property.

  • Connect you with the best lawyers, lenders and home inspectors (Vendor Lists)

  • Be an ongoing resource for connecting you with home professionals to help once you own the home

But Does Who I Hire Matter?

Not all agents are created equal! Who you hire to represent you on the purchase of a home MATTERS. Who you choose to work with will impact the choice of the home you buy, the neighborhood you buy it in, and final cost. It can mean the difference between:

  • Overpaying for a home vs. paying market value

  • Buying a condo in a building filled with college students vs. buying a condo housing professional couples like you

  • Unknowingly buying a house that will cost you $50K in surprise repairs vs. knowing before you buy

  • Losing money on your real estate investment vs. being cash-positive

Buyer Agent Hiring

As always, you can choose any agent. But wouldn’t it be nice to go with a time tested, experienced group of agents? Shouldn't you Expect More?


HGTV Syndrome in Burlington, Vermont Real Estate? Don't let this happen to you!

by Matt Hurlburt Group

When is it reasonable to Expect More? Do you believe that you can create a brand new kitchen for under $10,000? Even though I can put in 80+ hour weeks focused on my clients, I still hit the couch and indulge in a "House Hunters" or "Flip or Flop." I laugh away my cares! Fantasy can be fun, can't it?


Let us get to the bottom of the Pinterest and HGTV Phenomenon.  


For example, in real life it is common to look at more than three homes for a client to pick one. The one they do pick comes with several contingencies (home inspection, appraisal, securing financing, etc.) It costs more than $8,000 for a kitchen renovation; and there isn’t always a fat profit on a flipped property. That designer turn key home is not the standard for every home, regardless of your budget.  Watch these programs with no education and an illness sets in. HGTV Syndrome.


Untitled design (36)     Afflicted with HGTV Syndrome image via Shutterstock.

Symptoms of HGTV Syndrome can vary from person to person; however, some common attributes are listed below:

  • Do you consider black and white appliances old? Even if they are brand new?

  • Does the word "Formica" make your stomach turn?

  • Does that flake of chipped paint on the door trim make your roll your eyes?

  • Is your budget for a full kitchen renovation (demolition, new cabinets, travertine flooring, appliances, backsplash, lighting and accessories) around $9500?

  • Do you think flipping a house for profit is easy as long as you demand long hours of your contractors and spend time at the designer home center picking out the cheapest recycled Lava Stone countertops?

If you have answered yes to any one of these questions, you need to seek immediate help.

Are you at risk for HGTV Syndrome?

YES! All of you!

Does this really happen? Will a buyer offer $40,000 less than the asking price and justify it with upgrades like the need for a brand new kitchen appliances because they are not stainless steel? They will HAVE to redo all the bathrooms because that tile color is SO 2015. How will they live without the recycled decking and local marble pizza oven with recycled rainforest fair trade pergola and hand carved mahogany dining set? Don't get me started on the three car garage concession! (Not Kidding!)


WARNING! Your agent might have it too!

Is there a cure? The cure can set you free!


No! Not that Cure!


How can you be sure you don’t come down with a case of HGTV Syndrome? Take a preventative, healthy dose of reality by speaking with a us first! Armed with the knowledge and perspective, you to can ward off any hint of home fantasy. We can provide a detailed assessment on what to expect in a certain town, neighborhood, and community. For some properties may be normal to have granite countertops — thus, if the home you are considering does not, then your expectation is justified. In other areas, it may be that popcorn ceilings and older appliances are the norm, and to expect a seller to drop their price so you can upgrade to your own personal taste is not considered reasonable.


See? Piece of cake!



As we enter Cyber Monday, I started thinking about buyers entering the Burlington real estate market.

It is easy to get information about anything online. A dozen sites, like the MHG or RE/ can provide the home, or homes, of your dreams. If you have been considering a move, or that dream home purchase, you have probably spent hours pouring over kitchen and family room pictures, scrutinizing that bathroom tile choice, or deciding if a lake or mountain view is most important. Pinterest has been known to push and pull buyers in all kinds of directions. Before you dive in head first, consider these thoughts. What do you and your family WANT? What do you NEED?

Do you really need that subway tile in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave (or Mom cave) of your dreams be a future renovation project? Or, must that be an immediate feature?

The first thing that I recommend in the  home buying process is to get a mortgage pre-approval.. This allows you to know your budget and narrow (or expand) your focus. I can then provide options based on your wants and needs list. the easy way is to follow this simple plan.

List all the features of a home that you would like, and qualify them as follows:

  • ‘Must Haves’ – if a property does not have these features, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
  • ‘Should Haves’ – if the property checks off the haves and some of the should haves, it stays in contention, but does not need to have all of these features.
  • ‘Absolute Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must haves,’ most of the ‘should haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s goes to the top of the list!

The Bottom Line

Creating this list at the beginning will save you time, money, and frustration. It helps me determine what features are most important and provides a clear focus for desired areas and home specifications. What is important to you is important to me. 


Expect More. 


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