Real Estate Information Archive


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5 Reasons to Sell This Fall in Burlington, Vt.

by Matt Hurlburt Group


With the kids back in school, and with the holidays right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house. But with demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

Here are five reasons why you should consider selling your house this fall: 

1. Demand Is Strong


The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country.There are buyers in the market right now that are ready, willing, and able to purchase a new house.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.


2. There Is Less Competition Now


According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. This means many of these home may come to the market this Fall.. Being ahead of the curve may provide an advantage in the market.

As builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs. You may be living in exactly what a prospective buyer is searching for in the market!

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you decide to sell.


3. The Process Will Be Quicker


Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market heats up, banks will be floodedwith loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. 


4. The Best Time to Move Up


If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, now is the best time to consider a move. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.


5. It’s a Perfect Time to Downsize and Simplify


Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Are your surrounded with a house that is too big now that the kids have moved out? Tired of the upkeep necessary for that over sized house?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. 


What is truly important for you and your family? 

Concerned About Lead in Burlington, Vt.?

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Lead and the Buying/ Selling Process. Protecting You and Your Family.

There are a number of Vermont homes that were built or remodeled prior to 1978. Why 1978? In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.

The exposure pathways for lead that is most concerning are ingestion and inhalation. Lead can effect anyone in a family, but children are at the greatest risk, due to developing nervous systems and smaller body mass. Small children also tend put everything in their mouths, which could include paint chips or chewing on windowsills. Lead actually has a sweet taste, which can encourage little ones to seek out places to chew when teething. 

Physical Effects: Lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior problems, slowed growth, headaches, difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, digestive problems and muscle and joint pain.

Lead can exist in many forms, but home buyers and sellers are most concerned with paint. Flaking or deteriorating paint means that there is a possibility of lead in the air, in the home's dust, and in places accessible by children. 

% of Older Homes Likely to Contain Lead-Based Paint

Source - US. EPA


     As a Buyer/ Seller, what are your responsibilities? 

  • Sellers must disclose in writing any information about known lead paint in the home. If sellers have performed lead tests, they must share the test results.
  • Sales contracts must give buyers up to 10 days to check for lead hazards. Home buyers aren't required to test for lead--but they must be given the opportunity to do so. You might see this information on a special addendum attached to a purchase contract. 

    Your realtor will provide your with federal and state information about protecting yourself and your family from lead exposure. 

  • As a buyer, if you are buying a home that has deteriorating lead paint, you may negotiate with the seller to hire an EPA licensed contractor to safely remediate the deteriorating spots. There are numerous do-it-yourself options, but we always recommend consulting an expert.

We hope that this clears up some of the confusion about the hazards of lead, and why it will be part of the buying and selling process. As always, we are here to help.     

    The Matt Hurlburt Group. Expect More. 





Tips to Prepare Your Burlington, Vt. Home For Sale

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Home Sale Preparation 


Getting your house ready to sell does not have to be an arduous process, and can go a long way towards a good selling experience. View these helpful tips to make it easy to get your home ready for sale. These simple ideas will help your home be more appealing to home buyers, easier to pass inspection, and put more money on your bottom line.

Home Sellers: Avoid a nightmare inspection and losing your buyer with these simple tips.

In order to present your property in its best possible light, it is important to make sure that every part of your property looks its absolute best. In a market where there are a lot of properties to choose from, the one that shows the best is the one that will stand out. Remember that first impressions matter! 

Please check the following items in your home against this checklist.


__ Trees and shrubs trimmed
__ Gardens edged
__ Planting beds edged and weeded
__ Lawn mowed, fertilized, and treated for weeds, if necessary
__ Gravel driveway edged and weeded with no bare spots or ruts
__ Dead limbs removed from trees
__ Flower beds planted/cleaned as appropriate for season and mulched


__ Check for peeling paint on house & decks
__ Functional light bulbs in all exterior lights
__ Remove items no longer used (i.e. doghouse, swing set, bikes, etc.)


__ Windows washed
__ Trim washed and/or painted as necessary
__ Floors polished, carpets cleaned
__ Kitchen cabinets cleaned
__ Closets organized and as empty as possible
__ Excess/unused furniture removed
__ Smoke and/or pet odors removed
__ Put family photo’s away to depersonalize the house
__ Arrange furniture to promote spaciousness
__ Match paint & touch up wall nicks
__ Bright brilliant colors may need to go
__ Clean out closets for a neat presentation
__ Remove seldom used appliances to another location
__ Wipe down woodwork with a light lemon furniture polish. It will make the room smell very clean.
__ If there too many toys, put away the ones not often played with.
__ Keep bathroom clean and toilet seats down
__ Dust and clean all the light fixtures


__ Lights operable and as bright as possible
__ Remove any unused excess items
__ Rearrange and neatly store items
__ Vacuum and/or dust water heater/furnace/boiler & surrounding pipes
__ Sweep or clean bulkhead/stairway area
__ Paint floor (if appropriate)
__ Dehumidifier working (if being used); no visible standing water


__ Make sure lights are operable
__ Floor swept (use a leaf blower to clean garage)
__ Window sills & windows vacuumed and/or dusted
__ Degrease floor if necessary
__ Vacuum and/or dust inside garage door
__ Remove any excess/unused items


These relatively simple items will showcase your home in the best light, allowing potential buyers to view themselves in their new house! 




The Matt Hurlburt Group. Expect More.

One of the great mysteries of home buying, at least to those who have never been through the process, is closing costs. While nearly everyone has heard of them, few who haven’t had to pay them really understand them. Some people who have paid them aren’t sure what they spent all that money on. Knowing what these terms mean and what fees they consist of can help you be more prepared for them when the time comes.

Closing costs are the various fees that a home buyer must pay before the mortgage lender will finalize the mortgage. More generally speaking, these costs are about 3 to 6 percent of the amount borrowed. That is in addition to your down payment. This purpose of this blog entry is to identify and explain some of the components of your total closing costs.

The lender will charge an application fee to cover the costs of completing your mortgage application. This may or may not include the fee for your credit report. They will also charge a loan origination fee, also known as points. This covers the administrative costs of processing your mortgage. One point is equal to 1% of the total amount loaned.

Many lenders offer the option to purchase without points, but keep in mind that this will result in a higher interest rate. There are also lenders who will let you pay additional points to lower the interest rate on your loan.

Title insurance will be required by your lender. This protects you and the mortgage company in case the seller does not have the legal right to sell it. There could be unknown co-owners of the property, or it could have an unpaid lien (debt) against it that would prevent the seller from legally selling it.

An appraisal is also required by lenders. This is to ensure that the home is worth the amount loaned to you to purchase it. A home inspection is not usually required, but we recommend that you have one. The cost of the inspection could also be considered part of closing costs.

Homeowners insurance is a standard requirement of mortgage lenders. They will require proof of it and may require you to pay the first year’s premium before closing. Private mortgage insurance may also be required depending on the amount of your down payment, typically if your down payment is less than 20% of the loan amount, and part of the fee will be included in your closing costs.

Taxes associated with the transfer are usually the buyer’s responsibility, unless other arrangements are agreed upon. You may also have to pay for a survey of the property. You will likely be required to pay the interest accrued between the time your mortgage was originated and the due date of your first payment. Attorney and notary fees may also be a part of your closing costs.

Hopefully this begins to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding closing costs. Still confused? Contact us at the Matt Hurlburt Group to get your questions answered.

All About Home Inspections in Burlington Vt.

by Matt Hurlburt Group

What to Expect When Inspecting

Once an offer is accepted and the transaction is in the “contingency” phase – one of the buyer’s objectives is to ensure their understanding of the condition of the property they are about to acquire.  Inspections are a critical activity in this “due diligence” period.

While many different inspections can be performed for a residential home, the most common inspections are:

  • Structural Inspection

  • Water Test (if private well)

  • Radon test

  • Chimney

The following is some general information regarding common issues that may arise during these inspections.  Note that you are free to hire any inspection company with whom you feel comfortable.   We can refer inspection companies who have served us and our clients for years, if you desire.  In any case, we highly recommended that you attend the inspections in person.  This is a great opportunity to you to learn about the house through the eyes of the inspector, and to ask questions about any of the findings and recommendations.


Structural/Building Inspections are a general inspection covering the various systems of the home.  They will typically inspect the structural components of the home (foundation, crawl space, attic, exterior, doors and windows, and interior walls and surfaces), roof, electrical, plumbing, appliances, heating & air conditioning, smoke detectors, garage door, drainage, and water heater.  They will look for conditions that are not up to code, or are not in compliance with current health and safety standards and codes.  They will typically comment on maintenance and other repairs that you may expect over time.

Home inspections include an overview of the roof and chimney, and may raise concerns that would warrant a roofing or chimney expert to advise and provide estimates, if necessary.  They also do not check for building permits.

Drainage is one area that is often a concern in this area, especially with older homes.  It is not uncommon to get some dampness in the basement or around the home, especially in the spring.  Large accumulation of water in a basement is not a desirable situation.  If you buy an older home, pay particular attention to the drainage, and what improvements you might want to consider over time.  Your building inspector can advise.

Cracking and settlement may be another area of concern.  This is normally a matter of degree, as some cracking in the sheetrock and concrete surfaces is to be expected as the property settles, lumber shrinks, earthquakes occur, and so on.  Extensive cracking, sticking doors and windows, and floors that are out of level can be a symptom of more serious settlement and/or foundation issues, so again care should be taken to understand and address these issues.

You should also determine the age of the major components of the home, such as water heaters, the furnace, and air conditioning units.  Pay close attention to the age, and ask the home inspector what is a reasonable expectation for the remaining life of these components.


Unless the roof is brand new – a roof inspection by a licensed roofer is higher recommended for most transactions.  They will usually issue a report detailing the condition of the roof, and any repairs that are recommended to keep the roof in good condition.  It is important to ask the inspector how much life is left on the roof.

In general, wood shake roofs can normally be expected to last 20 to 25 years with periodic maintenance.  Composition shingle roofs can be expected to last 20 to 30 years depending on the materials used.  Coated metal roofs, tile roofs, and slate roofs can be expected to last well over 40 or 50 years.  Once the recommended repairs are completed, the roofer will guarantee the roof against leaks for a period of one year.


If the property has a fireplace,  a chimney inspection by a licensed chimney sweep is recommended, especially on masonry or brick fireplace.  The biggest threat is broken flue tiles, which present a fire hazard and will require a $2000 to $3000 repair.  On newer non-masonry fireplaces, the most common issues are related to separation of the panels or pre-mature aging of the refractory panels.


Depending on the situation, other inspections may be appropriate.   Usually we start with the property, roof, and chimney inspections.   Depending on the results of these inspections additional investigation or a more detailed inspection by a specialist may be warranted.  Some other inspections might include:

  • Mold Inspection

  • Furnace inspections by your electric utility provider

  • Foundation inspections

  • Drainage inspections

  • Lead Paint

Risk Free Listings! Exclusively through the Matt Hurlburt Group.

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Risk Free Listing

What makes Risk Free Listing so attractive?


Matt Hurlburt’s exclusive RISK FREE LISTING system offers clients the peace of mind to cancel the listing at any time.  If we do not follow through with our responsibilities? You are not tied to a 12 month contract. A flexible fee structure further enhances the property owner's ability to retain more money through their sale.


Sell your property to a named exception and pay 3% or 5% commission.

The 3% or 5% commission does not apply to a buyer exposed to the property by an agent other than a member of the Matt Hurlburt Group while your property is listed with RE/MAX North Professionals.  At the time of the listing, any named exceptions who might be interested in purchasing are listed in the listing contract, and may purchase within 30 calendar days of the listing date for seller to pay only 3%.


Cancel the listing at any time.

Either you or RE/MAX North Professionals can cancel just by calling and saying: “I want to cancel the listing.”  It’s that simple.  The cancellation becomes effective officially once a mutual release has been signed.  However, please allow two (2) business days to have the sign and lockbox removed, and the listing withdrawn from the MLS.  LISTING CONTRACTS MAY NOT BE BROKEN BY THE SELLER TO AVOID PAYING COMMISSION FOR PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS THAT HAVE ALREADY VIEWED THE PROPERTY DURING THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT.


No advanced fees of any kind

You only pay if RE/MAX North Professionals procures an offer that is acceptable to you.


“No Pressure” presentation

We will never allow you to be “pressured” by the buyer’s agent.  All offers will be faxed, e-mailed, or delivered to our office, and will be presented to you by phone, so you can make your decisions privately.


Contact The Matt Hurlburt Group to find out more about Risk Free Listings and our Flexible Fee Listing Structure.

7 Reasons Fall Might Just Be the Best Time to Buy a Home in Burlington, Vt.

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Fall in Vermont means crisp nights, dazzling foliage, apple and pumpkin picking, fresh cider, and a great time for real estate? Read on to see the seven reasons that Fall may be the best time to think about hunting for that perfect property. Let the Matt Hurlburt Group be your best resource as you begin your Fall adventure!


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Contact Information

Photo of Matt Hurlburt Group Real Estate
Matt Hurlburt Group
RE/MAX North Professionals
40 Main St, Suite 550
Burlington VT 05401
Phone: 802-862-5337
Fax: 866-660-0032