Eager to buy now or waiting for the perfect property? We've got can't-miss information for you! Read on to uncover essential insights about the state of the market, key community amenities, common Vermont home-buying concerns like internet availability, and much more.
Many aren’t able to see a house before putting an offer in, and coming to terms with that is something very new to our industry.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the things out-of-state buyers are most unprepared for when house-hunting in Woodstock?
A: It’s the challenge of the current COVID restrictions and being out of state—many aren’t able to see a house before putting an offer in, and coming to terms with that is something very new to our industry.
Inventory levels are also super low compared to what we’re used to, which creates more competition. Demand is higher, which creates more urgency when a property comes on the market. You don’t have the luxury of time. It’s all about being fully prepared and educated.
Q: How would you say our housing market—and our town in general—is unique?
A: Woodstock is an attractive area for people to visit, which makes it an attractive place to live especially now that you don’t have to necessarily live where you work. Close proximity to multiple ski mountains, hiking, the Long Trail, and world-class healthcare from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center are focal points.
People have visited in years past and they like the area. They’re falling in love with what Vermont has to offer. The state overall is community-focused and offers a simpler lifestyle—those are driving factors with younger families moving to the area.
Q: A common concern for those moving to Vermont is internet access. How might you respond to those concerns for remote workers interested in relocating here?
A: Internet access is something that’s come a long way in the last 5 years. Vermont focused on that with ECFiber—they’re constantly expanding their network and we can look at what’s available to a property in terms of bandwidth and internet speed before setting up a showing.
Q: Vermont is also known for its fluffy white winters. From metal roofs to stoves, are there features you recommend home-seekers look for (or plan to add) in a dream home?
A: I don’t recommend things to look for in particular, but it’s important for buyers to know the difference between asphalt shingles, corrugated metal, and standing seam roofs and their pros and cons. Same thing with siding materials.
Q: What are some of the questions you get most frequently from prospective buyers—and how do you answer them?
A: The most common question I get is “how’s the market?” And right now, it is very competitive. After that, it depends on what the buyer is looking for in terms of driving factors like location, internet access, price, and layout.
For people who are buying a property once every five years or longer, it’s important to both make sure expectations are up-to-date and understand how to write a competitive offer.
Q: How did the pandemic change the local market?
A: It’s created a seller-favored market. It’s more competitive for buyers, and pricing overall has gone up more year-over-year than we’ve seen for quite a while. Historically, you’re going to see an upswing in April and May in any market. For us over the last year, there hasn’t been a change in seasonality. But we’re in January and it’s still competitive. We’re still seeing multiple offer situations going 10% over asking on houses that have been on the market for a week.
Q: Can you share some tips for those who are just beginning to look for a house? What about for those who were ready to buy yesterday?
A: When you’re ready to make a move, it’s all about connecting with the right people. The number one thing is finding an agent and lender you trust, then working with them to get educated on the market and what to expect so there aren’t surprises along the way. For people who are buying a property once every five years or longer, it’s important to both make sure expectations are up-to-date and understand how to write a competitive offer.
For those who are ready to buy, I’d recommend being clear on what you want and what are reasonable expectations. You might have a dream house in mind, but even in a perfect world you’re not going to get 100% of what you want, so it’s important to compromise to get the right house for you.
Woodstock is very family-oriented with lots of recreation, and the schools have a good reputation. It’s a nice central location, so regardless of your favorite activity, you can get there pretty quickly.
Q: What locations are you seeing transplants moving away from?
A: Metropolitan areas in New England and the northeast overall. It’s primarily focused around those already visiting the area whether from Boston, New York City, or Philadelphia or locations in between. We see a lot of people who have the flexibility to work-from-home, but still want to be within a day’s driving distance of the office.
That said, we’ve also seen people coming from out west and down south. There’s a movement right now of people leaving California.
Q: What are some of the most popular reasons individuals and families gave for choosing to move to Woodstock?
A: It’s the community. Woodstock is very family-oriented with lots of recreation, and the schools have a good reputation. It’s a nice central location, so regardless of your favorite activity, you can get there pretty quickly.