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      Josiah Allen

      Downtown Manchester to see Changes Following Planning Conference

      downtown Manchester VTThe Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association held its annual conference in Manchester the first week of September. The conference is held in Vermont every three years and draws in dozens of regional and town planners from across northern New England. Those that attended the conference focused on developing a Downtown Manchester Master Plan that Manchester's Planning Commission will then be able to use and draw from in the future. 

      The conference kicked off with a planning charrette that the public was encouraged to attend. A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens and designers collaborate on a vision for development. The charrette provided a forum for ideas and offered immediate feedback to designers and allowed local residents the opportunity to give feedback on what they would like to see built, changed, and preserved in downtown Manchester. 

      Manchester is looking to bring in more mixed-use space and housing to downtown and reverse the recent trend they've seen of young people leaving the region. As more and more retail shops close down, Manchester needs the public's help to look to the future and figure out how to make downtown Manchester a vibrant downtown. 

      This comes on the heels of other planning initiatives in Manchester such as the 2020 Community Visit that resulted in the planning of a riverwalk development as well as working to make Manchester a bike-friendly city. 

      In the weeks and months following the conference, designers and planners will draft the official plan that will be presented to the Manchester Town Selectman Board sometime this Fall. 

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        What Your Kitchen Says About You

        Kitchens have really become the main selling point of a home. They are the topic of countless home renovation shows, and more and more they have become the gathering room while entertaining. There are 5 core kitchen design styles, and they all say something different about you and your home, so what does your kitchen say about you?

        Traditional
        Today's traditional kitchens are warm and casual. Think dark woods, granite counter tops, and wood flooring. A traditional kitchen is timeless. You pride yourself on looking good and you're not too flashy. 

        Traditional Kitchen

        Modern
        Commonly confused with contemporary design, modern kitchens trace their origins to the 1800s. Modern design was extremely popular from the 1920s to the 1950s. Modern kitchens are defined by a moderate use of color, clean lines, and natural materials. If you consider yourself kind of retro, but not quite trendy, modern is the style for you. 

        Modern Kitchen

        Contemporary
        Defined by the tone-on-tone color choices, smooth surfaces, and metallic finishes, contemporary design is perfect for those who find design just as important as function. If you're a fan of making bold statements and consider yourself stylish and sophisticated, contemporary is your type of kitchen.

        Contemporary Kitchen

        Transitional
        Built by fusing the best of traditional and contemporary design together, transitional kitchens focus on clean, relaxing design elements. Transitional kitchens are laid back while still being on trend. 

        Transitional Kitchen

        Eclectic
        Seemingly random, yet unified, eclectic kitchen design is all about combining elements and style from several periods and different origins. Eclectic kitchens don't necessarily have to be packed with color. It's really about fusing lots of your favorite things into one unified space. An eclectic kitchen says creative, independent, and intuitive. 

        Eclectic Kitchen
         

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          6 Spring Staging Tips for Sellers

          The goal of staging your home is to make it easier for a potential buyer to envision themselves living in the space. The majority of buyers during the Spring are millennials, who are known for their attention to details. Empty-nesters also tend to shop in the Spring. So what can you do to help these buyers fall in love with your home?

          According to a report written by the National Association of Realtors, 81% of buyers say it's easier to visualize a property as their future home if it has been staged. The average cost to stage a home is about $675, but there are plenty of inexpensive and quick things you can do to stage your home before an open house. If you can only focus on one or two rooms, the following are the most important rooms to stage according, the NAR report: the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, bathroom, children's bedroom, and guest bedroom. Focusing on even just these five rooms will give your home a higher chance of selling quickly, and for a higher price. 

          Clean
          Be sure to deeply clean all areas of your home, including the not-so-accessible spaces like closets and under-sink cabinets. Buyers will open any door they get their hands on, so don't risk an embarrassing surprise. Hiring a cleaning service is also a good idea, as they are able to smell things you have become accustomed to over the years, and will know the critical areas that need to be cleaned. 

          Bathroom with Fresh White Towels

          Adding a fresh set of white towels can really go far. The bright white of the towels will make the room seem more fresh and clean. 

          Make sure you clean outside your home as well, this is the first opportunity you have to grab potential buyer's attention. Sweeping cobwebs, weeding, mowing the lawn, adding a new welcome mat, planting fresh flowers if the weather is right, replacing burnt-out bulbs, hanging a festive wreath, and power washing siding and decks as needed can really go a long way. 

          Declutter
          Clutter distracts potential buyers from seeing your home's best features. By removing this, you give potential buyers a better chance to see themselves living in the space. Think about tidying up as soon as you decide to sell your home, so you don't have to rush before an open house. You might even consider renting a storage unit to store your belongings in while you prepare to move. 

          When every cabinet in your home is full, it gives buyers the subconscious impression that you're home is lacking space. Same goes for your garage. If your garage is stacked with boxes it will make buyers question whether there is enough space for their belongings. 

          Curtains may tie a room together and have plenty of practical uses, but when it comes to selling your home — ditch 'em. Potential buyers want to see how much light each room gets, and keeping curtains up, regardless of how beautiful, tend to make a room feel darker and dated.

           decluttered living room

          Roll up your old rugs. Hardwood floors are a major selling point these days and an old, tattered rug can be a real turn off. Make sure to remove any rugs in the kitchen, as the room will instantly feel cleaner and more spacious once they're gone. 

          TIP - Pull your furniture away from the wall to make your room appear bigger. 

          Depersonalize
          You will want to remove all personal photographs and mementos from around your home. Buyers want to come in and envision themselves in your home — they don't want to think about it as someone else's home. 

          Make Minor Upgrades
          The first thing you will want to do is make sure that you repair all the squeaky doors, chipped paint, as well as any broken fixtures and fittings you have learned to live with over the years. You might not mind the squeaky basement door, but potential buyers will. 

          A neutral home appears larger, and you have less of a chance of turning off potential buyers with some crazy, on-trend accent wall. Freshening up your home with a few cans of paint can really go a long way. 

          You don't have to replace the cabinets or the counters to give your kitchen an updated feel. Replacing old drawer pulls is a great, and inexpensive way to modernize an older kitchen. Talk with your real estate agent about trends they are seeing with what buyers are impressed with if you're not sure which direction to go in. Think about updating doorknobs, light switches, and outlets for the same reason. 

          Kitchen

          Replacing old lighting features throughout the house can also help to modernize and maximize the feel of the space. Even just buying new, white lampshades brighten and modernize a room. 

          TIP - Turn on every light in your house, this will brighten the space, making it feel larger as well as give potential buyers confidence that you have nothing to hide. Remember, you aren't trying to set an atmosphere like you would at a dinner party, you are trying to sell your house. 

          Update Decor
          Setting the dining room table can really liven up a room. Keep it simple and modern — white plates with stainless steel cutlery and stemless wine glasses atop a neutral placemat or tablecloth keeps it clean yet modern. If you think the room needs a pop of color, add a vibrant napkin.

           place setting

          Once you get rid of family photos a space may feel a little empty. Think about adding metallic accents around the room to modernize the space without risking it with colors that may turn some buyers off. 

          Consider adding mirrors as you replace family photographs. They add more light and can help enlarge the appearance of smaller rooms. Photography can also be a great way to modernize a room and add a pop of color, avoid photos of people as, again, this can be distracting to potential buyers. 

          Renting furniture can also be an effective way to help potential buyers envision themselves in your home, especially if you have outdated, worn-out furniture. 

          Give Each Room a Purpose
          Ensure that every room in the home has a defined purpose, even if it's not the purpose you use the room for. For example, carving out an office space can really help a millennial buyer envision themself working from home, even if you don't. The idea is to help potential buyers visualize how to maximize the available space.

          Office Nook

          Learn More About Selling Your Home

          Contact us today if you have questions!

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            5 Fun (Family Friendly) Things To Do in December in Manchester, VT

             

            The Lincoln Family Home

            Visit Hildene estate, President Lincoln’s parent’s home,  anytime throughout the month of December and see it decorated as it would've been for the holidays in 1912. On the weekend of December 3rd, enjoy a special shopping event in the museum store. Also enjoy a variety of talented musicians throughout the month at the home, playing Mary Lincoln’s Steinway piano and vintage Aeloian organ. 

            Hooked on the Holidays

            On December 3rd, grab the whole family and head to the American Museum of Fly Fishing from 1-4pm for their annual celebration. Museum staff will teach children important fly-tying basics while creating adorable tree ornaments. There will be cookie decorating, hot cocoa, and s’mores will be available to roast on their fire pit outside. 

            Check Out The Decked-Out Tractors

            Head downtown on December 3rd from 5-6pm and enjoy a parade of tractors decorated for the holidays in lights. Enjoy a mix of modern and antique tractors from Memorial Ave. to Equinox Terrace. 

            Visit Santa

            Join the Manchester Lions Club and their wonderful elves on the Elf Express December 17 & 18. This holiday train leaves r.k. Miles Depot Station and takes passengers on a one-hour enchanting journey through the Green Mountains full of singing, dancing, hot cocoa, and treats. Santa and Mrs. Clause will stop by to drop off gifts. Get your tickets today!

            Hot Cocoa & The Polar Express

            On December 22nd grab the kiddos and head over to Northshire Bookstore at 6pm for the Polar Express pajama party. Hot cocoa will be served as the Polar Express is read. Santa will be there!

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              3 Can't Miss Southern Vermont Homes for Sale

              Serene and Secluded Oasis

              96 Lewis Road Rupert, VT 05768

              96 Lewis Road - Front

              This 6 bedroom, 5 bath colonial sits on 90.4 acres! The soaring stone fireplace is center-stage in the open living area with glorious cathedral ceilings and exposed beams. Above the garage is a private guest suite. The two story barn offers ample storage. This is a must-see property! View the full listing here.

              96 Lewis Road - Kitchen96 Lewis Road - Master Bedroom96 Lewis Road - barn96 Lewis Road - overview

              Contact Laura Beckwith today to schedule a showing, or if you have any questions. 

              Colonial Charm with 20th Century Comfort

              2028 River Road Manchester, VT 05255

              2028 River Road - Front

              Overlooking 40 conserved Hildene acres along the Battenkill River, sits this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom colonial reproduction. Pulling in reclaimed architectural elements, this truly unique home  offers 3 fireplaces, vaulted bedrooms, central air, and a 2 car garage.  View the full listing here

              2028 River Road - Living Room Fireplace2028 River Road - Dining Room2028 River Road - Patio2028 River Road - Garage

              Contact Laura Beckwith with any questions or to schedule a showing. 

              2-for-1 With Spectacular Views

              2577 Dorset West Road Dorset, VT 05251

              2577 Dorset West Rd - Front of the 1760s Home2577 Dorset West Road - 3 bedroom home

              This unique property offers 2 residences on coveted Dorset West Road at an unbelievable price. One one hand you have the 1760 one-bedroom which offers 2 fireplaces, a pizza oven, a 2-story great room, a screen porch, and a garage. On the other hand, you have a 3 bedroom home with a window wall and an 18' vaulted great room. Each house has their own driveway. View the full listing here

              2577 Dorset West Road - 1760s Home Kitchen2577 Dorset West Road - 1760s Home 2 story fireplace2577 Dorset West Road - 3 bedroom livingroom2577 Dorset West Road - view

              Contact Laura Beckwith to schedule a showing or if you have any questions. 

               

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