FAQ

If you cannot find something in our FAQ, contact us

Are there good places to Snowmobile in the area?

There are plenty of snowmobile trails in Northern Vermont — check out this site.

I am moving to VT, what are my health care choices?

Chck information on the VT Healthcare Marketplace here.

What are the snow conditions?

You can find snow conditions by resort here.

What is the VT Rail Trail?

For information about the local Rail Trail, and other trails and paths, visit this site.

Where are the famous Farmers Markets?

You can find info on the VT farmers markets here.

Where are the Lakes and Ponds in the area?

For Lakes and Ponds that can be used for boating, fishing, and swimming, check out this site.

Where are the local State and National Parks?

For State Parks, visit the VT State Parks site.

For National Parks, visit their site.

Do I need to test for Radon?

The Vermont Health Department has information about Radon, which you can access here.

Should I get pre-qualified before I go see houses?

Yes! ​It doesn’t cost you anything to get pre-qualified but it DOES put you in a better position as a Buyer. Mortage lenders are required by Federal Law to provide you with a no-obligation, FREE pre-qualification letter upon receiving a few basic pieces of information from you. ​

Once you are Pre-Qualified, you will know what price range you can afford, to help guide your search. Talk to your REALTOR about how to fine tune this and other information into identifying a comfortable monthly payment.

The Pre-Qualification letter is required to be submitted with an offer, in most cases. With your letter in hand, and the information you have gathered, you can move quickly with an offer, when you find the right house for you. You will be the bidder who is prepared. ​Talk to your REALTOR about how to get Pre-Qualified and what to do with the information you gain from it.

Should I worry about lead and asbestos?

The Vermont Health department has extensive information about Lead and Asbestos on their site.

We are first-time homebuyers. What should we should be thinking about?

​This is exciting and also potentially overwhelming…to keep it real, it is important to look at the process first. Buying a home is not rocket science, but there are a TON of little details, and they all matter. We recommend you rely on an expert to help educate you to walk through the steps smoothly. We recommend us!

We will be your “tour guides” through this process, from start to finish. We will lay out a road map of the process, and help you take it step-by-step. At each step, we’ll to get you the information that you need, so that you can make educated, confident decisions from your options.

What about Vermont property taxes?

To understand Vermont property taxes, visit the VT tax department here.

What does “Representation” mean and who is the real estate agent working for?

​In Vermont, Real Estate agents MUST be licensed. And, they cannot represent both a buyer and a seller in a transaction, as that is a conflict of interest. In order to have representation, the Agent and the CUSTOMER must first enter into a written agreement that outlines the scope of that representation, including: timeframe, what property(s) is/are covered and how the agent gets paid. Once you have a signed Representation agreement, you become a CLIENT.

For both a Listing agent representing a Seller, and a Buyer’s agent representing a Buyer, agents have a fiduciary responsibility (looking out for their best financial interests) to their CLIENT. Additionally, that CLIENT gets confidentiality in their discussions with their Agent (like you do with your attorney and doctor). They also can get advice and counsel, and help with a successful negotiation. Click HERE to review the VT Consumer Information Disclosure about representation. VT law requires your REALTOR to review this with you at the first point of significant contact. Make sure you are clear on what the agent’s role is and what their relationship is to you BEFORE you get into a discussion about a property and your interest.

What does it mean to be “Living Green”?

The VT Health department guide on “Living Green” can be found here (PDF download)

What is a REALTOR? How is the this different from a licensed Real Estate Agent?

In VT, nearly EVERYONE who acts in the role of representing sellers or buyers in a transaction MUST be licensed by the State of VT as a real estate agent. Licensed Real Estate agents with a REALTOR designation are members of a National organization; NAR, who commit to holding a high standard of Ethics in all things Real Estate. Visit NAR’s Ethical Standards here. [https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/code-of-ethics/2018-code-of-ethics-standards-of-practice]

What other Professionals/Consultants will I need, or at least talk to, if I buy or sell property in Vermont?

Talk to us first, so that we can help you identify the critical features of your VT property that likely would trigger Buyer concerns, questions, or discourage interest or even offers. In other words, we will help you answer that question yourself. We can then help you reach out to specific professionals who actually specialize in the areas that you need to address.

What should I do to to get my house ready to sell in order to have it sell as quick as possible for the highest price?

Good question. We live (and breathe) Real Estate. We hear from Buyers continually about what they are looking for in a home and what turns them off, or stops them from making an offer on a home that could be right for them. When we meet with you to discuss selling your home, we will go through your property with you and make recommendations to help ensure your house is in the best position to attract as many ready buyers as possible.

It starts with having your house clean, shiny, polished and very neat. And, sellers that choose to make updates/improvements and fix the little issues will see their homes sell faster and at a higher sales price. However, keep in mind, not everything you should do to prepare your home to sell will cost money. We’ll make recommendations on the things you SHOULD do and the things that would be GOOD to do in order to make sure your home is ready for its Buyer when they see it.

So, talk to your REALTOR on how to “Eliminate the Eliminators” that lead a Buyer to say “No, thanks” to your house.

What’s the situation with waste water and drilled well permits in this area?

In many parts of Vermont, there are no public municipal water and sewer services. Property owners rely on their own [or a shared] water supply (drilled well or spring), and an installed sewage system.

Wastewater:
Sewage or septic systems installed after 2007 have to be a State approved design. Systems that pre-date 2007 may or may not have a State approved design but are “grandfathered” in, as long as they are functioning. If they ‘fail’, the property owner must obtain a State permit for a replacement system, and install it. Talk to your REALTOR about how you find out the facts about your system, and what regular efforts help ensure good function.

Water Supply:
For properties where municipal water is not an option, property owners generally obtain their Water supply from a spring (groundwater supply close to the surface) or a drilled well (groundwater supply from a deeper aquifer).

Springs are common in Vermont and can work well as a water supply. They can be vulnerable to drying up in dry years, as well as being more vulnerable to bacterial contamination. Drilled wells are deeper (potentially several hundred feet) with the top section encased in a steel pipe, with a cap on top.

Drilled wells are (versus Springs), generally–but not always–more protected from low supply in drought conditions, and bacterial contamination. Drilled wells can exhibit more issues with odor (sulphur, like rotten eggs) and minerals (hardness/iron, etc) than springs.

All potential water supply issues around smell, minerals and bacterial contamination can be mitigated by several treatment methods and systems.

Click HERE to review information from the VT Department of Health on private water supplies. Ask your REALTOR about this information, when you look at a property for possible purchase.

Where can I find information about Drinking Water Quality?

You can find information about drinking water quality at the Vermont Health Department.

Where can I find information about Septic Systems?

Information about septic systems can be found here. There may be additional requirements on a town by town basis.

Where can I find information about Utilities?

Information about utilities, Electric, Natural gas, Propane, Telco, Cable, etc.) can be found here.

Why should I use a Real Estate agent to list my property for sale instead of selling my house on my own?

Expertise, in a nutshell. Why would you sell your largest lifetime investment without an expert, and risk leaving money on the table, or run into glitches that an expert would prevent? We live and breathe Real Estate. If your goal is to get the best price for your property, then let us help you prepare it to attract the most amount of ready buyers for that ideal market-savvy price. Let us be focused, responsive and support every showing personally with the intensity that leads to success. We guide interest, offers and contracts  to avoid problems; the disclosure, inspection, appraisal, permitting, and glitches that novice house sellers won’t be familiar with. Glitches that can delay or kneecap a sale.  Please strongly consider hiring an expert to help you get top dollar for your investment, efficiently.

CANNOT FIND WHAT YOU"RE LOOKING FOR?

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* Please note that your conversations with a real estate agent are NOT confidential unless they represent you, as the Buyer or Seller. For more information, ask us about representing you. And, read the Consumer Relationship Disclosure, here.

161 Rt 15 West, PO Box 394
Johnson, VT 05656

UPDATE ON OUR OPERATING POLICIES IN VIEW OF COVID-19VIEW HERE
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Blue Spruce realty - don footeDon grew up in Vermont, loving the outdoors. After college, he had an illustrious career as a professional ski instructor at Smugglers Notch Resort where he enjoyed sharing his love of the mountains and the sport with kids and adults. The off-season led to Don shifting roles to a year-round position in permitting and planning for the resort. This provided him a foundation of knowledge and experience in these areas that has extended into Don’s current career in Real Estate.

Don lives in Jericho with his wife, Lindsay and two teenage daughters. Life revolves around the kids many activities (ski racing, soccer and dance), family outdoor pursuits (snowsports and anything on, in and under the water) and ever an embrace of the mountain lifestyle. Don’s personal interests include: building and paddling wooden kayaks, live music, backcountry touring, maple sugaring and collecting interesting/shiny rocks.

Don has served on a number of municipal boards in area communities and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Smugglers Notch Ski and Board Club and the Jericho Community Development Corporation.

Real Estate appeals to Don’s interest in helping people move forward in their lives, be it a real estate transaction involving investment/commercial, residential, or land. “Getting you from where you are to where you want to be” is his mantra and describes what gives him fulfillment from his service to you.

Tami has lived in Vermont her entire life and loves it. For a major part of her life, Tami’s focus has been raising five beautiful daughters. As her children grew, she enjoyed the opportunity of working in education, tutoring literature and directing a Shakespearean Theater Company for teens that raised money for charity.

After seeking a home in the country, her transition from Essex to the small town of Bakersfield included raising Nubian goats, chickens and horses, making cheese and kefir, and selling dozens of eggs.

Gary Foote - Blue Spruce RealtyGary grew up on the West Farm in Jeffersonville.

Gary bought his first piece of land at 18. With a friend, he bought 80 acres that included a gravel pit for $300. The taxes on that 80 acres was $10 a year. Soon, they sold the town gravel for $12 a year, each making $1. They also planted Christmas trees for sale.

He joined the Army out of high school. While he was away, he had a friend take care of his sole Holstein cow. In exchange for keeping it, the friend could keep it until its second lactation, at which time Gary would get it back to keep or sell.

When Gary got out of the Army, he worked for Lake Buick; first in the body shop, then soon on the sales floor.

One day reading the Burlington Free Press, Gary responded to an ad for 190 acres in Westford for sale, with owner financing. He walked it with a hand-drawn map from the Seller's agent. Gary asked if the owner would take a cow as a down payment. The owner went to see the cow, and agreed to the cow, and $200. It was a deal. Gary soon planted many Christmas trees on it. Later, he added 50 more acres to it, for $200.

When visiting friends from Lake Buick in Fairfax one day, he saw a pretty, new teacher in town and decided she needed to upgrade her aging VW Bug, for a recent trade-in on the dealer lot.  That happened. Later, Gary Jr., Amber and Donald happened, and we are ever grateful. He then had a partner for planting Christmas trees, too. They later built a house on it.

Gary started his official real estate career in 1976, selling both properties and insurance. He has been selling properties in the area he grew up for forty two years. His favorite color remains blue.

Maryann recicaMary Ann Recica has been with Blue Spruce Realty, Inc. for over 5 years. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and her Juris Doctorate degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven, CT.

Mary Ann and her husband Matt live in Bakersfield in a classic Vermont brick home built in 1810 with their three lacrosse, soccer, and hockey-loving kids- Silas, Asa, and Marianna.

Mary Ann loves the music of the Grateful Dead, going to the beach, boating and her chihuahua-mix rescue dog, Thor.  She is also the proud mother of two fish, a guinea pig, a gerbil, three chickens and a squirrel.  Her real estate strengths include tenacity, patience and a strong desire to listen to people and help them reach their goals.

Amber Foote - Blue Spruce RealtyAmber Foote joined Blue Spruce Realty this June, after a 10 year career as a civil rights advocate helping families in Pennsylvania obtain special education services for their children. Prior to that she worked in design and marketing for area non profits and small business clients.

She grew up in a real estate household in Richmond, where her father gave she and her siblings college cash if they took a full accurate message that lead to a closing. After graduating from Mount Mansfield Union High School, Amber earned a fine arts degree at Syracuse University, while doing event marketing for fun.

After graduation, she worked in NYC for a few years in public relations and marketing for Doubleday Publishing. She and her husband Bryan have two dogs- a Bichon/Shitzu; Buddy and a Golden; Keisha, and live in Bakersfield. Two children attend college; at Penn State and Kutztown University. Her daughter lives in NYC and an older son Rob moved to seek his fortune in Indiana.

For fun Amber makes jam, hikes, kayaks and takes photos of birds to paint, so her real estate funded fine arts degree does not get too dusty. Her favorite color is blue, and she readily admits to being a tech and gadget nerd, but has refrained from buying an InstaPot, so far.