Blog :: 2011

Beautifully restored farmhouse on 11.47 Acres with breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Original woodwork throughout and a

combination of Birch, Maple, Spruce and Pine floors all like new. Large Master bedroom with full bath, sitting/exercise room and huge walk in closet.

$2,450,000 1046 Ethan Allen Highway, Charlotte, VT  05445


House now sits on a new foundation after being moved and has been built to accommodate additional finished space in the walkout lower level. Full walk-up attic also allows for further development. The kitchen boasts granite counter tops and custom cabinetry along with the old Hoosier style cabinet and large walk in pantry. 15x25 Mahogany deck overlooks the pond and a backdrop of Lake and mountain views. The 40x120 foot barn has been substantially renovated and sits on a brand new foundation. CLA for details on uses and approvals. Barn siding on east & west sides will be replaced!

Some better economic news, but rates are not moving any higher.

Pending home sales - a measure of mortgage contracts signed and an indicator of possible home closings - in November increased 7.3% from October, reaching its highest level in 19 months, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.  Housing Wire - 12/29/2011 This news, which follows recent reports on stronger retail sales and lower jobless claims, would normally create optimism in the financial markets and cause treasury yields and mortgage rates to rise.  Better than expected economic news of late, however,  continues to be tempered by the European debt crisis and the potential of global recession as a result.  Most economists are therefore not expecting the recent improvement in the U.S. economy to continue in 2012.  Rates have consequently remained relatively flat or even lower despite this positive economic news in in the U.S.

Contact Jonathan Rodd; Mortgage Advisor;  Century 21 Mortgage; 802-683-0812 or


Victims Of Hurricane Irene May Be Able To Write Off A Disaster Loss For Property Damage

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows a tax deduction for casualty losses, including losses due to property damage or destruction. When it comes to a disaster, The IRS defines a casualty loss as the "damage, destruction, or loss of property resulting from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected, or unusual." That can include both natural and man-made disasters -- earthquakes, fires, floods, car accidents, and vandalism.

The deduction for property damage is based on the decline in the fair market value of property due to damage or destruction, but you can't deduct the full amount of the loss and must follow a detailed calculation involving your adjusted gross income and the major portion of the loss to determine the actual deduction.

Casualty loss is an itemized deduction included on Schedule A.  Schedule A deductions are subtracted from your adjusted gross income, which reduces your taxes by reducing the amount of your income that is actually taxed.  The deduction is only available to the extent that insurance or other forms of compensation don't cover the cost of damage or destruction.

State tax laws vary on casualty loss deduction and because the deduction can involve large amounts and complex calculations, you should seek the help of an enrolled agent, certified public accountant or other tax professional to help you complete you state and federal tax returns.

For more information go to "IRS Publication 547: Casualties, Disasters and Thefts,"

Congratulations To Our Top Agents For November!

Our top agents for November are Robbi Handy Holmes (South Burlington office), Martha Lange (Montpelier office), Joanie Keating (Waterbury office), Lori Pinard (Montpelier office), Lynn Jackson Group (Vergennes office) and Hometown Team (Milton office).  Congratulations on helping so many buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.

Vermont Named #1 Healthiest State in 2011 America's Health Rankings

Vermont retained its ranking as the healthiest U.S. state, topping the United Health Foundation's 2011 American's Health Rankings list 3 years in row, thanks in part to a high rate of education and low incidence of infectious disease. Vermont has been among the top five healthiest states for the past eight years, climbing steadily from 20th in 1990 to 12th in 2000, to become first in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The rankings, published online, have tracked the nation's health for the last two decades by evaluating 23 factors including smoking, binge drinking, diabetes, high school graduation, immunization, prenatal care and obesity.

The annual report is published jointly by the foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. It pulls data from sources including the Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education.

Our healthy Vermont ranking is just one of many reasons why Vermont is such a great place to live.

Should You Take Your Home Off the Market During the Holidays?

For many of us, this is the busiest time of the year and if you are trying to sell your home, you are now under extra pressure to complete all your holiday tasks and keep your home in showing condition.  So it's understandable why you would be tempted to take your home off the market during the holidays or wait until January to market it.  

But most Realtors agree that keeping your home off the market during the Christmas season is a mistake.

Consider the following points:

  • Although buyer activity may appear to slow down, the buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are usually serious buyers.
  • Many people take time off from work during the season, so buyers have more time, and families  can look at homes together.
  • Gift buyers will be spending hours shopping on the internet and so will buyers looking for houses.
  • Many buyers deliberately choose to shop for a home after the busy spring and summer rush. They know that it will be easier to look, and that negotiations will be less stressful.
  • Relocating families often don't have a choice when they can leave for their new destination.  If they need a home now, yours should be available for consideration.  
  • At Christmas time, our culture focuses on family and the home. Allowing buyers to view your home during this most hospitable of seasons lets them better picture their own family life in the attractive environment you have created. And when is your home ever more beautiful and inviting?
  • Your house surely won't sell if it is off the market!  There's a good chance that it will if you help your Realtor make your home available for the right buyer.

Century 21 Jack Associates Welcomes Jessica Laffal

Century 21 Jack Associates is proud to announce that Jessica Petraska Laffal has joined our Burlington office. 

Jessica is a native to Vermont and a graduate of the University of Vermont. She has ten years professional experience in the real estate industry, primarily in Chittenden County. She has a dynamic background in marketing and advertising, and experience in real estate development in urban, village and resort settings.

In addition to professional experience in real estate, Jessica brings over ten years personal experience investing in multi-family property in Burlington.

Outside of the office, Jessica enjoys travel, winter sports and summer lake activities. She resides in Burlington with her family.  If you'd like to talk to Jessica about real estate call her at 802.233.5263 or email her at

REALTORĀ® Relief Fund Provides Help for Vermonters Affected by Hurricane Irene

The Vermont Association of REALTORS® has partnered with the National Association of REALTORS® RRF to provide disaster housing assistance to those affected by Irene.

The Vermont Association of Realtors has provided more than $20,000 in relief funds to victims of Irene, and has processed an additional $30,000 in grant applications.

Relief assistance is available to qualified applicants and must be used toward mortgage payments for the applicant's primary residence or for rental costs for temporary shelter. Relief assistance is limited to a maximum of $1,500 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to download a grant application. The application deadline for funding is Nov. 30, 2011.

Thirty-Year Rate Jumps Back Up Above 4% Mark in One Week's Time

 The run for below-four-percent 30-year mortgage rates was short-lived. After a history-making drop to 3.94 percent last week, Freddie Mac has recorded an 18 basis point jump in the average interest rate on a conventional fixed-rate mortgage with a 30-year term. The GSE says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending October 13, coming off last week's record low in which the 30-year rate dipped below the 4 percent mark for the first time ever. The 30-year rate is not too far off of levels since last year at this time, when it was averaging 4.19 percent.

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low

The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94%, the lowest rate ever. This marks the first time the average rate has fallen below 4%. The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan also dropped to a record low of 3.26%.  If you're considering purchasing a home, visit Century 21 Mortgage for quick pre-approval to see how much home you can afford, then visit Century 21 Associates to search for properties that meet you needs.

Saint Michael's Inducts Seven Member Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

Jack Russell - Saint Michael's College Hall of Fame Class of 2011


COLCHESTER, Vt. - Six legendary former Saint Michael's College student-athletes, along with an influential director of athletics, were inducted into the Saint Michael's Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, September 23, at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington. The Class of 2011 includes: Shannon Bergin '05, arguably the greatest player in Saint Michael's women's tennis program history; Monroe Blakes '92, a men's basketball guard who scored 1,288 career points; Dr. A. Byron Lawrence HS '17, a three-sport athlete and long-time team physician and trustee; Marcella (Manion) O'Malley '84, a two-time women's soccer team captain; John "Jack" Russell '70, leading scorer and team captain in basketball;  Philip "Pinky" Ryan, the College's third lay Director of Athletics and coach of two sports; and Richard Saba '92, the top goal scorer in men's lacrosse program.

Jack Russell, is broker/owner of Century 21 Jack Associates. 

In honoring the greatest and most influential athletes in Saint Michael's history, the  College  recognizes those outstanding individuals who, through athletics, academics and citizenship, have contributed to the growth and betterment of Saint Michael's College.