Blog :: 06-2014

Local Independence Day Events Schedule


Wednesday July 2nd

Williston - 6:00 pm @ Park Field House- Family Bike & Blade Races

  Thursday July 3rd

Montpelier - Day long street fair, music and food! Fireworks and music at dusk on State House lawn

Williston - 4:45 Registration, 6:00 Start @ Park Field House - Firecracker 5k Fun Run followed by an ice cream social on the town green!

North Hero - Fireworks Extravaganza! @ Knight Point State Park - Food and music followed by fireworks at dusk

Burlington - 5:30-9:30 @ Perkins Pier, Waterfront Park & Battery Park - Music followed by Fireworks at Burlington Harbor! Check HERE for parking/transit information.

Friday July 4th

Stowe - 10:00 - Dark - Old Fashioned 4th of July! Parade @ 11:00 up Mountain Rd. followed by food, music and vendors in the village. Watch fireworks at dusk from Mayo Field!

Milton - Parade @ 11:00. Music & BBQ at Fire Station @ 5:30. Fireworks at dusk at Bombardier Field!

Williston - Parade @ 10:00 followed by a day of events in town and fireworks at Allen Brook School!

Essex - Family friendly events & food all day at Maple St. Park

South Hero - Parade @ 11:00

Colchester - 8:15 - Dark - Fun Run at UMS (8:45) followed by a parade (11:00). Concert @ Bayside Beach followed by fireworks at dusk!

Sunday July 6th

St. Albans - Bay Day Triathlon @ 9:45 and fireworks at Bay Park at dusk!


*For directions and greater detail, view the Find And Go Seek calendar of events*


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Prepare your home for listing photos


With more buyers shopping for homes on the Web, photos and virtual tours are a must. There are many things you can do make your home shine on camera.

  1. Understand the camera's perspective. The camera's eye is very different from the human eye. It magnifies clutter and poor furniture arrangement. To make a home shine in a virtual tour or video presentation, cater to the lens.
  2. Make the home "white-glove clean." Because the camera magnifies grime, each room should be spotless for the best results. Don't forget floor coverings and walls; a discolored spot on the rug might be overlooked by prospects during a regular home showing, but that stain becomes a focal point for online viewers.
  3. Pack up the clutter. But leave three items of varying heights on each surface. For example, on an end table you can place a lamp (high), a small plant (medium), and a book (low). This dynamic creates visual interest without being distracting.
  4. Snap pictures. This will give you an idea of what the home will look like on camera. Closely examine the photos and list changes that would improve each room's appearance: opening blinds to let in natural light, removing magnets from the refrigerator, or taking down distracting art, for example.
  5. Pare down furniture. Identify one or two pieces of furniture that can be removed from each room to make the space appear larger.
  6. Rearrange. Spotlight the flow of a space by creating a focal point on the furthest wall from the doorway and arranging the other pieces of furniture to make a triangle shape. The focal point may be a bed in a bedroom or a china cabinet in a dining room.
  7. Reaccessorize. Include a healthy plant in every room; the camera loves green. Energize bland decor by placing a bright vase on a mantle or draping an afghan over a couch.
  8. Keep the home in shape. You want buyers who liked what they saw online to encounter the same home in person.

Prep your deck for summer!

Summer is nearly here and now is the time to make sure your outdoor spaces are as ready as your are. Whether your deck is wooden, vinyl or a composite material, it will require some routine maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. Taking care of the simple tasks annually will prevent more serious repairs in the future.

Before you fire up the grill and invite the neighbors over, follow these simple steps to make sure your deck is safe and ready for summer fun to begin.

1. Give it a once over

Thoroughly look over your deck -top to bottom. Look for loose or weathered boards, supports and railings. Tighten any screws and level any protruding nails. Sand down any splintering boards and fill in cracks if possible.

2. Clean it

Start by sweeping the deck thoroughly. Use a putty knife to get excess debris out from between boards and follow up with a garden hose and stiff bristled brush to remove the rest. While a pressure washer may be ok on some surfaces, note that they can be too intense and even cause more damage.

A mix of warm soapy water should be all that is necessary, although there are products made specifically for wood and composite decks. It is best to wash your deck on a cloudy day, or at a time when the sun is not directly overhead to give yourself time to clean and rinse without baking the cleaner (and to avoid sunburn!).

If you have a composite or vinyl deck, your job is done. Sealing is not required or recommended for either, though you can stain some composite decking if it has faded. Check the manufacturer's literature beforehand.

3. Seal it

If you have a wood deck, you'll want to seal it after cleaning for added protection. You should expect to seal your deck every year, and restain it as needed, probably every two or three years depending on foot traffic and sun exposure. There are several finish options to consider:

  • Sealer simply seals the wood and lets the natural grain and color show through.
  • Toner adds just a hint of color to the wood, but still allows the natural wood color and grain to show through.
  • Semi-transparent stain will tint the wood but still allow the grain to show. You can get semi-transparent stains in wood tones and a variety of other colors, such as green, blue, gray and more.
  • Solid stain goes on more like paint, completely covering the grain. It protects the wood completely against weather and UV rays. It also can chip and peel like paint, so be sure to prep well.

Plan to seal or stain your deck when you will have two days of moderate weather and no rain expected. (Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations). After washing the deck, you'll want to lightly sand it with 80-grit paper to smooth the grain. By sanding the wood, you will have raised the grain to absorb the stain or sealer. Apply the sealer or stain in thin coats with a roller, using a brush to get between boards, if necessary. Use a brush or small roller for the deck railings as well as any built-in benches or planters you may have. Let the finish dry completely for two days before using your deck.

Now your deck is as ready as you are for summer fun - enjoy!

How to Hold a Successful Yard Sale


Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter -- and earn a little extra cash -- before you sell your home. But make sure the timing is right. Follow these tips for a successful sale:

  1. Don't wait until the last minute. You don't want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the week before an open house. Depending on how long you've lived in the home and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy, so the sooner you plan it out the better.
  2. See if neighbors want to join in. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if it's a group event.
  3. Schedule the sale. Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early, 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. is best, and be prepared for early birds.
  4. Advertise. Place an ad in free classified papers and Web sites, and in your local newspapers. Include the dates, time, and address. Let the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such as baby clothes, furniture, or weightlifting equipment. On the day of the sale, balloons and signs with prominent arrows will help to grab the attention of passersby. Sites like Front Porch ForumCraigslist, and Facebook are a great place to start!
  5. Price your goods. Lay out everything that you plan to sell, and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices. Assign simple prices to your goods: 50 cents, 3 for $1, $5, $10, etc.
  6. If it's really junk, don't sell it. Decide what's worth selling and what's not. If it's really garbage, then throw it away. Broken appliances, for example, should be tossed. (Know where a nearby electrical outlet is, in case a customer wants to make sure something works.)
  7. Check for mistakes. Make sure that items you want to keep don't accidentally end up in the garage sale pile.
  8. Create an organized display. Lay out your items by category, and display neatly so customers don't have to dig through boxes.
  9. Stock up on bags and newspapers. People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile items.
  10. Manage your money. Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave the cashbox unattended. It's smart to have one person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a calculator nearby.
  11. Prepare for your home sale. Donate the remaining stuff or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, it's time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale!