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July
11

Coops in Vermont

Vermont is known for many things, New England architecture , maple syrup, and picturesque autumns.

When you live in this state, you'll also learn about the sustainable way you can get your groceries throughout the area.

Food co-ops are owned and governed by their shareholders, who usually live right in the community. As a result, these stores are a great way to combine economic value and social responsibility. You don't have to be a member to shop at these wonderful co-ops throughout Vermont, as recommended by our real estate agents.

  • Brattleboro Food Co-op - 2 Main St., Brattleboro, VT 05301
    Founded in 1975 as a small buying club, Brattleboro Food Co-op underwent an extensive redevelopment in 2012. Today, the beautiful four-story building houses a 14,580-square-foot natural foods market and deli along with a commissary kitchen, cooking classroom, and the co-op offices. The convenient location, at the foot of Main Street in downtown Brattleboro, provides easy access to customers. Programs such as Bag-A-Bean, where customers who reuse bulk containers receive a fava bean representing a donation to a non-profit, help promote community awareness. The share price of $80 can be paid over 18 months. Hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors open at 9 a.m.

  • Caledonia Food Co-op - P.O. Box 736, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
    Want to get in on the ground floor of a project that supports local growers and the Northeast Kingdom economy? Caledonia Food Co-op is working to provide a source of natural, artisanal, and international foods to the community. A group of local residents is spearheading this exciting start-up, which currently has more than 600 members signed up. Just $100 buys a share in the co-op and entitles everyone in your household to benefits. Visit the website for more information.

  • City Market/Onion River Co-op - 82 S. Winooski Ave., Burlington, VT 05401
    Co-ops have a number of features in common, most notably their guiding principles, but the business model of City Market/Onion River Co-op is unique. When Onion River Co-op leased land from Burlington to open their store, they agreed to sell a number of conventional foods as an affordable option for city residents. This became City Market, while Onion River Co-op continued to sell natural foods. There is a second location on Flynn Ave. in Burlington's South End. A full equity share is $200, which can be purchased with $15 annual payments. Both stores are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

  • Hunger Mountain Co-op - 623 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier, VT 05602
    During the 1960s, Plainfield Co-op was as much a social group as a source for groceries. Members frequently got together for pot lucks at picnics. In 1972, the co-op moved to Montpelier and became Hunger Mountain Co-op, which celebrates its golden anniversary this year with more than 10,000 shareholders. Sustainability and conservation are major priorities for the co-op, which recently installed a solar panel carport with an EV charging station in the parking lot. Membership is $180, which can be paid all at once or in annual installments of at least $15. Hunger Mountain Co-op is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op - 9 Washington St., Middlebury, VT 05753
    Like many others, Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op began as a pre-order buying club back in the mid-1970s. Members bought food in bulk and packed the food themselves. Steady growth over more than 45 years resulted in a number of expansions, culminating in the current storefront that features a prepared foods and deli section with indoor and outdoor seating. Memberships are available for $20 a share, with a maximum of 15 shares. Hours are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily.

  • Plainfield Co-op - 153 Main St., Plainfield, VT 05667
    While it was founded in 1972, Plainfield Co-op is a throwback to the days when general stores and similar shops served as social gathering places. Above the grocery store is a community center that's available for classes, workshops, and other public and private events. Any member of the community may rent the space for $15 per hour, with a $9 hourly fee for co-op shareholders. The center also serves as a gallery, spotlighting works from local artists. Share prices are $180, payable up front, or minimum installments of $20 per year. Plainfield Co-op is open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Sunday, which has a start time of 10 a.m.

  • Putney Food Co-op - 8 Carol Brown Way, Putney, VT 05346
    The roots of Putney Food Co-op extend all the way back to 1941 when obtaining food was a challenge due to wartime fuel shortages. A group of residents led by Carol Brown assembled to form the co-op, and the street on which the storefront is located is named after Carol in her honor. The charming store includes a deli that features a make-your-own-sandwich option with your choice of bread, protein, cheese, spreads, and veggies. A hot bar and soup is also offered every day from noon - 4 p.m. Membership fee of $75 can be split into three payments. Hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday.

"Co-op" is short for "cooperative," which is a strong value in the communities around Vermont. Contact us at The Masiello Group for all your real estate needs.

April
25

Vermont Covered Bridges

Covered bridges had their heyday back in the 19th century, but they remain a cherished symbol of Americana. With more than 100 still standing, Vermont has the highest density of covered bridges in the United States. Our real estate agents recommend including these spectacular covered bridges on your sightseeing bucket list. 

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February
22

Visiting a New Town

With our identities and lifestyles closely tied to our hometowns, it creates one of our strongest relationships. If you're moving to a new city, will you be able to forge another bond that fits your wants and needs? Use these valuable tips from our real estate agents to determine if you and your new city are a match.

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October
18

New England Towns

Tired of the fast-paced anonymity and concrete jungles of urban living? According to our real estate agents, these cozy and picturesque New England towns prove that bigger isn't always better. Here's what you can expect when living in these Northern New England small towns.

Small Town Living in New England

Woodstock, VT

The name Woodstock conjures up visions of natural beauty and peaceful serenity. Woodstock was chartered in 1761, predating the Declaration of Independence by 15 years, and became known as a home for artisans and craftspeople.

  • Get a look at the actual operation of a working dairy farm at Billings Farm & Museum, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

  • Woodstock Farmers' Market offers a year-round bounty of locally sourced produce, meat, baked goods, and specialty foods. Shop on-site or online for curbside pickup.

  • Collective is a cooperatively-owned, member-run craft gallery that exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit found in Woodstock.

Franconia, NH

Thanks to its cozy location in the White Mountains, Franconia boasts impressive spring and summer scenery that gains additional appeal with the arrival of fall colors. Winter brings opportunities for some of the best skiing, ice climbing, and other cold-weather activities.

  • Iconic American poet Robert Frost found great inspiration in the beauty of Franconia. Walk the grounds and sit on the front porch of the Frost Place, his cherished homestead.

  • While the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation is no more, Franconia Notch State Park is still full of attractions and activities. Swim in Echo Lake, hike the Appalachian Trail and ride the tramway up Cannon Mountain.

  • New England Ski Museum hosts permanent and visiting exhibits sharing the story of skiing in America, including the important role Franconia played in its development.

Camden, ME

Situated alongside Penobscot Bay, Camden has a rich history to go with its beautiful setting. The town served as a rendezvous point and encampment for American forces during the Revolutionary War. During the War of 1812, an artillery battery atop Mount Battle served an important strategic purpose.

  • The High Street Historic District retains the same charming character it had as a 19th-century residential area, earning the district a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Since 1991, Camden's popular Snow Bowl has been the site of the U.S. National Toboggan Championships. The event was inspired by the rebuilding of the town's historic 400-foot wood toboggan chute, which was originally constructed in the 1930s.

  • Kids and adults alike are delighted by the sight of the Belted Galloway cattle at Aldermere Farm. "Belties," first bred in Scotland, are known for their distinctive stripes that resemble an Oreo cookie.

Stowe, VT

Stowe brings some European flavor to the New England countryside. That's only one of the features that led Travel + Leisure to name Stowe one of the "11 Best Small Towns in America."

  • Of course, Trapp Family Lodge tops the list of must-see attractions in Stowe. The surrounding mountains make a picture-perfect backdrop for the Austrian-inspired resort that offers rooms, suites, and villas for rent. 

  • Stowe earned the nickname of "Ski Capital of the East" due to places like Stowe Mountain Resort, which combines a wide range of activities at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak.

  • Explore your own creative side at The Current. This historic facility is a gallery showcasing all visual arts and a studio providing hands-on experiences for participants.

Albany, NH

Covered bridges, such as the 129-foot long bridge spanning the Swift River in Albany, are a classic and beloved feature of New England's back roads. Albany also serves as the gateway to the Mount Washington Valley, based around the highest peak in the Northeast United States.

  • View one of the more incredible examples of New England's legendary fall foliage on a drive along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. Affectionately known as the "Kanc," the 34-mile byway passes through the White Mountain National Forest.

  • The Russell-Colbath House, largely restored to its original state, provides a fascinating insight into life in the mountain valley back in the mid-19th century. 

  • Pack a picnic lunch and head out to the Nature Learning Center at Rockwell Sanctuary. Hike the many trails on the 138-acre grounds or participate in one of Tin Mountain Conservation Center's programs and events. 

Bar Harbor, ME

Island living doesn't have to mean remote. Bar Harbor is a quintessential New England town located on Mount Desert Island, the largest of the islands off the coast of Hancock County.

  • It's easy to see why Acadia National Park attracts more than three million visitors annually, making it one of the top ten most-visited parks in the country.

  • You don't have to be a car buff to enjoy the antique autos and motorcycles on display at Seal Cove Auto Museum.

  • No matter what your skill level is, you can express your creative spirit in sculpture, figure drawing, and painting activities at ArtWave

While we love everything New England has to offer, there's something extra special about the area's small towns. Contact us at The Masiello Group to learn more about finding your dream home here in Northern New England.

September
23

Home Security Tech

In our high-tech world, home security systems have become more sophisticated, affordable, and easier to use. And unlike the manual security gadgets of yesteryears, today's home security devices are discreet, packed with a variety of security features, and can be controlled using your phone or tablet. Smart home security tech can deter criminals and help in an emergency. From smart cameras to smart thermostats, our real estate agents explain the typical devices in a smart home security system to help take the first steps to a more convenient and secure lifestyle.

2021 Home Security Tech

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August
23

Vermont Masiello

It's no surprise that national sources frequently rank Vermont among the top places to live in the United States. Our real estate agents take a deep dive into the features that make Vermont "A Place All Its Own" and the regions that make up this wonderful state.

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August
16

Paperless Back to School

One of the advantages of living in New England is the many colleges and universities that serve the region. Going paperless will bring some benefits to the education process. While a child may not require the sophisticated technology of the adult student, more and more elementary and high schools are also adopting paperless systems for the benefit of the teachers, students, and of course, the planet. Here are a few reasons why you may find this to be a great option for your home.

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August
9

New England Books

With its incomparable natural beauty and impressive historical legacy, New England is a great backdrop for a wide range of literary genres, from young adult series to mysteries and thrillers. Here's a look at some top books set in New England that our real estate agents will be reading for Book Lovers Day on Monday, August 9th.

Add These New England Books to Your Reading List

Lights Burning

  • Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop
    Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie became a favorite of many when it was featured on the iconic PBS show Reading Rainbow. Set in the mid-19th century, 16-year-old Abbie faces the challenge of "keeping the lights burning" when her father, the lighthouse keeper, finds himself caught in a storm. This is a great choice to read aloud for kids during evening storytime. 

Cider House

  • The Cider House Rules by John Irving
    John Irving is considered one of the top contemporary writers in America, and The Cider House Rules is one of his best-known novels. The story of Homer Wells, who learns the truths of life while growing up in a Maine orphanage, has been compared to the works of Dickens in its themes and scope. In 2000, Irving won an Academy Award for his screenplay adaptation.

stephen king

  • It by Stephen King
    Even non-horror fans know the work of Stephen King, a literary legend whose books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. One of the signature elements of his works is their New England setting, such as the fictional town of Derry, Maine, where the terrifying events of It take place. Seven people, now scattered across the country, are drawn back to their hometown for a final showdown with the evil being they first faced together as teenagers. Woven throughout the story is a commentary on the bittersweet yet enduring bonds of childhood friendship.

Clammed Up

  • Clammed Up by Barbara Ross
    New England is renowned for its variety of fresh seafood, so it's only natural that it would be incorporated into locally-set literature. Clammed Up is a delightful hybrid of mystery and romance that revolves around Julia Snowden and her family's clambake business. In this introductory volume of the Maine Clambake series, Julia fights to clear the name of her childhood crush, who is the prime suspect in a murder. Other titles in the nine-volume series include Musseled Out, Fogged In, and Steamed Open.

A Separate Peace

  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    As a longtime staple of high school reading lists, A Separate Peace has truly earned the designation of "classic." Author John Knowles based the story on his experiences as a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious prep school in New Hampshire. During the years of World War II, odd-couple best friends Gene and Phineas experience a tragic event that tests their relationship and shatters their innocence. Gore Vidal, a famous author in his own right, was one of Knowles' classmates at Phillips Exeter and the model for one of the secondary characters.

Walk in the Woods

  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
    Spanning Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail is the Holy Grail for hikers. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is essential reading for anyone planning a hike on this route, even if it's just in their imagination. Author Bill Bryson, who has made a name for himself writing about an eclectic assortment of non-fiction topics, mixes fascinating facts about the trail with engaging stories of fellow hikers he meets along the way.

Carpenter Lady

  • The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky
    When you're craving the escapism of some light reading, pick up The Carpenter's Lady. You'll quickly be caught up in the story of Debra Barry, a TV writer who flees the fast pace of New York for the quiet charms of New Hampshire, seeking some post-divorce healing. After hiring carpenter Graham Reid to help renovate her house, Debra is surprised to find that her own damaged psyche is slowly becoming repaired as well. A Boston native who spent many childhood summers at a camp in Maine, Barbara Delinsky uses her lifelong love of the region to add realistic color to the settings of her books.

Secret History

  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Home to elite educational institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth, New England, is academic nirvana. This background is used to incredible effect in The Secret History, one of the most highly anticipated and successful debut novels of all time. Told as an inverted detective story, the novel begins years after a murder has been committed and relates the events leading up to the crime. The story takes place at fictional Hampden College, a small liberal college in Vermont. Donna Tartt patterned Hampden after Bennington College, also in Vermont, where she studied classics from 1982 to 1986. Tartt's classmates at Bennington included noted writers Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt.

Is your New England story waiting to be written? Contact us at The Masiello Group for help with all your real estate needs.

August
2

New England Vacation Home

If you love to travel, you've probably vacationed in some spectacular places that hold special memories. Perhaps the ocean views, exotic cuisine, relaxing atmosphere, or abundance of nature make you want to return again and again to this special place.

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March
15

Gallery Wall Masiello

A good way to create a focal point in your living room is to craft a gallery wall. One that is well done makes a home look inviting and helps tie the room together. This creative collage does require a bit of planning! The following guide will help you to create a stunning gallery wall you'll love to look at in your home.

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March
9

Home Listing Tips

If you plan to put your home on the market, it's better to start your preparations sooner rather than later. Our real estate agents find that homeowners who complete home repairs and maintenance tasks are more likely to produce spaces that appeal to potential buyers. Follow this checklist if you plan to list your home this spring. 

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February
15

Home Organization Apps

Staying organized has never been easy. And after a year when many of us have spent more time living and working at home than ever before, it's understandable if home organization has gotten a little lax. 

Our real estate agents understand the struggle. Luckily, we also have a few suggestions for getting your home organization back on track. We can't promise you won't have to do any actual cleaning, but we can say with confidence that these home organization apps will help!

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January
25

Clean Home Tips

Many of us are still spending more time than usual at home, which may continue for a while. If you're finding you've got time for extra cleaning projects, try to make the most of it and let your home's natural sparkle come out. Our real estate agents can always recommend cleaning tasks that homeowners may overlook when preparing a home for the market.

Here are some tips for enhanced cleaning in your home.

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January
11

Smart Home Tips

Smart home technology has been available to consumers for more than 20 years now. But it's really only in the last decade that the idea of a smart home has become mainstream. 

If you're wondering how you can use technology to make your home better, smarter, more efficient, and more secure, then you're in luck. As we head into the new year, our real estate agents are excited to share these smart home technologies for 2021. 

  • Smart Home Assistant
    One of the most popular smart home innovations in recent years, smart home assistants have proven to be more than a fad. Many different makes and models are available—Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant are some of the most well known—offering you a wealth of tools at your fingertips. Smart home assistants give you hands-free control to play music, look up directions, place calls, help with your shopping, and a seemingly endless array of other tasks.

  • Smart Thermostat
    Replacing your old, outdated thermostat with a modern smart thermostat is a great way to improve comfort and energy efficiency in your home. You can make adjustments to the temperature via a smartphone app, even when you're not at home. 

  • Smart Fridge
    It's true. Your refrigerator could probably be smarter. Most major fridge manufacturers have smart fridges in their lineup these days, and there are a wealth of benefits, including saving energy and reducing food waste. Using the accompanying app, you can adjust the fridge and freezer settings from your phone. You can also choose to get alerts when the door is left ajar or time for a water filter change. 

  • Smart Door Locks
    Improved security has always been one of the big advantages of a smart home, and smart door locks were one of the first features to catch on in a big way. Rather than looking for the right key, you can lock or unlock your door by thumbprint, by entering your PIN, or using an app on your smartphone. Many smart locks also have a built-in alarm system. 

  • Smart Lighting
    Smart light bulbs offer a major innovation for comfort and efficiency. You can turn lights on and off in any room of your home using voice commands or a smartphone app, including dimmer settings, so you can specifically adjust the brightness of certain lights. Of course, the real benefit is that if you forgot to turn off the downstairs lights before tucking yourself in for the night, you could switch them off without getting out of bed! 

  • Smart Cameras
    Security cameras have come a long way, and the latest smart cameras give you amazing control and security without invading your privacy. With two cameras in front and back of your house, you can have your entryways covered, with the ability to see the footage in real-time from your phone. 

  • Smart Hub
    A smart hub is essentially the "brains" of your smart home, connecting all your other smart devices and features. Essentially, it greatly simplifies things by making it possible to control your entire smart home using a single app. Some (but not all) smart home assistants include a smart hub, so you may or may not need a separate hub, depending on your setup. 

Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home or are simply ready to take your living space to the next level, smart home technology is an important consideration. Contact us today to learn more and talk to our team about ways to make your home smarter in 2021. 

January
4

Ways to Cut Energy Costs

January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, so be sure to add energy efficiency to your New Year's resolutions. When it comes to cutting energy costs, a few small changes can really make a big difference. More importantly, making our homes eco-friendly can have a major impact on our community and Earth. Our real estate agents love discussing ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, and they have compiled this list of tips to help you reduce your utility bills in 2021:

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