Back To The Land - 2014 Style

Organic-GardenOne of the obvious offshoots of the current localvore movement in Vermont is that individuals wishing to participate in this wonderful trend need land. And not just any land. The land must be fertile, well drained with good exposure and orientation. No small measure for a state that has more than it's share of north facing slopes, shallow soils and wetlands.

The vast majority of people contacting me about real estate are expressing a need for the property they buy to be able to support at least some agricultural activities including raising animals, growing crops, woodland management all within communities that are similarly engaged. To no small degree am I reminded of the Back to the Land Movement of the 1970's. For I was one of those who was looking to create a self reliant lifestyle by living off the land. In honesty, I had a dream but not much of a plan.

Todays Back to the Land movement is an entirely different landscape. Todays farmers in Vermont have a framework of Sustainable Agriculture which has been developed and marketed to the envy of all other states. A fascinating study of how we got here and where we are now is well documented in "Greening Vermont, The Search for a Sustainable State" by Elizabeth Courtney and Eric Zencey.

Many of Vermont's long abandoned farms are seeing renewed viability by the trend of speciality foods and products. Everything from grass fed beef, pork and lamb to artisan cheeses to natural fiber production. And through such interest, the Vermont hill farm is again a very desirable commodity not just for the beauty and serenity it offers but for it's ability to provide for itself and it's stewards.

Match the Hatch

For those of my readers that are flyfishers, the phrase "Match the Hatch" is easily recognized as our mantra for a successful outing. For those unfamiliar with the sport or the phrase, it is worth reviewing for it's close resemblance of a successful real estate search.

Matching the Hatch is determining which artificial fly you use to match what insect is naturally hatching on the stream or pond that the fish are feeding on. Sounds simple, but the reality is, it can be very elusive. The fish can be very selective and never consistent in their choice of what they feel like eating. It can take many attempts with various flies of different sizes to break the code.

Homebuyers can be just as befuddled as flyfishers as to why they aren't getting exactly what they want as they search for the property of their dreams. Working with a seasoned broker with a vast knowledge base and years of experience can help the cause dramatically. It's no secret that the predominant method of searching for a property is the internet. Simply plug in your search criteria and the search engines will select those properties that most closely make your choices. The price range, the acreage, the number of bedrooms are all there for you see. But it's the subtleties that can be the frustrations for a buyer. The almost intangible qualities of a property that search engines can not decipher. I recall once showing a gentleman several properties that met his criteria but were not hitting the mark. We retreated to my office and in the course of discussion he stated that as he was getting older, the need for an expansive environment was important to him. He felt that many properties were almost claustrophobic to him. The bell went off in my head and I took him to a brand new listing I had. It was only 3 acres, way less than he asked for, but the setting was at the top of a valley which created a very open expansive feel. He put it under contract immediately at the asking price of $1.6mil. A classic case of "Matching the Hatch" perfectly.

Posted by Wade I. Treadway