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Contemporary vs. Traditional Housing in Vermont's Counterculture

Usually contemporary homes sell for less, on a per square foot basis, than more traditional looking homes.  This is especially true of homes in suburban areas around major metropolitan areas.  Generally, people prefer homes that looks like the typical setting for the All-American family.  Sometimes the price disparity between the two styles can be so great that builders will buy contemporary homes and then renovate them so the home becomes a traditional looking home.  The sever functional obsolecence in those markets is a result of people's changing tastes.  Like most things here though, we like to keep Vermont weird.

Stowe and Vermont, saw rapid growth in the 1970s.  As VPR stated in a recent piece "Vermont's counterculture of the 1970s" marked a time a massive social change, and it continues to influence the state today.  It was a decade when the state's population increased by 15 percent, and communes and agricultural experiments proliferated, along with political and social activism."  [click here for VPR's piece] If history repeats itself, the State is well on its way to this type of population growth, political activism and sanctity of our agricultural system.  See GMO labeling law, projects popping up and Bernie Sanders.  The State just need to work on the population growth, although we wrote about how that might be changing, click here for the article.  Instead of changing and turning away from that legacy, it is celebrated.  The same can be said of Stowe's, and Vermont's, contemporary homes - they are celebrated in this reale estate market.

A great example of this was a home Stowevt.com recently sold, 288 Pinnacle Rd in Stowe Hollow.  It was a 1970s contemporary ski chalet that had a dated interior and it exhibited years of use as a rental ski house, click this link to see prior photos.  The purchaser didn't turn away from this style house - one that is almost as popular as a more traditional home in this market - they celebrated the style in their renovations.  The house can be seen online at twocreekhill.com.  The purchaser had great vision, keeping the look, feel and lines of the original house.  They used that motif and combined it with sleek modern lines, lightly stained wood and - this is required in any renovation regardless of style - modern kitchens and baths.

When these houses come to market they represent a chance for a buyer to reap the benefit of updating the property and making it more modern.  Another house that offers this type of opportunity is 475 Bouchard Farm Rd in Stowe VT - click here for info.  The house is immaculately kept and a new buyer would do well to make the house more modern while keeping the original aesthetic.  Abutting Bouchard Farm, the house benefits from two conservation easements which protect the view of the Worcester Mountain Range.

Whether you will be living there as a primary residence or using it part time and renting it, the updated look and feel should increase value considerably.  Something else we at Stowevt.com recommend looking at when considering a renovation effort is the assessed value of your neighbors.  475 Bouchard Farm Rd in Stowe has the lowest assessed value on the road.  That is generally indication that improvements will be rewarded financially by the real estate market.  In the rising real estate market this house is ready to be renovated and could offer the new owner real increase in the equity value of the home.

Celebrate Vermont's counter culture!


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