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Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Yankee Bookshop

While we all may feel like we're living in the pages of a dystopian apocalyptic novel, few things are more appealing than being able to escape with an actual novel - thankfully still provided by our friendly local purveyor, The Yankee Bookshop.

Who are you and where do you live? 

Kari Meutsch & Kristian Preylowski, currently living in Bridgewater

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?

We own and run The Yankee Bookshop. It's now been just over 3 years since we became the 8th owners of the shop.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

Things are definitely different. Business is down for us, just like everywhere else. Our community continues to support us as best they can, but now it's through website orders and emails instead of those face-to-face meetings. Our store was built for browsing & discovering titles you didn't know about, so now we're doing even more recommending than ever before. We've had to change our website to help fill that "discovery" void, and it's been an interesting challenge. But so far we feel like we're staying on top of things and still able to provide information and escape to anyone who wants it. 

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Gift cards are the best way to support any business right now. They work as an investment so we can pay bills, and it's the promise that you will come back and see us when this is all over. The next best thing is to purchase the books that we already have on our shelves. We can still do special orders for individuals as needed, but the books on our shelves are already paid for and therefore incur less new costs. We're also encouraging anyone who can to place orders through our website, because that allows for the streamlining of processes on our end.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

We're hoping that this is a chance for people to adjust their online habits, to realize that many of your favorite local spots do have websites (we've had ours for nearly 2 years) and so online shopping doesn't have to go only toward giant retailers - it actually can stay within your community. Another, more general hope is that we take this pause and realize that we can all slow down a bit in our daily routines, and that when this is all over we continue to be so thoughtful and considerate toward our neighbors in the community. It's been amazing to see the outpouring of support for local organizations and between individuals. Let's keep it up on the other side of all of this.

Thank you, Kari and Kristian, for helping us find new worlds to enjoy while we try to find our way in this one; we'll look forward to browsing your shelves in person soon!  

Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Blue Horse Inn

During the COVID-19 crisis, we are interviewing local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to see how they are adapting to life in these strange, frightening, and isolating times.  We are continually impressed by the ways in which our community members are facing these challenges with creativity and courage.  Today, we talk with Jill and Tony Amato, of The Blue Horse Inn.  

Who are you and where do you live?

Jill and Tony Amato, 3 Church St Woodstock, VT aka The Blue Horse Inn

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it? 

We own and operate The Blue Horse Inn, a ten-guest room Bed and Breakfast in Woodstock, VT.  We have been in business for about a year and a half.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

Our business has been closed since the State shut down all lodging operations a few weeks ago.  Like any other B&B or lodging operation, we rely solely on guests coming to town and staying with us while visiting Woodstock and the surrounding area.  Without guests, there is no revenue, just expenses. It is also difficult to be socially separated from such a special community here in Woodstock. The lack of daily personal interaction creates such a void in one’s life.  We’ve been using this time to catch up on maintenance projects and spring cleaning, plus Tony continues to work as a benefits consultant to his clients.  We’ve also been talking to family members on the phone, reading, creating artwork, exercising and watching Netflix.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

We are grateful for the support of the community during this time however there really isn’t anything people can do to support us other than book reservations once the virus is under control. 

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

Hopefully a Government that is more prepared and capable of mitigating pandemics immediately.  The lack of action and leadership when the virus first came out and the innuendo that it would “go away when the weather warms up” has cost American lives and millions of jobs.

We will look forward to seeing full guest rooms at the Blue Horse Inn once again; until then, visit their website and plan your next trip to Woodstock! 

Photos by Jessica Notargiacomo and Cindy Starr. 

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Rebecca and Jay Nash

Today, we're interviewing local entrepreneurs Jay and Rebecca Nash.  A musician and a physical therapist, they have met the challenges of working in the time of corona uniquely and creatively.  

Who are you and where do you live?  

My name is Jay Nash.  I live in Hartland, Vermont.

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?  

I am a singer, a songwriter, a composer of music for television, film and advertising and a producer of records.  I’ve been making music for a living for 22 years.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?  

Well…this Spring, my band, The Contenders had a tour lined up that was set to be the biggest and most significant of our career in terms of audience reach and gross revenue.  That got blown out of the water.  Touring has been a huge part of my career - both in respect to the income and exposure that it generates and because of the inspiration gleaned from the experience of sharing music with live audiences.

Since the first shelter in place orders in the country were announced, I have been performing regular weekly live streaming concerts in my studio (you can find the schedule at https://www.jaynash.com/).  I tiptoed into this world reluctantly at first, but the entire experience has grown on me immensely.  There were many technical challenges that needed to be sorted out before I could focus singularly on the songs and achieving an emotional connection with an audience that I couldn’t actually see.  That took some time, but for the most part, I think that I have it figured out now.  The online shows have really come to feel like connected experiences.  It’s a beautiful thing to see familiar names and faces turning up from all over the world in a single (virtual) venue.

Since this whole thing began, I have felt more acutely aware of the healing power of music than perhaps ever before in my life.  I feel a sense of duty to make my music available (for free) to anyone who my find comfort in it.  So - I my online shows are all available to experience for free as are high resolution audio recordings of each performance.  People have not been shy about expressing their appreciation with stories of how various songs and performances have impacted their lives.  That has been extremely rewarding.

I do accept virtual tips/donations on my social media platforms during the shows, but I really don’t want anyone to feel obligated to spend money in order to enjoy the music.  I’m confident that the folks who can, will.  I remain optimistic that it will all work out just find if we set out to give more than we receive.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Spread the word about the online performances, visit the online store, stream my music, sign the mailing list - https://www.jaynash.com/.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world? I’ve been ruminating on the idea that we have been sent to our rooms by the Universe to think about our relationship with our planet and each other. In a lot of ways, prior to this, we were collectively spinning at an unsustainable pace with respect to consumption of resources, information and energy.  We’ve been largely distracted from the most important elements of our human existence.  Maybe, just maybe we will come out of this thing just a little bit more mindful, more kind, more generous and more grateful than before.  And maybe, just maybe we will stop wrapping everything in single use, non recyclable plastic.  (ha.)

Who are you and where do you live?

My name is Rebecca Nash. I am a Physical Therapist. I have my own practice in Woodstock, and I live in Hartland.

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?

I started my practice in 2013. I offer a unique set of services as a physical therapist. My primary treatment is hour-long, manual therapy sessions to help people with both acute and chronic issues.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

I am a medical professional, so I am deemed an “essential service” at this time. I have decided, however, to close my doors unless it is for a patient who is in crisis. Most of my clients see me for maintenance and injury prevention and have chosen to stay home at this time.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

I suppose the most important thing is that people keep in touch and return to see me once this crisis is over. I also hope that people will spread the word about my services to others who may benefit from them. I do plan to offer gift cards and discounted packages for my services for the future. A website, on-line scheduling and a new list of services will come out soon. In the meantime, anyone can contact me if they are interested: drrebeccanash@gmail.com

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

This is a big question, but as it relates to my practice, I hope that we will do a better job avoiding the need for such long-lasting social distancing in the future, if and when we are faced with such a crisis again. I hope that the kindness, generosity and hope that has developed during this time will persist into post-quarantine life and that we will be more aware of how much we love and need each other. And finally, I hope you will all return! I look so forward to seeing you all and the privilege of serving this community again!

We will all look forward to a time that we can gather together to enjoy music and see our favorite healers without worry.  Until then, friends, let's continue to support one another!  

 

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Pentangle Arts

Today we are featuring our interview with Alita Wilson, Executive Director of Pentangle Arts, a non-profit arts organization located in Woodstock, Vermont.  Since 1974, Pentangle has enriched the Woodstock, Pomfret, Barnard, Reading, and Bridgwater communities by presenting high-quality, affordable arts and cultural experiences.  Visit www.pentanglearts.org to find out more.  

    

Alita and Marketing Director, Angela Moore           Cast of Magic School  Bus                                       Dance Camp Quartet

 

Who are you and where do you live? 

Alita Wilson, Woodstock VT

What do you do?

I am Pentangle Arts Executive Director

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

I have taken a pay cut. I work from home. I am applying for loans to pay the bills that are still coming in. I do have to go into work to periodically to boot up the digital projector. Our three kids are doing online learning. Our oldest will not have a proper college graduation. 

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Purchase e-gift cards at www.pentanglearts.org, or - if folks have the capacity to give - please donate to Pentangle so that we have the funds to pay operational expenses such as insurance, utilities, and web site fees.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

I hope to see our community to come together to help those who suffered the most during the crisis, to support our area businesses so they can bounce back, and for kindness to be the norm across all demographics. I hope to once again open Pentangle’s doors for shared experiences for everyone to enjoy.

We can't wait to come together once more as a community to celebrate the arts - thanks, Alita!

Images courtesy of www.pentanglearts.org

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Mon Vert Cafe

During the Covid-19 crisis, we will feature interviews with as many local business owners, entrepreneurs, and non-profit directors as possible as a way to help support our communities through these strange and scary times.  First up, Sam DiNatale of Mon Vert Café!

  

Who are you and where do you live?

Sam DiNatale, Village of Woodstock Vermont.

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it? 

I’m a small business owner of a restaurant in the center of town, Mon Vert Café. I’ve owned it for five years and worked in the food industry for five years prior to that.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

We closed the café due to concerns of exposure to the virus and contributing to the spread. Being a meeting place for the community has always been our passion, and we were worried that by staying open we’d be part of the problem, so we closed. Immediately putting 15 people out of work. Now that this looks like it will last longer than a few weeks, we’re looking at opening for limited hours and curbside take out.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

As of right now, purchasing an e-gift card on our website: www.monvertcafe.com and spreading the word to the others to do the same.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

We’re all a little more appreciative of our day-to-day lives, families, work, and community.

Thanks, Sam!  We can't wait until we can all meet for coffee again, and we'll look forward to hearing more about your curbside takeout.  Until next time, friends - be well, stay home, and stay safe.  

Photo courtesy of the Mon Vert Café website: https://www.monvertcafe.com/

5 Ways to Avoid Buyer's Remorse When Buying a Home

Woman Regretting Her Home PurchaseLife comes with some regrets, don't let your home purchase be one of them. Did you know that 63% of Millennial home buyers regret their choice, that’s nearly double the number of Baby Boomers who suffer from buyer’s remorse at 35? So what can you do to help prevent the dreaded feeling of buyer’s remorse? We’ve outlined 5 ways that can help you avoid the dreaded feeling of regret.

Outline your Budget

The biggest reason why Millennials regret their home purchase is because they didn’t factor in the maintenance costs of their home. When you are starting to look at homes make sure you are outlining a realistic budget for what home ownership actually entails. Once you’ve outlined your budget, stick to it, don’t waste your time viewing homes that are clearly out of your price range. You will also want to pay close attention to what comes back from the home inspection and solicit contractors to price necessary repairs, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when buying a home.

Define your Wants and Needs

Be honest with yourself, and your real estate agent. This is the best way to avoid regret. Prioritize your wants and needs on paper and refer back to the list as you're touring homes. This will help you make certain the home you choose checks off most, if not all, of the most important items to avoid feeling like you’ve missed out later on.

Find the Right Realtor

You have many options when it comes to real estate agents. The first consideration is communication. It is important that you are able to engage in a manner that fits your needs and suits your personality. The second criteria is to select a professionally trained agent, who is working in the industry on a full-time committed basis. Real Estate is a complicated and rapidly changing business environment that demands dedication. It is easy for a part-time agent to loose touch with market conditions and inventory. Make sure you are open and honest with any agent you work with so they can fulfill your needs and wishes, not simply guess at what's best.  Meet our agents

Stop Looking at Listings

The grass is always greener in the other person's yard, so to speak. The home market is constantly changing, and new houses go on the market every day.  Be aware that the goal of advertising is to make sure you focus exactly on what the sellers agent wants you to see.  The new 'dream' home you find online might have a nightmare of a neighbor.  We are more likely to feel buyer’s remorse if we constantly tempt ourselves with new options out there. Avoid this by turning off your listing notifications.  Enjoy the home you found and embrace the pleasure of putting down roots in your new community.

Don’t Listen to Negative Naysayers

Everyone has a right to an opinion and you do too! Many friends and family believe they have some special experience or expertize that entitles them to correct your mistake.  Don’t listen if they question how much you paid or your choice of home. You can’t compare someone else’s buying experience, often from many years ago, with your recent purchase of a home. Besides, they aren’t the ones who have chosen for very good and personal reasons to live there.

Ready to start your home search? Contact us to speak to a buyer’s agent who can help or search our listings to find a dream home you won’t regret.

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6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Home Tour

Woman Taking NotesThe average home buyer tours 10 homes before they find their dream home. That's quite a few homes and unless you have a phenomenal memory, it can be hard to remember all the details of a home. Good note taking can keep you organized and keep you from forgetting the good and the not so good about the homes you visit. But what exactly should you be writing down?

What's your Agent Looking at?

Ask your agent what they are looking for so you can keep track of the same things. Why? This can help you assess how well your agent is finding homes that really suit your needs. For example, if you want a lush green lawn and your agent is just bringing you to homes with desert landscaping  – it may be time to clear up communication. In addition to ensuring you're both on the same page, taking a note of the things your agent is can make you a more savvy buyer. For instance, your agent will most likely keep track of how many people are signing in at an open house to gauge how many people may be interested, which can help inform your negotiation strategy. 

Take Note of Size

Most homes come with a spec sheet, it's important to review the exact dimensions of rooms since good staging may trick your eyes.

Don't Ignore Your Gut Feeling

Just as important as practicality is how your future home makes you feel. Make a note of how a home makes you feel when you walk in – good or bad. In addition, note why you get that feeling, was it the bay window in the master bedroom, the spacious entryway, the scary basement? Don't wait until you leave to make note of these feelings so the homes don't just start to blend together. 

Rate the Home 1-10

Establish your list of must-haves in your future home – before you start viewing homes. Each time you visit a home, rate each must-have from 1-10 with 10 being "better than desired". For example, if you have to have 3 bedrooms, a 3 bedroom home gets an 8 and a home with more bedrooms may get a 10. After you are done touring homes – tally all the scores across all the homes to see which has the highest score on the things that matter most to you.  Getting a perfect score isn't the goal, you're looking for something with the best balance of everything you want and allows you to stop looking and write an offer. 

Take Pictures

Take photos of everything and anything that jumps out at you. Don't rely on listing photos, as most agents will take the most flattering photos possible. Going through the photos you took once you leave a home can help you remember details you may have forgotten like the weird laundry room layout or the perfect dual-faucet sink. Photos can also help you address concerns in your offer that may affect sales price. 

Note Renovations You'd Like to Make

Very few homes are perfect, you are most likely going to want to make some changes, cosmetic or more serious. Once you figure out which renovations your future home may need, do some research to find out how much they will cost. Add any other must change items like paint, replacement gutters, or even new furniture you'll need to fill out a bigger home. Having even a basic idea of how much your new home will cost after purchase, can help you decide if you can really afford it or not. 

 

Ready to start your home search? Give us a call to schedule a showing or browse homes!

Tip - Register with us to save your favorite listings and to receive email notifications when similar listings become available. 

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    The Most Beautiful Town in America

    Woodstock, VTWoodstock, Vermont was just named the most beautiful town in America by Conde Nast Traveler – follow this link to see! Of course, we have long known that our little village was pretty special, but it’s great to hear others singing her praises.  Come see for yourself!  It’s always a great time to visit, and maybe, like the rest of us, you’ll decide it’s a great time to stay!

    Image via Conde Nast Traveler.

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