Blog :: 01-2013

SOLD! 441 Spruce Way, Woodstock VT - $680,000

SOLD!  441 Spruce Way, Woodstock VT - ($680,000) - We helped some wonderful buyers acquire this beautifully constructed home on 24 acres with lovely views - in Woodstock.  The Buyers had owned a small getaway property on ~ 50 acres in Barnard for many years and have attracted other family members to the area - who have purchased property too (on Linden Hill in Woodstock).

441 Spruce Way House Picture

As retirement is approaching for them a few years from now, and knowing what an excellent time it is to BUY real estate, our buyers decided NOW was the time.  They researched brokers in town and - lucky for us - they chose John Snyder of Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group as their Buyer Broker.

They figured they could enjoy the house for a few years part-time, then eventually move here full time.  They have been looking for several months on three different buying trips to the area, so they were able to get a good feel for the various parts of town, and what houses were available in their price range.  Initially they started in the 500s, but decided it was worth it to move up into the 600s and 700s, which brought this home onto the radar screen.  It was love at first site, although the wife brought the sister in for a confirmation - the husband purchased the house without ever seeing it until an hour before closing for the walk-through!  That is a trusting partner!  It was a very smooth transaction - never without a glitch or two (i.e. radon installation required) - but outside the real estate sale, the seller also transferred to the buyer a very nice Kubota lawn tractor and a Ford pickup truck, and in lieu of knick-knacks and furniture, a $1,000 donation was also given by the buyers - at the Seller's suggestion - to one of our favorite local non-profits: The Thompson Senior Center.

This really was the best of why the Woodstock area is such a great place to live!

[John Snyder, Owner/Principal Broker of Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group, was the Buyer Broker for the Purchaser of this property]

Barnard General Store - SOLD! for $500,000

We are very proud to announce that after 18 months of hard work, patience, persistence and community generosity, that the Barnard General Store was sold to a community trust group for $500,000.  The community trust has raised $470,000 from over 500 individual donors, with contributions ranging from $1 to


Barnard General Store, Barnard VT

Barnard General Store, Barnard VT


$100,000 in just 7 months.  This transaction paves the way for the re-opening of the store by a new owner-operater team who will be moving into the upstairs of the store in 3 weeks, and who will bring new energy, vision - and the expertise of having worked at the most successful general store in Vermont (in Richmond, VT).

We also have to recognize the immense generosity and patience of William Twigg-Smith, who purchased the land and building nearly a decade ago to keep the store open & alive, then provided substantial sums to help keep it going, and without ever receiving rent for seven years.  Thank you, Bill.   You quietly shouldered it by yourself.  Now it's in the hands of over 500 community members to take it from here.

We look forward to ice cream after a summer swim in Silver Lake, hot coffee and a hot breakfast sandwich on Monday morning, and Sunday lunch with friends - at the Barnard General Store!

John Snyder, Owner/Principal Broker of Snyder Donegan Real Estate (and resident of Barnard) brokered the real estate transaction.



As memories fade, the real estate market cycles back up...

As experienced Realtors, we knew the local real estate market around Woodstock VT would bounce back - eventually.  Despite cries that "This time it's different!", we knew it was deja vu all over again.  Markets move in long cycles, and most memories fade quicker than that - which of course is why they cycle back up eventually.

The last significant real estate downturn of the late 80s/early 90s took years to fully recover from.  That downturn was precipitated by overleveraging, junk bonds, the advent of a new securitized mortgage market and incompetence at savings & loans - and fueled by aggressive Wall Street firms like Drexel Burnham and others - which sounds awfully familiar... But while our real estate market in & around Woodstock VT saw a nice run-up in prices, it did not see the tulip-crazed run-up experienced in areas like Florida and Las Vegas, nor the excessive leveraging and bad loans.  Yes, our local real estate market has seen a trickle of foreclosures, but nothing systemic.  In short, we never saw the big run-up - - nor the big collapse.  But the recession did bring with it a reduction in pricing - from the peak levels - of approximately 25-30% - from our best estimation.  And the number of houses that have been selling each year plummeted, making it hard for those wanting/needing to sell, to move ahead with their lives.

But notwithstanding the "pause" introduced by Irene, we saw the recovery starting to happen in the first half of 2011.   And with the area back to normal by summer 2012, real estate sales picked up where they left off before Irene, as evidenced by the graph below.  Admittedly, this pickup occurred primarily in more moderately priced homes, but that is typical of a recovery - grass grows back more quickly than trees.  Only two properties in our area sold in 2012 at valuations above $1 million, for example.  But there was a pickup in buying in the $500,000 to $1 million range (our firm had several sales in 2012 between $700,000 and $1 million).  And post-election, we have seen a pickup in activity for buyers in the $1 million + price range.  Things take time, as they say.  And we remain confident and proud of the strength that our local market has displayed during what has been a difficult 4 years for many.  - John Snyder



New Listing: 1670 Church Hill Road, Woodstock VT. Barnhouse on 79.8 acres for $695,000

Wow.  Talk about a fabulous opportunity to finish conversion of a classic Vermont barn into a very cool barn-house on 79.8 fabulous acres JUST 1.5 miles from the Woodstock Green, on Church Hill (on the way to South Woodstock).  Converted Historic 5,900 sf Barn-House on 79 acre Nature Preserve with Design/build site overlooking large swimming pond and beautiful ridge/hiking trails w/ long-range views of Mt. Ascutney and Killington. Short walk or ride to Woodstock, yet wildlife abounds on this special property, comprised of open pastures, managed forests and two fens and all protected by the Vermont Land Trust and enrolled in the VT Current Use program. Barn/House recently renovated with maple floors, country kitchen, french doors, stone baths, 2,200 sf great room with basketball hoop! 3rd level loft BR with clawfoot tub / bath overlooks great room thru vintage arched glass window. Rustically converted apartment on the 1st level has 2 BRs, office, full bath, kitchen and Jotel wood-stove. Additional 2,100 sf unfinished secondary structure up the lane. Many options for barn-house: easily convert for equestrian/animal usage and build a new residence privately situated further back on property. $695,000.

See more by clicking here: 1670 Church Hill, Woodstock VT

Listed by John Snyder, Owner/Principal Broker, Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group, 802 457 2600.