Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pick of the month! NEW LISTING

Here is the hot property of January 2010! New listing this week. An exceptional home and value. Home features 3 bedrooms plus bonus room, detached garage, large fenced in back yard with deck, hardwood floors, new appliances, new windows, new roof, new light fixtures and freshly painted and updated throughout. Come home to relax and enjoy your quiet neighborhood. Call today! $218,000. For more info click here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blending Families in Feng Shui. Re-visit the Brady Bunch

Are you blending two families and wonder how feng shui can help with a smooth transition? Think BRADY BUNCH! Each member of the family will benefit most by having their rooms located in the corner of the house that is devoted to them (click on Brady Bunch above to find this direction for each family member).

Also check each member's KUA number to ensure that each member is facing their best personal directions. In other words, each family member should have their dinner chair at the dinning table facing their best possible direction. Yes you should eat dinner together! Place a mirror directly facing the dinning room table to increase your good fortune and love together.

Each family member should have the seat in the living room that faces their best possible direction AND their bed should face their best possible direction (top of head while sleeping should face this direction). Make sure people's bedroom doors are not directly across from each other or this could lead to arguments. If it is, call me, I'll help you move! Or I guess you could place something between the two doors to interrupt this flow of energy. There are always remedies or "cures" to feng shui problems. (Traditional feng shui masters will tell you that prevention is always better than the "cure" if possible).

In addition, pay attention to your current home and how easily energy can move throughout the rooms. The East corner of your home (and each individual room) represents your family corner in feng shui. Is it cluttered? Is it missing? Make sure it is clean and well dusted and display a family picture of everyone together here. Make sure everyone is smiling in the picture. If someone has an unhappy face in the picture take a magic marker and make it a happy face. Just kidding! Take another picture I guess. So no scowls or tongues sticking out.

The Northwest area of the home represents the father in the family and the Southwest area of the home represents the mother. Is there a toilet located in these areas of the home? Ouch. Time to move again...not really. There are remedies for this. Is the area cluttered? Missing? Make sure you display positive images in these areas. Click here for a detailed look into this.
Each member of the family needs to be honored and respected. Be sure that each member has their own space which is uncluttered and auspicious with positive symbols of love and well-being.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. If it is time to move so you can expand the home, also give me a call and I will be happy to help you find the perfect house for you and your happy family.
Picture taken from

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Open House Sunday 11/22/09 1-3pm

Join me and a lender from Spruce Mortgage for an open house and home made cookies from Fresh Market Sunday at 103 Maple Street unit #2 Burlington, Vt 1-3pm. For more info click here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vermont ranks #1

Another reason to live in Vermont! Vermont is ranked #1 healthiest states in the country. Click here to read more

Picture taken from

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New listing Downtown Burlington

New Listing Downtown Burlington. 2 bedroom condo listed with Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty. Contact Monique Bedard ( or

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great resource if you have questions about Tax credit

Check out this website if you have specific questions about the recent extended and expanded tax credit.

Feel free to call me if you are curious about selling your home and would like to take advantage of the $6500 tax credit for your next home, or if you are a first time home buyer and want that $8,000 tax credit!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tax Credit extended and expanded!!

Tax credit extended and expanded
Congress Votes for Home Buyer Tax Credit Expansion November 5 - Charles McMillan, president of the National Association of REALTORS®, has released a special edition podcast announcing the passage of a bill by Congress that will extend and expand the Homebuyer's Tax Credit. When President Obama signs the bill, the expiration date for the credit will move to April 30, 2010.
First-time buyers who have not had interest in a principle residence for three years are still eligible, and the maximum amount remains the same - $8,000 for married couples, $4,000 for those filing separately.
Current homeowners, who have consecutively maintained the home they want to sell as their primary residence for five of the last eight years, are also eligible. However, the maximum amount for those homeowners is lower: $6,500 for married couples and $3,200 for those filing separately.
The income limits for both tax credits have been raised to $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for married couples.

This info is taken from NVBR. Please contact me if you have questions

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What about love...doesn't Feng Shui want someone to care about you?

I know... all I talk about is real estate and how to make money in Feng Shui on my blog. After all, it is a difficult financial year for many living in the US right? But what about love? My clients purchasing homes ask me all the time about how to keep their new love alive, or find the love they are looking for, etc. So I have decided to dedicate this blog to creating love in one's life.

As always, you should calculate your KUA number and face your personal love direction when you eat, sleep, etc if this is what you want to focus on (at least face one of your good directions). However, there are other tips that I think may come in handy so you can create that space to invite your new love in OR keep the love you have alive. Here are my top five:

1. Does your living space have room for another? If you look around your home and find that it is filled with lots of stuff (have you seen my office? Ha Ha) then there is NO ROOM to invite in another's energy or personal belongings. Clean out all that you do not need so that new energy may come in. Do you have lots of pictures of other people in your bedroom? Creepy... This invites others to intrude in your love life. Remove all pictures from your bedroom.

2. In your bedroom, pair items together. For example, have two candles by the bed. Or have a picture of two birds together. If you have lots of "single" items, it does not create the energy needed for "togetherness" or "couple".

3. The Southwest corner of your house and the southwest corner of each individual room is your "romance" area. What is sitting in yours? A toilet? Uh oh. A pile of clutter? Not very inviting for a new partner to come in is it? A cactus? Ouch. Clear this area and put items of "two" such as two birds, or two flowers (esp. peonies).

4. The bedroom area should be quiet and peaceful. Do NOT have a mirror facing your bed as this will create a third partner entering the relationship. NO TV'S in the bedroom! And if you have an office or exercise equipment in your bedroom DON'T tell me about it...just put it somewhere exceptions.

5. Do NOT have water features or pictures of water in your bedroom (and as I have mentioned before, do not have water to the right of your door as you walk out of the house as this creates infidelity).

This should get you started and make a huge impact in this area of your life. Good luck! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Picture above is from NOTICE how each side of the bed is balanced by looking the same? Translation: A balanced relationship!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SPOOKY MEDIA today on Extension of Tax Credit: True or False?

Hey it is Halloween, my favorite time of the year! Do ghosts exists? How about vampires? Do you believe in the Lake Champlain Loch Ness Monster?

How about the extension of the first time home buyer tax credit? The media reported today that it has been extended! Do you believe it? Skeptical? Well good for you. Here are the facts:

Despite the recent news announcements today, the REALITY is that the Tax Credit has NOT been voted on. According to the National Association of Realtors and our Principal Broker at Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman, Annemarie Daniels, the Tax Credit has not been voted on. Here are the FACTS:

Senate leaders of both parties, key Senate Finance Committee members
> and staff, and the homebuyer tax credit sponsors Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Sen.
> Joe Lieberman (I-CT, and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), have reached an
> agreement on extending and expanding the housing tax credit. However,
> right now, there is no agreement on how to attach this tax credit to
> the pending Unemployment Insurance bill, or whether to offer the tax
> credit agreement as an amendment to another bill, or whether to bring
> the agreement to the Senate floor and vote upon it as a separate,
> stand alone bill.
> After Senate action - if passed - the legislation must still go to the
> House of Representatives for consideration. There are still a number
> of steps to take before anything is final. We will continue to keep
> you updated as we receive additional information.

In the meantime, while we wait for the facts to be sorted out, I do believe in one thing, HOPE!!!!

Picture from

Monday, October 26, 2009

Recent news on extension of 1st time home buyer tax credit...perhaps this week!!

Today we learn that the 1st time home buyer tax credit may be extended this week...with a phase out schedule. Click here to read more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How do I search for an Auspicious house using feng shui?

Picture taken from

Not all homes are created equal in Feng Shui. Your house is directly affected by its location as well as the surrounding homes, water, roads, fields, cemetaries, etc. So what should you look for when searching for a home that you hope will provide you with years of good fortune?

1. Read my last article on Feng Shui to be sure that you find a home that sits in your wealth direction. You definitely don't want to move into a home that sits in your total loss direction! I've experienced this in the past and the results can be devastating (break ups, financial loss, etc). You may also reflect on your life and recall a time when a certain house you lived in was disastrous to your well other words, everything went wrong while you lived there??

2. In general, water surrounding a home can be auspicious (but not always, depending on where the water is located). Typically, water in front of a home is better than water behind the home however this is very complicated so be sure to look into this further. For example, you never want water to the right of the door (inside the home looking out) as this creates infidelity from the male figure in the home and often leads to divorce or separation. I sold a home recently where there was a bird bath to the right of the home while exiting the house. I told my clients during the final walk thru to remove it after closing and I told them my suspicions. Sure enough, we learned at the closing that the couple was getting a divorce. My clients learned that day that not only can I get them the house they want...but I can ensure them how to remain happy together in it!

3. Make sure to scan the property to look for neighboring properties...are they in good condition? Do they have roof lines or edges/corners of building aimed at your home? If so, this is not good as they are considered to be "poison arrows" and can bring trouble to members of your home. Also make sure that your house doesn't sit at the end of a road directly (with road ending at a dead end).

4. It is not a good idea to buy a home that is lower than the ground (or sitting lower than the road). Typically, you want your home to be on a hill overlooking other properties and roads.

5. Open fields are auspicious next to your home. And mountains located in a certain position (similar to water, this needs to be looked into further for accuracy...compass readings are crucial for this).

6. Finally, the number of your home is important. For this, I suggest you look into numerology. But basically, because we are in period 8 (until 2024), any house numbers that add up to the number 8 is considered VERY Auspicious. For example, if your house number is 26, this is an auspicious home because 2+6=8.

As always, I am happy to help you. Feel free to email me at if you have questions about your house or want to learn what homes for sale out there right now I consider to be AUSPICIOUS!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Will the first time home buyer tax credit be extended? Watch video for update

The word it out, we are continuing to push for an extension of the first time home buyer tax credit for another year. According to the statistics, 1.4 million people have already taken advantage of it. 375,000 would have not bought without it!

Our principal broker, Leslee MacKenzie at Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty states that in our company alone, over half of the purchasers this year were first time home buyers. There is enough evidence out there to suggest that it is working...will it be enough to convince the need for an extension?
For more info, watch this video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are you living/buying the best feng shui house for you?

Picture taken from

Did you know that everybody has a specific house that will increase their wealth, health, romantic relationships, and personal development?

Did you know that some houses will actually HURT or HARM (according to Feng Shui) your wealth, health, romantic relationships, and personal development?

Do you know which house is right for you and are you living in it right now??

Are you curious to find out?

First, do you know your KUA number? This is different for everybody. To find yours, go to KUA number.

Second, now that you know your "best" and "worst" directions, you also know if you are an East or a West group person from these charts.

Third, based on your directions, please read to determine if your house should sit in the West, East, etc.

Now go get your compass and if you learn that your house sits in the wrong direction based on your personal KUA number, you can either change the placement of your furniture (which will help some...) OR, you can call your favorite realtor and find the house that is right for you and start living to your fullest potential!!

Confused? Have questions? It is overwhelming so don't be discouraged. If you don't "get it" or understand...send me an email and I'll be happy to help you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Technology to sell and buy homes at CBHB!

Have you ever walked or drove by a home with a for sale sign in front of it and wondered what the price was or how many bedrooms it has?

Well, thanks to Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty, we will now be offering sellers the ability to have a sign rider attached to their for sale sign where the public can simply text a short message to a specific number and they will automatically receive a text with the home's information! How is that for service!?

If you want to try it from your phone now, send a text to 88000

In the message type, CBHB1 and press send!

If you do this over the weekend, it will text you a list of open houses!! Remember, if you see a sign rider in front of a house and you want to know the details, press the number on the sign rider and then start packing!!!

Oh, and in case you haven't heard this before, it is just ANOTHER REASON why to list with Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty!

Feel free to contact me with questions or to list your home now!!

Picture is from

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Listing in Five Sister Neighborhood

Highly sought after Five Sister Neighborhood home! Close to bakery, coffee shop and downtown. Classic 2 bedroom plus additional bonus room with original hardwood floors. Home features detached garage, mudroom, fenced-in backyard, patio, garden space, gas wood stove, and lots of light throughout! This listing is being offered through Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty. Please call Monique Bedard 802-598-0916 for and easy showing! Click here for more

Friday, May 22, 2009

Use of dragons in Feng Shui to bring you prosperity

Picture taken from

Dragons symbolize masculine energy or "yang energy" and represent activity. They, "symbolize success in any achievement as well as prosperity"

The best place to display the dragon in your home is in the East side of the room or house but do not place an image of the dragon in the bedroom which is supposed to be a restful area. For further detail on dragon placement read Lillan Too

If you are thinking about selling your home, please be sure to check out my feng shui blog and check your KUA numbers to be sure that you are always facing your most auspicious directions!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Use of horses in feng shui to achieve fame

Picture from

"In Feng Shui, the horse, whose natural element is fire, is the seventh creature of the Chinese zodiac. It is favorably regarded as one of the animals that exude Yang energy and its representative direction on the zodiac is the South. The horse is emblematic of nobility, class and a comfortable lifestyle, and stands for speed and perseverance...typically placed in the south corner of your living room to energize the fame corner and activate opportunities for becoming famous and widely respected" from

Lillian Too goes on to describe three types of horses you can use depending on your goals; the tribute horse, victory horse, or the celebration horse.

As always, remember to have your space clear from clutter before activating areas of your home. Also remember to check out your personal KUA number to activate your fullest luck potential.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Opportunities with birds in Feng Shui

Picture taken from
Place images of birds in the South area of your home and south corners of rooms. Birds in feng shui represent opportunities. Lillian Too writes, "not only will your reputation be enhanced but you will achieve recognition and obtain great success in your chosen profession".

Please refer to my article on preparing one's home for selling by using feng shui.

Not only is it important to de-clutter your house and clear away stagnant energy...then the fun part enters when you enhance your space using auspicious symbols. If you don't like birds, don't worry, there are other auspicious symbols you can use as well. Keep checking my blog for updates! Feel free to comment or write me at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Animal symbols of wealth in Feng Shui

Picture taken from

The Chinese believe that there are three kinds of luck:

1. Heaven luck which is determined by the time and place of your birth

2. Karma which is determined by your choices and actions in this life and previous lives.

3. Earth luck, the kind you get from living in harmony with your environment.

"Feng shui does not improve your fortunes in magical or supernatural ways. It won’t make you win the lottery or instantly find Ms or Mr right. But by achieving balance and harmony in your environment, you will feel happier and experience an enhanced sense of well-being, which over time will yield positive results in all the important areas of your life-health, wealth, career and relationships. Things will fall into place for you."

Over the next few weeks I will be focusing on animal symbols that are considered to bring prosperity and wealth to one's life. The thought is that by displaying these objects, one will increase their good fortune.

"Feng Shui recommends that peacock's 100 eyes on its tail, could activate fame luck, promote public admiration and bring positive motives from other people. The 100 eyes can also protect you from disasters and dangers".

Keep in mind that the wealth and prosperity area of your home is located in the back left corner of any room or home when standing and looking in from the front door. Display the peacock here or you can display it in the southeast area of your home which is the wealth area as well. I just realized I have a struggling Orchid in my wealth area of my home. Yikes! Remove any objects that could be draining energy. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this. You can email me at

Also be sure to check out your most auspicious directions and those directions you should NEVER face. Check out Find my KUA number

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New listing in Five Sister Neighborhood (Burlington)

I'm anticipating this listing will sell within a few days. It was listed by my colleague Chris Von Trapp. I just previewed it and it is beautiful and in an exceptional location. Home offers; high ceilings, lots of light, hardwood floors, 3 bedrooms, lake and mountain views, garage, 2 bathrooms, 2080 square feet, and more! 50 Caroline Street, Burlington, Vermont $499,000

For listing click here

Friday, April 17, 2009

How do I use Feng Shui to sell my house?

As the West continues to face challenges economically, many people are starting to expand their awareness and philosophies and look for answers and suggestions from other cultures. Feng Shui is an ancient Art and Science that started over 3,000 years ago in China. My personal opinion is that the West and East will continue to learn and borrow from each other as we find the balance between our lifestyles and thinking. Feng shui is a balance in the energies that exists around us continuously. I have developed a list of necessities that I think are important for sellers to complete before listing their property. My hope is that you will have fun with it as the feedback I usually get from people is, "After I did this I felt so much better!"

Picture is taken from Murins in Bali on

1. Come in or go away? Stand outside your home and face your front door. What do you see? If you see garbage or other debris/unnecessary items, remove them. Are the plants and trees healthy? If not, remove them. Do you have flowers and a nice welcome mat welcoming your potential home buyer into your home? Is the lighting near your front door bright and working? Is your front door in good working order? Fix any items that need fixing. Remember that broken/dirty or old items drain fresh energy from the surroundings making it difficult for new energy to enter your home.

2. You feel welcomed to keep going or you feel trapped and want to leave? Once you open your front door take a look around your home. What immediately do you see? Are the halls open allowing energy to flow through? Are there obstacles immediately facing you as you open the door? If there are shoes near the front door remove them. Place them in a closet or other modern organizer (shelf, bench) so that as one opens the door they are greeted immediately with open space as an invitation. I once opened a door to a home that was listed for sale for over 6 months and the first thing I saw was over 15 pairs of shoes that smelled really bad! Each time you open the door in Feng shui the energy from outside comes in and disperses the energy throughout your home. I think I could even smell the shoes from the kitchen of this home!

3. You see open space for future or you see chaos? Now take a look at each room of your home. Don't do this all at once! Do 15-20 minutes at a time. This is NOT easy. Look at all the furniture and "stuff" you have. It is probably time to de-clutter. Clutter is stagnation and energy gets stuck here. Clutter, "usually represents things we resist and places we don't wish to pay attention to" One would think that it would be easy to de-clutter but it can actually be really hard for people who "hold onto" the past or get stuck in their emotions. Do yourself a favor before doing this. Open the windows, turn on ALL the lights and play your favorite upbeat music to put you in a good emotional mood. Take three boxes and start with one room at a time (maybe even one corner of a room if you have A LOT of clutter). Now, for each item in the room, pick it up and hold it. What do you FEEL? Does this item hold positive memories for you? Do you smile when you think about this item? If the item reminds you of something unfriendly, throw it in the first box. Give it away. It no longer serves you. If it is trash and you are certain that NOBODY wants it then throw it in box number two which you will later bring to the dump. If you love this item and it makes you FEEL good when you hold it, put it to one side. If you are uncertain about the item, perhaps conflicted about if you really need or want it still, place it in box number three. This box will get saved in a basement or garage which you will unpack in 6 months. If you open it six months later and decide you did not miss this item, it is time to give it away.

Now again, this is not an easy exercise for everyone. Do it in stages. It gets a lot easier over time and I actually look forward to it and encourage my family to do this regularly with me. In the past three weeks I have donated over 7 boxes of items to the Salvation Army. I LOVE giving away beautiful items that I no longer need. The act of giving makes me feel good when I think about how someone may love that picture or item in their home and it opens up space for me in my home to bring in newer ideas and new opportunities and energy. To this day, I have NEVER regretted giving anything away. Isn't that interesting? Practice non-attachment. Have fun with this. Once you start giving, you won't stop. It feels good and my opinion is that the universe will support this behavior! It saddens me that a lot of Westerners are living in fear and "scarcity mode" holding on to all they have right now. The media even encourages us to "save, save, save!" The East would argue that we have everything we need and as long as we continue to give we will continue to receive. I've given more away to charity this year than I have ever given previously. Trust this process.

4. Sit down and relax or be careful not to trip and fall? Similar to removing the clutter in your rooms, are there pieces of furniture that are waiting to stab you or trip you as you move through the room? Remember that Feng Shui is about energy flowing and moving. If there are large pieces of furniture in a room with sharp or pointy edges, they may jeopardize your future and keep it in the shadows. I am a fan of antique armoires and I used to own about eight. I'm down to three! I've learned that the Chinese do not like sharp corners and prefer round smooth edges (ex round tables, and round end furniture and coffee tables). If you have an item that has sharp edges, consider placing a plant with long leaves to hang over the sharp edge so that it doesn't "stab" you or someone sitting across from it. These are known in Feng shui as, "poison arrows" and can do a lot of harm to someones well being. Along this line, are there too many pieces of furniture in your home? If you remove some pieces will you have more room for energy to flow and more light? Remove it from the room for a few minutes and see how it looks and feels.

5. Remove personal items. No potential buyer wants to see what toothpaste you use. They don't want to see your brand of coffee on your counter. Imagine that you were taking a picture of the room for a magazine. Do you see these items? Put these items in cabinets and drawers and get into the habit of doing it daily. Remember that real estate is about people buying a dream. You want them to walk into your home and imagine themselves there...not you. The more that you can hide personal items (especially photos of family and friends) the more people will be able to envision themselves living there. I can't tell you how many times I have shown a home and my clients start to get involved with the pictures of the people that live there. 9 out of 10 times they turn to me after viewing the house and say, "I like the home, but it doesn't feel like my home". Get the picture!?

6. Clean clean clean! Are your windows clean to allow in new light? Are your mirrors clean? Are the floors bright and shiny? Are your counter tops clean and sparkly and free from all daily use items? (Place your toasters, etc. in cabinets). Try to only have three items on your counter top! Coffee maker, butter dish, toaster oven (you choose your three items)...that is it! Try it...its not easy.

Picture from

7. "Oh there is lots of room" or "I would outgrow this place quickly". Now open your closets and cabinets (hopefully you don't have to take a step back to protect yourself). Is there space? Lots of space? If a potential buyer opens your closets or cabinets and sees that it is full to the max, they will immediately think that they too will outgrow the space and have no room. If they open the space and find that there is LOTS of room and that items are neatly placed in bins and carefully organized, not only will they be envious and want to be as organized as you but they will envision that if they live here they could have that closet with lots of space as well!

8. Finally, do your walls need a fresh coat of paint? Are your walls painted bright orange, purple, neon green, hot pink, or electric blue? If you answered yes to any of these its time to neutralize. Look to paint your walls soft colors that are neutral such as off-white, ivory, cream, etc. Fresh paint can really brighten a room and the less color you have the more a potential buyer will be able to envision their furniture in that room. If you have strong patterned window treatments or bed spreads, its time to take them down and again look for light, neutral colors.

This portion of the Feng Shui real estate blog is to help you de-clutter and sell your home. In another upcoming blog I will speak more about how to increase your likelihood of selling as well as increase your wealth by using feng shui enhancers. If you have any questions about this or would like to comment, feel free to email me at In addition, please keep in mind that it is important that you have your home priced appropriately! If you have had your house on the market for awhile and you are not getting offers, in addition to the above you may want to consider a price reduction.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is the market balanced in Chittenden County?

Market Statistics in Chittenden County suggest a seller's market for most!!! WHAT??

How do we know if it is a seller's or buyer's market? A balanced market is considered a market where you find a six month available inventory.

A seller's market therefore is indicated by less than a six month inventory and a buyer's market is indicated by more than a six month available inventory. Well guess what our recent statistics show in Chittenden County? For homes priced under $350k, it is a seller's market with the inventory showing about 4 month supply. And do you know what else?? Sellers don't know it yet! Which gives you an opportunity to cash in on some great home prices AND low interest rates.

Look at these recent statistics:

What does this mean for the homes that are priced over 351k in Chittenden County? It means that all of those people who are selling their homes under 351k are NOW READY to buy those homes and are, "moving on up" as the Jeffersons would say!!

If you are interested in taking advantage of this moment, I would suggest that you call a lender now and, "lock in" your rate before they go up. Just like gas prices go up as we approach summer... so do the interest rates which means you could save yourself LOTS of money a month down the road by "locking in" today while you shop for your new home. If you wish to see homes within your price range or you have other real estate needs, contact me at and I would be happy to be of assistance!

Do I qualify for the first time home buyer tax credit? What is it?


􀂄 In 2008, Congress created a $7,500 First-Time>Homebuyer Income Tax Credit. It went into effect
April 8, 2008 and was set to expire July 1, 2009.

􀂄 One of the criticisms of the credit was that a homebuyer
who received the tax credit had to repay it over 15 years.

􀂄 It has been modified and has new rules effective for
homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before
December 1, 2009.

􀂄 One of the key modifications is that in most circumstances
the homebuyer does not have to repay the tax credit.

The Modified Tax Credit

􀂄 Removed the repayment requirement, provided the
homebuyer does not resell the home for three years.

􀂄 Extended the time period for home purchases out to
December 1, 2009.

􀂄 Credit maximum was increased from $7,500 to $8,000.
The credit is calculated as 10% of the purchase price.
Example: If purchase price is $70,000, the credit is
$7,000. (Assume a property price of over $80,000 for the
rest of the discussion).

􀂄 It is still only for first-time homebuyers, and only for
properties that are the buyer’s primary residence.

First-Time Homebuyer Definition

􀂄 Again, the credit is for first-time homebuyers only.

􀂄 A homebuyer who owned another primary home at any
time during the three years prior to the date of purchase is
not eligible for the tax credit.

􀂄 For example, if a person purchases a home on
January 1, 2009 and has not owned, or had an
ownership interest in, another home at any time from
January 1, 2006 through January 1, 2009, he or she is
eligible for the tax credit, even if the new home is not
the person’s “first” home purchase.

Who cannot take this Tax Credit …Other than
Buyers Who Aren’t First-Time Homebuyers?

􀂄 A homebuyer whose income exceeds the phase-out range.

􀂄 This means joint filers with Modified Adjusted Gross
Income (MAGI) of $170,000 and above and other
taxpayers with MAGI of $95,000 and above.

􀂄 A homebuyer who buys a home from a close relative. This
includes a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or

>􀂄 A homebuyer who stops using the home subject to the
credit as a main residence.

􀂄 A nonresident alien.

􀂄 Note: A homebuyer who sells the home subject to the
credit within three years must pay back the tax credit

More on Income Limits


Single Filers $95,000 $75,000

Married Filers $170,000 $150,000

This means that for singles making over $75,000 and couples
making over $150,000, the credit is proportionately reduced as
incomes approach $95,000 and $170,000 respectively.
So if a couple makes $165,000, the excess amount is used to
create a fraction 15,000/20,000 (.75) times the credit amount.
75% or 6 000 of disallowed They would
still get a tax credit of $2000

The Home

􀂄 The home subject to the credit must be the “main home”
(i.e.: principal residence, where the homeowner spends
50% or more of his or her time.) It can be a condo, single
family detached, co-op, townhouse or something similar.

􀂄 The home must be located in the United States.

􀂄 Vacation homes and rental properties are not eligible.

􀂄 For new construction, the “purchase date” is the date the
homebuyer occupies the home. So the move-in date
must be before December 1, 2009.

Recapture - 3 Year Residency

􀂄 If the home is resold prior to three years of ownership,
the tax credit must be repaid.

􀂄 This is an improvement from the prior credit. That
credit needed to be repaid in total over 15 years or the
balance had to be repaid on resale.

􀂄 This provision is designed to prevent flipping homes in
order to get the tax credit

Other Provisions

􀂄 The new credit is now also available to residents of the
District of Columbia.

􀂄 Purchasers who utilize state/local revenue bond financing
can now use the credit.

􀂄 Purchasers who bought before January 1, 2009 are still
subject to the terms of the repayable credit that was put
into effect in April 2008.

When Can You Claim the Credit?

􀂄 It can be claimed on your 2008 Tax Return
(to be filed by April 15, 2009), an amended
2008 Tax Return, or your 2009 Tax Return.


􀂄 The new credit is greatly improved compared to the old

􀂄 The credit does not need to be repaid as long as you
occupy the home for 3 years.

􀂄 Hundreds of thousands of potential buyers are estimated
to take advantage of the credit.

􀂄 For more info on the credit and the 2009 Stimulus
legislation visit or consult your tax advisor.


This is based on information available as of
February 18, 2009 and is not meant to be tax or
legal advice.

As with any tax law change, check with a tax
advisor regarding availability, eligibility and
possible timing of any tax credit.

Re-distributed by Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty ·

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama recently quoted the Chinese Symbol for Crisis which also means Opportunity. Is this accurate?

The Nature of Conflict can be described by using this Chinese symbol. It shows both danger and opportunity. Conflict contains both; Mediation offers solutions.
This symbol is the Chinese word for "crisis". It is a combination of two characters. The top stands for "danger" and the bottom represents "opportunity".
Conflict contains both of these elements. Too often our focus is on the danger and we fail to appreciate the opportunity which is present as well.

Taken from

Obama recently referenced in one of his motivational speeches the Chinese symbol of, "crisis" which has been cited to translate into the meaning, "opportunity". He was referring to this symbol perhaps to give hope to our uncertain economic times.

This theory and translation of this symbol has been cited among many motivational speakers and the symbols can be purchased on-line in art form for empowerment. But is the translation accurate? Does the Chinese symbol of "crisis" also mean, "opportunity"? Or is this just positive thinking in our interpretation of this symbol? Are we naive to think that we can benefit or even profit from a crisis situation? Think about all of those investors who claim, "now is the time to buy" when the stocks or real estate is lower than previous times. Are they right? Should we listen and take action?

In working with children for over ten years, it was often cited and believed that in a moment of crisis with a child (especially behavioral issues or traumatized children) a moment of crisis provides the ideal learning situation and opportunity for change. To be with the child in that moment to process their crisis allows them an opportunity to work through their faulty cognition or behavioral responses and learn new tools for coping and dealing with stress or conflict. The belief is that in the next moment of crisis their memories will trigger them to refer to the previous conflict moment and thereby make "better choices". There may be others who would argue that intervening in a moment of crisis will only add more fuel to the fire and make the situation worse. Two sides of the coin...which one are you calling out?

I've researched the Chinese symbol and what I found is that not everyone agrees that this symbol has been translated correctly. Instead of the symbol referring to, "opportunity", they believe it refers to, "incipient moment" or "crucial time". In addition, they believe that crisis is not the moment to "prosper oneself" but rather it is the time to "save one's neck". See for this fascinating flip of the coin insight.

What is the real meaning of this Chinese symbol? Have we misinterpreted it? Many argue that the symbol, which is actually two symbols means danger+opportunity for action= crisis. Is it safe to say that in a crisis situation it is more important that the appropriate action is taken in the crucial time or incipient moment thereby solving the crisis and lending to a new opportunity? Wasn't it John Lennon who said, "there are no problems, only solutions?" thereby encouraging action and focusing on the present moment?

Or is it best to resort to "fear" mentality and try to "save one's neck" in attempts to take the appropriate action at the crucial time? This seems to hint to past thinking and "scarcity mode" and doesn't offer much promise in the moment and power of "now" but rather seems to suggest that things are outside and beyond our control. Is that how you choose to live your life?

I would argue that fear is not the answer. Fear is the other side of the coin thereby not solving the problem but rather contributing to it. Read the article included and let me know your thoughts. What is your interpretation of this symbol? But more importantly, how do you choose to act today assuming that even "inaction" is in fact, "action" in itself? Are you saving your dollars or investing in the unknown possible opportunity and the hope for a better tomorrow?

Real Estate Listing

Investment opportunity in Hinesburg with 2 acres for $299,000. Three units rented with large barn. This property has so much to offer either the investor or future owner-occupied buyer. 3 units presently with one tenant maintaining lawns. Hot tub included in enclosed porch. Beautiful setting in Hinesburg. Call today! If you would like to schedule a showing, please contact Monique Bedard at (802-598-0916)

Monday, March 9, 2009

McDonalds Uses Feng Shui

As the US continues to face uncertain economic turmoil, we are finding that more and more successful businesses are looking to the East to provide tools to correct the balance of energy so that the businesses may continue to prosper.

As a real estate agent in Burlington VT, I have personally found success in incorporating Feng Shui in my office and my personal home. Look for my article on "Finding your KUA number" as each of us have specific directions in relation to our success in relationships, health, and wealth.

Article in LA Eater.

Feng Shui has more to do with just the placement of objects. It also involves discovering your personal auspicious directions. For example, my personal "wealth direction" is West. My home is not currently located in the west sitting direction, however, I have adjusted this by facing my computer and desk to the West side of my home. To find out your personal KUA number for wealth, health, personal development, and love go to .