Category Archives: Real Estate

Neighbor house switcheroo…

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 by 1 comment

#VT – Sadly, I will soon be selling my large house in the village. I very much want to stay right here. If you are selling, or know of anybody who is or might be selling a small (2 bedroom?) house or condo in Richmond Village, please contact me. Thank you.”

Posted by Joanna on the Richmond Front Porch Forum.  The next day, she received from Christy…

Hi Joanna – We have a 2 bedroom townhouse that we love, but that we will eventually outgrow.  We’ve been looking for homes in the village… we’d love to stay here.  Have you already sold your house?

Joanna shared with us just today…

I am thrilled to report that, two months after my initial FPF posting, I  purchased the townhouse and Christy and her family purchased my home.  Amazingly we each found the perfect home and we were able to sell our homes without ever putting them on the market.  Thank you, Front Porch Forum!

Local Search API List

Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 by No comments yet

Posted today on Local SEO Guide

Just posted the following list of local search api’s on SearchEngineLand.  I am going to be maintaining the list here and will be updating it from time to time.

Reaching beyond social media’s “Big Three”

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by No comments yet

Inman News columnist Gahlord Dewald posted a piece today aimed at real estate professionals about how they might make the most of social media tools.  This clip caught my eye…

… If you expand beyond the “Big Three” social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you might find very specific platforms that align with your goals. For example, in Burlington, Vt., we have an awesome forum system called Front Porch Forum. This platform is highly targeted by neighborhood and operates via (wait for it …) e-mail.

Not what you might think of when you think super-new-cool technology. But FPF is a highly valued resource in our town. About 40 percent of the local population are members (and this is a college town). The neighbors talk about the neighborhood. Pretty relevant for a real estate professional.

Spending the time to locate active social media platforms that are topic-focused — to round out your me-focused Facebook-LinkedIn-Twitter participation — is a good idea…

“Happy neighbors make you happy”

Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 by No comments yet

My neighbor Greg Fanslow posted this on Front Porch Forum just now…

Something happened to our outlooks when we moved to the Five Sisters last summer. The sense of community seems to make people happier and we literally felt like it was quite contagious. Now there is compelling scientific evidence to show that having happy neighbors is good for you.

Yesterday I came across a recent article in the British Medical Journal that analyzed data from a long term study of 5,124 people from Framingham, Mass. While a lot of previous studies have looked at links between happiness and genetics and socioeconomic factors, this study looked at how peoples’ social connections influence happiness.

And they found that the happiness of your next door neighbors is a stronger predictor of your own happiness than any other significant relationships. Incredibly neighbors have a bigger effect than spouses!

The study concluded that:
– If a friend who lives within a mile of you becomes happy, it increases your chances of being happy by 25%
– if your coresident spouse becomes happy, your chances increase by 8%
– if your sibling living within a mile becomes happy your chances increase by 14%
– if your coworkers are happy, it has no effect on your happiness.
– if your NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR becomes happy, your chances increase by (drum roll please….) a whopping 34%!

So that’s right. If you have a grumpy coworker, it might be a nice thing to try and brighten their day, but you won’t benefit from your efforts very much. On the other hand, if your neighbor is feeling down in the dumps, it’s clearly worth it to cheer them up!

All that said, in spite of the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence, I plan to continue being accommodating and cheerful with my wife, Yolanda– just to be safe.

For the full article, see:

Greg seems like a fairly happy guy… good for me!  I’ll try to return the favor.

Homethinking compares neighborhoods across cities

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 by No comments yet

More from Peter Krasilovsky today…

Homethinking, which rolls out a service today that lets users compare neighborhoods in cities. An art gallery lover in Soho, for instance, might find the 7th street corridor in Washington D.C. to be their place. Gramercy Park is considered a match for Nob Hill in San Francisco.

“All Experts” Recommend Front Porch Forum

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008 by No comments yet

Just stumbled across this exchange posted on… (thanks David!)…

Expert: David Beckett
Date: 8/27/2008
Subject: Temporary Housing

Hi David – I read your answers about Burlington and my husband & I decided to move here from Los Angeles a few months ago… We love it here. I am French and we need to go back to France for family reasons from November through March 2009 and I would hate to leave the house empty for a host of reasons.

Ideally we could rent the place (we have a beautiful 4 bedroom house in the Hill section) but I am not sure where to post an ad. The other option would be to have a professional come on a regular basis to ensure that everything is OK (i.e. heating still on). Do you have any recommendations for either solutions?

I assume we are not the only people to leave Vermont in the winter, I was just curious if there were any obvious resources available that we are not aware of.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Hello Isabelle – Glad you like Burlington! … You might also post a note on your “Front Porch Forum” email list, without your address of course, just asking if neighbors have people to recommend as short term renters or housesitters. If you haven’t gotten onto your neighborhood “Front Porch Forum” yet – I recommend it. You can read archives and sign up at

Please feel free to contact me directly – I’m happy to help. I live in your neighborhood.

Neighbors celebrate their FPF neighborhood forum

Posted on Monday, July 28, 2008 by No comments yet

Thanks to Greg for his kind words posted today on his own FPF neighborhood forum…

I didn’t want last week’s 400th issue of South Union Neighborhood Forum go unrecognized, so Congratulations, the Wood-Lewis’, on the quadracentenary of our Front Porch Forum! We’re so lucky to have you and this valuable community resource, and keep up the great work!!

Just goes to show, the best things in life are free.

(That said, be sure to use whatever influence and contacts you have to find Sponsors for this innovative, interactive newsletter. That would include real estate agents, too!)

MacMansion’s future? Our next slum?

Posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 by No comments yet

I’ve always been fascinated by grand old mansions in various U.S. cities that have fallen on hard times… whole neighborhoods that, over a couple generations, go from being the toniest side of town to the slum.  And solid middle class homes too.  How temporary it all is.

So  Christopher B. Leinberger‘s current Atlantic article, “The Next Slum?” easily caught my attention…

Strange days are upon the residents of many a suburban cul-de-sac. Once-tidy yards have become overgrown, as the houses they front have gone vacant. Signs of physical and social disorder are spreading…

In the Franklin Reserve neighborhood of Elk Grove, California, south of Sacramento… many [of the houses] once sold for well over $500,000. At the height of the boom, 10,000 new homes were built there in just four years. Now many are empty; renters of dubious character occupy others. Graffiti, broken windows, and other markers of decay have multiplied. Susan McDonald, president of the local residents’ association and an executive at a local bank, told the Associated Press, “There’s been gang activity. Things have really been changing, the last few years.”

He lays out how the subprime mortgage mess, the increasing demand for urban living and resulting gentrification, and the inefficient design of suburban living will combine to vacuum the upper and middle class out of many suburbs, leading she ‘burbs toward chopped up rental housing, poor schools, etc.  Over time, the suburbs will see similar decline to what our inner cities did in the 1960s and 70s.

In thinking about the thousands of neighborhoods that turned over or were emptied out due to “white flight” and wholesale demolition (a.k.a. “urban renewal”), I wonder about the people, the community, the relationships… so much lost.  A much quicker version of this occurred in New Orleans with Katrina’s deadly arrival.

Well… I recommend the Atlantic article.