Luxury means different things to different people, and in different contexts. A luxury condo in Boston is different from a luxury ranch in Colorado, which is different from a luxury home in Miami. That same variety holds true with luxury homes in Vermont. It can be one of those things that’s difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.
Luxury Homes In Vermont: Common Themes
Luxury homes in Vermont take into consideration their surroundings. Some (but not all) luxury homes in Vermont are in world-class ski areas. Some have jaw-dropping views of our gorgeous Green Mountains. Some are waterfront properties in Vermont, on one of the many beautiful lakes, or even Lake Champlain. Some are perfectly sited in some of Vermont’s most highly desirable towns.
Views are huge with luxury homes in Vermont, and in many cases in the luxury home market, one can expect to find mountain views of particular mountains, ski mountains, or even entire ranges. Homes with 180 degree or more mountain views are breathtaking. Imagine watching sunrises and sunsets from your own home, and seeing nothing but mountains and sky!
It’s not just the natural beauty that creates luxury real estate markets in Vermont. Properties in this range are often in easy range of charming towns filled with shopping, restaurants, cultural events, and sought-after schools. Even those that offer privacy and sweeping views are often close enough to a town so as not to feel isolated.
Recreational opportunities often go hand in glove with luxury homes in Vermont. Which, with the mountains and snowy winters, means skiing. In Central Vermont, resorts such as Sugarbush, Stowe, and Mad River Glen offer world-class skiing and luxury real estate. Further south, Killington, Pico, and Okemo provide the same top-notch recreation, lodging, and luxury real estate options. Mountains such as Bromley, Stratton, and Magic Mountain rank among the best as well.
Click here to jump to the top four Vermont Luxury Home Markets For Skiing
Boating, swimming, fishing, and other lake activities are also big for recreation in Vermont. There are plenty of luxury homes in Vermont that are on lakes and waterfronts. For high-end waterfront property, typically people look to be along Lake Champlain. Other popular lakes for recreation and luxury include Lake Bomoseen in the southern part of the state and Lake Morey, which is closer to the New Hampshire border are also great places to look for luxury waterfront properties.
If you’re looking for something special, get off the beaten path just a bit. There are countless lakes in Vermont, and you’re likely to be surprised by some of the beautiful properties and lovely towns that you’ll find on smaller lakes, and in smaller communities. Caspian Lake is among the most sought-after areas for waterfront luxury homes in Vermont. Another hidden gem in Central Vermont is Peacham Pond. You don’t need to look for the biggest and most well-known lakes to find beautiful luxury homes in Vermont!
Not the skiing type? And lakefront properties aren’t your cup of tea? Vermont’s luxury home market also offers several other towns and areas that might be what you’re looking for. Among the most expensive housing markets in Vermont are Charlotte, Shelburne, Norwich, Woodstock, and Manchester. They’re all within striking distance of skiing, but don’t necessarily have skiing and lakefront activities as their central theme.
Click here to jump to the top Lake Champlain Vermont Luxury Home Markets
Luxury homes in Vermont tend to be large in terms of their finished square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as their lot sizes. This won’t come as a surprise. Larger homes allow for more upscale amenities, and luxury homes in Vermont tend to be full of those amenities. Larger homes also allow for additional spaces such as guest houses, guest suites, large spaces for entertaining, media rooms, studios, well-appointed home offices, impressive primary en suite bedrooms, and more.
Luxury homes in Vermont will always have high-quality materials, architectural features, amenities, and levels of finish. There’s often a “Yankee thrift” ethos to Vermonters, but that takes a backseat in the luxury home market in Vermont. High-quality finishes reign supreme, and include stone countertops, stone or wood floors, top-of-the-line appliances, efficient and comfortable heating systems, and statement fireplaces or hearths for wood stoves.
Interestingly, not all luxury homes in Vermont are newly constructed. Some of Vermont’s old farmhouses and village homes have been maintained and renovated and would now be considered a luxury. As real estate professionals, we love seeing those older luxury homes. Often, we have to do a double take. “Wait…was this house really built in 1870?” It was! You’ll be able to see some of the old character (exposed beams, wide plank flooring that likely was harvested off the land when it was originally built, even some not-so-perfectly-straight floors)
Luxury Homes in Vermont: Top Luxury Towns
Let’s get into some more details about Vermont's luxury real estate market. One rule of thumb is that the top 10% of the market, in terms of the sale price, could be considered luxury. We took three recent years of sales, and here are the 25 towns that had the highest median home sale prices in Vermont:
Again, these are the towns that are in the highest 10% of median sale prices. Even within these high-end towns, there was always a wide range of property sales. To really get a feel for the luxury market, we looked at the very top end of these top towns. Within each of these towns, which could very reasonably be considered luxury towns, or at least towns with a robust luxury real estate market, what do the top 10% of those sales look like? This is where the sales start to look like luxury real estate when we look at the top 10% of sales in the top 10% of the luxury towns. Here are those properties:
Luxury Homes in Vermont and Ski Resorts
Four of the top 10 luxury home markets in Vermont are ski towns. Here’s a quick list of those markets, as well as the ski resorts nearby.
- Stowe– With a median sale price of $827,500 and a median luxury home price of $2.85 million, Stowe ranks number one. The Stowe Mountain Resort is top-notch, with exquisite amenities and services. Stowe is also home to the world-famous Trapp Family Lodge (and the von Trapp Family Brewery and Bierhall, should you be so inclined).
- Ludlow–Ludlow’s backyard is Okemo Mountain Resort, and it’s also only a half hour or so from Killington Resort. Median sale prices in Ludlow were $500,000, and the median sale price for luxury homes in Ludlow was just above $2 million.
- Stratton–Stratton is home to Stratton Mountain, and is in the southern part of the state. That makes it that much more approachable for people coming from Massachusetts or even the Albany, NY area. The median sale price for homes in Stratton was $457,000, but the median sale price for luxury homes in Stratton was just north of $1.9 million.
- Waitsfield–To the south of Waterbury, Waitsfield is home to Sugarbush Resort. Mt. Ellen and Lincoln Peak offer fantastic skiing for all levels. Waitsfield is a lively town too, with plenty of apres ski opportunities. The median sale price for homes in Waitsfield came in at $550,000, and the median sale price for luxury homes in Waitsfield was $1.7 million.
Vermont’s Lake Champlain Luxury Homes
Two Lake Champlain towns make the list of the top luxury home markets in Vermont. Lake Champlain is always a hot spot for high-end real estate. From the shores, you can see across the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Depending on where you are along the lake (it’s a long lake!), you might be near Burlington, which is the home of the University of Vermont (UVM), and the Burlington International Airport (BTV).
- Shelburne is south of Burlington and had a median sale price of $670,000. The median sale price for luxury homes in Shelburne was $1.825 million.
- Charlotte is just a touch further south from Shelburne, but still convenient to Burlington and its amenities. The median sale price in Charlotte was $625,000, and the median sale price for luxury homes in Charlotte was $1.95 million.
In A Category By Themselves
Some luxury towns aren’t quite so neatly pigeonholed. There are elements aside from skiing and lake recreation that are powerful draws for those seeking high-end housing.
- Norwich is one of the wealthiest communities in Vermont. It benefits from its proximity to the Ivy League’s Dartmouth College, and to Hanover (NH) which has that unbeatable college-town energy.
- Woodstock really is the quintessential Vermont village. The Woodstock Inn has been attracting well-heeled travelers since the 19th century and continues to do so today. With exquisite shopping and outstanding restaurants, it’s easy to see why people who can live anywhere want to live in Woodstock.
List of the top 10 home sales in Vermont
Looking for a little bit of real estate eye candy? Here are the top 10 sales statewide.
486 Edson Hill Road, Stowe (no pics on the listing, unfortunately)
433 Lands End Lane, Shelburne
6677 US Route 4, Mendon
1403 Quechee West Hartford Road, Hartford
387 Benedict Road, Woodstock
133 Gilchrist Road, Stowe
625 Sentinel Cedar Lane, Charlotte
500 Carey Farm Road, Stowe
992 Atwood Lane, Bridgewater
112 Thomas Pasture Lane, Stowe