Green Homes

What Taxes Should I Expect to Pay When I Buy or Sell a Home In Vermont?

We get this question quite a bit. Especially from Vermont 1st Time Homebuyers, or buyers moving to Vermont from another State. Today, we'll take some time to dive into what you should expect to pay at closing when buying a home in Vermont. In Vermont, the buyer of real estate pays the "Vermont Property Transfer Tax." (This differs from State to State, so there is the possibility you may sell a home in one state, pay your tax, and then pay a tax when you buy in Vermont!) If the buyer is going to have the residence as their primary residence, the tax is calculated as follows:

  • .5% of the first $100,000, then 1.25% for that portion of the sales price over $100,000.
The law allows for a few exemptions from this tax, and they should certainly be explored with your attorney:
  • a transfer directly to a creditor to secure a debt.
  • tansfers to a corporation
  • transfer without payment to a spouse, child, or grandparent
Usually the property transfer tax form is filled out by the SELLERS attorney, and signed by each party at closing. For Sellers, if you are selling your primary residence, and it has been your primary residence for at least 2 years, you will avoid a capital gains tax. As for property taxes, see the following link for information from Town to Town: http://www.vermontrealestatetoday.com/newsletter/2009effectivetaxrates.pdf You will notice that property tax rates vary greatly from town to town. In conducting your Vermont home search, be sure you have a firm grasp on how taxes may differ from each town you may be looking. You may be surprised at the differences from one town to the next! For more information, or to ask about your options in buying Vermont Real Estate, contact Brad today at brad@dousevicz.com!

Is it a good time to buy real estate in Vermont?

The recent economic "meltdown" has effected the housing market in various ways in the last few years. We can't seem to escape the constantflow of bad news coming from our televisions every night on the evening news, can we? Today we'll explore why it's a great time to buy real estate in Vermont, and the Burlington and surrounding areas of Chittenden county, specifically. The first thing I always remind buyers and sellers is this; Vermont real estate, like politics is first and foremost LOCAL. What's happening in Miami, Las Vegas, or Southern California doesn't really affect us up here in Vermont. Here are some major reasons why:
  1. Vermont did not experience the "Boom" those other areas experienced, and we hence have not experienced the "Valley" either. Vermont's home values, even in the growing of the housing boom, staying fairly level. Vermont has laws that prevent speculative buying, and our building community to did not over-build the available inventory to sell. This has helped maintain home values in Vermont and the more localized areas of Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, Essex, Charlotte, Colchester, and Shelburne.
  2. The current national unemployment level is hovering at around 9%. The unemployment level in Vermont, and more precisely Chittenden County, is nearly 1/2 that amount. The bottom line is that jobs in Vermont have not been nearly as affected as they have in other parts of the country. Employers like UVM, IBM, and Fletcher Allen Health Care have a long employment record in and around Burlinton. There's no reason to believe they'll go anywhere in the time-being, either. If jobs are the key to the economic recovery, and an improved housing market- we're already where we need to be.
  3. Mortgage rates remaining remarkably low. In fact, you can STILL qualify for a low rate of 4.9% for a 30 year fixed rate. This low rate, coupled with the relatively flat but somewhat lower prices than what we have seen in recent years means that homes in Vermont are more affordable than ever. See the link here to a recent Vermont affordable housing study: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110315/NEWS01/103150303/Study-Vermont-housing-more-affordable
Simply put, it's a great time to buy- and there are plenty of great homes to chose from. Contact Brad or begin your home search today!

Dousevicz Real Estate Featured on FOX 44 for the "Real Estate Minute"

Fox 44 Has Paired Up with Dousevicz Real Estate to offer the "Real Estate Minute"

Dousevicz Real Estate is pleased to announce that Brad Dousevicz, Managing Broker, will be featured on FOX 44 for a weekly segment called "The Real Estate Minute." The segment will air every Wednesday during Fox 44's news segment at 7:25 am, 8:25 am, and 10:10 pm.
Each "Real Estate Minute" will explore topics that buyers and sellers alike will need to know to buy or sell a home in the local Vermont real estate marketplace, such as:
  • Steps for the 1st Time Homebuyer
  • Buying New Construction
  • Prepping your home for a quick and profitable sale
  • Buying Green Construction
  • Tipsfor Buying a Condo in Vermont
  • Is it a good time to buy a home in Vermont?
  • Much More!
The "Real Estate Minute" is co-sponsored with Dousevicz Real Estate, the Law Offices of Fred Peet, and Peoples United Bank. Do you have a topic you would like to see covered on the Real Estate Minute, or have a question about local Vermont Real Estate you would like to have answered? Contact Brad today at 802-879-4477, or email him at brad@dousevicz.com!

Village Haven- Vermont and Chittenden County's Newest GREEN Community

Our Latest Sale- the sought after "Strafford" Design

Dousevicz Real Estate is proud to announce their latest real estate development project in Chittenden County, VT- Village Haven. Conveniently located minutes from Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, and Colchester, Village Haven is situated in the heart of the quaint Village of Essex Junction. Enjoy the ultra convenient location, and non-through street design! Walk to your favorite shops, restaurants, grocery store, and much more. As a unique benefit to those with young families, Village Haven is within WALKING DISTANCE to arguably some of the best school systems in the State of Vermont! All homes at Village Haven will be part of the National Association's Green Building Program, as well as certified with Efficiency Vermont. Dousevicz Real Estate is proud to offer our home buyers GREEN CERTIFIED homes at Village Haven. The benefits don't stop at Green Building and a Great Location! Step inside our model and you will notice the open floorplans, quality construction throughout, and extensive attention to detail. Every home offers a private master bath, a large walk in closet, and plenty of storage space above the garage. An extensive upgrade list is available including- Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances, 3 Season/ Screen Porches, and much more!

"Our Buyers are realizing they can make their home buying dreams a reality at Village Haven. With prices starting in the mid- $260's, people quickly find they can build their very own newsingle family house for the price of an existing condo at Village Haven, and save money on their maintenance costs because they are Green Certified! You won't find a unique product like this anyplace else in the greater Burlington area of Chittenden County. I guarantee it." - Brad Dousevicz, Dousevicz Real Estate

Homes at Village Haven located in Essex Vermont are selling quickly! Why buy a condo when you can have a single family home for the same price-- and the luxury of your own private yard and quality built Green Construction?

Our Latest Sale- the sought after "Strafford" Design

Contact Brad Dousevicz of Dousevicz Real Estate for more information. 802-879-4477.

What Makes a Home 'GREEN'?

What does aa Green Home actually mean?

Check your local real estate listings, and you are bound to find plenty touting that they are "Green." But how do you really know they are in, fact "Green?" As one of Vermont's few CGP's (Certified Green Professionals) and a developer of certified homes with the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), I am trained in Green Construction and know what to look for in a "GREEN" home. The average homeowner, however, may not have this level of expertise. So what should you look for in a "GREEN" home?

The following are a few simple things you should look for when evaluating the Green level of a new or existing home:

  • The first thing to look for-- is it certified GREEN? So many homes claim they are green, but until a VALID 3rd party certifies the home, the claim does not mean much of anything. There are plenty of local resources that can certify homes, and a few you should look for are Efficiency Vermont and NAHB. There are other organizations out there cerifying home, and a quick internet search can validate their authority. Just callinga home green doesn't make it so, and a valid Green home is sure to be certified.
  • One of the first things you should remember is you can not spell grEEn with out Energy Efficiency. How efficientlyhomes use resources is one of the paramount factors when determining if a home is green or not. A great thing to look at for and estimate on energy efficiency for an existing home (if it is not certified green) are the previous utility bills. Preferably, bills for a recent heating season. Ask for electric, gas/oil, as a minimum--say, for January to March of the previous year. This is your best way to gauge efficiency, and is not something buyers typically ask for!
  • Insulation is critical. Obviously, this is easier to check on new construction, but anything over R-15 is considered adequate for new and existing construction. Also, check with the builder on how they insulate the foundation, and if there is a basement, do they insulate the walls and sheet rock as well. This will cut down on heat leakage in the critical winter months. And remember, Old homes (100 years or more)have a ton of character and charm, but many do not have limited (if any) insulation at all. This is certainly something to consider when purchasing an older home.
  • Windows are just holes in your walls! For this reason, make sure you have an efficient "hole in your wall." Check the quality and energy rating of the installed windows. How old are the windows? Do they have any frost build up in the winter months? If they are new, what is their energy rating? If it is new construction, ask to see the caulking around an unfinished unit. Properly sealing a window can do wonders to limit "air infiltration." There are plenty of great, energy efficient windows on the market these days. If you are considering purchasing an older home that may need new ones, build this cost into your home buying budget. It can save you 10-fold in future heating and cooling costs.
  • Ask for a "blower air test" if the home is not certified, at a bare minimum. All certified Green homes will have one done, and it is essentially a test that measures air infiltration from "unanticipated" areas of the home- windows, fireplaces, joints, etc. Efficiency Vermont can perform them at a minimum cost, and they are worth every penny. As a side note, if the home tests very well for the blower air test, make sure you have fans in the bathrooms of the homes, and that they are on timers. You will need to introduce fresh air with today's "tighter" built Green homes, and automatic bathroom fans are an easy and inexpensive way to do just that.
  • Are the lighting fixtures and appliances "Energy Star" rated? Efficient lighting fixtures, for example, can cut energy consumption by 1/2 or more. Combine energy efficient appliances into the equation, and you are talking serious energy savings!

Buying a GREEN home is not only good for the planet, it is good for your wallet.

Consider this when looking at newer certified Green Construction, vs an older, non-certified green home. Your energy savings for a new home can potentially save $1000's per year! Also, consider working with a proven professional, with history in Green real estate for your next home purchase. As a Certified Green Professional, and a developer of locally certified Green homes in the Burlington area, Dousevicz Real Estate is poised to offer a unique level of experience in Green Construction as you search for the perfect lakefront home in Shelburne, Colchester, or Charlotte, or the finest home or condominium in Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, and the surrounding areas.

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