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Posted by: Will White on October 23, 2017 - 11:57am
2017 Green Real Estate Symposium poster

Join us this Wednesday, October 25, 2017 for the Green Real Estate Symposium hosted by our friends at Vermont Realtors.

The event will include information on three main topics. First, appraisers will be educated on how to accurately evaluate a house for its energy efficiency. They'll also learn how to point out areas that could be performing better. 

Next, market research on green energy will show us why we are measuring sustainable energy in the first place. 

Finally, the symposium will cover guided techniques and phrases for articulating the true value of a green home to prospective residents.

Speakers will include field experts in environmental consulting, appraisals, financing, realty, marketing and construction.

When: Wednesday, October 25th from 8:30am - 5pm

Where: Lake MoreyResort, 1 Clubhouse Rd, Fairlee, VT, 05045

Cost: $125 (lunch included)

To register, click here.

For more information, visit the event page on Vermont Realtor's website.

Posted by: Will White on October 16, 2017 - 10:53am
Applgate apartment ribbon cutting

Plans were made over two years ago to make renovations to Applegate Apartments, located in Bennington, VT. It's one of Vermont's largest affordable housing developments and threatened by rising fuel costs before improvements were made. The complex paid $175,000 a year on fuel costs, which required rent to rise, and owners were worried that tenants would not be able to keep up.

Last week, the Applegate community celebrated the addition of a new "central biomass plant" which replaced the need for 23 oil burners - one for each building. The project also included a insulated underground pipeline that delivers hot water to all of the buildings.

The renovations are expected to save $80,000 a year, although the benefits of Applegate's renovations are more than just financial. The push to make these apartments for energy efficient is also expected to save 422 tons of CO2 annually, adding a healthy dose of sustainability to affordability.

“Applegate Apartments are critical to meeting housing needs in the Bennington area among lower income families, working Vermonters and seniors,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We are delighted to provide the housing credits and loans needed to renovate and preserve them.”

Through federal and state housing tax credits and direct loans, VHFA provided half of the $10.1 million cost of the Applegate costs. Housing Vermont and Shires Housing developed the project, with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VCHB) and the Vermont Community Development Program and others providing the remaining funds needed.

Besides the new biomass plant and water pipeline, this money also went to repairs to sewer lines, replacement of old windows, better insulation, and more accessibility by turning three townhouses into fully-accessible living spaces.

For more information on renting apartments at Applegate Apartments, please visit www.shireshousing.org.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on October 9, 2017 - 2:40pm

VHFA has three immediate job openings: Development Underwriter, Business Development Coordinator and Research and Communications Coordinator. 

The Development Underwriter is responsible for comprehensive analysis of prospective multifamily housing and single family developments being considered for VHFA financing, tax credits, and other financing and special initiatives; underwrites Housing Credit applications and assists in the development of loan and Housing Credit policies and procedures and the administration of Federal and State Housing Credit Programs; assists the Director of Development in the administration of Development programs; serves as a high level resource for pertinent research and training of federal regulations, VHFA statutory requirements, and Multifamily rules and underwriting guidelines.

The Business Development Coordinator will be responsible for providing support and taking initiative to manage the Agency’s mortgage program participating lender relationships.  This coordinator will execute marketing strategies and proactively monitor and manage advertising and marketing results, respond to lender, consumer and general inquiries received by the Homeownership Department, and manage internal policy, procedure and guide updates.  This position will also provide support to the production area of the Homeownership Department as needed, and attend and participate in presentations at seminars and events to promote VHFA homeownership programs.

The Research and Communications Coordinator will collect data and conduct analysis of VHFA programs and the housing market for use by VHFA staff, management, Board, and for external stakeholders.  This position will also manage the content on VHFA's core web site and satellite sites by developing and updating Agency-wide content, and promote the Agency’s programs and policies, housing research and advocacy information by making them accessible through VHFA's core and satellite web sites, writing reports, press releases, and social media posts.

Learn more about the positions on our website. 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on October 9, 2017 - 10:09am

Caño Martín Peña, a sister community land trust to Vermont's own Champlain Housing Trust, needs our help to rebuild the homes it operates for 26,000 lower income San Juan residents. 

September's hurricanes have left these homes partly or completely destroyed. Donations will be used to buy construction materials and replace furniture and goods for those who have lost everything.

The Caño residents won last year's United Nations / BSHF World Habitat Award for their Community Land Trust -- joining the Champlain Housing Trust as a past award recipient.


Posted by: Will White on October 5, 2017 - 10:01am

One closing cost that is required by the State of Vermont is the Vermont Property Transfer Tax. It is applied any time the deed of a Vermont property is transferred to a new owner, yet is hardly mentioned on any of the websites that breakdown Vermont closing costs. Here are a couple things you should know about the Vermont Property Transfer Tax.

The homebuyer pays the tax

When a home purchase closes, the home buyer is required to pay, among other closing costs, the Vermont Property Transfer Tax. The buyer is taxed is at a rate of 0.5% of the first $100,000 of the home’s value and 1.45% of the remaining portion of the value. 

Example A: Property Transfer Tax due for a typical $200,000 home


   $500    (First $100,000 of value times 0.5%)


   1,450     (Remaining $100,000 of value times 1.45%)

Tax due



A VHFA-funded loan may reduce the liability

As the Vermont Department of Taxes explains, some transactions may be exempt from the Property Transfer Tax. If you use a VHFA mortgage program to buy your home, you may be able to save up to $825 in property transfer taxes. Participating lenders across the state can provide more information about this.

With VHFA’s mortgage programs, the first $110,000 of the home’s value is exempt from the property transfer tax, and the rate of property transfer tax for the value between $110,000 and $200,000 is 1.25% rather than 1.45%.  Even if the home’s value exceeds $200,000, the reduced tax rates still apply to the value below $200,000.

Example B: Property Transfer Tax due for a typical $200,000 home using a VHFA mortgage


$0             (First $110,000 of value times 0%)


$1,125      (Remaining $90,000 of value times 1.25%)

Tax due



   $825    ($1,950 due in Example A minus $1,125)


Take a look at the programs VHFA offers for information then then find a participating lender near you. Only a VHFA participating lender can pre-qualify you and accept your mortgage application. 

For further information, discuss your situation with your lender and closing attorney.  VHFA is not responsible for determining the amount of tax due or collecting the property transfer tax.