Reduce Refinancing Charges


Reduce Refinancing Costs

There is much more than a lower rate and payment to determine whether to refinance a mortgage.  Lenders try to make refinancing as attractive as possible by rolling the closing costs into the new mortgage so there isn't any out of pocket cash required.

The closing costs associated with a new loan could add several thousand dollars to your mortgage balance.  The following suggestions may help you to reduce the expense to refinance.

?         Tell the lender up-front that you want to have the loan quoted with minimal closing costs.

?         Check with your existing lender to see if the rate and closing costs might be cheaper. 

?         Shop around with other lenders and compare rate and closing costs.

?         If you're refinancing an FHA or VA loan, consider the streamline refinance.

?         Credit unions may have lower closing costs because they are generally loaning deposits and their cost of funds is less.

?         Reducing the loan-to-value so mortgage insurance is not required will reduce expenses and lower the payment.

?         Ask if the lender can use an AVM, automated valuation model, instead of an appraisal.

?         You may not need a new survey if no changes have been made.

?         There may be a discount on the mortgagee's title policy available on a refinance.

?         Points on refinancing, unlike a purchase, are ratably deductible over the life of the loan ($3,000 in points on a 30-year loan would result in a $100 tax deduction each year.)

?         Consider a 15-year loan.  If you can afford the higher payments, you can expect a lower interest rate than a 30-year loan and obviously, it will build equity faster and pay off in half the time.

A lender must provide you a list of the fees involved with making the loan within 3 days of making a loan application in the form of a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure Form.  Every dollar counts, and they belong to you.


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    TAKE THE PLEDGE! Keep Lake Champlain Clean!!!!


    Take the Lake Protection Pledge!

    We all need to take personal responsibility for the health of Lake Champlain. That's why the Lake Champlain Committee has put together a list of actions, the Lake Protection Pledge (pdf), you can take to protect water quality around your home, in your garage, and around your community. 

    Fill out the online pledge form below to commit to taking personal action to protect the health of the lake.

    Yes. I/we agree to take the Lake Protection Pledge!

    I/We Pledge To:


    • Dispose of pharmaceuticals at Drug Take Back days or at safe disposal boxes at law enforcement agencies; never flush medicines down a toilet or drain.
    • Position gutters to drain onto grass, soil or into a rain barrel.
    • This lets the water filter into the ground rather than flowing directly to streams.
    • Clean up pet waste at home and when walking the dog. Dog and cat wastes contain high levels of bacteria harmful to people and the lake. Deposit pet poop in toilets or garbage cans.
    • Use permeable pavement for driveways and walkways. They allow rainwater and snowmelt and the pollution they carry to drain into the ground rather than run off untreated into waterways.
    • Never dump toxic materials down stormdrains, garage drains, or on the ground. Waste dumped in stormdrains or on the ground is not treated before it enters waterways.
    • Keep stormdrains and ditches clear of debris. Debris prevents proper drainage and can cause flooding.
    • Conserve water to reduce loads to wastewater treatment plants, save energy and costs. Fix leaks, add faucet aerators, and replace showerheads and toilets with low-flow models when upgrading. Choose EPA WaterSense-labeled fixtures for greater efficiency and performance.
    • Use non-phosphate dishwasher detergents, it’s the law. Check labels - excess phosphorus leads to cyanobacteria  and blooms that can turn toxic. .
    • Have your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly. Without regular checks and pumping, septic systems can fail, causing severe water quality problems and costly repairs.


    • Don’t use phosphorus-based fertilizer on your lawn or garden unless a soil test indicates you need it. It’s the law in NY & VT. Most lawns don’t need fertilizer, and whatever excess is applied ends up in the water, feeding algae and cyanobacteria growth.
    • Use compost and mulch to improve soil health. These products release their nutrients slowly, providing long- term feed for your lawn and garden.
    • Landscape with native groundcover and shrubs instead of lawn. Plants naturally adapted to local conditions require less maintenance and fertilizer.
    • Choose drought-tolerant and pest-resistant plants. This minimizes the need for pesticides and excess watering.
    • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides. They kill beneficial organisms as well as bothersome ones. When it rains, they wash into stormdrains and streams. Non-toxic insecticidal soaps, dormant oil sprays and "helpful insects" such as ladybugs can keep pests at bay just as well.
    • Raise the blade of your lawn mower and cut your lawn to three inches to encourage a stronger root system that captures rainfall and lessens the need to water during a dry spell.
    • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings and other organic matter provide natural slow-release fertilizer and improve the lawn‘s ability to hold water.
    • Maintain a vegetated buffer along the stream, river or lake if you live along a shoreline. Buffer strips shade the stream, filter runoff, stabilize streambanks, prevent erosion and provide habitat for animals.
    • Water in the early morning to prevent losing water to evaporation during mid-day. Water slowly and deeply to avoid surface runoff, inspect hoses for leaks and direct overhead sprinklers toward vegetation and away from the street or driveway.
    • Avoid over-watering. Excess water runs off the lawn into the stormdrain system.
    • Install rain barrels to collect water from rooftops to water your lawn and garden. An inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof will contribute about 600 gallons of water.
    • Re-seed thin areas in the lawn to prevent erosion and keep soil from running off into waterways.


    • Avoid single-use items like plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids, cutlery, bags, plastic wrap, products with microbeads and microplastics and “free” gifts you don’t need.
    • Wash the car at a commercial car wash where the water is collected and recycled. If you wash at home clean vehicles on lawn instead of pavement. This minimizes dirt and detergents entering streams through the stormdrain system. If washing at home, use environmentally-friendly soap products and shut the hose off between rinses.
    • Maintain the car with regular tune-ups and check for leaks. Leaking fluids end up on parking lots and are washed into stormdrains and waterways during the next rain.
    • Dispose of oil and antifreeze properly. Keep it out of stormdrains.
    • Reduce automobile trips. Take a bus, ride a bike, walk or carpool whenever possible. The average car emits about 900 pounds of pollution into the air each year and some of this ends up in the lake.


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      June 2018 Market Statistics

      June 2018 Market Statistics


      The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS® (NVBR) has released its market statistics for June 2018. The information is derived from data contained in the New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

      Changes for June over last year at this time include:

      • New Listings were up 6.5 percent for Single Family homes and increased 16.0 percent for Townhouse-Condo properties.
      • Pending Sales increased 5.5 percent for Single Family homes but remained flat for Townhouse-Condo properties.
      • The median sales price was up 2.1 percent to $296,000 for Single Family homes and increased 8.0 percent to $230,000 for townhouse-condo properties.
      • Closed sales decreased 4.1 percent for Single Family properties but increased 30.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties.
      • Average days on market decreased 17.1 percent or 63 days for Single Family homes and increased 42.9 percent or 70 days for the townhouse-condo market.
      • Month’s supply of inventory decreased 27.7 percent for Single Family units and decreased 6.1 percent for townhouse-condo units.


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        Burlington Vermont is a Foodies Delight!

        Burlington, Vermont
        The Green Mountain State has it all: farm-fresh produce and cheese, nationally renowned beer and cider, and damn good coffee. On top of that, visitors have all the hiking, skiing and kayaking options they need to burn it all off. Burlington, in particular, sits in the northwestern corner of the state, along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain just south of the Canadian border. There, locals and visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to places to dinebut the�Burlington Farmers' Market�is one concentrated area with a bounty of fresh, locally grown produce, handmade crafts, sweet and savory treats, and meats and cheeses from Vermont's lush pastures. It is quintessential Burlington, and its been ranked among the top ten farmers markets in the country, with 39 dates a year that attract 300,000 shoppers annually who can attest to its glory. Plus, you can feel good about supporting the local economy while you eat fresh, nutritious, locally-grown food.


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          Move to Vermont. Work From Home. Get $10,000. (Or at Least Something.)

          Daydreaming about moving somewhere less populated, maybe to where you can ski in your down time and tap trees for maple syrup? If so, Vermont is beckoning, and might even pay you for your trouble.

          On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, signed into law a bill that will give a number of people who move to Vermont from another state up to $10,000 to help ease the transition.

          The money — part of a grant program designed to draw tech workers and revitalize the state’s aging work force — is intended to help with costs like relocation, computer software and hardware, broadband access and membership in a shared professional space.

          Those who relocate and take part in the program need to be full-time employees of a business based outside of Vermont and need to be able to work remotely. They also must become a full-time Vermont resident in 2019.


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            New Ideas for Essex Outlets

            Initial ideas in 2016 to add apartments and retail space have given way to plans to add a restaurant and performance space at Essex Cinema.

            "The goal here is to become a community-based center that will incorporate music, art, dining, shops," said Peter Edelman, a developer on the project.

            Edelman wants to convert the largest theater in the state into a multiuse performance center. Don't worry, movies aren't going anywhere but they will be in a shared space that will include a restaurant.

            "The connecting of people through music and food is what excites us and propels us in this project," said Eric Koval, who is calling his project the "Essex Experience."

            Last summer, the plans were all about knocking down outlets and building commercial, retail and apartments.

            "The reality and the economics of doing apartments really mandated to make it work I would have to go to a certain height, and that's not allowed under the town plan and zoning," said Koval.

            Monday, the shopping center was 80 percent full. The plan is to fill the rest of the spaces with local, boutique-type shops.

            "As much as anywhere in the United States, retail is in retreat," Edelman said. 

            The project will cost several million dollars. Edelman says using space that is already developed will appeal to locals and tourists.

            "You have to change the environment and that really is what I am doing," he said.

            The Essex Experience will accommodate up to 500 people; 400 seats and 100 spots for standing. That's what developers say differentiates them from the Higher Ground nightclub.

            The first show will be May 16.

            It's unclear what, if any, big names will perform. 

            "We are working on that," said Koval. "That's certainly the plan."

            Shopping center representatives also announced they're converting to solar energy. 

            Developers say they are the first retail center in Vermont to run fully on renewable energy. 




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              Burlington North Avenue Development

              Even though it is still confined to the drawing board, the new residential community proposed for the former Burlington College property is big.

              The plan so far: About 675 housing units, clustered in multi-story condos and rental apartments, will step back and down from North Avenue, many with terrific views of Lake Champlain.

              What will the buildings look like? Developer Eric Farrell pitched the latest version to the city’s Design Advisory Board.The board, as its name suggests, offered suggestions. Many took the form of questions.


              • How might the modern, block-like buildings proposed on either side of the 19th century orphanage building maintain the landmark’s grandeur?
              • What can be done to increase the development’s appeal to pedestrians?
              • How can the buildings and parking lots balance an urban and surburban feel?
              • Must the buildings’ shapes conform to the predictable dimensions dictated by underground parking?

              Farrell listened. In several weeks, the board’s critiques will be passed along to the Development Review Board, which submits the plan to more in-depth scrutinyIt’s not too late to make changes.

              Farrell is accustomed to change. The project, newly named “Cambrian Rise,” for about two years has been tweaked to accommodate realities in the world of finance, local geology and hydrology, neighbors’ qualms, open-space advocacy and municipal zoning.

              “We’ve seen a lot of competing interests here and I think we’ve found a sweet spot,” Farrell told board members. “I think we’ve worked out a bargain that benefits everyone.

              “I could have built McMansions here,” Farrell added. “I could have built just 50 homes here and no would be happy — except the homeowners.”

              Financially troubled Burlington College sold 27.6 acres of the former Catholic Diocese property to Farrell last year for about $7.6 million.

              The college bought the 33-acre lakeside property in 2010 for $10 million from the cash-strapped diocese in the wake of sex abuse-related litigation against clergy.

              Farrell said he has plans to rename the orphanage. He tossed out his latest choice, subject to change: “Liberty Place.”


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                International Women's Day March 8, 2018

                With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women's equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.


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                  Connect with Nature!

                  The mission of the Vermont Huts Association is to provide an enriching and immersive outdoor experience for everyone. By collaborating with our partners in recreation, we will create a four-season hut network across the Green Mountain State to strengthen local communities and foster a deeper appreciation of our natural environment.

                  Check out our web site and see our first hut.

                  When finished, this will be the first hut owned and operated by the Vermont Huts Association. Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, VT is currently building the hut for us on their campus, where it will be stored through this upcoming winter. We are working with Green Mountain National Forest to locate and operate the hut under a special use permit on National Forest System lands. This project is currently under analysis by Forest Service staff with an expected decision in early 2018.


                  The most exciting part about our first hut is that YOU can help us build it. The total project budget is set at $60,000, and we’ve raised just over $24,000 as of 11/3/17. With your support, we can ensure we’re able to keep building the hut and finish it before this winter so it’s ready to go next summer!



                  Learn More


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                    South Burlington seeks input on Library design

                    The city of South Burlington is offering 2 workshops to discuss a new City Center Building that would house the Public Library and the City Hall. Thursday Jan 18at 7pm  and Saturday Jan 20 at 10 am.

                    Residents, Business Owners and other Interested parties are encouraged to participate!


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