Blog :: 2015

Wishing Families a Fun Winter Break

Winter Break starts next week for most families, do you have plans?

If not here are a few ideas we've put together to help you out!  

We hope you find them helpful!



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      Don't Wait Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter


       Don’t Wait—Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter

      Here is a great article written By Jonathan Smoke


      Jonathan Smoke is the chief economist of, where he analyzes real estate data and trends to develop market insights for the consumer.

      Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

      After all, when people have jobs they can break off and form new households—ditching the roommates behind or finally moving out of Mom and Dad’s basement—and that’s what fundamentally drives home purchases.

      Most of the households created over the past two years have been renting households, but based on U.S. Census data for the third quarter of this year, it appears that homeownership has started to recover.

      This especially makes sense now that it is cheaper to own than rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the U.S. And it’s not getting better— rents are rising year over year at twice the pace of listing prices. Meanwhile, mortgage rates remain at near record lows but appear poised to increase over the next year. And home prices are rising, too.

      So if you qualify for a mortgage and have the funds for a down payment and closing costs—and if you intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs of buying and selling—you will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you are tired of your current home now, you won’t feel better about it in six months.

      The top factors driving home shoppers this summer were pent-up demand and recognition of favorable mortgage rates and home prices. These drivers will likely remain well into next year.

      Yet demand for housing is extremely seasonal. In most markets in the country, we are conditioned to believe that we should buy homes in the spring and summer. So come each October, plans to purchase shift to the spring. While the school calendar and weather do influence the ideal time to move, many buyers would benefit from buying this fall and winter rather than waiting until next spring.

      In October, the percentage of would-be buyers on® saying that they intend to buy in seven to 12 months was the highest it has been all year and represented the largest time frame for purchase. Likewise, October produced the lowest percentage of would-be buyers saying they intend to buy in the next three months.

      In other words, people’s stated plans point to a very strong spring for home sales. Great, right? But here’s the problem: Inventory isn’t likely to be higher in March and April than it is now. And while inventory should grow in late spring and into summer, it won’t grow as fast as the seasonal demand.

      So, if you are ready, consider getting in the market now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates being 25 to 50 basis points higher. (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.)

      A 50 basis-point increase in rates (for example, from 4.05% to 4.55%) would cause monthly payments to be 6% higher. And that increase would not only affect your monthly cash flow but could also affect your ability to qualify.

      So if you are considering buying a home this spring, it’s worth exploring the inventory now and reaching out to a local Realtor®. A new home could be the best gift you give yourself and your family this holiday season.


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        It's Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, Nov 7-8

        Media Contact: Chris Saunders, Hunter Education Coordinator, (802) 343-5487

        Tips for Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, Nov. 7-8

        A first deer hunt can mark the beginning of a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a commitment to wildlife conservation. 

        To make the most of the upcoming youth deer hunting weekend on November 7 and 8, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department offers these tips for the adult who is mentoring a young hunter: 

        * Practice. Your hunting rifle might not be appropriate for a young hunter. No matter what firearm is selected, make sure they practice handling and shooting. 

        * Hunt Safe. Hunting is one the safest outdoor activities, and youth hunters are some of our safest hunters when accompanied by an alert mentor. 

        * Hunt Smart. Scouting is an essential and exciting ingredient to any successful hunt. 

         Model Behavior. Responsible hunters are mentored by responsible hunters. 

        * Go often. Lifelong hunting participation is directly related to the amount of time spent hunting in youth, especially when these experiences occur in a family or mentor setting. 

        * Respect the Intent: The youth weekend hunt is for the youth, not you. Legally, you must leave your firearm at home, and landowner permission is required. 

        * Have Fun! Being with family and friends and generally having a good time is more important to youth hunters than bagging game. Don't push them, particularly if the weather is bad. Young hunters need positive reinforcement. 

        For more information, check out the Youth Hunting section of Fish & Wildlife's website ( 

        And, see regulations for youth deer hunting weekend on page 27 of the 2015 Hunting, Fishing and Trapping LAWS and GUIDE, available where licenses are sold. 

        We wish all the youth's out hunting this weekend a safe hunting trip and lots of luck!



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