Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Realtors Compile School Data

By Ken Libby

From 1997 to 2012, Vermont had a 15 percent decrease in K-12 enrollment — about 1,000 fewer students a year. Despite declining enrollment, Vermont’s education spending has dramatically increased. Skyrocketing school spending plus declining enrollment doesn’t add up.

There are two main reasons for declining school enrollment: Vermont has the second-lowest fertility rate in the country (fewer births now mean fewer children in schools when they start kindergarten six years later) and more people leave Vermont than move into it.

The late 1990s marked the beginning of Vermont’s increases in education spending. By the mid-2000s, inflation-adjusted spending had risen to about $1.5 billion — as much as a 50 percent increase in a decade. Compared to other states, Vermont spends significantly more per student, with some estimates indicating that per-pupil spending is as much as 71 percent higher than the national average.

A survey conducted by Vermont Realtors showed that 76 percent of Vermonters believe that school property taxes are too high. Reforming Vermont’s education finance system is not a simple task and it will take time. But to do the best for our children, their future and our state as a whole, we must begin prioritizing changes that will bend the spending curve while a more comprehensive solution is designed.

The Vermont Realtors, the Vermont Voice of Real Estate, has a very active government affairs committee. The committee meets weekly during the Vermont legislative session and it had a tough time separating fact from fiction. As a result, it obtained a grant from our national association and contracted with Art Woolf, noted Vermont economist, to review the material known to be reliable. Our goal was to identify the problem.

The study was interesting, in that it did not agree that significant savings in school expenses could be obtained by some of the more frequently discussed options, such as fewer supervisory districts.

Vermont Realtors decided that someone needed to become a source of information so the public could be aware of the various proposals and how they would impact property taxes. With that in mind, we received another grant from the National Association of Realtors and have developed a website: knowmorevt.com. The objective is to provide the reader with one location to get all the information. You will also see that, once legislation starts to be presented, it will be posted on this site so you can have it at your fingertips.

Vermont Realtors also has arranged for a final grant from the national group, if required, to conduct public education if a bill that seems to fix the problem is proposed by the legislature. Stay tuned. Check this site a few times a week and be informed.

This guest perspective was also published in the Stowe Reporter.

William Raveis Stowe Realty And William Raveis BCK Real Estate Launch New Websites

1_WRBCK websiteSTOWE/BARRE, VT (February 27, 2015) – William Raveis Stowe Realty and William Raveis BCK Real Estate are pleased to announce the re-launch of their websites StoweRealty.com and BCKrealestate.com. The updated sites have extensive content, property searches, interactive neighborhood maps and mobile access, designed to assist customers in making informed real estate decisions.

According to John Biondolillo, owner/broker of William Raveis Stowe Realty and William Raveis BCK Real Estate, the new websites and brand refresh are more closely aligned with the company’s affiliation with William Raveis and strategic vision for growth and expansion.

“We recognize the importance of constantly innovating and adapting to new ways of doing business and technology,” Biondolillo said. “With the introduction of our tagline – Your family’s way home – we are placing a high value on local communities and family in handling real estate.”

The William Raveis Stowe Realty and William Raveis BCK Real Estate websites offer a clean, modern design and easy-to-navigate functionality. The search tool enables customers to quickly research and compare properties; users will be able to contact an agent, schedule a showing, take notes, use affordability calculators, save favorite searches or listings and receive e-mail property updates and housing reports.

“We hope the new StoweRealty.com and BCKrealestate.com prove to be useful, informative portals for our customers to get to know William Raveis and the real estate services we offer,” Biondolillo said. “Our tools will allow potential and active buyers and sellers to track and understand market trends and navigate through the sales process from beginning to end.”

William Raveis Stowe Realty is a full-service real estate brokerage company with offices in Stowe and Morrisville, Vermont. William Raveis BCK Real Estate, founded in 1981, has additional offices in Barre, Montpelier, Mendon, St. Johnsbury, Essex and, most recently, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Together, they boast more than 30 sales associates and employees. Through a recent affiliation with William Raveis, the company now joins 100+ offices and 3,500+ sales associates throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

Sue Arguin Joins William Raveis BCK Real Estate

BARRE, VT (January 16, 2015) – William Raveis BCK Real Estate is pleased to announce that Sue Arguin has joined their team of agents.

Sue Arguin

Sue Arguin

Sue lives in Barre and has been selling real estate for more than 25 years. She has been an active member of the Central Vermont Board of Realtors and has served as a Commissioner on the Barre Housing Authority Board.

The Times Argus has named Sue a “Best of the Best Realtor” for the past five years.

William Raveis BCK Real Estate president and owner John Biondolillo said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Sue to the William Raveis and BCK families. Her knowledge of central Vermont is going to be a huge benefit to our company and our clients.”

In addition to selling real estate, Sue enjoys spending time with her family, doing home projects and antiquing.

Sue said she looks forward to continuing her real estate career with William Raveis BCK Real Estate; and, in the words of the entire William Raveis family, she would like the opportunity to help “show your family the way home.”

Sue can be reached at (802) 479-3366 or 86 North Main Street, Suite 2, in Barre. To learn more about Sue and William Raveis BCK Real Estate, please visit BCKrealestate.com.

William Raveis BCK Real Estate, founded in 1981, is a full-service real estate brokerage company with offices in Barre, Montpelier, Mendon, St. Johnsbury, Essex, Stowe and Morrisville. Together, they boast more than 30 sales associates and employees.