Tag Archives: education

Lamoille Realtors® Attend Green Real Estate Symposium

William Raveis Stowe Realty agents Ken Libby, Bunny Libby and Teresa Merelman attended the 2015 Green Real Estate Symposium. The event sought to educate industry professionals about appraising, selling and financing with energy-efficient and renewable-energy features.

2015 Green Real Estate Symposium

Posing for a quick picture by Lake Morey, as the 2015 Green Real Estate Symposium wrapped up, are Realtors Bunny Libby, Ken Libby, Joni Gaines, Teresa Merelman and KC Chambers.

(November 2, 2015) – Lamoille area Realtors® joined more than two hundred real estate professionals on Oct. 29 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee for Vermont’s first Green Real Estate Symposium. The event, sponsored by the Vermont Green Home Alliance (VGHA), was designed for real estate professionals, home inspectors, appraisers, mortgage lenders and anyone interested in learning more about energy efficiency and renewable energy features for residential and commercial properties.

The symposium provided insights into the wide variety of green and “smart” home features now available to consumers. Attendees also received updates on Vermont and New Hampshire energy codes, new residential evaluation tools, the costs associated with owning a green home, and much more.

“Cutting-edge smart-home technologies are becoming more and more mainstream,” said Isaac Chavez, CEO of Vermont Realtors®. “As the trend towards more eco-friendly, energy-efficient homes continues to grow, it is important that real estate professionals and those involved in the real estate transaction, gain the knowledge they need to help consumers make informed decisions about buying and selling a home with these features.”

“This was one of the most exciting training programs we have attended in years,” said Ken Libby of William Raveis Stowe Realty. “The knowledge we gained will help make us more than just the professionals who help people buy and sell homes. We will be the ones that home owners trust to become smart, hands-on managers of their most important asset.”

Press release via vermontrealtors.com.

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.