Blog :: 2016

6 Fun Things to Do this Fall in Burlington, Vermont

BREW TOUR

One thing Burlington certainly has no shortage of is great breweries! Not sure what to do on a cold and windy fall day? Pop into one of the more than 10 local breweries. Not only is it a great way to learn more about the brewing process, but many have delicious menus to accompany their great beer.

CHECK OUT THE FOLIAGE

There’s no denying that Vermont has some of the most vibrant foliage in the whole country. There are plenty of hiking trails in the area that are sure to delight the senses with the amazing views. Try Red Rocks Park in South Burlington if you are looking for a short and easy hike. Looking for a longer expedition? Just 45 minutes from Burlington is Camel’s Hump located in Waterbury. Camels Hump offers a variety of trails with sprawling views.

APPLE PICKING AT SHELBURNE ORCHARDS

Looking for something to do on a sunny day? Head over to Shelburne and check out the Shelburne Orchard. Their apple cider donuts are made fresh every morning. It’s sure to be a great time for the whole family.

QUEEN CITY GHOST WALK

Looking for a Halloween appropriate adventure? Take the Queen City Ghostwalk! Learn about the spooky history of this great city on an hour-long walking tour. With four different tour options, including an early bird tour that takes place in the mornings, it’s sure to bring a chill to your spine.

SPEND THE DAY AT THE SHELBURNE MUSEUM

Maybe spooky isn’t your thing, but you still want to learn more about this region's history. Well, Shelburne Museum is sure to satisfy. Spread between 39 buildings, 20 gardens, and a shipwreck, there is something for everyone. This season’s exhibitions range from impressionist paintings to circus posters, and just about everything in between.

HANGOUT ON CHURCH STREET AND GRAB SOME DELICIOUS FOOD

Trying to find somewhere great to eat? Look no further than Church Street, Burlington’s open-air market. Church St. offers more than 100 places to shop and dine. Come down at night and check out the beautiful lights that glow above head year round. As an added bonus, public wi-fi is available on all four blocks of Church Street.

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    Why People Hate Their Mortgage and Why You Shouldn't

    mortgage word cloud
    Many people hate their mortgage because they know over the life of a 30-year loan they will spend more in interest than the house cost them in the first place. To save money it becomes very tempting to make a bigger down payment or make extra principal payments. Unfortunately, saving money is not the same as making money. Or, put another way, paying off debt is not the same as accumulating assets.

    By tackling the mortgage payoff first, and the savings goal second, many fail to consider the important role a mortgage plays in our savings effort. Every dollar we give the bank is a dollar we did not invest. While paying off the mortgage saves us interest, it denies us the opportunity to earn interest on that money. Consider this investment: Every dollar you invest is inaccessible. Every dollar you invest has the potential to increase your federal and state income tax bills. Every dollar you invest is guaranteed to earn a very low rate of return for the next 30 years. Every dollar you invest makes the investment less safe. Not too many of us would jump at the chance to make this investment, yet millions do every year by pre-paying their tax-deductible 30-year mortgage loan! Remember, the only way to get your equity out of your home is to borrow it back on the bank’s terms, at some unknown rate in the future or, worse yet, sell the house. By pre-paying your tax deductible mortgage you increase your tax bill each year as you have less interest to deduct. The after-tax rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage is often much lower than many conservative investments. The more equity you build up in your home the more risk you take. If you had a disability or job loss and had to stop making payments on a 100k loan on a 400k home, the bank could still foreclose and you would be out 300k. If you stopped making payments on a 350k loan you would be out only 50k. The same holds true if the home is underinsured or there is a natural disaster, like a flood, that the house is not insured for at all. Most of us think that the more equity we have in our house the safer we are. The truth is that the more savings we have, not equity, the safer we are.

    Before paying down your tax-deductible mortgage, make sure you have the following financial milestones accomplished:

    1. Cash Cushion – Build and maintain a cash cushion for 3 to 6 months of liquid living expenses.
    2. Protection – Establish appropriate levels of disability and life insurance.
    3. ‘Non-Preferred’ Debt Free – Pay off all non-tax-deductible debt (credit cards, installment loans, etc).
    4. Retirement and College – Plans fully funded.

    It is important to realize our financial goals in the correct order. Paying off your mortgage is a great goal. However, it should not be your first, or only, financial goal.

    Contact Mark Chaffee at Mortgage Financial Services if you have more questions on your current mortgage or looking to obtain a new loan. 

    Source: Mark Chaffee of Mortgage Financial Services

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      Selling A Home Can Be Stressful

      Here at Brian French Real Estate, we have over 30 years of experience that has helped us develop systems that we use to get your home sold. Often times it's not what you do, but how you do it that's important. We take great pride in customizing our approach to each and every one of our clients so we can provide the absolute best in real estate experiences. If you are thinking of selling or know someone that is, give us a call or email us. Listen to what Brian has to say in the short video about the spring Vermont real estate market.

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        Time Flies By

        watch with wingsWhen we are young, we never think about time. Time is always on our side.

        It’s us against the world and there is no stopping to worry about the time and how quickly it passes. We have all the questions and we also think we have all the answers. It’s a world full of the here and now and things that are going to take place in the future are for other people to worry about.
        As we get older we realize that time is a precious commodity. We get jobs, we get married, and we have kids. We become busy. We have no time. Where does the time go we think, yet we are still not worried about time. Exactly when it happens for most, I’m not sure but eventually it happens to all of us. We think about it, we plan for it, we obsess about it, we complain about it and we cherish it. 

        You see - time, is the one thing that we all have in common, it’s here and then it’s gone. Have you ever tried to live in the moment?

        It’s hard because it’s so fleeting. Time is the common denominator for all people but what we do with that time defines who we are, what we become, and what we accomplish.
         
        As I grow older and since my kids are out of the house, I must admit I do think about time a lot. I mean maybe to the point of obsession, which is not how I want to live in the moment for sure, but I do think about what I should be doing at any given moment to make the most out of my day. You see, I must work, but I also want to make sure that I don’t waste my time, because I can never get it back. If you put it in that context, I believe your time becomes much more valuable.
         
        I don’t like to waste time because it is a limited resource. I don’t like to waste my time or anyone else’s time for that matter. I just don’t think it’s fair to myself or the other person. But what I do like to do is enjoy my time here. You know you can actually enjoy your time if you purposefully think about being positive and making the best of all situations. Did you know that you can enjoy your time even when you are working? I try to everyday. It involves interacting with your co-workers and clients in a caring fun loving way. I enjoy the people I work with and my clients and I hope that I can make their time more enjoyable when they are working with me.
         
        With that said, because I feel that time is so precious I will always give the gift of time to others. I won’t waste your time or mine. I will be honest about the situation and be truthful and straight to the point in giving my advice. I will respect you and your time and in the end, we will both have more of it to share with our significant others.
         
        My gift to you is to help you save time whether you are in the market to purchase or sell. Buyers looking to buy VT real estate - sign up to receive real time email updates on listings. If you are looking to sell your VT home let's talk about how my marketing stategies can get your home sold. Call or email me today. 
         
        Subsribe to my newsletter to hear about the local real estate economy as well as useful buyer and seller tips that will also save you....time! 

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