Sargeant Appraisal Service Study Shows County Has Vermont’s Most-Affordable Home Prices as a Percentage of Income
RUTLAND, Vt. – Rutland County has Vermont’s lowest home acquisition cost as a percentage of median income.
That’s the key finding of a new study by Sargeant Appraisal Service, which says home ownership costs here are dramatically lower than many areas of the state – a fact regional marketers plan to tout to prospects considering a move to the Green Mountain State.
“Rutland County buyers are effectively paying eighty-five cents on the dollar for a home,” said Sean Sargeant, principal of Sargeant Appraisal Service. “They can use this savings to ‘buy-up’ in quality and condition, or just keep the difference in their wallet.”
Sargeant said affordability metrics by county are determined through analysis of the median home price, property taxes, insurance costs, salary, and median income. The affordability ratio shows the percentage of the median county income required to afford the median-priced home in Rutland County is just 85 percent.
“Rutland County has the best affordability metrics in Vermont, but with the lowest active inventory in 12 years, it may never be this affordable again,” Sargeant said. “That makes it a great time for buyers to get into the market, and a wonderful opportunity for people considering selling to put their homes on the market.”
Steve Costello, a Green Mountain Power vice president and co-chair of the Rutland Regional Marketing Committee, said Sargeant’s study showed a significant advantage to buying in Rutland County. “For starters, the data show it is cheaper to buy the median-priced home in the county than it is to rent,” he said. “Beyond that, the affordability ratio is dramatically lower here. While it takes just 85 percent of median income to buy the median-priced home here, it requires over 100 percent in eight of 14 counties, over 110 percent in four.”
Among the highest affordability ratios are Washington County and Grand Isle County at 100 percent of median income, followed by Windham (101 percent), Windsor (106 percent), Bennington (111 percent), Addison (114 percent), Lamoille (133 percent) and Chittenden (139 percent.) Ratios are lower in the Northeast Kingdom, but still higher than Rutland County.
“In a nutshell, people can buy a home in Rutland County for dramatically less than in most of the state,” said Mary Cohen, executive director of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. “Add in our access to world-class recreation, arts, education and quality of life, and you get much more for the money.”
For many new residents, the price of a home is among many draws to Rutland County. For Savannah and Dan Crowther, buying a home in Rutland in April, after moving from Oregon, was a great experience.
“We found a beautiful home in a wonderful neighborhood that is affordable,” Savannah Crowther said. “Equally important, we have found Rutland and the region to be incredibly welcoming, and we already have developed a nice network of friends.”
Mary Cohen, RRCC, 802-773-2747
Sean Sargeant, 802-775-5916