Vermont, aka Green Mountain State, is a state in the New England region of the United States known to be a popular retirement destination for many New Yorkers. With plenty to offer year-round, the Green Mountain State boasts phenomenal occupancy rates regardless of the season. Although relatively small in size (ranking 45th among US states), Vermont welcomes approximately 13 million visitors a year.
Many tourists and a low crime rate have made Vermont a popular state for investors. However, Vermont has over 230 cities and nine towns, which makes it difficult to choose a location that can guarantee high incomes. In this guide, we explore six real estate markets recognized by Vermont realtors as the best in Vermont to help you make a more informed decision.
Burlington is a quaint little town on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. Although relatively small (with a population of 42,645 in 2020), it is Vermont’s most populous city. Burlington has a thriving arts scene, four colleges, and a vibrant community with plenty of activities for its residents. Fun fact: Burlington became the first city in the United States to run entirely on renewable energy in 2015. Home to the University of Vermont (founded in 1791) and Champlain College (1878), the city is teeming with students seeking lease. According to Burlington VT real estate agents, rent here averages $1,584, while the median sale price is $325,000. As a landlord, you can expect around seven leads per property and no more than 22 days on the rental market.
Just a 30-minute drive from Burlington, the small town of Jericho (2020 population 5,104) ranks as the best place to live with locals in Green Mountain State. The city prides itself on its many family-friendly amenities, such as one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the state and highly rated schools. Foreclosure activity in Jericho is low, which means most homeowners are managing to meet their mortgage obligations. The current median listing price for homes in Jericho is $569,000, with forecasts predicting it will rise in the future.
Stowe is a town in Lamoille County with a 2020 population of 5,223, dubbed “The Skiing Capital of the East”. Home to Stowe Mountain Resort with 40 miles of skiable terrain, Stowe is one of the best places in the United States to invest in winter homes. While the town is popular with downhill skiers in winter, it attracts thousands of tourists from summer to fall with its spectacular mountain views and breathtaking hiking trails, which translates with attractive rental income. The median home value in Stowe is $429,000, with an annual change of 4%.
Even with the highest number of foreclosures in the state, Vermont’s third-largest city, Rutland (15,807 at the 2020 census) has a relatively stable housing market. Median home prices have not increased in recent years as in other regions, but median days on the market have decreased significantly. Demand remains in line with rising inventory, even with available foreclosed homes, and could exceed it as more people leave neighboring states and move to Vermont. Meeting current demand and seeing high returns on investment is entirely possible, especially if you can buy homes in the pre-foreclosure stage. The median home price in Rutland is $244,500.
The population of Charlotte, a city in Chittenden County, was 3,912 at the 2020 census. Charlotte is just a 25-minute drive from Burlington, making it a perfect location for people who want to combine the excellent business opportunities offered by a big city with the virtues of peaceful provincial life. Charlotte is home to many artists and has some of the highest rated schools in Vermont. The median home value in Charlotte is $605,000. This city is also a good choice for a rental investment: the median rent there is $1,692, which is higher than the national average.
With a population of over 17,500, Colchester is the second most populous city in Vermont. It’s directly north of Burlington on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, west of the Green Mountains. There are three apparent reasons why Colchester is an attractive property investment destination:
- The job market. Two of Vermont’s largest cities near each other offer excellent job opportunities, inviting more people to move here. Colchester has an unemployment rate of 6%, while the US average is 6.0%.
- Saint Michael’s College. Colchester is home to Saint Michael’s College. As of spring 2018, there were nearly 1,600 undergraduates, 80% of them out of state, which means rentals are always in demand.
- Popular hiking destination. Many tourists come to the area for its excellent hiking trails and the exceptional beauty of Lake Champlain.
The median house price in Colchester is $449,000, while the median monthly rent is $1,950.
It is always a smart move to partner with a professional real estate agent when reviewing investment properties. Real estate agents can help you develop a viable strategy for building your portfolio. Plus, real estate professionals can help you connect with the best contractors you’ll need in the Vermont real estate buying process.