Friday, July 19, 2019

Consider a home or year-round property in the Lakes Region

By Mel Oldakowski

For many people, creating family memories are on the top of the most important things to experience in their lives. Purchasing a home in the Maine woods or having waterfront property is the ultimate real estate experience. Perhaps more than any other type of purchase, a home with a view of the White Mountains or a waterfront property is as much about a lifestyle as it is about real estate investment.

Since both purchases can be complex, it’s important for quiet mountain view and/or waterfront
buyers to do their homework in advance with the help of their realtor.

Be sure to choose the right property or lake for your needs. Start by asking yourself why you are buying the home of your dreams. How do you intend to use the lake or mountain front getaway on an ideal weekend? Are you looking for water activities and a lake conducive to water skiing and wakeboarding? Are you looking for quiet time with family spent having bonfires, hiking the Maine woods and birdwatching?

If you’re a boater, water depths are essential elements to investigate before you purchase. Depths required for different boating preferences can vary widely.

Are you looking for a more intimate waterfront experience? If you want to go kayaking and canoeing and commune with nature, you'll dislike being on a big, busy lake with jet skis. Do you have fishing preferences? What other lifestyle needs do you have? These are the kinds of questions you want to ask and answer before you start your search.

If you are more of the exploring-nature-type, is the property near a preserve with plenty of space for wildlife, or near hiking or skiing destinations?

https://www.bhgre.com/Better-Homes-and-Gardens-Real-Estate-The-Masiello-Group-10865c/Mel-Oldakowski-4962147a?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=agent&utm_term=a4962147&referredByAgent=a4962147Are lake and mountain view properties a good investment? Location, location, location! One of the best investments you can make is either lake front or mountain view real estate. Market studies have been conducted that show these properties grow rapidly above the original purchase price. Both large and small, available lake and White Mountain view properties, rarely last in thriving real estate markets.

The annual appreciation of lake property rises each year. National average growth is around four percent compared to one or two percent with a standard property. As for the summer view of the White Mountains? You know that it is more than a view – it is an experience you become part of every day or every weekend - its ambiance is the very thing you came here for in the first place.

Are you financing a lakefront home? Whether you’re buying a waterfront primary home or a weekend lake cabin, you should connect with a good mortgage loan officer early in the process.
If you’re buying as a second property, you’ll work together to determine the best loan option available.

Another question to consider is: Can you live with an association? If the lake home you are considering is subject to an association, any potential buyer, with their realtor, should review the by-laws and regulations before making an offer.

Lastly, there is nothing more magical than spending time at a lake house or a quiet evening in the Maine woods. Living on or near the water or mountain views have more benefits than their inherent beauty. It can provide health benefits that soothe the soul and offer peace not found anywhere else. There’s nothing quite like a sunset at the lake or a bonfire, with the mountains in your backyard and memories they create.

For some reason, the colors and hues are more vibrant - redder reds, pinker pinks and bluer blues. Add in a few, puffy clouds and some pretty pines and you’ve got a gorgeous, naturally framed, postcard-perfect sunset. Lake life is the best life, whether it’s just during the summer or all year round!

If you're looking for lakefront or mountain view property, look no further! Contact me today to find out how I can help you turn your dream into a reality. Call me at 207-205-0121 or email me at Melsellsmaine@gmail.com


Friday, July 12, 2019

Three things to expect after you list your home

By Sarah Nielsen

When you list your home for sale, there is a lot that happens up front. Your REALTOR® sits with you and explains fair market value, takes photos of both the inside and outside of your home and advertises it for sale. Many people would expect the hard work to end there, but there are some inconveniences that you will have to endure as a seller before you can hand the keys off to your buyers on closing day. Below I explain three elements to the sale of your home that you may have overlooked in your excitement to get your listing out into the market.

You might feel like you live in a museum.
You have completed the work of cleaning and decluttering your home to have it looking extraordinary in your listing photos. You probably also moved some items into storage to ensure that every inch of your space is show-ready and appealing to potential buyers. What you might not have considered is how crucial maintaining that image is until the day that your home is sold to its new owners.

Your REALTOR® will likely call you at least once with a request to show your home on very little notice, and being the eager seller that you are, you will want to be accommodating; therefore, it’s critical that you maintain the cleanliness of your space at all times so that potential buyers get the best impression when they walk through your door.

Expect to hear critiques and criticism.    
Your home is a space where you have made memories, and more than likely you are proud of everything that has gone into building it to meet your needs. What you might not be prepared for is how critical potential buyers might be of aspects of your home with which you are perfectly content. To you, your space is a home, but to those mulling over whether to purchase it, it’s real estate without any sentimental value attached. While some feedback you receive may be hard to hear, remember that it’s not personal. Your REALTOR® can be a great buffer between you and potential buyers and will work to present the feedback in a way that is constructive and helpful.

There can be some additional expenses.
Once you accept an offer from someone who wants to buy your home, your initial excitement will likely cloud the reality of inspections, and the negotiations that will result from the findings. You may need to pay out of pocket to make repairs in order to get your home sold without decreasing the sale price that all parties agreed upon. Once you leap over that hurdle, you will need to wait for the appraisal that will determine your home’s value provided that your buyer is financing the purchase. If the appraisal determines that your home is worth less than the sale price, you will need to reopen negotiations.

Lastly, you will want to be mindful of your buyers’ final walk-through prior to closing. Your home should be in acceptable shape to hand over to them, and if it isn’t, you can plan to have to do some work to get it into the condition your buyers expected it to be in when they agreed to the purchase.
While listing your home is exciting, don’t make the mistake of thinking you will sail through to closing without any hurdles. Ensure that you are prepared for the inconveniences you will encounter along the way so that you don’t become overwhelmed during the process of getting your home sold.

           


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Windham commercial real estate zones

By Larry Eliason, Commercial Broker

Windham has a variety of zones that can accommodate commercial real estate development and businesses. Below is a summary of the zones that offer opportunities for commercial real estate development for retail, office, manufacturing, warehousing and agricultural uses.

C1 – Commercial Zone: This zone is designed to provide general retail sales, services and business space within the town in locations capable of conveniently servicing community-wide and/or regional trade areas, with safe, well-regulated automobile access and pedestrian access where appropriate.

A sample of permitted uses include; agriculture, retail sales automotive and outdoor, private warehousing, business and professional office, light and heavy industry, child care, construction services, hotel, motel, multi-family housing and housing for older persons, restaurant, bank, drive-through, convention center and auto repair.

https://www.19colbydrivewindhammaine.com/The C1 Commercial Zone is in many ways the Downtown of Windham. The Comprehensive Plan, 21st Century Downtown Plan and the WEDC Strategic Plan encourage having people live and work in the downtown. As an example, a new development on Anglers Road and Rt. 302 is close to receiving final approvals for multi-family housing in the C1 Zone.

C2 – Commercial Zone:  The intent of this district is to provide for a mixed commercial and residential zone as a buffer zone between the C1 Commercial Zone and the abutting residential areas.
A sample of permitted uses include; agriculture, fitness center, theater, restaurant, medical office, housing for older persons, recreational facility, motel, hotel, club, bank, convention center and drive thru.

C3 – Commercial Zone: The intent of the C3 Commercial Zone is to provide areas for a mixture of light, low-traffic generating commercial uses and single-family housing.

The biggest news about the C3 Commercial Zone is the recent addition of Contractor Services being allowed in the zone. This recent change as approved by the Windham Town Council, will allow tradesman like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc., to operate their contractor services businesses in the C3 Commercial Zone.

Historically, the zone has accommodated agriculture, business and professional office, service business landscaping, private warehousing, public warehousing, childcare and many home occupations.

I – Industrial District:  The intent of the Industrial District is for manufacturing, processing, treatment, research, warehousing, storage and distribution.

This zone allows agriculture, distribution center, industry light, industry heavy, mineral extraction, warehousing private, warehousing public, truck terminal and some home occupations to name a few. The Industrial Zone appears to be good candidate for adding Contractor Services and Construction Services.

Enterprise Development Zone:  The intent of the ED Zone is to provide a unique area within the town to allow manufacturing, processing, treatment, warehousing, storage, research and distribution with safe, well regulated vehicle access located off a major street.

Some of the permitted uses in the zone include, auction house, automobile auction facility, business and professional office, construction services, convention center, hotel, motel, light and heavy industry, warehousing private and warehousing public.

One of the biggest challenges in this zone is that it is accessed from Rt. 302 via Enterprise Drive, a non-signalized intersection. Windham could certainly use help from stakeholders such as our town leaders and staff, legislators, business and real estate owners and their employees, residents and others to seek a partnership with the MDOT to make a signalized light at Enterprise Drive a reality.
 
From an economic development perspective, there could be tens of millions in investment in this massive business park site if we only had a signalized light. A light would dramatically improve ingress and egress a well as make that intersection a lot safer for all as well.  And, it seems like agriculture would be a good candidate for this zone, especially for large scale agricultural operations.
Village Commercial Zone: The intent of this zone is to serve as a primarily residential area with a mix of stores, services and commercial enterprises. Several properties in this zone actually have access to public sewer, while the rest of town is served by private septic systems.

This zone allows agricultural, artist studio, assisted living facility, business and professional office, childcare, construction services, fitness center, medical office, light industry, restaurant, retail and sales and personal and commercial service businesses.

As a commercial real estate professional, I strongly recommend talking with town staff and other industry professionals before making a decision and/or a commitment to lease or buy commercial property in Windham or anywhere else.

Larry Eliason, Commercial Broker, www.ButtsCommercialBrokers.com

Friday, June 28, 2019

It’s a sizzling summer market

By Matt Trudell

The current real estate market is hotter than ever. Home sale prices are still trending up, and the lack of inventory makes this a great time to sell if you are so inclined to do so. There are several things you should do before listing your property for sale. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Picking the right REALTOR® can be challenging. Especially with the incredible influx of new sale agents over the last 18 months. It seems everyone knows a handful of REALTORS®, so how do you choose who is the right person for you to “work with”? 

Remember that you will be working together to achieve your goal. Having a REALTOR® that you feel comfortable working with is important. Experience (years or it) is very important in any transaction. Being able to work through problems and find creative solutions can save you thousands of dollars. Also, you want someone who’s primary job is real estate so that they are available to work with and for you. Quite often it becomes an issue if your REALTOR® is working their other job and is unavailable to you or to other agents who may be trying to set up a showing or get answers to questions their client has about your property. 
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Preparing your home to be listed can be overwhelming. Try to keep it simple and stay focused on these three things. One, declutter and box things up that you don’t use this time of year. Like that coat closet with the winter jackets, pack them up and put them away. This will help you keep your house clean and ready for showings with minimal effort. 

Second, take care of those little projects and repairs you have been putting off. Lack of maintenance screams that there could be bigger problems that have been avoided as well.  Building inspectors will point out these areas and how they can manifest into much bigger problems, which may scare off new home buyers and terminate a potential sale. 

Third, curb appeal and that first appearance buyers see when they arrive at your house is imperative. Although you might be proud of that Trump 2020 Flag, I would suggest taking it down while trying so sell so you don’t loose potential buyers who might be offended.

https://www.lpapplianceme.com/Pricing your home correctly in the beginning is very important. This reverts back to the first part regarding choosing the right REALTOR® who has plenty of experience and knows the market area well. It is important to look at a Market Analysis of similar sold homes in your area. Take the time to go over this with your REALTOR® and see why they made price adjustments for certain items. 

You also want to look at what your current competition is priced at and how does your home compare to those you are going to be competing with for buyers. Overpricing a home is one of the most common selling mistakes made. It not only limits your pool of buyers, but in today’s world of online marketing, buyer’s have a very good feel for what properties are worth and won’t waste their time looking at overpriced homes.

So, pick your REALTOR® wisely, get those projects finished up, and then get your house on the market while it’s still hot. 

This article was written by Matthew Trudel, Broker & Owner of Five Star Realty, Windham.
           

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cheap upgrades to help you fetch top dollar

By Rick Yost

So, you have finally decided to take advantage of these incredibly low interest rates.  You’re going to sell your house and trade up to the house of your dreams. Great choice, but now you have a dilemma.  You want top dollar for your house, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a house you are not going to stay in. There are some relatively cheap upgrades that you can do to your house that will help it show better and fetch top dollar.

The old adage, that the kitchen is the most important room in the house, has been dispelled by data collected by Zillow and presented in a new book “Zillow Talk”.  According to Zillow, the first and most important room to upgrade is the bathroom. The kitchen is still second, by the way.  (For record, I like the home search site Trulia.com better than Zillow.com.)

A bathroom can look significantly better for not much money. A pedestal sink and a new toilet seat go a long way. Vinyl tiles go down easy and can often go over the existing floor. Replacing chipped tiles and re-grouting give a clean appearance. For a bigger budget, install a pre-fabricated tub and surround insert over your existing tub. The bathroom can go from dungy eye-sore to enticing on the cheap.

The kitchen can use some cheap upgrade also. New cabinet hardware and an upscale faucet set can be installed for a couple hundred dollars. Mismatched appliances hurt home value. Order new doors or face panels from the manufacturer for a more appealing kitchen.   For a bigger budget, contact a company that replace cabinet doors and drawers. It is much cheaper than all new cabinets but can give the same effect. These are some cheap ways to turn your kitchen into an attractive heart of the home.
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The next three all go together for cheap ways to really improve the way your home looks.   Replace worn and dated carpets. The large home improvement chains are always running a deal on whole house installation. Paint dingy and marked walls. It is amazing what a can of paint can do.  Replace light fixtures with high efficiency, attractive pieces and throw in some accent lighting while you are at it.  You might not want to move after the painting, carpeting and lighting is done.

If you have those nagging problems that most households have-dripping faucet, flickering light, small roof leak, etc., hire a plumber, electrician, roofer, etc. to come in and take care of the issues.  Button up your little projects. A home inspector will find the issues and point them out.   Spend a little money now to avoid costly home sale negotiations later.

You don’t have to do all these projects - just do the ones that are most needed. With some frugal shopping, some elbow grease, and a few bucks, your house can look its best.  These cheap upgrades should get your house sold faster and for more money.

Rick is a REALTOR®, real estate author, and long-time Windham resident. You can reach Rick with any of your real estate questions or needs at rickyost63@gmail.com.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Four reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting

By Carrie Colby

Many people are wondering if now is the time to purchase their home. Below is a list of reasons why it is imperative to begin looking for your future home now.

1. Prices will continue to rise
CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer make sense.

2. Mortgage interest rates are projected to increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate
mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of REALTORS® are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either way, you are paying a mortgage
Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.
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Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s time to move on with your life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current
mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.


Friday, June 7, 2019

Home invaders: How it can affect the sale of your home

By Richie Vraux

They say that summer is just around the corner. I think we are all eagerly waiting for that to happen. While the weather starts getting warmer there are some things you should consider prior to listing your home on the market.

The local insects and rodents are gearing up to create havoc, making your home their own. They are looking for any easy passage to get in to make your lives miserable. While you are taking special care to make your home look it’s best, these little nuisances are working against you. Signs of ants and other insects along with mouse droppings will work against all your valiant efforts to keep your house clean.

There are, however, effective products out there that will keep them all at bay but be careful and read some of the harmful effects using these products can bring, especially the young children and your pets who live with you and play in the yard.

Of all the human cases of pesticide poisoning in the United States, half of them are under the age of six years old. Be careful of what you put on your lawns. There are many new products out there today that are children and pet safe. Make sure when buying these products to treat your lawns, trees and your home that they are safe for the environment – but just as importantly – safe for your children and pets.

There are natural plants and shrubbery that those pesky insects and rodents do not go near as they don’t like the smell. Some effective plants include spearmint and chives as well as other powerfully scented plants. Simply place the herbs on the outside perimeter of your home. Not only will it help prevent pests from making themselves comfortable in your home, but it will add beauty to the landscape as well as to your many summer recipes. It’s been my experience that these herbs work in pest prevention.

Keep your home in picture perfect condition-both inside and out- get it sold.

Richie Vraux is a Broker/ Realtor with more than 20+ years’ experience and a
team member with Maine’s Premier Team at Better Homes and Gardens- The Masiello Group.
Call Richie at 207-317-1297 if you need real estate advice.