Friday, July 28, 2023

Real Estate: Commercial Leasing Basics

By Larry Eliason

A commercial lease for any business can be a large expense and commitment for any business. Commercial leases are a lot different from residential leases as they have provisions that could impact your business from an economic standpoint to the practical use of the space.

Whether it is for a small office, retail, warehouse, commercial garage or a ground lease, a Tenant should perform some due diligence to assure that the space and the site are properly zoned for the proposed use. In many towns, Building and Life Safety Codes will certainly be part of the discussion for occupancy.

Below you will see some highlights of what to expect in a commercial lease agreement.

AGREEMENT of Lease made this 28th day of July 2023, by and between 123, LLC (hereinafter “Landlord”) and XYZ, LLC (Hereinafter “Tenant”).


That Landlord for and in consideration of the rent reserved, covenants and agreements hereinafter set forth to be kept, observed, and performed by Tenant, has demised and leased, and does hereby demise and let unto Tenant…

1. Description Leased Premises. Landlord does hereby lease and rent unto Tenant, one commercial building…

2. Terms. The term of this Lease shall be for a period of Five (5) years commencing on July 28, 2023…

3. Rental. Tenant agrees to pay to Landlord as rent, the sums as set forth in Schedule “A”…

4. Renewal. At the expiration of the term of this Lease, said Lease may be renewed at the option of the Tenant for two (5) year options on the same terms and conditions of this Lease excluding as to rent…

5. Security Deposit. Upon the execution of this Lease, Tenant shall pay to Landlord the sum of $ 000.00, which may be held by Landlord throughout the term of this Lease…

6. Specific Use. The Tenant may use the Demised Premises for Commercial Uses allowed by Local and State Laws…

7. Personal Property Taxes. Tenant will pay all personal property taxes levied or assessed in respect of the personal property and trade fixtures on the Demised Premises belonging to or used by the Tenant.

8. Real Estate Taxes. Tenant shall pay all real estate taxes assessed against the Demised Premises.

9. Insurance by Landlord. Tenant shall, at his expense, maintain extended fire insurance protection for the Demised Premises.

10. Insurance by Tenant. Tenant shall maintain, at his/her expense, insurance protection for his/her own personal property and his/her leasehold improvements…

11. Utilities - Refuse. Tenant shall, at his/her expense, provide for reasonable electricity used or consumed in/at the Demised Premises…

12. Verification of Expenses. N/A

13. Assignment - Sublease. Tenant shall have the right to sublet the Demised Premises or any part thereof to any person with Landlord’s express written consent, which shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed…

14. Signs. Tenant may not place any signs on the building or in or on windows or doors without Landlord’s express written consent…

15. Alterations and Improvements. Tenant will not make any interior or exterior improvements, modifications or alterations to the Demised Premises without the prior written approval of the Landlord…

16. Trade Fixtures. All trade fixtures including shelving, light fixtures, and other equipment installed by and at the expense of Tenant shall remain the property of Tenant…

17. Repairs and Maintenance. Tenant shall repair, renovate and maintain at its expense the Demised Premises including interior non-structural portions thereof and plate glass in as good order…

18. Indemnity - Security. Tenant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Landlord from and against all claims and demands of whatever nature arising from or caused by any act, omission or negligence of Tenant or of Tenant’s contracts, licensees, invitees, guests, agents, servants or employees…

19. Maintenance of Common Areas - Contribution. Landlord shall cause all common areas in the building of which the Demised Premises are a part, including the walkways and parking lot and to be maintained in good repair and condition…

20. Access. Landlord shall have access to the Demised Premises during reasonable hours for the purpose of insuring compliance with this Lease…

21. Requirements of Law - Insurance Rates. Tenant shall comply with all laws, orders, ordinances and regulations of Federal, State, County and Municipal authorities and with any direction of any public officer or officials pursuant to law, which shall impose any duty, obligations or limitation upon Tenant with respect to the Demised Premises or the use thereof…

22. Insurance. Insofar as and to the extent that the following provision may be effective without invalidating or making it impossible to secure insurance coverage obtainable from responsible insurance companies doing business in Maine, the Landlord and Tenant mutually agree that with respect to any loss which is covered by insurance then being carried by them respectively…

23. Fire Clause. If the Demised Premises or the building in which the Demised Premises are located during the terms of this lease be so destroyed or damaged by fire or other unavoidable casualty as to render the Demised Premises or any portions thereof unfit for occupancy, then the rent herein before reserved…

24. Condemnation. If any portion of the Demised Premises shall be condemned for any public use by any legally constituted authority, then is such event as to said portion of the Demised Premises, this Lease shall terminate from the time when possession it take of such public authority and the rents herein reserved from said portion of the Demised Premises shall be abated as of the date of the surrender of possession is taken by such public authority….

25. Default and Landlord’s Remedies. It is covenanted and agreed that if the Tenant shall neglect or fail to perform or observe any of the covenants, terms, provisions or conditions contained in the Lease on his part to be performed or observed, or if the estate hereby created shall be taken on execution or by other process of law, or if the Tenant shall be declared bankrupt or insolvent according to law…

26. Subordination. This Lease is and shall be subordinate to the lien of any mortgage or mortgages, which are now or may hereafter be placed on the premises of which the Demised Premises are a part…

27. Waiver. Failure of Landlord to complain of any act or omission on the part of the other, no matter how long the same may continue, shall not be deemed to be a waiver by Landlord of any of his rights hereunder…

28. Quiet Enjoyment. So long as Tenant pays the rent and performs the covenants required of if hereunder, Tenant may peacefully hold and enjoy the premises during the term…

29. General. This Lease shall inure to and be binding upon the respective successors, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns of the Landlord and Tenant. This Lease is made in and shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Maine…

30. Notices. Whenever by the terms of this Lease, notice shall or may be given either to the Landlord or to the Tenant, such notice shall be in writing and shall be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid to Landlord’s and Tenant’s addresses as set forth above…

31. Late Fee. All rent payments received after the 10th of each month will be subject to a 5% late fee of the total rent.

32. Addendum. See addendum “A” for additional agreements.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Landlord and Tenant have caused this lease to be executed in, duplicate under seal the day and year first above written.

SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED, This 28th day of July 2023. Landlord and Tenant signatures…

Tenants today should consider engaging a Commercial Real Estate Agent Broker assist them with the leasing process including market conditions so expectations can be met.

And in most cases, a Real Estate Attorney should also be engaged to review and negotiate some of the terms of the lease agreement depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the lease. <

Larry Eliason, Commercial Broker may be reached by cell: 207-415-2112 or via email:

Friday, July 21, 2023

Real Estate: Seven ways to use essential oils in your home

 Submitted by Richie Vraux

There are a ton of reasons to incorporate essential oils into your family's daily lives. Not only can they infuse every room with uplifting scents, but many also have medicinal and anti-bacterial properties. This makes them perfect for treating common ailments and cleaning your home without dangerous chemicals.

When you're first getting started with using essential oils, it can feel a bit intimidating. However, once you understand the ways to use them around your home, you'll see just how easy it is. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

1. Freshen the Air
Make a homemade air freshener spray by combining half a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, 10 to 20 drops of your favorite oil, and water. Use a dark-colored glass spray bottle to help keep the oils from breaking down or oxidizing.

Orange, grapefruit, and lemon are popular scents to use in the kitchen and bathroom. If you like a stronger smell, try using peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus.

2. Deter Bugs and Rodents
If you don't feel great about using pesticides or poisons in your home, you're in luck. Peppermint essential oil deters ants, spiders, mosquitoes, and even mice. Dab some on your skin, clothing, and furniture to keep pests away. You can also soak cotton balls with the oil and leave them in the areas in your home where these unwelcome guests are likely to enter.

3. Wash Fruits and Veggies
Most fruits and vegetables are covered in harmful pesticides and germs from all the hands that have touched them before reaching your kitchen. Plain water isn't effective, and store-bought veggie washes are expensive. Instead, make your own by mixing apple cider vinegar, baking soda, water, and ten drops of lemon essential oil. Store the mix in a glass spray bottle for convenient use.

4. Make Bath Time More Relaxing
Adding essential oils to your bath is one of the best ways to relax and unwind after a long day. Start by filling your tub with warm water, then add a mixture of either a few tablespoons of olive oil or two cups of unscented Epsom salts with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Some of the best oils for bath time include jasmine, sandalwood, rose, or lavender.

5. Clean and Disinfect
The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties of essential oils make them perfect for including in homemade cleaners. Try mixing lemon, sweet orange, lavender, melaleuca, or tea tree oils with diluted castile soap. For a stronger cleaner, combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 30 drops of essential oil like wild orange, eucalyptus, a mix of grapefruit and lavender, or a protective blend like Thieves.

6. Natural Headache Relief
Essential oils also help ease headaches. Mix almond oil with a drop or two of chamomile, frankincense, rosemary, or lavender essential oil. Rub the blend on your temples, back of your neck, and pulse points. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and watch your headache pain disappear.

7. Get a Better Night's Sleep
Lavender is known for its relaxing properties, making it the perfect oil to diffuse right before bedtime. You can also mix it in a spray bottle with water and spray a fine mist on your bedsheets or pillowcases. Some users also like to soak a cotton ball with a few drops of lavender oil and keep it in their pajama drawer.

This is just the beginning of the incredible things you can do with essential oils. Don't be afraid to experiment with more fun projects like making your own hand lotions, dryer sheets, candles, and more. Once you start to get comfortable, the possibilities are virtually endless! <
Richie Vraux is a Realtor/ Broker with Better Homes and Gardens-The Masiello Group 76 Tandberg Trail, Windham. Call Richie for a free written evaluation at 207-317 1297 or by email at

Friday, July 14, 2023

Real Estate: Average vs Median Pricing

By Lisa DiBiase

What is happening to the local Greater Portland real estate market? This actually can be a challenge, especially as numbers and reports are published frequently, and in so many different places.

This is especially true when it comes to getting your arms around pricing and value. There is a big difference in “average” price vs “median” price when it comes to looking at what has sold recently. In many cases not spending time to dig through the details can lead to bad interpretations of the market.

For most buyers, price by itself is not the only key factor when a purchase is being considered. This is because most buyers compare the features and benefits of other properties and do not simply make their purchase decision based solely on a property's price. In essence when a purchase situation arises, price is one of several variables that buyers evaluate when they mentally assess a property's overall value.

As a reminder, the median is the midpoint, which is something completely different from the average. A rise in the median does not necessarily indicate an overall increase in prices across the board. Rather, it is reflective of more activity at higher price ranges than had been experienced in the recent past - just as a lower price would be indicative of the opposite.

Considering our low inventory of properties for sale, sellers who are thinking of listing their homes are positioned to sell quickly. A sense of urgency has driven traditional buyers hoping to take advantage of still-affordable home prices and still relatively low mortgage rates. Buyers found selection limited and were often forced into bidding wars with investors and other buyers. Sellers are reaping the rewards in terms of quick sales, mostly above the asking price.

In this type of environment, it is important for sellers not to infer home value from overall changes in market price. Rather, they need to focus on what is happening in their particular marketplace, and to ensure that they can provide value to prospective buyers if they do indeed want to get their homes sold. In the broadest of senses, pricing should be viewed as a marketing tool aimed at attracting the widest range of potential buyers.

As I have said since the beginning, please call a local REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances. <

Lisa DiBiase is a Broker/Owner. She and her company represent buyers and sellers in the Greater Portland area. For all your real estate needs contact Lisa at 207-653-0823 or email

Friday, July 7, 2023

Real Estate: Summer safety tips from Farmers Insurance and The American Red Cross

Submitted by Jonathan Priest

What’s your plan for this summer? Enjoying the water? Going camping? Firing up the grill? Whatever you prefer, we have safety steps to follow. And don’t forget your furry friends. There are steps you can take to help keep them safe too.
Preventing unsupervised access to water, providing constant, active adult supervision and knowing how to swim are critical layers of protection to help prevent drowning.
Classes to learn how to swim are available for both children and adults. Check the internet for Learn-to-Swim providers in your community. Everyone should learn first aid and CPR too, so they know what to do in an emergency.
Download the Red Cross Swim app, sponsored by The ZAC Foundation, for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course in English or in Spanish.
It’s best to swim in a lifeguarded area. Always designate a “water watcher” whose sole responsibility is to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
Drowning behavior is typically fast and silent. Unless rescued, a drowning person will last only 20 to 60 seconds before submerging. Reach or throw, don't go! In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don't go in or you could become a victim yourself.
It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. For additional information about staying safe while swimming in larger bodies of water like oceans or lakes, review our beach safety tips below.

Learn how to reduce the risks so your family can enjoy swimming in open water, such as the ocean and
large lakes:
Watch the weather and get out of the water at the first sign of lightning or the rumble of thunder. Stay indoors and away from water for 30 minutes after the last lightning flashes or thunder roars.
Swim only at a beach with a lifeguard, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards and ask them about local conditions.
As when swimming or relaxing in a pool or hot tub, always designate a “water watcher” whose sole responsibility is to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
Protect your neck – don’t dive in headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life.
If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then, turn and swim to shore. If you can't swim to shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore. Draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.

If a camping trip is in your plans, know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Plan accordingly.
Pack a first aid kit to handle insect stings, sprains, cuts and bruises and other injuries that could happen to someone in your group. Take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR course and download a First Aid app so that you will know what to do in case help is delayed. You’ll learn how to treat severe wounds, broken bones, bites and stings and more.
Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face. Falls are the biggest threat, many due to poor decision-making, lack of skill or not being properly prepared. Dehydration is also a danger. Plan ahead for these dangers.
Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor, or friend.
Bring nutritious food items and water, light-weight clothing to layer and supplies for any pets. 

This article was brought to you courtesy of Farmers Insurance agent, Jonathan Priest, with an office at 57 Tandberg Trail, Suite 7, Windham. Call him at 207-893-8184 or send him an email at