April 21, 2018

Land for sale on Megunticook Lake

Calling all nature and Maine lake lovers! Rare opportunity to own 18+ surveyed and private acres with 793+/- feet of frontage on desirable Megunitcook Lake. This building site with old stone walls has been surveyed, cleared, underground power and generator hook up is in place, has septic design, waterfront set-back lines marked, driveway in place and trails to the waterfront set. This is the perfect opportunity to watch loons and other wildlife, boat from your dock, and have your very own private fishing hole. Bring your dreams and home plans!

 

 

FMI about the land at 49 Hope Road in Lincolnville Maine, please click here.

March 18, 2018

How big of a chandelier do you need for a room?

Ever wonder how to calculate the size of your chandelier?  

 

Measure the length and width of your room then add those figures together. The sum of those two numbers is the approximate recommended diameter of your chandelier in inches.

 

 Example

12′-0″ + 20′-0″ = 32′-0″

Result as Inches = 32″

Correct Size Fixture = 32″ diameter

 

Chandelier can add to your room, give it character, and set the mood. Additionally, changing out light fixtures to more modern pieces can enhance the selling value of your home. 

Posted in Seller Tips, Staging
Feb. 28, 2018

Infographic: Home Inspection Checklist for Sellers

As a home seller, are you prepared for the home inspection (building inspection)?

The buyer home inspection is one of the most critical stages of a real estate transaction and is often the contract item that causes the most anxiety for both the buyer and seller. By properly preparing for your real estate home inspection, you can avoid some problems that raise flags in the inspection report or complicate the sale of your home.

We’ve put together a home inspection checklist to help you go into the home inspection and minimize potential snags. 

Infographic: Home Inspection Checklist

 

Routine maintenance is an easy way to keep up with minor problems and prevent them from turning into bigger problems.

Outside the home:

  1. Repair masonry on steps, foundation, and chimney.

  2. Re-caulk around doors and windows and check any weather stripping.

  3. Check flashing and replace any missing shingles. 

  4. Replace any broken glass

  5. Make sure all windows open, shut and lock.

Inside the home:

  1. Have furnace cleaned and a current inspection tag hung from the unit.

  2. Have fireplaces, wood stoves, and chimneys cleaned.

  3. Check for and repair any leaky faucets.

  4. Re-caulk and re-grout around sinks, tubs and toilets.

  5. Check all regular outlets and GFI outlets to be sure they are functioning properly.

  6. Make sure all appliances that are selling with the property are in working order and service if necessary.

  7. Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and install new batteries

  8. Have water filtration systems (especially for wells) serviced and have service records available.

On inspection day, make your house shine! Make sure it is clean and that all doors, windows and utility rooms/basements are accessible. You want to make sure the inspector likes your home and does not becoming frustrated while inspecting it.

Allow ample time for the inspection and plan to be away from your home during the inspection. Also, make plans for your pets to be out of the home or contained. An inspection can be stressful for them. Typical buyer home inspections last 2-3 hours but can be more-or-less depending on size of home and any other inspections (like water tests and radon tests) that may be conducted at the same time.

Taking these steps can go a long way towards preventing issues that can negatively affect the home inspection and make buyers less confident in their purchase. It can also impact your final selling price as buyers often use the inspection to renegotiate the final selling price.

We all want your sale to go smoothly. If you would like more information please feel free to contact us.

Want to know how much money your Maine Home is worth on today’s market? Our online property valuation tool will give you an initial estimate. A Dwelling in Maine real estate agent can provide you with a more accurate price after viewing your home features, renovations, fixtures, and condition.

 

Feb. 23, 2018

Homeownership Workshop: March 6, 2018

Questions about homeownership? Thinking about investing?

Join us March 6, 2017 at 6pm at the The Crosby Center for an educational and informative homeowners workshop. This is a complimentary experience where a panel of industry professionals will be presenting and answering your questions. Join us: Su Leigh with Gateway Title, Nicole Hotchkin with Camden National Bank, & Jasie Lee Costigan with Dwelling in Maine.

 

Our partners: 

Our Town Belfast, Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, The Crosby Center

Gateway Title of Maine, Inc., Camden National Bank, Dwelling in Maine: Real Estate Company

 

 

Feb. 7, 2018

Radon: Testing the Air Quality in your home

Real Estate Home Inspection: Radon TestingWhether you own your own home or rent a house or apartment here in coastal Maine (or anywhere), you should be aware of the air quality in your living space.  Specifically, the presence of radon gas can be a health hazard.  Like most hazards in the home, radon can be mitigated fairly easily.

We recommend a three step process for dealing with radon or most any potential hazard in your home.  The three simple steps are: 1) Learn 2) Test; and 3) Act. 

There is a lot of great literature available about radon online.  Dozens of private sites offer information.  The State of Maine’s website, maine.gov, has several pages devoted to radon and to Maine’s specific guidelines.

After a little basic research, you will see that radon is present almost everywhere and is not unsafe at low levels.  Most any home can have radon in the air.  

Additionally, if you get your drinking water from a well, there can be high levels of radon in the water.  If there is a high level in radon in your water, anytime you run the washing machine or turn on a facet, the radon is released from the water and is emitted into the air.  This is a process called “off gassing.”  If you have municipal water, it is the responsibility or the city or town to be sure that the water entering your home does not have high levels of radon.

Testing your home is fairly simple but it does take time and there is a cost associated with testing.  First, it is important to contact a qualified professional.  Using a Maine Registered Radon Tester ensures that the person doing the testing is fully educated and competent to administer the test.  

After you have selected a professional to administer the test, you will need to observe “closed house” conditions for several hours prior to testing and for the entire testing period which is generally a couple of days.  “Closed house” conditions mean that all exterior doors and windows are closed except for normal entering and exiting of the living space.  Because of the closed house requirement, you may try to avoid testing during the hottest periods of the year.

If you have a well, the same Registered Radon Tester can test your water.  This test simply requires running the water for a few minutes and collecting a water sample which is sent to a lab for testing.

After the tests are done, you will receive written results within a few days.  The written test results will give you a specific number of the amount radon in the air and in the water along with state and federal guidelines.  It is important to thoroughly read the test results and put the exact number into the context of your family and your own health.

Fully understanding the test results is crucial.  For example, the EPA says that a level below 4 pCi/L of radon in air is acceptable.  However, the State of Maine says that a level between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L warrants further research and consideration.

Because the data can be confusing, use the Radon Tester who did the testing as a resource.  Ask him or her specific questions.  If you have a history of cancer or have very young children in the home, you may not be comfortable with a level that is higher than 2 pCi/L but less than 4 pCi/L.  Conversely, an adult family with no health issues may be perfectly content with any level less than 4 pCi/L.

In preparing this article, we spoke with John Howard from Breakwater Inspections.  John is a certified Home Inspector and a Maine Registered Radon Tester.  He summed up the process of radon testing into this simple quote: “Radon testing is a simple process that is not intrusive on you or your family.  The test is usually conducted in the basement with either a small monitoring machine or two small canisters.  The devices are left to sample the air for two days then retrieved by the Radon Tester.  Should the levels be above an acceptable range, radon mitigation can usually be completed relatively easily.”

As REALTORS, we want to be your primary resource for any questions about housing or home ownership.  We have the basic information on most all major issues and can refer you to specific experts for specific issues such as radon.

We would love to hear your thoughts and questions about radon or any other housing related topic.  Feel free contact us any time.

 

This article was prepared by Chuck Brawn. A real estate broker here at Dwelling In Maine.
Posted in Buyer Tips, Seller Tips
Dec. 21, 2017

First Snow on the Maine Coast

Winter is a gorgeous time of year along the coast of Maine. Often people who visit during the summer can't imagine living here in the winter months. The winter however, brings a sense of peace, calmness and beauty to the Midcoast Maine area.

#LoveWhereYouDwell 

 

 

https://youtu.be/MeJd8Rr1a5I

Nov. 30, 2017

FAQ: Home Loan Pre-qualification vs. Pre-approval

What does it mean when your real estate brokers asks if you are qualified or pre-approved for a home loan?

Getting a home loan can be cumbersome. Finding right loan product and lender can be confusing to first time buyers as well as to seasoned buyers. We want to help make getting and understanding home loans and buying a home in Maine a little easier.  

 

Home Loan Pre-qualification 

Getting prequalified is truly the first step when searching for a home. You supply basic financial information, such as your income, assets, and debts to a local loan officer. The lender then reviews the information you provided and will ask you a few questions. In a relatively short amount of time the lender will provide you with a preliminary estimate of the amount of home loan you qualify for. This would be your pre-qualification. 

Home Loan Pre-Approval

Pre-approval involves a more in-depth look at your finances. This process is more time consuming but also brings you closer to determining your potential interest rate and monthly home loan payment. T Being pre-approved also puts you in a better position to purchase a home because it shows you have your finances in order. A Pre-Approval letter from your loan officer will help tell home sellers that they have a qualified buyer interested in their home.  

Finding your loan

The best place to start is having an open conversation with a qualified loan officer who can assist you with choosing the right home loan for your goals and financial situation.  If you're ready to explore home loans in Midcoast Maine or to get prequalified, please contact us. We'll help match you to a local lender that will fit your needs and personality. 

Looking for more information on home loans? Learn about fixed rate loans vs. adjustable rate loans here. 

 

Nov. 28, 2017

FAQ: Amortized Loan Vs. Fixed Rate Loan

What does it mean when the lender asks if you want an adjustable rate or fixed rate mortgage?

Getting a home loan can be cumbersome. Finding the rate loan can be confusing to first time buyers as well as for seasoned buyers. We want to help make getting and understanding home loans in Maine a little easier.  

Fixed and adjustable rate mortgages generally operate as their respective names imply but let's break it down a little more. 

Fixed Rate Loans

A fixed rate loans stays at the same interest rate and monthly payment for the entire life of the loan. This allows you to have a consistent monthly payment that you can budget and plan for. Most of the first time home buyer programs offer a fixed rate loan. Generally speaking we find most buyers purchase their homes with fixed rate home loans. 

Adjustable Rate Loans

The adjustable rate (ARM) home loan may start off with a lower payment, but the interest rate can increase after a predetermined period of time and/or can adjusted based upon on market conditions. The terms for the rate changes (adjustments) are typically predetermined within the loan conditions.  There are many good reasons to choose an ARM loan including initially smaller monthly payments or lower initial interest rates that appeal to people who plan to refinance their loans in the near future. 

Finding your loan

The best place to start is having a honest conversation with a qualified loan officer who can assist you with choosing the right home loan for your goals and financial situation.  If you're ready to explore home loans in Midcoast Maine and to get prequalified, please contact us. We'll help match you to a local lender that will fit your needs and personality. 

 

Nov. 9, 2017

Camden Hills Hiking: Live here and have hiking in your backyard

Great new video that we put out on social media showing a hike leading thru Camden Hills to an outcrop overlooking Camden Maine and out towards the Penobscot Bay.

I have to say one of the best things about living near Camden Hills State Park is the sheer ability to head up for a quick hike during lunch break or on the weekends. 

#LoveWhereYouDwell

Trail Map of Camden Hills State Park 

 

 

 

June 25, 2017

Where Do Sellers Get the Listing Price for a House?

 

Question: "I have been looking at houses for sale in coastal Maine, and I see that most of them include a listing price for the property. How do the sellers come up with the listing price for a home, and is it always negotiable?"

Let me start with the second part of your question, because it's the quickest and easiest to answer.

Yes, you can negotiate the listing price when buying a house. As the expression goes, everything in real estate is negotiable. But a lot depends on the type of market you are in, and how realistic (or unrealistic) the asking price is. For instance, in a sellers' market -- one with limited inventory and strong demand -- you won't have as much leverage to negotiate the price. But in a buyers' market, you'll have move negotiating leverage.

Additionally, you have to consider the current market value of the house, and how closely the seller's listing price matches that value.  

Where do sellers get the listing price of their home

Asking Price vs. Sale Price

In real estate, the listing price is also referred to as the asking price. The second term is actually more indicative of the seller's mindset. It's the amount they are asking for ... but it's not necessarily the amount they'll get.

When a home is ultimately sold, the selling amount is referred to as the sale price. This is what somebody actually paid for the house. In many cases, the sale price will be lower than the original listing amount, because the seller reduced it at some stage. So yes, it's negotiable.

 

How the Listing Price is Determined

If the sellers are smart (or if they've hired a smart agent to list the house), they'll base the listing price on recent sales in their area of Midcoast Maine.  In particular, they will find out what similar homes have been selling for over the last few months. These are referred to as comps, short for comparable sales. This kind of data shows the seller what the market is willing to bear, in terms of the asking price. They might even have the house appraised by a licensed Maine real estate appraiser, who will conduct a similar analysis of market trends.

But not all sellers are this rational. Some of them base the listing price on what they paid for the home a few years ago. Or they'll use some arbitrary annual percentage to "force" appreciation on the home, even in a declining market. Or they'll price the home for the exact amount needed to pay off their mortgage. These are common pricing strategies among sellers, but they're all equally flawed. Recent sales and pricing trends are the primary factors that determine market value -- everything else is wishful thinking.

 

Keep these things in the back of your mind when looking at homes for sale. If you're working with a Dwelling in Maine real estate agent, he or she can help you review recent sales in the area. This is the key to evaluating the seller's listing price.

I hope this answers your question about listing prices for real estate, and I wish you all the best in your housing search.