Nov. 28, 2018

24% Of Renters Believe Winter Is The Best Time To Buy A Home

Buying a home in Maine during the winter

In real estate, (especially in Midcoast Maine) the spring is often seen as the ideal time to buy or sell a house. The term “Spring Buyer’s Season” exists for a reason, as renters and those looking to move on from their current home thaw out from the winter and hit the market ready to buy.

According to Bank of America’s annual Home Buyer Insights Report, 41% of renters surveyed agree that spring is the best time to buy a home. The surprising result, however, is that when ranking the seasons, winter comes in second at 24%.

24% of Renters Believe Winter is the Best Time to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

In many areas of the country, the spring and summer are the most competitive seasons for buyers. Here on the coast of Maine, we have our summer residents who add an increase and additional competition to this seasonal buying market.

Families with children often want to move over the summer to make sure that their kids are ready for school in the fall. This often leads those families who haven’t found homes to buy to push pause on their search in the fall and winter months.

This creates a great environment for buyers to find a home with less competition. According to moving.com, scheduling a move during the winter months also comes with the best price.

If you define ‘best’ by cost then, generally speaking, you are more likely to save on a move during the late September to April window. Demand for movers usually slows down during this time frame and rates are low.

There are also many benefits to listing your house for sale during the winter months as well!

As we recently mentioned, buyers who are out in the winter are serious about wanting to find a home, and there is traditionally less competition on the market which gives you greater exposure to those buyers.

Bottom Line

As always, the best time to buy or move all depends on each individual buyer or seller’s goals and needs. If you are one of the many who would like to make a move this winter, contact a Dwelling in Maine real estate professional who can help you create a plan to make it happen!

Nov. 26, 2018

Selling Your Home? Price it right up front!

Selling your home? Price it correctly up front.

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in Midcoast Maine, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.

Posted in Pricing, Seller Tips
Oct. 28, 2018

The #1 Reason To Not Wait Until Spring To Sell Your House

Don't wait until spring to sell your Maine home

Many home sellers in Maine believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!

The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Keeping Current Matters

As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February). This is especially true on the coast of Maine.

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Keeping Current Matters

In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’ or casual summer buyers. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping!

Bottom Line

If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, talk with a Dwelling in Maine real estate professional who can help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.

Posted in Pricing, Seller Tips
Aug. 8, 2018

Office Space for Rent in Camden Maine

900 square foot office available in a first class building in downtown Camden, Maine

 

Direct access from Route 1.

Rent includes heat & electricity.

Private kitchenette.

Elevator in building.

Very nice common area.

Private parking lot.

 

For more information, call-text Chuck Brawn at (207) 975-5139 or send him an email

 

Side Entry

Office Space

Office Space View 2

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