12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making Real Estate Fun!

When you see happy new first time homebuyers, this job is really fun!!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Finding Financing

Once a contract becomes binding, you probably will have to arrange for financing. Depending on the terms of the contract, the purchase of the home may be contingent on your being able to get financing at certain terms by a certain date.

The REALTOR® might provide you a list of lenders. Most home buyers get loans through savings institutions and mortgage bankers and, to a lessor extent, from commercial banks, credit unions, or other private sources. In some cases, the seller may be willing to offer financing. Sellers often can offer a loan to a buyer at a competitive interest rate and attractive terms. Check on specifics.

Types of loans
In general, three broad categories of loans are available:

Private versus government loans - Most mortgage loans are made by savings institutions, banks and mortgage companies. On government (FHA and VA) loans, the government does not actually loan the money but rather guarantees (or insures) to repay the lender if you default for some reason. Generally, a lender will require you to buy mortgage insurance, particularly if you make a low down payment. This insurance may be paid at closing or added to the loan amount. VA loans require no mortgage insurance, but only qualified veterans may apply for them. Mortgage insurance protects the lender, to a degree, in the event of default.
Government loans have important advantages - they generally require a lower down payment than conventional loans and often have a lower interest rate or points. One the down side, government loans limit the amount you can borrow, often take longer to process, and sometimes have higher closing costs.

Fixed rate versus adjustable rate - On a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same over the life of the loan, usually 15 or 30 years. That means your payment will not change except for adjustments for taxes and insurance.
Adjustable rate mortgages go by a variety of names, but basically these loans have interest rates or monthly payments that can go up or down over time. These mortgages typically start out with a lower interest rate, lower monthly payments, and lower fees and points than fixed rate mortgages. They often appeal to first-time home buyers, younger couples who expect their incomes to grow in the coming years, and people who might not have much cash for down payment and closing costs.

If you consider an adjustable rate mortgage, ask the lender to explain the terms fully. Ask about the interest rate cap; the maximum rate you will be charged no matter how high rates go in the market. Don't confuse rate cap with payment cap. When the payment is not enough to cover interest, the excess interest is added to your principal balance, so your debt increases instead of decreases. Also ask about the index that will be used to calculate future interest rates and how index charges will affect your mortgage.

Assumable versus new loan - Some loans, particularly FHA and VA loans as well as some adjustable rate mortgages, are assumable. That means a buyer can assume an existing loan usually on the same terms as the previous owner.
Assuming a loan may save some costs and time. As the buyer, you may pay the lender a fee at closing for processing the assumption.

The true price of financing
When shopping for a loan, don't judge the loan by the interest rate alone. Compare several items in the entire loan package, including:

Points on a low-interest-rate loan can be double those for a loan with a higher interest rate, causing you to pay more up front and in cash.

Total fees charged by the lender. Some lenders will absorb the cost of many services, while other do not, so ask in advance.

Term. In general, the longer the life of the loan and the more fixed the payment, the more you can expect to pay over the life of the loan. For example, a 30-year, fixed-rate loan will cost more in interest than a 15-year, fixed-rate loan.

Penalties. Ask what penalties will be charged if you pay off the note early. A prepayment clause could require you to pay a penalty if you pay off the loan early, such as refinancing the loan at a later time.
Loan approval process
When you apply for a loan, the lender will ask about your finances. You will already have most of the facts and figures in the financial information you compiled earlier. The process can take several weeks.

From the lender's viewpoint, approving the loan is only part of the risk; the other part is the property itself. The lender may require an appraisal to verify that the home is worth the loan as well as a physical survey to discover any encroachments on the property. Repairs may be required. Insurance must be purchased. Verifications of employment, deposits, and other matters must be obtained. Loan documentation and conveyances instruments must be drawn and approved. In addition, the title company must research the title and arrange for paying off any liens, taxes, and other costs. All these conditions and other conditions must be satisfied before a transaction can close.

Hazard insurance
As another protection, the lender may require insurance protecting the home against hazards such as fire and storms. (Flood insurance will most likely be required if the house is in the flood plain and would be a separate policy.) Hazard insurance may be included in a homeowner's policy that covers other risks such as theft and liability. Even if not required by a lender, it is probably a good idea for you to seriously consider all types of insurance. Discuss these issues with your insurance agent.

Sellers--Prepare Your Home for Sale

Extra Thought Can Mean Better Sales Price, Less Time on Market

A little paint here and there, shampoo on the carpets, some spackle and voilĂ ! Your house is ready to go on the market, right?

Even if you've kept your home in mint condition over the years, a little extra thought can mean thousands more in your sales price. It can also mean the difference between a week and a couple of months on the market.

Here are some projects to take care of before your home goes on the market.

Deep cleaning of the bathrooms and kitchen, which includes replacing old toilet seats and other worn-out fixtures;
Locate and replace rotted wood; clear overgrowth in the yard;
Clean windows and replace carpeting, if necessary;
If a roof is in obvious need of help, such as leaks or visible damage, make necessary repairs.
By postponing roof, wood rot or other necessary repairs, a seller can lose twice - first in a lower sales price and later when a lender requires repairs for closing.

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

49. Brew Pub Restaurants--Gritty's in Portland's Old Port is a fun place to go for a pub lunch or to hang out after work. The beers and ales are all very good. My sister and I met there and split a delicious basket of kettle chips---big crisp potato chips. She tried the Best Brown and I had the Original Pub Style. We felt like we could be in one of our favorite spots in London! If you sit towards the back, you can also get a great view of Portland's waterfront.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland, Maine

47. History--The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home on Congress St.
The renowned poet spent his boyhood at his maternal grandparents' home right on the main street of the city of Portland. If you drive by, you could miss it tucked in next to the Maine Historical Society. You can tour the home and see the rooms where Henry grew up before going off to Bowdoin College. he wrote his first poem there and it was published in the Portland Gazette.

48. Memorial Monument to John Ford: this bronze statue of Ford (sculpted by George Kelly), is surrounded by stone monuments commemorating the six Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "Oscars" awarded to the director. He was born in Portland as John Feeney in 1894 and attended Portland High School. Some of his movies:The Grapes of Wrath, How Green was my Valley, and The Man who Shot Liberty Valence.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

101 Things I Love about Greater Portland Maine

46.Today colleague Carol Kilburn and I drove to Falmouth for lunch. We decided to try a new deli that we haven't been to before---Leavitt & Sons. It turned out to be an excellent choice as we both had delicious lunches. You can sample the soups of the day. I choose a very rich and tasty corn chowder and Carol got the coconut chicken soup which she said was very flavorful. We split a fresh chicken salad sandwich on 6-grain bread. There are a couple tables for indoor lunch and picnic tables outside.
We both were very satisfied and will return. Also, recommend to friends at RE/MAX By The Bay! Website: http://www.leavittandsons.com/

Saturday, March 13, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

45.I was out showing property today in South Portland when I came across Terra Cotta Pasta. It turned out to be a great Italian take-out. Plus, I almost had a complete meal of the "samples"! I tried an olive tapenade, fresh ravioli, squash soup.
I actually bought a chicken salad wrap that was fresh and moist with nuts and grapes.
I also bought a delicious pastry that was thin layers of phyllo dough with lemon honey filling. They encouraged me to come back when I had more time to take a tastings tour. I guess I will go back!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

44. I have been having pedicures and manicures at Happy Nails since they opened and I have always found that the staff do a great job. My nails last a long time and look great. Plus, all the women are friendly and welcome me by name. They have added hair services by Kisha. They are located at Union Station Plaza on St John Street.

Monday, March 8, 2010

101 Things I love about Portland Maine

43. Vignola's Restaurant, we celebrated Amber's birthday at Vignola's tonight. We got there early so we started out as the only party. Our waiter was very good and fun as well. He said he is known as "4 Cheese Pete" because he encourages everyone to select the 4 cheese appetizer. We selected a blue, cheddar, and a couple others which were served in slivers with candied nuts and chutney. We also had a white bean spread, olives and fresh mozzarella plate. The wine was a red from Tuscany. We ordeed pizzas and my husband had trout. The flatbread pizza was very good and I was glad I got that when I saw my husband picking bones out of his mouth!
We shared a couple delicious desserts and left very satisfied.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

101 Thing I Love about Portland Maine

42.Day trips from Portland, I travelled to Bath today which is only about an hour from Portland. Front Street has a wonderful row of storefront shops in old buildings including lots of places to buy antiques. Most are located in the lower section of town so you can stroll from one to the other. You may find a great treasure or at least a fun piece to add to your collection. You can grab a meal at several restaurants including an old standby JR Maxwells. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful water views, too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

101Things I love about Portland Maine

41. The Good Theater at the St Lawrence Church on Congress Street. This is a small but good professional theater with a great season coming up next year including August Osage County which won Pulitzer and Tony awards. They hve a small concession stand with beverages and big cookies from Katie Made Bakery.

The last play for this season is The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
The cast did a great job of delivering the snappy repartee. The sets and costumes were good, too.

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

41. Blacksmith Winery in Casco Maine: From their Website: http://www.blacksmithswinery.com/

Tasting Room and Winery
Summer (May-December) Daily 11-6 (Tastings end at 5:30)
Winter (January - April) Fri-Mon 11-5 (Tastings end at 4:30)
News and Events:
RC Cider is on sale: $9.00!
27 cases of Roughshod Available
Annual Wine Sale

Starting March 5 until March 29. Everything in the store is 10% off.
We are now on Winter hours.
Coming Soon
Blacksmiths Wine Club
302 at Quaker Ridge Road in South Casco, Maine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Seller's Checklist

As the seller, you have relatively little to do at this point. Avoid common glitches by keeping abreast of progress on both sides.

Be aware if the buyer is having trouble getting a loan on the terms specified in the contract. If he/she is turned down, it could jeopardize the whole deal, and your house could be put back on the market. A day or so before closing, make sure all the necessary papers and documents have been gathered and are in the hands of the right parties.

Things can go wrong. Documents can be misplaced, delayed or lost. However, common last-minute glitches can be avoided.

Parties who should be present at closing need to be informed of any change in the date, time or place. They should be reminded a week before closing and again the day before.
Everyone named on the deed under which you hold title must sign the new deed by which you grant title.
Know when and how you will be paid. Don't expect to walk away from the settlement table with a check in hand.
If you are buying another property, consider having both closings at the same office scheduled back-to-back. That way, the timing of the disbursement is not a problem. You sign a paper authorizing the title company or attorney to assign the funds from sale to purchase.
The papers you'll need

A copy of the sales contract and documentation showing that any contingencies have been removed or satisfied.
All documents needed to complete the transfer of title. This may include certificate of title, deed, correcting affidavits, quitclaim deeds, survey and title insurance policy or binder.
Homeowners insurance policy. If the buyer plans to take over the unused portion of your hazard insurance, you'll need to make arrangements in advance for all paperwork to be completed on time.
Prorations for ongoing expenses such as insurance premiums, property taxes, accrued interest on assumed loans and utilities (if not shut off between owners).
Receipts showing payment of the latest water, electric and gas bills.
A certificate from your lender indicating the mortgage balance and the date to which interest has been prepaid.

101 Things I Love About Portland Maine

39.Casco bay and lighthouses. I drove out to South Portland on my way to show property and got this view of Portland from "Bug Light" or Breakwater Point.

From New England Lighthouses site-- http://www.lighthouse.cc/portlandbreakwater/history.html: "A fierce storm ravaged Portland Harbor in November 1831, destroying wharves and buildings. In response, a 2,500-foot protective breakwater was planned for the south side of the harbor’s entrance, beginning at Stanford Point and extending out over Stanford Ledge. A lighthouse was included in the plans for the structure.
Construction on the breakwater began in 1837, and the foundation was completed by later that year. The breakwater eventually reached 1,800 feet and was uncapped for much of its length. Vessels had to pass through a narrow channel between the breakwater’s end and an obstruction known as Hog Island Ledge. With no lighthouse at its end, the breakwater became more of a navigational hindrance than a help.

In September 1853, Lieut. Thornton A. Jenkins, secretary of the Lighthouse Board, recommended a sixth-order light at the end of the breakwater. “It is absolutely necessary to make a safe entrance into the harbor,” he wrote, “and to guard against striking the breakwater itself, which is nearly under water at high tide, and therefore on dark nights difficult to be seen so as to be avoided.”

The Lighthouse Board asked Congress in 1853 for an appropriation of $3,500 for a lighthouse and keeper’s house, or for $1,000 if it was deemed that no keeper’s house was needed. An appropriation of $3,500 was made on August 3, 1854."

40. I then went to Scratch Bakery and bought a great sandwich of turkey, cheese, arugula, and pickles on crusty French bread. The baked goods like creme brulees and chocolate brownies are top notch, too.

Spring Event for Greater Portland Landmarks

2010 Spring Historic House Gala

Date/Time: Thursday May 27, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Location: 181 Western Promenade, Portland
Admission: $50.00

Greater Portland Landmarks is proud to present the third annual Spring Historic House Gala at the George West Mansion (1910-11).

This stunning Georgian Revival home was designed by celebrated Portland architect Frederick A. Tompson (1857-1919). Constructed of yellow brick with cast stone trim and Ionic columns supporting the two-story portico, and featuring a gambrel roof covered in orange tile, the West Mansion is the largest and most elaborate turn-of-the-century dwelling in Portland.

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, will speak about the unique features of the house, its architect, and its original owner ‘s choice to build this architectural gem.

Tickets are $50 per person, and proceeds benefit our education programs for children. You may also purchase tickets by calling 207 774-5561 ext. 105, or visiting us at the Safford House, 93 High Street.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Create a Search for the Home You Want

Contact me to set up a search on the Maine Multiple Listing system. Give me a list of your "must-haves" and your wish list for the home you want. Criteria like price, location, number of bedrooms, bathrooms. We can fine tune it for fireplaces, 2-car garage, waterview etc. I can enter that information and have all the matches sent to your email daily. You see all the new listings as they hit the market.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Portland Maine "Gardens Gone Wild" Flower Show

Opening Night: March 10
Show Dates: March 11-14

58 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 775-4403

The Maine Home & Design Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, March 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM will feature the soothing sounds of the Peter Dugas Trio. While you enjoy the opportunity to be among the first to know who wins “Best in Show” you can take in all the flower show has to offer in a less crowded environment. Fabulous refreshments are provided by Aurora Provisions courtesy of our wonderful sponsors and will include a cash bar.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

11 Years of Stats for Home Sales in Maine

Cut and paste this site for details by county: http://mainerealtors.com/Statistics/Statistics.html

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

37.Friday night art walks are always a treat especially if the weather cooperates and a lot of people are walking about town to the various galleries and museums that stay open for the event. There are several venues that host a lot of small artist studios or showrooms like the State Theater building. You can start on the top floor, stopping to check out all the displays and grabbing a glass of wine, cheese and crackers on your way. You will find painting and sculpture as well as jewelry. The Portland Museum of Art is open to the public for free. You can eat out at one of Portland's fine restaurants at the end of the evening @ 8PM. Cut and paste this site for more info: http://www.firstfridayartwalk.com/
38. I have been having my hair cut at O2 Salon on Congress Street for quite a few years. It has expanded to include spa services. I always enjoy a chat with Jennifer Leigh, the owner. She is very attentive to getting the cut right for you.
Give her a try and say Nancy sent you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Showcase The Interior of Your Home


Check underside of roof for leaks, stains or dampness
Look around chimney for condensation or signs of water
Clean and clear ventilation openings if necessary
Clean out stored junk
Walls and Ceilings

Check condition of paint and wallpaper
Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster or wallboard
Windows and Doors

Check for smooth operation
Replace broken or cracked panes
Repair glazing
Check condition of weather stripping and caulking
Examine paint
Test doorbell or chimes
Test security system
Wash windows and woodwork, if necessary

Inspect for creaking boards, loose or missing tiles, worn areas
Check baseboards and moldings
Test the staircases for loose handrails, posts or treads

Check tile joints, grouting and caulking
Remove mildew
Repair leaking faucets and shower heads
Check the condition of painted or papered walls
Test operation of toilet

Wash all appliances
Clean ventilator or exhaust fan
Remove accumulation of grease or dust from tiles, walls and floors

Remove clutter
Check for signs of dampness, cracked walls or damaged floors
Inspect structural beams
Check pipes for leaks
Electrical System

Check exposed wiring and outlets for signs of wear or damage
Repair broken switches and outlets
Label each circuit or fuse
Plumbing System

Check water pressure when taps in bathroom(s) and kitchen are turned on
Look for leaks at faucets and sink traps
Clear slow-running or clogged drains
Bleed air off radiators if needed, and check for leaking valves
Heating and Cooling Systems

Change or clean furnace and air-conditioning filters
Have equipment serviced, if needed
Clear and clean area around heating and cooling equipment

101 things I Love about Portland Maine

36.I enjoyed a great pizza today at The Portland Pie Company on York Street.
I got a small whole wheat crust with sweet sausage and black olives. They were playing great tunes from the sixties so I ate my pizza with Jimi Hendricks, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan....
They also have a membership that allows members to purchase any bottle of wine for 1/2 price and other benefits. Ask about it when you go.