10 Inspiration Drive, Scarborough ME

10 Inspiration Drive, Scarborough ME
Gorgeous Gambrel

Saturday, February 26, 2011

RE/MAX Executive Club

RE/MAX AGENT Nancy Timberlake EARNS


ANNUAL SALES PRODUCTION AWARD



Portland ME, February 25, 2011 – Nancy Timberlake, with RE/MAX By The Bay, has qualified for the RE/MAX Executive Club Award for 2010, which honors successful agents who have earned at least $50,000 in commissions in the past year.

Timberlake has been working in the real estate industry for more than three and ½ years and has extensive experience in residential properties. “Timberlake has been an integral member of our team and is more than deserving of this very prestigious award,” said David Banks, Owner and Designated Broker of RE/MAX By The Bay. “Winning this award is a tremendous accomplishment. Timberlake continues to raise the bar in real estate, making us, and this community proud.”

In addition, Timberlake actively supports the Center for Grieving Children.

RE/MAX has nearly 90,000 agents worldwide and continues to lead the industry in top markets with cutting-edge technologies like the comprehensive property search engine on www.remax.com and RE/MAX University, which provides Associates with award-winning programming, coaching and training in the convenience of their offices or homes.

# # #



About RE/MAX By The Bay

RE/MAX By The Bay is affiliated with RE/MAX of New England. Since its inception in 1985, RE/MAX of New England has grown to over 220 offices and nearly 3,000 sales associates throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, providing residential and commercial real estate. Read more about the industry at the RE/MAX of New England blog at www.remax-newengland.com and follow us on Twitter at @REMAXNE. RE/MAX is proud to help raise millions of dollars and support charitable organizations like, Susan G. Komen For the Cure and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

RE/MAX By The Bay also won the 2010 Awards for the following categories:

Top Office by Transactions

Top Office by Dollar Amount

Top Contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network





For More Information Contact: Nancy Timberlake, 207 553-7314, ntimberlake@homesinmaine.com.

Personal website: www.MaineHomesMarket.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


146. Forget-Me-Nots in Falmouth;  A fun and funky resale shop with great stylish designer clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes!  Why pay full price?  Watch the markdowns and sale rack....
http://www.forgetmenotsfalmouth.com/

101 things I Love about Portland Maine



145. Miss Portland Diner: Great food at a real old-fashioned diner that was rescued and refurbished a few years ago.  Checkout the history: http://missportlanddiner.com/

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Helpful Punch List for New Home Buyers

Your newly constructed dream house is almost ready and it's time for the all-important walk-through with your builder. Do you know what you should be looking for?

Some problems may not be readily visible, even if you hire a professional inspector. Fortunately, most builders offer a warranty to cover problems in the workmanship of a home -- they do not, however, cover problems resulting from owner neglect or faulty maintenance. Still, knowing what to look for in your pre-settlement walk-through is a good way to catch potential problems. Here's a helpful "punch list" to use from the National Association of Homebuilders:

Outside

Grading: Does the ground around the foundation slope away from the house? Make sure the water does not pond or pool in large puddles, especially near the foundation. To check, water the areas with a hose, if possible. Are there signs of erosion? Is the shrubbery placed at least 2-3 feet from the foundation

Roof and Gutters: Are the shingles flat and tight? Is the flashing securely in place? Do the gutters, downspouts and splash blocks drain away from the house?

Exterior Appearance: Are the windows and doors sealed and protected by weather stripping? Are the trim and fittings tight? Are there any cracks? Does the paint cover the surface and trim smoothly? Has landscaping been installed according to the terms of your contract?

Inside

Doors and Windows: Are all doors and windows sealed? Do they open and close easily? Is the glass properly in place? Are any windows loose or cracked?

Finishes: Is the painting satisfactory in all rooms, closets and stairways? Did the painters miss any spots? Are the trims and molding in place?

Floors: Is the carpet tight? Do the seams match? Are there any ridges or seam gaps in vinyl tile or linoleum? Are wooden floors properly finished?

Appliances, Fixtures, Surfaces, Etc.: Do all of the appliances operate properly? Are all of the appliances the model and color you ordered? Check all faucets and plumbing fixtures, including toilets and showers, to make sure they operate properly. Are there any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns on any surfaces, including cabinets and countertops? If you have tile counters or floors, was the tile and grout sealed by the builder or will you need to handle?

Electrical, Heating and Air: Check all electrical fixtures and outlets. Bring a hair dryer to test the outlets. Do the heating, cooling and water-heating units operate properly? Test them to make sure. If the home has a fireplace, do the draft and damper work? Test the doorbell. Also test the intercom system, garage door opener and any other electrical items.

Basement and Attic: Are there indications of dampness or leaks? Is there significant cracking in the floors or foundation walls? Are there any obvious defects in exposed components, such as floor joists, I-beams, support columns, insulation, heating ducts, plumbing, electrical, etc.?

Certificate of Occupancy: Has your local municipality signed off on your house?

As your real estate agent, I will be available to assist during all phases of your home purchase, including your walk-through. Please call me for more information on what you should look for and how I can help.

New or resale: hiring a professional inspector is a smart approach

Buying a home, whether a new or resale property, is one of the biggest investments you're likely to make. That's why hiring a professional inspector to check out your home's basic systems and structural integrity is so important. An inspector looks for and recommends changes that can make the difference in how much money you will spend for future repairs and maintenance. Even if you have a good eye for detail or are buying a brand new home, a thorough inspection by an experienced professional is a wise choice that can save you a lot of time, money and frustration in the future. Please call me for more information on how a professional inspector can make a difference in your home's purchase

Monday, February 14, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

144. Maine Street Grill on Rte. 25 in Standish: Located in a big old colonial home with fireplaces, the food is reasonable and good.  I had a hearty bowl of creamy broccoli and cheese soup--delicious!  facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Street-Grill/198177621181

Monday, February 7, 2011

10 Common Errors Home Owners Make When Filing Taxes

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: January 25, 2011

Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary—know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.

 Watch out for the common tax-filing errors, and you'll get a maximum return without raising any red flags with the IRS.

As you calculate your tax returns, consider each home tax deduction and credit you are—and are not—entitled to. Running afoul of any of these 10 home-related tax mistakes—which tax pros say are especially common—can cost you money or draw the IRS to your doorstep.

Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes

You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind—that is, you’re not billed for 2010 property taxes until 2011. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.

Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2010, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount.

Sin #2: Confusing escrow amount for actual taxes paid

If your lender escrows funds to pay your property taxes, don’t just deduct the amount escrowed, says Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president at TurboTax in San Diego. The regular amount you pay into your escrow account each month to cover property taxes is probably a little more or a little less than your property tax bill. Your lender will adjust the amount every year or so to realign the two.

For example, your tax bill might be $1,200, but your lender may have collected $1,100 or $1,300 in escrow over the year. Deduct only $1,200. Your lender will send you an official statement listing the actual taxes paid. Use that. Don’t just add up 12 months of escrow property tax payments.

Sin #3: Deducting points paid to refinance

Deduct points you paid your lender to secure your mortgage in full for the year you bought your home. However, when you refinance, says Meighan, you must deduct points over the life of your new loan. If you paid $2,000 in points to refinance into a 15-year mortgage, your tax deduction is $133 per year.

Sin #4: Failing to deduct private mortgage insurance

Lenders require home buyers with a downpayment of less than 20% to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). Avoid the common mistake of forgetting to deduct your PMI payments. However, note the deduction begins to phase out once your adjusted gross income reaches $100,000 and disappears entirely when your AGI surpasses $109,000.

Sin #5: Misjudging the home office tax deduction

This deduction may not be as good as it seems. It often doesn’t amount to much of a deduction, has to be recaptured if you turn a profit when you sell your home, and can pique the IRS’s interest in your return. Hampton’s advice: Claim it only if it’s worth those drawbacks.

Sin #6: Missing the first-time home buyer tax credit

If you met the midyear 2010 deadlines, don’t forget to take this tax credit into account when filing.

Even if you missed the 2010 deadlines, you still might be in luck: Congress extended the first-time home buyer credit for military families and other government workers on assignment outside the United States. If you meet the criteria, you have until June 30, 2011, to close on your first home and qualify for the tax credit of up to $8,000.

Sin #7: Failing to track home-related expenses

If the IRS comes a-knockin’, don’t be scrambling to compile your records. Many people forget to track home office and home maintenance and repair expenses, says Meighan. File away documents as you go. For example, save each manufacturer’s certification statement for energy tax credits, insurance company statements for PMI, and lender or government statements to confirm property taxes paid.

Sin #8: Forgetting to keep track of capital gains

If you sold your main home last year, don’t forget to pay capital gains taxes on any profit. However, you can exclude $250,000 (or $500,000 if you’re a married couple) of any profits from taxes. So if you bought a home for $100,000 and sold it for $400,000, your capital gains are $300,000. If you’re single, you owe taxes on $50,000 of gains. However, there are minimum time limits for holding property to take advantage of the exclusions, and other details. Consult IRS Publication 523.

Sin #9: Filing incorrectly for energy tax credits

If you made any eligible improvement, fill out Form 5695. Part I, which covers the 30%/$1,500 credit for such items as insulation and windows, is fairly straightforward. But Part II, which covers the 30%/no-limit items such as geothermal heat pumps, can be incredibly complex and involves crosschecking with half a dozen other IRS forms. Read the instructions carefully.

Sin #10: Claiming too much for the mortgage interest tax deduction

You can deduct mortgage interest only up to $1 million of mortgage debt, says Meighan. If you have $1.2 million in mortgage debt, for example, deduct only the mortgage interest attributable to the first $1 million.

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but is not intended to be relied upon by readers as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Readers should consult a tax professional for such advice, and are reminded that tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who was once mortified to receive a letter from the IRS—but relieved to learn the IRS had simply found a math error in her favor. A frequent contributor to many national publications including AARP.org, Bankrate.com, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

IRS Publication 936 Home mortgage deductions

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/10-common-errors-home-owners-make-when-filing-taxes/#ixzz1DIG0U1jM

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


143. Parker's Restaurant:  Sunday turkey dinner with all the fixins'.  Delicious white meat with yummy moist stuffing.  Amber had their juicy hamburger and apple crisp for dessert! http://www.parkers-maine.com/

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


142 JP Thornton's Restaurant in South Portland:  We enjoyed very fast service at the bar.  Lars enjoyed his fish and chips. http://www.thorntonsbarandgrille.com/

Thursday, February 3, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

141. Lotus Japanese and Chinese Restaurant in Falmouth
My husband and I tried each.  This is a bento box with salmon and tuna roll.
I tried the luncheon fried rice--very plentiful!  Both were delicious and the hot tea and hot and sour soup were good, too. http://lotusinfalmouth.com/