12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Build packages for Windham Lots: Colonial Homes

Check these out!


Veteran's Loans in Maine

VA Loans in Maine

Homebuyers who finance their purchase with a Maine VA loan are sure to save thousands of dollars in the short and long run. As a positive consequence of the VA Home Loan program’s numerous financial benefits, service members and veterans save bundles of money. Buying a starter home usually means the house is ready for some upgrades, and these extra savings are perfect for those renovation projects.

Saving money through a Maine VA loan stems from several of the program’s benefits. From the beginning, borrowers save tons of money when they pay nothing down. Qualified borrowers get a VA loan and pay zero percent down to fully finance a home worth up to $417,000. Conventional loans have down payments as high as 20 percent, which is enough to wipe out some homebuyers’ savings. Without this initial high cost, VA loan borrowers save immensely.

Another immediate savings comes from lower closing and concession costs that might be covered slightly by the seller. During the life of the loan, VA loan borrowers save every month because of lower interest rates and no private mortgage insurance. In time, homebuyers can accrue enough savings to make all the improvements on their list.

As if those financial benefits are not enough, Maine VA loans come with:

-No prepayment penalty

-Resources to borrowers approaching default

-Refinancing options to lower interest rates

Much to the surprise of millions of military homebuyers, qualifying for a VA loan is easier than getting a conventional one. VA-certified lenders are more lenient about financial and credit history. Credit scores of 620 and higher are preferable, and it is possible to qualify even with a foreclosure or bankruptcy in your past. Debt-to-income ratios can be as high as 41 percent before they are too high for a VA loan.

Attaining a VA loan in Maine starts by completing the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). COEs are simple forms that ensure prospective borrowers meet the eligibility requirements for a VA loan. Those who may be eligible are still serving, received a non-dishonorable discharge, and falls into one of the following categories:

-Served on active duty for 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.

-Served in the Reserves or National Guard for at least six years.

-Survived a spouse who died in the line of duty or due to a service-connected disability.

To learn more about VA loans in Maine and the savings related to such loans, speak with a VA-approved lender today!

More info: mpolsky@vamortgagecenter.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

155. Rock 'n Roll Diner, Route One, Scarborough.

The prices are amazing for breakfast.  Special for $3.99= 2 eggs, toast, home fries and meat!!  The diner is all retro with counter and booths etc.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Energy Audits

What Type of Energy Audit is Right for You?

An energy audit will tell you where your home is wasting energy and what improvements you need to make to lower your energy bills by 5% to 30% annually. Luckily there are different types of energy audits that range from free to a few hundred dollars.

Use an online energy audit questionnaire

You can find them at the website for your local utility or municipality, or at government-supported websites such as Home Energy Saver or Energy Star.
Online questionnaires immediately calculate areas where you can achieve savings. Be prepared to answer specific questions about your home energy usage and costs, such as:

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/what-type-energy-audit-right-you/#ixzz1Kg2a5unL

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

154. Piciarino's Italian Restaurant on Fore St in Portland--The owners and company present some of the most authentic Italian fare around town.  The red wine was superb, the pesto for dipping bread was scrumptious and the Ravioli alla Bolognese took me right to Italy!  The owners hail from Milan and it shows! 


101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

153.  The Sea Dogs--a franchise for the Boston Red Sox--this team plays at Portland's Hadlock field.  The games are fun; the food is typical ballpark fare; and Slugger is the team mascot.  Try to go on a nice warm night though!

Monday, April 25, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

153. Siano's Restaurant in Portland has some of the best Italian fare around.  They have a brick oven for pizza and their pasta dishes are yummy!  This is their spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna with sausage. http://www.sianosbrickoven.com/

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

152. Reilly's Bakery on Main Street in Biddeford: an old-fashioned bakery--they just celebrated 100 years in business!--you can get delicious flaky pastries including their famous Neopolitans.

Monday, April 18, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

151. Chinese food at Imperial China in South Portland--another easy and reasonable place to get a good lunch and leftovers for later.  Hot and sour soup, rice, tea, and a main dish for $5.75  http://imperialchinamaine.com/menu.html

Thursday, April 14, 2011

5 Steps to Deciding How Much to Offer – or Ask – for Your Home

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Broker in San Francisco, CA

April 14, 2011 6:28 AM

 One of the hardest, most important decisions homebuyers face is how much to offer for their home. And the glut of information on the web about real estate only makes buyers even crazier than the decision itself does. Supply, demand, foreclosure rates, mortgage rates – buyers think they need to run spreadsheets and do fancy math to make a smart offer. And THAT can be super intimidating.

But the fact is, there is a pretty short list of steps you need to take to make a smart offer – one that gets you a great value, but is also likely to be successful at getting the property. (A low offer does not make for a great deal if you don’t get the house!) And most of the same steps apply to sellers trying to set the list price that will lure the most buyers (and net them the most cash)!

Step 1: What do the “comps” say? First things first. When it comes to pricing a home, or making an offer to buy one, the ‘first thing” is the home’s fair market value. Both buyers and sellers should work with an experienced, local agent to understand what the home’s value is. Most agents will do this by offering you a look back at similar properties that have recently sold in the neighborhood – i.e., the comparable sales, or comps.

HINT: You can also find comps for a home listed on Trulia by scrolling down to the section labeled Sold Homes near 1234 Merriweather Lane on the property's Trulia listing page.

Ideally, look for comparables that are very recent sales (3 months or less before you’re listing or buying), very similar properties (i.e., same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage; and similar style, condition and amenities). If you do get into contract, these may be the same comparables which will be considered by the appraiser, so looking at them before making an offer can:

(a) provide factual support for a lower-than-asking offer or for the asking price, in a negotiation, and
(b) result in a sale price at which the property will actually appraise, later on - avoiding the common glitch of the deal falling through because the appraisal comes in way below the agreed-upon price.

Also, looking at comps is the first step for locating a home’s seller and prospective buyer in the reality-based universe of current home values. The fact that you bought or refinanced the place at a given value 5 or 6 years ago is entirely irrelevant to what it’s worth today, as is the buyer’s belief that the place was worth $100K less at the trough of the market, in 2009.

Step 2: What can you afford? This step is much more critical for buyers than for sellers. (Unfortunately, sellers, the facts that you need to net a particular amount to buy your next home or pay your existing mortgages or credit card bills off has no relationship whatsoever to the price at which you should list or will sell your home.)

Buyers – it’s a must to make sure that your offer price for any given home falls within the range of what is affordable for you. This includes offering a price within the range for which your mortgage was preapproved, but also includes making sure that the monthly payment and cash you’ll need to close the deal (down payment + closing costs) are affordable in light of the particular house. If, for example, the property will require repairs for which you’ll need to conserve cash, or has HOA dues you hadn’t planned on, you may need to rejigger your offer accordingly.

Step 3: What’s your competition? (And what’s theirs?) This is another step at which it’s critical to check in with your agent. You need to know what level of competition you’ll face – whether you are a buyer, or a seller. As a seller, you can find this out by looking at things like how many comparable homes are listed in your town or your neighborhood in your general price range (your agent will brief you on this). Sellers should also consider what type of transactions their home will be up against – the more distressed properties (foreclosed homes and short sales) with which your home must compete, the more aggressive you must be with your pricing to get your home sold.

The more competition you have, as a seller, the lower you should tweak your list price to attract buyers to come see your home. (And the more buyers come to see your home, the more likely you are to get an offer!)

Buyers should also be cognizant of the competition level they will face for homes. Believe it or not, even on today’s market there are properties and neighborhoods in which multiple offers are the name of the game. Work with your agent to understand the list price-to-sale price (LP:SP) ratio , which lets you know how much under or over the asking price properties are selling for in your target home’s neighborhood; the lower the LP:SP ratio, generally speaking, the less competition there is among buyers.

Your agent can also brief you on:

(1) The number of offers – if any - that have been presented on “your” property (which the listing agent will usually, gladly tell). If there are other offers, you’ll want to make a higher offer to compete successfully against them; and

(2) The number of days the home has been on the market, relative to how long an average home stays on the market before it sells – the longer it has, the more pressure is on the seller, price-wise, and the less competition the buyer is likely to have. (One exception is the sweet spot scenario, when a property that has been on the market for a long time has a price reduction and gets a bunch of offers as a result! )

4. How much do they need to sell (or buy) it? Buyers: Has the listing in which you’re interested been reduced at all? By how much? Has the listing agent informed you that her clients are highly motivated, flexible or have an urgent need to sell?

Sellers – most buyers are not in a high state of urgency to buy these days, given the long-term, high affordability of homes and interest rates, except when they have an urgent personal reason for moving, e.g., buyers who are relocating for work. Of course, all of real estate is hyperlocal, so it’s important to understand how motivated buyers are in your local market, generally speaking, before you set your list price.

Trulia’s new, interactive Price Reductions Map offers a number of clues to critical indicators of buyer and seller motivations in your home’s town and zip code, in just a click on the map - including:

· how many homes in your target property’s area have had at least one price reduction,

· how likely a home in the area is to have multiple price reductions.

The higher these numbers are, the stronger of a buyer’s market it is, and the more bargaining power buyers likely have. And if you’re the seller, the higher these numbers are for your area, the lower you may need to price your home to be successful at getting it sold.

5. How much do you want to buy, or sell, the place? Step #4 was about taking the motivations of the folks on the other side of the bargaining table into account when formulating your offer and your list price. This step is all about you – what’s your level of motivation? Now, buyers, you certainly shouldn’t offer a price way above what the place is worth (see Step #1) just because you really, really want it, unless you have the cash to throw around. But within the range of the home’s fair market value, it may make sense to move higher within that range if you are highly motivated to get that particular property.

Sellers: think of your list price as the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal. if you really want or need to sell, get aggressive about setting your price as low as makes sense for your your home's value and local market dynamics to attract qualified buyers and help your home stand out against all the competition.

P.S. - You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook, too!


Monday, April 11, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

151. Wild Oats~~ Brunswick.

Checkout this deli/ bakery for fresh sandwiches, soups and pastries!  There is a great selection of hot soup or chowder and different breads every day.  Create your own masterpiece.  http://wildoatsbakery.com/

Monday, April 4, 2011

RE/MAX Executive Club

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

150. Conundrum restaurant in Freeport~~Checkout the comfortable funky interior and enjoy delicious selections from their menu.  You can get appetizers or full meals.  The burgers are big and juicy!  Pork loin, duck pizza and other dishes all good and well prepared.  Desserts: chocolate cake and berry shortcake--mmmmm.

Conundrum-Wine Bistro

117 Us Route 1, Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-0303