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Dec. 17, 2019

Why Use a REALTOR®?

REALTORS® are the trusted and ethical resource for all things real estate and helps the public walk-thru the process. As a buyer/seller, a REALTOR® is a partner. A REALTOR® is up to date on most current local market conditions and will with pricing strategies and negotiations.

The typical real estate transaction involves more than 22 steps to complete. REALTORS® are working through the real estate process every day and understands how it affects their customers and clients. #danhickman

Click Here for the *NEW* Home Buyer Palm Card

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 17, 2019

Do I really need a Home Inspection?

A house inspection is an extensive examination of the shape of a home.  The house inspection is often but not always performed when a house is being sold and under contract. We believe that a home is one of the biggest purchases one will ever make.  An inspection is an inexpensive way to determine the overall condition of a home.  By performing an inspection, you likely will avoid the costly mistake of purchasing a property in need of major repairs.  


A certified inspector is a professional who is responsible for the inspection of the general condition of the property.   A property may look move-in ready, but an inspector will inspect all the components of the house such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, insulation, as well as the structural features of the house.    Having a certified inspector perform a thorough inspection of the property is like taking out an insurance policy against potential repair costs.  


There are many types of inspection processes that you could conduct before the purchase of a home.  First would be the general or residential inspection.  The certified inspector should inspect the exterior, structure, roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, insulation, and ventilation, to name a few.  After your inspections, you will receive a report that highlights any improvements or repairs deemed necessary to correct the issues.  Inspections may reveal problems with a home that could be expensive to correct.  If after you determine that you still would like the property, this could be a reason to re-negotiations the purchase price.  As the buyer, you could negotiate a credit, have the seller pay for repairs before the closing, buy the home as-is, or withdraw the offer if the issues seem too problematic. 


A radon inspection is also important when buying a home here in the Northeast.  Radon occurs naturally, especially in areas situated above granite. Radon is considered hazardous to health.  If a test reveals high levels of radon, some ways to handle the radon could be:  sealing concrete slab floors, foundations walls, and drainage systems.  This could be an expensive fix and one that would be known with a radon test.


Other inspections that should be considered before buying a home may be well water testing and septic tank testing.  


If possible, it is good to attend your home inspection during the process.  This is an educational opportunity for you.  The cost of these inspections will vary depending upon the size, and age of the house.  A home inspection could take as long as 4 hrs, depending upon the size and age of the home. 


A seller of a home may also consider an inspection before the property goes onto the market.  This may help the seller in setting a price, correct issues before it is put on the market. Having a pre-inspection report available for buyers show them that the seller has nothing to hide. 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 17, 2019

Realtor.com predicts market shift impacting buyers is on the way


Realtor.com predicts market shift impacting buyers is on the way

| Jul 09, 2019

A market shift that will impact buyers well into 2020 is likely on the way, according to realtor.com’s June 2019 trend report.

Total inventory grew 2.8 percent year-over-year, according to the study, but annual gains have softened throughout the year; the number of newly listed homes dropped 2.3 percent year-over-year in June.

If this trend continues, inventory growth is set to flatten over the next three months and could start to once again decline in October.

“It was only 18 months ago that the number of homes for sale hit its lowest level in recorded history and sparked the fiercest competition among buyers we’ve ever seen,” Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com, said in a statement. “If the trend we’re seeing continues, overall inventory could near record lows by early next year.”

Declining inventory could lead to the return of bidding wars, stronger price appreciation and quicker home sales, according to the report.

“So far there’s been a lackluster response to low mortgage rates, but if they do spark fresh buyer interest later in the year, U.S. inventory could set new record lows this winter,” Hale added.

While rates are historically low, they’re still higher than they were seven years ago when they reached their lowest point, at 3.3 percent for a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage. Rates are higher than one-third of weekly rates seen over the last seven years, which means many homeowners have mortgage rates lower than today’s levels, according to the report.

Hale says that the reason why people aren’t putting their homes on the market is difficult to pinpoint. “It’s likely a combination of rate-lock, recently decreased consumer confidence and older generations choosing to age in place,” she added.

Consumer confidence fell 4.4 percent over the past year, signaling that potential homesellers are more worried about a possible recession or future economic growth, according to the report.

In the short term, the U.S. median listing price likely reached its high point for the year in June, at $316,000, according to realtor.com’s data. Prices usually peak in July, but the report notes that the likely high point came earlier in the year due to a mismatch of what’s available and what buyers want.

Posted in Market Updates
July 15, 2019

Sometimes Maine likes to show off

Sometimes Maine likes to show off. How else can you explain the Maine Lakes and Mountains region? Here you'll find clear waters and beautiful mountains in harmony. Our area is only an hour from Portland. This four-season destination can be as high-energy or laidback as you desire. Why settle for one when you can have both. Mountains meeting the lakes, streams, and ponds is where you'll find the highest adventure and the most profound beauty. We invite you to come and live here year-round or just think of it as the ultimate base camp.

Towns that you should consider visiting would have to be Bridgton, Naples, Harrison, Bethel, Denmark, Lovell, and Fryeburg. Come see why we like to say, Maine, this is our HOME.

Visit the Maine Office of Tourism for great travel tips. When you do, you'll sure to be inspired. 

Posted in Maine living
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates