Pet Perks, Serene Sanctuary – This Place has it all!

The Inn By The Sea is a wonderful stay if you want to visit Portland, but on the quieter end of things.  Located in Cape Elizabeth by Crescent Beach, this is the place to stay if you are looking for incredible views of the Atlantic from your beach suite.  With plenty of room to stay in every room, you can even bring your fury friend!  Don’t take my word for it, read Dana Freeman’s Travels for a thorough review.

http://www.danahfreeman.com/escape-to-the-inn-by-the-sea/

This Millennial Agent Can Help In Your Home Search

I've made a serious life change, something I feel like I always knew I would do.  I quit my 9 - 5 (or 8 - 6+weekends+nights because let's be serious who works 9 - 5 any more), and I'm going into real estate full-time.  Ever since working for RE/MAX Integra I've had this passion for real estate, there was this fire that made me want to learn more and do more.   What I've seen is that if you're a real estate agent you work 24/7 - nights, weekends, holidays - you just don't stop, and that really excites me.  Hard work will pay off, and I can't wait to hit the ground running.

I'm excited to announce that I've joined Ocean House Real Estate, a boutique agency out of Cape Elizabeth.  I'll help buyers and sellers with their housing needs.  Many of my friends are moving back to Maine, and for those that are already in the state, I'm excited to share with them the wisdom and incredible enthusiasm and knowledge of Maine communities and lifestyle.

How am I different than other real estate agents?  I'm a millennial.  I love technology.  I have a ton of ideas, each tailored specific to you and your needs.  No two transactions will be alike because everyone wants something different.  From marketing or showing a property to negotiating on your dream home, I'll give you a tailored plan on how we'll make your next move the best move.

I'm responsive at all hours via email or cell.  I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Monica@OceanHouseRe.com

(207) 749-4170

10 Steps to Homebuying

The homebuying process can be a daunting process, it can also be the most exciting time of your life knowing you are making an investment in your future.  Either way, a licensed real estate professional will educate and guide you through the process, making sure your real estate needs are met.  Don't be frightened by getting pre-qualified, it's in your best interest to do.  Why look at properties that are above your price range?  That's no way to make a sound investment.  Lead with what you brain says, and don't let emotions guide you into something you won't be comfortable with for the next 5 - 30+ years.

10 Step Guide To Finding Your Perfect Home

1.  Call a real estate professional to start your search - do a quick search, ask friends for recommendations, visit a local office and interview licensed real estate professionals.  Tenure doesn't always mean better service, so ask the right questions for you and your situation.

2. Contact a lender and find out how much you can afford - this involves pulling a credit score and providing statements, pay stubs and such, so make sure you have proper documentation in order.

3.  Start your search - at this time your real estate professional should have set you up with a daily or weekly email with listings in your search criteria.

4. Coordinate with your licensed real estate professional which open houses you'll attend.

5. After viewing properties, you've found the right now.  Work with your real estate professional to make an offer!

6.  Get a home inspection - this is the surest way to know what you are inheriting.  Make sure your inspector is qualified and does a thorough job.  Your real estate professional should have recommendations from previous sales.

7.  Now it's time to get a timeline of what deadlines you have for financing and working with your lender to secure the funds.  Your real estate professional should drive this conversation, but make note of all dates to ensure a thorough understanding of the process.

8.  The appraisal - Your lender will schedule an appraisal of the property to estimate the value of the home.  The appraiser is independent of the lender, but walkthrough the property and give a fair and honest evaluation of the price of the home.

9.  Title examination - A title company will be involved to examine the rightful owner of the property.  Talk to your real estate professional to understand this process in more depth.

10.  Closing time!  You recently did the walkthrough the property, and everything looks good.  You attend the closing, sign all the necessary paperwork and deliver the funds to close the transaction.  It's time to celebrate whatever that may mean to you!

The work may seem over, but there's still a lot to do.  You'll need to declutter, start packing, move, unpack and start creating memories in your new home.  Congrats!

Renting vs. Buying: A Note from RISMedia

RISMedia and RealtyTrac notes that buying remains more affordable than renting in more than half of housing markets.  Home prices are appreciating while wages remain the same - does this sound familiar?  

Portland is going through a resurgence especially when it comes to rent.  Average wage earners will need to pay 37% of rent while if you bought just 38% of your income would go towards your mortgage and housing costs (PMI, interest, etc).  

Think about this when you go to sign another lease.  Wage your options.  According to RealtyTrac, a 3 bedroom home will increase 3.5% in 2016.  For more info, watch here: http://bit.ly/1Sn0Yho

Home Equity Dos and Don'ts

My husband and I just had a conversation about home equity and refinancing our home.  We'd love to purchase a small plot of land in the middle of nowhere for future use or redo our kitchen, so does it make sense to take the equity in our home and parlay that into our next investment or project?

According to RISMedia and Take Charge America, here is what you should do or don't with home equity.  Don't take out excessive equity just in case home market drops.  Do consider home equity if you're making improvements to your house.  Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1S2Nc6N

Best Places to Live in Maine: Down East Magazine

The list has arrived - the Best Places to Live published by the renowned Down East Magazine.  Cape Elizabeth hit the list as one of the best suburbs.  Known for its prime location, top-of-the-line schools and public services, this scenic town has all the bells and whistles you and your family needs.  I know, I grew up there!  Nestled across the bridge from the Old Port, the lighthouses and private beaches are something that everyone will love attending in the summer.  Fort Williams is quite dog friendly for those with four legged friends.  If you're down by Two Lights, stop into Rudy's for happy hour or enjoy a tasty dinner at Sea Glass within the Inn By The Sea.

Selling Your House: From A Real Estate Sales Associate Perspective

You love your house.  You've made it your own.  You have sweat-equity, memories, and things - lots of items around your house.  Believe it or not, selling your home means creating a new slate.  Sometimes this means peeling back what you worked so hard to create.  The dark green in your living room probably won't appeal to all buyers.  

Step 1: Take a trip to Sherwin Williams in South Portland, and buy some paint.  Fix simple cosmetic things in your house that you've noticed, and your buyers won't like - like that chipping paint for instance.  Or the nick from when you moved your couch in and hit the wall.

Step 2: Declutter.  I know it's hard, but I swear it feels good.  You won't have to move so much, and it allows you to start fresh when you purchase your next home.

Step 3: Get ready to interview agents.  A prepared real estate sales associate should have a marketing plan, a pricing strategy, and make you feel confident that they know they're doing.

For more insight on how to prepare your home to sell, read HGTV's post: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/10-best-kept-secrets-for-selling-your-home

Beach2Beacon

Today I had the day off, so I took the time to de-clutter my closet as well as my life.  I found lots of clothes I totally forgot I had, including every Beach2Beacon wicked t-shirt for the last 7 years.  I even had a duplicate, probably one from Kris that had shrunk in the wash.

The Beach2Beacon is on my mind as registration opened up for Cape residents today - it sold out in record time, which is crazy because every year the window of opportunity to register gets smaller and smaller, I'm talking under 4 minutes.  

I'll have my computer and credit card ready to go tomorrow at 7am!  Let's hope Kris and I can get in.  It's become an annual staple for this Dambach family.

Superbowl Sunday: Fantastic Recipes for a Vegetarian Crowd

I have to be honest, this year I wasn't as committed to the NFL and gameday Sundays.  I blame in part my crazy life between friends, family and work - all good problems to have - and the fact this winter has been so nice.  I've found it hard to stay inside when I feel so privileged to have such amazing weather in Maine.  I still stayed committed to Tom (Brady) and the Patriots (obviously), however, I didn't watch too many other games, including my husband's beloved Giants.

For today, I have a delicious yet somewhat healthy menu prepared.  For starters eggplant is currently being dried out for some yummy eggplant parmesan bites.  Here's what you need to do: 

1. Dry out eggplant by sprinkling salt on somewhat thinly sliced cubes of eggplant (think of how thick you'd want your bites to make and adjust as needed)

2. Layer paper towels between the layers created in step 1

3. Mix 2 eggs, 1 cup breadcrumbs, and seasoning in a bowl

4. Heat skillet with tablespoon of oil

5. Dip cubed eggplant into step #3 mixture

6. Place cubed covered eggplant into skillet, drop heat of skillet

7. Cook until golden brown which should be 3 - 4 minutes

8. Let cool then enjoy and devour!

Next up, loaded sweet potatoes!  I found an amazing recipe online, so get Google-ing.

Go Broncos!  

Tis the Season

The holiday season is among us, and for me that means browsing lots of sites online, as well as perusing amazon.com/prime for those instant purchases that magically arrive 2 days after I click purchase.

One my list this year are more practical items.  I’ve actually been stocking up a wish list, if you will, for items that I need, but haven’t been willing to buy in the last couple of months.  For instance, rain boots, winter boots, 5 lbs weights are all things I’d love to have.  What’s on your list this year?

Holiday Cheer

December brings a rush of parties and festivities with family and friends.  This time of the year is truly my favorite as every one is so cheerful and social.  After attending several parties, I’ve seen more friends than usual, drank more than usual, and certainly indulged in more food than usual. 

We are off to the Prelude tonight in Kennebunkport!

Falmouth Foreside Bike Route

My husband Kris and I are approaching one year in our house in Falmouth!  We loving have all the amenities of a grocery store and major retailed within 5 minutes of our house, but what I love most of all are towards the water.  Route 88 provides a scenic bike ride from Falmouth into Yarmouth and Freeport.  

I try to get out on the road once a week.  If I’m tired of going straight down 88, sometimes I’ll veer off to Princes Point headed towards Cousins Island.  There are plenty of neighborhoods to turn into and especially in that area, most roads loop into each other.  Get out and cruise around while the weather is still accommodating to do so!

Lonesome Lake Hike

o fulfill the foliage fall needs, my husband and I went with my side of the family up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  My brother Brendan was turning 26, and wanted to celebrate in such a way.  We camped at Apple Hill Campground for two nights.  At the end of September you know the weather is changing in New England, but I think we underestimated the 30 degree nights in a tent.  Our Bernese Mountain Dog Rooney was probably in heaven with the weather.

We didn’t let the frigid temps bring us down.  We took a hike around Lonesome Lake and enjoyed several waterfalls and streams winding the basin.  The hike was easy to moderate, but perfect for our group of six who wanted to enjoy the outdoors before kissing fall goodbye and welcoming winter with wide arms.

After snagging a platform to eat lunch on at the lake, we swung into the hut.  The hut was equipped with delicious sweets and lemonade, something we couldn’t resist for $1 or $2 each.

I would recommend the campground to anyone in a big group as site 2 was perfect for three cars and tents.  Be forewarned that Google Maps brings you close to the campground, but not quite to Maple Street in Bethlehem, NH.  Give the owner a call when you are close, and he’ll direct you to the correct spot.