Selling Your Home During the Holidays

I know that the holiday season is full of celebrations, guests and feasting, but listing your home during the holidays might actually help sell it.  Here are a few ideas to sell your home faster this holiday season.

On the exterior, if you have holiday lights then this will dress up the home, especially as daylight is limited.  Always enhance your curb appeal by trimming bushes, washing windows or storm doors, and cleaning up the exterior if there are leaves or chipping away at ice on walkways.

It's hard to do, but when you take out those holiday decorations, be sure to put away other appliances or items on the counter to de-clutter.  Buyers want to feel like this could be there home, not that it is yours.  

Keep your house in holiday party mode.  From clean floors to fresh towels or cookies baking in the over, all of those elements will help your home appeal more to buyers.

We hope you enjoy a lovely holiday season!  

Sincerely,

Monica Dambach, Realtor

Interest Rates, and What that Means For You As a Buyer

Provided and Written by Casey Hamlin, NorthPoint Mortgage

The pace that mortgage rates have been rising has slowed significantly since the middle of November.  I think they will continue to increase thru the end of December as the European Central Bank looks to taper their bond purchases or fail to extend them past March.  The Fed Reserve will tell us what they will with the Fed fund rate on the 14th.  A rate increase is considered a foregone conclusion, but the announcement will be telling of what the Fed is thinking for next year and investors will be watching closely.

I predict rates will be around 4.5% in the Spring of 2017 due to President Trump’s intent on infrastructure and defense spending at the same time cutting taxes.  These policies raise the prospects for increased deficits and inflation.  Neither are good for interest rates.

Save Money with Your Taxes: Maine Real Estate Knowledge

Three simple questions, and if you answer yes then you could save money on your tax bill.

1. Are you a permanent resident of the State of Maine?

2. Have you owned a homestead in Maine for the past 12 months?

3. What municipality is your permanent residence in? Is this the only property for which you'd claim a homestead property exemption?

What are you waiting for? Download the application for Maine Homestead Property Tax Exemption, fill it out and return to your local assesor to find out if you can start saving money on your taxes.

MLI VS. BOUNDARY SURVEY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Throughout the closing process you might be asked to purchase a Mortgage Loan Inspection. Certain title companies require a Mortgage Loan Inspection (MLI) while others do not. Your lender or title company may ask if you want to purchase one, so what does this mean?

A MLI determine if a dwelling or on-site improvement is compliant with the municipal or local building setback requirements at the time of construction. It furthermore determines if on-site improvements used as loan collateral, horizontally scale in or out of a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), according to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

So how is this different than a boundary survey? A boundary survey is much more of a financial burden, albeit well worth it if you’re planning to subdivide, renovate or build. A boundary survey determines a parcel’s property lines based on original record documents which created the parcel and abutting parcels. This survey will actually show you the rights of way and easements, encroachments, applicable appurtenances, line of occupation and area. Most cities/towns require a survey as acceptable forms for permitting, however, a few accept a MLI.

Easy Weekend Home Improvement Projects

Get ready for an action-packed weekend full of home improvement projects!  Isn't this what your significant other always wanted to do?  Will make it a fun and productive time, by following RIS Media's 5 Ways to Increase the Property Value of Your Home.  It's true, these little things can make a huge difference with the value of your home, which means more dollars in the bank.

Happy painting!

http://bit.ly/1ZWMSsP

Summer Reading List - Thanks Bill Gates!

Summer is when I read the most, and I'm I stumbled upon the following article about Bill Gates reading list recommendations.  I'm always looking for another non-fiction or self-help book to read.  I find those genres to be the most inspirational and motivational.  Here's to a summer of reading enlightening books - thanks Bill;)

The 5 Books Bill Gates Recommends Reading this Summer: http://bit.ly/1WMOGGC

Homebuyers Guide: Questions to Ask Your Lender

Many of the buyers I work with are hesitant about entering the market because they know so little about the lending process.  Rest assured, I can ease that fear as I have met and recommend a few local reputable lenders that will easily guide my clients through the pre-approval process.  

While many questions still come up, it's always good to be educated.  Know the right questions to ask.  Read Trulia's, "Know Before You Owe: 6 Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender."

Trulia suggests asking: 
1. Are point included the quoted interest rate?

2. What are the closing costs associated with this loan?

3. What is the required down payment?

4. Is it a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage?

5. Can the interest rate be locked down?  If so, for how long?

6. Are there any prepayment penalties on this loan?

Read the full article: http://on.trulia.com/1ts8svs

Start your home search today!  Call me at (207) 749-4170.  Talk to you soon!

Not Your Mother's Banana Bread

After several open houses and a few showing appointments on top of that, I came home after putting close to 100 miles on my car and did something that many normal people would do on a Sunday afternoon - I baked some banana bread.  I'm an innovative baker who loves to come up with my own healthy recipes by omitting butter and oil and adding in greek yogurt and other substitutes.  

Today I made banana bread, but since I rarely write my recipes down I can't tell you exactly how I did it.  Often times, those are when whatever I make it incredible, but will never be 100% replicated again.

I'll make note and start writing down what I make.  Instead today I'll share that my recipe was quite similar to Lauren's: http://www.therepeatlist.com/classic-banana-bread/.  Thanks for everyone that makes something awesome and traditional and adds their own spice of life to it.

Happy eating!

Renting vs. Buying: Here's How To Decide What's Best For You.

You've probably heard about a rental shortage in and around Greater Portland, and maybe you've considered the benefits of buying a home. Use this helpful calculator provided by The New York Times to see if the time is right to buy. "Our calculator takes the most important costs associated with buying a house and computes the equivalent monthly rent."  

Try the Calculator by clicking: http://nyti.ms/1qXVi7a

The spring market has lots of homeowners listing their homes - if you want to start your search, please call me today!  I can start showing you homes as earlier as tomorrow.
 

Monica Dambach
Licensed Real Estate Agent

Ocean House Real Estate
Cell: (207) 749-4170

A Message to You on Memorial Day.

For many, Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of summer, the end of school, or an annual family gathering.  I know for me, it marks another year old as my birthday always falls of this long weekend.  

Memorial Day is so much more.  I think of my grandfather who volunteered for WWII and flew for the air force; my friend that spent two years in Afghanistan after graduating from college; the countless brave men and men who have served this country.  

Enjoy time with family and friends this weekend, and reflect on those that made sacrifices to the cause of liberty and justice for all.  America wouldn't be the same without their service.  

I Heart Organization

I don't know what it is, but if my car, my house or my desk are messy, that immediately translates to a disorganized day, week or month.  I have to keep things in order (with the exception of a back bedroom in my home that has been deemed my extra closet space).  I am a list maker.  I am detail oriented, and I always complete a project by its deadline.  

If you aren't so crazy type whatever it may be, but still want a little organization to your life, check out "10 Smart and Stylish Storage Solutions for Your Craft Space".  So many ideas for those that don't craft, but have limited space.  

http://cb1.so/a/6geve6