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How to decide between a fixer upper, a pre-built home or new build

Greater Portland has so many great homes to choose from that it can be difficult to narrow your options down to one. In particular, it’s hard to decide whether to buy a brand new house or an existing home. And if you go for the latter, it can be difficult to decide whether to get a fixer upper or stick to a house that’s already in good shape. Before you make this decision, there are a few factors to consider, because each option has pros and cons. READ MORE

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What Happens to the Real Estate Earnest Money Deposit?

Buying a house involves paying some fees before your mortgage payments even begin. It’s common to be a little confused about what money goes where, with the earnest money deposit being one of the most mystifying fees in the home buying process. Here’s what you need to know about your earnest money deposit before you take the steps to buy a house in Southern Maine. READ MORE

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When is the best time to list your home in Maine?

If you’re thinking about putting your Southern Maine house on the market, you might be wondering if it’s the right time to do so. If you’re not confident that you have made the right choice regarding when to list it, you could end up second guessing your decision when it doesn’t sell right away. Save yourself the stress by getting to know the best time to try to sell your house in Maine. Then hire a listing agent who is experienced at selling beautiful Southern Maine homes like yours. READ MORE

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Selling Your Maine Home, What Stays and What Goes

The only negative about moving in the great state of Maine is the cringe-worthy packing process. If you are transitioning from one Maine home to another, it is best to bring along only the things that you are sure you need to start your life in your new space. If you need more definitive advice for selecting the things that you toss and the things that you pack on the truck, read below for some tips. READ MORE

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How Much House Can I Afford?

There are numerous calculators available that try to tell you how much you can afford to spend on your new home, but they’re not accurate for everyone. That’s because each person’s situation is unique. So before you buy that beautiful lake home in Southern Maine that you’re pretty sure you can afford, consider the following details to make sure you truly can pay for it. READ MORE

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Should You Buy Before You Sell?

Whether you are a natural risk taker or someone who prefers to err on the side of caution, home buying and selling will always be a little bit of a risk. The real estate market has its ups and downs and as a seller and buyer, you want to capture the market when the pendulum swings in your direction. Maine’s home sales have gained strength and buyers are now more capable of securing mortgages for the homes that they desire. If you are thinking of selling your own home and buying another you may be in the precarious situation of deciding whether to sell your home first or jump on a good, new deal. READ MORE

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Understanding the new TILA Rules

As you look for a home to buy in Maine, you should be aware of some changes in the real estate world as of 2015. In particular, the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule went into effect in October, and it changes some of the paperwork that you will encounter when you buy a house. With the new rules expect some delays. The average closing with the new rule is approximately: 45 days. Fortunately, the change is positive for homebuyers, but it can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know about this new rule. READ MORE

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Fun Portland Maine Events in October 2015

October 2015

Theater

Belfast Maskers/Cold Comfort Theater, see website for locations. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Oct. 930-7244 coldcomforttheater.com

Celebration Barn Theater, 190 Stock Farm Rd., South Paris. Snafu, Oct. 24. 743-8452 celebrationbarn.com READ MORE

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Pining for Maine: A celebrity haven

Maine is wild, beautiful and worlds removed from bustling metropolitan centers like New York City and Los Angeles. So it’s the perfect place for frazzled and sought-after celebrities to get away from everything.

Except other celebrities.

Maine has long been an escapist destination for the rich and powerful. More than 100 years ago, the Rockefellers helped make Bar Harbor the tourist mecca it is today. Giant summer “cottages” up and down the coast were built by captains of industry and power brokers. READ MORE

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What’s the difference between Owner’s Title Insurance and Lender’s Title Insurance?

Getting title insurance for your Maine home is important, but if you’ve talked much with your real estate agent about what’s required, you may have heard both owner’s title insurance and lender’s title insurance mentioned. It’s true that there are two different policies, but many buyers wonder why it’s necessary to have both. The reason is because of the way the policies are structured, how long they last, what they cover, and who they protect. As their names indicate, the owner’s title insurance protects the buyer, and the lender’s title insurance protects the bank or mortgage company. READ MORE