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The Do’s and Don’ts of Opening a Credit Card

Credit cards have a lot of benefits, especially if you’re about to move to a new house in Southern Maine. After all, if you plan to rent an apartment or house and don’t have much of a credit history, using a credit card responsibly can help you build it up. The same goes if you want to eventually buy a house in Southern Maine. And of course, once you move, you’ll probably want to buy furniture for your new house, in which case a credit card could come in handy. But it’s important to make sure you open the right card, and these tips can help. READ MORE

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What is a HOA? What are the benefits?

If you’re looking for a home in Southern Maine, you’ve probably noticed that many houses here are served by a homeowners’ association, or HOA. This is an organization that charges homeowners regular dues in exchange for keeping the neighborhood in great shape. Not surprisingly, there are many benefits to having a house within an area with an HOA. These are just the main ones you might want to consider before you decide to buy in such a neighborhood. READ MORE

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Qualifying for a Loan: What do I need to qualify? What can I do if my credit sucks?

Purchasing a brand new home is an exciting time. There are a lot of decisions to be made during home shopping, such as deciding if you want a cape style home on several acres or a townhouse in the center of town. Prior to looking at homes with your real estate agent, you should seek out approval for a loan. Here is what you will need to get qualified and how to prepare. READ MORE

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How to Buy a Home With a Low Down Payment

If you want to buy a home and do not have much cash upfront for a down payment, don’t worry. You can likely still buy the house you want in Southern Maine. There are a few ways to do this without having to pay the typical 20 percent down payment. Before you start adding up the upfront costs of buying a home in Maine, you should check out a few types of loans that allow you to keep the down payment to a minimum. READ MORE

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What Does “Sold As Is” Really Mean?

As you browse homes for sale in Southern Maine, you might see the phrase “sold as-is” on some property descriptions. This is most often seen on foreclosures and short sales. Before you make any decisions on whether to buy a “sold as-is” property, check out what this phrase means for most home buyers. READ MORE

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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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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