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Make your home your Sweetheart!

The month of February is a short month that can feel like an eternity.  Getting outside and enjoying winter recreation is a great way to beat the blues, but takes extra time and energy that the work week may not always allow. Another option is to focus on the inside! Take some time for yourself, commit to inside renovations that are easy and fun, get cozy! 

SMALL Changes BIG Results

Renovations in the wintertime can be a challenge. Big projects might be too messy. It's hard enough to keep the house in order! Solution, make a list of smaller fixes that are easy to skip when it's beautiful outside. Fix that broken latch, replace those tired curtains, clean out your closet, paint the kitchen cabinets.  PRO TIP:  pick a corner of one room as a staging corner.  Keep project supplies at hand, neatly packed in totes or covered with a tasteful throw. Tick those tiny projects off your list and February will fly by. 

Pick a Room for Meditative Makeover

The beauty of the winter months in the north are wrapped in solitude.  If your mind is striving for action, but the weather is driving you inside, your house can feel like a cave.  Transform it into a retreat!  Pick a space, or a whole room to make a cozy place to rest, read or simply sit and soak in the silence that snow, ice and cold create in nature.  Make the space your own and enjoy some inner interests. 

BAKE

Nothing makes a home cozier than the smell and sight of baked goods.  Even if it's not your usual thing, even boxed baked goods are great to create.  The internet is also full of easy to achieve baking projects that are fun and yummy! Spend some extra time in the kitchen, turn on some tunes, dance the ice away! 

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    The House Hunt in Winter - Benefits for both sides of the sale

    Cold weather inspires both adventure and hibernation, and either or both can be great motivation for house hunting. While indeed the winter season can be slower, patience often is the best deal maker. The committed seller and the motivated buyer, making the most of the seasonal advantage, can be very successful in the winter.

    BUY LAND - BUILD NEW!

    A benefit to land sales or purchase in winter is that the lay of the land in many respects can be more easily observed.  Land walks are an adventure in any season, but not everyone is willing to take their first steps in the snow. Strap on your snowshoes! Fire up the snow machine.  Take a look around.  Benefit to the to brave of heart! Buy land now, plan your dream house and start building this Spring!

    SELLERS: KEEP YOUR LOT LINES CLEAR

    A well groomed exterior lot in the winter catches everyone's eye.   If your house or land is for sale, the best invitation to buyers is clear access, safe walkways and making it all look easy! Use your snow rake frequently on the roof to avoid ice-dams. Keep a tidy mudroom. Taking the few extra steps on the outside, will warm up every showing.   Groomed access makes land lots easier to spot in the winter, and groomed house lots jump out to driver's by much more brightly than in the warmer seasons.  Make a show piece of your property in the snow!

    PATIENCE REWARDS THE PATIENT

    It can't be said enough that both buying and selling property requires patience.  In the winter, go with the season and slow down both expectations and demands.  Buyers, keep your focus on your wants, needs and budget.  Sellers, know that those who are house hunting, while fewer, are more serious.  Both parties have the benefit of less pressure.  Take the next step - make winter your season!

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      Let Freeport Maine Light up your holiday season!

      December 7 - 9, 2018 was Freeport Maine's Famous Sparkle Weekend.  From parade Friday night, through promotions and celebrations throughout the weekend, Freeport Village was full of visitors!  This fantastic event, promoted by Visit Freeport, included a light parade, visits from Santa, concerts and contests all hosted by local merchants and organizations.  With a 25-year history of fun just as the cold hits the streets, this outdoor adventure is a blast! 

      If you missed this year's Sparkle Weekend, never fear! Freeport Village and surrounds is ho-ho-hoing through the season, with plenty of activities, enrichments, entertainment and shopping offerings.  Check out Visit Freeport Maine website for loads of information to inspire your next visit, entice your holiday shopping, or just learn a bit more about this hub of Holiday Cheer. 

      Like the idea of living in or near Freeport?

      Come visit Brett Davis Real Estate, 12 School St, Freeport Maine

      Right in the heart of town!  Enjoy the Season. 

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        Get to know your VA Loan

        Shopping for the best mortgage option is a fundamental first step in the home-buying process. If you or a direct member of your family are in the military or a Veteran, the VA offers a competitive loan program that may be a great option. You'll want to compare long term costs, loan entry  benefits and property requirements with other loan programs with a professional mortgage broker or a Bank/Credit Union loan officer. But here are the basic details of a VA Loan to start the process.

        VA Loan Mortgage Requirements

        A big benefit to a VA Loan is that they offer 100% financing.  This means that it is possible to get started without a downpayment. The VA Loan program will also allow you to ask sellers to contribute up to 4% of loan value toward closing costs. Closing costs include but may not be limited to lender fees, pre-paid taxes and insurance payments and transfer taxes.  4% on $200,000 loan equals $8,000. If closing costs can be negotiated into your purchase, this will also allow you to get started as a homeowner without surplus savings.

        LOAN LIMITS:  Be aware that depending on property location, there may be a limit on the total amount you can borrow with 100% financing (this is called a conforming limit).  If you want to purchase above the conforming limit, some programs will ask you to pay 25% of the difference between the sale price and the conforming limit. This still makes a big difference in upfront affordability for Veteran homebuyers.

        VA Loan Property Requirements

        VA Loan programs, like all Government Loan options, include specific requirements regarding the condition of the property a borrower chooses to purchase.  The intent of these requirements are to ensure the property is safe and free of costly deferred maintenance in the first years of ownership.  Properties must be certified as pest free (in some locations) and in cases of private water supply, a test must be provided ensuring the water is safe.  Common repair items to look out for that must be completed before closing include:  Chipped/Peeling paint and/or missing siding, installed safety railings, missing flooring, holes in walls, rotted window sills.  Roof and heating systems must be in good condition and have at least a 3-year remaining life span. 

        CONDOS:  Not all condominiums are approved for funding through the VA Loan Program.  Approved Condos are listed here: https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal.VBAH/VBAHomes/condopudsearch. 

        Budget Basics

        When researching the best loan option for your situation it is important consider long term costs. 100% financing is helpful if you have limited cash up front, but it can result in higher monthly payments. Most lenders will require you to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) until you have 20% equity in the property. You will also pay more in interest over the long term.  Your VA Loan also may, or may not offer the best interest rate at your time of purchase. If you have cash available to contribute, check with your mortgage lender or bank loan officer to review interest rates in comparison with conventional loans or to review the benefit of contributing to the purchase though the VA Program.  

        WORD to the WISE:  Monitor your own investment!  Often, what you are eligible to borrow, may be more than you can ultimately afford based on how you manage the rest of your finances. Ask your lender to fully clarify all the costs of the loan and what will be included in your monthly payment.  Check those costs and payments against your monthly income and expenses today.  Seek professional advice with any questions.  Once you are clear about what you can afford, find your new home! 

         

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          Three Reasons Homeownership is Awesome!

          The jump from renting and apartment or house to owning your own home can feel like a massive plunge. Is it worth it? In a strong market, the trade off between cash for rent and a mortgage payment can be marginal. Responsibility for and cost of maintaining the property may fill that gap and make the move feel unnecessary. But there are rarely discussed personal rewards as well. Here are three reasons why homeownership is awesome!

           

          1) Investment

          The bottom line is, wherever you live, the money you spend to secure your space pays for somebody's real estate investment and provides income to someone. When you own your own home and make a mortgage payment, that someone is you. While that mortgage payment may not feel like income, what you are creating for yourself is equity in the property. Each payment means your investment is more and more in your favor. Over time you can utilize that equity to make other investments. That's awesome.

          2) Roots

          The first time you pull into the driveway of a your own house, you'll feel "at home" in a way that renting can never create. In the State of Maine it is said that your ownership rights are from the core of the earth to the highest heavens.  Yes, the responsibilities are greater, but the benefits of those responsibilities are something you have worked for and created for yourself. Homeownership gives you roots. What you create from there is also yours. That's awesome.

          3) Community

          One cost of ownership that might feel hard to swallow is property taxes. But along side the fact that these are tax deductible, there's an personal upside as well. When you own  your own home, you become part of a community.You may or may not choose to be involved directly, but you are now a contributing member of the network that manages and defines your lifestyle.You are not visiting or temporary. You live there. Make of it what you will, but that's awesome.

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            BEST of the BEST in FREEPORT - 5 Years in a row - 2018

            We are SUPER Proud of our whole Group voted BEST of the BEST in The Northern Forecaster again this year.  We all work hard to serve our clients with local knowledge, vigilence to detail and good humor throughout the sales process on both sides of the deal.  Come visit us at 12 School St, Freeport Maine!  and a big THANK YOU to the Northern Forecaster for sponsoring the voting each year.  

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              Northern Forecaster Best of the Best Real Estate Agent

               

               

               

               

              Brett's Team Says:  "We were more than honored to be voted Best of the Best Real Estate Agency in Freeport by readers of the Northern Forecaster for the fourth year running.  We are grateful. We thank our clients.  With their good faith and teamwork, we make some great deals happen!" 

              Listed and under contract - 86 Henry Rd, North Yarmouth MLS 1314941

               

              Listed and sold  - 48 Hidden Oaks Drive, Freeport MLS 1289902 $340,000

               

              Listed and under contract - 19 Hogans Flat, Freeport MLS #1312375 $595,000

               

              Listed and under contract  - 26 Sarah Goud Road, Yarmouth MLS# 1308645 $595,000

               

              Listed and under contract - 47 South St, Freeport MLS#1314555 $395,000

               

              Listed and Sold - 251 Greely Rd, North Yarmouth MLS #1288513 $299,900

               

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                Enjoy Freeport center in a beautiful home!

                 Brett's Team says "This Freeport home is placed perfectly in-town and filled with awesome spaces for every part of life.  Sellers have loved this home, and have made some excellent interior renovations.  Rewired, re-insulated, and remodeled, without losing the classic charm of the original.  Great spot!"

                 

                 

                The "what's new" in this home includes quartz kitchen counters, a more open kitchen living room configuration and an awesome third floor bonus room with built-ins and a sky light.  Once inside, you'll feel like you are "in the woods" with peaceful views out every window and placement on the lot that leaves road activity at the door. 

                Outside is a well landscaped lot and plenty of trees.  Great for gardeners, terrific for summer evenings on the deck, and plenty of sun in all the right places! 

                 

                47 School St, Freeport  MLS #1311339

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                  Find your Freeport Favorite this 4th of July

                  Brett's Team Says:  Living in Maine is a dream come true for many people. The cherry on top is a classic home in Freeport! Take your pick with these - a subdivision beauty, an in-town gem, or a pasture/woodland homestead.  Any of these three make living in Maine what it should be.  Make your move this July 4th! 

                  3 Becks Lane :  MLS # 1297272  $449,000

                  47 South Street:  MLS # 1311339  $395,000

                  2 Fawn Meadow Lane: MLS # 1313793  $589,000

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                    West Bath Beauty - Light and Love

                    Brett's Team Says: "This simple salt-box home is nestled in to a sweet spot in West Bath, Maine.  Just far away from the hustle-bustle, but close enough for easy commutes anywhere, 23 Boyd Drive has light, space and landscape views. A great place to all home." 

                     

                    The downstairs has an excellent two level layout that includes a lovely kitchen, dining area, living room and a bedroom easily used as a office, studio or bonus room.  Upstairs - space and light! 

                    Pasture views are peaceful, offering rural sounds and big skies. 

                     

                    23 Boyd Drive, West Bath  - MLS #1306115 

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