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How Long Should You Live In Your House Before You Sell?

 

Whether you just moved in or have lived in your home for 50 years, it's common to wonder how long you should stay in your home before you sell it. According to the National Association of Realtors®, ten years is the average amount of time that a homeowner will stay in their home before deciding to sell it. 

If you're under ten years and itching to sell, many experts say you should follow the “five-year rule” and stay in the same home for at least five years before selling. 

This may sound like a long time and you may think you are ready to sell now, but before you make any rash decisions, we put together a few of the most important factors that you should be aware of.

1. Your Mortgage

One of the first and foremost factors you must consider when you decide to sell your home is your mortgage payment. If you want to make money when you sell your home, then your sale price must be greater than what’s left of your mortgage. When you first buy your home and begin to pay your mortgage, the first few years will go towards interest rather than the principal amount. This typically means that it’s more difficult to make money off your sale under 5 years. However, if you put a larger downpayment on your house, then your interest rate and mortgage will probably be smaller, making it possible to make money in a shorter amount of time.

 

2. Equity

Building home equity is important. You’ll want to have a lot of equity built up when you decide to sell. The amount of home equity you’ve obtained depends on any remodeling or renovations you’ve made, as well as your mortgage. If the home you bought was already in tip-top shape, then it may be difficult to build equity. If you’ve remodeled the kitchen, bathroom, redone the flooring, or made other renovations around the house, then you have most likely gained home equity. You can also increase your home equity by paying off more of the principal on your mortgage.

 

3. Market Conditions 

One of the more common reasons you’re eager to sell your home is to make money on your property. There are a few things to look out for when deciding if it’s a seller's market and whether or not it's time to make your move. If you notice the price per square foot in your area is increasing, chances are that homes stay on the market for a shorter time. You should also take note of homes near you that are selling. It might seem time-consuming, but don't worry! We always keep track of recent home sales in the area and can send you over an up-to-date market report.

 

Request A Market Report

We have exclusive access to past sales close to your home and we know what the market currently looks like. Get your free report

 

 

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    The Right (and Wrong) Way To Host and Attend an Open House

    Open houses are a huge part of both the buying and selling process. You might be hesitant to host or attend one because they can be painfully awkward. Walking around your potential new home with a real estate agent following you from room to room isn't the most comfortable experience, especially if there are parts of the home you don't like or the home is in not-so-great condition. 

    As a buyer, this is your time to finally see what that home you bookmarked online looks like in person. 

    As a seller, this is your moment to make your home look special and showcase what you have loved most about your home over the years.

    When done right, open houses can lead to on the spot sales, bidding wars, and can open your eyes to what you're really looking for in a home. We took a few stories from Andrew Dorn of realtor.com, who visited seven different open houses in one weekend, to show you the right (and wrong) way to host and attend open houses.

    Buyer Tips

    If you are a potential buyer going to open houses in hopes of finding your next home, you'll need to be prepared for a few red flags to look out for. You should also go into the open house with a few pointers and questions to ask.

    If the home you're going to is one you have been looking at online, then you probably already know a little bit about the property. Even if you've lived in or around the same town the home is in, there are still a few questions you should have prepared to get a true sense of the house and the area.

    Get The Positives & Negatives

    Ask the real estate agent what the positives and negatives are about the home that you should know. If they are honest (which they should be!), knowing potential problems about the home or neighborhood are better to know upfront than later down the line.

    Learn More About The Neighborhood

    Ask them what they think of the area - is it up and coming, more of a younger or older community, what service prices or HOA fees are there? This real estate agent is the local expert of the area. Let them share their expertise with you. Ask questions about the history of the neighborhood, what it's like now, and what the next 5 years will look like.

    Ask About Other Properties

    Finally, you should always ask the real estate agent if they know of any similar properties in the area that you might be interested in. If this isn’t the one for you, but you’re looking for a home with the same amount of bedrooms, the agent should be able to help you out.

    Seller Tips

    Whether you're selling your home on your own and hosting an open house, or working with a real estate agent to host one for you, there are a few tips that can make or break how your home looks in the eyes of potential buyers.

    Clean up! 

    As Andrew approached one of the seven homes, right above the front door was a little perch where birds could sit. It's a great thought, but when he looked down there was bird poop all over the concrete that enters into the door. 

    “It makes me sick. I actually had to kind of take a hop step and jump over it so I wouldn't get the bird stuff on the bottom of my shoes.”

    This is your homes first impression. If potential buyers get a bad taste in their mouth from the front porch, then the expectations are set before they even talk through the door.

    Remove Any Signs of Pets

    Almost everyone loves pets, but that doesn’t mean that everyone likes to see where they live -- and go to the bathroom. As Andrew walked into a bathroom in one of the homes, he saw what he thought was a trash can which actually was a kitty litter box. After an even closer look, he noticed a mark left by the kitty. 

    In the kitchen, there was a beautiful vase of flowers on the counter. It was a great and simple touch to add to the open house; however, next to the vase was a small Tupperware container with what seemed to be little brown round things - which again belonged to a cat. It was cat food. 

    “If you look at it, I promise you, I think some people would pick it up and say I wonder if this is chocolate.”

    Stage Your Home!

    Buyers expect tip-top shape and for your home to be show-ready. Out of the seven open houses that Andrew attended, only one or two of them seemed to be actually ready for potential buyers to look at. Stage the home accordingly to make it look liveable. If it’s a home for a family, stage it to look like a family would live there, but also make sure it's neat and clean.

    Open Houses Can Be Awkward.

    If you'd rather avoid the awkwardness all together,
    we can schedule a private showing of your dream home. Let's Talk! 

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      2018 Holiday Events in Portland Maine

      Holiday DecorationsIt’s wonderful to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. You may want to get everyone together and explore some of these holiday happenings in Portland. There are plenty of festive events for everyone to enjoy.

      2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Crawl
      Saturday, December 8th

      Break out your tackiest holiday sweater, shirt, pants, or other accessories and join the fun in downtown Portland.

      East End Holiday Stroll
      Saturday, December 8th

      Explore the East End shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes while doing your holiday gift shopping.

      Portland’s Holiday Express
      Saturday, December 9th & 15th & Sunday, December 9th & 16th

      Enjoy a ride on vintage rail cars with Santa and his elves through the heart of the city.

      Old Port Winter Holiday Historic Walking Tour
      Every Saturday in December

      Bring the family on this historical adventure and learn about Old Port’s rich history and places of interest. 90 minute walking tour.

      Horse & Wagon Rides
      Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through December 16th

      Enjoy a free 30 minute horse & wagon ride through the beautifully decorated historic downtown Portland. Pick up and drop off in Monument Square.

      Winter Lights
      All Season

      Come and see the fantastic colors and shapes of these beautiful winter lights that bring radiance and warmth to downtown Portland throughout the holiday season.

      Questions about real estate opportunities in Portland, Maine? Contact Meservier & Associates!

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        Things to Do on Peaks Island

        Coastal island in MainePlanning a visit to Peaks Island in the 2019 season? Peaks Island offers a variety of scenic walking and biking paths and a great mix of sandy and rocky beaches. Here’s a list of some popular local attractions, places to eat, and things to do around the beautiful island.

        Explore the Island

        Peaks Island Tours
        75 minute golf cart tours
        2 hour walking tours for groups of 10+
        Open May - October

        Mike’s Carts
        Golf cart rentals

        Brad’s Bike Rentals
        Bike rentals & repair shop

        Maine Island Kayak Company
        Guided sea kayak tours
        Open May - October

        Horse Island Day Camp
        Trail rides & events
        Week, day & half day camps
        Open during the summer

        Museums & Galleries

        Umbrella Cover Museum
        World’s first and only umbrella cover museum
        Open summers through Labor Day

        5th Maine Museum
        Civil war memorial & cultural center
        Open May - October

        Richard Boyd Art Gallery
        Features paintings and sculptures with a connection to the state of Maine
        Open year round

        Places to Eat

        Peaks Island House
        Lunch & dinner 7 days a week in season
        Open April - September

        Cockeyed Gull
        Casual fine dining in a friendly atmosphere featuring views of Portland Harbor
        Open year round

        The Inn on Peaks Island
        Lunch & dinner
        Open with limited hours off season

        If you’re considering buying or selling real estate on Peaks Island, contact Meservier & Associates today. You may also want to also explore current real estate listings on Peaks Island.

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          Best Dog Friendly Trails in Portland Maine

          Dog Walking TrailIt’s a great time of year to enjoy beautiful fall foliage while exploring all of the wonderful trails in Maine. If you want to stay close to town with your furry friend, here’s a list of some of the best dog friendly trails in the Portland area.


          Back Cove Trail - Great views of the Portland skyline and one of the oldest trails in the area. Great for walking and biking. Length: 3.6 miles.

          Baxter Woods - 30 acre nature preserve with quiet and shaded trails for walking and biking. Length: .75 mile.

          Bayside Trail - Paved trail provides access to local businesses and downtown through the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Length: 1 mile.

          Capisic Brook Trail - Great birdwatching and views of Capisic Pond, Portland’s largest freshwater pond, from this 18 acre preserve.

          Eastern Promenade Trail - Waterfront trail with spectacular harbor and ocean views. Beaches, picnic tables, and swimming. Length: 2.1 miles.

          Fore River Sanctuary - This trail features Portland’s only waterfall, Jewell Falls. Great for birdwatching. Length: 5.6 miles.

          Harborwalk Trail - Paved trails connect South Portland’s Bug Light Park and Portland’s East End Beach. Length: 5.2 miles.

          Jack Path - Wooded trail is popular for students and residents. Provides some of the best views in Portland.

          Mackworth Island - Easy trail offering excellent views of Casco Bay. Legislated bird sanctuary. Length: 1.25 miles.

          Martin’s Point Trail - Great views of Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Paved trail with picnic tables. Length: .25 mile.

          Oak Nuts Park - This popular trail connects to the Presumpscot River Preserve. Unpaved wooded trail. Length: 1 mile.

          Ocean Ave Recreation Area - Offers a range of trails from easy grade and level to moderately sloping and uneven. Length: 2.5 miles.

          Riverton Rail Trail - Also known as “Sandy Road”, this flat and scenic trail is great for running and biking. Length: 1.5 miles.

          Riverton Trolley Park - Riverfront trail features glimpses of historic ruins on hilly terrain. Length: 2 miles.   


          To get more information about Portland Maine or Portland Maine real estate, contact Meservier & Associates today!

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            5 Great Reasons to Visit Portland Maine this Fall

            Maine Fishing Boats in the HarborFall is just around the corner and it’s a wonderful time to visit Portland, Maine! The summer crowds are gone, the kids are back in school, and the weather is pleasant. Here are a few more reasons to visit our historic seacoast town this fall.

            1. Great Seafood

            Portland has a ton of fabulous restaurants featuring some of the best lobster and fresh seafood in the country. 

            2. Outdoor Recreation

            Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding while admiring the beautiful fall foliage.

            3. Festivals

            Enjoy lots of food, wine, and beer festivals. This year, Oktoberfest Portland is on Saturday, September 8th. Harvest on the Harbor takes place October 16th - 21st and Portland Beer Week is November 4th - 10th.

            4. Old Port

            Explore art galleries, museums, and theaters from Congress Street to the West End. The beautiful cobblestone streets in Old Port overlook the ships and fishing piers and you’ll find a variety of great restaurants, boutiques, and bars.

            5. Whale Watching

            There’s still time to see the whales before they head to warmer waters in late October. View some of the area’s beautiful marine wildlife and the gorgeous rocky coastline from the water.
             

            If you would like more information about Portland Maine or Portland Maine real estate, contact Meservier & Associates. We look forward to hearing from you!

             

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              Best Beaches in the Portland, Maine Region

              Maine BeachesYou’ll find a wonderful variety of beautiful beaches in the Portland, Maine region. Whether you want to swim, surf or just sit back and enjoy the gorgeous ocean views, here are a few of our top picks within 30 minutes of Portland.

              Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth

              This mile long oceanfront park features a light surf, grass studded dunes, picnic areas, and great views of Richmond Island. Enjoy watching the fishing boats or take a leisurely stroll along the beach in the summer. In the winter months, use the trails along the beach for cross-country skiing.

              East End Beach, Portland

              East End is the only public beach in Portland. This sandy beach features panoramic views of Casco Bay, picnic tables, walking trails, and a boat launch. This is a great place to relax after a long day of shopping in Old Port.

              Ferry Beach, Scarborough

              This sandy beach runs along the Scarborough River channel and features crystal clear water and long grass at the top of the hill. The gentle tide makes this a great place for families with small children. It’s not uncommon to spot a few harmless hermit crabs here.

              Higgins Beach, Scarborough

              Warmer waters and lots of waves makes this is a popular spot for surfers and kayakers. This is also a great place to sunbathe or take a stroll.

              Old Orchard Beach

              Old Orchard Beach features 7 miles of sandy beaches with lifeguards. Old Orchard’s Pier is the center for recreational opportunities and Beachfront Palace Playland Park is the only beachfront amusement park in New England.

              Pine Point Beach, Scarborough

              This long sandy beach is a great place for fishing, surfing, swimming, kayaking, and strolling. Enjoy playing a game of catch on the beach.

              Scarborough Beach, Scarborough

              If you like pounding surf and rip currents, Scarborough Beach is the place to go. Swimmers are strongly encouraged to stay in the designated swim area.

              Willard Beach, South Portland

              This 4 acre sandy beach offers a gentle surf and a great view of ferries, fishing boats, freighters, cruise ships. This is a popular place for swimming, too - just watch out for the rocky ocean floor at the water’s edge. 

              Thinking about moving to Portland, Maine? Contact Meservier & Associates today and learn how we can help!

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                Why Work with Meservier & Associates?

                Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest decisions you make in your life. Because these decisions are so important, it’s essential to choose the right team of agents. Meservier & Associates has served Maine home buyers and sellers since 1988 and has more than 60 years of combined industry experience. As one of Maine’s top agent teams, we are known for our high standards of service and local expertise. Our partnership with Bean Group provides our clients with a comprehensive collection of resources and services.

                Here’s why our clients enjoy working with our team:

                “We worked with Sarah Foster, and we are so happy we did! She was not only professional and informative, but really fun to work with as well. Sarah was patient and knowledgeable and could answer all of our anxious first-time home-buyer questions with confidence. The whole process went quickly and smoothly, and we couldn't be happier to be in our wonderful new home. Thank goodness for Sarah!!!” - Katie Kiel and Ian Bouffard

                “We worked with Tony to sell out home. He was incredibly responsive, thoughtful, and communicative. He made the whole process so easy and as relaxed as possible. His whole team was great to work with and very professional. I would highly recommend working with him (and them) again!” - Cory Munsey

                “Sue and her team were a pleasure to work with. The City had acquired a very challenging property and Sue worked tirelessly with us through the process from listing through closing. I would strongly recommend Sue Meservier and her team.” - Derek Boulanger, City of Auburn

                To read more reviews and learn how we've helped so many happy clients, click here.

                Thinking about buying or selling Maine real estate? Contact Meservier & Associates today! We look forward to working with you.

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                  Best Patio Dining Options in Portland Maine

                  Outdoor DiningThis is a great time of year to enjoy a delicious meal outdoors on a beautiful deck or patio. Portland boasts a wonderful selection of restaurants. Here is a list of some of the best options for patio dining in our fun foodie town.

                  Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room
                  86 Commercial Street
                  website

                  This waterfront restaurant offers two large decks and an outside bar with plenty of outdoor seating. A great place downtown with delicious seafood.

                  Gilbert's Chowder House
                  62 Commercial Street
                  website

                  Located on the working waterfront, Gilbert’s offers a beautiful view with a breeze. The menu includes chowder, sandwiches, and some of the best french fries in town.

                  Isa
                  79 Portland Street
                  website

                  This bistro offers an eclectic, seasonal menu with a unique twist and a hidden patio.

                  Novare Res Bier Cafe
                  4 Canal Plaza
                  website

                  This spot in The Old Port offers a wonderful beer selection and a simple menu primarily featuring meats and cheeses. The large patio area is fantastic!

                  Portland Lobster Co.
                  180 Commercial Street
                  website

                  With a large deck stretching out over the water and an outside bar, this popular spot is in the middle of the action on Commercial Street. Enjoy seasonal lobster rolls and live music.

                  Silly's Restaurant
                  40 Washington Avenue
                  website

                  This is one of East End’s most popular outdoor dining spots. Features a great back patio and menu items include burgers, pizza, and awesome Rice Krispy Treats.  

                  Slab Sicilian Street Food
                  25 Preble Street
                  website

                  The huge patio features authentic German biergarten tables and live music. A very popular place to go during the summer months.

                  The Porthole Restaurant and Pub
                  20 Custom House Wharf
                  website

                  Great food and daily live entertainment on the largest waterfront deck in The Old Port. Menu features raw and fried seafood.

                  The Thirsty Pig
                  37 Exchange Street
                  website

                  Hang out on a back alley deck in The Old Port enjoying the summer breeze while sipping on a cold beer and eating a tasty house-made sausage.

                  The Treehouse
                  84 Stevens Avenue
                  website

                  This intimate eatery is the place to be in the summer with a two-tiered deck, cocktails, and Mediterranean-inspired comfort cuisine.

                  Yosaku
                  1 Danforth Street
                  website

                  This restaurant and sushi bar has a popular outdoor area overlooking a beautiful Japanese garden. Located near the waterfront.

                  Remember to Contact Meservier & Associates for all of your Portland, Maine real estate needs!

                   

                   

                   

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                    Meservier & Associates Wins 2017 Platinum Circle Achievement

                    We are proud to announce that Meservier & Associates has received the 2017 Platinum Circle Achievement from The Maine Real Estate Network. This is the highest achievement level recognized at The Maine Real Estate Network and it is granted to agents who close over $12 Million and/or close 60 or more transactions.

                    This achievement speaks to the combination of tireless commitment and outstanding real estate expertise demonstrated by the agents here at Meservier & Associates. We look for to continued success for our clients in 2018 and beyond.

                     

                     

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