Sue Meservier

5 Reasons Young Families Should Move to Maine

Moving To MaineMaine is a great place to raise a family. There is the perfect combination of city and country, with plenty of room for family activities. From exploring the coast to visiting Portland’s food scene, there is something for everyone here.

Enjoy all four seasons with your family

Maine has a distinct four seasons. The winters can be cold, but they are full of snowy activities. The temperature warms up moving into spring, and the summers are full of fun activities on the coast. Finally, the fall season is something to write home about. Maine has some of the best foliage in the country so it is worth checking out!

Take advantage of the student loan relief program

As the state with the oldest median age in the country, Maine is trying to attract young employees to work and settle in Maine. They are incentivizing young workers by helping them pay off student loans. Money spent on paying your student loan debt each year is subtracted from your state income taxes. STEM majors have an even better scenario. They could qualify for a check from the government if their loan payoff is greater than the amount of their taxes. Definitely something worth looking into when considering moving to Maine.

Explore Portland’s food scene

Ranked Bon Appétit’s 2018 Restaurant City of the Year, Portland has food options for everyone. You name it, seafood, craft beer, bakeries, or tavern-style food for the kids, Portland, Maine has it. See our blog about exploring Portland during fall here

Appreciate the Maine wilderness

Can’t decide between beaches and mountains? No fear, Maine has both! Maine has several ski resorts to choose from in the winter months, like Sunday River and Sugarloaf Mountain. Experience the mountains by hiking in Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park during the fall. Want to catch some rays? Bake on the Maine beaches during the summertime. Check out our Maine beach guide here

Gain the feeling of security

They say life in Maine is the way life should be for a reason. Maine is a top-ranking state for education, a low crime rate, and a low obesity rate. Additionally, outside of Nor’easters and the occasional hurricane, the probability of natural disasters is low here compared to other parts of the country.

Interested in moving to Maine?

Contact Meservier and Associates today! 

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    5 Winter Moving Tips to Help You Brave the Cold

    Winter Moving TipsHere are some helpful tips to get you through your move this winter.

    Monitor the Forecast

    The last thing you need on moving day is to get caught in a blizzard. Be sure to keep checking the forecast in the days preceding your move - we all know how unpredictable winter weather can be, and it may become necessary to reschedule the move. You should also be in contact with your moving company as the moving day approaches to express any concerns you may have about the weather or other factors that may affect your moving date. One bonus of moving in the winter is that moving companies are less slammed and can usually offer more flexibility if unpredictable weather becomes a factor. Remember, it’s always better to postpone the move than to put your safety at risk. 

    Label Boxes for Easy Organization

    Being organized during your move is more important than ever during the winter months. You don’t want to be making extra trips in the cold if you don’t have to. Make sure all of your stuff is packed into boxes before the movers arrive - it’s also a good idea to sort the boxes into piles based on content. You could also split them up by weight, so you don’t get stuck carrying five heavy boxes in a row. When it comes to organization, it’s all about what works for you, but you should have some kind of system to minimize trips and last-minute scrambling. 

    Protect Your Precious Floors

    Moving day can take a toll on you, but it shouldn’t take a toll on your new flooring. No matter how careful you are, it is inevitable that people will be tracking in snow and mud throughout the day. There’s also the risk of scratching or spilling on the floors during the chaos of moving. That’s why we recommend covering your floors with plastic tarps or old sheets on move-in day to avoid premature wear and tear. It would help if you did this at both your new home and old home to preclude any extra cleaning that might have been necessary. 

    Selectively Heat Your Home

    Turning the heat off to your house may seem counterintuitive on a cold winter day, but the constant traveling in and out of the door will make your central heating unit obsolete. It’ll be working way too hard to heat your home only to have it all escape once the door opens again. You’ll be working hard enough, moving all those heavy boxes that you’ll become your own heating unit. If you find yourself a bit chilly, you could choose to heat selective rooms in your home, like bedrooms or bathrooms, for moments of warmth between trips. 

    Deslick the Ice

    There’s nothing scarier than a patch of ice when you’re carrying a 300 pound couch and can’t see the ground. It’s necessary to shovel and salt all walkways, sidewalks, and stairs to reduce safety hazards for you and your movers. You should also clear your car of snow and ice and make sure you have good tires for navigating wintery roads. Move-in day is chaotic enough without the added stress of injury. 

    Be sure to contact Meservier & Associates if you're thinking about buying or selling in Central Maine, or if you have any questions about the area.

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      Snowmobiling and ATV'ing in Maine

      ATV Trails in MaineIt’s no secret that Maine is known for its stunning scenic views. One of the best ways to enjoy them is direct from the scenery itself, on the several thousand miles of trail systems from a snowmobile or ATV. The extensive trail system has over 4,000 miles of primary trail and 10,000 more of groomed additional trails crossing public and private land. Below are two of our favorite trails that vary in distance. 

      Kennebec River Loop

      For a short ride, we would recommend the Kennebec River Loop. At just 20 miles, this loop is perfect for a quick ride. This trail offers incredible views of the river, followed by panoramic views of Maine’s western mountains. 

      Jackman / Coburn Mountain Loop

      For a longer ride, take the Jackman / Coburn Mountain Loop, which runs about 130 miles. This loop features a ride through town, scenic views of the river, and of course, amazing mountain views.

      If you’d like to learn more about the scenic views and our trail systems in Maine, or our local real estate listings, contact Meservier & Associates today!

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        Best Dog-Friendly Beaches Near Portland, ME

        Maine Dog Friendly BeachesWant to take your furry friend with you on a relaxing beach trip? It can be hard to find beaches that accommodate dogs, and the restrictions can be confusing. At most beaches, there are different regulations depending on the time of year and time of day. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a beach that allows dogs to be off-leash during the summer season, but keep reading for a guide to the rules and regulations of the most dog-friendly beaches near Portland, ME. 

        East End Beach

        East End Beach, located on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, is one of the most popular beaches for dog-owners. Before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, dogs are allowed to be off leash and under voice control during all park hours (5AM-10PM). During the summer season, however, dogs are only welcome on the beach before 9AM or after 5PM, but can be off-leash and are welcome to play together, given that they respond to voice commands. 

        Willard Beach

        Located in South Portland, Willard Beach has many of the same rules and regulations as East End Beach. Starting May 1 and ending September 30, dogs are permitted between the hours of 7AM and 9AM, and 7PM and 9PM. Dogs may be unleashed, but you must keep them under control and clean up after them. From October 1-April 30, dogs are allowed on the beach between 6AM and 9PM. If your dog is off-leash, they must be kept within 100 feet and must be kept away from sand dune vegetation. 

        Ferry Beach

        Ferry Beach is a popular tourist destination in Scarborough. From May 15 to Labor Day, dogs are only permitted on the beach from sunrise to 9AM, when they can be off-leash, and from 5 PM to sunset, when dogs must be leashed at all times. Starting after Labor Day, unleashed dogs are allowed on the beach from sunrise to sunset, except for the hours of 1-3PM when they must be leashed. 

        Pine Point Beach

        Scarborough’s Pine Point Beach is a long, sandy beach down the strip from Old Orchard. The beach is a popular spot for families looking for a fun day filled with water sports, great food, and relaxing on the sand. Pine Point has the same restrictions as Ferry Beach and also has a restricted area that is defined as that portion of the beach from the main beach access path at Hurd Park north to the Scarborough River. From April 1 to the day after Labor Day, this area is strictly prohibited to off-leash dogs due to the protection of endangered species Piping Plovers. 

        If you’d like to learn more about the beautiful state of Maine, or about local real estate opportunities, be sure to contact Meservier & Associates.

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          Our Favorite Hiking Trails in Auburn

          Hiking Trails in Auburn Maine

          Maine is known for its beautiful scenery. The state offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities that visitors and residents can enjoy, including an abundance of hiking and walking trails. Below are a few of our favorites for you and your family to enjoy around our hometown of Auburn.

          Mount Apatite

          Mount Apatite is a 325-acre, 7.5 mile extensive set of trails in western Auburn. The trails are rated as easy and moderate so they're perfect for all ages and abilities. Beyond just hiking, users can mountain bike, run and in the winter months, cross-country ski.

          Auburn Riverwalk

          The Auburn Riverwalk is a 1.6-mile paved trail that runs through the old mill district of Auburn and it's twin city of Lewiston. The top of the trail features a place to picnic and allows you to view various activities throughout the year including a brew festival and balloon festival. 

          Spring Road Trail

          Spring Road Trail follows the northwestern shore of Lake Auburn with many viewpoints along the way that allow you to enjoy the vast views of the lake. The trail is short at just 2.1-miles on way and is rated as easy.

          David Rancourt River Preserve

          The David Rancourt River Preserve offers two different types of hiking trails. One splits into a woods trail, while the other follows the shoreline of the Androscoggin River. There are two sandy beaches and scenic overlooks along the trails making for a truly breathtaking walk.

          We hope you enjoy these as much as we do! If you have any questions about Auburn, contact Meservier & Associates.

          You can view current Auburn ME real estate listings here.

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            Meservier & Associates Now an Independent Company; New Auburn Office Opening Soon!

            MESERVIER AND ASSOCIATES TO OPEN NEW REAL ESTATE OFFICE IN AUBURN:
            Company Positioning for Future Growth

            AUBURN, ME — Meservier and Associates, one of Maine’s top real estate agent teams, announces the opening of a new, independent company and a new office location in Auburn, ME at 220 Main Street.

            Sue Meservier, the owner, has been an Auburn based real estate broker since 1987. She sees this as the perfect opportunity to expand her 15-agent team with her own company and in a new modern and state of the art office. Formerly associated with another real estate firm, the new office will provide the needed space for the company to expand and add more agents.  It will specifically provide collaborative and solitary work environments to support agent growth and success.

            Sue Meservier and Meservier & Associates are well known throughout Androscoggin County for over 30 years of top sales results in residential real estate achieving top of the market sales positions for many years. Most important, Sue Meservier and Meservier & Associates is well known for their exemplary standard of service, proven real estate expertise, and attentive personal care of their clients’ needs.

            “I am absolutely thrilled to open this new, independent real estate brokerage office. This is the realization of a personal dream and has been a long time coming. I see excellent growth opportunities in the future,” said Meservier.  “We have an excellent group of real estate professionals on the team and together we are poised to help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals,” Meservier and Associates Top Producer, Tony Poulin commented.                  

            The team will be joined at the location by one of the top-rated mortgage brokers in the state, Harbor One Mortgage.  We will truly be one-stop shopping providing expert real estate services to the community of Androscoggin county”, said Meservier. 

            “The building at 220 Main Street, Auburn will undergo immediate renovations. We expect to fully occupy the location within 3 months,” said Meservier. Temporary office space will be located at 79 Main Street in Auburn. 

            Information about Meservier and Associates is available at  www.meservier.com

                                            

            Pictured: Nicole Elie, Office Manager, Sue Meservier, Owner, and Tony Poulin, Operations Manager of Meservier and Associates at their future Auburn office.

             

             

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              St. Patrick's Day Recipe Roundup

              Easily one of our favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day is the food! If you’ve never tried authentic Irish dishes, you’re missing out. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some classic recipes that you can try out at home. 

              1. Easy Boiled Dinner | delish

              The St. Patrick’s Day go-to, it's easy to see why this meal is so popular. It’s cheap, easy to make, and can feed an army. If you’ve never tried a boiled dinner, you’ve got to give it a try!

              2. Favorite Irish Stew | Taste of Home

              If boiled dinner isn’t really your thing, give an authentic Irish stew a try. Traditionally made with lamb, it can easily be substituted with beef. 

              3. Authentic Irish Colcannon | the view from great island

              Colcannon is a simple dish which is essentially mashed potatoes mixed with kale, cabbage, or green onions with lots of milk/cream and butter. 

              Though served year round, colcannon is actually a Halloween staple for the Irish, which is served molded into a ring with prizes hidden inside. The prizes foretell of the fortune the lucky (or unlucky) diner may have. Find a ring or coin in your colcannon and you can expect a marriage proposal or great wealth in your future, a button or thimble however will mean you’ll stay single for the upcoming year. 

              4. Irish Soda Bread | Gimmie Some Oven

              We prefer our soda bread with raisins, but you can always leave them out of this delicious, dense bread, best served with a generous smear of good quality butter. 

              5. My Mum’s Irish Apple Cake | Bigger Bolder Baking

              Nothing brings back memories of an Irish granny quite like an apple cake, which is probably why it tastes best with crisp granny smith apples!

              6. Green Food for St. Patrick’s Day | Pinterest

              When all else fails, just dye it green! Kids have a blast dying their favorite foods the color of shamrocks. Try serving dinner with a glass of green milk, food colored chocolate chip cookies, or green jello or pudding. Give Pinterest a try for endless inspiration on fun and playful St. Patrick’s Day treats. 

               

               

               

               

               

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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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