Sue Meservier

Winter Activities Near Sebago Lake

Winter Hikes in MaineWe all love the warm summers in Maine, but now that winter is almost here, that doesn't mean our moods should dampen. If you're planning to visit Sebago Lake this winter or live near this small beautiful lake, there are a ton of fun activities to do in the winter.

Here, we've curated a list of exciting winter activities that you can enjoy with your family and friends.

Hiking on Douglas Mountain

The Douglas Mountain in Sebago offers visitors four exciting trails that are bound to guarantee you some fun. It's accessible all year round with well-marked and maintained trails. The views here are pretty amazing, too. Some sections of the three-mile trail are steep and challenging. This is a great spot for an enjoyable hike to help you unwind and connect with friends and family. 

If you are a mountain climbing beginner, the modestly high Douglas Mountain should be a good start. For an experienced hiker, this is just a warm-up or a bonding trip with friends as you make your way to the summit.

Visit Portland City

Portland City is a melting pot of culture, arts, drinks, and food; the residents here are also lively and amazing. The area is replete with local restaurants where you can sample the best Maine cuisines. Notably, most restaurants pride themselves on using locally sourced materials.

That's not the only great thing about Portland. The city has beautiful scenery that will allow you to connect with mother nature and forests that you can hike with friends and family.

Horseback and Romantic Sleigh Riding at Carousel Farm

Located in Casco, the Carousel Horse Farm has a myriad of activities you can try near Sebago Lake, ranging from sleigh riding to horseback riding for both experts and beginners.

If you're visiting with your significant other, you could enjoy some romantic moments on the sleigh ride pulled by horses. There are also larger sleighs for groups, so do not worry, feel free to invite your friends.

Snowshoeing

Grab your pair of snowshoes and visit Bradbury Mountain Park, Pineland Farms, or Roberts Farm for a thrilling snowshoeing experience. If you don't have snowshoes, you can rent a pair and hit the fantastic snow trails.

Dog Sledding

Visit Oxford Road near Sebago Lake to enjoy dog sledding. Sit on a sleigh as a pack of dogs pulls you around. Here's what we can tell you about dog sledding if you're a first-timer: The ride is quite a thrill, packed with loads of excitement and some degree of difficulty.

There are a variety of packages for you to choose from. You can get the one-person experience that will last a day or pay for the ultimate experience and enjoy the sledding experience for three days.

Go for a Seaplane Tour

What better way to see the full extent of the lake and the larger Maine area than with an overhead tour? Naples Seaplane Adventures offers you the chance to experience the lake and green Maine from an aerial view. Trust us, this is an activity you are bound to enjoy. 

Their packages vary, but you can get a 25-to-50-mile ride that will allow you to see the snow foliage and the mountains in and around Sebago Lake. This is an all-year-round activity so, feel free to try it anytime.

Final Thoughts

Sebago Lake is a little paradise with so much to offer in the form of vacation spots and fun events in the winter or fall. 

If you're considering moving to Sebago Lake, at Meservier & Associates, we know all there is to know about the real estate market in the area. Contact us today!

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    Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar: 4 Tips That Will Make Buyers Fall in Love

    Home Staging: The Living RoomLet's face it: a first impression makes all the difference, whether you're at a job interview, business meeting, or on a first date. You only get one first impression! Make your potential buyers fall in love with your home using the helpful staging tips below.

    Staging your Maine home leaves an excellent first impression for potential buyers, and it can reduce the duration of the home selling process and add value to your home. According to a 2017 Report by the National Association of Realtors, 62% of realtors who spent time staging homes for sale saw a decrease in time those homes spent on the market. Half of all sellers report that home staging increased the dollar amount at closing by 1% to 10%. 

    Home staging has low risk and high reward. It shortens the journey to closing and improves your odds of getting your asking price. Suppose you're looking to do something new to increase your home’s value and prepare to sell your home in Maine. Here are four ways to stage your home in Maine to sell for top dollar.

    1. Boost Your Curb Appeal

    Even if a first showing is the first impression, it begins before your buyers even walk through the front door. What they see when they drive by, or even when they walk up to the house, the question “could this be my next home?” enters the potential buyer’s mind. Cultivating that first impression from the moment they set eyes on your listing can be the difference between a drive-by and a phone call. 

    Some of the Easiest Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal Include: 

    • Power wash the siding, gutters, and roof of your home. 
    • Paint the front door a warm, inviting color and polish or upgrade the door handle. 
    • Clean or replace your mailbox, house numbers, patio furniture, and welcome mat. 
    • Plants! Enhance your flower beds and instantly make your front yard more vibrant and lively. 

    Most realtors agree that curb appeal is one of the most critical parts of home staging. Find an agent best suited for your home selling needs at Meservier & Associates.

    2. Turn Your “Extra Room” Into an Office

    No trend has accelerated more rapidly in the last year than working from home, and working remotely is a trend that’s here to stay. As more companies embrace remote work, the ability to highlight your Maine home as both a comfortable place to live and an enjoyable workspace is more important than ever. 

    3. Show Off Your Storage Space

    Consistently one of the most overlooked areas for home staging, showing off the storage spaces in your garage, closets, cabinets, and pantry makes all the difference. It’s also essential to make sure that your storage spaces look as large and well-utilized as possible. Staging storage space is less glamorous than staging a beautiful modern kitchen or a luxurious master bedroom, but making storage space a highlight of your home could end up making all the difference. 

    The Best Ways to Stage Your Maine Home’s Storage Spaces Include: 

    • Clean and declutter to use every square inch of space the most effectively. Organized storage spaces look neater, cleaner, and bigger. 
    • Remodel closets, pantries, shelving, and other storage areas to create more aesthetically pleasing spaces. If you are looking to paint, choose a more neutral color, such as white or an off-white tone. 
    • Don’t be afraid to decorate! Ideally, your storage spaces should be less than full because it makes them look larger and more appealing. 

    4. Liven Up Your Living Room

    If you’re not asleep or at work, where do you spend the most time in your home? For most people, the answer is the living room, where your family comes together to unwind. Stage your home so buyers can see the space as more than just a living room. Stage your home so buyers see your living room as a place for family time, holiday get-togethers, or space where they sit back and relax in after a long day at work. 

    How Do I Convince Buyers My Living Room Is Their Next Living Room? 

    • Organize. Your entire home should be clean and clutter-free, but this is even more important in your living room. Make sure you repair any minor maintenance issues too. 
    • Mind your lighting. Whether it’s dimming overhead lights, or adding a lamp in the space, use lighting to set a cozy mood for buyers. Consider painting the walls in your living room a lighter color such as white, grey, or an off-white shade to maximize natural lighting in your space. Hanging a mirror across from your windows is an easy way to maximize natural lighting in your living room. 
    • Set the stage. Make sure you properly arrange your furniture for the best home staging experience. Pick your focal point (fireplace, chandelier, a scenic view) and build around that, pull furniture away from the walls to make the room look bigger. Create a vignette and put it on a coffee or end table, and use that to occupy any awkward spaces in your living room. 

    Most surveys show that the living room is the most critical room in the house for home staging. A 2017 study shows that 83% of realtors will stage living rooms when selling a home, the single most frequently staged area of the house. Make sure your living room is a cut above the rest, take time to deep clean the room, rearrange furniture, and turn your potential buyers into future owners. 

    Find an Agent Near You 

    Contact Meservier & Associates with any questions about home staging, or if you’re ready to put your Maine home on the market. You can also learn more about our seller services here.

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      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

                                                Meservier & Associates at 220 Main Street in Auburn

                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

                  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.

                    Mortgage Interest Rate

                    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.

                    Home Equity Scale

                    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.

                    Market Trends

                    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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