Mooers Realty Blog
The Maine home you decide you want to sell.
This real estate blog post is designed to show you how to get that home sold. With the steps in the order to achieve a quicker, more profitable and less hassle real estate sale.
There is nothing more frustrating than having a Maine hme buyer ooh and ahh about the kitchen and then moan "whoa".
The buyer for a property listing needs a real estate home loan.
Where to get the mortgage for financing the house for sale when cash is not an option. Or owner financing is not possible. Because the seller needs to pay off a mortgage and to replace the house with a new home address in another neighborhood somewhere else.
Nationally there is a shortage of real estate property appraisers.
My Dad was one of the first crop of Maine residential real estate appraisers when licensing for valuations was needed. Prior to that the licensed Maine real estate broker could issue valuations. Appraising a property, valuation was one of the three components of licensure when I took my broker's exam in 1979.
Real estate practices and law were the other two components to getting, passing an agent or broker's license test to hang on the wall of an agency. Valuation was the toughest teacher, Ted Sherwood from Bangor drove home the point and made sure you knew the fine points of valuation for which I thank him. Dana Devoe was the law instructor, Earl Black the practices teacher who I still see at state REALTOR conventions each fall.
Maine small town bankers prior to appraisers being brought on board could visit the property and size it up for condition and value for the collateral securing a mortgage loan. The home town mortgage lender made character loans too with local control and based on past experiences with the borrower or from family dealings in the small Maine town. Maine only has a handful of cities and small town communities is the norm in Vacationland.
So back to the blog post title that kept your reading this far.
Local real estate bank home loans, protecting rural small towns in Maine. In my area of northern Maine the shortage of appraisers for the work load is felt in our local markets. One appraisal firm out of Washburn Maine recently announced they were pulling back their horns and not servicing southern Aroostook County any longer. So the tightness for appraisers to do the mortgage loan underwriting inspections and valuations just increase a few clicks on the rachet tension.
So my advice to a home buyer looking for a home loan in Maine's small rural real estate markets is to keep it local.
Use those banks with processing centers in Maine. With local outlets for lending from institutions that have banks, credit unions in the small Maine town or in one of the sixteen counties of the Pine Tree State. Why? Lots of reasons. First and foremost is the service you you receive and the time that is not wasted waiting for the clear to close real estate memo.
The price tags hanging off the properties, the real estate in Maine are not all the same size.
The shift from doing it yourself instead of hiring it out is part of moving to rural Maine transition.
Any real estate agent or broker can make a property sale look easy.
To make the process appear seamless as if each property listing transfer could be done with one hand tied behind their back or wearing a blindfold. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Because real estate is an emotional job dealing with all personality types and working around tremendous pressures caused from rushed relocation, dwindling resources to carry the expenses of a property listing. And add in the added stress of a divorce, poor health or death and the estate sale squabbling that can add to the difficulty of the real estate sale.
But a seasoned, experienced real estate professional has weathered many markets, dealt with lots of property sale situations and the folks involved in each and every property sale.
So our job is to give advice that sometimes is taken in whole, part or not at all. If the struggle to suggest the best course of action goes on deaf ears, the real estate professional should see the red flags. To wave his or her own white one to surrender. To take a step back and thank the buyer or seller for their time but to suggest there is a better fit out there to represent them. Realizing that you can not help them and that you are not able to meet their expectations. So you can move along to the listings and real estate sales that you can do your best work for results.
This blog post highlights a few of the unknowns that can raise havoc in a real estate sale. MOOERS REALTY has blogged before on areas where sellers can help or hurt their sale. When buyers can do good or harm the process in the real estate sale.
Besides whether the buyers or sellers take your advice or not, what are the wrenches that get thrown into the cogs of a real estate sale that are harder to control or plan for in a transaction? There are plenty that have nothing to do with the buyer or the seller and that can easily get missed early on to only rise up and show their ugly head later.
Getting a mortgage, lenders, local banks in Houlton Maine.
Working with the local bank mortgage loan arranger and using those licensed real estate appraisers living and practicing in northern Maine just works best. There is no debate on that.
Videos for real estate save everyone time.Real estate videos work because they are instant. Real full motion video, not a slide show of the same images the buyer has already sat through show how the rooms connect. You don't get one shot of each room, a couple exteriors and that's it. Until your buyer clears the time, has the added expense of physically traveling from far away to be at the property. To finish what was left out of the online listing presentations.
Should I buy a new home before I sell my old house?
Buying and selling your house at the same time?
The need for two master bedrooms in a home may not be for the reasons you think.
The polite habit of giving up the best bedroom for your house guests and retreating elsewhere would not be needed. If there was a second master bedroom with its own bath, you the home owner would not have to vacate and retreat to the cramped back bedroom. Because that kind of swanky comfortable could quickly wear out the welcome of the folks from away who decide to stay on and on longer.
They say company is like fish. It can start to smell after a few days. No matter which side of the family the house guests are related to in the home away from home, we've got company experience.
A second master bedroom is catching on in home building house plans for lots of reasons.
The King and Queen in the home might have health problems that interfere with a good night's sleep. You know how grumpy you and I are if the rise and shine is after a night of tossing and turning. Counting sheep pretty much all night long.
If Dad snores or likes to read detective novels long into the night, if Mom is a night owl and watching murder mysteries while her mate is trying to saw logs causes a delay for the visit from the sandman. Or the queen of the house sadly develops a hiatal hernia that means the bottom footer of the bed has to be jacked up like the back end of a 1960's muscle car, the two situations clash. No easy remed sharing the same bed or setting up twins. It can cause discomfort for both of the home owners. So the remedy could be a pair of master bedrooms. No one person gets the penthouse quarters in the coin toss, both do. In vacation homes, all the brothers and sisters want equal digs. Mr. Carpenter, construct more super sized master bedrooms please.
Elderly parents moving into to live under the same roof line need larger than average bedrooms.
They have deserved the right to have a special master bedroom and not be crammed into the back bedroom with no window, missing a closet and located pretty much as far away from the nearest bathroom as possible. That won't work with a walker or poor eye sight in the middle of the night one hundred yard dash or crawl. Some have breathing machines to place in the already tight for space bedroom area. Expand the walls please. Don't fence me in.
The senior citizens should get a master bedroom just as plush as the home owner because they are helping to swing the house payment by subsidizing living expenses. Or the Golden Girls set up in Florida all should have equally nice appointed and just as large master bedroom retreats.
Relocation, moving to Maine.
The needs of someone who is selling or has successfully sold their home out of state and who is moving to a small rural Maine town. Each person wonders about the FAQ and their own special formulated list of questions. Much of the planning before the move to Maine relocation happens using videos.
Before everything, the desire to pick up, pack up and head out to somewhere is the all important decision.
Making sure are you ready, can you do this, are there any doubts.
Nothing is worse than developing a case of seller's remorse letting go of your old home which often has to happen before making the move.
Lots of questions roll around in their head of real estate out of town property buyers with anxious thoughts about what should I be doing to prepare in the relocation, moving to Maine.
How do I find out about all the local information, the contact numbers, the best route to take to save time, money, aggravation. Local insider tips from someone who lives and knows their way around the community from years of experience is a valuable thing. But not if it is only shared when a real estate buyer or seller darkens the agency door.
One of the blog post considerations in the round robin of what to share is always asking myself a question or two. What would I need to know if I was not from this area? If I did have any frame of reference or a local relative or other resource to tap into the information? I like to think of the folks using our media production products as travelers and not just tourists. Although the interest to relocate, move to Maine usually starts with a simple vacation. And then year after year returning to Maine to continue the tradition or exploring to discover all the wonder of Vacationland.
The testimonial page on your real estate website.
Not many folks like a braggart who flaunts their real estate services or any products with hust a little too much swagger.
Give me advice to guide the process please.
Confidence comes from a job well done and publicly displayed by others before you using this real estate firm.
(Exception: Luxury real estate customer reviews like the copy and plush imagery, videos in the real estate presentation are over the top stilted and high brown snarky.)
Maine REALTOR, if you are listing your home for sale should the real estate agent or broker handling the sale be wearing a blue and gold "R" lapel pin?
Like Rotary International that was started to add some ethic training and accountability for early business folks in Chicago, lots of trade organizations started up about the same time to tame the lawlessness and wide open shoot from the hip approach to many business dealings.
Buying land in Maine, what to look out for when building a house from scratch.
This blog post also considers the top mistakes to avoid making when you build your own home in Maine. First the Maine land.
Like people the soils are different on house lots or larger property acreages.
And the first rule of real estate everyone knows about the three location, location, location mantra that reminds under everything is the land and where it is on the planet is everything when building a home.
It is so true that the land location, the how it lays in the terrain and setting is everything to the future home owner. What is happening on the adjacent lots, the property across the street or road from the Maine land where you want to build?
Will the house you have in mind fit the flavor of the other houses already constructed? What is planned for development on vacant land for the best finished structure all goes into the selection of the best possible house site for your Maine home.
What is in your view, the orientation to the southern exposure sun? Where are you toying with placing the improvements on this Maine land? Does the house, the garage, septic system, big garden, tennis court or swimming pool all go together like a puzzle where you don't have to force the pieces?
Next building permits, HHE 200 soil tests for private septic systems leach field designs are needed on your Maine land.
Every municipality is different on what is required and believe it or not there are itty bitty Maine towns that don't require building permits. Some of these small burgs or plantations that are more like settlements run everything through the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC). The majority of folks who growl about LURC are ot the out of state building on land buyers because they are used to heavy duty zoning and layers of players.
See the local officials before you plow in to the construction and then are told hold it, you are missing some vital paperwork from town hall.
No private mortgage insurance (PMI), no down payment using your veterans eligibility certificate to buy a house.... Two pretty darn good reasons for going after a VA home loan.
Are you in the market to purchase a Maine home and in the dark on the best mortgage loan to fit your finances and match the home of your dreams? Considering a VA home loan may be the best mortgage product out there to lock and load for the shock and awe soldier. Keep your head down, your socks dry and skip the step about crawling on your belly like a reptile under barbed wire. At ease... VA home loans explained from A to Z in this real estate blog post.
My Dad was a veteran, a tail gunner in a B-24 squeezed tight in the back end of the Liberator four engine aircraft during World War Two. I have two older brothers who served and are veterans.
Part of the benefits that are many to being a veteran is your ability to use a VA eligibility certificate to buy a home in Maine. But who is a veteran. For years I was told that serving in the National Guard did not mean you were able to get a VA home loan. So let's thrash out who qualifies for a VA loan.
For starters, the all important discussion about who exactly is eligible for a VA mortgage home loan?
What's it take to qualify. It starts with your answers to a few simple questions. Can you say yes to any one of the following questions to determine VA home loan eligibility?
1) Were you on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days during wartime?
2) Have you served at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime?
3) Did you serve in the National Guard or Reserves for more than 6 years?
4) Are you a widower or widow of a military service member who died either in the line of duty or as the result of an active-duty service-related injury or disability?
How's the real estate market, is this a good time to sell my home in Maine?
What is my home worth? Is this the best time to buy a property? Study of the local real estate market in Maine, the snapshot changes like any investment right?
It's a simple math exercise with bar graph pipes and lines going up, down, sideway. The activity report to show the real estate market report numbers.
Maine has sixteen counties and they do not all behave the same just like kids. Link to county by county real estate listing activity. At the time of hunting, pecking this blog post, Maine has 16,224 active listings for sale. 3069 of them are under contract with a sale pending status. 2041 is the number of new listings in 2018 and 1872 properties have been sold this year to date. So here is what's cooking in the current market.
To look at the state of Maine to see what's for sale and where, hit this helpful search link.
My home town of Houlton Maine has 102 listings and that is not just houses but all types of property.
Raw Maine land, waterfront listings, multi unit rental housing are all in that figure to break out if needed. Not every property buyer is after the same thing. Like a menu, everyone does not select the same ole same ole.
It is interesting how many single family or condo or land listings populate one market in Maine and the supply of inventory in other markets is not the same mix amounts.
Prices for properties is a big difference too. A average house price of $70,000 could increase to $210,000 depending on the real estate property location in Maine. Maine is one big vast state. It is eight hours long. More if you are a turtle.
The maps, zoning on property in Houlton Maine.
Taking the issue to the zoning board of appeals when an exemption to permitted uses is needed all takes time with no guarantee of the outcome.
There is nothing better than looking up online or leafing through the zoning plan. Seeing okay, fine and dandy for the use. The zoning plan for a small town does allow just what you intend to do with the land location and structures planted on top.
Small Maine towns don't have home owner's associations (HOA), no snarky layers of zoning regulations or bylaws as a rule. That restrict the use of the real estate big time. In unorganized townships, plantations there is LURC, the land use regulation commission to approve the do's and don'ts when local planning and zoning boards are missing. On the 250' zone back from and around your Maine waterways, there is shoreland zoning regulations to wrestle with on new construction.
When your structures were built before the the lake front zoning became law, you are grandfathered in. But when it comes time to hope to add on or to replace a deck with something bigger, to repair a boathouse, whatever. It starts and ends with reading over current shore land zoning regulations.
Your home for sale needs a real estate buyer.
Just one buyer they say is all it takes. But why is the property listing lingering on the market? It does not wear ten foot pole marks. You think it is the best house for sale on the planet bar none. You the seller are kinda perplexed at the delay in the real estate sale.
Here are a dozen reasons your home for sale is not headed to a slide the keys, pass the check property closing.
#1 - First, foremost, the price for the home for sale is not in line with others in the local market. There have been recent real estate sale of places pretty darn similiar to your home for less money. There is a healthy supply of homes just like it that are priced lower than your listed price.
#2 - Marketing of the home for sale is missing or barely has a pulse. It is like winking at a girl in the dark. The results are poor when only the neighbor on each side of your home, the one living across the street know your house is for sale.
The marketing has to be way way stronger than just attracting a local buyer too. Bigger marketing pool, means more fish swimming in it to find your buyer quick and easy. The one buyer who is ready, willing and able to buy today. If they like it, if it fits their housing needs. Your real estate agent has to have fire in their belly passion to push the property, to market it's features to the hilt. Full throttle, hang on we're headed to a real estate closing attitude causes home sales.
#3 - The longer an over priced home for sale hangs around the real estate market, shelf life, or property listing mold begins to develop. Why isn't it selling, there must be something wrong the folks out in the online Internet audience wonder.
Often the only out of whack feature of the property is the too high a price tag it wears. I have had a home seller says the reason his house did not sell was because it was too low a price with his last two real estate agents. Believing that low real estate prices scare away home buyers. I have never ever seen a lower than the market value price for a home that has to sell fast keep people away. The marketing makes sure they know about this blue light special shoppers. But when the home for sale marketing is missing, the phone does not ring, the email server does not glow red hot from activity.
Buying the horse farm property in Maine.
The land soil profile, the location and slope is everything for raising, showing, developing a horse farm property for a business investment. Or for just the sheer pleasure of an equestrian hobby operation. Horsing around on your Maine land. And agriculture 101 comes into play in the real estate exercise buying the horse farm property in Maine.
Like people, Maine land soils are different.
What you use the farm land in Maine for requires different agricultural real estate approaches to maximize the soil's productivity. While being careful not to cause soil erosion and remaining always eagle eyed about drainage, the terrain of the land and proximity to Maine's precious waterfront resources. The fields, the woodlot are kept in a balance with the wildlife to protect their home too. And the goal is to pass along the land in Maine to your loved ones or another farm property buyer who protects the environment in the same respectful approach.
A large acreage parcel being eyed for use as a Maine horse farm would be a very foreign assignment.
To a real estate agent or broker working an urban market where it is just house house house sales.
And everyone has a tight tall obtrusive fence around their lots to desperately gain a spec of privacy. With the land measured in square feet like the home, not in whole or at least large fractional units of acres or hectares.
(One acre unit of land measurement is almost two and half times bigger when converted to hectares.) And one acre of land is roughly 208.71' by 208.71 when sliced and diced into a simple square shape. Where I live, just a few miles to the east is the Canadian province of New Brunswick where hectares not acres are how land is measured up for size on farm properties.