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Date Archives: February 2020

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Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group's top agents, teams and the firm's other top performers will be honored at a prestigious awards ceremonies on March 10th and 11th. 

Congratulations to all! 

Emerald Elite Award

Individual agents achieve Emerald Elite with a volume of $12 Million+ or Closed Units of 57+ or more. 
Teams achieve Emerald Elite with a volume of 24 Million+ in Volume or 115+ Closed Units.

Individual agents


  • Frank Destito
  • Peter LaRochelle
  • Les Priest
  • Madiha Farag
  • Stacy White
  • Linda Davis
  • Holly Taylor
  • Linda Gardiner
  • The Gina Team: Gina Letourneau, Hannah Clark, Sierra Lemieux, Jane Lidstone, Diane Marquis Monaghan, Tonia Curran - Arnold and Judy Prentice


Platinum Award

Individual agents achieve Platinum with a volume of 8 Million –11.99 Million or Closed Units of 46 - 56.9. 
Teams achieve Platinum with a volume of 16 –23.99 Million or 92 - 114.9 Closed Units.

Individual agents


  • Denise Denver
  • Lou Nixon
  • Linda Beaulieu
  • Kathy Kaklamanos
  • Karen Ramsay
  • Jodi Chute
  • Marie Burbank
  • Beth Rohde Campbell
  • Cindy Donnell
  • Sandy LeRette
  • Lesley Moose
  • Cameron Home Team; Pam Cameron and Andrew Cameron
  • The Fish Team; Carolyn Fish, Jason Fish, Emilie Bronson Blair and Lindsae Lasko
  • Team Marion Sharich; AmyLee Marion, Kelly Sharich, Bianca Contreras and Danielle Snow
  • Team Dube & Bennett; Susan Dube, Lorraine Bennett, Evan Dube and Kayla Larrivee
  • The Jenn Laverdiere Team; Jennifer Laverdiere, Molli Gillies, Shelley Bushway, Kate Logan, and Nicolas Dulac
  • Cosentino & O'Leary; Derek Cosentino, Diana O'Leary, and Audrey Micca
  • Dippold & Dennehy; Ann Dippold and Joya Dennehy


Gold Award

Individual agents achieve Gold with a volume of 6 –7.99 Million or Closed Units of 37 - 45.9. 
Teams achieve Gold with a volume 12 –15.99 Million or 74 - 91.9 Closed Units.

Individual agents


  • Judith Ilomaki
  • Karin Cannon
  • Donna Forest
  • Lindsey Ramsey
  • Meriwether Gill
  • John Caramihalis
  • Casey Hardwick 
  • Mary Beth Rudolph
  • Tammy Nelson
  • Jon Safford
  • Anne Marie Appel
  • Kathy Phair Alexander
  • Alina Tobin
  • Nancy Thompson
  • Ryan Goodell
  • Bob Watson
  • Carol Camp
  • Amy Vickery
  • Carol Slocum
  • Tacy Ridlon
  • Greg Proulx
  • Darlene Conca
  • Shirley Marcello
  • Russ Harrington
  • Susan Roemer
  • Denise Thomas
  • Diane Jousset
  • Diane London
  • Stacey Frost
  • Betty Ann Richardson
  • Team Boies; Tracey Boies and Joel MacQuade
  • Niles Shedlarskis & Brooks; Brian Shedlarski, Jessica Niles, Meghan Pearson, Samantha Brooks,
  • Jennifer Bouchard, Brandon Robbins and Samantha McKague
  • Taylor & Brunette Team; Steve Brunette and Heath Taylor
  • Pelletier Team; Elaine Pelletier and Travis Pelletier



Silver Award

Individual agents achieve Silver with a volume of 3 –5.99 Million or Closed Units of 21 - 36.9. 
Teams achieve Silver with a volume 6 –11.99 Million or 42 - 73.9 Closed Units.

Individual agents



  • Lisa MacDonald
  • Nate Mayo
  • Denise Whitney
  • Christine Houston
  • Andy Lord
  • Pat Paquette
  • Jane Beal-Costello
  • Sandra Dell
  • Karen Eldridge
  • Marilyn Laverdiere
  • Rick Wagner
  • Chris Long
  • Edie Fifield
  • Deb Beaudry
  • Joelle Sturms
  • Melanie Locke
  • Kathleen Cleary
  • Lisa Sheridan
  • Michelle Howe
  • Hal Sheeler
  • Laura Scaccia
  • Pam Bruder
  • Elaine Hall
  • Jamie Watson
  • Martha Giacalone
  • Carol Brighi
  • Susan Doyle
  • Rindy Stark
  • David Fountain
  • Debra DelMonaco
  • Jaime Fish Connell
  • Jillian Exel
  • Emily Campbell
  • Gene Corey
  • Constance Eldridge
  • Robbi-Lyn Ward
  • Mark Soltys
  • Fritz Dauth
  • Joel Alexander
  • Susan Bruce
  • Terry Hunt
  • Melissa Higgins
  • Russ Sweet
  • Louise Rolnick
  • Sherre Dubis
  • Cindy Dumais
  • Rochelle Bunton
  • Luanne Burtt
  • Ansley Moore
  • Mel Oldakowski
  • Marc Perry
  • Laurie Mullett
  • Melanie Trott
  • Monica Sumner
  • Laurie Marcello
  • Gary Jordan
  • Nancy Panza
  • Paula Standley
  • Jane Snow
  • Abby Enggass
  • Kate Barry
  • Roger Begin
  • Marianne Williams
  • Pam Kenison
  • Kimberly Benoit
  • Pauline Hanson
  • Faith Morse
  • Glenn Garry
  • Katie Folsom
  • Julie Thom
  • Earl Black
  • Nicole Ball
  • Karen LeMire
  • Trisha Fletcher
  • Sharon Dillon
  • Bob Barnard
  • Kathy Beaudoin
  • Kim Curry
  • Elizabeth Jarman
  • Diane Garcell
  • Bill Taylor
  • Kiki Katsiaficas
  • Kim Brountas
  • Grover Kilpatrick
  • Donna Vainio
  • Kimberly Matson


  • Cyr Team; Jane Cyr and Evan Cyr
  • Maine's Premier Team; Susan Moore, Richard Vraux, and Andrea O'Brion
  • Osler & Bilancia Team; Joan Osler and Sally Bilancia
  • The Dirigo Team; Jessica Wiltbank, Becky Prescott, and Philip Sloan
  • Melissa Bartlett Team; Melissa Bartlett and Samantha Bartlett
  • Performance Real Estate; Lynne Monk and Brad McLaughlin
  • Demers Home Team; EJ Demers and Patrick Harrigan
  • Renee's Realty Network; Renee Roy, Christie Gravel, and Travis Bashaw
  • The Green Home Team; Mike Bellamente, Michael Brigham and Linda Porter
  • The Jeff Clark Team; Jeff Clark, Briana Clark and Stacy Bagley



Bronze Award

Individual agents achieve the Bronze Award level with Closed Units of 15-20.9. 
Teams achieve the Bronze Award Level with a volume of 3.25 - 5.99 Million or 18-41.9 Closed Units.

Individual agents


  • Timothy Keating
  • Ann Seyffer
  • Bob Lombardo
  • Bob Tisdale
  • Courtney Keene
  • Sandy Cox
  • Suzie Chase
  • Bill Carlisle
  • Christine Pelkey
  • The Key Group; Maryanne McAden, Molly McAndrews, and Maureen Taylor-Emmott
  • Newell Team; Don and Emily Newell
  • Real Estate Peeps; Nicole Bixler and Al Boothby
  • Allarie Gray Team; Sarah Allarie and Amy Gray Tartaglia
  • The Vaillancourt Team; Jillian Vaillancourt and Scott Vaillancourt
  • The Brooks Team; Chip Brooks and Sherry Brooks


Commercial Associate Award

Individual agents

  • Bill Hutwelker
  • Penney Read
  • George Foskett
  • Matthew Bacon & Cassie Farley

VA Loan 2020

If you are planning on using a VA loan to purchase a home this year there are several changes you should know about. 

Following the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, veterans and military service members will enjoy more borrowing power but pay slightly higher fees when applying for VA home loans. The Act was signed into law in June 2019 but took effect Jan 1, 2020.

Navigate these changes to VA loans with a little help from our team. Our REALTORS® highlight everything you need to know about using VA loans in 2020!

No VA Home Loan Limits in 2020

The VA loan limit is the maximum loan amount the Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee a veteran or military service officer without making a down payment. The loan limit adjustment is a big win for veterans across the nation, especially for those buying in pricier markets. Extending the zero-down purchasing power will save many veterans a lot of cash and help them remain competitive.

However, the elimination of loan limits doesn't signify unlimited borrowing power with no down payment. Veterans will still need to have adequate income and meet their lender's credit demands to qualify for the VA loan amount. And if you still have impending VA loans or have defaulted on a previous loan, the loan limits will still be applicable throughout 2020.

Before this act went into effect, VA loan limits equaled the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on complying loans. In 2019, the limits were set to $484,350 in a typical US county and slightly higher in high-cost counties.

Click Here to


Relocation Tips

Buying a home in a different state can be a daunting task, especially if you know little about the state and the applicable local property regulations. However, with proper planning, preparation, and thorough research, you can identify your top property choices. In this guide, our REALTORS® have pieced together helpful tips for buying a home out of state. 

  1. Research Area Costs
    Explore the difference between the cost of living in your state and that of your desired new city, especially if you plan to live or vacation more often in the new state. Large cities usually have different costs of living depending on the neighborhood, so check options in various parts of the city. Evaluate all potential costs of buying the home before committing. Some cost implications may include costs of upgrading the home, closing and insurance costs, and repair or replacement of various appliances. Also, call insurance providers or agencies to get estimates.
  2. Ask About Property Restrictions
    Before you even travel to view your preferred homes, ask about property restrictions in your new state. For example, if you're buying a rental property, call the homeowners association to see if you're able to rent out a property in that neighborhood. If you want to install a new pool, check local and neighborhood rules to ensure it's possible before taking the time to view the property.
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How to Declutter

There are many reasons people opt for a smaller space. If you've decided to downsize to a smaller home, you'll reap many benefits, including a lower mortgage payment (if you still have one), lower utility bills, and a smaller area to maintain and keep clean.

Before you downsize to a smaller home you have to downsize your belongings. It's important to declutter your current home so your new home can be well organized with items that fit your new lifestyle. Our REALTORS® suggest the following tips help for downsizing to a smaller home:

  • Consider Your New Lifestyle
    As you prepare to move, consider what your lifestyle will be like in your new home. Do you see yourself pursuing an old hobby? Or maybe you won't be pursuing a sport you still have your old equipment for, but you'll have plenty of room to ride your bicycle. Imagine living in your new home and determine what items will help support this lifestyle.

  • Evaluate Your Furniture
    Furniture takes up a lot of space in a home and is difficult to move. Consider your smaller home and how many rooms it will have. If, for example, you'll have fewer bedrooms, you won't need as many beds, chests of drawers and other bedroom furniture. Check with your friends and relatives to see if anyone needs your excess furniture.

  • Go Through Everything
    Go through everything in your home, because you may have boxes of items that you no longer use or want. Open all of them and sort through their contents, so you don't blindly move them to your new home. This also lets you eliminate duplicate items, such as extra sets of drinking glasses.

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Home Purchase Questions

Our REALTORS® are there to guide you every step of the way when it's time to buy a home. Still, it's important to understand what you're getting into – and how to advocate for your interests.

Buying a home can include twists and turns, even when everyone has the best intentions. Knowing which questions to ask will help you get the information you need to make an informed decision about your real estate options.

Don't forget these vital questions when you're getting ready to buy a home:

  1. Why is the Seller Leaving?
    Understanding the seller's motivations will put you in a position to get a better deal. You don't have to offer more money to make a seller's day: For example, if there's a tight timeline for moving, you may be able to get price concessions in return for making a prompt commitment.
  2. How Long Has the House Been for Sale?
    The longer a house is on the market, the more negotiating power a prospective buyer has. Houses can end up lingering on the market when the original asking price is too high. If more than 30 days go by, it means a more motivated seller. More than 60 is "red alert" for most sellers.
  3. What Are the Neighbors Like?
    You might not see them every day, but next-door neighbors can be a blessing or a curse. Inconsiderate or loud neighbors can leave you dealing with a whole host of worries, from midnight noise issues to lawn debris ending up on your side of the fence. Meeting the neighbors in person is often a good idea!

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