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September
12

Maine Corn MazeThere's something special about autumn in Maine. Our real estate agents look forward to the crisp morning air and brilliant foliage all year long. It's also the perfect time of year to visit Maine's lovely farms and orchards, which offer some great corn mazes this time of year!

  • Pumpkin Valley Farm - 100 Union Falls Rd, Dayton, ME 04005
    There are several events to look forward to at Pumpkin Valley Farm every year—their Sunflower Festival is always a late summer highlight—but pumpkin season is when the farm really comes alive. This year, Pumpkin Valley Farm's annual Pumpkin Festival returns every Saturday and Sunday from September 24 to October 30. The five-acre corn maze, corn pit, and various other kids' activities are included in the price of admission. You can also get brick oven pizza and beer at the Rust Bucket or stop in at the Cow Lick Café for hot dogs, kettle corn, and cider. 

  • Ricker Hill Orchards - 295 Buckfield Rd, Turner, ME 04282
    Ricker Hill Orchards is known far and wide for you-pick apples. More than a dozen varieties are ready to pick throughout September and October, but that's not the only activity on this picturesque Turner farm. Craft fairs, animal shows, pony rides, and other activities take place throughout the fall, and kids can also enjoy getting lost in the twists and turns of Ricker Hill's corn maze. The maze is designed for kids to be able to solve within a half hour, which should give grown-ups just enough time to visit the Ricker Hill Orchards tasting room to sample some hard cider. 

  • Treworgy Family Orchards - 3876 Union St, Levant, ME 04456
    The corn maze at Treworgy Family Orchards is the stuff of legends. Every year, they create one of the most intricate and elaborate corn mazes in Maine, always with a different theme. But finding your way through this year's Winnie-the-Pooh-shaped maze may not be an easy task! Before heading into the corn, be sure to pick up a copy of the map, which includes riddles that can be completed as you pick your way through the labyrinth. Bring your completed puzzle to the café afterward for a free ice cream! And consider visiting during one of the Night Maze events on select weekend nights in October to try your hand at the corn maze after dark. 

  • Zach's Farm, 7 Colby Turner Ln, York, ME 03909
    Zach's Farm is a cozy family-owned farm known for its incredible farm stand. They offer a dizzying array of crops throughout the season, including some of the best sweet corn around. Come fall, their 17-acre cornfield becomes a massive corn maze that kids and grown-ups alike come from miles around to enjoy. The Zacharias family, who own and operate the farm, have been creating their corn maze for the public for more than 15 years now and have no plans of stopping!

  • Hooper's Orchard - 856 Back Brooks Rd, Monroe, ME 04951
    Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins are fall staples at Hooper's Orchard, a 300-acre farm in the rolling Mid Coast Maine foothills. More than 50 varieties of heirloom and modern apples are grown here. It's one of the best apple picking places in Maine, and their corn maze has also become a fall tradition. The maze offers kids and families a fun activity, along with free food and hayrides, during the annual Hooper's Orchard Apple Fest in late September. 

  • McDougal Orchards - 201 Hanson Ridge Rd, Springvale, ME 04083
    A seventh-generation farm in Southern Maine, McDougal Orchards is a staple of the Springvale community. In addition to growing 40 varieties of apples (and quite a few other crops), the farm also puts on some of the best fall festivities around. Stop by to pick apples, browse the farm store, take a weekend wagon ride, grab a coffee and apple cider donuts, and get lost in the corn maze! The maze and McDougal Orchards are smaller and easier than most, making them ideal for younger kids. 

  • Thunder Road Farm - 185 Newport Rd, Corinna, ME 04928
    The farm stand at Thunder Road Farm offers an amazing variety of produce throughout the year, from carrots and cucumbers to peaches and plums. In fall, they open up the farm to visitors with a wide range of attractions, including you-pick pumpkins, a 6-acre corn maze, and a 2-acre play area. It's the perfect destination for fall fun, open every Saturday and Sunday from September 17 to October 30. Thunder Road Farm chooses a unique theme for their corn maze every year, and this year's maze is dedicated to the champion 2021/2022 Nokomis Regional High Warriors varsity basketball team. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Maine. It's a special place to call home in any season, and our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find the perfect Maine dream home for you and your family. 

August
8

Maine Oysters

The oyster industry in Maine doubled in size between 2020 and 2021, with new oyster farmers setting up shop to help keep up with high demand. Of course, fresh, local oysters are a common sight on tables at seafood restaurants across Maine, and locals get to enjoy the harvest before anyone else.

Maine oysters are popular in part because there's so much diversity, with a wide variety of flavors depending on where the oyster was harvested from and what its environment was like. Feeling hungry yet? Our real estate agents have all of the delicious details on this local delicacy in your guide to Maine oysters.

Why the Taste of Maine Oysters Depends on the Environment

Maine oysters are renowned because they come in so many different, subtle flavors, and we have the state's diverse ecology to thank for that fact. That's because the flavor characteristics of each oyster differ depending on the environment where the oyster has grown. Even two oysters of the same exact type will have different flavors if they are harvested from different environments.

While the Damariscotta River estuary is Maine's largest source of oysters, they're harvested from locations all across the state. Oysters take on different flavors depending on the saltiness of the water, the water temperatures where they grow, the mineral content of the mud, and even the plant life that grows around them. The diverse aquatic environments of Maine provide endless opportunities for oyster farmers to cultivate unique flavors.

Common Types of Maine Oysters

Now that you know a little more about what makes Maine oysters special, it's time to take a closer look at some of the most popular oyster varieties that you'll find here. Each has its own unique flavor profile and characteristics.

  • Bagaduce Rivers
    One of the most popular types of oysters found in Maine, Bagaduce Rivers, take their name from an Indian word meaning "fast water." They have a fruity, creamy flavor and are often a bit smaller than other types of oysters.

  • Glidden Point
    Glidden Point oysters are known for their larger size and are harvested from the Damariscotta River estuary. They have a slightly salty taste and a crisp texture that adds to their complexity of flavor.

  • Pemaquid
    Some of the largest, plumpest oysters are of the Pemaquid variety, which feature rich, briny flavor and are typically found in cold water environments. Like the Glidden Point variety, Pemaquid oysters are harvested from the Damariscotta River.

  • Basket Island
    Sometimes, good things come in small packages. That's the case with the Basket Island oyster variety, which is smaller in size but packs a ton of flavor into every bite. Harvested from Casco Bay, this variety has a sweet, salty flavor that provides the perfect introduction to Maine oysters.

These are just a few of the most popular varieties. The great thing about Maine oysters is that there are so many more flavors to try, so you can sample different types until you find your favorite.

Where to Find Maine Oysters to Enjoy

  • Maine Oyster Company – 38 Portland St., Portland, ME 04101
    No matter where you're located, the Maine Oyster Company is ready to provide you with oysters that are as fresh as it gets. Live near Portland? Then you can visit the Maine Oyster Company headquarters yourself and experience the incredible selection of oysters that they have to offer. If you live elsewhere and have been craving a taste of home, the Maine Oyster Company offers overnight shipping of fresh oysters. They also have a second location in Portland, a dedicated oyster bar where you can sample Maine oysters, lobster rolls, and an outstanding selection of Maine craft beers.

  • The Maine Oyster Trail
    Interested in turning your love of oysters into a statewide journey? The Maine Oyster Trail will take you to destinations all across Maine, from Portland to Presque Isle, in search of the perfect oyster. The Maine Oyster Trail features tons of oyster-related activities, including farm tours, kayak tours, raw bars, restaurants, and even food trucks. You can pick up a Maine Oyster Passport to aid you as you travel the trail, allowing you to check in at participating businesses, keep track of the locations that you've explored, and earn some fun rewards along the way. With 75 different businesses to experience, it's easy to customize your trip to your unique preferences.

  • Maine Oyster Festival – Freeport, ME 04032
    Would you prefer if the Maine Oyster Trail came to you? The Maine Oyster Festival brings together hundreds of Maine's oyster farmers, restaurants, shuckers, and industry experts for a fun, flavorful celebration of Maine oysters. The event typically takes place in June, with the next edition set for June 23-25, 2023.

If you love seafood, you won't find a better place than Maine to call home. When you're ready to find your next home, our team is here to help with all of your Maine real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in your favorite Maine communities.

April
11

2021 Maine

Did you know that more people chose to move to Maine from out of state than any other state in the country in 2021? According to a study highlighted by REALTOR® Magazine, Maine was the top state for inbound moves last year. New residents are flocking to Maine for its family-friendly nature, diverse real estate options, endless outdoor attractions, great communities, and so much more. Our real estate agents have all of the details on what makes Maine such a popular choice for inbound moves and why you'll love living here, too.

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March
14

Maine Covered Bridges

Maine's covered bridges have been a subject of affection for countless photographers, artists, visitors, and outdoor enthusiasts for many decades, thanks to their quaint, historic charm. There are a total of 8 covered bridges dotting the gorgeous natural landscapes of Maine, each with its own unique character, construction, and story. Planning a trip to see Maine's covered bridges is a great way to get to know the state, and our real estate agents have some interesting facts to shed light on the history of each of the 8 bridges.

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October
11

Halloween DecoratingHalloween decorating is a fun fall activity for the whole family, but it can also get a little bit competitive among neighbors. Whether you're planning a party or just looking to spook the neighborhood trick-or-treaters, our real estate agents created this guide of Halloween decorating tips to help you create the most mystifying home on the block. 

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September
13

Bar Hartbor Living
Our real estate agents
think Bar Harbor is an incredible town to live in, but you don't have to take our word for it. Let us share some facts, figures, and general information showing why Bar Harbor makes a great place to call home for all ages and lifestyles.

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September
7

Cleaning Tips Listing a Home

When it's time to sell your home, it's important for your house to create a positive impression with prospective buyers. Our real estate agents recommend thoroughly cleaning your home before listing it to attract homebuyers and help you command the highest asking price.

A messy, cluttered space indicates to buyers that the property hasn't been properly maintained and may be a haven for expensive repairs. Check out this list of cleaning tips to prepare your home to list. 

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August
9

New England Books

With its incomparable natural beauty and impressive historical legacy, New England is a great backdrop for a wide range of literary genres, from young adult series to mysteries and thrillers. Here's a look at some top books set in New England that our real estate agents will be reading for Book Lovers Day on Monday, August 9th.

Add These New England Books to Your Reading List

Lights Burning

  • Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop
    Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie became a favorite of many when it was featured on the iconic PBS show Reading Rainbow. Set in the mid-19th century, 16-year-old Abbie faces the challenge of "keeping the lights burning" when her father, the lighthouse keeper, finds himself caught in a storm. This is a great choice to read aloud for kids during evening storytime. 

Cider House

  • The Cider House Rules by John Irving
    John Irving is considered one of the top contemporary writers in America, and The Cider House Rules is one of his best-known novels. The story of Homer Wells, who learns the truths of life while growing up in a Maine orphanage, has been compared to the works of Dickens in its themes and scope. In 2000, Irving won an Academy Award for his screenplay adaptation.

stephen king

  • It by Stephen King
    Even non-horror fans know the work of Stephen King, a literary legend whose books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. One of the signature elements of his works is their New England setting, such as the fictional town of Derry, Maine, where the terrifying events of It take place. Seven people, now scattered across the country, are drawn back to their hometown for a final showdown with the evil being they first faced together as teenagers. Woven throughout the story is a commentary on the bittersweet yet enduring bonds of childhood friendship.

Clammed Up

  • Clammed Up by Barbara Ross
    New England is renowned for its variety of fresh seafood, so it's only natural that it would be incorporated into locally-set literature. Clammed Up is a delightful hybrid of mystery and romance that revolves around Julia Snowden and her family's clambake business. In this introductory volume of the Maine Clambake series, Julia fights to clear the name of her childhood crush, who is the prime suspect in a murder. Other titles in the nine-volume series include Musseled Out, Fogged In, and Steamed Open.

A Separate Peace

  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    As a longtime staple of high school reading lists, A Separate Peace has truly earned the designation of "classic." Author John Knowles based the story on his experiences as a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious prep school in New Hampshire. During the years of World War II, odd-couple best friends Gene and Phineas experience a tragic event that tests their relationship and shatters their innocence. Gore Vidal, a famous author in his own right, was one of Knowles' classmates at Phillips Exeter and the model for one of the secondary characters.

Walk in the Woods

  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
    Spanning Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail is the Holy Grail for hikers. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is essential reading for anyone planning a hike on this route, even if it's just in their imagination. Author Bill Bryson, who has made a name for himself writing about an eclectic assortment of non-fiction topics, mixes fascinating facts about the trail with engaging stories of fellow hikers he meets along the way.

Carpenter Lady

  • The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky
    When you're craving the escapism of some light reading, pick up The Carpenter's Lady. You'll quickly be caught up in the story of Debra Barry, a TV writer who flees the fast pace of New York for the quiet charms of New Hampshire, seeking some post-divorce healing. After hiring carpenter Graham Reid to help renovate her house, Debra is surprised to find that her own damaged psyche is slowly becoming repaired as well. A Boston native who spent many childhood summers at a camp in Maine, Barbara Delinsky uses her lifelong love of the region to add realistic color to the settings of her books.

Secret History

  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Home to elite educational institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth, New England, is academic nirvana. This background is used to incredible effect in The Secret History, one of the most highly anticipated and successful debut novels of all time. Told as an inverted detective story, the novel begins years after a murder has been committed and relates the events leading up to the crime. The story takes place at fictional Hampden College, a small liberal college in Vermont. Donna Tartt patterned Hampden after Bennington College, also in Vermont, where she studied classics from 1982 to 1986. Tartt's classmates at Bennington included noted writers Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt.

Is your New England story waiting to be written? Contact us at The Masiello Group for help with all your real estate needs.

July
19

New England Airbnb

More travelers than ever before are skipping staying at hotels, instead choosing to rent rooms or entire homes from Airbnb hosts. With Northern New England being such a beautiful place for a getaway, the demand for Airbnb rentals in the area is often high. Becoming an Airbnb host is a great way to earn some extra income in your primary residence, meet new people from around the world, or even turn your second home into an income generator whenever you're not using it. Our real estate agents have the details to help you decide if becoming a host is right for you

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June
21

When the weather gets warm, sweet summer breezes carry amazing fragrances that beckon us to head outdoors and fire up our grills. Our real estate agents are thrilled to show you beautiful New England properties that boast patios and spacious gardens that make perfect spaces for summer grilling. If this sounds like your ideal way to spend a lazy weekend, check out these tips to make your summer grilling extra delicious this year. 

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June
7

New England Garden

When people ask our real estate agents for home improvement tips, gardening and landscaping are usually at the top of their list. 

Colorful flowers and lush greenery can always put a smile on your face. In addition to the visual delights, there are other great reasons to take up gardening.

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May
19

New England Memorial Day

The beginning, middle, and end of summer are marked by holidays that honor our country's greatest values and liberties. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veteran's Day are steeped in traditions of honoring and remembering all those who served in the military.  For many of us, it also means an extra day off to celebrate with family and friends.

With the promise of summer stretching out ahead, Memorial Day has a special significance. Our real estate agents share their favorite New England Memorial Day traditions. 

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May
11

New Hampshire vs Maine Lake Living

New England is justifiably proud of its spectacular Atlantic Ocean shoreline that makes the region a top tourist destination year after year. But residents know that the scenic lakes in New Hampshire and Maine offer an unbeatable sense of serenity as well.

Both states offer relaxing lake living activities such as boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, etc. But when you look closer, you'll see what makes these areas truly one of a kind. 

Our real estate agents share some of the things that make Maine and New Hampshire unique for lakeside living.

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March
9

Home Listing Tips

If you plan to put your home on the market, it's better to start your preparations sooner rather than later. Our real estate agents find that homeowners who complete home repairs and maintenance tasks are more likely to produce spaces that appeal to potential buyers. Follow this checklist if you plan to list your home this spring. 

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March
1

Pets New Home

Are you adding a new pet to your household? Pets have a special way of making any house feel homier! While adopting a new pet is fun and exciting, it can also be stressful while they adjust.

Each pet is an individual, so just be aware, what works for one may not work for another. Let's have a look at what's considered the mainstream wisdom for introducing a new dog or cat.

Before you leave to pick up your new pet, make sure you've prepared your home. For a cat, acquire a litter box and litter and put breakable things away. For a puppy, remove things you don't want chewed up.

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February
22

Home Renovation Budget

A home renovation project can make your home more enjoyable and functional if you're planning to live in it awhile, and it can also increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to prospective buyers when you're planning to sell. Before starting your project, it's important to set a budget so you can keep a good handle on its costs. Without a budget, it's easy to let expenses rise along the way before eventually spiraling out of control.

Our real estate agents recommend following these 5 tips for setting your home renovation budget:

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February
8

Buying Land

Know that you want to buy a new home, but haven't found a property that meets your needs? Consider buying land and building your own home. When you purchase land, you control the size and location of your home's lot. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're buying land this year. 

  1. It's Essential to Scout Out and Research Surrounding Land Plots
    Our real estate agents know that clients purchasing land may find plots in a variety of environments. The plots might be surrounded by land that has already been developed or is currently under construction. If so, you'll want to know if these plots will be used for residential homes or commercial businesses. Or, you may find the land plot surrounded by seemingly undeveloped land. Do your research to understand who owns the land. Are there any zoning restrictions? Are there farms nearby? Is there any history of criminal activity on the surrounding land plots? Check that you're comfortable with the neighboring land's current and potential usage. Investigate any restrictions that apply to your plot. It's not uncommon for local laws and ordinances to provide guidance on dwelling sizes or how many buildings may be placed on a piece of land. Don't assume that ordinances or restrictions can be appealed. Even if an ordinance is repealed, this is a lengthy process that may take years. 
  1. Financing Looks Different
    It's harder to finance the purchase of land than it is to take out a mortgage. When you use a mortgage to buy a home, the home acts as collateral for the lender if you default on the loan, permitting the lender to offer attractive lending terms. With land loans, the terms aren't nearly as favorable. Undeveloped land isn't as in demand as land with a home, so it's riskier for the bank to finance. You'll pay a higher interest rate, and you'll likely only be able to borrow a portion of the value of the land. It's not uncommon for lenders to require a downpayment of 50 percent for a land loan. You'll need accessible liquid savings to cover the difference. Some affordable land loans are available through the USDA for individuals purchasing land in qualified rural areas. 
  1. See What Utilities and Access Rights the Land Has
    A gorgeous plot of land is of little use if you can't access it. Confirm that the plot comes with access rights or an easement. Any easements concerning the land's access should be in writing. Depending on the location of the plot, you may need to add a private road to safely access your new residence. Make sure you consider this expense, as the cost of clearing and paving land quickly adds up. If the land isn't currently outfitted with utilities (like water, electricity, and internet), all of these items will need to be added. Check with your local utility companies that it's possible to run service to the land plot, and inquire about the cost. Some companies may run service to the land for free, while others will charge for their services. 
  1. A Land Survey is a Necessity
    You should hire a land surveyor to determine the exact boundaries of the land. Not only will this give you a better understanding of the plot's limits, but you can confirm that neighbors aren't intentionally or accidentally using the land. 

Ready to start searching for land for your home? Contact us today to get started!

February
1

VA Loan Changes 2021

Each year, changes are made to the existing legislature that provides additional advantages to many men and women. Prospective homeowners will be pleased to know that in 2020, Congress passed a new bill which changes the benefits that the men and women enlisted in our armed forces receive in 2021. It's known as the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D., Veterans Health Care, and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020.

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January
25

Clean Home Tips

Many of us are still spending more time than usual at home, which may continue for a while. If you're finding you've got time for extra cleaning projects, try to make the most of it and let your home's natural sparkle come out. Our real estate agents can always recommend cleaning tasks that homeowners may overlook when preparing a home for the market.

Here are some tips for enhanced cleaning in your home.

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January
11

Smart Home Tips

Smart home technology has been available to consumers for more than 20 years now. But it's really only in the last decade that the idea of a smart home has become mainstream. 

If you're wondering how you can use technology to make your home better, smarter, more efficient, and more secure, then you're in luck. As we head into the new year, our real estate agents are excited to share these smart home technologies for 2021. 

  • Smart Home Assistant
    One of the most popular smart home innovations in recent years, smart home assistants have proven to be more than a fad. Many different makes and models are available—Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant are some of the most well known—offering you a wealth of tools at your fingertips. Smart home assistants give you hands-free control to play music, look up directions, place calls, help with your shopping, and a seemingly endless array of other tasks.

  • Smart Thermostat
    Replacing your old, outdated thermostat with a modern smart thermostat is a great way to improve comfort and energy efficiency in your home. You can make adjustments to the temperature via a smartphone app, even when you're not at home. 

  • Smart Fridge
    It's true. Your refrigerator could probably be smarter. Most major fridge manufacturers have smart fridges in their lineup these days, and there are a wealth of benefits, including saving energy and reducing food waste. Using the accompanying app, you can adjust the fridge and freezer settings from your phone. You can also choose to get alerts when the door is left ajar or time for a water filter change. 

  • Smart Door Locks
    Improved security has always been one of the big advantages of a smart home, and smart door locks were one of the first features to catch on in a big way. Rather than looking for the right key, you can lock or unlock your door by thumbprint, by entering your PIN, or using an app on your smartphone. Many smart locks also have a built-in alarm system. 

  • Smart Lighting
    Smart light bulbs offer a major innovation for comfort and efficiency. You can turn lights on and off in any room of your home using voice commands or a smartphone app, including dimmer settings, so you can specifically adjust the brightness of certain lights. Of course, the real benefit is that if you forgot to turn off the downstairs lights before tucking yourself in for the night, you could switch them off without getting out of bed! 

  • Smart Cameras
    Security cameras have come a long way, and the latest smart cameras give you amazing control and security without invading your privacy. With two cameras in front and back of your house, you can have your entryways covered, with the ability to see the footage in real-time from your phone. 

  • Smart Hub
    A smart hub is essentially the "brains" of your smart home, connecting all your other smart devices and features. Essentially, it greatly simplifies things by making it possible to control your entire smart home using a single app. Some (but not all) smart home assistants include a smart hub, so you may or may not need a separate hub, depending on your setup. 

Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home or are simply ready to take your living space to the next level, smart home technology is an important consideration. Contact us today to learn more and talk to our team about ways to make your home smarter in 2021. 

January
4

Ways to Cut Energy Costs

January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, so be sure to add energy efficiency to your New Year's resolutions. When it comes to cutting energy costs, a few small changes can really make a big difference. More importantly, making our homes eco-friendly can have a major impact on our community and Earth. Our real estate agents love discussing ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, and they have compiled this list of tips to help you reduce your utility bills in 2021:

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