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January
10

New England Places

There is so much in Northern New England just waiting to be explored this year, no matter what you love to do for fun. Delve deep into the great outdoors at gorgeous, sprawling national forests, explore Maine's contributions to art in America, learn more about the family one of history's most notable figures, spend a day at the spa, or discover a new way to travel around Maine's stunning mountains. The choice is yours. Our real estate agents have all of the exciting details on 5 places that are well worth exploring in Northern New England this year.

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September
23

Home Security Tech

In our high-tech world, home security systems have become more sophisticated, affordable, and easier to use. And unlike the manual security gadgets of yesteryears, today's home security devices are discreet, packed with a variety of security features, and can be controlled using your phone or tablet. Smart home security tech can deter criminals and help in an emergency. From smart cameras to smart thermostats, our real estate agents explain the typical devices in a smart home security system to help take the first steps to a more convenient and secure lifestyle.

2021 Home Security Tech

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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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February
15

Home Organization Apps

Staying organized has never been easy. And after a year when many of us have spent more time living and working at home than ever before, it's understandable if home organization has gotten a little lax. 

Our real estate agents understand the struggle. Luckily, we also have a few suggestions for getting your home organization back on track. We can't promise you won't have to do any actual cleaning, but we can say with confidence that these home organization apps will help!

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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!

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
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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November
16

Living Near the Water

Our real estate agents have always loved living by the water, but is it possible that it's actually good for our health? We asked ourselves that question, and our research yielded some fascinating results. 

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October
9

Rockland, Maine - The Pearl
It should come as no surprise that when you visit Rockland, a cozy little city overlooking the rugged Maine coast, you'll find some pretty great seafood restaurants. Our Rockland real estate agents could go on and on about their favorite local eateries, but today we're going to focus on just one – The Pearl, a landmark seasonal restaurant located on the waterfront at Rockland's Harbor Park.

The Pearl By Any Other Name Wouldn't Be as Sweet

Rockland - About The Pearl
The Pearl is famous for its incredible local seafood menu, but at the same time has become infamous for its long history of opening, closing and reopening again under new ownership. But since Larry Reed, a Rockland local, took over in 2016, he's kept a steady hand at the wheel, and The Pearl's reputation for great food is rapidly eclipsing its tumultuous past. 

The Pearl Waterfront Rockland
The Pearl stands on pilings located at the end of a long pier at Rockland's Harbor Park.  Formerly known as The Woodshed Restaurant in the 1950s, one restaurant or another has occupied that spot for most of the last 50 years.  It was lost to a fire in 2004 and rebuilt soon after – but this time it looks like The Pearl is here to stay. The credit goes mostly to Reed who seems to understand what a coastal eatery on a Maine pier should offer: a comfortable, casual atmosphere, incredible harbor views, and a fantastic seafood-focused menu that draws heavily on what the local fishermen bring in every day. So far, it's been a tremendous success. 

We're the Catch of the Day--Least Until Saturday

The Pearl is a seasonal restaurant.  Since colder temperatures will be coming to Maine soon, The Pearl will close on Saturday, October 13.  Not to worry because they will re-open again in mid-May with the same great menu items you've come to know and love. 

From lighter fare like crab cakes and bacon-wrapped mussels to heartier entrees like seafood alfredo and haddock burger, you cannot make a wrong turn while you're navigating the menu at The Pearl.  Try their oysters on the half shell or order your lobster just about any way you can imagine--steamed, baked and stuffed--or delivered in chowder form.  You certainly don't want to miss trying The Pearl's lobster tacos or classic Maine lobster roll either.

Rockland - The Pearl Menu

A lot of the items on the menu change daily or rotate with the seasons depending on what the local fishermen are catching, so be sure to ask about the catch of the day. And for those who may not be so enthusiastic about seafood, fear not. You'll find burgers, steaks, chicken and pasta dishes to satisfy any palate. 

The Pearl is located just off Pub Landing Road overlooking Rockland Harbor, within walking distance of Harbor Park, the Maine Lighthouse Museum and Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventure. They're open every day except Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm (8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday). 

Your Rockland Real Estate Professionals

Contact our Rockland office to learn more about all the incredible opportunities our city has to offer. If you're looking for Rockland homes for sale, our team of dedicated real estate agents at The Masiello Group is here to help you find your New England dream home.

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