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Quechee, VT | 4 Posts
Rockland, ME | 4 Posts
Tips for Buyers | 11 Posts
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York, ME | 1 Posts
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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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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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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
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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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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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
15

Gallery Wall Masiello

A good way to create a focal point in your living room is to craft a gallery wall. One that is well done makes a home look inviting and helps tie the room together. This creative collage does require a bit of planning! The following guide will help you to create a stunning gallery wall you'll love to look at in your home.

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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
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!

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
18

Interior Design Details

Sometimes the smallest change can make all the difference in the world. And if you've spent as much time at home in the last year as we have, chances are you're ready for a change!

Our real estate agents are here to help. These interior design tricks can make a huge visual impact and seemingly transform your space. They're also simple, affordable, and require a minimal investment of time and effort. Happy decorating!

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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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December
7

Work From Home New England

Covid-19 has taught us a lot this year, including how well many of us are able to adapt to a remote working environment. While many companies and employees believed working from home would be a temporary arrangement early on in the pandemic, it's becoming more and more clear that the virus has simply accelerated the inevitable shift to remote work. You can argue that working from home has benefits and disadvantages; however, many people, including our real estate agents, believe it is here to stay. Below are several reasons why.

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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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