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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
25

Apple Cider Donuts

Fall is officially here, which means it's time for sweater weather, pumpkin spice, and comfort foods. Whether they're tossing ingredients in the slow cooker before heading out for a busy day of helping people find their dream homes or spending their days off making something more complex, our real estate agents love cooking this time of year. 

If you're looking for some inspiration, you're in the right place! Here are a few of our favorite recipes for New England comfort foods. 

New England Comfort Foods

  • New England Clam Chowder
    Nothing says "comfort" quite like a steaming hot bowl of New England Clam Chowder. This recipe uses thick-cut bacon, potatoes, fresh chopped clams, and just a hint of thyme. The secret ingredient in this recipe is the white pepper, which keeps it "old school" and amazingly delicious. 
  • Firehouse Chili
    There's no shortage of chili recipes out there, but this award-winning recipe for Firehouse Chili has the perfect balance of seasoning and plenty of large chunks of meat. If you're looking for a tried and true crowd-pleaser, this is it. While we think this chili is perfect just the way it is, if you want it more or less spicy, you can easily adjust the amount of jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and chili powder to your tastes. 
  • Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
    This recipe for Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings has been passed down through multiple generations. It's one of the most comforting cold-weather foods, and when you make it, you'll feel just like you've taken a step back to Grandma's kitchen. The secret lies in putting an entire chicken in the pot to make the broth, then adding the chicken back to the soup along with the homemade dumplings at the end of the recipe. 
  • Mom's Meatloaf
    Mom's meatloaf is a denser version of the classic recipe. It gets a boost of flavor from chorizo sausage, bacon, and the perfect blend of spices. It's delicious when served with ketchup and sauteed onions. Add a side of mac and cheese or mashed potatoes for the perfect comfort food meal. 
  • Lobster Mac & Cheese
    Nothing says comfort food can't also be classy! This recipe for Lobster Mac & Cheese has won multiple awards, and it's easy to see why. With three different types of cheese, plenty of butter and cream, and three pounds of fresh lobster, you'll find this meal perfectly decadent and delicious! 
  • Yankee Pot Roast
    Pot Roast is a New England classic. It combines a large chuck roast with beef broth, red wine, carrots, celery, and pearl onions. Serve it over egg noodles or rice for an amazingly satisfying meal. One great thing about this recipe is that there are so many things you can do with leftovers. Our favorite is a thick and cheezy pot roast grilled cheese sandwich
  • New England Lamb Bake
    This hearty New England Lamb Bake tastes amazing, and it will also fill your home with an incredible aroma. It features a leg of lamb, carrots, leeks, spices, and a topping of sliced potatoes. If you prefer, you can make this with ground lamb or with a chuck roast instead. 
  • Crumb-Topped Clams
    Crumb-topped clams combine tasty littleneck clams with a perfectly seasoned topping of breadcrumbs. They're a Christmas Eve favorite in many New England homes but are also an incredible comfort food to enjoy any day of the year. Give them an extra bit of decadence by adding a crispy piece of bacon on top of each clam.  
  • New England Bean & Bog Cassoulet
    Another classic local cuisine, New England Bean & Bog Cassoulet is made with baked beans, Italian sausage, chicken, croissants, cranberries, and more. It's a warm, hearty, and heartwarming dish that's perfect for a chilly night. The flavors are a complex mix of sweet and savory, and this dish is surprisingly easy to prepare.   
  • Yorkshire Pudding
    This decadent recipe for Yorkshire pudding will take your dinner to the next level. While the word "pudding" may make you think of dessert, this is a puffed pastry baked in meat drippings. It's perfect for absorbing gravy and goes well with roast beef or a roasted chicken. 
  • Apple Cider Donuts
    There are few things tastier than a fresh, hot apple cider donut. The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom is exactly what the fall season is all about. This recipe makes 12 donuts plus donut holes, so plan to make them when you have company or share them with friends. 
  • Cape Cod Blueberry Pie
    This Cape Cod Blueberry Pie has been a Northeastern staple since the 18th century. To make it a true comfort food, use fresh-picked blueberries and top it with fresh cream. If you're serving it in the summertime, you can top it with vanilla ice cream instead.  

If you're looking for the perfect home, our team is here to help! There are many great properties for sale right now, so don't delay. Contact us today to get started. 

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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August
16

Paperless Back to School

One of the advantages of living in New England is the many colleges and universities that serve the region. Going paperless will bring some benefits to the education process. While a child may not require the sophisticated technology of the adult student, more and more elementary and high schools are also adopting paperless systems for the benefit of the teachers, students, and of course, the planet. Here are a few reasons why you may find this to be a great option for your home.

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July
12

Pet Fire Safety Day

Pets are a part of the family in many Northern New England homes!

And July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, a great reminder to fine-tune your family's fire safety plan so that all your family members are protected.

Our real estate agents also recommend making a few changes around your home so that your furry family members don't inadvertently start a fire. Here are some valuable tips to help keep your pet safe in case of an emergency. 

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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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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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