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Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Selling a Home | 1 Posts

5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2021

"It doesn't matter if you're a first time home buyer or already have a home, making a decision on having homeowners insurance policy may save you money in case something happens in the future.
And because not all options are created equal, Money.com has an in-depth article on the best Home Insurance companies in the market.
This includes insights into how they work even now during COVID-19 and some scenarios that a policy can or can't cover."

Click here to read the article.


Stainless Steel Cleaning

Stainless steel appliances are a top choice for many kitchens because of the sleek, modern look they offer. Their tone coordinates with multiple color schemes, and steel is one of the most durable materials available to homeowners. Plus, stainless steel comes in multiple finishes, and some appliances mix finish types so that you can maintain aesthetic consistency without too much uniformity. While the name says stainless, let's be honest, fingerprints and smudges happen, and cleaning these appliances can leave some homeowners stumped!

Whether you're tackling your spring cleaning or getting ready to take real estate photos of your Augusta home for sale, these tips will get your stainless steel appliances looking like new.

  1. Rub the Right Way
    Few things can ruin the look of stainless steel worse than scratches. A brushed finish may hide smaller abrasions, but all finishes require gentle care. Avoid abrasive cleaning products or tools when cleaning stainless steel. Use a soft cloth or paper towels to clean stainless steel. There are non-abrasive household cleaners that will remove grime and messes. If you're not sure about the abrasive quality of a cleaning product, test it on a small, inconspicuous area. For sticky or dried-on messes such as splattered sauces, try warm water to dissolve the mess into something easily wiped away with a microfiber cloth. Use dish soap to remove grease spatters after frying, then rinse with water to prevent residue buildup. 

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Move to Augusta

There's a mystique about Maine that those of us "from away" are intrigued by. It's beautiful, and it's located way up there by Canada, with open spaces and a small population. Many newcomers find Maine, and especially Augusta, the capital city, a great place to live, especially if you're looking for a family-friendly city with lots of other bonuses.

While you're pondering Augusta's fine points, you might want to go online and take a virtual tour of some exceptional Augusta homes for sale. Be sure to contact our REALTORS® and let us help you find the right home for you and your family.

Being family-friendly is just one of the great things about Augusta. Here are some others.

  1. Public Institutions
    Augusta has many public institutions that help to enrich local culture while also furthering education beyond the high school level. There's the University of Maine, which not only educates but promotes valuable research by faculty and students. Other resources are the Lithgow Library, the Children's Discovery Museum, and the Maine State Museum. 

  2. Location
    Augusta is located in central Maine, conveniently near Portland to the south and Bangor to the north. It's an easy drive to the woods to the west or to the coast to the east. Feel like venturing to Canada? Augusta is not far away.

  3. Affordability
    The cost of living in Augusta is very affordable, with a median home price of $142,500 and relatively low property taxes. Recent studies show Augusta's cost of living is 18.5 percent lower than the rest of the country. Recently, the University of Maine architecture students joined in a project to design more affordable housing for Maine.

  4. Jobs
    Augusta has an unemployment rate of 3 percent. There are jobs available locally, including state jobs, since Augusta is the capital city. Healthcare jobs are also prevalent, as are jobs in the service industry. The median income is $38,263.

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Maine Plants

Spring has sprung, and it's the perfect time to add color and variety to your gardens. The warmer spring temperatures are ideal for planting new plants. When choosing plants, look for varieties that will thrive in Maine's weather conditions. Not only are these plants easier to grow, but they'll require less watering and intervention from you.

When selling your home, our REALTORS® recommend taking some time to spruce up your landscaping, so it creates an excellent first impression with potential buyers. Below are a few plants ideal for the Maine climate. 

  1. Lupines
    Lupines are a popular option thanks to their vivid coloration. They come in multiple hues, including blue, yellow, purple, red, and white. You can grow lupines from seeds, or you may transplant full-grown lupines. An advantage of lupines is that they're perennials; this means that they'll return every year, and you won't have to replant them. Don't worry if your first crop of lupines doesn't bloom, as it's common for lupines to skip blooming the first year you plant them. For optimal growth, plant your lupines in sandy soil. They can grow in thicker clay-based soil, but it may take them longer to take root. Plant lupines in an area with full sun and minimal shading.
  2. Eastern Serviceberry
    The Eastern serviceberry is also known as a shadbush or shadwood. It boasts gorgeous white flowers in the spring. Come fall, this shrub is lush with lovely yellow blooms. This shrub (also viewed by some as a small tree) can grow 20 feet tall. You can prune it back a bit if you need to contain its size. It grows well in full or partial sunlight and needs steady moisture to thrive. 

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Listing Your Augusta Home

You've decided to put your home on the market. Now that you've made that decision, what do you do next? What should you be doing before listing your home?

If you're thinking about adding your home to the list of Augusta homes for sale we recommend the following. 

  1. Do Your Research
    The very first thing you should do is learn more about the current real estate market where you live. Find out what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for, so you have a general idea of what to expect. Note that you'll want to compare homes that are as similar to yours as possible. 
  1. Find an Agent
    The most important thing you can do is find a real estate agent you can trust. Our REALTORS® will provide you with all the information you need so you can make the right decisions about your listing price, listing date, and more. 

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Buying a Historic Home

If you want a home filled with charm and lush with history, Maine has plenty of options for you. Historic homes do have a few needs that you may not face a more modern home. Before you start looking at Augusta homes for sale, here are a few things to consider when looking at antique homes in the area. 

  1. The Condition of the Home
    Since these homes are on the older side, they often require repairs to modernize the basic components (like the roof, septic tank, electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating system). These repairs can add up! Make sure to have a home inspection so that you understand the true, current condition of the home and know what items will require replacement in the future. 
  2. Your Ability to Obtain Financing
    If you need to finance your purchase of a historical home, know that it's harder to secure a loan for a property that requires a lot of repairs. Check out home loans that are specifically designed for properties that need a lot of renovations. These loan programs allow you to roll some of the costs of the home's renovation into your mortgage.

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Maine Bicentennial

Everyone loves a birthday party, and Maine is gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime blowout. 2020 marks the Pine Tree State's Bicentennial with festivities set to run all year long. Our REALTORS® are looking forward to participating in these entertaining and educational activities for Maine's 200th birthday.

History of Maine

While Maine officially became a state in 1820, its known history dates back to 3000 B.C. when it was inhabited by an indigenous tribe known as the Red Paint People. The first European settlement was founded on St. Croix Island by a French group, including famous explorer Samuel de Champlain.

Maine is now the largest of the New England states, but at one time it was part of Massachusetts. That ended in 1819 when the Massachusetts General Court separated the District of Maine from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Maine officially became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise. This legislation allowed Maine to enter the Union as a free state.

Bicentennial Events and Programs

  • Bicentennial Parade - 12 Riverside Dr., Auburn, ME 04210
    What's a celebration without a parade? Maine's Bicentennial Parade will feature floats, bands, and marchers in a festive procession from Auburn to Lewiston. Vendors will be on hand with food and beverages for sale. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 16.

  • Time Capsule Sealing - Maine State Library, 64 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
    What mementos would give future generations the most insight to life in Maine today? Residents can share suggestions for items to be included in the Time Capsule Sealing on Saturday, October 10. Residents born on March 15 will serve as "capsule keepers" and participate in sealing of additional compartments for further landmark anniversaries.

  • Regional Struggle, National Story: Maine's Path to Statehood - Maine State Museum, 230 State St., Augusta, ME 04330
    The Maine State Museum is a living testament to persistence, so it's only fitting that it serves as a showcase for the Bicentennial. Regional Struggle, National Story: Maine's Path to Statehood is a fascinating depiction of the state's journey. The exhibit, which runs throughout 2020, will include several items and documents never before shown in public.

  • Imagine Maine's Story: A Bicentennial Toolkit
    In addition to lending books and other reading materials, libraries serve as community centers where residents around Augusta homes for sale can connect. Imagine Maine's Story: A Bicentennial Toolkit is a program launched by the Maine Humanities Council, encouraging local interaction with libraries. The "toolkit" includes Maine-related programs for all age groups, a list of state organizations, and specific library resources. 

  • Maine State House - Capital and State Streets, Augusta, ME 04333
    The Maine State House was built in 1832, one year after Augusta became the state capital. This impressive building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and it continues to function as home to Maine's legislature. Doors are open to the public free of charge weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and tours are conducted each hour between 9 a.m. - noon. 

Be a part of Maine's next chapter! Contact us for trustworthy and experienced help with your real estate needs in the Augusta area.

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