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Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, visits Better to talk about the surprising results of a survey held among the latest generation of homebuyers.

Installing a New Light Fixture – A new light fixture can brighten and add style to any room for relatively few dollars

Lovely Home in WarrenU.S. home prices increased for the 3rd consecutive month. rising in May from April in every city tracked by a leading index.  It’s a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery.

The supply of homes for sale remains low helping to stabilize prices. At the current sales pace, it would take six and a half months to exhaust the supply of previously-occupied homes which is only slightly above the six month rate economists consider healthy.

Experts suggest that the market may at long last have hit bottom.  Today’s average 30-year rate is even lower than the average 20- or 25-year rate was in the 1950s.  With prices stabilizing and long-term mortgage rates the lowest in history this could be the moment buyers have been waiting for.   So finding the perfect home or seasonal get away has never been easier than it is now here in Maine’s beautiful oceanfront and coastal communities, including Camden, Rockland, Rockport, Lincolnville, Northport, Isleboro, and surrounding islands and towns.

Saint George Waterfront HomeNestled along Maine’s coastline, the Mid Coast region presents a picture-perfect lifestyle for both seasonal and year-round residents. Mountain vistas give way to sweeping ocean views that provide a back-drop for a vibrant community rich in culture, heritage and maritime tradition.

Widely known for the fleet of Windjammers anchored in local harbors, Mid Coast Maine is also a creative arts Mecca offering a host of galleries, boutiques, celebrated restaurants and inns.

For more information visit our site Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Town &
Country

Climate ChangeFamous for its quaint historic towns, mountainous and pastoral landscapes, rocky shores and sand beaches, Maine is also defined by its distinct climate.  Weather changes rapidly from one day (or even hour) to the next, and from year to year, average conditions can vary widely. However, the general climate patterns that have remained fairly consistent since Europeans first landed on our shores are rapidly changing. No one needs to tell you that though, signs become clearer each year. Records show that spring is arriving sooner, summers are growing hotter, and winters are becoming warmer and less snowy.

In recent decades the characteristic climate of the Northeast has begun to change beyond what we have experienced in previous centuries. Patterns familiar to residents since recordkeeping began, including the arrival of the seasons, duration of snow cover, and timing of lake and river ice breakup, have been broken and new trends have begun to emerge. If global warming emissions continue to grow unabated, the Northeast can expect dramatic temperature increases over the course of this century.               

These regional changes are part of the broader global warming trend. Today, virtually all scientists agree that the planet is warming and that this warming is driven by increasing levels of heat-trapping emissions (primarily carbon dioxide) from human activities such as the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity and fuel our cars.  New projections show that climate changes already under way will continue to accelerate, although less drastically if we shift away from fossil fuels in favor of clean energy technologies. If we don’t, it could result in dramatic regional warming of 7 to 12°F on average by the end of the century. To put these projections into perspective, if we follow our current higher-emissions practices, the typical summer in upstate New York may feel like the present-day summer in South Carolina by the end of the century.

The choices we make today and in the coming years matter greatly. If the rate of emissions is lowered, projections show the changes will be significantly smaller.  Emissions choices we make today—in the Northeast and worldwide—will help determine the climate our children and grandchildren inherit, and shape the consequences for their economy, environment, and quality of life. To read more about Climate Change in the US Northeast visit the Union of Concerned Scientists website.

Neither the day of the week nor hour of the day dictates when you can get up-to-the-minute news, catch up with friends, or shop ’til you drop. The era of the consumer controlled transaction has arrived.  This evolution has challenged Realtors to shift to the role of a trusted advisor able to accommodate clients’ busy schedules and reliance on technology. 

Kelly Zeiner & Meriwether Gill

Kelly Zeiner & Meriwether Gill

Camden-based Realtors Kelly Zeiner and Meriwether Gill have joined forces to bring you the 24/7 energetic commitment required in today’s challenging real estate market.  Success².

Housing Prices Are Hitting Bottom

More than half of economists, real estate experts and investment strategists polled by MacroMarkets LLC in June said they now expect national home prices to hit a bottom sometime in 2011.   Multi-millionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson says that current record-low interest rates make this the best time to buy homes in 50 years.  Paulson was one of only a handful of people who predicted the sub-prime collapse.  His advice is: “If you don’t own a home, buy one.  If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes, buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”

The tax benefits of home ownership are well known of course.  Lower home prices coupled with historically low interest rates really do make this the ideal time to buy a home.   Even if home prices go down some more, the overall difference would be negligible.

Let’s say there is a house for sale for $250,000. If interest rates are say 4.3%, your monthly principal and interest payment is $981. Over the course of this loan, you will pay $191,693 in interest. Now let’s drop the home price to $225,000 — a 10% price deduction. If interest rates are a point higher — 5.23% — your monthly principal and interest are now $991 ($10 a month more) but your total interest paid over the course of the loan is now $221,282 — about $30,000 more over the course of your loan. A 1% increase in mortgage rates more than offsets a 10% drop in the home’s price.

Quality of life plays a huge role in deciding whether to purchase a home or continue to rent.  The benefits of home ownership versus renting are significant.  Home owners are happier and healthier and enjoy a greater feeling of control over their lives.  Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth.  Historically, a home owner’s net worth has ranged from 31 to 46 times that of a renter.  Home owners are free to redecorate, renovate, and modify their homes as they wish.  They don’t move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. This stability in turn helps reduce crime and supports neighborhood upkeep.  Children of home owners do better in school, stay in school longer, are more likely to participate in organized activities and spend less time in front of the television.  And the list goes on.

Quality of life is also a consideration if you find yourself living in an area that doesn’t suit your needs.  According to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in collaboration with leading media and marketing company Meredith Corporation, one in five U.S. homeowners have either moved from their home or would like to move because their neighborhood or community wasn’t ideal for their lifestyle.

There’s never been a better time to start living the life you’ve always wanted.  So what are you waiting for?

Meriwether Gill

CAMDEN, Maine (June 27, 2011) – Meriwether W. Gill of Cushing has joined Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Town & Country as its newest licensed real estate agent, serving the Mid-Coast area.

Meriwether is a native of the northshore of Long Island, though she was always drawn to the idea of living in coastal Maine. That dream never left her, and now she is proud to call mid-coast Maine her home and could scarcely imagine living anywhere else.

Before training as a Realtor, Meriwether lived in many beautiful places, including the Florida Keys, the Caribbean and Hawaii, while working as a marine mammal specialist and researcher. Eventually, this led her to the adventure cruise industry, where she worked for many years as an expedition leader and naturalist, traveling all over the world, from the Antarctic to Japan, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, British Columbia, Russia and the Galapagos.  During those years, she developed her interest in working with people, and in providing them an exceptional level of service, as well as an understanding of the importance of conservation and the sustainable use and stewardship of our land and oceans.

Licensed in Maine, Meriwether graduated through the Real Estate Learning Group, in Portland.  She works for both buyers and sellers in all price ranges and gives each home sale or purchase the same care and attention.  Through Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Town & Country, she has an array of sophisticated marketing tools and resource at her disposal.  Resources such as PinPoint, a direct marketing tool that leverages Meredith Corporation’s U.S. database of more than 85 million consumers who interact with the Better Homes and Gardens® brand through the magazine, website and other Meredith brands.  Meriwether’s honesty, professionalism and integrity will make her a trusted advisor. True to her character, Meriwether will see each contract through to its conclusion, always placing an emphasis on customer satisfaction, and striving to make your experience of working with her a pleasant one.

Meriwether Gill

 When she is not selling homes, Meriwether continues to travel whenever possible and enjoys skiing, sailing, photography, cooking and gardening.

 If you are considering buying or selling a home or are just looking for additional information about real estate in your area, let Meriwether put her passion for the business, and her energy and enthusiasm to work for you.  Please feel free to contact Meriwether at 207-236-4777 ext. 117 (work) or 207-706-6242 (cell) or e-mail her at meriwether@tcreal.com

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