Articles Tagged "For buyers"

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Augusta, ME | 85 Posts
Buy a Home | 24 Posts
Gardiner, ME | 2 Posts
Hallowell, ME | 5 Posts
Home Safety | 1 Posts
Homeownership | 40 Posts
Kennebec Valley | 42 Posts
Lifestyle | 3 Posts
Manchester, ME | 1 Posts
Sell Your Home | 25 Posts
December
19

New Year

With 2023 almost here, it's time to think about your New Year's resolution. If your resolution is to become a homeowner in 2023, our real estate agents suggest getting an early start on your resolution by following these tips. 

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April
18

Down Payment Savings

Buying a home is a big step! It's an exciting event, but it may be stressful if you're not financially prepared for the down payment. Before you start house hunting, our real estate agents suggest you start saving for a down payment that will get you into the perfect home.

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February
15

Moving Tips

If you're a collector, you're probably passionate about your hobbies, going to lengths over the years to find just the right comics, vintage glassware, coins, dolls, or other items. After going through all this effort, you not only have time and money invested but probably also have an emotional attachment in your collections. That's why when it's time to move, you'll want to make sure your treasured items arrive at your new home safely.

Our real estate agents recommend the following ways to help safely move your collectibles:

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December
27

Move to Augusta

Thinking about relocating next year? You'll want to make sure Augusta, Maine, is on the top of your list. Whether you're looking to begin a career, raise a family, or retire -- Augusta is the perfect place for any stage of life. Our real estate agents love telling clients all the great things about living in Augusta. Here are our top reasons why this beautiful city should be at the top of your list if you're planning a move in 2022:

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November
29

Competitive Market Tips

You're ready to purchase a home, but every home you're interested in sells before you even have a chance to look at it. Or, maybe you're finding yourself in a bidding war with other potential homebuyers.

Buying a home can be a stressful experience, but this stress is often amplified when you're dealing with a competitive market. Our real estate agents suggest taking the following steps when buying a home in a competitive market. 

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October
25

Neighborhood Tips

Adjusting to life in a new place is never easy. Our real estate agents know this better than most. We've helped many families with their home searches and know all about getting settled into a new neighborhood. Here are our team's top five tips for adjusting to life in your new town. 

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October
4

Millennial Homebuyers

Millennial homebuyers make up a large percentage of today's buyers in the real estate market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 92 million millennials between their late 20s to late 40s in age. In the 30-plus segment, 35% earn more than $125,000 per year and 51% earn between $55,000 and $124,000 per year. On average, this group is purchasing homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000. These millennial homebuyers are looking for homes with at least 1,800 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, and 2-3 bathrooms for growing families.

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July
19

Checklist for HomebuyersAfter looking at countless Augusta homes for sale, you've finally found your perfect house. The paperwork is all drawn up, and you're just about to close. But wait! First, you need to do your final walk-through. You've been through the house plenty of times, but the way it is right now is the way it will be when you buy it. It's important to make sure that everything is in order.

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October
12

Timeless Kitchen Updates

Kitchen renovations can be expensive, so wise homeowners who are thinking about selling their homes someday choose upgrades that will stay in style for a reasonable number of years, rather than trendier changes that will look dated too soon. When you list your house among Augusta homes for sale, you are more likely to get a positive reaction from potential homebuyers if you keep renovations simple and understated.

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September
14

Buying a Home

There's a lot to do when buying a home, and once the closing documents are signed and the keys are in your hand, you might think that the hard work is over. However, once you actually own your new home, there are still a few things you need to do to ensure the safety of your new space and to help your family get comfortable in your new digs. Here are a few things to do after you buy your home. 

  1. Change the Locks and Security Codes
    Even if the previous homeowners seem like kind people, you don't know how many people potentially have access to your new home. One of the first things you need to do is change or rekey the locks. If you want to update the look of your home's locks, you can swap the old locks for new ones. However, if you like the look of the old looks or if you're on a budget, you can have the locks rekeyed. When you have a lock rekeyed, the locksmith will adjust the pins and springs so that it fits a different key. Make sure to also change any security codes that potentially provide access to your home, like garage, security system, or gate codes. 
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December
30

New Augusta Home 2020

Deciding to buy a home can be daunting, but educating yourself about what's involved can help you understand what to expect. Our REALTORS® guide clients through the process every day and share some tips to make your home buying journey a breeze.  

Decide What You Want and Need

Think about what you'd like in a house today and in the future. Are you planning to have a family and want a big yard for kids and pets? Is a garage a requirement for you? Write down everything you want and need and start checking out your local real estate market online. It's important to look at the area as a whole—it's always a good idea to buy in a neighborhood where property values will most likely appreciate.

Get Your Finances In Order

First, you'll need to save for a down payment. Generally, a down payment should be about 20 percent, but can be as low as 10, 5 or even 0 percent for certain types of mortgages like FHA and VA loans. When you feel confident that you've saved enough, check your credit. Annual Credit Report.com offers a free yearly credit report from the three major reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Making sure your credit is in order can help to ensure you get a decent interest rate. 

Also, get pre-approved by a lender before you start looking at Augusta homes for sale. To do a pre-approval, lenders will review your credit report, income, and other finances. They will then issue a letter stating the amount for which you've been pre-approved. Keep in mind that pre-approval is not the same thing as being approved for a mortgage loan. When you're ready to do that, make sure you choose at least three with competitive rates.

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July
8

Final Walk-Through - Sprague & Curtis

Exciting thoughts of settling into your new home can distract you from the details you need to focus on during the final walk-through. While most major problems will be discovered during a home inspection, a final walk-through gives you a chance to go through the property once it's cleared out to verify that everything is in the condition you expect. 

To help you during the final walk-through of your home, Our real estate agents have prepared this easy to follow checklist for you to print off and follow as you go through the property.

Before the Walk-Through:

  • Print a copy of your contract and inspection summary.
  • Grab a notepad, your phone, phone charger, flashlight, & light bulb.
  • Confirm time with your real estate agent. 

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May
20

Home Inspection Issues-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

When you were in school, a failing grade remained on your permanent record. Fortunately, as a home buyer, you don't need to despair if there less-than-favorable results on a home inspection report. 

Our real estate agents have extensive experience helping buyers understand and work through common problems uncovered by home inspection reports on Augusta homes for sale. Take these proactive steps before deciding the report is a deal-breaker.

  • Include a Well-Written Inspection Clause
    Groundwork should be laid before the inspection even takes place. Many sale agreements provide latitude for a buyer to have an inspection completed, but there are no consequences for the seller. Make sure the home inspection clause includes recourse for a problematic report, such as renegotiating the price or walking away if you're not satisfied.

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March
11

Spring Home Bidding-Sprague and Curtis

Birds are chirping and blossoms are beginning to emerge. Just as Mother Nature awakens from her long winter snooze, home buyers around Augusta, Maine are emerging from their homes to take a peek at the beautiful Augusta homes for sale this season. This can create competition for property and buying the home of your dreams requires strategic planning on your part. If you want to submit the right bid at the right time, the following are five tips for successful springtime home bidding we recommend.

  1. Secure Pre-approval Locally
    Securing pre-approval shows the seller that you have the ability to purchase the home. This puts them at ease and gives you a little leverage to negotiate. When you secure the pre-approval from a local lender, you're likely to receive preference over competitors who have pre-approvals from online or out-of-area lenders.

    Don't forget to polish your credit before you go in to secure a mortgage preapproval. Make sure that the information is accurate and that any discrepancies are addressed. It's also advisable to pay as much of your debt down and take steps to improve your debt-to-income ratio.

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February
4

Home Offer Anxiety-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

Buying a home is an exciting time for anyone, but the excitement and emotions for a first-time home buyer can be at an all-time high. From finding the perfect home to making your first offer, your emotions may get the better of you. It's important to channel those emotions into positive thoughts and use that energy to carry you through the buying process.  

Fortunately, our real estate agents know a thing or two about buying anxiety, so we've put together this handy guide for how to avoid home offer anxiety.

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January
7

Closing Costs - Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

If you're in the market to buy a home this year, and you're looking for Augusta homes for sale, then make sure you're considering all of the financial factors surrounding your new home purchase. Of course, there's the purchase price and down payment that you'll be well aware of, but are you prepared for the closing costs with your new home? Don't be surprised by closing costs!

  • Closing Costs Explained
    In a nutshell, closing costs are your responsibility for all of the legwork that goes into your home purchase. As a buyer, you'll be responsible for lenders fees, third-party fees, homeowners' fees, and any fees or costs associated with your title, including attorney's fees.

    In essence, closing costs encapsulate all of the "extras" involved in your real estate transaction and basically sets you up for a future of homeownership. While some mortgages allow you to roll closing costs into your monthly mortgage payment, be sure to set aside 2%-5% of your home's price for closing costs if you're in the planning phase of buying a home.

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December
10

Augusta Restaurants to Try as a New Local
Your first week living in a new town is filled with things to do: unpacking boxes, hooking utilities up, and learning your way around town. The last thing you want to worry about is cooking. With so many fantastic restaurants in the area, there is no need to add "making dinner" to your list of things to get done. Getting out and enjoying these seven restaurants that our real estate agents recommend will give you a chance to rest and discover the fantastic culinary delights Augusta has to offer.

    1. The Red Barn - 455 Riverside Drive
      There's no better way to celebrate your new home purchase than with plates piled high with the freshest seafood in the area. The Red Barn features succulent lobster, tender scallops, and some of the best clam strips in New England.

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October
25

Home buying dreams into a reality
Many home buyers have a vision of their perfect home as they tour Augusta homes for sale. As you work with our real estate agents, we'll work hard to check as many features as possible off your wish list. However, you may need to do a little extra to turn an "almost there" home into your dream home. For some home buyers, this may only include a few cosmetic updates, and for others, it may involve some significant upgrades. Here are six ideas to turn your dreams into a reality.

  1. Figure out the role of home or the space you're hoping to update.
    Is your home often used for entertaining, and is that a passion of your family? Then, you may want to spend extra money on adding a gourmet kitchen or an entertainment room. However, if you work from home, you're more apt to need a home office or a library nook.

  2. Personalize your house with some fresh paint. 
    Sometimes, you may dislike the original wall colors, especially if they don't fit your color palette and style. Professional designers suggest picking mainly neutral colors with only pops of color sparingly, like on one wall.  Adding purple or red in the bedroom or yellow or blue in a kitchen adds an element of style. However, you want to choose colors that reflect your overall style so consider your furnishings, home art, and accessories when selecting colors.

  3. Change your lighting.
    Upgrade outdated light fixtures like the chandelier and try new modern pendant lighting, which includes many styles of decorative lighting. Track lighting has also become trendy since it's practical and customizable, ideal for any room in your home.  Bring more natural light into your house too by upgrading your windows and adding skylights.

  4. Upgrade your fixtures.
    Sometimes changing the little things like cabinet doorknobs or faucets can make a huge difference. Remember to buy the same size, so you don't have to re-drill holes. Forgo the old-fashioned brass knobs and handles and try something like a brushed nickel. This classy design will give your home an entirely new sleek look.

  5. Introduce peace and serenity.
    Add a sunroom to your house with some comfortable couches, where you can see the sunshine no matter what season it is. Consider splurging and adding a hot tub as well.  Depending on what kind you buy, they range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. If you love plants, building a greenhouse is also an option since sitting among colorful plants is calming.

  6. Convert your basement or attic into useful space.
    Having storage space is great but think about converting the basement into an entertaining or leisure room. Imagine comfortable couches, a large screen television, a video game system, and a pool table or air-hockey table.   Why not convert your attic into a large, private master suite, away from the rest of the family. Add built-in shelves to have the ability to organize and store seasonal clothing.


Are you ready to take on some home projects and transform your house into your dream home? Contact us at Sprague & Curtis Real Estate to buy or sell homes throughout the Augusta area.

October
18

How Much Does Commute Time Matter
There are always compromises to consider when buying a house, and sometimes you have to compromise on something you want for something you need. So, do you need a short commute time? While it may be tempting to accept a long commute if it means landing the "perfect" house, it's a compromise that many homeowners wind up regretting.

After all, how can you enjoy the home if you're spending all of your time traveling to and from work? Our real estate agents know how to strike the right balance when buying a home.  Let's take a look at how much commute time matters when searching for the right home.

How Much Time Are You Willing to Spend on the Road Each Day?

For many home shoppers, commute time feels like a right place to compromise, and that might be true if you're talking about a difference of a few minutes in either direction. The risk is that even a very long commute might suddenly start to feel palatable if you find a home located far from your target destination.

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October
8

Augusta Maine What Makes a Neighborhood Walkable
Augusta homes for sale
benefit from some genuinely unique amenities. The city of Augusta is at the heart of so much of what's exciting about Maine: The best employers, dining, shopping, and education are all within reach. It still maintains the charm that makes Maine "Vacationland." 

Our real estate agents recognize that, when it comes to real estate, time is of the essence! You might want to slow down and enjoy your new Augusta lifestyle. That's when you'll discover it's a great place to go for a walk.

If you want to take in the sights and also help maintain your health, you're in luck: Many parts of Augusta are highly walkable, and there are some great bike paths also.

But what is walkability and how can you measure it when you compare neighborhoods?

How to Determine if a Neighborhood is Walkable

The website WalkScore.com has been an ambassador of the concept of walkability. It rates a neighborhood where "most errands can be accomplished on foot" as walkable.

The most walkable neighborhoods are those where a car isn't required at all. Naturally, though, this is rare outside larger cities in the U.S. and is more likely in urban centers.

Although WalkScore.com is convenient and can get you started, it's not the last word. Whether or not an area is walkable depends on many factors, including your interests.

Walkability combines many factors:

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September
11

Augusta Spa Day Locations
The merits of taking a spa day are extensive, and many people are making periodic spa visits a part of their overall wellness routine. First and foremost, a spa day helps you relax and unwind from the rigors and stress of everyday life. What you may not know is that a trip to the spa can also help you detox, improve circulation, skin tone and sleep patterns, as well as fighting those annoying signs of aging. While you're considering some of the beautiful Augusta homes for sale during your house hunt, take some time to get to know our five favorite places to enjoy a spa day.

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August
20

Buying a House When You Have Kids

Home Shopping for Your Family 

When it comes to Augusta homes for sale, the thought of finding a home that is family-friendly can be a bit overwhelming. Buying a house when you have kids can be stressful enough, but without the right real estate agent- it can be a nightmare!

That's where we come in! Sprague & Curtis Real Estate is here to help with this guide filled with helpful tips you can use when buying a new home in Augusta. Here's what you should know to make your home buying experience easier. 

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July
26

Closing on Your New Home
There's nothing more frustrating than watching the home-buying process get derailed at the last minute. Our real estate agents have seen it happen. 

On the bright side, surprise factors that jeopardize closing on your new home are usually pretty easy to avoid – and we're here to help you avoid them. These are the five biggest things to watch out for while you're in the process of buying a house.

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July
19

Buying a House Credit Scores
If there's one aspect of buying a home that our real estate agents get asked about more than any other, it would have to be credit scores. How much does your credit really matter when you're trying to secure a loan and buy a house?

The importance of your credit score depends on a variety of factors – some financial institutions weigh credit more heavily than others – but it definitely matters. Here's what you need to know about your credit score before buying a home.

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June
28

Kennebec River

Our real estate agents are always working hard to support our clients in their real estate goals. No matter whether you're buying your first home, trading up, or downsizing for retirement, our experts have the insights you need to succeed.

Kennebec Valley is one of the most exciting areas our team works with. Its combination of natural beauty and leading amenities is attracting more and more people from across the state and beyond. Luckily, there are many charming communities to choose from here.

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June
21

Save for a Down Payment

Buying a home requires planning and commitment, and one of the biggest considerations a home buyer should take into account is being prepared to make a down payment. Once you have determined how much you are able and willing to spend on a home, it's time to start deciding how you will save for a down payment. With a unique range of Augusta homes for sale, finding your next home may be easier than you think with guidance from our real estate agents. Here are a few practical ideas to help you start saving now. 

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