Articles Tagged "Homeowner Tips"

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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
January
23

Pet Decor

When looking at Augusta homes for sale, you're not just thinking about yourself and your family but also your pets. It's important to find a place that's comfortable for them and has the space they need. Decorate your new home in a way that is cohesive for your whole family, pets included. Here are a few tips for pet-friendly decor.

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January
3

2023 Design Trends

With a new year comes a new set of interior design trends. Eager to get your home looking editorial-ready? Here are a few of the biggest trends that our real estate agents expect to see homeowners favoring during 2023.

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December
27

New Year's Eve Party

Once you've settled into your new home, what better way to celebrate than with a party? Ring in the New Year in your new house! Celebrate the new year in style with these tips for hosting a memorable New Year's Eve party.

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October
24

Laundry Room Upgrade

The laundry room is an often-overlooked space inside your home. You deserve to have a laundry room that is functional, organized, and enjoyable to spend time in. If the laundry room in your home is more like a messy closet than a clean oasis, then consider these laundry room makeover tips from our real estate agents.

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September
19

Flooring Tips

One of the top ways to quickly transform your home and increase its sales value is to upgrade the flooring. Nothing detracts from a home as quickly as old carpet or dated flooring. Here are a few recommendations from our real estate agents for updating your flooring.

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July
5

Furniture Tips

When faced with an empty room, arranging furniture can feel like a daunting hit-or-miss task. Over the years, our real estate agents have picked up some practical tips and easy-to-apply principles from interior designers that take the guesswork out of arranging any room in the house.

Whether you're planning a move to Augusta homes for sale or just revitalizing a dull room, taking a practical approach to furniture arranging is important. Here are some tips from the design pros that will ensure a comfortable, inviting room with maximum design appeal.

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June
13

Housewarming Tips

Moving is more than just a logistical challenge: it can also set the stage for an unforgettable social event. Many of the people who have recently purchased a property from our Augusta homes for sale have gone on to host housewarming parties for their friends, family, and new neighbors.

These occasions are great for breaking the ice and helping you get settled into your new community. If you're interested in hosting one yourself, our list of tips will help you prepare. 

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June
6

Farmhouse Decor

For most homeowners, the term "farmhouse decor" conjures up images of an interior with rustic features that reflect a casual, rural lifestyle on a farm. However, in today's homes, our real estate agents are seeing a much more modern version of the farmhouse style that combines rustic appeal with sleek, modern design elements.

In many Augusta homes for sale, the appeal of cozy farmhouse living is combined with contemporary architectural features that bring old and new together. Take a look at some great farmhouse touches that can quickly give your home an updated, eclectic style.

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May
2

Butterfly Garden

Did you know that there are thousands of different species of butterflies? Species commonly seen in Maine include the Red Admiral, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, and White Admiral.

If you'd like to see more of these lovely creatures, consider creating a butterfly garden in your own backyard. Our real estate agents have seen a few of these gardens, and they can be truly magnificent. Here are the basic steps to follow to create your own on your property.

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April
25

Tree Planting

A single shade tree in your yard provides extra comfort during the summer heat while also reducing your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

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February
28

Downsizing Tips

When it comes to living spaces, our needs change throughout different stages of life. Large homes can become a lot to manage, especially when entering retirement. However, the decision to downsize can be a difficult one. Many people struggle with the idea of giving-up space or parting with a family home. 

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January
24

Interior Design Trends

Color scheme trends are always changing. If you plan on buying a new home or redecorating this year, then it is important to keep current color trends in mind. The good news is that color trends for 2022 are about as exciting as they come. This year, it will be all about bright, energetic shades. As you look at Augusta homes for sale, here are some more specific color trends to keep in mind.

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January
3

Cleaning Schedule

If it feels like your chore list is neverending or that there are some cleaning tasks that you never get to, it's time to rethink how you clean your home. 

Our real estate agents suggest creating a cleaning schedule for your home. A cleaning schedule basically states when you'll complete certain tasks (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). 

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December
20

Winter Driveway TipsFreezing temperatures, frost, snow, and ice can impact the structure of your driveway. So, when the first snowfall arrives, there are several things you can do to preserve the integrity of your driveway. Keep your driveway in good shape especially in the winter, by following these tips. 

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October
18

Home DecorYour home is a place that should make you feel comfortable and happy, so we always recommend adding a touch of your personality to your decor. Personalizing a space is truly the best way to create an atmosphere that brings you joy. If you're in the market for one of these Augusta homes for sale, it's not too early to start thinking about how you can add a personal touch to the interior of your new home. 

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September
20

Open House Prep

If you're planning to sell your home, hosting an open house may attract interested buyers, but it may also be a stressful event for you. Our real estate agents can help with tips on getting organized and prepared for the big day, so you can reap maximum rewards for your efforts.

Buyers looking for Augusta homes for sale will come to your open house with high expectations. These days, homebuyers expect to see homes with clean, organized spaces, stylish furnishings, interior upgrades, and inviting outdoor areas. Here's how to set yourself up for success.

Clean and Declutter

Once you decide to hold an open house, the first step is cleaning and decluttering. The entire house will need to be deep cleaned from top to bottom:

  • Sweep, vacuum, mop, and polish floors and carpets
  • Wash dishes and put them away in cabinets
  • Clean up spills on floors and countertops
  • Dust furniture, blinds, and curtains
  • Remove stains on carpets and upholstery
  • Wash mirrors and windows

After you finish cleaning, it's time to declutter. Although household items may be essentials for you, potential homebuyers may see them as clutter. Gather some boxes and fill them with unused clothes, extra household items, and cleaning supplies, then store the boxes in the garage or a rental storage unit until the open house is over.

Remove Personal Items and Heirlooms

Displaying personal items such as family photos, personal knickknacks, and monogrammed items can distract buyers. It's common for homebuyers to look at personal items in a home to identify who lives there, but some people form strong opinions or judgments that may impact the sale. Before your open house, remove personalized items that can be distracting, as well as valuable family heirlooms that can be stolen.

Freshen Up Paint

If you've lived in your home for a while, your home's interior and exterior may need new paint. Check interior walls, doors, and cabinets for fingerprints, scuff marks, dents, and holes. Invest in a can or two of spackling paste and touch-up paint and fix the damages. To add curb appeal, clean out your gutters, paint exterior trim, give your front door an eye-popping new color, buy a new welcome mat, and replace old, faded house numbers.

Evaluate Your Furnishings

Although it's impossible to anticipate a buyer's style, you can evaluate your own to make sure it's not outdated or too over-the-top. Over-sized furniture, outdated window treatments, ornate accessories, and worn upholstery will not appeal to most homebuyers. Items that look like they don't belong in the house will disconnect buyers because they can't see themselves living in the home.

Don't Forget the Yard

In today's market, buyers pay close attention to outdoor spaces. They're looking for well-maintained yards with inviting areas to spend time outdoors. Before your open house, plan to mow the grass, trim the hedges, get rid of weeds and debris, and plant seasonal flowers for lovely pops of color.

Optimize Your Date

Avoid planning an open house during holidays and major sports events when people are preoccupied. Your real estate agent will likely take charge of marketing your open house with flyers, neighbor signs, and local multiple listing services that attract buyers.

If you're thinking about selling your home in the Augusta area, contact us for more information on planning a successful open house that will attract homebuyers.

September
7

Augusta Planting TipsSoon summer will be over and it'll be time to think about getting your Augusta property ready for the fall months. Among the tasks you'll be facing is bringing your container plants indoors. There are some easy things you can do to make the transition successful. Not only will this help ensure the well-being of your plants, but you'll be able to show off your thriving plants when you list your home among Augusta homes for sale.

Fall's Coming: Time to Move Your Plants Inside

Maybe you've always just lugged your container plants inside and stuck them in the sunniest location you have with drip saucers and hoped for the best throughout the long winter months. The fact is, you can do a lot more to ensure the plants survive -- and maybe even thrive -- in less than optimum conditions indoors. Here are the steps to take.

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August
9

Maine home improvement

If you're ready to sell your home, it's important to ensure that your house is in the best possible condition. Our real estate agents know that a property that appears well-maintained typically commands a higher asking price.

When you have a whole list of home improvement projects, it's hard to know where to start. Here are some guidelines to help you prioritize your home improvement projects.

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August
2

Add Natural Light

Natural light in your home is beneficial to your health, mood, and energy level. While dark, gloomy spaces can make you feel depressed and lethargic, spaces filled with sunshine will quickly brighten your day. Augusta buyers who work with our real estate agents want homes with lots of natural light and impressive outdoor views.

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July
12

Maine Driveway Tips

As you discuss with our real estate agents the best home improvements to undertake before adding your house to Augusta homes for sale, one likely topic will be curb appeal. After all, the house's exterior is the first thing everyone sees when driving by or even looking at a photograph online. The driveway is a significant part of this image. At the least, you'll want it to be clean and in good repair. Starting with that baseline, let's consider some additional options.

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June
28

Gutter MaintenanceOur real estate agents know that when a homebuyer arrives to see a home, the property has a limited amount of time to create a positive first impression. Don't let dirty, clogged gutters keep your home from making a stellar first impression.

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June
14

Patio Furniture Tips

Along with historic museums and festive city events, Augusta is full of nature trails, beautiful gardens, and scenic landscapes. At Sprague & Curtis, our real estate agents work with many buyers who are drawn to Augusta for its natural beauty and charm.

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May
17

Maine Houseplants

Houseplants offer so many benefits! Bringing a bit of nature into our home environments can help us feel calmer, more rested, and more at peace. Houseplants can also be used to accentuate or bring attention to the finer points of your decor. 

But which houseplants will work best? There are a good many to choose from, and some are more demanding when it comes to growing conditions.

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May
10

Accent Wall Tips

If you've been looking at Augusta homes for sale and planning on decorating them your way, you might be seeing the walls as that perfect canvas for the accent wall you've always wanted. But if you're getting ready to sell, our real estate agents will caution you to make sure you're staging your home correctly.

An accent wall makes a beautiful addition to any home. Here are a few tips to help guide you, whether you are buying or selling.

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April
26

Augusta Composting TipsIf you've spent a lot of time exploring Augusta homes for sale and finally found your dream home, you're likely to find that you need to breathe new life into your garden and landscaping. Starting a compost pile is a great way to repurpose kitchen scraps and other organic materials into a product that contains a full spectrum of essential plant nutrients. 

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January
25

Carpet vs Hardwood

If it's time to replace the flooring in your home, two of the top options are carpet and hardwood floors. While both options can look lovely in your home, the best selection will depend on your specific circumstances. Our real estate agents know that buyer preferences will vary. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make your decision. 

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December
14

Heating Bill Augusta

As winter approaches, every homeowners' goal is to keep their home comfy and cozy warm while not spending too much money to do so. The good news is that by taking a few easy steps, you can ensure your home stays warmer while still reducing your energy bill.
  
Our real estate agents recommend the following tips for cooling down your heating bill this winter:

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November
2

Home Upgrades on a Budget

Whether you've just purchased your home or you're readying your property to list on the market, it's highly likely that there are a few home upgrades you'll want to tackle. There are plenty of amazing renovations you could complete, but many of them include amazingly high remodeling costs. Here are five home upgrades that our real estate agents believe you can easily complete, no matter your budget.

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October
19

DIY Project Tools

As a homeowner, you'll find yourself working on numerous DIY projects over the years. These can range from taking care of simple repairs to making important improvements to your home and yard, and you'll need to have some basic tools to help you tackle these projects. 

Our real estate agents suggest investing in the following tools before you start on a DIY project:

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August
3

Declutter Tricks

Research indicates that clutter is detrimental for both your physical and mental health; not only does excess clutter allow for the build-up of dust and mold spores, but it can drain your emotional energy and contribute to feelings of depression. Clutter also impacts the appearance of your house, making it look less attractive than other Augusta homes for sale. Follow these simple tricks provided by our REALTORS® to help you tame the clutter in your home. 

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July
20

Kitchen Remodel

Thinking about starting a kitchen remodel project this summer? Summer is the best time of year to take care of any interior remodeling project, including the kitchen. If you are eager to host family gatherings and holiday celebrations this fall, our real estate agents recommend getting started now to get the work done before the weather starts to cool. 

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July
6

Gardening in JulySpring may be the season most associated with gardening, but July is not too late to get started in the garden. You can plant seeds for fall harvests or install plants that love the long, warm days of summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines the Augusta area as Hardiness Zone 5A, meaning any plans you have for tropical plants should involve at least some time indoors. But for gardeners who enjoy growing vegetables, this is your garden's chance to show what it's capable of. If you're new to growing food crops, consider what you'll need for late-season success.

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June
22

Summer Bugs

Summertime has arrived which means warm air and loads of sunshine. Unfortunately, the nice weather also brings out a host of bugs. As these creepy, crawly insects roam about, they'll likely find their way into your yard and home. While artificial cleaning solutions can do the trick, many homeowners prefer not to use harsh chemicals around their property, especially if there are pets and young children in the home. Our real estate agents understand the need to eliminate summer bugs through the safest means possible. Here are a few natural remedies that may rid your home of bugs throughout the summer.

10 Common Insects Found in the Home

Although you may not see them, hundreds of small insects may be in and around your property. Some of the most common insects homeowners spot are:

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May
11

Make Your Home Look Elegant

Those home improvement shows do seem to work miracles, but they come with an equally dramatic price tag. But don't worry, you can make your home look like the "after" shot of a home improvement show with just some time and elbow grease. Yours may not be the priciest of the Augusta homes for sale, but you can make it look more elegant with these tips. 

  1. Make Sure to Declutter
    De-cluttering is one of the most affordable and fastest ways to a better-looking home. Some clutter needs to be disposed of, but other things just need proper storage. Installing shelving is an affordable DIY project, but if you're not as handy as you'd like to be, storage ottomans or steamer trunks look chic and can store extra pillows or books. Consider donating household items or clothing in good condition to a local thrift store. You'll remove clutter while helping someone find the piece that makes their house more of a home. 

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April
20

Staging Your Home For Sale

Cleaning, organizing, repairing, replacing, packing… staging your home is no easy task, especially when you have a house full of children. Kids will be kids, and unfortunately, that means new messes will pop up faster than you can clean them. Don't worry — you won't have to tackle this task on your own. Our real estate agents have these helpful tips to make sure every one of your in-person walkthroughs and virtual showings are picture-perfect.

  1. Knowing When to Seek Help
    First thing's first, you may need a set of helping hands to accomplish your goal. Quite simply, most parents have too many responsibilities to juggle, and there are only 24 hours in a day to get everything done. Older children should be tasked with tidying up their rooms and helping around the house. For larger projects, consider asking your extended family members and friends to help — even if that means babysitting! You may also want to consider hiring professionals to help you remodel, keep your home clean, or keep your yard looking great.

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April
13

Waterfront Home Maintenance

While waterfront properties offer gorgeous views and opportunities for aquatic recreation, they also have unique maintenance needs. It's imperative to keep up with these maintenance tasks so that your home remains in good condition for years to come. Make sure these items are on your checklist when working on your waterfront home. 

  1. Keep Your Retainer Wall in Good Condition
    You want the water around your home to be clean and free of pollution. A retainer wall is a valuable component for keeping pollutants out of the water near your home. Retainer walls prevent the soil on your property from eroding and adding any contaminants in the soil to the water. Periodically inspect your retainer wall to identify any uneven areas or areas where the material is degrading. 
  1. Winterize Your Home
    If you don't use your home during the winter months, you'll need to winterize your home to make sure it's ready for winter weather. You'll want to take steps to prevent water from freezing in your pipes, and many homeowners also board up their windows. Boarding up the windows prevents intruders from peeking into your home, and it provides protection for the windows against falling limbs or windblown debris. 
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March
23

Who said home improvement projects had to take a long time? 

If you're thinking of putting your home on the market, you want it to stand out from other Augusta homes for sale. Making home improvements -- both large and small -- can help. 

Here are some home improvement projects that can be completed in one weekend. 

  1. Spray Paint your Hardware 
    If you want to be up to date, spraypaint your doorknobs, hinges, drawer pulls, and any other hardware to darker shades, such as bronze, nickel, or even black. Remove hardware, clean it, and degrease it; prime the surface with an oil-based primer; then spray on the paint. Seal the hardware with lacquer or clear sealer.

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February
10

Starter Home

A starter home is your entry into homeownership. Often starter homes are pictured as smaller properties that are more manageable for a young family to own and maintain, and something, you'll eventually grow out of and sell. The truth is that a starter home is what you make it. The exact home is the one that suits you, but there are some tips to make first time ownership easier. 

Our REALTORS® know first-time buyer concerns and have some tips to get you started.

  1. Estimate Maintenance Costs
    One of the benefits of renting is that you have a maintenance person who fixes things when they break and a landlord who replaces appliances that don't work. When you own a home, that support comes at a cost. The cost is definitely worth it because you are investing in your own property and equity. When you're in charge, you can choose and customize as much as you like, including that smart refrigerator with built-in grocery inventory. But if you aren't super handy or on a limited budget, you may want to start with a smaller and more simple property to avoid larger maintenance concerns. The smaller size will help keep things manageable so you can focus on enjoying the home at your budget now.
  2. Don't Skip Inspections
    Always get a quality inspection even on new builds. Newer isn't always better, so make sure you are looking for quality construction and materials. Many older starter homes have enormous potential. It's important to identify potential problems and understand the needed repairs before getting started. 

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January
27

Moving Your PetsWe understand that cats, dogs, and other pets are important parts of your family. Many of our real estate agents are pet owners. When we show Augusta homes for sale, we know how to find properties that have plenty of space for your furry friends.

Just like people, pets become attached to their homes. It can be difficult for them to accept the changes that come with a move. If you take extra steps to reduce their stress, you are less likely to encounter unusual problem behavior.

Here's how you can meet their needs better during your big move:

  1. Prepare Your Pet for the Big Day
    Before making a final selection of a new home, be sure your pet has a collar with identification. Update any microchip tracking services and, if you are switching veterinarians, collect current vet records. If possible, keep your pet close by rather than using a boarding facility.

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January
6

Painting Your Home to Sell

Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint in your home. Adding a coat of paint is an affordable and accessible way to make your home extra enticing to potential buyers.

If you're planning on selling your home in 2020, you might want to consider getting your paintbrush ready. 

Our real estate agents have seven cost-effective painting projects to help you sell your home in 2020.

  1. Understand Neutrals
    Grandma's turquoise farmhouse might be the talk of the neighborhood, but it won't be the top choice for new family offers. Stick with a neutral palette when repainting your interior or exterior. Bright colors are most often a personal choice, and it will be unlikely to find a shopper with the same taste in orange as yourself. A neutral color offers potential buyers a blank canvas they can make their own. 

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July
22

Move or Improve - Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

To move or to improve—that is the question. Don't worry—plenty of homeowners are faced with the same dilemma when considering purchasing new Augusta homes for sale.

Our real estate agents believe that if buying your first home is the biggest real estate decision of your life, then deciding whether to remodel or sell your home is the second-biggest real estate decision you'll make. If you're like many homeowners, you've been struggling to make a choice. On the one hand, a new home is an exciting thought. A new space in a new area—now may be the perfect time to move. On the other hand, although you're no longer in love with your home, you still have a coveted attachment to it. Why not give it a second life by remodeling a few rooms, upgrading some appliances or even adding an extension on for more space?

If you're wondering whether it's time to move or improve, consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to move?
    This question is the most important: Why are you considering changing homes? Perhaps you've become disinterested in your neighborhood, maybe you don't want to contend with the seasonal weather changes. You could simply be unhappy with work or school and believe that moving with help resolve these feelings. Whatever the reason might be, it's important that you identify it and discuss it openly with your household.

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May
27

 

Exterior Home Features-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

Home buyers know which features they want to see in Augusta homes for sale—do you? As a seller, you want to position your home for success, but this means more than just updating the kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces. Even though interior features like smart appliances and gorgeous countertops do entice buyers to purchase your home, you can't forget that buyers also desire fantastic exterior features. Our real estate agents want to help you get the most of your home, that's why we've identified the top five exterior features buyers desire in their new Augusta homes.

  1. Energy Efficient Windows
    Summers in Augusta can reach temperatures in the 80s, while winter can drop those numbers into the teens. Attractive-looking windows can increase curb appeal, but if they aren't energy efficient, they aren't a buyer's first choice. Energy efficient windows regulate the heat that enters and exits the home. Old windows that aren't energy efficient or are in poor condition are one of the most common issues found during a home inspection. These features are expensive to replace, which means that buyers are willing to pay more for a home with new energy efficient windows to save themselves the hassle.

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April
22

 

Early Mortgage Payoff-Sprague & Curtis Real Estate

It's a question that our real estate agents get asked all the time. When should you pay off your mortgage early, and when shouldn't you? It would seem that if one can pay off debt sooner rather than later, then there's no reason not to do so. But of course, mortgages are a bit more complex, and the answer depends on a variety of factors. 

Your Situation is Unique

The biggest advantage of paying off your mortgage early is saving money on interest costs. Just like any loan, the longer you take to pay off your mortgage, the more you'll end up paying in interest. It's worth noting that a 15-year mortgage comes with a much lower interest rate than the more common 30-year mortgage. 

Still, there are certain situations in which financial experts tend to advise against paying off a mortgage early. For example, if you're locked into a 30-year mortgage at a low interest rate, you can reap greater financial rewards by investing your money elsewhere rather than using it to repay your mortgage.

But for many homeowners, there are financial benefits to paying off your home loan early. And just as importantly, it's not always purely a financial decision. It's also an emotional one. The relief that comes with being free from debt is no small thing. It comes down to what you value the most. 

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December
17

Sell Your Home Winter Open House Tips
Let's face it, winter weather in Maine isn't always fun and games. When the wind starts to kick up, and the ground is covered with ice and snow, most potential home buyers would rather hunker down in front of the fireplace than venture out to look at Augusta homes for sale

While summertime open houses are easy to prepare, setting one up in winter brings its own set of challenges. It's likely that you won't get as much foot traffic, so you'll want to do everything you can to put your best foot forward. These five tips will help you spruce up your home and increase your chances of closing a deal. 

  1. Avoid a Slippery Situation
    First impressions are everything, and the last thing you want is for a potential home buyer to fall on their way into the house. Shovel a complete path all the way from the street to the front door. De-ice the driveway, sidewalk, and front porch to make it as safe as possible. 

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November
7

Holiday Home Security Tips
The holidays are right around the corner, and so are the thieves just waiting for you to be away. A proactive approach to home security is the best way to protect your home and belongings. Our real estate agents offer this list of holiday home security tips.

  1. Don't Advertise Purchases
    Boxes and bags let thieves know what you have bought and where you bought it. This seemingly innocuous trash should be broken down and disposed of within trash bins. Even better, you can break it down and take it to a recycling center. If you are shopping online, it is also a wise idea to have your packages delivered to your workplace or to pick them up from a delivery center.
      
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