Just Sold in Cumberland, Maine!

29 Shady Run Lane, Cumberland $460,000

This charming Colonial in the Westridge Subdivision features an open concept kitchen with Quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances, a master bedroom with an en suite, and a spacious backyard and deck perfect for entertaining or relaxing. Enjoy the privacy of this home in this quiet, wooded, and convenient neighborhood within walking distance to Cumberland Center, schools and local restaurants. Yarmouth and I-295 are also only a short drive away.

How Maine Is Making Strides Towards Renewable Energy

 
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In 1994, the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant accounted for 33% of Maine’s power according to MaineBiz. In 2005, the power plant was decommissioned due to safety concerns and high operating costs. After that, Maine made changes to incorporate renewable energy.

Some of the major catalysts that contributed to Maine’s changes towards renewable energy, according to MaineBiz, included:

  • “The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (2007) encouraging greater use of clean (i.e. non-fossil-fuel) energy”;

  • “The 2000 deregulation of the two major electric utilities, Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro, forcing them to sell their power-generation assets”, and;

  • The “2008 Wind Energy Act” which set goals for installing wind capacity throughout the state.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recently updated profile (based on June 2018 data), almost 85% of Maine’s net electricity generation came from renewable sources.
— Mainebiz.com
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, wind and solar energy are the source of 21.17% of energy in Maine in 2018.

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, wind and solar energy are the source of 21.17% of energy in Maine in 2018.

Making up about 1/5 Maine’s net energy, the industrial sector primarily uses biomass, hydroelectric and natural gas turbines to generate power. Maine is now part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, “a bipartisan coalition of 21 states committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement”(MaineBiz). Because of these efforts, Maine is now one of the 10 states that have the lowest carbon emissions. To learn more about emissions and what causes them, read our blog post on carbon emissions!

 

Explore The City At Your Feet with Portland Trails!

Portland Trails’ annual City at Your Feet scavenger hunt is coming up this Saturday, July 13th!

City at Your Feet is a cross-town scavenger hunt and people-powered trail adventure. Teams compete to crack as many clues as possible and gain points for finding unique locations along the trail network, all while traveling car-free throughout the city. Whether you walk or bike, bus or pogo-stick, City at Your Feet will get you and your friends and family out the door and exploring all the incredible sights that Portland Trails has to offer!

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When: Saturday, July 13th, 2019, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Starts and ends at Portland Gear Hub, 155 Washington Ave with an After Party!
Price: Tickets are $25/adult (16+) and $12/child (15 and under).

You can participate in teams of 2 to 6 participants.

Register early to get a spot and share with your friends!

At Gray Fox, our way of contributing to our local communities is by donating 1% of our annual profits to organizations that focus on conservation and land trusts in Maine. Portland Trails is just one of those organizations!

Why Do You Need a Short Sale Specialist?

Realizing that you may need to sell your home as a short sale can be stressful. You will likely have many questions. What will happen to your credit score and ability to get a mortgage? What if your home doesn’t sell and goes into foreclosure instead? How is the process different than a normal house sale? These questions are all reasonable and warranted. The short sale process is complex and nuanced so it is important to hire a Realtor that is knowledgeable and experienced in short sales.

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Gray Fox Real Estate’s Designated Broker and Owner, Polly Cockrill, is a Certified Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource.

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What does that mean?

A Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource is a Realtor who has completed specific training and education to work on short sale and foreclosure transactions. The training is important because it increases the chances that your short sale is going to be successful.

The Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource course is an introduction to the laws and banking regulations that direct short sale transactions. In addition to that, Polly has a deep understanding of the law and the short sale process from working at Shapiro & Morely in Portland during the Foreclosure Crisis. Polly is not an attorney, and cannot provide legal advice, but understanding what the attorneys are doing, why, and most importantly, when, is a huge advantage to making sure your short sale succeeds.  

Polly has purchased four investment properties, and some of them were short sales. She has represented Sellers who found themselves forced to apply for a short sale. She has experience working on both sides of the real estate transaction.

According to Polly:

Can you get a good deal when you buy a short sale?

“The bank is going to rely on the broker’s price opinion or “appraisal”. Banks are hoping for buyers to pay the appraised price, or more. There is not a lot of wiggle room on either side when it comes to price. A common misconception is that buyers can get a really great deal when purchasing a short sale, but that is not always true. Banks are rarely allowed to take less than the broker’s appraisal. The price is out of the control of the buyer or seller because it is determined by a third party whose main focus is valuing the property”.

What are the differences between short sale sellers and buyers?

“A short sale for a seller is an extremely complex and time consuming process with no guarantee of the outcome. The house could be foreclosed upon even after attempting a short sale. From a buyer’s perspective, if they are willing to pay what the bank wants, then it’s normally a very easy transaction. Also, more often than not banks prefer cash over financed buyers”.

A few facts about Short Sales:

  • Short sales are considered distressed properties, “that are available for sale because of financial hardship on the part of the current or previous owner.”(National Association of Realtors).

  • In a short sale, the owners no longer have equity in their home because they are behind on their payments and cannot afford to pay them. In a short sale, the holder of the mortgage agrees to sell the house “short”, or for less than what is needed to pay off all debt connected to the property.

Join the Gray Fox Adventure Troop at Cliff Trail!

Are you looking for new adventures but can never find anyone to go with? Are you looking for outdoor spaces to explore close by?

Come adventure with Gray Fox Real Estate! As part of our conscious company model, we are organizing events to connect people to green spaces in our communities. As an overall theme, we hope to raise awareness about how designated green spaces can improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities and benefit real estate values!

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Will The 2008 Crash Repeat Itself?

Since 2014, the real estate market has been identified as a Seller’s Market. This means that there are more buyers seeking homes than sellers willing to sell. In a Seller’s Market, sellers are able to price and sell their homes higher because the demand for homes is higher than the number of homes available. This often results in a multiple offer situation and drives up the price of homes. At this point in time, home prices have been driven up to a point where they are so incongruent with average incomes that the cost of living ratios are insufficient to sustain buyer activity. Simply put, people are not being paid wages high enough to purchase a home.

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Many consumers are worried that the rising real estate prices have constituted a “bubble” and will lead to a market crash like the one in 2008. While the real estate market will likely change due to the increasing prices and a decrease in sales, predictions show that a crash as profound as the one in 2008 is unlikely because “that crash was caused by forces that are no longer present”(TheBalance).

Experts do not predict a repeat of the 2008 crash for the following reasons:

Mortgage brokers have become more strict about to whom they give loans. According to InvestFourMore.com, subprime loans, loans given to those with poor credit scores, were at a high point totaling $620 billion in 2005. Now, subprime loans make up only about 5% of mortgage loans (InvestFourMore).

When adjusted for inflation, home prices are not any higher than they were in the 2006 peak, and are actually more similar to prices in 2004. “Between 2012 and 2017, home prices rose 6.5% a year on average. Between 2002 and 2006, they rose 7.5% annually. In 2005, they skyrocketed 16%”(TheBalance). While prices have risen, they have not increased as dramatically as they did in 2005.

However, despite the predictions, unexpected factors may contribute to a crash. Factors like rising sea levels, high interest rates, and Trump’s tax reform plan could all have destabilizing effects on the real estate market(TheBalance).

Overall, a crash is not likely. The market may come to a standstill for a while due to rising home prices and stagnant wages, but that will just force sellers to lower their prices.

Just Sold in Biddeford, Maine!

122 South Street, Biddeford, $226,000

This wonderful Split Entry home is in the heart of Biddeford, within walking distance to shopping and the downtown area, and parks. The yard is completely fenced-in. It has a two-car garage with entry into the basement or home. The home has a combination of hardwood, tile, and laminate flooring throughout with lots of natural lighting.

Featured Area Professional: Dave Andrukaitis, Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders

Name: Dave Andrukaitis

Company: Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders, Gray ME

Dave Andrukaitis and Tim Mosher both had their start in the high-end residential building trades. Together, they have worked on many multi-million dollar projects all over the country. They started out their company in 2009 with a simple goal to provide their clients the best quality, even if it meant taking a loss.  

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They feel that all clients, both well-to-do and those who live more meagerly, deserve to have the best quality work performed when they hire a general contractor. Integrity is everything and in such a small geographic area such as Southern Maine, it’s critical to maintain the best reputation one can! This ideal and subsequent reputation has allowed them to not only make it through a very difficult recession, but also grow their firm exponentially over the recent years.   



All clients, both well-to-do and those who live more meagerly, deserve to have the best quality work performed when they hire a general contractor.
— Dave Andrukaitis, Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders

We asked Dave…

What makes you different from other professionals in your area?

Maine is a state where there is currently no General Contractor/Builder Licensing or official criteria to meet to demonstrate professional/essential knowledge to prospective clients. In essence, this self-governing environment allows many contractors to set their own rules, quality control, etc. as long as it fits into general code requirements and accepted building techniques. Unfortunately, this system is often taken advantage of and the result is that the consumer is often the one paying the costs of inferior work.

Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders has prided itself for striving to provide our clients a level of service and quality that is above reproach. Since our competition has the luxury of operating in a wide interpretation of what is acceptable, we feel our best marketing technique is to be the best builder and general contractor that we can be, regardless of how others operate. We have partnered alongside many of Maine's largest and top rated builders and have built a reputation of providing the same quality products at a competitive pricing. Our strategy is simple: provide the best results and experience and keep overhead low. This allows us to cast a wider net and provide top quality results to consumers who may otherwise assume that their budgets are too small for an established and reputable General Contractor/Builder. 

Do you have any tips for home buyers/builders?

ALWAYS acquire the services of an experienced and independent home inspector or builder, review and question property disclosures, and NEVER simply take for face value what is said. It’s one of the largest purchases of a lifetime. Ask questions, do your due diligence, and don’t be afraid to “offend” anyone. Also, it’s most times always more expensive to build/renovate then it is to find an existing suitable home. With less and less individuals/couples purchasing homes, my advice for the first time purchasers is to find a quality home that will work for your needs for a minimum of 5 years. 

What are some common mistakes or mishaps that homeowners could avoid by utilizing Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders?

Reputation is everything. Any builder can muster up resources to create flashy commercials, decal trucks/trailers, etc. My advice: ask for references from clients that had similar projects. Ask for bank and lumber yard references. Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders has never had the need to advertise. All of our work is by word of mouth. I can say all the right things to convince you to use our contracting firm, however, I would much rather have my clients convince you. 


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Contact Dave
Andrukaitis-Mosher Builders
207-939-9410
dave@ammaine,com



At Gray Fox Real Estate, we know that providing high-quality real estate services is only possible with the help and expertise of industry professionals that we trust.