Are you getting a case of cabin fever looking at listings online without any hope of purchasing one of them? Waiting until Spring because it would just be easier to move than during a snowstorm? Think with more inventory, you'll get a better price? Reconsider your options and contact Megan about buying now. Find out the reasons why by watching the video below:
New Construction an option for many first-time buyers in Maine
After 4 moves in 6 years (it's a hazard of the business) Corey and I just went through a new build process for our forever home - and my first two transactions of the new year, were for first-time buyers purchasing new construction homes in Maine. So, I figured it might be time for a blog about how to buy a NEW home in Maine.
Looking at all the available Maine homes on the market and not finding exactly what fits your style? Building is an option, with NO construction loan. In a traditional new construction home, the process would be:
But, since this process is long and costly, builders have caught on and many will offer to take on the total investment - so, you may build your dream home and only start making payments when you purchase the home with traditional financing at the end of all construction. For some builders, you could be in your new home from start to finish in just 90 days! Some buyers take that long just to find the house and then go through the traditional 30-40 day contract period. And how cool would it be to have photos of your home being built? See above! (Although it would have been "cooler" if I had made a plan to take a progress photo of the front of the house in the same exact spot for a flip book type timeline - next house! WAIT, there will be no next house for us! Must stop shopping!)
Contact Megan for more details - 207.221.5450. My new construction knowledge is very fresh and I'm happy to help buyers through the process each and every step. You'll find it's fun and very rewarding to make choices and start fresh in a home built just for you!
By: Rich Binsacca
Some unfinished basements are better basement finishing candidates than others. Here’s how to evaluate your space for a basement finishing.
Basement finishing is a great way to add that extra bedroom or playroom you’ve always wanted, if you have the money and space.
Basement remodel cost
When it comes to basement finishing, not all unfinished space is created equal. Consequently, the per-square-foot price of basement finishing starts at $100/sq. ft. and can climb higher depending on how much or how little remodeling you must do.
Granted, you won’t have to dig and lay a foundation or frame and insulate exterior walls—that’s already done.
Depending on your circumstances, here’s what you’ll need to know:
Building to code
The International Residential Code (IRC) says a basement living space must have a clear, floor-to-ceiling height of at least 7 feet (6 feet for bathrooms). Local codes for basement finishing may vary, and exceptions are made for the presence of exposed structural beams, girders, or mechanical system components along the ceiling, but only if they’re spaced at least 4 feet apart and extend no more than 6 inches from the ceiling.
If your existing basement ceiling height doesn’t meet those specifications, you have two options, and neither is cheap:
Add a staircase
The IRC also governs the staircase that leads from your home’s main level to the basement remodel. Requirements include a handrail and stairs with proper width, tread, and riser dimensions. There must be at least 6 ft. 8 inches of headroom at every point along the staircase.
If the stairway isn’t wide enough (at least 36 inches) or the steps aren’t to code, you may have to rebuild them during basement finishing, an extra cost of about $2,000.
Condition the space
Heating and cooling your basement finishing can be as simple as tapping into existing HVAC main trunks and adding a couple of vents ($1,000) or as complicated as upgrading your entire heating and cooling systems ($7,000 to $15,000).
Your contractor will have to “size” your existing system to make sure it can handle the additional load and will comply with building codes that consider health and safety, such as adequate venting of furnace combustion gasses.
Cure moisture problems
You’ll have to fix moisture problems before basement finishing begins. You may have to waterproof walls and floors, grade the yard so water falls away from the foundation, install a sump pump, or install drains around the foundation, all or any of which can add thousands in costs.
Add emergency egress
Code dictates that basement finishing have at least one door or window big enough for people to get out and for help to get in during an emergency: If you’re including a bedroom, it must have its own point of egress. Each egress opening must be at least 5.7 sq. ft. with the windowsill no more than 44 inches above the floor.
Most basement walls are built using poured concrete or masonry blocks, which can be cut (although not as easily as wood-framed walls) to create openings for egress windows or doors.
- Rich Binsacca - has been writing about home improvement since 1987. He is the author of 12 books on home-related topics, is a contributing editor for Builder and EcoHome magazines, and has written for Remodeling, Home, and Architectural Record.
Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/basements/evaluate-your-house-basement-finishing/#ixzz2qgwwM7xN
In Maine we have a name for out-of-state visitors - those from "away". But, that doesn't mean Mainers don't welcome visitors, vacationers, summerers, and those looking to move permanently! In fact, Maine has a great reputation for opening their business, homes, and open spaces to visitors. The most recent governor of Maine even changed the entry sign into the state to say "Open for Business".
So, when I received a call this weekend from a family in Connecticut looking to buy a condo in Cape Elizabeth, I jumped at the opportunity to welcome them and learn more about their hopes for "weekending" in Maine during the summer and eventually retiring here. The process for them, was quick as they had been looking online for well over six months - but I've had clients who have forged a long search finding the "one" from afar. There are many tools to send listings, video neighborhoods, learn about the history of a home, and even sign documentation electronically. Although not recommended, a buyer from out-of state, can find, offer, and even buy a home without ever leaving the comfort of their current location.
So, what are you waiting for? Let's start your Maine home buying search and we'll have you in your new home just in time for all the fun summer activities Maine offers. See you at the beach!
Maine Homes And Loans Blog
Megan (and occasionally Corey) writes with tips, suggestions, and interesting stories about buying, selling and financing homes in Maine. Check back often to learn more!