Busy Day at Kezar Realty

Having two settlements in one day may be commonplace for the big city realty firms, but it is always exciting at Kezar Realty! Especially at the tail-end of February, when the cold and the snow are still with us and it doesn’t feel like home-buying season just yet.

As we know, modern technology is advancing rapidly where smart phones and tablets are used to communicate. However, in the real estate and the mortgage world, paper is still king! Although contracts with electronic signatures are prevalent, original signatures are still required for all legal papers, particularly those that need to be recorded at the registry.

Today’s first settlement had a pleasant mixture of the old process and a touch of the new technology. The buyers for this Lovell property were scheduled to be out of the country so a Power of Attorney was provided ahead of time to sign on the behalf of the buyers. Thanks to the magic of Skype, the buyers were able to watch the settlement, answer questions and participate all the way from Thailand! Betsy Meredith, the settlement agent for Market Street Settlement Group, was able to explain various forms to the buyers and answer questions as we went along.

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Thanks to the listing agent, Linda Nista of Paris Cape Realty and to Market Street Settlement for agreeing to have the settlement in Lovell!

And thanks to Jeanne Bonner of Kezar Realty,  the listing agent for today’s second settlement. This property was located in Stoneham and the selling agent was Susan Moore of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate in Gorham.

It is always rewarding to see happy buyers and sellers and to be a part of the team that makes it happen! Today was one of those days. :)

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Snow Scenes, Part Two

What a difference a few hours make! The sun is out, the temps are warm (high 20’s) and thanks to Scott Gardiner, the best snow plower in Oxford County, the roads are clean. (Here’s a great video history of snow plowing in Maine) It looks like we will have a stretch of good weather so let’s get out and enjoy the snow. How about a cross-country at the golf course? Thanks to the Lovell Recreation Department, it is free.

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Lovell Village Snow Scenes

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Over the past two days we had about six-seven more inches of light, fluffy snow added to the existing base. This is great news for nordic and alpine skiers, snowmobilers and winter enthusiasts! Although this looks like a lot of snow, southern Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have more than we do. I think I heard the city of Boston ‘cry uncle’ because they have nowhere to put it and the streets are now very narrow. Subway service has been suspended temporarily and officials are asking people to stay home while crews work to get the roads clean.

When you look out the window it is hard to imagine that one day the snow will be gone but remember, the first day of Spring isn’t that far away–Friday, March 20th!

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Lake Region Rotary Trip to the Dominican Republic

With all of the endless talk over the past two weeks of Bill and Tom’s legacy of winning and cheating, I think it is important to highlight three local people who are making the time and effort to help those who are less fortunate.

For the past several months, Emma Bodwell (Mortgage Network), Kristen Charette (Norway Savings Bank) and Cathy Sullivan, all members of the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club, are spending a week in the Dominican Republic working on a mission trip.

The three women solicited and collected (over 300 pounds, I believe) a variety of supplies, clothing and toiletries to bring with them. Each day they will be working with schools and orphanages delivering supplies and helping to educate the women, children and families of this impoverished country.

Their daily work and thoughts, as well as photos, will be updated daily on their blog, Bridgton Lake Region Rotary Club Blog

2015 Dominican Republic

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Lovell Village–Open For Business

As you drive up or down Route 5 (within the legal speed limit, of course!), you can’t help but notice that the OPEN flags are out and flapping in the wind in Lovell Village. I must say, that is a sight that puts a smile on my face!

Rosie's

Rosie’s

Bits & Bytes

Bits & Bytes

Kezar Realty

Kezar Realty

Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library

Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library

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A Look Back at 2014 & A Look Forward to 2015

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Kezar Lake, Lovell

Since the great economic collapse of 2007-2008, there have been occasional periods of optimism that perhaps the bottom had been reached. But year after year, those hopes were dashed as economic activity either retreated or remained flat. However, towards the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014, I began to sense a change. People felt more secure with their employment. My belief has always been that until that improved, people were not going to be making investments, whether it be cars, homes, vacations, etc.

I wouldn’t say that there was a marked increase in the number of buyers looking at homes but that the people who were looking were serious. And that was reflected in the number of Kezar Realty’s transactions. We had 25 settlements totaling more than $4.6 million, our best year ever. To me, the most significant aspect of last year’s business was that 15 of those homes were sold to year-round residents. During the recession, we just did not see that level of year-round activity and it appears that we are building a solid fundamental foundation going forward. Property values may not be going up rapidly but they are no longer declining and we do not seem to have a problem with appraisals. There are now plenty of mortgage programs available and FHA, a program usually used by first-time buyers, is becoming competitive again.

WordPress puts together a nice summary of KezarLife’s 2014 activity which you can see here.

Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a good year for everyone and if you have any real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact Kezar Realty.

 

 

Posted in Local Business, Lovell, Real Estate | 2 Comments

SHOP LOCAL–SHOP LOVELL

With a little more than a week left until Christmas, I’m sure that everyone does not have all of their gifts picked-out. Avoid the hassles of traffic and rude people by looking local. There is a wealth of local merchants, artisans and shops that would love to help you select the perfect gift.

This Holiday season, why not shop in Lovell? Here is a list of shops and ideas where you not only have a great present but you are helping our local businesses!

* Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

* ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS, Lovell. For centuries, floorcloths have proven to be both durable and elegant. Art Underfoot Floorcloths handcrafted works are created in Maine with tradition in mind. We spend between eight to ten hours on each piece, skillfully crafting heirloom quality art that you will enjoy having underfoot. Paula and Tom Hughes create these artistic and functional floorcloths and would be happy to discuss designing a pattern to fit your home or office. Visit the website for more details and to view a gallery of floorcloths. ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS

*HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy’s kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy’s webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

*How about a gift certificate to the ‘Best Beer Bar in America‘, EBENEZER’s PUB? During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub’s phone number is 207-925-3200.

* Get GREAT BUYS at Center Lovell’s three Antique Stores. Although winter hours are by chance and/or appointment both owners would be happy to meet you at your convenience. The WONDER STORE is owned by Peter Worrall and he can be reached at 207-925-1252. Bill Doyle, owner of DOYLE’s ANTIQUES, can be reached at his store 207-925-1279. FOUR CEDARS ANTIQUES, located at Swain Road and 5A, is owned by Shoo Hale. She would be happy to help and can be reached at 925-1017.

*HOMESTEAD ICE CREAM SHOP. Beth Armington’s new store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans’ work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And Beth is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

*SUSAN SIDWELL. Located at the top of Route 5A in Center Lovell, Susan is well-known for not only for her ability to grow beautiful vegetables and flowers but also produces beautiful artisan prints. Ready for framing, these prints make a wonderful gift. You may reach Susan at 925-1006.

*PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The ‘Pick-Your-Own’ season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.

*How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments:
1)Rosie’s Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255.
2)AJ’s Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454.
3)The Center Lovell Market. Open again on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051.
4)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here!
5)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.

Still can’t figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell’s United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Posted in Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Local Business, Lovell, Lovell Brick Church, Lovell Historical Society, Maine locations, Things to Do | Tagged , | Leave a comment