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Can Our Kids Move Back to Maine?

In 1997, I began my 25-year career in real estate and became a student of our real estate market; constantly studying it and in recent years I’ve seen some unbelievable sales!

In September of 1998 I was working in the office when a new listing on Adelbert Street came up on our office “Hot Sheet.” My college, Susan Smith, grabbed the sheet off the copier, gave it to me and said, “This is where you and Melissa should live!”  To be honest, back then I didn’t even know where Adelbert Street was!  Melissa and I were newlyweds approaching our one-year anniversary and weren’t really even looking for a new home yet. I drove by the property though and loved the look of it and the neighborhood was everything I never had as a boy.  I scheduled a showing, grabbed Melissa and after just one step inside the front door, we knew it was the place we wanted to call home.  Even back then, there were multiple offers! We submitted our best offer and headed off for our anniversary weekend. We had to wait 4 agonizing days before the seller’s agent finally called to give us the good news! It would be ours for $161,000!

What’s happening in our neighborhood now?  Our neighbor of 24 years recently sold his home. It was listed for $895,000 and after 3 days of showings, it went under contract and just sold for $1,235,000! Last week, another for sale sign went up at 89 Adelbert Street.  What was it listed for? If you guessed $1,235,000, you are right. And after just 6 days on the market, it is also under contract!

Our son, Jackson, is a 20-year-old junior in college, and I sent him this newest listing when it hit the market.  His reply was, “I’m looking forward to never being able to move back to Southern Maine!”  And our daughter Gabby’s reaction was a little more blunt. When she saw the sales she said, “Holy *#% !”  I can’t help but have the same reaction sometimes!

As owners of real estate in Southern Maine, we are all enjoying the last 25 years of property value increases. Even around 2008 when most of the country’s real estate values plummeted, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth home values remained steady and after weathering that economic storm, property values have continued to go up and up and up! This spring is still a VERY strong seller’s market, but I have watched some homes sell for far LESS than they should.

I recently did a market analysis on 4 Third Street in South Portland. The home was an estate sale, the parents had recently passed, and the siblings were still grieving. Their father had built the home and they had all spent their entire childhoods there. They had been advised by their estate attorney to interview 3 agents and I was happy to be one of them. After my initial walk through, I meet with them to give my recommendations on getting the home ready and my  marketing and pricing strategy. After my presentation, they told me the other two agents had suggested about the same price, but my number was much higher!  The other agents suggested listing between $220,000 and $240,000 based on the size and condition of the house but my   recommendation was to list the home at $330,000 – which we did! We ended up having 20 plus showings, a very busy open house and received multiple offers. They recent closed the sale for $345,000!  More than $100,000 above the other two “South Portland Expert’s” suggested price!  

This market is delicate; inventory is low, and interest rates are creeping higher, but property values are still going up. Don’t leave money on the table! Call us for a FREE market analysis. I’ve studied our market for the past 25 years and things can change daily, but we work hard to get our sellers the most money possible on the sale of their homes. Just remember calling me does not obligate you to do anything.  Let’s just see what the value is and if making a move is the right thing for you.

Enjoy the warmup! 

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