It is that wonderful time of year when blueberries are in full production. The fruit is exquisite. The blueberries are about two weeks behind this year and I venture to guess it was the absence of a sunny and warm spring. Remember, this summer came in full force after the 4th of July!

I pick blueberries from the bushes at my neighbor’s home two houses away. I like to make blueberry muffins and blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting. My husband is an expert at making blueberry margaritas and he feeds my yellow labs blueberry pancakes. My dear neighbor planted the blueberry bushes many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of his labor. He said that he lived until 93 because he ate blueberries every day. It is amazing that he continues to exist in our lives with his blueberries after he has been gone for two years. I miss him.

I mention my neighbor and blueberries because it once again defines what it means to LIVE and to be a part of a community with so much to appreciate. There is much to nourish the soul, the brain, the body and community in Kittery.

Like blueberries, the real estate market is doing well. Sales continue to reflect increasing prices and will remain that way as inventory remains relatively low. The median sale price in Kittery for 2019 through July 31st was $430,500 compared to last year at the same time period of $365,000. Additionally, the number of homes on the market as of July 31, 2019 was 113 as compared to the same period in 2018 which was 97. If inventory continues to climb, then we may see buyers pulling back from some of the heady offers we see in a low inventory market. Median days on the market YTD through July were 19 days compared to 15 days in 2018 year-to-date. Finally, months of inventory, a good indicator of the strength of the market was 3.83 months on 7/31/2019 versus 3.82 through July 2018 – that’s a good number and speaks to a healthy market.

We All Like to Nest

There are many things in life I am grateful for including all of you.  Additionally, I have the privilege to work out of my home office in Kittery Point and observe the wonders of nature.

My home office is on the second floor of my house and I look out upon a large pond – some of you that have been around longer than me say that it used to be a cranberry bog.  One time, I am told, there was a moose stuck in the pond. This spring, it is wetter than usual. I have been watching as a nest was built by a couple of mallards. One day I watched as the ducks fought off some other ducks to protect their nest – first it was a couple of other mallard ducks, then along came two geese and before you know it there were eight unwelcome geese.

Wanting to protect my initial interests, I attempted to scare the geese away. It didn’t work.  Eventually, they did fly away. A hawk also swooped about the nest while the male duck stood on top flailing its wings. That evening, I heard calling from my neighbor who also works out of his home and has shared in my duck nest experience.  Lo and behold on top of the duck nest was a bald eagle with wings spread full. It was a most amazing sight. Fortunately, the show ended quickly, and I have not seen the eagle or hawk since. I am grateful the mallard ducks continue to protect their home and I hope that the eggs are incubating in their nest.

Like our community, we look out for one another. In my profession, I advise people about what is very often their most important investment – their home. I invite you to contact me throughout the year for a free analysis on the value of your home whether you are looking to sell, thinking of buying or just have a need to know.

Likewise, if you want to know more about what is going on in the real estate market, please feel free to email or call me. I will send you information specific to your home and the immediate area.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. In the meantime, enjoy this year’s Tide Chart, the warmer weather, and all our community offers in the coming summer season.

Until nest time

The Builder’s Home

SOLD 43 Oak Woods Road, North Berwick, Maine.  Built by highly respected and talented, Chase Construction for builder, Barry Chase.  Second highest priced public sale in North Berwick, Maine in the last ten years.  Sold for $670,000.  Several offers and the buyers who were not successful are still looking.  If you have property to sell and want the best price, contact me 207.337.3661.

Follow this link to the 3-D video.


Preparing your Home

Your home has just one chance to make a great impression with each potential buyer. And it can! The following “tricks of the trade” will help you keep track of what needs to be done. The whole idea is to present a clean, spacious clutter-free home–the kind of place you’d like to buy. Accomplish a little every day, and before long your home will be ready co make the impression that can make the sale.

Your Home’s Curb Appeal 

  • Mow lawn
  • Trim shrubs
  • Edge gardens and walkways
  • Weed and mulch
  • Sweep walkways and driveway, remove branches, litter or toys
  • Add color and fill in bare spots with plantings
  • Remove mildew or moss from walls or walks with bleach and water or other cleaner
  • Take stains off your driveway with cleanser or kitty litter
  • Stack woodpile neatly
  • Clean and repair patio and deck area
  • Remove any outdoor furniture which is not in good repair
  • Make sure pool or spa sparkles
  • Replace old storm doors
  • Check for flat-fitting roof shingles
  • Repair broken windows and shutters, replace corn screens, make sure frames and seams have solid caulking
  • Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood
  • Touch up exterior paint, repair gutters and eaves
  • Clean and remove rust from any window air conditioning units
  • Paint the front door and mailbox
  • Add a new front door mat and consider a seasonal door decoration
  • Shine brass hardware on front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Make sure doorbell is in good working order


General Interior Tips

  • Add a fresh coat of interior paint in light. neutral colors
  • Shampoo carpeting, replace if necessary
  • Clean and wax hardwood floors, refinish if necessary
  • Clean and wash kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Wash all windows, vacuum blinds, wash window sills
  • Clean the fireplace
  • Clean out and organize closets, add extra space by packing clothes and items you won’t need again until after you’ve moved
  • Remove extra furniture, worn rugs, and items you don’t use; keep papers, toys, etc. picked up–especially on stairways
  • Repair problems such as loose door knobs, cracked molding, leaking caps and toilets, squeaky doors, closets or screen doors which are off their tracks
  • Add dishes of potpourri, or drop of vanilla or bath oil on light bulbs for scent
  • Secure jewelry, cash and other valuables


The Living Room

  • Make it cozy and inviting, discard chipped or worn furniture and frayed or worn rugs


The Dining Room

  • Polish any visible silver and crystal
  • Set the cable for a formal dinner to help viewers imagine entertaining here The Kitchen
  • Make sure appliances are spotless inside and out (try baking soda for cleaning Formica stains)
  • Make sure all appliances are in perfect working order
  • Clean often forgotten spots on top of refrigerator and under sink
  • Wax or sponge floor to brilliant shine, clean baseboards
  • Unclutter all counter space, remove countertop appliances
  • Organize items inside cabinets, pre-pack anything you won’t be using before you move


The Bathrooms

  • Remove all rust and mildew
  • Make sure tile, fixtures, shower doors, etc. are immaculate and shining
  • Make sure all fixtures are in good repair
  • Replace loose caulking or grout
  • Make sure lighting is bright, but soft


The Master Bedroom

  • Organize furnishings to create a spacious look with well-defined sitting, sleeping, and dressing areas


The Garage

  • Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
  • Clean oily cement floor
  • Provide strong overhead light
  • Tidy storage or work areas


The Basement

  • Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
  • Organize and create more floor space by hanging tools and placing items on shelves
  • Clean water heater and drain sediment
  • Change furnace filter
  • Make inspection access easy
  • Clean and paint concrete floor and walls
  • Provide strong overhead light


The Attic

  • Tidy up by discarding or pre-packing
  • Make sure energy-saving insulation is apparent
  • Make sure air vent is in working order
  • Provide strong overhead lighting


When it’s Time to Show

  • Make sure your property profile folder, utility bills, MLS profile, house location survey. etc. are available
  • Open all draperies and shades, turn on all lights
  • Pick up toys and other clutter, check to make sure beds are made and clothes are put away
  • Give the carpets a quick vacuuming
  • Add some strategically placed fresh flowers
  • Open bathroom windows for fresh air
  • Pop a spicy dessert or just a pan of cinnamon in the oven for aroma
  • Turn off the television and turn on the radio music at a low volume
  • Make a fire in the fireplace if appropriate
  • Put pets in the backyard or arrange for a friend to keep them
  • Make sure pet areas are clean and odor-free
  • Make sure all crash is disposed of in neatly covered bins

What to do when an appointment is made

Agents from many real estate firms will want to show your home. Please allow any agent who calls to show your home at the suggested time. If you are not frequently available, it is suggested that you allow a lockbox to be installed on your door. You will increase your odds for a sale by allowing more qualified buyers to see your home. You do not want to miss an out-of-town transferee because your home was not able to be shown. During a showing:

  • Open all draperies and window shades during daylight hours.
  • Turn on all lights and replace bulbs with high wattage bulbs where needed.
  • Open windows one half hour before showing to circulate fresh air.
  • Open all the doors between rooms to give an inviting feeling.
  • Place fresh flowers on the kitchen table and/or in the living room.
  • The kitchen & bathroom should sparkle.
  • Pets should be confined or restricted from view. Eliminate pet odors. Not everyone may share your love of animals. Some people may be allergic to them.
  • All jewelry and small valuables should be stored in a safety deposit box or in a locked closet.
  • Replace any items not included in the sale, or tag them appropriately with “to be replaced with … ” or “not included” signs.
  • Beds should be made & clothes picked up. Bathrooms should be clean, with towels folded and toilet lid down.
  • When you leave the house, please leave it as if you know it is going to be shown. You never know when the right person is going to look at it!

Lisa Duggan Office: 207780 8900