Brownsfield Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting In Berwick, ME

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Everyone that drives through Berwick, ME in their daily commute notices the giant eyesore that is the former Prime Tanning building(s). These buildings occupy a 13 acre site that is directly in the middle of what should be “downtown.” Through years of work, the Envision Berwick Committee has secured 3 grants that will allow for the cleanup of parts of this site. Yesterday, November 12, 2015, was the first meeting of the Brownsfield Advisory Committee. I am honored to represent the Berwick Planning Board as a member of this important committee.

The purpose of the Brownsfield Advisory Committee is to promote community outreach, gather community input and give partner insight into the project. The chairman of the committee is John Stoll, Berwick Town Planner. Other key figures of this committee are Rip Patten, Environmental Engineer and Program Manager; Johnathan O’Donnell, Engineer and Project Manager; and Rick Vandenberg, who will be in charge of the demolition design.

Rip and Johnathan work for Credere Associates, LLC and Rick is with Weston and Sampson. Both companies have won awards for this type of work and have worked together successfully in the past. Some projects you may be familiar with are the Woolen Mill in North Berwick or the Mill Building in Sanford.

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There are some environmental issues already identified at the site through testing. They include:

Outside-
PAH’s (a petroleum chemical in heavy oils, from burning fossil fuels)
lead
-buried tannery waste, scraps of hides
subgrade soil vapor: chlorinated volatiles (dry cleaning, solvent chemicals)
-groundwater contamination (perchloroethylene, chromium)

Inside the Buildings-

-asbestos
-universal waste (lighting, batteries, fuel tanks, electronics)
PCB contained building materials/paint is highly likely though not positively identified yet (boiler rooms, high moisture situations)

The grants the Town has received are for $200,000 each (with a $40,000 in-kind requirement) and are for lots 4,5, and 6. A map of the lots can be found here. Civil Consultants of South Berwick are preparing an existing conditions survey which will mark out the lots on the property (some lot lines are inside buildings.)

Ready to see some action in downtown? You will soon! Here is the schedule of work. Note that Winter 2015/2016 is planning and paperwork, etc.

Spring 2016
Phase 1 (abate asbestos, demo buildings, look under slabs)

Summer 2016
Phase 2 (addressing source area soils that need to be removed *removal soil gas source, etc)

Phase 3 *Pending* (development ready to start)

I will be updating with more information as I get it. For renderings of potential development in the downtown, check out this post A Vision For Downtown Berwick or What’s Going On In Downtown Berwick?

 

 

 
Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member

Nichole Fecteau on Zillow

Vavooming The Purchase- The Multi-Family Experience!

Today I have a guest blogger writing about something that not many first time homebuyers consider, purchasing a multi-family property. There are many benefits to this type of purchase and there are a few things to know about it before you get in too deep. Check out this great information provided by Connie Margowsky of Mortgage Network.

nichole fecteau

Many a prospective home buyer contemplates purchasing a multi-family property, with the logic that rental income from an additional unit will enable him or her to enlarge the search field for a new home, or perhaps will aid in qualifying for a larger, more expensive home altogether.

Additional income from a rental unit (or two) does indeed offset the housing cost, and under certain circumstances lenders will consider it in the income being used to qualify for the loan.

It’s important to be aware of several key points with regards to financing when exploring this opportunity.

Generally, most lenders will use 75% of the rental income and credit that amount to the borrower’s other income, in calculating the qualifying ratios. However, for units that have no tenant and no existing lease, many lenders will not credit any rental amount. Others may include this income, and will rely on the Operating Income Statement provided by the appraiser to ascertain the fair market rent. A home buyer is well advised to check with his or her lender in advance to be sure that they have been prequalified according to that lender’s policy.

For an owner-occupant purchaser, a popular financing venue is with FHA. The FHA loan permits a minimum down payment of only 3.5% of the purchase price, for single, two, three and four family homes. This is an excellent product to choose if leveraging funds to purchase is a goal. For a 2 unit purchase there are no special additional requirements, but for a 3 or 4 unit home, the borrower is required to have three months of reserves (principal and interest, taxes, home insurance, and mortgage insurance times 3) documented as a liquid asset. Also, a 3 or 4 unit property must be “self-supporting”. That means: the monthly housing payment may not be greater than the total of the monthly rents.

With Conventional financing, the borrower will be obliged to make a greater down payment – 20% on a 2 unit, and 25% on a 3 to 4 unit home – and in all cases will be required to have reserves.

The mortgage “price” is typically higher for a multi-unit purchase with Conventional loans. The “price” increase may be reflected in points or in the interest rate. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Agency (“Freddie Mac”), a government agency that securitizes loans for sale on the secondary market, adds 0.25% to the interest rate, or about 1 point to the closing costs, for loans secured by a multi-family property.

There is an additional, little-discussed, benefit to a multi-family purchase. The lending limits are higher depending upon the number of units. For example, with Conventional financing, a conforming loan amount tops off at $417,000. However, for a 2 unit the limit is $533,850 and goes to $645,300 for a 3 unit and $801,950 for a 4 unit. This presents tremendous opportunities for prospective buyers to finance the purchase of grand, desirable, well-located multi-family properties at today’s exceptionally fine conforming interest rates.

Contributed by:

Connie Margowsky

Senior Loan Officer, NMLS #80234

Mortgage Network, Inc.,

Corporate NMLS #2668

www.conniemargowsky.com

411 The Hill

Portsmouth, NH 03801

Office: 603-334-1073

Cell: 603-953-3242

Fax: 855-614-6301

Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department

© 2014 Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS ID# 2668. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) All rights reserved. Trade/servicemarks are the property of Mortgage Network, Inc. 300 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923. Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department 5573-MB; Maine SLM2499. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates, terms, fees, and equity requirements are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender. Please consult a tax advisor for any tax implications for these types of loans.  For Full Legal please visit my website.

I moved!

I’ve had some people ask recently about my transition to the Bedford, NH and Portland, ME Keller Williams offices. While where my license hangs has changed, my clients and customers can rest assured that they won’t notice much of a difference besides the address of my broker on my business card. I am still happily serving home buyers and sellers in Southern Maine and New Hampshire and I still live in beautiful Berwick, Maine.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Bedford, NH and Portland, ME market centers for all they offer my business, and in turn, my clients. The Bedford, NH Keller Williams office is headed up by Alan Rice and Team Leader Mark Mulcahy, two top-notch professionals. This market center is the #1 real estate office in the State of New Hampshire- so you can clearly see why I chose this place to hang my NH real estate license. I want to associate with the best of the best- not just the most convenient place to work.

Similarly, the Portland, ME market center is the #1 real estate office in the State of Maine. Headed up by Mark Richard, a true leader and a true gentleman. This market center dominates in sales and training. Again, it is very important for me to associate with the best in the business.

nichole fecteau

One really cool thing about Keller Williams is the belief system this company is run by. They call it the WI4C2T’s and it stands for

  • Win-Win – or no deal
  • Integrity – do the right thing
  • Customers – always come first
  • Commitment – in all things
  • Communication – seek first to understand
  • Creativity – ideas before results
  • Teamwork – together everyone achieves more
  • Trust – starts with honesty
  • Success – results through people

The leadership at the Bedford and Portland Market Centers don’t just “talk the talk,” they “walk the walk” with the belief system. It is really amazing to see it in place and in action. This is why I chose to associate with these market centers above all else. The culture is evident from the moment one enters the doors. At these offices, we truly are a family.

So, if you’re looking for me- I’m still here in Berwick plugging away, volunteering in the community, heading my committees and being a mom (oh yeah, and selling some houses!).

Sometimes a great offer on a home has nothing to do with price…

When I call my seller clients with the great news that I have an offer, the first question is almost always “how much is it for?” I recently had the pleasure of presenting three offers to a seller client- all for the same amount. This particular home is in amazing condition- completely remodeled, and priced right. When we learned that the first three showings produced three offers, we were elated. Typically in this situation, I would ask each buyer’s broker to come back with their “highest and best” offer. In this case, we just asked for their best terms.

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Why wouldn’t we try to bid up the price on this gorgeous home? The home isn’t worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Plain and simple. When pricing the home, we took the approach of looking at the probable appraised value. An appraiser does a much more in-depth study of the property and the market than I can, but I can get a rough estimate of value. I looked at the last six months’ worth of sales in the area and found the most comparable properties. The list price was based on what those properties sold for. No matter what someone is willing to pay, the appraised value won’t be more than what the market dictates. And a bank will not lend more than the appraised value. So rather than bid up the price way over asking price and deal with a low appraisal a few weeks before closing, we asked for the best terms. In this case, the type of financing was the most important thing to my sellers.

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Food for thought- the price isn’t always the most important element of an offer to a seller. Savvy sellers focus on terms and financing in an offer.

If you are in Southern Maine or New Hampshire and are interested in knowing what your home would sell for, contact me on the form below.

4 Unique Ways Your Agent Can Find Your Next Home!

If you are in the market to buy a home right now, you may be feeling the pressure of not finding exactly what you are looking for on the market. Every morning you sit with your cup of coffee and look at the new real estate listings on Realtor.com and hope the right house will be there. What you may not know is that there are a few creative things your real estate agent can do to improve the chances of you finding your perfect home.

Nichole Fecteau

Nichole Fecteau

1. Attend Real Estate Caravan Tours

You may have seen this on HGTV. A group of real estate agents tour one another’s listings in a community to both provide feedback for their sellers and to preview for buyers. If you are working with an agent that specializes in the area you are looking in, this is a bonus. Your agent can preview 10-15 homes in a few hours. Sometimes your agent will find a home you may not have considered otherwise but fits perfect!

 

2. Call Expired Real Estate Listings

Sometimes a great home doesn’t sell the first time around. If you have exhausted the market, your agent can look to homes that were for sale but never sold. There is no limit on how far they can go back- I have gone back 2 years to find the right home for a buyer. Once your agent identifies homes that were listed but didn’t sell and you screen the list, they can call the owners to see if they have any interest in selling. They aren’t always willing to sell but it’s worth a shot!

Nichole Fecteau

3. Call a Neighborhood You Love

If you know where you want to live, but there isn’t a home for sale in that neighborhood, there is hope! Your real estate agent can call around or knock on doors and see if anyone may be looking to sell. Sometimes, a few people will be willing to have you come look at their home. You just never know unless you ask.

 

4. Visit Auction Sites

Some homes that have been foreclosed on will go to auction but aren’t listed on MLS. You or your agent can visit auction sites like www.hubzu.com or www.auction.com and search for homes that can often be purchased at a deep discount. You don’t always need cash for a transaction like this, either. Many banks will work with buyers to finance auction purchases. It helps to have a great lender who is very familiar with 203k and other rehab loans. The Fecteau Group recommends Sarah Haberkorn at Envoy Mortgage.

Nichole Fecteau

 

Don’t be limited by what is listed on MLS- by thinking outside of the box, your real estate agent can find a great home that isn’t even on the market.

 

If you are interested in working with a real estate that goes above and beyond- contact me today! I always go the extra mile for my clients- whether they are buyers or sellers!

 

 

Sh*t My Buyers Say to Me

Working with home buyers takes a different skill set than working with sellers. There are many overlapping skills but buyer’s agents need to be more savvy in a few ways. Here are a few things buyer’s agents hear all the time from buyers and how an agent can manage a buyer’s expectations better (or a buyer reading this can manage their own.)

“We like this house but we feel like we haven’t seen enough houses yet to make an offer on it.”

You hear people say it all the time- “When I walked into MY house, I just had a feeling- I knew.” Since the market is trending toward a seller’s market, it is important to keep in mind that if you wait to make an offer, you risk losing the opportunity to buy that home. If you get “the feeling,” act on it. The worst that can happen is that it’s not “the one” and you get out of the contract- which beats never knowing what would have been if you miss out on it. There is no set number of homes you should look at before you make a decision- it could be just one.

“We are preapproved for $200,000 but want to look at homes that are around $225,000 and “lowball” the sellers.”

Not a great idea unless the home is seriously overpriced. Have your agent look at the market stats for that town/price range. Are homes selling very close to list price? That is an indication not to look at homes you are not preapproved for. I’m skirting around another issue here, though- it is unethical for an agent to show you homes outside of your price range.

“We will look at a few houses before we get pre-approval.”

Ummmm, no you won’t. Think of it from a seller’s perspective. They clean their house and leave, often during dinner hours, often with kids in tow- kids who still have homework to do. They stay gone so you can see their perfectly clean and staged home at your convenience. You better be able to prove you have the credit/income to buy it. End of story.

Nichole Fecteau is a Realtor based in Southern Maine who is happy to take out pre-approved buyers to see listings in Maine and New Hampshire. She works with both buyers and sellers focusing on the towns of Berwick, South Berwick, Eliot, York, Kittery and Lebanon Maine. For more information or to schedule a buyer consultation where she will teach you the ins and outs of purchasing your own home, email nicholefecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535

If you are looking for a mortgage or preapproval, call or email Sarah Haberkorn (SHaberkorn@envoymtg.com (866) 536.3487)

If you have a home to sell in Southern Maine  Fill out this form and I will be happy to provide a seller consultation.

If you’ve ever thought about living in Southern Maine, contact me at www.NicholeFecteau.com as your local Realtor or search for homes at http://Nichole.BestSeacoastHomes.com. Follow me on Facebook by looking up my business page: NicholeFecteauRealtorAtKellerWilliamsCoastalRealty

York County Real Estate Market Update

I was on a showing yesterday with some dear clients of mine and their father. The father mentioned he had been reading my blog this week and brought up the market updates I occasionally prepare. That got me thinking that I should revisit the market statistics now that Summer has come and gone. Maybe we could see some trends.

Online GraphingAn absorption rate of anything over 6 months indicates a buyer’s market and anything under 5 months, a seller’s market. On the chart we can see the trend for Berwick, South Berwick and Kittery is toward a seller’s market while Eliot is trending toward a buyer’s market. They are all indicating the current market is still a buyer’s market, though.

 

Interested in talking to me more about the market? Click here.

Do you have a home to sell in Southern Maine? Fill out this form and I will be happy to provide a seller consultation.

If you’ve ever thought about living in Southern Maine, contact me at www.NicholeFecteau.com as your local Realtor or search for homes at http://Nichole.BestSeacoastHomes.com. Follow me on Facebook by looking up my business page: NicholeFecteauRealtorAtKellerWilliamsCoastalRealty