What’s going on with downtown Berwick, Maine anyway?

IMG_6908If you live in Berwick, Maine, it is very likely that you have heard of the grants the Town has recently secured to start the cleanup of the former Prime Tanning site. Wondering what is going on down there?

Recently the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast hosted a 2 day charette in Berwick. “The Charrette is meant to envision what workforce housing opportunities there may be in those communities. Community members, property owners, and an all-volunteer design team comprised of housing professionals will work together to create a vision for what workforce housing could be developed.”

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As a member of the Charette Planning Committee and the Design Team, I was able to work directly with the designers, engineers and architects who were envisioning what downtown Berwick could be. This project was much different from most as we were working with an almost blank slate and envisioning an entire downtown. On Day 1 of the Charette, we hosted a site walk of the Prime Tanning and Estabrook School properties and then invited the public to identify what the Town needs. Here is what we came up with. (Thank you to our scribe, Ron McCallister for these notes.)

What would you LIKE to see? Restaurant/brewpub, senior housing, community center, small businesses, access to river, gathering places, small homes, parking, retail stores, small grocery, public transportation, repurposing, sustainability, new Main Street with amenities, walkability, character, rural atmosphere, sense of community, playground, community college, nightlife, character, old world charm, residential over commercial uses, community garden, outdoor film fest, movie theatre, affordable housing for all, open space, skate park/rink, trails, space for non-profits, shops and green space, safe bike paths, links to sites, connectivity, bandstand. These were organized into a variety of categories by Kristen Grant and Sarah Hourihane.

What would you NOT like to see? Fast food, chain stores, McDonalds, video stores, roundabouts, lots of bars, prefab row housing, big box stores, more than three story buildings, big houses/apartments, large industrial buildings.

What are some unique opportunities, considerations and challenges of this site? Senior housing in safe environment, environmental contamination, community college, traffic from Somersworth, the abundance of parking on the Estabrook land, purchase Catholic Church for housing, culture, open space, a blank slate for changes, sustainability.

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Here is a design idea for the Estabrook/Doran School Parcel, which includes a Common Green (for concerts, movies in the park, gathering), Community Center, Senior Housing and Workforce Housing/Apartments over commercial space.

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Below is a workup of the Prime Tanning Site which includes housing and Commercial space to include shops, restaurants and even a brewery. There is also plenty of green space, tying the whole area together.

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Here are some streetscapes:

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It is important to remember that this is just an envisioning process. Nothing is set in stone, there are no developers bidding on projects, this is just the first step in the process. We are so lucky to have had access to all of that talent at no cost to the taxpayers of Berwick. This is truly a positive step for the community.

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.

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

What can your Realtor do for YOU? Buyers’ edition.

Nichole Fecteau
As a buyer of real estate, it is often the case that a real estate agent’s services are of no cost to you. Now, this doesn’t mean your agent works for free, it means that the listing agent of the property you’re buying compensates your agent. Sometimes your agent will charge you to represent them, this is not uncommon. It is not a practice of mine, however.

How do I find a buyer’s agent?

The best way to find any real estate agent is ask someone you know who has recently bought or sold property. They have firsthand knowledge of their experience and can share. Another great way is to look for an agent who is actively listing property in the areas you are looking in. You can go to Realtor.com to look at houses currently listed and see who the listing agent is. Be aware that when you use sites like Zillow and Trulia, you may not be led to the listing agent, but agents who pay to advertise and buy business. They are not necessarily experienced in the areas where they pop up. http://www.Realtor.com is the BEST source of information directly from the MLS.

So what does a buyer’s agent do, anyway?

Your agent should sit down and walk you through the process of identifying, viewing and purchasing property. Choose a creative agent who finds properties by not only doing MLS searches, but also utilizing their network and social reach. Some of the best transactions are ones where the home was never listed for sale on the MLS. Once you find the perfect home, your agent should guide you step-by-step, keeping your interests ahead of their own. Your buyer agent should explain every facet of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, answer and clarify any questions you may have as well as refer you to experts for further advice.

The agent wants me to sign a contract with them. What should I do?

The first thing to know is that a contract protects both you and the agent. When you sign a contract with a real estate agent, they owe you fiduciary duties. They must be loyal, keep your information confidential and act in your best interest, among other things. The contract protects the interest of the agent if they introduce you to a property (they are the procuring cause) that you wind up purchasing. It ensures they will get paid for their services. Ultimately, signing a contract is your choice. Be sure to read it thoroughly, ask for an explanation of everything you are reading, and only sign if you understand what you are signing.

This is just an overview of what your buyer’s agent can do for you. Stay tuned for more in-depth information! For specific questions, feel free to comment below or send an email to nicholefecteau@gmail.com. I am always available via cell phone/text at 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.

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

Penny Pond Trail, Berwick, ME

Here is a link to a (shaky) video of a walk down the Penny Pond Trail in Berwick, ME in October.

Penny Pond Walk

The Penny Pond Trail is on a large parcel of land owned by the Town of Berwick that borders the downtown area. Two trailheads allow access from the library or Dobson Road with a third trailhead on Logan Street being planned for the future. This trail will be vital in fulfilling the Townspeople’s vision of a safe, walkable trail network connecting the downtown area with the outskirts of town.

In the Spring, Summer and Fall, this trail is a delightful place to stroll or even walk your dog. Recently installed bag holders at both trail heads provide a means to clean up after your pup (please bring it with you) or help beautify the trail and our streets be removing litter. Thank you to Robert Flynn, member of the Berwick Trails Committee, for crafting and installing the bag holders. In the Winter, members of the committee shovel Penny Pond (a shallow but wide pond) for ice skating and the trail is perfect for easy snow shoeing.

Check it out sometime and post your experience here!

59 Pine Hill MHP, Berwick, ME

 

You can afford this!

 
 
Just Listed

 

 

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Nichole Fecteau

The Bean Group

207-251-9535

Questions?
Schedule a Showing!

 

 

59 Pine Hill MHP

Berwick, Maine 03901

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms : 2 ( 1 full, 1 half )

List Price: $24,000

Living Area Approx :
952

 

 

Move-in ready! This single wide mobile home is move in ready. Split living plan with one bedroom and 1/2 bath on one side and 2nd bedroom and full bath on other side. Large living room with vaulted ceiling. Kitchen has an eat-in area and some built-in storage. Great shed out back. Sunny yard.

 

 
 

 
Bean Group | Portsmouth
2 International Drive Suite 301, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Office: (603) 766-1980
Direct: (207) 251-9535
Email: nichole.fecteau@beangroup.com
Web: http://www.beangroup.com/agents/nicholefecteau

If you are currently under exclusive agency contract with a real estate broker, please disregard this message. It is not our intention to solicit clients of other real estate brokers.

 

L2L

Get Your Home Ready To Sell This Spring

 

Spring House 1

Did you know that the Spring Real Estate market starts in mid-February? If only the Spring weather started that early! If you’re looking to list your home for sale in the Spring, here are 4 things you can do now to have it ready to go ahead of the competition.
1. Have your home appraised
Having your home appraised ahead of the market will give you a good idea of the value from an appraisal standpoint. When you are ready to list, your agent can take a good look at the appraisal as well as the market conditions to properly place your home on the market.
2. Have a home inspection done
A home inspector will be able to point out issues you are unaware of in your home that could cause a stumbling point in a transaction. By knowing about potential problems ahead of time, you have the opportunity to fix them or disclose to buyers. A home inspection will also point out the great selling points about your home that most buyers wouldn’t see during a showing.

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3. Gather photos of warmer times
Go through your photos and pick out the ones that showcase your gardens in full Summer bloom. Also any that show great curb appeal! Your real estate agent will be able to use these in marketing at the beginning of the season.
4. Deep clean
Cold, windy Winter days are perfect for organizing closets and cleaning out the basement. Don’t forget cabinets, too! Buyers will open your closets and cabinets- and if they see that you don’t have enough space for your things, they will assume that they will have the same problem. Take some time to get clean and organized.
The most important thing is to get your home in front of buyers as soon as possible. The Spring market brings an influx of listings and more listings mean more competition. To have the best shot at selling for the highest amount, you want to be one step ahead of the competition.

 

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Seek the advice of the local expert and if you are in Southern Maine, feel free to call on me for a in-depth pricing and marketing consultation. I can also refer you to a great appraiser and home inspector. Simply fill out the form below!

Shopping For A Home This Winter? Pay Attention To Snow On The Roof!

This new home looks well sealed and insulated.

This new home looks well sealed and insulated.

Last Winter I spent quite a bit of money on heating and didn’t want those same bills this Winter so I recently invested in making my home (a newer condo) more energy efficient and weatherproof. I had an energy audit done and took the recommended steps toward air sealing and insulating. The difference in comfort was immediately felt. Whereas I used to keep my home around 72 degrees to feel comfortable, now I keep it at 67. I guess it is because there are fewer drafts.

Something else I have noticed is the amount of snow on my roof compared to the roofs of my neighbors. This is because there is so little heat loss through my attic now. The heat is staying in the house. One thing I like to point out to buyers who are shopping for a home this time of year is to pay attention to snow on roofs. A roof should be cold, not warm and a lot of melting on a roof (besides from the sun) could indicate a home that is not energy efficient. Be sure to check with the sellers’ heating fuel provider to see what their usage was last year and keep in mind if they have supplemental heat (fireplace, wood stove, pellet stove.)

These homes show heat loss. You can see over the garage and portico how much snow there was.

These homes show heat loss. You can see over the garage and portico how much snow there was.

One way to be sure you’re not buying a house that is leaking heat to the outside is to have a home energy audit. I talk more about home energy audits in this blog post. The energy audit can be used as a negotiating tool and I believe will be gaining popularity in New England as buyers become more savvy.

If you are in Southern Maine/Coastal New Hampshire, you can call Jeff at STP Home Performance Solutions for an audit. He can do the audit, recommend the work to be done, give you an estimate of cost AND have the work done for you. Talk about the whole package!

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.

 

Steal This House!

 
Schedule a Showing/Request Info
Berwick Homes for Sale
Homes Close to Where You Work
Avoid Foreclosure
What is Your Home Worth?
 

Nichole Fecteau

The Bean Group
207-251-9535
Questions?
Schedule a Showing!
MLS#: 1159939
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Information valid for the date of this posting only. Please contact us for the most current information and status of this property.
4 Lincoln Lane
Berwick, ME
QR Code Scan with your smartphone & take me with you.
Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Print Brochure
   

Opportunity is knocking with this home for sale in Berwick, ME !

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS ( 2 full, 1 half )
2072 Square Feet

Short sale is approved for $179,000. This home is set back from the road on a wonderful piece of land. Large colonial features an in-law suite (2nd floor), oversized garage, central air and gas fireplace. Failed septic system and cosmetic work needed throughout.

L2L Property Websites WP
Bean Group | Portsmouth
2 International Drive Suite 301, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Office: (603) 766-1980
Direct: (207) 251-9535
Email: nichole.fecteau@beangroup.com
Web: http://www.beangroup.com/agents/nicholefecteau

If you are currently under exclusive agency contract with a real estate broker, please disregard this message. It is not our intention to solicit clients of other real estate brokers.