Maine home sales up 23.6 percent in November

December 22, 2012 2:00 AM

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Double-digit gains in real estate home sales remain the trend across the state of Maine.

According to statistics released by the Maine Real Estate Information System, Realtors sold 1,058 single-family existing homes in November 2012 — a jump of 23.6 percent compared to a year ago. The median sales price for those homes increased 1.9 percent to $172,250.

York County lagged behind the state overall in terms of the percentage growth in sales and median prices compared to November 2011. The county saw 510 home sales in November, up 6.9 percent from a year earlier and a median sales price of $221,500, up .68 percent from November 2011.

By comparison, Cumberland County, Maine’s largest county, saw 826 sales in November, up 28.5 percent from a year earlier. The median sales price of those homes was $232,700, up 4.8 percent from November 2011.

Sales nationwide are up 12.4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national median sales price rose 10.1 percent to $180,600 last month. In the regional Northeast, sales increased 14.8 percent, while the regional median sales price dipped 2 percent to $232,900.

“The market is heading in a very positive direction,” said Tina Lucas of Lucas Real Estate in Portland and president of the Maine Association of Realtors. “However, sellers need to be careful when pricing property, as it remains a buyers’ market.”

Lucas added there is more balance in the market and advised that when buyers find a well-maintained home that is properly priced for the current market, they should expect the possibility of a multiple offers.

“Although the market remains tilted in the buyers’ favor, it is beginning to stabilize toward a more balanced environment where both buyers and sellers have more equal weight in the negotiation process,” she said.

Courtesy of Seacoastonline.com
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Free Christmas Card Templates!!!! Just in Time!

In case you’re running out of time…

With the holiday season in full swing, there always seems to be more to do and less time in which to get it done. One of those things that we all want to do, but dread doing because it’s a huge time vampire is sending out holiday cards.

Wouldn’t it be nice to find a place where you could create, customize and print your Christmas cards in the comfort of your own home and have them done “lickety split”; in no time at all?

Well, the good news is that there is such a place – make that many places – online to help you get that job done fast and cheap, while still producing a great card.

And, to help you get a head start on using these services, we’ve provided a link to a whole bushel full of templates, e-cards, video cards and other holiday greetings that could turn your holiday card pain into some serious fun.

We hope you have some fun getting your cards out this year.

Here’s a link to a whole page of holiday greeting opportunities from HP, Hallmark, JibJab, Microsoft and a bunch of other companies. Plus, there’s a list of helpful tips for you there, too.

Enjoy:

http://www.squidoo.com/free-christmas-card-templates

 

Maine’s most attractive school districts

Maine’s most attractive school districts

Below is a database of Maine’s most attractive school districts, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by economists at Trulia.com, a national real-estate website. The analysis shows where families with young children are moving.

The nation ratio of children ages 5-9 to children ages 0-4 is 1:1. But if families with school-age children are moving out of a community, the community’s ratio will fall below 1. Likewise, if a school district is attracting families with young children, its ratio will climb above 1.

These are the ratios for Maine’s 200+ school districts and a few smaller communities. You can sort the database using the arrows at the top of each column. (Note: The smaller the community, the more vulnerable to statistical anomalies with its ratio).

School District
Ratio of 5-9 Year-Olds vs. 0-4 Year-Olds
Population Ages 0-9
County
Pleasant Ridge Plantation, Maine 6.00 7 Somerset ME
Crawford, Maine 4.50 11 Washington ME
Dallas Plantation, Maine 3.75 19 Franklin ME
Lake View Plantation, Maine 3.00 4 Piscataquis ME
Rangeley Plantation, Maine 2.33 10 Franklin ME
School Administration District 10, Maine 2.25 13 Aroostook ME
East Range Community School District, Maine 2.11 28 Washington ME
Coplin Plantation, Maine 2.00 15 Franklin ME
School Administrative District 65, Maine 2.00 9 Knox ME
Lincoln Plantation, Maine 2.00 3 Oxford ME
Caratunk, Maine 2.00 3 Somerset ME
Talmadge, Maine 2.00 3 Washington ME
School Administrative District 76, Maine 1.92 38 Hancock ME
Whiting, Maine 1.88 46 Washington ME
Willimantic, Maine 1.83 17 Piscataquis ME
Shirley, Maine 1.80 14 Piscataquis ME
Baring Plantation, Maine 1.80 28 Washington ME
Chebeague Island, Maine 1.73 30 Cumberland ME
Southport, Maine 1.73 30 Lincoln ME
Brooklin, Maine 1.72 68 Hancock ME
Dennysville, Maine 1.67 24 Washington ME
Westmanland, Maine 1.67 8 Aroostook ME
Cape Elizabeth, Maine 1.62 1,020 Cumberland ME
Edgecomb, Maine 1.61 146 Lincoln ME
Machiasport, Maine 1.57 113 Washington ME
East Machias, Maine 1.55 120 Washington ME
Yarmouth, Maine 1.55 890 Cumberland ME
Rangeley, Maine 1.54 99 Franklin ME
York, Maine 1.53 1,155 York ME
Blue Hill, Maine 1.50 240 Hancock ME
Charlotte, Maine 1.50 30 Washington ME
Meddybemps, Maine 1.50 5 Washington ME
Falmouth, Maine 1.49 1,277 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 51, Maine 1.49 1,356 Cumberland ME
Eastport, Maine 1.49 97 Washington ME
Harmony, Maine 1.47 79 Somerset ME
Scarborough, Maine 1.47 2,166 Cumberland ME
Carroll Plantation, Maine 1.43 17 Penobscot ME
Jonesport, Maine 1.43 136 Washington ME
Frenchboro, Maine 1.43 17 Hancock ME
Somerset Unorganized Territory, Maine 1.42 63 Somerset ME
School Administrative District 08, Maine 1.42 109 Knox ME
Castine, Maine 1.42 46 Hancock ME
Cranberry Isles, Maine 1.40 12 Hancock ME
Gorham, Maine 1.40 1,842 Cumberland ME
Madawaska, Maine 1.39 294 Aroostook ME
Lowell, Maine 1.38 31 Penobscot ME
Sedgwick, Maine 1.38 119 Hancock ME
Wells-Ogunquit Community School District, Maine 1.38 889 York ME
Hancock Unorganized Territory, Maine 1.38 19 Hancock ME
Long Island, Maine 1.36 26 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 63, Maine 1.36 648 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 21, Maine 1.35 1,741 York ME
Robbinston, Maine 1.35 54 Washington ME
Winslow, Maine 1.35 847 Kennebec ME
Vanceboro, Maine 1.33 14 Washington ME
Hope, Maine 1.33 200 Knox ME
Marshfield, Maine 1.32 72 Washington ME
School Administrative District 32, Maine 1.32 202 Aroostook ME
Vassalboro, Maine 1.32 464 Kennebec ME
School Administrative District 28, Maine 1.31 724 Knox ME
Piscataquis Unorganized Territory, Maine 1.30 46 Piscataquis ME
Oxford Unorganized Territory, Maine 1.30 69 Oxford ME
School Administrative District 35, Maine 1.30 1,593 York ME
Greenville, Maine 1.30 131 Piscataquis ME
Fayette, Maine 1.30 108 Kennebec ME
Bristol, Maine 1.29 190 Lincoln ME
Whitneyville, Maine 1.29 16 Washington ME
East Millinocket, Maine 1.28 171 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 33, Maine 1.27 161 Aroostook ME
Franklin Unorganized Territory, Maine 1.26 95 Franklin ME
School Administrative District 55, Maine 1.26 885 York ME
School Administrative District 44, Maine 1.24 601 Oxford ME
Regional School Unit 38, Maine 1.24 843 Kennebec ME
Carrabassett Valley, Maine 1.24 38 Franklin ME
Woodland, Maine 1.23 125 Aroostook ME
Acton, Maine 1.22 238 York ME
Regional School Unit 18, Maine 1.22 2,212 Kennebec ME
School Administrative District 22, Maine 1.22 1,559 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 52, Maine 1.22 1,465 Androscoggin ME
School Administrative District 12, Maine 1.20 108 Somerset ME
School Administrative District 72, Maine 1.20 813 Oxford ME
Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District, Maine 1.20 359 Lincoln ME
Grand Isle, Maine 1.20 33 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 04, Maine 1.19 497 Piscataquis ME
Orrington, Maine 1.18 391 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 41, Maine 1.18 532 Piscataquis ME
Millinocket, Maine 1.18 340 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 75, Maine 1.17 1,958 Sagadahoc ME
School Administrative District 68, Maine 1.17 678 Piscataquis ME
School Administrative District 01, Maine 1.16 1,394 Aroostook ME
Bar Harbor, Maine 1.16 485 Hancock ME
Roque Bluffs, Maine 1.15 28 Washington ME
School Administrative District 45, Maine 1.15 254 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 06, Maine 1.15 3,102 York ME
Bridgewater, Maine 1.15 73 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 46, Maine 1.15 723 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 14, Maine 1.14 2,468 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 53, Maine 1.14 722 Waldo ME
Regional School Unit 05, Maine 1.13 1,573 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 25, Maine 1.13 253 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 02, Maine 1.13 1,592 Kennebec ME
Sandy River Plantation, Maine 1.13 17 Franklin ME
School Administrative District 74, Maine 1.12 482 Somerset ME
School Administrative District 19, Maine 1.12 87 Washington ME
School Administrative District 49, Maine 1.12 1,773 Kennebec ME
School Administrative District 59, Maine 1.12 715 Somerset ME
Mount Desert, Maine 1.11 184 Hancock ME
Brooksville, Maine 1.11 74 Hancock ME
Brewer, Maine 1.11 1,060 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 54, Maine 1.11 1,999 Somerset ME
Regional School Unit 26, Maine 1.10 1,193 Penobscot ME
Southern Aroostook Community School District, Maine 1.10 323 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 58, Maine 1.10 434 Franklin ME
Regional School Unit 23, Maine 1.09 2,827 York ME
Baileyville, Maine 1.09 161 Washington ME
Calais, Maine 1.09 322 Washington ME
Lincolnville, Maine 1.09 213 Waldo ME
School Administrative District 11, Maine 1.09 1,576 Kennebec ME
School Administrative District 27, Maine 1.09 657 Aroostook ME
Jonesboro, Maine 1.09 73 Washington ME
Hermon, Maine 1.08 668 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 39, Maine 1.08 1,059 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 60, Maine 1.08 2,309 York ME
Greenbush, Maine 1.08 191 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 20, Maine 1.07 1,969 Waldo ME
School Administrative District 31, Maine 1.07 396 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 12, Maine 1.07 1,614 Lincoln ME
Regional School Unit 04, Maine 1.06 1,162 Androscoggin ME
School Administrative District 36, Maine 1.06 646 Androscoggin ME
School Administrative District 61, Maine 1.06 1,607 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 67, Maine 1.06 707 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 40, Maine 1.05 1,541 Knox ME
Regional School Unit 16, Maine 1.05 1,297 Androscoggin ME
Pembroke, Maine 1.05 84 Washington ME
School Administrative District 15, Maine 1.05 1,717 Cumberland ME
Great Salt Bay Community School District, Maine 1.05 448 Lincoln ME
Alexander, Maine 1.05 45 Washington ME
School Administrative District 20, Maine 1.04 376 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 57, Maine 1.04 2,644 York ME
Milford, Maine 1.04 296 Penobscot ME
Winthrop, Maine 1.04 626 Kennebec ME
Regional School Unit 25, Maine 1.04 893 Waldo ME
School Administrative District 17, Maine 1.04 2,687 Oxford ME
School Administrative District 29, Maine 1.03 963 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 24, Maine 1.03 207 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 64, Maine 1.03 1,041 Penobscot ME
Deer Isle-Stonington Community School District, Maine 1.02 222 Hancock ME
Georgetown, Maine 1.02 113 Sagadahoc ME
Medway, Maine 1.02 131 Penobscot ME
Regional School Unit 19, Maine 1.02 1,715 Penobscot ME
School Administrative District 23, Maine 1.01 751 Penobscot ME
Auburn, Maine 1.01 2,845 Androscoggin ME
South Bristol, Maine 1.00 72 Lincoln ME
Upton, Maine 1.00 4 Oxford ME
Macwahoc Plantation, Maine 1.00 4 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 30, Maine 1.00 174 Penobscot ME
Beaver Cove, Maine 1.00 8 Piscataquis ME
Woodville, Maine 1.00 22 Penobscot ME
Brunswick, Maine 1.00 2,000 Cumberland ME
Regional School Unit 10, Maine 0.99 1,919 Oxford ME
School Administrative District 09, Maine 0.99 1,776 Franklin ME
Appleton, Maine 0.99 163 Knox ME
Perry, Maine 0.98 109 Washington ME
School Administrative District 70, Maine 0.98 374 Aroostook ME
Regional School Unit 13, Maine 0.97 1,812 Knox ME
Surry, Maine 0.97 144 Hancock ME
School Administrative District 14, Maine 0.97 71 Washington ME
Regional School Unit 01, Maine 0.97 1,806 Sagadahoc ME
Jay, Maine 0.97 578 Franklin ME
South Portland, Maine 0.96 2,906 Cumberland ME
Regional School Unit 24, Maine 0.96 2,076 Washington ME
Penobscot Unorganized Territory, Maine 0.96 131 Penobscot ME
Machias, Maine 0.95 211 Washington ME
Jefferson, Maine 0.95 250 Lincoln ME
Regional School Unit 34, Maine 0.95 1,086 Penobscot ME
Biddeford, Maine 0.95 2,169 York ME
Sanford, Maine 0.94 2,634 York ME
Airline Community School District, Maine 0.93 58 Hancock ME
Penobscot, Maine 0.93 104 Hancock ME
Islesboro, Maine 0.92 46 Waldo ME
Aroostook Unorganized Territory, Maine 0.91 101 Aroostook ME
School Administrative District 07, Maine 0.90 40 Knox ME
School Administrative District 37, Maine 0.90 666 Washington ME
School Administrative District 03, Maine 0.90 1,224 Waldo ME
Westbrook, Maine 0.90 2,085 Cumberland ME
Easton, Maine 0.89 159 Aroostook ME
Indian Island, Maine 0.89 115 Penobscot ME
Southwest Harbor, Maine 0.88 156 Hancock ME
Bangor, Maine 0.87 3,396 Penobscot ME
Augusta, Maine 0.87 1,945 Kennebec ME
Dedham, Maine 0.87 174 Hancock ME
School Administrative District 42, Maine 0.86 269 Aroostook ME
Washington Unorganized Territory, Maine 0.85 115 Washington ME
Portland, Maine 0.85 6,589 Cumberland ME
School Administrative District 13, Maine 0.85 111 Somerset ME
Trenton, Maine 0.85 135 Hancock ME
Tremont, Maine 0.84 129 Hancock ME
Caswell, Maine 0.84 35 Aroostook ME
New Sweden, Maine 0.84 57 Aroostook ME
Northfield, Maine 0.83 11 Washington ME
Lewiston, Maine 0.83 4,848 Androscoggin ME
Waterville, Maine 0.83 1,567 Kennebec ME
Princeton, Maine 0.83 106 Washington ME
Lisbon, Maine 0.82 1,135 Androscoggin ME
Pleasant Point, Maine 0.81 150 Washington ME
Drew Plantation, Maine 0.80 9 Penobscot ME
Highland Plantation, Maine 0.80 9 Somerset ME
Nobleboro, Maine 0.80 167 Lincoln ME
Kittery, Maine 0.78 1,076 York ME
Indian Township, Maine 0.76 132 Washington ME
Otis, Maine 0.76 72 Hancock ME
Cutler, Maine 0.76 72 Washington ME
Gilead, Maine 0.73 19 Oxford ME
Orient, Maine 0.71 12 Aroostook ME
Wesley, Maine 0.67 5 Washington ME
Deblois, Maine 0.67 5 Washington ME
Beals, Maine 0.62 42 Washington ME
Great Lake Stream Plantation, Maine 0.60 8 Washington ME
Cooper, Maine 0.57 11 Washington ME
Medford, Maine 0.53 26 Piscataquis ME
Hersey, Maine 0.50 6 Aroostook ME
Magalloway Plantation, Maine 0.33 8 Oxford ME
Monhegan Plantation, Maine 0.33 4 Lincoln ME
Waite, Maine 0.33 8 Washington ME
Reed Plantation, Maine 0.33 16 Aroostook ME
Dennistown Plantation, Maine 0.17 7 Somerset ME
Bancroft, Maine 0.17 7 Aroostook ME

5 Unexpected Upsides to Off Season House Hunting

5 Unexpected Upsides to Off-Season House Hunting

Conventional real estate wisdom has often advised buyers and sellers that once Thanksgiving comes around, they might as well pack it in, hunker down and wait till they’ve doled out all their New Year’s smooches to get

serious about getting their transactions closed. But there are some hidden benefits to taking the contrarian approach and doubling down on your house hunt

right now, while the holiday season is in full swing:

 

1. Lower competition for your dream home.

In most places, the summer months are the hottest months of the year in real estate, because families with children prefer to move into their new homes before September.

House shopping during the off-season can mean

• fewer competitors,

• fewer multiple offers scenarios, and

• lower likelihood of being outbid.

 

2. Uber-motivated sellers

Though there are fewer sellers during the off season, those who are active tend to be highly, highly motivated. Sellers who are willing to clear the whole family out of the house when

everyone else is having warm fuzzy holiday gatherings are motivated to get their homes sold – and ready to entertain your offer to make that

happen. Even some banks and asset managers handling short sales and foreclosures may have above-average motivation to move properties off their books and get transactions closed

before the year end. Don’t expect to score a mansion for pennies, but you might get you slightly more consideration, responsiveness and speed than in a distressed transaction at any other time of year

 

3. Can’t miss properties that won’t wait

 

Off-seasons are when fewer new listings come on the market. That said, this is a great time to spot hidden gems that offer unique mixes of property fundamentals, amenities and location.

There are sellers who have stellar homes, but have been holding off on listing all year for some reason or other. They end up listing at just the time that works for their lives. If you’re a picky

buyer, putting your house hunt on hiatus when most other shoppers take a break puts you at the serious risk of missing “the one.”

4. Keeping a handle on your cash.

 

You’d be amazed at how many buyers and sellers find their financial plans – and cash cushions – derailed by taking themselves out of the house hunting mindset. Overspending is easy to do. If you pass your holiday season focused on Open

Houses and showings, versus how to find the bow big enough to stick atop your wife’s new car, you’ll minimize the likelihood of having to press pause on your real estate plans while you recoup from your hemorrhage of holiday funds.

Buyers rely on inspections and disclosures to surface the hidden defects and property issues. But if you’ve ever read a property inspection report, you know they come with a laundry list of caveats and exceptions, line items where the inspector

simply can’t make a call or vouch for a feature, because they could not see the feature in action during the time they were on site. Off-season house hunters have the unique advantage of being able to see the roof, drainage systems, slopes and basements of a property performing under the precise weather conditions – rain, snow, wind and sleet – that often cause unpleasant surprises to spring and summer home buyers. If ‘your’ target property has a roof leak, you’ll know it, if you view it at this time of year – and that allows you and the seller to negotiate a fix or a credit before you lock in your price and terms.

Remember: The normal rules apply
The off-season is a great time to buy, but don’t expect to score a mansion for pennies. Talk to your agent for real advice on what to expect. You may find you’ll get you more consideration, responsiveness, speed, and maybe a better

deal than shopping any other time of year.

 

About the Author

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a real estate broker, attorney and Trulia’s Real Estate Realist. Tara is a syndicated columnist and the author of two real estate books for consumers. Over 5 million buyers and sellers have tuned into her

weekly Ask Tara blog, at Trulia.com/blog/TaraNelson