Maine Association of REALTORS ® 2014 Convention

MAR 2014 convention Dave & Denise with awardTwenty-two Realty of Maine agents attended the 2014 Maine Association of REALTORS® annual convention at the Samoset resort in Rockland this week. Our own Denise Reed was presented the REALTOR® of the Year award for the Greater Bangor Association of REALTORS®. Ed Gardner of the Portland Board of REALTORS® was presented the Maine REALTOR® of the Year award. National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Presdent Steve Brown told the group that a tight credit market still hinders a strong real estate recovery. NAR continues to lead the fight in Washington to protect the American homeowner's mortgage interest tax deduction on first and second homes and pushes for responsible lending standards. Hug a REALTOR® today!


Best Lobster Roll in Maine

LOBSTER! It's probably what Maine is best known for and certainly on every tourist "must-eat" list when visiting our lovely state.  Downeast Magazine found the best lobster roll on the tiny island of Vinalhaven. Read all about it here.

AARP Suggests You Retire to Bangor....

AARP has released their list of the 10 lowest cost cities for seniors and Bangor, Maine is #3. We certainly agree and are pleased that one of our Realty of Maine listings is featured as an example. Realty of Maine Bangor agent Dani O'Halloran is the listing agent for 12 Stone Street in Bangor. The house is affordably priced at $109,000 and is all on one level - another plus for seniors. The home also features hardwood floors, new high-end kitchen appliances, a garage, a four seasons porch and beautiful flower gardens.  Click here to see this adorable Bangor home and the rest of the Top 10 cities.

Acadia National Park Scores a #1

Those of us who in live in Maine know how fortunate we are to call Acadia National Park our playground.  As a national park, it seems to get side-lined by the more famous Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton and Glacier. But, if you have not visited this corner of the country, you are missing a jewel. The majestic crashing waves against the steep, rocky coastline, the hidden and protected Sand Beach, the view from Cadillac Mountain, the miles of well-maintained hiking/biking trails, and the popovers and tea at the Jordan Pond House are not to be missed.

The readers of USA Today recently voted Acadia the nation's top national park. Click here to see how the other parks ranked and come visit us soon!

Belfast is Happy!

It seems everyone in Belfast is happy! Check out this vibrant, Maine coastal town's take on Pharrell Williams' s popular tune Happy. If you haven't visited Belfast lately, you should put it on your summer list. Our Belfast real estate office is located in the heart of downtown at 107 Main Street near the post office. Our windows are filled with photos of our Belfast area listings. Stop in and talk to one our Happy agents today. Click here to see how Happy Belfast is!


Housing the Retired Baby Boomers

by Dale Wilkes, Director of Advancement, Realty of Maine

If you were so lucky to have been born between 1946 and 1964, you are among the 78 million Americans like me who are lovingly referred to as Baby Boomers. We burst forth as toddlers during the baby boom that followed the end of WWII. We were the long-haired, trouble-causing hippies of the 60s who miraculously morphed into middle-class and upper-class couples with 2.4 children, a dog, a cat and a beautifully decorated suburban home. The Volkswagen flower-power van was replaced with the soccer mom SUV. And now we are the largest group of retirees this country has ever seen.

Arthur C. Nelson, professor of urban planning at the University of Utah, estimates that 1.5 to 2 million homes belonging to seniors will come on the market by the end of this decade. He sees a growing trend among Baby Boomers to put their homes up for sale and downsize. The first Baby Boomers to hit age 65 started in 2011 and will continue until 2029.

Baby Boomers are healthier than their parents' generation, and therefore, will live longer. Statistics show that some seniors will be retired for more years than they actually spent in the workforce. That sounds great until you consider that few of us Baby Boomers will enjoy the generous pensions and retiree health benefits that most of our parents earned.

John McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow at The Urban Land Institute, recently completed a housing report in which he details how this 78 million-strong generation is creating both challenges and opportunities for the real estate industry.

This boomer generation is not like your grandfather's generation - no shuffleboard or ceramics classes for them. Most are still physically fit - they are running marathons, taking cycling vacations and skiing the best slopes. For those who can afford it, they are building new, smaller homes with energy-efficient features, the latest tech trends, wider doors/hallways, home offices, first-floor bedrooms and low maintenance exteriors/landscaping.

Your typical retirement community has become less desirable to this energetic group. Many are finding smaller towns attractive with reasonable home prices, opportunities for new businesses and a slower pace of life. Some are opting to downsize from the suburbs into the urban core where they enjoy public transportation and cultural diversity. Others are making the difficult decision to move in with grown children, either by choice or by financial necessity.

In the end, though, where a Baby Boomer grows old will depend in large part on what he or she can afford. Downsizing in some urban locals like Boston or New York may not make economic sense. But, in Maine, towns like Bangor, Belfast and Ellsworth offer affordable housing solutions with vibrant downtowns filled with new restaurants, shops, a thriving arts and theatre scene and recreational opportunities at every turn.

"One size does not fit all" perfectly describes this boomer generation. Catering to the housing needs of this diverse and eclectic group will call for innovation, insight and ingenuity in the decades to come.

Bangor Office Voted Best Real Estate Agency for 2013

The Bangor office of Realty of Maine was voted Best Real Estate Agency for 2013 in the greater Bangor area by the online voters of Market Surveys of America. MSA rep Ed Morin presented owner/designated broker Dave Sleeper with the award on July 31 as many of the Bangor agents looked on. This is the 4th year that the Bangor office has won this award. The Bangor office has 76 agents and 4 staff members.