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October
3

fall hiking

There's a reason people flock from all over the country to enjoy the views a Northern New England fall has to offer. Experience the wonder and beauty for yourself when you view fall colors on these New England hiking trails recommended by our real estate agents

  • Pawtuckaway State Park - 7 Pawtuckaway Rd., Nottingham, NH 03290
    With 15 miles of trails crisscrossing the 5,500-acre grounds, Pawtuckaway State Park has something different to offer with every visit. Many visitors head to South Mountain, where a moderate 2.4-mile hike to the summit leads to a fire tower with spectacular panoramic views. Another favorite is Boulder Field, created when glaciers melted at the end of the Ice Age. The boulders are large enough for rock climbers to use them for practice. Animal lovers should check out Fundy Trail, bordering on Burnham's Marsh, where wildlife frequently makes an appearance. The pet-friendly park is open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Entrance fees are $5 for adults and $2 for kids aged 6-11.

  • Rattlesnake Mountain - Raymond, ME 04071
    Don't be frightened off by the name. Rattlesnake Mountain is actually known as a top family-friendly hiking spot. Thanks to its location in Maine's Lakes Region, you'll have wonderful views of Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Sebago Lake along the 2.5-mile trail. The Huntress family maintains the well-marked trail, named Bri-Mar in honor of Brian and Marlene Huntress. Stop at the nearby Good Life Market before or after your hike for some delicious grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. Hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

  • Little River Community Trail - 7 Perkins Rd., Belfast, ME 04915
    What's better than enjoying the fall foliage in Northern New England? Adding water views to this picturesque scene! The Little River Community Trail in Belfast is a moderate trail where you'll crisscross the forest while being near a lake and the Little River. With a total of 5 miles in distance, the trail is great for an intermediate hike and stunning views. Dogs are allowed to accompany you on your hike as well! 

  • Falling Waters Trail - White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, NH 03251
    While it's considered a challenging hike, the natural wonders promised by the name make Falling Waters Trail well worth the effort. The 5.6-mile trail, which leads to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain, passes three waterfalls along the way. First is Stairs Falls, with the 60-foot drop of Swiftwater Falls a few hundred feet above. Then it's on to the main event, Cloudland Falls, an Instagram-worthy 80-foot cascade into a classic horsetail. Leashed dogs are welcome. 

  • Sterling Pond Trail - Smugglers' Notch State Park, 6443 Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT 05672
    The name of the park conjures up visions of Prohibition-era rumrunners, but hiking Sterling Pond Trail is a refreshingly wholesome activity. The 2.3-mile pet-friendly trail takes about 90 minutes to complete, making it a great choice for a relatively quick outing. Enjoy a delightful perspective on fall colors with the trees reflected in the waters of the placid mountain-top pond. If you want a longer hike, Long Trails North and South branch out just past the pond, both of which lead to stunning mountain views. Entrance fees are $5 for adults and $2 for kids aged 4-13.

  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park - Woodstock, VT 05091
    The name "Woodstock" is famously associated with another outdoor area in upstate New York, but Vermont's Woodstock is noteworthy in its own right. Referred to as the "quintessential New England village," Woodstock is one of the best places to view fall foliage, especially at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Nearly three dozen pet-friendly trails, ranging from easy to difficult, comprise part of the 30-mile Walk Woodstock network, which connects the park to the town center along with meadows, woodlands, and other scenic areas. Park hours are dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Admission is free.

  • Shelburne Farms - 1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482
    At the turn of the 20th century, William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb consolidated 32 farms into a massive agricultural estate called Shelburne Farms. In 1984, the Webb family donated the property to a non-profit organization that now runs it as a public facility to promote education and awareness of sustainable food practices. The site was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001, and the campus includes 10 miles of trails with splendid views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Don't miss the Formal Gardens, a personal project created by Lila Webb that's situated on a bluff overlooking the lake. Hours are 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily. There is no admission fee, but donations are gratefully accepted. 

Find out why each season in New England has its own special delights. Contact us at The Masiello Group for experienced and dedicated help with all your real estate needs.

September
26

Masiello Closing Tips

Closing on your home is exciting but also can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know what to expect. While we usually think of "closing" as being the day you sign all the paperwork, the closing process actually begins the minute the home goes under contract and only ends the day ownership is officially transferred. There's a lot that still has to be done during that time! Here is everything our real estate agents want you to know about closing, from beginning to end.

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September
12

Maine Corn MazeThere's something special about autumn in Maine. Our real estate agents look forward to the crisp morning air and brilliant foliage all year long. It's also the perfect time of year to visit Maine's lovely farms and orchards, which offer some great corn mazes this time of year!

  • Pumpkin Valley Farm - 100 Union Falls Rd, Dayton, ME 04005
    There are several events to look forward to at Pumpkin Valley Farm every year—their Sunflower Festival is always a late summer highlight—but pumpkin season is when the farm really comes alive. This year, Pumpkin Valley Farm's annual Pumpkin Festival returns every Saturday and Sunday from September 24 to October 30. The five-acre corn maze, corn pit, and various other kids' activities are included in the price of admission. You can also get brick oven pizza and beer at the Rust Bucket or stop in at the Cow Lick Café for hot dogs, kettle corn, and cider. 

  • Ricker Hill Orchards - 295 Buckfield Rd, Turner, ME 04282
    Ricker Hill Orchards is known far and wide for you-pick apples. More than a dozen varieties are ready to pick throughout September and October, but that's not the only activity on this picturesque Turner farm. Craft fairs, animal shows, pony rides, and other activities take place throughout the fall, and kids can also enjoy getting lost in the twists and turns of Ricker Hill's corn maze. The maze is designed for kids to be able to solve within a half hour, which should give grown-ups just enough time to visit the Ricker Hill Orchards tasting room to sample some hard cider. 

  • Treworgy Family Orchards - 3876 Union St, Levant, ME 04456
    The corn maze at Treworgy Family Orchards is the stuff of legends. Every year, they create one of the most intricate and elaborate corn mazes in Maine, always with a different theme. But finding your way through this year's Winnie-the-Pooh-shaped maze may not be an easy task! Before heading into the corn, be sure to pick up a copy of the map, which includes riddles that can be completed as you pick your way through the labyrinth. Bring your completed puzzle to the café afterward for a free ice cream! And consider visiting during one of the Night Maze events on select weekend nights in October to try your hand at the corn maze after dark. 

  • Zach's Farm, 7 Colby Turner Ln, York, ME 03909
    Zach's Farm is a cozy family-owned farm known for its incredible farm stand. They offer a dizzying array of crops throughout the season, including some of the best sweet corn around. Come fall, their 17-acre cornfield becomes a massive corn maze that kids and grown-ups alike come from miles around to enjoy. The Zacharias family, who own and operate the farm, have been creating their corn maze for the public for more than 15 years now and have no plans of stopping!

  • Hooper's Orchard - 856 Back Brooks Rd, Monroe, ME 04951
    Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins are fall staples at Hooper's Orchard, a 300-acre farm in the rolling Mid Coast Maine foothills. More than 50 varieties of heirloom and modern apples are grown here. It's one of the best apple picking places in Maine, and their corn maze has also become a fall tradition. The maze offers kids and families a fun activity, along with free food and hayrides, during the annual Hooper's Orchard Apple Fest in late September. 

  • McDougal Orchards - 201 Hanson Ridge Rd, Springvale, ME 04083
    A seventh-generation farm in Southern Maine, McDougal Orchards is a staple of the Springvale community. In addition to growing 40 varieties of apples (and quite a few other crops), the farm also puts on some of the best fall festivities around. Stop by to pick apples, browse the farm store, take a weekend wagon ride, grab a coffee and apple cider donuts, and get lost in the corn maze! The maze and McDougal Orchards are smaller and easier than most, making them ideal for younger kids. 

  • Thunder Road Farm - 185 Newport Rd, Corinna, ME 04928
    The farm stand at Thunder Road Farm offers an amazing variety of produce throughout the year, from carrots and cucumbers to peaches and plums. In fall, they open up the farm to visitors with a wide range of attractions, including you-pick pumpkins, a 6-acre corn maze, and a 2-acre play area. It's the perfect destination for fall fun, open every Saturday and Sunday from September 17 to October 30. Thunder Road Farm chooses a unique theme for their corn maze every year, and this year's maze is dedicated to the champion 2021/2022 Nokomis Regional High Warriors varsity basketball team. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Maine. It's a special place to call home in any season, and our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find the perfect Maine dream home for you and your family. 

September
6

garage storage space

If it feels like your home lacks ample storage, turn to your garage. The garage is a frequently underutilized space that can significantly increase your home's usable storage.

Our real estate agents recommend following these tips to help you maximize and showcase your garage's storage space. 

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August
29

Today's housing market conditions are truly unique and have never been seen before. The genesis of this housing cycle came about as a result of the 2008 Great Financial Crisis (GCF). The GFC and related housing crash caused a contraction in the broader housing industry and those effects are still with us today.  

At that time, homeownership rates for American families were at 69%, the highest they have even been, and the annual residential resales were nearly 7 million units. This is compared to today's rates of 64% and 5 million respectively. As we can see by these numbers, this housing cycle is far off that of the GFC. 

The story of today's market is about inventory and demographics. One of the major ripples from the GFC is that home building production and builders were each negatively impacted. The production of new residential housing units has escalated by 40% over the last 10 years, while the population continues to grow. This has been exacerbated by a cumbersome and expensive approval process at the state and local levels for new homesites and other forms of housing.    

Two demographic trends  are also putting significant pressure on the existing housing supply. First, 62 million millennials have come of age and are entering the housing market in large numbers. The notion that was held several years ago that millennials would not be homeowners (which always seemed surprisingly naïve) has proven to be grossly incorrect. As they are entering the family formation stage of their lives, they want the same sense of home for their children as they had growing up and this generation has proven to be more financially stable from a younger age than previous generations 

The second trend is the 55 million Baby Boomers who are living healthier and longer lives, therefore are staying in the housing market beyond expectations and in many cases remaining in their family home. What might be a starter home for a millennial could be a retirement home for a Baby Boomer. In many cases, both groups are competing for the same limited supply of inventory.   

Is This a Housing Bubble Like '08? 

The short answer is no. As previously mentioned, the dynamics of this market are entirely different than those of any other time. It is the quintessence of a classic supply and demand relationship. In fact, this is textbook Economics 101 where there are more consumers than available product. 

There are also significant fundamental factors in today's housing cycle as compared to those that triggered the GFC 14 years ago.   

Here is a comparison:  

  • Required credit scores for today's buyers are significantly higher. 
  • General mortgage underwriting standards are far more stringent today.  
  • There was an oversupply of housing in 2008, not so in today's market. 
  • Speculation was rampant in 2008, very little speculation today. 
  • Exotic mortgage programs with low first year teaser rates, subprime underwriting, interest only loans and so on, were common to attract the less qualified borrower to the market.  By and large those programs are not prevalent today. 
  • Household and corporate balance sheets today are at their highest levels in recent memory. 
  • Home equity loan usage is very low today compared to the GFC period. 

What's Next for Housing? 

Because of the inventory and demographic factors, we have discussed that the seeds were sown for this tight housing market, regardless of the Pandemic. The Pandemic certainly heightened the inventory tension, but on its own the Pandemic didn't create the market. 

Issues such as demographics and inventory shortages are long term in their development, therefore long term in their solutioning. These conditions will remain in place for many years. At the current rate of new construction home starts and given the numerous demographic cohorts interacting with housing, the market could upwards to a decade behind in supplying adequate inventory.   

It is certainly not hard to reason that consecutive years at 20% appreciation is not sustainable.  What we are seeing in the second half of 2022 is a slow down to more sustainable levels of activities so consumers and prices can both catch their breath. More reasonable annual appreciation rates in the range of 7-12% which are strong historically, are likely in the years to come as the market ebbs and flows in concert with other economic influences. Although interest rates have recently increased, they are well within historically low levels as well. A negative equity scenario would be hard to imagine given the long-term prospects of an imbalance in the supply to demand relationship.

August
22

trail mix

Is trail mix the perfect food? Also known by the whimsical name of "gorp," trail mix is nutritious, portable, and easy to make yourself. Join our real estate agents in celebrating National Trail Mix Day on Wednesday, August 31 by whipping up a batch of one (or more!) of these great trail mix recipes.

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August
15

Water Softener Tips

If your home has hard water, a water softener is an excellent addition to your property to help you reduce your water consumption, enhance the quality of your water, and get your dishes and clothes as clean as possible.

Like any system, a water softener needs periodic attention to function properly. Our real estate agents suggest following these maintenance tips to prolong the lifespan of your water softener and maximize its performance. 

Click Here to Read More...

August
8

Maine Oysters

The oyster industry in Maine doubled in size between 2020 and 2021, with new oyster farmers setting up shop to help keep up with high demand. Of course, fresh, local oysters are a common sight on tables at seafood restaurants across Maine, and locals get to enjoy the harvest before anyone else.

Maine oysters are popular in part because there's so much diversity, with a wide variety of flavors depending on where the oyster was harvested from and what its environment was like. Feeling hungry yet? Our real estate agents have all of the delicious details on this local delicacy in your guide to Maine oysters.

Why the Taste of Maine Oysters Depends on the Environment

Maine oysters are renowned because they come in so many different, subtle flavors, and we have the state's diverse ecology to thank for that fact. That's because the flavor characteristics of each oyster differ depending on the environment where the oyster has grown. Even two oysters of the same exact type will have different flavors if they are harvested from different environments.

While the Damariscotta River estuary is Maine's largest source of oysters, they're harvested from locations all across the state. Oysters take on different flavors depending on the saltiness of the water, the water temperatures where they grow, the mineral content of the mud, and even the plant life that grows around them. The diverse aquatic environments of Maine provide endless opportunities for oyster farmers to cultivate unique flavors.

Common Types of Maine Oysters

Now that you know a little more about what makes Maine oysters special, it's time to take a closer look at some of the most popular oyster varieties that you'll find here. Each has its own unique flavor profile and characteristics.

  • Bagaduce Rivers
    One of the most popular types of oysters found in Maine, Bagaduce Rivers, take their name from an Indian word meaning "fast water." They have a fruity, creamy flavor and are often a bit smaller than other types of oysters.

  • Glidden Point
    Glidden Point oysters are known for their larger size and are harvested from the Damariscotta River estuary. They have a slightly salty taste and a crisp texture that adds to their complexity of flavor.

  • Pemaquid
    Some of the largest, plumpest oysters are of the Pemaquid variety, which feature rich, briny flavor and are typically found in cold water environments. Like the Glidden Point variety, Pemaquid oysters are harvested from the Damariscotta River.

  • Basket Island
    Sometimes, good things come in small packages. That's the case with the Basket Island oyster variety, which is smaller in size but packs a ton of flavor into every bite. Harvested from Casco Bay, this variety has a sweet, salty flavor that provides the perfect introduction to Maine oysters.

These are just a few of the most popular varieties. The great thing about Maine oysters is that there are so many more flavors to try, so you can sample different types until you find your favorite.

Where to Find Maine Oysters to Enjoy

  • Maine Oyster Company – 38 Portland St., Portland, ME 04101
    No matter where you're located, the Maine Oyster Company is ready to provide you with oysters that are as fresh as it gets. Live near Portland? Then you can visit the Maine Oyster Company headquarters yourself and experience the incredible selection of oysters that they have to offer. If you live elsewhere and have been craving a taste of home, the Maine Oyster Company offers overnight shipping of fresh oysters. They also have a second location in Portland, a dedicated oyster bar where you can sample Maine oysters, lobster rolls, and an outstanding selection of Maine craft beers.

  • The Maine Oyster Trail
    Interested in turning your love of oysters into a statewide journey? The Maine Oyster Trail will take you to destinations all across Maine, from Portland to Presque Isle, in search of the perfect oyster. The Maine Oyster Trail features tons of oyster-related activities, including farm tours, kayak tours, raw bars, restaurants, and even food trucks. You can pick up a Maine Oyster Passport to aid you as you travel the trail, allowing you to check in at participating businesses, keep track of the locations that you've explored, and earn some fun rewards along the way. With 75 different businesses to experience, it's easy to customize your trip to your unique preferences.

  • Maine Oyster Festival – Freeport, ME 04032
    Would you prefer if the Maine Oyster Trail came to you? The Maine Oyster Festival brings together hundreds of Maine's oyster farmers, restaurants, shuckers, and industry experts for a fun, flavorful celebration of Maine oysters. The event typically takes place in June, with the next edition set for June 23-25, 2023.

If you love seafood, you won't find a better place than Maine to call home. When you're ready to find your next home, our team is here to help with all of your Maine real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in your favorite Maine communities.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 10/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 10/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of MLSPIN MLS (last updated Tue 10/04/2022 7:02:55 PM EST) or NEREN MLS (last updated Tue 10/04/2022 7:00:35 PM EST) or MREIS (last updated Tue 10/04/2022 6:57:45 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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