Local Business

A Look Back at 2014 & A Look Forward to 2015

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Kezar Lake, Lovell

Since the great economic collapse of 2007-2008, there have been occasional periods of optimism that perhaps the bottom had been reached. But year after year, those hopes were dashed as economic activity either retreated or remained flat. However, towards the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014, I began to sense a change. People felt more secure with their employment. My belief has always been that until that improved, people were not going to be making investments, whether it be cars, homes, vacations, etc.

I wouldn't say that there was a marked increase in the number of buyers looking at homes but that the people who were looking were serious. And that was reflected in the number of Kezar Realty's transactions. We had 25 settlements totaling more than $4.6 million, our best year ever. To me, the most significant aspect of last year's business was that 15 of those homes were sold to year-round residents. During the recession, we just did not see that level of year-round activity and it appears that we are building a solid fundamental foundation going forward. Property values may not be going up rapidly but they are no longer declining and we do not seem to have a problem with appraisals. There are now plenty of mortgage programs available and FHA, a program usually used by first-time buyers, is becoming competitive again.

WordPress puts together a nice summary of KezarLife's 2014 activity which you can see here.

Here's hoping that 2015 will be a good year for everyone and if you have any real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact Kezar Realty.

 

 

Comments

  1. Stanley Tupaj on

    Just another day in Paradise! Talked to Ben this morning and he was out running and said the temps in Virginia were 25! Anxiously waiting for the Ravens-Pats this afternoon. Hope all is well.
    • Wil on

      Congrats, Stan. Are you and Rondi enjoying the recent Maine temps?

      SHOP LOCAL--SHOP LOVELL

      With a little more than a week left until Christmas, I'm sure that everyone does not have all of their gifts picked-out. Avoid the hassles of traffic and rude people by looking local. There is a wealth of local merchants, artisans and shops that would love to help you select the perfect gift.

      This Holiday season, why not shop in Lovell? Here is a list of shops and ideas where you not only have a great present but you are helping our local businesses!

      * Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

      * ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS, Lovell. For centuries, floorcloths have proven to be both durable and elegant. Art Underfoot Floorcloths handcrafted works are created in Maine with tradition in mind. We spend between eight to ten hours on each piece, skillfully crafting heirloom quality art that you will enjoy having underfoot. Paula and Tom Hughes create these artistic and functional floorcloths and would be happy to discuss designing a pattern to fit your home or office. Visit the website for more details and to view a gallery of floorcloths. ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS

      *HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy's kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy's webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

      *How about a gift certificate to the 'Best Beer Bar in America', EBENEZER's PUB? During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub's phone number is 207-925-3200.

      * Get GREAT BUYS at Center Lovell's three Antique Stores. Although winter hours are by chance and/or appointment both owners would be happy to meet you at your convenience. The WONDER STORE is owned by Peter Worrall and he can be reached at 207-925-1252. Bill Doyle, owner of DOYLE's ANTIQUES, can be reached at his store 207-925-1279. FOUR CEDARS ANTIQUES, located at Swain Road and 5A, is owned by Shoo Hale. She would be happy to help and can be reached at 925-1017.

      *HOMESTEAD ICE CREAM SHOP. Beth Armington's new store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans' work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And Beth is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

      *SUSAN SIDWELL. Located at the top of Route 5A in Center Lovell, Susan is well-known for not only for her ability to grow beautiful vegetables and flowers but also produces beautiful artisan prints. Ready for framing, these prints make a wonderful gift. You may reach Susan at 925-1006.

      *PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The 'Pick-Your-Own' season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.

      *How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments: 1)Rosie's Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255. 2)AJ's Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454. 3)The Center Lovell Market. Open again on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051. 4)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here! 5)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.

      Still can't figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell's United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)! MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

      2015 Kezar Realty Calendar

      IMG_7626IMG_9093It won't be long now that 2014 comes to an end and that means the 2015 Kezar Realty calendar is here. We have a regular mailing list but send me an e-mail to make sure you get yours in the mail. Every kitchen needs to have one!

      Comments

      1. Barbara and Steve. Massey on

        Jeanne Bonner's brother and wife would love a calendar of our favorite summer vacation spot!
        • Melanie McGraw on

          Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! I would very much like to have a calendar! Here's my info: Melanie McGraw P.O. Box 787 W. Chatham, MA 02669 Thank you! Melanie
          • C. E. Robinson on

            I'd love to have a calendar. I miss my childhood home town, Lovell. And my Grandmother Edna Heim owned Sunset Inn (now part of Quisisana) on Kezar Lake many years ago. I'll understand if you only send to local residents. Christine Robinson, 8335 Lake Ben Avenue, San Diego, CA 92119. Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! http://cerobinsonauthor.com
            • BERNARD BORMAN on

              Bernard Borman, 3 Rollins Place, Boston, MA 02114 would like this calendar Am part time resident at 168 Old Stage Road Ctr. Lov.
              • C. E. Robinson on

                Thank you ! Look forward to receiving it! Yup, San Diego is year round beautiful. But I miss the Lovell township and snow of my kidhood there. I lived next to the brick church on then Church Street (Christian Hill now).
                • meheroux@gmail.com on

                  Sent from my Samsung Galaxy TabKezarlife's Blog wrote:i'd love to have your calendar.  Thanks! Mary Heroux
                  • Twins99 on

                    How can I get a calendar? Sent from my iPhone >
                    • Stanley Tupaj on

                      Thanks Christine. I will send one to you. San Diego is also a very beautiful place.
                      • Jim Rowe on

                        Count me in, Stan. Thank you!
                        • Stanley Tupaj on

                          It is on the way!
                          • Stanley Tupaj on

                            Melanie, all set!
                            • Carol and Hal Taylor on

                              Hal and I would love a calendar. We look forward to spending more time in Lovell in 2015 and want to fill in dates for the many great local events that take place in next summer. Happy New Year to you and family and thanks. From, Hal and Carol Sev. Taylor
                              • Stanley Tupaj on

                                I will put a calendar in today's mail.

                                7th Annual Chili Competition Results

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                                The judges getting ready to work.

                                The judges getting ready to work.

                                Lots of baked goodies for sale!

                                Lots of baked goodies for sale!

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                                Once again,  the Center Lovell Firehouse was filled with people and the smell of chili. The crowds came early and many stayed to the end. This year's Battle of the Bowls had 11 entrants, more than 90 ballots were cast for the best chili and there was consistency in both categories.

                                Judges' Choice:

                                1) Stow Corner Store (#4)

                                2)Marc Kurnic (#3)

                                3)Anna Kulakowski (#8)

                                Peoples' Choice:

                                1)Stow Corner Store (#4)

                                2)Marc Kurnic (#3)

                                3)Jay Hunter (#11)

                                With $1,100 raised, it was a GREAT day for the Chili Challenge! Every penny collected goes directly to the Lovell Friends Helping Friends Emergency Fuel Fund. Special thanks to Fire Chief Tommie McKenzie for the use of the Center Lovell Fire House which is the perfect venue; all of the cooks who took the time to perfect their recipe and to enter the competition; the Lovell bakers who generously donated goodies to the very successful bake sale, Beth's Kitchen Cafe in Bridgton for donating a Gift Certificate and to the many people who came for some good chow and a fun afternoon.

                                If you were unable to attend yesterday's Chili Challenge but would like to donate, please send a check to: FRIENDS HELPING FRIENDS Town Of Lovell PO Box 236 Center Lovell, ME 04016

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                                The New Suncook School Art Class once again designed the aprons for the winners!

                                The New Suncook School Art Class once again designed the aprons for the winners!

                                The Annual Fall Migration

                                It happens every year, as the calendar pages flip towards the end of September. For the past week or two, the numbers have grown and often the diverse group travels in large packs. Moving south along Route 5 you will find streams of campers, French Fry trucks, Smokey Carnival trucks and a variety of other vendors. Where are they heading? To the Fryeburg Fair, of course!

                                More than 300,000 people visit the Fryeburg Fair each year. Covering about 180 acres, the Fair has something for everyone. Great animal barns, farm history, exhibition halls, carnival rides, horse racing, musical performances and food. Did I mention food?

                                This year's Blue Ribbon Classic opens Sunday, September 28th and runs through Sunday, October 5th. Grounds open at 9 am every morning.

                                See you there!

                                Fox & Sons, Part Two

                                IMG_1711IMG_1710IMG_1707IMG_1708IMG_1709Although there were weeks of site preparation and the pouring of the new foundation and there is still plenty of finishing work to be done, the actual lifting and moving of the structure took a little more than a week. I must say, Mighty Impressive! And it won't be long before it will look like the house is in the original spot.

                                Fox & Sons

                                Whenever I see a 'Fox & Sons' sign in a yard, it is always difficult for me not to stop and become a sidewalk superintendent. It is fascinating to see a built house lifted from its existing foundation and moved to another foundation without falling apart. Almost as delicate as Phillippe-Petit walking on a tightrope between the Twin Towers in NYC (video here).

                                This house is located on Route 5 in Lovell across from the golf course.

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                                Renee Dutton

                                Renee Dutton, a wonderful woman, passed away Monday June 2, 2014.

                                Renee's husband, Oliver, was an officer in the United States Air Force and they  lived in many places while raising her family but she settled in Lovell in the early 1970's. She made a big impact on the town, not only as a business owner (Kezar Lake Handcrafters and Dutton Real Estate) but devoted much time and energy to the Lovell Historical Society, the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library and the Lovell United Church of Christ.

                                I started my Lovell real estate career when Renee no longer owned the business but she was still actively selling. She was in the office just about every day and always with a smile, an encouraging word and an inquiry on my latest listing or transaction. In a short period of time,I learned quite a bit from Renee and she never hesitated to look at a house or walk up steep hills on a lot with me. In a business where bringing adversarial sides together is not always easy, Renee flourished. It was clear that she enjoyed working with people. As technology was changing our world, Renee  always reminded us that our business will always be about people working together.

                                It is true to this day that every time I show a house, I am reminded of Renee. One of my first lessons from her was that it is best to leave the key in the door lock so you won't be looking for it as you are trying to leave and talk with your clients. I am always proud to tell people that Kezar Realty is part of the Dutton Real Estate lineage.

                                Renee's Obituary

                                Comments

                                1. Jim Rowe on

                                  She was a very special person. Her passing is a huge loss for the Lovell community.
                                  • Amy Dutton Monk on

                                    I am her granddaughter and she rocked in every way possible, no one could ever fill her shoes and she will never be forgotten.

                                    Fly Away Farm

                                    IMG_5691IMG_5689IMG_5687IMG_5680IMG_5675There was quite a void created when Don and Linda Bradley retired and closed Treehouse Farm Greenhouses in Sweden. For many years, Ledge Hill Road saw a marked increase in traffic as people would make their way to Treehouse for all of their gardening needs. As you could expect, everyone wondered where to go?

                                    To the rescue comes Fly Away Farm! The Ward family (Jenn, Justin and children) has expanded their organic farm to Susan Sidwell's property on Old Stage Road in Lovell. Here is the place to go for your vegetable, flower and herb seedlings. Don't like to work the earth? Plenty of produce, eggs, cut flowers and more!

                                    Fly Away Farm has been a fixture at the Farmers' Market behind Charlotte Hobbs every Saturday in the summer. In addition to the produce, there is always a selection of freshly-baked cookies and Justin's homemade bread.

                                    The Ward's farm is tucked away off the grid in Stow. In addition to the expansion at Old Stage Road, Fly Away is supplying their fresh produce and eggs to Pete and Sandi at the Old Saco Inn and at the Center Lovell Market.

                                    Be sure to stop and visit Jenn at Old Stage Road. Call for 207-446-7352 for more information.

                                    And a Happy Retirement to Don and Linda!

                                    Charles Lusky, Forest Land Enhancements

                                    IMG_1242IMG_1241IMG_1248IMG_1251IMG_1252IMG_1272IMG_1273IMG_1276There is a long tradition in Maine that private land be open for numerous public uses, such as hiking, hunting and snowmobiling, without prior permission. With all of the open space around us, it is hard to believe that about 94% of the land in Maine is privately owned.

                                    In 1972, Maine passed the Tree Growth Tax Law that is designed to help landowners not only retain their land but to also make it productive woodlands. A minimum of ten acres, as well as a forest plan, are needed to participate in the program. Not only does the landowner benefit by paying lower annual taxes on the land but so does the general public since many properties might otherwise be lost to development or other uses.

                                    In this western Maine region there are a number of loggers. However, when talking to people, there is always one name that is mentioned consistently--Charles Lusky. Charles' company is named Forest Land Enhancements and is in Fryeburg. He knows the woods inside and out and takes pride in working with landowners to keep their property productive not just for the next ten years but for future generations.

                                    In any business, testimonials from previous clients are always important. When asking about Charles, attributes that you hear multiple times are: hard-working, honest and trust-worthy, all of which are very important when hiring someone to work with a family asset.

                                    A member of the Lovell Volunteer Fire Dept, Charles is a visible participant of the local community. If you are thinking of having some tree work done, don't hesitate to contact Charles at 207-925-3199207-925-3199.

                                    P.S. If you are interested in the history of logging and how it was done prior to heavy machinery, here is a great video to watch: From Stump to Ship: A 1930 Logging Film.

                                     

                                     

                                    Comments

                                    1. Susan Hamlin on

                                      Nice job Stan! Sent from my iPad >
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