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The Renovation of the North Lovell General Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been doing real estate transactions in Lovell, Maine since 2004 and each one is very special to me. Luckily, I would say that all of the deals resulted in a satisfied buyer and seller. Sometimes, changing life circumstances dictate that a property is marketed or a family is looking for a larger home. Each 'deal' is unique and no two are alike. Inspection issues, appraisal value not sufficient, sellers want more $$ while buyers want less $$! But by the time we reach the settlement table, everyone is happy!

Some listings are harder than others to find a buyer. It might be that the seller wants a little more money than it is worth or maybe the condition is very rough and never had any regular maintenance. Showing these homes to potential buyers is like watching them using a revolving door. As quickly as they go in, they come right out. But a buyer always comes along. Maybe the price is lowered, but eventually a 'SOLD' sign goes up!

One of the most interesting listings that I have had is 2036 Main Street. Nothing about this listing was normal. This was a historic building that was owned by the sellers for at least ten years but built in +/-1865 and a very important cornerstone of North Lovell life for generations. Its use was limited to a storage center for a local carpenter, the North Lovell Library and the UCC Church. No plumbing and no electricity. But lots of history and a ton of potential.

How do you market a property like that? Well, here is the next unusual component. The abutting lot to the north once had a farmhouse on it but that burned to the ground some years ago. After the fire, the lot was cleared and all that remained was a working septic system and a drilled well! The owners of each lot were unrelated but trying to sell one lot without the other would not work. As they say, timing is everything. Both owners were ready to sell. My approach was simple -- a historic building that's essentially a 'blank canvas' with a drilled well and septic a short distance away.

My vision reached back to my urban planning days and my belief in the adaptive reuse of older buildings. Throughout Maine there are many examples of buildings being renovated for new uses. I pointed prospective buyers to a similar building in the Waterford Flats that now houses a yoga studio on the first floor and a residence on the second.

The property was Listed on August 24, 2018, went Pending on September 4, 2019, and went to Settlement on October 11, 2019.

Over the next couple of North Lovell General Store updates, we will follow the progress of the building as it comes back to life. Trust me, it will be fun to watch!

Comments

  1. Brian Fox on

    My dad used this building for a short period in the late 70's and possibly early 80's as his office before moving his base of operations back to a home office. He then used it for storage until his passing in 1990, after which my brother and I continued to use it for that purpose until we cleaned it out sometime in the late 90's as I recall. Great to see it coming back to life again - great old building.

    Maine Vacation Rentals and the Importance of Service

    It wasn’t too long ago that, when travelling to a big city like Boston, New York or Washington, you would take a licensed cab from the airport to your hotel.  Or, when leaving a restaurant, you would go curbside to hail a passing cab.

    However, with the advent of mobile technology, travel patterns have changed dramatically. Pull up your UBER or LYFT app on your phone and you will soon have a choice of drivers offering their car to take you to your destination. And people sure do like the service of Air B n B where you have choices of renting houses, condo units or rooms directly from the owners, with prices somewhat cheaper than a hotel of large part of their appeal.

    On the surface, this all seems very attractive. However, many communities are having issues with the short-term rentals. Problems such as too many occupants, loud parties with the renters showing no respect for the neighborhood. And from the renters’ perspective, there are stories of renter’s not finding the residence as advertised or not being told that they need to bring a supply of their own linens.

    Which leads me to the following:

    Since Kezar Realty opened in 2009, we have offered Vacation Rentals in Lovell and surrounding towns. In addition to listing and selling property, Broker Jeanne Bonner manages our Vacation Rentals. Jeanne has been matching vacationers with the perfect Maine cottage for more than 25 years.

    In January 2018, Down East Magazine published an article “Home Advantage” that highlighted the positive resources that many local Vacation Rental Agencies in Maine provide, such as handling bookings, greeting incoming renters, coordinating Saturday morning cleaning, making sure the trash was taken to the transfer station and not left at the cottage, replacing misplaced/lost keys and much more. Kezar Realty is a member of the Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, a group of about 30 Maine Vacation Rental companies and provides support and lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry.

    An important element of renters arriving in Lovell is that they have a friendly place greeting them when they arrive and are provided with a packet of information about their cottage as well as local merchants and recreational activities. And if they need something during the week, they know that Jeanne is just a phone call away.

    As we inch closer to the summer season, be sure to contact Jeanne for assistance on vacation rentals. And remember, you will be pleased that the personal touch is still considered important here at Kezar Realty. And that includes having extensive local knowledge as well as caring that you have a great experience.

    Technology is great and we all benefit from the tools that it provides but hopefully it will never eliminate the Jeanne Bonners of the world.

    WMBOR Realtor of the Year Dinner

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    Thought it would be nice to post some photos from the recent Realtor of the Year dinner at the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. I certainly had a great time with the wonderful dinner, great company, lots of laughs and a funny song written and sung by Carol Noonan. Thanks to everyone for their effort in making this a special evening, especially our sponsors and to Michael Berube of Maine Virtual Home Tours for bringing his camera and taking photos.

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    New Spring Listings

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    1898 Main Street, Lovell

    1898 Main Street, Lovell

    1898 Main Street, Lovell

    1898 Main Street, Lovell

    487 Main Street, Fryeburg

    487 Main Street, Fryeburg

    487 Main Street, Fryeburg

    487 Main Street, Fryeburg

    When measured against the previous five-six years, 2014 was a very good year for local housing and so far, 2015 appears to be headed in the same direction. Overall buyer traffic is about the same but the big difference, to me, is the degree of confidence that people have. Confidence that their jobs will continue and confidence that the economy will continue to expand; maybe not robustly but certainly not retract! (Sales of New U.S. Homes Rise) At this point, home prices seem to be holding steady and I don't expect any big gains until some of the excess inventory is sold.

    So as we leave winter behind, here are two new listings that Kezar Realty is proud to represent:

    1898 Main Street, Lovell (MLS # 1206175). Visit the Virtual Tour here.

    487 Main Street, Fryeburg (MLS # 1206365). Visit the Virtual Tour here.

    Photos and virtual tours by Michael E. Berube, MaineVirtualHomeTours.com

    Busy Day at Kezar Realty

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    Having two settlements in one day may be commonplace for the big city realty firms, but it is always exciting at Kezar Realty! Especially at the tail-end of February, when the cold and the snow are still with us and it doesn't feel like home-buying season just yet.

    As we know, modern technology is advancing rapidly where smart phones and tablets are used to communicate. However, in the real estate and the mortgage world, paper is still king! Although contracts with electronic signatures are prevalent, original signatures are still required for all legal papers, particularly those that need to be recorded at the registry.

    Today's first settlement had a pleasant mixture of the old process and a touch of the new technology. The buyers for this Lovell property were scheduled to be out of the country so a Power of Attorney was provided ahead of time to sign on the behalf of the buyers. Thanks to the magic of Skype, the buyers were able to watch the settlement, answer questions and participate all the way from Thailand! Betsy Meredith, the settlement agent for Market Street Settlement Group, was able to explain various forms to the buyers and answer questions as we went along.

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    Thanks to the listing agent, Linda Nista of Paris Cape Realty and to Market Street Settlement for agreeing to have the settlement in Lovell!

    And thanks to Jeanne Bonner of Kezar Realty,  the listing agent for today's second settlement. This property was located in Stoneham and the selling agent was Susan Moore of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate in Gorham.

    It is always rewarding to see happy buyers and sellers and to be a part of the team that makes it happen! Today was one of those days. :)

    Comments

    1. Jim Rowe on

      Thailand, tell me more!
      • Stanley Tupaj on

        Jim, I will give you all the details upon your return to Lovell!
        • Balaji on

          My husband and i got ablutosely delighted Jordan could do his basic research out of the ideas he gained while using the weblog. It's not at all simplistic just to be making a gift of secrets and techniques which other people could have been trying to sell. And we remember we have the writer to give thanks to because of that. The illustrations you've made, the simple site navigation, the relationships you will give support to promote it is all fantastic, and it is leading our son and the family recognize that the article is cool, which is certainly highly fundamental. Many thanks for the whole lot!

          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?

              Fox & Sons, Part Two

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              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.

              The Alteration of a Kezar Lake Property

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              Camp J2 in 2009

              Camp J2 in 2009

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              Camp J2 2014 Prepared for Demolition

              Camp J2 2014 Prepared for Demolition

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              The location of a new building foundation

              The location of a new building foundation

              Over the next few months, KezarLife  is looking forward to following a property's transformation where an older Maine lakeside cottage will disappear and a new year-round residence will be constructed. Kezar Realty is interested in following the change in this specific lot, as it was the Agency's very first settlement in November 2009.

              I am reminded of a line in Robert C. William's book, Lovewell's Town, where he says that "...history is the story of change over time, as well as continuity." Over time, more people have come to see Kezar Lake, and Lovell, as a place for a year-round residence rather than just a spot for summer recreation. I believe that the lake, the town and the region are all beneficiaries of this change.

              When the property was purchased, the new owners did so with an eye to an uncertain date in the future when they would leave their overseas home and transfer back to Maine. During that the time, the camp was used by family, friends and renters but plans for a new home were always being worked on.

              Prior to returning to the United States, the time-consuming task of surveys, construction estimates, planning board presentations, reviews, site visits and finally, approval, all had to take place. Once completed, it was on to the sharpening of the pencils with the builder and the mountains of paperwork requested by the lender.

              Over the next few months, I think it will be fun to follow the building of a new Kezar Lake home.

              Comments

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