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How Energy Efficiency Can increase Your Home's Value

On Monday, October 29, the Sustainable Woodstock Energy Committee and Efficiency Vermont will bring you the Woodstock Button Up launch event. The Button Up event, to be held at the Woodstock Town Hall from 6:30-8:00 pm, will get you thinking about what you can do to “button up” or weatherize your house against the upcoming winter cold. (Full details about this event can be found at the following link: http://www.sustainablewoodstock.org/)

As I write this article, on our first cold, breezy day, I can appreciate coming into my house and feeling the warmth!

Home Energy Efficiency

Just do One thing: Come to the Button Up launch event at the Woodstock Town Hall on Monday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m.
Ask about simple ways to insulate your home.

What is Weatherization?

There are many advantages of energy efficiency. Not only do we make our own homes more comfortable, but we also contribute to decreasing the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in an effort to put a brake on climate change. By weatherizing, we seal up the identified leaky areas of our homes, prevent heat loss, and thereby use less fossil fuel (oil or propane) to keep our homes warm (or cool).

There are simple, low-cost things you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency. The Green Resource Council, an organization that grew out of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (http://greenresourcecouncil.org) recommends 19 things you can do on your own. Of these, seven will make a big difference during the upcoming winter season.

  1. Weatherstrip around doors and windows.
  2. Seal air leaks around building envelope incursions
  3. Caulk window trim and around window panels.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat.
  5. Hang thermal drapes or install insulated cellular shades to block or retain heat.
  6. Change furnace filters monthly
  7. Seal heating ducts.

The next step is to insulate where a contractor determines there is heat loss. Your best options for insulation are:

Blown-in Insulation: Fiberglass, cellulose, or wool insulation that is blown in. It is often easier and less expensive to install than batts of fiberglass insulation.

Foam-in-Place Insulation: A product that acts as an air barrier and provides insulation and air sealing in one step. Most foam insulation products have a higher R-value per inch than fiberglass batt insulation. Using foam insulation increases energy efficiency because smaller heating and cooling equipment is required.

Efficiency Vermont (https://www.efficiencyvermont.com/products-technologies/insulation-windows-doors) is a valuable resource for learning about different kinds of insulation and finding a contractor to do the work. They also identify rebates that are available for homes and businesses.

Can energy efficiency upgrades increase your home’s value?

The simplest way to think about it is–as my mom always used to say, “With talk comes more talk.” As more people increase the energy efficiency of their homes and realize the benefits of lower energy bills and more comfort, the more people will seek out energy-efficient homes.

The first step to determining the actual value of a home with energy efficient features is to get a copy of the “Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum” (https://bit.ly/2J8Skrk). You can fill out your home’s energy-efficient features and then give the form to your professional contractor to add what they have done. An appraiser who has learned how to value a home according to its “green” features, will use this form to determine actual value. You can find a local “green” appraiser at this website: https://bit.ly/2q4Hfil.

Appraisers inform the home owner/seller and their real estate agent of the added value of their property due to energy efficient renovations. Locally, our multiple listing service through the efforts of the Northern New England Board of Realtors has been adding data-entry fields to identify green features and certifications. Being able to search the MLS for homes with green features helps agents search for sustainable homes and properties, and allows builders and sellers to market their green endeavors.

Lenders are also recognizing the added value of homes with green features. A buyer looking for a mortgage should find a lender who uses informed appraisers. Energy upgrades both improve the value of your home and save you money. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and VA (Veterans Administration) allow mortgages to include energy efficiency upgrades, so that, even with a higher mortgage, your monthly costs can be lower (See the chart below that references the energy efficient mortgage homeowners guide available at https://bit.ly/2NYcGEq).

Weatherization Amortization Chart

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    Things to Do in Portland, Maine

    Portland Maine FoodPortland has plenty of indoor and outdoor activities for residents and visitors to enjoy all year long. Here are just a few of the fun things to do in and around Portland.

    Portland is well known as a foodie town. Here, you’ll discover a variety of delicious cuisines and some of the best seafood in Maine. You’ll also find several beer tours in Portland. Old Port boasts cobblestone streets and a great selection of shops, boutiques, art galleries, theaters, and restaurants, especially on Congress Street.

    Portland boasts over 60 parks and 10 community gardens to explore. Enjoy a nice scenic walk along the miles of multi use trails or play a game of soccer on the athletic fields. The Eastern Promenade is a 68 acre waterfront park with a paved trail for walking, biking, and running. Or, if you just want to sit back and relax, there are plenty of comfortable grassy areas.Portland Maine Walking Trails

    Willard Beach is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike and features great views of Cushing Island and Ram Island Light in Casco Bay. Go for a nice swim or sit back and watch the ferries. East End Beach has walking trails, a boat launch, sandy beaches, and scenic views.

    Popular cultural and arts attractions include the Portland Museum of Art, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, the Victoria Mansion Museum, and the Museum of African Culture. The Portland Stage offers a variety of live theater performances.

    Contact The Atlantic Network Real Estate Network for all of your Portland, Maine real estate needs!

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      New Hampshire - Prime Fall Foliage is Here!

      This time of year is the prime season for fall foliage leaf peeping. The Atlantic Real Estate Network is proud to announce its latest acquisition of All Access Real Estate in Woodsville, NH.

      Only a few months after its purchase of Advantage Realty in the Goffstown/Manchester area. We are so lucky to encompass a state with the most beautiful foliage along routes 101, 89, 91 and all other main and side roads.

      The foliage brings visitors that stay for the weekend and a lifetime. Our New Hampshire agents get calls all the time from buyers looking to buy a second home or make a life change to enjoy natures beauty on a daily basis. Also New Hampshire's "View Properties" give buyers amazing views of the mountains that are just as breathtaking as the lakes, ponds and river views commonly seen.

      Contact one of our excellent New Hampshire agents today to learn more about unique offerings that may fit your needs.

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        Southern Maine Parks and Nature Preserves

        Southern MaineYou’ll find an abundance of parks, nature preserves, and trails throughout Southern Maine. Enjoy the beautiful outdoors by exploring some of these top picks.

        Ferry Beach State Park
        Saco

        Over 100 acres of quiet beaches, beautifully maintained nature trails, picnic tables, and guided nature trails.

        Scarborough Marsh Nature Center
        Scarborough

        Nature preserve boasting Maine's largest salt marsh. Explore on foot, kayak, or canoe with guided and self guided tours.

        Gilsland Farm Audubon Center
        Falmouth

        This 65 acre sanctuary features an environmental education center and over 2 miles of trails through ponds, meadow, orchard, forest, and salt marsh.

        Maine Wildlife Park
        Gray

        The park provides a permanent home for injured and orphaned wildlife that’s not able to survive in the wild. See a variety of wildlife on the nature trail, including eagles, bear, moose, and cougars.

        Wells National Estuarine Reserve at Laudholm Farm
        Wells

        A national treasure with 2,250 acres of protected land with easy to moderate trails open year round for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

        Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve
        Wells

        Features a composition of plants and animals not found anywhere else in Maine along with forested upland, coastal meadows, salt marsh, and a rocky coast. Bird watching and self guided tours.

        The Marginal Way Scenic Walk
        Ogunquit

        A friendly and scenic coastal walk spanning a little over a mile. Connects Perkins Cove to Ogunquit and features sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.

        Thinking about buying or selling a home in Southern, Maine? Contact The Atlantic Real Estate Network and learn how we can help.

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          The Best Southern Maine Beaches

          Maine BeachesSouthern Maine is known for its beautiful beaches. From white sands to rocky shores - and whether you want to swim, surf, or sunbathe - there’s a beach for everyone! Here are some of the best beaches in Southern Maine.

          Scarborough Beach is one of the best swimming beaches. There are designated swimming areas with lifeguards because rip currents occur every day. Enjoy taking a walk on the trails and grab a bite to eat at the Shack.

          Higgins Beach in Scarborough has some good waves and is a great spot for kayakers and surfers. Sunbathers enjoy relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches.

          Kennebunk Beach is a popular place for a nice oceanfront stroll or watching boats coming in and out of the marina. Or catch some nice waves for swimming and surfing.

          Ogunquit Beach is a family friendly beach with gentle waves, flat sand, and easy access to The Marginal Way. This is one of the most beautiful stretches of peninsula beach in the U.S.

          Old Orchard Beach features the famous Old Orchard Pier, an amusement park with lots of restaurants and entertainment. If you prefer a calmer setting, explore 7 miles of beautiful sand.

          York has two distinct beaches. Short Sand Beach provides easy access to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. It has a large sandy playground, basketball courts, a gazebo and a large grassy area. Long Sand Beach features 2 miles of sand and great views of The Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse. This area is great for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and volleyball.

          Contact The Atlantic Real Estate Network for all of your Southern Maine real estate needs.

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            Welcome to The Atlantic Real Estate Network's Blog!

            MaineWe look forward to making this the best resource for information about Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont real estate. We will also keep you up to date on our local area, local attractions, and current topics that impact you. Please feel free to comment on our posts if you have questions or reactions to share. If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, we'd love to hear your ideas.

            Be sure to contact The Atlantic Real Estate Network for all of your Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont real estate needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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