Welcome to the CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson Real Estate Blog

Dec. 22, 2014

Selling your Home in the Winter

By Jerry Tatlock


               In many parts of the country, selling a home during the winter months can be a challenge.  Dreary, cold weather and the end-of-the-year holidays can keep buyers away and heighten fears of your home staying on the market longer than expected.            

However, there are a few things you can do to enhance “curb appeal.”  And when that happens, buyers will take notice.

               For example, if your home has been on the market for more than six months, its probably time to change the sales approach.  There are several factors that could be reviewed with your real estate agent to determine improvements that can be made.  Ask for a reassessment of the sales price; it may be too high for the current market.  Also, ask the agent for a new or updated marketing plan and ask for a specific explanation of each activity.  Marketing your home goes beyond a few ads in the newspaper and a listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS); a good agent will do more to get your home sold.

               If your current agent doesn’t respond to your satisfaction, you should contact the real estate broker (the owner of the office) and ask for a different sales agent – or, if you’re no longer under any contractual obligation to the firm, it might be time to change real estate offices entirely.

               When setting the asking price through a comparative marketing analysis, compare similar homes sold in the winter months.  Many owners set their asking price too high because of comparisons with sales prices during peak seasons.  Always try to compare like properties sold at the same time of year.

               Once you’ve settled on an asking price, it’s time to spruce up the interior and exterior of your home.  Many real estate agents recommend opening as many curtains as possible to add light and color to rooms.  Also, it’s suggested that you keep spring and summer pictures of your home out on tables and in clear view.  Photos of your front yard flowers or the backyard shade tree in full summer bloom can help swing many buyers in favor of a purchase.

               Staying on top of winter maintenance and chores is another sure-fire way of adding value to your home.  A neatly shoveled driveway and cleared walkway can add a nice touch.  Make sure the furnace is in good working condition and that the room temperature is kept at a comfortable level.  Also, check to see that the basement if dry and sealed from any drafts.

               Take yourself on a tour of your home.  Start in the basement and work your way through the house.  More than likely you’ll see many previously undiscovered cluttered spaces and needed repairs that can turn off potential buyers.

               Don’t overload your home with holiday decorations, either.  The buyer should have a chance to see you home in its everyday condition.

About Century 21 Real Estate LLC

Century 21 Real Estate LLC (century21.com) is the franchisor of the world's largest residential real estate sales organization, providing comprehensive training and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System. The System is comprised of approximately 7,100 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 74 countries and territories worldwide with more than 100,000 sales professionals. Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.

©2013 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are Registered Trademarks Owned By Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each CENTURY 21 Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

March 7, 2014

CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson Utilizes Most Visited Website



CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson Property Listings Featured on the No. 1 Most Visited Real Estate Franchise Website

Property Seller’s in Southern Maine Get Top-Rated Exposure

South Berwick, ME (Grassroots Newswire) January 29, 2014 -- CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson, a franchised real estate brokerage of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, recently announced that their property listings are now featured on the No. 1 "most visited" real estate franchise website. According to comScore, Inc., a global leader in digital measurement and analytics, Century21.com attracted more unique visitors than any other real estate franchise brand site in every month of 2013. In fact, Century21.com holds a commanding lead in the number of unique website visitors in 2013 with 25.3 million for the entire year, which was approximately 10 million unique visitors higher than the next-closest national franchise brand. In a year where the industry average for all real estate sites was a 1% gain in total unique website visitors, CENTURY 21 posted a 49% year-over-year increase.

"This is terrific news for real estate consumers in Southern Maine because our Smarter. Bolder. Faster.® agents are now able to place their sellers’ listings on the number one real estate franchise website," said Jerry Tatlock, Owner of CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson. "This leadership position means more ’eyeballs’ are seeing our listings and that is certainly a value add for our sellers."

This is good news for buyers as well, noted Tatlock. "Visitors to Century.com site are able to search by school, create listing alerts, and sort and filter data using interactive mapping tools that zoom, pan or draw on specific neighborhoods to secure relevant market data. It’s a powerful user experience that we are proud to deliver to consumers around the world."

CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson is a full-service brokerage located at 96 Portland St., South Berwick, ME, specializing in residential and commercial properties.

About CENTURY 21 Barbara Patterson
Serving residential and commercial clients and customers in the Southern Maine area since 1986.

About Century21
Century 21 Real Estate LLC (CENTURY21.com) is the franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, providing comprehensive training and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System. The System is comprised of approximately 7,100 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 75 countries and territories worldwide with nearly 102,000 sales professionals. Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.

© 2014 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

Jan. 30, 2014

Keeping an Eye on the Facts


Keeping An Eye on the Facts


There have been many changes in the real estate world over the past year.  Some areas and locales are experiencing a rise in home prices and values.  A new set of mortgage laws are now in place.  Homebuyers and homeowners who are seeking financing are required to understand and digest a lot of new information these days.  Here is a list of the most important things to know:

Figure out what you can afford:

What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate.  This is the information that will allow you to calculate how much you can afford to spend on a home.  However, many additional factors play a part in the loan qualification process, and you should rely on the expertise and guidance of a professionally licensed Loan Officer.

Start saving money:

Mortgage lenders today consider so-called risk factors more than ever when they are evaluating a loan applicant’s qualification.  Providing documentation of additional cash reserves – above and beyond the amount that you need for down payment and closing costs – can sometimes make the difference in whether or not you will be approved for your mortgage. 

Start gathering your documents:

Gathering your documents early will expedite the application and underwriting process later on.  At a minimum, the needed items include the following:

    • W2s and tax returns for the last two years
    • Residence addresses for the past two years
    • Pay stubs for the last two months, including year-to-date earnings
    • Bank statements for the last two months (checking, savings, money market, retirement accounts)
    • More may be required

Find the right loan for you:

Be sure the loan program you choose is right for your current financial situation. Whether you are a first time home buyer or seasoned investor, you need to be comfortable with the monthly payment and the loan program.  Work closely with your Loan Officer to investigate your options and understand them fully.

Get to know the local housing market:

Real estate agents are an excellent resource, but you should do some research on your own.  Your local newspaper’s back archives of property listings will give you some historical perspective.  Search on the Internet for general information about residential real estate in the area.  Read everything that you can find about your local housing market.

Be aware of the qualified mortgage (QM) rules:

On January 10 of this year a new set of mortgage lending rules took effect. They are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, H.R.417).  Under the provisions of this Act, the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB) has provided a definition of the so-called Qualified Mortgage (QM).  The new rulesaredesigned to reduce the number of high-risk home loans originated in the United States.  They focus on the borrower’s ability to repay, and lenders must take reasonable steps to ensure that borrowers have the financial ability to repay their loans.  There is now a limit to the amount of debt a borrower may carry.  Interest-only and negative amortization loans are now forbidden, and balloon loans are severely limited.

Pre?Approval of your loan:


This is where the rubber meets the road.  You supply information about employment, assets, residence history, and so on.  Your Loan Officer obtains your written permission to run your credit report.  When the lender reviews all this information they give you a Pre?Approval Letter. Handle it with care ? to a home seller, it’s like a suitcase full of cash!  Your real estate agent will use your Pre-Approval Letter to make the best offer on the home you choose, and the seller will know you’re a serious buyer.  It gives you buying clout!  


2014 may turn out to be an excellent year to transact a home purchase or a refinance of your current residence.  Just be sure to keep an eye on the facts!  Please call or email me with any questions.

Courtesy of:

Connie Margowsky, Senior Loan Officer

NMLS # 80234

Mortgage Network, Inc.


411 The Hill

Portsmouth, NH  03801

Office: 603-334-1073

Cell: 603-953-3242

© 2014 Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS ID# 2668. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) All rights reserved. Trade/servicemarks are the property of Mortgage Network, Inc. 300 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923. Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department 5573-MB; Maine SLM2499. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates, terms, fees, and equity requirements are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. Equal Housing Lender. For Full Legal please visit my website.



Oct. 4, 2013

Central School's Outdoor Classroom


Central School’s Third Annual Outdoor Classroom Open House will be taking place this Saturday, October 5th, from 10 am to 2pm. It’s an opportunity to learn about the Outdoor Classroom and how it’s been integrated into the daily activities of the school day. Some of the fun things scheduled for the open house include:              

Scavenger Hunts

Apple Tasting

Tree Cookie Race

Make and Take Outdoor Crafts

Tours of the Outdoor Classroom

Identifying animal prints, trees and leaves


                The Outdoor Classroom is located behind Central School, South Berwick, Me.


For more information, please contact Kate Smith at


May 15, 2013

Make Your Agent Your Teammate When Buying

Perhaps you’d like to take advantage of today’s great buyer’s market in housing but feel a little intimidated by everything that’s involved. You know the routine: finding the right locale and the right house; negotiating an agreement; putting together a down payment; and selecting the best mortgage available. 

There are two things you can do to make every step run smoothly. The first is to select a really professional agent who knows the real estate business, knows your local market, has both a solid reputation for integrity and a solid record of success, and clearly is eager to respond to your needs.  The second is to make you agent your teammate in the literal sense of the word, using teamwork to be sure that the house you ultimately buy is the house you’ve always wanted.  Making your agent your teammate requires choosing an agent you feel able to trust both as a person and as a professional. And that’s no small matter. In real estate as in all areas of business – as in all aspects of life, actually – trust can make all the difference in the world.  True teamwork is nearly impossible to achieve unless you stick with one agent throughout the buying process. Buy all means you should shop around – and shop around carefully – when you’re still deciding which agent to work with. Once you’ve made that decision, however, don’t reverse it unless (and this rarely happens to people who are careful in the first place) something specific happens to make it clear that your choice was unwise.

Teammate status is all the motivation a first-rate agent needs to go all-out in finding houses that suit your needs. And if you’re concerned about what it is you’re looking for and how much house you think you can afford, your agent can save you huge amounts to time and effort.  If you’re not sure how much you can afford, be candid with your agent about that, too. He or she can provide you with some helpful preliminary guidelines and can put you in touch with mortgage lenders who know how to get you focused on an appropriate price range.  It’s always a good idea, as you look at listed homes, to give your agent a lot of feedback on what you’ve seen. Good feedback will refine and sharpen the agent’s understanding of your likes and dislikes, which in turn will make it easier to find the house of your dreams.  The ultimate payoff, once again, is that you get to your goal more quickly, expending less time and less effort along the way.   Anyone who have ever done it this way will assure you of one thing: it pays off.


Jan. 31, 2013

South Berwick Named Best Place to Raise Kids

BloombergBusinessweek Names South Berwick as the Best Place to Raise Kids in Maine.


Check out this article and slideshow from BloombergBusinessweek Lifestyle section from December 17, 2012 naming South Berwick as the best town in Maine to raise kids.




Full Article



Jan. 2, 2013

Financial Plan for Your Home

  • A Financial Plan for Your Home

    Your home is probably your biggest investment. To manage it, create a financial plan that takes into account repairs, upgrades, mortgages, insurance, and taxes. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.


Sept. 25, 2012

Fall Landscaping

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.


Aug. 9, 2012

South Berwick Recent Homes Sales Data

Recent Homes Sales Data and Real Estate Trends for South Berwick

July 28, 2012

America's Most Common Home Styles


A guide to America’s Most common Home Styles

By Jerry Tatlock


          Styles of houses vary across the country.  From the New England Cape Cod to the Victorians of San Francisco, the choices are almost endless.  Knowing which style you prefer is one of the basic elements in your hunt for the perfect home.

          Following is a quick guide to help you recognize and use the professional terms for many of the most prevalent house styles:

  • Ranch:  these long, low houses rank among the most popular types in the country.  The ranch, which developed from early homes in the West and Southwest, is one-story with a low pitched room.  The raised ranch, which is also common is the U.S.. has two levels, each accessible from the home’s entry foyer, which features staircases to both upper and lower levels.
  • Cape Cod:  this compact story-and-a-half house is small and symmetrical with a central entrance and a step, gable roof.  Brick, wood or aluminum siding are the materials most commonly seen.
  • Georgian:  Popular in New England, the Georgian has a very formal appearance with tow or three stories and classic lines. Usually built of red brick, the rectangular house has thin columns alongside the entry, and multi-paned windows above the door and throughout the house.  Two large chimneys rise high above the roof at each end.
  • Tudor:   modeled after the English country cottage.  Tudor styling features trademark dark-wood timbering set against light-colored stucco that highlights the top half of the house and frames the numerous windows.  The bottom half of the house is often made of brick.
  • Queen Anne/Victorian:  Developed from styles originated in Great Britain, these homes are usually two-story frame with large rooms, high ceilings and porches along the front and sometimes sides of the house.  Peaked roofs and ornamental wood trim, many times referred to as “gingerbread,” decorate these elaborate homes.
  • Pueblo/Santa Fe Style – Popular in the Southwest, these homes are either frame or adobe brick with a stucco exterior.  The flat rood has protruding, rounded beams called vigas.  One or two story, the homes feature covered/enclosed patios and an abundance of tile.
  • Dutch Colonial – the Dutch Colonial has two or tow-and-one-half stories covered by a gambrel roof (having two lopes on each side, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, flatter slope) and eaves that flare outward.  This style is traditionally make of brick or shingles.
  • New England Colonial – This two-and-one-half story early American style is box like with a gable roof.  The traditional material is narrow clapboard siding and a shingle roof.  The small-pane, double-hung windows usually have working wood shutters.
  • Southern Colonial –this large, two-to-three-story frame house is world famous for its large front columns and wide porches.
  • Split-levels: Split-level houses have one living level about half a floor above the other living level.  When this type of home is built on three different levels, it is called a tri-level.


These are just a few of the many styles of homes available across the country – some are more prominent in different areas than others.  Knowing home style terms will help you zero in on the type of house that will fill your needs and suit your taste.