Top 4 Reasons to Buy in the Winter

February 9th, 2015

Many people believe that real estate stops when the temps start to drop.  This conventional wisdom gives you, the buyer, an upper hand this time of year!

Although it’s true that there are less homes for sale this time of year, winter can be the perfect time of year to find the home of your dreams right here in Mystic Country.  Why?

1.  Less Competition
If you kick your house hunt into high gear right now, you’ll face fewer competitors. And that means fewer multiple offers and a lower likelihood of being outbid.

2.  Highly Motivated Sellers
Because there are fewer buyers and sellers out there right now, those who are active tend to be HIGHLY motivated.

3.  It’s a Good Test
This cold weather is the perfect test for things like a home’s heating, plumbing, roofing, and gutters. It’s a great time to find out if they’re strong and in good working order. Damaged gutters can back up snow and ice under shingles, causing big problems for roofs. You’ll have a better chance of spotting problems before it’s too late.

4.  Better Rates
Mortgage rates tend to be lower in the winter, compared to the rest of the year.  They’re also easier to get, because there are fewer people applying for mortgage loans during the slow season.

With the dreariness of winter, it might take a little more imagination to envision the full beauty of your new home.  Don’t let this cold weather and snow stop you from going out there, and finding the home of your dreams here in Mystic County!

I’ll be here every step of the way to help you during the process of buying your home.  Give me a call today!

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
157 West Main Street, Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Home Buying in Six Steps

January 20th, 2015

The home-buying process can seem daunting to potential home buyers, but as an experienced real estate professional who understands the entire process, I can help ease many of these worries.

Here are a few useful tips put together by the National Association of Realtors:

1) Get Ready for Home Ownership

  • Build a good credit history
  • Get mortgage pre-approval
  • Find out what type of mortgages you quality for
  • Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process
  • Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)
    • Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees
    • Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowner’s assessments

2) Find a Real Estate Professional

  • This would be ME!
  • Ask me about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements to make sure you understand the terms.
  • Explain your needs and expectations, and I’ll help you find the home of your dreams.

3) Find the Right Property

  • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
  • Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4) Finance the Property

  • Contact your mortgage broker or lender
  • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title
  • Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed

5) Make an Offer

  • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
  • Acquire title insurance
  • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
  • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions
  • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
  • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing
  • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

6) Closing and Life After the Big Purchase

  • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire
  • Weatherproof your new home
  • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
  • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)
  • Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files
  • Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
  • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends
  • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
  • If you’re happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family


I’ll be here every step of the way to help you during the process of buying and selling your home.  Give me a call today!

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
157 West Main Street, Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Beyond the Beach

July 14th, 2014
Florence Griswold Museum

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme

Perks to living on the shoreline are plentiful. Aside from the gorgeous scenery and abundant peace that comes from a close connection with the salt air and the sea, shoreline living is about location.  When it comes to buying and selling, location IS everything and luckily, you can’t go wrong here on the CT shoreline.

Think about all of the benefits of living here. We can, (and will), talk about the schools, health care, culture, employers, beaches, climate and more. But, one of my favorite things to point out to perspective buyers is the abundance of things to do and see all year long.
Southeastern Connecticut is the ultimate art, nature and history-lovers playground.

Think about the deep art history in Old Lyme for instance.  Home to the Florence Griswold Museum and Lyme Art Association, creative types like painters, musicians, and authors find Old Lyme perfect for its natural beauty and quiet inspiration.  If you have kids, they can explore their creative sides at the Children’s Museum of SECT, nestled right smack in the middle of the CT Fan Favorite Town of Niantic.

Nature lovers can take it all in at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center where education, history and ecology come together in the form of trails, exhibits, and hands-on programs, just perfect for the entire family!

Theater buffs can experience the legendary Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre in Old Saybrook, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford and, the Garde Arts Center in New London.  Each features local and regional talent with a diverse line-up of concerts, film, lectures, art exhibits, and other artistic endeavors.

Let us not overlook the history and magic of Mystic.  The Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium are among New England’s premier tourist destinations!  You can really make a day of it in this charming town with all of the things to do and see.

If a night on the town is what you seek, two world-class gaming resorts are a short drive away. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun host the hottest names in entertainment and, the biggest names in the restaurant business.  (I just love Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain!)

The list really goes on and on.  I’ve scratched the surface of interesting things to do here on the CT Shoreline.  What are some of your favorite local destinations?

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
157 West Main Street, Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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5 Quick Tips – Things to do BEFORE Selling Your Shoreline Home

May 20th, 2014

STARK CAULKINS BUILDERSSelling your home is an exciting time, and, an exhausting endeavor if you don’t set yourself up for success.  Save a lot of time and energy by checking out the following list of five simple things you can do BEFORE showing off your digs to potential buyers.
These small yet brilliant tips will help to market your home, speeding up the selling process.

Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

Now is the time to show off your home, not the contents.

  • Furniture – Get rid of any excess furniture to really open up the rooms.  You don’t have to throw them out!  Move non-functional pieces to the basement or, better yet, a storage facility.
  • Toys – Hide toys for listing pictures and, during showings.  Playrooms should be kept neat and organized.  Maintain a grown-up feel for buyers.
  • Counters – Put your bread and bananas in the cupboard before your listing pictures are taken and, before showings.  Show potential buyers that you offer plenty of counter space.
  • Refrigerator – Aside from the obvious task of cleaning inside and out, take the notes and pictures off of your fridge.  Make your kitchen feel open, fresh and clean.


Curb Appeal
When a potential buyer drives through beautiful East Lyme, Niantic and Waterford, the first thing they see will be the outside of your home.  Your curb appeal should be warm and inviting.  Easy spruce ups like mowing the lawn or planting flowers goes a long way to catching someones eye.

You’re probably spring cleaning your home this time of year anyway so, keep those doors in mind.  It’s amazing how dirty they get! Give them a good scrub and, maybe even a fresh coat of paint.  Don’t forget the door knobs!  Nothing says do not enter like a sticky door handle.

Another great door-related tip for sellers – OPEN ALL of your interior doors.  In listing photos, open doors help potential buyers understand the layout of your home with seamless entry/exits.  During showings, it’s nice for buyers to see the open space and, to easily walk from one room to the next without fumbling with the doors.

Of course you’ll want to clean all light fixtures and, replace any non-working bulbs.  Remember to leave the lights on in pictures and, turn them all on when you leave for a showing.  Your home will feel bright and cozy and, if you have switches in odd places, this eliminates the need for a buyer game of hide-and-seek during showings.

The scent of your home will be one of the very first things that potential buyers register in their brains when they walk through the door. You want to keep scents pleasant, light and, consistent.  You don’t want burn a holiday scented candle during the month of June or, have a heavy cologne scent in a bathroom leading into a heavy floral scent in a bedroom.
Keep a nice, consistent scent throughout your home, avoiding sensory overload.  A simple citrus scent is best and, keeps potential buyers on track and less distracted.

The bottom line is that a 30-year mortgage is a big decision.  There is more going on with a home purchase than meets the eye.  Many cognitive processes are in action.  Keep things clean, simple, open, and inviting.  Let your space speak for itself.
Of course, I’ll be here every step of the way to help you during the process of buying and selling your home.

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Your CT Shoreline Homebuyer To-Do List

April 4th, 2014

Now that it’s spring, you may be excited to start your Connecticut home search and kick off the new season in a new space. But don’t move too fast just yet! There are a few tasks to cross off of your homebuyer to-do list, one of which involves filing your taxes. When you act on these to-do tasks now, you will be even more prepared for a successful home sale this spring. Just as AOL Real Estate says, “Getting a loan right now is a lot easier than it has been, [but] getting a home right now is brutally different.” It’s time to get everything in order before you start the homebuying process for CT shoreline real estate and what better time than tax season?

Here’s what you can do to get started:

Organize Your Documents
Spring is a great time to begin cleaning your homes on the CT shoreline, but that also includes “spring cleaning” your document files. Buying a home in Connecticut requires stacks of paperwork and not knowing where certain documents are can make the process difficult. Take the time to toss out old tax documents older than seven years and bank statements older than one year. Make room to organize your necessary documents for buying CT shoreline real estate, like W-2’s, previous tax returns, or even a 1099 form if you’re self-employed. You’ll want to be sure you’ve organized the documents that can prove your income to your potential lender. After all, the more assets you can show, the better— lenders will want to see that you have the ability to repay your home loan. As a bonus, if you can show you have enough “reserve money” for two months of paying your mortgage, you’re well on your way to a successful home purchase.

File Your Taxes
Now that it’s tax season, there is no better time to get yours in order for purchasing real estate in East Lyme, Waterford, or Niantic. Your mortgage lender will want to see proof of your income and these tax returns are just the ticket. No matter what your situation is this tax season, whether you’re making payments on taxes owed now or planning to file an extension, the lender will want to see past returns and a current tax return to ensure you’re able to repay the potential loan on your homes on the Connecticut shoreline.

Research Your Credit Score
You’re probably spring cleaning your home this month, but what about your finances? Before you begin the homebuying process, take the time to research your credit score and notice any errors. It is common for credit report errors to pop up, but even more important that you correct them before you embark on your homebuying journey. It can take a few months at times for these issues to be resolved, so take a look!

Work with Your Realtor
You’ve checked all of the above off of your homebuyer to-do list, now what? As your CT shoreline real estate expert, I am happy to take it from here! You’re already in good shape for moving into your next dream home and now we can find one that meets your needs and wants. It is an exciting time in the local real estate market this spring and I can help you navigate the changing industry landscape. Remember, you don’t need to know everything about the market on the Connecticut shoreline, you can leave it to me to help you find the best home for you!

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Homebuyer Tips for CT Shoreline Real Estate

March 28th, 2014


Believe it or not, there is a certain etiquette that comes with buying CT shoreline real estate. Many homebuyers will enter the Connecticut real estate market this year, unaware of how it works on both ends of the transaction. One of the first steps you can take to following Connecticut shoreline real estate etiquette is to team up with me, as your shoreline expert to navigate you through the entire process. I will help guide you through every step, but below are a few more tips for success in buying a home in Niantic, Waterford or East Lyme, in order to keep you in the good graces of all parties involved.
Be Upfront with Your Agent
You may know as a CT homebuyer that real estate will begin with a home search— it can also mean many home tours for buyers along the way. However, if you are just “window shopping,” be sure to tell your agent. They will want to know exactly where you are in the process of buying a CT shoreline home, your price range, your wants and needs in a home and more. Even if you think it’s not what they want to hear, they will appreciate knowing exactly where you stand from the beginning.
Be Punctual
Throughout the journey of buying or selling a home in Connecticut, it’s important to be punctual with the other party involved and with your agent. Know you’re going to be late to your home tou
r?  Give them a heads-up. If you’re farther along in the homebuying process and have learned you will not be able to make an appointment to sign important documents or paperwork, let them know. You’ll want to remain in the positive with all parties involved and being on time is one way to make sure you stay there.
Be Polite During Home Tours
You may think all home tours are simple and matter of fact— you walk through the door, considering each feature of the property and if it’s something you wish to have in your new home. But for some buyers, home tours can turn into an event. It’s important that you try to keep your home tour crowd to a minimum, especially if it’s your first time touring the property. But don’t get me wrong, if you’re close to purchasing the home and want to get second opinions, you can bring your industry expert friends, your parents, whomever will make you feel comfortable. But remember, if you’re just starting out, keep the crowd to the bare minimum.
Don’t Go Overboard Before You Buy
Have questions related to homebuying? As your CT shoreline real estate expert, you can run them by me and I am happy to answer them. In fact, you should think of your real estate agent as your communication center— everything must go through them, all things concerning your new home. “Even if you’re under contract, don’t just show up at the property unannounced or lurk around the yard planning your herb garden,” advises Yahoo Finance. “The place isn’t yours until you’ve closed and have keys in hand.”

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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How to Be Smart in CT Shoreline Real Estate This Spring

March 21st, 2014

It’s now officially spring and homeowners are beginning to weigh their options for moving to a new home on the Connecticut shoreline. As a CT real estate seller, it’s important that you be smart in your preparations for a move, including upgrades that will make your home stand out from the rest. These days, most Connecticut homebuyers begin their home search online, flipping through photos of CT shoreline homes, and will then proceed to schedule showings. With these tips, you can make sure your home is on their must-see list this spring.

Team Up with a CT Real Estate Professional
One of the best decisions you can make in selling a home in CT is enlisting the help of your trusted real estate agent, especially one that knows the CT shoreline. Your trusted real estate agent can manage your home seller expectations, answer any questions that arise, make suggestions that will help your home sell quickly, and ensure that your local real estate experience goes according to plan. Contact me today to discuss the steps necessary for your home sale success, beginning with a pricing strategy that you’re comfortable with.

Pricing to Sell
You may have heard many real estate experts suggest to price a home on the lower end of the spectrum and let the local real estate market in places like Niantic, Waterford, East Lyme take care of itself. As your expert on the CT shoreline, I will help you find a price that both works for you and attracts motivated homebuyers. When a home is priced well, homebuyers will take notice and may even end up sparking a bidding war— which benefits you as the home seller and may grant you a higher selling price at the end of the transaction.

“If you start high and start lowering it, you will never get to the number that you will get to by starting low and going up,” one real estate expert tells MSN Real Estate. “Because when you start lowering the price, people will start wondering what’s wrong with the house… And if it’s been sitting awhile, people will try and lowball.”

Don’t Be Quick to Renovate
Have you been planning to renovate your homes on the CT shoreline this spring? Don’t be so quick to pick up that hammer. First start by looking into your own community and take into account the home values of your neighbors. You’ll want to look into what you think your home is worth, the prices at which the other homes are listed, and how your home compares to them. You may feel that, heading into summer, a pool would make an excellent addition to your home on the CT shoreline— but is that feature something the local homebuyer has on their wish list in Southeastern CT?

Start with the research before you plan that home renovation this spring or better yet, run your questions through your real estate agent. Your local real estate expert will be able to provide insight into what home upgrades and curb appeal projects will actually yield a great return on investment. This is all part of being a smart home seller this spring, otherwise you will end up putting the money into the renovation project and when selling, find out it was all for nothing.

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Spring Updates for CT Shoreline Homes That Will Brighten Your Mood

March 14th, 2014

Have you had enough of the weather this winter? Even though spring is technically a week away, the signs of snow and ice are still present. But don’t worry! Simply refreshing your CT shoreline homes can instantly brighten your winter blues. Make the following ideas a weekend project and prep your Southeastern CT shoreline homes in Niantic, Waterford for the new season ahead. Getting ready to sell? Even better! These simple updates will boost Connecticut homebuyer moods too!

Free Up Space
Start your spring cleaning a bit early this year and clean out your closets. You might even consider ridding your cabinets of appliances you no longer use. By doing this, you’ll not only reduce clutter, but your stress levels as well.

Rearrange a Room
This is especially helpful if you’re preparing your CT home to sell. Rearranging a room can instantly transform a space. Bring furniture toward the walls, opening up the space to a better flow. This is a big hit with CT homebuyers who are looking for airy, open spaces.

Update Hardware
Who knew changing hardware could quickly improve both your home and your mood? “Glass, flower and geometric shapes are all readily available and inexpensive,” says Bright Nest. But don’t just limit new knobs to your front door, any door with handles can be updated for spring!

Paint Updates
Nothing says new look like a fresh coat of paint. Whether that means updating a piece of furniture with a bright color or painting your walls once more, painting is the easiest way to brighten both your mood and the overall feel of homes in Southeastern Connecticut.

As your CT shoreline real estate expert, I am happy to help in your search for new homes this spring. Contact me today to discuss everything from how to further prep your home for a sale or to go over your homebuyer wish list and available properties.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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Buy Southeastern CT Real Estate Now, Not Later

March 6th, 2014


Did you know there has never been a better time to buy Southeastern CT shoreline real estate? Based on current rising mortgage rates, the rising costs of renting, and increasing housing prices, homeownership is boosting the confidence of many Connecticut homebuyers. As we move into the warmer weather seasons, more homebuyers will begin to enter the local real estate markets— but act now and you may just end up with the better end of the real estate deal. Here are a few reasons why you should buy a waterfront home in CT now, before spring:

Price Increases
Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest factors for bringing homebuyers off of the real estate fence. In fact for many CT homebuyers, they will ultimately end up paying more both in the price of the home and mortgage rate if they wait until spring to purchase. According to KCM, “prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018.” When you act before spring, you can get ahead of these price hikes before they rise even more, if only by a couple of months.

Interest Rates Rising
Aside from rising housing prices, mortgage rates are also rising. Four major real estate platforms— the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of RealtorsFreddie Mac and Fannie Mae— have projected that the standard 30-year mortgage rate will be over 5% by this time next year. For all those considering CT real estate in Niantic, Waterford, take note that this is almost one full point above the current interest rates.

Increase Your Family Wealth
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer, a long-time homeowner, or looking to purchase second or luxury homes on the CT shoreline— homeownership has many benefits. Think about it this way, you are paying a mortgage regardless of if you buy a waterfront home in Connecticut or rent; the mortgage just may belong to your landlord. You may also be interested to know ” the net worth of the average homeowner is 30 times greater than that of a renter,” as reported by KCM.

Buy Now, Sell Later
Buying a home in Connecticut is a better investment now than it will be at this time next year. Especially if you’re foreseeing a home sale in the near future, homes in CT are selling “low” now as compared to where they will be in 2015. Given the amount of family wealth you will be building with a real estate purchase, buying at the lowest price and selling at the highest will only benefit you as a homeowner.

Have more questions about buying (or selling!) real estate on the CT shoreline? Contact me today to discuss your options and how you can get started before the spring season!

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357
860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533
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FEBRUARY 2013 – Housing Trends eNewsletter

February 28th, 2013

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general.

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends FEBRUARY – 2013 Newsletter http://michellemayo.housingtrendsenewsletter.com

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, Realtor.org reports and other sources.

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and REALTOR.com local community reports.

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a free evaluation report:


Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future.

Sincerely yours,

Michelle Mayo
Heritage Properties, spc
316 Main Street Niantic CT 06357 860-739-4455 33 | 860-514-9533mich...@shorelinehomesgirl.com
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