Not sure what to do this weekend? How about wine tasting, craft show and a race in high heels?!

October 24th, 2014


Thursday through Sunday | Ogunquit |

The high heel race might be the highlight of this weekend-long festival in Ogunquit Maine (or maybe it’s the wine tasting? :)

Watch as racers (walkers?) make their way around Perkins Cove in high heels! Better yet, join in the race! Heels must be at least 2” high, and trophies (and prize money) awarded for Best Time, Highest Heel and Most Outrageous Costume! Proceeds from registration will go to Frannie Peabody Center. There will also be the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, an autumn bazaar with 75 vendors, wine tastings (did we mention that already?), ghost tours and more. The full schedule is here:

There are some frighteningly good deals in today’s real estate market! If you’re looking to make a move, it would be a treat to assist you!

Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker
Keller Williams Realty
439 Main Street, Suite 102
Saco, Maine 04072
Direct Line: 207-553-2602

Take a Scenic Drive to enjoy to beautiful fall foliage

October 17th, 2014

The barrels of salt in preparation of winter made their appearance outside of the Keller Williams office this morning! You know what that means! Winter can’t be too far away. This weekend, take advantage of the fall colors before they are completely gone and we have a winter wonderland in Maine.
Gilead Historical Society, MaineSouthern Maine winding roads to enjoy:
Pequawket Trail Scenic Byway:
Rte 113 from Standish to Gilead -60 miles 2 hours -The Pequawket Trail Scenic Byway derives its name from the Sokokis Indian tribe that once inhabited the Saco River Valley. Discover the local work of artisans and craftsmen, experience sustainable working farms, historic villages, and view abundant wildlife in pristine habitats. Along the journey, the Saco River and the Mountain Division Rail meander parallel to the byway offering glimpses of river and forest. The White Mountain National Forest offers unparalleled scenic vistas, and provides miles of world class hiking and climbing for all levels of enthusiasts. You will need to stretch your legs after the drive :)
The Southern Circle Drive is a short 85 miles long, and takes two hours to complete: This trip will take you through the Southern corner of Maine, known for its historic sites and apple orchards. Begin in Sanford, and take U.S. Route 202 east through Alfred, then into Hollis Center. In Hollis Center, pick up Route 35 north and continue on that road into Standish. In Standish take Route 25 West, which goes through Kezar Falls, and into Porter. Route 25 will intersect Route 160 in Porter. Take Route 160 south to Limerick, then pick up Route 11 south back to Sanford.

The Western Loop is 130 miles and takes 3 1/4 hours to complete: This tour begins in Fryeburg on U.S. Route 302. Take 302 east through Bridgton and into Naples. In Naples pick up Route 35 north to Harrison, where it intersects with Route 117. Take Route 117 north. Near Norway, pick up Route 118 west. Approximately one mile after taking the highway, go north on a local road, which follows the western bank of Lake Pennesseewassee, and then heads into Greenwood. In Greenwood, take Route 219 east to Route 26, then north on Route 26 into Bethel. In Bethel, pick up U.S. Route 2 west, which will take you into Gilead. In Gilead take Route 113 south into Stow, then go east on a local road which travels the west shore of Lake Kezar into North Lovell. In North Lovell, follow Route 5 south back into Fryeburg.

The Mountain Tour is 108 miles long, and takes 2 1/2 hours to complete: This tour goes deep into the heart of Maine’s mountainous region. Sites include Screw Auger Falls, Moose Cave, Mother Walker Falls, Grafton State Park and the Appalachian Trail. Begin your drive in Rumford, taking U.S. Route 2 west into Newry. Pick up Route 26 north and procede over the New Hampshire border to Errol. In Errol, take Route 16, back into Maine and to the town of Oquossoc. In Oquossoc, take Route 4 west to Route 17, then 17 south into Mexico. In Mexico, pick up U.S. Route 2 west, which will take you across the bridge back into Rumford.

And remember, if you see a home for sale along the way and want more information, contact us! We’re happy to help – The Deja Lett Team,

Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker
Keller Williams Realty
439 Main Street, Suite 102
Saco, Maine 04072
Direct Line: 207-553-2602
If you’re up for a long drive:Bar Harbor Maine oceanfront cottage
Acadia National Scenic Byway All-American Road: Route 3 and Park Loop Road on Mt Desert Island – 40 Miles -From craggy shorelines and granite-capped mountains to crystal lakes and spruce–fir forests, the Acadia All American Road is perfect for exploring. Extensive carriage roads and hiking trails give access to all of Acadia National Park. You can see fishing and sailboats in Frenchman’s Bay or go back in time to see the “cottages” (mansions!) of old Bar Harbor.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway: US Rte 201 from Solon to Sandy bay - 79 miles -The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway is a snapshot in time. Tracing the route of generations of travelers between Maine and Quebec, this segment of U.S. Rt. 201 winds right alongside the Kennebec River, Wyman Lake, and the Dead River. If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter old-time villages and abundant wildlife in mountain ridges, forests, and rivers.

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway: Rtes 4 and 17 around Rangeley Lake36 miles 2 – 8 hours- Wind through the mountains and lakes of western Maine on the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway. Step back in time and treat yourself to spectacular scenery, outstanding recreational opportunities, abundant wildlife, local museums, and quaint New England villages. Slow down, relax, and enjoy nature’s abundance at every turn.

Schoodic National Scenic Byway:  Routes 1 and 186 from Hancock to prospect Harbor – 40 miles, 1.5-8 hours – The Schoodic Scenic Byway travels through the eastern seaboard, including the “quiet” side of Acadia National Park. The landscape remains unspoiled, revealing a part of Maine where lobstering and clamming are still a tradition. Discover the local artisans’ crafts, and let the mountains, coastal islands, historic buildings, and lighthouses enchant you.

Southern Maine apple orchards

September 16th, 2014

Here is a list of a few Southern Maine apple orchards located in York county, because what is a better fun outting that is family friendly than apple picking on a crisp autumn day?

Apple Acres Farm

363 Durgintown Road, South Hiram, Maine, 04041

Telephone: 207-625-4777
In the beautiful rolling hills of western Maine. Only a 45 minute drive from Portand, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire.
Open for pick your own in September and October, and they host a bluegrass festival in late September. Farmstand with apples, fruits, baked goods, cider and ice cream.

Brackett’s Orchard

224 Sokokis Avenue, Limington, Maine, 04049

Telephone: 207-637-2377
Visit one of Maine’s oldest family owned and operated apple orchards. Pick your own apples & pumpkins most every weekend in September and October. Their scenic hilltop orchard is only 40 minutes from Portland. Free hayrides. Farmstand too.

Giles Family Farm

139 Waterboro Road, Alfred, Maine, 04002

Telephone: 207-324-2944
Pick your own orchard open daily from Labor Day to mid October on weekends and holidays. The farm stand is open year-round, daily from 8am to 5pm. Many varieties of apples, fruit and vegetables, preserves, maple syrup and many other great farm products.

Kelly Orchard

1881 Maine 109, Acton, Maine, 04001

Telephone: 207-636-1601
Pick your own, retail and wholesale. Apple gift packs shipped in season. Varieties are available in season. Early August thru Thanksgiving.

Lake View Orchard

301 Brock Road, Alfred, Maine, 04002

Telephone: (978) 729-5667
Their orchard has a beautiful hilltop view with a pond with space to wander and for picnics. Located off Route 202 between Alfred and Waterboro. Take Brock Road opposite the Maine State Trouper barracks. Go 3/4 mile on Brock Road. The farm is on your left. Offering many varieties of apples for Pick your own, as well as cider, pumpkins, squash and cranberries. Open from 9 to 5, Thursday through Sunday and holidays. On Thursdays, they offer discounts on apples.

McDougal Orchards LLC

201 Hanson Ridge Road, Springvale, Maine, 04083

Telephone: 207-324-5054
McDougal Orchards is a 7th generation family farm in the beautiful village of Springvale specializing in high-quality tree fruit production. With over 20 varieties of apples, pears, plums, nectarines, and peaches, there’s something for everyone to pick. In additon we offer fall bearing raspberries, Pick your own flowers, local honey, beef, venison, and maple syrup.  Capt. Jack makes his famous apple cider doughnuts and the weekend hayrides are free! Open daily 9-5, August thru October.
So get out there and pick some apples, the season is just starting to rev up and will be over before you know it in October!

Purchasing a timeshare

September 5th, 2014






Let’s start off with the basics, what exactly is a timeshare and is purchasing a time share the right investment for me? Today I will be briefly shedding light on a few pros and cons of purchasing a timeshare.  Here we go!

A timeshare is a way of property ownership where multiple people share the use of a property by dividing rights into specific lengths of time. Majority of the time this type of set up generally applies to holiday real estate such for example, condos, it can also apply to campgrounds, recreational vehicles, boats, and cruises.

The Pros

  • You get what you pay for.
  • Less hassle.
  • Guaranteed vacation destination.
  • Subletting offers potential bonus income.
  • Exchange programs.
  • Making money from the market.

The Cons

  • Maintenance fees.
  • Volatile real estate market.
  • Your money could get tied up.
  • Contracts can be constricting
  • Limited in vacation schedule possibility.

First, after weighing out the pros and cons, you need to decide if purchasing a timeshare is right for you, so if the same vacation spot each year or making money from selling the unit, then perhaps a timeshare is not the ideal rental property for you.

The internet will be your best friend to find the best timeshare deals in the location of your choice. When you are doing your research, always ALWAYS check if your soon to be condo belongs to an association or owner’s club, if it does not you may be getting ripped off, so do your due diligence and contact the Better Business Bureau if you have an inkling of a doubt. Make sure you actually physically see the property to make sure it exists and is in good shape; so never pay an upfront deposit without first viewing your property and making sure it is what you are looking for.

So there you have it folks, those are the basic nuts and bolts of timeshares. There is really no right or wrong choice about them, but more if they make sense for you!

Have questions on timeshares or even vacation homes in the greater Portland area? Reach out to the Deja Lett Team!


August 30th, 2014

gather Today I am going to be writing about something I am very passionate about; food, more specifically brunch. The fact I can enjoy cured meats with a tall tangy glass of orange juice (with a splash of  champagne) AND a hot cup of coffee is a match made in heaven in my book. So I am going to let you in on my new favorite Sunday mid-morning haunt, Gather. Located just a 20 minutes drive north from Scarborough and a 10 minute drive to Freeport it is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a meal in the charming town of Yarmouth. They specialize in local farm fresh food, which not only helps out local farmers but it’s super fresh. The presentation of the food is beautiful as well, and don’t even get me started on the interior of the restaurant it is beyond breathtaking. To make the ambiance every better, every Sunday they have a live bluegrass band and different acoustic bands every Wednesday’s for dinner from 6:30-8:30 pm. The coolest thing about Gather? they have a food bartering program that just started this July. Yeah, amazing right? so that surplus crop of kale you currently have growing in your backyard, and if you eat more kale chip you will be sick, you can march on down to Gather at their listed times two days a week and barter your produce for credit to the restaurant. Be sure to check either their Facebook or actual website to see what crop they are interested in. I mean, how amazing would it be to know your produce will be on a menu for other people to enjoy. I hope other restaurants in greater Portland follow Gather’s suit for bringing back such an amazing old common practice. I had the hash with two eggs and my better half a medium rare hand formed burger, and for the sake of this article, I tried his meal. I should’ve ordered one to go to eat later. I consider myself a corned beef hash coinsure, whenever I see it on the menu, chances are I’m going to order it, and this certainly made the top of the list and I take this list very seriously.

So, go check out Gather this weekend, or any night for dinner, you won’t be disappointed. The food and drinks are beyond delicious, the atmosphere in the restaurant is unbeatable and the staff their are lovely.

Below is a link to channel 6 news who just covered a story on Gather.

And for hours, directions and to check out their menu here is their website.

Qualify for a mortgage

August 22nd, 2014

While underwrites at a mortgage company look a lot of different factors of information to help determine whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage, the four main things it boils down to are: credit, equity, income and lastly, assets.


Your credit is the single most important factor that will be considered when in qualifying for a mortgage procedure. Your history of credit is the judge in how a lender will determine the likelihood that you will pay back the money they lend you; so a good track record of how you’ve paid your loan accounts on time and whether or not you have maxed out credit cards or loans. Your credit scores will play the important role of the interest rate you will be awarded. A credit score range is 350 (low) and 850 (high). A healthy credit score would land you around 740, anything below 600 is considered poor side and the usual minimum score to be offered a loan is 620. Just remember, the higher the score the better interest rate you will get. Your credit report is also another factor a lender will look at, to check for any large outstanding collections or liens against you and also to see any new accounts you may have opened within the last year. In the event if you have any hits on your credit score, you will usually need to remedy those before you can be awarded financing.

Down Payment / Equity

The usual minimum required house down payment is 3.5% of the sales price. This percentage will allow you to qualify for and FHA loan, a superb choice if you can’t put a large chunk of money down or a first time buyer. FHA loans are a great option if you have a not so outstanding credit score, because they will not penalize you with a high interest rate.

Equity is a hard thing to come by these days for a majority of homeowners, or actually lack thereof with their properties. With the previous market crash it is not uncommon for many people having less equity in their homes now compared to a mere few years ago. Another common occurrence is a lot of people owe more on their mortgage than the actual value of their home. Most cases you have the ability to finance up to 98% of the appraised value of your home. If your home appraisal comes in low, the possibility of requirement to pay the additional funds to close the loan may be real, or you may not receive the loan at all.

Income vs. Debts

Your debt to income ratio is crucial in the mortgage lending world, which is simply just your fixed expenses with a new mortgage compared to your overall monthly income. Lenders like to see spending less than 50% on gross monthly income on fixed expenses. A healthy two year employment history is a big bonus, self-employed or part time jobs will have a little more trouble than someone with a “9-5″job.


The money used for a down payment will need to be verified by the lender that it is in a liquid account (checking or savings account). Money hidden under your mattress may do you no good here, unless you of course deposit it into a bank account, lendors need to know where the funds of a transaction are coming from.

In sum, there are a multitude of different factors that all add up into qualifying for a home loan.

Have questions about if you would qualify for a mortgage? Reach out to the Deja Lett Team for a recomendation about local lenders in the Greater Portland area!

Rent or buy

August 15th, 2014

Pork or chicken? Red or white wine? To rent or buy a home? You have been thinking a lot about it, the pride of owning your own house, mowing your own lawn, not being at the mercy of a landlord, it all seems pretty romantic when you think about it, but are you really ready?

Buying a house is the biggest financial move you will most likely ever make. Here are a few hard facts you may want to really consider before embarking on this scary amazing journey.

Examine your finances

This is the first step because it is the most important. Can you really afford buying a house? you will put anywhere between 5% to 20% of the homes purchase price, closing costs which are usually around 5%, now this amount will obviously far exceed the security deposit, first and last month’s rent. Once you have overcome the battle of making sure you have enough funds to put down, the second hurdle is do you bring in enough income to reside at your new dwelling? A good amount of financial expert’s high recommend that your monthly mortgage not go over 28% of your gross monthly income AND that your total monthly debt not exceed of 36% of your gross monthly income. Why it is so important to not exceed over these percentages is due to you need to factor in the cost of home maintenance. Replacing a roof, new windows, appliances, name it, it costs money and you need to make sure you have the funds to cover it. This is where renting is easier, it’s a fixed monthly rate which may increase over time but, if the roof needs to be repaired, your landlord pays for it, leaving you with money you can spend how you like.

So you have crunched the numbers and you joyfully found that you have enough to not only put toward the down payment but also enough to cover home maintenance and a little extra left over to spend or invest. Haza! This is great because not only do you now have a place to call your very own you now have an investment property that has equity and you receive tax breaks from on your federal income tax that are deductibles from your monthly mortgage and property taxes; these are all good things, my friend.

So, in the short run, if you do not have enough to put down or simply don’t want the responsibility of home maintenance that it may require than renting may be a better option at this point. BUT, in the long run, a place that you put hard work into to maintain, that you are proud of, will gain equity and someday will be worth more than you paid for it, than home buying is definitely for you.

Have questions? Reach out to the Deja Lett Team  today!

Kitchen Renovations

August 8th, 2014

When people say the kitchen is the heart of the home, they should add in that it is also that is the best room to renovate to add value to your home. Here are a few pointers and list of materials you will need when taking on this kitchen renovation journey.

First things first, set your budget and stick to it; this is crucial. Sure you love a photo of that kitchen you found on pinterest, but is a $4,000 range hood really within your spending limits? (and if it is, then by all means GO FOR IT!) It’s easy to walk around a store picking out all the items you want, think you’re all set, tally it up and find out you are easily $15,000 over. Do your homework for products, and if what you want is out of range, look for something you could substitute with but will still love.

Second, you may want to meet with a kitchen designer; you can find them at many of the big box stores. They are a great asset because they will listen to you, help you pick out products to stay within your budget and then create on their computer a 3D layout through a program called CAD to make sure it’s perfect.

Third, pick your materials. This is a really big, overwhelming step because there are a crazy amount of products in this world (I personally get overwhelmed when I walk down the faucet aisle and I’m not stranger to home renovations.) Keep in mind, you get what you pay for, sure those boxed cabinets are cheap and they look nice, but how well are they going to hang when being installed? Or how long will they stay looking nice?

So a basic list of everything you need to consider for materials (and a few popular options) goes a little something like this and let us start from the bottom, shall we?

Flooring: Wood, laminate, tile

Cabinets: Two options here: store bought boxes, or hand crafted. Surprisingly, people think that hand built cabinets from a craftsman is very expensive, but it really depends on what wood you choose, how big your kitchen is, and who you choose to do the job, but the longevity compared to store bought boxes is amazing. So, don’t rule it out!

Countertops: Coraline, granite, marble, soapstone, even poured concrete.

Wall Treatments: Subway tile, mosaic tile, sheetrock, tin.

Appliances: Sink, stove, fridge, dishwasher, range hood, build in microwave, wall oven, convection oven, wine cooler (fancy!)

Fixtures: Hardware, faucets, those amazing adapters for slam proof drawers and cabinet doors.

Lighting: Pod, recess, pendants, chandeliers.

As you can see there are clearly a MILLION combinations and options when planning out a kitchen and it can be as cheap and $10,000 to really the sky is the limit. Just remember the cardinal rule of stick to your budget and whatever you come up will be beautiful. Bon appétit!

Tips for selling your home

July 28th, 2014

Thinking about selling your home and you are pretty sure you are ready to put it on the market? Follow these tips below and you should have no problem finding the right buyer!

#10 Price Accurately:

Find out the value of your home, and list it a bit lower. As homeowners sometimes we take so much pride in our properties and think it’s worth more than it is. Price low and you will most likely have a lot of foot track that may lead to a buyer.

#9 Half Empty Storage:

Remove half of the items from your closets and cupboards so potential buyers see how much storage is available. Word to the wise, make sure it’s neat and tidy, the majority of buyers like to look into every nook and cranny when house hunting.

#8 Use Light to Your Advantage:

Wash your windows, clean (or replace) lamp shades, trim shrubs around the windows, heck, even take down your curtains if you think that will help flood your home with light. Make your home as bright and cheery as possible.

#7 Pack up The Pets:

You love your pets, but not everyone might not. Take them with you or send them to a daycare for the day. Make sure to thoroughly clean before an open house just incase someone may be allergic.

#6 Hire the Right Broker:

Do your homework to find a broker. Ask friends, or trusted online resorces, but make sure that they have had good success in your community, listens to you, has good ideas, is tech savvy, and most importantly well informed. Having a bad realtor could result in a few unforunate scenarios, for example selling your home under priced, or not being able to sell your home at all. This is crucial!

#5 Avoid Major Upgrades:

By all means make minor adjustments to your home before putting it on the market; for example switching cabinet hardware in the kitchen, planting bright flower beds, update light fixtures or paint, those will pay off. It’s not neccessarily wise to undertake a huge renovation because chances are, you may not get your money back.

#4 Make Your Home a House

De-personalize like it’s your job, folks! Potential buyers will have a much easier time imagining themselves living there if you remove family portaits from the walls.

#3 Put Your Money into The Kitchen:

The heart of the home is a kitchen and if you are to jazz up one room, it should be the kitchen. You will most likely get the money back you put into it, that’s how important it is.

#2 Always be “Show-Ready”:

Keep your house spotless, you never know when a buyer may walk through the door. Rooms tidy and clean, sink empty, bathrooms glowing. It’s hard work, but it will pay off!

#1 Curb Appeal Could Make or Break a Deal

You could have the most beautiful intieror and the buyer already decided they did not like your property based on the exterior. First impressions are everything and if your home doesn’t show well you may not get the second impression to win someone over Put effort and money to update your homes extieror, plant flowers or shrubs, keep the lawn mowed, and front entryway clean, welcoming, organized.


Equity Stripping Scams

February 8th, 2014

With the rise of foreclosures in the past decade it’s important as a home owner to be aware of equity stripping scams that happen. These scammers take advantage of homeowners that are having trouble making their mortgage payments with promises to save their house from foreclosure, while allowing the homeowner to remain in the house, or even giving the homeowner cash to pay other bills they are behind on.

There are no known statistics on how many people are affected nationwide, it’s an issue that has very little legal recourse, so you’ll want to know what to look out for.

Many of these scammers will offer to buy your home for what you own on it, allow you to rent the home from them until you get back on your feet, and then ‘they will sell it back to you’. All in the name of helping you out and saving your credit!

If you find yourself in tight financial times, you may be targeted by these scammers that mine information from public records. They use predatory advertising techniques with wording such as;

“Bills keeping you up at night?”
“Trouble making your mortgage? Get help and avoid foreclosure!”
“Let us help you get out of debt.”

Many of these scammers pose as legit lenders, and may send mailings to your home with fake approval amounts, or borrowing offers, all in the name of helping you out. The thing is they aren’t looking to help; they are looking to make money and take your equity.

Key’s to making sure your lender is legit;

  1. Don’t fall for false promises. If you lender guarantee’s that they can “save your credit”, or “buy your house if something happens”, turn and head for the door.
  2. Don’t sign documents you don’t understand. Never sign a document without fully reading it, even if the lender is pushing you to sign right away, take it home, read it through and consult a lawyer if it doesn’t make sense to you.
  3. Reach out to the Deja Lett Team so that we can talk to you about options and get you in touch with one of our preferred lenders if you are falling behind.

Have you ever been contacted by this type of lender? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!