Adult Ed Courses Announced…

 Posted by at 11:44 am
Jul 292009

The Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative Catalog will be out soon! I’ll be offering three courses this fall. For detailed information, course schedule and to register online, click the course name!

Brainpower–Discovering Your Mental Abilities 

Mental patterns and routines allow us to take in, categorize and handle great amounts of information, but they also account for for most of our “stupid mistakes.” With awareness, we can manage the process and increase mental flexibility. After experiencing first-hand the flexibility and potential of the mind, participants learn how they can develop important mental skills such as fact-finding and problem-solving.

Sales and Influencing Strategies

Do you need to be more persuasive? The techniques you will learn have been applied in situations including advertising, public speaking, customer service and even parenting. This is an action-packed and information-crammed program that’s fun to boot! You’ll learn, for example, that cows don’t give milk, you actually have to take it! Or at least you need to know some basic techniques for getting those cows to yield the precious fluid. We won’t be milking cows, but we will be learning techniques to increase the returns from our sales and influencing efforts.  

Stand Up! Speak Up! Shut Up! 

Do you get sweaty palms and shaky knees when called upon to speak in front of a group? This brief course doesn’t promise to turn you into a great orator, but it will help you get the butterflies in your stomach to fly in formation when you stand in front of a group by having what is called an “enlarged conversation.” Come prepared to participate and have a lot of fun! Bring your butterflies!


A Few Tax Credit Facts…

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Jul 232009

There’s been lots of media attention to the “First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit” but there’s also a lot of things about it folks don’t realize. This is certainly not to be considered “tax advice,” but some things you might not know.

  • If you qualify (there are some requirements) you will receive the full $8,000 even if you don’t owe that much in taxes.
  • If you keep the home you purchase for three years you won’t have to pay back a dime.
  • If you (and your spouse, if any) haven’t owned a home during the past three years you are considered a first time buyer.
  • If you wait until the end of the year, it won’t work. You’ll want to have your home “under contract” early enough to close by November 30th–that’s not that far away!

Lots of detailed information is available at… What a great time to buy… let’s get started now!


Testing the Market? Bad Idea!

 Posted by at 11:15 am
Jul 152009

Occasionally sellers will want to “test” the market by listing at a high price to “see what happens.” Big mistake and here’s why.

At any given point in time there are some number of buyers in the market looking for a home that meets their criteria. Let’s say we have 30 buyers looking for a two bedroom home in Yourtown, Maine just to demonstrate.

When a new two bedroom home comes on the market in Yourtown, 30 buyers will get at least a preliminary look at the details including the price. Many will immediately reject an overpriced home without a second glance. That’s probably the largest number of buyers that home will see in a fairly compact period of time. Once those 30 buyers have looked and rejected the overpriced listing, you are waiting for new buyers to come into the market. New buyers come into the market one at a time.

It’s a simple matter of “putting your best foot forward, really.” This is a test with the answers already known. There is a big difference between “testing the market” and selling your property. Which do you want to do?

Jul 012009

With thanks to Representative Pete Johnson from Greenville for letting us reprint this from his newsletter… 

Officials from the Maine State Housing Authority recently announced the ‘Gift of Green’ program, which provides eligible homebuyers with:

  • 4% of the mortgage amount up to $5,000 to help with down payment, closing costs and prepaid expenses;
  •  A coupon worth up to $500 for a two-part home energy audit.

When included with federal tax incentives currently available to first-time homebuyers (up to $8,000) and home energy efficiency improvement incentives (up to $1,500), homebuyers may qualify for as much as $15,000 in financial incentives.  This program is part of the First Home mortgage program, so standard benefits from that program are available, such as low fixed interest rates, little or no down payment and payment protection for unemployment.

More information on pricing and eligibility is available at

And you will want to visit the site or a lender who participates in the Maine State Housing program… there are requirements and restrictions too numerous to report or attempt to explain here!