1st winter blog of 2015!

Welcome to Anne Plummer & Associates 1st winter blog of 2015! The timing for this entry I expect hits home for many locals, as it certainly is winter here in the Maine Lakes Region as January comes to a close! With upwards of 2’ – yes two feet! – of snow ending yesterday, and another 6”-12” due within the next 36 hours and supposedly more to follow next week, we are in a weather pattern that has many thinking about vacation, lakefront fun, and anything other than moving some snow around. The fact is this – and any true Mainer will tell you it is so: This too shall pass, and quickly!
The well-covered boat outside seems to be smiling at me. Maybe it, too, knows that the Red Sox pitchers and catchers report in just 22 days, and we are only 27 days away from the Red Sox baseball team’s first full workout! Spring follows quickly afterwards each year, and that is why now is the perfect time to see any of our talented and experienced staff about making your dreams come true this summer. Whether the goal is to relax on your new waterfront or water-access property, maybe you want to turn a short-sale into a worthy investment, it is time for the perfect view of the nearby mountains, or it is time for you to retire and enjoy yourself here in the lakes region, we are the right team to help you reach and exceed your goals. Right now is the best time to view and look for the ideal property for you. Call today and one of our experienced Realtors will explain why right now is the absolute best time to stake your claim to the best that the lakes region has to offer!

Wool Socks and Snowshoes

Photo by Anne Freeman Walker 2-4-2014
Photo by Anne Freeman Walker 2-4-2014

Each school day I’m up at 5:00am, and we’re out the door at 6:15am. My son and I hop in the van and drive down the hill to his bus stop. The month’s freezing temperatures have dipped into the single digits again and we’re impatient for the dashboard heat to hit us. “Mom! You always blast the fan before the heat is there. It’s not the season for the air conditioner! Oh, I really don’t like winter”, he says shivering. I laugh, for he’s right about the way I blast the fan before the car’s even warm, and I find myself needing to reassure him that the Maine winters can indeed be enjoyed, but that means getting ourselves out into the snow and onto the ice: “You love to ski downhill.You enjoyed going skating the other day. Remember when we all went sliding together? We ought to go snowshoeing this weekend. Or we could go cross country skiing and bring along a thermos of hot cocoa and a lunch”.

“Listen to you!” my son teases. He begins to mock my string of winter activities, doing his best impersonation of my “Mom voice”.

He wasn’t buying it, but I know that it’s tough to raise the spirit or the temperature of a 14 year old boy who could use a little extra sleep in his warm bed these days. The conversation took me back to when I used to hear my own mother explain to me how important it is for we Mainers to get out and enjoy the winter weather, otherwise it’s an extremely long trek to spring. To this day, my brother struggles with winter and I am sure he is ready to go to Florida any day now, once he reaches his retirement. But would I want to do that? No. I’ve always echoed my Mom who says she loves the four seasons, and I cannot imagine what it’d be like to forgo the snow falling outside my window or to miss out on the series of weather-related cancellations that grant me an excuse to cozy up by the fireplace reading a good novel for an entire day.

To “hunker down” in a storm would be one thing I would truly miss if I were to leave Maine. I also don’t think avoiding the cold elsewhere could ever come close to appreciating the beauty of the first buds on the trees, witnessing the way in which they quickly fill in by Memorial Day weekend, or simply catching my breath after a beautiful trek on the snowshoe and snowmobile trails outside my door.

So, I agree, I ought to warm up my car a little earlier before my son and I get in there each morning. And perhaps it’s time for me to make good on my preaching that the best way to enjoy a Maine winter is to put yourself out there in its elements. Because truth be told, I’ve seen enough movies this winter. I’m ready for some real adventure. With the temperature rising this weekend to a balmy 36 degrees, my son heads to Shawnee Peak for some night skiing, and I vow to begin tomorrow by finding a good pair of wool socks and strapping on those snowshoes.

–Written by: Anne Freeman Walker, a resident of Naples, Maine for the past 22 years.

Rattle Snake Mountain – Raymond (Trailhead off Route 85 Raymond)

This is an easy hike from the parking lot to the best view – about 1/2 mile. The view looks over Panther Pond and towards Raymond. The trail could be slippery in the winter as the viewing ledge has a slope to it hike or snowshoe.
This is a good hike for small children as it is easy and short and there is a good view within a 1/2 mile from the parking lot. Round trip is approximately 1.5 hours.

Pleasant Mountain Loop “Shawnee Peak”

Pleasant Mountain Loop “Shawnee Peak” – West Bridgton (Trailhead off Route 302 W. Bridgton)
Ridge hike offers excellent views to the southern Lakes Region and beyond. Pleasant Mountain is the highest peak in Southern Maine, rising dramatically over Moose Pond and the surrounding countryside to 2,006 vertical feet and stretching nearly 4.0 miles north to south (approximately 3 hours). The long, open summit affords outstanding ridge hiking and excellent views. The hike requires a moderate effort to climb the mountain.

Fall Foliage Family Hikes Southern Maine

Pleasant Mountain “Shawnee Peak” – East Fryeburg (Trailhead off Denmark Rd Fryeburg)
“Pleasant Mountain” – located in the Lakes Region of southwestern Maine, is the home of Shawnee Peak Ski Resort, which dominates the north side of the mountain and overlooks US 302 and the surrounding area. It is the highest mountain in southern Maine and a prominent landmark.
The majority of the hike lies inside Pleasant Mountain Preserve, and the Southwest Ridge Trail and summit area provide excellent views of the area’s mountains and lakes and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
It is a family friendly hike to the summit at an elevation of 2,006 feet.

Fall Foliage Family Hikes Southern Maine

Burnt Meadow Mountain – Brownfield (Trailhead off Spring St. Brownfield)
Burnt Meadow Mountain, close to the New Hampshire border, is comprised of three similar summits. The well-marked (though somewhat overgrown) route described here scales the eastern spur of North Peak and offers beautiful views beginning just 0.15 mile from the start.
The broad, grassy summit gives kids room to play and adults room to spread out a feast with the White Mountains as a backdrop. The climb in some places is somewhat steep, count on carrying preschoolers part of the way.

Selling and Listing property in the Lakes Region

Selling and Listing property in the Lakes Region can be a rewarding job for me. I closed on a waterfront condominium on Long Lake in Bridgton last month for some great clients. It was a challenging process with the bank requirements and restrictions in the last few years. My clients have dreamed of owning a vacation home in the Bridgton or the Naples area, wanting to be on Long Lake. They have been vacationing in Maine on Long Lake for many years. Their dream was to have a place that would be easy to maintain, to own a boat slip and of course waterfront to enjoy summers in Maine with their children and grandchildren. They decided a condominium would work best for them. They are now the happy owners of their dream vacation home on Long Lake. They recently sent me a thank you card explaining how happy they are and thanking me for all my assistance. This reassures me that I am pursuing my passion, that Real Estate and working with wonderful clients is my dream job! Barbara L. Howe

This was a great article on how Radiant heat that I wanted to share on our blog:

Radiant Heat Cuts Bills 25% to 50%; E-mail 5 Reasons to Love It
Home owners can trim their heating bills by 25 percent to 50 percent by installing radiant heat, according to home ownership site HouseLogic. Radiant heat, where hot water runs through tubes or electricity courses through coils, costs $5-$15 per square foot to install.
Source: realtormag.realtor.org
Radiant Heat: 5 Hot Reasons to Love It: Radiant heat warms the body, not the air, producing a toasty feeling that takes the chill out of winter.
• Hear the silence: Unlike forced air systems, which hum and swoosh, radiant heat systems are quiet–no air echoing through vents or furnaces firing up.
• Feel the still: Radiant heat transfers heat from tubes or panels to people and things. No air rushes into and around the room, preventing drafts and static electricity that literally stands your hair on end.
• Breathe the air: Radiant heat is good for your allergies because it doesn’t kick up dust or pollen that swirls through the air and up your nose.
• Change the plan: Radiant heat is easiest to install in new construction, but it’s also simple to add to old construction or remodels. Radiant heat mats easily install under new tile, while radiant panels fit nicely on ceilings or walls. You don’t have to worry about where to put ducts or registers–radiant heat doesn’t need them.
• Set the temperature: Radiant heat, which can supplement other heat sources, is easy to zone through individual, programmable thermostats. Each room can feel the heat for as long and as high as you want.
By Wendy Paris, Published Oct 15, 2010