Starter home dreams: South Berwick couple wins RE/MAX remodeling contest

Posted April 26, 2012, at 4:57 p.m.

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — RE/MAX Coast to Coast agent Pam Gray stood in front of a fixer-upper red colonial on Junction Road in South Berwick one spring morning. She introduced herself and the Agakians, a four-member family whose dreams of creating their starter home were put on hold when father Paul was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.

The Agakian’s story, told in 60 seconds by Gray, was entered into and won a regional RE/MAX remodeling contest that gave the tight-knit family several energy efficient insulation and window upgrades to help them continue improving their fixer-upper.

According to Christine George, director of marketing at RE/MAX of New England, the contest involved RE/MAX clients creating a 60-second video that described their positive experience with their RE/MAX agent. In total, more than 15 videos were submitted throughout the region. Each of the videos was posted to Facebook and whichever one garnered the most “likes” was deemed the winner.

Gray said she instantly thought of the Agakians when she heard about the contest because she’s known Paul since he was a teenager. Gray said that although she had never made a video before, the family’s story spoke for itself.

“How could you not vote for them after seeing and hearing their story?” said Gray.

The original prize for the contest was a $2,500 room remodeling deal. However, the Agakians asked if they could have their home’s windows replaced instead. According to Gray, the windows in the home were single pane with not a speck of insulation, making the family’s life during this past mild winter colder than that of most South Berwick residents.

Glazier Builders, the lead construction team on the project, arranged to have all the labor on the energy-efficient windows replacement project completed for free, allowing the construction company to also perform other energy-efficient upgrades to the home, including insulating the basement floor.

Along with the actual construction upgrades, Gray also arranged for vegetable and perennial plants to be donated to the Agakian family so they could build a backyard garden this summer similar to the garden Paul built for his wife, Bailey, in one of their first apartments together in nearby Dover, N.H.

The garden, along with the construction upgrades, came as a relief to Paul, who said it was very cold in the house this winter. Bailey and Paul said they were completely surprised about the garden.

“It’s amazing that there’s so much support for our family in the community,” said Bailey.

© 2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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