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Maine Real Estate Industry
This could just be the right time to invest in real estate in Maine, and throughout the country at large. Many markets have seen big price jumps on homes; interest rates on mortgage are starting to climb; and inventory is low. You could wait a few more months to get even a better price advantage, but what's undeniable now is that the real estate market is in better shape than it was a couple of years back.
That said, real estate in Maine doesn't come cheap. People associate Maine real estate with waterfront, which is partly right given that most of the population in Maine live along the coast. Many prospect real estate buyers dream of owning a home near water, whether it be the ocean, river, or lake. It could be a cottage, estate, or camp. Indeed, the scenic views of sunsets and sunrises or the crashing surf of the ocean can lead to feelings of calmness, relaxation, and serenity.
If you're thinking about investing in Maine real estate, there are a couple of considerations you have to ponder before you make the big decision to buy. Note that these considerations apply mostly to waterfront real estate in Maine.
- Start by addressing the reasons why you want to acquire a waterfront property. Do you plan on doing certain water-based activities such as fishing, boating, or swimming? While most people like to do these activities, sometimes the water body you live near determines which activities you can and cannot do. So you should ensure that the water body near your prospective property will allow you to do the things you plan to do.
- Secondly, decide whether you want to stay in an urban areas or rural places. Note that most of inland Maine is rural but might be slightly cheaper than coastal Maine. So make your choices accordingly.
- There might be federal or state laws that may apply to you as a waterfront property owner. Make sure you know every applicable law in this regard before you acquire a waterfront property.
- You must also know that there are some responsibilities to safeguard the environment that come with owning a waterfront property. This is known as stewardship and cannot be taken for granted. Safeguarding the environment around your waterfront property is not only good for the environment but also good for your investment.
Quality of Water
The water quality of the water body near your prospective property should be of acceptable standards. Here, things to consider include the water, the lake bottom, and wildlife. Remember, you may alter the landscaping of your property to your exact liking, but you cannot change the water.
Ideally, your shoreline should be sandy; you don't want a shoreline that is murky as it's not pleasant to walk on. Of course, there will always be a bit of murk on a shore, but you want it to be as little as possible.
If you plan to buy a lakefront property, you should establish whether the water level is constant or not. Water levels can drastically change if the lake doesn't have a constant water level.
You must also consider the lake bottom as it's very important. Just as with the shore, a murky lake bottom is not ideal. A sandy bottom is more ideal and you should look out for one or similar.
And of course, you want the water to be as clear as could be. Waterfront properties where the water is clear (when other factors are the same) tend to command higher value.
If you're buying a new home away from the Maine coast, here are the secrets to keep in mind:
Find a real estate agent
You will probably visit a model home with a sales agent representing the builder. A real estate agent is a crucial but optional representation. Among other things, a real estate agent will help you determine whether you can afford your prospective property and what the net proceed might be.
There are many things that a real estate agent will help you understand better. They will help you understand the financing bit, the warranties, details of new home construction, the price differences, quality, and the best lot selection to get value for money.
Builders are different
No builder can have it all; some are good at making the most of living space; others are known for great customer support during the building process; and others are famous for their craftsmanship. Again, your real estate agent is the best placed person to help you identify the best builder for your new home needs.
Your agent will help you establish the builder's credentials such as reputation, years in business, and financial standing. Also, they will help you obtain the 'spec sheets' that contain all the details for the home features including floor plans, lot availability, energy efficiency ratings, and more.
Learn about the community
Obviously, you need to familiarize with the community in which you'll be living soon. Consult local land use officials on what other structures could be put up in the area, for instance if there's vacant land. Become familiar with the regulations of the home owners association.
Weigh your options carefully
Usually, a higher base price allows you to add more options without making it overpriced for the neighborhood. Most builders offer free incentives, such as upgrades and options, among other things. Options are components that are installed during construction. Some options can add a lot of value to the resale figure, such as a computer room or a sunroom.
In most cases, you can actually negotiate for price, upgrades, and options. If the home has been completed but not yet sold, you may have a better chance for negotiation with the builder.
Ensure that the contract is in your best interests
Don't sign any contract before ascertaining that it is in your best interests. There should be safeguards to protect you, such as paying the deposit using escrow, allowing you access to the building site, and more.
Keep in mind that investing in real estate in Maine (as in most other places) requires due diligence and a it of common sense.