Real Estate

3 Tips to Buying Maine Waterfront Properties

Buying Maine Waterfront Properties

Waterfront property in Maine is equivalent to “white picket fences” for the rest of the U.S.: it’s shorthand for “perfect”. In the depths of winter, with all the snow we’ve received lately, it may be hard to imagine yourself swimming, boating, or just floating in the sunshine, but all of those things and more can be yours when your home is on the water. However, not all Maine waterfront property is the same. Working with real estate professionals who understand the intricacies of buying waterfront property can help save you a headache. Here are just a few of the things you will want to research and consider before you buy.

Water depth and/or tides

If you plan on keeping your boat nearby it’s important to know the average water depths in ALL conditions. Different boats require different depths -- a sailboat can’t get as close to shore as a pontoon boat. How you will put your boat in and get it out of the water, and how often you need to do this, are very important considerations. Find out what the channels to open water are and whether they are always available. http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/lakesurvey_maps/ can show you relative depths of Maine’s lakes and ponds, but it won’t show you every rock lurking beneath the surface. Tide flow, dams and meltwater can also affect the water depth (not to mention the land-to-water ratio) of your property and impact your recreational plans.

Swimming

You might think waterfront property in Maine and swimming would go hand-in-hand, but this is often not the case. Access to the water can be difficult. Is it a sandy beach with a gradual incline or a steep drop-off with lots of trees and rocks? The water itself may not be suitable for swimming. It could be stagnant with lots of weeds, or else have a strong and dangerous current. Will you need to put in stairs or a dock or float just to get to the prime swimming area? If you’re fortunate to have ideal swimming at your property, you may face a different issue entirely if others help themselves to swimming access from your property.

Restrictions

Waterfront properties have stricter zoning restrictions than not. Erosion control and other protective measures may preclude your plans for a dock or pier. Certain wetland and shoreland restrictions can even prevent you from doing home improvements or boating and fishing from your property. The State of Maine website is a good place to start researching such restrictions: http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/slz/index.html, but be sure to check with the local town as well.

There is a lot to consider when buying Maine waterfront property. But if it’s always been your dream to go to sleep with the call of the loons in your ears, then it’s worth the effort to own a home, camp or cottage on the water. If you haven’t talked to one of our real estate professionals yet, contact Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate and search our listings for waterfront properties

Real Estate Investment 101

A home for sale.

Investing in any type of real estate can be a profitable venture; however, knowing key aspects of the practice makes all the difference when it comes to being successful. Here are a few elements to keep in mind before buying real estate and/or selling real estate in todays market.

  1. Know the Neighborhood. Be sure to get a good feel of the neighborhood before purchasing a house for investing. Know the demographics, school zone, income, housing marketing, etc. This will help project into possible future investment benefits.
    • Make sure there are not a high number of vacancies already available in the area. This may mean a lack of interest in the majority of homebuyers in the area. Choose a well-populated neighborhood that has a low turnover rate when it comes to moving.
  2. Have Goals. Create long- and short-term investment goals. This will help gauge a workable plan of action and will provide motivation to stick with this plan. It may be important to work alongside a professional Realtor, like one from Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate, to determine the most profitable and realistic goals for a specific situation.
  3. Sorting Through Legalities. Develop a professional relationship with a real estate lawyer who has an extensive amount of knowledge and experience in real estate investment. A real estate lawyer can help develop contracts, answer legal questions, paperwork, etc.
  4. Get Pre-Approved. Before looking into any investment plans, get pre-approved for a loan or mortgage. This may reflect a more financially-stable individual, aiding in the offering and buying process.
  5. Comfort. Get comfortable with a property before buying. Visit the house more than once and really get to know the workings of the property. Rather than purchasing on impulse, it is best to always ask questions, familiarize with the neighborhood and the surrounding homes, and become at ease with the homes qualities. This can help provide a deeper insight before investing.
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