Sept. 14, 2021

Why Zoning Is Different in Maine's Rural Communities

 

Zoning works differently in rural areas, so get to know the area better.

 

Today we are up at the Appleton Preserve along this quiet little river to chat a little bit about zoning in our rural communities. If you’re coming from an urban environment, you might be used to how they do zoning in those areas: commercial properties grouped together and neighborhoods with homes of similar style and sizes. That’s not always the case in some of Maine's rural communities.

 

If you think about it, these communities were often built up around large farmhouses and tracks of land that likely had hundreds of acres. These were often divided up in a quasi piecemeal over the years and were not subject to any real zoning restrictions (so long as the lots were conforming). With a lack of more urban style standardized zoning (homes only with other homes and commercial properties alongside other commercial uses) people could therefore build different types and uses of structures within a relatively small geographic area.

 

If you’re buying in one of Maine's more rural areas, this means we really have to get to know the other properties surrounding the home you may be interested in because there is a chance that they may be a bit different then you may expect. We want to find out if the neighboring property(ies) usage and if the town zoning works for your needs. If you are not currently in Maine and want to purchase a home in a rural community then we may be able to help you better learn about abutters and a home's surroundings utilizing a video tour.

 

If you are thinking about buying rural or you have any other real estate questions, please give us a call or email us! We’d love to help you out.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Aug. 30, 2021

How To Buy Your Maine Vacation Home From Out of State

 

Here’s how our video showings make buying a home in Maine out of state easy.

 

 

Today I'm coming from Mill River Park which is part of Thomaston Village Trail to give you some quick advice about buying properties in Maine while you are out of state and when traveling is not reasonable.

 

Before this crazy seller's market, buyers would plan a trip to Maine to visit multiple homes that are on the market, explore the region for their ideal location, and often head back home with a property under contract. Today this process doesn’t always work. The Maine real estate market is so competitive that you could come here for a week, and not feel that you have viewed enough homes to make a good decision or find what you’re looking for. 

 

“We want to know everything we can about what you’re looking for so we can find the best homes for you.”

 

 

How do we work around this? Our best solution for our out-of-state buyers is to offer video showings. These video showings are different from the virtual tours that became popular during the pandemic. Rather than a live tour via a tool like FaceTime, our video showings are designed intentionally so that you can replay multiple times and share it with decision makers, family and friends. The big difference is that our videos are buyer focused and not marketing focused (After all we would represent you, the buyer!). Once you view the videos, we can then have a conversation and explore any questions you may have. If the home is a good fit based upon the videos and discussion then you can put an offer on the home.

 

However, before we even take the showing videos, we want to get to know you. What’s your lifestyle? What do you want in a home? What does your ideal Maine setting look like? We want to know everything we can about what you’re looking for so we can find the best homes for you. 

 

The only thing we ask is that you travel to Maine during the due diligence period for building or other inspections. This way, you can view the home in person and get to know the property with the inspector before closing day. Our clients find that coordinating travel during this inspection period is much easier than the reactionary travel required to visit Maine to see individual homes that hit the market.


Hopefully, this helped make buying a Maine home from out-of-state in a Seller's market more approachable and easier. If you have any questions about today’s topic, please give us a call at 207-706-6640 or visit our website at https://www.dwellinginmaine.com/. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Posted in Buyer Tips
Aug. 17, 2021

Becoming a Maine Real Estate Sales Agent: What they don't say

I wish the process was reversed when I became a Maine Real Estate agent. In my head it should start with an agency and then carry on to the Maine educational process, logistics and checklists that are needed to become a licensed Maine sales agent. 

I was smart enough to find the Maine's professional regulation website and then read and follow the instructions to learn what I needed to do to get my Maine real estate license. 

My plans and vision was to have a career that allowed me the opportunity to make my own hours and be my "own" boss. And well.. that sounded pretty amazing to me.  

What my online research didn't tell me is exactly what I could expect cost wise, the effort it would take and..... that while I was my own boss that I would have many company and obligations that would derail me from being the boss of my own schedule. 

I didn't have a full grasp of costs, benefits, and get my questions until after I began to sell real estate.

 

Maine Real Estate License Start Up Costs

 

Why?  Partly because I didn't know to ask the questions. And partly because many real estate offices have a model where they want to have as many licensed agents as possible in order to gain every opportunity to gain market share and/or accolades of having a large number of agents in their real estate market. 

I also didn't know that all agencies are structured differently. The agency with the most signs doesn't make it the best agency to work for. The largest national franchise agency doesn't mean that it offers the best training. And that sometimes the smallest boutique agencies in the area sell the most homes. Every agency is different in how they market, take care of, coach and train their agents. (Oh.. and some agencies pay their agents to find new agents which is a whole other discussion).

Also keep in mind that each agency has their own agent fees and pay structures. Some agencies make you pay monthly for your desk space, a franchise fee, a flat monthly fee or marketing fees. Then pay wise you must know that each agency pays their agents on a different commission structure. Bottom line... there are many variables. 

When choosing a brokerage to work for you can't simply look at the commission percent you receive when you sell a home. You must look at the big picture which includes your commission split  - less your yearly brokerage expenses + the value of any benefits like coaching, company marketing and company paid items (like signs which can be $50-150 each). 

I knew that being a real estate agent meant that I would be working as an independent contractor but I really didn't know what that would entail.  Bottom line here is this meant that I would need to be responsible for all costs involved, taxes, insurance, and the operation time involved in running my own business. 

They other piece of the puzzle that I didn't truly know was what it would take to be successful. This in itself is a whole discussion and should be customized to the agent. But what you should know here is that there are real estate brokerages that want to train, empower and coach you. You don't have to settle, figure it out on your own, or just be a name on an agency's roster of agents. 

Getting a Maine real estate agent license and career started is very doable and can be navigated. BUT... and I say again... I wish I had the chance to chat with an industry leader prior to taking my real estate class and exam. 

This where Dwelling in Maine can in. We can help you achieve the next step of the process by offering a prospective new agent consultation.

I am happy to be a resource in order to help jump start someones's career. And I'm happy to give my time and offer someone an opportunity.

Why? Because, I was young, starting a career with kid, and living paycheck to paycheck...

And while I didn't start with all the answers and tools I needed... I did find a mentor along the way and that person gave me their time and a chance.  

Tom Ferry: Create Opportunities  

 

Submitted by Victoria Condon. The founder and designated broker of Dwelling in Maine

July 22, 2021

A Maine Camp May Not Be What You Imagine

We love lake front properties!

 

 

I’m at Hosmer Pond in Camden, Maine to bring a message to our lakefront buyers. When looking at these great lakefront properties behind me, I’m reminded of a story when I first moved to Maine nearly 20 years ago.

 

My family had been invited up to a friend’s camp on a lake up near Ellsworth, Maine. I had always thought that ‘camp’ meant a children’s overnight summer camp or perhaps a camping site for a tent or camper. My husband and I packed the cooler and our picnic supplies in anticipation of hanging out with friends on the water in Maine... in what we expected to be a camp site.

 

Driving to the lake we found ourselves traveling down a dirt road that meandered alongside the shore of the lake. And alongside the lake, we discovered fantastic lakefront cottages and cabins situated along the shore and amongst the pine trees. When we pulled up to our destination, we realized that our camp destination was actually a quintessential cottage with a dock, swim platform, and a firepit. I immediately knew that this property was an amazing escape. And more importantly, I learned that Mainers call their lakefront cottages and cabins ‘camps.’ 

“Lakefront homes are often passed down from generation to generation and are highly coveted, so they can be difficult to find.”

 

If you are thinking of purchasing a waterfront home in Maine and you come across the term ‘camp,’ remember what it actually means. They’re perfect for vacation or secondary homes, with access to canoeing, swimming, water skiing, fishing, paddle boarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing....and many other recreational activities to partake in.

 

Keep in mind also that these lakefront homes are often passed down from generation to generation and are highly coveted, so they can be difficult to find. If you get a hold of these prized lakefront homes, cherish it - you have something very special.

 

If you’re in the market for lakefront property or you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you find your own little slice of Maine. And always remember to love where you dwell.

June 29, 2021

How Your Lifestyle Plays a Role in Your Vacation Home Selection

Here’s how lifestyle plays a role in the right vacation home for a buyer.

 

 

We’re often asked about the best way to find the perfect vacation home in Midcoast Maine. It all starts with the type of lifestyle you have or want. If you want a waterfront home, for example, we want to know why you want it. 

 

Perhaps you want a place to swim and boat, perhaps you want a place where they can just watch the lobster boats, or perhaps a sandy beach to roast marshmallows below the tideline. 

 

If we can hone in on the lifestyle you want to have, we can hone in on the area you want to be in and find a home that fits those lifestyle needs.

 

If you have any questions for me about finding a vacation home in Midcoast Maine or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

March 23, 2021

Spring in Maine brings fishing nets to Maine's coastal Rivers

March 17, 2021

Mud Season in Maine - Yes its the 5th Season

 

Have you heard about Maine's fifth season?  Don't forget to pack your muck boots when you head out to look at properties in the Spring. 

Posted in Home financing
Sept. 9, 2020

Video: Home for sale at 300 Main Street Searsport Maine

May 4, 2020

Market Update: Knox County Maine April 2020

Posted in Market Summary
April 29, 2020

Virtual Open House: 148 Russell Avenue in Rockport

Take a tour inside of 148 Russell Avenue in Rockport, Maine