One day my buddy suggested we and our wives take a ride up to Acadia National Park, rent bikes, and see the majesty of Maine from our cycle seats and some walking paths. I wasn’t too keen on the idea. It had been awhile since I’d done any vigorous biking and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s trip. Terry, who edited a Pine Tree State newspaper at the time, brushed off my reluctance, as he always does. “What are you worried about,” he said. “It’s an island. How hilly could it be?” Well, the streets of San Francisco would have been an easier chore.
Physical struggles aside, I reveled in the beauty of the pink granite cliffs and the cyclic slap of the sea thwacking the craggy shoreline. I’d never been that far north before and the whole experience cemented my decision to find investment properties in Maine. Once anyone, State o’ Mainers or folks “from away,” casts eyes on that rugged coastline, it’s easy to feel the love, as I did. To date, I’ve expanded my real estate footprint in the touristy spots as well as a few inland towns. I’m still growing my portfolio in 2018. Hang with me to uncover where some of the best opportunities exist today.
Where Buying Maine Investment Properties Makes Sense
Like many other states, Maine benefits from increased demand for homes coupled with shrinking inventories. This phenomenon spells a boon for investors. Clawing back from pre-financial crisis lows, the sales price for homes increased by over 10% since last year. I feel there’s still time to join the party. Sales in the Northeast pulled back overall but the Maine market is sitting pretty. However, the promise from Portland to Presque Isle doesn’t relieve me of selectively purchasing homes in only the hottest real estate markets.
First, let’s explore the obvious. In 2017, 36.7 million visitors waltzed in and out of the state’s borders. The way I see it, more than a few of those tourists will look to purchase a vacation home. Coastal homes always draw a lot of interest and Kennebunkport’s popularity escalated during the presidential terms of the Bushes, who maintain a summer residence here. High-end homes populate the market but a deeper dive uncovers beachside bungalows in the sub-$300,000 range.
I’m speaking of listed properties, but that’s not really my niche. To elevate my return on investment (ROI), I continually look for sellers who seek quick exits from their homes that I can repair and resell at the rising market values as seen in Kennebunkport. And many times, a second home is the first to go when a homeowner becomes financially distressed. I have a great lead system to target buyers in pre-foreclosure status and they’re usually content to receive a check before the lender takes over the property. Kennebunkport holds such opportunities. It helps to know where to look.
While captivated by the views up north, I’m not opposed to banking a few bucks in southern Maine as well. I favor college towns for rentals. The University of Southern Maine calls Gorham home to one of its largest campuses. There always seems to be a buzz around academic locales as art, activism, and architecture create a welcoming atmosphere for families and scholars alike.
I’m looking to stake a claim to rental properties, and this tiny town makes my list. Home to a mere 16,000 residents, the university nevertheless supplies a steady stream of renters. The town itself also witnessed a double-digit pop in median home prices in 2017. Buying distressed homes to rent out and eventually selling into a rising market bodes well for properties I plan to hold for five years or longer. All the right pieces have fallen into place for real estate acquisition in Gorham.
This town is a vacationers’ hotspot that adjoins Acadia. Hikers, (motivated) bicyclists, and Kennebec River kayakers can lift their outdoor pursuits to another level in Waterville and its surrounds. But the town’s city-center is the more recent center of attention with new restaurants, hotels, and art galleries emerging. And, the local housing market is responding.
The average property is readily affordable for both first-time home buyers and upstart professionals, with a median sales price of around $110,000. Almost 30% more homes sold in Waterville in 2017 than did in 2016. The affordable market makes Waterville a good place for new investors to get their feet wet. I bought my first few homes in Waterville and I’ll continue on that path as long as the numbers justify my decisions.
Locating the Best Deal In Maine
Us Mainers are a fervent lot. We look upon our daily existence in the state as the way life should be. When natural wonder meets economic opportunity, you could be part of a solid investment play whether you’re a native or not. Yet, like any other market, many variables need to be digested before you make a commitment to purchase homes for profit.
That’s why I rely on ValueChek™. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I have access to this proprietary home valuation tool that helps me run the numbers on a deal—including localized costs for the rehab. In idyllic Maine and every other part of the country, ValueChek has helped real estate investing franchisees like me successfully buy over 100,000 houses since 1996.
Contact HomeVestors now to chart a direct course to a winning professional real estate investment strategy.
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