Does buying waterfront property in Maine sound like your own little slice o’ heaven? Do you fantasize about enjoying day-after-peaceful-day sitting on your own dock or beach? Well, maybe it’s time for you to live in the spirit of the great quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
If you’re ready to step onto that path—that wonderful path of buying waterfront property in Maine—here are proven-effective tips toward achieving your dream.
Decide What “Home” Will Look Like
Do you envision living on a freshwater pond, lake, or river … or do you lean more toward oceanfront property? And what specific part of Maine would you like to live in? According to the most recent data from Maine Listings, the average price of a home in our area—Kennebec Country, Belgrade Lakes, greater Augusta and Waterville—is fully $200,000 less than those in Cumberland County (the greater Portland area). That means you’ll likely get considerably more for your money by buying waterfront property in Central Maine.
Understand Town Regulations and Zoning Ordinances
Before purchasing your waterfront property, be sure you have a clear understanding of local rules and regulations that govern the property. While “regulations and zoning ordinances” may sound bureaucratic and intimidating, they are usually put in place to maintain such things as the environment, safety, cleanliness, and privacy of the property. Your agent will be aware of regulations, restrictions, or allowances for the waterfront property you have your eye on.
Consider Boat-Docking and Mooring Issues
If you’re like most folks dreaming of buying waterfront property, an important part of your dream probably involves a “vessel” of some sort: a sailboat, speedboat, canoe, kayak, paddle boat, etc. That means you’ll have to determine how you’ll dock, moor, and store your vessel. More than likely, there will be an existing dock there, one either just for your use or for the greater community. If you have access to a community dock, be sure to work out use and access issues beforehand. And if you plan to build your own dock, prepare for a comprehensive approval process, which can involve getting town approval, hiring an engineer, filing paperwork, and adhering to Mandatory Shoreland Zoning.
Be Mindful of Weather-Related Issues
While summertime in Maine is wonderfully warm and inviting—with an average high temperature during the day of 78 degrees and 66 at night—you’ll still need to consider weather-related issues that will affect your property during other seasons. If your waterfront property is seasonal, you’ll need to board up windows before winter, especially on a dwelling such as a camp, cottage, or cabin. This will protect against intruders and the elements. You’ll also want to winterize the property by, for example, pouring anti-freeze in drains to prevent pipes from freezing.