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For Maine Lakefront Real Estate Buyers, Time + Gas = Real $$$

By
Real Estate Agent with Anne Plummer and Associates

With gas now at $4 a gallon for regular the last thing you want to be doing, if you're a buyer of Maine lakefront property, is driving all over hill and dale with a fistfull of listing addresses and your eyes glued to a GPS screen.

Your intentions are good - do a bunch of "drive bys", get a feel for the area, and whittle your "potentials" list down to something manageable. Sure, you burn through a $60 tank of gas and the use of a sick day to take a self-guided tour of the Maine lakefront market, but to make this effort worth it you need to accomplish what you set out to do.

More often than not, however, the ugly truth is you end up more scattered and confused than when you started and you come to the grim realization that the road to real estate hell is, indeed, paved with your "good intentions".

The sequence goes something like this: you start online and find ten properties that look pretty nice on the laptop. You're able to get the addresses, so you plug them into your GPS, you call in sick, you buy that $60 tank of gas, and you tool up I-95 to Maine. So far, so good. You're determined to see all ten properties.

You drive from one lake to another, down camp roads and on main roads; you see camps that don't seemed habitable and year round houses that seem gorgeous - all priced the same; you look at the same lake three different times, in three different towns and don't realize it; some addresses the GPS can't find and others are flat out wrong; you wonder how far it must be to buy a loaf of bread or charcoal or dog food after you've driven two miles on a private road that doesn't go anywhere. When you get out to look at the water you see all kinds of things: weeds, leaves, and muck, or sand, rocks and clear water. You see bushes growing along the water, dead trees on the shoreline, and a black hose going out into the lake. It seems that no two places are remotely similar and each property raises a host of questions, yet they're all priced pretty much the same. 

Finally, you get to the last property on the list and you really like it. There's a real estate agency "For Sale" sign there with a phone number. You call. They answer. They tell you the seller needs a 24 hour notice to show it. Can you come back tomorrow? Arrgh!

You're already two hours late in getting back home. Your tired, dejected, and can't remember if it was the fourth or fifth place you saw that had that beautiful dock system and two car garage. You wonder what went wrong. How could driving around looking at houses be so exhausting? You thought it would just be a nice drive in the country.

But then you remember that buying a second home is a big decision, one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make. This is serious stuff. You're a smart person, but there are so many issues that come to mind, so much to think about. And you really don't know all that much about the area, or what lake is better than another, or how far it is to the nearest hospital or movie theater, or who pays for the upkeep of a private road, or how do I get the septic system checked out, or why can't I build a deck on the front of the house, or what is that black hose doing running out into the lake?

Now you're getting stressed. You can feel the weight of all these questions bearing down on you as you drive in the twilight, back down I-95, back over the bridge to somewhere other than Maine. On the way, you have to stop in Kennebunk to get gas.

Don't let this be you. How? Very simple. Call a real estate exclusive buyer's agent first. Get to know them. Build a relationship. When you're ready to come to Maine, come to the buyer's agent office. Sit down with them and discuss what your needs and desires are in a lakefront property. Have a lakefront real estate expert explain the services he or she provides and let them help you find just the right property using the information about yourself that you provide to them. They know the market, they know the questions to ask, and they work exclusively for you.

A buyer's broker will not only save you time and gas money, but also negotiate the best price for you, help you with financing, facilitate all the paperwork, aid in any inspections, and go with you to closing.

And now, a shameless plug for the buyer's brokers at Mr. Lakefront. The buyer's brokers in our office are lakefront experts. Lakefront property is all we do. Just in the Sebago Lake area alone there are 60 lakes and 20 towns. Today there are over 240 lakefront properties listed in this area, $200,000 and up. Our brokers know these lakes, know these towns, and are familiar with most of these current listings. They can save you a lot of "looking around" on your own if you would just call them first and have a no obligation, introductory meeting. How easy is that?!

So, continue to use our Lakefront Locator to view current lakefront listings. But when you're ready to come and have a look, call us first. We'll help you find just the right property and alleviate a lot of the stress that can come with making such an important decision for you and your family. Oh yes, the number to call is 207-655-8787.