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Old 01-01-2008, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,613,594 times
Reputation: 893

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILUVMAINE View Post
I want to buy a house and move up - mostly in the Cherryfield, Machias, Steuben, Machias, East Machias,Milbridge area OR just plain Down East! The problem is banks where I live won't finance real estate in Maine. AND Maine institutions won't finance to someone out of state who doesn't have a job up there yet!
I won't have time to read this entire thread before I go to bed tonight <yawn> have been shovelling snow all day trying to keep up with the storm, and it's still coming down. All you folks dying to get back to Maine and enjoy the sparkling snowbanks, have I got a shovel with your name on it

So, sorry if this is a repeat of something another poster has already suggested --- have you tried contacting a reputable mortgage consultant to research loan options for you? It may be possible for you to obtain a loan for a Maine home while you are currently employed out of state. Goes without saying to avoid risky loans of course. But sometimes a good consultant can find a way to help you. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,753 posts, read 47,576,640 times
Reputation: 17637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcarim View Post
Where exactly in Maine are they THAT inexpensive? I'm not being sarcastic - just haven't seen any that low. Are you independently wealthy?
I see a lot of older homes that do not look like anyone has lived in them for a few years.

A person would do well to rent an apartment while making such a house habitable, if the process got you a farmhouse with attached dairy barn on 10 acres for $20k. I would have to think that the entire process would have been well worth the effort.

But then as I have heard on TV, at least my wife finds me handy.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Louisiana - someday Maine
474 posts, read 1,239,576 times
Reputation: 323
We just got back from the most beautiful place in the world - MAINE! The snow was, as usual, beautiful. No luck again finding a job OR someplace to live. "Which comes first, the job or the house"? LOL

So many people wanted to know why we were visiting with all the snow? They said we should have gone someplace warm! Once again, I LOVE MAINE and do not know why anyone would ever want to leave.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 10,940,956 times
Reputation: 1853
DH and I are avid "fixer uppers", so the thought of renovating an old, forgotten home sounds wonderful. We've talked extensively about that. We do intend to lease a place the first year or so, while we get completely familiar with the entire area, before deciding to purchase something again. That will give us ample time to shop around for that hidden jewel!
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
1,158 posts, read 2,125,077 times
Reputation: 1116
EL - I have been researching home sales in Florida and TX. If you want to leave, you may have to walk away almost empty handed. I don't know if you did work on your home with a equity loan or not. Two years ago home equity was hot. When we did a refi, they couldn't believe we didn't take more cash out. Our loan is at 4.9% so we are okay. If you are in such a spot that you can't lower your price, you may have to ride out the current wave and catch the next one. What I did with the housing situation was to be able to hold on to two homes. When I get ready to sell, I will have quity. Since the slump gave me a 60K on the Maine house, anything less than a 60K decrease in my house price, and I still have made money. If you are going to buy in Maine, now is the time to buy. I don't know your circumstances, but I don't see Houston ever being a hot place for growth anymore. It is sad when we plant roots only to see them not end up where we want them to be. You can find fixer uppers in Maine for the 60-70's. If you can, bite the bullet now and walk. I assume you and DH will have to work, like the rest of us, so you still will be much better off.

I remember saying from a Mainer when I mentioned moving and buying a house.
I have a lucrative retirement package that isn't so lucrative if I stop work soon but here it comes:

"come on down and leave that retirement package, be poor with the rest of us, and live life as it ought to be." I hear those words so often.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,613,594 times
Reputation: 893
OK, so I found the time to keep reading. Good stuff.
I too have had both wonderful and terrible experiences with RE agents. The ladies that sold my last house are total goddesses IMHO. I recommended them to everyone I knew before I moved. The realtor who helped me buy the house was also quite good.

OTOH, I've met some real doozies when looking at houses. Some don't have a clue about the properties they tell you to look at (a la Forest's remark); others pressure you into putting offers on houses which clearly don't meet the minimum requirements you've asked for. And so on. I don't really fault anyone for trying. After all, it's sales, and half the fun of buying is the hunt. You never know when or where the perfect house will pop up.

What I do fault, and what really gets my gumption up, are agents who blatantly ignore or lie about serious structural defects in a property that are so obviious, you'd have to be legally blind not to see them. I understand that sellers agents have to tread lightly, but acting innocent just makes buyers run the other away fast and avoid the agent like the plague in future. I've lived in some old, old houses, and I know the difference between old-but-basically-solid and old-get-the-bulldozer. Buyers are so much more educated these days, an agent who tries to pull the "oh my, I just didn't notice that" act just makes a fool of themselves. MHO of course!

I'm looking at both MLS listings and FSBOs. Whoever shows me the best house first, wins :-)
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,817 posts, read 4,274,344 times
Reputation: 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomerang View Post
OK, so I found the time to keep reading. Good stuff.
I too have had both wonderful and terrible experiences with RE agents. The ladies that sold my last house are total goddesses IMHO. I recommended them to everyone I knew before I moved. The realtor who helped me buy the house was also quite good.

OTOH, I've met some real doozies when looking at houses. Some don't have a clue about the properties they tell you to look at (a la Forest's remark); others pressure you into putting offers on houses which clearly don't meet the minimum requirements you've asked for. And so on. I don't really fault anyone for trying. After all, it's sales, and half the fun of buying is the hunt. You never know when or where the perfect house will pop up.

What I do fault, and what really gets my gumption up, are agents who blatantly ignore or lie about serious structural defects in a property that are so obviious, you'd have to be legally blind not to see them. I understand that sellers agents have to tread lightly, but acting innocent just makes buyers run the other away fast and avoid the agent like the plague in future. I've lived in some old, old houses, and I know the difference between old-but-basically-solid and old-get-the-bulldozer. Buyers are so much more educated these days, an agent who tries to pull the "oh my, I just didn't notice that" act just makes a fool of themselves. MHO of course!

I'm looking at both MLS listings and FSBOs. Whoever shows me the best house first, wins :-)
Boom, if you are looking in Maine take a look at the Seller's Property Disclosure on page 3. Above the space for the seller's signature it states, "As sellers, we have provided the above information and represent that all information is correct. To the best of our knowledge, all systems and equipment, unless otherwise noted on this form are in operational condition." Above that there is a section for additional information and a check box to attach any documentation on current problems, past repairs or additional information on any section in the disclosure. If the seller fails to disclose a defect in the property, a buyer has specific legal remedies to get relief. If the listing agent is aware of this non-disclosed defect and does not disclose it he/she is also liable and can be petitioned to defend himself/herself in front of the Maine Real Estate Commission. The agent is not responsible for discovering latent defects and has to trust the clients to fill out that form accurately and honestly. The buyer also has the right to a building inspection within an agreed timetable in the Purchase and Sale Agreement and can cancel the agreement and get their money back if the property does not pass to the buyer's satisfaction. More often than not, the seller will make the necessary repairs to the buyer's satisfaction to keep the contract in place.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,613,594 times
Reputation: 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFanMe View Post
Boom, if you are looking in Maine take a look at the Seller's Property Disclosure on page 3. Above the space for the seller's signature it states, "As sellers, we have provided the above information and represent that all information is correct. To the best of our knowledge, all systems and equipment, unless otherwise noted on this form are in operational condition." Above that there is a section for additional information and a check box to attach any documentation on current problems, past repairs or additional information on any section in the disclosure. If the seller fails to disclose a defect in the property, a buyer has specific legal remedies to get relief. If the listing agent is aware of this non-disclosed defect and does not disclose it he/she is also liable and can be petitioned to defend himself/herself in front of the Maine Real Estate Commission. The agent is not responsible for discovering latent defects and has to trust the clients to fill out that form accurately and honestly. The buyer also has the right to a building inspection within an agreed timetable in the Purchase and Sale Agreement and can cancel the agreement and get their money back if the property does not pass to the buyer's satisfaction. More often than not, the seller will make the necessary repairs to the buyer's satisfaction to keep the contract in place.
Hi WhoFanMe,
I've bought and sold a number of houses, some in Maine, some elsewhere, and I'm familiar with disclosure forms and sales agreements from both sides of the deal. What I personally have found on the buying side is that pursuing the "legal remedies", even if the buyer has signed evidence of the seller's failure to divulge problems or perform contractual repairs, can be extermely expensive in terms of legal retainers, not to mention the time and trouble involved in pursuing such a case. In this situation you have to decide what's more expensive, pursuing your legal rights or chalking it up to experience and fixing the problem yourself.

Also, I personally would not put 100% faith in a home inspector's report. Not all inspectors have equal experience and training. Some are better than others. I paid $250 for one inspection where the inspector wrote iin every section "home is over 50 years old. You may want to consult a contractor FMI about this system" and told me flat out that he didn't know anything about building codes. That was helpful In some cases it may be smarter/more efficient to independently hire a licensed electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, etc to come into the house and give their opinion of the current operating conditions. At least those folks should know code and should be able to give reliable information about the system, as well as an estimate of any necessary repairs or desirable upgrades.

But back to my original post --- just this summer I walked into a house with rotting sills, rotting beams, some rotted floors, water damage on the ceilings, mold in some rooms, and places where you could see spots of daylight through the attic roof, and even through one place in the roof where a skylight had been added. I said to the realtor, "gee, looks like this house needs some work" and the response was, "this house has had many renovations and is a very good deal for the money!" Now, I may not be the world's smartest buyer, but in my book, putting a layer of paint, drywall or panelling over wet, rotted, moldy wood does not qualify as a "renovation"

On the bright side, I've also dealt with some realtors and sellers who are very upfront about existing problems in their houses. In those cases you can at least discuss possibilities and price to see if a deal can be made. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.... I'e spent a few summers with diehard renovators gutting houses down to the studs and rebuildling, so I'm not as afraid of repairing a good solid house as taking on a house with doubtful integrity. Just my .02 cents.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,817 posts, read 4,274,344 times
Reputation: 1240
Well said, some agents are better than others and if you need to sue you are behind the 8 ball. If you are using a licensed agent, you do have recourse with the Maine Real Estate Commission for specific remedies, however. I'm hoping that particular agent was representing the seller and not you. Maine does license home inspectors, so you or I could be one this afternoon. We give our clients who elect representation a list of those we know do a good job and I personally make sure I attend the entire inspection with the buyer. Every buyer has a different learning curve, many first time home buyers have never lived outside their parent's home or the college dorm and a home inspection is a wonderful way for them to learn how to maintain their investment.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:54 AM
 
40 posts, read 85,142 times
Reputation: 23
Default Owner financing - Machias

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbymoulton View Post
I know this is going to sound risky, but you could try ebay. We are buying property that we found on ebay in the Caribou area. Payments are right to the land owner and we had seen houses that were done that way also.
Of course I have a sister in the area to go check things out for me, but you could maybe hire someone that could do the looking for you. Good luck, Maine is definatly worth the extra work to find a way to get there.
I know of a 2 house for 1 price prop in Machias on 3 acres river views. She's willing to rent w/ a purchase option. Both homes are occupied actually so if you're not ready to move yet....it may work....tenants can pay the rent for u. Both are occupied. one house is a 3bdrm..w/ garage...cute..the 2nd is a 2bdrm....they aren't falling down either. pm me if u want her contact info. it's only 95k for the 2 properties. may work for you. She's looking for a quick close. mgildea67@roadrunner.com

Last edited by mainer2; 01-02-2008 at 11:55 AM.. Reason: spelling
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