Maine Land For Sale

6 Ways to Get Your Land Sold Faster

  • Title Search & Title Insurance

This is the first thing you should do before putting your property on the market. If you did not do this when you purchased or inherited the property there is no better time than right now. Issues such as access and un-discharged mortgages to name two could cost you a sale, money or both. If any issues are discovered correct them now. A cursory title exam should cost from $400 - $750.

  • Survey

Do this when you purchase. If the seller has not already done so, try to negotiate this as part of the sale. Once done, be diligent about keeping the boundary lines cleared and painted. Occasional maintenance will save thousands of dollars later. Survey cost will run from $1,000 and up depending on the size of the lot and other factors.

  • Soil Test

Most every buyer asks if this has been done before coming to visit a property. Take this issue off the negotiating table by being proactive. A preliminary soil test in a choice location will satisfy most buyers. Cost will range from $250 for a preliminary to $400 - $750 for  full septic system design.

  • Offer Owner Financing

If you have no immediate need for cash, holding paper is an option which could help sell your land faster and for more money. Conventional banks often require down payments beyond the means of many buyers. Your reward will be a rate of interest much greater than the current rates on CD's, savings accounts and bonds. Hire a professional to help set this up and comply with government regulations regarding private financing.

  • Walking Trails/Clearings/Food Plots

A day or two of work on your land creating access trails, clearings to open views and establishing food plots for game is sweat equity worth the time investment. Potential buyers don't want bushes hitting them in the face any more than you do. Cost - Your time and equipment; $600 and up if you hire it done.

  • Driveways & Access Roads

Being able to drive onto a property is a BIG plus for most potential buyers. If your property has a driveway or existing road system maintain it over time. Consult a land professional before starting this project. DOT driveway permits and other issues may apply. The cost will vary widely depending on slopes, required culverts, the availability of local gravel and other factors.

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    Ocean, Lake, River or Stream - Maine Waterfront Property New England's Lowest Prices

     

    Maine Lakes and Ponds

    Maine Wild Trout Ponds

     

    Looking for an affordable waterfront vacation property or a second home spot in the northeastern United States, Maine is your best buy for both purchase price and lower development costs. In some areas of Maine it is currently possible to purchase a lakefront lot for as little as $30,000. Some fine riverfront land can be had for as little as $20,000. Salt water property along the northern Maine coast on bays and tidal rivers can be purchased under $40,000. Bold ocean front is cheap when compared to the other New England states. In Maine's northern interior it is not uncommon to find a 40 acre backwoods lot with a little stream flowing through it for under $35,000. Some of the land for sale is offered with reasonable owner financing.

    Compared to other New England states, rural areas of Maine have less permitting and the associated hassle and fees. The unorganized territories of Maine have very low property tax rates and a standardized low cost building permit application process. The small organized municipalities are not subject to code requirements found in the larger towns and cities. Building what you want, the way you want to, is still possible here.

     

    Union River

    Maine scenic rivers

     

    Most of the rural areas have a major service town or small city to provide culture, shopping and needed services. Areas near Augusta, Waterville, Newport, Bangor, Lincoln, Millinocket, and Houlton are all easily accessible along I-95. Drive a short distance out of these service towns, and you will begin to find waterfront land prices mentioned above.

    Along the coast of Maine and Route 1, service towns like Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Belfast, Bucksport, Blue Hill, Ellsworth, Machias, Lubec and Eastport have many nearby rural communities with clean and scenic rivers, lakes, ponds and the most undeveloped coastline you can find in the northeast.

     

    Maine Bold Coast

    Maine's Bold Coastline

     

     

    Of all the New England states, Maine is blessed with an abundance of waterfront in nearly every region of the state. The costs savings, cleaner environment, and freedom to do your own thing make the longer drive well worth it.

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    Maine Subdivision Rules - Should You Develop Your land?

    Maine Subdivision Rules - Should You Develop Your land?

    In Maine, there is a difference between a division of land and a subdivision of land. In most municipalities dividing your property into two separate lots requires little or no permitting. However, dividing a property into 3 separate lots within a 5-year period does require approval in most cases, and is the definition of “subdivision” in our state.

    Increased Property Value

    Why would you want to do a subdivision? Most property investors look at the subdivision process as a way to increase the per acre value of their property. At first the thought of a smaller lot being worth more does not make sense, but consider that by reducing the size of the acreage you bring the gross selling price lower and within the purchasing power of more people. More people competing for a property usually translates to more demand and a higher price.

    Higher prices may or may not translate into more profits. Before jumping headfirst into a subdivision some research and planning should be undertaken. Market conditions should be the first consideration. Data such as recent comparable lot sales, how many sales have occurred, lot sizes of successful sales, what is the current supply of lots, absorption rates, and financing availability to name a few. Next what will be the costs of surveying, wetland delineation, engineering, road construction, soil testing and other requirements of permitting? After thorough analysis and due diligence a property owner can decide if the risk is worth the reward to subdivide.

    Requirements

    Every organized town in Maine may have a slightly different subdivision ordinance. The unorganized territories in Maine have a uniform ordinance with little variation in requirements. Typically, a local planning board will review a proposed subdivision to see if it conforms with the ordinance. The process will consist of several meetings starting with a presentation of a preliminary sketch of the proposal. This is followed up with notifications to the public and nearby property owners of the proposed subdivision and the date of the public meeting to review it.

    This next hearing consists of a more formal presentation of a preliminary survey plan of the layout of the proposed lots, roads, easements, slopes, soils etc. Public comment is permitted and heard by the board. After this meeting any changes required by the board need to be addressed and another hearing with a final plan will be scheduled. Assuming no other issues are outstanding, the board will sign the final plan that will be recorded in the county registry of deeds.

    Exceptions

    There are a number of exceptions to the rule to sell property without the process of subdivision. Gifts to relatives (see definition in statute) may be exempt if the donor has owned the property for at least 5 years and the consideration is less than ½ the current assessed value. Sales to abutting property owners may be exempt from subdivision rules. In unorganized territories, 3 lots can be created in a 5-year period as long as the 3rd lot is retained for forest management purposes. This is often referred to as the ‘2 in 5 Rule.’ There are other exceptions listed in the statute linked above.

    Summary

    This post is intended to encourage a thoughtful process in land investing and should not be viewed as an endorsement to subdivide your property. In many cases I would advise clients not to.  The above descriptions are a simplification of the process, not a complete outline of all potential requirements of every planning board. You are well advised to consult with experienced professionals like real estate attorneys, surveyors, soil scientist, and land brokers before undertaking the subdivision process.