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When you think of Maine, you may be imagining jagged, wind-swept coastlines, and quaint towns surrounded by stunning landscapes. And you’d be right! Maine has plenty of natural beauty. But the state also has its share of interesting home styles. Settlers arrived in the state in the early 1600s and there are many homes dating back to the early colonial period, including the McIntire Garrison House, built in 1707 in a rural area of York, Maine, and the nearby Ramsdell House, built around 1747.
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, Maine’s economy relied heavily on shipbuilding. Kennebunk was a shipbuilding hub, which brought industry titans — and their wealth — to the area. Today, you can see homes built in a variety of styles from across that period, including Georgian (also known as Colonial) and Federal.
But how do you distinguish between these styles? Georgian homes are recognizable by their symmetry and proportions, inspired by classical Greek and Roman architecture. Homes built in this style are often wide, with their tallest point in the center. Meanwhile, if you see a square or rectangular home that looks like a box, good chances are it’s a Federal style house. If you take a road trip throughout Maine, you’ll also see plenty of Cape homes with steep roofs and lots of dormer windows, as well as more ornate Victorian homes and, of course, rustic farmhouses.
Even though the winter months can be quite cold, Mainers still appreciate spending time outdoors. Data analyzed by Realm revealed that some of the most popular home features include a deck (nearly 5,000 homes have one) and landscaping (1,800 homes mention this key feature). Another popular feature: wood floors — which isn’t surprising given the state’s many historical and older homes.
While Maine’s architectural history dates back centuries, there are definitely more modern homes in the state. But even with more recent construction, according to data analyzed by Realm, most homes in Maine were built in 1900!
What does that mean if you’re searching real estate listings in Maine? It means that there’s a good chance you may purchase an older home — and you should be aware of the issues and additional costs that come with owning an older home. Two of the biggest issues are the top and the bottom: the roof and the foundation. Years of wear and tear take a toll, especially in harsh weather. If you have your eye on an older home, make sure to get a thorough roof inspection to check for deterioration and inspect the foundation for signs of structural damage or settling, like cracks in the walls, doors that won’t latch, and slanted floors.
Electrical and plumbing in older homes may also be outdated or at the end of their lifespans. Fixing or replacing either of these can cost a pretty penny — even thousands of dollars. So it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you buy.
One thing you probably won’t have to worry about if you’re buying a home in Maine: floods or fires. Realm analyzed data and found that 99% of homes in the state are not in a flood zone and wildfires also don’t pose a risk. So you can focus on finding the right home, in the right style, at the right price.
Why is property in Maine so cheap?
Real estate pricing in Maine, like in all states, depends on the local economy as well as broader market forces. While the state is heavily rural and has lots of land (which may make land prices lower than in other locations), home prices reflect the cost of living. In 2019, the average income in Maine was $57,918, whereas the national average for the same year was $68,703. So it makes sense that home prices in Maine would be lower than in other states.
How much are houses in Maine?
Like many other places, Maine experienced a surge in demand for real estate in 2020. The median sale price at the end of 2020 was $256,000, up nearly 14% over the prior year. Of course, finding a home within your budget also means looking for opportunities others might have passed over. If you find a home at the right price that needs some work, you can use your free Realm dashboard to explore upgrades and renovations, get accurate cost estimates, and see how much value each project would add to your potential home.
Is living in Maine expensive?
In 2019, Maine was found to be one of the least affordable states, with expenses eating up 91.3% of residents’ income, which was significantly higher than the national average of 81%. But affordability is highly dependent on your individual finances. If you’re looking to live in Maine, it may take some work, but it’s possible to find a home at the right price that will fit your budget and allow you to live comfortably.
Is Maine real estate booming?
Maine’s real estate market experienced high demand and competition in 2020 and prices continued to increase throughout 2021. As of June 2021, the median home price had jumped up to $310,000 — nearly 25% higher than the same month in 2020. Which is all to say that yes, the real estate market in Maine is definitely on the upswing. If you’re a seller, chances are you’ll get more than you would’ve just a couple years ago. And if you’re a buyer, it may take more effort to find a home within your budget.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes