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Rural Maine Real Estate - Demand & Prices Spiking

Thinking of moving to Maine? You are not alone. As a recent story on Maine Public Radio (link here) highlights, some price levels in western Maine have soared about 30% recently. As I discuss below, this has been a major topic of discussion in many households here in our small town in the western Maine mountains...including my own.


Reasons for the increase vary but should shock no one in this crazy 2020 world. Some people see the low infection rate of Covid-19 in Maine and see it as a healthier, safer option. Some people are tired of the closed-up, restrictive city lifestyle and are looking for a quieter, more spacious way to live. With a lot of schools operating with remote learning, and jobs online, why not move to a cheaper, less-hectic rural area?


In my area (Oxford County) houses that have been vacant for many years are sporting new real estate signs, and they are selling. Houses that a year ago would have been ignored due to their well-deserved, "fixer-upper" status are now being seriously considered and some of them selling. Numerous families who treated the area as a vacation site, have semi-permanently relocated to their summer or winter homes and have enrolled their kids in the local school system. All those meetings about how to increase school enrollment and what it took was a pandemic.


As I type this, there are at least five homes or families in my "neighborhood" that fit into one of the situations above. That may not seem like a lot to someone in an urban environment, but in a town of a few hundred people, someone moving into town is a major event. I can only think of two or three families moving to town in the past few years prior to 2020, and in the past few months, I have lost count.


What does it mean for the town, well as you might expect opinions are mixed. Overall I think it is a very positive thing. Houses are being better cared for, the school is more active, and for the first time in years, there are multiple kids within walking distance of my house. Like many of you, I remember jumping on my bike and simply finding someone to play with as a kid, and now my kids can do the same. Long-term effects? No clue, but I will be keeping all of you posted!


More discussion on this on a soon-to-be-released episode, so stay tuned!

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