Are you thinking about relocating to Maine? Those who live here or have visited before agree it’s one of the most picturesque states in the country, but its scenic views and oceanside proximity come at a cost.
Before moving to Maine, or any other state, it’s essential that you understand the cost of living there. Everything from housing costs to property taxes to home repairs and everyday expenses can affect your financial well-being. While Maine isn’t the most expensive state to live in, it’s also not the cheapest.
Working with an experienced local real estate agent can help to put Maine’s cost of living into perspective. Your agent can help you set realistic expectations, not only in terms of costs related to purchasing a home but also other region-specific expenses that will impact your finances.
Typical Home Prices in Maine in 2019
Your home will be one of the largest investments you’ll make while living in Maine. The median home value in the state is $232,600, which is just slightly higher than the national average of $226,000. The good news for current homeowners is that values have increased nearly 6% in the past year and are expected to rise by another 2.6% in the next year.
Of course, this also means that buyers may be paying more for a home in Maine the longer they wait. But buyers can also expect that their investment should retain its value.
Like many northern states, Maine’s real estate market is seasonal. Being the northernmost state on the east coast, Maine experiences severe winters each year, which keeps the market fairly quiet. The short summers in Maine are usually packed with home buyers and sellers alike, which creates a competitive market. During this time, buyers can expect the largest inventory of homes, but they should also be prepared to pay more for them.
Right now, Maine is experiencing one of the hottest seller’s markets in the country. A seller’s market occurs when the supply of homes for sale can’t keep up with the demand for them.
Homes in Maine stay on the market for an average of 115 days before going under contract. The time on the market is longer during the winter, giving buyers more time to consider their decision, versus a shorter time on the market during the peak season.
Learn more about the best time to buy a home in Maine in our guide.
How Much Are Maine Property Taxes?
Property taxes can be an expensive part of homeownership and are determined by where you choose to live. Even once you pay off your home and own it outright, you’re paying thousands of dollars each year to the local government.
The effective property tax rate in Maine is 1.271%, which puts it in the top 20 states for the highest property taxes but not the top 10. However, the actual tax rate will vary by county.
Using the median home value of $232,700 as an example, this home in York County would cost $2,792 in annual property taxes at a rate of 1.2%. By comparison, that same home in Cumberland County (also the county where Maine’s largest city is located) would cost $3,181 in property taxes at a rate of 1.367%.
The county you choose to live in could end up cost you a few hundred extra dollars per year for essentially the same home. Would-be home buyers should consult with their real estate agent on tax rates between counties, as you might be able to save some money just by living one county over.
Use our guide to learn more about how property taxes work in Maine.
Average Homeowners Insurance in Maine
Homeowner’s insurance is usually required for as long as you have a mortgage. But even if you’re paying cash for your home in Maine, it’s a good idea to maintain homeowner’s insurance.
Maine’s frigid winters put homes at risk for frozen and busted pipes, roof leaks and damage from snowstorms, and other disasters.
The good news is that homeowner’s insurance rates in Maine tend to be lower than the national average. The state ranks tenth for the lowest rates, with an average annual payment of $811 dollars. For comparison, the national average is about $1,083 per year.
The actual rate you pay will depend on several factors, such as geographic location, your home’s size and age, and even your claims history. You may be able to lower your financial obligations by bundling insurance services with your provider or by having a good credit rating or financial history.
Check around with different providers to compare rates and services, or ask your real estate agent for recommendations.
Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Maine
When you rented a home or apartment, your only job was to call your landlord when something broke or went wrong. But as a homeowner, you’ll bear the costs of repairs, maintenance, and upgrades out of your own pocket.
Just how much will a new roof or clogged toilet set you back? Here’s a look at some of the most common home maintenance and repairs and what they cost in Maine:
- New roof: $5,198 - $10,035
- Paint a home exterior: $1,692 - $3,930
- Paint a home interior: $966 - $2,726
- New toilet installation: $218 - $522
- Appliance repair: $104 - $237
- Install a hot water heater: $762 - $1,425
- Install a new furnace: $2,536 - $6,098
This list isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it should give you an idea as to how much you may have to save so that you aren’t caught off guard when something does go wrong.
Other Costs of Living in Maine to Consider
Aside from the major home expenses, there are also the smaller everyday costs to consider. Depending on where you’re relocating from, things like water, electricity, food, and transportation may cost more than what you’re used to.
There isn’t much public transportation to speak of in Maine, which means you’ll need to take on the costs of car ownership. If you don’t already own a car, the costs of gas, insurance, maintenance, and the car payment itself can cause quite a sticker shock.
During the winter, your furnace will run almost nonstop. Temperatures can stay in the teens or single digits for long periods, which will send your heating bill skyrocketing.
If you’re curious about what things cost in Maine, take a trip to a local supermarket to see how groceries and other staples are priced. Also, you can ask your real estate agent to procure copies of the water bill or energy bill so you can see month over month what the previous homeowner was spending.
Find a Top Maine Real Estate Agent
Maybe you’re ready to take the leap and starting for your dream home in Maine. Or perhaps you’ve already created a shortlist of homes you want to look at in person. Wherever you are in your home buying journey, working with the right agent can be invaluable to your experience.
Clever Partner Agents are experienced, top-rated real estate agents in their local markets. They can not only help you get the best possible price on a home, but can also help set realistic expectations about how much it will cost you to live in your chosen area.
To help ease some of your financial obligations, your Partner Agent will provide you with a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate that you can use to pay for closing costs, moving expenses, or even help with the down payment.
Connect with Clever today and let us introduce you to a reputable real estate agent in Maine that can help you find the home you’ve been dreaming about!