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Blog :: 05-2019

We look forward to making this the best resource for information about buying, selling or continued ownership of land in Maine. Please feel free to comment on our posts if you have questions or reactions to share. If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, we'd love to hear your ideas.

Rick's Real Estate 101: Covenants – What are they?

Covenants (often referred to as “restrictions”) are privately placed rules that act as a guide to future use and development of land. They are incorporated into the property deed or recorded as a separate document at the registry of deeds. One primary motivation for establishing covenants is to maintain or enhance the economic value of a property. Two terms you may come across are “burdened” and “benefited” land. Burdened land is the land that the covenant applies to, while benefited land is land that benefits from the restrictions placed on the former. In the case where the same covenants apply to a group of properties, then that property would be both “burdened” and “benefited”.

 

 

Property without covenantsAre Covenants Good or Bad?

If you want to have complete freedom with your land in Maine and do not care what others around you do, then covenants may not be for you. If you hope that surrounding properties are developed in a fashion that is compatible with, or not averse to, enjoyment of your property, then covenants might be good. But the real answer is this: If covenants coincide with YOUR intended use or vision, then covenants might work for you. Remember, the covenants you have on your property may be the same for those surrounding you. This should serve to protect the value of your land.

 

 

Keep an Open Mind

At Swift River Properties we sell land with and without covenants. We encourage you to keep an open mind about them. Like most things in life, we feel it is good to consider multiple options in order to make the best decision possible. Ask questions and apply what you learn to your unique situation. It's your future. Make the best of it!  

What To Consider When Buying Land in Maine

 

Where to buy property in MainePurchasing land is one of the most special and unique investments you will make in life. You can clear the trees, install a driveway and build your dream home, but the features of the land such as topography, watercourses, and exposure, are fixed. Land is immobile and indestructible; you can’t move it or tear it down to build a new piece. This is why you must start by asking yourself “what is most important to me when buying land?

 

Location

Whether you’re searching for land to build your primary residence, second home or hunting camp, location is one of the most important factors to consider. How far would you like to be from shopping, family, grocery stores, or your work? If you’re looking for a place to call home, these factors may be some of the most imperative to consider. However, if you’re looking for a seasonal home, maybe distance from your favorite lake, state park, hiking trail, golf course or snowmobile trail are important factors to consider. After all, Maine is Vacationland and being a little further away from life’s conveniences can be a breath of fresh air.

 

Features

Maine is known for its vast number of lakes and ponds, miles of coastal shoreline, babbling spring-fed streams, remnants of rich farmland and glacial scarred landscapes. Before you start your search in earnest, identify one or two features you just can’t live without! Do you want to wake up to mountain or water views? Do you want to be on a lake, pond or river? Is deeded water access versus ownership the right choice for you? Create a list of what your ideal land features are and establish a budget.

 

          Factors in buying land in Maine Maine Waterfront Property

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Factors                                                          

Other than location and features, consider factors such as the presence of utilities, solar exposure, road access, taxes, financing, etc… Do you need to be on the grid or are you looking for a property with solar exposure? Do you need to be on a town maintained road? Is financing available? What is your budget for taxes and mortgage payments? These can be difficult decisions to make upfront but can save you time in the long run.

Rick's Real Estate 101: Easements

In the land business, we come across easements all the time! They are common and they come in many different forms. Here is a brief definition of easements, some common types, and their use. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories about your experience with easements. We'd love to hear from you.

An Easement is a right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose. Common easements you may run across when buying land include private rights of way, utility easements, an easement for access to water or an old cemetery. Many other types of easements exist as well. Easements will be recorded in the registry of deeds so a title search should uncover their existence. However, easements might also be acquired or lost through prescription or adverse possession, so the history and use of the property is important to understand. Easements are generally permanent and run with the land (passed on from one owner the next). As always, we recommend a thorough title search and consultation with an attorney with any questions regarding easements.

Happy land hunting!