A Guide to Maine's Oceanfront, Lakes, Rivers and Islands
Thank you for your interest in Maine waterfront real estate. To assist you in identifying potential areas of interest within Maine, we have separated the information by Lake Front and Ocean Front. Click the appropriate icon below and you will find detailed information to help you in your property search.
Included you will find comprehensive area maps for all sections of the Maine coast and lake regions, local overviews of Maine and links to more specific information.
Maine is well known for its dramatic ocean scenery, tranquil lakes and roaring rivers. The state’s geography is immense – and much larger than most people realize. For example, the eastern most portion of the continental United States is West Quoddy Head in Lubec Maine. Stretching from this eastern most point, along the jagged Maine coast, are famous lighthouses, sandy beaches and historic fishing villages. As you move south, the landscape changes and the cities and towns become larger until you reach Casco Bay and the Greater Portland area, the economic hub of the state.
Inland you will find the majority of Maine’s lakes and rivers, with Moosehead lake in the north, Rangeley Lake in the west, Belgrade Lake in central region and Sebago Lake only 40 minutes from Portland – too name few.
Maine today is still dominated by forests – over 80% of the state is blanketed with great stands of trees. The imagery of white pines, giant spruce and towing hardwoods sweeping from the mountains to the sea is captured magically by the American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay of Camden, Maine in her famous work "Renascence":
"All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood I turned and looked the other way and saw three islands and a bay"
There is great diversity in Maine waterfront and real estate choices vary considerably whether you are considering a property on the ocean, on a lake or along a river.
To begin, the coast of Maine is very large – approximately 3,500 miles. There are 5,785 lakes, ranging in size from small pools to much larger water bodies known as “Great Ponds". These are lakes that are in excess of 10 acres.
Considering this size and scope, finding waterfront property that meets your needs can be challenging, especially if you unfamiliar with the state. Our goal is to match your specific needs and lifestyle with the most appropriate property available. Although there is waterfront properties on the market everywhere in Maine, most buyers tend to focus their search in the southern section of the state.
Maine Waterfront Real Estate
Waterfront property consists of two components – land and building. Understanding the value of each is important when evaluating properties. Below are some basic guidelines to follow
The Premium of a Water View
An impressive view is the most important attribute any waterfront property. Sunrises and sunsets, and the location of docks and decks all have an influence of your personal enjoyment of the property and its overall value. Views of mountains or city skylines also add value.
Value of a Sandy Beach
Whether it’s a lakefront or oceanfront, Maine is known for rocky coastlines and an unsoiled natural beauty. Sandy beaches are a premium, so if you enjoy water sports, especially swimming, make sure this is a high priority. These types of homes and lots are valued at a premium. If a sandy beach is not possible, a sandy bottom is also good.
A Level Lot
The topography of a lot adds to the value and utility of any waterfront property. When evaluating homes, try to avoid inclines and hills, especially those that impede access to the water. Although such properties might provide for more panoramic views, they reduce the overall usefulness.
The Value Privacy
As the saying goes, there is only so much waterfront available. Achieving privacy along the coast or on a lake is a daunting task. In most cases, try to purchase the most “owned” waterfront your possibly can, as this is often a true measure of privacy in the long run.
Understanding Shoreland Zoning
Building regulations regarding waterfront homes has changed dramatically over the years. There are more restrictions and getting close the water is more difficult. For this reason my buyers will consider older homes that were constructed before such legislation was in place.
What is considered a shoreland in Maine is important when you are thinking about long-term options for your property.
All land within 250 feet of the highwater line of any pond over 10 acres, any river that drains at least 25 square miles and all tidal water and saltwater marshes
All land with 250 feet of a freshwater wetland over 10 acres.
All land within 75 feet of streams that are outlet of great ponds or streams below the confluence of 2 perennial streams.
Real Estate Values Although not true in all cases, real estate prices tend to be less expensive the farther up the Maine coastline you go and the farther inland you travel.
Maine has long been a destination for second homes either along the coast or one of our beautiful lakes or rivers.
Following several years of depressed pricing, the market is improving and it appears to be a good time to make a purchase.
Customize Your Search
Our home search is very easy to use. Select your price range, location, waterfront type & home style. Receive email updates of all matching properties. You will have access to all properties for sale in the Maine MLS.
Why Use a Buyer's Agent
By retaining the services of a qualified and professional Buyer's Agent, you have access to equal representation in the real estate transaction.
If you are thinking of buying a home, or are in the process of buying one, you can't afford to do it alone.
Local knowledge can be hard to come by. While the Internet can be a good place to begin your search, there is no substitue for hands-on experience in the local market.