Buying/Renting Boothbay Region Real Estate
- Determine your priorities:
Budget - cost
to rent/buy; cost to own
Location (extremely important)
address based mapping software often misplaces location
because Boothbay Harbor renumbered
addresses as part of implementing 911 emergency system.
Proximity to the sea or to the lake
well lit interior or darkening deep porches and small windows
Can you comfortably walk to downtown Boothbay Harbor?
Interesting local walks - e.g., Appalachee Pond, Lobster Cove
Meadow, Indian Trails....
Private or community access to a dock, a float, a beach ....
Bold breaking surf, expansive ocean views, sheltered
waters, or stretching the meaning of the word - waterfront
Water views - working harbor, recreational boats, town, lighthouses, obstructions, islands....
Access - stories, stairs
(45 degree and narrow?), paths, layout, driveway, roads, privacy
& Water - fully onsite or town provided. Seasonal?
Porches, garage, age, materials, style, condition, finishes, windows, number and
location of parking spaces ....
Exposed interior wall studs known as inside walls that are also outside
Number of bathrooms and their fixtures: tub, shower, bidet,
type of toilet, sink ....
3" mattresses supported by metal straps with end springs or modern
box springs supporting a comfortably thick mattress.
Elevation & slope to/from water and street
Landscaping, tree density, driveway & walkway pavements, exterior lighting
(requires clear view of southern horizon) color TV
WiFi or cabled internet access. Rental includes use of
Cell phone service
Neighborhood - retirees, locals, summer people, families, cottages boarded out of season, year around homes
Rental includes automatic heat and/or air conditioning
Kitchen capabilities and views while in kitchen. Remember in
1890 the staff worked in a kitchen on the back wall with a slate sink.
Updating is important! Is there a
large lobster pot?
Dishwasher and clothes washer/dryer
Large dining room table
Can personal or rented watercraft be accommodated? Is a
nearby mooring available?
Privacy from summer road traffic
Noise from nearby bars and restaurants?
Native sounds - rain on the roof, fog horns, church bells, birds,
cannon fire, noon & quitting time signal
Diversity of books, board games, puzzles
Sterile or homey
Did anyone tell you sunrise is 4:58 AM when
prime season starts on June 21st?
Can you park your motor home or boat trailer on the property?
Grounds configured to facilitate driving forward when leaving
How well suited is the property for pets?
Can you attach audio/video equipment to the rental TV?
Can you email and send photos and videos via the internet
connection and cottage computer?
Expectations affect satisfaction. If you choose a cottage to
glimpse cottage ownership, you likely will be satisfied. If you expect
resort services in a cottage, you likely will be badly disappointed.
For example - if you see ants inside - use the spray in the pantry or call the
Realtor/owner to complain about ants. Both approaches will resolve the
ant problem yet how the incident is resolved will affect the overall experience quite
- Rent several waterfront cottages before considering purchase
- Identify ownership exit strategy and assess its
viability prior to long-term commitment.
- Tour properties picked by driving neighborhoods, touring
by boat, viewing photo displays in Realtor offices, internet web sites ....
- Offer to buy properties that you know but that are not currently for
sale such as a cottage you have rented.
- Not enough time to fully use a cottage now? Consider buying a
highly desirable cottage now and rent it to others.
Identify local Realtors with significant rental practice and with the most
listings in the immediate area.
Many listings in nearby towns can distract your prospect's from
their goal of maximizing enjoyment of Boothbay Harbor
rates actually charged guests including multi-week and promotional rates (1 fixed week minimum)
Research current room rates
at local hotels/motels/resorts/B&B's
and in competing vacation rentals. Avoid "experts" who emphasizes
"neighborhood" as the key to an appropriate rental rate. A cottage
with immediate proximity to a significant private shoreline has more rental value than the neighbor's cabin in the woods
only 800 feet away. Your relative
assessed tax value is a good indicator of relative rental value. It is
illogical to rent a well situated waterfront house that can accommodate six
people for less than a pair of a motel rooms.
Don't expect vacation rental income to fully compensate your cost
of ownership. Usually, you will not cover the cost of property taxes,
maintenance, and failed equipment replacement. If you set rental rates
to only cover property taxes and fail to spend money from other sources, the stage is
set for vacation disappointments and for significant property deterioration.
Personally authorize property use
immediately prior to guest
Choose a Realtor that requires owner & guest to sign the same
original rental contract, assuring all parties are fully informed
Select the Realtor who provides an accounting to
owner of actual rents paid by guests
with details, all independently developed prospects to your Realtor
promotion, check-in/out, deposits, linen rental, cleaning,
deposit inspections, rubbish removal, ....
Use a local property manager
e.g., your "winter watch" person to
arrange emergency repairs and maintenance.
Maintain your cottage, its equipment & furnishings, and the grounds
to very high standards to assure favorable guest experiences.
Owner indifference or remoteness can challenge even a professional
property management effort.
NO ONE loves your cottage as you do. Stay involved with your
cottage throughout the rental season.
Recognize that earlier generations extensively used their family cottages
but have been replaced by a generation that
finds compelling activities elsewhere, yet they are reluctant to sell their
family's Maine cottage. This change has created opportunity for others
to take over properties in exchange for contractual contingent
payments. Differentiate your cottage in the vacation rental market by
frequent multi-week personal use, a fresh look, improvements, and
Your cottage is not the best choice for everyone.
Do nothing to "force fit" a transaction. If you are doing things right
expect that all prime weeks may not sell. If all weeks sell very
quickly, revisit your rental rate. Don't immediately assume your
rental rate is too high if bookings don't meet your expectations provided
you offer a competitive rate based on your research.
At the end of June, consider using all un-rented prime season weeks
yourself. Renting a cottage is rarely a whim.
Temper your expectation of repeat bookings. Renting permits
prospects to achieve variety. It is not personal.
Tindal & Callahan
represented both buyer and seller with respect to our
They don't have a significant rental practice.
Pottle Realty Group
represents our cottage to the rental market and offers a very robust portfolio of
Boothbay Harbor vacation rentals.
to Do in the Boothbay Region of Maine U.S.A.
Copyright © 2007-2008 Walter K. Cruden All