Waterfront homes go for a premium in Maine’s esteemed Lakes Region

Waterfront homes go for a premium in Maine’s esteemed Lakes Region

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Loons, dragonflies and lapping water are drawing buyers to Maine’s lakefront properties, which are seeing strong sales at up to double the price of homes not on the water.

Comprising 60 lakes across 20 towns, the Lakes Region of southwestern Maine saw all lakefront homes sell for over the asking price in 2021 for the first time, said real estate agent Diane Monaco, who compiled data on the region for her employer, Maine Real Estate Choice. The region includes Sebago Lake, Maine’s second-largest lake after Moosehead.

“People want to boat and sit out on their dock and enjoy the peace and quiet,” she said. “It’s a year-round location with skiing and snowmobiling, too.”

Last week, 35 lakefront homes in the region were on the market, 20 of them for more than $1 million, she said. Another 28 home sales were pending, and most of those were on the market for less than seven days.

Lack of inventory, which exists across Maine’s real estate market, is keeping prices high. In May, 151 homes sold statewide were on a lake or pond compared with 190 homes in May 2021, according to Maine Listings.

The state has nearly 5,800 lakes, many with a mix of luxury homes and camps, but the well-kept lakefront properties are selling the fastest, Elise Kiely, senior vice president at Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, said.

Kiely just listed a $4.2 million property on Long Lake in Harrison. The location is a former boys’ summer camp that has retained the arts and crafts building on the water’s edge. It could be an additional living space to the 3,757-square-foot main house on 1.7 acres, with 183 feet of water frontage, Kiely said.

This home listed for sale at $4.2 million is on Long Lake in Harrison and has 183 feet of water frontage. Credit: Courtesy of Peter G. Morneau

She said oceanfront properties still tend to be more expensive than ones on a lake, but lakefront homes in good condition come at a premium relative to those not on the water.

Waterfront properties consistently sell for higher prices, and larger lakes tend to have higher prices than smaller ones, according to a study by Black Knight Inc., a homeownership analytics firm. Proximity to the water matters in the pricing.

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