How Much Will Your Mortgage Be in Maine?
Maine is the northernmost state in the northeastern region of the United States. Referred to as the Pine Tree State, Maine is known for its stunning, dense forests, as well as scenic jagged coastline. It is the ninth least populous state in the U.S. with a housing market that is slightly more expensive than the national average.
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Factors That Can Affect Your Maine Mortgage Calculations
Home Prices in Maine
Maine is experiencing a tight housing supply which is driving up the prices of homes. Home values have risen 7.2% over the past year. The median list price for a home in Maine is $237,000 according to information collected in March 2020. The average sale of a home is $241,500, higher than the listing price due to the high demand.
Located on the coast is the town of Portland. This is the most populous urban area of the state. The median price of homes currently listed is $400,000 with an average sale of $342,500. Home values have risen 6.6% over the past year and are predicted to continue rising over the coming year.
On the other side of the Fore River is South Portland. Homes here are cheaper than Portland itself. The median listing for a home in South Portland is $299,500 with a median sale price of $291,500.
Lewiston is the second most populous town in Maine. Located north of Portland and slightly inland, homes in Lewiston have a median listing of $172,200 and average sale price of $172,800. Home values have risen a considerable 9.1% over the past year and it is predicted they will rise a further 0.3% in the coming year.
Property Taxes in Maine
Property taxes in Maine are well above the national average of 1.08%. The effective property tax rate is 1.35% with the typical resident paying $2,345 per year. This will vary significantly depending on which county you live in as well.
Maine Job Stats to Consider
Aside from having a robust industry in commercial fishing, Maine has also a strong tourism and outdoor recreation industry. It is a popular destination for skiing, snowmobiling, boating, camping, and sport hunting. Maine is also home to the headquarters of L.L. Bean, T.D. Bank, and Cole Haan.
The median household income recorded in Maine was $55,602 based on information collected from the Census ACS 1-year survey in 2018. The unemployment rate recorded in January 2020 by the Department of Numbers was 3.6%. This is on par with the national average unemployment rate.
Maine has three income tax brackets that have lowered over the years. They currently sit between 5.80% and 7.15%. The state sales tax is one of the lowest in the country at 5.5% and counties charge no additional tax. Groceries, prescription drugs, and newspapers are also not taxed in the state.
Job Stats (Civilian Labor Force, Employment, Unemployment)
Other Maine Costs That Can Affect Maine Mortgage Calculations
Homeowners Insurance in Maine
The average cost of homeowner’s insurance in Maine is $849 per year, below the national average. Maine is not usually affected by natural disasters, despite its location on the Atlantic coast. Heavy snowfall is the main peril with the state experiencing extreme winters. Most premiums will cover snow damage as well as theft, lightning, hail, wind, smoke damage, and more. Be sure to check your coverage for damage caused by freezing. Some policies do not cover freezing if it causes your pipes or heating system to fail. Insurance companies may be unwilling to accept your claim if you have not made sufficient effort to prevent the freezing from occurring.
Homebuyers in Maine can expect to pay between 1.01% and 1.52% of the final purchase price in closing costs. Most homes in the state sell between $200,000 and $300,000. For a buyer in this range, expect to pay between $1,620 and $2,430 in closing costs before taxes.
Purchasing title insurance will protect you against any future unforeseeable claims that might be incurred against the owner and the mortgage lender regarding the property’s title. These claims are generally found in the public records at the time of purchase, but can sometimes be overlooked, even after a thorough examination. Your lender will usually require a policy that equals the amount of the loan. Title insurance is a one-time purchase.
Real Estate Transfer Tax
The real estate transfer tax is calculated at a rate of $2.20 per $500 of the final purchase price on a property. This is customarily split between the seller and the purchaser.
A home inspection is an important part of the buying process in Maine to ensure the property is structurally sound. An inspector will assess the foundation, roofs, basements, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and electrical aspects of the home. The cost of a home inspection will ultimately depend on the location and the square footage of the home, but buyers in Maine can expect to pay anywhere between $300 - $550. Additional tests for termites, pests, mold, and radon can be carried out for an extra cost.