Buying Rental Real Estate in Maine: A Guide to Getting Started

Buying Rental Real Estate in Maine: A Guide to Getting Started

Buying Rental Real Estate in Maine: A Guide to Getting Started

Maine has become increasingly popular in the past few years due to the remote work surge, making it possible for employees to pack up and move to more scenic climes. This state is one of the fastest-growing in the United States, thanks to its affordability, beauty, and safety, which is why so many real estate investors are turning their sights northward.

If you’d like to join the thousands of investors interested in getting a slice of the Pine Tree State, you’ll have a lot of factors to consider, including location and loan type. Let’s review some of the most crucial elements of a successful rental real estate deal in this gorgeous sector of the United States.

Choose the Right Location

Every real estate investor knows that location is an essential consideration, sometimes even more important than the actual property itself. The right property will depend on your specific usage, but general trends in demographics, economy, and climate can help guide you away from areas that may be on a downswing. 

Cumberland and York counties, in the southern parts of Maine, have experienced the greatest population growth, while the northern counties have had more modest increases, likely due to the fact that most of Maine’s most populous cities are all closer to the border with New Hampshire. This does not mean that other areas may not be right for rentals – it just means you may choose vacation rental properties when you get further up north instead of long-term rental residences.

Pick a Good Loan

What type of loan you choose depends on what your goals as an investor are. If you want to be a small-time landlord with only one property, then you may be able to get a conventional loan, which works exactly the same as a loan for a primary residence. Those who intend to live on the property for a while before renting it out may even choose a VA, FHA, or USDA loan. As Maine is so rural, much of the state is eligible for USDA loans, which have good interest rates and no down payments. 

Those who intend to buy more than one property will need more robust mortgage solutions. A Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) loan is generally considered the best choice for residential rentals because you can roll multiple properties into one loan, utilize higher loan limits than you could get with a conforming loan, and borrow under an LLC rather than under your own name. However, just because you have chosen the right category of loan does not necessarily mean that every servicer will be the right choice for you.

Work With Professionals

When you have chosen a location and a loan type, it’s time to get to work finding the right property. Choose a real estate agent who is a member of the Maine Association of Realtors and is familiar with your specific market, as they will be able to suggest good properties for your needs and negotiate with sellers on your behalf. 

Unfortunately, real estate fraud is a very common issue, especially when it comes to forged titles or fake deeds. This can have serious legal and financial consequences for you; you may buy the property from an unscrupulous seller, only to find years later that it never actually belonged to you. Most of the time, the bank will catch this, but there’s always the possibility that they won’t, and you’ll be stuck with a worthless deed.

Working with a lawyer who can investigate all facets of the transaction is vital. This is especially true if you are buying commercial real estate, which has much greater consequences should the deal fall through. A real estate lawyer can also help you negotiate contracts when getting tenants for commercial real estate, ensuring that you receive the best conditions in these far more flexible contracts.


The hot market of Maine is begging for great real estate investors to help develop communities and provide stable housing for its many new residents. If you’re interested in joining the professionals who are helping to revitalize this beautiful northern state, be sure to do your research to find a location that suits your specific needs as an investor. 

Work with a reputable lender and leverage professionals throughout the state of Maine who can assist you in finding great deals and protect you from real estate fraud. With a strong network of experts and a clear understanding of what you expect from your new investment, you’ll be able to benefit from the thousands of new Maine residents looking for places to live, vacation, and shop.