Buying a Home in South Portland, ME: A Roadmap for Homebuyers

Buying a Home in South Portland, ME: A Roadmap for Homebuyers

South Portland, Maine, is a beautiful corner southeast of Portland and just across Fore River. South Portland is an excellent choice for purchasing a new home, home to a well-maintained 1875 lighthouse in Bug Light Park and dozens of other natural attractions up and down the coastline. Enjoy the stark ocean beauty, easy access to Portland, and an idyllic lifestyle filled with the best elements of the Northeast.

Just as importantly, the South Portland real estate market is vibrant and full of gorgeous properties that have shown a healthy equity gain over the past several quarters. Learn more about buying a home in South Portland so you can confidently navigate the market and find your dream home.

Talk with a real estate agent when you're starting to think about buying

A real estate agent can help you manage negotiations and contract work throughout the home-buying process. But agents offer far more than those basic services, and speaking with one early on in the process can offer you a significant advantage as you start searching for your next home. Some of the services that a real estate agent can provide include:

  • Provide insight into the current state of the real estate market, including purchase data and trends about specific South Portland neighborhoods.

  • Create a custom home search profile so you receive real-time updates when homes that fit your criteria go on the market for sale.

  • Schedule private showings of available properties so you don't have to miss out or wait for an open house.

  • Ensure you're ready to put in an offer at a moment's notice by walking you through the contract, gathering the right documentation, and representing you in conversations with the listing agent.
Real estate agents can also provide a detailed explanation of the home searching process and recommendations for other professionals you may need throughout the journey, such as a lender, insurance agent, and home inspector.

Learn more about today's South Portland real estate market

Explore more about the local market to clearly understand typical prices and market behavior. South Portland, Maine, has a flourishing real estate market. As of Q1 2023, homes in this area had a median sales price of $462,800, gaining an appreciation of 49% in just the last three years and a typical equity amount of $152,500 in the same period.

The South Portland market also saw a 5.3% appreciation from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, which is particularly important for upcoming buyers: the national housing market saw a correction during this same period and only saw an average appreciation of 0.3%. In contrast, South Portland-Portland's growth indicates that the area is growing and homes are growing in value faster (and more reliably) than other regions.

Decide what you're looking for when buying a home in South Portland

Now that you better understand the market, it's time to start exploring your options! Consider your must-have and wish list items as you look at different properties in South Portland. For example, you might need to have at least three bedrooms and a two-car garage. At the same time, you might be looking for at least a quarter-acre or a home with an updated kitchen. Knowing which features are deal breakers and which you feel comfortable compromising on can help you more quickly and easily find your dream home at the right price and location.

Your real estate agent can also set you up for success with a custom home search profile that filters new properties on the market by your unique criteria.

Get preapproved and learn more about your budget and financial strategy

A mortgage lender will form an important part of your homebuying team. They can evaluate your income, debt-to-income ratio, and assets to advise you on your maximum house-buying budget, available grants and financing options, and the available loan terms for your purchase. In today's real estate market, many home sellers want to see a preapproval letter and proof of funds; these documents indicate you're a serious buyer and make them more likely to accept your offer. Working with a lender early in the process is important, as you need to know your maximum and potential renovation budgets.

Start touring homes and making offers

Once you know what you're looking for in a home and your budget particulars, your real estate agent can start scheduling showings and guiding you through different properties in the market. As you see homes you love, you can generate an offer that fits your pricing strategy. For example, in highly competitive markets during the busy season, you might offer a sales price slightly above the listing price to make your offer more tempting. In contrast, if you see a home with a lot of potential but it needs a lot of repairs, you might offer slightly below the list price and see how the owner responds. During this stage, one of your offers will be accepted, and the home will go under contract.

Work with your realtor to understand the course of the contract period

The contract period lasts approximately thirty days for most transactions. During this time:

  • You have an inspection window during which a licensed inspector can evaluate the property.

  • You can amend the contract regarding pricing, repairs, and the timeline for moving in.

  • Your lender will schedule an appraiser to independently evaluate the property and ensure it complies with lending requirements.

  • A title company will manage the paperwork in the background to ensure the owner legally owns the property without any complications and can fully transfer ownership to you.

  • It's advised you not make any big purchases. Your lender will need a completely transparent picture of your finances to meet regulatory standards, and new debts can change the size of loan you're eligible for before the deal is finalized.
At the end of this period, you'll pay the down payment and closing costs, and then you'll receive the keys to your new home!

Move into your new South Portland, ME home

Once you own the property, you can start moving in. Your real estate agent can help you throughout the process by recommending trusted utility management services, movers, interior designers, and other professionals you may need along the way. Some important tasks to handle as soon as you own the home include:

  • Changing your mailing address
  • Transferring or signing up for utilities
  • Changing the locks
  • Take a break! Make sure you set aside time to enjoy your new home as you move in

Create your custom roadmap for buying a home in South Portland, ME, with Duston Leddy

Buying a new home is an exciting journey, but it can feel a little overwhelming. Duston Leddy is here to help, with years of experience in the local real estate market and a dedication to serving prospective homeowners around Portland. Reach out today to learn more about buying a home in South Portland.

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Duston Leddy Real Estate is Northern New England's premier real estate firm, and our commitment to providing exceptional service is at the core of everything we do. Founded by three of the region's leading real estate professionals, we are driven to do more -and be more- for our clients as well as our agents.

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