Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in Maine
The state of Maine is renowned the world over for its lobster supply, each year more than 100 million pounds of lobster is caught off the coast of Maine, accounting for about 90 percent of all lobster harvested in the United States. Maine is also the largest source of blueberries in the country, with about 99 percent of all U.S. blueberries grown in The Pine Tree State. More than 80 percent of the state is forest and Maine makes 90 percent of the country's toothpicks. No city in this sparsely populated state has a population above 100,000. With 66,318, Portland has the most Mainers. Its median home value is $237,500, which is $63,000 more than the state's median home value of $174,500. The median household income is $44,458 in Portland and $48,453 across the state. According to the U.S. Census, Lewiston is the next largest city and home to 36,437 of Maine's 1,328,302 people. The median home value in Lewiston is $151,800 and the median household income is $36,035. Home sales across the state were up by 26 percent in October 2014.
The state of Maine is also known as Vacationland for its stunning coastlines, numerous outdoor activities, and the unhurried pace of life across the entire state. Winter activities include skiing in Carrabasset Valley or watching the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races. Acadia National Park is the second most visited national park in America. The thriving tourist trade helps contribute to Maine's average occupancy rate for retail space of 95.7 percent, the national average occupancy rate is about 89.6 percent. Portland has a homeownership rate of 44.6 percent and Lewiston's is 47.7 percent. With home ownership still out of reach for many residents, more than half live in multi-unit structures and the demand for affordable apartments remains high in these major cities.
How to Become a Realtor in Maine
The Maine Real Estate Commission regulates and oversees the licensing and conduct of real estate agents across the state. In addition to requiring applicants to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, the commission requires notarized recommendations from at least three people. These people must attest that the applicant has a reputation of being honest, competent, and dealing fairly with others. The applicant needs to have a background check and a written statement from their employing broker. To become a sales agent, applicants must score at least 75 percent on the sales agent course and exam. The sales agent license is good for two years and is non-renewable. After two years, agents must take the 60-hour broker associate course and pass the broker associate exam to become permanently licensed.