I confess. I so enjoyed writing the make believe “House Hunters” post (see “Make Believe Reality Show” posted on July 18, 2014), that I want to write another one! This time the parameters are slightly different because I have not seen any of the properties in person. I have picked a location that seems appealing and interesting.
Hello, Portland Maine! Founded in 1623 on the Casco Bay, Portland is the largest city in the state of Maine with 66,000 denizens. The metropolitan area, however, is home to over half a million people which is an astonishing one third of the population of the entire state of Maine! The Portland Head Lighthouse, pictured above, is located in nearby Cape Elizabeth and marks the entrance to Portland Harbor. Pretty, ain’t it?
I have shared the addresses of the three properties I have chosen so that if you are so inclined you can look them up to see the photos. Definitely worth looking at these photos, folks. All three properties show well in the photos. You can use Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, your favorite real estate website, or simply Google the addresses to see the photo for yourself. I am staying in the same budget as my previous post (ideally around $250,000, maximum $300,000), but this time I am going condo! I feel like such the hipster for looking at vintage urban condos. So, without further ado, here they are:
The first property is, aptly, Apartment 1 at 9 Matthews Street, Portland. The largest of the three properties, it is a 1,764 square foot three bedroom, one bath condo in a three unit Victorian built in 1910. It has high ceilings, a fireplace, bay windows, pocket doors, hardwood floors, and in-unit laundry. There is granite in the kitchen and an old fashioned claw foot tub in the bathroom. The condo is located in a quiet, tree lined neighborhood in Deering Center, just minutes to downtown, shops, restaurants, and parks. It is a bright, sunny apartment. There is a patio, a deck, and storage in the basement. There is off street parking available. The HOA fee is $250/month. Taxes are approximately $3,300/year. It has been on the market for just four days; the asking price is below budget at $247,500.
The second property is Apartment 2 at 291 State Street, Portland. This condo is 1,324 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath. The three unit wood-frame Victorian was built in 1908. The unit has a brand new kitchen with granite and exposed brick, updated bath, bay windows, hardwood floors and many historical touches including wainscoting. There is a private, wraparound deck, a patio, and storage. It is also a bright, sunny apartment. This condo is located in Parkside and enjoys panoramic views of Deering Oaks Park. It is a five minute walk to the Arts District, Old Port, Farmer’s Market, restaurants and shops. There is coin operated laundry on the premises. There is no off-street parking as there is no driveway! The HOA is $350/month. Taxes are approximately $3,100/year. The condo has been listed for nineteen days; the asking price is also below budget at $245,000.
The third and final property is Apartment 3 (not making this up!) at 73 Brackett Street in Portland. It is the smallest of the three properties at 1,004 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath in the Historic Hopkins Milliken House, built in 1807, in Portland’s West End. 73 Brackett Street is a handsome, seven unit, Federal style brick building. The condo is located on the second floor and has two ornamental fireplaces, high ceilings, new kitchen and new bath. Can you believe it? This condo is bright and sunny! There is an in-unit washer and dryer and storage. There is no patio or deck and only parking for one car. As was the case with the other two properties, Portland’s amenities are nearby. The HOA is $236/month. There is no tax information available. The condo has been listed for 88 days, and at $300,000 is the highest priced property of the three options and at the very top of the budget.
Of course, I don’t recommend buying real estate without visiting in person and getting to know your neighborhood before making any sort of financial commitment. It is enlightening, though, to see what options are available in a given price range.
So which one will you choose? Will you pick Apartment 1, the first and largest condo, with three bedrooms, and a budget friendly option with lots of vintage charm in a quiet neighborhood? Or will you choose Apartment 2, also with vintage charm and your own private deck overlooking Deering Oaks Park for the lowest price? Or will you decide on Apartment 3, the smallest, most historic, and most expensive of the three options?
Vote today for the Portland, Maine condo of your choice!