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Moving in Ma…, Home Buyer in Maine

When will the effects of NASB closing be felt in Brunswick?

Asked by Moving in Maine, Maine Mon Apr 14, 2008

I am thinking of buying a house in the Brunswick, Bath, or Freeport area. But I am hesitant to buy until the base closes. How many houses will come on the market in the next couple of years due to the closure? Will real estate values fall sharply in all of these towns?? How can I strategically plan to buy in the near future? Should I rent for a while longer?

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It all depends on your timing. If you wait, the affordable housing prices will start dropping as soon as the military begins to move out. Brunswick is trying to replace the jobs, but we will probably have 5+ years before the closure impact is mitigated. If you need to buy now, look for homes that have already been on the market a while and then submit a low offer. Everyone trying to sell now is fully aware of the pending increase in inventory that will happen starting next summer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 15, 2008
To answer your question more specifically and directly, the base has already begun to transfer employees and many residents of Brunswick and Topsham have already put their homes on the market. So we are already seeing the impact as of right now. It is impossible to predict exactly how much further prices are going to fall, and it may take a couple more years to see the full effect, but if you wait for the base to actually close, in my opinion you will already be too late. Also, I don't believe Freeport area will be affected that much by the base closure. If you decide to buy in Freeport, now is definitely a good time. It looks like prices have started to somewhat stablilize since the crash, they may go down a bit further, but so might interest rates go up. It is difficult the time the market exactly right, but at least at this point you know it's low and a good time to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
The following stats are from the global security website (see link below)
"As Maine's second largest employer, NAS Brunswick employs 4,863 military and civilian personnel, including 713 officer, 3,493 enlisted personnel and 657 civilians. The air station provides over $187 million to the local economy, including $115 million in salaries, $38 million in contracts and material purchases and $34 million in medical purchases."
Perhaps this will give you some idea of the impact the base closure may have on the surrounding communities - - think not just in terms of housing (rental, owned and on-base), but also schools (biggest portion of municipal budgets), support services such as hair salons, drycleaners, retail, restaurants, entertainment, etc.
Having said that, I believe that Brunswick, and its surrounding area, has so many things going for it besides the base that by the time the redevelopment authority is done with it, this area will be an even more fantastic place to live (think 5-year plan). Even now, Brunswick is perhaps better known as a college town and a great place to retire. Housing, and the economy in general, is cyclical in nature - - there are many more factors in addition to the base closure that can and will have impact.
You understand that price is a function of supply and demand - - there is enough supply in the market right now to create great opportunities for Buyers today, not to mention attractive mortgage rates; There's an interesting statistic put out by the Federal Reserve Board that consistently shows an astonishing difference in the Average Net Worth between home owners ($184,400) and renters ($4,000). It's all about leverage and opportunity!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
One thing you should not be doing is renting. There are some fabulous deals right now and if you wait another year or two you will have wasted tens of thousands of dollars and have nothing to show for it. You can save more than that right now in today's market. The average home doubles in value over ten years, so why waste one or two years? Find a good buyers agent, have them doing market analysis on property, checking what the properties sold for when the current owners bought them, get information from neighbors as to why they are selling and put some low offers out on homes that interest you. A good realtor will be able to get you a great deal that you will end up being very happy with. Call me if you want to sit down and talk about just how we can take advantage of this current market.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
But if I wanted to get an affordable house, then have it not lose too much, where would you focus? When would you buy? Waterfront/waterview isn't my cup of tea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 15, 2008
The first group will leave this summer so I think we will start seeing some impact then. The full base closure is scheduled for 2011. You should focus on waterfront or water view property since this market will not be affected. There are 3000 military families and most live in on-base housing. This housing will also become available for sale and or lease thru a military housing contractor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 15, 2008
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