I am UK based and looking to buy a place on the mountain in Sugarloaf. Have never bought in the US before and am a cash buyer. What do I need to know?

Asked by Richard Philbin, Dillon, CO Fri Feb 10, 2012

I could really do with a proper "hand holding" exercise as the UK house buying process and the US seem quite different. I would also like to rent the property out so will also want some guidance regarding tax and the like. All advice would be very welcomed

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erb43, , Carrabassett Valley, ME
Thu Mar 27, 2014
Hello Richard: Good choice - Suparloaf is a terrific place to own. My advice is to make sure you are working with a broker who knows and actively participates in the rental market on the mountain. Call Jeff Kennedy, Mountainside Real Estate's Designated Broker. He a wealth of experience and expertise, and owns his own rental property on mountain. Call toll free 877-237-2101, and visit Mountainside's website at http://www.sugarloafmountainside.com for more info. You won't be sorry.
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Sue MacPhee, Agent, Rangeley, ME
Tue Feb 12, 2013
Richard, Have you considered Saddleback Mountain and the Rangeley Lakes Region instead of Sugarloaf? All due respect to the Sugarloaf area ( about 40 miles from here), Rangeley offers BOTH lakes and mountains, great fishing, hiking, skiing, skating, hunting, camping, boating, etc. Do check us out as an alternative! AND check out my listing on Mooselookmeguntic Lake at 228 Birches Beach Rd: an elegant yet rugged Northwoods style waterfront home. If you're here for winter sports only, this property would be a wonderful rental on the summer market. That's what makes Rangeley special: we have the lakes and forest to draw folks in the summer and the mountain in the winter. I've never sold to a buyer from so far "away", but would be happy to assist wherever I can and/or point you in the right direction. I'm sure we can help.
Sue MacPhee
City Cove Realty
0 votes
We considered Sugarloaf but ended up buying in Rangeley and LOVED it for 10 years now..our property at 11 Deer Run in Rangeley Maine has given us many wonderful memories and the view of Saddleback mountain can't be beat! We would snowmobile right from our house and then rent it out the rest of the year - it was an excellent investment and now we have just put it on the market if you are still looking! Just $249!
Flag Wed Apr 9, 2014
Charlene Ham…, Agent, Camden, ME
Fri Feb 10, 2012
Hi Richard,
There are a few things you should consider in purchasing a vacation property. First, how are you going to take care of it while you are away? condos are good choices since there is little outside maintenance. but barring that, you would want to consider a good property management firm to keep an eye on the place. Second, will the place you are looking at allow rentals and if so, what are the terms? Most houses are not an issue, but condos usually have some restrictions around rentals. And third, make sure it has good rental characteristics, such as # of bedrooms/bathrooms for the type of tenant you want, close to amenities/attractions, etc.

In terms of actually buying the home, you should work with a buyer agent to help you sort through the properties and find something you want. Once you have, the agent will write up a purchase and sale offer, which will be submitted to the listing agent. Your buyer agent should give you an idea of what the property's market value is so you can pay a fair price for it. The listing agent will present the offer to the sellers, they may counter back with another offer, accept your offer or just say no thanks! the negotiation continues until either you reach an agreed price with the seller, or the negotiations fail and you walk away.

It is customary for earnest money to be delivered with the offer - depending on the price of the house it could be $500 or $1000 or more. the earnest money check is generally made out to the real estate agency. if the offer doesnt go through, you get your check back. if it is accepted, it will be put into an escrow account and held for you until closing.

there are a series of inspections you can opt to do after the offer is accepted - water, septic, building, etc.. you pay for those upfront. If you find something wrong during this stage, you can renegotiate the price or walk away.

at the closing, you sign LOTS of documents! Since you are not a maine resident, when you go to sell, your property may be subject to withholding. You will have to pay a transfer tax based on the value of the house. You would also pay any prorated items that the seller has already paid, like property taxes.

In terms of renting your property, you do get certain writeoffs but typically just against what you bring in for rent. the mortgage interest can be deducted on your schedule A, but the other expenses would offset your rental income. If you want to look up more information on rental properties, go to the IRS website and search for information on Schedule E. Of course, you should consult with a tax advisor for the most accurate information.

this is a quick overview.. hope it helps.. feel free to call me if you have questions.
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Ryan Rich, Agent, WINDHAM, ME
Fri Feb 10, 2012
-Hi Richard,

Give me a call or shoot me an email, I know the area very well and would be happy to assist you in the process.
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David Mills, Agent, Falmouth, ME
Fri Feb 10, 2012
Hello Richard. Carrabassett Valley offers many different property types. You would need to call me so that we could discuss what you are look at for property types.

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