Friday, June 9, 2017

The BEST tip for clean bathrooms?

So this isn't your average brokerage post. It's about clean bathrooms. 

Whether you have a hotel, motel, B&B, hostel, or rooms for rent in your house, a clean bathroom is paramount.

I learned a trick as an innkeeper. MAGIC ERASERS. They're expensive but they are worth it! I'd buy a pack of 8 at either Sam's Club or Walmart for around $7. But you get a few uses from each.

I've seen a lot of showers and tubs that appear to be clean. But do they feel clean? Can you feel a film on the surface, particularly of a fiberglass unit? If there's a film (which is built up over time), wiping it down with a sponge or rag and cleanser won't do it. But a Magic Eraser will!

Try it - just wet the Magic Eraser (just water). Wipe (with a little pressure) a section of where you feel buildup (or even if you don't feel it), just clean a section with the eraser and then feel the difference by swiping your finger through. The area you didn't yet clean will give your finger some resistance when swiping, but the newly cleaned side won't. I promise you, once you do this, you'll get the difference. And you'll know when it's really clean.

When we owned our inn, I would always check rooms after the housekeepers, well before check ins, with a focus on the bathrooms and to make sure there was no buildup.  Magic Erasers never failed.

Try it. You'll know it's clean.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Listing! Motel for Sale on Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine

Chalet Moosehead has 26 rooms, a separate owner's house and several hundred feet of frontage on Moosehead Lake. A new dock, floats, lawn chairs, grills, a lakeside stone fireplace, and a very strong business/cash flow. Visit the listing page on my website for more details. This is a great investment and lifestyle opportunity! Offered at $1,995,000 and is based on the financials.




one of the two motel buildings

the owner's house

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Back on the market! Adorable 9 room motel in Naples, Maine

Just a mile to the Naples causeway and all of the lakefront attractions, this motel has 9 spacious guest units (varying occupancy) with windows in the front and back, for wonderful natural light. The property is very clean and has been very well maintained over the years. Owners are just ready to retire! A buyer just has to come in and work on the marketing, not the building.

The owner's house is attached behind the office, offering a 2-3 bedroom space with kitchen, dining room (with new ceramic floor), living room with fireplace, deck, and full bath. There's a 2 car garage and storage. 

And listed at just $560,000!

Visit the listing page on my website for more details.







Monday, May 15, 2017

Allocation of Assets - Like a Hamburger???

Mt Gay rum, Bacardi light rum, a splash of cranberry, splash of OJ, splash of coconut water, lime juice. Light and tropical!


So I used a cocktail for my analogy (because it's more appealing in a photo than a burger), but the original article referenced a hamburger.

The writer attended a presentation where the subject of allocation of assets in real estate was discussed.

When I read the piece, it made perfect sense to me, but I thought I'd try and further explain and simplify the topic.

The writer mentioned that while most people see a hamburger, he sees a beef patty, a bun, lettuce, tomato and cheese. The components that make up a good burger. "He doesn’t see a single piece of real estate, but numerous smaller assets that comprise the larger asset. The same can be said of a purchase price allocation (PPA)." So my analogy represents the layers and components that make up the finished cocktail.

What does this really mean?

When a business sale takes place (keep in mind, a B&B is a business within a piece of real estate), the purchase price has to be allocated among assets: land, building, FF&E (furniture, fixtures & equipment) and sometimes goodwill and non-competition agreement. The seller has been filing a corporate/business tax return using a certain basis from when they purchased, and depreciating against such basis over the years of ownership. When the property does transfer, the seller's taxable gain (or sometimes loss) is calculated on that basis. But the buyer and seller have to agree on an 'allocation of assets', since it affects the seller's gain and becomes the buyer's tax basis for future depreciation. Are you snoozing yet?

Here's an example:

Most Beautiful Inn B&B
Contract Price $1,000,000 broken down as such:

Land: $200,000 (tangible property/real estate)
Building: $650,000 (tangible property/real estate)
FF&E: $50,000 (tangible personal property)
Goodwill: $75,000 (intangible asset)
Non-Compete: $25,000 (intangible asset)

Total $1,000,000 contract price

And let's say this represents the allocation the seller (then buyer) agreed to as their tax basis when they purchased:

Land: $100,000 (tangible property/real estate)
Building: $450,000 (tangible property/real estate)
FF&E: $30,000 (tangible personal property)
Goodwill: $35,000 (intangible asset)
Non-Compete: $15,000 (intangible asset)

Total $630,000 (what they paid)

So what does this mean? Because land doesn't depreciate, and the building and FF&E depreciate at different rates, the gain when a sale takes place is calculated on the new allocation as it compares with the old, factoring in depreciation. The seller pays a tax on the gain. Further, the state of Maine has a one time state transfer tax (when a property is sold) that is paid at closing; it is calculated on the amount allocated to land and building only (real estate). The FF&E, though tangible assets, are taxed separately by personal property taxes. And the parties have to sign an IRS  document that they agree to the allocation, so that they are held accountable should they decide to do any crazy accounting!

So as a seller, you will want to consider how a sale will affect you financially. Seek your accountant's advice on anticipating your gain. A lot more goes into this calculation than I'm describing here, but it's enough to help you understand the basics to talk to your accountant about.  And as a buyer, you can talk to your accountant about how your sale down the road might be affected by the agreed upon allocation.

I have to smile. My father is an accountant and when I was young and would visit his office, I'd say "I  could never be an accountant or crunch numbers like you do, Dad"...What is it that they say? Never say never?





Saturday, May 6, 2017

Understanding the Financials




One of the most important topics that buyers ask about is the financing of a hospitality property and how to qualify. And sometimes a buyer doesn't know what to ask.

I've gathered my most helpful blog posts on several topics and put them into a single web page on my website with links. Some of which are:

Financing (in general)
Using your 401k as a source for downpayment
Qualifying for a loan
How long has it been on the market?
Residential vs Commercial real estate
Local Lenders

and more. So check them out, I'm happy to help educate. And if you ever have a question, please don't hesitate to reach out.




Friday, May 5, 2017

I'm often asked "do you only sell in Maine?"

Good question...

M A I N E 

It's a big state...








Maine is a big state. I know Maine very well. I know Maine's tourism industry. And this big state has kept me pretty busy over the years. I never felt the urge to go outside of my region. The B&B Team represents buyers and sellers nationwide. But since joining the company in 2012, I've stuck with my home state (well, home since 2004).

But now and then I think about expanding and consulting outside of Maine, particularly when I'm asked to by a buyer or seller. Because the hospitality industry is the same anywhere you go, it comes down to filling your rooms, whether in Maine or in New Mexico. And understanding what you can do to fill those rooms is the same. It's really more about understanding the impact of the area on tourism and tourism on the area. And if it's not tourism, what is bringing guests to your inn?

For over 10 years (prior to moving to Maine to buy an inn), I did extensive budgets for large office buildings, warehouses and retail centers. I am well versed in deciphering financials, I understand projections, and I understand creating a business plan required for financing. All of which are the same, whether in Maine or New Mexico, California, Vermont, etc. You get what I mean.

I have a passion for the tourism and hospitality industry. I was an innkeeper for 7 years. I've been a real estate agent since the mid 90s, practicing here in Maine since 2008. I love spreadsheets (I admit it). But I'm also the creative type who can see the possibilities of nearly anything I look at. I think I have a great mix of right and left brain to help others succeed in this business.

So when I put all of my experience together, I think perhaps I should expand into the rest of the country. So we'll see!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Love Where You Live! #lovewhereyoulive

You've probably seen the hashtag "#lovewhereyoulive" in our new sharing world via social media. Nothing is really more important than this when it comes to leaving a job, home, family, etc. to move to a new location to buy your dream B&B.




Having traveled to Maine for almost 10 years before moving to Maine in 2004 (to buy a B&B), I know Maine. For years my eyes were glued to the Maine Atlas Gazetteer (before smart phone maps) when my eyes weren't looking for Moose or lobster shacks.

Maine is a very big state. I've traveled the entire coast and down the majority of the peninsulas. And for those who don't know, the coast of Maine has more miles of coastline than California because of all of our peninsulas. And I've traveled it. I know the towns and villages along the way. I've been up to Houlton, Presque Isle, Caribou, and over to Jackman, down to the Rangeley area, over to Bethel, down to Fryeburg, Naples and the lakes region. All along the New Hampshire border down to Kittery in Southern Maine. And let's not forget Moosehead Lake and Baxter State Park! Save for the very top of "The County" (Aroostook County), I have been there. I've stayed as a tourist, traveled as a resident, out exploring and enjoying what Maine has to offer. I know Maine. And I know the hospitality and tourism industry.

I know Maine!








So when it comes to helping buyers, I always advise them to 'love where you live'. Don't fall in love with a gorgeous building in a town that offers you nothing. There are gorgeous buildings all over. Explore towns and get a feel for what it is they have to offer both you and your guests. Remember, you're not just buying a business, you are buying a home. You want to feel like it's your home. And you want to feel at home in your town, in your community.







For the past 23 years, I have loved every minute of living in Maine, exploring its coastline, inland lakes and mountains and appreciating its beautiful nature. Maine is a welcoming state. Come check it out for yourself!

For more information on innkeeping, what I do, my listings, etc., visit my website and feel free to contact me.