Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter in Acadia National Park

This is the beautiful Seawall Coast of Mount Desert Island, Maine, and one of my favorite sections of Acadia National Park. Open during the winter, you can drive in and park your car and walk along the coast in boots or snowshoes and enjoy the beauty of the rugged granite capped with pure white snow. There are nature trails perfect for snowshoeing and there are X-country trails groomed throughout the season for skiing. Outdoor activities don't stop after summer!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How does this relate to innkeeping?

I recently came across this clipping while I was going through some files and clearly remember why. Twenty plus years ago I snipped this from a Washington Post when it reminded me of someone I knew whose father made good money and all he did was save; but by his attitude it was evident he did not enjoy everyday life. And at 21, we aren't always focused on being smart with our money, but I recall thinking this quote said it all. And I was determined to use money wisely, but enjoy using it, unlike my friend's father. So here I am, living a dream in Maine as an innkeeper myself. And because I get it, I am able to help buyers and sellers as they hand over their job as innkeeper to another. I think I've used my money pretty wisely.

What better way these days to use our money and make it work for us? Buying an inn or a B&B provides an enjoyable job (both a use and an advantage); it serves as an investment (both a use and an advantage); it buys a home (again, both a use and an advantage); and clearly it buys a lifestyle (you guessed it...both a use and an advantage).

What many first time B&B buyers don't realize is that if they're looking at a property with good business value, they may easily qualify for far more than they would for a private home where your salary is used as the basis for loan qualification. And banks love to lend for successful business purchases, naturally it minimizes their risk. So just because your current salary may not qualify you for a purchase of a million dollar property, the gross revenue and potential of that property does play a significant role. Yes, you need the downpayment, but for a less risky purchase, the bank is often willing to be creative to benefit both the buyer and the bank. Contact a Maine bank to discuss the options - the first step doesn't cost you anything.

give it some thought - you just might get it...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Was $489,000, now $450,000 - a wonderful opportunity to buy a 4 room B&B or 5 bedroom personal residence in Rockland, Maine from motivated sellers

The Lakeshore Inn - just 3 miles to downtown Rockland, 6 miles to Camden and situated across from Lake Chickawaukie with deeded lake access. 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, huge common guest spaces, 3 fireplaces, very spacious and private owner's quarters with fabulous kitchen, lots of windows, large screened hot tub, charming brick courtyard with potting shed, private entrance, detached garage (could be converted into great living space), all on a large wooded lot. The property is also fully sprinklered which is an obvious benefit for the owners and for their property insurance rates. Virtual Tour Property Photos

Just make an offer, you might find yourself with a great deal on the table...

The Sellers listed the property with me just a couple of months ago and family circumstances on the West coast are requiring their attention sooner than they anticipated. This is an opportunity for a buyer to obtain a low interest rate and a great deal on a very well maintained property. Everything is in place for new buyers to continue to market and grow the business; the potential in this area is real. It's worth a look!

Spectacular year round views at INN ON THE HARBOR - this is a lifestyle, investment and a home...

This is Stonington, on Deer Isle, Maine, as seen from our guest room at the inn.

It's mid-January. The time of year when people from the rest of the country wrongly assume we hibernate in Maine. My husband and I decided to head out of town for a night and stay at Inn on the Harbor (yes it is my listing, but we don't live so far that we couldn't do a day trip - it's about the feeling of the inn and of Stonington). Simply walking around town outfitted with weatherproof L.L.Bean boots and our camera is all we need. It's not about how much snow and muck there is on the ground and when it's going to melt, it's about enjoying the beauty of these picturesque villages all year. Stonington is a fine example of quintessential Maine island life, where the town's Main Street and its businesses are actually situated on the harbor for all to enjoy. This peninsula of Maine is home to numerous artists, galleries, shops, restaurants and working fishing villages. Watching the lobstermen bring back their catch; sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee just "people watching" the locals; having a gallery owner open up their doors for you in the off season even if they are closed; and best of all, for me, sitting in the oversized chaise at the inn with my glass of wine and a book in front of the picture window facing the water. It's just something special.

When we woke up (after a near 10 hour comfortable sleep!!) this was our view (though I missed actual sunrise). The guest room was The Heritage. But 10 of the 13 guest rooms at this inn share the same view of the harbor.

As a PFA (person from away), I now fully understand "Maine, the way life should be" - and Inn on the Harbor is amongst the top that best convey that meaning. The inn is open all year - if you've been thinking about buying an inn and sharing the dream, just come stay a night or two - you'll be hooked if you do...

the inn is offered at $2,200,000, has substantial gross revenue, options for small restaurant, cafe or expanding the espresso bar into food service, retail. The "American Eagle" is the inn's newly renovated owner's quarters and offers the best view, private deck, 2 bedrooms, large bath, full kitchen, woodstove, comfort and elegance. Contact me for more details; view photos and virtual tour.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Listing in Freeport - Captain Briggs House Inn, $845,000

The left side of the house is guest wing; the entire right side is owner's quarters and are quite spacious and charming with exposed beams, wide plank hardwood floors and plenty of natural light.

There are 6 spacious guest rooms all with private baths
"The Barn" Owner's Quarters"

Owner's Quarters Kitchen

Located in the heart of town but on a quiet residential street just a minute stroll to shops and restaurants. Good business is in place for new owners to grow. This 6,600sf property is well maintained. And at $845,000, this would make a great lifestyle, investment and a home. And with year round business in Freeport, real growth potential is there.

Artisan Sourdough Breads

I picked up a new listing today in Freeport and on my way out of town I drove past a sign that read:

I had to stop - what a name! (besides, I hadn't eaten anything and I could survive on crusty bread, wine and cheese though I had to do without the wine since I was driving). They offered samples of everything they bake, providing they hadn't sold out. They were all fantastic. And they ship for pennies more! Worth a try.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sea Smoke at Sunrise...

Sea smoke is a cloud over the sea, which could otherwise be called fog, and is usually formed when very cold air moves over warmer water. The physics are in principle similar to lake-effect snow. My husband captured this photo (I must give him credit) early this morning.

Evaporation from exposed water surface depends upon its vapor pressure. If the water temperature is greater than that of the nearby air, the evaporation continues faster than the air can absorb the water vapor, even though the cool air's relative humidity is 100%. This further evaporates immediately and re-condenses as visible fog, which rises up in convective currents. If the wind blows across cold icy areas like the Arctic, the breaks in the ice sheets where clear water is exposed, the water surface steams up into the air, producing fog.The condition for such fog formation requires not only low surface temperature but also a preexisting surface inversion of temperature to inhibit the rapid development of instability.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New INN for sale in Mid-Coast Maine

This fully renovated historic grand mansion has become a well known and very successful 12 room inn offering high end luxury to its guests. The business and physical structure are in perfect turn key condition for new owners.

This is true grandeur worthy of great pride
This mid-coast inn is the epitome of B&B luxury and has been renovated top to bottom. The main inn has 8 guest rooms and the carriage house has 4. Guest rooms are quite spacious and have fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, jetted showers, flat screen TV's, fireplaces and oversized upholstered seating. The custom upholstery, bedding and furniture are not to be believed. This is a designer's showcase in every sense of the word. The owners quarters consist of the entire first floor of the carriage house. There is a 2 BR 2 BA apartment with full kitchen, living and dining room and 2 entrances. Adjacent to this apartment is a 1 BR 1 BA apartment with kitchen and open living/dining room; it would be simple to combine both spaces with minimal cost. Alternatively, this space could be used as guest or staff space. Offered at $2,695,000, the business income is very strong and easily supports the price. New owners can comfortably raise rates when comparing other properties. This is a MUST SEE property.

NEW LISTING - offered at $590,000 and priced to sell

Sunset Vista Cottages in Edgecomb on 21 acres with water frontage in mid-coast Maine

Sunset Vista offers the buyer possible subdivision, commercial and residential use, family summer retreat; preliminary site evaluations in place for possible expansion of 6 additional cottages and expansion/renovation of the main house. This is a property which could lend itself beautifully as a home (3 BR 2 BA) and investment with rental income from the cottages (2 BR, 1 BA, kitchen); convert to a small summer camp, convert the main house to a B&B (built in 1840), or to a small restaurant/cafe with outdoor seating, maybe picnic areas, an event center or anything else the creative mind could conjure up. It just takes imagination...

Below: the home with the four cottages in the left of the photo

Left, the view from the porch of a cottage; right, the water frontage

This fantastic old barn is just waiting to be renovated. It has the potential for great living space!
Offered at $590,000 - this 21 acre property has over 500 feet of water frontage on Cod Cove, Sheepscot River in Edgecomb and offers many options for residential and mixed commercial use. Located less than a mile from busy Route 1, Sunset Vista sits high atop a hill offering a peaceful, beautiful view over the river toward the picturesque town of Wiscasset (home to Sheepscot Pottery, Edgecomb Potters and the famous Red's Eats lobster shack!)
This could be the time to buy as an investment (while interest rates are so low) and subdivide. The potential future value of each separate parcel might really be something to consider...

Virtual Tour Information Summary Property Photos

Monday, January 12, 2009

Orange-Cinnamon Buttercream filled Almond Florentines

These are a crowd pleaser to say the least! Try them out, package them up as gifts for friends...who doesn't love a homemade cookie, particularly one that's a bit more unique? It's the perfect mix of cookie and nut brittle.

2 cups sliced almonds
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3/4 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup

Mix all ingredients except nuts in saucepan and melt over medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil, then add the nuts. Mix well, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then drop onto parchment lined baking sheet – these spread a great deal, so leave PLENTY of room. Bake until they turn golden brown – cool before removing for 2 minutes. Repeat with all batter until done. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the flat side of the cookie, top with another cookie (flat side to the buttercream) and store in a container between wax paper.

I fill them with an orange-cinnamon flavored buttercream (this I make by taste and texture but I am sure you can find one online)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Blanket of Fresh Maine Snow...

This is The Lakeshore Inn Bed & Breakfast in Rockland, Maine. Offered at $489,000, it is priced to sell. Enjoy a wonderful turn-key business, lifestyle and real estate investment.

Lakeshore Inn is just 3 miles to downtown Rockland and 6 miles to downtown Camden. And it's situated across from Lake Chickawaukie giving a feeling of inland Maine but with the conveniences of shopping, restaurants and the deep blue ocean close by.

I love to show people why Maine is so beautiful in the winter - there are countless days with clear blue skies that follow a wonderful snowfall. And when the lakes are frozen, put on a pair of skates or snowshoes and enjoy the great outdoors. Winter here is not for hibernating...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Creative Labeling...

I came across this recently in a World Market store. As a foodie with only moderate wine knowledge (some refer to us as "Wineaux"), the bottling caught my attention as a fun, casual and inexpensive wine for any occasion! They offer several varietals for a tasty conversation piece...which, by the way, is a great thing when you are in the hospitality industry. Any time you can offer guests a little something extra to remember their experience, it shows that you have gone one step beyond cookie cutter and offered something a bit more personal...and at very little expense. Or share a favorite wine with your guests, and it doesn't have to be all the time. Your guests will appreciate your sharing what pleases you.