I, too, am considering Lewiston as an option. I would love to hear what people think of this market.
the one mile block of tree named streets in downtown between main, sabattus/webster and lisbon st and east ave are one of poorest and highest people per square mile in our state. they are lots section 8 qualified, guaranteed to be challenging. one biggest players owns land and leases the buildings back but areas near canal st where govt was going put in new off ramp. so many bld run down.
the conditions are varied but majority of blds are classified as D bld and "high" crime neighborhoods high for maine not usa but some sporadic improvements are being realized around court house, canal by river, canal by rt 495, kennedy park, and ice arena by high school.
outside this area is much safer and better quality overall conditions, neighborhoods esp near bates college, or closer to highway. more sfr and less multis.
many use local long term experienced property management teams unless your strong experienced landlord with systems in place. i have rented too and be inside many lewiston buildings. some transplants have cultural programming like keeping or killing or processing livestock in apartments cupboards and trash accumulation is issue. i have dealt with many lewiston applicants and my experience many with high percent of eviction and or conviction history or both.
most are limited by section 8 rules. many my tenants were on younger side, and many had mmj cards and smoke indoors. allow friends couch surf, but some are entrepreneurial but have wrong product.
deals can be had. but don't scrimp on professional inspections, or onsite interviews. buildings can be fixed much easier than tenants can.
be very careful of flipping single family homes in this tree block area. it wont likely be sold to live in homeowner but rented out by displaced local.
@Harrison Smith thanks for the kind words!
As you may of guessed L/A is a bit different from the rest of southern and central Maine.
There are some areas that are simple to avoid in both Lewiston and Auburn unless you like that type of property.
In Lewiston the biggest area to avoid would be pretty much everything inside the area that starts at the river, go up Main St. to Sabattus st, then to Webster, follow Webster to East Ave and then back to Lisbon st. draw a dotted line back to the river. Follow river back to Main st.
There are a couple of neighborhoods adjacent to that area that are hit or miss.
Auburn the area I avoid is to start at the corner of Court St and Goff St go along Goff to Dennison St, Dennison to Whitney, Whitney to Center/Turner St back to Court St. Not quite as bad as the Lewiston area but still pretty bad.
Same as Lewiston but not to the same degree with adjacent areas being hit or miss.
I do not see the market here doing anything like it has in the southern part of the state. Especially with multi's. The problem here with multi-families is the age of the product, most are 80+ years old and have not been treated kindly.
The plus side to this area is the rents have been climbing due to a shortage of units. A 3br goes for 1000+ even in bad condition. This is probably because of immigration and the city of Lewiston with their aggressive removal of apartment buildings (averaging around 20 buildings a year).
There was an article in the paper(sun journal) about Lewiston and the proposed rental registration fees. I do not have a link but it had some interesting info in it. Came out last month (Sept).
Jeremy hit it on the head about the crime, it is not bad as far as nationwide, but is seen as bad when compared to just Maine.
For a little insight Lewiston was named 7th safest city out of 180 nationwide with Portland coming in 9th!
As for renters, I highly recommend doing a background check and credit check, charge the applicants the fee when they fill out the application. I put that info about checking them right in the ad and it really helps eliminate a lot of wasted time weeding out folks.
Hit me up if you have any properties you are curious about, I live in the area and own 6 buildings/18 units here.
Great information everyone! It will be interesting to see what happens on Avon Street regarding the 240-unit development proposal. Saxon Partners would target medical staff with 1 bedroom efficiency apartments.
@Eric Pierpont I was checking out the population growth for the area and I do not know how they would fill 240 1br apts! Perhaps if the siphoned off all the tenants in other apts in the area that are working in the medical industry here. With the new apts on Spring st in Auburn and the other project on Lisbon st in Lewiston taking a big bite out of the apartment shortage in this area, I think the lofty 240 is going to change to a mix of 1br 2br and possible 3br, especially if they try for any government funding.
@Brian Mitchell You are welcome!