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Mexico was among the many most cost-effective locations to reside in Maine earlier than the pandemic, with typical houses valued at $60,000. This 12 months, 4 houses there offered for greater than $300,000.
Whereas the fascinating spots in southern Maine like Cape Elizabeth and Portland have seen the most popular markets in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, rural communities like Mexico, which is simply throughout the Androscoggin River from the mill city of Rumford, are additionally seeing houses promote like they by no means have earlier than.
The everyday residence in Mexico was price $59,600, the bottom for any neighborhood in Maine with 1,000 folks or extra, as of probably the most not too long ago accessible American Neighborhood Survey numbers from 2020. A lot of the solely communities that have been beneath have been plantations and townships of fewer than 100 folks.
That valuation has risen for the reason that pandemic started, as has the median gross sales worth of a house available on the market. It was $60,000 in 2018, $65,000 in 2019, $77,000 in 2020 and $93,900 in 2021, in response to Redfin data of offered houses.
Mason Milligan, a 26-year-old welder, grew up in Rumford and lived in Maine all his life earlier than shopping for a two-bedroom residence in Mexico in March. He determined to attempt for it after being outbid on one in Rumford, interested in a large storage and a need to go away extra rural Andover.
Milligan mentioned he was “not completely blissful” with the $179,000 worth for the house, however famous that the market was excessive. That was the second priciest of the six two-bedrooms offered in Mexico this 12 months. He was capable of purchase the house with the assistance of a Federal Housing Administration mortgage.
The median gross sales worth for two-bedroom houses in Mexico from 2018 to 2020 was $75,000. Total, the median gross sales worth thus far in 2022 was $159,900, although that quantity remains to be far beneath costs in most of Maine.
Again in January, a four-bedroom with round 100 acres turned the most costly residence offered in Mexico prior to now 5 years, in response to Redfin information. It went for $599,000 after 77 days available on the market. It was purchased by two individuals who listed their deal with as a house in Los Angeles.
The city is most identified in Maine for its distinctive title, which got here from native sympathy for Mexico’s struggle for independence from Spain on the time of the city’s incorporation in 1818.
It has lengthy housed staff of the ND Paper mill in Rumford. When that mill noticed drawdowns with modifications within the economic system, Mexico’s inhabitants shrunk. After peaking at 5,000 in 1960, it has practically halved in dimension since then. However the 12 months 2020 was the primary time the U.S. Census recorded a inhabitants enhance in 60 years, with 2,800 residing there.
A few of these new residents are shopping for houses there, together with 24-year-old landscaper Evan Dore, previously of Farmington, New Hampshire, round 2 1/2 hours away. Dore, who purchased a house for $190,000 final January, had by no means been to Mexico earlier than he started his search.
He started taking a look at transferring to Maine attributable to costs spiking round him in New Hampshire. He initially checked out transferring to southern Maine however discovered that it was additionally too costly for him.
So he appeared farther north. He discovered the world enticing due to the variety of leisure alternatives, together with mountain climbing and fishing spots in addition to close by snowboarding.
“As a first-time homebuyer, I wasn’t tremendous choosy and simply needed a pleasant, clear place to name residence,” Dore mentioned.
Whereas it’s unclear how lengthy new residents will keep in Mexico, rural life away from the busyness of cities stays interesting to many. Since transferring into his four-bedroom, Dore has discovered his neighborhood calm, locals good and leisure spots fulfilling.
“It’s a good change to not have all of the mountain climbing and outside spots overcrowded in the course of the summertime,” Dore mentioned.