Real Estate

Where is the Boundary of Waterfront Property?

Under Maine law, a property boundary described as extending to or along  “the shore” of a tidal area extends only to the high water mark, and not to the low water mark – and the intertidal area between  the upland owner’s land and the low water mark could be owned by another party.

Under well-settled Maine case law, a deed to waterfront property describing a boundary as extending to or along the “shore” means that the property line stops at the high water mark, and does not extend over the intertidal area to the low water mark. (more…)

What Happens to Your Coastal Easement When the Sea Rises

Sea rise can shrink the size of oceanfront property as the oceanfront boundary creeps inland.  It can similarly shrink any easement over the property.  Depending on where the easement is and how it is defined, sea rise can cause the easement to move inland as the water’s edge moves inland, cause its use to become more limited, or cause it to disappear altogether. (more…)

10 Legal Points for Maine Waterfront Owners on Sea Rise Erosion of Boundaries and Protective Seawalls

  1. Waterfront properties may shrink as the ocean rises and the rising low tide moves their waterfront boundaries inland.

Under Maine law, ownership of oceanfront land typically extends to the low tide mark, or 100 rods from high tide. As the low tide line gradually moves inland because of the rising sea level, so too will the waterfront boundaries move inland. Also, as land that was intertidal becomes permanently submerged, it will become State property, as the State owns all submerged land off the Maine coastline. (more…)

The Golden Girls Shared Housing Model – Comedy or Tragedy? It all comes down to planning!

Television has popularized the notion of older adults living together in a shared housing arrangement born out of financial or other necessity, but evolving into a mutually supportive environment, capped off by ensuing hilarity.  In real life, however, the results of a shared housing arrangement can be significantly less fun, especially if proper planning isn’t employed at the outset. (more…)

Is that a “Spite Fence”?

This common scenario plays out throughout all of Maine:  a homeowner sets out to complete a major renovation to improve a water view and over the course of the remodel, relations with a neighbor sour.  Maybe it was the construction crew that drove on the neighbor’s lawn without permission or maybe it is the expanded size of the newly renovated home that has generated the ill will.  Either way, the disgruntled neighbor has now built a tall boundary fence, which, coincidentally or not, obliterates that newly obtained view.  What can the homeowner do? (more…)