Medical Marijuana Caregivers Meeting – Augusta

The following meeting may be of interest to landlords concerned about medical marijuana use in their rentals. This is not intended as a forum for landlords or about rentals; I’m just posting it as a possible avenue to learn more about the topic.

MMCM Latest News

Events – Fall – Winter 2013

Upcoming Events


Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine will hold a free informational meeting and networking session for patients, caregivers and members of the public in Augusta on December 11th.

Learn more about Maine’s medical marijuana law, who is being helped by it,  what changes are expected, and how to get involved in helping people in need.

MMCM is participating in a fooddrive for medical marijuana patients in Maine, and will be collecting non-perishable goods at this event. All people who donate items will receive a free pin of their choice.
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Date: Wednesday December 11th
Location: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 9 Summer Street, Augusta.

R vs D – Where Do Landlords Stand?

Republican Democrat Symbols

They say all politics is local.

The last election in Lewiston (ME) was closely watched by members of the local landlords association as a former Mayor (Larry Gilbert) challenged the sitting Mayor (Bob Macdonald) for his post.

In previous years, there hadn’t been much apparent interest by area landlords in the Mayor’s race since the position doesn’t really have any power… it’s pretty much a figurehead job, with the ability to break ties when necessary on City Council votes, and little else.

This year, however, the issue of small landlords being pushed out of business by non-profit housing agencies that appear to get preferential treatment – including huge tax breaks and incentives – became a lightning rod just before the election.

Former Mayor Gilbert is very much a proponent of the subsidized housing programs that renovate existing buildings for upwards of $150,000 a unit; the current Mayor (Macdonald) had repeatedly gone on record as supporting the private landlords who struggle to make ends meet in an economy where the HUD (Housing & Urban Development) Fair Market Rent for a two bedroom apartment dropped nearly $100 a month locally – not that the rental subsidy programs were paying Fair Market Rent, anyway.

Macdonald, a conservative Republican with a penchant for very “rough around the edges” speech that evokes among some the same shudders that Maine’s uber conservative Republican governor has engendered, soundly whupped his liberal Democratic challenger Gilbert.  (Gilbert is a lot more polished, but isn’t immune to foot in mouth disease.)

Did Macdonald win the landlord vote, and thereby the election?  I don’t know.  What do you think?

We’re curious… have you voted in local elections based on the “landlord-friendliness factor”?  Take our poll!


Follow Us!

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

Meet the Businesses that Help to Make Our Conferences Possible!

Bangor Oct 2013 Logos        Andro Nov 2013 Logos

Despite the technology glitches of the past few weeks that prevented thousands of emails from being delivered, both the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference and the Greater Andro conference are still ON!  And
you can still get 8 CEUs on either Thursday, Oct 31 in Bangor or Friday, Nov 8 in Lewiston.  (Your registration fee also includes coffee breaks and lunch.)

However, you shouldn’t wait much longer to sign up.  Our space at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor is limited in size, and we won’t be able to handle a lot of unexpected last minute registrations… so hurry and sign up now – by Tuesday, Oct 29 at midnight at the latest!, or call John at 207 713 0674, or me at 207 740 2247.

There’s a little more time to sign up for the Andro conference, but time is running out for that one as well… it’s less than two weeks away!  You can register online at – or of course, you can call John at 207 713 0674 or me at 207 740 2247.

Excitement! On Thursday morning, I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Bangor when I got a call from Clay Gordon, of the Bangor area Channel 7 ABC/Fox network, who wants to interview me sometime next week for his morning show. Cool!  Let’s hope he still has a spot open, since it took me nearly a day and a half to wade through my emails to respond to his written follow up – I’ve offered to be available on Tuesday morning.  (If you’re up thataway, tune in to see how smaht I sound – cross my fingers!)

We have a number of exhibitors who are ready to tell you about their products and services. Check them out, drop your business card in the bucket and maybe you’ll win a door prize!

A & H (Teague Adams) – Andro conference only

Accurate Home Inspections: (Dan Link)
Advanced Fire Protection: (Dean Campbell)
Allen Freeman McDonnell Insurance: (Dale Bartlett) – Bangor conference only
Bathfitter: (Michelle Moore) – Bangor conference only
Greater Bangor Apartment Owners and Managers Association: (Sandra Blackmer) – Bangor conference only
Healthy Androscoggin:  (Dana Leeper) – Andro conference only
Keith Trembley Home Solutions: (Keith Trembley) – Bangor conference only
Lewiston Auburn Landlords Association (Donald Poisson) – Andro Conference only
Maine State Housing Authority: (Joe Locke in Bangor, and Paula Paladino in Andro) and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, (staff TBA) 
Mardens: (Ken Clark, with representatives from Shaw Carpentry & MetroFlor Engage )
Michals (Nick Lotfey) – Andro conference only
The Perfect Basket: (Celeste Yakawonis) – Andro conference only
Safe Air, New England: [under construction] (Bruce Hackett)
TP Environmental Consulting & Contracting: (Terry Pierson Curtis) – Bangor conference only
US Mortgage: (Bob Klar)
OHI is the Designated Non-Profit for the Bangor conference – it would be wonderful if you could bring a donation of dry and/or canned goods for their food pantry.  As you know, they are a great organization providing critical services for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Please visit their exhibit and learn more about them!
At lunch time there will be a self-defense demonstration by Maine Traditional Karate ( since having the knowledge to stay safe is important in today’s world.  And we’re hoping to have chair massages available for you, as well!


In Lewiston, John F Murphy Homes, Inc is the Designated Non-Profit… a great organization that has provided excellent services to people with intellectual disabilities for more than 3 decades. 
The lunchtime Keynoter is Jim Bennett, the City Manager for Presque Isle, and former City Administrator for Lewiston… it should be a great discussion!  We’re also hoping for free chair massages for all at this conference, too!

Do you like to write about real estate, housing or land use issues?  Check Out Our Blog, and if you’d like to be a guest writer, please do give us a yell!  We also have an eletter, a group page on LinkedIn (the Maine Real Estate Investors Group), and pages on Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media.
So, there’s lots going on – we hope you’ll join us!
P.S.  Next spring we’ve scheduled a two day conference at Seasons Conference Center in Portland on May 01-02… we have a great keynote speaker (attorney Paul Mills), and some fun events on the horizon!

Linda M. Snyder, M.S.
207 740 2247
Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference
Oct 31-Nov 01, 2013 | Cross Insurance Center
Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference
Nov 08, 2013 | Ramada Inn & Conference Center
Greater Portland Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference
May 01-02, 2014 |  Seasons Conference Center
Greater Portland Pet Expo – The Business of Animals
June 05-06, 2014 | Seasons Conference Center
Hitch your wagon to a star.  R W Emerson



For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:

To Sponsor or Exhibit:

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:

To Sponsor or Exhibit:

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

How Many Children Per Bedroom in the Typical American Home?

The following is a repost from the National Association of REALTORs.

NAR Blog

  • A friend of mine recently remarked that my neighbors, who have two young children in a 2 bedroom apartment, would surely not be around for long since they would need more space on account of the children. Children need their own rooms, he argued.
  • Since I grew up with two sisters and recall sharing a room more often than having my own space as a child, I thought this viewpoint couldn’t possibly be correct.
  • On account of government data being unavailable for the time being (see, I took a look at recent data from our Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers which is based on a survey of recent home buyers. The experience of all households which would include renters and long-time owners as well as recent buyers may be different, but examining the Profile gives us good insight into the actions of recent home buyers.
  • What I found probably explains why my friend and I had different thoughts on the matter. I am from a family of three children. My friend has only one brother.
  • According to recent profile data, roughly a third (32.7 percent) of homes purchased by buyers with three children under the age of 18 had 3 or fewer bedrooms. Assuming that one of these bedrooms is used by the adult(s) in the household, roughly a third of 3-child purchasers would likely have children sharing a room.
  • By contrast, among households with two children only 4.1 percent of recent home buyers were purchasing a house that implied some sharing for the children (2 bedroom or smaller).
  • Sharing a bedroom is the norm among households with 4 or more children under 18. Nearly seven in ten 4-children households lived in a 4-bedroom or smaller home, implying sharing among the children.
  • The chart below shows median number of bathrooms and bedrooms broken down by number of children under 18 in the house. The more children, the more bedrooms the typical or median family has.

  • What are your clients’ attitudes on the number of children for each bedroom? Is there a clear norm in your market?

Danielle Hale, Research Economist

As a Research Economist at NAR, Danielle studies tax issues, the wealth impact of home ownership, and different measures of home prices.

Landlords to Hold Lewiston Candidates Forum


The Lewiston/Auburn Landlord Association is holding a candidate forum for Lewiston City Council and Mayoral hopefuls on October 29, 2013.

The location is the C&J Hall, 711 Webster St. Lewiston and will begin at 7 pm.

Candidates will be given an opportunity to briefly address the landlords concerning the candidate’s philosophy on issues of concern to landlords in Lewiston.

The candidates will then be asked a series of questions related to landlord matters. Landlords in the audience will be given a brief opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.

The forum will end at approximately 8:30 pm. All landlords are welcome to attend whether members of the association or not.

Confirmed speakers thus far include both mayoral candidates (Robert Macdonald, the sitting mayor, and Laurent Gilbert, a previous Mayor of Lewiston) as well as several council candidates.

Thomas P. Peters, II Esq.
937 Main Street
Lewiston, Maine 04240


Feds host small business forum at USM

From MaineBiz online.  09.12.13.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s national ombudsman will be at the University of Southern Maine on Monday to host a forum for small business owners, representatives of local economic development organizations and trade groups.

SBA ombudsman Brian Castro will lead the forum on federal regulatory issues dealing with small businesses on Monday at 9 a.m. in Room 102 of USM’s Wishcamper Center at 34 Bedford St.

Attendees will have a chance to voice their concerns about federal business regulations that Castro said, in a prepared statement, are sometimes written with major corporations in mind.

Comments from the forum will be directed to a federal agency charged with evaluating regulatory fairness.

Government Should Not Compete with Private Industry

Government should not engage in providing products or services that private industry can do and make a profit at.”   Charlie Colgan.  State Economist.  USM Professor.  Approximately 1990. 

He said this during one of my Master’s level classes in Government Business Relations, and I have repeated it over and over and over ever since.Some of you have heard this story:

I’ve been a landlord since 1983.  In 1995 I started work as a housing developer/grant-writer for a non-profit mental health agency in Augusta.  The agency owned a lot of group homes, and I helped create more, which of course didn’t sit too well with City Hall, as it further eroded the tax base in a city that’s already inundated with non-profits and governmental entities.

I argued with my boss, the Executive Director of the agency that the least we could do was offer the City of Augusta a PILOT – a payment in lieu of taxes – but he refused.  He said we were already doing the City a favor via our services.  I couldn’t believe the arrogance…. he didn’t say “We don’t have the funding”.  He said “We’re doing them a favor by existing”.

One of our properties was a 3 unit apartment building – two 1BRs and one 3BR.  The agency wanted to turn the 3BR into three separate 1BRs.  A sensible decision with our clientele.

However, instead of just doing it the way any other landlord would (and which might have cost $15,000 back then) I was sent to Manchester NH to learn how to apply for a specific HUD program to get free money for the renovations.The HUD program was great… it would indeed be free money.  Of course, we’d have to follow all sorts of rules, including the hiring of an architect that I priced out at something like $70,000.  For a job that you and I would have spent $15,000, the total cost of this project would have been well over $100,000.

It was at that point that I realized the taxpayers were being ripped off, and that I hated my job.  (The project wasn’t completed with the HUD money because we ran into the issue of not enough parking space for a 5 unit building. I was THRILLED.)

I’ve told this story over and over, to various Lewiston and Auburn committees I’ve sat on, to members of the Chamber of Commerce, and everywhere and every time I’ve had an opportunity.

I’ve asked the Cities to pleeeeease recognize that they are competing with private industry, and if they want to create subsidized housing, to find a way to provide loans to private landlords to renovate first floor apartments for those with disabilities.  This has been one of my mantras for nearly 20 years.

They have waiting lists while we have vacancies that can’t be filled…. It is frustrating, it is killing landlords and it is wrong.


Legal Landmines for Those in the Real Estate Business – Affiliate Businesses May Be Affected

Did you know… If you have a house to rent with a drainage ditch to the side, and a family with children wants to rent that house, you MUST put in fencing or otherwise mitigate the situation?  You may NOT suggest that this is probably not the best place for a family to live.  You MUST spend the money to fix the issue.   (Contractors may want to specialize in safety issues.)

My husband John attended an Androscoggin Chamber Brown Bag lunch on Thursday regarding issues facing landlords, which was facilitated by two local lawyers.  The above scenario was just one of the many items brought up, which included issues that have recently become case law or precedent setting, such as the ruling by the Maine Human Rights Commission that “If a tenant has a pit bull as a service dog, you MUST allow that tenant to have that dog, even if it means your property insurance is canceled… which it almost certainly will be because most insurance companies refuse to cover pit bulls”.   (Insurance companies may face a backlash because of this.)

Another landlord says her insurance company just notified her they were canceling her insurance – because she has too many Section 8 clients!  WOW!  It’s illegal for landlords not to accept Section 8, but an insurance company can cancel coverage for having “too many of those tenants”???

Scary stuff… If you’re in the landlording, real estate investment or property management business – or businesses that provide products or services to these – you have to stay on top of the issues!

We will do our best to offer trending information and answers, in our eletter, this blog and at our upcoming conferences.

If you have scenarios, questions, ideas and so forth that you’d like to present or write about (we welcome guest bloggers!), please contact me.


P.S.  And of course, here’s information about this fall’s conferences.

The Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference and Trade Show will be at the Cross Insurance Conference Center Ballroom in Bangor on October 31 & November 1st. Exhibitor info here:

Attendee info here: Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference will be at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center in Lewiston on November 8th.

Attendee info here:
Exhibitor info here:

And info on advertising in the Show Program can be found here: .Other events in the planning stages:

Greater Portland Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference and Trade Show (2 days)
April/May 2014
Aroostook Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference (1 day)
May 2014
Eastern Maine Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference (1 day)
May 2014
MidCoast Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference (1 day)
June 2014

Who to Contact re The Maine Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conferences

If you have specific questions about The Maine Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conferences and Expos, here are the best people to contact:

Linda Snyder, 740 2247 or

· Designated Non-Profit RFP

· Exhibits & Exhibitor Guidelines

· Insurance Requirements

· Marketing Yourself

· Show Program & Advertising

· Sponsorships

· Venue-Specific Shows (producing an event at your location)

John Snyder, 713 0674 or

· Facilities, Safety & Security

· Volunteering

· Workshops & Activities

What a Great Event! is producing several Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conferences and Expos in Maine this year:

· Greater Androscoggin Real Estate & Investors Conference and Trade Show, at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston ME – May 9-10

· Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference and Trade Show – at the new Cross Insurance Arena, 515 Main Street, Bangor ME -October 31-November 01

· Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center, 490 Pleasant Street, Lewiston ME – November 8

For more information, check out these sites:

Exhibitors, Sponsors & Non-Profits

General Information




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