The house on Lookout Way in Northeast Harbor was recently sold to a working family to live in year-round. PHOTO COURTESY OF IHT

Year-round family buys IHT/MD 365 house 

NORTHEAST HARBOR — Island Housing Trust and Mount Desert 365 have announced the sale of a Northeast Harbor home to a local workforce family at a price of $275,000.  

IHT and MD365 developed a partnership to purchase this house in a year-round neighborhood in Northeast Harbor, and then sell it to a year-round household at a lower, more affordable price. The local family who owned the home approached IHT to help them sell the house to a year-round family, with covenants to maintain its affordability for future year-round owners. IHT contacted MD365 to explore a partnership.  

IHT and MD365 pooled resources to purchase the property early in 2021. In February, MD365 invested in the property and IHT made a loan to complete the purchase. This gave the eligible buyers time to secure financing, which was finalized in June through Bar Harbor Savings & Loan, which has assisted several buyers of year-round homes with affordability covenants held by IHT. MD365 then sold the house to the new homeowners with affordability covenants and a 99-year lease on the land, retaining ownership of the underlying land. IHT will manage the land lease, covenants and long-term relations with the homeowners, as well as oversee any future sale of the property. This shared equity model with a long-term land lease is one way that year-round housing organizations can partner with workforce buyers to reduce the cost of the house. 

The need is great for year-round housing on Mount Desert Island, especially for those earning at or below Maine’s median family income of $75,700. “Opportunities such as this are far too rare these days. We are grateful to the sellers for making this commitment to the community, to IHT for inviting us to join them in this process, and we are delighted for the new homeowners to have a permanent home for their family,” said Kathy Miller, executive director of Mount Desert 365. 

With distinct but overlapping missions, Island Housing Trust and Mount Desert 365 share a vision for the long-term viability of communities on Mount Desert Island through affordable housing opportunities.  

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