Here's Where To Find Salvaged Materials In Maine


Gray Fox Real Estate and Gray Fox Properties value construction practices that lower our consumption of natural resources. We want to showcase local places where you can find existing construction materials for your home or project.

Why is this a thing?

“Landfills emit greenhouse gases, harbor disease carriers such as rats and flies, and reduce natural habitat” according to HowStuffWorks. By reusing existing materials, less materials are sent to the landfills and the need for energy to produce new materials is reduced. Also, a lot of old stuff is really beautiful. They don’t make ‘em like they used to!

Below are some local businesses that collect salvaged materials through donations or purchases. Typically the materials are ideal for small parts of a large project (like building a house) or for smaller projects (like refurbishing a new piece of furniture or finding unique decorative items).

Portland Architectural Salvage - Portland, ME

Portland Architectural Salvage is located in Portland on Preble Street. Their website has 15 categories of items to browse for things like wood, windows, lighting, and new arrivals. Below are just a few examples of the beautiful doors they have that can be reused or repurposed as whatever you can imagine up!

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

The Old House Parts Company - Kennebunk, ME

Located in Kennebunk, the Old House Parts Company focuses on 18th, 19th and early 20th century items like doors and windows to be reused or repurposed into something new.

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

Architectural Antiquities - Harborview, ME

Architectural Antiquities is located in Harborview, Maine. They clean and refurbish every piece they put out in their show room so they are ready for your project. Their categories cover everything you may need, even sinks and toilets.

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

Habitat for Humanity ReStore - Portland, ME

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore “sells donated new and gently used building materials, appliances and furniture at greatly reduced prices.” The proceeds help support Habitat for Humanity, which helps to create opportunities for affordable homeownership in Cumberland County.



Orphan Annie’s Antiques - Auburn, ME

Orphan Annie’s Antiques has furniture and light fixtures as well as more unique items like phonographs and victrolas.

Screenshot via Orphan Annie’s Antiques’ Facebook

Screenshot via Orphan Annie’s Antiques’ Facebook

I tried to find an apartment rental in Portland. Here's what I learned:

It’s expensive.

This one might seem obvious. According to News Center Maine, the Maine rental market is one of the least affordable in the US. The average rent in Portland is $1,463( In 2018, CBS News reported that the average rent in the United States was $1,405. Those numbers don’t seem all that different, but we have to consider how much of one’s paycheck is going towards that $1,400-ish rent payment.

“The report found that the typical renter household in Maine makes $11.82 per hour -- $8.09 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home”(News Center Maine). This means that annually, renters in Maine are making $23,640 per year. According to and the Social Security Administration, the average wage income in the U.S is $48,251. So considering these two incomes, rent in Portland is going to take about twice as much of a renter’s monthly income than elsewhere in the United States.

They go fast, even the “bad” ones.

If you are house hunting, your buyer’s agent will likely advise you to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you start searching so you know exactly what you can afford. Plus, when you find “the one” you are ready to make an offer!

It is similar for rentals. Most rentals go fast because people need places to live. Because of this, you need to be prepared. This means you will likely have to fill out an application on the same day you see the rental in order to be considered. If you haven’t done the proper research and budgeting, you may miss out on the rental to someone else. And don’t assume that just because an apartment wasn’t in the best condition that it will be available.

You need to know what to ask and look out for

You have to remember that landlords are renting these properties as an investment. Their main purpose is to make money. It’s your job as a renter to ask questions like:

  • "What’s included in the rent?”

  • “May I see the lead paint disclosure and radon air tests?”

  • “Who is responsible for lawn and snow maintenance?”

  • “How do you handle maintenance requests?”

  • “Are there designated parking spots?”

These are questions to ask before your lease is signed, not after. If utilities aren’t included in the rent, you need to know beforehand so you can budget accordingly. Knowing whether or not you have a designated parking spot is important if the unit is on a busy street or you work late and don’t want to be driving around and walking a long distance to get home.

You may be wondering why people hire buyer’s agents to purchase a home but not to rent? They are both significant financial decisions. At Gray Fox Real Estate, we provide services for renters. If you are overwhelmed by the process, contact us to help you find properties, ask the right questions, and protect you in the process.

Just Sold in Woolwich, Maine!

484 Mountain Road, Woolwich $205,000

Soak in light-filled, window-lined-living in this efficient, passive solar, contemporary home on 1.5 acre private setting in Woolwich. Enjoy the ease of entertaining in the open kitchen, dining and living with woodstove. Upstairs, two spacious bedrooms with cathedral ceilings await. Savor morning coffee or evening drinks from the southerly-facing front deck. Outside, garden shed and quintessential Maine hosta gardens await. Just 7 minutes to downtown Wiscasset, 12 minutes to downtown Bath, 25 minutes to Maine Street Brunswick and 50 minutes to Portland.

Ways To Buy A Home With No Down Payment


For first time home buyers, getting a mortgage loan and saving for a down payment can be daunting. Many struggle to get approved, feel like they will never reach their savings goal, or cannot afford to pay off the loan they get approved for. There are many options like low or zero down loans, as well as more unique options like crowdfunding or cash back savings while shopping. All of these options have pros and cons to be considered before pursuing one.

Zero Down

The obvious pros to a low or zero down payment loan are that you can get the loan sooner and the savings can be spent on other things like improvements and expenses(NerdWallet). However, there are cons. With a low down payment, you may get a higher interest rate because you are seen as a higher risk. In a lender’s eyes, you are more likely to not be able to make a payment than someone who could afford to make a larger down payment. Low or no down payments also mean lower equity in your home. With low equity, a drop in the real estate market could mean that if you want to sell, your profit may not pay off or break even with what you still owe on the mortgage(NerdWallet).


A unique alternative to saving is HomeFundIt, which has both a Cash Back Program and a Crowdfunding Program to help newlyweds, young families, or anyone who might need a little help saving for their home! The Cash Back Program gives users up to 20% back on purchases at select retailers, and stores it in a secure savings account. Their other program allows users to set up a Crowdfund where friends and family can donate to help meet their savings goal. They can choose to make their donation conditional, so if the goal isn’t met, the money is returned to them, or non-conditional, where the user keeps the money either way.


This is typically seen as a low risk way to buy a home but in fact, it is very risky. To sign a lease with a landlord that is both your landlord and a seller is too complicated. If you have low credit or are looking to build equity in order to eventually get a mortgage, renting-to-own is a slow way to do so since you don’t gain equity while renting(TheBalance). You also risk losing all of the down payment monies that you have already given to your landlord/seller. The benefit is that you get to try the house out before you own it. If you are interested in renting-to-own, you should consult a real estate lawyer because they will be able to advise you on the risks and benefits of your specific transaction.


Join the Gray Fox Adventure Troop at Saco Heath Preserve!

Take an adventure with the Gray Fox Adventure Troop and learn about how designated green spaces can improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities and benefit real estate values. As part of our conscious company model, we are organizing events to connect people to green spaces in our communities.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 10:00 am, we will be walking the Saco Heath Preserve, a 1,218 acre preserve with a bog and boardwalk. Learn more about Saco Heath Preserve here.

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Just Sold in Cumberland, Maine!

29 Shady Run Lane, Cumberland $460,000

This charming Colonial in the Westridge Subdivision features an open concept kitchen with Quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances, a master bedroom with an en suite, and a spacious backyard and deck perfect for entertaining or relaxing. Enjoy the privacy of this home in this quiet, wooded, and convenient neighborhood within walking distance to Cumberland Center, schools and local restaurants. Yarmouth and I-295 are also only a short drive away.

How Maine Is Making Strides Towards Renewable Energy


In 1994, the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant accounted for 33% of Maine’s power according to MaineBiz. In 2005, the power plant was decommissioned due to safety concerns and high operating costs. After that, Maine made changes to incorporate renewable energy.

Some of the major catalysts that contributed to Maine’s changes towards renewable energy, according to MaineBiz, included:

  • “The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (2007) encouraging greater use of clean (i.e. non-fossil-fuel) energy”;

  • “The 2000 deregulation of the two major electric utilities, Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro, forcing them to sell their power-generation assets”, and;

  • The “2008 Wind Energy Act” which set goals for installing wind capacity throughout the state.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recently updated profile (based on June 2018 data), almost 85% of Maine’s net electricity generation came from renewable sources.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, wind and solar energy are the source of 21.17% of energy in Maine in 2018.

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, wind and solar energy are the source of 21.17% of energy in Maine in 2018.

Making up about 1/5 Maine’s net energy, the industrial sector primarily uses biomass, hydroelectric and natural gas turbines to generate power. Maine is now part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, “a bipartisan coalition of 21 states committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement”(MaineBiz). Because of these efforts, Maine is now one of the 10 states that have the lowest carbon emissions. To learn more about emissions and what causes them, read our blog post on carbon emissions!


Explore The City At Your Feet with Portland Trails!

Portland Trails’ annual City at Your Feet scavenger hunt is coming up this Saturday, July 13th!

City at Your Feet is a cross-town scavenger hunt and people-powered trail adventure. Teams compete to crack as many clues as possible and gain points for finding unique locations along the trail network, all while traveling car-free throughout the city. Whether you walk or bike, bus or pogo-stick, City at Your Feet will get you and your friends and family out the door and exploring all the incredible sights that Portland Trails has to offer!


When: Saturday, July 13th, 2019, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Starts and ends at Portland Gear Hub, 155 Washington Ave with an After Party!
Price: Tickets are $25/adult (16+) and $12/child (15 and under).

You can participate in teams of 2 to 6 participants.

Register early to get a spot and share with your friends!

At Gray Fox, our way of contributing to our local communities is by donating 1% of our annual profits to organizations that focus on conservation and land trusts in Maine. Portland Trails is just one of those organizations!