Frequently Asked Questions

Highland_pan


1. Where is the Sebago Lake Region

Sebago Lake is 20 miles northwest of Portland; an hour inland from the coast; 2-3 hours' drive from Boston by major roads; about 6 hours' drive from New York, and 6 hours' drive from Montreal. It's the second largest lake in Maine. The Sebago Lake Region is part of western Maine's lakes and mountain area, and includes Sebago Lake and the 30 or so lakes of varying size around it. (top )

2. What types of property are available for rent?

Krainin Real Estate rents privately-owned cottages on 30 lakes and ponds within 15-20 miles of our Raymond office -- the largest and most complete service in the region. Styles range from rustic camps and log cabins to cottages, fully finished summer homes, and a few condo's. (top)

3. What time of year are properties available?

Peak Season is for 8 weeks in summer, and during that time (late June, July and August) and some of the Low Season weeks, all rentals are for a 1-week minimum, Saturday to Saturday (see Calendars). A few properties have a 2-week minimum, and some condo associations require four weeks. The rest of the year, rental properties are available through the spring and fall, and through the winter holidays. Availability varies with each owner's personal schedule. (top)

4. How much do rentals usually cost?

Our average Peak weekly rate is $2000, about $39/person/night, over a range from $700 to $8,000. Rates vary depending on lake and location, type of waterfront, cottage capacity, time period, and amenities. Which weeks are Peak, Low and Off-Season is indicated on the Calendars.

If you rent 2 or more weeks, there is usually a reduction. 9% state lodging tax applies to all rentals, of whatever length, plus a 5% service fee (min. $60 - max $300).

If the rates for private-waterfront cottages are a stretch for your budget, consider that many nice cottages and condo's with shared beaches are also available. Shared beaches are usually larger, rarely crowded, and often even sandier! (top)

5. How are the rental units furnished?

All are completely furnished, including pillows and blankets, dishes, pots and pans, cutlery and gadgets. Most have a gas barbecue, some have a charcoal barbecue. All have tv's and most have at least basic cable and internet. All have fans and a few have air conditioning, which is to say an air conditioner in one of the rooms, not central air. The style of furnishings varies widely, as each property is individually owned. Some properties are very old fashioned, some very contemporary; many have a miscellaneous collection of furnishings from the owners'past. (top)

6. Are boats ever included?

Many rentals include canoes and kayaks, a few have small sailboats. Motor boats are never included in rentals, although some may have a rowboat that can have a motor attached if the boat is registered. You can rent motors at local marinas. You can also rent all kinds of boats and water toys for at local marinas. Please see our Vacation Guide for marina contact information..

If you rent or bring your own boat, be aware of docks & mooring capacities: We do not check or guarantee that they will hold your boat, especially if the weather gets rough on a large lake. Check it out,and bring an extra anchor and bumpers, just in case! (top)

7. What is expected of us as Guests?

Your part in the arrangement is to be a careful, considerate guest and abide by the owners' house rules (and the rules of the property owners' association, if there is one), so happy owners will continue to give us their cottages to rent to you again! (top)

8. How do we know you're a reputable firm?

Krainin Real Estate has been renting and selling property in the Sebago Lake Region for 40 years. We are members of the local, Maine and National Associations of Realtors®, Bridgton Chamber of Commerce, Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Maine Bureau of Tourism, Lakes Environmental Association.

Each year our rental program has grown, and we now manage more than 1,200 vacation rentals every summer. We work hard to match you with a cottage that meets your requirements, and to help you with anything you need while you are here.

We're not mindreaders, and we can't promise that you'll like your cottage if you book it sight-unseen, but we can promise you we'll try our best to make your vacation a happy one! We have 50% repeat renters every year, and some of our families have been renting through Krainin for more than 30 years. Realistically, you can expect a few minor problems -- they're part of life, property and the woods -- and we work together to overcome them, but our "serious problem" rentals are fewer than 1% each year. Our staff and our property owners are all dedicated to making this your greatest vacation ever!

You might want to read some comments from last year's renters. (top)

9. What size groups can you accommodate?

Most vacation properties are built to hold about 6 people, some as many as 8. A few properties can take much larger groups, but these book very quickly. If your group is larger than 8, start early and be prepared to rent several smaller cottages. We try to find you ones that are close to each other. (top)

10. May we have guests, a party or a family reunion?

It is extremely important that we know exactly how many will be in your group. Too many people and vehicles at a property can result in problems with water and septic systems, damage to house and yard, upsetting the neighbors, and the potential loss of the cottage from our service, if the owner blames us for your excessive use! So please be sure to tell us about all the people (including dayguests and overnight guests) who wish to come, so we can accommodate your group comfortably without exceeding the owner's occupancy limit. Some owners with larger lots (acreage) may agree to weddings with the appropriate additional security deposits and insurance. We do not book graduation parties, prom parties or similar events.

Gatherings, Parties and reunions are by special permission only, and are not allowed unless specifically authorized in your contract details.

Overnight Guests: Most owners allow you one or two overnight guests for a couple of nights, and those numbers are provided with the Occupancy information: i.e., 8+2 means that 8 people can stay at the cottage for the entire rental period, and an additional 2 people would be allowed to stay for a couple of nights(usually there are not beds for them, just futons or a pullout sofa).

Day Guests: Most cottages, but not all, allow you to have a few (4 is a good number) guests during the daytime if it is not every single day. Any number more than that constitutes a Gathering. (top)

11. May we bring pets?

Some properties accept pets (more often dogs than cats); additional rent or security deposit may be required. You are expected to keep them under your personal control within the boundaries of the property (following Maine leash law), and to clean up after them and to make sure they do no damage to the property or grounds. If a property is a "no pet" rental, that may not necessarily mean there have never been animals there, so if someone in your party has severe allergies, please note on your Request form or tell your Rental Agent. Please also be aware that neighbors of the property owner may have pets; we cannot be responsible for your pet's social interactions! (top )

12. Mind if we smoke?

Owners do not permit smoking inside their cottages, but you may smoke outside if you're careful and considerate. That means smoking only where your smoke can't drift back inside the cottage, and picking up your butts! Some owners do not permit smoking anywhere on the property. (top)

13. Will we have a telephone?

Now that nearly everyone carries a cell phone, land lines are less common, but many cottages do still have them, hardwired or cordless. Some have telephone bundled in with their cable or internet. Cell phone service can be poor in some areas of the lake region. If it's important to you to have reliable phone service, you should be sure to rent a cottage that has a land line. For long distance there will be Screen Billing or a Long Distance Calling Plan. Your cottage data will indicate which service is offered. Screen billing means you can receive incoming calls and you can make outgoing local calls, but you can't make outgoing long-distance calls except with a calling card, or on your cell phone, and you can't make collect calls, in or out. (top)

14. Can we have internet access?

Most properties now have internet, including wifi. If wifi is not offered, it's a good idea to bring a long ethernet cable or your own wireless card. You can also stream your home tv subscriptions through your laptop. (top)

15. Will we need to carry in drinking water?

Most properties have wells nowadays, but some cottages use water pumped directly from the lake. That is not recommended for drinking unless you boil it first. Drinking water is available from faucets and pumps at various locations in the area, and owners usually provide several empty containers for the purpose. Well water is usually safe to drink, and of course bottled water is now available at every supermarket. (top)

16. What do we need to bring?

You need to bring your own sheets and pillowcases, towels and bathmats, kitchen towels, toilet tissue, trash bags, etc. We are now providing rental linens through Pratt Abbott Cleaners for those who are unable to bring their own (because they are arriving by plane, for example). These are available at $20/bed for King, Queen and Full, and $15/bed for Twin. Towel sets are $5 per person, and Bathmats $3 each. Please tell your Rental Agent when you book if you will need us to provide linens. (top)

17. Is there curbside trash pick-up?

Yes, or at an area near the cottage where the hauler can park their truck. Saturday pickup is available in most locations, but one or two owners will provide a dump sticker and ask you to take your trash to the recycling center yourself. If we have to send someone for your trash after you leave, we deduct a minimum of $60 from your security deposit (more if it's messy or a large quantity). You can also call and pay $30 to have your trash picked up -- any day except late Friday or on Saturday. (top)

18. How can we find out what's available for our timeframe?

The Rental Request Form gathers the information we need to have in order to tell you what's available. If you email us, or print and fax the form, we will send you a list of Rental Possibilities for your timeframe with links to their individual brochures. Please answer all the questions and return the form as soon as possible, because properties rent quickly. If you prefer, you can call 1-800-332-1806 and we'll take your specs over the phone.

If you want to explore on your own, there are several ways to do that. You can see the basic data and availability for all our properties in table format on the Availability page. Or if you need specific amenities, you can search for them at Rental Search.

At the bottom of the Availability page there is a map that shows the locations of all our rentals. If you leave it at the default, you can see where renting cottages on two different lakes might require less driving time than two on the same lake. That would be important to know if you have a large group, or are planning to visit friends and family who live in the lake region.

19. Can we go to see the cottages before we choose one?

We emphatically encourage you (or a friend or relative) to visit our office and go out to see your best Possibilities. Easy-to-follow driving directions are available, so you can see the waterfront, neighborhood, etc. We try to make sure window shades are up, so you can see as much of the cottage as possible, and if the owners happen to be there, they will in most cases invite you in. However, we ask you to be considerate of winter tenants who may still be in residence, and not ask them to show you inside the cottage. If you are renting 3 weeks or more, we will make arrangements (with sufficient advance notice) to show you the inside, but we cannot show cottages personally for rentals of less than 3 weeks, or give you keys to go in by yourself. (top)

20. Once we've chosen a cottage, how do we reserve it?

Please check with us by phone 1-800-332-1806 to be sure that the property you want is still available. It's a good idea to have two or three second choices, also.

When you have told us which cottage you want, we mail or email you a Rental Contract to sign and return with your deposit. When we receive your deposit, we send you a Confirmation, showing the balance due, outlining arrival procedures, and providing additional cottage information (telephone number, etc.). (top)

21. How much time do we have to pay for our rental?

After availability is confirmed, you must send 50% of the rent and a 5% service fee (min. $60 - max $300) within 10 days* to hold your reservation. The remaining rent, the 9% State of Maine lodging tax, and any security or phone deposits are all due no later than 21 days before you arrive.
*If you book with fewer than 21 days to arrival, the total rental amount must be sent, with all taxes and security deposits, in certified check or money order, by express mail (or PayPal -- see below). (top)

22. Can we pay by credit card?

We're sorry, but we're unable to accept credit card payments at this time. We can take credit card convenience checks, personal checkbook checks, checks from your bank via your online banking account (just enter Krainin Real Estate, PO Box 464, South Casco ME 04077 as a new payee), travelers' checks, money orders and wire transfers. Due to long bank transit times (even in this world of electronic data!), if you are paying your final balance with a personal check, it must reach us at least 21 days before your arrival. (top)

23. Do we have to sign a rental contract?

Yes, we have a Rental Contract. The person who signs the contract must be one of the people staying at the property. Since the contract is a legal document, the person who signs it must be at least 18 years of age. That said, please note: We do not book graduation parties, prom parties or similar events. (top)

24. What is the "Peace of Mind" waiver?

The Peace of Mind damage deposit waiver is an alternative to providing a regular refundable security deposit (most deposits are $400 this year). It consists of a refundable part ($100) and a non-refundable part ($40). If you choose the waiver and pay the $140, your responsibility for any unintentional damage is waived, up to $1,500. $100 will be returned if there are no issues with trash disposal, cleaning, moved furniture, deliberate abuse of the property, late departure, unreturned keys, etc. Find more details in the Rental Contract, item 9. (top)

25. What if we need to cancel?

After Confirmation, if you need to cancel, your payment can only be returned if the cottage is re-rented, and then less a 20% cancellation and a service fee. Tell us if you even think you may need to cancel, because the sooner we know, the more likely we can re-rent it. ( top)

26. Are any of these rental cottages for sale?

Yes, some properties are on the sales market. This has implications not only because we hope you're interested in buying one! Renting a for-sale property means you agree to allow occasional showings by brokers from our office and other agencies, with reasonable advance notice. (top)

27. What if our cottage gets sold?

If you book an on-the-market property and it is sold before your vacation begins and the new owner does not want to keep your rental, we will help you find another cottage or give you a 100% refund. It's a question of timing, depending on when the closing takes place and which weeks the buyers want to use the cottage themselves. Many buyers opt to keep some or all of the rentals -- we just can't guarantee that they wil keep them. It's unusual for us not to be able to find a replacement cottage when necessary, but if your logistics are such that changing your booking is not an option, we recommend that you don't rent a cottage that is on the market. On-the-market properties work well for last-minute bookings, as it now takes at least 60 days from contract to closing on a sale.

...and if you are interested in buying lake region property, we'll be happy to help! Just ask your Rental Agent to have a Sales Associate contact you. (top)

28. Where do we pick up our keys?

All keys must be picked up at, and returned to our Raymond office unless other specific, written arrangements are authorized by the owner. (top)

29. What times are Check-in and Check-out?

Summer Rental check-in time is from 3pm (no earlier!) to 5pm Saturday, at our Raymond office, and check-out must be by 10am. For other seasons, rental periods and check-in/out times can vary. (top)

30. What if there are problems with our cottage?

Sometimes equipment fails and we are not told about it. You should check the cottage when you arrive and let us know immediately of any problems. If there are any (cleaning, plumbing, appliances, etc.), we will fix them for you as quickly as possible. We have a fulltime Property Manager on duty all summer, with cellphone for overnight. If problems are unfixable, we will move you or work out some other solution. (top)

31. What if we just don't like our cottage when we arrive?

We describe our rental properties to the best of our ability and in great detail, but it is your responsibility to view the cottage, or send someone who knows your taste to check it out, because the nature of the service is such that we cannot refund your payment if you do not like your cottage when you arrive.

We are sorry to have to be firm on this, but there is no other way to protect the owner's interest after keeping the property off the market on your behalf. If you want to be moved to a different property, we will move you if one is available, but you will have to pay for both cottages. We would not be able to refund any rent for the first cottage unless we could re-rent it quickly.

Also, we cannot be responsible for the height of the water in the lake, the relative size of the beach, or the weather! (top)

32. Help! My question isn't on this list!

(top)