Nicholas and Olivia Gustafson of Florida love Maine and hope to move Downeast this year with their two young children. Photo courtesy Gustafson family

Florida family mails dozens of letters in hopes of finding a home Downeast

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

When Nick Gustafson, his wife, and two children last summer visited Maine, they fell in love with the coast and resolved to buy a home Downeast. But a tight housing market meant they went home empty-handed. 

Gustafson decided to get creative with their house-hunting strategy. A licensed real estate broker in both Florida and Maine, he mailed letters directly to dozens of homeowners, asking if they were willing to sell.

“I was trying to think a little outside of the box,” he said.

The letters were received in towns from Steuben to Machiasport to Eastport. 

“We’re a young family that would really like to enjoy the benefits of raising our two kids in the great state of Maine while teaching them to appreciate nature and enjoy Maine’s natural beauty,” read the letter. “If you’re interested in selling or know of anyone in the neighborhood who is, please give me a call or send me an email.”

It wasn’t long before the letters became a subject of discussion on local Facebook pages. When the tight-knit Downeast community realized many had received the same letter, some wondered if it could be a scam.  

To investigate that concern, we spoke to Gustafson, and we called Florida Realty Investments, the company Nicholas Gustafson’s business website,, states he is affiliated with.

Florida Realty Investments Director of Sales Ryan Langley confirmed that Gustafson is a broker with his firm, and that he knew of Gustafson’s search to find a family home in Maine.

“I have 900 agents, he’s one of our top brokers,” said Langley.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation also shows that Gustafson is a licensed broker, license number BK3321106. The Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation shows Gustafson is a licensed associate broker in Maine, license number BA925458.

Gustafson said as a result of the letter, he’s had many pleasant conversations with locals.

“I talked to so many friendly people just from the letters alone, they’ve been the sweetest people,” he said. “Everybody seems super nice up there.”

Though many homeowners have responded, the Gustafsons have not yet found a home to purchase. They’re hoping to find a three-bedroom, two-bath home on the ocean, or with ocean views. 

“We’re open to fixer-uppers,” said Gustafson, whose letter states the family is pre-approved for a mortgage and could close in less than 30 days, or pay cash, depending on the price.

“With these properties, we would go through a very reputable title company in the area and make sure it is all handled professionally,” said Gustafson.

If possible, they’d like to move to Maine by April or May, sooner if possible. Gustafson, his wife Olivia, and two children, ages 2 and 4, currently live in a rural part of Florida outside of Orlando.

 “Where we are is outside of the touristy areas, we just love being out in nature,” said Gustafson. “That’s what drew us to Maine, too. When we visited, it was clear that Maine was a place we definitely wanted to call home.”

Selling a home Downeast that might meet the Gustafson family’s needs? Send an email to [email protected], or call 573-2922.




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