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What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Posted by PequaFrog z7a/Long Island (nancydrew85@optonline.net) on
Wed, Oct 26, 05 at 15:09

Hey everyone!
I'm a regular poster in the Pond and the Aquarium forums...but i really the help of Mainers.
We really love Maine and want to move there. My daughter is a senior in HS here on Long Island, NY, so we figured next summer is our time to go. We've visited many times but cannot find the perfect town (if it exists). We'd love someplace with a downtown feel (like Stars Hollow in the Gilmore Girls--anyone?...anyone?) Needs to be near-ish a College. Needs to have good schools (5 kids--ages 17 to 2)I'd love to have an acre or more to grow my beautiful gardens in. We love snow--old houses--mountains--wood stoves--good people.
I just can't commute to NYC anymore. In fact, ever since 9/11 I get freaked out going in on the train and subway. I witnessed that day first hand and will always be affected by it. So, we want to move to the perfect little town...and live our life the way it should be.

thanks for your input everyone!!!

PF


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

My town is nice--Saco--on the coast, 20 min to Portland, 1 1/2 hr to Boston. Amtrak leaves downtown station several x day for Boston. Good schools, private high school which the town has been contracting with to educate its students since the 1800s, a "Main St., Maine" community (meaning we are doing a lot to keep our downtown vital). Pop. approx. 18,000. No mountains but 1 hour drive puts you either in the White Mts. of NH or ski country in ME. Still a lot of land being developed outside of town with a very rural feel. Even properties close to town can have a good-sized yard, mine is an acre and I can walk to town/schools, etc. Real estate has skyrocketed due to Boston market, but if you've been living in the vicinity of NYC, buying here will probably feel like a steal. Email me if you want to know more!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Here is vote #2 for Saco. I have only owned a home here since Feb. '03 and am only at my home on weekends for I still work in Cambridge MA and commute the 100 miles on the Amtrak Downeaster every Friday afternoon and return to Boston on Monday morning. I wil retire to Saco full time early in 2008. I have a great veggie garden and flower gardens and am a little over one mile from the Ferry Beach State Park & Camp Ellis Beach. Snow amounts and temperatures are fairly similar to Boston. Velichen talks of the private high school. It is Thornton Academy and is a classy private school that all Saco kids can go to automatically since the town does not have it's own high school. Some great stores and garden centers, namely, Moody's Nursery and also Green Mountain Transplants are nearby. Portland Jetport is only 20 minutes away and I have often managed to obtain plane tickets to DC and other places as affordable as in Boston. Nice little museum, excellent library and many great local stores and places to eat. I have lived in Cambridge, the Bay Area, Chicagoland and know this community will meet all my needs and hopefully my recently married son and his bride will find a way to move here...they currently live in Brooklyn and work in NYC and would much rather raised their planned family here as well as enjoy the gardening, clean air and friendly people they have found on their monthly visit to my homestead!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

You have to go on visits and say to yourself, can I live here? If you find a location that makes you think, yes I can, then start checking out the area around it.
My DH found himself coming to Portland often and started renting cars and driving around, and realized he rather liked the area. He found he preferred waht he saw of Scarborough and the Kennebunks. I came up one weekend and knew within a matter of a few hours that I could not live in Scarborough. Sure, the houses were nice, Portland and shopping were very handy, but I could not live there.
We drove over to Kennebunkport and Kennebunk, I liked them fine. Ogunquit was quite pretty, but the real estate agent we got in Kennebunk steered us away from there, and a good thing too, not really a place for kids.
We live in Lower Village in Kennebunk, a stroll from Dock Square. I used to take my youngest for walks down there, he loved it when he was little. We'd look at the shops, the boats, go for ice cream, visit the library. We could even walk to the beach as long as we had a little red wagon for him to ride on once he outgrew the stroller.
The schools are fine, no gripes from anyone as far as I know. One thing I did like very much was that they had a very good summer day camp for kids in grade school, run by the town, which also has many recreational programs throughout the year. On the other hand, teenagers complain there isn't much to do. My daughter was 15 when we moved here and she said most kids complained of boredom, but then, that depends on what your kids interests are.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Except for being further inland than southern Maine, Farmington would match what you want.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmington_(town),_Maine
That shows some stats about it. Population is around 7500

http://www.twinpond.com/farmingt.htm
List of links in the Farmington area.

The University of Maine at Farmington is right smack in the middle of the town and offers lots of things for the general public, including concerts, lectures and you can pay to use their Fitness Center.

The downtown is great with cute gift shops, a nice bookstore, a used bookstore, coffee shops, barbershops, thriftshop,health food store, some clothing stores. (It really could use more variety of clothing stores though.)

Farmington has a nice multi-screen movie theatre. I don't have children but I work with children and the only people I have heard complain about the schools have been some parents with kids with special needs. They sometimes don't feel the school has met their needs.

Farmington is closer to the mountains that you want than you would find in southern Maine. If you ski, it's about an hour away from three large ski areas: Sugarloaf, Saddleback, and Sunday River. There are lots of great places to go hiking around here too and lakes nearby include Clearwater, Wilson, and Porter though they are not really large lakes. You are an hour away from Rangeley Lakes area which does have BIG lakes and beautiful scenery and nice little shops.

Farmington doesn't really have a super big garden shop and one place closed last year. But I have heard a new place is opening in Wilton and we do have Agway and a very nice place that gets bigger every year called Robin's Flower Pot. She is doing a great job and has quality plants well tended. 45 minutes away in Manchester is a very large garden center called Longfellow's.

Good luck deciding. I know Farmington is NOT southern Maine, but I couldn't resist telling you about Farmington. By the way, I don't even live there! I have an office there and live 15 miles north in Strong.

Joanie D.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

PF,

"Needs to be near-ish a College."

The University of Maine System has branches in several locations in Maine. There are, of course, many other colleges. You can find many links to Maine information here. Maine has a lot of inland water if you are interested in lakefront property. And if you want an ocean view near a beach, you should be able to find that as well.

We've only been in Maine for three years, so I am no expert on the area. Although I do a fair amount of shopping on the Internet, I like to be fairly near good shopping areas. Good medical facilities are important, too. Of course, the Portland area has good shopping and medical services. The Lewiston-Auburn, Augusta-Waterville, and Bangor-Brewer areas are also good inland centers near a four lane highway.

Good luck in your search for a Maine home. Maine has a lot to offer.

MM


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I live in eliot maine, small town, your less than ten minutes to portsmouth n.h, that has a downtown like you want, I have lived here for over 20 years


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Everyone, thanks so much for your input. Please keep them coming. My wife and I anxiously await new posts!

Ps. Ordered from LL Bean today abd struck up a conversation with the sales clerk. He was saying that towns near Sebago Lake region are really pretty. We've been to Sebago Lake but never really in the surrounding towns. One of the schools we're going to look at is right on the lake. St. Josephs. So, we're coming up Veterans Day weekend.

Keep 'em coming..and thanks!!!

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

What about prices, guys? Inland is cheaper right? We would just like to hear...nothing. Here in NY, there's always this background noise. Cars...and honking...police/fire/trains. When we visit Maine, we get out of the car and the door slams... whoomp. Then what...? The sound of a dog barking way off in the distance...maybe some wind. Really, you guys probably don't realize how silent and peaceful it is. Just breathing the air up on Mt. Battie felt weird in my lungs. It almost tasted good.

Where else is small town America in Maine, everyone?

Thanks :-)


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Yes, inland is cheaper. A place on the coast that costs $300,000 may be $150,000 in Western Maine mountain area. You can live in Farmington and still be in Portland in two hours. I live on a dead-end road in Strong and the loudest things I hear are the owls!

Joanie D.


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Southern Me.? Am i dreaming?

We're probably going to move somewhere with a reasonable commute to Portland...because I'll be coming without a job. So, hopefully we'll find something nice in a small town for under 200k. Am I dreaming?

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Gee, and we were driving through central New York state and marvelling how pretty it was, how peaceful and quiet with all those beautiful Victorian houses scattered about.
NO JOB?? I certainly hope you would have some prospects lined up at least. There are many native Mainers with excellent job qualifications who've fled south simply because the best jobs they can get here are in retail and pay very little. This is just something to think about in case you weren't aware of it.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hard to find something "nice" within commuting distance of Portland for less than $200,000. But you can probably find a smaller home, or one that needs a little work, for less than that.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

PF,

You might want to do some Internet searching for where job opportunities actually exist. Check out various places like Spotlight on Jobs: Maine's job market, The Myth of the Perfect Job, JobsinME.com, and AnyWho Maine job links. Those are just a few of the many places you can find on a search engine like Googol.

The Official website of the State of Maine has links to a lot of Maine information, including information on job opportunities.

I listed these links because I think it may be harder to find a good job in Maine than to find a nice quiet place to live. But I agree with you about the quiet. We live in a heavily wooded rural area of a small town near Augusta, and it is so delicious not to hear traffic sounds, and to hear the sounds of nature. And without light pollution our sky is so full of stars it's amazing. And on those rare occasions when we have the Northern Lights, they can be spectacular.

MM


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Thanks for those links MM. It's hard to put all of this together. Next week we're coming up to look at 2 colleges-- Then we'll apply after the 1st.--put the house up for sale in April---start looking for a job that will be willing to wait until the house is sold--find a buyer for the house in NY that will be willing to hold off on closing 'til after school ends for the rest of the kids--find something in ME.--and move before school starts. Is it gonna all work out? Yeah, sure it will.. :-\

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I have to second Farmington in spite of the fact that it's west rather than south. UMF is ranked at the top of public liberal arts colleges in the east and the recreational and cultural opportunities are amazing for a small town. Check us out---we'd love to welcome you!

Here is a link that might be useful: University of Maine at Farmington


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Check out York, Maine

Lots of history - beautiful homes - great beaches - 10 minutes to Portsmouth NH for tax free shopping and great restaurants - 30-45 min to Portland.

UNH, UNE, USM all are an easy commute


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I'm coming up on Friday! We always get so psyched to come over that green bridge. I really can't wait! Visiting St. Joseph's College in Sebago and USM in Portland.
Here in NY, we have a pond...are there any Maine ponders? Or, is it too cold for too long?

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Too cold for a pond?! That's what ice skates are for :)


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Well, skating is cool too. I was just wondering if folks in Maine did the water-garden thing.
Anyway, we had a wonderful time in your beautiful state. We visited Standish, Windham, and stayed in Biddeford. We're leaning toward Standish-Windham because of the proximity to Portland and or course, how beautiful it is. Here's a pic of my son on the campus of St. Josephs. There's a path right to Sebago Lake.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I couldn't believe there were snow-capped mountains right there! I can't wait 'til the summer and we make our move!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I have to put my two cents in on this one. First both my son and daughter-in-law went to Saint Joseph's. Both were very happy with the education. My son came home his first semester in 1992, and he told us he was spending the rest of his life in Maine. He has owned a condo in South Portland and then moved to a home in Westbrook. Westbrook is a wonderful location. If I was at a point of relocating I would look at the Westbrook area. You would be very close to Portland for medical, shopping, and cultural. At some point we will be moving to Maine & more than likely it will be in the Westbrook area.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Westbrook sounds wonderful. Can you get a decent size lot there? We'd like to get maybe 2 or 3 acres.
Are you having snow in maine today? We had about 4" last night here in New York. I think this cold weather and early snow bodes well for a White Christmas!

-PequaFrog


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

No snow here today. Our high was 30. Ironically, it's considerably warmer here than where my son lives in the Kansas City area, where it was about 13. But we had a very white Thanksgiving.

MM


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I know my son mentioned that several properties are for sale in Westbrook. His property orignally was 3 acres and he split it so he could build a new house. His neighbor has 15 acres on one side of him and I believe the other neighbor has 20 acres on the other side. I mentioned to my husband that you were looking to go to Maine and he had to agree with you Windham is the place to live. It will be interesting to see where we end up when we get to that point and what size lot. We have 17 acres now, and use it all. Good luck with your move.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hi...Check out Berwick. It's an hour from Portland, and the same from Boston. It's 20-30 minutes from the shore. My husband and I live in berwick and commute to Mass for the higher pay. Properties are still reasonably low priced. 3 years ago we got 22 acres on the river with a 3year old home for $199,000. Prices have risen, but there's ALOT of for sale signs right now.
I have 2 kids in the primary school and LOVE IT!!!
Good Luck!
~Kim


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

What are the differences between Berwick and South Berwick, other than the obvious geographical one?


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

  • Posted by Suenh cold end of 4! (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 16, 05 at 7:50

Be ready for a bit of culture shock, though I have to admit it isn't as bad as it was.
I escaped LI in the late 70's, been in the mountains of NH since. My parents retired to Maine as soon as they were able. Consider further north a bit, the Blue Hill Maine area is lovely, still very rural but not a bad drive to things your used to. The scenery is stunning!

I'm in the Plymouth NH area, I have a college, a super Walmart, building a Lowes and Home Depot. Another big box is apparently coming in but name is still a secret. Takes me an hour to get to big malls and 2 hours to Boston. I can ride my horses clear to the Canadian border and listen to the coyotes howl at night. Best of both worlds and now sales and income taxes.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Sue,

Correcting a typo: you meant to say, "Best of both worlds and no sales and income taxes."

That no sales tax and no state income tax advantage is an attractive feature of New Hampshire. Wish we had the same thing here in Maine. But then our state would have "no visible means of support". (grin)

MM


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

We've been hearing good things about Raymond, Maine. Gonna plan another trip north next month.

-Drew


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

South Berwick is alot bigger in regards to their downtown area, and their pricetag..lol. The kids also go to a differant school system. Our downtown in Berwick consists of a town building with the police there, a couple little stores (haircut place, a nice restaraunt, and a Subway which is yet unopened) Our school system is shared with North Berwick, and Lebanon. You can search MSAD #60 for school info. Berwick and the surounding towns are pretty quiet. So...yea...culture shock is a definate! You do learn to love the quiet. It's true what the licence plates say 'Maine IS the way life should be,' even in a bordertown!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Posted by: Barncats So. Maine (My Page) on Sat, Nov 5, 05 at 5:56

Check out York, Maine
Lots of history - beautiful homes - great beaches - 10 minutes to Portsmouth NH for tax free shopping and great restaurants - 30-45 min to Portland.

UNH, UNE, USM all are an easy commute


NOTE: I DON'T THINK YOU CAN EVEN BUY A GARAGE IN YORK FOR $200,000 OR LESS.

It IS a beautiful place to live, though.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Covehillsoaper is absolutely correct in the assessment of real estate prices in York. 250-300K might get you a '50s ranch that you could renovate. Lots are expensive and you need to be sure you get one with a building permit... if you don't, you will likely have to wait a year/two before you'll be able to get one.

Ogunquit is a lovely town, there is an elementary school and the older kids go to the Wells school system. I beg to differ that it isn't a "place for children"... I know several people and kids from that community; they are pleasant, polite, and unconsumed with preconceived notions about "alternative lifestyles". :)


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I totally agree with chelone about Ogunquit.(Hi neighbor!) A more beautiful and friendlier town in the southern coast is hard to find. Population is small but swells during the summer months, as do most Maine coastal towns. Kids do flurish there and it is family friendly. It does have a gay population in town but so do just about all other towns. I think the snipes about alternative lifestyles say more about the person that said them then anything else. Good luck with your serch. Have you decided on an area yet PF? NancyLouise


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hi Long Island,

I moved here from Chicago and anywhere you go is going to be quieter than the congested noisy traffic of NY. In fact, as you know from vacationing, it's a different world here. In many ways far more primitive than one expects in 2006.
I'm in the Lewiston Auburn region and I wouldn't recommend that despite the fact there are a couple schools within shouting distance. Most of the modest sized towns have non-cozy downtown regions. I haven't seen the Gilmore Girls, but I can tell you you'll have better luck finding that in NH. Dover for instance is cozy. Having said that, I would recommend doing some searches via HomeGain (I think it is). They have a neighborhood calculator where you take the zip of a place you live or like to live and then punch in the zip of the place you may be going and it will tell you what town is like that in the area, based on crime and housing and other demographics.

Portland, even on its busiest day, is nowhere near as stressful as a somewhat busy day in the suburbs of Chicago, so with that in mind...

Boothbay and Freeport have cute downtowns, but are far too busy during tourist season. (I know what i said about Portland, but you know....sometimes it gets to you)
Bath is very charming. Anywhere south of Saco is really just Northern Mass. Truly. Rockland's nice. Yarmouth has an ounce of charm. Bangor is great. Stay away from the mountain towns as most of them have nothing in the way of amenities and are more like Stephen King novels.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Well not exactly "northern Massachusetts", but it has indeed become a bedroom community for the metro Boston area. Real estate prices in southern Maine reflect that trend. Southern New Hampshire (no income tax land) is actually the preferred metro-Boston bedroom community. They're closer on the newly instituted Downeaster tain, too! When I was in college, Dover was full of student rentals (a former mill town that was fortunate enough to be near UNH)... now it's full of commuter homes. Big changes in 30 years. Newmarket is no longer a mill town, and Portsmouth is no longer a gritty, wannabe port and fishing community.

The toughest part about Maine is that once you really start getting north of Portland job possibilities dwindle. "The county" and several south of it struggle with economic stagnation and population LOSS every year. It is important to remember that the happy "Vacationland" you see in the summer months is NOT the reality of this state, at all.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I wish I'd read this thread sooner! My family was in your exact situation about 8 years ago. We were living on LI in Brightwaters, I was about to head off to college, and my mom was retiring from the Bay Shore School District. I used to go away to the Audubon summer camp on Hog Island every year, and from that I knew I wanted to go to college in Maine. My family was ready to get away from all the noise and clutter of the island, and Maine seemed like the perfect contrast for them, too.

We ended up settling in Alna, which geographically very large but demographically very, very small. It's just 5 miles north of Wiscasset and Rt 1 in Lincoln county. About 20 minutes from Bowdoin, 45 from Portland/USM, and ~1.5 hrs from St. Joseph's. I went to UMaine Orono, which was about 1.5 hrs north.

We have lots of flatlander transplants in Alna because it's the ideal stereotype NYers dream of when they dream of leaving the city. There's even a swimming hole! I got married two years ago to a Londoner, and even he can't leave Alna. We fell asleep last night listening to rain, peepers, and barred owls. As for downtown, we rely on Wiscasset and Damariscotta for that, which are only about 5 minutes drive each. To really settle my street-shopping craving, I go to Portland's Old Port about twice a month, and like I said, that's only 45 minutes away. It took longer to take the LIRR to the city from Bay Shore.

Real estate is up in Alna at the moment, but it's still nothing compared to what you'll get for your house. Even so, Whitefield is the next town north from here on 218, and though it's just as great as Alna, there's a big difference in price.

If you're still looking, and if you want to look into Alna, let me know. We could be neighbors again! I know for a fact you're making the right decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some properties available in Alna


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Alna sounds beautiful.
One of the problems I've run into is school ratings. What would you say are some of the best school districts around? Also...my better half loves the ocean. We've been to Popham beach which was cold but we still loved it. How far is Alna from a swimmable ocean beach (with waves and everything!)? How about jobs?

thanks all!!!

-Andy


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Sounds like you need to spend some more time on your "homework"!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I know...I'm so confused. And I'm a wuss...........


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I've read all the other postings and can't believe no one has mentioned Brunswick..it is on the coast, has Bowdoin College and a gorgeous downtown. It is the home of an air base right now, but it will be closing within the next five or so years. The school system is still very good as far as I know. (My kids are 30 and 34) I was born and brought up there and think it may fit your needs.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

You are going to be hard pressed to find something close to the ocean, near a job "center" (Portsmouth, Portland), that is quiet (not right in town), with great schools and under $200k. The lot my house is on would cost more than that. I

The less expensive areas generally are the ones that have far fewer jobs (and lower paying ones) or are very seasonal. The better paying jobs are in NH and MA. I commute to Boston everyday. I live about 4 miles from the Piscataqua River bridge. Maine is VERY different culture and attitude wise than Mass and NH, even though the proximity is close.

There are many, many beautiful places in Maine. The trick is the job situation. What do you do for a living? It is very relevant to where you want to live.

What do you do for work and what can you spend on a house?


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

kennebunk is a beautiful town ans of course kennebunkport.we have close relatives there. St joseph in windom is a great schooland new england college in bidderford pool is greatnif you are studing medicine i hear


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Did you have a look at Gorham? Great school system and 15 minutes either way to the ocean or the lake. Samll town atmosphere. Hpw old if your child?


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

It's been about a year since you posted your original question, so how about an update. Have you moved to Maine yet, and if so, where did you choose and why?

I will check back on this site for your reply. If you still are in NY, I'll offer some ideas for you.

Barbara


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I was just on the Pennsylvania forum, asking a question and was surprised to see that Pequa Frog has posted the same question there. Also on the New England forum, where I usually hang out. So I think he or she is very undecided about where to move.


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Thanks again, Ginny. (Ginny keeps mentioning this on each of the forums ;-) LOL. Maybe we should move to MA.!!!

Pequafrog VERY undecided about where to move!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: What town should we move to in Maine?

Now my brother in Orrington just called....says Bucksport is what we're looking for. Couple of acres...commutable to Bangor, near the bay and river. But my sweety wants PA. She doesn't want that much winter. I told her that in 1979-1980, I spent a year in Bangor and they had more snow down south than in Bangor!

For Christmas, I'm asking Santa for direction.

Thanks to all for your patience. Merry Christmas!!!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I am in Shapleigh bean here two years love it. I am in a small town its nice I am an our from portland and portsmouth, Nh it works out well.heres a link

http://www.shapleigh.net/


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

I grew up in South Portland, which is kind-of suburbia-ish -- but i grew up near Hinkley Park in the 80's when no one seemed to go there. I would recommend on your next visit to the area, you look it up -- it's a huge forest park with 4 large bridges and running/skiing/walking trails. I lived on Richards St. Maybe not so cheap now, but this area of town is really good for growing up in still; it's 10 minutes from downtown Portland.

I now live in Olympia, WA. The job market is sooooo bad here. I am hoping to move back to Maine, and I have found your blog really helpful. Thank you so much for starting this conversation. There are so many good links about Moving to Maine in every Mainer's comments. And on a Gardening Blog! (of course).

By the way, two resources I have found exceedingly helpful and inspiring are:
1) People Places and Plants, The Gardeing Magazine from Maine
http://www.ppplants.com/

2) the book What Color is Your Parachute? 2007 edition. This is our world's best seeling career guide, with a section on how to move AND get a job in that new place BEFORE -- alot of helpful career-changing and job search advice.

3)Also -- It's a great idea to get a subscription to the Maine Sunday Telegram and also Downeast Magazine -- to start doing some local reading and research.

All my best! Thank you for everything,

Mary Ellen

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.ppplants.com/


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hello all,
I am new to this site and new to Maine. Pequafrog, I can identify with your dilemma(s) although I do not have kids, so my "moving to Maine" burden was a little smaller. I am from Delaware and am moving this week to Old Orchard Beach. I decided to rent for a year in order to postpone the real estate problem. Luckily real estate went down compared to a year ago, but I can't afford much on my salary. And as everyone points out, you must adjust your housing expectations to see what you get in Maine for the money.

I interviewed a year ago with a big company and did not get the job. I interviewed this Dec. and got a job starting Feb 1st with a nonprofit in Portland. I will be paid 2/3 of what I was making in Delaware, but my rent is the same, cost of living is a bit higher as Del has no sales tax and income tax is less than Maine (you knew this, right?). The only financial bright spot is that my car and renters insurance will cost me about half.

While I applaud your willingness to move without a job, I wouldn't recommend it in this terrible economy - anywhere, let alone Maine - unless of course you have a lot of money to live on until things happen. Being a gypsy is a wonderful thing and I wouldn't trade it - but it costs money.

I use craigslist.org to find goods and services. I use MaineToday.com to read the paper. I used JobsInME.com to find a job. The other sites that everyone else recommended are excellent. I used realtor.com to look at real estate and decided to rent (again craigslist).

Yes, you must do your homework: what kind of work will you do, how will you live, can you afford to take a cut in pay (because you will) and is the lifestyle worth it? Of course it is! Peepers instead of trucks! No contest!

For me the issue is the commute. I have 2 dogs that I do not want waiting while I commute an hour to Portland, so I ended up in Old Orchard Beach. I've commuted a lot in my life and do not want to do it anymore, let alone consider wear and tear on the car and the price of gas. Plus my time - I want to be home and playing with the dogs if there's any light out!

I can't wait to grow a few things in OOB, daylilies or whatever, who cares as long as it's green and breathes.

Because I am FLEEING the mid-Atlantic, I'm surprised that you are also looking at PA and VA due to weather. In my opinion, Maine has it all over the mid-Atlantic because of the lack of air pollution. I can't breathe in DE or PA, and everyone here has chronic sinus infections. Everyone here thinks that is normal. I want some air.

Good luck, and as a waitress from Baltimore told us on one trip, "Get on up here NOW!"


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

doegirl,

So, how long is your commute from Old Orchard Beach to Portland?

MM


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Welcome to OOB, Doegirl. I live down the road in Saco. We can grow lots more than daylilies around here!

Here is a link that might be useful: join us some time


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hi all,
Made it - whew - just in time for the big blizzard. Kind of hard to believe that all kinds of good things are lying dormant under the snow, innit???

My commute to downtown is about 25 min from OOB, however the parking garage is another 10-15 minute hike, depending on the wind! BRRRR !

I am loving the new job. Looking forward to spring and summer, even if I am in heart of tourista town!


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Yep...we're still here. Still looking. We were in Wells last weekend and loved it. I hope that's the area of our final destination. Sigh.

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, Boothbay Harbor, Bowdoin, Manchester, Harpswell...There are many great places. If I were in your shoes, I woud look for a nice piece of land and put a Connor Home on it. These homes are antique reproductions that are prefabed in VT. Yankee Magazine did an article on them a few years ago and I feel in love with them. They have a range of prices. Even better, an interior package for built-ins, wide pine board floor, moldings-amazing stuff.

Good luck


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Pick one, willya?


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Wow Pequa. Great questions. Will you marry me? Haha..JK!! I can do this on my own. I want to see Kennebunkport. Did you look there at all?


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Yes...we visited Kennebunk(s) and it was beautiful! Right on the water...beautiful old homes...cute downtown. The only drawback was the traffic right in town. Still, Kennebunk is at the top of our list now! Good luck.

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

This weekend we're looking at homes in Scarborough, Westbrook and Saco. Wish us luck!

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Scarborough was beautiful on Sunday! Sunny..not too cold. We drove past a huge Marsh...I guess it's a Preserve because there's this kind of boardwalk where folks were walking their dogs. One thing: Does it get buggy there during the summer?

thanks again!

-PF

ps. this is Higgins beach.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Nancy, anything new with your moving plans to the Great State of Maine? We're still on target for this summer.

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hello PF...

Since you are on target for this summer, have you decided on a town? I just discovered this post, because I always wanted to move to Maine too. I guess we are all looking for the perfect place and at least for me, I am sure I tend to romanticize it. I think I developed my sense of 'Maine' from books that I read growing up mixed together with a little dash of trips to Maine. :-) Then when our children were small, I seemed to keep finding books for children set in Maine and that just kept the dream alive. lol Blueberries for Sal for some reason sticks in my memory.

I have a feeling that the Maine I imagine, doesn't exist any more, if it ever did. I would love the opportunity to visit Maine more and hopefully find that at least some of my imaginings about Maine are on target.

I enjoyed reading about the different towns in Maine that have some of the qualities you are looking for. Great thread. :-)


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hey Prairie Moon.
We have decided on Scarborough. Several reasons went into this decision. Proximity to family (in Topsham),Portland (jobs, sea dogs!), highly rated schools and near the ocean. I know that we've also 'built up' Maine in our minds but we're trying to be realistic about our expectations. It's just that every time we visit, we love what we see. The people that we've come in contact with are so friendly and helpful. We're going to put the house up for sale in March and hope to move by July. Maine...here we come! Good luck PM!

Thanks to everyone for all your input!

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Wow, PF you made your decision, Congratulations! Good luck with selling your house. Hopefully in your area of NY there hasn't been too much of a downturn in the housing market. Welcome to Maine. I know you'll love it. I always have. NancyLouise


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Thanks NancyLouise. I hope we can find a nice old Farm House with an acre or two. We don't mind a fixer-upper. In fact, we look forward to that. :-)
If the housing downturn is too bad, we'll just stay another year. I just hope that doesn't happen!

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Hi PF....

You must be very busy busy trying to get your house ready for market. I hope you have good luck and will come back and update for us once you get settled. :-)

Congratulations!

pm2


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

Will do.
At this point, I can tell you that the R.E. market is painfully slow in New York. Sigh.

-PF


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RE: What town should we move to in Southern Me.?

okay here's my suggestion
Woolwich, it's not actually southern maine, more midcoast. it's about 45 mins from Portland. anyways, we have an awesome school system here. our school still has the elementary and middle school combined. its wonderful having the older kids mentor the younger ones. Bowdion College is less than 20 mins away. It is very quiet and a great community. we dont' have a downtown area like Stars hallow. lol, but the next town over, just across the river is Bath, which has a lovely maine street feel. the prices and taxes are not as high as some of the southern communities. Anyways it's a wonderful place to raise a family. my family has been in this area for 7 generations and almost none of us move away. that says something about the community. well best of luck with all of this. but remember to keep Woolwich in mind.


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