Anyone from the New England area (particularly Maine)?

posted 8 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Hostess
9628 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Is it possible to move out without buying right away so you can get a sense for the area first? We just moved to NE (Boston), and around here there is absolutely no housing for $350k, although I think you’d have better luck in Maine. Have you heard of the White Mountains in New Hampshire? That might be an option – and New Hampshire has no sales tax!

Post # 4
Member
1506 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

dylanswifey :  I’m from eastern Canada and Maine is my backyard. I can’t comment on a lot of your specific questions, but definitely the southern Portland area is more populated, but even then it is a very small city. The Appalachian trail is close and there are about a million lakes that are amazing swimming. The ocean is pretty but it is too cold to swim in (ie old orchard beach area). Overall Maine has super friendly people, but it is mostly rural.  Except it to be winter from late November until April (ie the hiking trails of mount katadhin don’t open until Memorial Day at the earliest and sometimes not until June!)

Post # 5
Hostess
9628 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

dylanswifey :  No, to go from the mountains to the ocean you’d cross over into Maine and it’s about a 2 hour drive (to Portland, Maine)

Post # 6
Member
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

I’m not from Maine, but I did look into the area when applying to grad schools. You could consider the Down East area, near where Acadia National Park is. It’s going to be cheaper around there. Portland is expensive, but if you’re willing to go further inland and North like around Lewiston, it’s cheap. If I were you, I’d consider Rhode Island (I saw a study that said it’s the only state where teachers make higher than the median salary…or maybe the mean…I know it’s a significant difference, but I can’t remember). The cost of living isn’t bad. If you aren’t also special Ed certified, you might have a tough time, but I don’t know for sure. Also, do you have your masters? I believe you have to get it within a certain timeframe. The southern part of the state is slow and away from traffic, except in the summer time near the beach. If you want to be near the beach, you have to expect to be near some people. Maybe also consider Delaware or Maryland on the Delmarva peninsula (to the east of the Chesapeake). Fiance and I looked into houses there, and it seemed cheap. Delaware doesn’t pay teachers that well, but the property tax is wicked cheap, and the cost of living a bit further inland (the beaches are less crowded and developed in RI on average). These areas are flat though, unlike Maine or New Husband. 

Post # 7
Member
279 posts
Helper bee

I’m in Maine. I wouldn’t do Portland, there are way too many people. I prsonally don’t like going to that area unless I have to. I do like the Bangor and Old Town area. Windham, Monmouth, and Augusta are nice. Scarbrough is very nice. My brother lived in that area for a year. Freeport is more touristy and fairly pricy. Parts of Auburn are nice as well. Lewiston is not that great. I’m sure there are a ton of areas I’m not thinking of or that I haven’t been to that would work out for you guys as well. Maybe you can take a trip to see which area you prefer and then narrow it down from there ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee

In Maine, your best bet is to stick to communities east of I95 and south of Topsham. The best school districts are in the wealthier communities where housing is more expensive. 350k will still be able to get you something nice.

Post # 9
Member
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

dylanswifey :  I’m from southern New Hampshire (born and raised) and lived for 6 years in Colorado at 2 different times. I’ve also lived in NJ and we are in the south now. 

Cost of living in N.H. is a lot higher than Colorado which is why you get paid more in New England. If you want a great teaching state, MA is the way to go. You get paid much more, and the benefits are fantastic. I have several family members living a very nice retirement now from teaching in MA. N.H. has no income tax, no state tax, and some lax laws on seatbelts, insurance, and motorcycle helmets.

But more than anything else, the people are so, so, so different in New England. Culturally it’s just a different animal…and every time I go back to visit I just dislike the people more and more. Arrogance and alcoholism and stressed out and people are always in a rush.

The winters are really hard. Unless you live around the mountains in Colorado, you won’t get a similar winter in N.H. They last longer and can be brutal. The winters in Colorado were a reprieve from N.H.. In addition to that, Colorado has much more sunny days on average year round. Last year winter didn’t let up for almost 7 months in New Husband. That’s 7 months there was snow on the ground, and grey skies. People in New England have a monopoly on vitamin D deficiency.

I find it laughable you want to move to New England because traffic is awful and tourism etc. New England is a massive tourist destination in summer and fall, especially in southern Maine. You have everyone seeking coastal experience, seafood in the summer and everyone seeking foliage in fall. You have not sat in traffic until you have been to New England. I25 is child’s play compared to the major highways in New England. Not as bad as DC but reallllllly bad sometimes. I commuted from southern N.H. to Boston for 2 years.

As far as affording a house, that problem is going to get worse in New England, not better, especially in the area where you want to live. I’m wondering where in Colorado you live that 350k can’t buy you a nice house.

I say plan a visit to the area you want to move. You’re not going to get the full scope of all the seasons though.

When my husband retires from the military we want to move back to Colorado to stay. We have talked about New England but I just dislike the people and culture so much now, although we miss the food and beach a lot.

Post # 10
Member
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

Wedding bee needs to fix their acronyms…N.H. to New Husband is obnoxious. 

Post # 11
Member
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

dylanswifey :  also, nothing is going to be what you loved as kids. New England now is nothing like what it was when I was a kid. That’s just life.

Post # 12
Member
1506 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

sf618b :  haha New Husband

Post # 13
Member
249 posts
Helper bee

We are in the Seacoast New Husband area and if you go for Maine, I’d say stick to the Portland area or the Kittery area. If you wanted to go further north, the Camden/Rockport area is beautiful and along the lines of what you want.

Post # 14
Member
3415 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I recommend you check out the Sperlings Best Places website! It’s wonderful for researching places you want to move to. It encouraged me to move to Colorado and clog up your roads. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha!

I’m a Texas to Colorado transplant, I can’t help but laugh at all the “there are too many people now” comments. No, the roads in Denver aren’t great, but it’s only the 19th biggest city in the US – the population isn’t really big! And its ranking for traffic is not bad either. I honestly can’t believe that people here think the traffic is so awful. Also, no other state complains about transplants, even though many of them have waaay more people coming in than Colorado does! Greeley is the only town in Colorado that even ranks nationally for fastest growth. 

My husband is a teacher and took a 12K pay cut to move here, where the cost of living is higher. But in most places, teachers are paid more to make up for the cost of living, so make sure you pay attention to the cost of living index where you move, and take that intoconsideration. Some places pay teachers $70,000 but that’s because houses cost nearly a million. I’m sure you realize to take that into account, but still worth pointing out. Also, pay attention to your retirement. Moving to a new state as a teacher sucks for your retirement. If you really want to make money though, Texas has a pretty low cost of living and the teachers in Dallas start at over $50,000 (which side note, I heard Westminster might be doing!).

If you like New England then go for it! But don’t let this “Colorado native” culture cause you to overlook the fact that Colorado is still not bad for population, traffic, or weather. It’s actually really great! And cities like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins are totally affordable.

But I certainly relate to the desire to move and experience something new. I wish you the best! New England is wonderful and beautiful!

Post # 15
Member
34 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2019

If you’re looking for less traffic, New England is probably not the best choice if you still want to be close to stuff (though not as bad as DC where I grew up). You can definitely find a good deal in terms of a house in more remote areas, and there will be less traffic, but you’re going to be further away from higher paying jobs and things to do.

Previous posters have given you good advice with regards to New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. You could look at Western MA, too. It’s actually pretty affordable compared to the Eastern part of the state.

I love living in New England (and Boston specifically, though it’s changed a lot in the 15 years I’ve been here), so I don’t want to dissuade you, but I would really recommend making a couple of trips out here (one winter, one summer) before deciding on it. My sister just moved out here from CO for school and she was not prepared for the winter weather, despite it being fairly mild so far. It’s a whole other beast.

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