U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maine
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
Old 07-05-2012, 11:00 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
Reputation: 11
Default Internet access/power outages, what to expect in Maine

Hi! My husband and I are thinking of buying our first house in Maine. My number one requirement is fast and reliable internet for my job. What can I expect in terms of internet access and winter power outages? I'm looking throughout the entire state. Does anyone have specifics about: Portland, Millinocket, Machias, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor, August, Belfast, and Bangor?

Any information about these areas for a new comer to Maine/first time home buyer would be appreciated. For example, how do mortgages work, do you apply for one before you view homes or after you've settled on one and does anyone know if it's hard to get a mortgage (we could pay 50% down) or if it's a lot less hassle to just buy a house outright.

Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-05-2012, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
6,137 posts, read 7,810,855 times
Reputation: 4142
Millinocket has super low prices on homes. They have very fast internet service. It is in an outstanding recreational area. Bring your own job because jobs are very scarce.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2012, 11:39 AM
 
958 posts, read 500,647 times
Reputation: 384
i lived back east 12 yrs a go. weather your power and internet stays on depends on a number of things. ice build up how fast the wind is blowing and if anythings hitting the wires and making em sway to weather someone has an accident and crashes into em!! if i was you i would atleast get pre qualified to how much house you can afford
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Belfast, Maine
277 posts, read 526,763 times
Reputation: 144
Have you ever been to Maine? Will you have a job already when you get here? Those are 2 very important things to consider.

Depending on your job situation may dictate where in Maine your going to live. Where in Maine you live is going to dictate your options for internet, recreational activities and many other things. How fast you lose power or get it back is again relative to your town and the set up of the power lines for your town. I for instance live on the outskirts of Belfast, we purchased this home 3 years ago...we have lost power 1 time and that was for about 4 hours. Prior to that I lived in Monroe, out in the sticks...lost power a lot.

The same can be said for internet. When we first purchased this house, high speed internet through the phone lines was not possible. About a year after we moved up Time Warner cable expanded their network of lines up to our area. Prior to them expanding the high speed options were through the Dish or through cell phones. The same for where I used to live in Monroe, the internet wires stop about a mile down the road and the likelyhood of them ever running them up far enough is about 0.

My wife and I bought our first house 3 years ago. The mortgage process was pretty easy. We went and got preapproved through our financial institution for a mortgage. They preapproved us for a very high number, a number that was much higher than we would ever want to pay for a home. We looked around with the help of our real estate agent and found a house that was in our price range that would give us mortgage payments in a range that we were comfortable with. Since we were pre-approved it helped speed the process of buying the house up. We were closed on our house in less than 45 days if I recall correctly.

Many of the towns you listed are vastly different. Cities like Portland, Bangor and Augusta typically have much more to do for recreational activites and shopping. Belfast for instance has little shopping options for things other than groceries. If I want to buy a pair of pants for instance...then chances are I'm going to be heading 45 minutes north to Bangor. If your into art and that type of thing, Belfast might be your place...because lord knows we have about 400 art shops down town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2012, 02:35 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
Reputation: 11
Wow! Thanks for all of the information. I've visited Maine, and I loved it. I'm fortunate enough to have a job I enjoy which only requires a reliable internet connection. I'm pretty flexible in terms of area. (cook at home a lot, so restaurants aren't an issue, and I can always order almost everything else online) It would be nice to live somewhere with a community you can be involved in though. From the information provided, it sounds like I may need to look closer to cities for reliable internet. Monroe would be a huge problem, since satellite and cell phone internet, wouldn't work for me (my parents had satellite internet and it frequently went out on stormy days). Any additional information is appreciated. Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-05-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
661 posts, read 395,605 times
Reputation: 320
Machias is not a place I would go to get massive amounts of amenities. Until a few years ago, it was really the end of the road. Cell phones and fast internet are not widespread in Downeast areas. Lubec would lose power often in the winter (and I only lived out about a month of it in the 2 seasons I've spent down there). I would assume Machias had not so many issues but the lines come from Bangor Hydro, 100 miles away (AFAIK).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2012, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
2,984 posts, read 3,335,940 times
Reputation: 2634
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALZ3 View Post
Hi! My husband and I are thinking of buying our first house in Maine. My number one requirement is fast and reliable internet for my job. What can I expect in terms of internet access and winter power outages? I'm looking throughout the entire state. Does anyone have specifics about: Portland, Millinocket, Machias, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor, August, Belfast, and Bangor?

Any information about these areas for a new comer to Maine/first time home buyer would be appreciated. For example, how do mortgages work, do you apply for one before you view homes or after you've settled on one and does anyone know if it's hard to get a mortgage (we could pay 50% down) or if it's a lot less hassle to just buy a house outright.

Thanks in advance!
DSL for internet is fairly widespread- the primary requirement is that your location must be within 18,000 meters of the Telco CO. This is a wireline distance and is a physical limitation of the technology (not an arbitrary limit imposed by the telco). In some areas the telco has put in sub-stations to expand the range but this is a long and expensive process. When you lookk at houses, you can use an on-line application where you plug in the address and the app will tell you if there is DSL available for that address.

Your other primary choice for broadband internet is cable. In many areas this will be Time-Warner, but there are some smaller providers as well. If the house you are looking at already has cable, no problem. Otherwise, if there is no cable already installed, but there is cable at the street, the house must not be more than 300 feet from the road in order to get the line installed at no charge. Most of the operating agreements between the cableco and the towns dictate that the cableco must install the line for free as long as it is 300 feet or less- if it is a longer distance you will have to pay about $2 per foot for any distance in excess of 300 feet.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Mortgage- on a typical 30-year note, the way the amortization schedule is set up, the bank has ALL of their money back in just over 10 years, and then they get 20 years of gravy so you end up paying 3x what the asking price of the house was (if you stick to their payment schedule).

The more money you can put down, the better off you are- if you put down 20% or more you will avoid paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). The shorter the term of the note, the better off you are because you will be paying less interest- you could take a 15 or even a 10 year note instead of the typical 30 year note. Whatever the term of the note, make sure there is no pre-payment penalty so that if funding permits you can accelerate your payment schedule and get out from under it early- the sooner you pay it off the more money you will save.

Obviously, if you can put up the entire amount and buy a house outright you are much better off financially to do so- if you have it and can spare it. If you *do* take a note however, one simple trick will save you thousands of dollars in interest- your first payment would typically be due in about 45 days after the loan closes, make this first payment the next day (or within the next week) and you will save literally years of interest payments, on a typical 30-year note this one simple thing will shave years off the life of the loan.

In many areas of the state you can buy houses and land for a lot less than you might pay in other states. For example, I live less than 20 miles from Bangor in a decent house on more than 20 acres of land; if I were to attempt a similar purchase in MA, within 20 miles of Boston, this would cost well over a million dollars and property taxes would be through the roof. I paid a small fraction of that and my property taxes are about the same as they were in MA for a crappy little house on 1/4 acre of land about 15 miles from Boston.

If you like country living but still want to be reasonable close to a city, you can do that here. Even with major cities like Portland, within a few minutes of driving you can be out of the city and into the country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-06-2012, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Ellsworth
435 posts, read 608,508 times
Reputation: 495
A friend in Lamoine, a tiny town next to Ellsworth, is an IT manager for a national telecommunications company. She has Time Warner cable as Internet provider and works with customers worldwide. Of course she is one of many so if we have a power outage - which is rare but not unheard of- the company routes problems to other managers until power is restored here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2012, 12:08 AM
 
384 posts, read 470,385 times
Reputation: 257
"reliable internet connection" is not the same thing as a "fast" internet connection. For instance there is no FIOS connection where we live. I'm not complaining, but it depends on what part of Maine you'll be living in - reliability and speed vary from place to place.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
2,984 posts, read 3,335,940 times
Reputation: 2634
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcberry View Post
"reliable internet connection" is not the same thing as a "fast" internet connection. For instance there is no FIOS connection where we live. I'm not complaining, but it depends on what part of Maine you'll be living in - reliability and speed vary from place to place.
True. I went from a 20Mb/s FIOS to dial-up...and not even 56k dial-up, there are too many A/D D/A conversions so my speed is limited to 26kb/s at *best*. It rarely goes out and it only costs $10/month. I'm not willing to spend $80/mo for a satellite option, and even a cellular option at similar cost would not be suitable because cell service sucks here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maine
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top