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Old 08-13-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,914 posts, read 3,531,786 times
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Jes, don't get discouraged. If you can find a halfway decent job or two, then Maine is definitely not a pipe dream. And it really is a great place to live. And you even like cold!
Yes, Caribou is far north (very close to Canada, in fact). Maine and the Canadian Maritimes are really nice places.
Portland is very "in with the in crowd" these days, thus the housing costs are higher than you would expect. It's close to the beach, and that's really the only thing about it we miss. It has been getting a bit "Bostonized" over the last few years, if you know what I mean.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:17 AM
 
151 posts, read 163,088 times
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Default An outsiders point of view

Living in Canada we frequent Maine for holidays (not ONLY to shop) our trips were great, a very safe place to visit, extremely friendly and courteous people and lots of amenities and things to do, and IF I had to move to the U.S. I would choose Maine, hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,498 posts, read 6,438,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jez124 View Post
@maineguy8888
You said you live in & around Portland. Can you give me an idea of the areas?
I also noticed that your profile says Caribou. If I'm not mistaken, that's northern Maine, correct?


I was looking at places for rent in Maine and saw a few places with what seems like lots of land for $1,200-$1,300 a month!
That's astounding to me. Right now we pay $1,300 for what can only be described as a 2-bedroom matchbox. Most of the time I feel terrible my baby has no space to run around.
While we have pretty decent jobs, we live a frugal lifestyle. We don't believe in owning a lot of "things". Good thing too because the "things" we do have barely fit in the matchbox as it is. Ha!
There are a lot of places you could *buy* for less than that amount of rent (per month). Money you pay in rent just goes away, never to be seen again. Money paid on the purchase of property gives you equity that could be recovered in the future if it were necessary. IMO, if you plan on staying for more than a year or two it makes more sense to buy than rent.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:27 PM
 
24 posts, read 31,414 times
Reputation: 67
Default Small walkable town

Hi Jez,
We moved to Yarmouth about 2 months ago, and what you describe is what we found. We're in town, in walking distance to small market with fresh food, library, bookstore, hardware store. The schools are close and from what we can tell in this short time, Yarmouth does have a "town" feel. I've lived in New York and Chicago, and in small towns and suburbs, and I find Yarmouth to offer a very different and very livable life. Housing is relatively expensive, but compared to New York, may not seem that costly to you.

Do include Yarmouth in your search. It may be just what you have in mind!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:56 PM
 
3,583 posts, read 3,766,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
There are a lot of places you could *buy* for less than that amount of rent (per month). Money you pay in rent just goes away, never to be seen again. Money paid on the purchase of property gives you equity that could be recovered in the future if it were necessary. IMO, if you plan on staying for more than a year or two it makes more sense to buy than rent.
Ok, here's a maybe dumb kind of question but here goes...

My g/f & I are discussing re: owning vs renting. If buying a home would cost a hypothetical X amount of dollars or if same amount of X dollars remained in the bank in a CD, etc. would it matter, if in both cases (whether one rents or buys) if their out of pocket costs per month are (let's say just for hypothetical argument's sake to make the #'s the same) $500 either way (in just rent/util's combined in an apt or just $500 alone after buying a home, in again, just util's/maintenance, etc. of this said home)?

If renting included rent & util's for that $500, & buying involved $500 monthly for just utilities also, let's again say, then after buying a home cash for X dollars & losing that cash from your bank of those X dollars (it is still the same amount whether tied up in equity vs remaining in the bank, & really could lose money/value in a home, as it could - though unlikely - devalue & thus lose more money than what it could gain in the bank or at least not devalue money-wise in the bank, as the home could devalue on housing mkt) so wouldn't it kind of be a wash either way?

Actually, it could be more per month owning too, as what if a major repair is needed like pipes bursting, a roof needed/leaking, etc. & thus more money never recoupable for the home (to the homeowner, as this repair is simply needed to just maintain - not adorn/upgrade, really, this home)?

I'm thinking that at least in case of keeping X dollars in bank & so renting, vs shelling out that money & draining the bank acct of those X dollars (maybe even risking losing money on the home in this economy/housing mkt at this point in time yet), it'd be as good (if not safer/better from an economic point of view) to let the apt maintenance, etc. fall on shoulders of a landlord vs you, as homeowner, being solely (monetarily/effort-wise) responsible for any -- & all -- problems/issues that can/may arise after buying this home.

If on a fixed income too, it is far easier to budget knowing monthly rent & util's is X dollars vs owning, & here risking that you may run into big money needed if any thing goes wrong (not to mention, taxes, upkeep, homeowner's insurance, etc.).

Ok, sorry to butt in yet it is a good question, I think, that we're trying to discuss & I'm trying to see the real/clear advantage to owning vs renting, even if it is a longer term move than just a few yrs.

Haha, as I reread this I hope someone catches my drift & makes sense of this, as I know what trying to say but having a tough time conveying it, obviously.

Thanks anyone who wants to settle my brain down.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:01 AM
 
17,181 posts, read 22,210,802 times
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all good questions, and no one RIGHT answer, it all depends-many individual variables

depends on your age... and timeframe of ownership

my father use to tell me...never rent....you will throw that money away, and have nothing to sell,

but if I had to do it all over again, I may rent for as little I can for a few years, to save up for as much as i can- even tho now the bank rates are very low, you still end up paying three times the home value in interest rates, if a 30 yr loan

again if i was doing it all over, id live poor for a few yrs and try to buy a home outright......

for the house im in now, ive paid twice what its worth in interest already- but then again, I did refinance to pay for my sons college.


if on a fixed income and retired, id lean on renting, if you can cover the bills comfortably


if i was young - id save up and buy a house -
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:15 AM
 
1,483 posts, read 2,714,769 times
Reputation: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by jez124 View Post
Wow. I'm so glad I found this forum. My hubby & I have recently decided that we would like to try moving to New England within the next few years. We're very disappointed with the way our current location seems to be deteriorating (we currently live in Western Suffolk County in Long Island NY). We moved here almost 7 years ago from PR & at the time our neighborhood was very peaceful. Suddenly it seems crime has shot up. Needless to say its also expensive. In addition, this has never felt like home & I think we've always known we'd move further north eventually. So we thought Maine. Which is crazy because we've never been there but oddly, it feels right.
So I'd love some ideas about where to start looking. The good places and not so good places. We'd look for jobs first and decide on our location based on that. For reference, we're both government workers. I'm in social services & he works for NYC subways with a specialty as electronic technician. I know jobs ares probably harder to find in Maine but I think it might work out. We're a fairly young couple (mid 30's & early 40's) and we have one daughter 1.5 years old. The projected time for our planned move would mean our daughter would be about 4-5 years old so we'll also be looking for good schools. We've heard Maine is a great place to raise kids & that's the most important thing for us. Like most other people our child's well being is our priority.
Also, is there a large Spanish speaking community anywhere? I'm a Spanish interpreter & my jobs usually focus on my bilingualism.
I'm sorry for the long note. I'd love to hear from people who've been I in our shoes & made the move to Maine from a big city. Anything you regret? Are we setting ourselves up for disaster? We know social problems exist everywhere and aren't thinking Maine is utopia. But we'd sure love to find a more peaceful place that is more relaxed & feels like home.
P.S. I'm aware many people have posted messages similar to mine but I don't want to hijack anyone else's posting. This is my first time posting on this forum & would like to follow the forum "etiquette" as closely as possible.
Jez:

I live in Suffolk. I vaca to Maine 1-2 times per year. I love it there too! In Gov also, wife is a nurse, I would take a 30% hit on our salaries. Sure, cost of living, housing, ect.... are cheaper. However, the numbers did not work out for us to make a move. Like everyone here agrees, find a job first. I know L.I. is tough to live. I am looking for a small vaca home in Maine. The ONLY way I can afford this is because I have no kids (not by choice). Otherwise, I'd have a second job here on L.I.

YOU MUST visit the state! Winter, spring, summer, fall. Especially since you never been there.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:16 AM
 
1,253 posts, read 1,782,270 times
Reputation: 2539
Quote:
Originally Posted by movintime View Post
Ok, here's a maybe dumb kind of question but here goes...

My g/f & I are discussing re: owning vs renting. If buying a home would cost a hypothetical X amount of dollars or if same amount of X dollars remained in the bank in a CD, etc. would it matter, if in both cases (whether one rents or buys) if their out of pocket costs per month are (let's say just for hypothetical argument's sake to make the #'s the same) $500 either way (in just rent/util's combined in an apt or just $500 alone after buying a home, in again, just util's/maintenance, etc. of this said home)?

If renting included rent & util's for that $500, & buying involved $500 monthly for just utilities also, let's again say, then after buying a home cash for X dollars & losing that cash from your bank of those X dollars (it is still the same amount whether tied up in equity vs remaining in the bank, & really could lose money/value in a home, as it could - though unlikely - devalue & thus lose more money than what it could gain in the bank or at least not devalue money-wise in the bank, as the home could devalue on housing mkt) so wouldn't it kind of be a wash either way?

Actually, it could be more per month owning too, as what if a major repair is needed like pipes bursting, a roof needed/leaking, etc. & thus more money never recoupable for the home (to the homeowner, as this repair is simply needed to just maintain - not adorn/upgrade, really, this home)?

I'm thinking that at least in case of keeping X dollars in bank & so renting, vs shelling out that money & draining the bank acct of those X dollars (maybe even risking losing money on the home in this economy/housing mkt at this point in time yet), it'd be as good (if not safer/better from an economic point of view) to let the apt maintenance, etc. fall on shoulders of a landlord vs you, as homeowner, being solely (monetarily/effort-wise) responsible for any -- & all -- problems/issues that can/may arise after buying this home.

If on a fixed income too, it is far easier to budget knowing monthly rent & util's is X dollars vs owning, & here risking that you may run into big money needed if any thing goes wrong (not to mention, taxes, upkeep, homeowner's insurance, etc.).

Ok, sorry to butt in yet it is a good question, I think, that we're trying to discuss & I'm trying to see the real/clear advantage to owning vs renting, even if it is a longer term move than just a few yrs.

Haha, as I reread this I hope someone catches my drift & makes sense of this, as I know what trying to say but having a tough time conveying it, obviously.

Thanks anyone who wants to settle my brain down.
Well, not to highjack the OP's thread, as this is really a separate question, but....

Purchasing a home is certainly a risk, because you are not only making an extremely large investment in a house, but you are investing in a community, and you are betting with your money that community values won't decline. Why is this important -- because real estate value is directly keyed to such nebulous factors as whether the town is perceived to be safe, whether the schools are considered good, etc., as well as direct value factors such as -- 'is it close to a commuter train line', 'is it close to shopping' etc.

So it is generally considered a good idea to NOT invest your money in unsure things. However, most people buy because they want to create a sensation of home for themselves and their families. It is hard to understand this if you are young and transient.

When people say you 'lose money renting', what they are essentially saying is, if/when you move from that house or apt. you never get a return on the rent money (except for deposit), but if you own, you can potentially sell the house and break even or make money on it, which can be rolled over into the next home you buy or invested. It used to be generally true that home ownership was the biggest wealth generator in America, but that has been called into question with the bursting of the real estate bubble.

Home ownership can be a big pain, but since I care about my community it is worth it to buy here, be active in local issues, and vote.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:49 AM
 
Location: New England
398 posts, read 559,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky25 View Post
Jez:

I live in Suffolk. I vaca to Maine 1-2 times per year. I love it there too! In Gov also, wife is a nurse, I would take a 30% hit on our salaries. Sure, cost of living, housing, ect.... are cheaper. However, the numbers did not work out for us to make a move. Like everyone here agrees, find a job first. I know L.I. is tough to live. I am looking for a small vaca home in Maine. The ONLY way I can afford this is because I have no kids (not by choice). Otherwise, I'd have a second job here on L.I.

YOU MUST visit the state! Winter, spring, summer, fall. Especially since you never been there.

Good luck in your search!
Hi Jez, I'm also a former NYC-er, and live in Maine now for 8 months. I only visited twice in the beautiful summertime before moving and didn't know much about Maine. The biggest obstacle I think you will have to deal with, and in this order, would be:

1. Finding work/money (enough to live on!)
2. Culture-shock! I think you may underestimate this as I did - come up and visit first if you can.
3. Your own flexibility/adaptability, and being prepared to live on less

These were the biggies for me when I took plunge and moved up, really only because my husband found a full-time job that could support us if necessary. And still after 8 months I am only working part-time in administration. I understand I could eventually get a teaching gig with my BA, but to me it is not worth spending the money on the degrees/certifications to make about $30,000/year (what I hear from current, prospective and former teachers in my area). It is all really up to you, and what you are really willing to do at what sacrifice.

I think you are going about this the right way, and why not take the plunge once in a while, right? Take a risk, and if it doesn't work out, have your backup plan ready. On the bright side, also consider that Maine will not stress you out the way NY does now. It is a completely different lifestyle you will have here, and that for the better. In NY my whole life, I truly never believed life could be any different than it was, and I am sure glad to prove myself wrong.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:30 PM
 
3,583 posts, read 3,766,013 times
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Thanks. Sorry to take thread off the topic. But by fixed income, it is just really SSDI. My g/f is on it & can maybe work, a bit, but can't affect her SSDI too much (w/ too many hrs, etc.). I'm also on Disability (& again can work some) but I'm planning here also, "only on worst case scenario of no jobs avail. in ME's job climate" & so trying to count on what we have not "potential income" (as we all know how that can go).

Ok, rent makes sense (though I so want to own) & seems better @ this time. We're not young but not retirement age or elderly, thus caught in middle & again, this is the issue. If I was 65 or even 60+, I'd settle more into an apt, I guess. If I were 20-30's, I'd save for home. You see the rub?


Thanks again for this info, as being in real estate you know your biz I bet, much better than I.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainebrokerman View Post
all good questions, and no one RIGHT answer, it all depends-many individual variables

depends on your age... and timeframe of ownership

my father use to tell me...never rent....you will throw that money away, and have nothing to sell,

but if I had to do it all over again, I may rent for as little I can for a few years, to save up for as much as i can- even tho now the bank rates are very low, you still end up paying three times the home value in interest rates, if a 30 yr loan

again if i was doing it all over, id live poor for a few yrs and try to buy a home outright......

for the house im in now, ive paid twice what its worth in interest already- but then again, I did refinance to pay for my sons college.


if on a fixed income and retired, id lean on renting, if you can cover the bills comfortably


if i was young - id save up and buy a house -
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