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Old 11-27-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: West Deptford, NJ
4 posts, read 4,940 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello, all!

I stumbled on this website in the search of different opinions about moving to Maine from another state. As a youth, I was lucky enough to vacation to Maine from South Jersey for a number of summers (usually in August). The focal point was, of course, Bar Harbor, ME and Acadia National Park. Then into my adulthood I took a few trips with my girlfriend. She, like myself, have completely fallen in love with the area. We have been tossing around the idea of moving to Maine for three or four years now, but now we are strongly comtemplating the move this summer. We both make an honest living (Myself as a Retail Sales Specialist and she is a school teacher, specializing in special education). Right now we rent a one bedroom apartment (950 sq. ft) and pay $905 a month. Also, our electric bill is right around $200. Car insurance for both cars total $350. Food/Gas/etc. costs seem high.

We are both really tired of living in such a crowded area. We live about 5 miles away from Philadelphia. We got the taste of Maine through summer vacations and it seems to be an awesome place to live and start a family. We are in our mid to late 20's.

I am posting here to get a real feel of what to expect if and when we make the jump to Maine (looking at Southern/Eastern maine). I am fairly certain I will be able to transfer to a retail store located in Maine (I work for one of the big-box retailers). Hopefully there will be a teaching job for my girlfriend as well (she has more degrees then a thermometer ;-)).

I have already looked into the EXCISE TAX. Hopefully someone will reply to this to start a nice conversation about this, because spending a week in Maine (took 7-8 vacations) was always a breath of fresh air.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! :-)
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,271 posts, read 5,538,407 times
Reputation: 2522
I would suggest that you come and spend a couple of weeks this winter before making your decision. I think it's best to experience different parts of the year where you want to live before deciding. Are you for sure thinking the Bar Harbor area? Are you prepared for stores and restaurants to be closed for part of the year (not all of course, but some.)

You electricity seems very high! That should be cheaper here I would think. Our bill during the summer months was about $200 a month but we have a 3200 sq ft house, had an air conditioner going and the pool pump on. Otherwise the bill is about $100 a month. I'm not sure your rent would be cheaper, to be honest.

As for your GF, she can check out www.servingschools.com to look for a teaching job.

Best of luck to you both.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,430,139 times
Reputation: 3974
Of course "everyone" loves Maine in the summer. I agree with the OP that you should visit in the winter before making your final commitment. It may last a bit longer here than in NJ and be a few degrees colder but it isn't as bad as many think. Hope you make the move, but when you do, don't think many things here are like they are in NJ. As far as your excise tax question, each town sets their own. If you live in a more rural town it may be lower. I am sure your electricity will be lower and you will find renting something will be lower too. Hope you will decide to give Maine a chance.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:48 AM
 
996 posts, read 838,263 times
Reputation: 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
As far as your excise tax question, each town sets their own.
I thought the excise tax was set by the state, but paid to the town:

Maine Revenue Services: Property Tax -
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
Welcome to Maine!

We moved here 7 years ago and we love it

I recommend that you both find jobs first. Then rent near your jobs. After your here then you can explore at leisure and decide where you really want to live.

Good luck
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:33 AM
 
327 posts, read 793,910 times
Reputation: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by WantsToBeAMainer View Post
I stumbled on this website in the search of different opinions about moving to Maine from another state. As a youth, I was lucky enough to vacation to Maine from South Jersey for a number of summers (usually in August). The focal point was, of course, Bar Harbor, ME and Acadia National Park. Then into my adulthood I took a few trips with my girlfriend. She, like myself, have completely fallen in love with the area. We have been tossing around the idea of moving to Maine for three or four years now, but now we are strongly comtemplating the move this summer. We both make an honest living (Myself as a Retail Sales Specialist and she is a school teacher, specializing in special education). Right now we rent a one bedroom apartment (950 sq. ft) and pay $905 a month. Also, our electric bill is right around $200. Car insurance for both cars total $350. Food/Gas/etc. costs seem high.

We are both really tired of living in such a crowded area. We live about 5 miles away from Philadelphia. We got the taste of Maine through summer vacations and it seems to be an awesome place to live and start a family. We are in our mid to late 20's.
Good luck to you. I also live in NJ, but about 90 miles north of where you are (Northwest Hunterdon County)-we fell in love with Maine a while ago and have been trying to figure out a feasible plan for moving there eventually. We're both originally from rural farming towns in NJ which is partially why we settled in the Hunterdon hills (and also why we love Maine so much), but the taxes and cost of living here are terribly high. We haven't really figured things out yet because we're not in a position to sell our home anytime soon, and we haven't really been able to figure out what types of employment we'd be able to get. You seem like you have half an idea of how to get started, but just remember that Maine's economy can be tough. Ironically, my wife is also a special education teacher, currently out of work due to state budget cuts. She would very much like to teach in Maine but as I understand it Maine public employees (or maybe just teachers?) do not pay into Social Security, so if you've been paying in your whole life and then take a Maine teaching job you then forfeit all those years you put in. If someone could clarify that it would be great because we need a better understanding of it ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WantsToBeAMainer View Post
I am posting here to get a real feel of what to expect if and when we make the jump to Maine (looking at Southern/Eastern maine). I am fairly certain I will be able to transfer to a retail store located in Maine (I work for one of the big-box retailers). Hopefully there will be a teaching job for my girlfriend as well (she has more degrees then a thermometer ;-)).
We're looking to head toward the Western Mountains which also complicates things. Less people is what we're going for, but that also tends to mean less jobs. It's also tougher living, but again, we're rural folks so we know what we're in for. We heat our home completely with wood, grow a big garden, know how to can and preserve foods, fix things, hunt and fish, so that's a good start. Whether we end up actually moving or just buying some property to sit on for a while until we can afford to build a small cabin only time will tell, but again, good luck. Maybe we'll bump into each other someday-a South Jersey/Philly accent will stick out like a sore thumb in Maine
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: West Deptford, NJ
4 posts, read 4,940 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawmom View Post
I would suggest that you come and spend a couple of weeks this winter before making your decision. I think it's best to experience different parts of the year where you want to live before deciding. Are you for sure thinking the Bar Harbor area? Are you prepared for stores and restaurants to be closed for part of the year (not all of course, but some.)

You electricity seems very high! That should be cheaper here I would think. Our bill during the summer months was about $200 a month but we have a 3200 sq ft house, had an air conditioner going and the pool pump on. Otherwise the bill is about $100 a month. I'm not sure your rent would be cheaper, to be honest.

As for your GF, she can check out www.servingschools.com to look for a teaching job.

Best of luck to you both.
As for the weather, on my smartphone I actually have Ellsworth, ME as a secondary weather town so I am always comparing the weather between where I am now and where I want to be!

We are not thinking the Bar Harbor/Ellsworth area as the target spot, but towns around (Augusta/Portland/Camden/Orono/etc).

Our electricity is outrageous but it is because the entire apartment is electric (Non energy star washer/dryer/range, older central air system *heating bill is so bad that we use an electric oil filled radiator to heat the entire apartment).

Thanks for the link to the website.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: West Deptford, NJ
4 posts, read 4,940 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
Of course "everyone" loves Maine in the summer. I agree with the OP that you should visit in the winter before making your final commitment. It may last a bit longer here than in NJ and be a few degrees colder but it isn't as bad as many think. Hope you make the move, but when you do, don't think many things here are like they are in NJ. As far as your excise tax question, each town sets their own. If you live in a more rural town it may be lower. I am sure your electricity will be lower and you will find renting something will be lower too. Hope you will decide to give Maine a chance.

Doing research on the Excise Tax, I don't see it being such a HUGE deal.

I remember growing up, vacationing throughout the beautiful state, asking my family why people were so nice. That's the major difference between the two states that I notice right away. The people in Maine are amazing.

As far as rent, it looks like most apartments include heat and hot water and still come out lower then what we are paying now.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:32 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,908 times
Reputation: 1244
Quote:
Originally Posted by WantsToBeAMainer View Post
As for the weather, on my smartphone I actually have Ellsworth, ME as a secondary weather town so I am always comparing the weather between where I am now and where I want to be!

We are not thinking the Bar Harbor/Ellsworth area as the target spot, but towns around (Augusta/Portland/Camden/Orono/etc).

Our electricity is outrageous but it is because the entire apartment is electric (Non energy star washer/dryer/range, older central air system *heating bill is so bad that we use an electric oil filled radiator to heat the entire apartment).

Thanks for the link to the website.
Where you find jobs will be a big factor in the decision about location. I think your GF has a chance finding a job in special education somewhere in the state. Special education is an area that seems to always need teachers. The starting pay for no experience, bachelor's degree is about $30,000. With additional experience and/or education the pay scales from one school system to another vary significantly. When looking at costs, don't forget to include heating costs. There are apartments that include heat in the rent. It could easily cost $3,000 a year to heat with fuel oil which is about the price of gasoline. You might want to search the forum for threads about best way to heat in Maine, etc.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,430,139 times
Reputation: 3974
No one ever "forfits" money they have paid into Social Security. I think in recent years teachers have choices as to what retirement fund they invest in. You would have to contact the State Board of Education in Augusta to get good answers for that.
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