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Old 08-16-2021, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Western Maine Mountains
866 posts, read 2,197,937 times
Reputation: 546

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So why not further west in NC? Somewhere outside of Ashville would cover a lot of your requirements.

If you do like the Ashville vibe, I'd stay closer to Portland (within 30 - 60 minutes). Still outdoorsy, lots of breweries, concerts, art, progressive, etc.
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
8,625 posts, read 5,549,378 times
Reputation: 10646
I understand your desire to avoid excessive housing cost, excessive tourism influence, to be near beautiful nature, and yet still have access to medical care and practical shopping, and avoid a struggling local economy or isolation. You don't mention technology, but I am guessing you'd like to have access to cell phone signal and high speed internet as well. It sounds like you're looking for the "goldilocks" town - I know that feeling. Many of the towns with the healthier economies lie along the coast, yet those also get most of the tourist pressure, so you might need to compromise some there.

Some coastal towns I'd suggest including in your search are:
- Kennebunk
- Freeport
- Brunswick and Topsham
- Bath
- Damariscotta
- Camden and Rockport
- Belfast
- Blue Hill
- Ellsworth

Last edited by OutdoorLover; 08-17-2021 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 08-17-2021, 12:38 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
26,035 posts, read 26,106,863 times
Reputation: 48587
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorLover View Post
I understand your desire to avoid excessive housing cost, excessive tourism influence, to be near beautiful nature, and yet still have access to medical care and practical shopping, and avoid a struggling local economy or isolation. You don't mention technology, but I am guessing you'd like to have access to cell phone signal and high speed internet as well. It sounds like you're looking for the "goldilocks" town - I know that feeling. Many of the towns with the healthier economies lie along the coast, yet those also get most of the tourist pressure, so you might need to compromise some there.

Some coastal towns I'd suggest including in your search are:
- Kennebunk
- Freeport
- Brunswick and Topsham
- Bath
- Damariscotta
- Camden and Rockport
- Belfast
- Blue Hill
- Ellsworth
Although I don't know Maine very well, I always enjoyed visiting the coastal towns in summer when I lived on the MA/NH border. A friend lives in Kennebunk, has been there for many decades, and still loves it. Not crowded KennebuckPORT. They are neighboring towns. I used to want to move to Wiscassett for some reason but never got around to it. It just seemed nice there. What about Kittery?

One thing to remember, winter, besides ice and snow, the hours of daylight are incredibly short. In mid winter it will be as dark as midnight by 4pm, earlier the more north you go. Probably it differs from east to west too in relation to the time zone delineation. Even in northern MA I wanted to be home by 4pm in mid winter due to it being pitch black. The previous suggestion to take a trip back South in winter sounds like a good one to me.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
8,625 posts, read 5,549,378 times
Reputation: 10646
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Although I don't know Maine very well, I always enjoyed visiting the coastal towns in summer when I lived on the MA/NH border. A friend lives in Kennebunk, has been there for many decades, and still loves it. Not crowded KennebuckPORT. They are neighboring towns. I used to want to move to Wiscassett for some reason but never got around to it. It just seemed nice there. What about Kittery?

One thing to remember, winter, besides ice and snow, the hours of daylight are incredibly short. In mid winter it will be as dark as midnight by 4pm, earlier the more north you go. Probably it differs from east to west too in relation to the time zone delineation. Even in northern MA I wanted to be home by 4pm in mid winter due to it being pitch black. The previous suggestion to take a trip back South in winter sounds like a good one to me.
Kennebunk is a nice town and while housing is not cheap, it's definitely more reasonable than Kennebunkport, and it doesn't have their level of "upper crusty" residents, which to me is a plus. While the tourist ground zero at the river is basically shared with Kennebunkport, it has its own beaches and other attractions. It's not too far to go to either Portsmouth, NH or Portland, ME from Kennebunk either.

Kittery is great. The outlets along Route 1 aren't very inspiring, but the old town area along the Piscataqua (Kittery Foreside) is really cool, and they have a number of nice parks and historical forts along the river and out at Kittery Point. Plus, Portsmouth is right across the bridge, and Ogunquit and Rye are closeby... daytrips to Boston on the weekends are very doable from Kittery. Kittery has gotten kind of pricey, but if it fits your budget, I think it's a great place.

Not super familiar with Wiscasset, but I've stopped in there a few times. It's got a pretty village downtown and some nice well maintained neighborhood homes too, and I think the cost of housing is reasonable for a coastal town. It's along a nice tidal river (Sheepscot), which is another plus. The traffic jams at the bridge there can be brutal tho, and I can't confirm as I haven't spent real time there, but when I walked Water St (can't recall if it was 2019 or 2020?) from Main St down to the town launch, it seemed like there were some local businesses there that were recently shuttered? Haven't had the right chance to follow up further. Props to the bakery on Main St tho! .

Last edited by OutdoorLover; 08-17-2021 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:41 AM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,122,240 times
Reputation: 2156
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
One thing to remember, winter, besides ice and snow, the hours of daylight are incredibly short. In mid winter it will be as dark as midnight by 4pm, earlier the more north you go. Probably it differs from east to west too in relation to the time zone delineation. Even in northern MA I wanted to be home by 4pm in mid winter due to it being pitch black.
If the OP and family are from the south for most of their lives, then this is indeed going to be a big adjustment. The days are not only very noticeably shorter in Dec-Jan, but the sun never gets very far above the horizon. So it never gets as bright as down in NC in a winter day. The first mid-December day I spent in Maine, it did not 'feel' like day until almost 9-10 AM and the sun seemed to be starting down at 2:30 PM.

I'd also recommend that the OP think ahead about the job market. IMHO, remote working is not always going to be like it is now, and you'll have more and more competition for remote work jobs, likely at stagnating or gradually lowering pay. If that fizzles out, looking in Maine for jobs is going to be a lot more difficult than in the Triad of NC.
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
35,370 posts, read 57,360,729 times
Reputation: 27080
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoevge View Post
My wife [28] and I [31] are considering moving to Maine with our son [3] and two cats.

... Current City and State = Winston Salem, NC
Some of our best friends migrated to Maine from the Carolinas, you would not be the first to do so.



Quote:
... We're ... love being outdoors

... We want to spend our free time kayaking, hiking, gardening, etc.
That sounds like a perfect fit.




Quote:
... Probably someplace coastal, but we're also interested in living near/on a lake if inland. We love the water
The Coast can be expensive.

Maine has a lot of rivers, lakes, and ponds. Land prices are much lower inland. I paid $750 an acre for riverfront land. It can be found if you look hard enough [and if you avoid realtors like the plague].



Quote:
... We don't want to be in a super busy / congested area
Neither do we.



Quote:
... but also prefer not to be in a dying town either
I can understand that.



Quote:
... Our main priorities are family-friendly, quiet, abundant nature, and the basic amenities such as hospitals, grocery stores, simple restaurants, etc. We really try to engage in simple living, have non-materialistic hobbies/interests, and want to live life away from the hustle and chaos of bigger cities.
I think you would fit in well here in my township.



Quote:
... We know the winters will be bad
That is the big bad boogeyman isn't it.

People on the interwebz tell me all the time that Maine has these horrible winters of Biblical proportion.

IRL you get used to it.

A home that is well insulated is easy to heat.

We have previously lived in climates where it rained a lot. To me, I can dress for rain, but eventually, you get wet. Once the rain has soaked through my clothing, I am not happy. Maine gets a lot of precipitation
[now just watch somebody who has never lived in a drought-prone region will come in to say that Maine is suffering drought] but most of Maine's precipitation comes in solid form. I can work outside for hours when it is -10F and precipitating and I can stay dry. To me staying warm is easy, so long as I am not wet also.

A couple of times, I have been carrying maple sap in a backpack on snowshoes when the river ice has opened up under me and plunged me into the river water underneath. Each time that has happened to me, my armpits have caught on the ice and kept me from plunging any further into the water, then just up to my chest. At that point, my primary concern was how to climb up onto the ice again without losing my snowshoes. Once I get out of the water and hiking again, carrying a backpack full of maple sap, I have observed that I really was not cold in any manner. My pants were wet but that moisture was frozen. Wool pants will keep you warm even when soaked in water and frozen. Of course carrying 80-pounds of maple sap may have helped also.

In short, do not allow big bad 'winter' of mythical proportion to scare you away.




Quote:
... We would eventually want to buy a SFH but would probably rent at first to acclimate.
Maine is a large state with many regions. I tell all newcomers to rent their first year, to establish a Headquarters from which to explore the state. A year later you will be much better suited to say where in Maine you want to settle.




Quote:
... We recognize that we may be romanticizing the state as a faraway, nature-filled utopia. We love all the traditional narratives about the culture, the people, the landscape, etc. However, we know there are always negatives.
I am from California. To me Maine is a nature-filled utopia. Full of traditional narratives about the culture, the people, the landscape, AND there are some people filled with negatives.

We have been here 15 years.



Quote:
... We are really looking for a community to live in rather than a place that is viewed as a tourist hub filled with AirBnB's and investment properties. We aren't interested in that dynamic and want to move to a place where regular people live, raise their families, etc.
Then again, I must suggest that you focus inland and avoid the coast.

BTW, give us a shout on DMs before you get here [even if it is only for a quick visit] we will gladly have you over for supper and share a few drinks.

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Old 08-18-2021, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Maine
6,498 posts, read 12,792,726 times
Reputation: 7000
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
One thing to remember, winter, besides ice and snow, the hours of daylight are incredibly short. In mid winter it will be as dark as midnight by 4pm, earlier the more north you go. Probably it differs from east to west too in relation to the time zone delineation. Even in northern MA I wanted to be home by 4pm in mid winter due to it being pitch black. The previous suggestion to take a trip back South in winter sounds like a good one to me.
The sun rises just before 7 am and sets just before 5 pm on February 3, the middle of winter. There's ten hours of daylight and beautiful nights under the moon reflecting off snow.
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania/Maine
3,142 posts, read 1,901,566 times
Reputation: 5172
You've never lived I guess until you've carried 80 lbs of maple sap in a backpack! Sounds like fun!
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Old 08-19-2021, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Houston
218 posts, read 199,526 times
Reputation: 130
we moved to a perfect spot... Berwick, maine. its only 25mins to the coast, populated enough to not feel abandoned, low population enough to feel secluded. Its still reasonably affordable and you're only 1.5-2 hrs from the white mountains! Maine has super high taxes so be ready to start shelling out income tax, property tax, sales tax, etc. if you live along the NH border you can buy goods tax free across the state line. Coming from Houston where 250k can buy you a mansion to here where 500k buys you a shack on an acre lol. that was a tough pill to swallow. everything up here costs 100-300% higher in new england compared to Texas. hiring a contractor, carpenter, electrician, etc. costs absurd money up here. be ready to be a handy man yourself unless you want to go broke fixing a leaky pipe. If i were to do it over again id move a bit further northwest towards the mountains, id find a fixer upper place on a few acres on or near the mountains overlooking a lake! ha.
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Houston
218 posts, read 199,526 times
Reputation: 130
PS the "bad winters" are the best part of living up here! The wife and i love it. ive got a 4x4 tundra and have yet to not be able to get out of my 500ft private driveway (without plowing or snowblowing). i was even commuting to Lawrence Mass for work in a Camry and never had snow issues. the further away from society you get this may be more of a problem. the first year we moved here i bought a whole house generator and got a 1000 gal propane tank. we have xfinity 1gb internet speed here so thats nice for remote working.
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