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Old 12-11-2008, 04:12 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,587 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello all!
Well from researching previous posts I can see this is a popular theme- people wanting to relocate to Maine.
I hope the Mainer's don't start to resent the influx of people!
So here's my story:
My fiancee and I are looking to move to Maine in April, maybe March. My mom recently moved to Blue Hill, Maine a year ago and she loves it! Everytime I go back to visit her I fall more in love with Maine myself. I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California but it's not a place a connect to anymore. It really has turned into something I don't recognize, nor do I feel a part of.
I am 29 years old and my fiance is 27. He is a Sous-Chef who has traveled all over but spent the majority of his life in Santa Barbara as well. He has 2 brothers that live on the East Coast, one in NY, and one in DC, and he lived in NY himself for a year before 911.
We've been wanting to move out of California for a long time now.. and now that my mom is in Maine too we are totally sold on trying it ourselves!
I love the wide open feel of Maine and the beautiful sites at every corner.
We have decided that we are going to move to Portland because my fiance might have more opportunities work wise there.
Can anyone give us some advise as to what we can expect with the move?
First of all, it seems like it is really hard to get a job in Maine. But does anyone know much about the culinary side of Maine? Is the tourist season from May to October? And if we got there in April would that be too late as far as trying to get a job with a restaurant that would be hiring for the upcoming season?
One of my mom's friends suggested we be there by March but we were hoping on leaving Santa Barbara the 1st week of April so that our drive across country would be nicer.
I've been looking at apartments every day on Craigslist to get an idea of what rent would be like.
Can anyone help us out as far as utilities and gas prices? What is an average cost in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment?
And if we move to Portland does anyone suggest a certain area or neighborhood?
We might only have one car for a while so we'd like to be within walking distance to shops or restaurants if possible. We pay $1550 right now for a 2 bedroom but we're hoping to cut down on cost. Maybe $1100 or so including utilities? Is that reasonable for a nice place?
I think I'm just afraid that it will be hard to get work, or that people will be aprehensive about hiring from California..
We want somewhere to call home and hopefully start a family in the next couple of years, and then maybe open our own restaurant or something..
I work as a Patient Care Coordinator/Office Manager for a small private doctor now but I haven't really seen any comparable jobs on Craigslist. Any suggestions? I also am a licensed massage therapist. Anyone have any idea what the average rate for a therapist is in Maine??
I know I've written a lot!! Sorry Got carried away.. Ok any help would be great!!
Thank you so much! We are so excited to move and be in Maine!!
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,010 posts, read 2,700,459 times
Reputation: 2752
Default Hello sms2279!

I was surprised to see Santa Barbara in your post. I was born in Santa Barbara, and my parents still live just north of there.

Don't have the culinary knowledge that the other posters have...sorry about that. Just want to wish you well!

p.s. I'm on the Maine forum because we recently bought a home in Maine, but we live in northern Virginia.

Last edited by Fern435; 12-11-2008 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
7,911 posts, read 15,974,272 times
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I think you could do well here.

First, plenty of places are hiring sous chefs throughout the year, but I'd start looking in February or March. As early as possible would be good because while the peak of the tourist season is from about the End of May trough October, the better restaurants in the area are busy year-round. I know for a fact that some restaurants have high turnover in terms of kitchen staff so there is potential if your fiance finds a job that he could become a head chef in relatively little time if he can prove himself (Portland's restaurant biz is NOT what you'd call cutthroat either).

As far as apartments go, $1100 for a nice 2br should NOT be a problem (in fact I saw one with about 1300 sq feet in a nice neighborhood for $1100 a few days ago on craigslist). In fact, I think depending on exactly what you're looking for, you may be able to do even better than $1100 with everything but cable included. I can't help you on gas or electric because mine are included. I'm in a nice 1br right now with utilities included (except cable) for $785. There are better values out there. I'd assume you'll get a lot more "bang" for your buck out here than in Santa Barbara. In terms of neighborhoods, there is no such thing as a bad or dangerous neighborhood in Portland. There really isn't. East End, West End, Mujoy Hill, Bayside and Oakdale will likely be the best bets for walking distance to downtown. The residential neighborhoods in Portland aren't very urban and most have off-street parking and little backyards. There are exceptions, but you'll have no problem finding parking in a decent neighborhood for 1 car in a 2 bedroom for around $1100. Your price range won't exclude you from any neighborhood in Portland either, but my top 3 choices would be East End, Mujoy Hill and West End with Bayside and Oakdale (and Parkside) as fall backs.

I don't know how to help you with your job, but i would suggest that you keep looking. It's not easy to find jobs and I would ABSOLUTELY not come out here until at LEAST one of you had some position lined up ad it could take forever and you could go broke trying if you moved w/o a job. I think your fiance should be able to get something somewhere, but I doubt he'll be making what he makes out West. I don't know anyone who would be apprehensive about hiring because he's from CA (in fact it may help), but that's going to be dependent on the individual restaurant.

Keep doing what you're doing. Maine's a beautiful place, but it's really tough to find jobs. Like I said, if you move before either of you gets a job you could be waiting for a long time and end up miserable. I don't think it's worth moving here without something set in stone. If you keep researching like you are, you should have few problems.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,766 posts, read 14,892,674 times
Reputation: 9563
"I hope the Mainer's don't start to resent the influx of people!"

Let me disabuse you of that idea right away. Maine needs people. We are the oldest state. We passed Florida two years ago. It isn't because people come to Maine to retire. It's because our young people leave to find work elsewhere.

You need to be flexible and versatile. Hubby could end up working in a hospital. You could end up with a Doc who serves the same hospital. Both of those positions can be stepping stones to your long term goal.

As to restaurants; Maine tends to like basic home style cooking with maybe a few specialty menu items. In the next few years, bank loans will be very hard to get for people just starting a business. You will need to find somebody to work with to obtain creative financing. It could be a lease/purchase arrangement or owner financing. Maybe you can find an "equity angel" who would loan you startup money for a percentage of the business.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Maine
566 posts, read 1,276,803 times
Reputation: 685
You might want to check this website also for jobs. It is from The Bangor Daily News but you can choose the location you are job searching in and Portland is on the list. Hope this helps! You might also check out the Portland Press Herald website.

Bangor Daily News - Meet your job match
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,833 posts, read 4,389,132 times
Reputation: 1261
Welcome to the forum, sms2279!

You might be able to rent a condo on the penninsula with a parking spot or two quite reasonably. I'm not an expert in rentals, but I can tell you that there is a glut of 2 and 3 bedrooms for sale and many are taking them off the market and renting, because they can't sell without bringing money to the closing table. I think both of you could find jobs fairly easily in your respective fields in Greater Portland, although you might need to take a step back in position and salary/benefits.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:55 AM
 
13 posts, read 45,587 times
Reputation: 17
I just want to thank all of you for your help! It's so nice and encouraging! My fiance and I have been planning this move and trip for a while now and sometimes I get sad or scared reading some of the posts. Some of them make it sound like Maine is just crumbling to pieces, especially with the state of our economy now, but I think my fiance is right.. most of the people losing jobs are part of big corporations. And I'm sorry to any of you that might be experiencing that it's awful! Hopefully with his career as a chef we would have more hope and opportunity.
Both of us are perfectly fine with taking a pay cut. Actually I'm the one that would probably experience that more then him. Chefs surprisingly enough don't make too much anywhere you go! Unless you are the Executive Chef or own your own business the average pay is between $9 and $12 and hour- even here in Santa Barbara. So as long as we have a better quality of life in Maine he's not worried about that side at all.
Thanks for the good wishes Fern435! Small world isn't it? Santa Barbara will always have my heart because it's where I began.. but it's time for a new chapter..and SB has changed so much I almost resent it now which is sad for me.
So onwards and upwards! Thanks Irfox for all your input Reading these posts put a smile on my face and confirmed our intuition of feeling drawn to Maine.
Maine has such a sense of community that we are greatly lacking here. We can't wait to be a part of it!
Ok- I shall ask another question then!
We will be driving cross country- with our 2 cats in the car might I add. Hopefully we won't reek of cat litter when we arrive hahah! But we were wondering if anyone who has done the trip had good places to recommend to stop along the way?
We've hung up a map on the wall and stuck little post it's on the states we'd like to visit. I think we're going to take the 40 across to North Carolina and then go straight up from there, since I did the 70 route with my mom.
We keep watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network! We thought it would be fun to do a BBQ or Diner tour across the state on the way! Any suggestions??
THANKS!!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:22 AM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
21,338 posts, read 7,503,088 times
Reputation: 33307
Quote:
Originally Posted by sms2279 View Post
I just want to thank all of you for your help! It's so nice and encouraging! My fiance and I have been planning this move and trip for a while now and sometimes I get sad or scared reading some of the posts. Some of them make it sound like Maine is just crumbling to pieces, especially with the state of our economy now, but I think my fiance is right.. most of the people losing jobs are part of big corporations. And I'm sorry to any of you that might be experiencing that it's awful! Hopefully with his career as a chef we would have more hope and opportunity.
Both of us are perfectly fine with taking a pay cut. Actually I'm the one that would probably experience that more then him. Chefs surprisingly enough don't make too much anywhere you go! Unless you are the Executive Chef or own your own business the average pay is between $9 and $12 and hour- even here in Santa Barbara. So as long as we have a better quality of life in Maine he's not worried about that side at all.
Thanks for the good wishes Fern435! Small world isn't it? Santa Barbara will always have my heart because it's where I began.. but it's time for a new chapter..and SB has changed so much I almost resent it now which is sad for me.
So onwards and upwards! Thanks Irfox for all your input Reading these posts put a smile on my face and confirmed our intuition of feeling drawn to Maine.
Maine has such a sense of community that we are greatly lacking here. We can't wait to be a part of it!
Ok- I shall ask another question then!
We will be driving cross country- with our 2 cats in the car might I add. Hopefully we won't reek of cat litter when we arrive hahah! But we were wondering if anyone who has done the trip had good places to recommend to stop along the way?
We've hung up a map on the wall and stuck little post it's on the states we'd like to visit. I think we're going to take the 40 across to North Carolina and then go straight up from there, since I did the 70 route with my mom.
We keep watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network! We thought it would be fun to do a BBQ or Diner tour across the state on the way! Any suggestions??
THANKS!!
I've only come as far across as from Kansas to the east coast, but I went there with two cats, one bird and two dogs in '99. I came back in '00 with 3 dogs, and two cats. We had zero problems finding pet friendly motels along the way and you shouldn't either. If you get a good GPS, (mine is a NUVI), they tell you all restaurants, hotels, motels, gas stations, etc. in whatever area you're traveling. It gives you the address and phone number so you can call that location. It also maps it for you. So if you have a GPS, you're going to AOK with that.

I've gone Florida to Cape Cod 8 times in the last 3 years with two dogs and one cat and had no issues with getting motels to accept us. Sometimes I just sneak them in too. lol sshhhhh. lol

For the cat I buy disposal litter boxes and leave them in the motel room when I leave with a small tip. You could also pack trash bags and just dispose of it each morning if you felt guilty. I didn't feel guilty for the prices charged for motel rooms, I thought leaving a litter box that had hardly been used was fair and square as long as I tipped the maid $5.

Also, I have for the last 14 years, WHENEVER traveling with cats, medicated them so they sleep the majority of the trip. If they're not asleep in their little kitty kennel, then they're so drugged up, they just sit there in a daze. PM me if you want the name of the medicine I get from the vet. It's SO much more relaxing than having to deal with cats caterwalling (sp) the whole time you're trying to glide along the highway.

I pack food and water and at night, I usually give the cat just a quarter or a sliver of the medicine so she sleeps and doesn't drive us all crazy. The one night I didn't do that, when I woke up in the morning, I couldn't find her. Searched everywhere in total desperation. I finally found her when I flipped the whole bed up and found her under the bed, inside the wooden box that held all of the bed. REALLY made for a stressful morning!!! lol

Good luck! Enjoy yourself when you come across. What an adventure!!! Ahhhhh, to be young again!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,010 posts, read 2,700,459 times
Reputation: 2752
Default Travel assistance

As you get started on planning your route, I may be able to help. (military family, lived/driven all across the U.S.)

For your first meal stop: The Mad Greek Cafe in Baker, California (home of the world's tallest thermometer and gateway to Death Valley). In the middle of almost nowhere on I-15, they have the BEST gyros and freshest lettuce and tomatoes. ( How do they do it?? ) Their shakes and fries are delicious too. They serve a complete line of authentic Greek food.

It's a bright white building with blue-and-white awnings, on the only road through town. Can't miss it. Don't miss it!

You will have a wonderful trip. The United States is an amazing country.

Last edited by Fern435; 12-12-2008 at 11:25 AM.. Reason: adding a line
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:45 PM
 
13 posts, read 45,587 times
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Oh my CoastalMaine! You just completely "one up'd" us with your traveling animals!! hahah Good idea about the disposable litter boxes though.. hadn't thought of that.
And I can only imagine the panic of not finding your cat in the room!! I would have a heart attack! I had a similar situation happen with our first cat and it's the worst feeling. They can get in the most impossible spaces.
And thanks for the Mad Greek advice Fern435! I've actually been there before when we would go to Las Vegas- mmmmmmm.. so good. I might even go as far as to say the gyros were better there then they were in Greece! shhhhh....
This will be the 2nd time I've driven across but the 1st for my fiance. When I went with my mom we went to the Grand Canyon and Niagra falls- and then came in from the northern route. So now I want to take a different route and being that we love food we wanted to try and make a road tasting trip out of it!
Either way, we figure we won't have too many more opportunities to do something like this so we want to make the most of it.
No kids yet, no house, no ties. Just us and our cats! And a new adventure and life in Maine!
We don't plan on leaving till April so it's like a Christmas present you can't open. We just want to do it already. hahah!
Thanks again for all your help!
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