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Old 11-08-2009, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 2,282,172 times
Reputation: 427

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Hey all,

I currently live in Phx, AZ and considering a wide variety of places to move to.

Im not in need of finding new employment actually located in Maine. The employer I have will allow me to work remotely from anywhere so my only real requirement is that I can have access to high speed internet besides the normal utilities.

If you could live anywhere in the state, and commute time to employment and or finding a local job is not a factor, where would you choose to live?

I love the topography of Maine, the cliffs, the ocean, the beaches, the forests, the 4 seasons, etc. None of which is located in Phx. I previously lived in Long Island so understand the New England climate is different.

We have heard that Maine is just a bunch of small towns scattered over a large land mass with poor connectivity between them, but is there any other area besides Portland that might offer something in between the Portland lifestye and the small scattered towns described?

We are not looking for a place packed with nightlife or an abundance of upscale shopping. We like the low key, environmental lifestyle that it looks to be on the outside and certainly dont want to come into town and try and make it something its not. In fact if we lived there and saw any signs of it becoming anything remotely similar to where we are leaving, I would probably actively oppose it in any way I could.

Also, I really dont mind living in a smaller scattered town, since I'm not really worried about how close I am to the city, but will newcomers be the talk of the town and met with fierce resentment? I do have 2 boys, twins 12 years old that dont do too much here in Phx other than sit inside and play video games. Outdoor activities here are typically 3+ hours away so dont do things like that as often as we'd like. And the LONG summers here make swimming the only real option in the city. Does anyone that lives there have an experience to share about growing up in one of the small towns. Did you even care about the trees, seasons, beaches, etc or just take it for granted and always yearn to get the heck out?

They do like to ski, snowboard, enjoy the forest and beaches and are excited to take the drive up north here when we can do it and we are looking for a place that we can actually live more like that rather than taking a couple trips a year.

Am I way off base for considering it there? Im a realist and can handle the tell it like it is approach I see acadialion offers. But just understand, Im not a dreamer, I know pros and cons exist for everywhere and would like to hear a little of both and not just a bunch of doom and gloom about the economy. As I said earlier, I have my own income base, albeit Im not a millionaire, I have seen things I can afford there and want to know more specifically about the questions I asked.

Last edited by cmist; 11-08-2009 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,262,215 times
Reputation: 2650
[quote=cmist;11538280]Hey all,

I currently live in Phx, AZ and considering a wide variety of places to move to.

Im not in need of finding new employment actually located in Maine. The employer I have will allow me to work remotely from anywhere so my only real requirement is that I can have access to high speed internet besides the normal utilities.

Having a job is a huge plus.

If you could live anywhere in the state, and commute time to employment and or finding a local job is not a factor, where would you choose to live?

I choose to live in Central Maine, but then again, that is where I am from. Much will depend on what type of lifestyle you're looking for. Are you looking for city? Southern. Rural? Northern. Ocean? Coastal. I'm not being flippant when I ask these questions, because Maine in general, is a pretty diverse place. I always, and I mean always suggest that you visit - preferably a few times before you decide, and I find it mandatory to visit during late February (especially if you are from a warmer state - I do see in your next paragraph that you are familiar with colder weather, but late February and early March can be brutal up here ).

I love the topography of Maine, the cliffs, the ocean, the beaches, the forests, the 4 seasons, etc. None of which is located in Phx. I previously lived in Long Island so understand the New England climate is different.

We have heard that Maine is just a bunch of small towns scattered over a large land mass with poor connectivity between them, (ayuh) but is there any other area besides Portland that might offer something in between the Portland lifestye and the small scattered towns described? Bangor may fit that bill a little better.

We are not looking for a place packed with nightlife or an abundance of upscale shopping. This is good - it's not here . We like the low key, environmental lifestyle that it looks to be on the outside and certainly dont want to come into town and try and make it something its not. In fact if we lived there and saw any signs of it becoming anything remotely similar to where we are leaving, I would probably actively oppose it in any way I could. This is also good - I think it's a pretty well-known fact that most Mainers resent this type of scenario.

Also, I really dont mind living in a smaller scattered town, since I'm not really worried about how close I am to the city, but will newcomers be the talk of the town and met with fierce resentment? That would entirely depend on the area you land in. Maine is like any other area - we have our share of those who are less than welcoming, but I'm sure that others who regularly post (who are from "away" will give you some good advice on what they've experienced). I do have 2 boys, twins 12 years old that dont do too much here in Phx other than sit inside and play video games. Outdoor activities here are typically 3+ hours away so dont do things like that as often as we'd like. And the LONG summers here make swimming the only real option in the city. Does anyone that lives there have an experience to share about growing up in one of the small towns. Did you even care about the trees, seasons, beaches, etc or just take it for granted and always yearn to get the heck out? Many leave, but then end up coming back to retire.

They do like to ski, snowboard, enjoy the forest and beaches and are excited to take the drive up north here when we can do it and we are looking for a place that we can actually live more like that rather than taking a couple trips a year. I'd start surfing the Maine threads - we've discussed ski areas before.

Am I way off base for considering it there? Im a realist and can handle the tell it like it is approach I see acadialion offers. He makes many good points. But just understand, Im not a dreamer, I know pros and cons exist for everywhere and would like to hear a little of both and not just a bunch of doom and gloom about the economy. Agreed. The economy is the pits - I don't consider it as much of a "doom and gloom" description as much as it is reality, but on the plus side, raising kids in Maine is great IMHO. We may not have as many "toys" but it really does come down to what you can and cannot live without. As I said earlier, I have my own income base, albeit Im not a millionaire, I have seen things I can afford there and want to know more specifically about the questions I asked. That is definitely a plus. The things that you want to check into with regard to properties are not only the price of the building/land itself, but also the yearly property taxes, costs to heat, and utilities in general. Property taxes can vary widely depending on where you're located. Services can also vary widely; for example, many towns have road-side trash pickup, but others either have a transfer station or (fewer still) have dumps that you will need to bring your trash to. It may sound silly to speak of these things, but personally, after many years of having to deal with hauling trash, I thought road-side trash pickup was the best thing to come along since sliced cheese. Other towns have "pay-per-bag" rules, so people have to factor in those costs as well. As far as basic living costs, we are a long way north of a lot of distributers, so typically, transportation costs get passed along to us by way of grocery bills, etc.

Welcome to the Maine board. I'm sure others will be piping in shortly.
[/quote]

Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 2,282,172 times
Reputation: 427
Thanks for helping me think some things through. I prefer being closer to the coast than being further inland. I see that Portland is the main city, but on a map I see alot of small towns all along the coast and wonder what its like to live in any those areas. I have also seen some incredible looking lakefront homes at really nice prices that seem to be further north and a little more inland. I know those low prices reflect the lack of an economy, but that is what makes them affordable to me. I can come and spend my income there without needing to physically work there.

I should rephrase the sarcastic sounding "doom & gloom" remark. I only meant to say Im less interested in hearing anything about the narrow economic base, etc. Its irrelevant to me since employment is taken care of already. Also, I have looked at alot of forums, and see that is going on literally everywhere. I havent found a city forum yet that doesnt say, get a job first, it will be hard here, and the like and I completely understand and agree.

I definitely want to visit, and will when I can, but I do know that a vacation is quite different from living there. Im a real easygoing person and enjoy the experience of something unique that has a local flair. Phoenix is so huge and the only things that can afford to open up shop here are huge corporate chains so there is really no local flavor. No local mom and pop bakery, butcher shop, or hardware store. Its all the same stuff stamped out about every couple miles. You wouldnt know what part of the city you were in for hours in all directions since no part of it offers anything unique.

My question is #1... Am I being too much of an idealist to think that I will move someplace smaller and be accepted? As the new kid in town, is it more likely I will be gossip fodder and the locals will dislike my very presence even if I love them and their culture to the core?

If thats the reality, Im wondering if anyone could point out something that might be a little larger and accepting besides Portland and now I saw Bangor too, thanks!

The other main question had to do with anyone growing up in Maine as a child if they loved it there as a kid or felt trapped by lack of opportunity, or if the vibe of the schools in smaller towns was a real downer.

Last edited by cmist; 11-08-2009 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,891 posts, read 5,146,844 times
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Given your sentiments about how you would like to live, I doubt that you would be shunned simply for being "from away", even in the smallest town. However, i would suggest you look at Orono, Old Town, Bangor, and the other towns surrounding the University of Maine. Bangor has most of the basic shopping you would need (it is the shopping hub for much of Penobscot and Hancock counties- it has a mall!), and UMaine brings in a lot of cultural and other events. As well, being a college town, the residents are used to lots of people moving in or out of town, so I don't think that would be an issue. Most recreation areas (as well as the ocean) are within a little more than an hours drive via I-95.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,891 posts, read 5,146,844 times
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I think I had 32 people in my graduating class. I LOVED going to a small school. Funny thing- when it's actually too small to have cliques.. everyone participates in whatever there might to participate in.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17569
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist
Hey all,
Welcome to the CD Forum



Quote:
... I currently live in Phx, AZ and considering a wide variety of places to move to.

Im not in need of finding new employment actually located in Maine. The employer I have will allow me to work remotely from anywhere so my only real requirement is that I can have access to high speed internet besides the normal utilities.
Among folks moving to Maine, yours is among the BEST situations to be in.

The other being on pension [like me]



Quote:
... If you could live anywhere in the state, and commute time to employment and or finding a local job is not a factor, where would you choose to live?

I love the topography of Maine, the cliffs, the ocean, the beaches, the forests, the 4 seasons, etc. None of which is located in Phx. I previously lived in Long Island so understand the New England climate is different.
Maine 3,000 miles of coast line.

Most of Maine if forested.

Most of Maine is rural.

So if you wanted to combine near-coast and forest and rural; then you are in luck.



Quote:
... We have heard that Maine is just a bunch of small towns scattered over a large land mass with poor connectivity between them, but is there any other area besides Portland that might offer something in between the Portland lifestye and the small scattered towns described?
Even Portland is not truly much of a big city in terms of nightlife and goings-on.



Quote:
... We are not looking for a place packed with nightlife or an abundance of upscale shopping. We like the low key, environmental lifestyle that it looks to be on the outside and certainly dont want to come into town and try and make it something its not. In fact if we lived there and saw any signs of it becoming anything remotely similar to where we are leaving, I would probably actively oppose it in any way I could.

Also, I really dont mind living in a smaller scattered town, since I'm not really worried about how close I am to the city, but will newcomers be the talk of the town and met with fierce resentment?
No.



Quote:
... I do have 2 boys, twins 12 years old that dont do too much here in Phx other than sit inside and play video games. Outdoor activities here are typically 3+ hours away so dont do things like that as often as we'd like. And the LONG summers here make swimming the only real option in the city. Does anyone that lives there have an experience to share about growing up in one of the small towns. Did you even care about the trees, seasons, beaches, etc or just take it for granted and always yearn to get the heck out?
Obviously there are couch-potato children in Maine. They exist everywhere.

But Maine does offer a lot in terms of hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, geo-caching, boating, etc.



Quote:
... They do like to ski, snowboard, enjoy the forest and beaches and are excited to take the drive up north here when we can do it and we are looking for a place that we can actually live more like that rather than taking a couple trips a year.
They should do fine then



Quote:
... Am I way off base for considering it there? Im a realist and can handle the tell it like it is approach I see acadialion offers. But just understand, Im not a dreamer, I know pros and cons exist for everywhere and would like to hear a little of both and not just a bunch of doom and gloom about the economy. As I said earlier, I have my own income base, albeit Im not a millionaire, I have seen things I can afford there and want to know more specifically about the questions I asked.
I moved to Maine in 2005, we like it.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
21,338 posts, read 7,355,232 times
Reputation: 33301
Are you thinking of renting or owning?
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17569
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist
... I prefer being closer to the coast than being further inland.
Maine has that.



Quote:
... I see that Portland is the main city, but on a map I see alot of small towns all along the coast and wonder what its like to live in any those areas. I have also seen some incredible looking lakefront homes at really nice prices that seem to be further north and a little more inland. I know those low prices reflect the lack of an economy, but that is what makes them affordable to me. I can come and spend my income there without needing to physically work there.
No, no, no.

Those nice prices have no bearing to the current economy.

Maine's economy has been depressed for decades. Maine never really experienced the housing bubble that the rest of the nation experienced. Homes in Maine are cheap, because jobs are scarce.

Not jobs this year are scarce, jobs have been scarce, and therefore house prices and the cost-of-living is lower then it would be in a 'thriving' area.

You see this is why we moved here. I am on a pension.

My small pension would only allow us to live in very few places. Maine is one of them.



Quote:
... I should rephrase the sarcastic sounding "doom & gloom" remark. I only meant to say Im less interested in hearing anything about the narrow economic base, etc. Its irrelevant to me since employment is taken care of already.
I understand.



Quote:
... Also, I have looked at alot of forums, and see that is going on literally everywhere. I havent found a city forum yet that doesnt say, get a job first, it will be hard here, and the like and I completely understand and agree.

I definitely want to visit, and will when I can, but I do know that a vacation is quite different from living there. Im a real easygoing person and enjoy the experience of something unique that has a local flair. Phoenix is so huge and the only things that can afford to open up shop here are huge corporate chains so there is really no local flavor. No local mom and pop bakery, butcher shop, or hardware store. Its all the same stuff stamped out about every couple miles. You wouldnt know what part of the city you were in for hours in all directions since no part of it offers anything unique.

My question is #1... Am I being too much of an idealist to think that I will move someplace smaller and be accepted?
Yes.



Quote:
... As the new kid in town, is it more likely I will be gossip fodder and the locals will dislike my very presence even if I love them and their culture to the core?
No, I do not see that.



Quote:
... If thats the reality, Im wondering if anyone could point out something that might be a little larger and accepting besides Portland and now I saw Bangor too, thanks!
I really do not see rural Maine as being unaccepting.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,262,215 times
Reputation: 2650
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
Thanks for helping me think some things through. I prefer being closer to the coast than being further inland. I see that Portland is the main city, but on a map I see alot of small towns all along the coast and wonder what its like to live in any those areas. I have also seen some incredible looking lakefront homes at really nice prices that seem to be further north and a little more inland. I know those low prices reflect the lack of an economy, but that is what makes them affordable to me. I can come and spend my income there without needing to physically work there.

Anywhere in Maine is your "oyster" then IMO. Central Maine (around Bangor) is a relatively short jaunt (1 to 1/2 hours depending on where you are) to coastal areas like Ellsworth or Bar Harbor...

I should rephrase the sarcastic sounding "doom & gloom" remark. I only meant to say Im less interested in hearing anything about the narrow economic base, etc. Its irrelevant to me since employment is taken care of already. Also, I have looked at alot of forums, and see that is going on literally everywhere. I havent found a city forum yet that doesnt say, get a job first, it will be hard here, and the like and I completely understand and agree. I understand - personally, I'm heavy on sarcasm myself (jokingly anyway) so I didn't take it like that. Some people take it personally because oftentimes posters appear to want to don the rose-colored glasses when it comes to moving anywhere other than where there from. From my experience on this board, most people just want people to be forewarned about difficulties that some may have living here. Jobs are of particular concern.

I definitely want to visit, and will when I can, but I do know that a vacation is quite different from living there. Im a real easygoing person and enjoy the experience of something unique that has a local flair. Phoenix is so huge and the only things that can afford to open up shop here are huge corporate chains so there is really no local flavor. No local mom and pop bakery, butcher shop, or hardware store. Its all the same stuff stamped out about every couple miles. You wouldnt know what part of the city you were in for hours in all directions since no part of it offers anything unique. Well, I've seen plenty of corporate chains popping up here over the years, but we still do have some "Mom and Pops" left. I fear for them more and more every year (and with every Wal-Mart expansion) but there are some fine "niches" like our very own JJ Starwalker and her hex sign business (she was in the Bangor Daily News today). There are also some businesses that do have great customer service like Hammond Lumber (whom I would prefer to do business with since they frequently know more about what I'm looking for than some of the pimply-faced kids who work at Home Depot - no offense to any Home Depot workers who happen to be reading ).

My question is #1... Am I being too much of an idealist to think that I will move someplace smaller and be accepted? As the new kid in town, is it more likely I will be gossip fodder and the locals will dislike my very presence even if I love them and their culture to the core? IMHO, this is something that can't be predicted. My advice to anyone moving anywhere is "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I was born and raised here, and from my experience, if you are willing to mind your own beeswax and be friendly even to those who look squint-eyed at you until they warm up to you (and not ALL of us will do this - despite what you may hear ), then generally, you'll assimilate into the fold. It may take a bit, but I wouldn't be too concerned about that.

If thats the reality, Im wondering if anyone could point out something that might be a little larger and accepting besides Portland and now I saw Bangor too, thanks!

The other main question had to do with anyone growing up in Maine as a child if they loved it there as a kid or felt trapped by lack of opportunity, or if the vibe of the schools in smaller towns was a real downer.
For me, Maine was a great place to grow up.

Opportunity is in the eye of the beholder IMHO. I left for a while, but I came back because it's what fits me best. I married a Maine boy, and perhaps when we are old and gray (er) we will take the obligatory "snowbird" yearly winter vacation to a much warmer climate for a couple months in the dead of winter, but we will stay here for life.

I have friends who I grew up with that have high-tailed it out of here and have no intention of coming back (ironically, one of them lives in AZ now).
.

They have found their niches in life, and have established their families where they are, but most of them wouldn't criticize Maine as it is "home."
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,266 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
Hey all,

Im a realist and can handle the tell it like it is approach I see acadialion offers. .
LOLLMAO!!!!!! OK! I'm going to give it to you straight from the shoulder, right into the chops! BRACE YOURSELF! Here it comes, the absolute, 100% unvarnished truth from one who has "been there, done that" and is still here. Here it is:

Right now, not later, but RIGHT NOW, plan a trip to Maine. Best time to come is anytime between now and March. Make a list of towns that you might like to visit. Plan on taking as much time as possible....you probably should spend at least two weeks in Maine on this trip.

To begin with you will need to select towns that will enable you to have high speed Internet. Surprisingly a lot of places that you wouldn't suspect have high speed Internet, yet some places that are in those towns to not yet have it. Example: my parents lived in Belfast which is a highly connected town. But they lived on Route One and the precise place that they lived could only get high speed Internet from cable because the telephone company didn't offer it on that part of the main drag, although they had DSL about everywhere else in Belfast. So you will be asking about WHERE highspeed Internet and cable service is in the towns you visit.

You will also need to talk to schools especially about extra curricular activities for your boys. ANd of course you will need to look at the distances between whichever town you are in and some of the other things that you might want to do. Sugarloaf Mountain is big time skiing, and from some parts of Maine it is quite a drag, yet there are other excellent ski areas more accessible from other parts.

Don't pack your bags for a permanent move yet, but do come and visit as soon as you can. Your interests and those of your family are perfectly in synch with EVERYONE who choses to live in Maine, or stays here.

Trust me: Hurry UP! Your missing Maine and from your post, you NEED it and Maine probably needs you.

Oh, yeah. The economy in Maine is small, and depending on where you live, you may find it a bit of a drive to get to Sams Club or even Super Walmart. But you will find that even if there is a long drive, at the worst of times there will be little traffic to inconvenience you, and for the most part, people are friendly. AND you probably will never get mugged driving to the convenience store.


Oh, yeah. One more thing. If you make your first visit in the winter and decide that you do like it and want to be here, then you can be assured that the spring, summer and fall will be better.
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