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Old 12-16-2009, 09:40 AM
 
190 posts, read 748,028 times
Reputation: 47

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My husband and I are considering retirement on the Maine Coast.

We currently live in Newburyport, MA, and love it here, but the housing prices are too much for a retired couple. We have a very tiny house now (1,100 sq ft) and would like more room.

We are born and bred New Englanders, so used to cold, snowy winters, however, we realize Maine is likely a bit worse than where we are.

We've looked at several spots around the country, but keep coming back to the New England coast. I think we both finally have realize that neither one of us wants to be away from the ocean. In fact, as close to it as possible!

We like a place that's not too remote, and maybe has easy access to larger towns nearby. We're not really city people - hardly ever venture into Boston, but for shopping, etc., it's nice a place to buy pajamas, socks, housewares, etc. not too far away.

We love the ambience of Newburyport and would like something similar - a smallish town (Newburyport is 17K), strong art community, nice boardwalk on the river, beautiful historic homes, great restaurants, independent bookstores, a library and a small hospital. It's a very walkable town, which is what we are looking for also. We also would like a place that has some things going on - Christmas house tours, festivals, etc.

My husband would be retired. I have an internet business, so we would not need "traditional" work, just a very good high-speed internet provider/technology services.

Our target housing price is 300K, but our needs are modest - 1,500-1,800 sq ft, 3 BR, 1 1/2 bath. Close to town or water.

We are "youngish" - late 50s, early 60s, and like to be active. Out only carved in stone criteria is a hospital, as my husband has a heart condition, and is prone to asthma attacks. Wouldn't want to be driving 1/2 hour away when those things occur.

We of course plan to visit and wander around, but would like to know of the towns we've listed if any fit the bill and are there any we don't have on our list.

We haven't been to the Maine Coast (other than Ogunquit) for a long while, but are excited to return. I really like Ogunquit and Kennebunk. Ogunquit may be too small for us. Bath looks interesting, and it appears near enough to Portland if we wanted to venture somewhere for shopping. I remember liking Camden alot, but wonder if it is too remote.

Our short list is:

Bath
Rockland
Rockport
Ogunquit
Camden
Portland
Kennebunk

Thoughts?
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,485 posts, read 14,286,680 times
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Don't dismiss Ellsworth. They have everything you mentioned and lower costs.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:46 AM
 
190 posts, read 748,028 times
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Thank you.

I think Ellsworth is way too far North for what we want, and not close enough to Portland though.

I even think Camden is too far, really.

Appreciate the suggestion, though.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:08 PM
 
190 posts, read 748,028 times
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Forgot to ask -

What is the property tax rate in ME?
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:31 AM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,093 posts, read 5,422,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post
Forgot to ask -

What is the property tax rate in ME?


It depends on the town that you are looking at. Each town sets it's own rate.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post
Thank you.

I think Ellsworth is way too far North for what we want, and not close enough to Portland though.

I even think Camden is too far, really.

Appreciate the suggestion, though.
Think about it again, and don't look at a map.

It takes longer to get to Portland than it does from Belfast or Ellsworth.

Once the construction up Route 1A from Ellsworth to Brewer is completed, it will probably be no longer from Ellsworth to Portland than from Belfast to Portland.

Right now it takes me just under 3 hours from Ellsworth to Portland, and when the time is reduced from Ellsworth to Brewer, that time will drop. The issue with Camden is that no matter how one travels, it is two lanes and more traffic before reaching the Interstate.

Incidentally, Ellsworth is not 'north' of Portland. It is more nearly east of Portland.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,815 posts, read 4,267,470 times
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Hello macdebbie,

Take a look at where Interstate 295 runs on a map and look at towns like Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick. South of Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland might fit the bill as well. Check into Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital while visiting as well as the networks of doctors that are associated with. Be very careful with towns like Ogunquit and others who see their population increase dramatically in the spring/summer/early fall as traffic can get snarled and double or triple your commute time to a hospital.

There are dozens of homes that fit your description that have sold in those communities in the last 90 days.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:45 PM
 
190 posts, read 748,028 times
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Thanks all.

Can anyone comment on the towns on our list? (Compared to what we are looking for).
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post
Thanks all.

Can anyone comment on the towns on our list? (Compared to what we are looking for).
Camden, Rockport and Rockland are all in the same general class as Belfast and Ellsworth. As you said, probably too far out for you.

Bath and Kennebunk are about equidistant from Portland.

Basically the choice is between whether or not you need to live within a short distance of Maine's biggest city, or whether you want to live in MAINE, which is more like living in a simpler, more rural area.

If being close to a hospital is essential, I think I would suggest that you look seriously at Belfast. The hospital there is outstanding, and I have a considerable amount of really recent experience with it, as caregiver to my elderly parents.

Belfast to Portland is really easy since there is a bypass around Augusta. A simple and relatively easy drive about 45 minutes up Route 3, then Interstate 95 another 45 miles or so to Portland.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:34 PM
 
Location: 43.55N 69.58W
3,231 posts, read 6,540,203 times
Reputation: 2972
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post

Our short list is:

Bath -
Rockport
Ogunquit - I've never spent any time here and don't know enough about this area to give much advice.
Camden
Portland - Everything you need is here, as well pls see Whofanme's list of surrounding towns that will also suit your needs quite nicely. He's a wealth of knowledge and knows these area's quite well.
Kennebunk - Do we still own this? I thought we gave it to NH.

Thoughts?
Bath has changed quite a bit within the last 5 yrs or so. They've revamped their downtown quite a bit. There are some nice little cafes, antique shops and a few nice restaurants,a chain grocery store and a couple pharmacies. The library and YMCA are nice enough. It sits right on the Kennebec River, The Maine Maritime Museum is there. It's close enough to open ocean and two really nice sandy beaches that are also state parks. There are some really nice sections of town to live in, a lot of older former captains homes. There are also some not so nice area's of town but nothing to worry about. Bath Iron Works is the biggest employer in town and most of that area in general. The bigger town, right next door is Brunswick. It's 7 miles away to find most of your bigger box stores, more shopping area's, movie theatre and the hospital.
Bath is approx 25 minutes to Freeport, the retail outlet shopping mecca and also 45 minutes to Portland for more excitement.

Rockland - There are other forum members here than will be able to give you more exact details about Rockland, Rockport & Camden.
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