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Old 12-17-2009, 07:58 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,696,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineMathTCHER View Post
As to an old house-I love my house and yes it takes work to maintain. But these old homes were bulit to last and if you get one that has been maintained you should be good to go. If you are looking for granite countertops and stainless steel appliances-look elsewhere.
The old homes of Maine are a good part of what makes your state so beautiful.

As for granite countertops: high on the list of turnoffs for me of a home for sale are the following items:

Swimming pools
Hot tubs
Gas fireplaces
Granite countertops or othewise a kitchen designed more for status than for use
Bidets
Near a golf course or tennis court
Cathedral ceilings
Open floorplan

Well, I don't like ceiling fans either--but those are easy to get rid of!

Last edited by OutDoorNut; 12-17-2009 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:14 PM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,433,430 times
Reputation: 749
Default if it walks like a duck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
If I were to actually work as a school counselor in Maine(rather than being the retired person I plan to be), the salary scale for U-98(Mount Desert Island) would drop me about $20,000 from what I make now in PA. However, its a bit of a wash since I would be in a couple of tax brackets lower, and my take home would probably be only about the equivalent of a $5000 difference.

But the requirements for being highly qualified as a result of GWB's No Child Left Behind law are formidable. Plus, No Child Left Behind has translated for us school personal who remember what education was like prior to GWB, into a reality of All Enjoyment Left Behind. I'm not sure that your possibly idealized view of what education is like now that every school is striving to meet the impossible goals of all children 100 profiecint in reading and math on devilishly difficult tests by 2014. It is possible to get 84% - 90% of the population proficient; it is impossible to get 100%. Schools now must meet Average Yearly Progress figures or suffer serious consequences. Many are only teaching what is on the tests as more and more money and energy is being put into a smaller group that cannot meet those numbers. Many schools are cannibalizing music, art, even phys ed and other enjoyable things to come up with the funds and the time. Elementary children are being forced into very intensive direct instruction programs for reading and math to the exclusion of recess, art, phys ed to try to make targets that are almost impossible for them the make.

Its not pretty. You might not like it, even if you could get the necessary qualifications. Also in Maine, you have to re-qualify for your teaching certificate every 5 years, and its not an automatic thing. This in itself is not a bad thing, but the hoops you have to jump through are difficult for not a lot of money in terms of income. And increasingly states are moving toward you maintenance of your certificate based of the performance of kids on the tests. Kids are not widgets to be molded. They bring lots of reasons why they have trouble learning to school from home situations which you have little control, ability, illness etc. Its not any where near as our illustrious politicians paint it to be. I wonder why they have this double standard in their own performance compared to little kids performance, but that's another stump altogether.

zarathu
The neo-cons knew all this when they wrote the act, just couldn't resist laying the groundwork for privatization of schools throughout the entire country,if/when they swing it -a few trillion awaits whatever firm/s they choose to run it.

Of course when they do it it will be all for the kiddies, theirs that is.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:18 PM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,433,430 times
Reputation: 749
Default Yes,But

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDoorNut View Post
The old homes of Maine are a good part of what makes your state so beautiful.

As for granite countertops: high on the list of turnoffs for me of a home for sale are the following items:

Swimming pools
Hot tubs
Gas fireplaces
Granite countertops or othewise a kitchen designed more for status than for use
Bidets
Near a golf course or tennis court
Cathedral ceilings
Open floorplan

Well, I don't like ceiling fans either--but those are easy to get rid of!
Right you are, awfully hard to heat on low wages though,not to mention thousands a year on repairs-which is why most New Englanders won't touch them.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,461 posts, read 4,103,736 times
Reputation: 1646
Re: Maine Living....I think what most folks don't realize here is that the folks in Maine have the exact same issues as people outside of Maine do. Crime rate aside, there is still stuff going on up there that happens in the city; trust me. I was a Town Manager in a tiny little town in Northern Maine for quite some time and know what can happen..just not on the large scale or as bold as it does in the city. I was a city transplant up there for 12 years so I suffered culture shock like no one would believe. Thank goodness for the warm hearts of the country folks cuz I don't think I would have survived those 12 years. I still keep in touch via email, facebook and instant messenger with a few of my friends up there and they are still up against it financially, no improvement from when I lived there so long ago...just things are more expensive and people are working just as hard. My dear friend's husband is 63 and still going into the woods every day to run a pulp cutting machine of some sort. She gets up with him at 2 a.m. to be sure he is ready to go off to work. I am 62 and cannot imagine living like that..they burn wood, have all the same bills as everyone else and even with kids all grown up, it is tough for them.

Maine is not the answer to the terrible economy we are in now..not the answer to finding work nor cheaper housing. Oil costs are the same, gas costs the same, groceries are the same....Crime???? Not the issue right now, survival is and it isn't in Northern Maine.

We live in CT and in a town that has a really bad reputation for crime and unemployment...just read in the paper about a home invasion and an attempted robbery; both taking place in the "inner city"...part of dealing with living here. However, if you pick up the Bangor Daily News you can read about bad things further North as well.

I know what I should have been aware of when I was younger but as we get older, we have to think of what we should be aware of as well. For me it has been how close is the nearest hospital? I have had heart surgery. What is the caliber of doctors in this area? Yale University is close by and Yale New Haven hospital is famous for its cardiology dept. My son who is only 41 now has to think the same way..he had a stroke in October. My husband needs hip replacement surgery...Hartford, CT has wonderful osteo surgeons. My advice..settle in where you can find work, good schools, good medical facilities, good primary care physicians, be close to your family but not too close and check the cost of living for that area. It is all about survival and being comfortable!
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:21 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,859,383 times
Reputation: 1244
This past summer I was at the vet's office in Ellsworth. A guy was talking to me about how he had retired to Milbridge from Mass. and felt he got a bad deal (been taken advantage of) on the house he bought. The words "buyer beware" popped in my head. He should have looked at the house and land more thoroughly maybe even had it inspected by someone he trusted even if he had to bring the "someone" with him from where he used to live.

OutDoorNut, I think you worry too much especially about crime in Washington County. My thoughts about statistics and lies have already been stated by others. I would certainly proceed cautiously/intelligently with a move if I were in your shoes. I would make sure I had an income that would enable me to pay my bills. (In reading the posts, I didn't see anything about your financial situation, but could have overlooked it.) It is common sense to have a house checked over thoroughly before purchasing it. Maybe a house very close to the ocean isn't for you--that's ok, but if someone else wants theirs close to the ocean with the ocean breeze in full force coming through the screens--that's ok too. There is nothing like the aroma of the ocean and wood smoke--it's heavenly. Every time I cross the bridge in Trenton, I make sure the car windows are open no matter what time of year it happens to be.

btw, my parents were born and raised in Washington County and couldn't wait to move to the big city--Ellsworth.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,669,340 times
Reputation: 1287
Before you buy, get a certified house inspector to go over the property. I did. it was worth it. I basically know what needs to be fixed and what doesn't. This still doesn't mean you are home free. I had lots of leaky copper pipes, and the propane stove of really old vintage had to be replaced with a new Maytag.

also if you use a mortgage company from outside the area, don't let them tell you that you need a termite inspection. There are no termites in Maine. The bug guys will drive out, have lunch on your lawn and drive home. ;-)

I used the smallest Savings & Loan in the state of Maine: Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. They have a sign from the movie "Its A Wonderful Life"'s Savings and Loan hanging over the door(Bailey). They only loan to the island and the immediate coastal areas opposite it. They do not sell any of their loans to anyone, and they will help you maintain it no matter what. We recently refinanced in the summer, and then only 5 months later we sold one of our properties reducing the principal substantially, and we simply re-adjusted the monthly payment without any refinancing at all. You can only do that with a Savings and Loan that cares.

zarathu
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
3,015 posts, read 4,876,970 times
Reputation: 2127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Before you buy, get a certified house inspector to go over the property. I did. it was worth it. I basically know what needs to be fixed and what doesn't. This still doesn't mean you are home free. I had lots of leaky copper pipes, and the propane stove of really old vintage had to be replaced with a new Maytag.

also if you use a mortgage company from outside the area, don't let them tell you that you need a termite inspection. There are no termites in Maine. The bug guys will drive out, have lunch on your lawn and drive home. ;-)

I used the smallest Savings & Loan in the state of Maine: Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. They have a sign from the movie "Its A Wonderful Life"'s Savings and Loan hanging over the door(Bailey). They only loan to the island and the immediate coastal areas opposite it. They do not sell any of their loans to anyone, and they will help you maintain it no matter what. We recently refinanced in the summer, and then only 5 months later we sold one of our properties reducing the principal substantially, and we simply re-adjusted the monthly payment without any refinancing at all. You can only do that with a Savings and Loan that cares.

zarathu
That's a good point that a lot of people don't think of or just don't know.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,815 posts, read 4,272,765 times
Reputation: 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Before you buy, get a certified house inspector to go over the property. I did. it was worth it. I basically know what needs to be fixed and what doesn't. This still doesn't mean you are home free. I had lots of leaky copper pipes, and the propane stove of really old vintage had to be replaced with a new Maytag.

also if you use a mortgage company from outside the area, don't let them tell you that you need a termite inspection. There are no termites in Maine. The bug guys will drive out, have lunch on your lawn and drive home. ;-)

I used the smallest Savings & Loan in the state of Maine: Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. They have a sign from the movie "Its A Wonderful Life"'s Savings and Loan hanging over the door(Bailey). They only loan to the island and the immediate coastal areas opposite it. They do not sell any of their loans to anyone, and they will help you maintain it no matter what. We recently refinanced in the summer, and then only 5 months later we sold one of our properties reducing the principal substantially, and we simply re-adjusted the monthly payment without any refinancing at all. You can only do that with a Savings and Loan that cares.

zarathu
Yes, make sure you get a thorough building inspection and depending upon which financing program you use, you'll also have to submit a satisfactory water test to the investor (if not on city water). Maine lenders will waive the termite portion of a federally insured loan, however if it is FHA, VA or USDA RD stricter standards apply to the property than a conventional loan, mostly flaking, peeling paint which must be fixed prior to closing. The process you describe is called re-casting and not all lenders will do it, but some will. FHA will also allow "streamline refinancing" which will waive certain items necessary in a conventional refinance. What is most important about this FHA benefit is that an appraisal in NOT necessary. Most homeowners who purchased after 2005 without a substantial down payment now have less equity than when they purchased the home and unless they can make up the difference (bring money to closing) they can't refinance.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:32 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,696,898 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
This past summer I was at the vet's office in Ellsworth. A guy was talking to me about how he had retired to Milbridge from Mass. and felt he got a bad deal (been taken advantage of) on the house he bought. The words "buyer beware" popped in my head. He should have looked at the house and land more thoroughly maybe even had it inspected by someone he trusted even if he had to bring the "someone" with him from where he used to live.

OutDoorNut, I think you worry too much especially about crime in Washington County. My thoughts about statistics and lies have already been stated by others. I would certainly proceed cautiously/intelligently with a move if I were in your shoes. I would make sure I had an income that would enable me to pay my bills. (In reading the posts, I didn't see anything about your financial situation, but could have overlooked it.) It is common sense to have a house checked over thoroughly before purchasing it. Maybe a house very close to the ocean isn't for you--that's ok, but if someone else wants theirs close to the ocean with the ocean breeze in full force coming through the screens--that's ok too. There is nothing like the aroma of the ocean and wood smoke--it's heavenly. Every time I cross the bridge in Trenton, I make sure the car windows are open no matter what time of year it happens to be.

btw, my parents were born and raised in Washington County and couldn't wait to move to the big city--Ellsworth.
No problem there--before I buy anything expensive, like a house, I would always have it inspected (e.g. I had my boat surveyed before I bought it).

And I also lawyer-up before I sign a large commitment.

The thing I worry about, though (there I go again) is ending up with a certified home inspector that happens to be, unknowingly to me, the brother-in-law of the real estate agent or of the home seller (LOL)!

I'm lucky in that money is no problem--I have had my own business for thirty years, which I can conduct over the phone and internet from anywhere in the world, independent of the local ecnomy I would be living in.

I love the smell of the ocean and of woodsmoke, too.

I don't blame people for wanting to live as close as they can to the ocean; it's just that I suspect some newcomers to that way of living do not understand the added probems that can come from having a house on the shore.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Sunrise County ~Maine
1,698 posts, read 2,905,908 times
Reputation: 1126
I'm not saying "I'm right~ this is how I see things from here."
((Remember I come to City data to learn new things, open my mind to new experiences from the people here, and share stories~ so don't attack."))

I find Maine to be a nice fit for me.

Teachers and Learning:
We have been blessed with teachers from all over coming to Maine and sharing their education with our young ones.
I think our education has it's highs and lows.
(*I'm not going to focus on lows~ that's just a battle.)

High:
One on one learning is a plus -we learn to respect and care what our teachers think of us - thus~ try harder.
Thank you teachers for coming to Maine, sharing your education with us and thank you to those who lived here all their lives and returned with your education to teach here as well.

Maine is a Rare Find.
Alot of the states in the US tend to grow to quickly- resulting in down falls.
Maine is slow, yesss sometimes to slow, but if you think of it as a positive... like
Example for a Want and not a Whim”
My daughter says, "Mom, I want a new bike really bad.
and if I said, :"Oh .. okay.. here ya go …”New Bike”.

Week later... bike sits in the drive way... with out the child that wanted it.

If she asks and continues to ask over months and months, then this bike is on their minds alot and the bike is really really wanted and not a whim.

Here in Maine, when we bring something to our government~ usually it's been a want or a need for our state. We may not all agree but it shows a true want.

Cost of living seems to be reasonable,
{*ducks* considering}
.......you can own a lot of land a decent home, and when life is over you have something.

Some of our family in the booming cities ~ rent or own a garden home.
( garden home is attached to another garden home so you have no “side windows”.)

They pay triple for their rents or homes each month then I do and this is to live in the city. That’s what they want to do. To each their own.

If I got down and out, I could work at a fast food place to pay my mortgage on a 3 bedroom home that has an acre of land near the lake.

There’s just to many pros and cons to Maine for everyone. It’s like anything in life apples and oranges.

I had a TERRIBLE experience in a town in Maine, but I can’t .. compare that town to “Maine”.
That wouldn’t’ be fair.
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