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Old 12-16-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Napa, CA
151 posts, read 252,506 times
Reputation: 111

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I'm not really sure what the point of this message is, except perhaps to have a conversation about Maine with other people who are equally fond of the state.

I should first note that I have never actually been to Maine...a quick jaunt through New Hampshire would be as close as I have come. And as the title suggests, I am sure that my impression of Maine is highly idealized. I tend to think of all of you as L.L. Bean catalog models, incessantly frolicking in the snow with your airbrushed golden retrievers and your neatly draped holiday scarves.

That's not to suggest that I haven't thoroughly researched the state. There's a lot that appeals to me about it--comparatively cheap land values, a plethora of small cities within a day's drive of major metro areas, a cool climate, a rocky coast, ample hiking opportunities, relatively low crime rates, a good place to raise children, etc.

And I know there's some bad with the good--higher taxes, short summers, a historically fragile economy.

But despite all that, and the rather glaring issue that I have never actually spent time there, Maine has always called to me. I catch myself reading about the state for no good reason when I have nothing else to do. My wife and I are 30. While we'd like to have kids, none exist yet. So far we've lived in relatively "safe" cities--and by safe I mean places where we have family and one of us grew up. I've lived mostly in Denver, but have resided in Seattle, Sacramento, and Napa as well.

I'd love it if, at some point, we lived some place new and foreign, and had ourselves a bit of an 'adventure,' as the hobbits would say. For some reason, Maine seems like just the sort of place to go. I doubt I'd ever be able to talk the better half in to it, and it's definitely not the time to be leaving two decent jobs for the unknown.

But all that aside, now that you've suffered through this rambling message, sell me on throwing caution to the wind and moving to Maine.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA/Dover-Foxcroft, ME
1,784 posts, read 1,965,073 times
Reputation: 2743
I'm from Sacramento and had relatives in Denver and know Napa quite well. I've lived here about a year now but still have a small business in Sacramento. I had a friend visit me on his motorcycle last August from Napa, too. He did a National Parks Tour for charity and ended up doing over 8500 miles. My house in Dover and Acadia were his far points.

I have only been here in Maine for a year now and am not yet totally qualified, I beleive, in my own opinion, to give anyone from Napa any advice except, ARE YOU CRAZY! I love that area and would live there if I could afford to. But I do understand all that you are asking and believe that you would love it here. It has so much to offer over where you currently live but with a twist. You have to work harder at day to day living. You can't take things for granted. You have to plan more for the seasons. Your need for clothing, tires, winter paraphernalia, sporting goods and outdoor toys will skyrocket.

Bottom line, visit. Plan a winter vacation. If you love it then, you'll love the other three (or four or five) seasons.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
2,924 posts, read 3,231,074 times
Reputation: 1879
Visit, visit, visit, visit. Once each season o0ver some years. And not to breeze through for a couple days in Portland or Camden. You may love it or you may not. Better that way than dropping $150K on a place in a state you won't want to live in. But welcome to the forum and come visit a bit.

And yes, we are all L.L. Bean models. They hire all locals.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Napa, CA
151 posts, read 252,506 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
Visit, visit, visit, visit. Once each season o0ver some years. And not to breeze through for a couple days in Portland or Camden. You may love it or you may not. Better that way than dropping $150K on a place in a state you won't want to live in. But welcome to the forum and come visit a bit.

And yes, we are all L.L. Bean models. They hire all locals.
I thought this might be the case...I'm in heaven. Can you hook me up with that hot to trot soccer mom sporting the reindeer jumper on page 30? She's got a provocative twinkle in her eye.

Speaking of home values, though...What's the going rate on a decent 4 bed/2 bath joint in a nice part of Portland or some other smaller city on the southern coast?

In Denver, 150k might get you a 3 bed/2 bath starter in a less desirable but not awful suburb. Out here in Napa, 150k will get you a basic condo or a 2 bed/1 bath 800 square foot shack in an undesirable location.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
2,924 posts, read 3,231,074 times
Reputation: 1879
Quote:
Originally Posted by FentonForche View Post
I thought this might be the case...I'm in heaven. Can you hook me up with that hot to trot soccer mom sporting the reindeer jumper on page 30? She's got a provocative twinkle in her eye.

Speaking of home values, though...What's the going rate on a decent 4 bed/2 bath joint in a nice part of Portland or some other smaller city on the southern coast?

In Denver, 150k might get you a 3 bed/2 bath starter in a less desirable but not awful suburb. Out here in Napa, 150k will get you a basic condo or a 2 bed/1 bath 800 square foot shack in an undesirable location.
Just numbers off the top of my head. Check these two site and there will be others come on that would know more about York & Cumberland counties.

Real Estate Listings, Homes for Sale and Rental Property Listings – REALTOR.com®

Real Estate - Homes for Sale | RealEstateBook.com (http://www.realestatebook.com/default.aspx - broken link)
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 2,626,708 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by FentonForche View Post
I thought this might be the case...I'm in heaven. Can you hook me up with that hot to trot soccer mom sporting the reindeer jumper on page 30? She's got a provocative twinkle in her eye.

Speaking of home values, though...What's the going rate on a decent 4 bed/2 bath joint in a nice part of Portland or some other smaller city on the southern coast?

In Denver, 150k might get you a 3 bed/2 bath starter in a less desirable but not awful suburb. Out here in Napa, 150k will get you a basic condo or a 2 bed/1 bath 800 square foot shack in an undesirable location.
Irrelevant questions. The "going rate" means nothing if you haven't the income to pay for living there. And it makes no difference whether you live in Napa or in Naples, Maine.

Now what is relevant is whether you have the means to support yourself in Maine. If you have a large trust fund left from your great grandmother, then take a shot: come right on out here and make it happen.

If you need to find a job to pay for your daily living expenses, better come and look around.

You have suggested Portland, and I am going to have to tell you that if you are looking in Cumberland, York and Lincoln Counties you are looking mostly at the northern most reaches of Massachusetts. There is a considerable difference in the economies of the southwestern most counties of Maine and the majority of Maine. You really need to visit for a month. January or February would be a good time, and plan on flying in to Bangor and renting a car. See Bar Harbor in the dead of winter; go east up the coast all the way to Eastport and then up the river to Calais. Then turn left and head back down the Interstate to Bangor, Waterville, Augusta, Lewiston and back down to Portland, staying a day or so every one hundred miles along the way. Talk with folks: look for a job perhaps.

In about a month you can learn quite a bit about the length and breadth of Maine. At the end of your drive, you can spend a few days in Portland and see the southwestern corner of Maine from there...what many of us refer to as "North Boston"....turn your car in at the Jetport in Portland and fly home to think about it and look at your winter pictures of Maine. And think about it some more.

If you and your wife, after this experience still think that Maine has magic for you, then you have magic for Maine. It can be done, and at 30 and without children there is no better time to take a shot: worst case you can always go back to the left coast and try that again.

But come here in winter first and explore...who knows: you might luck out and come up here during one of our bare winters during which you won't see any snow....just the cold and wind. Remember the old Maine saying: If you can't stand the winters, you don't deserve the summers.

Oh, and that fetching soccer mom in the catalog? She goes to Bonaire for the winter.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Canton, GA
2 posts, read 3,517 times
Reputation: 11
Except for the location, I could have written this post. Napa is a long way from Georgia, which is my home.....for now. I totally understand the Maine vision, as I've had that bug for about three years now.
I can't explain the attraction for a state I've never visited. I have family in Vermont and have been there; grew up in Wisconsin and love snow, but ever since I started "looking into" Maine it's been a passion for me. (and yes, I have the "Retire in Maine" books, too!) I see pictures of the coast and fall in love, although I don't feel the same when I see pictures of the Florida coast. I spend too much time on realtor.com and have about 50 houses in my "favorites" folder, and 48 of them are in Maine. For heaven's sake..I have a copper mold of a lobster on my kitchen wall. I think I need help.
I plan to visit soon, and I know I can't move because my elderly parents need me. But that doesn't dampen this dream of mine. Some day, my dogs, my quilting stuff, and my rug hooking supplies will have that nice old Maine home. Did I mention it MUST have a barn to use for my workshop?
I really enjoy reading this forum, even though I don't post much. Once in a while, a message like Fenton's makes me realize there are more Maine-atics out there, just like me.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 2,361,112 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by FentonForche View Post
I tend to think of all of you as L.L. Bean catalog models, incessantly frolicking in the snow with your airbrushed golden retrievers and your neatly draped holiday scarves.

That's me. Except that I have a golden Labrador retriever, but the scenes are right since all but the bathing suits are shot on Mount Desert Island. I've yet to see a picture of my house in the ads though.

Zarathu
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Napa, CA
151 posts, read 252,506 times
Reputation: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
Irrelevant questions. The "going rate" means nothing if you haven't the income to pay for living there. And it makes no difference whether you live in Napa or in Naples, Maine.
The going rate's all that matters (aside from prop taxes) if you don't finance.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 2,626,708 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by FentonForche View Post
The going rate's all that matters (aside from prop taxes) if you don't finance.
Oh. Well, in that case, the "going rate" is $200,000 to $2.5 million. You might do it for less in more of an inner city neighborhood. In many places you can do it for more.
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