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Thread summary:

Relocating to Maine: great schools, taxes, teachers, job market, housing.

 
Old 08-03-2008, 06:12 AM
 
Location: NY
6 posts, read 12,439 times
Reputation: 10

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We currently live a "bedroom community" near NYC and want out!!! We have two young boys and would love nothing more then to give them a better quality of life. I have an opportunity to relocate with my job to the Bangor area. Needless to say we are a little nervous to make the move with the way the economy is. So here are some of the things we would like to ask.

How good are these schools in the surrounding Bangor area? How modern and well equipped (i.e., computers/books/supplies) are these schools? What is the student/teacher ratio? Are the teachers allowed or required to have aides/assistants in the classroom? How good are the teachers? My oldest son (2nd grade) is classified in the NY school system as Autistic and receives special services to include a one on one aide, speech, and occupational therapy. How are the schools in giving services to classified students? Also, I am interested in the health care, having two young boys, it is important.

If we decide to take this opportunity to move we are looking at a $50k cut in income, as my husband will be losing his job. We will still be making around $60k with my job. Will that be enough to live on until he can find something? How is the current job market in the Bangor area for the blue collar types?

I hear that Maine is the number 1 state for taxes. I find that very hard to believe living in NY, Maine can’t be worse. We get hit pretty hard in the tax department, for example we have a 2,500 sq. ft home with just over 2 acres and we pay $7,200 a year in school, property, and home ins. Car insurance and registration are also high as is everything here including food.

How is the housing market in the outlining areas of Bangor? Looking for up to a 30 minute drive, in the price range of 230,000 to 260,000, in a good school district. Will that be hard to find? With the crazy prices of fuel oil around $4.85 a gallon here now, we would be looking for a home that would have a wood stove for heat. We currently heat with a wood stove, but reading some of the posts it doesn’t seem like a common way to heat homes up there, or am I getting the wrong impression? If wood stoves are used how hard is it to get/find wood? Down here wood is like gold very hard to come by free wood and to purchase it. It has become expensive due to the increase in fuel oil.

We all love the outdoors and winter time and are used to hard winters as we have lived in the Syracuse, NY area also known as the snow belt. How hard are the winters up there? As far as outdoor activities we are into camping, fishing, hiking and riding 4-wheelers. Down here every one of those activities is a chore. To ride four wheelers we have to travel 3-4 hrs upstate to find state land to ride on, as everything is posted or built on down here. The same goes for fishing most land with streams, ponds, or lakes are posted. As for hikes you have to pay to enter anywhere. Seems all the rich city people thought it would be fun to come and buy up all the vacant/farming land and either post it or sell to developers who put huge homes on once beautiful farm land. I am hoping that is not the case up there.....

To sum it up will we be able to live on 60K, find a decent home, find good schools and health for my kids, and have access to the outdoor life that we all enjoy?

Thanks in advance for any help..........
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Belfast, Maine
277 posts, read 831,959 times
Reputation: 153
I can't say from experience anything about the schooling system in the Bangor area, but I have heard good things from other people on this board and from a couple friends I have in that area.

Similiar to where you are wood up this way has also sky rocketed in price due to demand. There are ways of getting around this of course, such as buying tree length wood and cutting it up yourself. My friend just bought tree length for $125 a cord. If you are buying it already split you would be looking more around $250-$300 a cord from what I have seen.

I'm not familiar with current homes for sale in the area, however I do know there are a number of foreclosed homes in the area that are on the market for reasonable prices...they will require some work however.

You won't have much troubel finding places for hiking and fishing. There are plenty of lakes and ponds around that you can fish on without a problem. Fourwheeling may require a short trip in either direction to find some trails.

Hopefully someone else can give you some info. but at least I can give you a small place to start :-)
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Central NH
1,004 posts, read 2,190,981 times
Reputation: 1067
Oh man! I could live like a king on 60k a year and that's with my wife and 4 kids.

We are also looking around the greater bangor area to relocate (and also north west of there). DW and I figure if we could each make around 12k a year we will be able to live the same lifestyle (simple, rural, agricultural) that we now have here in NH. We don't need much to be happy though - definitly not into "stuff".

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:17 AM
 
8,767 posts, read 17,393,519 times
Reputation: 3510
Quote:
Originally Posted by bignhfamily View Post
Oh man! I could live like a king on 60k a year and that's with my wife and 4 kids.

We are also looking around the greater bangor area to relocate (and also north west of there). DW and I figure if we could each make around 12k a year we will be able to live the same lifestyle (simple, rural, agricultural) that we now have here in NH. We don't need much to be happy though - definitly not into "stuff".

Good luck!
We make twice that now and still don't live like kings!!!
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Maine
566 posts, read 1,335,781 times
Reputation: 685
You should be okay here on 60k. You will not live like a king but if you do not have expensive taste you should be okay. You might find yourself shopping for bargains and paying attention to what you spend and stocking up on sale items to help out.
Housing in Bangor and the surrounding area is plentiful and you should be able to find a home without much trouble. Prices vary greatly depending on what you are looking for.
Wood heat is still very common here although I think lots of people changed over to oil heat years ago. I think for a long time a lot of people used oil heat and used a wood stove as back up. Now with oil priced so high more and more are going to be using wood as their main source of heat or more than they used to. It is not too hard to have a wood stove installed providing the chimney and all is safe for that. You would need to have somebody inspect that. That is something you could and should have done at a building inspection anyway.
Bangor has a nice school system from what I hear. My kids did not go to Bangor as I did not live in this area at the time. I have several friends that have kids in the school system up here and they are happy with it. I know that just 15 minutes away you will also find a great school system in Hermon.
There are two hospitals in Bangor and plenty of healthcare facilities. You should be okay as far as that is concerned.
You will find plenty of opportunities to camp, fish, hike, and the like all usually within a half hour to an hour from here and some you might even be able to do here.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
33,343 posts, read 54,743,218 times
Reputation: 23963
Quote:
Originally Posted by StayorGo??? View Post
We currently live a "bedroom community" near NYC and want out!!!
Then come on up!



Quote:
... We have two young boys and would love nothing more then to give them a better quality of life. I have an opportunity to relocate with my job to the Bangor area. Needless to say we are a little nervous to make the move with the way the economy is. So here are some of the things we would like to ask.

How good are these schools in the surrounding Bangor area? How modern and well equipped (i.e., computers/books/supplies) are these schools? What is the student/teacher ratio? Are the teachers allowed or required to have aides/assistants in the classroom? How good are the teachers? My oldest son (2nd grade) is classified in the NY school system as Autistic and receives special services to include a one on one aide, speech, and occupational therapy. How are the schools in giving services to classified students? Also, I am interested in the health care, having two young boys, it is important.
Our youngest son was adopted, he is F.A.S.

Coming from Ct their Special Ed program was over-loaded and had no time for him. Here he has been catered to, and given a great deal of attention in the school system. We have had IEPs with his teachers every semester, and each time a main-stream course is too much for him, the S.E. teachers tailor a course for him to complete the requirements.

I do not know the actual teacher to pupil ratios here, but they are far better than Ct was.



Quote:
... If we decide to take this opportunity to move we are looking at a $50k cut in income, as my husband will be losing his job. We will still be making around $60k with my job. Will that be enough to live on until he can find something?
I make less.



Quote:
... I hear that Maine is the number 1 state for taxes. I find that very hard to believe living in NY, Maine can’t be worse. We get hit pretty hard in the tax department, for example we have a 2,500 sq. ft home with just over 2 acres and we pay $7,200 a year in school, property, and home ins. Car insurance and registration are also high as is everything here including food.
Maine's "Tax Burden" is considered high.

That means that the total sum of all taxes paid in Maine, when divided by the number of adults in Maine, and then re-indexed by the mean household income: that as compared to all other states, Maine comes out high.

We moved here from Ct.

Our taxes have dropped significantly in all aspects.

Our annual property taxes for our home and 42 acres of river frontage forest have been $47.

Now we just bought a 2008 Chevy for my wife, which has higher property taxes [here they call vehicle taxes "Excise taxes"]. However on our previous vehicles we have been averaging $15 per vehicle per year for taxes.



Quote:
... How is the housing market in the outlining areas of Bangor? Looking for up to a 30 minute drive, in the price range of 230,000 to 260,000, in a good school district. Will that be hard to find?
Shh, don't tell anyone that you have that much money to spend.

You will only need half of that much.


Quote:
... reading some of the posts it doesn’t seem like a common way to heat homes up there, or am I getting the wrong impression? If wood stoves are used how hard is it to get/find wood? Down here wood is like gold very hard to come by free wood and to purchase it. It has become expensive due to the increase in fuel oil.
I manage 150 acres of forest, if you are willing to cut and haul firewood for yourself, then PM me.



Quote:
... We all love the outdoors and winter time and are used to hard winters as we have lived in the Syracuse, NY area also known as the snow belt. How hard are the winters up there? As far as outdoor activities we are into camping, fishing, hiking and riding 4-wheelers. Down here every one of those activities is a chore. To ride four wheelers we have to travel 3-4 hrs upstate to find state land to ride on, as everything is posted or built on down here. The same goes for fishing most land with streams, ponds, or lakes are posted. As for hikes you have to pay to enter anywhere. Seems all the rich city people thought it would be fun to come and buy up all the vacant/farming land and either post it or sell to developers who put huge homes on once beautiful farm land. I am hoping that is not the case up there.....
You will love Maine.

We have two kayaks in the water behind our home as I type this.

Everyone hunts and fishes!

Snow skiing is local.



Quote:
... To sum it up will we be able to live on 60K, find a decent home, find good schools and health for my kids, and have access to the outdoor life that we all enjoy?
Yes,
yes,
yes,
yes,
yes.

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