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Old 04-13-2009, 05:18 PM
 
64 posts, read 132,337 times
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Helloa all,
I thank you in advance for your input!!
Family of 3......5 year old, stay home mom, federal worker. He has a 30 mile radius from his work we MUST keep, his office is in Bangor.
We have 3 outside dogs (golden retrievers) and 3 goats. Looking to buy a home with acres......
I saw that property taxes are supposed to be 1/1% amd sales tax 5%....what are property taxes on cars?...any other taxes we need to worry about?
what is the real story with the weather? The statistics we saw are winter 20's 30's highs, summer 80's....precipitation 3 inches pretty much every month.....I spoke with someone at the Air Nat'l Guard who said it rained a lot, gloomy lots, only a good month of sunshine, cold all the time and lots of snow.......she depressed me!!!! the stats sounded better than that!!!
How is the school system? Do I need to worry about going to private school instead? crime rate?
Please tell me everything and anything you might think we need to consider about Bangor.
Thanks again!
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:25 PM
 
64 posts, read 132,337 times
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......what are decent suburbs?
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:21 PM
 
411 posts, read 843,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bella14 View Post
Helloa all,
I thank you in advance for your input!!
Family of 3......5 year old, stay home mom, federal worker. He has a 30 mile radius from his work we MUST keep, his office is in Bangor.
We have 3 outside dogs (golden retrievers) and 3 goats. Looking to buy a home with acres......
I saw that property taxes are supposed to be 1/1% amd sales tax 5%....what are property taxes on cars?...any other taxes we need to worry about?
what is the real story with the weather? The statistics we saw are winter 20's 30's highs, summer 80's....precipitation 3 inches pretty much every month.....I spoke with someone at the Air Nat'l Guard who said it rained a lot, gloomy lots, only a good month of sunshine, cold all the time and lots of snow.......she depressed me!!!! the stats sounded better than that!!!
How is the school system? Do I need to worry about going to private school instead? crime rate?
Please tell me everything and anything you might think we need to consider about Bangor.
Thanks again!
Oh goodness, where to start? First off, goats??? We've got goats!

Secondly, a good way to locate areas to start looking is to literally take a map of Bangor, and go in say a 20-mile radius. This is how we found both the homes we've bought near here. Some good areas are the unorganized townships, Howland, Edinburg, Old Town, Orono, Hudson, Bradford, Corinth, Kenduskeag, Glenburn, etc. What I can tell you is that unorganized townships are much cheaper tax wise. (We live in one for this, among other reasons) Also, check the zoning in any of those towns for goats... I know you can have them in Bradford and Corinth. However, taxes are higher there, and they are rather full of people so to speak.

Outside dogs, Maine does have a leash law, but fenced in dogs are fine as long as they do come in sometimes, or have proper shelter. It's the law. Be sure to be somewhere that barking dogs are not a nuisance. You can have the animal control officer called on you for your barking dogs. Annoying at times! My neighbor deals w/this from another neighbor on a weekly basis, and her dogs don't even bark that much.

Excise tax on cars is a certain percentage of the MSRP of your vehicle, and then the value goes down as the car gets older. For instance, our 2002 GMC 2500 HD has excise taxes this year of roughly $80. Then the registration fee, and agent fees if applicable. Excise taxes are paid at your town office, or Bangor DMV if you are in an unorganized township w/no where else to pay them.

Weather here in the Bangor area can get down to the negative numbers, but only for a few days a year. Mostly you can depend on 30's in December, 20's in January and some of February, and then teens in February as well. Some days it will go negative overnight, like I said, a few each year. It can get brutally cold... you do need to be forewarned and prepared.

Summers are gorgeous! Most days it's high 70's and low 80's. Only a few days of 90's. And they are low 90's. We usually get one good stretch a year. I've used our window A/C I think a total of 10-15 times in the 6 summers we've been here. As far as gloomy, anything but! Most days are sunny and beautiful. Again, be warned that we do get mosquitos and black flies. They can be dealt with, but are nasty!

Crime rate in Maine is very low, and most of our news is just local happenings, not too much rape, murder, stabbings, thefts, etc. I look at the local paper where we moved from, and want to cry. It's horrible, and I don't miss it at ALL! Everyday they have terrible news, and I'm thankful ours is minor. I can't speak to the school systems, but I'm sure others here can.

Congrats on your move to Maine!
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
10,390 posts, read 18,514,710 times
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Others know Bangor (particularly tax info) better than myself but I'll give you all I've got.

Bangor is, in my opinion, a nice little city. Little is the key word there. The city has a population of about 34,000... those are small-mid size town numbers in most states. Downtown Bangor is very charming with some nice restaurants and a nice Children's Museum (Maine Discovery Museum) for the little one. One of the benefits (to someone who wants land and space) is that you don't need to go very far to find a chunk (a couple of acres) of open land and a home for your family and animals as the city's "sprawl is relatively self contained (though Brewer across the river has some density close to central Bangor and there are suburban neighborhoods in some of the mostly rural communities around Bangor). In fact, Bangor is so small that it gets pretty rural within the city limits. If you want to buy in Bangor and have a couple of acres, look at North Bangor (along Rt. 222), West Bangor (along Rt 100) and East Bangor (along Rt. 15). Also in Bangor, the area around RT 2 Northeast of downtown between the center of town and Veazie has some good open space. Stillwater Ave, Northeast of the Mall has some good land too.

Bangor's crime rate is very low. If you're looking for any area with some sort of acerage, you won't have to worry about it at all as any "questionable" area (though there really aren't any) is closer to the center of the city. The school district is relatively reputable and the High School is quite nice, you wouldn't need to do private schools for a good education though you could if you wanted to.

If you want to be outside the city limits (the "suburbs" though it's hard to call them that as they're mostly rural), there are some options too. I particularly like Hampden and Winterport a little ways to the South (no more than a 15 minute drive to downtown Bangor- 20 to 25 from some parts of Winterport... traffic is not an issue). Hampden is considered a "snobby" town by some, but that notion is sort of ridiculous. The town has an average household income of about $50,000 and is mostly blue-collar rural with some pockets of modern suburban neighborhoods. It's hardly elite, but it is a very nice town. Winterport is a little less built up and a little more blue-collar, but it's very pretty. Schools in both towns are pretty good (they share a high school, Hampden Academy which is one of the better public high schools in ME). I would start my search in this area.

Hermon, Veazie, Brewer and Orono may be worth looking into as well. In anycase, finding a decent, safe area with land and good schools around here shouldn't be tough. You'll quickly see that Bangor feels like a small town more than a city. Finding a sense of community should happen relatively easily. There are a number of communities that are called, "Townships" that may provide some good value for you too... one I've heard mentioned as nice is Glenburn.

The Weather is overhyped. I'm guessing the person you talked to at the A.N.G. was either a transplant or someone who wanted to leave. Sure, it gets COLD in the winter, but cold doesn't mean dead. There are plenty of crisp winter days when the sun is shining and glistening off the snow and it's just perfect and comfortable. The summers are gorgeous and the coast is close by (Bar Harbor is beautiful but so are all of the little coastal communities there). The Fall Foliage is wonderful. So is the Autumn weather. You'll love it. Spring, on the other hand, can suck. Melting snow and rain means mud. However, the image of it being dark and dreary is one I just can't subscribe to. Sure, there's some precip and darkness, but the person you spoke to seemed to be describing a colder Pacific Northwest and not Bangor, ME. Rest assured, it's not as terrible as that person described it. Believe your statistics.

In all, it's a nice area. It's Maine's "Queen City" and is really a regional center despite it's small stature so you'll benefit from enough shopping and activities to keep you from feeling like you're in the sticks yet enough seclusion to escape when needed. The people are friendly and the schools are good. Crime is low and you can get plenty of land for reasonable money (by Northeastern U.S. standards). I hope it works for you, good luck!
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:06 PM
 
64 posts, read 132,337 times
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Kiddinaroundfarm....thanks for your info...very helpful!
Irfox.....love the detail! Thanks

A couple of questions: do the smaller towns have to pay taxes to the town & the county? or just the county?
Do people have heat pumps there? that have both a/c and heat? I keep seeing propertyies with woodburning stoves and window a/c units....... what's the normal cost on heat/a/c?
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:14 PM
RHB
 
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I work at the Guard Base. I live in Argyle - KiddinAround is just 2 miles up the road from me. We are unorgainized, (some of the towns she listed are organinized) we are within your 30 mile limit. We (unorganized) pay our property taxes to the state. The state then pays the whatever school system we choose to use. We sent my teenager to Old Town High - we were very very pleased with the school. My son had special needs, they worked with him, and actually got him into taking regular English and Science classes. Most of what I've heard of the schools in the greater Bangor area has been good. I have to use the county library (in Bangor), the state plows my road, and if we need fire or police, the local towns (Old Town or Alton) send them and the county picks up the tab. This maybe more information than you wanted, but moving here it was my first experience with unorganized townships, and as you look around I thought you ought to know some of the differences between the two. Orgainized towns, run like anyother town - you pay your property taxes to them and they spend it for town services.

The weather is the weather. Yes it's cold in the winter, and we have snow, but come on, you are in Maine. You will get used to it - you dress for it - children still play outside in it. Sometimes you can drive by the schools and see children sleding at recess. I wear my sunglasses in the winter, as stated before, the sun reflexing off the snow is bright and beautiful. There is nothing like sitting in front of the window in the middle of winter feeling that sun shine through...it's great. My no means is this a dark and gloomy place.

a/c units aren't used much here, there are some days that are warm by Maine standards that an a/c might be nice, but it really isn't a must here. I don't know where you are coming from. My sister lives in MD, she's come up at the end of July begining of Aug and found it comfortable but would still be wearing long sleeves - I'm in shorts and a tee shirt thinking its warm - our hot doesn't come until the end of Aug. and if you are coming from a warm climate I don't think you will be hot for a couple of years, until you get used to it.

The cost of heat varies with what you are heating with, and how well you are insolated - and of course what temp you want your house at. We heat with gas radiant floor during the dead of winter (Dec. Jan. Feb) set at 58. Our primary heat is a wood stove, and I live in the forest, so I don't pay for wood. So I really can't give you a price range for heat, don't know if someone else can give you more information about that.

When are you looking to move here?
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
10,264 posts, read 16,735,270 times
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"A couple of questions: do the smaller towns have to pay taxes to the town & the county? or just the county?"

You pay one property tax. That is to the town. The town forwards part of that to the county. In cities you also pay a water bill and sewer bill if you are close enough in for that. If you don't want or need a lot of city type services you should look in one of the unorganized townships. They have town boundaries, but no local government. They are rules by an unelected bunch of bureaucrats called the Land Use Regulation Commission. Those seven people rule 52% of the state and they sure do enjoy the power. You give up a lot of freedom for those low taxes.

There is another way to live between strict city zoning with high taxes and the LURC system. Pick a small town with no comprehensive plan and no zoning. You will find low taxes, more freedom and other people with goats, chickens and the occasional llama.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:51 AM
 
146 posts, read 422,095 times
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Start with www.realtor.com - put in Bangor, 5 mile radius, and 5 or more acres, and you'll get a bunch of lovely properties. Not sure your price range, but there is a wide variety.

All the schools in the Bangor area seem to have a good reputation. It's easy to find their websites, but here is the one for the Winterport/Hampden/Newburgh schools, the Orono schools, the Bangor schools, and the Old Town schools.

As for the cold, I have found that wearing silk long johns makes all the difference for being comfortable in the winter. You just get used to dressing for the cold. They do have heated buildings in Maine too!

Good luck with your search!!

Oh, and just to add, I highly recommend downloading Google Earth. I have seen some incredible street view photos of houses I have seen on realtor.com. It really gives you a feel for what the neighborhood is like, as on some of the more major roads (for instance, Main street Orono, Rt 69 in Winterport, etc.

Last edited by frogcreekwoods; 04-14-2009 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:42 PM
 
Location: New England
740 posts, read 1,755,005 times
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I grew up in Bangor and my parents and best friends still live there. I love everything about the area. It is a nice small city but go outside the city in any direction and you are in the country. You are close to the Moosehead region heading west and the coast heading east. There is plenty of sun in the spring to fall for most. Winters are hard on some, but one of my favorite seasons. I love to snowmobile and ski so it helps to have a hobby. A lot of people will have indoor hobbies in the winter like cooking and eating. If you like nature there is so much to do and see in the area.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:55 PM
 
95 posts, read 304,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorchamac View Post
As for the cold, I have found that wearing silk long johns makes all the difference for being comfortable in the winter. You just get used to dressing for the cold.
Wow! Silk? Interesting. Those sound extra comfy.
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