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Old 09-14-2006, 03:31 PM
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 11,699,979 times
Reputation: 1865


Hello all! My family is preparing for our journey to "the way life should be" in the not-so-distant future. We're getting our home ready to go on the market in 15 months. You can never be too prepared!

My husband is currently in school working on furthering his EMT certification level. We're not up to speed on the medical services job market there yet, but he's beginning his research this week on the subject. I trust you good folks use Ambulance services there when the need arises! He's also a firefighter if that need is more prevalent. I operate a home-based health benefit business, so I'll work anywhere I can find a phone line!

I'm finding the housing market in Maine surprisingly expensive compared to Houston's suburbs, where our 1500 sq ft brick home with 4br and 1.5 baths is going for around $90K. A $300,000 home in this part of the state is quite nearly a mansion! It's even more surprising when I look at the state's average wages that are, in many cases, lower than in our area. So you make less and have to spend more? I'm working on figuring out that aspect of our move so we'll be prepared. Some things will balance out - like trading our $400 a month summer light bills for higher heating costs in the winter - a trade off I'll gladly make!

But, we're not looking for a mansion to call home - just a simple, clean and safe place to raise our 3 kids. I've lived in and around Houston my entire life, and I'm so tired of being afraid to go grocery shopping after dark by myself. In the next town over (about 10 miles away) a car pulled up to a driveway one morning and a man jumped out and tried to grab a little 10 y.o. girl while she was waiting for the school bus with her mother watching from only 40 feet away. If not for a handy neighbor who saw the man stop and jump out, that little one would have been gone. That is only one of such grisly occurences that plague us in South East Texas on a weekly basis. I won't miss it at all!

I will also gladly forego wearing crop pants and short sleeves to Thanksgiving dinner and on the annual Christmas tree hunt as well as turning on the central A/C on Christmas morning because it's a cool 75 degrees out. I long for days that will accomodate turtle neck wool sweaters and boots. And it would be so nice to actually wear my beautiful coat more than 6 days during a winter. No, I'm not exaggerating! I remember well the winter before last when I NEVER ONCE got my coat out of the closet.

Ok, I didn't mean this to be a saga, so I'll stop with this. Any and all information to share would be most appreciated! We can't wait to join you!!
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:33 PM
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 11,699,979 times
Reputation: 1865
Default And what, pray tell, is a black fly?

Sounds a little scary.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:09 PM
536 posts, read 2,975,198 times
Reputation: 237
black flies will soon be your new best friend (in a vampirish kind of way). They come as soon as the warm weather does and don't leave until mid July. Once they do though you'll have about two months of good weather without them.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:27 AM
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 4,875,206 times
Reputation: 3844
Rest assured, about anywhere you go will be an improvement over Houston. One of the worst cities in this country, IMHO.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:20 AM
439 posts, read 613,399 times
Reputation: 84
Housing in most of New England including southern coastal Maine will be much higher then Houston and all of Texas- I have a friend in El Paso- with a large home in a wonderful neighborhood with incredible views that is worth 220K- here in Central eastern Connecticut the same home would be double or more.

In Connecticut wages are much higher then Maine- so even though housing prices in the greater Hartford area are about the same as Portland- people here can afford them more easily- and home prices are near 'fair value'.

Many X New Yorkers, Bostonians, DC escapees and even Californians are settling in southern Maine- and to them housing prices are 'cheap'. Selling a small home on Long Island for 425K- and buying something larger in Maine for 150K less is a draw-

These newcomers have driven up prices-

Coming from a sub tropical climate like Houston, you will have to adapt to a continental climate- though 'moderated' by the nearby ocean- will be cold and sometimes snowy in the winter. The good thing about southern Maine, is that autumn runs late- into nearly late December- with mild weather, before winter really sets in. The downside is that springs begin later. Summers and autumns are most pleasant- and central air is not needed in this part of New England-yet- Central air is now a necessity in southern New England.

The change in seasons is really nice- and I can appreciate your yearnings for going to Thanksgiving dinner in the 'appropriate seasonal' clothes. Halloween is another holiday celebrated here with great zest.

Last edited by Dragondog; 09-15-2006 at 05:32 AM..
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:57 AM
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 11,699,979 times
Reputation: 1865
Default Thanks!

We have love bug season in the spring, which lasts about a month. But they don't bite, they're just a complete neusance, sticking to everything in sight, and will ruin the paint on your car hood if not washed off faithfully - bug guts, they say - very acidic!

Oh, I've seen snow! It misted snow for about an hour, 3 Christmas's ago on Christmas Eve. The last I remember before that was in the 1980's when we were blanketed for about 2 days with 3 inches of the white stuff. People here were so lost as to what to do it was amuzing! I'm so looking forward to a 4 season climate. DH and I are both very hot natured, as are 2 of our kids. We perspire when it's 60 degrees out, so the change in comfort level will be very nice.

Now if we can just find that perfect, family village that is quintessential Maine. Affordable housing and within driving distance of the nearest paid Fire/EMS station for his work and we're in business! It will be well worth the change in financial status to get our kiddos out of this state.

Which towns might fit that bill, with some ocean/harbor views available?

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Old 09-15-2006, 09:02 AM
Location: Galveston, Texas
169 posts, read 647,448 times
Reputation: 95
Elcarim, I know exactly how you feel. I currently live in Galveston and am looking into moving to the Bangor area. We're tired of crime and the heat, and it's just not a pleasant place to raise kids. I'm so tired of wearing tank tops and shorts it isn't funny! I'm originally from Kansas City, Missouri and I really miss the changing leaves of fall and the snow. Maine has always been my dream and I'm hoping too that we can afford such a drastic change. Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:07 AM
439 posts, read 613,399 times
Reputation: 84

If you are are looking to be near the Sea- Look into Bath and Brunswick- which have easy access to the ocean via Bays.

Portland is the same. Boothbay harbor is very attractive-

Your sig others EMS status is in demand- but in these towns its hard to say where he may find employment.

Biddeford is another town on the coast- you may consider.

Further east is Camden, Rockland and Rockport and Belfast, all on Penobscot Bay. Feel free to e mail me about of of New England.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:49 AM
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 11,699,979 times
Reputation: 1865
Default How about Yarmouth?

I've been seeing this town pop up more and more in my research. Looks nice, but how near water and how about the housing there? Thx!
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:54 PM
439 posts, read 613,399 times
Reputation: 84
Yarmouth Maine

The Town of Yarmouth, Maine epitomizes the best in Maine communities – a New England style main street (known as the “Village”) with a combination of old homes and small businesses, a beautiful parkway along the picturesque Royal River, a sheltered port in Yarmouth Harbor and a diversified commercial base along US Route One. What makes Yarmouth special is that so many of our more than 8,300 residents contribute their time and efforts to make Yarmouth a warm and welcoming community of caring individuals, thus exemplifying our motto, “Our Latchstring Always Out.”

Yarmouth is located on the southern coast of the State of Maine in the northeastern section of the County of Cumberland, the State’s most populous county. The Town is approximately 11 miles northeast of Portland, the State’s largest city. The Town’s northeast border is formed by the towns of Freeport and Pownal, with North Yarmouth on the northwest and Cumberland on its southwest. The Atlantic Ocean establishes the Town’s southeastern line. The Cousins River separates a portion of Yarmouth from Freeport and the Royal River flows through the center of the Town. Access to Yarmouth is provided by two exits of U.S. Interstate 95, by U.S. Route 1 and State Route 88, each intersecting from a north/south direction; and State Route 115, which intersects the Town from east/west.

Housing prices would be around 250K median-
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