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Old 09-14-2018, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Eastern Maine
56 posts, read 31,603 times
Reputation: 84

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Hello,

I am relocating to Maine in December. About me - I am mid-thirties with two young kids (6 and 3.5) and a husband. We are from New England, both grew up in CT, and spent nearly 10 years in Mass, on Cape Cod (mid-lower Cape). He was only a year out of the Navy (and combat) when we met. Long story short, he was lost in "civilian world" - and reenlisted 4 years ago. Finally, he is separating. I am happy he went back, but military life is not for me - and not for him. He was a single sailor, but now - married with kids, struggling to juggle deployments, crappy pay, being here for us - he is done. No matter what they say, needs of the military come first, not family.

Anyways. We were initially looking to western Washington (my dream), but right now a cross country move is too much. I love Mass, but we've been there done that - and the Cape has changed. Maine is looking like a great fit - and I have visited enough, weeks to months at a time, and I know it will work for us. Plus, it is only 3-6 hours drive from family - important to our kids.

Most of my time in Maine was spent in the greater Portland area (lived and worked on Congress St) plus a decent amount of time in Freeport, Gorham, Scarborough, OOB area and south. My cousin lives in the Forks so a few weeks travelling up past Jackman, to the CAN border, getting lost in the woods then back to his cabin (he is a wilderness guide focused on rafting). Seaplanes, rural - super rural areas, beautiful scenery, hiking, parks, stars and quiet. But far too rural for me.

I spent a few days on the midcoast. It was November, and we traveled from Boothbay Harbor to Camden area. I liked it, but not enough time to fully absorb it.

My question - what offers the best mix? The rugged Forks meets self sufficient towns with cell service; deserted beach towns, within 30-45 minutes to larger areas like Portland; inexpensive, friendly - but people who are not in your business, I like privacy; a solid school system with some diversity; liberal leaning and not overly religious; a downtown, walkable, with essentials such as groceries, library, decent food, culture, and activities for kids.

The Bangor area looks promising - but that is based on research only, and I am curious about Belfast, Bar Harbor, and also more about Rockland to Camden. What are some other options? I prefer coastal towns, but maybe the perfect place is inland. Greater Portland - such as Scarborough is wonderful, but at the higher end of our budget -- the goal is around $1500/ mo, (possibly $1800 for the perfect place) single family, 3 bedrooms with some outdoor space and privacy. I'm open to all suggestions!

He will be finishing school - he is a Corpsman with combat and clinical experience, looking to finish a nursing or paramedic program. His dream job is a flight medic, or Firefighter/ paramedic. Commuting distance to school, or paid FDs a huge plus. I'm a massage therapist.

Thank you so much!

Last edited by britt_brt; 09-14-2018 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
10,224 posts, read 16,101,674 times
Reputation: 10732
The greater Bangor area has it all for you. Pick a district in Bangor or a nearby town with good schools. Bangor has life flight and one of their pilots is a recent Naval Aviator retiree. Bangor is tidal and the fishing is great.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
4,108 posts, read 1,867,373 times
Reputation: 5224
I have been visiting the Camden region (Belfast to Thomaston) of mid-coast a lot lately and love it, have bought a village lot in Camden itself to build a house on in a couple of years. Great outdoor recreation in the region, but not isolated, so lots to do beyond the beautiful nature, and at least a prospect of finding a cell phone signal and a job, most people seem very nice. It's not really 30-45 mins to a larger city though.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:52 AM
 
3,926 posts, read 3,273,901 times
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The real question is what you will do to find work. The population of Maine spread through a huge amount of land is less that the population of urban Philadelphia.

And so unless you are retired or independently wealthy, or work at a job that you can do by internet, where you settle will be where you find a job. Find the job first.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,434 posts, read 52,764,484 times
Reputation: 22204
Thank him for his service and you too [being a Navy wife is the hardest job in the Navy]

I stayed on Active duty for 20 years and got the pension.

We settled in an unorganized township about 20 miles North of Bangor, we love it here. I think that the Bangor area will offer all the things that you are seeking.

You are welcome to contact me and your family can come over for dinner the next time you guys are in the area. We can talk about your options.

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Old 09-15-2018, 05:51 PM
 
3,926 posts, read 3,273,901 times
Reputation: 4973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
Thank him for his service and you too [being a Navy wife is the hardest job in the Navy]

I just bought a powerboat from a Navy Officer(former executive officer of the USS Constitution-in Boston Harbor), then Naval War College, and now being posted to Virginia somewhere.

But as soon as I discovered who he was, I didn’t worry anymore about getting screwed. And I was right, he was being posted far away, probably promoted soon, and gave me a terrific deal. Character is a critical and important part of command.

The wife has to drive down to Virginia with her 4 year old daughter and look for housing. The things that are regular part of Navy wives would be extraordinary for others. They were unhappy to have to part with the boat.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,434 posts, read 52,764,484 times
Reputation: 22204
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox2 View Post
I just bought a powerboat from a Navy Officer(former executive officer of the USS Constitution-in Boston Harbor), then Naval War College, and now being posted to Virginia somewhere.

But as soon as I discovered who he was, I didn’t worry anymore about getting screwed. And I was right, he was being posted far away, probably promoted soon, and gave me a terrific deal. Character is a critical and important part of command.

The wife has to drive down to Virginia with her 4 year old daughter and look for housing. The things that are regular part of Navy wives would be extraordinary for others. They were unhappy to have to part with the boat.
When I was courting my bride, suddenly my boat had to change homeports. I was going to go out and in four months surface at a different navy base. If she was going to come with me, she had to move herself. On one dinner date I emptied my wallet and I gave her all the cash I had. She agreed to meet me at the next port. When I surfaced I contacted our church and they had my new home address, where I found her.

Then on another change-of-homeport, my wife has had to purchase a home 'in my name' using a power-of-attorney because I was underwater.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Maine
77 posts, read 67,435 times
Reputation: 82
Check out Auburn and surrounding areas. Gray, New Gloucester, Minot, Poland. Or even Norway, Paris area.

It's central, so under an hour to Portland or coastal areas, has job prospects and stores, libraries etc but also countryside.

You can work at Revelation Massage in Lewiston and hubby can work at area hospitals or the Androscoggin Homecare and Hospice agency. They are always looking for nurses or people with medical experience.


A good place to start maybe
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Old 09-23-2018, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Eastern Maine
56 posts, read 31,603 times
Reputation: 84
Thank you, for the advice, encouragement and support! My husband is excited, but so stressed - I am so grateful for the responses from veterans - thank you for helping him believe in life after military. And the tip about Life Flight, thank you!!
We spent about 48 hours exploring Maine - driving home now. Bangor, Brewer are top of the list! I love the mix of affordable, fantastic public schools, activities, culture, beauty - and close proximity to everything from shopping to highway to hiking to beaches to rural, rugged Maine. We love the downtown - it reminds me of what Portland was- 20 years ago!

Ellsworth, Bar Harbor/ MDI - amazing public schools, MDI is stunningly beautiful. I worry about one way in/ out, traffic, tourists, and costs. Bangor is wicked close, so I’ll look at Ellsworth and Bar Harbor for rentals, employment - try to get a better feel. But I’m thinking Bangor/ Brewer area wins. We stayed in East Orland, Bucksport is great too. Just not for now. Belfast would be the only mid:/midcoast choice, but not a top choice.

I’ve looked on craigslist, realtor.com, and tried for local papers. Are rentals hard to come by, is it word of mouth? I’m not finding much. I’d love some suggestions. Our credit is shot - military pay in CT with kids - the debt to income, we do our best but we will need time to get back to the 620 plus range, so VA loans are out for the first year. I think honestly is best with landlords, and I’m prepared to explain the poor credit and offer extra security or something to make a rental happen. Again, all suggestions are welcomed!

So Bangor/ Brewer, or Ellsworth/ Bar Harbor. Maine is it, and will be out permanent home late November to early December. The kids and I may come up first because we’d like to have them settled before the holidays.

Please keep the suggestions coming. Interesting how much can be learned from one posting - I had no idea how many veterans retired to Maine; my husband feels supported and will utilize veteran forums/ websites too. Thank you again!
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,434 posts, read 52,764,484 times
Reputation: 22204
When I retired from the Navy we had a home in Norwich Connecticut. I understand living there and supporting a family on military pay.

We have some residential rental property here and we have no idea of what the best method is to advertise rentals in this area. We keep trying different media but none of them seem to do the trick for us. The culture is changing quickly. We used to do everything through the local newspaper, but now it seems the interweb has taken over.
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