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Old 08-28-2010, 10:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,829 times
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My husband and I are planning to relocate to the Portland area from NYC. We are an interracial couple expecting our first child this spring. My husband is black and I am white. We are looking to move to a small town outside of Portland about 15-25 miles. We would like to buy a house with about 5-10 acres, but we also want to move to a town that has a main street with restaurants and stores as well as a Walmart that isn't too far. We would love to get a house on a lake or pond, since Maine's ponds are huge compared to NY . I was wondering if anyone can suggest any areas that they think would be good for a couple like us. We prefer an area that has a diverse population or diverse for Maine. Thanks!

Last edited by movetomaine; 08-28-2010 at 11:02 PM..
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Hm, that might be tough to meet all of those preferences. Approximately what is your budget for housing? How far is "too far" for Walmart? There is Scarborough with a Walmart but no real downtown -- it's all strip malls and such. The further from Portland I fear the less diverse it gets, but I could be wrong, and certainly don't think you'd have any problems any where anyway.

I'm sure others will be here to give you help. Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,961 posts, read 4,950,587 times
Reputation: 1455
Quote:
Originally Posted by movetomaine View Post
My husband and I are planning to relocate to the Portland area from NYC. We are an interracial couple expecting our first child this spring. My husband is black and I am white. We are looking to move to a small town outside of Portland about 15-25 miles. We would like to buy a house with about 5-10 acres, but we also want to move to a town that has a main street with restaurants and stores as well as a Walmart that isn't too far. We would love to get a house on a lake or pond, since Maine's ponds are huge compared to NY . I was wondering if anyone can suggest any areas that they think would be good for a couple like us. We prefer an area that has a diverse population or diverse for Maine. Thanks!
It's hard to answer this without knowing your budget and whether or not you are you selling a property in NYC. I'm not a Wal-Mart expert, but I believe they are in Scarborough, Windham, Falmouth and Brunswick in Cumberland County. Perhaps others can fill in any gaps I have.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Maine
21,358 posts, read 25,376,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movetomaine View Post
My husband and I are planning to relocate to the Portland area from NYC. We are an interracial couple expecting our first child this spring. My husband is black and I am white. We are looking to move to a small town outside of Portland about 15-25 miles. We would like to buy a house with about 5-10 acres, but we also want to move to a town that has a main street with restaurants and stores as well as a Walmart that isn't too far. We would love to get a house on a lake or pond, since Maine's ponds are huge compared to NY . I was wondering if anyone can suggest any areas that they think would be good for a couple like us. We prefer an area that has a diverse population or diverse for Maine. Thanks!
Brunswick has everything you are looking for.

Freeport has everything except the Wal-Mart.

Topsham has everything except a main street with restaurants and stores. But Topsham is right across the river from Brunswick, so you can easily live in one and enjoy the other.

And congratulations on the birth of your child!
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the responses. Our budget is about 350,000-400,000. I don't mind driving about 30 minutes to a Walmart. A town area with a main street is much more important to us. I looked up Brunswick and it seems great except I worry about the economy/housing market with the base closing. Have any of you noticed any negative changes there?
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Maine
21,358 posts, read 25,376,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movetomaine View Post
Thanks for all of the responses. Our budget is about 350,000-400,000. I don't mind driving about 30 minutes to a Walmart. A town area with a main street is much more important to us. I looked up Brunswick and it seems great except I worry about the economy/housing market with the base closing. Have any of you noticed any negative changes there?
With a home budget of $350-400k, you'll have your pick of houses in good neighborhoods.

The base closing has certainly hurt Brunswick, but it has by no means killed the town. In fact, in the time we've lived in Brunswick (going on 3 years now), we've seen more growth than decline.

Some stores have closed, blaming the base closure as a reason. And the local schools have lost enough students that the district has reorganized, closing several schools. However...

Brunswick is building a brand new elementary school. Amtrak service is expanding to Brunswick within the next couple of years so that you'll be able to take the train to Portland, Boston, and points beyond. For many of the stores that have closed, more have opened or are due to open in the near future.

Probably the biggest blow the base closure has dealt to the town is the housing market. The base closing combined with the bad national economy has hurt property values in the town. There are a lot of empty houses, some of which have been on the market for a year or more. That's bad news for those trying to sell a home, but for someone hoping to buy, it's actually good news. You'll have lots to choose from at very good prices.

The biggest hurdle for anyone wanting to move to Brunswick is going to be finding a job. But that's going to be true of any community in Maine. At least for the near future.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 21,076,184 times
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Do you know anything about Bowdoin College? Does it interact with the town or offer events for the public?

Are the neighborhoods right around the center of town safe to live in?

(I'm asking for my daughter who's looking at that area)
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,961 posts, read 4,950,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movetomaine View Post
Thanks for all of the responses. Our budget is about 350,000-400,000. I don't mind driving about 30 minutes to a Walmart. A town area with a main street is much more important to us. I looked up Brunswick and it seems great except I worry about the economy/housing market with the base closing. Have any of you noticed any negative changes there?
5+ acres in Cumberland County in that price range on a lake or pond will be difficult to find. If you were able to compromise about the water frontage or lot size your odds would improve for finding an appropriate house in a town that you are looking for.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Maine
21,358 posts, read 25,376,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Do you know anything about Bowdoin College? Does it interact with the town or offer events for the public?

Are the neighborhoods right around the center of town safe to live in?

(I'm asking for my daughter who's looking at that area)
Bowdoin interacts a lot with the town. There are all sorts of theater, music, film, and museum events open to the public. We've been to the indoor pool there a few times. I went to the college to hear Tom Shippey speak a couple of years ago. He was brought in for one of the Lit classes, but the event was open to the public and very well publicized.

There's really no such thing as a dangerous neighborhood in Brunswick. There are some that are certainly less desireable than others. The areas that abut the river, the few blocks around the soup kitchen (behind Hannaford), and those between the college and the base are probably the least desireable in town. But I wouldn't call any of them dangerous. There's not one where I'd be afraid to walk the streets, even after dark. But they are neighborhoods where you definitely lock your doors and might see cops busting parties on the weekends.
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