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Portland area Portland, ME metro area
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:39 AM
6 posts, read 14,865 times
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We are moving to the Portland area very soon for my husband's job. We are working with a real estate agent and have seen nice listings in our price range in Portland (seems to be the Deering areas), as well as South Portland. We've yet to make a trip up to Portland to see the area. Can anyone provide information about these two areas?

Are either of them walkable areas? Do they have downtown/main street areas?
How are the schools?
Town reputations? Nice areas?
Would they be considered rural? We are coming from the NYC area and while we know it will be different in ME, we aren't looking for an area where the grocery store is 20 min away, etc.

Any help/info is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:59 AM
Location: Nevada City, California
332 posts, read 599,060 times
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Congratulations!! I think you'll love Portland. We moved here about a year and a half ago.

The Deering areas are very nice, established residential neighborhoods north of downtown Portland. They are suburban, although in many areas you can walk to businesses along the main street. (Make sure to look at the Rosemont and Oakdale/USM neighborhoods as well.) South Portland varies quite a bit. Closer to the coast, you have some charming residential neighborhoods, including the Willard Beach area. Toward the Maine Mall it becomes very suburban with newer subdivisions and strip malls. In either area you will find grocery stores within a 5-10 minute drive.

For that walkable urban feel, you'll need to go into Portland's downtown/Old Port area, which is a short drive from the Deering neighborhoods or South Portland. The West End and the East End/Munjoy Hill on the Portland peninsula are great walkable neighborhoods, but you'll have a hard time finding a single-family home with a large yard and a garage, if that's what you're looking for.

I don't have kids, so I can't really tell you much about the Portland and South Portland schools. I think they are just fine, although many say the top public schools in the area are in Cape Elizabeth/Falmouth/Yarmouth.

The best advice is to do lots of research and then come up here and check out the different areas for yourself. Drive through the neighborhoods, get out and walk around, and see what feels right for you and your family.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:55 PM
6 posts, read 14,865 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the information! Your explanation of South Portland really helps, as we are narrowing down our listings/houses to see and it is quite obvious the difference. One is a home built in 1920 (walk to Willard Beach), so charming. The other is larger colonial built in 1970 (appears to be more of a sub division type home)--not as much character, but certainly has the perks of a common layout, an attached 2 car garage, fenced yard, etc.
The colonial is very similar to home with live in now... the older home is completely different!

Anyone else have any opions on the 2 different areas of South Portland?
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:20 AM
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,186 posts, read 6,385,910 times
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As mentioned South Portland encompasses a large and diverse area. Across the bridge to SP is an interesting area, Knightville. Frairly large commercial area for shopping, diverse housing areas.

Personally, I have always liked the Deering area just across the bay from downtown. Easy walking to Deering HS/ES. There is a little village with most of the necessary shops. Our friends who lived there had a high sense of community. Away from the crowds but close to Brighton and Forest Ave for commercial needs and quick access to downtown.

Tho Portland is a busy town, parking can be a hassle I found it easy to get downtown and back home to Cumberland.
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