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Old 07-29-2012, 04:43 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,351 times
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I've been threatening myself that I'd sit down and do this when I got fed up with NJ, and that Sunday has come

I have come to you, the wonderfully trustworthy and opinionated folks of City-Data to end this chatter in my brain. I love these forums and, for better or worse, know I'll get good advice.

I currently live in west/central NJ, about 45 mins west of NYC. This is the nice part of NJ, relatively speaking. High taxes, small towns, gorgeous lawns, private schools, NYC commuters, speeding BMWs in 25mph zones, you know; the American Dream. An entire region of 'individuals' while offering only a faux sense of community. I'm not an outsider here but I still feel that way. We love animals, volunteering, and just the general sense of doing things with a purpose. Where we are now, all of these activities are weekend cults as far as I'm concerned. Catty gossipy excuses to 'help things'.

My wife and I are in our late 20s/early 30s and at the unique point of having no debt, no kids, and no baggage. I need some dental work shortly after I move, and that's my only drawback.

Portland is touted as a friendly, integrated, and stable place while still maintaining that community within. Granted, Forbes is not my usual goto for relocation information, but Portland is even said to be a good place to try your hand at your own business. With that said, we know it's not a magic place to be an instant success; it just seems it may be place to take a more wholly rewarding path to something positive.

I plan on maintaining my web design business and my wife wants to attend massage therapy school, but our ultimate goal is to slow down a bit and enjoy life just a little. It sounds crazy at our age, but if you've ever lived in the rat race between Philly/NYC/Boston, it's not that far-fetched. I guess we just want to enjoy the journey a little more than just looking back at a haze of achievement.

End ramble, start questions...

Is housing in short supply for renters? Padmapper seems to show different openings on a daily basis.

What should we expect to find when looking for a 2-3 bedroom apt. for $900-1200? I have a few old ER bills nagging on my credit, is everything rental there owned by management companies? I've had my best luck and most rewarding situations with owners.

Are there good neighborhoods that you can survive, temporarily, without a car and just use the Bus system? We plan on getting another vehicle, but the life of our current car is nearly at the end.

How would you grade the medical/dental services, if you've lived elsewhere? I need a decent bit of dental work done in the shortterm, and while I hate NJ, the quality of healthcare here is amazing(ly expensive).

What brought you to Portland if you aren't a native, does our situation resonate with anyone else?

If any additional info from me would make my questions easier to answer, I'll be checking back frequently.

I could go on and on but, short of paying you all to read it, I'll hush. I've spent hours on here reading and reading all of the great advice, thanks much for spending the time reading my post.

-Eric
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 721,281 times
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I'm originally from the Jersey Shore, Then the deep south for too many years, When I chose to move back north again I focused on Maine rather than NJ. So yes I get it. I'm almost twice your age but I too was ready to slow down a bit and enjoy life. I couldn't be happier with my decision.
As for your questions:
Rentals are not in short supply at all! And many rentals are by owner. You can get a better socpe on things using craigslist and google maps (to get your bearings). Its just a simple fact that there more listings on craigslist. Also don't know if his applies, but rentals here are considerably pet friendly.
You should be able to get a decent 2 bedroom in a nice neighborhood on the bus line for 1200 with heat included (if its an apt). here's the buss line web site Welcom to Greater Portland METRO Bus Also be sure to consider South Portland, there is a great neighborhood on the bus line called Willard Beach, check it out.
In my opinion I couldn't be happier with My Drs and My dentist. I think they are very high quality. many trained in NY & Boston and came here for the simpler life. I can't comment on cost cause I do have insurance though my job, but it was a high deductible plan, and it didn't seem like Drs fees were particularly high compared with other areas I lived in in the south. If/When you do come here don't go to Aspen Dental...the walmart of dentists and high priced and recommending work that doesn't need doing! If you move here...Pm me and I'll make some recommendations.
Come up for a visit and see what you think!
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:40 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrixwolfe View Post
.
Thanks much for your fast reply, I'll admit to hitting refresh too many times the first hour lol.

Our situations are/were more similar than I thought. I left NJ and lived in Savannah, GA for 10 years, which part of the deep south did you serve your sentence? I feel like I saw a different world down there, some for better, most for worse. What it did do, though, was ruin the implied peace and safe serenity that NJ supposedly affords. I've spent the last few years trying to figure out what qualities of both places I wanted to chase next.

We live in Hunterdon County, NJ, at the moment. If you have any familiarity with western NJ, you may know where I'm talking about. It's very green and very lush, but the people are so stuffy that you can't breathe.

I was just perusing www.Padmapper.com, which is an aggregate of Craigslist, rentals.com, etc; what I was finding were a lot of seasonal rentals. I know some people flee for the winter, but does the entire area seem to empty out? Personally I think it may be a great way for to experience what we're in for, with a smaller commitment, but that almost feels naive.

I wasn't finding much for listings in, what appears to be, Willard Beach. Would you suggest any other areas, preferably on/near the bus line? I have a feeling I may be visiting sooner than later as I'm seeing most vacancies in the entire area are on Sept. 1. I'm assuming that pressing any further south than Willard Beach puts us in that car-less purgatory bus commute distance.

My head is spinning with potential and excitement. Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 721,281 times
Reputation: 272
lol, Yep that's what I called it too a sentence. Huntsville AL for 16 years. Ugh.

IMO the seasonal thing is a decent plan. Friends of mine recently did that they got a really nice place at Higgins beach (sorry no bus service) reasonable. Then in May when they needed to move found a new place. Yes right now its all about seasonal rentals...but people will start lining up for fall. Just be patient things will present them selves.
Willard is just a favorite of mine, and others I know just check along the rt 21 busline in S portland.
http://www.southportland.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={E4F7926F-1314-457A-BE04-69B4208EC3A8}
Also try East end and West end in portland, or even right in the old port. I work with a few people who Who live in the old port and only walk a block to work. There is a Trader Joes and Whole foods downtown and a Hannafords Grocery not far. There is the area by the mall....but its so mall like. You might like the area just north of USM and on either side of Forest ave, also an area known as Backcove.
If I see something particularly interesting I'll Pm it to you.

I think you'd like it here. BTW car insurance is much cheaper here than in Jersey, even cheaper than Alabama! An older beater that will pass exception and have all season tires might open up possibilities.
But not necessary there are things on the buss line, you'll find them promise!
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:18 PM
 
1,962 posts, read 4,467,012 times
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Go for it! Such a wonderful place to live, especially if you love the seasons and the outdoors.


You may be lucky and snag a winter rental of a summer seasonal property in Pine Ponit or OOB. Check VRBO. Com
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:44 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moughie View Post
Go for it! Such a wonderful place to live, especially if you love the seasons and the outdoors.


You may be lucky and snag a winter rental of a summer seasonal property in Pine Ponit or OOB. Check VRBO. Com
I love seeing 'go for it' to start a post! I just hope this whole sha-bang is as friendly and easy-going as the residents.

It seems that most of what I'm finding are the seasonal Sept-May listings that you speak of. As I mentioned to the previous poster, that may be a great way to get a feel for things without a huge commitment.

What is OOB short for? I am assuming it's something something beach ;p

As for the VRBO site, it seems all of the rentals are priced by the week at this point. Is that something that changes as we get closer to the end of the season? I am aiming, with grand hopes, to be in the area for a Sept. 1st vacancy.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:27 PM
 
1,962 posts, read 4,467,012 times
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OOB stands for Old Orchard Beach. Both OOB and Pine Point will have some off season rentals. Perhaps email a VRBO listing to inquire if they rent out the property off season.
Now off season most likely starts right after Columbus Day weekend- the end of Leaf Peeper season. Since you have a 9/1 target date, you may be bit too early.
Check Craigslist also for rentals. Perhaps make your own seeking rental posting!
Give it a try- you won't regret it!
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:22 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,351 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by moughie View Post
OOB stands for Old Orchard Beach. Both OOB and Pine Point will have some off season rentals. Perhaps email a VRBO listing to inquire if they rent out the property off season.
Now off season most likely starts right after Columbus Day weekend- the end of Leaf Peeper season. Since you have a 9/1 target date, you may be bit too early.
Check Craigslist also for rentals. Perhaps make your own seeking rental posting!
Give it a try- you won't regret it!
Very good to know in case we get delayed for any reason. Of course, it'd be perfect to get there and settle a bit just before the chill moves in.

We've been lucky and had a few really nice members sending us Craigslist'ings in areas that fit our situation. It's been a huge help just in making a mental map for ourselves. As I get my bearings and can verbalize our wants/needs, your suggestion to make a Seeking Rental post is definitely a good one.

Are there buses that run from OOB into Portland? I'm having problems getting the one set of maps to work, it may be the browser on this work machine.

One question I keep forgetting to ask, in general, are there any Taxi services at all in the Portland/South Portland area?
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
6,953 posts, read 7,996,870 times
Reputation: 15099
Quote:
Originally Posted by atrixwolfe View Post
In my opinion I couldn't be happier with My Drs and My dentist. I think they are very high quality. many trained in NY & Boston and came here for the simpler life. I can't comment on cost cause I do have insurance though my job, but it was a high deductible plan, and it didn't seem like Drs fees were particularly high compared with other areas I lived in in the south. If/When you do come here don't go to Aspen Dental...the walmart of dentists and high priced and recommending work that doesn't need doing! If you move here...Pm me and I'll make some recommendations.
Come up for a visit and see what you think!
Oh, please, that is so insulting it isn't funny...to Walmart. They should sue you for slander. I went there once, sick and in pain, but even half out of my mind I got a bad feeling. I felt like I was at Joey Bagodonut's used car lot, with Vinnie the Torch looking out the window and saying something about smoke coming from under the hood of my trade-in.

Before even looking in my mouth, the first thing the 'dentist' said was "So, you want to have all your teeth pulled and get dentures, right?" WTH??

Then, after the exam, it was into the office of the 'business manager' who was pushing high priced dentures and a 'credit plan'. Not one goshdarn word about what might be best for me and my health, only how much money they could get me to pay and how it would be no problem with their easy payment credit plan.

I got out of there with a script for antibiotics to kill a raging infection and never went back. At first I thought it was just me, reacting badly because I was so sick, but after the infection was gone I thought about it and realized that I absolutely did not want them doing anything to me.

I found a real dentist and a good oral surgeon, kept most of my teeth and got plates made for a heck of a lot less than what they were trying to get out of me.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:45 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,351 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Oh, please, that is so insulting it isn't funny...to Walmart. They should sue you for slander. I went there once, sick and in pain, but even half out of my mind I got a bad feeling. I felt like I was at Joey Bagodonut's used car lot, with Vinnie the Torch looking out the window and saying something about smoke coming from under the hood of my trade-in.

Before even looking in my mouth, the first thing the 'dentist' said was "So, you want to have all your teeth pulled and get dentures, right?" WTH??

Then, after the exam, it was into the office of the 'business manager' who was pushing high priced dentures and a 'credit plan'. Not one goshdarn word about what might be best for me and my health, only how much money they could get me to pay and how it would be no problem with their easy payment credit plan.

I got out of there with a script for antibiotics to kill a raging infection and never went back. At first I thought it was just me, reacting badly because I was so sick, but after the infection was gone I thought about it and realized that I absolutely did not want them doing anything to me.

I found a real dentist and a good oral surgeon, kept most of my teeth and got plates made for a heck of a lot less than what they were trying to get out of me.
Very very good to know, PM sent. Thanks.
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