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Old 07-26-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
66 posts, read 159,366 times
Reputation: 86

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I'm a pretty-much lifelong southerner who has mostly grown up in the Houston area. Time flies, and now I can hardly believe I'm less than a year away from a computer science degree at Texas A&M University.

...This is a pretty marketable field of study, so I feel like it wouldn't be impossible to find a job in the Northeast if I really wanted to. Specifically, I'm intrigued by Portland, ME, so I have a few questions:

-What are some important challenges up North? Way pricier groceries? More expensive rent? Here in College Station, TX, a one-bedroom apartment can be anywhere from $500 on the low end to well over $1000 per month, while my (well above-average) single-person grocery bill is $50-70 per week.

-The climate is probably shockingly different up there Is it a 'dry' cold in the winter? Here, it seldom gets below freezing, but even being in the 40s can be miserable when it's humid. My image of New England is blizzard conditions in winter, which would probably be horrible, especially if the air is wet...

Some background or even a few experiences from others on any of these topics would be appreciated!
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:51 AM
 
506 posts, read 584,884 times
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I would be like.........heaven.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, Okla.
636 posts, read 1,542,705 times
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Most likely, you'll find Portlander's and folks from Maine in general, far friendlier, less crime.. MUCH cleaner air and a cleaner environment then Houston or College Station. Down sides, slightly more expensive overall. As far as culture and entertainment, for a city of it's size, you'll be plenty entertained. Several major recording artists come thru every year but to get your big cultural fix, Boston is only 2 hours away... you better like winter weather, but it's not the harsh cold you can get in other parts of the north. Summers are substantially cooler, Portland may get directly affected by a hurricane about once every 10 years if that.. tornadoes are exceedingly rare, you will experience a couple of good ol' fashioned thunderstorms during the warmer times of year though. Real estate prices are a little higher but not by much. Living on the coast though.. you better have a big bank account. If you already have a job lined up, your lucky. Work is not the easiest to come by there but with a degree and good employment background, you should have no problem.

Overall, don't mean to trash Houston or College Station.. but Portland does circles around those places in almost every regard except in unemployment rates. I would highly recommend renting the first year so you'll know if it's a good fit for you. The Portland area is a high contender on my list to relocate to if I had it MY way.. Your blessed to be able to make the choice. Hope all goes well for you. If you can deal with the winter, you'll likely fall in love with the place.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
842 posts, read 1,005,356 times
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We are leaving tomorrow morning for a second research trip to the Portland area (from Austin). The first trip was very impressive. If this trip is anything close, we will begin house hunting (with six-month rental as a fall back position). We can't wait to visit and have more lobster rolls.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:12 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryDactyls View Post
We are leaving tomorrow morning for a second research trip to the Portland area (from Austin). The first trip was very impressive. If this trip is anything close, we will begin house hunting (with six-month rental as a fall back position). We can't wait to visit and have more lobster rolls.
How was your trip? Still planning on moving? We're considering a move from Wilmington NC. Any information on crime? Good neighborhoods? Not so nice?
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: South Portland, ME
894 posts, read 1,072,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryDactyls View Post
We are leaving tomorrow morning for a second research trip to the Portland area (from Austin). The first trip was very impressive. If this trip is anything close, we will begin house hunting (with six-month rental as a fall back position). We can't wait to visit and have more lobster rolls.
When we were looking into apartments we found out that there are a lot of "winter rentals" from like September to March where they rent out places that would be very expensive during tourist season for much lower rates.

That might be something you'd want to look into as a temporary place to live, and it would give you time to look around for a house while you are already here, as opposed to trying to house hunt from across the country.

Also, lobster rolls = ur doin' it wrong. Those things are what, like $15-$20? You can buy a whole lobster from a farmer's market for like $6 and just cook it yourself (and get a lot more lobster meat!). If you really want it in a "roll", you can buy those at the store, 6 for $1.50 or whatever.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
842 posts, read 1,005,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krumkaker View Post
How was your trip? Still planning on moving? We're considering a move from Wilmington NC. Any information on crime? Good neighborhoods? Not so nice?
From what I've read, crime is very low.

The trip was great. We only had rain one afternoon while we were driving to Brunswick. Otherwise it was upper 70's and sunny (and it hit 107 one day back in Texas ). We didn't find a "bad" neighborhood in any of the areas we scouted. Several didn't appeal to us so we eliminated them from further searches. There wasn't anything wrong with the areas, they just didn't feel right for us. We did find a couple that fit us pretty well and will be doing further study. The move (unless something unforeseen happens) will take place around this time next year. We chose the first week of August to visit so we could see the pinnacle of tourist travel. Traffic seemed almost non-existent for someone coming from a traffic-congested city like Austin. For example, we stayed in Scarborough (just south of Portland). I mentioned to someone that it took us less than 15 minutes to get from Scarborough to Yarmouth (north of Portland) and they told us we could cut "two or three" minutes off that time when the tourists aren't around. That didn't seem like much of a change to me. Everyone we talked to was very friendly and helpful. We are more anxious than ever to get out of Texas.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,513 posts, read 22,330,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryDactyls View Post
From what I've read, crime is very low.

The trip was great. We only had rain one afternoon while we were driving to Brunswick. Otherwise it was upper 70's and sunny (and it hit 107 one day back in Texas ). We didn't find a "bad" neighborhood in any of the areas we scouted. Several didn't appeal to us so we eliminated them from further searches. There wasn't anything wrong with the areas, they just didn't feel right for us. We did find a couple that fit us pretty well and will be doing further study. The move (unless something unforeseen happens) will take place around this time next year. We chose the first week of August to visit so we could see the pinnacle of tourist travel. Traffic seemed almost non-existent for someone coming from a traffic-congested city like Austin. For example, we stayed in Scarborough (just south of Portland). I mentioned to someone that it took us less than 15 minutes to get from Scarborough to Yarmouth (north of Portland) and they told us we could cut "two or three" minutes off that time when the tourists aren't around. That didn't seem like much of a change to me. Everyone we talked to was very friendly and helpful. We are more anxious than ever to get out of Texas.
Seems to me like you're being very smart and going about your move the right away. Very wise to visit before you move.

There are definitely some towns and some neighborhoods within towns were I wouldn't want to live. But if there is a town in Maine where crime is a major safety issue, I've never seen it. Portland's worst neighborhoods are safer than most of Seattle or Tacoma's nicer neighborhoods.

And no, traffic rarely compares to anything out West -- unless there is an accident or bad weather. We once did hit a bit of heavy traffic in South Portland because a porcupine was crossing the road and decided to loiter a while, but that's a rare occurrence.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 695,506 times
Reputation: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoulesMSU View Post
Also, lobster rolls = ur doin' it wrong. Those things are what, like $15-$20? You can buy a whole lobster from a farmer's market for like $6 and just cook it yourself (and get a lot more lobster meat!). If you really want it in a "roll", you can buy those at the store, 6 for $1.50 or whatever.
So its off subject but it's kind of funny...it used to be a number of years ago, that a lobster roll was cheaper than a whole cooked lobster dinner and you ended up with more lobster meat in a lobster roll. Then they became popular, and got smaller and the price of lobster dropped, but the price of lobster rolls stayed up! Personally i like them better than a whole lobster...it's the lobster in the grilled maine Hot Dog roll.
So I sort of do what you do I buy them locally for 4.99 a lb and then make my own lobster rolls!


To the OP, its quite different than the south. I moved here from the deep south, but i'm a North Easterner originally. It is more expensive (housing & groceries) , but there are computer sci jobs in the portland area, populated by a lot of young recent graduates. What I think you'll notice is Summer is a season were you seen every one outdoors enjoying the weather, not hiding away in their AC...infact most houses or apts don't have AC just window units for those few hot days. In winter people are outside too, dressed warm and Xcrountry skying, snowmobiling or snow blowing...etc. Its a very dog friendly area and civic minded.

CHeck out http://www.techmaine.com/ for goings on in the computer science community.

Good Luck! And come for a visit!
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Clayton, NC
279 posts, read 644,161 times
Reputation: 197
I moved from Maine and can't wait to move back. We moved to NC to get away from the cold and to buy an affordable house. We got that, but traded it for excessive heat and humidity, crowded roadways, crowded schools and I could go on and on and on. Trying to convince my husband to go back is the problem. I am OVER IT!! Maine is beautiful and a wonderful place to raise a family.
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