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Old 01-05-2014, 05:27 PM
dwx dwx started this thread
 
1 posts, read 1,871 times
Reputation: 15

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My wife and I are thinking about moving to the country about 20-30 minutes outside of Portland.

We work from home so commuting or finding work is not an issue. (We just need a decent internet connection)

We're looking to get a 4+ bedroom house, 3,000+ sqft, on at least an acre or two, built no earlier than 10 years ago. I'm sort of wondering if we'll even be able to find something that matches that criteria, especially without having to shell out $750k+. I feel like there are similar-sized cities where you can get much more for your money.

I'm also very concerned about taxes. On one hand, I've seen that Maine's tax rate is 8.5% on income above 20k (which is 90+% of our income), and I've heard you have to pay excise taxes on your vehicle. But then this page suggests it's not so bad: State tax levels in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We can afford the high cost of living, but I hate the idea of getting totally screwed. For instance, in New Hampshire or Florida we would save several thousand a month vs. Maine, just from income taxes alone.

It also seems like a strange paradox where there aren't a whole lot of high paying positions or a large population, and yet the cost of living seems pretty high.

We love the four seasons, the forests, the water, and nature....we really like a lot of the things that Maine is all about. But I don't want to throw thousands of dollars in a furnace to live there.

Just how bad is the cost of living and tax situation?
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,039 posts, read 52,177,888 times
Reputation: 21514
In a tight circle around Portland lives over 50% of the state population. That is the most urban place in Maine.

They have the most municipal services, night life, amusements, and apparently about the highest taxes of anywhere in the state.

I have had dear friends who lived in Portland. Visiting them, I was very shocked at how completely different their experience of Maine was from my experience.



From my perspective there is no 'country' within 30 minutes of Portland. Again it is the highest population-density of the state. However everything is relative. If it feels country to you than it must be.



Quote:
... We work from home so commuting or finding work is not an issue. (We just need a decent internet connection)
You are very fortunate. 'Decent' internet is largely an urban function too. Most of Maine is lacking in that regard.



Quote:
... We're looking to get a 4+ bedroom house, 3,000+ sqft, on at least an acre or two, built no earlier than 10 years ago. I'm sort of wondering if we'll even be able to find something that matches that criteria, especially without having to shell out $750k+. I feel like there are similar-sized cities where you can get much more for your money.
There are many towns in Maine, where you could begin shopping for such a home, on 1/5 of that amount of money.



Quote:
... I'm also very concerned about taxes. On one hand, I've seen that Maine's tax rate is 8.5% on income above 20k (which is 90+% of our income), and I've heard you have to pay excise taxes on your vehicle. But then this page suggests it's not so bad: State tax levels in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Some people seem to be hit hard by their taxes in Maine. Others are not.

For us, our move to Maine lowered how much we were paying in taxes [property taxes and vehicles taxes].

Each person's Income taxes is a unique formula with deductions, exemptions, write-offs, etc. It is difficult to compare one person's Income Tax obligation to another person's because of how individualized our 'voluntary Income Tax' system is.



Quote:
... We can afford the high cost of living, but I hate the idea of getting totally screwed. For instance, in New Hampshire or Florida we would save several thousand a month vs. Maine, just from income taxes alone.
Our Cost-Of-Living dropped significantly from our previous homes. Each of our six previous homes [Ct, Italy, Wa, Scot, Ca, Va] seemed to have much higher COL than what we are experiencing here in Maine.



Quote:
... It also seems like a strange paradox where there aren't a whole lot of high paying positions or a large population, and yet the cost of living seems pretty high.
Families in Maine; with two minimum-wage incomes are able to own a home, a couple vehicles and raise children. While living in low crime neighborhoods.

Maine has very few high paying jobs. High paying jobs draw crowds and raise the Cost-Of-Living.



Quote:
... We love the four seasons, the forests, the water, and nature....we really like a lot of the things that Maine is all about. But I don't want to throw thousands of dollars in a furnace to live there.

Just how bad is the cost of living and tax situation?
Hunting, fishing, boating, sledding, hiking, horse back trail riding, ocean kayaking, all of this is in Maine [and a lot more]



I live in a rural area, far removed from Portland. We have 150 acres with 1/4 mile of river frontage. We live in a house that I built myself. I am an organic farmer and retired servicemember. The Maine that I experience is very much different from what you will likely experience.

I find the Cost-Of-Living to be very low here. I find taxes are very low here.



Before some urbanite posts about how expensive Maine is. I just wanted to give you an idea that there is more than just one side of Maine.

May God bless and keep you.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: LadyLake, FL
248 posts, read 636,707 times
Reputation: 160
I agree with Submariner that there are many sides to Maine. I am a native who now lives in Tennessee. We left Maine because of the high cost of living, low wages and the seemingly never-ending winters. I lived in the DC area for five years. The cost of living was high, but so were the wages. You will find that the quality of life is better in Maine than a lot of other states. I find it to be really laid back. Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:00 PM
 
Location: LadyLake, FL
248 posts, read 636,707 times
Reputation: 160
When I left Maine, the sales tax was five percent. Here in Shelby County, TN, it is 9.75 percent. However, we have no state income tax. As you know, Maine does have a state income tax.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,910 posts, read 4,624,460 times
Reputation: 1370
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwx View Post
My wife and I are thinking about moving to the country about 20-30 minutes outside of Portland.

We work from home so commuting or finding work is not an issue. (We just need a decent internet connection)

We're looking to get a 4+ bedroom house, 3,000+ sqft, on at least an acre or two, built no earlier than 10 years ago. I'm sort of wondering if we'll even be able to find something that matches that criteria, especially without having to shell out $750k+. I feel like there are similar-sized cities where you can get much more for your money.

I'm also very concerned about taxes. On one hand, I've seen that Maine's tax rate is 8.5% on income above 20k (which is 90+% of our income), and I've heard you have to pay excise taxes on your vehicle. But then this page suggests it's not so bad: State tax levels in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We can afford the high cost of living, but I hate the idea of getting totally screwed. For instance, in New Hampshire or Florida we would save several thousand a month vs. Maine, just from income taxes alone.

It also seems like a strange paradox where there aren't a whole lot of high paying positions or a large population, and yet the cost of living seems pretty high.

We love the four seasons, the forests, the water, and nature....we really like a lot of the things that Maine is all about. But I don't want to throw thousands of dollars in a furnace to live there.

Just how bad is the cost of living and tax situation?
I just did a search in Cumberland County and found 15 houses currently on the market that meet your criteria with list prices between $349,000 and $659,000. And yes, there are more with higher list prices. Most of Greater Portland has at least two choices for high speed internet because there are many people who do work remotely, but want to enjoy the quality of life you describe and be within 30 minutes of an airport. It all depends where you are moving from, many of the folks I've worked with in larger areas report the cost of living (and taxes) to be significantly lower than where they've sold homes and their families are much safer and happier. As previous posters have reported, you have to balance what is more important to you.
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