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Old 03-28-2014, 02:51 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
181 posts, read 253,986 times
Reputation: 108

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Greetings and salutations my fellow interwebz users! It seems that a move to the Portland area may be in the works...strange for me, since the furthest east I've ever been is Detroit. But here we are. I know there are a million threads on here from folks moving that way over the years but thought I'd start my own.

So! Here's the deets. I'm originally from southern California, but at the grand old age of 38 I've moved around my fair share in life. I was born and mostly raised in the Mojave desert, but moved around for a few years in my childhood to Tulsa OK, Waterloo IA and Bay City TX. Then back to Cali, then to Tulsa again for my young adulthood, then San Diego area where I met my now ex wife, then Detroit for 4 years and now West/Central Michigan for the past 4 years. Whew! So, home is where my heart is and where I lay my head.

So....I'm gay, though currently unpartnered, and have 3 elementary aged children. My ex and I maintain an amicable relationship and in fact (long story) she may end up in Portland too. But until she does I would only have my kids on visits. So...where would a single gay dad want to live? I would be working in downtown Portland and would be making around $40k a year. Could I afford or want to live downtown with kids part time? Or without them? I have always preferred, for myself, a city type of environment. Is the amount I would be making enough to live comfortably there? I'm not asking for the Taj Majal. Just nice and not living paycheck to 4 days before paycheck, yanno?

Also I'm curious about where I live now vs. Maine...I've read lots of threads complaining about the quality of roads there, how high taxes are, the humidity in summer and the long winters...but frankly it's sounds a lot like they are describing Michigan!! LOL. So is there anyone out there in Portland or Maine in general with familiarity of Michigan than can compare it for me?

Thanks in advance!!! Oh yeah, we have medicinal marijuana here in Michigan now , and I've read that Portland itself has legalized it. But I've read conflicting things in regards to marijuana laws as well as gay marriage in Maine...can anyone clarify that for me as well? Thanks again!

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Old 04-03-2014, 08:13 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
181 posts, read 253,986 times
Reputation: 108
Just found out, I got the job!!!! WOOHOO!
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Maine
18,602 posts, read 22,371,379 times
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I've been to the UP, but never the mitten. Northern Maine especially reminds me a lot of da UP. Southern Maine feels more like Wisconsin.

At $40k you should be able to live comfortably in Portland, but not affluently. It depends on what you're used to. Definitely look around at other nearby communities. There are lots of nice towns around Portland with all the amenities.

Portland is Maine's largest city, but it is still pretty small as cities go. Real metropolises like Dallas, Boston, LA, Seattle, Denver, etc. would swallow Portland and still have room from Bangor, Augusta, Lewiston, and Auburn. Unless traffic is heavy (which is rare), I can easily drive through Portland in 10 minutes on the interstate.

Roads in Maine are most definitely horrible. That's the one great thing about winter time. The snow fills in all the pot holes. Major highways really aren't that bad, but residential roadways are horrible.

The food in Maine is better. I love the people in the Midwest, but I've had warm water with more flavor than most Midwestern cuisine.

Maine gets humid, especially from about mid-June through August. But I didn't find it nearly as oppressive as the UP. Same with the bugs. But we're fairly near the coast (as is Portland), so that moderates things. Farther from the coast it's more humid and with more bugs.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
181 posts, read 253,986 times
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Thanks so much Mark. I don't need to live affluently at all, just normal middle class comfort.

I have a feeling that, especially near the coast, I'm rarely if ever going to think it's hot there. The humidity does get pretty oppressive here in Michigan but even at that I've lived in Tulsa and south Texas, and was raised in the Mojave desert in California....so I think I'll manage. LOL.

I think I'm going to like the size of the city. I prefer cities that are big enough to feel urban and cosmopolitan but not so huge that living there is just a pure headache. If I need bigger I'll hop on the train and hit Boston from time to time!

Ugh, the bugs...they are atrocious here (mostly mosquitoes) but again nowhere near as bad as south Texas. So I guess I'll have to see. I hope to live near my job in downtown Portland so I'm hoping it's not as bad there.

The road thing sounds like Michigan to be honest. Our roads are awful, especially right now after the winter we just had.

I can't believe this is happening. Moving somewhere I've never even visited, yet have always been intrigued by. Can't wait! Looks like I'll actually be arriving around the end of May and flying back for my divorce date.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
234 posts, read 300,996 times
Reputation: 250
You can probably get a "decent" 1 bedroom apartment downtown for ~$1250/mo after all expenses are included if you are patient and don't settle. Apartments in Portland are very competitive and we have about a 1% vacancy rate here, so you'll probably want somewhere to stay temporarily while you spend a good week or two looking for the right place.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
181 posts, read 253,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighTechRocker View Post
You can probably get a "decent" 1 bedroom apartment downtown for ~$1250/mo after all expenses are included if you are patient and don't settle. Apartments in Portland are very competitive and we have about a 1% vacancy rate here, so you'll probably want somewhere to stay temporarily while you spend a good week or two looking for the right place.
Thanks HTR, I'm flying in on May 4th to look at rentals and drive around the area. Unfortunately I only get a couple of days, but I'll have to make do! I'll be staying downtown, which is also where I'll be working. The job starts June 1. I REALLY want a place on the peninsula if possible...
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 696,012 times
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Hi TPS, Congradulations and welcome to Portland and to being one of the Portland downtown workers. I work in the old port as well. As a small city to live and work in I think you'll love it. I've been to detroit a few times and yes the roads are similar, city much smaller, but you know all the suburb areas around detroit...Mile this Mile that....well its much smaller till you get to the country. Easily 15 minutes out or less in some directions. To answer your questions, Medical Marijuna is legal, and so is mj, but its not leagel to sell except medicinally..A good sizegay population in maine in general and gay marriage is legal.

When I moved to POrtland I did the same as you flew out for a weekend, had a bunch of rentals to look at compiled from craigs list (like 12) and found my place then and there. On the peninsula there are a good number of apts on the east and west ends...and a few on the old port. Will youhave a car? Because a car ends up being a big consideration down town. Parking is not always available, and durning the winter it can be a pain. When I first went on my visit, I had my heart set on being on the pininsula, and I'm not discurraging just sharing, but I quickly realized I wanted a yard and a drive way and didn't want to deal with street parking...and had to revise my apt visits to looking over the bridge to the south Portland /Cape area. Even saw a few things off forest ave in portland. Iloved the area over the bridge and am very happy in my decision. SO my suggestion is use craigs list and have a bunch of places in portland, but have at least a few lined up in portland and maybe south portland just so you can contrast and compare.

I love it here and I hope you will too....congrats on the job and if you have any specific questions feel free to direct message me. And once again Welcome.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: South Portland, ME
894 posts, read 1,072,808 times
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I moved here from Michigan this past August. It's great and I've really enjoyed it so far, but I do want to warn you that Maine is much more expensive than Michigan was. I think $40k to try and live downtown would be tough unless you are willing to get a roommate (or multiple roommates) and/or take some drastic measures in order to reduce costs. As someone said above, you can expect to pay over $1000/month for just a "decent" apartment if you are planning to live alone.

To contrast, I never paid more than $700/month when I lived in either Lansing or Flint back in MI. So that is easily an extra $3500/year or more just for somewhere to live. And on just $40k, we're talking at least 30% of your income just for housing (over $12k/year).

The cost of gas and groceries is also higher. And income tax is almost double that of Michigan (7.95% here, 4.25% in MI), while sales tax is not much lower to offset it (5.5% in ME, 6% in MI)
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:19 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
181 posts, read 253,986 times
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Hey, thanks everyone for the responses! Things are still rolling along and I'm chomping at the bit to get outta here.

Unfortunately however, things have been delayed by a month or so. The CEO is very specific in what he wants, and is finding it difficult to find it in the area he wants to be in. Specifically, he wants an ocean view and a city view, wants to be in or very near the old port, but even more specifically would prefer to be on Commercial. Wants big windows but the buildings are mostly historic and don't have said windows. LOL. So it's looking like the beginning of July to start and my trip out to scout housing will be the beginning of June.

Sigh...I'm just SO dead set on living on the peninsula. I really want that urban environment. But, I don't want to be house poor either. I have been looking around, seeing if I can find urban-ish in a smaller town/village center...but IDK. I would love a loft or apartment with the hardwoods and brick walls. Really I'm being a worry wort, as we (the other staff that is being relocated and I) recently found out that Sotheby's is handling our relocations and also finding the office. But I like to be educated on something as big as where I'll be living, yanno?

So anyway I've looked around and saw cheaper urban places in Biddeford/Saco...but have read mixed things about downtown Biddeford. Have read that Gorham has a nice downtown but have been scouring Craigslist for weeks and haven't seen anything there. Freeport looks great but it's probably pricey. South Portland is neighborhoods and stripmalls from what I can see, and that's not what I'm looking for...
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Portland, ME
234 posts, read 300,996 times
Reputation: 250
If you want a less expensive dense Urban environment near Portland, then Lewiston is the next best option. It is considerably cheaper than Portland and about a 30-40 minute drive depending on your starting and ending point, but it isn't coastal and is gritty in parts.

Brunswick is about the same distance as Lewiston, give or take 5 minutes, has a nice downtown, is coastal, but is about as expensive as Portland.

Saco or Biddeford may be a good compromise but I'm not very familiar with their downtown areas.

Last edited by HighTechRocker; 04-29-2014 at 02:24 PM..
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