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Old 11-09-2014, 08:12 AM
 
14 posts, read 14,666 times
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Hi all. My wife and I (early 40's) and daughter (7) are very interested in a move to Maine. We currently reside in a small seaside town near Charleston SC. A great town that is quickly bursting at the seams with recent growth to the point where it has lost the small town southern charm. In addition, albeit the schools system is great in the county we live (most of SC is horrid), they are overcrowded and lack community involvement. A very small proportion of tax rev. goes towards education, in contrast with ME's priorities of 80% property tax allocation. This results in what we think will be a poor educational/community life experience for our daughter. In addition, this area has become a keep-up-with-the-jones's, superficial, and now traffic laded town. We would like to return to the small town and tight communities that we grew up in....and it seams that there are few places left that have affordable housing (and are near the coast).

Why Maine? Really, two reasons: education and community. From my limited understanding, ME is a state that has prioritized education.....and from what I gather, there is a great sense of community in many of the towns in Maine.

So we need advice on places to visit that would suit our desires, which are as follows: top public schools, a town with a "main street" with local shops - we like cozy pubs (my wife is british) and coffee shops, tight and interactive community, housing in the 250k - 300k range.

I work from home and my wife is a teacher. My daughter will be starting 2nd grade next year. I've researched a bit and Gorham seams to fit the bill, but would like to vet all options. I like Portland too, but beyond the Longfellow elementary school, the middle and high seem to be sub-par. Towns like Falmouth and Yarmouth seem to lack the "main street" we are looking for, and places like Kennebunk, Camden, and Freeport seem too touristy.

Any thoughts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. FYI...I have visited Maine, many years ago, and we are planning on visiting a friend in Falmouth early next year. Also, I use to live in Montana, and Maine is the eastern version of MT imo.

Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:51 AM
 
587 posts, read 771,263 times
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I would say that Yarmouth has more of a main street than Gorham. From my perspective, the Portland area is suffering from the same sorts of problems that you describe plaguing Charleston. My definition of traffic problems is probably skewed since I am only used to Maine traffic, but this area is attracting a lot of people.

I think you will get a better idea of what you like when you visit your friend in Falmouth. Portland offers the most in terms of local shops and pubs. Brunswick or Bath might be another option that suits you- both of those places have bigger downtowns. I wouldn't rule out Freeport, either. I can't speak to the school systems.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,910 posts, read 4,623,765 times
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Yarmouth and Gorham are both about 20 minutes from Portland. While both towns have a downtown, Yarmouth's is much more walkable shop to shop. Perhaps you were thinking about Falmouth or Cumberland, which have less of a downtown feel than Yarmouth or Gorham. There is a significant difference in home prices, through the first 10 months of 2014 Yarmouth's median sales price for a single family home is $420,000, while Gorham's is $241,862. At the end of October, there were 75 homes for sale in Yarmouth while Gorham had 155.
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