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Old 02-17-2008, 04:56 PM
 
21 posts, read 103,722 times
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I had a co-worker move to Portland, Maine. I think she is from there, but I didn't know her too well. When she came back to work to visit while she was in town she said it was lovely and really liked it. I am from Michigan (the UP to be exact) and have been trying to get out since I graduated. Don't get me wrong, it can be pretty, but the economy is terribly depressed and the winters are so long. I live in a pretty small town, so I don't want to move to a huge city. Should I put Portland, Maine on my list of possibilities of where to move? I don't have a degree, but have a good work history with experience in office work. Is it a safe place with housing or apartments that are reasonable compared to the wages of the area? If living in Portland itself is expensive, can you recommend some suburbs or surrounding areas that are safe and affordable?
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:17 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 37,533,705 times
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Portland is about 60,000 and much busier than even Marquette when Tech is in session. Winters are MUCH milder than almost everywhere in the UP. Portland is even milder than Escanaba for weather. Be prepared for higher taxes than you pay now though. Unless you end up in an unorganized township here in Maine all your taxes are going to go up. State income tax is double that of Michigan (even after the increase). Utilities will be about double as well. I graduated from the SOO and live in Washburn, Maine right now. Any specifics, feel free to ask. Those are the main points that popped into my head right away. Oh yeah, no Pasties, Vernors, or Squirt here.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:22 PM
 
21 posts, read 103,722 times
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Wow! A fellow yooper. I am from "the Soo", too. I would like it here if there were more job opportunities that paid a living wage and if we were even close to decent shopping and entertainment. That being said, the fact is I am not and I am sick of going to work each week and not making enough to move out of my parents house. It does sound like a nice area, Portland, but quite expensive. Are you glad you moved? Is it a safe area?
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:44 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 37,533,705 times
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Maine overall is a very safe place. If you are in the Soo, expect to pay about 4 or 5 times what you do now for Electricity if you come out. Rent in the Portland area is higher. House prices are way higher. Parts of Portland are like the East End with older homes that are close together, others are very nice with bigger yards and newer homes. Glad I moved? Tough question really for me. In some ways yes very glad. I met my wife out here and couldn't ask for a better match for me. We have some great friends here and have met some very good people. Other ways, not so much. Financially we are much worse off than in Michigan. We are actually moving back to West Michigan at the end of June.

It all depends on what you do for work. I am an Electrician and my wife is an Emergency Room nurse, for those professions the pay scale in Michigan is much higher than here in Maine. For general wages though it is very close to the UP. There is some simply gorgeous land out here. The coast is amazing. The people are friendly. Crime is low, but you would be used to how low it is, because that is almost the same as the Soo. the snowfall is much less and the winters are much warmer.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,462 posts, read 7,414,531 times
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Maine is wonderful- however you might get a lower tax burden in Connecticut.
The greater Hartford area has a larger and more diverse economy then Portland- the states eastern section, and east of greater Hartford (pop 1.2 million) Is rural, quiet with housing costs that are actually lower then most of southern Maine.

There is a state income tax of 4.5%-a sales tax of 6% excluding groceries and drugs.
Property taxes will be lower- though higher then MI- energy costs are high-especially for electricity and oil.

The Connecticut coast is less then an hour away. Boston is less then 2 hours away. Crime is very low.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:59 AM
 
1,963 posts, read 4,573,653 times
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Do I detect a slight bias in favor of CT, skytrekker?
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,462 posts, read 7,414,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moughie View Post
Do I detect a slight bias in favor of CT, skytrekker?
Bias?

Not really- I love all the New England states- including Maine- I merely try and point out other options not known to a perspective resident to the 6 state region.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:58 PM
 
19,777 posts, read 28,293,781 times
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property taxes vary significantly town by town in maine

i have a house on the water worth well over 200k and my taxes last yr were 774.
if i were in a neighboring town it would have been double that
and im within 15 miles of the state capitol (augusta)

so, to say maine has high property taxes (across the board) in central/southern maine is just plain false
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:36 PM
 
8,767 posts, read 17,854,154 times
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Bydand...Is the McCain french fry plant still running in Washburn?
I worked there putting in some tennis courts one summer years ago. I still remember how the whole town smelled like down town Old Orchard Beach from the smell of french fries cooking...I loved it!
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:15 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 37,533,705 times
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They have been closed for quite a long time now. They kept it open for a bit processing peas, but I haven't seen anything happening down around the plant for years now. Most of the business' have closed, but there are still a few die hards. Washburn Food Mart is doing good, and they are the only grocery store in town now. We have 1 "restaurant" but it is very small and some days questionable . Harold is still cutting hair, but now has a chair and small barber shop right at his house so he doesn't have to get out in the cold. The feel of town hasn't changed over the years, and it is still a nice place to be overall.
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