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Old 11-11-2018, 11:55 PM
 
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90077: Yes, Arundel is very close to Kennebunk and it is definitely more affordable, so it should be an option. However, as you mentioned, the drawback is that, due to the fact that Arundel has only 4000 people, similar to Kennebunk, the supply of places to rent is not as large as Saco, whose population is close to 20000 people.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:40 PM
 
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90077: yes, I agree, Arundel is definitely more affordable than Kennebunk but, like Kennebunk, its small size and kind of isolated location makes it not a prime candidate in my search. Thanks for your suggestion.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
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Welcome!! Saco, Biddeford, Arundel all come to mind if Kennebunk seems too expensive. It depends on your budget of course and Saco might have the best rental options with amenities. If you focus on staying within a close commuting distance, as I would definitely recommend since you are someone new to Maine winters, you'll be ok. They work VERY hard here to keep the turnpike/95 clear in winter as, well, it's the only major highway south of Portland. I made the move from CA to Portland but I am originally from Portsmouth so it feels like my natural climate GOOD LUCK with your move!
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:07 PM
 
Location: portland, me
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I agree with looking in Saco as others have said. Keep your commute close until you adapt to winter driving. It is not flat in this area as was stated earlier. It is flat compared to living in the mountains, but even a small hill can severely impact it when it is covered in snow and ice. 95 is the major highway from NH to Portland, and during snow events, the speed drops to 45 mph. It is 70 when it is clear. If you decide to live north of Saco, and need to use 295, you will find that it is one of the worst highways in Maine for traffic and accidents. Part of my job involves monitoring 295 on a daily basis, and there is often an accident every day on this road causing a backup. That said, 295 south of Portland is far better than 295 north of Portland. Or just avoid it all together, and look at Saco.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:24 AM
 
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KrisTrog: I'm glad to hear that they work very hard to keep I-95 clean in winter. I'm a very careful driver on dry roads in CA, so I don't think I'll have a hard time adapting to being extra careful on icy/snowy roads but, of course, there is always a learning curve.
Since you are from Portsmouth, I have a question for you: for the sake of it, I checked rental prices in Portsmouth (since I have a friend that lives in Kittery) and I realized that it was hard to find a 1-bedroom apartment for less than $1600, while in Saco, there are plenty of those for around $1200. Am I right in thinking that Portsmouth is more expensive than Saco? Maybe because it's closer to Boston? Is Portsmouth such a "fancier" city than Saco? Also, Portsmouth does not have a full airport, like Portland does, so it's not convenient for someone like me that may fly for work sometimes.

Dubthang: You may be right in that, for locals, I-95 maybe flat, but it may still have some hills that could be a challenge for me. With time, I hope to feel as confident as all of you driving in Maine. Right now I use my spare time watching YouTube videos that teach how to drive in winter roads, so I've seen quite a few accidents online and they are indeed scary.
I'm still in CA (moving beginning of December) but I check the Maine roads in Google Maps sometimes and one day I-95 showed orange because of the 45 mph speed during a snowfall, as you mentioned. The good thing is, in dry conditions I-95 is blue 24/7. So different from the SF Bay Area!
Thanks for your advice about 295 north of Portland. I may not drive there much, but I'll keep that in mind if I do.
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:30 PM
 
Location: portland, me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoWest View Post
KrisTrog: I'm glad to hear that they work very hard to keep I-95 clean in winter. I'm a very careful driver on dry roads in CA, so I don't think I'll have a hard time adapting to being extra careful on icy/snowy roads but, of course, there is always a learning curve.
Since you are from Portsmouth, I have a question for you: for the sake of it, I checked rental prices in Portsmouth (since I have a friend that lives in Kittery) and I realized that it was hard to find a 1-bedroom apartment for less than $1600, while in Saco, there are plenty of those for around $1200. Am I right in thinking that Portsmouth is more expensive than Saco? Maybe because it's closer to Boston? Is Portsmouth such a "fancier" city than Saco? Also, Portsmouth does not have a full airport, like Portland does, so it's not convenient for someone like me that may fly for work sometimes.

Dubthang: You may be right in that, for locals, I-95 maybe flat, but it may still have some hills that could be a challenge for me. With time, I hope to feel as confident as all of you driving in Maine. Right now I use my spare time watching YouTube videos that teach how to drive in winter roads, so I've seen quite a few accidents online and they are indeed scary.
I'm still in CA (moving beginning of December) but I check the Maine roads in Google Maps sometimes and one day I-95 showed orange because of the 45 mph speed during a snowfall, as you mentioned. The good thing is, in dry conditions I-95 is blue 24/7. So different from the SF Bay Area!
Thanks for your advice about 295 north of Portland. I may not drive there much, but I'll keep that in mind if I do.
Portsmouth is expensive because it is close to Boston, because it is close to UNH, and because it is a coastal town. It is a completely different town compared to Saco. Also, driving into Maine everyday will be an issue during tourist season. You may find yourself sitting in toll booth traffic on a Friday morning and on Friday afternoon as you try to get back to NH. The return trip is far worse on Sundays though during tourist season. I-95 is flat for the most part, but the surrounding towns are not. Small hills are a problem in the winter. Portland is a city built on a hill which causes many issues during heavy snow fall.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:49 PM
 
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Dubthang: thanks much for the very practical road information you gave me. I had even overlooked the fact that Maine highways have tolls and forgotten about the hectic summer season.

I know some obvious differences between these two towns (Portsmouth has a rather vibrant art scene) so I agree with you but, can you please elaborate on why you think Portsmouth is a completely different town compared to Saco?
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, ME
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Portsmouth and Saco are quite different - as mentioned, its proximity to Boston makes Portsmouth unique and some live in NH and commute south. Saco, in many ways, is a small suburb of Portland although it does have its own downtown and its own identity, more so than Scarborough for example, which has no town center. Portsmouth is better compared to Portland than Saco in my view, and while it doesn't have its own airport, Manchester is close. Different state, different population, different tax policies (no income tax and high property tax)...you get the idea! The state is going to be starting some pretty serious construction at the York toll soon in Maine- fun times in the summer months when the traffic is already think on Fridays going north
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:23 PM
 
Location: portland, me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoWest View Post
Dubthang: thanks much for the very practical road information you gave me. I had even overlooked the fact that Maine highways have tolls and forgotten about the hectic summer season.

I know some obvious differences between these two towns (Portsmouth has a rather vibrant art scene) so I agree with you but, can you please elaborate on why you think Portsmouth is a completely different town compared to Saco?
Portsmouth is more a vacation town with folks travelling to Boston, and UNH college kids as renters. It has a touristy downtown with small shops and restaurants. Saco is more of a work oriented town. It has less of a touristy feel, and the town feels more spread out (not as centered). Being next to Biddeford adds a bit of grittiness also. I don't mind, but some may.

If I was to move to NH, I'd look at Dover. I really liked it there when I lived there last. Access to the highway is decent, and they have a nice downtown with good restaurants. It is cheaper than Portsmouth.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubthang View Post
:
If I was to move to NH, I'd look at Dover. I really liked it there when I lived there last. Access to the highway is decent, and they have a nice downtown with good restaurants. It is cheaper than Portsmouth.
I'd second this. Dover is a nice town, with a real town center that's walkable and has lots of interesting shops, restaurants and bars, and it has a good hospital. It's not out in the weeds - just a short drive to Portsmouth, Rye, Kittery, York, Ogunquit etc. The Great Bay and its 5 tributaries are right there for outdoor recreation like kayaking, clamming and striper fishing. UNH main campus is one town over in Durham if you want to take a class. Weekend trips to both Portland and Boston are quite doable - about 1.5 hrs. And homes are a good 1/3 less expensive than Portsmouth. Portsmouth is more upscale, but unless you're flush with cash, it's not worth the difference in price.
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