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Portland area Portland, ME metro area
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:06 PM
Location: New Jersey
3 posts, read 6,150 times
Reputation: 11


My partner and I are considering moving to Portland within the next year. We are both 50, and concerned about changing our lives so drastically at this stage of life, although on the other hand, if not now, when? We live in NJ, are both native NY'ers. He has lived up in Portland before, many years ago and I've visited in the general vacinity several times. Both of us prefer cooler summers, love snowy winters so that's not an issue. We'd like to find a place where we might like to retire eventually and this area always seemed to come up in conversation and due to various life circumstances, we began to think perhaps coming up sooner than later might make sense.

Our situation is that at the moment, he is recently out of work and looking. As for me, I'm in a good job, making good money and not happy with the situation due to a boss situation the likes of which I've never experienced before (it's a relatively new job). Financially, I have enough money to purchase a decent small home or condo flat out - so our living expenses would be very low, and we have funds to live on for a while if we don't get jobs right away (tho obviously, would hate that to continue very long). We have no kids, no pets, nothing tying us down here.

Several factors come into mind which do concern us, however. With the economy being what it is, first and foremost finding jobs worries us. Since he's out of work already, that's kind of a moot point. For me, being in a decent one right now and giving it up, would be a crap shoot. On the other hand, I'm on the verge of quitting because of how unhappy I am - so that might be another moot point I'm an Office Manager for an architectural firm, was doing the same work prior for over 20 years. I do bookkeeping as well (in NYC). Somehow, I'd hope all those years working in NY might garner me some notice in the job market up in the area, but maybe I'm wrong? My BF, I have concerns about as he has mostly done customer service work for many years (last time he was up there, however, he was working in the kitchen of the Sonesta, but that was ages ago).

Also, the other thing we are concerned about is where exactly to live. What neighborhoods we should concentrate on looking at. He is also an artist, and being in an area which would perhaps help in in this would be helpful. We would like to be near the water if possible, or as close as possible. Near good shopping, possibly walkable since we'll only have one car available for the two of us (for that matter, the area might have to have a good job market within walking distance for him, since at the moment he does not have his license). Some kind of more upscale area, but not entirely snotty, perhaps with some historic significance. Ideally I'd love to find a home/condo that itself is historic.

Any other information or tips anyone can give me would be wonderful help. Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:26 PM
8,767 posts, read 17,861,971 times
Reputation: 3516
Park Street in Portland has what you're looking for. Lovely restored historic buildings converted into very nice (maybe slightly expensive) condominiums. The prices would be in line with what you would pay in New Jersey. The area is upscale, within walking distance from some of the best restaurants in Maine and easy driving distance to a Whole Foods or Hannaford grocery store. There are several architect firms in the area and Portland's waterfront is an artist's dream for subject matter.
I can see you sitting in a nice restaurant sipping an after dinner cappuccino while watching the snow fall over the boats in the harbor, leaving tracks in the crunchy fresh snow on your walk past the Old Port shops back to your lovely old building and new home, flipping on the gas fireplace and smiling as you look out over the lights of the harbor completely content with your decision to move to Maine.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:31 AM
Location: New Jersey
3 posts, read 6,150 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks so much for your suggestion! We've decided to head up there for a few days during the Labor Day weekend. Figured we'd grab that holiday to check things out a bit We'll take a look in that area for sure!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:40 AM
Location: Western Maine Mountains
866 posts, read 2,202,349 times
Reputation: 546
You're best bet may be to rent first. That way you can explore the city, and find out about all the differences of the different neighborhoods. The biggest problem with buying first can be that you end up with a place that is not great for the winters here. This is because you don't exactly know what to look for yet. I do feel that your move up here would be a step in the right direction judging from your original post. Make sure you check out Munjoy Hill, the Western Prom, the Arts District, and southern State St. for nice walkable and livable areas.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:28 PM
Location: Florida (SW)
46,292 posts, read 21,038,395 times
Reputation: 47047
My partner and I are both retired....we re-located to Maine....about a year and a half ago....one car family. We didnt move to Portland as we both thought we'd prefer a more country setting....It has worked out well for us.....I think Portland will provide you with much of what you are looking for. Good Luck.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:41 PM
Location: Portland, ME.
11 posts, read 28,614 times
Reputation: 18
The West End reminds me of Brooklyn Heights - we are slightly older than you and we just moved up to Portland from Brooklyn. Finding a job is not easy in Maine. Be patient but the salary structure is different from the NY Metro area. Good luck.
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