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Old 10-27-2009, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Ohio
22 posts, read 55,747 times
Reputation: 26

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Hi everyone! I haven't written in a while but believe me I have been reading. I came up to Maine (ocean park) a few weekends ago for my grandmother's 90th birthday (can you believe it!) and it was a lovely fall weekend. A little rain but I loved every second. Anways I am very excited to relocate to Maine.

I have been looking for places to rent and have found some in South Portland that look promising. PLease give me an input or experience you have in regards to South Portland v. Portland. I don't have any specific questions at the time but I would appreciate any information.

Thanks!
Michelle (ohio)

Whew. I had to retype this 3 times because i wasn't posting!
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:28 AM
 
300 posts, read 695,796 times
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SoPo is much better in my opinion. The crime is quite a bit lower, and the property taxes are a bit less. Also, many places in SoPo are a closer commute than other places within Portland itself.

Go with Sout Portland, you won't be sorry, though of course it depends on how good the deal is.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
9,275 posts, read 17,322,416 times
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It depends on what you want out of a home. South Portland is almost entirely suburban while Portland is largely suburban with a bit more density around downtown/ the peninsula. Portland's not a city of neighborhoods (yes, it has "neighborhoods", but ethnically and socioeconomically they are all very similar) as there are no DISTINCT neighborhoods/ neighborhoods centers. The East and West Ends are known for their historic homes and nice views. Deering/Oakdale,Rosemont, etc are all suburban (ex- streetcar suburbs).

If you want to be able to walk downtown or have a view from a hill, I would go with East or West End Portland. If that doesn't matter, South Portland can provide everything else Portland can at a bit more of a value. In fact, you have a better chance at being close to the beach/water in S. Portland.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Maine
18,559 posts, read 22,355,267 times
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When we were first moving to Maine and Portland was an option, we had several people tell us, "DON'T move to South Portland!"

Any idea why? The few times I've been there (mostly around the mall area), it didn't seem too bad.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
9,275 posts, read 17,322,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
When we were first moving to Maine and Portland was an option, we had several people tell us, "DON'T move to South Portland!"

Any idea why? The few times I've been there (mostly around the mall area), it didn't seem too bad.
My guess is that you heard those reservations because it's not the prototypical Maine "hamlet" that people are so fond of. It's not the quaint, lonely coastal village, nor is it the woodsy mountain community. It's a suburban Portland community of 23,000 (making it larger than just about anything else in Maine besides Portland, Lewiston and Bangor) that's not as low density and traditional as its neighbors like Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Falmouth, etc. It has more of an older housing stock instead of the typical new middle class, cookie-cutter colonials on cul-de-sacs (that some people in Maine often typify as "rich people homes"). Basically, it's not the same as everything else... it's *gasp!* different.

Other than that I can't see why people would tell you not to move there. The crime is not an issue (nearly 100 points below the national average according to City-Data) nor are the schools or services (in fact, there better than most communities in Maine). It has better coastline than Portland (Willard Beach is nice) and easy access to Downtown Portland. It may not be the stereotype of a Maine community and I can see why someone wouldn't like that... but I can't imagine why they'd tell YOU to avoid it. I think it's just fine.

However, the Maine Mall area is a bad representation of South Portland as you're really a good distance from any of the actual residential portion of town. The mall is in a tiny corner bounded by Scarborough, Westbrook and Portland/ the Airport. Scarborough's town line is just South of the mall near where Circuit City was. Westbrook is just across the Maine Turnpike and the Airport is where the Portland city limits are. The area around the mall is simply a little suburban retail district. To get a true picture of the town, you would need to head East of the mall towards the water. there is another retail area right near the Casco Bay Bridge but the residential areas sprawl outward from there. South Portland is separated from Portland by the Fore River. The closer you are to the river/ocean, the more built up it is (though it never gets truly wall-to-wall urban), and it gets rural as you go inland/ South towards Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough (along 77, Sprurwink and Highland). The area around SMCC/Willard Beach is particularly nice. Broadway really acts as sort of the East/West artery for the town running from SMCC to Scarborough.

It's a diverse community in terms of layout and a very nice one. I really have a hard time seeing why people would try and steer you clear of it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
40,161 posts, read 19,584,490 times
Reputation: 46804
When my son first moved to Maine he moved to South Portland with a room mate....he worked in Portland and commuted to work (bicycle across the bridge all winter)....later he took an apartment in Portland. When he got married....he and his wife rented a house in South Portland. They always liked S Portland and would have been happy to stay there....when they bought a house....but it was more expensive than they wanted to pay. In response to your question.....there was nothing wrong with S. Portland as a suburban bedroom community while they worked in Portland.

I looked at several nice houses there when I moved to Maine....but I was looking for a country setting and S Portland was definately suburban and family oriented.

If I were a single person I would prefer Portland....if I was a young family person....S.Portland would be very nice.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Ohio
22 posts, read 55,747 times
Reputation: 26
Thanks so much everyone! SoPo =) sounds great.
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