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Old 11-27-2009, 02:27 PM
 
21 posts, read 68,320 times
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My family is considering a move to Portland, Maine this Winter and though we've visited several times, I'm hoping for some insight. We're currently living in Upstate NY but lived for many years in Portland, Oregon and Santa Cruz, Ca before that. We are self employed with a strong manufacturing business and would bring a few jobs to the area so work is not a concern.

What I'm hoping to get help with is neighborhoods and an understanding of whether Portland has the amenities I'm looking for. Our top concerns are finding a great turn of the century house to buy, a bustling foodie and crafty business scene, organic and specialty food stores. Our family would definitely be considered liberal, though moderate, and things like waldorf preschools, massage therapists, naturopathic doctors, great vegetarian rest., organic and specialty food stores get us excited.

Certainly we want to live someplace safe, would like at least .11 acres for a home lot and a warm, social city.

Does Portland have what we're looking for? Best neighborhoods?
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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Why are you moving from upstate NEW YORK, and where? Ploughkeepsie?
Zarathu
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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We're in Woodstock and between the burnouts, the year round (bird sized) insects, terrible summer weather and complete lack of culture or great food options - we're done here.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
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Hello coreyandnicole and welcome to the Portland forum. I know a great naturopathic physician in Cape Elizabeth and will send you a Direct Message with information on her. As for housing, Maine has the oldest housing stock in the country with lots of homes from the era that you seek. The key is finding the right home at the right price in the right area that doesn't need extensive rehabilitation so you can focus on your family and your business.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:09 AM
 
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Yes, we're just starting to look at real estate and are hoping to snag a 4bed/2ba for under 450k or so. For us, the key is period details like hardwoods, clawfoot, stained glass, pocket doors and we definitely need a basement. Is it common for maine homes to have basements as it is in portland, oregon? Any idea what the range is for a home as I describe? best place to look for maine homes online?
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
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Yes, most homes in this area have basements, although in that era they were not built to be bone dry and finished as homes are today. There are ways to deal with that, such as waterproofing options and/or being careful as to what and how things are stored.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:37 AM
 
21 posts, read 68,320 times
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okay. that sounds about like portland, oregon. can anyone speak to the natural foods/farmers markets/specialty food store situation? we're going to be there next weekend to start researching neighborhoods and it would be great to hit what would ultimately be our grocery shopping options (obviously farmers markets are over for the season but just an idea of how long they run and extensive of a selection would be great to know).

also, anyone have a credit union in portland they particularly love? we'll be moving banks too.

thanks for taking the time to respond - it can be overwhelming moving to a new place and figuring out where all the good stuff is.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyandnicole View Post
okay. that sounds about like portland, oregon. can anyone speak to the natural foods/farmers markets/specialty food store situation? we're going to be there next weekend to start researching neighborhoods and it would be great to hit what would ultimately be our grocery shopping options (obviously farmers markets are over for the season but just an idea of how long they run and extensive of a selection would be great to know).

also, anyone have a credit union in portland they particularly love? we'll be moving banks too.

thanks for taking the time to respond - it can be overwhelming moving to a new place and figuring out where all the good stuff is.
Whole Foods is pretty much the only game in town. There is Lois Natural in Scarborough, too, and the Public Marketplace on Congress. They have some organic/natural foods, but they are mostly just higher quality. There are a few other specialty places, but like the PM, they are not necessarily organic or healthy, just a higher quality or they offer other foods than your typical food store.

The farmers' market is over for the year, but there are two of them. One is in Deering Oaks Park, the other on Congress in front of the PM. I am not sure what the farmers' market scene is like in upstate NY, but around here, it is pretty expensive. When I lived in Minneapolis, you could buy 5 lbs of green onions, for example, for a dollar. Here there is really no difference in price between the farmers' market and what you can get at the grocery store.

There are actually quite a few credit unions here. C Port is probably the best one for an average Joe (i.e., you are not a student, state employee, teacher, etc., etc.).
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:22 AM
 
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K-luv pretty much summed up the farmer's market and natural foods scene. I also wanted to point out that the rural communities around portland have a multitude of small farms if you are trying to eat local. I know of a few places to get fresh eggs, fresh milk, lamb, and grass-fed beef. I'm sure you can also find someone raising/selling chickens too. Its out there if you are looking for it.

Also keep in mind that Portland has excellent fresh seafood! It was also voted by Bon Appetite magazine as the best small town food scene this year.

It sounds like you want to be looking in the Deering Oaks and Woodford sections of Portland for your house.

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:28 AM
 
21 posts, read 68,320 times
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thanks everyone. this is super helpful. we are pretty into food (cook a lot, have always had a csa and co-op share) so good resources for naturally grown food is a must. now the biggie: neighborhoods. we're coming out this weekend to cruise around with our realtor and i'm trying to understand how it all works. in portland, oregon it is basically one big city, divided into NE, SE, NW, SW (which many consider more of a suburb) and Downtown. Within each there are many neighborhoods that all have a specific feel. How does Portland, Maine compare? Can anyone give me a general feel for the flavor and inhabitants of each neighborhood that is close in? Proximity to shops, good eats and whole foods is important so we're not looking to be too far out. Close to the water is important too. Thoughts?
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