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Is anybody familiar with Presque Isle (and surrounding areas) in Maine? I was poking around a for sale by owner website and found several really nice looking properties for CHEAP (at least by NE Ohio standards). I can't believe some of the deals. I'm sure there's not much to do employment-wise up there and you deal with cold winters, but it looks like a nice area. Also, Loring AFB (now closed down) is up there - is that a negative?
 
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In college ( MANY moons ago) I roomed with a gal from Madawaska, Maine..her BF was from Presque Isle..we flew up to Madawaska a few times each year and then drove up to PI..what I remember:

LOTS of potato farms..schools closed for picking season and deer hunting..Winters are absolutely brutal..as in, "you can't get there from here", and the folks who die in Winter have funerals months later when the ground warms up..LOL..Some local guy invented a men's cologne called "Jade East"..he was the talk of the area..
 

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My husband was stationed at Loring Air Force Base in the 1970's. All of the above is true...brutal. Winter would be -20 at night. Nothing to do, harsh country. It took us 8 hours driving due south to get out of the state....
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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We spent two weeks there on our honey moon over a decade ago (well we were down in Bar Harbor area, but drove up into that area to check it out... lots of trees.

Very neat area, I've thought that I wouldn't mind living there. Of course you have to put up with all the tourists, but that could be very good for agri-tourisim type businesses.

Taxes are pretty high, but then, you're from Ohio so that's nothing new.

We aren't looking to move, but I'll keep watching this thread because I've always liked the area and am interested in the local's perspective.
 

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I had a long post typed and my computer died. We lived in Fort Fairfield, which is 10 minutes from PI, for 4 years and moved to Arkansas a year ago.

There is land up there you can buy for under $1K an acre or less if you look hard enough. PI is too "city" like for me, but if you look towards Fort Fairfield, Limestone, outskirts of Caribou, Woodland, New Sweden, Easton etc you can find some nice deals on old farms with land. We paid $2200 a year on taxes on a 2400 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and barn on 12 acres.

For work you can expect to earn @ $8 an hour for non-professional types or work, but there is a high demand for any type of medical workers. Lots of truck drivers, farmers, logging work and any type of service industry. My Dh is a software programmer and there are only a few companies up there so turnover is rare and there aren't many jobs in that field.

The winters were long and harsh. We would have days where the temp hit minus 50 with wind chill. From Januaury through the end of March is rarely got above 0, but if the wind wasn't blowing it wasn't too bad. Of course the wind blows just about constantly and it snows a fine powdery snow almost every day( sure felt that way lol) so you have white outs often. The spring and summers are amazing though! There is NO humidity up there so the days are warm and the nights coolish. Expect to be wearing a sweater when the sun goes down starting in July.

The long winters mean a shorter growing season, but we had a nice size garden. Aroostook Country Maine has 43K acrs of potato farms and they also grow broccoli and kale. Many people have horses and there is one good size dairy farm in Easton that sells raw milk.

The area is absolutely beautiful! Rolling hills dotted with farms, blue blue sky for miles. Lots of pine and white birch trees. There is a lot of wild life too. We had bear in our yard a few times. One Sunday morning we woke to one at the enge of our pond, less than 80 feet from our house. We all sat in our livign room watching it walk around the edge. Amazing! Moose were a daily site in the fall and you need to be careful driving @ dawn and dusk. We saw deer ocassionally, but mostly moose. Some fox and lots of geese, ducks, cranes etc.

Everyone is super nice and I loved knowing everyone . In the winter you leave your van running at the local IGA while you shop and no one touches it.

I couldn't wait to move away and know I am homesick. We have been talking about moving back someday once we get out debt paid off.

Here is a real estate site to help you drool over houses :D
http://www.mainerec.com/realty.asp?Category=6&PageNum=6
 

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I live 45 miles south of PI. OK, OK, we do have winter. Get used to it. We also have three other seasons. Summer days can be hot. Winter days can be cold. Spring days make you understand why you lived with winter. The hardwood ridges can take your breath away with fall colors.
We do what everyone does as far as living is concerned. We go to church, visit friends and neighbors, work at our jobs, volunteer for local organizations, support our school sports teams and raise our families. We enjoy the outdoors in all seasons, even when the skeeters and blackflies are out. If you take a snowmobile trip on a sunny winter day, just after a snow fall, you will gain a perspective on nature that you never thought possible. If you run a 20 foot river canoe packed with a few days camping supplies and a friend down the Aroostook, St. John or the Allagash rivers in the sping, you might sit on a river bank and say, "I could live here."
Work can be had if you have a skill needed by local business. Farming and logging are big business here, but there is a manufacturing and service business base also. We have a fairly diverse economy.
Google some towns such as Fort Kent, Madawaska, Caribou, Houlton or others and talk to the local Chambers of Commerce. Take some time to get to know us, we're worth it. We live in the largest county east of the Mississippi (140 miles north to south, 85 miles east to west) and are only about 70,000 people. There's room for you to move in.
Come visit.
Chas
 

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If you take a snowmobile trip on a sunny winter day, just after a snow fall, you will gain a perspective on nature that you never thought possible. Chas
I forgot @ snowmobiling. They make one of the biggest sowmobile trails anywhere and you can go from town to town on your snowmobile. We had one of the trailheads less than a mile from our house.
 

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LOTS of potato farms..schools closed for picking season and deer hunting..Winters are absolutely brutal..as in, "you can't get there from here", and the folks who die in Winter have funerals months later when the ground warms up..LOL..
\
Funerals are held when someone dies. Burials are held after the ground thaws.

My husband was stationed at Loring Air Force Base in the 1970's. All of the above is true...brutal. Winter would be -20 at night. Nothing to do, harsh country. It took us 8 hours driving due south to get out of the state....
Snowmobiling, ice fshing, skiing, snowshoeing, geocaching, activities at the community college and UMPI - there's a start, and that's only winter.

Very neat area, I've thought that I wouldn't mind living there. Of course you have to put up with all the tourists, but that could be very good for agri-tourisim type businesses.
Are you sure you were in Presque Isle when you saw all the tourists? Agri-tourism isn't wide spread there because of the lack of tourists.

There are folks on City-Data's Maine forum who can give you a lot of information.

There's never a lack of things to do, especially if you're adventuresome. Farmers and homesteaders in "The County" (Aroostook is referred to as "The County"). The countryside is beautiful. Season extension makes growing vegetables and fruits simple. It's a beautiful place.
 

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I'm originally from north of there, and I'm there all the time. Most of what was said was true, especially about the temps and the snowmobiling, lol. I'll tell you that you'll be totally employable as a truck driver, ANY medical-type professional, or a teacher. Apart from that, good luck. The County is NOT touristy or citified AT ALL. Presque Isle would be considered a village by anyone from anywhere other than Maine...a village with a Home Depot and Walmart, but a village nonetheless. It's beautiful there, a great place to be if you like the outdoors, but they're behind the times in terms of things like the local food movement (if you're planning some ag-type enterprises), etc. Loring has a few telecom.-type jobs available.
 

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Are you sure you were in Presque Isle when you saw all the tourists? Agri-tourism isn't wide spread there because of the lack of tourists.
Of course, you live there so I would put more credence in your view than mine, but I seem to recall lodges, campgrounds, fishing (I thought that fishing and hunting excursions were pretty big in the area), I also recall that there were festivals and roadside stands, pancake houses all centered around blueberries...

Maybe I just remember more of all that stuff because I was a tourist there???
 

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I just saw a 3bdrm house in Millinocket sell at auction today for $14,500.

We have dear friends who recently bought a nice home on 4 acres for $40,000

I bought our farm for $900 / acre. We have 42 acres, with 1/4 mile of river frontage.

Across the road my SIL has 105 acres of forest that she bought for $300 / acre.

Taxes are very low.

Our property taxes are $1.05 per acre per year.

Our annual vehicle licensing is $15 per vehicle.

Hunting / fishing license is $45.

I don't earn a high enough income to pay income taxes here.
 

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Are those property tax figures just for bare land, ET1 SS? I've thought about that part of Maine (having lived fifteen years in the Interior of Alaska, Maine winters don't scare me!) in order to be closer to my two older daughters and my grandchildren (all in New Hampshire). But I know what property taxes run in NH, and figured Maine was probably nearly as high.

Kathleen
 

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I have been building our farm house since 2005. When it is completed our property taxes may go up.

I am told that Maine has terribly high taxes. [This is determined by dividing the entire state and local government budgets by average income]

However in my personal experience, I have never lived anywhere with such low taxes.

I have owned homes in California, Washington, and Connecticut. I rented an apartment in Virginia when I was stationed there. Our experience has been that our previous homes all had far higher taxes.

Your results may vary.

Since moving to Maine in 2005, I have seen homes sell for as low as $14,500. Homes with acreage for $30,000 and $40,000.

My town's mil rate is 0.00842

My land is forest, so it is assessed at a set level. $150 per acre.

Whatever your land's assessed value multiply that by the mil rate and that is your taxes. In our case, it has been like $47 each year.



Keep in mind. There is a really BIG factor about Maine that you do not see by reading a forum.

Maine has a lot of land.
Maine has 1.5 million people.
>90% of Maine's population lives in Portland.

One city and it's suburbs has the over-whelming majority of the state's population. That one city has high taxes, and big issues with folks working in NH and living in Maine.

Portland also has a big population of people on some form of welfare.

So >90% of Maine's population lives in a city, with high taxes and high crime.



Portland and it's immediate suburbs make up around 4% of Maine's land mass.

About 44% of the state is below what is called the 'Volvo Line'. Towns that are close enough to the big city to allow easy commuting. Towns with a wide selection of municipal services, great schools, colleges, PDs, FDs, and appropriate tax levels. This suits city workers who want to own one acre lots with split level ranch homes.

52% of Maine is in 'Unorganized Townships'. Each UT may have the same square mileage of land mass as Portland, but that may only have a population of 5 to 100 people.

These UTs are so small that they have no mayor, no city clerks, no building inspectors, no PD, no FD, and no tax assessors. We do not want anyone living on a tax-funded salary.



My town is a 3 hour drive on the I-95 freeway going North from Portland. To drive 3 hours on the freeway going South from Portland you could be in NYC. That is how far I am away from Portland.

Our county has a human density of 8 people per square mile. Our county seat has 2 colleges, a teaching hospital, an international airport, and a shopping mall. But it's population is only 30,000.

During the last census my UT's population was reported as 130.

The county sheriff drives through once a week, as does the game warden.



Since most Mainers live in a big city with high taxes and lots of municipal services that drives up the 'average tax burden'. Making it appear that all of Maine has high taxes.

But really most of Maine is very sparsely populated with little local government and with low taxes.
 

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Outside my window today, all of our gardens are green. I planted rye as a cover crop and it is still green. Might snow tomorrow, though.
 

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It's beautiful there, a great place to be if you like the outdoors, but they're behind the times in terms of things like the local food movement (if you're planning some ag-type enterprises), etc. Loring has a few telecom.-type jobs available.
The farmers co-op had 30 members last time I checked. Crown of Maine is doing well with local food distribution.
 

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Outside my window today, all of our gardens are green. I planted rye as a cover crop and it is still green. Might snow tomorrow, though.
We saw that on the Tv news this evening.

If it happens it will be our first white of the season.

They called for a light dusting, and Monday through Thursday will all be warmer. So this white will not last.
 
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In addition to visiting Presque Isle, I lived in Farmington and then Portland...Maine is, IMHO one of the loveliest states in the Union..if I were 25 years younger ( and know what I know now..LOL) I'd move to Machais and raise blueberries.
 

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Maine has 1.5 million people. >90% of Maine's population lives in Portland.


My town is a 3 hour drive on the I-95 freeway going North from Portland. To drive 3 hours on the freeway going South from Portland you could be in NYC. That is how far I am away from Portland.

Portland is certainly a big city by Maine standards but doesn't contain nearly 90% of our state's population. The last time I checked, Maine's population was closer to a million than a million and a half. According to Portland's web site, the greater Portland area has a population of about 230,000. The City of Portland has a population of 64,000.

How many speeding tickets do you get making it from Portland to NYC in 3 hours? It's approximately 300 miles from Portland to NYC.
 

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Since most Mainers live in a big city with high taxes and lots of municipal services that drives up the 'average tax burden'. Making it appear that all of Maine has high taxes.

But really most of Maine is very sparsely populated with little local government and with low taxes.
thanks for the very informative post of all the details and rationale re: taxes and maine. i've followed your postings for some time about your decent land prices up there, and could never exactly figure out why maine had a reputation as 'high tax' before. Now it makes sense. And should I decide to move there, I'll know just where to look too!

--sgl
 

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I haven't been there since 1984 and all I remember is that I ran out of interstate 95, than i ran out of Rt.#1 and then I ran out of dirt road. hope they have caught up with the world by now, On the way up there, i remember every once in a while i would see smoke comming from a chimney off in the distance so i knew there was life up there and plenty of moose.
 
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