Pros & Cons of a Maine move?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by kbcountry, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. kbcountry

    kbcountry New Member

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    We are thinking of moving to Maine from Kentucky. Does anyone have any good or bad things to say about this move? Any info. would be greatly appreciated!
    Kathy in Kentucky
     
  2. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Think long and hard about making that move. Maine ain't what it used to be. More and more senior citizens (retirees) with big bucks are moving here and real estate prices are sky rocketing. When we moved here in 1988 the median price of a home was around 50 thousand. Now it is hovering at 162,000. Land could be purchased for 3 to 4 hundred an acre and now is over 2000.00 and that's in the Central part of the State.

    If I had to do it over again I'd look to Upstate New York. From Syracuse up there are lots of farms for sale at reasonable prices. Land on the coast of Maine (depending on wether you have water frontage can sell as high as 5 million ( yes that's million) dollars.

    Taxes are getting horrendous because the property values are so high. The state has been running with a 250million dollar deficit and are looking to more gambling to ease the burden.

    The dept of human services just made a 40 million dollar mistake and they can't find out where or how.

    The scenery is beautiful but there are better places to move to.

    Just my humble opinion after 16 years of living here.
     

  3. kbcountry

    kbcountry New Member

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    Ken from Maine,
    Thank you for your response! You've got us thinking, now. But just the thought of having New York as my address makes me shiver! I think of all the New York Cityites going north if something bad happens.
    I don't mean to offend anyone- but there are some strange people there. Not all, of course.
    I suppose it would be the same distance, though, if we did move to Maine as upstate NY.
    You can still make the move, too, Ken. And thanks again.
    Kathy in KY
     
  4. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I was stationed in Syracuse NY back in the 60's and found the people very friendly. Most of the NYC people vacation in the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. Very few go to the Syracuse or Watertown area. No lakes or tourist attractions.

    We have a good goat business built here and it will only increase in the next few years so as much as I'd like there is no way I can afford to move.... even though I really wish I could.

    It has taken several years to build the types of contacts needed for a business here and I'd really not be able to start over.

    Please take a peak at our website www.mainegoats.com

    Take care
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    I had a job interview in the mid 80's in Buffalo when My wife asked the hotel clerk for a late check-out they screamed at her "we don't rent by the hour" and wouldn't even let her stay in the lobby for an hour. Made her leave with our 1 month old son when it was -20F. The place I interviewed at had equally A**H*** quality people.
     
  6. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Property taxes in New York are horrendous. Sure, the houses are cheaper, but the taxes are really high.
     
  7. kbcountry

    kbcountry New Member

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    Oh my, guys. I am getting discouraged. We just found out that the reason we had the helicopters buzzing around our property the other day was because one of our neighbors out here in the country was running a meth lab. But then, at least the guy who shot 2 people execution-style a few years back out here just got 2 life sentences (but eligible for parole in 20 years!).
    We feel we need to get our children out of here but hopefully not where the taxes are sky high!
    Kathy in KY
     
  8. GW

    GW Member

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    I've been a "Mainah" all my life (43 yrs) and I don't think I
    would wanna live anywhere else. I like the four seasons we
    have. It don't get real hot in the summer, 1 or 2 days reach
    100°. Hope you dont mind winter temps of -20° and lotsa
    snow!
    On the negative side, ME is famous for our black flies. Hungry
    pesky little critters they are.
    You can always tell a real Mainah by the way they talk. We
    don't pronounce r's on the end of words. For example, don't
    forget to pick up the official Maine bumpah stickah! Ayuh

    Greg W
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I have to agree with the people who said there is something to upstate NY. Near Geneva NY (tourist area) coexists a fairly large Amish community, tucked alongside Mennonites and a substantial "almost but not quite of them" Christian community. My husband and I are not religious and we thought we might feel uncomfortably out of it within these strict societies, but no... there is the occasional "have you found the Lord?!?" holy roller type question, but for the most part everyone has a marvelously laisse faire live and let live attitude. Acres and acres and acres of row crops. Cabbage, in bulk, smells funny. And flat (which allows for the acres and acres) in the farm country... but sky that goes on forever. A very interesting place that I would look at very seriously... but I have no idea of land values.

    New Englanders have a long tradition of debate, which mean we tend to try and give see all sides, parse, and examine a thing to death. I can, for example, wax eloquent on the fiscal problems of Vermont, the absurd taxes, and the hellish land prices. I can do the same about Maine. But the last time we were in Maine, in reality, we found land values to be pretty compairable to Vermont, taxes slightly lower, services slightly worse. Most people moving to Maine, NH, or VT have a romanticised ideal of what those states are like... they're not just buying a farm they're buying "Maine" or "Vermont." If you don't care about the romance of "Maine" or "Vermont" don't, for heaven sakes, pay a premium to live there!

    And about the New Yorkers pouring into upstate NY in the event of an emergency: oh no. The evacuation plan for the Boston/NY area calls for pushing these people into Maine, NH and VT. Why? The tourism industry. At peak season my town alone can accomodate 10,000 visitors. That's beds for 10,000 plus, because we also have second homes, private homes, etc. We have the restaurants (read: kitchens), the linens, the rooms... upstate NY has nothing. And there are only so many people you can cram into a local high school.

    T
     
  10. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    We just relocated to northern Maine in November and we found that up here at least, land is still 400-500 an acre away from the "city" of Caribou and Presque Isle. Closer to PI and Caribou, you will pay 2K+ an acre. Also, I guess it all depends on where you are moving from. We lived in NH, in a very expensive town, so to us, we found a steal of a house when we moved up here.

    The weather was very cold last winter but this summer has been great, cooler and almost no humid days. I agree @ those flies, nasty buggers! We do love it up here and Lord willing this is where we will stay.
     
  11. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    We're in central Maine and while I share some of the same concerns as Ken, I can speak to some of the major benefits as well.
    We have two small children and it's a safe and secure place to raise a family. I don't find the cost of living unbearable here; while the property taxes are pretty high, and real estate prices have skyrocketed in certain places (our house went from a value of $190,000 to $275,000 in 16 months) there are still plenty of places to get land and housing cheap. I'm assuming you're at least a semi-homesteader, so areas like quiverof9 is in are distinct possibilities if you're looking for a challenge.
    The bugs are bad in some places but a non-issue in others. Basically, the closer to the woods or water you are, the worse it gets, but they're usually only a big problem at dawn and dusk unless you're deep in the Allagash.
    In central Maine, you're an hour or less drive away from the ocean, the lakes, and the mountains. There's a major feed store and a Home Depot within an hour of most towns in every direction. So you have some of the benefits of living closer to town even if you're out in the sticks.
    The local/organic/alternative food movement is still growing here, so there is a nice community of farmers, etc. to connect with. People are still making a living off the land here, but only if they're diversified. Milk and potato farmers are hurting, but which commodity farmers aren't nationwide? We make a tidy living off our pastured poultry, CSA, and my catering business. People here are willing to pay big bucks for a good product.
    You could get a small house on 5 acres for about $115,000 in northern Maine. In central Maine, it would cost more like $160,000+. In southern Maine, well, forget it...maybe $250,000 to who knows. It's starting to look a whole lot like Massachusetts down there...

    I can go on and on, but I guess I'll wait for questions. :eek:
     
  12. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Ken property values are very high, at least in central Maine. Taxes also are going higher all the time. You might find property cheaper up in the northeren part of the state. Now don't get me wrong I love Maine it is a beautiful place to live. But if I had to buy a place today it would be way out of my means. I moved up here from the Boston area in 1969 and our two acres of property cost us $1200 you can't touch anything today at those prices. Our neughbor just sold his home of two years and told us the value had gone up $50,000 in those two years. So he sold to buy a larger place. Hope you find what you want a reasonable price.

    RenieB
     
  13. Maybe check health insurance costs. When I checked it was
    very high for singles and free for same or opposite sex
    partners. I don't think they make you prove the sex part.
    It was enough for me to pass on Maine.

    George in PA
     
  14. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    fin29 no offense but if you've got a $190,000 house that increased to $275,000 I don't think you're in a position to define "cheap"... You're property taxes are probably higher than my annual income.

    I think I'm more in line with RenieB.

    I do agree that southern Maine is looking more like Massachusetts and just like the purple lustrife it's coming up the interstate.

    I've got 20 acres and my taxes are under $500/year but if it keeps up my little homestead will be worth way more than I can afford in taxes and I'll have to sell and move to a more remote area just like those older folks who had places on a lake or the ocean. Do you all realize that back in the '70's you couldn't give away property in Camden now look at it.
     
  15. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    Born here, raised here and in western New York, moved here in 64 to go to college, pretty much been here since. Live in the north and like it a lot. Life is what you make it. We have friends because we are friends. We don't lock our doors. That may catch up with us someday, but for now, just walk in.
    Taxes are high, business taxes and costs are high. Maine does not have a good business climate. With that said, there are lots of businesses in Maine and new starting every day.
    People struggle here. Health insurance is expensive. Land in some places is cheap. Other places it is expensive, just like all states.
    Come on up. If after 20 or 30 years you don't like it, you can move again.

    We will welcome you.
    Charles
     
    cfusco1966 likes this.
  16. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Geez, Ken, thanks for the input, there. FYI, my property taxes are under $1700 a year on 11 acres, but we're within the city limits of an increasingly desirable town. I said it's worth $275,000, I didn't say I paid that, or the $190,000 for that matter. The valuation is a real estate sale valuation, not a tax valuation, and it's based on the value of recent comparable home sales in the immediate (and high end) area. I really appreciate your insinuation that because I have a high value property that I'm unqualified to comment on anything. I bought my last house for just over $50,000 and made thirty grand flipping it in 3 years. Then I was able to pay a little more for this house and I could flip it again and make even more, all the while farming, staying at home with my kids, and living the good life. That kind of maneuvering is still possible in Maine, whereas it's more difficult in other states. There's nothing wrong with that.

    My original point was that there are still deals to be found farther north, and as the population of the southern half of the state starts to move north, you can stand to see a major increase in your home value in a short amount of time.
     
  17. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I really can appreciate a smart investor and by no means was I insinuating that you could not/ or were not able to comment. It's just that talking those numbers as opposed to the under 100,000 range makes it difficult to define "cheap".. Cheap to me is probably not the same as cheap to you... that's all I was saying.

    I also do realize that the price you quoted was a real estate valuation and not a tax valuation BUT as these towns are getting more and more strapped for tax revenue they will, in a short period of time, catch up with their 100% valuation. At a 17 mill tax rate your $275,000 property will be taxed at $4675.00 per year or $389.58 per month.

    Sorry if I may have hit a nerve... everyone is entitled to their opinion but opinions are based on income and economics thereby meaning differring things to different people.
     
  18. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    No problem, Ken. Again, my original point was that there are some real estate opportunities in Maine right now that probably aren't available in a lot of other states, and that's something to consider for the prospective Mainer. You're right: cheap is relative, but Uncle Henry's is a part time job for me :haha: (buy and flip), Marden's is a mecca, and deer and fiddleheads get us through the spring until the garden sprouts in mid-July :no: .

    See you at Greaney's this fall.
     
  19. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    ken I live in Parish New York, Half way between Watertown and Syracuse. My wife and I purchased our house 2 years ago for 95,000. Three bedroom 2 bath on 43 acres. Taxes arent unbareable, I pay something like 2200 a year for land taxes. My neighbors are great. It is quiet(can hear the wild life at night).
    There are many farms around. As far as NYC idiots, They mainly vacation near Saranac lake and Lake George. You can go to the mountains and not see city folk.

    JAKE
     
  20. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    If I remember right Parish is a really nice spot. I used to work with Wheelock Rides and back in the '70's we played there a couple times. We went From Dansville in the west to St. Johnsville in the east plus the independent midway at the NYS Fair.

    I have always loved upstate NY and like I said before.. I'd move their in a heart beat if I could... even though my family goes back 250 years here in Maine.