Need Maine/New Hampshire Advice (relocation)

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by LostViking, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Hello Maine/ New Hampshire folks, I need a little help.

    Just back from a stint in Colorado. Took a position out there that didn't work out. Have a new one lined up for Maine and New Hampshire. I will need to reside around the Lewiston, Maine area roughly, but could also be able to live in New Hampshire as long as it isn't too far. I'm sort of open on the location.

    At this point I'm looking for any info I can get. I will need to rent a house for while until I'm sure this will work out job wise. Then I will look to buy.

    I live in a rural area outside of town and would be looking to replicate that. The smaller the town the better. The town I grew up in still doesn't have a traffic light. I am just not much of a city dweller. I don't need culture, or at least not the kind found indoors. I like to burn wood and have room to roam. Gun friendly is good also. Good riding, paved or dirt would be a plus.

    I live 9 miles from the Canadian border now. So I have a grasp on the winter weather for the most part.

    But any info will be appreciated, weather, real estate, taxes, cost of living, riding buddies, roads, good areas to look at. Anything really.

    A little about me,

    This is what I like to do,

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    This is my dog,

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    One of the bikes I should have kept,

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    This is what our winters look like,

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    Things I collect and use,

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    That should give you an idea of what I'm looking for.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    LV.
    #1
  2. Racer111v

    Racer111v Long timer

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    You don't have to go very far from Lewiston to be in the middle of nowhere. But you can find a place to live like you describe any where in Maine, NH, or Vermont. NH works for me because I like a mix of civilization an primitive life.I grew up in Orono ME about 2 hours northeast of Lewiston. Just a little limited to me. You will have a better chance finding something reasonably price on the water in Maine than NH. Maine has income and sales tax, NH has neither.
    #2
  3. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

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    I'm not really familiar with that part of Maine so I'm not sure why I'm responding.

    But... my wife's family is from the Harrison/Bridgton area & we had a nice visit there this past summer. The are/were all transplanted Finns & when I saw how many lakes there were in the area it made sense. Not too far from Lewiston, North Conway, NH, also the coast in one direction & the beautiful roads in the White Mountain Nat'l Forest in the other. I live in northern Vermont & it's always a nice ride over there.

    Good luck!
    #3
  4. Mike Mc

    Mike Mc Been here awhile

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    #4
  5. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Interesting website, thank you.

    And thanks for the other feedback as well, please keep it coming.
    #5
  6. Daytrader

    Daytrader Elitist Bastard

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    #6
  7. donmac

    donmac casual angler

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    Northern New England is my favorite place. I have spent most of my life in NH but I am currently 'doing time' in Delaware since that is where the job market took me. I still have a place in the NH Lakes Region and I can fortunately work from up there remotely for a week every month or two. (I have been down here for 4+ years now and still miss the mountains, clear water lakes and rivers - and the associated curvy roads.)

    As stated earlier, it is cheaper to buy waterfront in northern Maine, but there may be fewer job opportunities. NH is a tax friendly state for the most part. If you consider Southern NH and don't mind a commute that opens up the Boston area job market. But Southern NH does not typically look like the pictures you posted.

    So, in addition to what you 'like' to do, consider what you 'need' to do, and then consider where those opportunities exist.

    I'm not sure New England has recovered as much economically as some other parts of the country.

    If similar opportunities existed up there, I wouldn't have come down here to begin with. ;)
    #7
  8. NHBill

    NHBill Loosely Wrapped

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    We moved to a small town in the CT River Valley, of SW NH, about 5 years ago. Possibly not quite as rural or remote as you'd like but here's what the area has to recommend it.
    • Small towns, we don't have a stop light here either (but there is a flashing yellow :lol3 )
    • Green Mtns of VT, 45 min away
    • White Mtns 1 hr away
    • High Peaks of the ADK's in under 3 hours
    • Riding in and around this area is truly great. Pavement and dirt available during the summer and lots of trails for snow machines, during the winter, if that's what you're in to.
    • Literally, thousands of small lakes, ponds, and streams for that canoe of yours.
    • People. The area is still largely active agricultural land and our neighbors (and community) are awesome. We can see our closest neighbors houses (during the winter, anyway) and we're close enough that if something nasty happened we could get help quickly, but far enough apart that we're not in each others business (or care what each others business is, for that matter). We're also close enough that we get together, when the mood strikes, for drinks or a meal or to help with a project or a chore.
    • Guns, it's a rare day that I don't hear one of my neighbors target shooting and many of them are hunters and/or fisherman. Many of us are very active campers and outdoors people.
    • Boston is 2 hours away, Portland, ME and Albany NY are 3 Hours away, NYC is 4-1/2 Hours away. All, close enough to take advantage of, but far enough that you are in a totally seperate world if that's what you want. It also means that if, God forbid, something ugly were to happen to you or a loved one, there is outstanding medical care available, or access to transportation to get to somebody if they need you.
    • There are a couple colleges locally, which means that there is some culture available. It also keep the area "upscale" enough to ensure decent jobs at decent wages.
    • Good schools around (you didn't mention any family but it's also good for property values, etc).
    The biggest downside, for NH at least, would have to be the taxes :puke1 (Sorry to disagree donmac). There's no sales tax but the $ to keep things going has to come from somewhere, so the taxes are high. Property, added value, excise, gas, etc. they all add up quickly :eek1.

    The reality of it all is that what makes it ideal for one person, may not make it work for you. Make a list of the must haves for a "Home" and then travel around the area. Talk to the clerk in the convenience store or the person on the stool next to you at the diner. Try to get a feel for the people because that will tell you volumes about the area.

    Good Luck!
    #8
  9. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Now this is what I was hoping for.

    Just to clear a few things up.
    I already have a job, I will be covering the whole of both New Hampshire and Maine. A large territory to say the least. My employer suggested Lewiston as a somewhat central location. But I have the ability to live somewhere else within a reasonable distance. Probably about an hour max. Apparently the lion's share of business parallels the population centers along the coast and slightly inland.

    I do not currently live, nor do I need to live in the future, on the water. I live near, but not on a lake. The water my canoe is in is not mine. I borrowed it from New York State. I find that both expenses and crowds increase the closer you get to water and I seek neither. Would it be nice, sure. But I'd rather have 30 acres of solitude on a mountain somewhere.

    I will look to rent initially, as I did in Colorado. Until my comfort level is good that things will work out with my company, Then look to buy sometime in the not to distant future.

    We live pretty simply, and don't need or want much. Bigger House=Bigger expenses.
    Our current house/camp is in the Adirondacks and is small but cozy.
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    Quite nice actually,
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    When it doesn't look like this,
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    It even has this, Nice when the power is out.
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    I live on a dead end road and this is what's out past the end,(all State land)
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    I like taking this,
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    And building things like this,
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    No sense having a big house when I'm outside most of the time.

    I have come to realize every state has their own unique and creative way of extracting money from it's residents. And that in some way it all equals out. I know some can be more efficient at this than others. But they all seek more of your money to conduct their business than you would like to give them.

    I think the key, like most things in life, is balance. Finding a place you like, in an area where you can afford to live, while earning enough to stay happy. In my mind at least, bigger does not necessarily equal better. Just more taxes, fuel, insurance, upkeep, utilities, Been there done that. Don't need or want to do again.

    Having just returned from a two month stint in Colorado. I witnessed this first hand. Sure the property taxes on a $600,000.00 house might only be $2,000.00. But the sales tax where I worked was 8.6%. Health care was extremely high, food was high. Real Estate was very high. It all equals out.

    For instance I had breakfast in a run-of the-mill diner, nothing fancy for sure. A sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on rye with coffee was $11.54 before tip. Roughly double what I would pay here. Lunch and dinner were about the same.

    If you bought a new bike you could travel and only pay 2.9% Sales tax. but you paid the rest when you went to license it.

    Plus, I really missed the hardwood trees and just trees in general. They have sun every day. But they have to irrigate to get anything to grow. Water is scarce especially this year. So again it's all about finding balance.
    #9
  10. donmac

    donmac casual angler

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    I said 'tax friendly', not 'tax free'. :wink: You're right in that it has to come from someplace. Property taxes and various fees have crept up significantly over the years. But gas is still often cheaper up there than many other places. And it certainly is expensive to register new vehicles. But the lack of an income and sales tax is significant. I live in DE now and, even though we also do not have a sales tax down here, the overall cost of living is much higher. I actually haven't run the numbers in a very long time - but even if it were not tax friendly up there, it'd still be worth it for the lakes, mountains and twisty roads. :ricky

    Looking forward to getting back up there soon for couple of weeks of ice fishing.:D
    #10
  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Pretty nice place you have there. Is that upstate NY? I think you'll like Maine or NH. You can replicate that environment in either state. All the things you like to do are real handy too.

    I see NH and ME as having two different cultures; seacoast and inland. The seacoast communities are nice, but very different in that they are sort of resort/summer oriented. Meanwhile, the inland communities are very much outdoors lifestyle oriented. My favorite is probably NH.

    As an example, in Manchester there is a pond in town that freezes over. There is a group of motorcyclists that plow the frozen pond and make a little short track out of it. Then they race dirtbikes with studded tires for hours on weekends. If we did that in Massachusetts, they would throw us in jail. In New Hampshire they bring lawn chairs and watch. :rofl
    #11
  12. 2twisted

    2twisted NRTHJSTNRTH

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    It appears you would fit into the Maine lifestyle just fine, not a huge fan of Lewiston/Auburn myself, not that it is a bad town just too busy an area for my liking.

    Look on the outside of town, maybe Bethel, Oxford , Paris, Andover or a little more South, closer to the White Mtns and the ocean is always a bonus.:evil Maine has some good riding and a lot of inmates that hang out in this forum. :deal

    If you decide you want to meet a few inmates to ride with and maybe throw a couple back you can start with the Whitehorse Press weekend (Whaco) or wait till fall and hit Cro-Mag. :freaky

    And a few other good rides in between. :clap

    If I can be of any other help shoot me a PM.


    BTW, nice Knife collection.
    #12
  13. Tripod

    Tripod waldeinsamkeit

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    ^^also not a fan of L-A (sorry, guv), but if that is the center of your universe (or your masters) go west. As mentioned, Harrison is a great little town with public launch at Long Lake and couple small eateries/pubs. Got a nice feel to it. Bridgton is right down the road if you need food shopping and more night in your life.

    Or Waterford, if you want to hang by your fingernails from the edge of the universe. Suggest using one hand 'cuz the hunting is really pretty good!

    PM if you are looking for land and I'll give a contact.
    #13
  14. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Bethel

    :D
    #14
  15. ValuePack

    ValuePack Adventurer

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    Hey, now that's an idea. The wife and I head up there to see the rally every summer, and we both love that town to death. As long as you're set for employment, Bethel is where I'd start.

    An hour from Lewiston, not far from Berlin and North Conway, a river through town, cheap land, nice folk, good food, real quiet, untold scads of backroads, and SPACE. I still like Mexico just up the road, but it's nowhere near as nice.
    #15
  16. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Thanks again folks for some interesting feedback,

    Pantah, yes, upstate New York. Way upstate. Zip 12920

    Tripod, I might be in touch, not wanting to waste anyone's time at this point. But soon perhaps. I built my first house myself, not sure I want to go down that road again. Started in March, finished in October. By then I wasn't sure if I wanted to move in or burn it down! Long summer!

    I will give the Bethel area some thought. It looks nice. I like places where you walk in for coffee in the morning and most of the people know who you are.

    Space is very important to me. I don't need a ton, but I don't want to live on top of anyone else either. I only have 7.5 acreas now. But I can only see one house and that's only in the winter. I'll not be living in town, no matter which town I settle near. Close to town ok, in town not ok.

    One thing I noticed in Colorado was , that the mountians are steep and the valleys are narrow. So the towns that started out long ago are now building houses on top of each other to accomodate the increasing population. Not my cup of tea. Having not been to Aspen or Vail since the early eighties. I was surprised by the feel now. Glenwood Springs where I worked out of, was way too crowded for me. The west seems different. There is a lot of nothing then you run into a bustling town. I prefer the more spread out feel of New York and New England.

    I don't need much in the way of culture. Most of mine is found in a campfire and a few cold beers with friends. Sometimes only me and the dog. He dosen't talk much, but he listens well. I prefer to spend my time in the outdoors. Heck I haven't watched television in years.

    A good breakfast place is cool. Being close to Sunday River skiing could go either way for me.

    Trails for hiking and riding are a plus. I grew up in the northern catskills and had much state land at my disposal. I snowshoed almost all the peaks in the Catskills, and some in the Adirondacks.

    I'm not looking for much, but I realize what I am looking for is hard to find. The thing I have going for me is time. I won't have to have a rental in place until probably late Feburary. And I can take my time looking for a house to purchase from there. I will probably begin taking some short trips to look around soon. A rent-to-own might be the cat's nuts.

    Thanks again everyone for the comments, keep'em coming. The Bethel type town sounds very much like what I will be looking for.
    #16
  17. ValuePack

    ValuePack Adventurer

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    I'm glad you'll give Bethel a look, it's a very nice, clean, sleepy town. Just enough size and culture to be vibrant and have three gas stations(the Shell/Dunkin' Donuts is preferred), yet not big enough to put up any building over two stories. If I had married someone who wasn't so close to her family, I'd already have moved there.

    Also, do yourself a favor, and take the 20 minute jaunt to neighboring Rumford. Downtown is not quite as beautiful, but it's even smaller than Bethel and land may be cheaper. I've yet to meet anyone there I didn't like.
    #17
  18. kbroderick

    kbroderick Long timer

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    I'd be surprised if Bethel weren't substantially more expensive for real estate prices than Rumford...but I'd still much rather live in Bethel. I think the property tax in Bethel is probably higher, too, but that's more of a buy-a-place concern than a rental concern. Newry (particularly up the Bear River Valley) has a lot more open space, but you're probably also going to drive further if you want groceries (for which Rumford and Norway are really the nearest options—the in-town places in Bethel are more expensive and limited in selection). If you're looking to be in the middle of nowhere, Andover would be worth checking out, too—lots of snow machine and ATV trails, not a lot of people.

    South of Rumford, there's the Concord Pond area, which is really nice if you don't mind wind turbines (and can feel quite "out there" while still being reasonably close to Rumford and Mexico for supplies).

    And I know there must be at least a few buildings over two stories in Bethel (the classroom building at Gould has three stories plus the ground floor, for example), but I did have to think about it. So it is a nice, small town in a lot of ways. Check out http://www.bethelcitizen.com/ for the local paper, which I think has a reasonable feel for the place.
    #18
  19. LostViking

    LostViking Long timer

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    Got to spend some time in the Bethel/Paris/Rumford area this week. Nice place, nice folks,
    #19