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Moving to Maine

Are You Moving From or To Maine?

Maine, situated in the far reaches of the north-eastern seaboard, is known as one of the quietest, serene and peaceful states you could choose to live in. With a population of just 1.3 million people and an estimated 24 billion trees.

It may be known as “The Pine Tree State’, with 80% of the land is covered in forest, but there’s much more going on in Maine than just its natural beauty. There are an incredible 3500 miles of rugged Atlantic coastline to explore, stretching from the New Hampshire border to the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and plenty of opportunities for work, business, and play.

Another notable aspect that puts Maine on the map, is their notoriety for some of the best seafood in the world. We hope you like lobster because Maine produces over 40 million pounds of it a year, more than anywhere else in the country. But their menu doesn’t stop there, the state also has an abundance of fresh clams, scallops, crab, oysters, mussels, and fish hauled straight out of the ocean and onto your plate every day.

Not to mention, Maine is also one of the top 10 healthiest states in the country, and, thanks to all those pine trees, it is famous for having some of the cleanest air in all of the US, making it an ideal location for those with breathing issues or asthma.

There’s a lot going on in this far-flung northerly corner of the US. If you’re considering relocating to Maine, read on to find out everything you need to know before you make the move.

Moving to Maine

Moving to Maine Pros and Cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider as you make your move to The Pine Tree State:

Pros.
  • The relatively low cost of living: Maine is the cheapest state in New England; from housing to healthcare, you’ll be surprised at how far your money can go here.
  • The gorgeous scenery: From vast, dense forestland, to the wild rugged coast, Maine has some spectacular scenery. Despite this, the state parks aren’t too overcrowded with tourists, even in peak season.
  • The fantastic healthcare: Maine has some of the best hospitals and healthcare providers in the country, all at a comparatively affordable price.
  • The low crime rate. Maine is one of the safest states in the whole of the nation.
Cons.
  • The lack of diversity: Maine is a relatively ‘vanilla’ state. If you prefer to live in an ethnically diverse area with plenty of varying cultures and traditions to experience, then Maine might not be the best choice. There’s also a disheartening lack of world cuisine here, and finding a good Chinese restaurant can sometimes be a struggle.
  • The lack of youth culture: Maine is packed with retirees, but there’s not as much going on for younger people. Nightlife is pretty much non-existent outside of the bigger cities, and the place can seem a little too sleepy for some.
  • The cold weather: There’s no denying it, Maine has one of the harshest winters in the US. The average night-time temperature in January is a bone-chilling 13 degrees. Expect to spend plenty of time shoveling snow.
Tax Rates
  • Property Tax: 1.35%. The effective real-estate tax rate is #36 in the US. The annual property tax bill on the median home value of $237,800 is approximately $3200.
  • Sales Tax: Maine’s sales tax rate is currently 5.5%; local jurisdictions do not impose an additional sales tax.
  • Income Tax: 5.8–7.15%. The state has a progressive income tax code. The highest rate applies to earners with income greater than $50,750.
Housing Market

The current average home value across the state of Maine is around $245k, just a little more than the national average of $200k. Prices are rising rapidly though, up around 7.4% in the past year, so if you’re thinking of moving to The Pine Tree State, don’t wait too long or you could miss out on a bargain.

According to Zillow.com, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment across the state is around $1750. Of course, the price you pay depends on the location you choose. but if you head over to downtown Portland, the same size apartment will cost you around $1700 per month.

What Should I Know In 2020?

Economy Outlook

Only a small proportion of the state’s workforce is employed in agriculture. Aroostook county, where potatoes are the main crop, is one of the few areas with rich agricultural soils. Terrain and soil conditions throughout most of the rest of the state are inadequate for large-scale farming; in addition to potatoes, eggs, and dairy products make up the greatest part of farm income. Maine also produces high-quality apples, blueberries, and other fruits, and dairying is an important activity. With its vast areas of forest, Maine was once a national leader in the forest-products industry. Although the sector has experienced a decline in the face of strong international competition, it has remained a significant employer in the state. Fishing also has a long tradition in Maine. However, fish stocks largely have been depleted, and—with the exception of lobster production—fishing has become a marginal activity.

The service sector represents the largest component in the market value of Maine goods and services; the manufacturing sector is second.

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Traffic & Transportation

Maine is a place of self-reliance, which can extend to getting around the state. With an overall lack of public transportation, it is virtually required to own a vehicle (except for commuters in major towns and cities). There is also only one interstate highway (I-95) that runs south to north. Regardless, there are several convenient options when it comes to traveling in Maine and beyond.

The only passenger train in Maine is Amtrak’s Downeaster, which runs from Boston, Massachusetts to Brunswick, Maine with stops in Wells, Saco, Portland, and Freeport.

There is some bus transport, mainly between Portland and Bangor, with a small shuttle bus that runs at a few inconvenient times to Bar Harbor. But, generally, you aren’t going to find any public transport to the many small towns of Maine.

Cost of living

Our cost of living indices is based on a US average of 100. An amount below 100 means Maine is cheaper than the US average. A cost of living index above 100 means Maine, Maine is more expensive. Maine cost of living is 96.5

  • Utility Bills: The good news is that utility bills here are surprisingly low. Despite needing to heat your home for much of the year, the average resident in Maine spends around $87 a month on energy, that’s the lowest out of any of the New England states.
  • Groceries and Food: It starts to get expensive when you head to the grocery store though; Maine has the 6th highest grocery prices in the country. For example, the national average monthly food spend is $324, but in Portland, it’s $371, almost $50 more.
  • Gas Prices & Transportation: It’s good news for drivers though, as gas prices are cheaper than the national average, with a gallon costing an average of $2.83 as of the date of this publication. Transportation overall, including public transportation, car maintenance costs, vehicle registration, and vehicle taxes are also favorable, coming in 7.1% below the national average.
  • Healthcare and Medical: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality calculated that the average individual employee’s contribution to healthcare in Maine is $1311 a year, over $100 cheaper than the national average. If paying out of pocket the cost of medical bills for doctor visits and in-hospital care is almost exactly on par with the national average being just 0.1% more expensive.

Moving to Maine

Things to Know When Moving to Maine

Maine Climate

Maine, the Pine Tree State, is the most forested state in America, with 83% of its land under forest cover. The state is home to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, including mixed oaks of the northeastern coasts and the New England Acadian forests. The hinterland consists of lakes, rivers, forests, and mountains, while the rock-bound shores have numerous fishing villages, beaches, and thousands of offshore islands.

Employment

The biggest employer in the state is MaineHealth, an award-winning healthcare provider based in Portland. Coming in at a close second is the Hannaford Bros grocery store chain, which has 59 stores across Maine, as well as in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Like many states, Walmart is also high on the list of top employers, closely followed by Maine’s very own L.L Bean clothing and outerwear brand.

Real Estate

The current average home value across the state of Maine is around $245k, just a little more than the national average of $200k. Prices are rising rapidly though, up around 7.4% in the past year, so if you’re thinking of moving to The Pine Tree State, don’t wait too long or you could miss out on a bargain.

Average Income

As of Sep 28, 2020, the average annual pay for the Average jobs category in Maine is $61,227 a year.

Industries

In the past few decades, things have shifted dramatically in The Pine Tree State. Industries like paper production, shipbuilding, agriculture, and fishing are still prominent, but they’ve been scaled back to make way for areas such as tourism, retail, and tech. Health care is also a big business in Maine, with roughly 8% of the workforce employed in some kind of health or social assistance role.

Crime Rankings

The state’s violent crime rate is 1.1 incidents per 1,000 people, which is less than half the national rate of 3.7. Property crime in Maine occurs at a rate of 13.6 incidents per 1,000, compared to 22.0 nationwide.

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