Immigrants

9 min read

September 23, 2021

Living in Maine: Is It Right For You?

We know how moving to a new place can be a challenging decision to make. If you plan on moving to Maine, here’s our round-up of the pros and cons to keep in mind before taking the plunge!

If you grew up reading books in which the protagonists escaped to summer getaways on the coast and had marvellous adventures on forest hikes, Maine is your ticket to that long-coveted world. 

Located at the northernmost end of the US, Maine is home to a population of around 1.3 million. Overlooked by the Appalachian mountain range and blessed with a spectacular coastline, living in Maine comes with as many ups and downs as its varied terrain. 

While the landscape is definitely enticing, here are our picks of the top pros and cons to help you explore whether living in Maine is right for you.

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Living in Maine: The Pros

Open Spaces

If you love the outdoors and can’t get enough of being in nature, Maine is definitely for you. Bid adieu to the cramped apartment complexes and crowded cities and settle down in the vast open spaces of Maine. 

With its dense forests and rolling mountains, Maine is aptly named the Pine Tree State. The hills are alive with the promise of solo treks or fun family hikes. Fancy a weekend hike after a stressful work week? Then you may want to consider living in Maine!

Art and Culture

If you’re a history buff or an art connoisseur and love to spend your evenings at leisure admiring art pieces in museums, you must try living in Portland, the largest city in Maine. The city has given birth to literary giants including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Neal and Stephen King.

Besides the Victorian-style architecture, Portland’s Arts District flaunts sites such as the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine Historical Society and Museum, and the Maine College of Art. It is also home to the Portland Symphony Orchestra. If you’re a student, art aficionado or music lover, living in Portland certainly has much to offer!

The Culinary Scene

The coastline and lakes in Maine are not just an aesthetic advantage — they are also responsible for the scrumptious seafood that Maine is famous for. If you’re a seafood lover, the incessant supply of fresh lobster is sure to sway your decision to live in Maine. 

The city of Portland hosts food and beverage festivals around the year, featuring some of the best seafood in the country. The city is also home to numerous juice bars, breweries and coffee houses. If the old adage is true, Maine is sure to tug at your heartstrings via your stomach!

Safe Neighborhoods

Maine is considered to be one of the safest states in the US, with a crime rate that is less than a third of the national rate. This means that both children and adults can enjoy the open spaces in peace. It is also a very senior citizen-friendly state because it is a popular retirement spot and the average age of the population is higher than that of other states.

Living in Maine: The Cons

Housing Costs

The idyllic landscape of Maine and its perks come at a considerable price. Housing costs in Maine are about $40,000 higher than the national average. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider renting a house (at about $1,900 per month), or an apartment in Augusta ($600 per month). 

The numerous employment opportunities, however, do provide you with the chance to save up and eventually buy your dream home. Either way, you must have a good estimate of your budget if you plan on permanently residing in Maine.

Harsh Winters

Living in Maine guarantees spectacular summers, but it also comes with frigid winters. Anticipate temperatures as low as 13℉ in December-January. You can expect a few snow days which means you may get a day off from work (hurray!) but you’ll probably have to spend the holiday shovelling your drive (uh-oh). If you love winter sports, you could get the best out of the situation. If not, it would be wise to follow the example of the proverbial ant and prepare for the inevitable winters.

Lack of Commercial Entertainment

In general, Maine is accustomed to a slower mode of living. The calm, laid-back vibe and slow traffic allow you to relax and commute in peace, but this means it also offers fewer options for commercial recreation. Except for a few minor leagues in Portland, Maine doesn’t host any games. 

Nightlife, luxury shopping and fancy dining are also almost entirely restricted to Portland city. Nearby cities like Boston afford more scope for these pastimes. If you live in rural Maine, you would also have to be prepared for slow internet.

Living in Maine: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I find work in Maine?

Because of the relatively low population in Maine, the state warmly welcomes new residents who can live and work there. To boost these efforts, Maine has launched a state program called Live and Work in Maine to help potential residents navigate the local job marketplace. So if you plan on living in Maine and would like to ensure financial stability while living there, check out the program for possible employment opportunities.

‍Is Maine pet-friendly?

Cats of all kinds are welcome in Maine. In fact, Maine has an official state cat — the Maine Coon — and the highest number of households raising cats. If you are a cat owner, living in Maine would definitely meet with both your and your pet’s approval!

Dogs are also warmly received in Maine. The open spaces are a puppy’s paradise and ideal for long walks. Sites like the Little Long Pond Leash-Free Area are a perfect spot for a day out with your dog.

Like other states, Maine has Exotic Animal Laws that prevent owning certain animals. So if you have a pet armadillo or snake, you may have to obtain permits or contact authorities to see if you can move to Maine with your pet.

What can I do on a weekend in Maine?

If you’re not a hiker already, be prepared to become one because the natural beauty of the Acadia National Park might just prompt you to become one. And if the land is not your cup of tea, get your sea legs in shape and get ready to go sailing on the scenic coast. 

The winters may be the ideal opportunity to test your mettle at snowboarding or snowmobiling, too. Maine may not have the conventional forms of entertainment but it is an ideal place to try something new!

Living in Maine: Is it Right For You?

Living in Maine comes with both advantages and disadvantages. While the open terrain may be an upside for some people, the lack of proximity to city life may be a demerit for others.

Before moving to Maine, it would be wise to have an idea of the expenses that it entails and budget accordingly. Weighing out the pros and cons that matter most to you will help you decide whether you just want to visit the state and get the best of its coastline in summer or whether it’s the place for you to settle down as a permanent resident.

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Joann Rachel Cherian
Joann is a freelance content creator and copywriter with a passion for words and a weakness for books. She is usually found taking apart her favorite TV shows or relaxing with a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

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