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Considering moving to Brunswick area-

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Colorado
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Considering moving to Brunswick area-

We live in Central PA but want to move to New England. We've been considering Burlington VT but I think Maine is more for us and a friend recommended the Brunswick area. I've checked out websites and we plan to visit in the end of September, but I thought I'd see what the locals have to say about the area.

What's good and bad? We're looking for a small town atmosphere with nice streets to wander on.

My husband is a structural engineer and I've found some companies in the Portland area.

We don't have children and aren't going to have any, so schools aren't a concern, but we do want someplace safe and quiet.

Any information or insights you can give me will be appreciated.

Thanks

Brunswick, Maine
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11. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

Hi Richelle,

I also live in Brunswick. I bought a house here a year ago.

I came to Maine in 1995 to take a job in Bangor. I stayed in the Bangor area ten years, but when I quit my job I started a business which involves a good bit of travel. Having the option to relocate, I decided to leave the Bangor area, and after giving it a year or so of consideration, I chose Brunswick. (The only other two serious contenders were Mount Desert Island and the Camden-Rockport area.)

Brunswick is a darling in the national press as far as Maine towns go. Any time a publication or group compiles one of those "Fifty Best US Towns to ________ In" there is a good chance that Brunswick is the only Maine town to make the list. (Of course, Burlington, VT usually makes those lists, too.) The articles usually mention a variety of things: coastal location, small-town character yet close to most anything you need, Bowdoin College (its students, faculty and alumni who've come back into the area), and Naval Air Station Brunswick. I think you'll find it a charming town. I couldn't be happier with my choice. It's a terrific place to live.

I think Brunswick's size is idea. It's big enough to have almost everything I need, yet small enough to be manageable: I can go to the Post Office, grocery store, coffee shop, bank, etc. and back and hit just one red light. I am close enough to the big box stores (in Brunswick or neighboring Topsham), but I don't put up with the traffic hassles that bigger towns/more people bring.

I do go to Portland everyone once in a while for something (medical specialist, lighting store, furniture stores, airport, etc.), but it's a whole lot less often than I imagined when I moved here. It's very easy to bop onto the interstate and be to most anthing in Portland in 30-45 minutes.

Desirable housing right in Brunswick is pricey compared to housing out in more rural areas and towns farther away from Portland and from the coast. It's the old "you get what you pay for." Brunswick is a popular town, and I expect that the investment you make in housing will hold its value as this area will continue to be desirable.

It's a whole lot more affordable than Portland housing. And, I imagine prices only get higher south of Portland, so you move closer to Boston.

The one unknown about housing anywhere in a 30-45 mile radius of Brunswick is what effect the closing of NASB will have on the area. The Base will be closed by 2011, and it's anyone's guess what effect that will have on real estate. (It actually should be a region-wide impact as the folks who live and work at the NASB come from the entire region.) Before BRAC recommended that the base be closed sales were brisk; nice properties often sold within a week at the asking price. After BRAC issued its closing recommendation, sales slowed. It looks like prices have held firm but on-the-market times have lengthed considerably. People are taking their time and watching, not sure what's going to happen. Could be a great time for you to come in a get a good deal.

I did what you did (rented first, then bought) and it worked great for me because it put me in the area and gave me time to ride around and learn the neighborhoods (and surrounding towns) and it allowed me to narrow down the exact neighborhood I wanted to be in. I was able to cruise areas for For Sale By Owner properties and other alternative sources and even walk my "target" neighborhood, talk with people and get word of properties about to come on the market (that's how I landed my house.) I took a "winter rental" of waterfront property, from Sept. 1 to June 1. You'll find quite a bit of that there as there is oodles of waterfront rental property in Brunswick, Harpswell, and West Bath. (Property that is rented week-to-week in the summer is often rented to a single tennant over the winter if it is winterized.) The only problem for me was that I got down to the wire finding a house and almost thought I'd have to move into another rental as June 1 was coming fast. I found a house at the last minute, but it was close call.

If I can make an observation: I think you should consider Portland if your husband gets a job there. I think you can find a quiet neighborhood in that area and avoid the commute. There are also closer towns, which while they are pricier than Brunswick, would also give you nice neighborhoods (Yarmouth, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, South Portland) without the commute. I think you should definitely rent and practice making that commute before you commit to living 30 miles from your work.

If you want to get an idea of what Brunswick prices are like, register at NewEnglandMoves.com and start getting alerts before you move. If you'll sign up and give them your name, you can get exact street addresses.

Also, for an idea of recent home sale prices in Brunswick, go to www.brunswickme.org/assessing/sales/sales.htm and download the pdfs

P.S. Love your area of PA. I worked in York one summer when I was in collge, I took off and explored everytime I got a day off, and thought it was beatiful. Would love to go back. We should do a house swap for a week. :)

Colorado
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12. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

Thanks so much for all your info. I am thrilled at the information I've gathered from this site and really appreciate everybody's time.

Now, I guess we just have to wait till the end of Sept for our trip to see what we think in person. We're spending three nights in Bar Harbor so we can go to Acadia and then we'll be spending three nights in Brunswick.

In the meantime, I'll keep researching but can't wait to see it in person!

Brunswick, Maine
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13. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

If you can afford to stay at the Brunswick Bed & Breakfast, that is right on the Town Green, which puts you right in the middle of everything. Three days there and you won't be able to imagine living in any other town. :)

Have a great trip.

Colorado
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14. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

We are actually staying at the Brunswick B&B. I made our reservations last night. I am so excited to see the town and can't wait for our trip.

Thanks for your info and maybe we'll be neighbors :)

Brunswick, Maine
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15. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

If you have any questions that you don't feel confortable posting in the forum, feel free to email me at michele26@gwi.net

Brunswick, Maine
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16. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

and maybe we'll be neighbors :)

Probably not, as I have families on both sides of me, both with three teenagers, who are very well-behaved.

It's the single guy across the street who is loud.... :)

Brunswick, Maine
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17. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

and maybe we'll be neighbors :)

Probably not, as I have families on both sides of me, both with three teenagers, who are very well-behaved.

It's the single guy across the street who is loud.... :)

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18. Re: Considering moving to Brunswick area-

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