Considering East Coast Migration for more affordable life

We are a young family with a 10 month old baby. We have lovely family here, but are feeling incredibly stressed with the economic disparity here and finding a space we can afford. We have a lot of family on the east coast  (NYC, Boston, New Hampshire) so will feel supported there, but it is such a big move we of course have doubts.

We are mostly interested in Maine...with the hope of attending Nursing school once settled. 

Has anyone had recent experience with this type of move? Tips on great towns in Maine? 

Thank you!

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Our friends with preschool age children just bought a house in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Close to Boston by train and near water. They are very happy having moved to be nearer family and a lower cost of living. Check it out!

I spent every summer in Deer Isle when I was a kid. Maine is absolutely amazing. I saw the Northern Lights and the shooting stars were like a light show. That being said, the winters are long and dreary, and the politics are super weird there. I would look at the bigger towns like Portland, myself. You should take a look at Down East Magazine's web site, they had a big article about this a couple years ago. 

Hello! You didn't mention Vermont as an option, so I thought I would give it plug. I moved to the Bay Area from Montpelier, VT. I loved it while I was there and my retired in-laws who moved there from Boston a decade ago love it too. My favorite image of Montpelier is of little packs of young kids (as young as 6 years old) walking home from school by themselves, having fun in the snow. Montpelier is hip, fun, active, creative, and progressive (in a practical way), as is the much bigger city of Burlington. University of Vermont in Burlington has a nursing program. If you need really big metropolitan once in awhile, you can easily drive down to Boston or up to Montreal for an overnight. I don't know how Vermont compares to Maine or New Hampshire cost of living-wise, but it's definitely way, way cheaper than here. My in-laws just sold their 2 bed, 2.5 bath, 2 story townhouse with garage, family room, workshop and community pool for $250k. Vermont is also incredibly beautiful with wonderful access to outdoor activities. Good luck with wherever you land!

I made the opposite move when I had a young family, moving from southern Maine (just south of Portland) to the East Bay. I had some family on both coasts and much of my son’s family on his dad’s side still live there. It is quite beautiful there and sunny summer days are why they call the state Vacationland. Fall is also lovely. Winter and spring (which feels like it never really comes - it feels like winter until the 4th of July most years) are pretty tough, with cold and ice. I also found that there was a large addiction problem in most communities, in part due to the winters. Ultimately, the lack of diversity was why I left. Lots of white people, although that may have changed in the 10 plus years since we left. I wanted my son to grow up in a more culturally diverse place. With that said, Portland has really grown and is a fabulous city. If you decide to move, I’d encourage you to look in the Portland area. They have a minor baseball team, some fabulous shops and restaurants and concerts on the waterfront. Boston isn’t too far, and there’s Amtrak access. And the seafood is really so good! Good luck with your decision.

Born and bred New Englander here, went to college in Maine, best friends are still there. I'd tell you to consider the Portland area. Maine is very white and most of the state is not the LL Bean fantasy many have. It's clannish and provincial. And I say this as someone who loves the place! 

The cost of living is much lower, but the flip side is you'll have AC and heating bills. The pay scale is also drastically different, so be prepared for this. 

The Portland area is a more progressive, arty, food-centric area, and you can hop the train down to Boston (or drive 90 mins). It's also a more expensive than the rest of the state, but coming from here you'll not find it exorbitant!

Good luck.