Moving to Portland Maine

Hi. We are seriously considering moving to Portland ME to be closer to family and to be able to afford a larger house.

We are Jewish and have two young teenagers. 

Any advice or recommendations would be very welcomed.

Thank you!

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RE: Moving to Portland Maine ()

Hello...4th Generation Jewish Portland, Mainer here!  We're also considering moving back that way to be closer to family and were just there in October to get a sense of where we may want to be.

Apparently lots of people have the same idea, as Brooklynites have discovered Portland and have made up a significant percentage of home sales since COVID hit.  There's limited inventory so bidding has become competitive in the way we're more accustomed to here in the Bay.  I moved from San Rafael to a suburb of Portland in middle school and the lack of diversity was a shock (my brother and I were the only Jews, and there were zero students of color).  Not much has changed since then in the suburbs surrounding Portland as far as diversity (Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Freeport, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, etc. are all quite culturally homogeneous) but the city of Portland has become extremely culturally diverse in the 25 years since I left.

What kind of advice or recommendations are you looking for?  Neighborhoods, schools, etc?  Your teenagers are going to want to hang out in Portland once they can drive.  The homes in the outer Washington Ave.area have bigger lots and are newer construction, but it can take a long time to get to town (relatively speaking) due to all the traffic lights along Washington Ave to I-295.  My dad tells me the neighborhoods around Deering High School are in high demand because the schools are good, though the homes are older and need systems upgrades.

Let me know if you have any specific questions...I'd be happy to help.  Maybe we'll see you there!

RE: Moving to Portland Maine ()

We moved to Maine a year and a half ago. We're near Bangor, so a couple hours north of Portland and more remote. It's different than the bay area in so many ways, but Portland won't be as drastic as here. We love it, our kid loves it here, we have no regrets! We were able to buy a nice home in a great school district (something that NEVER could've happened there), people are SO friendly, the cost of living is so much lower, and we still get to do a lot of outdoor recreation. Feel free to contact me. I don't have a lot of Portland specific experience, but we did make the cross country move not too long ago.

RE: Moving to Portland Maine ()

Portland Maine is a great city! I lived there for 15 years and raised my son there until we moved to the Bay Area when he was 12. I belonged to a very liberal Synagogue on the East End called Etz Chaim, but there are more conservative Jewish communities as well. I have lots of good feelings and strong opinions about Portland and I’m happy to chat anytime. Feel free to  respond via BPN. Warm wishes, Ava
 

RE: Moving to Portland Maine ()

We moved from the Bay to the southern midcoast (about 40 minutes north of Portland) in 2019 with our young child and couldn't be happier about our decision.  We are outdoors in all kinds of weather and have made lovely friends -- most of them from out of state, or from Maine but returning after many years in the Bay/DC/NY. We were able to afford a house close to the ocean. Portland punches above its weight in terms of great restaurants and live music (hopefully to return in 2021). 

We're not religious, but husband's family is Jewish and a good chunk of our friends here our Jewish. We are friends with the female Rabbi of the Bath synagogue, who is absolutely wonderful. My biggest complaint is how white Maine is. I've been grateful to witness how excited  Portland, Brunswick, and Bath have been to welcome refugees and asylum seekers in the past few years (see this article for a sense of the spirit: https://www.pressherald.com/2019/09/08/brunswick-opens-its-arms-to-afric...).   

RE: Moving to Portland Maine ()

Oooh.  Just spotted your question.  I've been to Portland and my sister lives elsewhere in Maine.  It's beautiful, but you know that.  Also I know a rabbi there, Rabbi Aaron Schub at Congregation Shaarey Tpiloh.  He is a great guy.  His wife lived in Berkeley for some time. You will definitely get a good Berkeley vibe from them.  He knows how to make his own Kimchi.  Anyways, my two cents that this is a big plus.