17 Reasons Not to Move to Portland, Maine

Are you making plans to move to Portland, Maine soon? Are you wanting to consider some of the cons that come with moving to Portland, Maine? If you are finding yourself in this situation or a similar one, this article can help!

To learn about some of the reasons not to move to Portland, Maine, keep reading!

17. Eating Out is Expensive

Portland, Maine is home to many unique, local restaurantsOpens in a new tab. that you will want to try of them and that can get expensive. Eating out, in general, can get expensive if you are doing it fairly often, but eating out at a well-known, and “loved by locals” restaurant, the prices are sure to be higher than any of the fast-food chain options you could eat out at anywhere else in the country.

That being said, if you move to Portland for the food, be prepared to spend a big bill on your dinner. In addition to the high prices, Mainers often, if not always, expect a tip, especially at restaurants and that can add up as well.

16. Buying a House is Expensive

Not everywhere in Portland has houses priced at wildly high ratesOpens in a new tab., but you will find that to be the case if you are specifically wanting to live in downtown Portland, also known as “the peninsula”.

Location is always a driving factor in both the buyer’s desires, as well as in the monetary benefit for the real estate company. Oftentimes when people move to Portland they come in with the dream of living on the peninsula, only to find out the going price for their dream house in their dream location is much too high for their budget.

It is not to say that houses farther inland couldn’t be your dream house, but it is important to be informed that prices significantly skyrocket the farther out you get to the coast and could highly influence the possibility of not being able to purchase a house on the peninsula.

15. Apartment Rentals are Competitive

If you can’t buy a house, your next option on the peninsula is to rent an apartment. Because many people have the same idea, it makes finding a decent apartment to rent very competitive. Many realtors request that you bring a list of references, a filled-out application, a signed check for the deposit, and a security system already purchased just to get a walkthrough of the apartment. The apartment rental process is quick and ever-changing.

Pricing is similar situation to houses. The closer to the coast you are, the more expensive and higher in demand they are. Keep this in mind, as it may be a determining factor in where you decide to live.

14. Parking is Limited in the Winter

Because of the frequent large amounts of snowOpens in a new tab. Portland gets in the winter, the city implements a parking ban so that snowplows can come and remove the snow on the roads without damaging anyone’s vehicles. The area that this parking ban majorly affects is any car that is parked on the street along the peninsula.

This parking ban requires you to move your car at specific times if presently parked on the street, or prevents you from parking on the street while the plow removes all of the snow.

If you remain parked there during the designated times or park there during the designated time period, you will receive a ticket and a total fine of $170, which includes two $35 charges for both the ticket and impound fee, as well as a $100 fee for the towing truck moving the vehicle.

13. Community of Retirees

Maine is often referred to as an “old stateOpens in a new tab.” not because of its long existence as a state in The United States of America, but because of the number of retirees that inhabit the state. This is due to a number of reasons. One of those is that those who are retired are often more financially capable of meeting the high price of living that comes with living in Portland. Another reason is that there is not much regarding the entertainment industry to be found in Portland, Maine.

Both these points, among others, are driving factors that deter people, especially young families, from living in Portland.

12. Mainers are Opinionated

Maine has a well-known culture where Mainers are opinionated, and they aren’t afraid to share that opinion with you. Most people will lay all their thoughts and opinions on you about anything that could be brought up in a conversation.

This could be a good thing, as who doesn’t appreciate open and honest people? It is also something that could fuel a disagreement and cause issues among individuals. Although no one is intentionally tearing down your thoughts and opinions, they definitely aren’t ashamed of theirs and want you to know it.

Even if you personally aren’t directly involved in an opinionated conversation, there are always people that can bring you into situations you didn’t ask to be in.

11. Slow Internet Connection

There are lots of perks that come with living in the more suburban area of Portland, one of those being fast and efficient internet. But if you live more inland, your internet connection has the potential to be less than desirable. Due to the older community that lives in Portland, the internet isn’t a huge priority, thus explaining the lack of reliable internet connection.

If you are someone whose job is reliant on a stable internet connection, it would be smart to make it a priority to live somewhere in downtown Portland to ensure you have that. If you can’t find somewhere to live downtown, it may be better to live in a neighboring town.

10. Community is Not Open to Change

There is tons of history in Portland, not only regarding the state but also the history of our overall country. For example, the majority of Portland’s streets downtown are made of cobblestone to pay homage to its original streets.

As we talked about earlier, there are many local restaurants in Portland, but they don’t provide a lot of cultural diversity in the city. They mainly consist of various seafood and lobster-focused restaurants. This adds to the culture of repetition every day. All the retirees are set in their ways and aren’t willing to change much from what they know.

If you like change and are always on the lookout for something new to eat or do, Portland isn’t the place to go.

9. Most Employment Requires Higher Education

Despite Maine having a low unemployment rate, those jobs that do employ many people in the Portland area require higher education to even be considered for the position. Even if you do have the required education for the position, some employers are looking for specifically trained individuals with specialized skills. This creates an extremely competitive environment to then attain a well-paying job in the area.

Because of these strict requirements, many people end up working at minimum wage for the inability to beat the competition for better placement of occupation. That being said, there are very few opportunities for career growth unless you start at the top.

8. Winters are Long and Brutal

While many people move to Maine for the warm, “perfect” summer season, winter in Maine is a different story. Winters in Maine are filled with frigidly cold temperatures and snowfall after snowfall. Temperatures average about 13 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter.

Snow can pile up to several feet above your head and can even continue on into March and April depending on the year. The city often closes down roads and schools for the amount of snow that prevents safe travel on the roads, sometimes even for several days in a row.

If you consider yourself to be someone who dislikes the cold and thrives in an area that has warmer temperatures all year round, this is not the city for you.

7. Bizarre Laws are Enforced

You will find bizarre laws that are enforced in every state, but Maine has some that are a little strange that may deter some people from wanting to live there. One of the strange laws is that it is illegal to keep Christmas lights on your house past January 14th or you will be given a fine.

Another strange law is that it is illegal to own a pet armadillo in the state of Maine. It is also against the law in Maine to step out of a plane when it is in the air. It is also illegal to walk down the street while simultaneously playing the violin.

While these laws are so odd, they aren’t broken very often, there are consequences associated with them if they are disobeyed.

6. Big Entertainment is Found in Boston

There are hardly ever any big names in music, sports, or entertainment that come to Portland, Maine, the closest town to find that entertainment is in Boston, which is a 2-hour drive away. If you are more into smaller known entertainment groups, such as the Portland Sea Dogs, there are plenty of those close by in Portland, Maine.

Local groups are not short in supply in Portland, but if you are looking for bigger and better entertainment, Portland won’t be a great provider of that. If you are looking to get away from big entertainment and settle into a quieter lifestyle, Portland would be a great location.

5. Unkept Roadways

As we discussed earlier regarding how Mainers feel about change, it is important to know that that attitude applies to the roadways. Many of the roadways in Portland are still original to the settling of the town, which includes many, many streets of cobblestone. This can cause frustration and inconvenience for travel both by vehicle and foot.

While not every road is made of cobblestone, the majority of the main streets are. If you travel or commute frequently, these rough, unkept roadways may be something you deal with daily and may cause more of a headache than it’s worth.

4. Feeling Obligated to Always Be By the Ocean

This especially is a problem for those who have never lived on the coast next to the ocean. This feeling of obligation to always be by the ocean to feel like living in the location is worth it, can cause unnecessary guilt that you are spending too much time on other things instead of being appreciative and spending time at the beach. Constantly being surrounded by people who are always on the beach can also be a source of irritation as well.

3. Tourists Interrupt Your Commuting

Although you may be looking to permanently move to Portland, many people actually consider it a hot vacation spot. There are tons of tourists that come through Portland, especially during the summer months, which can cause a huge bottleneck in traffic.

If you already have a long commute to work, the tourist season could potentially double that. You could try a different route and try your best to avoid it, but there is a high chance depending on where you are commuting to and from that won’t be possible.

2. Transportation: On Peninsula

Streets and roadways are pretty crowded in Portland due to high trafficOpens in a new tab., as well as the large number of cars parked on the sides of the roads. There are also areas that have parking bans that you are not allowed to park there and if you do, there will be large fines associated with it as well as possible towing of your vehicle. You also are never guaranteed the same parking spot, due to so many cars needing to park in various places.

1. Transportation: Off Peninsula

Living off the peninsula on the mainland, shouldn’t be as troublesome regarding parking as it is on the peninsula. You should be able to park both on and off the street with no issues. That being said, because living on the peninsula is considerably more expensive than it is living on the mainland, the transportation and parking regulations on the peninsula are more applicable to most people.

If you are considering moving to Portland, weigh the pros and cons of the regulations of living on the peninsula because that is more where the regulations are prevalent.

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