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7 Things to know and do before moving to Maine

Maine is the 42nd most populated state in the United States. It is the easternmost state in the US and is also known as the pine-tree state. That is because it is the most densely forested state in the country. Surprisingly, Maine supplies 90% of the lobsters to the country. 

Moreover, Maine offers a slower pace of life, providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities. It’s a place where you can enjoy a more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle. That’s not it, Maine has a mesmerizing coastline. You’ll get to explore some of the most beautiful scenic views and breathtaking sunsets that you’ve ever seen.

So, if you are considering moving to Maine, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Maine of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Maine.

Moving to Maine: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Maine

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Maine, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Maine, look for good reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Maine? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Maine had an unemployment rate of 2.7%, which increased from 2.5% in August 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are custodian worker, high school teacher, and food service worker.

Finding a job in Maine is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Maine from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Maine. Book a flight from your departure city to Portland International Jetport (PWM) in the south, Bangor International Airport (BGL) up the coast, and Presque Isle International Airport (PQI) in the north, depending on your destination within Maine.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Maine cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Maine may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Maine permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Getting rid of items, you don’t need will go a long way in making your moving process to Maine easier. It does get cold in winter, so you might not want to get rid of that coat you’ve been storing away. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Maine, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Maine

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

With Maine’s breathtaking scenery and bike-friendly roads, it is a great place to cycle. Getting around by public transport is also an easy thing in Maine. Maine has an extensive bus network that includes regional and city bus lines that provide inter-city and local services. 

They also provide shuttle services. If we talk about bus services, there are a lot of options there as well. Maine also has state-run and private ferry services. They offer an essential link to Maine’s island communities.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Maine, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license with your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in person. You must transfer your driver’s license within 30 days of your move. If you fail to do so, you might get fined.

Register your vehicle

If you’ve just moved to Maine, you’ll have 30 days to title and register your out-of-state vehicle in person at your local BMV, otherwise you might receive a fine. 

This will apply even if your out-of-state registration is still valid after this time. You can find more information on how to register your vehicle on Maine’s government website.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Maine, like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Maine, you can register to vote in person or by mail. 

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Maine is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Maine for easy access is Bangor Savings Bank. Maine’s residents has access to a whopping 59 branches of Bangor Savings Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Maine proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Maine as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$134.41

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$590.00

Gym

$45.00

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Maine

Best places to live in Maine

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Portland. In Portland, there’s a strong community spirit, some amazing restaurants, boutiques, and shopping malls. Portland has a diverse and youthful population. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Cape Elizabeth. It has exceptionally low crime rates and some best-rated schools.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Belfast. It is a city that has opportunities for entrepreneurs and new businesses.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Maine is a straightforward process. 

  • Over 80% of Maine’s electricity is derived from renewable energy sources, making it super environmentally friendly. The cost of electricity in Maine is a bit higher than the national average, but not by much. To find your electricity, water, and gas provider in Maine, use Maine’s government website that includes a list of all providers.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Maine home value is $391,001, increased by 6.1% from 2022. According to Maine Housing Org, In a high-interest rate setting, home prices usually remain stable or decrease. However, unless there’s an economic downturn, it’s expected that single-family home prices in Maine will keep rising in 2023. This is mainly because of an ongoing shortage of available homes, particularly in the southern and coastal areas.

Finding an apartment for rent in Maine is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Maine.

Cost of rent in Maine

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Portland (Outside of Center)

$1,433.33

$2,750.00

Cost of buying a property in Maine

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Portland

$391,001

Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

People residing in Maine don’t face many natural disasters, however, it is always a good idea to get a home insurance plan in order to cover for any unexpected damages caused by natural disasters. Storms from the East Coast can bring in hail, snow and freezing temperatures which may cause harm to your plumbing system. Therefore, it is a good idea to opt for a home insurance plan.

4. Cost of living in Maine

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,433.33

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($67.95 multiplied by 4)

$271.80

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$183.33

Internet with 60 Mbps

$65.44

Transit pass

$45.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$92.50

Gym membership 

$45.00

Total

$2,136.40

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Maine

On average, there are 192 sunny days per year in Maine. The average temperature in summer is 70°F and the winter average is 20°F. Maine averages 75 inches of snow per year and 46 inches of rain, on average, per year.

It’s a fact that the weather in Maine can be astounding from day to day. You should be ready for anything. The winters are snowy, cold, and the warm summer days are long. Springs are intense as rivers gush with snowmelt.

6. What to do as a local in Maine

From skiing in the snow to visiting charming cities such as Bar Harbor and Portland, there’s a lot that can be done in Maine. Cross-country glides, weekend getaways with family and a true community spirit are some of the great things that Maine has to offer. 

Maine has some of the best beaches, animal parks and zoos. Mainers are profoundly serious about food. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be amazed to find some delicious food places in Maine.

Some common grocery stores in Maine are: Tozier’s Family Market, Aldi, and Save-a-lot.

The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.

Must-visit food places in Maine are Palace Dinerand and Miyake.

Visit the popular cities in Maine: Portland, Augusta, Bangor, and Bar Harbor.

7. Fun facts about Maine

  • Fun Fact #1: During springtime, Maine is the nation’s coldest state.
  • Fun Fact #2: Geographically, Maine is larger than the other five New England States altogether.
  • Fun Fact #3: More than 90 percent of the US’s blueberries are grown in Maine.

Conclusion

Maine is known for its stunning natural landscapes and is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Locals can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, boating, and camping all year round. It has the Acadia National Park offers breathtaking views and outdoor recreational opportunities.

While moving to Maine has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably with the best quality of life. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Maine is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Maine. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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