I love the beach (who doesn't?), anywhere that I can snorkel, The Donkey Sanctuary (much to the dismay of my daughter), the lighthouse.
Best of luck to you on your journey. My parents, cousins and grandmother all live in South Florida and they love it. As many others have said, there are quite a few transplants from the North and I am confident you will be well received.
As a person that was born in Maine and has lived away, I can tell you why some people in Maine have an issue with people from away in my opinion. The taxes in Maine are atrocious, with little amenities if you live in a small town however the openness and sense of belonging to a tight neat community is amazing. I cannot ever imagine raising my children elsewhere. I chose to raise my babies here to keep them safe, they could play in the yard, walk to their friends, walk to school, ride their bikes and leave all of their toys outside and they would still be there in the morning.
Now enter the issue with Maine people and out of staters, you want to buy all the land that for years has been open to people to use, so that you can put up a big ass house that you live in for 8 weeks a year, put a big fence around it, post it with no trespassing signs and then you expect to be treated like a person that is a friend of everyone in the neighborhood and think that your neighbors should expect you to walk on in and sit on down. Do you do this in your neighborhood that you live at all year? When was the last time you picked up something for your neighbor because you were going in that direction?
A final note: Most of the time we don't need help from alot of our neighbors in the summer we need them in the dead of winter when it is cold and no power, or they have slid off the road and we stop to help get them going again, or when their kid needs a ride home from the game. !
Last edited by Andrea J.; 05-18-2010 at 11:39 PM.
Reason: per rules about using $@^#* in place of curse words
Not having Maine to compare to, I can say I can compare N.J., Indiana and Georgia.
Born and raised in N.J. and living at the Jersey shore we were privledged to be able to visit the beach anytime we wished free of charge, "off season". Although, if the beach was fronted by private property you were not going to the beach there, and in some places this included the entire town. It was just the way it was and it still is.
Come summer our lives were constant upheaval. People urinating in the streets because they had to pay a quarter to use the public restroom on the boardwalk. They couldn't find a place to park or didn't like the price at the nearest lot? Then went and parked on the street blocking in driveways instead.
You want to go to the beach during the summer? You will pay to park your car and you will pay to step foot onto the beach.
People who came to the "shore" on vacation whether be for the day, the week or month were always called "bennies". To the kids it was something akin to "nerdy". To adults who owned businesses which worked all year only to be able make a profit during July and August in order to survive the long cold winter, these people were "benefiters". They benefited the community. Did we like their slobbish behavior? Of course not. We put up with the "bennies" who got away with whatever they could, because being in a family business, they kept a roof over our heads and fed us through the long cold winter. FWIW, the town had a population of about 4,000 in dead winter. Never once did anyone lift a finger to help me shovel snow, but then again I was not expecting it.
My parents have since sold their home and business due to high taxes in N.J. and moved to Florida. Now when I visit them, I can go to the beach and park my car and swim at a guarded beach free of charge. Who needs Jersey?
My husband had a job opportunity in Indiana and we got out of Jersey and the high taxes as well as high cost of living. Our cost of living in Indiana vs. Jersey, decreased by 40%.
Living in the midwest for two people born and raised in Jersey was quite a culture shock. Dh worked for a number of years on Wall Street and did not mind being out of the rat race, but this was a whole 'nother world. It was a college town and there were always a lot of people coming and going but even though we were Easterners, we never felt out of place and we were never made to feel unwelcome.
Fast forward to our life nine+ years later in Georgia we are still benefiting from a much lower cost of living. Our real estate taxes are < $2,000 per year. That is fully half of what we paid in N.J. on half the value. Indiana real estate taxes fwiw, were only slightly more expensive.
In Georgia we also have the benefit of the "Hope" scholarship. Any child who maintains a 3.0 GPA or above throughout high school may attend any state college for free. College will continue to be free of charge for the student throughout their four years of college as long as they maintain the 3.0 GPA. This is not a program paid for by the taxpayers, this program is supported fully and solely through the Georgia State Lottery.
But, living in Georgia we are not from the North, we are not former mideasterners. We are "yankees". There are people here who are STILL fighting the Civil War. My dh is an elementary school teacher and he has had school children look him straight in the eye and say, "my grandpappy told me that the south won the war". Please do not ask me about the southern belles. They are a myth, there is NO such thing.
So reading about Maine, and Massachsetts, and what I know already about N.J., Indiana and now Georgia, I can say it will be what it will be. We have no control over how others feel about us. We can only just do our best to go along and treat each others each day as we would like to be treated.
When new neighborts moved in across the street we welcomed them with sandwiiches and iced tea. First time they had ever had salami sandwiches. They claimed they liked them. We helped expand their horizons.
They have lived across the street for well over a year now and we have never spoken a word since the day they returned the pitcher from the iced tea. I smile and I wave when they pass and they do the same. Some of my neighbors probably think dh and I are stuck up. We enjoy vacationing in the Caribbean, their idea of the perfect family vacation is camping in Pigeon Forge, TN. or spending the day at the lake on their pontoon boat.
Different strokes for different folks. You bet. Do we enjoy living here? No, we are stuck here due to a poor economy and outrageous prices elsewhere. We are not willing to trade a 4 bedroom home in Georgia for an apartment in N.J. which would cost more than our mortgage payement. Just doesn't make any sense with the wisdom we gained from our elders.
But no matter where we live, we all get out of bed each morning and work to pay our bills and put food on the table and keep a roof over the heads of our family.
We live in a still fairly rural unincorporated part of our county. Twelve years ago there were more horses in our county than people. Eight years ago jsut two miles from our home a hairdresser was kidnapped from her highway side shop and murdered. Today's local paper (local "DAILY" paper only prints 5 days a week ) reported separately, a kidnaping and an overnight break in and robbery at the VFW in our local downtown. Small town no more. We set our burglar alarm each and every night right about sunset. I wish our town was perfect.
Andrea have a safe trip down to your new home. We're all here for you and the trip reports you'll be sending for us to read. As it's been pointed out you will be alot closer to Aruba. Take care. Be nice to the cat and dog let them ride in side with you... You two are gonna love your new home!!!!