Portland, The Rose City of the US state of Maine, is the most populated port, located on the Casco Bay Peninsula of Cumberland County.
Not to be confused with the city of Oregon, Portland Maine is spaced by 3000 miles and has around 600,000 residents nestled in it. This is probably why Portland is generally called a small town.
This thriving hub of New England is backed by stunning brick townhouses, phenomenal culinary delights, no traffic congestion, an abundance of nature and ocean views, live music shows, off-the-road skiing, and beach walks tempting New Yorkers and Hawaiians to move north.
Is Portland suitable for me? Here’s what you’ll get in the city that you should know before moving to Portland Maine!
1. What is Portland Maine Known For?
Portland Maine is known for its tourism scenes, marine industry, appreciation for its history and arts, 19th-century architecture, growing economy, and culinary outlook, and its importance in the Microbrew movement.
The economic capital of Maine has more than 3000 companies backed by small business owners making the largest concentrations like any other US city.
The city offers the purest drinking water, eclectic shopping experiences, the state’s largest hospital- Maine Medical Centre, the two largest banks of Maine- Unum Provident and Banknorth Group, and the largest producer of semiconductors, AI, and machine learning institutes.
2. Is Portland Maine Safe?
While Maine has the lowest crime scenes in the US, there are few cities where crimes are widespread in Portland.
Portland, Maine is an all-inclusive safe city to live in with a strong presence of crime control sense, vigorous police patrolling presence, and full-fledged safety programs in the neighborhoods.
It has significantly lower crime rates of 21 and 45 violent and property crime rates than the national average of 23 and 35 respectively.
The reason behind the rise of crimes in Portland is because of its closeness to I-95 and its proximity to larger metropolitan cities of Maine and the US.
The most common crime types that residents are affected by are Larceny, Burglary, vehicle theft, Robbery, and assault. Despite this, the residents feel free and secure to live in Portland Maine.
Study the comparison table of the crime rate in Portland vs. Maine vs. the US below.
3. Things to know before moving to Portland Maine
We understand that the city’s low crime rate has piqued your interest in learning more about it.
You may be wondering if Portland, Maine is the right place for you and what else the city offers.
Read on to find out more about what the city has to offer once you relocate to Portland, Maine.
4. Living in Portland Maine
Life in Portland Maine is just wholesome – big-city benefits with a small-town feel.
Probably, this is what makes the city different from Portland Oregon which has a much bigger and more vibrant city life.
It offers delicious cuisine scenes, walkable streets, a lot of picturesque beaches, beautiful lighthouses, and a long waterfront are what people crave over its downsides of snowy winter, higher cost of living, and competitive housing markets
Portland Maine is considered amongst the best places on the east coast of America to live in and the best small towns in the USA.
Families, retirees, and young professionals particularly look for a place where they can get ample outdoor options, safety, good education, beautiful homes, lively nightlife, and an impressive lifestyle – and Portland is one such city that delivers all of these at a glance.
5. Cost of Living in Portland Maine
Portland is slightly more expensive to live in Maine by 13% than the national average of 100 and even more expensive by 15% than in Maine.
For comparison, the cost of living in Boston MA is 51% higher than the national average.
Except for transportation and healthcare expenses, other factors like food and grocery, housing costs, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses remain on the higher side than the national average which counts on the higher cost of living in Portland.
So, if you’re moving from New York or Boston, you’ll find Portland way more reasonable and can save more on taxes and income.
A single individual can expect to spend around $2800 per month and a family of four for around $6000 per month, including rent in Portland Maine.
So, to live a comfortable life in Portland a single individual needs to earn an average annual household income of at least $55,000 and a family of four of about $90,000.
Check out the table below to learn about the average cost of living in Portland, Maine with the US average.
|Cost of living||Portland||Maine||US|
6. Taxes in Portland Maine
Maine is a mild tax-friendly state. The state doesn’t have social security income and local sales tax. The sales tax rate in Maine is 6%, which is higher than in other states.
The state provides an adult-dependent care credit, a child care credit, and a property tax fairness credit to reduce your taxes.
The total sales tax rate in Portland, Maine is 5.5%. The mean income tax rate of the city is 1.1%.
For instance, if the mean home price is $410,800, the annual property tax bill will be $4,575. Additionally, Portland has income tax varying from 5.80-7.15%.
Read the following table to learn about the types of taxes and their corresponding rates in Portland, Maine.
7. Housing in Portland Maine
Residents say renting a home is more affordable than owning it in Portland. The average housing and real estate prices in Portland are 48% higher than the national average, at $500,000.
This is due to several factors, including the city’s strong economy, its desirability as a place to live, and a limited supply of housing.
Furthermore, the more people are moving to the city, the more properties are getting sold up, and are rising every single year by 6%.
To be specific, new properties are getting sold out within a week in Portland as soon as they land on the market. So, homeowners queue to crack better deals and it’s months to get one.
Additionally, things go similarly in the case of rental homes in Portland. They are also found limited in numbers as the owner-occupancy rate is only 50%.
The typical rental homes range from $1000-$2500 for the studio to 3- 3-bedroom apartments.
|Housing costs||Portland Maine||US|
|Median home cost||$451,100||$338,100|
|Rental cost of a studio||$1300||$1080|
|Rental cost of 1 bedroom||$1490||$1180|
|Rental cost of 2 bedroom||$1930||$1430|
|Rental cost of 3 bedroom||$2430||$1860|
8. Portland Maine Weather
Portland Maine has a humid temperate climate with comfortable, short, sticky summers averaging temperature 50-70°F, extremely cold, snowy, long winters with temperatures averaging from 20-35°F and partly cloudy skies all year round.
The 5 month long harsh winters come up with an average annual snowfall of 72 inches bringing a lot of snow activities and festivals to take up – from skiing, winter hiking, and snowmobiling to sea festivals, and Christmas.
Similarly, summer is also the best time to go to Maine Portland to enjoy hiking, sailing, surfing, and more feeling the cool breezes with enough heat waves.
Portland Maine has 4 distinct seasons, along with summers and winters, springs and falls bring moderate weather with average temperature varying between 40-60°F.
The city gets 203 sunny days, and 49 inches of rainfall on an average, throughout the year for 129 days.
While July is the hottest month of the year in Portland with an average high of 80°F, January is the coldest and snowiest month of the year, with temperatures averaging 10°F.
|Months||Weather conditions in Portland|
|December-April||Cold and freezing weather.High chances of snowfall. January and February are the coldest months with freezing temperatures. The average high temperature ranges from 30-40oF. The spring season starts around March and marks an increase in temperature.|
|April-May||Dry, spring and cool weather. Days are warm and nights are cool. Occasional showers with thunderstorms. The mean temperature ranges from 50-70oF.|
|September||Mild weather, marking the transition from summer to fall.Frequent rainfall and cloudy days. The humidity level is moderate and comfortable. Precipitation is about 3-4 inches in September. The median temperature varies from 40-65oF.|
|June-November||Warm and pleasant weather. Rainfall is moderate. October and November have cooler days. The average temperature ranges from 60-80oF.|
9. Things to do in Portland Maine
Portland, Maine is a coastal city that is worth visiting. With an amazing seaside setting, it offers various scenic lighthouses, tranquilizer attractions, and tons of things to see in Portland Maine.
The Old Port area is packed with restaurants and bars. Portland is the 20th largest fishing port in the US. It supplies about 90% of the lobsters to the country.
The West End of Portland is very popular because of its charming architecture and Victorian neighborhoods.
|Kids||Watch whales at Casco Bay. Visit the Children’s Museum & Theatre. Explore the International Cryptozoology Museum. Enjoy at the Palace Playland. Visit Mackworth Island to find fairy houses|
|Couples||Spend a day in classic sailboats. Enjoy a candlelight concert. Take a food and craft beer tour. Visit the Seashore Trolley Museum. Book a water taxi to go to Fort Gorges.|
|Families||Visit Peaks Island. Explore the lighthouse of Portland. Take a tour of Portland Observatory. Explore the Portland Museum of Art. Visit the Bug Light Park.|
|Seniors||Spend a day at the Old Port. Visit the Victoria Mansion or Museum. Explore Fort Williams Park and Portland Head Light. Wander at Monument Square. Stroll along the Greenbelt Walkway.|
10. Cost of Moving to Portland Maine
Although the moving costs depend on the company, service and number of belongings, the standard cost of moving to Portland Maine ranges from $3000-$5500.
If you move locally within the city, moving companies charge around $550 to $2000, on average.
Opting for a moving company is a convenient way to move your important belongings from one state to another, but this comes with a price.
The moving companies help you by providing a quote for your move along with taking top-quality care of your goods and belongings, movers insurance, and providing additional services like packing, and crating for long journeys.
We have found out the best moving companies in Portland Maine based on their license database, online reviews, and insurance data.
- Liberty Bell Moving And Storage of Maine.
- Two Men and a Truck
- Eadle W. Notes and Sons.
- Safeway Moving
- American Van Lines.
11. Pros and Cons of Living in Portland Maine
While there are so many reasons to live in Portland Maine, as you read above, there are also a few disappointments that come along with it, about Portland that you must know you must deal with after moving to Portland Maine. So, here they are
- Beautiful landscapes all around the city.
- Vibrant history, art, and cultural panoramas.
- Less population diversity.
- Best culinary options to charge up your tastebuds.
- Excellent educational options.
- Lower crime rates.
- Laid-back lifestyle.
- Free, lovely, open-minded, and friendly people everywhere.
- Unfavorable winters.
- Scarce nightlife.
- Higher cost of living
- Scarcity of public transportation systems.
12. Best Neighborhoods in Portland Maine
Every year, Portland welcomes over 100,000 new residents seeking better job opportunities, lower income taxes, exotic seafood, moderate weather, amenities, and access to top-rated education and healthcare facilities.
However, settling down in a safe community with all of these amenities within walking distance is just as important as finding a job.
Here are the five best neighborhoods in Portland, Maine for new residents.
1. Old Port
Old Port is one of the best neighborhoods of Portland that has cobblestone streets and brick buildings. It has waterfront attractions, lobsters, fishing boats, and seafood markets.
The city is the best place for foodies and has long chains of restaurants, bars, and breweries. The rentals are expensive due to the high demand of the area.
2. Deering Center
Deering Center is a small town that has many spaces and lush greenery. There are a lot of housing options.
It is an excellent place for those who love the quiet and peaceful area. There are two top-rated public high schools. The crime rate is very low.
3. West End
West End is the growing neighborhood of Portland. It has old New England-style Gothic and Victorian homes that have wrought iron gates, columns, and many turrets to face the sea.
There are great public and private schools that contribute to a strong education system. The region is also home to the Western Promenade, a trail and open area for leisure walking.
4. Peaks Island
Originally called Pond Island, Peaks Island is home to about 950 people. It has various ice cream parlors, restaurants, grocery shops, rentals, art galleries, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum and the Umbrella Cover Museum.
On the other hand, the cost of housing can be slightly expensive. You can travel around the community via golf carts and bicycles.
5. Back Cove
The area is also known as the Back Bay. It is an excellent place for raising a family. Back Cover has the famous Back Cove walking trail that surrounds the whole bay.
From the trail, you can see the city skyline and reach other nearby parks and the East Promenade. There are tons of prominent private high schools. Moreover, the crime rate is moderate.
Moving to Portland Maine FAQs
Do you need a car to live in Portland Maine?
Living in Portland ME without a car is fine as the city is walkable and has TriMet, a great public bus transit system. It’s also a bike-friendly city offering bike lanes everywhere.
But having a car is fine as the City offers easy-to-drive car lanes and plentiful parking. Downtown Portland has terrible routes which make it almost difficult to walk during winter.
What’s the population of Portland Maine?
Portland Maine has a population of around 70,000 residents as of 2023, with 19% population under 18, 11% from 18-24, 36% from 25 to 44, 21% from 45-64, and 13% who are 65 and more. The maximum number of people in Portland are seen employed in sectors like management offices in administrative support and sales and related job positions.
What’s the ranking of Portland Maine’s education system?
Portland Maine ranks #12,296 in the list of best education in the USA.
Is Portland Maine a good place to retire?
Portland Maine is a good place to retire in the USA for providing big city amenities like the best healthcare system plentiful outdoors for seniors, a tax-friendly city and a lower cost of living afforded by the olderees.
We hope that the idea of living a great life in Portland has caught your attention now.
As it promises, proximity to outdoor activities, the coastline at your doorstep, the delicious lobsters galore, artsy scenes, and delightful lighthouses are what you’ll encounter to recharge your living in the town.
With many benefits and disadvantages of moving to Portland, the combination makes it unique from other neighbourhoods. So, what are you waiting for, pack your bags!