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Looking for homestead in Maine  RSS feed

 
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Good Morning!

My family and I (husband and 4 children) are relocating to Maine in May. We met at Unity College years ago and we've been itching to get back to Maine since we left. My husband has secured a year round position near Ellsworth and we are looking for a homestead/intentional community/farm that would be interested in hosting us (within an hour of Ellsworth). Our dream has been to start our own homestead in Maine for many years. We are going to spend a year or so searching for the right piece of property, but in the mean time, we'd like to live in a place with like minded people. My husband has many skills to contribute to the homestead, including years of creative construction, pole barn installation, a green thumb, and lots of knowledge pertaining to living in tune with the land. I have basic/moderate knowledge of the use of herbal remedies, essential oils, and natural medicine. I also enjoy gardening and growing our own food, although my thumb is not as near as green as my husbands. Our oldest child is homeschooled, the rest are too young still. If anyone has any information or leads for us, we would greatly appreciate it!! Questions are welcomed.

Thank You!!

Abrianna
 
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Location: out in the woods of Maine
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You are familiar with Unity, so I assume that you know about MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair.

MOFGA originated 'Certified Organic' in 1970. They have a full calendar of events across the state all year round.
http://mofga.org/Home/Calendar/tabid/417/Default.aspx

MOFGA has a wonderful Appenticeship program, many farms have Apprentices.
http://mofga.org/Programs/FarmApprenticeships/tabid/502/Default.aspx

MOFGA also has a Journeyman program, where experienced former-Apprentices are placed into positions as Farm Managers.
http://mofga.org/Programs/JourneypersonProgram/tabid/228/Default.aspx

I am active in the Penobscot County Chapter of MOFGA, we host a potluck and workshop every month, here in this county.

There is also a forum for MOFGA member farms where you could post:
http://www.mofga.net/Forums/tabid/56/Default.aspx

You could do a search of organic farms, to find those in the area you are focusing on, to start a conversation with those farmers:
http://www.mofga.net/tabid/130/Default.aspx?c=%&k=&m=1

Or here:
http://www.mofgacertification.org/?page_id=1492

Or look through the list of CSAs, to find those in your focus area:
http://www.mofga.net/Directories/CommunitySupportedAgricultureinMaine/tabid/268/Default.aspx

There is also a Maine Federation of Farmer's Markets, that might provide roughage for your quest:
http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org

There is an active Permi group in Portland, one in Orono, and one in Belfast. I can see if I can find points-of-contact for each if you need them.

Good luck


 
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If you know where to look you can find dirt cheap property in Maine.  As the paper industry dies a lot of the mills are closing up shop which means a lot of mill workers are moving out of state to the few places left in the country that are still up and running.   
 
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John Donovan Jr, any leads? Aside from searching for old paper mills, care to give some areas to look at? We've been casually looking for land in Maine, thanks!
 
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Abrianna Kremer wrote:Good Morning!

My family and I (husband and 4 children) are relocating to Maine in May. We met at Unity College years ago and we've been itching to get back to Maine since we left. My husband has secured a year round position near Ellsworth and we are looking for a homestead/intentional community/farm that would be interested in hosting us (within an hour of Ellsworth). Our dream has been to start our own homestead in Maine for many years. We are going to spend a year or so searching for the right piece of property, but in the mean time, we'd like to live in a place with like minded people. My husband has many skills to contribute to the homestead, including years of creative construction, pole barn installation, a green thumb, and lots of knowledge pertaining to living in tune with the land. I have basic/moderate knowledge of the use of herbal remedies, essential oils, and natural medicine. I also enjoy gardening and growing our own food, although my thumb is not as near as green as my husbands. Our oldest child is homeschooled, the rest are too young still. If anyone has any information or leads for us, we would greatly appreciate it!! Questions are welcomed.

Thank You!!

Abrianna



I do not have any ideas for you, but I do love Unity College and often work with the professors there. It is such a great college, and they are so active, that I wish Maine would realize what a great resourse it is and get rid of the University of Maine as their Land Grant University, and instead invest the money to a college that is really active.


It is wonderful to hear that Unity College has produced more than just great people in great careers, but ultimately a family! Best wishes for you and your families future.


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Melissa Erin wrote:John Donovan Jr, any leads? Aside from searching for old paper mills, care to give some areas to look at? We've been casually looking for land in Maine, thanks!



I was looking for several years before finally succeeding because I was limited geographically to not make my husband's commute insane, so I can tell you in my experience if all you are constrained by is finding the most affordable acreage, you are going to have a much simpler search the farther east and north you go. Anything in York & Cumberland and parts of Oxford & Androscoggin (counties) not nailed down in agricultural easements tends to be sucked up by real-estate developers making new suburbs in the middle of nowhere for vacation homes (I'm not exaggerating on this - I've driven by many in rural Oxford County in my meanderings where they are selling it for 50,000-100,000 per acre lot or so, destroying a perfectly lovely farm because of "potential" views or proximity to ski resorts. (I don't know how many times I saw "potential" view in a real-estate listing, but it was enough for it to turn into an irritating joke in my head.)

Maine Listings is an aggregate sorted first by county then by town/township, and then by type. The longer of a drive from Massachusetts land is, the more affordable it is. It drops off quite a bit to the east of the Androscoggin River, really, but the farther you go, the better the price on more hospitable land, even actual whole farms, or all of the farm minus the original house - which, if you have young children, isn't necessarily a drawback because of the lead issue.

There's a map on the website showing where the counties are, so you can see for yourself, but I'll go ahead and add my suggestion (from my experience of looking) that if you are purely looking for affordable land, start with Aroostook & Washington, then Piscataquis, Penobscot, and Hancock, and so on - working your way east to west and inland to coast. There are variations within those areas, and don't just completely not look in the west & south because you can always get lucky, but generally speaking, that's how I saw things over the several years I was looking. There were many places very near or practically on the coast in Washington and Hancock that were pretty dang affordable.

Good luck!!! <3
 
Melissa Erin
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Thanks so much! I've been looking on Landwatch and have noticed Aroostook and Penobscot being pretty cheap. That is what we are looking for, inexpensive land. I will check out Maine Listings, you gave lots of great info. So, all the way up in Aroostook they are building investment properties? Wild. Thanks again!
To add, we don't need a house on the property and yes, we do have young children so between lead and mold, we plan on building our home.
 
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I have a nice lot for sale near me.  Anson,ME  The price is high now, 7 acres for 22000, but it was just listed.  Wooded lot, stream front, dirt road.  Good luck, we love it here!
 
Travis Johnson
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Just a word to the wise, but stay WAY CLEAR of ForeverFarm and their FarmLink Program. It is an utter scam in my opinion. They have people PAY to be put on a list, but the number of farms available to buy, and those on the list looking to buy, is so skewed that you end up being on the list for years and paying for it.

They do make a few links every year, put it in a nice glossy brochure and make everyone think they are so great, but it really is just exploitation of wanna-be-farmers who have dreams of vast land ownership for the least possible money. Direct contact with the landowners is the best way. I know in the Monson and Brownville Junction areas you can buy an existing house for $12,000. I know that is not what you want, but it shows how cheap housing is.

STAY AWAY FROM FARMLINK though for the reasons cited above.


Also buy only the amount of land you need and no more. Property Taxes are in a death spiral here. What is happening is, as more and more people leave, it leaves less people to pay for a towns costs that are going up. As that continues, more people leave, it just keeps going. My property taxes have doubled in just the last few years. For you, you might buy just land and have cheap taxes, then as soon as a building is on it, the town jacks the price to more than a person can afford. I pay over $10,200 every year...$200 a week just to keep what land I do have. It HAS to be factored in to any decision.

 
Melissa Erin
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Hey thanks for the heads up Travis, I will not be using farm link, but especially the tax info, I was wondering about that, I see very low taxes on raw land but how much do they go up when a house is put on the land, quite a bit apparently. My mind is drifting back to our original idea of a yurt first.....
I saw a couple houses for sale, around $15,000, I wonder about the condition inside, water damage etc, are these houses so cheap because they are a mess, which is usually the case, or is it the tax issue, people leaving so lots of empty houses?

Thanks for the tip in Anson, that is a bit high right now, nice property though!
 
Travis Johnson
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Melissa Erin wrote:Hey thanks for the heads up Travis, I will not be using farm link, but especially the tax info, I was wondering about that, I see very low taxes on raw land but how much do they go up when a house is put on the land, quite a bit apparently. My mind is drifting back to our original idea of a yurt first.....
I saw a couple houses for sale, around $15,000, I wonder about the condition inside, water damage etc, are these houses so cheap because they are a mess, which is usually the case, or is it the tax issue, people leaving so lots of empty houses?

Thanks for the tip in Anson, that is a bit high right now, nice property though!




No jobs.

Maine is all about natural resources once you reach a certain point in the state. With us being the most heavily forested state in the nation, and then losing all but 6 paper mills in less than 3 years time, those logging/sawmill/paper mill jobs are gone. So the price in Millinockette for houses is now ticking upwards, but you could buy a perfectly good home in Milly for $30,000 a few years ago. 2000 square feet, 2 car garage, nice lot in town, cable TV, a mile from the grocery store and McDonads…

I am not saying that is for Permie Type people, but a teacher from out of state retired in Milly and loves it. Like he said, where else could he retire by spending only $30 K and be completely debt free in a nice home? Sure he has to put up with winters, but he is retired! And the best part is, he is only 15 miles from the biggest park in the state.

I got a lot of family up in Aroostook County and that is nice too, but a little cold for me. I was in the hospital with a guy from Caribou and I asked him why he moved down to Portland. "I got sick of seeing snow in June", he said. He was not joking. Even where I live, on June 2nd we had frost here. Its chilly here, it is COLD up there.


This was taken 15 miles outside of Millinocket.




DSCN3723.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSCN3723.jpg]
 
Melissa Erin
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Ah yes, jobs, that goes back to the paper mill situation. Snow and frost in June, wowza, all good things to consider, nice pic, thanks for all the info!
 
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