Moving to Maine: State Relocation Guide

Have you ever wondered what state inspired the great writer Stephen King? Can you picture what it would be like to live in a state 83% covered by forests? And can you imagine what your children might learn in one of the best schools in the country?

Well, look no further than Maine. Located near the border of Canada and not too far from the Arctic Circle, Maine is a little further north than you might expect. But, it’s the perfect culmination of everything you want from a new home.

Moving to a new state, especially one so far north, can bring you unnecessary anxiety and stress. So, use this guide to quell some of those fears.

In this relocation guide, you’ll find helpful information about the climate, taxes, healthcare, education, job opportunities, cost of living, and the best places to live in Maine.

Maine Climate

Maine is the most eastern part of America and is the most northern state in the continental 48. Because of this unique location, Maine is the nation’s coldest state in the lower 48. 

The summer months average between 60-70℉, and the winter months average 15-25℉.

Even though Maine is a relatively small state, it has three ecoregions that experience slightly different weather conditions. The three regions are the Northern Interior, Southern Interior, and Coastal.

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The coast receives 50-70 inches of snow per year, and the interior parts of the state have 60-110 inches. Additionally, Maine regularly experiences Nor’easters that can bring over 10 inches of snow in a single day.

Sitting in a humid continental climate, Maine is a picturesque forest location. The forests are accustomed to the weather, even the cold winters and significant snowfalls. 

Forests cover 83% of Maine, making it one of the country’s greenest and most beautiful states during the fall. The Pine Tree State has its fair share of blizzards, but you rarely have to worry about hurricanes, tornadoes, or thunderstorms while living here.

Taxes in Maine

When living in Maine, expect to pay taxes for most things. Maine has an income tax, sales tax, property tax, and corporate tax (for those looking to start a corporation/business).


Income Tax Bracketed or progressive

  • 5.80% – $0 (household)
  • 6.75% – $46,000 (household)
  • 7.15% – $108,900 (household)

The state and the local tax burden is 11%

Total taxed income adds up to $1,271/year for the average Maine resident
Sales Tax 5.50% sales tax Nationally ranked 42nd, meaning Maine has one of the lowest sales taxes in the country.
Property Tax 1.25% property tax Maine’s property tax levels are around average for the nation–16th highest property tax in the country.
Business Tax 8.93% business tax When you combine all the taxes above for a corporation or business, Maine’s business tax sits around 33rd.


Taxes are a part of life when you live in Maine, but they rank relatively low compared to the nation’s overall average. 

Job Opportunities and Cost of Living in Maine

When moving to a new state, you must know the job market and which fields work best for you. Although you might be moving to Maine because of a job opportunity or transfer, it’s beneficial to know what the market is like in case you need a change.

Overall, the job market in Maine is very close to the U.S. average.

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Although Maine residents make slightly less income than the U.S. average, Maine’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

Some of the best industries in Maine are agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.

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Each of these industries averages more income than the U.S. average. However, as good as these industries might be for the individual, Maine’s location and climate impact the economy’s growth.

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The business environment is one of the lowest, so very few businesses open in Maine, and minimal patents are coming out of the Pine Tree State.

Additionally, Maine’s employment is below average, partially due to the low migration of 0.5%. In other words, people aren’t moving to Maine as much as in other states. With fewer people coming into the state, job growth is ¼ of the national average.

Since Maine’s economy is nearly in line with the national average, it’s helpful to look at the cost of living and how you have to split your dollar.

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Overall, costs in Maine are very close to the U.S. average. But, it is more affordable in some areas. 

The most significant way to save money in Maine is transportation. The above figure accounts for the cost of gasoline, car insurance, maintenance, and public transit.

In most other categories, the cost of living in Maine is comparable to the U.S. average. However, if you want to move to the New England area, Maine is the most affordable option in the region.

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This lower cost of living is beneficial for those in the agriculture, mining, and manufacturing industries looking for a great place to live close to work.

Maine Healthcare

Maine is about average overall when it comes to healthcare, but there are some excellent notes to take away.

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Currently sitting #26 overall, Maine has average access to healthcare professionals and a moderate concern for public health. But when people can see doctors and nurses, the quality of care is substantially higher than in the rest of the country.

Although there are 270 physicians per 100,000 residents (60 higher than the U.S. average), some cannot afford coverage, so they don’t see physicians.

However, Maine legislators do a great job overall helping their residents find affordable coverage because only 7% of the population is uninsured, 5% lower than the national average.

Maine Education

When it comes to education, Maine has some of the best Pre-K–12 school districts. These districts help their students perform so well on standardized tests and college readiness that the districts rank #12 in the country.

The best districts in the state are Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, and Scarborough—all located in southern Maine.

Yarmouth Schools

With an A+ rating and just under 1,700 students in the district, Yarmouth boasts small class sizes with a 13:1 student to teacher ratio.

If you move to Yarmouth Schools, your children will be college-ready after attending high school because of the exquisite curriculum, clubs, and athletic programs to help them prepare for the step in their educational journey.

Cape Elizabeth Public Schools

Located right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Elizabeth Public Schools are some of the best in the state. Cape Elizabeth students graduate at a 92% rate, and many attend prestigious schools like the University of Vermont, Boston University, and the University of Maine.

Scarborough Public Schools

The Scarborough District is very close to Cape Elizabeth. Not only does Scarborough Public Schools offer excellent academics and clubs, but the athletics are second to none. When you review the dozens of championships over the last few decades, you can see the dominance of Scarborough High School.

Once your children graduate high school, if they’re like the majority of graduates from these school districts, they’re looking to continue their education at the next level. There are several excellent schools in Maine, like the University of Maine and the University of New England.

The University of Maine

The state’s flagship school, the University of Maine, ranks #213 nationally. And it has satellite campuses throughout the state that make it more accessible to students in different areas. The national ranking includes private schools, so among public schools, the University of Maine ranks 107th.

The University of New England

The University of New England is the oldest school in Maine, founded in 1831. It has over 30 majors available for students, with a student body of a little less than 4,100.

On the off chance that you or your child doesn’t want to attend one of Maine’s colleges and universities, there are other affordable options.

Thanks to the New England Board of Higher Education, high school graduates in the New England area can attend other schools in the region for a fraction of the out-of-state cost.

This program, known as Tuition Break, helps students in small states with few secondary education options find schools to attend without worrying about tuition costs. Although students won’t pay in-state costs, they save a lot of money avoiding out-of-state fees.

If you visit Maine before moving here, you’ll learn that there are plenty of educational opportunities for your children. With most of the schools located on the east coast, you can live, dine, and educate in one beautiful area.

Notable Highlights

Sometimes, it helps to know a little about your new home before moving. Maine is full of beautiful secrets —  there’s a reason it’s called the Pine Tree State. 

Here are some interesting facts to enlighten you about your new home:

  • Stephen King, the famous horror and thriller writer, hails from Maine.
  • Leon Leonwood Bean founded and started the outdoor company L.L. Bean in Maine.
  • Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other U.S. state–New Hampshire.
  • Forty million pounds of lobster, 90% of the country’s lobster, comes from Maine.
  • Maine is the coldest state in the Lower 48–only Alaska is more frigid.
  • Maine became the 23rd state in 1820 as part of the Missouri Compromise.
  • Many historians believe The Vikings first discovered Maine over 1,000 years ago. This fact is believable when you consider that Newfoundland, Canada (the first Viking settlement in the new world) is 1100 miles north of Maine.
  • Acadia National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country, with over 2 million visitors annually. And, Acadia National Forest is a sight to behold.

Now that you know a few cool facts about Maine let’s discuss the best places to live in the Pine Tree State.

Best Places to Live in Maine

I’m sure you’ve learned more about Maine than ever before. However, there is still one essential piece of information missing — the best places to live.

Knowing everything about work, taxes, healthcare, education, and climate is necessary and helpful. But, this information is all for naught if you don’t know to live in the best places.

But before we can delve into the optimal cities and towns, let’s go over a few quick reminders about moving to Maine:

  • Maine is the second coldest place in America, and the coldest in the Lower 48, meaning you need to bring plenty of warm weather gear. Don’t skimp on your thermals.
  • If you are packing valuables and breakable items, wrap them with bubble wrap or newspaper to reduce the chances of cracking.
  • Carry all of your essential documents on your during your trip. These documents include your driver’s license, car insurance, voter registration, social security card, medical insurance and records, and vehicle registration.
  • And last but not least, don’t feel stranded with your car during your move. With the help of Guardian Auto Transport, you can move your car to Maine from clear across the country with our state-to-state car shipping. Don’t let the stress of your vehicle ruin the next adventure in life. Let Guardian Auto Transport help you today.

Now that you know some essential information to streamline your move, here are the three best places to live in Maine:

Cape Elizabeth

Cape Elizabeth has one of the best school districts in the state. It’s also rated the best place to live in Maine because of its small population, quaint neighborhoods, and picturesque landscape.

When it’s time for the family to get out together, you can go to Crescent Beach State Park for fun outdoor activities.


Cumberland is certainly not Maine’s biggest city. It is a small town about 20-30 minutes outside downtown Portland. 

This town is very similar to Cape Elizabeth, except it’s a little more affordable. For those looking for a lower than average rent, you can save a lot of money living in Cumberland since it has much lower-priced real estate than surrounding cities.


Falmouth is one of the best areas in the state. Between Portland and Cumberland, living in Falmouth gives you unprecedented access to over 18 schools and beautiful natural and urban living spaces. There are so many gorgeous places to live in Maine. So, you’re bound to find the right home for you.


Living in Maine offers a different lifestyle and gives you access to more natural beauty than you might know what to do with. 

Depending on your location within the state, your climate might be slightly different. But overall, anticipate cold winters and mild summers.

Maine residents pay a lot of tax when you combine everything, making the cost of living a little higher than you might be used to. This factor warrants significant consideration if you’re moving from a southern state with no income tax or low property taxes.

Maine has some of the best Pre-K–12 education in the country. And with the New England Board of Higher Education, your children can attend other colleges and universities in the area for a discounted out-of-state rate.

It’s clear that Maine has a lot to offer families and singles. So if you’re ready to move, it’s time to find out how much it costs to bring your car. 

Check out how to ship your car to Maine.

Don’t let your vehicle add unnecessary stress to your move. Get an instant quote from Guardian Auto Transport today and find out how we can make your move so much easier.

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Tue, 11 Jun 2024 18:52:00 GMT
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