Portland, Maine is one of New England's most charming cities, which is a mighty big accomplishment considering the region. Maine's most populous city earns its spot at the top with a spectacular culinary and beer scene, historic architecture, a relatively low cost of living, and easy access to the great outdoors. The low prices (relative to New York), open spaces, and cultural offerings were compelling enough to draw one family whose story we shared earlier today out of their Jersey City condo for good.
Highlights include East End Beach, which you can walk to from Portland's downtown, historic Deering Oaks Park, the ferry to Peaks Island, music and performing arts at SPACE gallery, and restaurants such as Marcy's Diner, Eventide Oyster Company, and Novare Res Bier Cafe.
If any of that sounds appealing to you and you're in the market for a summer house, or eyeing a total relocation, here's a sampling of five houses and condos for sale, all of which clock in at a much lower price than you'd find in Manhattan.
43 Summit St., North Deering
This 4,123 square-foot Colonial, also pictured at the top of this article, has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two living rooms. Highlights include a large mud room, a gas fireplace, a screened-in porch, a full basement with a workshop, and antique barn beam trims that decorate door frames and mirrors, making the house feel all the more rustic. The house is a 10-minute drive from Downtown Portland, and is within walking distance of Presumpscot River Trails. It's listed for $575,000.
161 Pine St., #4, West End
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This former mansion, built in 1882, was recently converted into condominiums, and though much of it has been updated, it still retains some of its original elegance. This particular condo has two bedrooms and three baths, with high ceilings, large windows, and a light-filled sunroom. It is located in Portland's residential West End. Asking price: $598,500.
41 Belfield St., Deering Center
Beauty is in the details in this lovely three bedroom, three bath house, which has glass doorknobs, original hardwood floors, built-in bookcases, a screened-in porch, and a natural-gas fireplace in the living room. It's located in the residential Deering Center neighborhood, which means access to outdoor activities along the Presumpscot River, and plenty of independent coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and retail. It's listed for $325,000.
18 Hill St., Apt. 2, West End
For smaller households, this one-bedroom, one-bath condo in the West End is a cozy alternative to some of the city's bigger houses, for a slightly lower price. Highlights include updated appliances, a shared patio, lots of sunlight, and easy access to popular haunts such as Bramhall Pub and Salvage BBQ. Listed for $179,999.
98 Bonnybank Terrace, South Portland
If you're in search of a more suburban experience, consider this four bedroom, one bath Cape Cod in South Portland. It's about a 10-minute drive from Portland proper, though the area still has its own dining, retail, and nightlife, including the popular Dock's Seafood, which is less than a 10-minute walk from the house. The house has an eat-in kitchen, a finished basement, and a backyard. The price tag is $174,900.
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