Affordable 55+ Communities in Maine?

danpvOctober 28, 2007


I just turned 55 last month and can't be happier to age-qualify for seniors only housing.

Unlike many, I'm planning to relocate back to the snow belt from sunny Southern California where I've spent too many years.

I'm particularly interested in retirement communities in Maine, my original home state and I've been doing lots of searching online. I've tried AARP, senior websites, State Senior/Elder services, realtor sites, SeniorNet, Mature Living Choices, etc, etc - enough searching to choke a moose.

Apparently seniors in Maine retirement communities are millionaires because the cost of most housing geared to seniors is outta sight. I could tell you some small horror stories I've already encountered, but I won't bore you. Okay, just one: purchase a free standing "cottage" starting in the low $300Ks, then pay two types of HOA fees; one (about $300/mo) for most utilities and maintenance, then another HOA-like fee of $300/mo as a "site fee" - like a land lease. And all this for an "independent living" arrangement in Topsham, with no additional services or amenities. Other communities in Belfast, Camden, York, Portland are even more expensive.

Simple "independent living" apartments often start at over $2000 per month. And of course, purchasing a condo or free standing "cottage" is generally much more expensive - and often require hefty "buy-in" fees in addition to purchase price.

I'm most interested in finding a bare-bones, no frills seniors only apartment/condo complex to rent until I can decide where I want to put down roots.

If any of you have specific recommendations about seniors-only rental apartments in Southern Maine especially, please advise.

Many thanks,


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hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Q&A from people in maine

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 2:33AM
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Thanks for the Maine link. I'll check it out.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Dan - You are too young to commit yourself to a Sr. Community. It sounds like what you are checking out is for one step before assisted living which can be very expensive. Why not find a nice apartment to live in while you check out your prospective area?

We lived in an over 55 community in So. Cal with no amenities or facility for further care; just 350 duplexes. At times it was so depressing to see the daily paramedic visit to the neighborhood and people who were old beyond their years who were just 'there'.

No matter where you land, be sure to lock in who shovels/plows snow; off-street parking, etc. I have a friend with emphasyma here in upstate NY who lives in a Sr. residence and she has to shovel out her car and move it so that the guy can plow the parking lot!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:24PM
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WantToRetire, I appreciate your input, but the thought of renting an apartment (kids and other unruly types) is abhorrent at my age.

But you are correct about retirement developments being expensive. Even "independent living" facilities apartments (1+1) start at over $2300/month rent only.

Some 55+ developments in Southern Maine where one might buy a stand-alone condo charge low six figures as a buy-in fee, then there's the cost of the actual condo itself - from the high $200Ks to over a half million. HOAs and remaining utilities are extra of course.

One 55+ development I investigated charges two monthly fees for those who buy stand-alone condos: the first is a "land rent" fee of $500/month, then there's the usual HOA fee of $300 to $400/month for utilities, outside maintenance, etc.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:39PM
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Dampy, I have EXACTLY your thought...I'll be 53 in October, and I can hardly wait to be able to qualify for 55+ housing. I'm soo tired of drugged out rude, ignorant loud inconsiderate losers around me. I just want to be in a quiet community where most everyone behaves and is considerate of their neighbor. Any 55+ community that I've ever visited is like that. I, too, am looking in Maine, only because my married daughter will probably be there in the next year or so. If I move there, I MIGHT qualify for low income housing because I can't seem to make any money on real estate, so that might help. Can you hide your money in a mattress for a couple years? No, I'm not really kidding.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:07AM
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