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Bangor
  • $350   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $786   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1553   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

56% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
freezing to death in an ice storm
cheapest rent, outdoor snow recreation, few traffic jams, lobster 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Bangor roommate rundown:

Bangor is the easternmost metro area in the US. Most of what you'd imagine goes along with that designation? Yes.

So: mostly white (people plus snow), very quaint, lots of lumber, lots of lobster, lots of ice fishing, lots of anything else winter? Yes yes yes yes yes and yes.

Really, it's mostly cold. That's the main thing for which you will need to be prepared.

In addition to that, the local economy is not diverse. Most work in healthcare, education, lumber or the Air National Guard.

If you can find a worthwhile way to earn or pay for school plus learn to love winter weather, Bangor would reward you with some of the lowest rents in the country and locals happy to meet new residents.

Which is awesome because you will likely need their help during your first ice storm!

The rest of the Bangor roommate lowdown:

  • easternmost metro area in the US - small town, about 150,000 in the Bangor metro area
  • higher than average percentage medical personnel than most cities due to two large hospitals
  • about 95% white, so not ethnically diverse
  • home to the University of Maine, Husson University, Eastern Maine Community College, Beal College, Bangor Theological Seminary, and Hudson College
  • main industries are healthcare and education
  • lumber, paper, and shipping center for Maine
  • downtown area is quaint with locally owned shops
  • Bangor is home to the Bangor Air National Guard base.
  • Bangor is NOT pedestrian-friendly. In terms of public transport options and weather, it's fairly hostile to non-drivers. You and your roommates will likely need reliable vehicles. But the upside here is there are very few traffic jams and commute times are wee!
  • There's an extremely long and severe winter with snow on the ground most of the year. Summers are mild. You and your roommates should be prepared to lose electricity in the winter due to ice storms.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Bangor's:

  • Steamed lobster: The classic local meal is steamed lobster, as most US lobster comes from around here.
  • Bangor City Forest: You and your roommates could go cross-country skiing. It's about 700 acres of wildlife habitat with more than 9 miles of trails for running, biking, hiking, and snowshoeing.
  • Rocky Beaches: Bangor is close to the coast, and features beaches, but they're not your warm and sandy variety. They're rocky and rugged, and the water stays COLD.
  • The Bangor State Fair: Ongoing over 150 years, one of the country's oldest.
  • The Zillman Art Museum: At the University of Maine, features a number of permanent exhibitions plus art workshops for adults.
  • Moosehead Lake: Popular fishing spot.
  • Jeremiah Colburn Natural Area: Good for bird watching.
  • Blueberry Wine: Local wineries feature blueberry wine, because Bangor loves its blueberries!
  • Orono Bog: You and your roommates could experience the unique flora and fauna of a Maine bog here. But don't bring your dog.
  • The Bangor Opera House: Built in 1889, and still stands, sort of (it burned down and had to be rebuilt in 1953, then massively rehabilitated again in 1999). Some say it's haunted now due to all the drama. You can your roommates could call the box office and schedule a tour.
  • Stephen King's Red Mansion: He lives in a red mansion with white trim outside downtown Bangor. There are wrought-iron spiders and bats out front.
  • Paul Bunyon: There's a 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyon towering over Bass Park. Many say this Bangor Bunyun is the jolliest and the handsomest of all the Bunyons in existence. For special occasions he occasionally wears a fez.


Here's the city of Bangor's Public Health & Community Services page, which links to a number of local services including Healthy Homes initiatives. Also moth avoidance.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.