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Portland Maine
  • $550   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1147   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2117   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

93% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
lost in the winter forest, summer tourists
pedestrian friendly, rugged coastline, longshoremen, ferries, fresh seafood 6
cruise central, farmers market, and The View are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Portland (Maine) roommate rundown:

How do you feel about a rugged coastline? Surrounded by seafood and forests?

Also snow. And longshoremen. How do you feel about snowflake-sprinkled longshoremen?

Portland possesses all of Maine's beauty and its brutal winter, slathered in snowy longshoremen.

If you'd like to live happily ever after as a Portlander (East Coast!), you'll embrace all of that, along with a few appreciative tourists as well.

You really can't blame the tourists, especially in summer, when so many show up. You're basically living life inside a postcard for Maine.

In additional postcard similarities, along that coastline Portland's also got cute seaside shops, galleries, cultural tours, boutiques, bookstores, bars, pubs, coffee shops, restaurants (obviously including seafood), and museums, and all along cobblestone streets you can enjoy walking along in the great outdoors after consuming coffee or alcohol. Or both.

And cute longshoremen might be there too, enjoying same. Who wouldn't want to visit?

Portland also encourages appreciation of its maritime history, and its contribution to commercial shipping and fishing economies. You can see a lot of fishing boats, cargo tankers, sailboats, yachts and cruise ships, maybe go on some yourself.

Or you could get on a ferry to the islands in rest of Casco Bay and Nova Scotia.

So what about Portland is less postcard-idyllic? Not Portland so specifically, but just the speed of Maine . . . is about the speed of a small town . . . for some.

It's mostly about your recreational time. If you love fishing, you're not getting bored in Portland. Or if it sounds fun to snowshoe your way through a few errands downtown? You're having a ball.

But if nightlife is your thing? Slower-paced, smaller towns do not host the most excitingly diverse party scenes, at least not regularly. Nope. They do not.

Meanwhile, like other lower density places, the crime rate is also low!

So Portlanders have no worries regarding late night crime in train stations! Low crime rate is awesome! But also because . . . there's no real public transport in Portland. Or really, anywhere in Maine.

(Maine already knows this, but everyone else might not. You cannot rely on public transport here as it hardly exists. Also, again, there's just too much winter, sometimes too much for walking or biking. You and your roommates need at least one reliable car. Don't fight us on this then end up stranded somewhere chilly.)

Also don't fight us on the local maple syrup. If you can handle the snow, reward yourself with a delicious sip of your surrounding forests.

The rest of the Portland (Maine) roommate lowdown:

  • small coastal city in southern Maine, on the Atlantic Coast at Casco Bay . . . but still the largest city in Maine
  • about 100 miles north of Boston
  • about 65,000 residents, greater metro about 550,000
  • over 700 acres of public park, linked by over 70 miles of nature trail
  • Portland's summers are warm but short, you might not even need air conditioning. Winters are severe with heavy snowfall.
  • Snowfall inches vary yearly, but snowstorms are possible from November through April. Thunderstorms are possible in the summer months, but direct damage from a hurricane is rare.
  • Portland's economic history is mostly maritime, but they now also host a lot of tourism, banking institutions, and service industry.
  • Lobster, clams, scallops and other high quality seafoods are less expensive here, at many local restaurants really, but extra especially seafood restaurants in Old Port and along Commercial Street.
  • Old Port and the Downtown Arts District are walkable, but otherwise and usually you'll need a car.
  • Other than weather, driving in Portland is easy, with very little chance of getting stuck in a traffic jam.
  • Portland is relatively crime free like smaller towns and Maine in general tends to be, but still use your common sense.
  • home to Maine College of Art, Saint Joseph's College, Roux Institute, University of New England, and the University of Southern Maine



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Portland (ME)'s:

  • Portland Observatory: National Historic Landmark. Climb to the top for a stunning view of the waterfront, depending on the season.
  • Portland Farmers Market: Started in 1768, now in winter too.
  • Victoria Mansion: Built starting in 1958 as a summer home for Ruggles Sylvester Moore and his wife Olive. They were probably on the run from the heat in New Orleans. It's like an Italian Villa in America from almost 200 years ago, everything is preserved and lavishly superb.
  • The Holy Donut: Family-owned business since 2010, they put Maine potatoes in the dough.
  • Carlson Turner Antiquarian Books & Bookbindery: Curated treasures, carefully organized. Also about 40,000 used books in most categories including Maine.
  • Portland Symphony Orchestra: Established in 1923, one of the best orchestras in the country of its size, with a lengthy local concert season. You could also show up for "Symphony & Spirits," and experience live music in a community of music lovers drinking signature cocktails.
  • Fore River Gallery: Group of artists living in Maine and showing work co-operatively here since 2009.
  • Maine Roller Derby: Maine's first women's flat track derby league, since 2007.
  • Becky's Diner: On Portland's waterfront since 1991. Diner food along with seafood, you can get a club or salad with crab or a freshly picked lobster benedict. One of the places in town the out very late party folks finishing their night with a snack could run into the up very early waterfront folks starting their day with breakfast.


Here's the city of Portland (ME)'s official .gov for online services, from 311 service requests to rental housing resources to voter registration.





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.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.