The phone call or email from time to time poses the same Houlton Maine neighborhood question, are there any towns, areas to avoid buying real estate in?
Often the question is caused because where the out of state or country real estate buyer hails from, there are a slew of neighborhoods to avoid like the plague.
Gangs, heavy duty crime, blighted properties for neighbors. And they have experienced often what are called "transitional areas".
Where no real flavor of good residential taste is left in the mouth after a real estate tour.
Because it is a hodge podge of house here, business there or just too many rentals. People coming and going. No single family houses or pride of ownership happening in these regions.
So the inquiry about where to avoid, where to pin the tail on the property location donkey pick for a property purchase make me smile. We don't have bad areas, dangerous neighborhoods. There are no Maine towns to avoid that are bad to the bone, evil, twisted or spooky scary.
In the 4th lowest crime state, in Aroostook County where the statistic is half that again, the concern of neighborhood safety shifts.
From instead of worry about picking a Houlton Maine home in an area where the location is dangerous, where crime happens...to a shift to how far do you want to drive to work, the hospital, schools, recreational pursuits? The location is more about your time and gas. Not red lining in laundry marker on a map an area, community or neighborhood considered a pirate place. A "skull and cross bones" dangerous neighborhoods. Full of red flags and mine fields to run away from, to avoid using the brakes when passing through. With the advice to just roll through that next stop sign before someone jumps your car. Wants to hitch a ride, with very bad intentions.
Have to remind the urban house buyer that carries a fully charge taser, a conceal weapon that they should relax.
The house doors are not locked, the keys are left in our vehicles parked out front. People in small town Maine communities wave, smile, hold doors. Let you go in traffic, or let you step ahead of them when you are carry a few items closing in on the Piggly Wiggly check out cash register. When they have a loaded cart with one bad squeaky wheel. Because you can be in and out quickly and they are considerate. Have manners, are raised to be polite. Kind of figure you would do the same if the shoe was on the other foot Chummy, Mister Man.
And everyone in a small Maine town is on the front line for customer service. What a refreshing change thinks the buyer from the city, urban area where it's eyes to yourself. Don't get involved, suspect everyone. Live with caution, carry a little fear of being in a box canyon situation. Not able to get out of and to generally mistrust people and situations. Think the worst and be prepared.
This a set up and to always be on your toes for a crime about to happen. Which they do experience round the clock in a concrete jungle, city landscape. Not once in a great while in small town Maine. It is the exception here, not the rule.
It's a simple case of if it's lots of people sardine jammed in a small city area, then expect plenty of problems to happen.
Don't forget, you can work in the city, but telecommute to a Maine small town to have the best of both worlds too. We have elbow room, it is not wall to wall, in your face here. Not like that in a small Houlton Maine like neighborhood of well spaced homes, houses. Often sitting on acres and acres of buffer privacy, seclusion, "insulation".
So stop fretting, don't have to ring your hands in worry or develop anxiety about making the mistake of picking a bad small Maine home town neighborhood.
We don't have snarky HOA (home owners associations) either. No lawn police threatening to take legal action because your grass turf is a quarter inch too shaggy. Or you continue after repeated warnings to leave the garage doors up, hang clothes on the line to dry.
Maybe causing blood to boil, smoke to come out the ears of other exclusive luxury area residents with McMansions.
By parking a pickup, other service truck in the front yard for all the blue blood neighbors to have to wince, cry about, to shame. You don't turn snarky or are out to impress in small Maine town living. All glitters is not gold and the outdoor living is the jewel. We have wildlife not people around us and with only 11 people per square mile in Northern Maine there is space. Lots of peaceful settings without people in them!
Getting exposed to drama, crime, hub bub on a daily basis. Maine is not that that kind of fanfare. It is simple living, down to Earth, friendly, family, hard working folks. And we leave people alone, less rules, more four season outdoor enjoying the place with all the space called Vacationland, the state of Maine.