Making up the furthest northern point of the U.S. in terms of territory, Maine is a long-known maritime state which shares a large border with Canada to the north. The state is sparsely populated inland where much of the region is forested and natural. In fact, the Appalachian mountain range makes up the northwestern side of the state, interspersed with various lakes and hardly any development whatsoever. Bangor, Maine, is the center point urban location of the state, which also has claim to fame of being the home of horror writer, Steven King. Other famous cities of Maine include Portland and Bar Harbor as well as Newport and Augusta.
Maine is a small state; its population of around 1.3 million ranks in the bottom 10 in the US. The local economy is also small, with gross state product coming in at around $50 billion. ME is also filled with beautiful natural scenery and one of the nation's lowest crime rates. Read on for our opinions on the best places to live, banking options to consider, and, of course, how to find the best deal on a mortgage loan in Maine.
The northeast is generally an expensive place to live, and ME is no different - as of this writing, the average home in the state will run you at least $225,000, placing Maine right in line with the rest of New England. If you're looking for a single family home, the price will run closer to $275,000. Expensive areas in the state like Scarborough and Kennebunk have a median sales price of about $650,000. More affordable areas include Lewiston and Auburn, with sales prices at around $150,000.
When most Americans think of Portland, they imagine the city in Oregon. It's a beautiful city, but so is Portland, Maine. In fact, a recent article placed Portland as the third best city in America to raise a family. The Portland Metropolitan area is home to about 33% of the state's total population, and it's ME's economic hub, largely due to its port and proximity to Boston.
Lewiston is the second largest city in Maine. Once a major industrial center, the city went through a decline in the 1980s but has since made a comeback. In 2007, the National Civic League named it one of the top 10 All-American Cities, marking the turnaround complete. Large local employers include the Central Maine Medical Center, TD Bank, and Walmart.
Though Bangor appears quite small, its population swells to over 100,000 when its entire metropolitan area is factored in; the city is the economic hub of northern and eastern Maine. Like Lewiston, the city went through tough times in the 70s and 80s but has undergone an urban renewal. Bangor consistently makes lists of the best places to retire.
While money certainly isn't everything, it's something you need to live your day to day life. At RateZip, we believe this means that it's essential that you pick a solid financial institution to take care of your banking needs. Below, we've put together a list of local banks & credit unions, along with major banks that have branches within Maine. When we're reviewed a particular institution, a link is provided.
Banks with headquarters in the state:
National banks with a local presence:
Ready to see how interest rates stack up across these banks? Find out now using our free financial search engine!
For those who want some seclusion and a feel of the great north, Maine is the state to move to. RateZip.com can help with extensive data on mortgage rates for the region. In 2013, mortgage rates in the state were always about equal to the national averages. This means that a consumer could get a good idea of the rate he or she would be offered in ME by checking a popular index like the Freddie Mac PMMS.
A conventional mortgage is any home loan that is not guaranteed by the government and has no government sponsored insurance. Consumers sometimes confuse "conventional" with "conforming". A conforming loan is one that conforms to the underwriting standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored entities (GSEs) that make up so much of today's mortgage market.