The marching to Maine to find cheap land.
To run away from all the layers of players whenever you want to build the new dream home. Or add on, do the updates when you are smack dab in the heart of an urban setting. The big attraction, the main reason besides low price tags for Maine land is you get all this space. Wide open surroundings without too many people to spoil the setting. To make it so you can’t hear yourself think.
Maine, it looks attractive to those wanting to avoid all the strangle hold of zoning, building codes, all the rubber stamps of approval steps. That are costly in time and the green stuff. Permits for this, waiting for another municipal meeting, running everything by a snarky restrictive home owner’s association in a planned development. That sizes you up to see if you are a blue blood and going to fit in or not.
Maine is simpler. Because we have less people, there are way way fewer of the head and horns, big cheese chiefs telling them us what to do that over regulation causes.
Move along people. No more herding them in this or that direction. Because freedom to build slowly, a little today, adding to what you started along the way. As time and your budget allow. It makes whatever you do create way more interesting and thought out practical. Because nothing was rushed, no one had a gun to your head. You had choices in the decision making with the stress of heavy duty pressure.
Soil tests for the septic system is one must when you do build on the cheap land in Maine.
Making sure your water source is a well at least 100 feet from the sewerage disposal operation. More on what’s the heck is a HHE 200 soil test plan tht is pretty important paperwork. You can have a privy, make the trips to the little shack out back. The outhouse which is environmentally the best for the good Earth. And have a gray well disposal area designed for shower and kitchen water.
Still need the soil tester involved in the pretty straight forward paperwork that the licensed soil tester, site evaluator cranks out. That shows the dimensions of the leach field or disposal area. That is bigger or smaller depending on the number of bedrooms in the dwelling. With it designed for pressurized or forget the pump to create designs to handle what you want to dispose of that no one likes to talk about much.
Besides the folks wanting a piece of dirt for low cost vacation use, for the investment side of things, piece of mind is another motivator to buy cheap land in Maine. If the country gets into more hot water, if the quick sand of expensive government red tape causes the city mice to head to the hills where their country brethren roost. Starting over in rural Maine is an attractive notion of an increasing number of people.
The Amish over the years have found Maine on their real estate radar.
The cheap land prices, easier codes for building and just less all around regulation is appealing to their simple lifestyle. The supply of farm land in Maine is great and the smaller fields that bigger growers don’t mess with are idea for the Amish. Who strive to keep things like their were a few generations back in farming. Horse drawn this, hand done that makes the farming harder. But keeps the Amish industrious and pretty much to themselves.
In many areas of Maine you see new Amish settlements. Hear the clip clop of their horse drawn one color carriages. With the group huddled inside wearing the same shade of black. In over a half dozen communities in Maine, Amish settlements have ignited. Sparked from earlier visits from the Amish scouts to check out their brave new land called Maine, the state by itself in the northern outpost of the country. And bordering Canada where the difference in the dollar to loonie exchange can add to the sizzle and allure. Depending on which way the currency value tips.
The Amish have helped taken up the slack of the shrinkage of original farmer head count in Maine.
The trend nationally of farmers being an average age of 59 is not what is happening in Maine. The Amish, the resurgence of farming with micro agriculture younger operators have made Maine bucking the trend. With more than four times the national average of new farm starts the headline in Maine today.
The Amish home school, pay property taxes and contribute to the local economy with their trade mark storage sheds, leather harnesses, bike sales and repairs, etc. I have used their vertical metal siding to re-side a big family farm barn. And their dark as the inside of a cow general store in Smyrna Maine’s Amish community is stocked to the ceiling with nifty devices and fair prices. The Prairie Princess wood cook stove like the other items they sell are tried and tested by their own Amish communities. They sell what they use in their households on a daily basis.
Another Amish settlement in East Hodgdon Maine I was involved with as the broker with the listing on a border farm that looked into Canada made for a perfect setting. Except what do you do when you cattle, sheep, farm animals wander across the US / Canadian border? Disconnection of the power into the home, sudden building of a variety of structures was done quickly as I observed the the migration of new families to this Hodgdon Maine location in Southern Aroostook County.
Industrious, private, family oriented, the Amish element in our Maine landscape has added a tourist attraction.
They Amish group in Smyrna Maine from Tennessee landing here in 1996. The Fort Fairfield Central Aroostook collection arrived in 2007 from Heuvelton, NY and Ohio, Missouri, Iowa. The Unity area Amish population from Missouri, Kentucky and down from Smyrna settled in 2008. The Sherman, East Hodgdon and Patten area groups all showed up between 2011 and 2012.
But the shy but friendly Amish population in Maine tries to tend to the chores, raising their large household of respectful boys and girls. The Amish don’t vote. They take care of their own self funded Amish healthcare. Part of the admiration of the Amish when you live with them as neighbors is the preserving the yesteryear farming lifestyle.
Using old ways to produce the bounty from the farm land. But also observing the way they work together on projects from barn raisings to house construction. On their own spread and hired out like ants at a picnic in time’s a wastin’ country building projects. Relying on the home or barn builder to pick up the Amish crew to and from work. Or hiring others to transport the materials if not handy to their own Amish farmsteads. Check out the video from a recent Maine farm sale that was built from the ground up, along with a barn by the Amish community in Smyrna Maine. See, hear the Amish home building in action at this link.
On Thursdays, the Amish in our area have “community project day”.
They leave their farm land homesteads to go help another in their group. To round robin do whatever needs attention on the spread down the road. There is a connection and working together manner that is impressive. In a day and age of “me me me” when it used to always be about others. Many are realizing how the get more by giving more really works in small rural Maine. Money is not the end all. The way you treat others with dignity and respect it and kindness wins the day.
How do we adjust to the Amish in Smyrna, East Hodgdon, Fort Fairfield-Easton, Unity-Thorndike, Sherman-Island Falls and Patten?
Well motorists see the horse and buggy signs, slow when a carriage is coming at you or when you come up on one pretty fast on a country highway. The black makes seeing them at dusk or later very hard so I avoid those highways and opt out for the faster Interstate 95 by pass around the communities that do have Amish settlements in Aroostook County. Having a horse hit for a new hood ornament is not a pleasant thought.
Nature’s Circle, a local New Limerick organic farm operation partners with the Amish produce growers for their root crops, the squash, potatoes. With expansion of what is grown and shipped to organic markets planned. I grew up on a convention farm and the introduction to organic crop raising has been enlightening. Thinking more about where did this food come from and how it was handled makes food safety pretty darn important. There is nothing better than farm to table, close to home farming to feed your family the best food available to make them grow tall, strong, happy and healthy.
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