Home sweet home

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My husband and I recently purchased our first home. It was a decision made after many months of discussions about what we wanted, where we wanted to be and how much we were willing to spend. But it was also an experience (like many here) that highlighted some of the great differences between our former lives and the one we’re starting to form in Maine.

Coming from California, everything in Maine seems reasonable – except maybe a private island. But that’s out of the picture no matter what state it is in. But a modest three bedroom, two bath that would cost $300,000-$700,000 depending on where it was in the golden state, compares to about $150,000-$225,000 here in Maine.

However, I came to learn that didn’t mean our decision was any less to make. In fact, because of the prevalence of homes in our price range, we often felt inundated with choices and in constant competition with other buyers who seemed to scoop up the perfect places, days or even minutes before we even had a chance. One thing we did have going for us – we weren’t loyal to any one town or city – we looked as far west as Carmel, as far south as Bucksport, east to Dedham and everything in between.

We ended up with a home that is opposite to what we thought we’d buy in almost every way — it’s in town, on a corner lot, sits on less than an acre and has less than 8-foot ceilings. Oh, and it was built in a previous century, a fact that out west would make the home more of a historical landmark than a viable living space.

But it’s perfect. It’s sloped ceilings upstairs still have me wondering about decor and bed placement and the low, late 1800’s ceilings have me dreaming of the house closing in on me. Yet, I love the old colonial charm, the location, the positive impact living in an already-built home can have on the environment and the tree-lined street filled with kids and families out on bike rides and walks.

Plus, it means we’re digging some roots here in Maine — something we’ve never really considered since leaving California for Oregon five years ago.

So tell me readers, what can I bring into our new home to make it perfectly Maine? Are there any great local home decor stores we should check out, beaches full of driftwood for the taking? Please share!