Cape Elizabeth : Maine

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What it's Like to Retire in Cape Elizabeth

Cape Elizabeth, Maine is an affluent suburb and small town of 9,000 just 5 miles from Portland.  This affluent town has a long, beautiful, and rocky coastline - much of which is visible from coastal roads.  Cape Elizabeth is an unusually beautiful place. The downtown is small but compact.  Besides providing access to great beaches like Higgins Beach and 3 coastal state parks, much of the attraction lies in its proximity to the up and coming, foodie-oriented city of Portland.  Pictured above is the Spurwink Congregational Church, a historic which dates to 1802.  Cape Elizabeth was the site of many pre-Revolutionary war battles including King Philip's and Queen Anne's wars. 


Where to Retire in Cape Elizabeth and Home Prices

There is a range of homes, mostly single-family, from modest to extravagent estates along the water.  Many nice family neighborhoods and a few developments that tend to be 50+.  There is at least one assisted living and independent living facility on Scott Dyer Road.  The median list price in early 2015 was $549,000 according to Zillow.


What is special about Cape Elizabeth

The beaches, the small town charm, the incredible scenery provided by salt marshes and rocky beaches, proximity to an interesting city like Portland are all plusses.  The Inn by the Sea is a luxury resort in town. There are 3 state parks in town - Fort Williams, Two Lights, and Crescent Beach - which are all very popular.  Bicycling is both popular and scenic along local roads. Nearby Scarborough  and other little towns are equally attractive.


What is not special about Cape Elizabeth

Winters are cold and dark, although slightly moderated by the nearby ocean. Housing is getting expensive and is much above the national average. Maine is not the tax-friendliest state, although the sense of New England thrift was strong enough to defeat a proposal to expand the inadequate Thomas Library.


Who will like retirement in Cape Elizabeth

People who want to live in Maine near the coast will like Cape Elizabeth. The average age is 47, 10 years higher than the Maine average. It makes an ideal summer/fall residence for snowbirds.


Local economy is driven by

Education is a key industry. The town is mostly inhabited as a suburb for people working in Portland and surounding area.


Climate and Physical Environment

Cape Elizabeth is in southern Maine on the Atlantic Coast, just south of Portland.  The average winter temp is about 20 and the average July temp in the high 60s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Thomas Library has undergone expansion and is a beautiful modern asset to the community;  The standard for restaurants and produce stands (fresh lobsters all year and veggies in season) is high; The Inn by the Sea and Good Table both provide outstanding food; Other nice restaurants are available in South Portland and Portland, which pride themselves on being food-oriented.; the art and music scene in Portland is rich.



The crime rate is very low.


Medical facilities

Nearby Portland has a great hospital and all of the medical specialities represented.



The Portland Airport is served by Jet Blue and is quite convenient.  There is bus service to Boston. Local bus service goes to Portland.


Valuable Links

Wikipedia page on Cape Elizabeth


What people are saying about Cape Elizabeth

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  • State: ME
  • Environment: Suburban,Coastal,Small Town,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 80,000+
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: <80 (Very low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

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