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Old 01-13-2017, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,974 posts, read 23,882,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollo02 View Post
The latest place I'm examining is Lancaster PA, which might be *just* close enough to a very large lake (a little less than an hour) to pass that part of the test at least, and it has good schools plus baseball and other amenities. Portland ME is still in the mix too, and I think we'd probably be there already if it wasn't for the cold/snow issue.
The Chesapeake Bay is only about 40 miles away. Which lake?
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:13 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,017 posts, read 1,036,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollo02 View Post
My wife and I continue the never-ending search for a place on the East Coast that fits our admittedly-extensive-and-conflicting criteria, and folks on this board have been helpful in giving us places to examine, so I thought I'd try once again based on our last move and what we now know (and we now have a 3-month old that I'm sure would like us to figure this out). I've also narrowed our list a bit (believe it or not):

Needs
-------
- Low crime rates (including property crime).
- Somewhere with a rural feel (where houses are far apart), but only 30 minutes or so from cultural events like plays, music (folk, world, classical), talks/lectures, vegetarian food options, etc. It's the access to cultural events that conflicts the most with a number of the other "needs" on this list.
- Within 90 minutes of at least a regional airport with commercial carriers.
- Within 30 minutes of a) a body of water that allows swimming; and b) quiet nature (where you won't hear highway or other road noise).
- Somewhere where it's affordable to purchase a 3BR single-family detached home for around $200,000. We know this potentially conflicts with a number of items on the "needs" list.
- Within 30 minutes of a professional baseball team (minor leagues preferable).
- At least somewhat diverse (i.e., not 95% white)
- Progressive would be ideal, but at least not very conservative/religious.
- Quality schools at the elementary school level.
Maybe southern New Jersey (exurban Philly)? I'm talking about the area somewhat north of the Atlantic City Expressway, moving south to Delaware Bay. Don't roll your eyes - there's Jersey and then there's the other Jersey

Spot check of crime rates in the smaller towns shows low crime rate

Very rural once you get mid-way between Philly and the Atlantic Ocean. The area is one of the nation's largest producers of blueberries and cranberries. There's also nearly 1/2 million acres of the Pinelands Reserve - last summer I drove nearly 2 hours on the back road (the only kind of roads, actually) and encountered 5 other vehicles. If you like isolated areas, this is hard to beat.

You're close to PHL and Atlantic City airports.

You're close to The Shore (not the Beach ... the Shore) for swimming. There are also parks in Pinelands.

If you're OK w/ Trulia and the like, it looks like $200-250k will get you what you want. It won't be in or close to a walkable downtown, so be ready to drive. NJ real estate taxes are punitive, though, so when you determine housing cost think mortgage + more than you'd expect for state/local taxes. On the plus side, they're probably tax deductible.

Minor league baseball in Camden, Delaware, and depending on the year, Philly itself

Demographics: mostly white. Possibly more of a mix in Vineland metro or if you get closer to Philly.

Progressive? The region was all over the place in last year's election ((See this map). I can't speak to how "progressive" expresses itself on a daily basis (and often have a hard time understanding peoples' interpretation of the word).

No clue about quality of schools at any level.

You might want to pose your question to the locals -> http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-j...-philadelphia/
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:42 AM
 
56,534 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Another small PA city that may work is Carlisle. It fits most of the criteria in terms of the elementary school, proximity to Baseball, proximity to the outdoor preferences, the arts options, cost of living, food options and I believe crime as well. Mooreland Elementary, near Dickinson College is the school that seems to fit.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:41 AM
 
4,902 posts, read 1,829,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvpsharky View Post
You can look at areas west of Providence .. Towns like Scituate and Smithfield are pretty rural (by RI standards) very wooded areas and only 10 mins from Providence, 50 mins from Boston, 2.5 hrs fron NYC, and less than 30 mins from the beach (ocean or bay) Providence has tons of cultural opportunities for a city its size. And, Southern New England has much milder winters compared to Northern NE.

I was going to suggest the same. You could find homes in your desired price range and meet most all of your other needs. Providence, the capital of the Ocean State, offers much of what you desire (restaurants, the arts, entertainment) and would be no more than 30 minutes away. There is a AAA baseball team in Pawtucket and an AHL hockey team in Providence for minor league sports. Boston would also be just about an hour away giving you even more options.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,449 posts, read 7,517,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollo02 View Post
The latest place I'm examining is Lancaster PA, which might be *just* close enough to a very large lake (a little less than an hour) to pass that part of the test at least, and it has good schools plus baseball and other amenities. Portland ME is still in the mix too, and I think we'd probably be there already if it wasn't for the cold/snow issue.
I think the Lancaster area is a great place to narrow your search (in fact that was going through my head as an option as I read the beginning of the thread before seeing your updated post).

I will admit that Lancaster County generally is on the conservative side for sure (although Lancaster CITY is a progressive/artistic hub), but it's more of an "understated, old school" conservative, not necessarily of the extremist variety. It's also very much changing demographically to a much more politically and racially diverse area, due to the influx of transplants like yourself, so time is on your side. Even more specifically, I'd recommend an area like Manheim Township (an immediate suburb of the city).

Otherwise, it's definitely a very balanced (weather-wise and in terms of an income-to-cost-of-living-ratio), low-crime and scenically very pleasant area. And what you can't find in in terms of amenities in the immediate area, you'll absolutely find in the nearby Philadelphia or Baltimore areas.

Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 01-14-2017 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:58 PM
 
56,534 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Another small PA city that may work is Carlisle. It fits most of the criteria in terms of the elementary school, proximity to Baseball, proximity to the outdoor preferences, the arts options, cost of living, food options and I believe crime as well. Mooreland Elementary, near Dickinson College is the school that seems to fit.
Carlisle's mayor is Black as well: https://www.carlislepa.org/governmen...mayor-council/

It is the Harrisburg metro area and is still pretty close to Baltimore, DC and Philadelphia. Its proximity to I-81 allows for quick trips to the Shenandoah Valley of VA or to the Poconos.

Here is some school demographic info: https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/in...=1&CS=1370CDB4

Carlisle Schools - Carlisle Pennsylvania School Ratings - Public and Private

More info: https://www.visitcumberlandvalley.com/towns/carlisle/

https://goo.gl/maps/yWBc2bWdunD2

Harrisburg International Airport*

http://www.ccorch.org

Carlisle Theatre Bringing Performing Arts & Education to Central Pennsylvania

https://www.cpyb.org

West Shore Symphony Orchestra

Cantate Carlisle

The Official Site of The Harrisburg Senators | senatorsbaseball.com Homepage

http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...ch/Carlisle_PA

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 01-14-2017 at 06:41 PM..
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:38 AM
 
56,534 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Carlisle's mayor is Black as well: https://www.carlislepa.org/governmen...mayor-council/

It is the Harrisburg metro area and is still pretty close to Baltimore, DC and Philadelphia. Its proximity to I-81 allows for quick trips to the Shenandoah Valley of VA or to the Poconos.

Here is some school demographic info: https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/in...=1&CS=1370CDB4

Carlisle Schools - Carlisle Pennsylvania School Ratings - Public and Private

More info: https://www.visitcumberlandvalley.com/towns/carlisle/

https://goo.gl/maps/yWBc2bWdunD2

Harrisburg International Airport*

http://www.ccorch.org

Carlisle Theatre Bringing Performing Arts & Education to Central Pennsylvania

https://www.cpyb.org

West Shore Symphony Orchestra

Cantate Carlisle

The Official Site of The Harrisburg Senators | senatorsbaseball.com Homepage

http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...ch/Carlisle_PA


Dickinson College also has lectures: Lectures and Symposia | Lectures and Symposia | Dickinson College
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:48 PM
 
19 posts, read 18,068 times
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I really appreciate the recent suggestions of Erie/Millcreek and Frederick. I actually have been taking a hard look at Erie, but the amount of snow Erie gets (6th most snow in the entire country) may be too much of a change coming from Alabama. I mean, right now we're leaning towards Portland ME, but Portland gets half the snow of Erie. Otherwise, I actually think Erie (or a suburb of Erie like Millcreek Township, since Erie itself might present an issue in terms of crime/noise) looks quite promising.

As to Frederick, I don't think we're quite ready to give up on the water yet. And yes, we *know* we're going to be making some serious compromises, even if that's not evident from the summaries I give. Portland ME (our top spot at the moment) is a big compromise in terms of diversity, and to some degree because of climate, but we've not been able to find a place yet that involves even more compromises than Portland.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:52 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,792,885 times
Reputation: 11136
Look at Chatham Co. North Carolina. It's south of Chapel Hill and Durham and west of Raleigh and Cary. It's got just enough highly educated hippy vibe to to balance out its country charm, sits is a quieter corner of the fast growing Research Triangle area, votes blue, has a large lake, is near minor league baseball in Durham, has low/average crime rates, is near two cities' cultural activities, is near a mid sized international airport and has reasonable costs of living. The county is about 70% white, 13% black, 13% Latino, 2% Asian and 2% mixed/other.
If you look closer to Pittsboro than to either Chapel Hill or Cary, the costs of living are lower and the chance of finding more land increases.
Economically, Chatham is basically a commuter county to the Triangle's cities/counties that surround it its north and east.
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:19 AM
 
56,534 posts, read 80,824,285 times
Reputation: 12482
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollo02 View Post
I really appreciate the recent suggestions of Erie/Millcreek and Frederick. I actually have been taking a hard look at Erie, but the amount of snow Erie gets (6th most snow in the entire country) may be too much of a change coming from Alabama. I mean, right now we're leaning towards Portland ME, but Portland gets half the snow of Erie. Otherwise, I actually think Erie (or a suburb of Erie like Millcreek Township, since Erie itself might present an issue in terms of crime/noise) looks quite promising.

As to Frederick, I don't think we're quite ready to give up on the water yet. And yes, we *know* we're going to be making some serious compromises, even if that's not evident from the summaries I give. Portland ME (our top spot at the moment) is a big compromise in terms of diversity, and to some degree because of climate, but we've not been able to find a place yet that involves even more compromises than Portland.
Actually, schools in Portland can be quite diverse and it may be a matter of where you live in the city. Here is some recent demographic information for 3 of the Portland Public Schools high schools: https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/sc...D=230993000603
Home - Casco Bay High School

https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/sc...D=230993000269
Home - Deering High School

https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/sc...D=230993000284
Home - Portland High School

So, it wouldn't be that bad in that regard.

More information: https://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/in...=1&CS=BEC33A12

Also, keep in mind that things can vary within a city. So, parts of Erie may fit what you are looking for.
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