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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:10 PM
 
5 posts, read 22,985 times
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Thinking of relocating to Shenandoah area of Pennsylvania from Mojave Desert, CA. Want to be closer to Long Island, where I have family and where it is too expensive to live. Rents and homes seem reasonable in Shenandoah area plus the homes seem old and not newly built, which I like and row houses. I am retired but quite active and working PT using a computer out of my home. Is it a nice area to live? How are the winters..not too much snow? It has to be less expensive than California, that is for sure. Thank you!
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:23 PM
 
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That whole area is decrepit. The boom time of anthracite coal mining ended years ago and the industries that came in to replace it (garment, shoe, textile) have also mostly closed. And look up "Tamaqua Cancer Cluster."
However, housing in the area is dirt cheap and the older folks who live there can be friendly especially if you're buying at the local café. And why not Shamokin? See link.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5SmoLF55YY
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:31 AM
 
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The higher parts of Schuylkill County tend to attract more fog/snow/ice limiting travel potential. Communities such as Shenandoah, Shamokin, Mahanoy City have high density, but without the mines nothing to walk to, and the homes weren't typically well built to start with. The mall near Frackville was just sold to a non-shopping center operator, so what stores there are might soon go away. When you throw in the possibility of mine subsidence, not only do you get what you pay for but perhaps even less.

A little bit further south and west, Tower City, Williamstown, and Lykens have coal town housing, but situated below the coal outcrop so they're not themselves undermined candidates to become the next Centralia. These are close enough to Harrisburg, and Hershey (the Penn State medical complex site), that some commute, plus there are lower elevation road options to mountain roads and I-81. (A mountain road in PA might not have the elevation of out west but they largely are paved over horse tracks so tend to be poorer quality.) I-78 has been improved in recent years and may be a better route to the NYC metro than I-81/80.

If you want cheap row homes in some random small town near-East Coast location, you might want to look into Cumberland, MD. It's at low elevation but isolated by nearby high terrain from many storms. Prickly pear cactus can sometimes be found in the woods nearby as it's the driest part of MD (not of course to be confused with the Mojave desert...) Both Amtrak (one daily) and the 'hound offer travel options. Large enough still to have basic shopping (and we do mean basic, chain grocery and Walmart, no Target). The town's setting gives more upside potential than the anthracite region.
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