Moving from Northern VA to Hershey Pa - need help (Philadelphia: middle-class, real estate)
Harrisburg areaCumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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I have recently been offered a job at Hershey Medical Center in Pa.
I was originally raised in Los Angeles, then moved to the east coast to the D.C. metro area, and live in Fairfax, Va. with my husband and 2 kids. My husband is a London-N.Y. sort of fellow. He works in D.C. After being a stay at home mom for the last few years putting my career aside for family, I am finally getting a chance to start a career again. I am thrilled beyond belief to have been given such a wonderful opportunity. Though my husband is supportive, he feels very shaky about moving to Pa., away from a big city. Additionally, though we were both raised in (L.A. and London) our heritage is from an India. My husband has a fear that anyplace lacking skyscrapers, air pollution or migraine inducing traffic might instead be inhabited by rural folk prone to tar and feathering people that look different. He doesn't want our kids to be stared at, or bullied, and he thinks that equality and tolerance are things that only happen in big cities. I really want to give Pennsylvania a chance, the people I met there were so incredibly kind and friendly.
So here is the compromise:
My husband is willing to work from remote and move our family to Pa. on one condition. He wants to move into a very nice large home, in a well reputed neighborhood whose property values will appreciate. Mainly because of the real estate rule of location, location, location. I cringe at the thought of an outrageous mortgage. So long as it's comparable to Northern Va, I suppose we can afford it.
Personally, I have dreamed my whole life of moving to a place where the flowers that grow are planted by nature instead of city gardeners, where grass grows naturally, and where the seasons are beautiful, and a peaceful and quiet neighborhood and excellent schools for my kids. I wanted to know the best place to move in or around Hershey that is comparable to Fairfax, Va. I also dont want to bust my mortgage budget, so a balance between a good neighborhood that will allow my kids entry into a good school system, coupled with an upper-middle to upper-class reputation is what I am looking for (but i dont want to be nailed by ridiculous taxes).
Sorry for the long story, I'm just trying very hard to make things work out for everybody.
Which counties are good? which cities around or in Hershey? or which neighborhoods (streets).
The Hershey area is a beautiful but rural area. It's a great place to raise a family. The season are great, except those dreary cold winter months after Christmas until April.
I'm quite sure that homes are less costly than VA. The area near the hospital has many beautiful upscale homes where many of the professionals live. My late builder designed many of them.
well the good news is out hershey way all the homes will be much much cheaper then in N.VA!! you will get a LOT of house for your money.
to be completely honest, i would be a little nervous sending your big city husband out to rural hershey. personally i LOVE the town ( i lived 3 minutes outside it in hummelstown), but i am not from DC. there is no denying there will be a huge transition that would need to take place for everyone. i say go out and give it a really hard look. try to picture yourself in the slower pace - and the idea of having to drive a little bit further to find what you (and then maybe NOT finding it) as opposed to all the options you have right at your fingertips. that being said here is a bit about the town...
hershey is a great little town. it IS rural tho - be prepared for culture shock. the nearest city is harrisburg which in no way compares to any of the cities you mentioned.
hershey is immaculately kept. in the summer the hold all kinds of fun concerts in the community park. in the winter, there is "winter at hershey park" where they have made all the shops christmas oriented and have strung the entire place with more lights then you can imagine. and of course you cant beat the smell! step outside and all you smell is chocolate!!! (no joke.). the Dauphin school district is very good as well.
hersehy medical is right there so - along with having a wonderful hospital right next door, you can probably find some dr who wants to move and VOILA!!! there is your nice big house!
go drive around it. have a realtor show you some homes - you and he may fall in love with it.... or you may decide you want to consider living closer to philly instead! GL!!!
I moved to Sounth Central Pa from the DC area last year and while it has been an adjustment, it was not as bad as I thought. I also like the energy of a large metro area, but still enjoy the tranquilty of a small town. Since I live in York and work in Baltimore, I have the best of both of these worlds. Additionally, I still like to visit friends in MD/DC/VA, and can be there in an hour and a half, so I'm not discontent at all. I do miss being able to hop on the Metro and have literally countless nightlife and cultural options at my fingertips, but I suppose that's my tradeoff for a cheaper and larger house.
Given the fact that Hershey is indeed one of the pricier areas in the region, Your mortgage should still be considerably lower than NOVA and with more space.
As for feeling out of place, you will not. While Hershey and Harrisburg does not have the diversity of the DC region, Fairfax County in particular, there is no need to fear.
Hershey is an upper-middle-class town. The Med Center brings in a lot of foreigners, including Indians.
Taxes are high for the area, but probably lower than Northern VA. You will have no problem finding a good house that will appreciate in value.
It is a small town - but there are cultural events. The Giant Center is home to concerts in the region. There is also of course Hersheypark and Heshey Bears ice hockey for entertainment. Harrisburg is only 15 minutes down 322, and there are three malls (including two Macy's) within 30-40 minutes (Harrisburg Mall and Capital City Mall).
The excellent thing about Central PA is the location.. 2.5 hours to Washington, 3 hours to NYC, 1.5 hours to Philadelphia, 1 hour to Baltimore. You're right in the middle of everything.
I dont know PA as well as most posters here, as I too live in Fairfax. But I think Hummelstown will have what your husband is looking for. There are also some estate-type homes in Hershey. I'd just point out to your husband that with all the doctors at the medical center, there is obviously going to be upper income housing available.
Congrats on your new job! That is great news in these tough times.
P.S. With all the tourists in Hershey, I can't imagine that your children will be stared at.
Although this is thread necrosis I guess I'll put in my $0.02 regarding where I now live.
The school district is Derry Township co-extensive with the local government limits Derry Township... Where Itâ€™s Just Sweeter! : Derry Township PA. Hershey does not legally exist. There are some areas with a Hershey postal address that are not in Derry Township and there is a significant area with a Hummelstown postal address that is. So if one's primary motivator is the schools look in both 17033 and 17036 for realtor listings.
We have a daughter in kindergarten and the names and faces of her classmates reflect considerable diversity in racial and ethnic background. To be honest this diversity is not yet reflected in political control of the local government. Kindergarten is still half day and the timing of school activities and social groups reflects an evident bias towards accommodating stay at home parents vs. working parent households. The PTO meets during the DAY, and a lot of Scout/church/dance type stuff meets at 4:15 pm which certainly doesn't accommodate getting the kids there on a normal working schedule.
The parks are nicer than surrounding communities' and most are connected by a paved bike trail that has been developing in fits and starts.
Shopping in Hershey itself is pretty much nonexistent. There are locally flavored stores in legally separate Hummelstown Borough. Most shopping is at power centers or malls about 8 miles away with Harrisburg addresses. But if it's Nordstrom class shopping you want, one must drive a couple of hours to Baltimore area or King of Prussia.
It's possible to take the train in to NYC for a shopping day - long day. Elizabethtown is slightly closer and has free parking vs. Harrisburg for catching Amtrak into Phila/NYC. Harrisburg (MDT) airport is fairly close. My wife flies a lot for work and when we fly for pleasure we usually wind up there too. Two hops to anywhere but we'd reather do that than drive to BWI.
The folks across the street from us moved from NoVA at the peak of the bubble. The fellow moved for a job in Hershey but went back to his old job and now drives down to Dulles area to work on an early morning shift but apparently they like doing that better than moving back. It's certainly a lot quieter than NoVA, and there is much more job opportunity in the Harrisburg area than other areas in PA.
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