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Old 10-09-2007, 10:23 AM
 
641 posts, read 2,277,613 times
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People that know the area, what would you say is better?

We are moving in May from Arizona. My husband will be working outside Chambersburg Pa. We are looking at Franklin and Cumblerland County, Pa, and Hagerstown Md as a place to live. We have a 7 year old daughter. I do not know anything about the the schools in MD , but lived in PA and know they have good schools.

What are the differences in prices, and cost of living if any, lets say from
Chambersburg, Shippensburg pa, compared to Hagerstown MD.

In the end, I think we will have to fly out there, and look for ourselves. It is good to get insight from people that live there.

We do want rural living, and are very tired of the non ending persistant growth that has become Phoenix area. I get stressed out even driving in traffic to the store now, it is so bad. Hagerstown is bigger than the PA towns, but MUCH smaller that what I live in now. What is the traffic like there?

From what I have seen on the real esate boards, it seems that to rent in Hagerstown, is more expensive than PA, but to buy there it is cheaper. Is this correct ? We are unsure if we will qualify to buy with my health issues, but going to give it a shot, and if not, will wait two more years and save a better down payment, and will then buy. A lot of decisions to make,
anyway, any info you have , let me know.

Ps,. Also, are there big differences in crime rates between the two?

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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I live in Washington County, Md. Today there was a little impromtu chat on the Herald-Mail online forum (herald-mail.com), the newspaer for the tristate area. Its based in Hagerstown, Md. They mentioned area schools and housing. Many spoke highly of Smithsburg Highschool, specifically Chewsville. That's an area of Washington County, immediately outside of Hagerstown. There are rural areas and then over a hill a new development, that is life out here.

I have a love for the countryside of Pa and Franklin County. That would be my first pick, a rural area in PA. I also love Allegany & Garret County, Md. But our jobs are closer to DC. Sadly, the commute won't work for us. But we like what we found in Washington County, MD.
Franklin County, Pa is nice. Word is to look for homes outside Chambersburg, Pa. It is getting crowded and turning into a little city. The rural areas of both counties are nice, and different from their main cities. Not sure how Pa and MD taxes compare, you can assess their websites. Quality of life is better outside city zones in both counties. Some cities you mentioned are nice but having growing pains. (Feel free to PM me if a ? develops.)

www.co.franklin.pa.us (Greencastle, Shady Grove,Pen Mar, Quincy, & more)
Franklin County, Pennsylvania - Location and Maps (http://www.pavisnet.com/franklin/are.html - broken link) (PA visitors network)

Washington County Maryland Home Page (wash county md links to schools/cities)Sharpsburg, Smithsburg, Clear Spring, Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Maugansville, & More)
Hagerstown - Washington County Maryland Convention & Visitors Bureau
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,187 posts, read 4,785,451 times
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I would say that living in those places in MD will be more expensive than the places in PA you are considering at. Property taxes will probably be higher in PA.

Here's the big catch about MD: if you work in PA and live in PA, your individual state income tax rate is 3.07% and you might have a local rate of 1%. If you live in MD, your state rate is higher than 3.07%, and your local rate is much higher than 1% for the most part. If you are a high income earner, the difference can be significant.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:33 PM
 
641 posts, read 2,277,613 times
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Default Re

Thanks so much for the information.

One reason we are considering Hagerstown , is that I figured it would be easier for me to find work. My husband already has a job he is transferring to in Chambersburg, but I do not. I work in Administration for a die shop, and figure I would have better chance at finding a job around Hagerstown, than in PA. Unlike my husband I hate driving, lol. I run the office, the accounting, and also run the shop and train the shop employees.
Probably won't find anytjhing like that out there, but even just office administration would be good.

Thanks
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:34 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,876,008 times
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I've seen some tax comparison web sites completely miss the county income taxes for MD. Generally, the state income tax is 5% of your adjusted gross on the Fed. return after adding back in the deduction for state taxes. Then you add about 2.5% for most counties on top of that to pay in area of 7.5%. Sales tax is 5% with food and drugs excepted. Bring a car of any age into the state and you pay 5% of its blue book value once. MD is considered a fairly high tax burden state unless they miss the county tax - then they think it is low.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:00 PM
 
641 posts, read 2,277,613 times
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Ouch, that sucks. You have to pay 5% in MD? When I moved from Reno to New Mexico, never had to pay anything, or from New Mexico to Phoenix. Ouch. I guess in PA, you also do not pay unless you bought the car in the last 6 months. Mabey we should stick with PA then. We will be buying a used SUV so we can tow a trailer, or mabey we will just get a uhaul and then buy a second car up there. We have a second car here, but its old and on its last leg, so that one has to get replaced. We did just by a new Altima though, and I would hate to have to pay more tax on it.

Wendy
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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govenor plans to change the sales tax to 6% here soon
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
937 posts, read 2,373,126 times
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Hi,
This is weird. We are actually moving from Chambersburg to PHX. We bought a house in Goodyear and we leave here in about 2 weeks. I think Chambersburg is very nice. We actually live in the Borough, but as far south as one can live. There are certain areas in the Borough that aren't too nice, but even those areas are nicer than the really bad areas of Hagerstown. You will probably pay less for rent or purchase of a homes here. State income tax is 3.07%. Local income tax was just raised to 1.7%. Sales tax is 6% with food and clothing exempted. Our house was $232,000 and our property taxes are about $2100. My husband and I both work in Hagerstown. It was a big adjustment when we first moved here (from Sierra Vista, AZ), but now I am REALLY upset about leaving here. We have a 10 year-old who is devastated. This is the nicest family-oriented neighborhood that I've ever lived in. If you need any specific recommendations, just let me know. I forgot to add that Borough utilities are really inexpensive. Our bill includes electric (all electric house), water, sewer and trash. It has ranged from $69 in the Spring to about $250 in the coldest month. Generally, it is below $100 for everything. People outside the borough pay higher rates. Traffic in this area will be a piece-of-cake compared to either PHX or Tucson.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:22 AM
 
641 posts, read 2,277,613 times
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Thanks for the info.

Why have you decided on comming back to Phx, just curiouse?

For me, flying out for Christmas will be enough for me ,lol

I have had enough of out here. This was was worst summer on record and its only going to get worse. I Do not even want to be a snowbird, because even in summer, traffic is bad, lol

Yeah I hear people on the boards complain of Chambersburg traffic, but I dont think it could be as bad as here

My family owns property up near Scranton, and we could stay there, but then my husband would have to find a new job, and hes been at this place for years, and is secure in his job, so thats out of the question.

I think we will probably end up doing PA just because I want the small town.
A little snow wont kill me, just dress warm. In PHX, even with the AC on you still feel run down and have no energy just from being outside in it for even 5 minuits.

As far as the cities go though, goodyear is not bad. They have some nice homes out there and your near Lake Pleasent.

Wendy
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
937 posts, read 2,373,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amatrine View Post
Thanks for the info.

Why have you decided on comming back to Phx, just curiouse?

For me, flying out for Christmas will be enough for me ,lol

I have had enough of out here. This was was worst summer on record and its only going to get worse. I Do not even want to be a snowbird, because even in summer, traffic is bad, lol

Yeah I hear people on the boards complain of Chambersburg traffic, but I dont think it could be as bad as here

My family owns property up near Scranton, and we could stay there, but then my husband would have to find a new job, and hes been at this place for years, and is secure in his job, so thats out of the question.

I think we will probably end up doing PA just because I want the small town.
A little snow wont kill me, just dress warm. In PHX, even with the AC on you still feel run down and have no energy just from being outside in it for even 5 minuits.

As far as the cities go though, goodyear is not bad. They have some nice homes out there and your near Lake Pleasent.

Wendy
We're moving out there for my husband's new job. His current job requires a lot of time away and he got a phenomonal job in PHX. A friend recommended him and they rarely hire. I am really sad to be leaving here. At first, I thought this area was way too rural and I started crying when we got off the highway. Now, I love it. We have everything we need. Chambersburg traffic is a joke!! We live close to Orchard Road which tends to get a bit backed-up as you approach Wayne Ave. on Friday afternoons! We both grew up in SoCal, so it takes a WHOLE lot more traffic than that for me to even use the work traffic! I-81 moves at the speed limit at all times. I've never seen it slow down. I take I-81 to I-70 for work and the 70 can slow a bit on the on/off ramps, particularly on Fridays. It will not compare to the I-10, 51, 17, 202 or anything else in PHX. I think you will really like it here if you don't have the need to be in a big city. We're 3 1/2 hours from NYC (drove to Manhattan and parked downtown several times) and about 2 hours from D.C. We used to go to Hagerstown for everything, but now Chambersburg has almost all the same stuff. We still go down for Marshalls and Panera, but we are getting a Panera really soon. It is starting to cool down here and it is quite nice. I'm dreading the heat of Phoneix. We leave here next Thurs.
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