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Old 11-30-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Hello everyone, I recently recieved a job offer in Allentown, PA and was wondering if anyone can reccommend a safe area that is somewhere between Allentown and NYC, where my girlfriend works. She is aware of the commute and will only be making it a couple times a week.
Thanks in advance for all your help.




Where are you coming from? I will be coming from Queens.
Why are you moving? Pretty much, I got a job offer in Allentown, PA and am looking to relocate somewhere between Queens and Allentown.


Will you buy or rent? At first i will rent until I get the lay of the land and figure out where I would like to eventually buy.
What is your budget ? In order to save for a house I will probably be looking for an apartment in the 1-1.2K range. As far as a home, when its time to buy we will be looking in the 300k range.
What kind of place are you looking for ? Probably a 2 bedroom apartment or house.

Will anyone (spouse, children, pets) be moving with you ? Yes, my girlfriend.
Do you need/want good public schools? Nope, we dont have or plan for any kids.

Briefly describe the kind of neighborhood you'd like to live in. Basically, I lived in Queens for a year and I hate it. I need room to stretch while having the convienence of having the option to go shopping, to a bar, or a decent restaurant. Demographically, we are both in our 30s and are white.

List three things that are important to you in order of importance. I suppose the most important thing is that the area be equidistant between Allentown and Queens (at the absolute max I would have to live an hour away from Allentown because i will be on call sometimes). Secondly, we are looking for a nice suburban area that isnt overly crowded (yet still has options for activities). Third, I would like to avoid paying taxes that are through the roof ( I know its Jersey and youre going to pay either way however

Last edited by Galaxyflyer; 11-30-2012 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
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There are a lot of places right along the Route 78 corridor that would fill the bill. Where in NYC does your GF work? There is a rail line that roughly parallels Route 78, the Raritan Valley Line. The only disadvantage is that you must change trains at Newark to get into the city. Bridgewater Township would roughly be the middle and I would argue, the line between the suburban and rural towns. West of Bridgewater getting into Branchburg and Readington will be more rural whereas heading east from Bridgewater (Warren, Watchung, Scotch Plains) becomes dense suburbia. Your commute would be a dream come true-no one is headed west in the morning on 78 but eastbound is a parking lot with the reverse coming home of course. I always poke around at the job listings in the Easton-Allentown-Bethlehem area for that very reason!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galaxyflyer View Post
List three things that are important to you in order of importance. I suppose the most important thing is that the area be equidistant between Allentown and Queens (at the absolute max I would have to live an hour away from Allentown because i will be on call sometimes).
Working for a railroad by chance? Just guessing since Allentown is a large freight hub and you mentioned being a maximum hour away because of being on call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galaxyflyer View Post
Third, I would like to avoid paying taxes that are through the roof ( I know its Jersey and youre going to pay either way however
That's probably going to be a little tough. My town is a bad example because our taxes are higher than most due to taking on a lot of debt in the 1990s, but I would say for a so-called "starter home" out here you can be looking at anywhere from $3-6K in property taxes per year. Substantially more if you're looking for a McMansion type deal.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply Badfish. Yes, I will be working for Norfolk Southern as a conductor. And yea, those taxes arent too bad actually...I know that theres alot of places that are 10K a year or more...so thats definitley doable for me.

As for the GF, she works at a school at Forrest Hills in Queens. I really see that being the only obstacle to living there....but she does have all her family there and I have to be accomodating to that. Odds are, she will have to get up early to beat the traffic or stay at her parents house on some nights if the commute back is too hectic.

I will look into Bridgewater, thanks.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:44 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
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If it was me I would look for an apt. around Clinton NJ until GF finds a job in PA and then both relocate to PA.

The commute to Allentown from Clinton would be about. 45 Min.
She can catch a train in Annandale or Lebanon. and switch at Newark to Penn station NYC 1.5- 2 hrs

Any commute to NY from West of Somerville is very time consuming so that should be considered a temporary situation.

I'm not a big fan of commuting so I am just suggesting a temp. solution.

With 90+ miles between work places a temp. central place to live would be the most important thing to me.

Bridgewater is OK because I like Bridgewater but the commute to Allentown is over an hour.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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Thanks PDD, i'll put this to the GF.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galaxyflyer View Post
Thanks for the reply Badfish. Yes, I will be working for Norfolk Southern as a conductor. And yea, those taxes arent too bad actually...I know that theres alot of places that are 10K a year or more...so thats definitley doable for me.
Good for you Those are tough jobs to get but the pay/benefits are good and the work is rewarding. Railroad Retirement isn't bad either! I tried to get on with Conrail for a while but once an offer finally came I had a house, a 3 month old baby, etc... My wife wasn't exactly looking forward to me being on call at all hours for the next 10-15 years Wish I had hired on right out of high school-I'd have a decent amount of seniority by now.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:07 PM
 
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Reading through this, you're going to be at a bit of a stretch on either end, so it all depends on which one of you wants to put up with the longer commute.

I'd be looking for a condo/townhouse for rent, somewhere in the couple mile stretch between Long Hill and 287 on the I-78 corridor, with your current needs and desires. I'd put that at more like 1hr 15min commute for you, but you're not really going to be able to get shorter with the lifestyle you'd like without going out to Clinton, IMO. And then that would be a very long commute for your girlfriend back.

Also remember the Raritan Valley Line isn't the only or even necessarily the best option. There is also the Gladstone Branch, which runs more along I-78 in the area, although it's still getting repaired from Sandy. (RVL is along 22).
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
Reading through this, you're going to be at a bit of a stretch on either end, so it all depends on which one of you wants to put up with the longer commute.

I'd be looking for a condo/townhouse for rent, somewhere in the couple mile stretch between Long Hill and 287 on the I-78 corridor, with your current needs and desires. I'd put that at more like 1hr 15min commute for you, but you're not really going to be able to get shorter with the lifestyle you'd like without going out to Clinton, IMO. And then that would be a very long commute for your girlfriend back.

Also remember the Raritan Valley Line isn't the only or even necessarily the best option. There is also the Gladstone Branch, which runs more along I-78 in the area, although it's still getting repaired from Sandy. (RVL is along 22).
Agree. Yeah, nothing's ideal for either but personally I believe OP should live as close to NY as possible as that commute is going to be the worst. The Allentown commuter is going against traffic (at least in NJ).
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:17 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,858 posts, read 7,542,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
Agree. Yeah, nothing's ideal for either but personally I believe OP should live as close to NY as possible as that commute is going to be the worst. The Allentown commuter is going against traffic (at least in NJ).
He really can't through-the railroads are sticklers about how far you can live from a crew base. You work odd hours and if you're on call you could have to pick up and go at pretty much any time of day. They do check up on where you're actually living, etc...
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 29,561,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
He really can't through-the railroads are sticklers about how far you can live from a crew base. You work odd hours and if you're on call you could have to pick up and go at pretty much any time of day. They do check up on where you're actually living, etc...
Thanks for the info. I didn't know this. That complicates things a bit.
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