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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:31 PM
2,661 posts, read 2,829,003 times
Reputation: 2127


Originally Posted by coal cracker View Post
Poconos may be cheaper initially, but your heating costs, taxes will be relatively high, and don't expect the level of street maintenance you get in NYC. there will be many days you aren't going to make it in to work, and you will tire of the commute sooner or later. Even the most tough commuters get tired of driving from Pa. to NYC after about 5 years, it adds too much time to your day.

you'd be way better off quitting the job, finding another job in the suburbs, and then moving from NYC,

NEPA realtors prey on people like you, so they will put you in a home or condo at 3x the cost what a local person would pay. being used to NYC prices, you view it as a "bargain" when in reality, it's a hole, or has no privacy, or is on a noisy street, or has toxic gases i.e. radon, TCE under it, or black mold, or a noisy train nearby that makes it impossible to sleep at night, etc.


you'll be paying $600/month for heat, and if it's oil heat, you'll be paying $1000/month. If it's an onsite well/septic, the water quality may be compromised, and those on site septics need regular pumping and service, or they back up. your driveway will be plowed in solid with 3 feet of snow from the township plow in the winter. unless you have a monster truck you ain't goin' nowhere.

there are now hoodlums and gangs in the NEPA public schools that will beat up on your kids. there is heroin, cocaine, LSD, pot, hash being used rampantly. a neighbor kid got beat up in the local high school by 5 kids, they gave him a concussion, stold his cell phone and wallet, this was IN THE HALL during class changes, and none of the teachers stopped it. The 5 kids were expelled but the victim was unconscious and spent 2 days in hospital.

be aware you are not moving to heaven here anymore- unless you can buy 5 acres in the country, and pay $5000/year per kid or more for private school.

the realtors here are vicious. they'll charge you top dollar for a house with black mold, TCE, radon, bad septic, bad roof, termites, and sell it "as is" and say "I don't know" to every question you ask. the builders will charge you 2x what your house is worth on the open market today, it's a losing investment.
Realtors don't 'prey on people' or 'charge top dollar' ... they are basically the same everywhere. They list homes at what they believe is approximately the fair market value... the price at which a knowledgeable, willing, unpressured buyer would pay a knowledgable, willing, unpressured seller. This value will rise and fall with many factors including historic sales, mortgage rates, the local and national economy and jobs, inflation, supply and demand, replacement cost, etc.

If a house is overpriced, it will usually sit on the market until it is reduced to an acceptable sale price. That price will become part of the local 'fair market value' computation on the next similar property listings/sales. If priced way too high, it should sit a long time.

As far as 'defects' a wise buyer will enlist at least one reputable inspector and pay heed to the reports by either reducing offers commensurate with the reported defects and/or walking away. This is NOT a fail safe process. More homework is required before and during house hunting and sales negotiations. Buying a property anywhere is risky. In cities where condos and houses are traded often and comparables are often more easily available, thus the 'risk' factor may be reduced by the sheer number of similar transactions. Houses in the woods can differ dramatically from their neighbors or certainly others a mile or three away.

Quoting heating costs by the month using the worst case month is deceptive...BUT heating a house in the woods ain't cheap anywhere. They will vary a lot by house construction, equipment, and family/use. Do your homework. A house in the woods isn't a condo on the 5th floor of a 10 floor building. Is this a surprise?

Septic pumping costs a few hundred every few years with a normal well built system, which has a useful life of 15-30 or more years depending on 'stuff'. Have the well water checked/tested. A new pump will be needed in maybe 10-15 years. Again lots of variables. It will cost a few thousand to buy/install.

Snowplowing and lawn cutting and ...heck new roofs and other 'stuff' all will add to house costs over time.

Then if you commute there is that mess to compute and deal with. As many have said it isn't pleasant. Taxes are taxes everywhere. Do your homework.

If people are moving to NEPA only because they are thinking housing will be cheaper they may be surprised unless they do their homework. (BTW, it may be cheaper and even more pleasant for some people with big houses in NJ, LI, CT etc...) DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

(BTW, where did the hoodlums in the schools there come from?...buy your kid a gun ) ... uh, and do your homework.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:56 PM
Location: Long Island
749 posts, read 675,299 times
Reputation: 501
If you think oil is bad, try electric heat for a winter. I know if we ever decide to move full time here, that is one of the first things I would change out. We stayed up for one weekend over last winter in Hemlock Farms, kept the house at 68 and had a bill of almost $200, just for the weekend. Ouch. As others have said, don't move for the initial price point of the house. Anything compared to NY will seem too good to pass on. There are many other factors such utility bills, school tax depending on the county, and worst of all, that commute.
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