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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:23 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 1,831,342 times
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That's a brutal commute and you can't really know how you are going to handle it until you do it. Also bear in mind that we often get lots of snow here while the city gets nothing. So you cannot necessarily count on a snow day to save you on the worst days.

We live on a mountain, with three very, very steep roads to go up and down before we hit the main town/county/state roads. I mention this because it never occurred to me to take that into consideration when shopping for land in the middle of summer, but it can be a huge problem in the middle of winter when the plows havent come yet and you need to make the bus (I take a 5-5:30 bus, depending on the day, to start a 7 am shift). So check your elevation and your roads carefully and factor that in to any decision about managing the commute.

I also advise against carpooling -- wear and tear on the car and stress on you should not be underestimated. The bus is wonderful in that regard. Plus wi-Fi. Cost of the bus to the port authority is about $540 a month. You WILL pay more than that driving.

Schools -- the districts up here are uneven, so research that carefully before deciding where to look. I don't recommend the one I'm in (East Stroudsburg) but others have spoken well of Stroudsburg -- both are the closest to NJ and fastest bus options. There is also Catholic school, which my son attends (Notre Dame). Consider that if you buy cheaply in a poor school district you will have a harder time selling if the move does not work out.

And I would strongly recommend renting for a year to ensure you both can handle this. He will not be home much at all, and when he is, he will be sleeping. Getting home at 6 or 7 sounds nice, until you consider that he will be going to sleep at 8. And you might feel very isolated. Everything is farther away here and the range of services you are used to simply is not here. So rent first. Really.

HTH!
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,226 posts, read 7,413,441 times
Reputation: 17881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gettingouttahere View Post
That's a brutal commute and you can't really know how you are going to handle it until you do it. Also bear in mind that we often get lots of snow here while the city gets nothing. So you cannot necessarily count on a snow day to save you on the worst days.

We live on a mountain, with three very, very steep roads to go up and down before we hit the main town/county/state roads. I mention this because it never occurred to me to take that into consideration when shopping for land in the middle of summer, but it can be a huge problem in the middle of winter when the plows havent come yet and you need to make the bus (I take a 5-5:30 bus, depending on the day, to start a 7 am shift). So check your elevation and your roads carefully and factor that in to any decision about managing the commute.

I also advise against carpooling -- wear and tear on the car and stress on you should not be underestimated. The bus is wonderful in that regard. Plus wi-Fi. Cost of the bus to the port authority is about $540 a month. You WILL pay more than that driving.

Schools -- the districts up here are uneven, so research that carefully before deciding where to look. I don't recommend the one I'm in (East Stroudsburg) but others have spoken well of Stroudsburg -- both are the closest to NJ and fastest bus options. There is also Catholic school, which my son attends (Notre Dame). Consider that if you buy cheaply in a poor school district you will have a harder time selling if the move does not work out.

And I would strongly recommend renting for a year to ensure you both can handle this. He will not be home much at all, and when he is, he will be sleeping. Getting home at 6 or 7 sounds nice, until you consider that he will be going to sleep at 8. And you might feel very isolated. Everything is farther away here and the range of services you are used to simply is not here. So rent first. Really.

HTH!
This is the post that all those wishing to relocate should heed. It doesn't put the worst spin on moving to the Poconos, but it doesn't sugar-coat it either.

Everyone has a different tolerance for bad weather, solitude, length of travel to shopping and recreation, and The Commute.

I think this post should be a Sticky.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:29 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 1,831,342 times
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Thanks theatergypsy.

There are many good things about living here -- we are spoiled by the sounds of nature and have forgotten what it's like to hear unending traffic noise. Ironically, we went to camp at Ricketts Glen a few years ago and were up all night because of the sounds of cars! It was like camping in the city for us. LOL.

We are surrounded by nature's beauty, but I have to admit: that can be hard to remember in the dead of winter.

But there are many things that become harder to do, or at least, very different. Some folks like the quieter, more distant pace of life. Others are unnerved.

There's a family in our development that moved here from the city about four years ago. They built a nice, standard colonial. Every Christmas they string lights around the inside of their window frames and ignore the rest of the house/outdoors, etc. I am amused daily when I drive by -- it's like they haven't realized they own the WHOLE LOT.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:04 AM
 
136 posts, read 155,677 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gettingouttahere View Post
That's a brutal commute and you can't really know how you are going to handle it until you do it. Also bear in mind that we often get lots of snow here while the city gets nothing. So you cannot necessarily count on a snow day to save you on the worst days.

We live on a mountain, with three very, very steep roads to go up and down before we hit the main town/county/state roads. I mention this because it never occurred to me to take that into consideration when shopping for land in the middle of summer, but it can be a huge problem in the middle of winter when the plows havent come yet and you need to make the bus (I take a 5-5:30 bus, depending on the day, to start a 7 am shift). So check your elevation and your roads carefully and factor that in to any decision about managing the commute.

I also advise against carpooling -- wear and tear on the car and stress on you should not be underestimated. The bus is wonderful in that regard. Plus wi-Fi. Cost of the bus to the port authority is about $540 a month. You WILL pay more than that driving.

Schools -- the districts up here are uneven, so research that carefully before deciding where to look. I don't recommend the one I'm in (East Stroudsburg) but others have spoken well of Stroudsburg -- both are the closest to NJ and fastest bus options. There is also Catholic school, which my son attends (Notre Dame). Consider that if you buy cheaply in a poor school district you will have a harder time selling if the move does not work out.

And I would strongly recommend renting for a year to ensure you both can handle this. He will not be home much at all, and when he is, he will be sleeping. Getting home at 6 or 7 sounds nice, until you consider that he will be going to sleep at 8. And you might feel very isolated. Everything is farther away here and the range of services you are used to simply is not here. So rent first. Really.

HTH!

The advice about elevation helped, thank you. He and his coworker would carpool maybe once or twice a week and take the bus the other times. Driving is more expensive, but it does save a lot of time. So he would only drive maybe once a week.

Renting wouldn't really be possible. We can't pay our mortgage and also rent out there at the same time. Too expensive and it just doesn't sound logical. I highly doubt he'd want to sell our house and then rent, because then we'd be stuck.

I keep insisting he stay at his coworker's place for 2-3 nights and commute; just to see what it's like; especially now with the cold/snow. He always says he can handle it and it should't be too bad. I'm warning him that it may burn him out, but he insists he'll be ok.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:31 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 1,831,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlover84 View Post

Renting wouldn't really be possible. We can't pay our mortgage and also rent out there at the same time. Too expensive and it just doesn't sound logical. I highly doubt he'd want to sell our house and then rent, because then we'd be stuck.
This doesn't make a lot of sense.
Selling your house and putting the money in even something low-interest like a CD doesn't jeopardize the money and how are you stuck? You mean with a year's lease? You're gonna be way more stuck with a mortgage on a place you decide you hate in six months.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,680 posts, read 3,262,911 times
Reputation: 6533
Quote:

Schools -- the districts up here are uneven, so research that carefully before deciding where to look. I don't recommend the one I'm in (East Stroudsburg) but others have spoken well of Stroudsburg -- both are the closest to NJ and fastest bus options. There is also Catholic school, which my son attends (Notre Dame). Consider that if you buy cheaply in a poor school district you will have a harder time selling if the move does not work out.
Just one clarification: There are two high schools in the East Stroudsburg district, and certain aspects (test scores, free/reduced lunch ratios, etc.) are very different. The original South HS is "in town", while the sprawling North campus was built on top of the mountain in about 2000 during the "cheap housing" boom. So, if you're looking at a house and the agent says it's in the East Stroudsburg district, get clarification as to which high school the house belongs to.
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:08 PM
 
136 posts, read 155,677 times
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I did read on greatschools.net that Stroudsburg schools are a bit better, but when I went on sites to search for homes, I would only get 25 results of homes under 200k. E Stroudsburg I get way more.

Thinking about going to spend a weekend there with my husband in a couple of weeks. Not much time left to check out the area since I'm nearing my due date. I've been to that area many, many times (especially as a kid when my family owned property there), but never went with the intention of being interested in moving there. It will give it a different perspective. I'm thinking of possibly contacting a realtor to look at homes and see what we'll get for what we want to spend, but I don't want them thinking we're serious to buy yet and will need to wait a couple of years. I don't know if that will be a problem.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,680 posts, read 3,262,911 times
Reputation: 6533
I don't think that will be a problem if the agent thinks they're good and can get you to change your mind and buy now!

One more thing on schools: Like Gettingouttahere, my kids go to Notre Dame and we've been very happy with the experience. I have one recent grad and a 10th grader, and they started in pre-K and have always gone there. It may be worth it to check them out along with the public schools. Your kids would not be the first children of public school teachers to go to Notre Dame!
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:48 AM
 
136 posts, read 155,677 times
Reputation: 90
Not gonna look into private schools. We might as well stay here and use our good public schools if we're gonna go there and pay tuition.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Long Island and PA too:)
213 posts, read 253,340 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlover84 View Post
The advice about elevation helped, thank you. He and his coworker would carpool maybe once or twice a week and take the bus the other times. Driving is more expensive, but it does save a lot of time. So he would only drive maybe once a week.

Renting wouldn't really be possible. We can't pay our mortgage and also rent out there at the same time. Too expensive and it just doesn't sound logical. I highly doubt he'd want to sell our house and then rent, because then we'd be stuck.

I keep insisting he stay at his coworker's place for 2-3 nights and commute; just to see what it's like; especially now with the cold/snow. He always says he can handle it and it should't be too bad. I'm warning him that it may burn him out, but he insists he'll be ok.
I think your idea about your husband staying a few days with a coworker is a good idea. I have an Uncle that worked in NYC, he moved from Bay Ridge Brooklyn to Middletown NY, which is not too far from Milford PA. He didn't mind the commute for the first few months but after awhile, he hated it. He went through cars like a runner goes through sneakers, he turned into an extremely cranky guy, and that's putting it mildly. He always regretted not moving to Long Island and settling for a smaller house. I love the drive going to our summer home in Bushkill, but we only go once or twice a month, and have only done it since September. I am not sure I could handle that drive daily, but some people can endure driving more than others.

This is just my opinion, but if I had my heart set on making a permanent move to the Poconos, I would rent out my house and then rent a house in PA. For the rent you could get from your house on LI, you could afford to rent a big home in PA. This way if you wanted to move back, you would still have a home to go to. I had another Uncle that moved to Upstate NY. He sold his LI home, moved to Rome NY and bought a home there. He was retired so he had no commute issues. He always longed for the tranquil country life. But after a year or so, he just felt isolated from everyone especially family so he sold his house in Rome but found that he could no longer afford to buy a home on Long Island so he had no choice but to move in with my parents.
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