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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:04 AM
 
136 posts, read 155,283 times
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So here's the story-- my husband and I afford it okay here on Long Island (we live about 15 minutes outside Queens). We own a house that's gone down a bit in value. My husband teaches in Queens, and there are quite a few coworkers who have moved to the Stroudsburg area and don't regret it. One of them in particular has been trying to convince us to look into it.

My husband makes about 90k. He said he would be willing to sacrifice the long commute for a bigger/cheaper house. I'm pregnant and due soon, so this move wouldn't happen for 2-3 years or so. As much as I love Long Island, I'm getting tired of the corruption, our bills increasing but his salary not going up, rude neighbors/locals, and the crowding/traffic. The only thing that concerns me about this move is that my husband wouldn't be home as much with raising our baby (and other future child). He currently teaches night school twice a week, so he gets home at 9:45pm those 2 nights. So in the end, it kind of balances out, since he would be home approximately 6-7 if he gets the early schedule at work (which they seem to give to those who live over an hour away).

So my question is, do you think the move is worth it? I saw that property taxes are higher than I imagined. We pay about 9000/yr for a 1100 sq.ft 4 bedroom, 1 bath home. With our taxes and mortgage combined, we pay about 2400 a month. We save a little, but starting to think our kids will have a better future elsewhere since we'll be able to save much easier for college and retirement.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:14 AM
 
136 posts, read 155,283 times
Reputation: 90
Some things I forgot to mention: Healthcare isn't an issue since he would be keeping our free healthcare he gets through the union. He would also split carpooling with a coworker with taking the bus. And if bad weather occurs, he would stay at his parents' house. Keep in mind, he has school breaks and summers off. We're also only looking for a modest house-- a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home that isn't a mcmansion like so many NYers look for.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
2,311 posts, read 3,462,249 times
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One must consider the massive amount of time your husband will spend away from home during the school year.
It sounds like children will then be in the picture, you must consider their father being gone for many of the children's activities, school and otherwise.

You could make it work like your friends do but the commute is unto itself an experience and an experience that isn't good for the overwhelming majority of the time.
If he doesn't mind being in the car or on the bus for and average six plus hours total a day including traffic in order to make that work I say do it.

However trust me and the others here when they say the commute on paper versus real life are as different as night and day.

Good luck to both of you in your journey's.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:15 AM
 
136 posts, read 155,283 times
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The teacher in his dept said it takes a little over 2 hours each way. Keep in mind they don't work regular 9-5 schedules. If he gets the early schedule at the HS (more than likely), he would leave by about 3:00.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,673 posts, read 3,251,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlover84 View Post
The only thing that concerns me about this move is that my husband wouldn't be home as much with raising our baby (and other future child).
That's a pretty big concern. Do you have family out here that you can turn to when you're alone with the baby and your husband is staying in Queens for a few nights because of bad weather?

My advice would be to wait a few years, have your babies, and then make the move. Meanwhile your husband can look for a teaching position in a cushy suburban NJ district where the pay may not be as high as in NYC but the eventual commute would be easier and the lifestyle stress lower.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
2,311 posts, read 3,462,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlover84 View Post
The teacher in his dept said it takes a little over 2 hours each way. Keep in mind they don't work regular 9-5 schedules. If he gets the early schedule at the HS (more than likely), he would leave by about 3:00.

Since your husband would be teaching during the normal school year the weather becomes a huge issue when it comes to commute time.
A sizable snow storm could very well keep your husband on the road for many hours during that hypothetical day.

You also have traffic from your outer metro entrance to queens which by itself becomes lengthy.
This could keep your husband staying in queens during the week due to the drain the commute causes him.

These are major issues that keep many from relocating to NEPA that plann on commuting back and forth to the city.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:40 PM
 
136 posts, read 155,283 times
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He talked to the coworker who commutes from Stoursburg. Like I said, he has the early schedule, and leaves about 4:30am and gets home 6-7pm. He's older, in his 50s, and says it's not so bad since he doesn't hit a lot of traffic considering how early he leaves.

Forget the option of him finding another job, not gonna happen. He has his tenure, better benefits than the suburbs, and he would have to go way down to base salary starting anywhere else.

How are taxes and utilities cost? One thing that bothers me here on the island is that we now have PSE&G for electric-- they're substantially higher than the last company; despite promising they wouldn't raise charges (most people's bills are at least double, and they admitted they have no cap on how high they can make the supply charge, unlike LIPA who did).

No family in PA, but both our parents have considered moving there too. But honestly, most of our families live all over the place, so besides his parents, they're the only ones here on LI. I have my sister who's local, but I never see her, and my parents live in FL.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:23 PM
 
104 posts, read 140,937 times
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Taxes are lower than Long Island but because of high school taxes in Monroe and Pike counties, you should still expect to pay $4-8k annually in taxes on the average house. Because your mortgage will be low compared to Long Island, it's still a good savings.

Your heating bills in winter will definitely be higher than what you're used to. The other utilities should be comparable.

You're talking about a move 2-3 years from now, so I'd advise you to take a few trips out here and see the area for yourself since you have plenty of time. It would also be smart to stay out here for a week and let your husband do a practice commute to see how it wears on him after a few days.

NEPA could definitely be a possibility for you guys. My husband and I work from home but all of our neighbors commute. It's just a way of life out here. For example, our next door neighbor commutes to Queens daily so they can afford for his wife to stay home with their three kids. He says they never could have afforded to do that in Queens, so it's worth the sacrifice for him. They have a huge 4 bedroom home on a half acre of land in a community where there are deer in the yard and you could hear a pin drop, it's so quiet. That's the trade off.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:15 PM
 
136 posts, read 155,283 times
Reputation: 90
^^Thanks a lot for the advice. Electric would be way cheaper there. Here we pay the highest rate in the nation--23c/kw.

How are foreclosures and short sales in the area? I read that there are a lot of them; mostly from people who came from NYC and never owned a home and didn't expect costs to be as high as they were. We bought our house through a short sale, so we're familiar with the process and know it takes a while. I saw some houses around 110-130k that were pretty nice, so I assumed they're foreclosure/short sale. And I assume they're still in fairly good condition since they were built after the 90s generally (short sales here are generally in bad condition, since our homes are much older).
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:48 PM
 
104 posts, read 140,937 times
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130 is a regular home price out here.

The foreclosure market is shrinking steadily each year but the rate is still higher than the national average. Search the Pocono Record online--they released the 2013 numbers recently.

We didn't see any foreclosures we liked (the ones that are left need a ton of work) but there were some decent short sales on the market when we were house hunting last summer. In the end, we didn't feel the need to go through that kind of uncertainty and stress when non-foreclosed homes were so affordable.
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