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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:34 PM
35 posts, read 23,349 times
Reputation: 91


Scranton is indeed a pit anymore. Witnessed a drug deal in front of my house as I was mowing my lawn this afternoon. On my street alone there are three drug dealers, three vacant bank reposessed homes, three homes cut into apartments that are filled with non-english speaking latino's, and one house with an ex gang member that was recently released from prison. We'd move and sell our house but we'd get nothing for it with the state that out of town landlords have turned our once middle class street into. The cops do nothing about the dealers either.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:20 AM
26 posts, read 17,063 times
Reputation: 22
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
You might want to look a little further south and west; counties like Columbia, Montour, Lycoming, Snyder and Union. this area is home to Bucknell University and a major hospital network (Geisinger - Danville), has a low crime rate, and taxes aren't too bad (yet?!) in most areas.

I excluded Northumberland County (Sunbury and Shamokin) because of its legacy of anthracite mining, but there are a couple of townships that aren't affected. The single biggest drawback is the unwarranted power of the public employee and teachers' unions in Pennsylvania politics which, unfortunately, you'll encounter everywhere.
Still terrible ! Columbia County is a mess. In Columbia County They call Berwick Methwick for a reason! The university is the only thing that keeps Bloomsburg a float, and some of the back streets are rundown just like the coal region in Berwick and Bloom. The rural areas near Columbia, Snyder and Montour, the areas you mention are not as bad as in the nearby southern coal region but there is really nothing there other than Knoebles Amusement Park. Williamsport is in lycoming County in the areas you mention and that is really ghetto high crime anymore. Just dont think this area is really good.

Shopping and Restaurants are tepid across this region. I wouldn't suggest at all. Also Danville and the areas you mention are Way to close to the downtrotten Hazleton, Sunbury, Shamokin, Pottsville, Shenandoah, Tamaqua Corridor. Taxes are even higher in those areas. Which is really sad. And really its the same PA BS poor local services, high gas taxes, small local government BS and bad roads along with the bad weather! Overall not the best advise!

Last edited by tb1981; 06-08-2017 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:27 AM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Have you thought about renting first before you buy? I know that it is a pain; but buying is a major investment and 'traps' people that might not really know what they are getting into.

My County is known for one of the longest commutes in the Nation. So many commute to the major metropolitan areas every day and spend 4 to 6 or longer hours on the road. It makes for no home life and very unhappy property owners. On the other hand I always found local work that supported myself and family - but good paying jobs are scarce in a resort community.

We have considered renting first, however because we will be moving during the children's summer break we want to be sure we are settled into our home and school district area well before the first day of school. Our kids are really good students and I would hate for this move to interfere with that in any way. I know it will already be difficult for them to adjust to a "whole new world" as it were, with unfamiliar faces all around.

That being said, my father is currently in the east coast area and will be able to look at places on our behalf during the course of the coming year, and we plan to take a few trips out to look around when school breaks allow. I feel that with a good realtor and continual communication we can get what we need all settled by this time next year. We are already looking at houses for sale in the area to get a feel for things, though we know a lot can change during that time.

I will admit that the travel time does have me a bit concerned... We don't mind traveling 20+ minutes or more to go shopping, and would be comfortable being 45 minutes to an hour away from our rental property; however if traffic is that much of an issue we may need to rethink that, as I would hate to be "stuck" in case of an emergency.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:28 AM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I would think it would be pretty difficult to rent in the areas they are looking at other than those developments that have a lot of properties in the Poconos. You are going to have very limited choices. We had a house fire in 2010 and finding a rental that was adequate was a problem. We got lucky with one house because of financial difficulties the person was having with the home. Her husband had died unexpectedly and she couldn't afford it anymore, she was actually living in it before we moved in. It's a sad story on both ends but the lease gave her some breathing room.
What an awful story! I am so sorry to hear about that!
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:38 AM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Scranton is home to a few colleges, so you might want to look for prospective rental units that are close by. U. of Scranton (Jesuit) and Marywood University (IHM Sisters) in particular cater to middle class kids, if that helps.

We've lived in semi-rural Shawnee in Monroe County since 1993 and we've raised our two fine sons here. The boys are both college students, one commuting the 5 miles to East Stroudsburg University and the other away at Marywood in Scranton. Our kids attended the local Catholic school from pre-K thru 12, although we believe the local East Stroudsburg South public schools are just fine. Note that I specified "East Stroudsburg South" schools are just fine.

Shawnee is a fairly peaceful Volvo-and-Subaru community despite being home to an inn, a golf course, timeshare condo's, a historic playhouse, and a ski mountain (or bunny hill, to a person from the Western U.S.). Nearby Stroudsburg offers small town charm such as a live theatre, farmer's market, a record shop, an independent book store, a condom lifestyle shop, an Escape Room, various restaurants, etc.
Excellent advice! Thank you for your thoughts on the public schools in the area. I wish that we were in a position to put our children in private schools, but its just not in the cards for us yet. There is so little money to be made where we live now, and its only getting worse... Not to mention the schools are growing increasingly over-crowded and the entire district more corrupt.

Interesting how you specified "East Stroudsburg South"... I have noticed that there are many schools with similar names that vary greatly on the greatschools website scale. I have also found that the district lines are often inconsistent when looking on places such as trulia, zillow etc. Even when looking at a district/town list its not always clear where the lines are drawn!

Still, I much prefer it to the absolute MESS they have going on here!!!

Shawnee sounds lovely though and I will add that to my list of prospects for sure... I have to admit that going to farmer's markets again is something I am GREATLY looking forward to!!!
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:54 AM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by ASRGUY View Post

The best performing school district in Lackawanna County is Abington Heights. Also very strong sports programs in both boys and girls sports. Abington is comprised of North and South Abington Townships, Clarks Green, Clarks Summit, Newton Ranson and Waverly Township. I believe I captured them all.

So if safety, schools and proximity to lots of box store shopping then Abington area makes sense. Crime is virtually non existent you jear of some drugs and DUIs on the main drag but thats about it.

In full disclosure, it lacks diversity not sure if that's a problem. I would venture to guess Abington is 95% or more white with some asian, Indian mixed in. Just throwing that out there. Also have a budget in mind ?because it is considered a higher priced area but there are deals to be had.

As another poster states you are 10 mins from downtown Scranton and the same to all Dickson City shopping. Also very easy access to 81 and the Pa turnpike.

Only other area with children I would even consider is Moscow. It is pretty rural there though while Clarks Summit has a bigger town not big by any means but ok. Clarks Summit has chains, Dunkin, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme the usuals a DQ being built. It's becoming pretty developed actually.

Don't mean to offend some here but id avoid Scranton. Higher crime, poor schools, high taxes for little return and I believe it's down and out. The mall is an eye sore with almost no occupancy.

If you aren't hell bent on NEPA, I would consider the Lehigh Valley. It's on the rise much closer to opportunities in Philly and Philly burbs. Also closer to NYC. Tons of colleges there as well. I would imagine a bit more expensive but also has good schools in the burbs. I've made it from there to Philly in 45 mins so that's nice.

Please feel free to ask away I won't sugar coat anything.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! That is exactly the type of information I am looking for! I have had Lackawana County in my saved searches and will put a big happy star next to Abington Heights. VERY helpful! It's so hard to understand what areas are in which districts (as I mentioned in a previous post) as the lines are often inconsistent.

Diversity isn't a major concern of ours, but it is something we are taking into consideration. Where we live now is the epitome of diverse and it definitely has its good and bad points...

Scranton seems to be the place where we will purchase our rental property... but we are not looking there for our residence. I have to agree that what I have seen thus far has shown that the schools and crime are hovering around a place that we are not comfortable with. We are looking to get out of that type of environment, to be honest. As for buying units for renting, everything we have seen/heard thus far tells us that it would be our best bet, so I thank you for the reiteration!

Moscow is actually one of the places I have on my list of potentials! I am glad to know I am on the right path!

It would seem that our family (well, mostly my husband) is hell-bent on NEPA, but I will still give Lehigh Valley a look-see. My number one main concern is finding the "perfect" home for our kids to make the best friends/memories possible, wherever that may be.

Thank you again for your wonderful, thorough response! I am very grateful!!!
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:01 PM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by okaydorothy View Post
We have a place in Wayne county and love it. I am moving there full-time next year, but it is a good school district, 90 miles to NYC but yet afar enough away to be lost. We are in a community ; it suits us for now as we are not there all the time.
Wayne county is on my list! Excellent, thank you! I love the idea of being able to be "lost". We live in a city now and it just seems like everyone and everything (including homes) are just piled on top of one another. There is no escape!

That was another thing I was wondering about... If it is better to be in a gated community or if it doesn't make much of a difference. I ask because we currently live in a double-gated community, but we may as well be without gates at all! The main gate is often left open all day, and the second gate code is given out to everyone from delivery drivers to random friends of friends... not to mention the people that just wait to follow other cars in! What's the point, you know? It bothers me, but mostly because of how much we pay per month to have those gates there, when they really seem to do little to nothing.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:09 PM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by tb1981 View Post
The Southern Part of NEPA is a wasteland. Also known as the Coal region which consists of The Greater Hazleton area in Luzerne County, most of Carbon, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties which include the Larger Cities and small towns such as Shamokin, Lansford, Pottsville, Frackville, Tamaqua, Shenandoah and Mahanoy City just to name a few they are becoming rough rough places. For having two major interstates nearby these are pretty bad off. They are full of drug use, illegal immigrants (especially Hazleton and Shenandoah), blight, rising local and school district taxes and mass local government corruption.

These towns are in the mountains mostly made up of coal banks and mountain laurels, that are surrounded by a landscape of windmills, littered roadways and Co-generation plants. The main industry is Schools, state prisons and Distribution Centers. Some of the roads are terrible here and don't match up to the high Gas tax prices Pennsylvanians pay for infrastructure. Hazleton area has the best shopping and restaurants. the rest of the area has pretty much nothing anymore. Schuylkill Mall in frackville is closing in a few months and Fairlain Village mall in Pottsville is pretty much dead. Depressing area I grew up in and it gotten much worse since high school when I graduated in 1999. The weather is not the best in NEPA in general alot of cloudy days, so the scenery and weather make it a pretty somber atmosphere overall.
Ahhhh... Yes this is the meat and potatoes I needed as well! I have started a seperate list of "no-no" areas so that when we are looking at properties we can nix them right off the bat. Thank you SO much. Hearing from someone who grew up in the area and has watched it decline is immensely helpful!

I am not too worried about the somber atmosphere, to be honest. My husband and I children lived in the UK and our children were born there... Definitely somber weather to say the least! Still, we absolutely loved living there... Right now we live in a desert city and it is literally unbearable most of the time. I know many people find the desert beautiful, but it all just looks dead to me To each their own, of course! So long as there are some sunny days and a change of seasons I think we will be happy.

Thank you so much!!!
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:11 PM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by auntieannie68 View Post
excellent advice! avoid luzerne county at all costs! also recommending philadelphia suburbs such as jenkintown,horsham,or mainline area such as media,wayne,etc
An extra "no-no" star for Luzerne! THANK YOU!!! I will also give those suburbs a look! Thank you!!!
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:18 PM
64 posts, read 49,298 times
Reputation: 42
Originally Posted by MamaDee333 View Post

Thank you sweetie. I get a lot of criticism from some people on this forum because of my views on the area.

If I can stop one person from making the same mistake I did and moving here, then I will have done a good thing.

And BTW PA has the highest gas taxes in the country, so gas is expensive here, as is heating fuel and electricity, which just went up 14% for us (PP&L).

As with any area you are considering- find out the cons first and then make your decision.

I wish you luck! :-)
You're very welcome! I hear and understand completely. People give me grief for talking down about where we live as well, but they simply don't understand that opinions and feelings such as these are subjective! I am not trying to put them down personally nor say their choices are bad; this place simply does not fit what my family and I need. I wish more people could understand that "home" is not a one-size-fits-all concept!

Thank you for the heads up on fuel costs... We will take that into consideration. It's pretty high here as well. Living in a desert the electricity bills, especially from April to October, are astronomical! I am convinced we will do significantly better in a more "normal" climate... Or at least one we were used to during our childhood years. Hopefully we can find a home with a fireplace *dreamy sigh*
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