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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:24 PM
 
7 posts, read 1,322 times
Reputation: 15

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Greetings and salutations all!

My family and I are looking to relocate from the western US this time next year. We are big-time planners, and have already started doing our homework in an attempt to find the best school districts, lowest crime areas and best bang-for-your-buck in regard to buying a home. We are not bound to any specific county or area and will fortunately be able to choose where we ultimately wind up. All of that being said,I feel that talking to locals and long-time residents is the best way to get a feel for where we should and should not focus our attention.

A little background information; we are a family comprised of two elementary school-aged children, my husband, myself and my elderly father. We hope to purchase suburban home, as well as potential rental properties in a more populated/city area.

Our children will be attending public school when we arrive, and a "decent school" is our top priority, with low crime coming in at a very close second. Greatschools.org is helpful, but not as accurate as one would like to believe. I trust it to a degree, but am more apt to believe parents whose children are involved with the school system to give me a more accurate picture.

At this time, we are liking what we see in Wayne, Pike, Monroe, and Lackawanna Counties (especially around Lake Ariel, Gouldsboro and Moscow), but feel we have only just scratched the surface. Likewise, Scranton seems to have a lot in regard to properties available for purchase/renting out, though we are unfamiliar with the actual need for for them by residents.

I am hoping to hear your thoughts and experiences living in the area! If you could help us narrow our search down further, we would be very grateful!

Thank you in advance for your time! Have a wonderful day!

Last edited by MamaDee333; 06-03-2017 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:39 PM
 
31 posts, read 8,806 times
Reputation: 21
Welcome to NEPA in advance You might want to look in Clarks Summit area as well just outside Scranton. Great schools and close to the awesome amenities of Dickson City Shops. You also have all the stores for daily needs in Clarks Summit. I would also keep Moscow in mind too. As far as buying investment homes I would recommend Scranton area. Good Luck
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
9,399 posts, read 7,983,717 times
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What I did not hear is why our area? Do you have family or work interest close by? Or is this for recreation and education? We have some great areas but sometimes there are trade offs - like close to schools; but far away from shopping or medical services. Or you can be close to ski resorts and lakes; but far away from work, medical services, etc.

Its hard to give advice when we do not have more information.
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:17 PM
 
7 posts, read 1,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
What I did not hear is why our area? Do you have family or work interest close by? Or is this for recreation and education? We have some great areas but sometimes there are trade offs - like close to schools; but far away from shopping or medical services. Or you can be close to ski resorts and lakes; but far away from work, medical services, etc.

Its hard to give advice when we do not have more information.

Absolutely fair questions!

My husband and I are originally from upstate NY and CT respectively but have been living out west for the past several years. We have our choice of living anywhere in the United States, but have narrowed it down to NE Penn. We've sorely missed the change of seasons and all of the beauty we remember growing up in the northeastern US.; however, CT taxes are absolutely abhorrent now, and while we love NY and still have some family there, we prefer not to go back to live. Also, my father is recently widowed and wants to live out his days in a place that yields a more quiet and "natural" environment, versus the city life we currently live.

We feel it is absolutely beautiful in NEPA, with everything we could possibly want or need being within a few hours' drive. It is where we want to place our roots! Also, my husband attended Penn State many years back and fell in love with it, so we decided that this is where our family would settle. Likewise, we wouldn't mind Penn State being an option for our children when they are of college age.

I hope that clears some things up!
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:20 PM
 
7 posts, read 1,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmie2016 View Post
Welcome to NEPA in advance You might want to look in Clarks Summit area as well just outside Scranton. Great schools and close to the awesome amenities of Dickson City Shops. You also have all the stores for daily needs in Clarks Summit. I would also keep Moscow in mind too. As far as buying investment homes I would recommend Scranton area. Good Luck
Thank you so much! I will add Clarks Summit to our list of potentials!
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:25 AM
 
32,728 posts, read 32,425,519 times
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If you are looking for semi rural are look at Harding. Wyoming Area while not the best school in the area is a decent school. You have to be careful with those ranking because they may not be reflective of how good the school is. Dallas and Abington Heights usually score well in these ranking but they are predominately lower to upper middle class where the parents are more likely to take an interest in their child's education. The demographics of Wyoming Area are probably going to be about average.

You are about 10 to 30 minutes from everywhere.

West Pittston/Pittson >> 10 minutes - Some shopping and Grocery Store
Wilkes-Barre >> 25 minutes >> Major shopping centers, arena etc.
Dallas>> 15 minutes - Some shopping and Grocery Store


No crime, friendly neighbors, no busy body's and the taxes are not outrageous... just semi-rageous <i just invented a new word>. You can get a really nice house on about 5 acres in the $250K range. Be prepared for the occasional gun fire especially around hunting season but I don't think you will get away from that in any semi-rural area around here if that is a concern at all.

Dallas/Shavertown often referred to as the Back mountain is another place to look however the housing costs and taxes go up and they are just a short distance from Harding. They do have better school ranking.

If you want to live in a town look at West Pittston, very quiet and magnificent homes along the river. Be aware this area got hit by a flood in 2013 but that is unlikely to happen in your lifetime unless you are in the few areas that get hit all the time.
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
9,399 posts, read 7,983,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaDee333 View Post
Absolutely fair questions!

My husband and I are originally from upstate NY and CT respectively but have been living out west for the past several years. We have our choice of living anywhere in the United States, but have narrowed it down to NE Penn. We've sorely missed the change of seasons and all of the beauty we remember growing up in the northeastern US.; however, CT taxes are absolutely abhorrent now, and while we love NY and still have some family there, we prefer not to go back to live. Also, my father is recently widowed and wants to live out his days in a place that yields a more quiet and "natural" environment, versus the city life we currently live.

We feel it is absolutely beautiful in NEPA, with everything we could possibly want or need being within a few hours' drive. It is where we want to place our roots! Also, my husband attended Penn State many years back and fell in love with it, so we decided that this is where our family would settle. Likewise, we wouldn't mind Penn State being an option for our children when they are of college age.

I hope that clears some things up!
It clears it up some; but you still did not mention employment. If employment is not an issue and you can live anyplace; then check out everyplace. Many of us suggest that people rent before they buy. That is so you really get a good feel for the area and you're close by to check out all the things that are very important to your potential new home.

You can visit our CD forum about our school districts. I also love to push people into looking at/using Google 'Earth' (https://www.google.com/earth/). Earth is a great way to look over potential new homes and neighborhoods.

If you have friends/relation in upstate NY or CT; do you ever want to visit? Possibly some of our towns closer to our State line might make rides easier?

My County (Monroe) has generally higher taxes, some areas have higher crime, but we are known for recreation and when you are playing you are expected to pay more!
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Tannersville, PA
111 posts, read 88,230 times
Reputation: 110
Default Five little words...

Stay. Out. Of. Monroe. County.

I've lived here since 1991. My taxes were $1300 back then on my decrepit 80 year old house. They are now $4200, and have been as high as $4900. Because of the recent reassessment, we have been told to expect a 200-300% increase in our assessment, with likely a similarly higher tax bill.

And if you saw my house you would die laughing.

My house is assessed at $103,000. So my tax rate is 4.2%, making it one of the highest rates in the country- higher than both Long Island and NJ, where houses are worth much more.

Some people that post here and live in this area look at things through rose colored glasses. Just saying.

If you love waterparks, traffic, litter, and crime, then by all means buy here. Every single day- and I DO mean EVERY single day- I can put on the local news on channel 13 and there is a violent crime of some kind. Murder, armed robbery, rape, drive-by shootings, you name it. Some days it's like watching the news from a big city like Philly. There is also a large gang presence here, and some are the type of gangs that have killing somebody as an "initiation".

Look at the Pocono Record, our local newspaper. EVERY Friday there are at least 10 pages of sheriff's sales of foreclosed homes. EVERY Friday- and it's been that way for years. Investors have been scooping up these houses for a song and renting them out, mostly to section 8 tenants.

The traffic on weekends, especially in summer, rivals that of midtown Manhattan at rush hour.

And the weather? 70% of the time it's either raining, snowing, or overcast. It's like there is a permanent cloud over the Pocono's. On the whole, Bismarck, North Dakota has been warmer than Pennsylvania.

I guess you can tell I hate it here. I would be in Florida if I could get my husband to move.

If I had it to do all over again and was looking for a place- I would look in Hellertown.

I love that area. It's quiet, it's clean, the taxes are lower, the houses are better maintained. The people are much nicer. It doesn't have the constant flow of tourists tearing up the roads and throwing their fast food trash out their car windows. It doesn't have the crime that we have here.

It's a sleepy little town that's still quite rural, but where you have everything you need, including Broadway quality theater at the nearby DeSales University. I love it there.

And if you want to go to a waterpark you can get in the car and drive 40 minutes instead of having to live with one in your backyard with all the negative consequences it brings.

Just saying.

I'm just trying to be honest and spare anyone else the misery I've endured for 26 years living in this county.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
9,399 posts, read 7,983,717 times
Reputation: 5946
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfixit99 View Post
Stay. Out. Of. Monroe. County.
I'm just trying to be honest and spare anyone else the misery I've endured for 26 years living in this county.
On that note: I have lived here for 70 years and have very few complaints. We will never keep everybody happy all the time. People can find problems no matter where they live. Sometimes it takes only one bad neighbor. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:07 PM
 
7 posts, read 1,322 times
Reputation: 15
[quote=mrsfixit99;48388272]Stay. Out. Of. Monroe. County.

WOW! Thank you so very much for your insightful reply! These are the types of things we are looking for... Photos and numbers can only tell you so much! I will certainly be wary of anything in Monroe county now!!! We are looking for a forever home; a place that my kids will miss when they are gone and my grandkids will be excited to visit! I'm so sorry to hear that you're so unhappy and hope that you're able to get to your Florida getaway soon. I know exactly what its like to feel trapped where you live!!! I have felt that way about our current residence for many years and it can be devastating.

Thank you again and good luck to YOU as well, darlin!
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