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Old 05-25-2021, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Reston, Virginia
175 posts, read 225,693 times
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I saw Shamokin, PA on a list of the most affordable places to buy a house in the United States. The average singe-family home value in Shamokin is only $35,000. To put it in perspective, a Shamokin home on average is less money than a home in Flint, MI and almost five times less than the average home in PA. I know nothing about Shamokin (other than the internationally viral Dunkin Donuts incident), let alone any other town in Central PA, and it seems like a typical gritty rust-belt town. I just find it confusing as to why it's so cheap. Compared to other towns in the region (Sunbury, Selinsgrove, Tamaqua, Pottsville, Berwick, Bloomsburg), Shamokin homes are much cheaper (homes in those towns are worth 80k-130k on average), but Shamokin does not seem to be any poorer or more dangerous than them. So, what's the reason homes in Shamokin are so friggin' cheap? Are people rushing there to buy them?
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Old 05-25-2021, 02:06 PM
 
5,202 posts, read 5,362,532 times
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I've always found Shamokin to be fascinating. It was a very prosperous little city a long time ago, but it lost all of its industry and a lot of its citizens moved away. Below are links to historical photos of Shamokin.


Old Shamokin Views - Lawrence Deklinski- Dalado Photography


Shamokin Businesses - Lawrence Deklinski- Dalado Photography


And below is a song about Shamokin.



"Shamokin State of Mind" Chad Evans | Erica Perrige [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (Parody) - YouTube
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:54 AM
 
600 posts, read 403,452 times
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Hard coal country was in decline by mid-century, and much of it has not, nor ever will improve. There are towns that have row homes in the middle of a block that just collapse like a fallen cake. Nobody had occupied them for many years, the roof leaks like a screen door, until the structure eventually fails. Unemployment, drug addiction and hopelessness are prevalent, and there are concrete reasons that home values are a fraction of any desirable place to live in the state.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
4,515 posts, read 7,431,772 times
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I grew up in the PA Coal Region, although not in Shamokin. In my opinion, prices are low because of job opportunities and overall location (you’ll have to travel far for a good job), which drives demand and prices down.

If you have a job in which you can work remotely and don’t mind the overall location of Shamokin in relation to larger cities and economic centers, you could probably find a nice house, pay cash, live cheaply, and save a ton of money.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
6,978 posts, read 6,059,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran Keating View Post
Compared to other towns in the region (Sunbury, Selinsgrove, Tamaqua, Pottsville, Berwick, Bloomsburg), Shamokin homes are much cheaper (homes in those towns are worth 80k-130k on average), but Shamokin does not seem to be any poorer or more dangerous than them. So, what's the reason homes in Shamokin are so friggin' cheap? Are people rushing there to buy them?
Bloomsburg, Sunbury, and Selinsgrove are not coal towns. Berwick is the home of Wise potato chips and Pottsville is the home of Yuengling brewery, so those towns were saved when coal died. Not sure why Tamaqua hasn't fallen as far as Shamokin but it may be that Tamaqua has some major highways running through it.

Nobody is rushing to buy up cheap housing in Shamokin, not even illegal immigrants like in Hazleton. When Aunt Sadie dies nobody wants to inherit her house and pay the state inheritance tax that runs anywhere from 4% to 15% starting at one dollar, for a house that may net $35k or less after months or years on the market. We sold my wife's brother's fixer-upper house for $15,500 last January. Others simply walk away, let the house become city property and fall down. The day we cleaned the house out for the last time, we saw a TV news report of National Guard members affixing plywood to vacant buildings in Shamokin's first ward to keep out vagrants and drug addicts. I guess it was cheaper in the short run than sending in a bulldozer. There is government money available for materials to improve/maintain your property in Shamokin and contiguous Coal Township but you have to do the work yourself. If you are ill, elderly, or don't have young male relatives around to help out then you're screwed.

There are some nice houses up by the high school, and you feel like you're in a different world. It's like any American suburb you'd see in a TV commercial.
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Reston, Virginia
175 posts, read 225,693 times
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Though, it does seem like Shamokin's socioeconomic status has improved over the last few decades. The 2000 Census claims Shamokin had a poverty rate of 60.2%. In 2020, the poverty rate has nearly been cut in half, at 32.5%.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
6,978 posts, read 6,059,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran Keating View Post
Though, it does seem like Shamokin's socioeconomic status has improved over the last few decades. The 2000 Census claims Shamokin had a poverty rate of 60.2%. In 2020, the poverty rate has nearly been cut in half, at 32.5%.
Where are you getting those numbers? 32.5% poverty is appalling and I can't imagine a 60.2% poverty rate in the United States.
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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This thread brought back some memories. My Dad was born & raised in Shamokin and I visited once when I was a kid. When he was a kid he lived in a huge house with the police barracks in the basement. I used to have pictures, but they're long gone. Sorry to hear the town has fallen into disrepair.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Reston, Virginia
175 posts, read 225,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Where are you getting those numbers? 32.5% poverty is appalling and I can't imagine a 60.2% poverty rate in the United States.
The 2000 and 2020 Census. I Can't figure out how to post images on this forum, but I recommend you search the numbers for yourself. There are also some small towns in appalachian WV and Kentucky with 100% poverty rates.

City Data itself says Shamokin has a poverty rate of 33.2% in 2019.
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:46 PM
 
229 posts, read 118,423 times
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Grew up in Kulpmont, went to Mt Carmel Area High School, and have family in Shamokin. I could make a super long post about this area but I will keep it short. The area isn’t a great area to raise a family. Nothing really going for the area, barely educated workforce, lots of drop outs, and crime got worse over the past 10 years. The only thing that was enjoyable growing up was knoebels, camping, and being part of the high school band (got to travel a lot). Shamokin is financially in trouble and while they do have a recovery plan that was released in 2015, it will take a long time for it to get out of the hole it’s in. The area is very poor and got poorer after 00’s graduated. Most talented individuals leave the area to improve themselves.

The area has a cool history but if you have the choice, you would be better off living in the Sunbury region or go further north to Williamsport. Better schools and a better economic standing.
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