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Old 01-18-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: In a place with little freedom (aka USA)
712 posts, read 1,284,738 times
Reputation: 260

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It seems that there are some concerns for a lot of people that live in the Reading area but work in Philadelphia. I have some questions to help make a good decision as to whether or not to move to Reading.

Traffic
By looking at Google Earth I can see the highways leading to and from Philadelphia/Reading are all 2 lanes. How long does it take to drive from Reading to Philadelphia on a work week leaving at 7am ?

People
I hear it is very crowded everywhere you go. For example, Is it hard to find places to go food shopping that are not crowded? My impression from reading these posts is that there is a highly dense population in that area. Is it hard to find parking in general, or find restaurants with open tables etc?

Weather
I am learning that it is always cloudy in the Reading area. Grey skies all the time. Is this true? If so, is this the case for other nearby areas like Philly or KOP?

Wages
I hear that wages are not as high in Philly as in Seattle. In other words where are all the high paying jobs?

Homes
Where are all the cheapest houses that are in good & safe areas?
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,152 posts, read 8,246,273 times
Reputation: 5314
I'll try to answer this to the best of my ability.

Traffic: Yes, the highways to Philly are, unfortunatey, two lanes, at least until you get into the city. If there's one things that's lacking here, it's infrastructure - but from what I understand, the traffic in Seattle is no picnic, so I don't think it's going to be any worse than what you're used to. If you left Reading at 7 am, you could get to Philly around 8:30 am.

People: Yes, Southeastern PA is the most densely populated area in the state, and one of most densely populated areas in the country. This makes it especially hard on weekends if you want to go out to a restaurant, but if you come and get a feel for the area, you quickly find out where it's bad and where it's not. It's really the chain restaurants that get mobbed, whereas you get much better service at a local diner.

Weather: I lived in Reading for about two years, and I never noticed any discernible difference in cloudiness to areas closer to Philly. It may get slightly colder and snowier, but nothing drastic.

Wages: Compared to Seattle, the wages are probably about the same for any given field - give or take a couple thousand. I know for a fact that the median houshold income for entire metro area is above the national average. However, you have to account for the difference in cost-of-living, which will be lower than the Seattle area. If it's any reassurance, this HUD measure puts the median household income for both the Seattle and Philly metro areas at practically the same amount:

https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmat...Button1=Search

https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmat...Button1=Search

Homes: Berks County is still a bargain and the vast majority of the county is safe with great public schools - just keep looking in most of the suburban areas around Reading. Here's a good real estate website for the Reading area:
Reading New Homes - Find New and Custom Homes in Reading, pennsylvania
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,081 posts, read 4,432,703 times
Reputation: 1528
What made you believe that Reading is always cloudy?

Agree with Duderino that our infrastructure is pretty terrible. It's old, it's outdated, and many times there's a highway stuffed between houses, commercial buildings, rivers, hills, and railroad tracks, with very little room to expand. That being said, I assume you are considering US422W to I76E to get to the city. 422 from Reading to about Pottstown (which is about 15 or so miles) is a mix of really ugly suburban sprawl and rural, so 2 lanes isn't too bad in that part. From Pottstown to I76 (which is about 20 miles), there's much more traffic. This is where it gets congested. In fact, each morning during the week, there's a backup on 422 from about Royersford to Audubon (PA363), which is around 7-8 miles. 422 opens up a bit for the last 2 miles, then you merge onto 76E and probably don't hit too much traffic for another 4 miles until you pass I476, where it gets bad again, and is often congested for the next 5-6 miles where it's 2 lanes. Of course, in the city, when 76 is either 3 or 4 lanes, it usually doesn't get much better.

If you leave at the wrong time, it could easily take you more than 1.5 hours. Why do you want to live in Reading? Will cheaper real estate really be worth the headache?

Also, there's plans to improve 422 between PA363 and I76. Try googling 422 Improvement Project or something like that. Also, there's always talk of double-decking 76, but that will likely never happen. And, there's been talk for years of The Schuylkill Valley Metro, which would be a 62-mile rail line linking Center City Philadelphia with Reading. This is also largely a pipe dream that keeps getting talked about by our largely useless politicians who want us to think they are actually getting things done.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:40 AM
 
69 posts, read 336,788 times
Reputation: 42
Default Have you visted the Reading area?

My advice would be to visit any area that you are interested in moving to. Rent a car and drive around the area and talk to as many locals as possible. If needs be, make trips to the area at different times of the year. You will allways have the people that love the area and you also have the negative people. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:59 AM
 
Location: In a place with little freedom (aka USA)
712 posts, read 1,284,738 times
Reputation: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
What made you believe that Reading is always cloudy?

Agree with Duderino that our infrastructure is pretty terrible. It's old, it's outdated, and many times there's a highway stuffed between houses, commercial buildings, rivers, hills, and railroad tracks, with very little room to expand. That being said, I assume you are considering US422W to I76E to get to the city. 422 from Reading to about Pottstown (which is about 15 or so miles) is a mix of really ugly suburban sprawl and rural, so 2 lanes isn't too bad in that part. From Pottstown to I76 (which is about 20 miles), there's much more traffic. This is where it gets congested. In fact, each morning during the week, there's a backup on 422 from about Royersford to Audubon (PA363), which is around 7-8 miles. 422 opens up a bit for the last 2 miles, then you merge onto 76E and probably don't hit too much traffic for another 4 miles until you pass I476, where it gets bad again, and is often congested for the next 5-6 miles where it's 2 lanes. Of course, in the city, when 76 is either 3 or 4 lanes, it usually doesn't get much better.

If you leave at the wrong time, it could easily take you more than 1.5 hours. Why do you want to live in Reading? Will cheaper real estate really be worth the headache?

Also, there's plans to improve 422 between PA363 and I76. Try googling 422 Improvement Project or something like that. Also, there's always talk of double-decking 76, but that will likely never happen. And, there's been talk for years of The Schuylkill Valley Metro, which would be a 62-mile rail line linking Center City Philadelphia with Reading. This is also largely a pipe dream that keeps getting talked about by our largely useless politicians who want us to think they are actually getting things done.
Its not necessarily Reading that I want to live in. I use that as the general area that I would like to be in mainly from home prices I hear about. I dont want to pay more than $250,000 for a house and I don't want to be in a bad neighborhood.

Only good areas I have heard about so far to buy a house are Exeter, Douglassville and Wyomissing. I dont mind being in traffic 45 min to 1:15 or so. When it comes to 2 hours it WOULD be a problem.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: In a place with little freedom (aka USA)
712 posts, read 1,284,738 times
Reputation: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Movin2Maine View Post
My advice would be to visit any area that you are interested in moving to. Rent a car and drive around the area and talk to as many locals as possible. If needs be, make trips to the area at different times of the year. You will allways have the people that love the area and you also have the negative people. Different strokes for different folks.
Good idea!
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: In a place with little freedom (aka USA)
712 posts, read 1,284,738 times
Reputation: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I'll try to answer this to the best of my ability.

Traffic: Yes, the highways to Philly are, unfortunatey, two lanes, at least until you get into the city. If there's one things that's lacking here, it's infrastructure - but from what I understand, the traffic in Seattle is no picnic, so I don't think it's going to be any worse than what you're used to. If you left Reading at 7 am, you could get to Philly around 8:30 am.

People: Yes, Southeastern PA is the most densely populated area in the state, and one of most densely populated areas in the country. This makes it especially hard on weekends if you want to go out to a restaurant, but if you come and get a feel for the area, you quickly find out where it's bad and where it's not. It's really the chain restaurants that get mobbed, whereas you get much better service at a local diner.

Weather: I lived in Reading for about two years, and I never noticed any discernible difference in cloudiness to areas closer to Philly. It may get slightly colder and snowier, but nothing drastic.

Wages: Compared to Seattle, the wages are probably about the same for any given field - give or take a couple thousand. I know for a fact that the median houshold income for entire metro area is above the national average. However, you have to account for the difference in cost-of-living, which will be lower than the Seattle area. If it's any reassurance, this HUD measure puts the median household income for both the Seattle and Philly metro areas at practically the same amount:

https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmat...Button1=Search

https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmat...Button1=Search

Homes: Berks County is still a bargain and the vast majority of the county is safe with great public schools - just keep looking in most of the suburban areas around Reading. Here's a good real estate website for the Reading area:
Reading New Homes - Find New and Custom Homes in Reading, pennsylvania
Are there any Pennsylvania-specific real estate websites that include Berks County that are pretty good at showing MLS numbers as well as plenty of big pics?
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
72 posts, read 272,826 times
Reputation: 27
I think that realtor.com is a pretty good resource that'll give you a good idea of what kind of homes you can buy for a particular price. It's a national site, so you might have checked it out already. When searching, type 19606 for Exeter, 19518 for Douglassville, and 19508 for Birdsboro.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:18 PM
 
22 posts, read 101,215 times
Reputation: 16
I live in the suburbs of Reading, and it is one of the nicest areas that I've lived in (I've also lived in the suburbs of Wilmington, DE/Philly; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL). Areas like Wyomissing, Sinking Spring, and West Lawn are really nice. These are very convenient areas to live in with a bunch of shopping areas and a lot of growth. I wouldn't say that it is overcrowded in any way. But, there is a lot of development, business and residential. Also, areas like Exeter, Mohnton, and parts of West Reading are nice. The actual city of Reading has a bad rep; but, they are doing so much to try to change its image, and it's showing. As far as travel to Philly, with no traffic you can get there in about an hours time. Morning and evening rush hour commutes are a different story; with heavy traffic it can take up to 1hr and 30 mins. to 1hr 45 mins. It's rather unpredictable. Weather-wise, Reading is no cloudier than other Southeastern PA areas. The scenery is beautiful.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Mohnton,Pa
75 posts, read 181,300 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negotiator75 View Post
It seems that there are some concerns for a lot of people that live in the Reading area but work in Philadelphia. I have some questions to help make a good decision as to whether or not to move to Reading.

Traffic
By looking at Google Earth I can see the highways leading to and from Philadelphia/Reading are all 2 lanes. How long does it take to drive from Reading to Philadelphia on a work week leaving at 7am ?
Yes, all lanes leading into Philly are two lane highways. I'd say you can get into Philly by 8:30 depending on traffic.

People
I hear it is very crowded everywhere you go. For example, Is it hard to find places to go food shopping that are not crowded? My impression from reading these posts is that there is a highly dense population in that area. Is it hard to find parking in general, or find restaurants with open tables etc?
That's not the case in Reading as it is in Philly. I've lived here for 10 years going on 11 and never had problem finding a parking spot, finding restaurants with open tables or big crowds.

Weather
I am learning that it is always cloudy in the Reading area. Grey skies all the time. Is this true? If so, is this the case for other nearby areas like Philly or KOP?
That's not true at all! We get plenty of sunny days! I don't know who told you that but it's not the case. Yes, we do get cloudy days but all the time.

Wages
I hear that wages are not as high in Philly as in Seattle. In other words where are all the high paying jobs?


Homes
Where are all the cheapest houses that are in good & safe areas?
Homes are not cheap here. Most start in the 300's, you're lucky if you can find houses in the upper 200's. If you want cheap look else where!
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