Possible move to Lancaster County (Elizabethtown, Lititz, Manheim): Salary Info!! (Reading: transplants, real estate)
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My fiancé and I are looking to relocate from NY to Lancaster County. We have visited Elizabethtown and like the feel of that area. I have heard that other areas in Lancaster County are just as nice. We are really looking for a family-oriented area with good schools, a nice town (restaurants, some night life) and close enough to stores to get your necessities. Any insight would be great! Also, I am in the accounting/auditing field with CPA certification. Anyone know how the job market is / salary ranges? Just trying to get a feel on what to expect going in.
E-town is a great area to live. I was born and raised in Lanc and still live here but I've lived in just about every township and Etown was by far my favorite mainly b/c the ppl were nicer and friendlier. Its not like that everywhere even tho the areas are nice as far as safety and having every day conveniences nearby. there's just something about some of the ppl in some of the areas. The bad part is there are very few jobs there b/c it is a small town but there may be more opportunities just outside of E-twnm, like maybe Mount Joy which is just down the street but it is also very small with few businesses. The business you see on the main st going thru etown and mt joy are pretty much all thats in that area except for a few restaraunts and bars just outside that road. You could also look towards Hershey, middletown and Lancaster for work but I will tell you jobs are scarce around here. Im in the bookkeeping/accounting field myself (no CPA cert) and it's rare I see anything in that field or if it is the pay is far less than what Im making at my current job. Only reason I've been keeping my eye out is b/c I only have PT hours and need FT but they dont come by too often and if the do the pay is substantially less than what I make now. It seems like the rates have gone down tremendously in the past few yrs. It makes me sad to see ads for what I've been doing for 20+ yrs for wages I made back in the 90's. You may have have better luck with the CPA cert but if there is an ad for CPA there will probably be 50-100 others for the same position. Hard to say what the salary range for that would be, maybe 35-40K if you're just starting but thats a guess. I doubt our pay scale compares to NY.
Our cost of living has also gone up significantly in the past 5 yrs. Apt prices have almost doubled. E-town might not be quite as high as Lanc but you'll be looking at least $1000.00 a month for decent apt and thats just a 1-2 bd, maybe 1200 for bigger. Are you planning on buying or renting? Rentals are getting scarce so you have limited options there especially in Etwon and Mt joy. Theres only a few apt. communites. Etown is also a college town so you will see some rentals in that area but it may not be a good place for kids. there really isnt any bad areas in etown tho as far as crime. Theres not a whole lot to do right there but they do have grocery stores and every day conveniences right on the main rd and you would only be 20 min. from Park City which is Lancaster biggest Mall. Also not far from harrisburg or Hershey if you wanted to shop there.
As far as night life. there are a few nice restaurants like TJ Rockwells (My fav) and a cpl others but you're not far from Lanc or other areas to get to other places. there's tons of places to eat around here. Etwon does have a movie theater but nothing else major.
Lititz is also a nice area and a popular place for NYers to move to. we really dont get a lot of transplants here but most of the ones we do are from NY. Lititz is really the only area that booming and building right now. it's also probably one of the most desirable areas. I work there but I wouldnt necessarily want to live there even tho it's a very nice and safe area with new stuff coming in all the time. Most areas here are family oriented. Its a very religious and conservative area too. Im not like that but most are. Only diverse area would be the city.
Our local newspaper is called LancasterOnline if you want to check there for jobs and housing. There are some legit ads on criaglist but I would be wary. if the ad doesnt live the actual property address its probably a scam.
As far as schools, the only ones you would want to avoid are Lanc. city schools and Columbia SD. all the others have good reps with most desirable being Warwick(Lititz) and Manheim Township. Manheim Twship is another nice area to consider, it's just before Lititz but the housing is pricey there. we do have high property and school taxes but Im not sure how they would compare to NY.
Something to consider is our winters are awful with tons of snow and ice so keep that in mind for commute. Theres only 2 main hwys to get to most places and they tend to be a mess during rush hours. I have to commute now and the winter can be a nightmare, i just dread t every year. Im sure you have the bad stuff in NY but I dont know if Nyers drive like they do here...lol
Not sure what else I can tell ya but good luck if you do move here!
Thanks CCG2015!! We would be looking to buy once we were able to lock down jobs so thank you for all the insight on the real estate. Looks like my best best for jobs would be towards Lanc or Harrisburg. Out of curiosity, how long is the commute during rush hour if I was to travel to either of these cities from an Etown or Manheim area?
We actually went to TJ Rockwells when we visited and loved that place so it's funny you mentioned it. I see a lot on Lititz but have yet to visit that area yet. Any idea on why that particular area has become so popular for transplants?
Etown is a good half way point btwn Harrisburg and Lancaster. Harrisburg would be about 30-40 or so depending on the area WEST of Etown and Lancaster would be 25-30 minutes EAST of Etwn but again depends where in Lanc too, Im figuring central parts. Those time estimates would be during good traffic days. On bad days add another 15-30 minutes, in bad weather add more than that. Harrisburg is a big city so it depends on where in there too but there is only one major highway to Harrisburg so if accident happens or there's construction going on (which is all the time in the summer) on the HWY everything is backed up. Figure at least once a week for that or so it seems. Same with heading East into Lancaster but there are back roads into Lanc from Etown that can save some aggrevation but they're not always cleared on bad weather days which we have tons of in the winter. For some reason the snow/ice storms always seem to happen during morning rush hour.
Lititz has always been desirable b/c of the new housing and developments going on there and there really are no bad parts of Lititz as far as safety goes. The properties can be pricey in some developments tho. I think ppl head there b/c it's one of the few areas talked about for any transplants to even know about it. Most 'outsiders' wouldnt really know about the other areas until you get there b/c they just dont get a lot of attention since there's really nothing going on there as far as new construction of homes or businesses go.
Lancaster in general is a very insular area with most residence living here for generations. the people here dont just stay in Lancaster, most stay in the SD they grow up in. Its kind of weird like that here. No matter what township or borough you live in you will find that most of your neighbors have been there forever. Its easy to feel like an outside just moving outside the SD you grew up in. It's kind of weird with Lititz tho b/c the area also has the worst rep for not really being welcoming to 'outsiders' even tho it's a very polite area in general it's just it's hard to get to know people if you weren't born or raised there. I guess you could say they're kind of protective of their small little town and some of the older generation are vary wary of 'outsiders' so to speak.
Thanks CCG2015, I really appreciate all of the insight. Out of curiosity, is there any lakes around that you can put a motorized boat on and/or lakes for kayaks?
There are parts of the Susquehanna River that are used for motor boating. There is also Blue Marsh Lake over near Reading. While I wouldn't consider that "around", its not far for a weekend of boating fun either.
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