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Old 03-13-2009, 12:35 PM
11 posts, read 24,704 times
Reputation: 10


Background for questions:
We are a family of 5, two older adults in their 50's and three children ages 2,4 and 8.We have some questions for the people who live or did live in PA.We are a family which our grandparents were farmers and small ranchers in SC. We are a family made through adoption so we are racially mixed. We are wanting to make a life for our children on a small 20 to 50 acre farm. Things that are important to us are rich land with water, close to the mountains, good health care, good schools and a community where we can become a active part of and that will accept our diverse family. My husband was in the military 29 years and would like for a military base to be within 300 miles.We know what hard work is and are not afraid of it.
We are moving because where we live the crime rate is 4th in the nation, gangs are moving in and it is becoming wall to wall with people.We are looking for a slower pace and room to grow getting back to our roots of farming.
1) What area of PA would you advise.(no large cities please)
2) What are the housing markets like for smaller farms, are the markets having repositions there too like in our area of the US or are the farms in the millions of dollars?
3) Are there racial problems in areas we should avoid? Please remember we are from the deep south and that is why I ask and it is not ment to affend anyone in PA.
4) How is the land for growing, is the soil rich?
Please help and give us any information you can.Personal experences are the best teachers and we welcome yours.GOD Bless and thank you
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:51 PM
4,145 posts, read 9,057,952 times
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Pennsylvania is a large and diverse state. With your mixture of criteria I think the first two places to start looking would be in the Carlisle-Shippensburg area (US Army Carlisle Barracks with PX is in Carlisle); next in the Penns Valley area east of State College - look for Millheim and adjacent zip codes (and well within 300 miles of Carlisle). There are a number of other good soil areas, but they are either more within a sprawl zone or further from areas of racial diversity.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:08 PM
297 posts, read 359,322 times
Reputation: 111
Ok, it's going to be tough to give you a specific town since there are so many places that meet your criteria. Eastern PA has the poconos, Delaware Water Gap, and Blue Mountain is around the Lehigh Valley. I'm not an expert, but I've been told that NJ and Eastern PA has extremely rich soil, however this area is very populated and a farm the size you want would be very expensive. I would suggest southwestern PA. You can check out Fayette or Somerset Counties, which has Ohiopyle, tons of ponds, streams, and other areas of water, etc. This is extremely rural land...we're talking Daniel Boone country, where you need to carry a shotgun with you because there are bears all through the woods. This is a beautiful area, right in the mountains, and a great place to have a cabin and go hunting, fishing, and hiking. Land would be much, much cheaper here since it's on the border of WV and Maryland, then the land closer to NY and NJ. The soil in the west, from what I'm told, is not nearly as rich as the soil in eastern PA. You might hit it big with coal though. It's hit and miss, the growing season is obviously shorter because you would be at such a high elevation in the mountains and it would be very cold. There are actually quite a few farms and some wineries in the area, so you can certainly make a living there.

I haven't heard anything about a serious problem with repos in PA, especially in western PA. This area was not part of the housing bubble, so there was nothing to burst. Eastern PA, especially the suburbs of Philly, might have a problem with this, but from what i've seen most of the farms in PA are pretty small and tend to stay in the family's hands for generations.

As for racial problems, this is a touchy topic in PA. All of PA, outside of the big cities, is extremely white and not very diverse at all. If you move to rural areas, I would assume you're looking at 97% white or higher, virtually no hispanic or asian population. That's not to say that there is racial conflict though. I don't hear much about violence or anything like that, so I don't think you're going to have a problem.

There are also some other areas you might want to check out, like Franklin County, which is close to Maryland, and some areas around Breezwood too. Honestly, you could probably throw a baseball in PA and hit a mountain or a farm. The communities you're describing are all over the place, so you might want to pick the 10 best locations, then look at prices, taxes, schools, etc.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:31 AM
Location: Luzerne County
149 posts, read 498,957 times
Reputation: 79
Some places of the top of my head......Elysburg, Catawissa, Numidia, area (great school district & very little prejudice) or Tunkhannock...or Millville...or Benton......or anything in the Endless Mts area of PA. Try Jersey Shore or South Williamsport (not sure of proximity to an air base)......Anything off of Rte 46 between Danville & State College.....
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:10 AM
190 posts, read 590,310 times
Reputation: 206
Definitely around State College. Penns Valley is great, especially Centre Hall and Spring Mills. The townships surronding Bellefonte would also be good, reall anything in centre county becuase of the good schools and strong economy(Lowest in the state, tied with chester county). You could even get what you want in the State College school district, however it would be more expensive to buy a small farm. You can look for rel estate here: http://www.1kbb.com/

Last edited by Lion11; 03-14-2009 at 11:32 AM..
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