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Old 09-11-2013, 01:46 PM
 
26 posts, read 42,546 times
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Hi,
Young recent grad with multiple offers for work post residency. Offers include loan repayment which I cannot get in the DC metro otherwise we would probably stay here. Having trouble choosing between Saratoga area and central PA near Lewisburg. Schools seem about the same? Haven't arrived at a consensus after visiting great schools website. More info if this helps: we are in our 30s, African American, 2 kids: 2 and 4 yo. 300k in school loans. Any help appreciated!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:14 PM
 
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I'd go with Saratoga Springs due to the aspect of diversity, comparably speaking and like you mentioned the schools are just as good. Saratoga Springs is bigger than Lewisburg, which does have Bucknell University. Saratoga Springs has quite a bit going on for its size. You are also pretty close to Albany and major cities like Boston and NYC are within a few hours. If you don't mind doing a reverse commute to Saratoga Springs, northern Colonie may be worth a look, as the school district(North Colonie) enrollment is a little more diverse than Saratoga Springs City SD, if that matters to you.

Are there other aspects you are looking for in a community?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Ditto what "ckhthankgod" said. I was writing you an answer when her's appeared and suddenly my answer said virtually the same thing although I didn't mention Colonie School District. Vermont is close too. I live in Saratoga county and I love it here. I am a regular patient of Albany Medical Center(neurosciences) and the treatment I have received there out does any place I went to in North Carolina(and I was not in the "Research Triangle" there, I was in the mountains.) There are numerous colleges here too. There's diversity in Saratoga but I haven't checked the actually stats. Best of Luck to you and your family.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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We like parks, swimming, trying new restaurants...I've been in training for so long I haven't had much free time. Looking for that to change! Proximity to family is important too- Lewisburg is about 40 miles closer to our family on the east coast than Saratoga is.
My only other concern would be culture and entertainment- there are so many museums and activities in the DC area that we will surely miss, I was thinking that Lewisburg with its proximity to Hershey and Philly would offer the children similar experiences? I have no idea of what Sararoga has to offer within this regard.
Thanks for the responses!

Last edited by upward_bound; 09-11-2013 at 05:03 PM.. Reason: addition
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upward_bound View Post
We like parks, swimming, trying new restaurants...I've been in training for so long I haven't had much free time. Looking for that to change! Proximity to family is important too- Lewisburg is about 40 miles closer to our family on the east coast than Saratoga is.
My only other concern would be culture and entertainment- there are so many museums and activities in the DC area that we will surely miss, I was thinking that Lewisburg with its proximity to Hershey and Philly would offer the children similar experiences? I have no idea of what Sararoga has to offer within this regard.
Thanks for the responses!
There are amusement parks(the Great Escape), the Adirondack Mountains, Boston, Montreal and NYC are about 3 hours away and Albany, Schenectady and Troy are all within less than an hour. Lake George is a nice resort town nearby. Saratoga Springs has some nightlife and is a walkable, resort town.

With Lewisburg, you could take the kids to Bucknell events(sporting or cultural) and Penn State/State College isn't too far away either. Harrisburg is still pretty close as well.

Here is some information for Saratoga Springs and nearby locations: Visit Saratoga! Racing, Tourism & Travel Guide to Saratoga Springs NY: Find Hotels, Events, Restaurants & Real Estate

Glens Falls is full of things to do, delicious restaurants, and numerous places to shop for everyone in your family or friends.

Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association - Working Together to Promote Ballston Spa, New York

Lake George - Official Guide to Lake George NY: Hotels, Restaurants, Vacations & More at LakeGeorge.com

http://www.sixflags.com/noflash.aspx

Welcome to Albany, NY!

Welcome | VisitSchenectady.com

Welcome to TROY.NY

Adirondacks, NY - Official ADK Region Tourism Site

Saratoga/Capital District Region - NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

As for schools, this should help: https://reportcards.nysed.gov/counties.php?year=2012 (Look at Saratoga, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and maybe Warren counties)

You can search by county here as well: Search for School Profiles

2012 Upstate school district rankings - Business First

2012 Albany Area school district rankings - Business First

Another school district that may work is Shenendehowa in Clifton Park, who happens to have a superintendant of schools that is Black.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 09-11-2013 at 06:21 PM..
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:01 AM
 
26 posts, read 42,546 times
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Thanks for the links. On a recent trip we visited Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa. We drove quickly through Niskayuna, Schenectady, Clifton Park. It was a short business trip and I wish I had more time to spend in each of these areas...I wasn't able to walk away that weekend feeling like I found my "niche". We did see a few houses in Ballston Spa but what we were shown was too rural for me. I want a neighborhood that's not too rural, possibly newer construction. I also didn't like having to hop on the highway to get to shopping. Do you have any other suggestions for me?
Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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Now, is the residency in Saratoga Springs or Amsterdam? I ask because it could help make a decision. Hopefully, others will chime in as well.

This may help as well: RealtyUSA - Property - Property-List

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 09-12-2013 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Saratoga Springs is a very upscale small city with a unique urban vibe, and it's probably the priciest community in the Capital District. During racing season, traffic around Saratoga Springs can be annoying (but not like Washington, DC traffic!). Benefits/attractions of Saratoga Springs:
  • It's just off the Northway (I-87) about 4 hours from Montreal or from NYC. It's about 30 minutes from Albany, the state capital, and Lake George as well as less than an hour from Bennington, VT.
  • Beautiful and historic Saratoga Race Track, Saratoga Spa State Park, the Museum of Racing, the Canfield Casino, Yaddo, Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Performing Arts Center are all in the city or nearby.
  • Saratoga Lake and the Hudson River offer a variety of boating/kayaking opportunities.
  • Adirondaks offer year round outdoor activities (largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi).
  • Home to Skidmore College.
  • Artists, writers, and other intellectuals make their homes in and around Saratoga Springs.
Amsterdam is a small blue-collar city in the Mohawk Valley about 40 miles west of Albany, NY just off the NYS Thruway (I-90). Unfortunately, it suffers from many of the maladies associated with rust-belt cities. It's not all bad, and it's appeal has a lot to do with your own tastes.

  • It's less than a half hour from the Great Sacandaga Reservoir and the Adirondak Forest Preserve.
  • Home prices are much lower than in Saratoga Springs, especially in the city itself.
If your position would be in Amsterdam, you could always live outside the city, including on the Sacandaga or along the Mohawk as well as between Saratoga and Amsterdam.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:47 PM
 
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If position is in Amsterdam, I think niskayuna could work. Depending on where you live in the town you're either in nisky schools or south colonie. Nisky schools are smaller and ranked higher academically, while south colonie is still ranked fairly high and has a larger African American population. Main drawback of anywhere in Schenectady county vs albany or Saratoga counties is higher taxes.

I think a lot depends on if you plan to rent or buy, budget, and how far you are willing to commute.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:20 PM
 
26 posts, read 42,546 times
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I think I will have to plan a second visit at some point to spend more time in these areas. I don't mind commuting as long as snow removal is prompt during the winter and I could get to work just as easily on snowy days. I just want great schools and close shopping. My husband wants square footage above 2500-3000, so we will probably have to compromise somewhere.
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