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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Santa Clarita, Ca
11 posts, read 26,958 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello everyone, we are a young family, my husband and I are 28. We have two daughters ages 8 and 5. We currently live in Santa Clarita, Ca- about 40 mins N. of LA. We grew up in LA and left because we feel it is overcrowded and people are just plain rude. Illegal immigration has impacted us in so many horrible ways. In LA we were outsiders in our own community. Santa Clarita is much better. We have decent schools with a low ratio of English Language Learners, and it's less crowded. The problem is that it is so expensive here. We pay $2,250 for a 3 bdrm, and everthing is just too expensive. We are looking into Harrisburg, but need some help. I have researched many area's and need to know what the pro's and con's are of Harrisburg and surrounding suburbs. The most important things to us are as follows:
1. Schools
2. Safe neighborhoods
3. Kids activities- my girls are competitive cheerleaders
4. Places to get organic foods
5. Friendly people
6. How is the climate?
There are so many more questions that I have but that a start. Thank you so much for reading and for any advice you may have
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Santa Clarita, Ca
11 posts, read 26,958 times
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Also, can we find a good place to live for under $1800/mo?
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:09 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 10,717,464 times
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You would probably prefer the outer West Shore, start with areas with a Mechanicsburg postal address in the Cumberland Valley School District. It's a growing suburban area not quite as in-bred as others, it's also around Wegmans for food shopping, and has most of the chain shopping around the Carlisle Pike (US 11 west of PA 581) with plenty of organized youth activities. Wegmans is kind of like a Whole Foods with a whole regular grocery store attached.

If you prefer an older settled suburban neighborhood then Camp Hill Borough and areas of Hampden Twp (Cumberland Valley SD) with a Camp Hill address might be worth looking into. You could buy a 3 br house for less than $750 PI/mo.

Crime is much lower than national average and especially negligible on a SoCal scale.

Further east of Harrisburg then Hershey/Derry Twp SD and surrounding areas in Lower Dauphin SD are also safe with a lot of kids activities. However the shopping especially for organic food will not be as good.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:18 PM
 
109 posts, read 347,021 times
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I am a native southern california girl. I actually lived for a few years in Santa Clarita and I know what you mean about the cost. I was paying $2,800 for a four bedroom house. I cant give you much more information that what people here can. I myself am just barely relocating to Harrisburg in about two weeks so I am super excited. I really love the area and its completely different from CA. More relaxed, more elbow room, and so so so green! Congrats and I hope you make a home in PA!
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Santa Clarita, Ca
11 posts, read 26,958 times
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kiOeh- Thank you so much for your reply! That is good advice, because comming from Cali, we may find it to be easier moving to a newer- growing suburb, rather then an older-well established one. That market sounds pretty nice and would be great for us! If there aren't as many stores with organic foods, do you know if there are any farmers markets, or farms to pick you own produce?

Fudgecopper- That is pretty cool that you know exactly what I'm talking about. Looking at the pics of Harrisburg I can tell it's just beautiful! Considering how brown Santa Clarita is, it will be a big change in scenery. What made you make the move from Cali? Do you think it's going to be a hard transition?
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:54 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 10,717,464 times
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Here is a list of farmers' markets in PA, they are fairly common in this area: Home - Buy Fresh Buy Local
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:12 PM
 
109 posts, read 347,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalmomandwife View Post
kiOeh- Thank you so much for your reply! That is good advice, because comming from Cali, we may find it to be easier moving to a newer- growing suburb, rather then an older-well established one. That market sounds pretty nice and would be great for us! If there aren't as many stores with organic foods, do you know if there are any farmers markets, or farms to pick you own produce?

Fudgecopper- That is pretty cool that you know exactly what I'm talking about. Looking at the pics of Harrisburg I can tell it's just beautiful! Considering how brown Santa Clarita is, it will be a big change in scenery. What made you make the move from Cali? Do you think it's going to be a hard transition?

I dont think it's going to be hard at all. The hardest part is finding a place while your out of state, which is why we just went with a rental community rather than trying to buy/rent a house. It was just so much easier because we did everything via fax/online. Thats going to be your biggest hurdle. I can tell you that when I first got to Harrisburg, from visiting a little while ago, I was just in shock at how pretty is was. It is SO green!! There is a lot of space too so it doesnt feel like your so crammed in. You know how the "valley" is in san fernando right? Well, no where while visiting did I see a place that even compared even slightly to that. So, I think if your looking for hustle and bustle, I dont think you will find that there. But, if your looking for a quieter, greener, asthetically pleasing place, then I think this is it. Although, Camp hill reminded me of Santa Clarita due to the minor traffic I encountered there. That was the most traffic I saw in harrisburg and its comparable to the traffic in Santa Clarita/Valencia. Remember, this is just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. I would hate for you to get there and say "that damn fudgecopper lied to me" lol.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
81 posts, read 162,176 times
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Hi,
Harrisburg.....I use to work there for M&T Mortgages.....anyway....if I were in your shoes, I would just rent for the first year.......
Pennsylvania is really a lot different than California.....in terms of costs, and especially scenery.
I find the Hershey area to be extremely beautiful.....I would also look into the Elizabethtown area.

From there you could search the Harrisburg job market, Hershey, Lebanon County and Lancaster area.

You will also find enough local produce (organic) farmed by the Amish in this area. Tons and tons of food!
My daughter use to live in California........everytime she would visit she just could not get over how green it was here in Lancaster County. That's the biggest diff between Cal and Pa....we don't have to irrigate our land. Cal is mostly desert. She said it was like she had new eyes! lol
Amyway, I don't know if I've helped.
Do you have jobs lined up? That would be my major concern.

My son works in Harriburg.....he commutes from Lancaster every day. Seems a tad far for me, but he doesn't mind the commute. He loves Lancaster. By the way, should you want to locate in Lancaster........There are tons of developments here that you can afford for a lot less than what your paying there.
Have a good day and good luck with your move.
Lou
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Santa Clarita, Ca
11 posts, read 26,958 times
Reputation: 13
Hi Lou, thank you so much for replying! Everyone keeps saying how green it is over there, and it might seem like a small thing for some people, but to us it's a big thing. We love being outdoors and it seems like everytime we go outdoors here, it's all brown. It's quite depressing if you ask me. So the change in scenery is a big plus for us. We also HATE Cali weather. There are no seasons of change, just pretty much the same all year round. I lived in Wisconsin for a couple years and loved the weather- I like having a white Christmas.

As for jobs, my husband works for a company where he is able to transfer and keep his pay. I have been a stay at home mom for quite some time now. I was trying to find a job lately to save up for the move but out here the job market is pretty much non- existant, unless I speak fluent Spanish, that is. Since mt husband is of Spanish decent I speak some, but not enough. I'm hoping that is not the case in PA. Looking on Craigslist, it doesn't appear that many listing require being bilingual.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Lancaster Pennsylvania
29 posts, read 100,899 times
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I would agree spot on with what ki0eh said. Just be sure you look into what school district you'd be moving into. Some of the Harrisburg (dauphin county) schools are very 'inner city" like (not in a good way).

Best bet would stay outside of harrisburg itself. Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg are both just 20 minutes outside Hburg but still nice.

All schools in central PA area are big on sports and cheerleading. With the suburban space everyone seems to be involved in some activities in school. Check into the schools programs before you make a decision.

I wish we had more spots for organic. The farmers markets are best. Whole foods closests to you would be in carlisle, 20 minutes west of hburg.

Price wise no problem on the renting at that price point. Home are MUCH less here on the east coast compared to CA.

If you liked my response please rep me, thanks!
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