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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:34 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,943 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello - My husband has a well paying job offer in Harrisburg. I am torn as I read so many negative posts about the area in general it makes me not want to move there! We definitely would not live in Harrisburg as we want acreage but is the radius in general as awful as everyone makes it sound? and will I be able to find employment (office/payroll/HR) ? Any feedback would be appreciated as we may turn the offer down if it is a bad move. I am not sure if these forums just draw negativity or if they really reflect the towns/cities in question.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:24 AM
 
20 posts, read 31,006 times
Reputation: 49
Where are you guys moving from? I used to live in Harrisburg and it's really not as bad as people make it out to be. It's a small city with a decent amount of things to do. For me, it's a great place for young families to settle down. Certain places are run down but you'll find that in many cities. I wouldn't recommend it for those looking for an exciting place to live. It IS central Pennsylvania after all....... so it's pretty dull, boring, and not really diverse. Good news is you are only about an hour and a half to two hours driving distance to larger cities like DC, Philly, NYC, etc.

The negativity you probably always hear are usually from younger locals who grew up there all or most of their lives and are just sick of where they live. I was one of those people lol. Alot of people still move there.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 20,391 times
Reputation: 17
I think it depends on what you have heard and what you are looking for. I'm a transplant from DC so I was hoping for a bit more urban setting. It is not! Although if you enjoy suburbia, there is plenty of that! Also downtown Harrisburg has some fun things to do but you just have to stay informed. It's not like DC where you an just stumble upon fun things to do. Here you have to know its going on and then seek it out!

So what is it that you are expecting from the area?
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:10 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 10,649,391 times
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Driving around the area one sees a number of 5-10 acre properties. However relatively few seem to be offered for sale through real estate agents. Many I see in the paper's transfer listings are family transfers (with maybe 10 generations of settlement locally, many who own rural land have local relatives). Also, compared to where I grew up it is more common for such places to be auctioned vs. listed for sale. The places that are listed for sale seem to be 45+ minutes from typical employment sites, like in western Perry or in far northern "upper" Dauphin counties, and not in the most highly rated school districts. Coming from most Midwest/South type locales the prices on these few-acre pieces might seem high too.

Compared to other states PA has no regulation on water wells for home use (other than mandatory reporting that one is drilled), but relatively strict septic system rules. If there is a disclosure about septic system repair needed it is likely to be a $20,000+ fix if even possible. Ask detailed questions.

Zoning rules vary on a sub-zip code level. Just because it looks like a rural area with no services doesn't mean that you can keep chickens or horses on a few-acre piece. The names of zones and the rules that go with those zones are not standardized across townships - if you look up what you can do in an "agricultural" or a "suburban residential" zone in one township, the rules for a similarly named zone in the next township are certain to be different. The postal address and the name of the township office to check with are rarely the same, read maps closely.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:56 PM
 
52 posts, read 91,785 times
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Don't do it. The weather sucks. The shopping and food scene is pretty dismal. People are generally not very outgoing or welcoming to outsiders. There is a large low income Puerto Rican population in central PA that has relocated from NYC due to the lower cost of living, and that has resulted in high crime and drug problems in much of this area. There is nothing of interest around until you get 1.5 hours by car east or south. The beach is not an easy drive--3 hours one way. People talk up the proximity to NYC, but realistically how often are you going to make a 6 hour round trip drive for a weekend in NYC? You might do that once a year. From a cultural standpoint, it's just got a very backwoods, rural vibe to it. Deer hunting, farming, and Sprint car racing are popular past times. One of the biggest events of the year is The Farm Show if that tells you anything.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Maryland
165 posts, read 207,428 times
Reputation: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mvmdmd View Post
Don't do it. The weather sucks. The shopping and food scene is pretty dismal. People are generally not very outgoing or welcoming to outsiders. There is a large low income Puerto Rican population in central PA that has relocated from NYC due to the lower cost of living, and that has resulted in high crime and drug problems in much of this area. There is nothing of interest around until you get 1.5 hours by car east or south. The beach is not an easy drive--3 hours one way. People talk up the proximity to NYC, but realistically how often are you going to make a 6 hour round trip drive for a weekend in NYC? You might do that once a year. From a cultural standpoint, it's just got a very backwoods, rural vibe to it. Deer hunting, farming, and Sprint car racing are popular past times. One of the biggest events of the year is The Farm Show if that tells you anything.
I heard the gun show is popular here too.

I agree with everything that was said here, the nicest people I encountered in this area are mostly from the south and midwest, there are some nice locals here. I also agree with the fact that there has been an increase of New Yorkers moving here. I rent, and the property just looks trashy and the police has been called more often. This property management that took over in late 2012 has basically let anyone come in. In the surburbs of Harrisburg, there are a number of good looking houses for sale, which may get you to wonder why? The weather this summer has been better than expected (except for the storms), but in general the weather is lousy here.

It could be worse but think long and hard before making the commitment to buy a house in this area. Some of the scenery is very nice in Central Pennsylvania. Best of wishes in your search.

I do recommend staying down here for a time (If it is possible) and seeing the area for yourself.

Last edited by Jahodor; 07-29-2014 at 06:37 AM.. Reason: Add more to the post.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 506,256 times
Reputation: 382
Like previous posters have stated, this area can be hard to move to. The people here generally don't welcome "outsiders". However, most do tend to warm up a bit after a few months, or years. If you are going to move here, I would look at York first. After living in Central PA for almost three years, I would have to say that York is probably the best place in Central PA for transplants. York has a significant number of transplants from the Balt/DC area, and fast growing Asian and Hispanic communities. The commute to Harrisburg isn't that bad, I do it every day. And it usually takes me about 50 minutes to get Balt from my house in York. Also, the tiny towns (Shrewsbury, New Freedom etc) inbetween York and Balt on I-83 are starting to rapidly expand with transplants as well. So I predict that York will continue to become more culturally continuous with the Balt area.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:01 PM
 
11 posts, read 14,638 times
Reputation: 19
I disagree with most of the previous statements. The Harrisburg area is a great place to live (and if you all hate it so much, MOVE!!). I lived here growing up, moved away, and moved back again in my mid-30's. There are PLENTY of things to do. There are a lot of minor league sports (hockey, soccer, basketball, indoor/outdoor football, baseball), fairs & festivals, adult sports leagues, MeetUp groups, activities for kids, etc.

You'll never find a 5-10 acre plot in Harrisburg, but you may want to check on the outskirts, such as Upper Dauphin County, Northern Cumberland County (past Marysville), or the Carlisle/Boiling Springs area.

We definitely have 4 season. Winters are cold, summers are generally hot & humid. Fall and spring are fabulous (IMO).

As with most areas, it would be wise to rent for a year and scope out the towns/neighborhoods before buying. It will give you a better idea as to the amenities you want to be close to and the area you prefer.

If you want big city, it's not Harrisburg. The city itself is maybe 45-50,000 people. Baltimore is a little over an hour away, DC is about 2.5, NYC is 3.5, Pittsburgh is 3.5. There isn't a Whole Foods, IKEA, or Trader Joe's nearby, but they're all within 1.5 hours if you really want one. There is plenty of 'everyday' type stuff --- Target, Wegman's, shopping malls, grocery stores, discount/thrift stores, etc.

Hope you find what you're looking for! Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:10 AM
 
54 posts, read 92,945 times
Reputation: 43
Alot of negitive people here. I moved to the area from baltimore 8 years ago. If you think the people here are friendly, go to Baltimore. It's a great area to live. I would not live in the city but any of the outskirts are great.
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