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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:30 PM
 
6 posts, read 8,618 times
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Hi, I'm another one of those folks looking for information about relocating to the Hershey area. I'd really appreciate some local insights. My wife has been offered a great job in Hershey. We'd be leaving Atlanta where we've been for over 10 years. My main questions are really looking for some clarification about what I've seen online.

First, Hershey (or Derry Township) looks pretty expensive for real estate but the schools look awesome. How much worse are schools in Palmyra? That looks like a nice compromise in terms of housing costs but with still good schools.

Second, I may become a "stay-at-home Dad" due to this move. Will that be viewed negatively in such a conservative area? We're pretty moderate politically but don't want to become ostracized because the traditional breadwinner roles are reversed.

Finally, how easy is it to make friends in small towns like these? We have two kids (an infant and a 6yr old), and would like to find a new home where they can have lots of friends. It would be great to meet adults as well!

Thanks to anyone who can provide feedback about this. It sounds like a place that we'd like to raise our kids and we'd love to get away from the traffic and hectic lifestyle of Atlanta.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:29 PM
 
3,441 posts, read 7,718,994 times
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Can't address the school issue but can tell you about making friends. Your best bet is to try and find other people that are not from the area to hang out with. Because of Hershey Foods and the Medical Center, the area attracts people from out of state. I personally found that it was next to impossible to befriend any of the locals. So my social network was all people affiliated with the medical center as either an employee or student.

I can think of a lot worse places to live in the country. The area is fairly scenic, weather not too bad and you are within a few hours of DC, NYC, Philly and Baltimore for things to do on the weekend.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:05 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,618 times
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Thanks! That is helpful and unfortunately confirms what I'd read in other places. Sounds like it will be very important to find a neighborhood with other relo families. I'd welcome more feedback from others as well. This is a big decision for my family and want to go in with eyes wide open.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 488,945 times
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Greetings,

-Palmyra School District is a high quality district. Hershey, Lower Dauphin and Camp Hill are the best public schools in the area. Palmyra isn't far behind.

-Being a stay at home dad in the Hershey area shouldn't be an issue. It might be an issue if you move to a really small town to the west or south of Harrisburg. Hershey/Hummelstown is full of upper middle class professionals, it shouldn't be much of an issue.

-It's not impossible to make friends here, but it is certainly more challenging compared to other areas of the country. I've met most of my friends through our church. I know a lot of people relocate here to work at Heshey Medical Center/Complex, it probably wouldn't be hard to make friends there.

You won't find a lot of extremely conservative people here, but the area is full of gossipy, judgemental people. I have never been to a place where people talk so much about other people. Also, there is very, very little intermingling between people of different races. I'm white, my wife is asian and we definitely get a lot of stares. For a medium-sized town, the cost of living in the Harrisburg/Hershey area is relatively high.

Cost of Living Calculator: [SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney[/SIZE]
A 50,000 salary in Atlanta is comparable to:

Comparable salary in
Harrisburg, PA
$52,196
Price difference in Harrisburg, PA
  • Groceries 2% less
  • Housing 5% more
  • Utilities 21% more
  • Transportation 6% more
  • Health Care 7% less
However, most school systems here are excellent and crime in Hershey is extremely low.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:53 PM
 
145 posts, read 219,927 times
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I to am contiplating a relocation of my family to the Harrisburg area mainly for career moves for both my wife and I.

I must say it is a bit concerning that the general vibe I get is that the people there are not friendly. Now for me, coming from NW, PA (Erie), I could probably say almost compared to other parts of the US I have visited.

People here are kinda in there own "clicks" are not always rude but more or less are not outward and friendly.

My brother has lived in Las Vegas for almost ten years, born and raised in Erie, Pa., and he also says that people back home are kinda rude and to themselves.

So for me I'm not to sure it would be much different? Gossip to me today is a part of culture everywhere and IMHO is just wrong and unproductive.

I hope that this is not so much of an issue that it would steer us away from bringing our family there?

I have spoke to others on this board and have also gave could remarks regarding Palmyra, its schools ect...

My concern now is what I read about the SINK HOLES in the area!

I too have found that Camp Hill has great schools, but also that the cost of homes is very high.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:50 PM
 
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I live in Palmyra and have lived here since 2003..I love the area and the schools.I do not find the area judgemental or gossipy at all..All my neighbors and school parents are very friendly and welcoming and I am not a native of the area ( I grew up in NJ as did my husband) I work at the Med center too( nurse) and almost ALL of my friends are from outside the hospital.I am not the most outgoing person ( I am shy) and even I was able to make friends pretty easily.Alot of stay at home parents ( both moms and dads in the area). My daughter is 10 yrs old and loves the area and schools.The schools are fantastic and offer alot .For example, this year the 4th graders did a whole unit in science on Engineering and its practical applications.It was offered thru the local college.The instrument and band programs are FANTASTIC ( my daughter has played violin since age 7)and also is on the community swim team .The only negative I have found, is the area is car dependent.Cant really walk anywhere . Yes, there are sinkholes, but the WHOLE mid state is mostly limestone with underground water springs and that can lead to sinkholes...That said, over in Palmyra the sinkholes seem to be concentrated over in the downtown area near Rt 422.I live near Rt 322( Palmyra is sandwiched between Rt 422 and 322 ) and it is technically Campbelltown but a palmyra address.It is literally a 10 min drive to the med center and that is great.No sinkholes here .The only environmental problem we had was when an F3 tornado ripped through our development 10 yrs ago, but that was a freak occurence.The area is beautiful, lots of things to do and close enough to other areas ..we were thinking of moving to the Baltimore area and thank goodness we decided to stay here.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:56 PM
 
14 posts, read 19,472 times
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Also as far as politics go, I am far from conservative, the area overall can be, since there is alot of mennonite/traditional Christian families with old family values.In the older section of town alot of the people there are older and have been born and bred in the area..But that seems to be changing overall.It has changed tremendously in the 10 years I have been here and for the better, ..It is not unusual to see Same sex couples and families , bi-racial couples and families ,stay at home dads etc..There is always ignorant idiots, but that is true in alot of places

Last edited by PA-RN; 06-12-2014 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:16 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,618 times
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That is great information. I'm now starting to look at Camp Hill also since it offers good schools with a few more city amenities nearby. The downside then is the commute my wife would face from Camp Hill to Hershey. Every decision has pros and cons and I'd certainly welcome comments or insights. Coming from Atlanta, with a 45 to 60 minute commute, is Camp Hill to Hershey really that bad?
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: West York
121 posts, read 213,276 times
Reputation: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDSWiggins View Post
That is great information. I'm now starting to look at Camp Hill also since it offers good schools with a few more city amenities nearby. The downside then is the commute my wife would face from Camp Hill to Hershey. Every decision has pros and cons and I'd certainly welcome comments or insights. Coming from Atlanta, with a 45 to 60 minute commute, is Camp Hill to Hershey really that bad?
It wouldn't be that bad. From Camp Hill to Hershey during rush hour its probably 35-45 mins, but if she's working off shift hours, you're looking at 25 mins tops. Camp Hill can get congested, and then you have to deal with the 83/581 merger and the 19th street bottleneck. I personally prefer the west shore just because I'm more familiar with it, but I've only been to Palmyra twice and that was over a decade ago.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:03 PM
 
14 posts, read 19,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDSWiggins View Post
That is great information. I'm now starting to look at Camp Hill also since it offers good schools with a few more city amenities nearby. The downside then is the commute my wife would face from Camp Hill to Hershey. Every decision has pros and cons and I'd certainly welcome comments or insights. Coming from Atlanta, with a 45 to 60 minute commute, is Camp Hill to Hershey really that bad?
When I lived on the west shore (camp hill) and worked Night shift in Hershey, it still took about 30 mins.Dayshift took 45 mins, sometimes longer if there was an accident or road construction .If there is BAD weather, and there is in winter here, the travel takes longer and going over the bridge is not fun, especially in HIGH winds, ice and snow ...I am now in Palmyra and my drive is 10 mins or less for night shift .Dayshift it takes me abut 20 mins .It is much easier with bad weather too( Hershey med doesnt like call offs for bad weather, but then again no hospital does).The only downsides is the areas are pretty much car dependent and at this time of year there can be alot of tourist traffic because of Hershey Park being opened( Palmyra is not that far and people travel thru it from the PA Tpk onto Rt 322)
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