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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:14 AM
 
9 posts, read 12,651 times
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Hey everyone, my family and I are Phoenix, AZ natives born and raised. We are relocating to Harrisburg area in a month or two due to my husbands job. We are looking to buy a property (thinking under 50k townhouse). Anyways, my husband was there for a few days to get a feel for the place and I will be traveling in a few weeks to look at property but I'm hoping for some help. We are a young family in our late 20s with two kids that will be in Kinder and 1st grade. My husband will be working in Camp Hill and I will be going to HACC. We would rather avoid anything over a 30 min commute. We realize we are at a complete loss. I know the Harrisburg school district schools score very poorly. But the outlying areas may be too much for our budget. So any locals want to give this girl some advice. I'm going to be getting a realtor soon and I want to have some ideas where to look.

If it helps we are biracial family ( I am white my husband Native), middle class, we are friendly backyard bbq and camping trip people that want to know our neighbors and even be friends with them. We also have two dogs. While we have lived in a big city, safety is our main concern.

Thanks for any and all advice.

Last edited by welljessica; 07-25-2015 at 12:36 AM..
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:02 AM
 
62 posts, read 68,805 times
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50K for a townhouse? Is that a typo? Im not in Harrisburg but Im familiar with the area and that is not a realistic price for anything but maybe a dilapidated building or maybe foreclosure needing considerable work somewhere in what would probably be considered an undesirable neighborhood. What zip codes are you searching for properties? Im only familiar with certain parts but I know you would be lucky to find something under $150K in those areas and they're not exactly affluent areas but nice working class areas. Dont forget PA also has high property and school taxes that can vary greatly depending on the School District which on going to add a considerable amount to your mortgage/monthly expense.

You may be better off renting something for a bit and getting a feel for the area to see what you can realistically afford and will feel safe. Harrisburg is a fairly big city and the safety of some areas can change within just a few blocks. There are some areas Im afraid to drive through but then down the street would be nice residential areas.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:12 PM
 
Location: West York
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Haha, under 50K townhouse? I guess Steelton might have a few of those...

Seriously though, a 50K budget is unrealistic around here. I would look into renting to start until you can build up enough for a higher housing budget. As for location, if your husband is working in Camp Hill, stay on the west shore (Camp Hill, Lemoyne, New Cumberland, Enola, Mechanicsburg, etc.)
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:23 PM
 
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Properties along the Susquehanna may have lower purchase prices but that is offset by the high flood insurance

You should considering renting in Lemoyne or New Cumberland.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:22 PM
 
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Well I have definitely seen some properties on the MLS in that price range. I never ruled out forclosure or fixer uppers. We are buying it cash out right so not too worried about taxes and such.

This is a temporary situation like 2-3 years and we don't want to waste our money renting.

That's why I asked about area. I will worry about finding a home for the right price.

(By the way go type in 60k as a max on zillow or Trulia and watch the options)

So back to the main question. Anyone want to help me with areas?

Also anyone have any estimates on yearly premium for flood insurance if I pick a place by the river?

Last edited by welljessica; 07-25-2015 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
12,628 posts, read 22,635,113 times
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Zillow and Trulia are well-known for being wildly inaccurate.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:18 PM
 
Location: West York
121 posts, read 213,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welljessica View Post
Well I have definitely seen some properties on the MLS in that price range. I never ruled out forclosure or fixer uppers. We are buying it cash out right so not too worried about taxes and such.

This is a temporary situation like 2-3 years and we don't want to waste our money renting.

That's why I asked about area. I will worry about finding a home for the right price.

(By the way go type in 60k as a max on zillow or Trulia and watch the options)

So back to the main question. Anyone want to help me with areas?

Also anyone have any estimates on yearly premium for flood insurance if I pick a place by the river?
Ok, price point taken out of the equation, look at Camp Hill, New Cumberland, Lemoyne, Enola, and Mechanicsburg areas.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:41 PM
 
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Flamingo13, it's east enough to then search the property address and find the Realtors website that is actually selling the home to ensure accuracy. While I agree there can be discrepancies, you can do your due dillegence. Plus you can also then contact a realtor and they can send you the actual listing.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:50 AM
 
62 posts, read 68,805 times
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Im curious what zip codes you're searching? There are around 40 zips just for Harrisburg and the areas will very tremendously from one end to the other. I don't doubt you'll see some on there in that range just keep in mind where they're located. Those pics can be deceiving. Harrisburg has a very high crime rate in areas like that. If you're okay in that scenario that it shouldnt be an issue but I couldnt imagine anyone not armed with at least a gun and a cpl pitbulls moving into areas like that. Im not sure how city life is in AZ but its very dangerous in certain parts of Harrisburg. I also wouldnt keep any valuables in the house either. Don't assume you can trust a realtor either b/c they want to move that property so they can collect the commission and get it off their hands.
also keep in mind how long those properties have been on the market. you may not be able to unload in a cpl yrs when you want to get out. Chances are they've already been sitting there for awhile and more than likely have back taxes owed which you will have to pay upfront plus any inspections/repairs needed to get the place up to code to be considered livable.
Im not trying to be mean here or anything like that just realistic. Coming from AZ you may go into a bit of shock there.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:40 PM
 
405 posts, read 858,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welljessica View Post
So back to the main question. Anyone want to help me with areas?
Basically you are asking us to assist you in making a poor decision. 50k will get you a property in the ghetto, in a flood zone, something that needs another 50k to make it livable or a mix of the three.

On top of that you only plan on living in the property 2-3 years which will prompt the realtor to suggest you rent.


Quote:
Also anyone have any estimates on yearly premium for flood insurance if I pick a place by the river?
You'll have to get a quote because the rates are often adjusted (up) at time of sale. Annual premiums from 5~8% of the sale price are not uncommon.
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