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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:04 AM
6 posts, read 29,936 times
Reputation: 13


Hello y'all (just thought I would throw that in there b/c we are moving from Louisiana)! We are relocating to the Mechanicsburg area possibly at the first of June and I need help! I am trying to set up our budget and would like to get an idea of what utilities run for this area...cable, water, electric, internet, etc. Also, what are the cable companies that are available in the Mechanicsburg area?

Second, it has been difficult to find any houses for rent in Mechancisburg and the surrounding area (looking at the Cumberland Valley school district). I have checked out the local papers, realtor.com and craigslist with not much luck. Anyone have suggestions on where else to look. We also need a realtor suggestion so if we decide to buy.

Third, what type of mother's day out programs are available in the area? I have a 2 1/2 year old that I would like to get in to a Mother's Day Out. What about summer camps or fun things to do for kids.

Last (for now anyway) what about good neigbhorhoods in the Cumberland Valley school district. I would like a neighborhood with lots of kids as I have a 2 1/2 year old and 6 1/2 year old. Are there are Master Planned Communities with pools, tot lots, etc.

Ohhhh...and how are people in this area...friendly? I am a little nervous about moving "up north". We say yes mam and no mam...will that offend people.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:01 PM
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,953 posts, read 5,779,004 times
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Welcome to PA from a fellow La. Transplant. I was born in New Orleans and grew up between there and Baton Rouge. I still try to get down there once a year.

I can give you a couple of my own tidbits, as others will chime in.

In my area, Comcast is the dominant cable provider and they also offer hi-speed internet. We are paying $100 a month for triple play (phone, 'net and digital tv)

There is also the option of Dish Network and Direct TV, but not clear on their prices.

As for friendliness that you encountered back home, well, it won't be in abundance here, BUT there are friendly and helpful people. You just have to look a bit harder and people take a long time to warm up.

If you are grocery shopping and can't find the beer and wine section, well, don;t be surprised. If you want beer, you will have to get it by the case at a beer distributor or visit a bar for a six pack. Wine and hard liquor can only be obtained at a state run or "ABC" store.

As you probably know, this was one of the most unforgiving winters in years, so be sure to buy a couple of snow shovels, salt and stock up on warm clothing.

At the first mention of snow, people tend to rush to the stores and empty the shelves.

I also highly suggest seeking out a reliable auto mechanic. In PA, it's required to get your vehicles inspected once a year. The inspections here are much stricter than in LA, where I remember them checking just the horn, wipers and lights. Emissions are also inspected. Towards the middle or end of the fall, it would also be a very good idea to get your vehicle ready for winter.

There is a site called www.apartments.com that may help you in your search for a place.

Good luck in your move.

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:33 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,579 posts, read 71,671,820 times
Reputation: 17347
Hi Michelle!

I can't offer a ton of help since I'm not intimately familiar with the Cumberland Valley area, but I just wanted to welcome you in advance to PA! I grew up in the northeastern part of the state, just outside of Scranton, and I now live and work in Northern Virginia near Washington, DC. I pass through the Harrisburg area quite often, and every time I do I am more and more tempted to move there.

-Friendliness? PA in general is a somewhat provincial place. A lot of people are friendly to strangers and will engage in idle chit-chat and banter with you in line at the grocery store, for example, but when it comes to making tight friendships some people can throw up a barrier. A lot of people in many parts of PA are the descendants of multiple generations who have lived and died in the same immeidate areas together, so it's hard sometimes to make an "in" into those bonds. However, the Cumberland Valley area is a "magnet" area for a lot of newer transplants with children working in Harrisburg who are seeking good public schools, safe streets, and a bit of elbow room, so I wouldn't worry too much about feeling like you'd stick out like a sore thumb. You might be one of the few LA transplants in the immediate area, but I can guarantee, especially if you move to a subdivision in one of the townships near Mechanicsburg, that you'll come across at least some people originally from NY, NJ, MD, DC, VA, WV, other parts of PA, etc. who may remember what it felt like to be the "new kid on the block" and who will try to make you feel welcome. From my own experiences in rural parts of Virginia I'm assuming Louisiana may be similar with how trusting and friendly people are. People are more fast-paced up here, and I wouldn't take anything too personally.

-It will be difficult to locate a lot of housing rentals because Cumberland Valley is pretty much becoming poster child suburbia with a lot of newer housing developments. That's not necessarily a "bad" thing on its own, but most people living in this school district are likely homeowners---not renters. Mechanicsburg proper might be your best bet to find rentals. Otherwise try going onto the Harrisburg CraigsList and post an ad under "Housing Wanted" detailing your situation, your budget, your desired housing arrangements, etc., and let prospective landlords contact you.

I really do hope you'll come to enjoy PA. I miss it terribly now that I'm living in the South (Meh...Virginia is technically like the North now anyways though with all the PA/NY/NJ transplants! LOL!) Best of luck to you and your family! There's a lot of knowledgeable people about South Central PA who should be along soon to help.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:43 AM
6 posts, read 29,936 times
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Thanks everyone for your information! A few days after I posted this, my husband's company decided that the position will be located at Bolling AFB in DC. I was a little sad as I was getting excited about the idea on PA. I guess I need to get busy on the Northern Virginia boards and change my screen name.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:42 AM
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,953 posts, read 5,779,004 times
Reputation: 2970

Good luck with your move to the DC area. I lived there for several years and the area is always changing and growing.

You can still visit PA, as it is not far away and there is quite a bit do do here when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of DC.
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