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Old 11-27-2007, 02:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,790 times
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My job is being transfered to allentown, but only part time for now. My fiance and I both live out of state (NY/NJ) and neither of us own a home.

We have some savings, but we don't want to get in over our heads so our budget is low, around $150k. We're homebodies and just want to live somewhere safe and quiet where we can still find jobs (myself a second job to supplement the primary job, my fiance will hopefully be able to find just one full time job).

No kids, no plans for kids in the near future, so school districts are not an issue. Just an affordable safe area within about 45 minutes of allentown.
Some measure of land for our dog to roam would be preferable, though.

Any advice or input would be appreciated, I know this is not going to be easy.

Thank you so very much.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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talk to a relator.

there are homes with small yards in allentown/bethlehem.

Emmaus is really nice and probably more house for less $.

if you want more than a small yard i'd go to macungie or whitehall
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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At a 150,000 price point you are looking at houses in the city (Allentown, Beth or Easton). You can find houses in the burbs at that price, but it will be an older townhouse, twin or a "fixer-upper". The immediate suburbs around ABE are not cheap.
I would suggest you rent a house or an apartment when you get here and then take a look around. Even though you have a dog, it isn't impossible to find a rental. Just keep checking the classifieds at Lehigh Valley news, Allentown news, Bethlehem news, pocono news, Easton news from The Morning Call and mcall.com -- themorningcall.com (Lehigh Valley Newspaper).
If you do decide to buy and you want some land in that price range check into the Slatington area (30 mins north of the Lehigh Valley) or Kutztown/Hamburg area (20-30 mins west of the lehigh valley)
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:33 PM
 
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Thanks for the tips.

I also wouldn't mind the lower parts of monroe county, if that is worth considering. Within 45 minutes is acceptable... of course, that also requires no unreasonable delay during winter weather...
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:35 PM
 
Location: A-B-E, PA
14 posts, read 53,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StartingOverPA View Post
Thanks for the tips.

I also wouldn't mind the lower parts of monroe county, if that is worth considering. Within 45 minutes is acceptable... of course, that also requires no unreasonable delay during winter weather...
That last part is asking a lot. There was a storm last year and people were stuck on 78 in PA for days. But seriously, take a look at Lehigh Valley Multiple Listing Service to get some ideas. You can take a look in the Slate Belt area. Wind Gap and Pen Argyl have a lot of houses in the $150K and lower range. Its about 30 minutes from here to Allentown area.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:16 AM
 
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Mad Ox and LV native are right - the inner ring of towns surrounding Allentown and Bethlehem are fairly expensive, at least more then $150,000. But there are probably not more then 5 days where the weather is bad enough to make traveling impossible. And when it's that bad some of the companies (along with schools, of course) will shut down or have delays. Kutztown and Topton are pretty little towns and within your 45 minute radius. Kutztown is kind of nice because it has the college and there would be plays, concerts and things to do and you could even go back to school if you wanted. I know students that commute to Kutztown and there are many very pretty back roads between Allentown and Kutztown that when the weather is not bad would make the ride almost pleasant!
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,263 posts, read 4,911,491 times
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$150K is not going to buy anything "decent" in the Slate Belt (Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, or Bangor) either. It will get you a very fixer-upper single or a double in a little bit better shape, that's it. A friend of mine is looking around here in the same budget range as you are, so I'm familiar with this.

You could look in the Palmerton-Lehighton area, which is actually just as close to the Valley or closer than the Slate Belt is. I see from the MLS that the prices are a bit lower up there.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:25 AM
 
Location: A-B-E, PA
14 posts, read 53,928 times
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PA is all about doubles, and I know of a few nice doubles in Pen Argyl that were in the $130's. Hell, my neighbor had his newly renovated double on the market for $135k, couldnt sell it and decided just to rent it out. The LV and its surrounding area is still too popular with people from Jersey looking to get away from the $300 and $400k houses there. So houses around here can sell for $200K and still look like bargains to them. You definitely need to look in the fringe areas to get something cheaper.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:31 AM
 
24,277 posts, read 22,814,617 times
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Seriously think about the eastern Berks county area bordering Lehigh. You have quiet and more rural areas as well as cheaper home prices. The 45 minute commute into Allentown is probably about right, maybe less, but I'm not sure how bad traffic is along 222 has gotten. It was bad. The western edge of Lehigh is also a good bet.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Elizabethtown, KY
34 posts, read 143,521 times
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Maybe you should think about renting. You could find a great place in a good school district for around $1200/mo which is the about what you'd pay for a house in your price range. If you wait until the prices drop and save some down payment money you could buy a nice, brick Cape Cod in a great school district for under $200K. If you look at the MLS link from Mad Ox you might want to look in Whitehall, Parkland, and East Penn school district as they are very strong and that's where I would live if we were staying in the area. I now rent in Whitehall and will be moving down to Philly this spring, but I'd recommend it to anyone. Also, you should look at where exactly you'll be working and try to limit your drive on Route 22, which is by far the worst stretch of road I have ever driven. It is a daily parking lot and any accident in one direction grinds the opposite lane to a stand still. It is absolutely horrible!
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