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Old 03-19-2014, 10:34 AM
 
23 posts, read 65,965 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello All,


When are you moving? TBD
Where are you coming from? Jersey City, NJ
Why are you moving? Husband is being promoted
Where will you be working? I work from home, he will be working at two offices, Horsham, PA and Bethlehem PA...
Have you been here yet? No.

Will you buy or rent? BUY
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend?
We are looking to buy a house, upper limit is $700,000; 4bdr, 2.5 bath, attached garage, backyard, nice neighborhood (we have two kids 2 and 4.5)


Are you married or single? Do you have children?
Married, with two kids, 2 years old and 4.5 years old

Do you prefer public or private schools?
looking for a strong public school with a great reputation, also will need daycare for our 2 year old

Do you have pets?
small dog

Do you want or need a yard?
want a yard

Are you keeping a car?
Yes, need two car attached garage

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
we want bustling activity - looking for a town with a nice downtown area with great shipping, restaurants, movie theater, activities. LIFE... do not want a sleepy town with tons of houses and nothing to do for miles and miles.

What do you want to be closest to?
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Near Bus stop? Please note that there is NO rail service in the Lehigh Valley.

Near all of the above

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?

We prefer a diverse neighborhood but would like to live where there is a temple in the town. I am Jewish my husband is Catholic but we are raising our children Jewish so having a temple in town or the very next town over, would be preferable. Otherwise, total diversity is preferred. We are coming from Jersey City which is 100% diverse and want that wherever we land next.

Phillies or Mets?
I'm a Met fan, husband is a Yankee fan...
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:16 AM
 
1,190 posts, read 2,248,238 times
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<<we want bustling activity - looking for a town with a nice downtown area with great shipping, restaurants, movie theater, activities. LIFE... do not want a sleepy town with tons of houses and nothing to do for miles and miles.>>

That, combined with a good school district, limits your options. The closest thing to your description would likely be downtown Bethlehem, but the public school district is not highly regarded, to be diplomatic. The best school districts are Parkland, East Penn, Southern Lehigh, Saucon Valley. Emmaus borough in East Penn may be your best bet, but I don't know how "bustling" it is. And your budget seems high for that area, I think. The houses in your price range are generally in Southern Lehigh/Saucon Valley area, which is more country club/rural/upscale suburban. Coopersburg in Southern Lehigh district is said to be a nice little burg, but not "bustling," I think. Not much bustling in the Lehigh Valley, really, except on the roads. It's more of a spread-out driving area than anything. That's not to say there's not lots to do, but it's not concentrated in the same area.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:42 AM
 
13,150 posts, read 31,711,688 times
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I think the best choice would be out of the Lehigh Valley. I would pick Doylestown. Doylestown Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (PA) Wonderful, bustling town with rail service to Philly, excellent schools and between both Bethlehem and Horsham. I can't think of any other town between those two that is a better choice for your preferences. The closest Temple is just a tiny bit out of town. Home
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:14 PM
 
14,121 posts, read 14,429,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helbaum13 View Post
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
we want bustling activity - looking for a town with a nice downtown area with great shipping, restaurants, movie theater, activities. LIFE... do not want a sleepy town with tons of houses and nothing to do for miles and miles.
SEPTA MAP
Doylestown is a terminus, and Horsham is close to Hatboro station (one stop south of Warminster).

While Doylestown has a population of less than 9000, it is more urban than many of the towns in northern Bucks county, and you can get to Philadelphia with your children on the train for day trips.

Bethlehem to Horsham in Pennsylvania is not Jersey City and there is nothing like that here.

========
If you give up on the bustling activity requirement, you can get a newer home near Bethlehem (just south of Hellertown) in a good school district only 2.5 miles from commuter bus line into Jersey City and NYC. You are about 5 miles from Downtown Bethlehem, which is more interesting than Doylestown. More than likely you would spend more days at the Promenade Shoppes at Saucon Valley

comparing two similar homes at your price point (no address provided)

Hellertown For Sale: $695,000
Short Sale- Seller's loss is your gain.
4
beds | 5 baths Single Family:5,010 sq ft Lot:1.23 acres Year Built:2006
Last Sold:Oct 2006 for $701,018
Heating Type:Forced air, Other
Very Large Toll Brothers- built home on almost an acre and a quarter. Master BR with with private den, family room with woodburning fireplace, 2 story foyer with dual staircase. Every BR has a private bath. Public utilities, no homeowner association.


Doylestown For Sale: $695,000
5
beds | 5 baths Single Family:5,150 sq ft Lot:1.22 acres Year Built:1985
Last Sold:Jan 1998 for $195,755
Heating Type:Forced air, Other
Tucked at the end of a cul-de-sac this party perfect colonial has all of the ingredients for great entertaining and cozy places for quiet moments. The two-story foyer opens to formal spaces and a first floor study. The designer kitchen with custom maple cabinetry and stainless appliances with gas cooking is flanked by a sunny breakfast area and an inviting family room with a fireplace and a beautiful garden view.


Personally, I would be greatly influenced by the office I expect to go to the most often.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:27 PM
 
13,150 posts, read 31,711,688 times
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Paco,
Hellertown is a nice little town, but IMHO, not comparable to Doylestown and it's about an hour from Horsham. I also think the schools in Central Bucks are better. https://www.schooldigger.com/go/PA/c...olcompare.aspx

Doylestown has theater's, cool stores, great big library, wonderful parks, etc.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:41 PM
 
23 posts, read 65,965 times
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Thank you all... Doylestown does look like a good option. What are your thoughts or what do you all know of NV homes and their reputation as builders? They seem to have some new construction communities in that area.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:02 PM
 
13,150 posts, read 31,711,688 times
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I can't help you there. We only looked casually in Bucks county and never that area. Bucks is considered a Philadelphia suburb so I would suggest asking about NV homes in that forum. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there are many regular posters that live in Doylestown, but someone may well be familiar with the builder. I mod that forum too, and you'll find many helpful posters if they can help you.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:06 PM
 
14,121 posts, read 14,429,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Paco, Hellertown is a nice little town, but IMHO, not comparable to Doylestown and it's about an hour from Horsham. I also think the schools in Central Bucks are better.
Absolutely, I agree. But if the father is working 4 days per week in Bethlehem, and only 1 day in Horsham, that is a consideration. I was careful to stress that Bethlehem is nearby. With the tourist trade, downtown Bethlehem is at least as bustling as Doylestown.

The home I chose was outside of Hellertown in a neighborhood where many homes go from $1-$4 million. My principal point was that homes of comparable size and acreage could be found for the target price ($700K) in both areas, but you could buy much newer in Northampton county.

I know your theory is to decide where you want to live first, then adjust your expectation to the type of home you can afford for that area. Not everyone thinks like that however, and it helps to know what you are trading off in terms of homeownership.


Jersey City is 26 people per acre with a large additional population during working hours. Needless to say, Manhattan is a $2 train ride away with travel times of 7-22 minutes.

Even Hudson county NJ is 21 ppl/acre while the City of Philadelphia is 18 ppl/acre.

The only portions of Eastern PA as dense as Jersey city are center city Allentown and center city Philadelphia. Doylestown is 6 people per acre, Bethlehem is 5.8 ppl/acre, and Hellertown is 6.5 ppl/acre.

They are likely to think that everything is sleepy.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:26 AM
 
23 posts, read 65,965 times
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haha Paco!! you are funny... and my husband and I were just discussing that point (of sleepiness) this morning. I have to come to terms with the fact that we'll be moving to the suburbs. plain and simple. and unfortunately, it's just a fact that they are, in comparison to a city (jersey city or NYC), sleepy and quiet. which is what most ppl love about them...

we are not looking to spend $700K if we don't have to we just really want quality schools, not too much of a commute for my husband, and a 4 bdroom (min) and 2.5 bath (min) with a bit of a yard, attached garage, new contstruction would be great and a bit of a downtown/restaurants/shopping or at least quick access to shopping/restaurants and a temple in the town or the next town.

I do think Doylestown looks good.

and thanks toobusytoday, i'll check the philly boards about NH homes.

all of you have been very helpful!
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:58 PM
 
14,121 posts, read 14,429,109 times
Reputation: 7488
Quote:
Originally Posted by helbaum13 View Post
haha Paco!! you are funny... and my husband and I were just discussing that point (of sleepiness) this morning.
About half the population of Philadelphia lives in zip codes of 25-45 people per acre (25 ppl/acre being Jersey City). The skyline is much more magnificent as there are 9 buildings over 500' (as compared to 7 in Jersey City). Comcast is planning a 10th building to be taller than the new tower being constructed in LA.

Philadelphia Buildings Over 500'
974' Comcast Center
945 One Liberty Place
848 Two Liberty Place
792 Mellon Bank Center
739 Three Logan
625 G. Fred DiBona Jr. Building
572 Commerce Square #1
572 Commerce Square #2
518 The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton

Jersey City Buildings Over 500'
781' 30 Hudson Street
548 101 Hudson Street
532 Trump Plaza Residences
531 Newport Tower
515 Exchange Place Center
509 Hudson Greene East Tower
501 Hudson Greene West Tower

Quote:
Originally Posted by helbaum13 View Post
we are not looking to spend $700K if we don't have to we just really want quality schools, not too much of a commute for my husband, and a 4 bdroom (min) and 2.5 bath (min) with a bit of a yard, attached garage, new construction would be great
For new construction there are homes in both areas at that price, but a bigger selection in Lehigh County.

You haven't said if you know which office he will be spending most of his time at.

As far as bustling activity, since everything is well below the level that you are currently used to, it may not be worth moving to more expensive Doylestown for a slight increase in activity.

Doylestown to Center City Philadelphia is 78 minutes by train
Doylestown to NYC PABT is 120 minutes by bus early in morning (5:30-7:30)
William Penn Highway Park & Rid in Northampton County is 90 minutes Exchange Place- Montgomery at Hudson (two buses on weekdays), and many more buses to NYC
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