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Old 10-06-2016, 01:01 PM
 
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Hello all-
I was wondering what insights you all might be able to share about Northampton CC, either the main campus or the satellite locations. More specifically, if one were to work there, where one might live and the kinds of towns/neighborhoods/services you would find...
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:06 PM
 
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Read the sticky at the top of the topics that says something like "help for new and prospective residents" or something to that extent and answer the questions. Otherwise we have no idea what you are looking for. Within 15 minutes of Northampton CC you can find anything from a ghetto apartment in a public housing project to a million+ dollar mansion.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:00 PM
 
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OK. There are several questions I'm not comfortable answering at this time, as all of this is hypothetical and I'm not certain who IRL knows and/or could identify me/ourfamily based on answers. So...

When are you moving? If we were to do so, it would be late this year,/early next
Where are you coming from? Would rather not say - but we are most familiar/comfortable in rural areas and small cities (fewer than 150,000 people)
Why are you moving? jobs

Will you buy or rent? Would prefer to buy, but a lot would depend on our ability to sell our current home. I'm guessing that right now, we'd be coming looking at houses 150k and below. Preferably no condos. If we were to rent, apartment or house would be nice, under $800/month. (I'm basing a lot of this on our current salaries, the jobs we are considering applying for do not have posted salaries at this time.)

Are you married or single? Do you have children? I have a partner, and yes, we have children
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public
Do you have pets? Yes, cat and dog
Do you want or need a yard? Yes
Are you keeping a car? Of course
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? quiet, but not necessarily in the middle of nowhere (would be nice to be <20 minutes from grocery stores, doctors, schools, eetc)

What do you want to be closest to? As I said above, 20-30 minutes from most things - work, shopping, medical care, etc - would be nice. Nightlife is SOOOOO not important. I've never lived anywhere with public transportation, so I wouldn't care about it much...it would be an added bonus that I wouldn't expect.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Doesn't matter. Friendly and accepting is the ideal....

Phillies or Mets? Uh.....Sabres.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:09 PM
 
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I think right now we're most curious about the public school systems - yes, I went to the school rankings, but I prefer to hear from people in the area over a bunch of statistics. Our second grader is currently in a K-4 elementary with a total enrollment of about 320, 45% of which qualify for free lunch (we do not). His class has 3 classrooms of 24-28 students each. The district graduates about 300 every year, I think - there are multiple elementaries that feed into a central high school. Our elementary school encompasses the largest area of low income families in the district...
Despite this, our high school is one of the best in the region.
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:08 AM
 
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Finding affordable housing in a good school district within commuting range of NCC is what you want, right? Just about all of the school districts have pretty good elementary schools. Middle and especially High School is where the rubber meets the road. I think you may be most challenged with finding a house at your price point. Have you looked at https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm to get an idea of a salary range?

Pennsylvania school districts, outside of the cities, are small. My school district, Southern Lehigh, has two elementary schools, (k-3) one intermediate school (grades 4-6), one middle school (7-8) and one High School. There are approximately 250 students, give or take, in each grade level so the HS has roughly 1,000 students. That's just the size we were looking for almost 20 years ago when we moved here. The way schools are funded in PA is mostly by the local monies, so you know that if you live in an affluent district, schools will most likely be better but taxes may also be higher. I like how we have close by shopping but also nearby PYO farms. I think our schools are very good. My kids have all graduated from SL schools, and each said they felt that better prepared for college than many of the other freshman in college. I really liked our smallish schools.

We were not looking at the same area you are, in fact East Penn and Southern Lehigh were the only Lehigh county school districts that we looked at, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of Northampton county schools, or that North eastern section of Lehigh county.

I prefer these search sites for schools: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/PA/d...50/search.aspx and Welcome to PA School Performance Profile I agree that stats should not be how you make your choice, but for us, a district that had below average stats was just off the list.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:35 AM
 
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Yeah, one of the joys of higher ed - no salaries posted. We currently live in a pretty rural area, but with high taxes - we currently pay about 2k/year on a house assessed at a little over 70k. (We PAID more than the assessed value for the house.) But we're comfortable in a typical 3-bedroom ranch....would like to have at least 1500 sq. ft. and a 2-car garage. One of the jobs under consideration is at the Tannersville campus. My partner is a therapist who has experience as an addictions counselor - he's confident he could find some kind of employment, given his field.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:55 PM
 
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That's not much in taxes, imho.
And I think the budget of $150k (or $800 for something big enough for four-plus people) plus a good school district is going to be hard.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:44 PM
 
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Really? All my PA friends are astounded at how much we pay in taxes on such a small house - about 1000 sq. ft. on a 75x125 lot. I guess it all depends on where in the state you are, obviously.

We saw a couple houses that - online, anyway - were possibilities, listed in the 160-175k range. They were in the Pocono Mountain school district. Although we didn't look yet at the tax rates...
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exploringoptions View Post
Really? All my PA friends are astounded at how much we pay in taxes on such a small house - about 1000 sq. ft. on a 75x125 lot. I guess it all depends on where in the state you are, obviously.

We saw a couple houses that - online, anyway - were possibilities, listed in the 160-175k range. They were in the Pocono Mountain school district. Although we didn't look yet at the tax rates...
PA also has a ~1% of your net income tax payable to your local school district, which widely is ignored by people comparing property tax, as it's essentially a substitute for "lower" property tax. So when you look at property taxes on the real estate sites, just remember to add about 1% of your net income.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:50 PM
 
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Pocono Mountain is not the best district, and most in Monroe are pretty average to begin with.
You'd be in the Poconos - Monroe County - and about 45 minutes to an hour away from the Lehigh Valley. Closer to Tannersville, obv.
For comparison, I'm in East Stroudsburg school district, we built a $150k house in '99, and taxes then were around $2k, and are now over $7k. The districts here are responsibly for the vast majority of tax on a house. In addition to the $7k I mentioned, the local earned income tax (mentioned above) and a municipal/county tax are on top of that.
ETA - We do not send our kids to the public school; we send to private.
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