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Lehigh Valley Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:25 AM
205 posts, read 116,516 times
Reputation: 1097


My husband and I moved from southern Oregon to Lancaster PA. As part of my explorations initially, I drove all over eastern PA (we wanted reasonably easy access to our kids in NY and Maryland). I was in Bethlehem only one day, but I found it really charming. In a certain way it reminded me of Berkeley CA. Really such a great mix of things, history and tradition but also the youthful energy the college culture brings, diverse, active, picturesque.

We ultimately chose Lancaster as our spot to settle for a variety of reasons, but got a really positive feeling from Bethlehem too. I am a born and bred and lived-there-nearly-all-my-life west coaster (California and Oregon) and while I do love the west deeply I am very happy to be here in PA. It's less expensive, SO many places of interest are SO much more accessible, and it's very pretty here in Lancaster.

I know it varies widely depending on specifics of each location but generally speaking we've found home prices are lower (you can get a LOT of house here for the price of a modest fixer upper in CA/OR), property taxes are higher, state income tax is lower if you have retirement income, groceries and gas are less expensive.

We mostly moved to be closer to our kids, but these other practical matters also help it make a lot of sense for us to move here to PA. I can't speak to the making-new-friends issue. Since our move has been during this COVID days, socializing with new people hasn't been an option, but I'm not too worried about it. People seem very friendly, it will just be a matter of getting involved with various interests and pleasures once being out in the world is possible again.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:49 AM
Location: Huntsville Area
1,952 posts, read 736,418 times
Reputation: 2998
I worked for a MegaCorp that was headquartered somewhat close to Bethlehem. As a field employee, I was always in fear that I'd be transferred to Home Office. The standard of living was just not up to what I was used to having.

If you've settled on PA, look at the Lancaster County area.

The Shenendoah Valley down in VA is a much more attractive place. For a middle size city, Roanoke would do.

Or, consider moving to the Deep South if you're so concerned about low cost of living, cost of real estate and low taxation. I'm talking NE TN, Western NC, NW SC, North GA, North AL, North and NW AR. Retirees are flocking in here.
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