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Old 09-24-2017, 03:22 PM
 
885 posts, read 502,444 times
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Hello all, I am a young person considering a move away from my native New Jersey primarily because of the cost of living here. I was hoping you might be able to answer a few questions for me, if possible. I would be greatly appreciative for any insight anyone would be able to provide.

Essentially, I'm looking for the kind of place that time forgot. I'd like to live in a small town with a Main Street lined with good restaurants, coffee and/or tea shops, maybe a local bar or two, and some interesting shops. I'd like a town with a real community feel and recreational activities such as a walking path, hiking, and a lake for swimming or fishing.

What that, here are my questions:

1. Does such a place like I described exist in the Lehigh Valley?
2. What is the cost of living in the area, let's say for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with an acre of land and 1,800-2,200 square feet, in terms of both purchase cost and property taxes?
3. Should I move to the area as a young, single male who will be getting his start in a new job within the next year?
4. In terms of culture, what can I expect in the area?
5. What are the politics of the area, Republican or Democratic?

Thank you!
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:42 AM
 
2,834 posts, read 4,950,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njforlife92 View Post
Hello all, I am a young person considering a move away from my native New Jersey primarily because of the cost of living here. I was hoping you might be able to answer a few questions for me, if possible. I would be greatly appreciative for any insight anyone would be able to provide.

Essentially, I'm looking for the kind of place that time forgot. I'd like to live in a small town with a Main Street lined with good restaurants, coffee and/or tea shops, maybe a local bar or two, and some interesting shops. I'd like a town with a real community feel and recreational activities such as a walking path, hiking, and a lake for swimming or fishing.

What that, here are my questions:

1. Does such a place like I described exist in the Lehigh Valley?
2. What is the cost of living in the area, let's say for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with an acre of land and 1,800-2,200 square feet, in terms of both purchase cost and property taxes?
3. Should I move to the area as a young, single male who will be getting his start in a new job within the next year?
4. In terms of culture, what can I expect in the area?
5. What are the politics of the area, Republican or Democratic?

Thank you!
1. Not really. I mean Coopersburg and Hellertwon have a main street, but not like your description at all, and they are probably the closest.
2. $300,000+, because the acre would probably be in a suburban (good) school district likely be much larger than 2,000 square feet (although those homes absolutely exist. Taxes would be $5,000+
3. Only if you have a job lined up.
4. The LV has concerts, a bar scene (in the cities), sports, hiking... check out meetup to see lists.
5. I'd say Republican in politics, but with more of a liberal social feel.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,126 posts, read 28,147,382 times
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When you move to a small town, you're lucky to get a diner (that's your restaurant and coffee shop), hardware store, barber, gas station/service with car repair, some kind of grocery store, and a few other necessary services like a dry cleaner. A larger town or a small city will have more.

Allentown isn't a small town. At least the area isn't.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:05 AM
 
885 posts, read 502,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
1. Not really. I mean Coopersburg and Hellertwon have a main street, but not like your description at all, and they are probably the closest.
2. $300,000+, because the acre would probably be in a suburban (good) school district likely be much larger than 2,000 square feet (although those homes absolutely exist. Taxes would be $5,000+
3. Only if you have a job lined up.
4. The LV has concerts, a bar scene (in the cities), sports, hiking... check out meetup to see lists.
5. I'd say Republican in politics, but with more of a liberal social feel.
Thank you for the feedback! I've also heard some good things about Nazareth. What's your opinion on that community?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
When you move to a small town, you're lucky to get a diner (that's your restaurant and coffee shop), hardware store, barber, gas station/service with car repair, some kind of grocery store, and a few other necessary services like a dry cleaner. A larger town or a small city will have more.

Allentown isn't a small town. At least the area isn't.

I'm open to a larger town or small city. What would you say would come the closest to what I am describing in the Lehigh Valley? Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:34 PM
 
2,834 posts, read 4,950,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njforlife92 View Post
Thank you for the feedback! I've also heard some good things about Nazareth. What's your opinion on that community?
The Nazareth downtown is nice with a farmer's market on Saturday's in the summer and there is a YMCA and some nice restaurants, but I really don't know how it would be to actually live there. I think with a car, you could be within a 5 minute drive of pretty much everything you would need (grocery stores, gas stations, dr. offices...) but you'd need to drive. From what I understand, it's pretty reasonably priced and is in the NASD.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:26 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,858,462 times
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I think Hellertown has the small town amenities you are looking for but no lake. The acre of land is also a no-go unless you are looking at a fixer upper and starting at $300,000. Land is at a premium in any town with good school districts and to find an acre with a newish house, or even a renovated house would be expensive. Builders want to put McMansions on tiny lots and in towns, houses are close together because they were founded 250+ years ago when only real mansions were on large lots. There's an excellent farmers market there, brew pub, restaurants, coffee shops, parks and the rail trail. This is probably your best place to get a real feel for Hellertown and Saucon Valley: https://sauconsource.com/

Coopersburg, my area, has the friendly atmosphere you want but is lacking in walkable downtown amenities. There's a beautiful Main Street but the nicer restaurants are in the shopping centers or out of town. We do have great parks and a nice farmers market, etc. It's also pretty expensive and, as I mentioned above, an acre of land and a nice house would be very expensive.

Blazerj has nailed the politics of the area - Republican voters but with a liberal feel. Sort of like conservative financially with liberal social values.

I think Hellertown and Nazareth are about equal as far as downtowns are concerned. Emmaus also has a great downtown area with two brewpubs, restaurants and coffee houses. I pick up my CSA there.

What is your price point for a home? For a young single, I might suggest instead to move to Bethlehem and rent for a year and then move to where it's convenient for a job. Most of our small towns are more family friendly than single people friendly.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 10-06-2017 at 07:37 AM..
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:13 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,858,462 times
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From the NEPA forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by njforlife92 View Post
Excellent question. I am in the process of figuring out what I want to do, career wise. I am writing to places in a few different fields I might be interested in for informational interviews.

My backround is in political science, but I'm open-minded as to what's next for me.

Thank you all for the feedback!
I agree with the poster who replied to you in the NEPA forum. Finding a job first is the way to go, then you can figure out housing. For one thing, unless you are paying cash, you'll need a mortgage and you can't get a mortgage if you don't have a job. If you have a job, say in Easton, you would not want to be living in Emmaus or Jim Thorpe. Get the job first. As long as you get a job in Pennsylvania, you should be able to find a place that you would like to live within commuting distance. Your Mayberry town does not exist, probably never did, but there are a lot of nice small towns in Pennsylvania.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:02 AM
 
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I'm from Jim Thorpe, and that's a small town that time forgot. It's a tourist town though and gets busy in the fall. It's very pretty and you can buy a decent house for decent price. Anything with acres is going to be pricey though. However, you will most likely have to drive an hour to work in the Lehigh Valley or longer if you work in Philly.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:46 AM
 
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I've been to Jim Thorpe and really like it, but I wouldn't call it Mayberryish because it really is a tourist town. I would guess that tourism is the #1 industry there. I was there in July and it was hopping! That was fun as a visitor, but I wouldn't want to put up with visitors 24/7. Don't a lot of people go there in the Spring for white water rafting and then in the winter for skiing?
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