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Old 05-05-2018, 02:54 PM
 
23 posts, read 19,935 times
Reputation: 22

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Hello everyone!

We relocated to the Triangle Area of NC from north Jersey about 4 years ago. We moved here for a better cost of living and quality of life. My wife didnt care for the winters up north either while I actually miss all of the snow and despise the NC summers and the heat. We also have been somewhat disappointed that the south is not what we thought it would be and most importantly we miss our family. This is why we are considering moving closer to our family/friends and making the Lehigh Valley our new home. We are in the early stages of researching the area, but we have been very encouraged based on comments by LV residents on this forum. It sounds like a good place to raise a family and the schools for the most part are respectable and very good in some areas. We are in our 40s and we have a 6 year old. My greatest concern is the economy/job market in this area and how it much jobs pay in comparison to the Triangle, NC market.

I work in the accounting field, accounts payables/financial accounting and my wife works at a child care center here and has lots of nanny experience. I dont think she should have a problem finding a nanny position in short order. My other concerns are finding a decent home in our price range of. $225 -$250K and property taxes in one of the better school districts. We may be able to afford more than depending on our jobs.

Of course, we probably will want to rent for a year and get to know the area better before buying. We are thinking about visiting the area over an extended Memorial Day weekend. I'm in the process of contacting staffing agencies to hopefully get a chance to meet recruiters in person during our stay. If we make this move it probably will be later this summer before our daughter has to start school. Any feed back, info and helpful advice is welcomed! Thanks everyone!

Best Regards,

Gary

Last edited by toobusytoday; 05-05-2018 at 09:55 PM.. Reason: Added paragraphs for easier reading
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:44 PM
 
23 posts, read 19,935 times
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Crickets.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:03 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,861,261 times
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I apologize for not responding but I really don't know how to compare the two job markets except from what I see on paper. I found this site: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingW...ll_Result.aspx and it shows that housing is lower in Allentown than Raleigh-Durham but salaries are relatively higher here. While it's true that housing IN Allentown is cheaper, that's not where the good school districts are. You will most likely want a school in one of the smaller towns surrounding Allentown and your price point is a little low for that.

My suggestion is always to find the job and then look for a house. The tricky part is finding a job without living up here first.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:39 AM
 
2,834 posts, read 4,951,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I apologize for not responding but I really don't know how to compare the two job markets except from what I see on paper. I found this site: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingW...ll_Result.aspx and it shows that housing is lower in Allentown than Raleigh-Durham but salaries are relatively higher here. While it's true that housing IN Allentown is cheaper, that's not where the good school districts are. You will most likely want a school in one of the smaller towns surrounding Allentown and your price point is a little low for that.

My suggestion is always to find the job and then look for a house. The tricky part is finding a job without living up here first.
I agree. I mean there are enough companies to find an accounting position (2 Hospitals, a few larger companies), but you may have better luck finding a job in suburban Philly or NJ which would influence where you live in the LV.

In terms of your house price range, you can certainly get a newer, townhouse or a nice 3 bedroom house in the burbs.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,127 posts, read 28,155,662 times
Reputation: 36744
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I apologize for not responding but I really don't know how to compare the two job markets except from what I see on paper. I found this site: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingW...ll_Result.aspx and it shows that housing is lower in Allentown than Raleigh-Durham but salaries are relatively higher here. While it's true that housing IN Allentown is cheaper, that's not where the good school districts are. You will most likely want a school in one of the smaller towns surrounding Allentown and your price point is a little low for that.

My suggestion is always to find the job and then look for a house. The tricky part is finding a job without living up here first.
Which school districts does he want?
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:59 PM
 
294 posts, read 151,447 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1966 View Post
Hello everyone!

We relocated to the Triangle Area of NC from north Jersey about 4 years ago. We moved here for a better cost of living and quality of life. My wife didnt care for the winters up north either while I actually miss all of the snow and despise the NC summers and the heat. We also have been somewhat disappointed that the south is not what we thought it would be and most importantly we miss our family. This is why we are considering moving closer to our family/friends and making the Lehigh Valley our new home. We are in the early stages of researching the area, but we have been very encouraged based on comments by LV residents on this forum. It sounds like a good place to raise a family and the schools for the most part are respectable and very good in some areas. We are in our 40s and we have a 6 year old. My greatest concern is the economy/job market in this area and how it much jobs pay in comparison to the Triangle, NC market.

I work in the accounting field, accounts payables/financial accounting and my wife works at a child care center here and has lots of nanny experience. I dont think she should have a problem finding a nanny position in short order. My other concerns are finding a decent home in our price range of. $225 -$250K and property taxes in one of the better school districts. We may be able to afford more than depending on our jobs.

Of course, we probably will want to rent for a year and get to know the area better before buying. We are thinking about visiting the area over an extended Memorial Day weekend. I'm in the process of contacting staffing agencies to hopefully get a chance to meet recruiters in person during our stay. If we make this move it probably will be later this summer before our daughter has to start school. Any feed back, info and helpful advice is welcomed! Thanks everyone!

Best Regards,

Gary
We're relocating here from Asheville and don't have children. We bit the bullet to leave the south and return to our "tribe" in PA. Just a few things to note:

1. In Asheville, our property taxes were 4k lower than they will be here. Sounds nuts but other cost of living items we're experiencing are much lower.
2. We did rent in Asheville for a year prior to buying and it made all the difference for us - initially. Soon, poor planning and population overgrowth made it look so much like NJ, we decided to move as close to NJ as we could afford .
-- If you can rent, I agree it's the best way to go. If your child can adapt, that's great. It's just something to keep in mind.
-- As more migration out of NY/NJ occurs, housing prices will continue to climb. That's why we came here prepared to buy but we had the best agent we've ever had who knows the area.
3. Be careful about the cost of living comparison sites. I used them but if you look carefully (even behind the GUI if you're familiar with code), there's nothing listed except one site said in tiny print it was based on the last census.
4. Other folks will have to weigh in on housing costs. We paid a lot less than what we got for our house in Asheville for an older but larger and updated home in Allentown and taxes are ... see #1 (but way lower
than they would be in NJ or NY).
5. I have a niece-in-law who has been looking in specific areas in Bethlehem to put her 6 yr old in a good
school. She has been looking, unfortunately, for three years and now. With bidding war insanity (we just left that in Asheville) they'll be waiting longer. Folks with kids will need to weigh in on schools here. Her family lives just outside the downtown area of Bethlehem (safe area but she has concerns about the schools there).

Mod cut - Realtor recommendations are against the TOS for this site.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 05-09-2018 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:55 AM
 
7 posts, read 9,895 times
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Hi There,
We are actually in the process of doing the opposite of you. Schools are big for us, but simply bc my kids are HS aged. Location is big on the price of the homes.

I can tell you through experience that East Penn SD and Parkland SD are both ranked pretty well. Both districts total taxes range anywhere from $6-8K plus for a single family home (house ranging 2500-3500 sq ft). Home averages are safe to say around $400K (same sq ft as mentioned prior) as well. The bigger the house the more money you pay in both price and taxes. Yes you can find cheaper, and townhomes are also less expensive, but it all depends on what you are accustomed to and what you want.

Outside of these 2 areas, I have little experience with personally but know some. Good Luck!
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:25 PM
 
23 posts, read 19,935 times
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We cant afford a $400 K house..$250 -$300 K is our price range and $300K would be pushing it, especially with the higher property taxes we would be paying compared to NC where are currently paying $1400. We dont need a 2500-3000 sq ft house. Maybe something close to half of that...there's only 3 of us and we dont need that much house. A nice location, a small suburban town or something more rural is okay as long as its safe, clean and our 7 year old can go to a good school. We are doing this because we want to be closer to family in north Jersey and yet be able to afford where we live. We left NJ because of the extremely high COL and the rat's race and less than desirable quality of life. The Raleigh area is looking and feeling more like NJ/NY and we dont have any family or close friends here. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:32 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,861,261 times
Reputation: 7568
There's a link at the top where you can compare school districts. But, you really can find a good school district, outside of the cities in one of the smaller towns, within a short commute to Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton. I love my school district of Southern Lehigh which is much smaller than East Penn or Parkland but with similar ratings. School Performance Profile: Southern Lehigh SHS

From my area one can commute to any of the cities, plus easily get to NYC or Philly for day trips. The reason our taxes are higher here in Pennsylvania are 1) The state doesn't subsidize the schools as much as most states so the local school districts pick up the tab. 2) We have much, much smaller districts than you have in NC so while there are consortiums for buying supplies and services, each district has it's own well paid administration 3) Our teachers are well paid and there's a strong state teachers union. A new teacher here will make as much as one whose worked ten years in NC.

Two other schools districts that have slightly lower taxes but good schools are Salisbury and Saucon Valley. I really like the small town of Hellertown(Saucon Valley) and it's main street, excellent farmers market and proximity to everything.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:41 AM
 
23 posts, read 19,935 times
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Hey SDWNC! So where exactly are you living in PA and how do you like it so far? We are still deciding if we should move to PA and doing our research and due diligence to decide if PA is right for our family. Like you we would want to move as close to NJ as we can afford to be closer to our family. Its true that we have a nicer home and lower property taxes here in NC than we would have in PA, but what good is that if you are far from family and friends. Besides, NC is becoming NJ and that's not why we moved here. My concern is the job market in PA when compared to NC. We are currently trying to decide between the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster. I think I'd prefer Lancaster, but there arent any jobs that way. However, from what I am hearing, even if we lived in the LV, I would have to commute an hour plus to NJ or the Philly burbs for work. Any advice you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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