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Old 07-22-2018, 07:37 PM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,858,462 times
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I just looked on Zillow for homes in Hellertown with prices under $300,000.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:59 PM
 
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We dont need a brand new home with a pool, etc and over 3,000 sq ft, but something more modest and smaller, perhaps 1400 or 1500 sq ft. However, we wouldnt be interested in a fixer upper or an old home that hasnt been updated either. We would prefer to live in a nice small town with good schools and low crime. It could be rural, although not out in the sticks.

I think we have pretty much ruled out Lancaster since the LV sound like its closer to the employment center and jobs in my field including the LV itself and either jobs in Philadelphia or NJ, although I am not interested in a commute more than 30-45 minutes. The LV would also be closer to our family and friends in northern NJ. For the most part I have worked in accounting departments of corporations both in northern NJ and NC and I'm not sure how many of these types of jobs are in the LV vs. NJ and Philly. We really need to stick to the $250-$300 K and probably closer to the $250K and so I dont know if we can afford a home close enough to the jobs in the Philly area or even to NJ.

We are planning on coming up in just a couple of weeks to scout out the area, meet recruiters and look at apartment communities we could live for a year or so before buying a home. At this time we are planning on moving to the area next year after our daughter finishes 2nd grade, but if I receive a job offer before then we may have to move earlier, although that may not be the greatest idea with our daughter in mind.
This is a really tough decision as we miss our family/friends and the northern culture/weather, being relatively close to NYC, but at the same time the COL is better here in NC with nicer homes in our price range and much lower taxes. We would have more financial security/flexibility here and more money to do things and for our daughter, especially if we decide to send her to a private school or home school her. Our heart however is in the north. We need to do more research and soul searching, before we can make a final decision.

One more thing. Its possible that we may have to relocate to the LV without jobs already lined up. We are saving as much as we can and its our goal to have a 6 month emergency fund to live off of while looking for work in the area. This is in addition to a very sizable amount of equity with the sale of our current home in NC. Its just really difficult to find work when you are living out of state. I appreciate yours and everyone's advice and assistance at this time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZ963 View Post
There are plenty of houses available in your price range in the Bethlehem area. Here is an example of one in Bethlehem Township in what I know is a good neighborhood, with a decent commute to NJ as far as those go, and within 10 to 40 minutes of essentially all employment centers in the Lehigh Valley. Mod cut - single house listing links not allowed.

Just keep in mind that annual property taxes are going to be $4,000-$6,000 per year on this price/type of house when doing your affordability calculations. If you are looking to spend no more than 300k, but MUST have a brand new or almost new house, must be over 3,000 square feet, must have a pool, etc. then you might not find what you want.

If you live in the center of Lancaster county in one of the nicer suburbs of the city of Lancaster itself, your employment center options beyond the immediate area but within 45 minutes are probably the Reading, Harrisburg, or York areas, but neither of those are known for having a lot of white collar/office jobs.

I don't know if it's your type of work, but ADP has some offices around Allentown and is supposedly consolidating them into one bigger office and possibly hiring additional workers.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:12 PM
 
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We are coming to the LV in a couple of weeks to visit and do some recon! I will be meeting with recruiters and hope to visit and tour some apartment communities as we begin to lay down the groundwork for a possible move to the area in 2019 and possibly earlier. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure which apartment communities to consider visiting since we dont know where we will be working, but I just want to get a head start and get a feel for the area. Its also possible that we may relocate to LV before we have secured employment. In that case, what desirable towns are centrally located to the major job centers in the LV or to Philly or NJ if we decide to go in that direction? Thanks to everyone for their input and suggestions!
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:14 PM
 
23 posts, read 19,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I don't quite understand why you don't think there is employment here in the LV or that people that live here commute to NYC or Philadelphia. I really only know a handful of people that commute out of the area and those are pilots at Newark airport or people that work a couple of days a week in NYC/NJ/Philly and telecommute the rest of the week. Our local friends that work right here are professionals like us - engineers, doctors, accountants, professors, teachers, etc. You can easily set up alerts in Zillow for housing in your price range. I got another ping today for a house in Hellertown with four bedrooms for under $200,000. Just look at the jobs listed on Indeed.com today: https://www.indeed.com/q-$60,000-l-Lehigh-Valley,-PA-jobs.html
I guess I was mistaken as it sounded like most of the white collar/office jobs are not in the LV and that's why people commute to NJ and the Philly area for those jobs. I dont know if Hellertown is an option for us because the elementary school system there is not rated very well by GreatSchools.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:09 PM
 
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We'll be in the LV next week conducting recon and intelligence gathering. lol. We still have a lot of research to do and questions to answer, but we want to visit the area and get a little better idea of what it would be like living there and if we can call this home. We'd like to tour some of the towns you guys have mentioned and possibly tour some apartment communities in the area since we will be renting before buying a home. We want to make the most of our time so we need to concentrate on those towns where can afford to live as far as the price of homes and property taxes that fit our budget and that offer good schools and proximity to jobs. Any helpful advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:00 PM
 
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Is anyone familiar with these townhouses? Is this a nice area? Thanks!

https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-62156?view=qv
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:58 AM
 
27,070 posts, read 26,348,407 times
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I would if it were me, pick Lancaster, b/c Lehigh Valley while presently growing is heavily populated with lots of traffic and people, and with that comes crime....they have been cleaning up the Lehigh Valley Area, and MusikFest is the biggest Music Festival in the nation, not to mention so many others they have there, there is never a wanton for something to do....however, same with Lancaster...but I wouldn't live in the city of Lancaster, I'd live in the outskirts surrounding communities. It is peaceful and very quiet, depending on where you go. But that's just me....

allow me to make a suggestion, no matter where you decide to go, rent a home or apartment for a year or two, then travel around the area and find things on your own to do...same with Leigh Valley. to me, it is now overrun with lots and lots of traffic, and noise...I didn't care for it....but it is a fun place to visit...google Things to do in both areas and decide for yourself. There are many outlaying areas to Lehigh Valley, but also, lots of traffic.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:18 PM
 
1,189 posts, read 2,650,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1966 View Post
Is anyone familiar with these townhouses? Is this a nice area? Thanks!

https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-62156?view=qv
Yes, that's Liberty Village in Upper Saucon Township, I know/have known a few people who live in there, it's a good area.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:16 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,858,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1966 View Post
I guess I was mistaken as it sounded like most of the white collar/office jobs are not in the LV and that's why people commute to NJ and the Philly area for those jobs. I dont know if Hellertown is an option for us because the elementary school system there is not rated very well by GreatSchools.

I wouldn't discount Saucon Valley School District because of a Great Schools rating. When I look at schools and school districts, I use the information directly from the database. Here's a comparison of Saucon, Southern Lehigh and Salisbury: School Performance Profile: Saucon Valley SHS And here's one for Saucon's elementary school with one in East Penn school district: School Performance Profile: Saucon Valley El Sch You really won't find too many low ranked elementary schools.
Correction, for some reason, while I can do a comparison between schools and district, the link doesn't appear that way - you only see individual schools. Sorry about that.

As for the townhouse complex you mentioned, Liberty Village is in my school district. It's a popular place for both older adults downsizing to a smaller home and for younger people getting a starter home, in the townhouse complex. There are also large single homes in the same complex.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 08-17-2018 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
409 posts, read 220,446 times
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Being that you're originally from northern-NJ, and want to commute there, Lehigh Valley is a better choice than Lancaster.

Lancaster is extremely far west for you to run to NJ often; it's also more quaint than you seem to be looking for. Lehigh Valley, for better or worse, is a spillover of NJ culture into PA: lots of diners, strip malls, and even some jug handles.

I will warn you that Lehigh Valley has a lot of people who look down on people from New Jersey; you will probably not get a warm welcome. This isn't 100% attributed to Jersey-stigma either, a lot of people are simply anti-social. There are some pockets of Lehigh Valley that are more outgoing than others (anything in-or-around Bethlehem is good, basically).
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