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Lehigh Valley Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:03 AM
 
15 posts, read 56,364 times
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I am married with two children (6 & 12 yrs old) and we are thinking about buying our 1st home in Lehigh Valley. My husband and I both work in New York and want to continue working there. Can anyone give me advise on the best areas, close to major highways, great schools, activities for the kids, good enviroment for a young family and if it would be best to drive back and forth to work or take the bus.

Also I am not sure if we should enroll our kids in the schools there or should they commute with us and go to school in New York since we both would be in New York all day and I would have no one to look after them after school.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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You can explore and compare schools and demographics on these sites: Search for Pennsylvania public schools. and SchoolMatters (http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=sr/ust=PA/p=1/fp=1 - broken link) Generally, the schools surrounding the cities have a better reputation then the ones in the cities. Easton is the closest city to the New York border of the three cities in the Lehigh Valley. You should probably scroll through these pages to get a better idea of what you want. There are dozens of towns that meet your criteria but if you narrow it down by how far you are willing to commute, priorities (close to shopping, etc.) it would really help us give you advice.

I would suggest enrolling the children in local schools if I were you, otherwise, why move here at all? It will be very difficult for your children to make friends if they only see the other children in the neighborhood on weekends. After school care is usually available for young children and your 12 year old may well feel comfortable staying home alone for a couple of hours.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:36 AM
 
Location: downtown Easton
99 posts, read 306,997 times
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Living in PA ( or even NW New Jersey, for that matter) and looking to commute to NYC is a very tall order. Doing it with school age children is even more daunting. Please look at quality of life issues. Do you really want to spend 5 hours a day commuting? There are no express trains; only buses. Traffic on RTs 22 and 78 actually starts to build at 6am. Think about how much energy you will have at day's end to spend with your kids before you have to go to bed and start thinking about the next day's commute, and it starts all over again.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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My husband commuted from Easton to Basking Ridge, about half the commute you're considering and the more pleasant half at that...and it was rough. The few days he had to go into the city, it was brutal. Honestly, I can see a family finding a way to make it work with one parent commuting to NYC, but both? That's going to be trying at best.

The only thing that saved our family life was the dh had a job he could do from home during inclement weather, when there was an important school function, etc.

Good luck. If you do chose to give it a try, I would keep the kids in school locally - I wouldn't want my kids in the car on that drive two times a day, five times a week. I'd also try to stay close to 78, as opposed to 80 up farther north. 78 overall just seems to be your best bet for traffic, safety, etc. And I'd stay as close to the PA border as possible too. When you have a commute that long, any extra time is brutal. The twenty minutes from Easton to Bethlehem during the commute, adds up to 40 a day, and several more hours each week.

Last edited by mczabe; 09-07-2008 at 01:50 PM.. Reason: mistype
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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I did the commute before we had kids and I tell you it was rough.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:54 AM
 
Location: PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownsuga1977 View Post
Also I am not sure if we should enroll our kids in the schools there or should they commute with us and go to school in New York since we both would be in New York all day and I would have no one to look after them after school.
This is a very bad idea. The school day is long enough without adding a 2 hour commute EACH WAY to their day.

I know people do it, but living out here and commuting to NYC every day is insane. Yes, you can get more house for your buck, but there is something to be said for quality of life, and 4+ hours in a car every day is not quality.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:25 PM
 
15 posts, read 56,364 times
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WOW! this is true, I am willing to give the move a try but not at the expense of my family's quality of life. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:29 PM
 
15 posts, read 56,364 times
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Thanks. I am giving the relocation a second thought after reading all my feedback. I really like PA, my family and I visited a couple of times and it is a beautiful environment. This is a hard decision to make, especially since i have young kids.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:33 PM
 
15 posts, read 56,364 times
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WOW! That a reality check for me. As it is now I feel there is not enought time in the day for my family and I. aahh! this is a hard decision.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:45 AM
 
32 posts, read 88,773 times
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Default Real Lowdown

I agree the commute is terrible! PM me and I will give you my information so you can call me and get the real low down on living in the Valley from one sister to the next. I am a 1970'S brown sugar also.

Malika
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