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Old 05-17-2009, 11:03 AM
 
12 posts, read 27,536 times
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Hi everyone. My wife and I are moving out to the Lehigh Valley and are trying to get some research done about places to live.

We're moving from Missouri and I've taken a professor job at Lehigh University, so we'll be moving in mid-July or so. We're coming out for a week in early June to figure out the living situation.

We're really looking for tips on housing for the Bethlehem/Allentown area because we'd like to stay near the university but would welcome other suggestions.

I saw some of the questions in another thread and so I'll just answer 'em in bullet form. Any help would be much appreciated! We visited last November and were taken by the beauty of the area, but researching a place to live has been a big job!

1. We are interested in buying a single-family home within a year but would like to get to know the area first unless there's a place we just fall in love with. In the meantime, we're looking to rent a home or large apartment/condo. Want at least 3 BR and think we can spend up to about $1200/month not including utilities. Would prefer more like $1000 but we want a balance of affordability and a nice place to live.

2. It's just my wife and I, no kids or pets. We have a car and would like a little yard if possible but it's not required. We're looking for a place that's quiet and where I don't have to worry if I leave my wife alone on a business trip.

3. Would like to be fairly close to Lehigh U but not so close that we're near loud student housing areas. Near grocery shopping and bus lines would be nice too. I think we'd ideally like to be in Bethlehem if we can but that is not necessary if we can't find the right place to live.

4. We like diversity (we're both big city people and are used to that).

5. Phillies or Mets? Both? I'm actually a Giants fan because I'm from the San Francisco area originally.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:39 PM
 
12,877 posts, read 29,558,106 times
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Have you looked at the local Craigslist? craigslist: lehigh valley classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events There are a couple of Bethlehem listings that sound good. Historic district is good and would be the perfect location for the local happenings. The other on-line source is the local newspaper, The Morning Call - Allentown & Vicinity*Pennsylvania Apartment Finder | Search Southeast Pennsylvania Apartment Rental

Personally, I would avoid Fountain Hill and the areas closest to Lehigh. I like the area over by Moravian College, in the Historic district and the area to the west of route 378. All would be an easy commute to Lehigh.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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Default I've checked those sources

Sorry, my original post might not have stressed what I really am needing is ideas on what the good/bad areas of town. I've been looking at ads and maps but I'm looking for context.

In my reading it seems like North Bethlehem and the historic district are the best parts of the city. Would that be somewhat accurate?
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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Yes. That's correct. BTW, You are moving at a great time - you'll be all settled in right before Musikfest!
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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You'd think there'd be someone in the provost's office - or somewhere - at Lehigh who is tasked with helping new hires relocate. It strikes me as odd, if not pathetic, that you're left to your own devices for answers to even the most basic questions. Have you made any inquiries in this regard?
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Default I had heard about Musikfest

Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Yes. That's correct. BTW, You are moving at a great time - you'll be all settled in right before Musikfest!
We'd heard about Musikfest when I interviewed, but didn't realize it was in early August, so that's great! Should be a fun way to get the area before I start work.

Thanks for the information. Trying to match neighborhoods to a map has been a little perplexing. Would either North Bethlehem or the historic district be better or worse depending on whether we rent or buy?
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:41 PM
 
12 posts, read 27,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eephus View Post
You'd think there'd be someone in the provost's office - or somewhere - at Lehigh who is tasked with helping new hires relocate. It strikes me as odd, if not pathetic, that you're left to your own devices for answers to even the most basic questions. Have you made any inquiries in this regard?
Well we're just trying to gather as much info from as many sources as possible because nobody can really tell us what we'll like. The university has actually been super helpful with a lot of things related to us relocating so I have no complaints.

To some degree you're always flying blind if you don't know the area I guess, but hopefully we'll fix that when we come out to hunt for a place to live next month.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:26 AM
 
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Frankly, I don't think you will have that many choices for renting. I would just look at them all. With so many colleges in the area, the students nab lots of rentals in the Spring. If I were to move to Bethlehem, I would choose the historic district because I would want to be within walking distance of Main Street.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Queens, NY
347 posts, read 544,394 times
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Definitely try to find a place on the Northside.

Despite the reputation it has received, Southside Bethlehem is pretty safe overall. And rentals around here are certainly cheaper than they are across the river. But you're going to have to deal with generally lousy housing (marketed towards apathetic college students and poor minorities); parties left and right that go on well past midnight (as well as the broken glass, beer cans, cups, and other detritus from those parties); and generally shabbier conditions overall (houses, buildings, empty lots, 'parks', streets, etc.).

And let's just say that I'm kinda afraid to step foot in Fountain Hill. That said, perhaps the best restaurant in the Valley is in that area, despite the restaurant claiming to be in Bethlehem.

So North Bethlehem it is. I always enjoy riding my bike around the streets there, and there are a lot of interesting places to go to. The area is definitely much cleaner and quieter than South Bethlehem is. Not every house is going to be quaint and charming, but if you search hard enough, I don't think you will have a problem finding the right place.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,325 posts, read 69,937,919 times
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Here's another vote for North Bethlehem. You may want to scope out my //www.city-data.com/forum/lehig...hem+Photo+Tour for more help. Welcome in advance to Pennsylvania! My uncle is a Lehigh University alumnus who is in the process of selling his home in Fountain Hill as he relocates to Maryland, and he really enjoyed his time on campus for graduate school. Best of luck to you!
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