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Old 05-18-2010, 02:16 PM
 
332 posts, read 874,052 times
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***I actually posted this a couple of weeks ago in the general Pennsylvania forum but didn't get a response, so I thought maybe the LV sub-forum would be a better place for it if that's ok with the moderators***

My wife and I currently live in Hunterdon County New Jersey. We both grew up in New Jersey and like living in Hunterdon, but despite the fact that we live in one of the most rural counties in the state, this is our first home and we couldn't afford much land. We settled on a two bedroom, one bath ranch on a 1/3 acre lot in an older development which suits our needs just fine for right now. However, though we've only been in our current home just shy of two years, we're beginning to look at areas to settle permanently as in where our children (none yet) will spend most of their young lives, and where they will come back to visit when we're grandparents one day. There are a lot of things we love about New Jersey including our families which are all firmly rooted in the state, which is why we don't want to go very far, but we've decided that for our purposes, New Jersey just doesn't fit well with our "dream."

As I mentioned before we couldn't afford much land this time around in New Jersey, but land is our number one goal for our dream homestead. Ideally we'd like to find 10-15 acres-more would be nice but financially probably not possible. That amount of land is important to us for a number of reasons-privacy is certainly one of them, but we're not exactly recluses, which is another reason we'd never really stray that far from the tri-state area. At the same time, we want to be able to hunt, fish, shoot, ride a quad, have a bonfire, let our dogs run free, cut firewood, etc...without worrying about bothering anybody. We're also very interested in becoming more self sufficient and would like to start keeping chickens for eggs/meat, turkeys, and maybe even some sheep/goats to raise and sell. Having a good sized woodlot for firewood would also be very important. We would be open to a number of possibilities as far as actual property. Our ultimate dream would be to build a new home, but we'd also be interested in properties with homes that really needed to be torn down or extensively renovated.

As I began to look at areas in Pennsylvania and Bucks specifically, the towns that immediately looked the most attractive in terms of rural character, proximity to our current jobs, and proximity to our parents were the towns referenced in the thread title (Haycock, Nockamixon, and Tinicum), but I decided to refine that a bit by creating a map of the areas that looked appealing via Google Maps. The map can be accessed here.
As you can see by looking at the map I've outlined areas that fall within these three townships. I've driven through the general areas, but mostly closer to the river through Tinicum. I don't believe I've ever been through Haycock at all, but we're planning on taking more drives over on the Pennsylvania side to familiarize ourselves. You'll also note that I included a large portion of Nockamixon State Park, but there seem to be many homes on the roads surrounding the park that back to park property which would certainly be a nice feature. In the time since I originally posted this in the general PA forum I've also looked at Durham, Springfield, and Milford which seem like they would be candidates as well.

I'd be very interested to hear from folks living in these areas with regard to what they think of them, how the taxes/schools are, and anything else they'd like to share. I'd also like to close with a word about New Jersey transplants moving to Pennsylvania. I know that some PA folks lament the coming of New Jerseyans because in some cases they bring with them a desire to overdevelop an area, a demand for services, etc... We're just the opposite. We're looking to get away from excessive regulation (in our town you need a permit to cut down a tree larger than 4" in diameter!) and development (we like mom and pop shops-no big box chains necessary), and generally just want to be left alone and respect others' desire for the same. Finally, if anyone has some suggestions on places to visit (parks, restaurants, pubs, farm/flea etc...), please let us know because we want to do a day trip and take in the local flavor a little.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I grew up in NJ, just below Hunterdon County (Flemington was the closest civilization). I moved to Bucks 27 years ago. After we had our first child we decided to consider moving to the only area in Bucks not overdeveloped. We specifically only looked in the areas you have listed, focusing primarily in Palisades school district. We bought a home in a rather remote area of Springfield township, within your left map outline.

After 7 years here, I have no regrets. The wife isn't fond of the vast assortment of critters and insects, but I grew up in an area with similar rural character. There's four of us now and we really like this area and the school. The folks here are quite polite and friendly, great to the kids and really don't bother with anything that's not their business. The township officials and residents seem to support doing what's possible to limit development too.

We hope to move to a larger property, maybe in 5 years. We'll likely limit our future property search to Springfield and Durham Townships.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:52 AM
 
332 posts, read 874,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiedydd View Post
I grew up in NJ, just below Hunterdon County (Flemington was the closest civilization). I moved to Bucks 27 years ago. After we had our first child we decided to consider moving to the only area in Bucks not overdeveloped. We specifically only looked in the areas you have listed, focusing primarily in Palisades school district. We bought a home in a rather remote area of Springfield township, within your left map outline.

After 7 years here, I have no regrets. The wife isn't fond of the vast assortment of critters and insects, but I grew up in an area with similar rural character. There's four of us now and we really like this area and the school. The folks here are quite polite and friendly, great to the kids and really don't bother with anything that's not their business. The township officials and residents seem to support doing what's possible to limit development too.

We hope to move to a larger property, maybe in 5 years. We'll likely limit our future property search to Springfield and Durham Townships.
Thanks for the information! I've actually been looking pretty carefully at Haycock as it's the least dense (109 people per square mile) which is attractive, but I understand that it's in the Quakertown School District which is considered the less desirable of the two. I'm not sure why-I had one person tell me it was "urban" and had the problems that come with that. To me an "urban" school is one in New Brunswick or Trenton-not Quakertown Borough.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:41 AM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,512,737 times
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I like asiedydd's post. Palisades is a great school district. A little too spread out for my taste but I think it would be a good fit for what you are looking for. Quakertown is not urban really but not nearly as white collar feeling as say Doylestown or my area, Southern Lehigh - just above Q-town.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:28 PM
 
36 posts, read 94,482 times
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I work in Nockamixon Township right on one of the lines on your map. Based on what you described, the area would be quite ideal for you guys. (I'll help you guys since you clearly do not fall into the typical NJ/NY stereotype).

Good points:
Schools-Palisades is a really good quality SD. If I were to choose a school district for my kids, Palisades would be near the top of my list.

Rural character-There is not much traffic in this area, and there are very few areas that are densely developed.

You have also mentioned that you like the Mom and Pop type places, which there are plenty here when it comes to eating out. There are no chain places up here.

Most people areound there are a pretty good bunch

Bad points-

Distances- You have to drive pretty far to do most of your shopping. The closest supermarkets are 20-25 minutes away, same for the box stores when you do need them-which you have to go to Doylestown or Quakertown to get to one.

Taxes are a little higher here than they are in other areas, but are not too out of reach

Car insurance is also a little higher here than in other nearby locations

If you are ever in the area, I work at the Post Office in Ferndale, so if you need any information just stop by.




Bad points
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:26 PM
jjj
 
168 posts, read 766,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
I work in Nockamixon Township right on one of the lines on your map. Based on what you described, the area would be quite ideal for you guys. (I'll help you guys since you clearly do not fall into the typical NJ/NY stereotype).

Good points:
Schools-Palisades is a really good quality SD. If I were to choose a school district for my kids, Palisades would be near the top of my list.

Rural character-There is not much traffic in this area, and there are very few areas that are densely developed.

You have also mentioned that you like the Mom and Pop type places, which there are plenty here when it comes to eating out. There are no chain places up here.

Most people areound there are a pretty good bunch

Bad points-

Distances- You have to drive pretty far to do most of your shopping. The closest supermarkets are 20-25 minutes away, same for the box stores when you do need them-which you have to go to Doylestown or Quakertown to get to one.

Taxes are a little higher here than they are in other areas, but are not too out of reach

Car insurance is also a little higher here than in other nearby locations

If you are ever in the area, I work at the Post Office in Ferndale, so if you need any information just stop by.




Bad points
What is a typical NY/Nj stereotype ?
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:18 PM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,512,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjj View Post
What is a typical NY/Nj stereotype ?
Generally, people that only choose PA because of cost but still want all the amenities that they had in NJ. They go back to NJ often instead of exploring their new home and just don't seem to embrace Pennsylvania and all it has to offer. I'm a transplant myself. My husband and I were both born and raised in Delaware but moved to PA about 20 years ago and love it. I enjoyed growing up in Delaware but have also enjoyed raising our family here.

But that's JMHO...

Back to the OP - Any luck with your search?
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
463 posts, read 1,417,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
My husband and I were both born and raised in Delaware but moved to PA about 20 years ago and love it.
You did the reverse Biden!
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:21 PM
 
332 posts, read 874,052 times
Reputation: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
I work in Nockamixon Township right on one of the lines on your map. Based on what you described, the area would be quite ideal for you guys. (I'll help you guys since you clearly do not fall into the typical NJ/NY stereotype).
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
Schools-Palisades is a really good quality SD. If I were to choose a school district for my kids, Palisades would be near the top of my list.
We'll carefully weigh this one, but is Quakertown really that bad? I should add that my wife is a teacher and we believe that a school district in large part is what you make of it. That being said, if it works for us to end up in the Palisades district, all the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
Rural character-There is not much traffic in this area, and there are very few areas that are densely developed.
That will certainly be a welcome change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
You have also mentioned that you like the Mom and Pop type places, which there are plenty here when it comes to eating out. There are no chain places up here.
Give us a good local pub with good wings/burgers over a TGI Fridays anytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
Distances- You have to drive pretty far to do most of your shopping. The closest supermarkets are 20-25 minutes away, same for the box stores when you do need them-which you have to go to Doylestown or Quakertown to get to one.
We're used to that-Hunterdon is about the same in that respect and its fine. I'd rather have to drive 30 minutes to a Lowes or a Home Depot than live closer and have to deal with the traffic associated with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
Taxes are a little higher here than they are in other areas, but are not too out of reach
LOL-how high is high? Remember, I'm from New Jersey!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
Car insurance is also a little higher here than in other nearby locations
Again, you're talking to someone who lives in a state with some of the highest rates in the nation. I have full coverage on my truck, liability on my second truck (beater to run trash to the dump), and liability on my wife's car. I think we pay about $250 a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18060 View Post
If you are ever in the area, I work at the Post Office in Ferndale, so if you need any information just stop by.
Thanks! I'll be the guy in the John Deere hat
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Philly Metro
379 posts, read 412,304 times
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I'm looking for the same thing as the OP. Currently live in Southern NJ, but lived in Hunterdon for many years. I love Hunterdon County, but I know I can't afford anything there on a single salary anymore. Is it possible to buy a small fixer upper for $150k or less in a relatively rural area in Upper Bucks? Schools not important, nor is a need to be near job centers. Don't mind driving a bit to get to shopping centers. I have the same requirements as the OP (space between neighbors, 1/2 acre land or more, fishing, bonfires, low regulations, etc all up my alley).

In NJ, I like Sussex, Hunterdon, and Warren County.

In PA, I like Bucks and possibly Pike County. Looks like there is a lot of properties in Pike that are cheap. Lehigh Valley too crowded.
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