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Old 12-28-2013, 04:48 PM
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My husband and I will be 60 next year and would like to retire in PA. for the seasons and snow. We have between 120,000 and 130,000 to spend on a house. We would like 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. We don't know a lot about PA. Could anybody point us to some areas that are nice, safe and in our price range? Thank you. The Smiths
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:55 PM
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First question that pops to mind is your wants and needs for everything (recreation, shopping, medical etc.).

How much do hills, snow and ice bother you? Are you used to winter driving?

Do you like urban, suburban or rural?
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:43 AM
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I would suggest reading this forum about PA first and then come back to us with more questions. From your post, I can't tell if you are moving here because you want more snow or less snow. Also, there's a sticky at the top of the forum that would be helpful for you to fill out. Help for new and potential residents
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:31 PM
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You'd get plenty of snow in Erie.

More than enough, in fact.

Last edited by Davros; 12-29-2013 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:54 AM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
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To locate a nice 3-BR/2-BA single-family detached home on a reasonable amount of property in a safe, attractive neighborhood in Pennsylvania for ~$125,000 I'd automatically write off the entire immediate Philadelphia metro area (including Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware Counties). That will also be a stretch in the Lehigh Valley (including Lehigh and Northampton Counties).

Since employment will be of no concern, as you'll be retirees, you may want to look into living in a small-to-medium-sized city, where housing prices (and most prices, for that matter) will be more reasonable. Erie is a nice medium-sized city, but it does get quite snowy in the winter (especially areas just a few miles south of the lake in Erie County). I don't know how much snow you were hoping for on an annual basis, but that may be overwhelming to you. A lot of people move out of Erie, grudgingly, just because at a certain point they can no longer hack the winters.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is a consideration. You could find a relatively nice (albeit probably older and needing some cosmetic repairs) 3-BR/2-BA home for $125,000. Wilkes-Barre city proper has depressed housing prices due to a recent spike in violent crime, so this may not be a contender for you. Scranton's city proper is much safer, but it also has much higher housing prices, overall, than Wilkes-Barre because many of the homes tend to be a bit larger in square footage, and the city has a slightly better reputation. Scranton might work for you. You can also try one of the smaller suburban towns nearby, such as Pittston, Dupont, Duryea, Avoca, Moosic, Taylor, Old Forge, Plains Township, Forty Fort, Kingston, Wyoming, Ashley, Dunmore, Dickson City, Archbald, Mayfield, Jessup, Jermyn, Blakely, or Throop. My hometown of Pittston in particular has been revitalizing itself very nicely over the past few years with a lot of new galleries, bistros, shops, etc. The other towns vary in character but are mostly between 2,500-14,000 in population, and many still house small walkable business districts in various states of redevelopment.

South Central Pennsylvania (York/Harrisburg/Lancaster/Gettysburg/Carlisle) has been seeing some growth pressures from people commuting to Baltimore/DC/Philadelphia and/or retiring from those major cities to here, so that has put some upward pressure on housing prices that may limit what you can get for $125,000. Lebanon County is a consideration. It sits between Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, and the Lehigh Valley (about an hour or less from any of them, really), and you should be able to find something decent in that price range there. The city of Lebanon itself is small, but it has all of the modern day-to-day conveniences, and, as I mentioned, it's close to larger cities.

The West Central Mountain (Allegheny Highlands) are largely economically-depressed, but they are rural, tranquil, and rather scenic, overall. You can live in a sleepy "dying" town like Tyrone, for example, for dirt cheap, and you could commute down I-99 to Altoona for shopping/dining or up the highway to State College for Penn State-oriented events. Other small towns in this mountainous region that come to mind are Bedford, Somerset, Huntingdon, and Johnstown, which used to be a major PA city in its own right but has now declined to around 20,000 residents. Some very nice historic smaller towns in Central PA (that may command a premium for housing in some cases due to historic interest) would be Lewisburg, Bellefonte, Bradford, Wellsboro, and Warren. Most of these places are relatively isolated, but they are all self-sustaining for day-to-day needs. Bellefonte is near State College. Lewisburg is roughly an hour north of Harrisburg. Warren is about an hour from Erie.

You also have Southwestern Pennsylvania. Greater Pittsburgh continues to rebound and reinvent itself after the collapse of the steel industry. The city proper itself is great, but housing prices have been rising steadily, so I'm not sure if you'll find anything suitable in the city proper for $125,000. There are some sleepy dying old mill towns around the city that are mostly safe yet dirt cheap because they look depressed. These towns would be Sharpsburg, Etna, Millvale, McKees Rocks, Coraopolis, Munhall, and a few others. If I was a retiree looking to spend $125,000 on a 3-BR/2-BA home in Greater Pittsburgh I'd probably go with Springdale or Cheswick. These are two "river towns" that maintained a bit more of a middle-class element and appearance vs. a dying working-class appearance. The towns sit only about 20 minutes northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh. I'd also consider Freeport, a small town further up Route 28, or Kittanning, which is a small county seat town about 45 minutes from the city, fifteen minutes past Freeport, which is fifteen minutes past Cheswick. Canonsburg is another nice town---southwest of Pittsburgh. Greensburg also gets my nod, as does Latrobe.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:21 PM
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I know somebody who lives in Lewisburg. It's nice. Home of Bucknell University (but also a Federal Penitentiary), and relatively convenient travel to Harrisburg, State College, and Williamsport.

Lewistown is a bit grittier and more isolated, but certainly would be cheap, and they do have a hospital in town.

Altoona has nice areas and not so nice areas. Same with Johnstown.

State College area is pricier, but a nice retirement spot if you like Penn State.

Every city I mentioned gets a lot less snow than Erie, except Johnstown gets pretty decent snow too (still a lot less than Erie). But does Erie even get ice storms?
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:44 PM
Location: Due North of Potemkin City Limits
1,237 posts, read 1,741,483 times
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Pennsylvania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:18 PM
Status: "The goal of the Party is POWER! (Orwell - "1984")" (set 10 days ago)
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
14,429 posts, read 8,829,408 times
Reputation: 18517
Nobody's mentioned the "Northern Tier" counties along the New York State border, or Greater Williamsport / Lock Haven, or the mid-Susquehanna counties between Bloomsburg and Lewisburg along Interstate 80; all of them have a low crime rate and plenty of reasonably-priced housing.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:21 PM
Location: Pa
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Try Douglasville.
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