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Old 04-08-2008, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Nevada
2,006 posts, read 6,166,326 times
Reputation: 1193

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Can anybody here who is familiar with both Lancaster County & Scranton PA ( NEPA ) tell me the major differnces in the two areas and the pro's & Cons of both? We have been considering a move to Pa for years but have read so many things about both Lancaster and Scranton so now we are confused on which area would be best to raise a family.

I was wondering most about the crime.

Job Market.

Traffic

Home Prices

Property taxes

And the locals.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,437 posts, read 70,351,659 times
Reputation: 17144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Positiveone View Post
Can anybody here who is familiar with both Lancaster County & Scranton PA ( NEPA ) tell me the major differnces in the two areas and the pro's & Cons of both? We have been considering a move to Pa for years but have read so many things about both Lancaster and Scranton so now we are confused on which area would be best to raise a family.

I was wondering most about the crime.

In terms of the physical cities, Lancaster proper certainly has more crime than Scranton proper. The rest of Lancaster County and all of Lackawanna County (Scranton) are pretty much tranquil and suburban to rural in character, but also consider the fact that Lancaster County has about 500,000 people to Lackawanna County's 205,000---naturally there will be more crime in Greater Lancaster just based upon the higher population alone.

Job Market.

I wouldn't call the job market "great" in either city, but there certainly are opportunities available in both areas in various fields. I know Lancaster County typically has a very low unemployment rate and has a rather diverse economy, but it is also in an unusual area geographically in that depending on what part of the county people live in they also commute to Harrisburg, York, or Reading to work. I wouldn't even be surprised if folks in the eastern part of the county commuted to Philadelphia or its suburbs to work. In Lackawanna County a lot of folks either work in the county or in adjacent Luzerne County (Wilkes-Barre). Neighboring Monroe County is home to thousands of folks who work at the Tobyhanna Army Depot (engineering)and Sanofi Pasteur Pharmaceuticals (chemical research). A few others make the lengthy trip to work for Proctor & Gamble in Wyoming County. Some major employers in the immediate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area just off the top of my head include:
  • Bank of America (Customer Service)
  • Baptist Bible College (Higher Education)
  • Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Health Insurance)
  • Chamberlain (Manufacturing)
  • CIGNA Health Care (Customer Service)
  • Cinram (Manufacturing)
  • Comcast (Communications)
  • Community Medical Center (Health Care)
  • CONVERGYS (I/T)
  • Entercom (Communications)
  • Geisinger (Health Care)
  • General Hospital (Health Care)
  • Guard Insurance (Insurance)
  • Highland Associates (Civil Engineering/Architecture)
  • iGourmet (Internet Retail Outlet)
  • Kane (Trucking)
  • Keystone Automotive (Manufacturing)
  • Keystone College (Higher Education)
  • King's College (Higher Education)
  • Lackawanna College (Higher Education)
  • Lewith & Freeman (Real Estate)
  • Lockheed-Martin (Military Defense Contractor)
  • Luzerne County Community College (Higher Education)
  • Marywood University (Higher Education)
  • Mericle (Commercial Real Estate Development)
  • Mercy Hospital (Health Care)
  • MetLife (Finance)
  • Offset Paperback (Publishing)
  • Parente Randolph (Public Accounting)
  • Penguin Group (Publishing)
  • Pepperjam (I/T)
  • Penn State University (Higher Education)
  • PNC Bank (Finance)
  • Pride Mobility (Power Chair Manufacturing)
  • Prudential Financial (Investments)
  • Quad 3 (Civil Engineering/Architecture)
  • Sallie Mae (College Loan Processing)
  • Solid Cactus (I/T)
  • TMG Health (Health Insurance)
  • TRL (Trucking)
  • University of Scranton (Higher Education)
  • Wal-Mart (Retail)
  • Wilkes University (Higher Education)


People in Greater Scranton whine about the "poor job market," but more often than not it is a problem with THEIR resume---not the employers we have available.

Traffic

Both counties can have moderate-to-heavy (yet still free-flowing) traffic, especially at rush-hour. There are often times when I'm commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic along I-81 in the Scranton area doing about 45 miles per hour, but that's typically just from around 4:00-5:30 PM or so on weekdays. The major snarls are typically between Moosic and Scranton because a lot of major white-collar employers are in Moosic, and a lot of these people reside in Scranton. The North Cross-Valley Freeway that juts across Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley between I-81 and the Back Mountain (Dallas) area can also be wicked at rush-hour. I know Lancaster County can have its fair share of snarls on Route 30. It will be nothing at all compared to what you're used to on Long Island, but just bear in mind it won't be all podunk either.

Home Prices

Home prices are DEFINITELY more affordable in the Scranton area---we we even rated last year as having the nation's fourth most affordable real estate market. Housing prices have been bucking the national trend here---typically appreciating by 6%-8% annually---but they're still quite affordable. A nice home in Lancaster County that might cost $300,000 could cost $200,000 in the Scranton area.

Property taxes

I'm not familiar with property taxes in Lancaster County, but I'm assuming they're probably similar to those in the Scranton area. For as much as you'll see the Scranton forum members whining about their "outrageous" property taxes, when you do a comparison to other parts of PA, NJ, NY, etc., you'll see that they are often times LOWER---those people just like to gripe because when your city has no other major problems I suppose there's nothing better for them to do.

And the locals.
I've found both friendly and nasty folks in both areas. I've found both racist and open-minded folks in both areas. I've found both highly intelligent (MENSA material) residents in both areas as well as their shoot everything that moves and ask questions later counterparts. You can't really say the people are "better" in one area or another. Both counties have a lot of NY transplants, and both counties also have a mixture of long-time natives who resent the influx as well as those (especially in my younger generation) who embrace the newcomers.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Nevada
2,006 posts, read 6,166,326 times
Reputation: 1193
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Great reply! Thanks so much for the info! Now i need to make a trip there soon!!

Thanks




Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I've found both friendly and nasty folks in both areas. I've found both racist and open-minded folks in both areas. I've found both highly intelligent (MENSA material) residents in both areas as well as their shoot everything that moves and ask questions later counterparts. You can't really say the people are "better" in one area or another. Both counties have a lot of NY transplants, and both counties also have a mixture of long-time natives who resent the influx as well as those (especially in my younger generation) who embrace the newcomers.
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