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Old 01-18-2007, 07:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 28,133 times
Reputation: 11

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My husband and I are looking to move to eastern/central Pennsylvania from central New Jersey, which is getting a little congested for us. We are both in our early 40s.

We are looking for a community with a quaint, relaxed, small town/historic feel, and a downtown area. It can be on the rural side, but doen't have to be. We don't have any children, so schools aren't an issue, but we would like a safe, community-minded place with character and people that care about where they live.

We would be happy with a 50+ year old, 3 bedroom cape or colonial on 1/2 acre of land (in the $300,000 range) so we can do our gardening, and maybe board a horse or two somewhat nearby (within 20 minute or so).

A friend mentioned Carlisle to us, and we are taking a weekend trip out that way soon. In the meantime, we are looking for additional areas we can research.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Thanks, Cathy
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,938 posts, read 73,647,256 times
Reputation: 18053
I believe some of these following communities would be a perfect fit for you both:

Honesdale, Wayne County: Located in the NE Corner of PA, near to the NJ/NY border. Very quaint "Main Street" area, historic architecture, plenty of homes fitting your profile for under $300,000. Plenty of open space around town for equestrians. Located about half-hour NE of Scranton, regional hub city of 75,000+ residents. See my personal photo tour of Honesdale here:
//www.city-data.com/forum/penns...art-three.html

Lewisburg, Union County: College town home to Bucknell University with a quaint downtown, arts/cultural scene, and riverside location not far from I-80 in Central PA. Plenty of affordable real estate, and plenty of open space for horses. Located about a half-hour south of Williamsport, regional hub city of 30,000+.

Tunkhannock, Wyoming County: Tiny county seat with historic architecture and a restored Main Street complete with a theatre. Nearby Wal-Mart has yet to put a dent into mom-and-pop businesses. About a half-hour N of Wilkes-Barre, regional hub city of 40,000+, and half-hour NW of Scranton, regional hub city of 75,000+. See my personal photo tour of Tunkhannock here:
//www.city-data.com/forum/penns...-part-two.html

Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County: Affluent bedroom community of Scranton with a small downtown corridor home to an organic foods store, Talbot's, Bennetton, and other upscale offerings, and leafy streets. Homes in your price range here would be a stretch, for sure, but they are attainable.

Jim Thorpe, Carbon County: Quaint, historic, former boomtown located at the foot of the Pocono Mountains amid some great whitewater rafting and mountain biking opportunities. The town is a bit congested in the summer with NJ tourists, but housing prices here are surprisingly reasonable for the Pocono Mountain area. The downtown is full of narrow streets, rowhomes, bed-and-breakfasts, mom-and-pop stores, etc.

Moscow, Lackawanna Couty: A country paradise just 20 minutes south of Scranton via I-380. The town proper is very small, but the Moscow Country Fair is a large annual draw for families to mingle. I foresee this area seeing growth from NJ/NY transplants in upcoming years, as it's located only ten minutes north of some other growing areas, so it might be a good bet if you want to see a steady return on your investment.

Selinsgrove, Snyder County: Ditto to Lewisburg, but replace Bucknell University with Susquehanna University. Lewisburg tends to be a bit more "upscale" than Selinsgrove, but this community is still a good bet for you both. Union and Snyder Counties both have good opportunities for equestrians.

If you are interested in any of these communities, or if I can be of any more help, please let me know!
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,938 posts, read 73,647,256 times
Reputation: 18053
Also, Cathy, you say that you and your husband are both in your early-40s. I'm assuming you (or him) are employed? What field are you (or him) in? These towns I recommended to you are pristine and small-town Americana at their finest, but there's not a large concentration of NJ-style pharmaceutical companies, I/T firms, financial institutions, etc. to be found, so landing a job may be difficult.
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:44 AM
 
3 posts, read 28,133 times
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Thank you very much for your recommendations - they are very helpful. This is something we would like to do in the next couple of years and we are trying to focus on a particular area or two.

I am a legal secretary and my husband is in retail management (big box). I wouldn't have a problem driving 1/2 hour or so to work every day if necessary - neither would he.

I have had horses in the past - nothing fancy, just nice trail horses. I wouldn't need any special equestrian facilities, just a local stable with good care and decent trails. It is definitely something we would be looking into.

How are property taxes in the areas you suggested? Right now, we are paying about $5,500.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:54 AM
 
266 posts, read 1,157,746 times
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May I also suggest Lititz, in Lancaster County. Very pretty town, nice history, relatively close proximity to anything you may need.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:28 AM
 
3 posts, read 28,133 times
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It's funny you mention Lititz. My husband and I go the Lancaster area several times a year and always say how much we love it there. Lititz is one of the towns we have stayed in, as well as Ephrata.

Does anyone know how the property taxes there compare to NJ?

Thanks again for the suggestions everyone - please feel free to add more. I am noting everything
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Selinsgrove, PA
1,518 posts, read 6,422,451 times
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It seems that property taxes in New Jersey range anywhere from 2 to 5 times higher than those in PA, depending on which area of each state you're in.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:44 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,991,975 times
Reputation: 1862
I have to chip in about Carlisle as a number of relatives of mine live there.

I think it fits with most of what you're looking for. It has a nice downtown although some of it's retail is leaving for strip malls on the edge of town, a historic air to it, homes with land for under 300K, and rural areas to keep horses within a 20 minute drive.

One thing I should caution about however is that while according to crime statistics, the town is fairly safe, I have a lot from relatives and townspeople and in the local media, about a drug problem in the town. Now this could just be an exaggeration, sort of shellshock from a community not used to dealing with any sort of urban ills; so I'm not sure if the problem is as bad as people make it out to be or any worse than small towns everywhere in the U.S. nowadays, but it's something that you may want to have on your radar and ask around a bit if you take a tour of the town in case it's a concern for you.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Berks County, PA
111 posts, read 498,517 times
Reputation: 33
Default Oley

I'll recommend Oley, PA. there's a small historic downtown area and lots of farms and rural areas. Plus there's Reading (don't let that scare you) for your shopping needs. Allentown is also within a reasonable distance.

I live near Oley, and our taxes were $3000 for just under 2 acres and a 2100 sf house.

Do search in Berks County. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Check your private messages.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:25 PM
 
266 posts, read 1,157,746 times
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I don't know how they compare to NJ, but I don't feel like the taxes around here are unreasonable. We are at around $2700 for our $200,000 house. Lititz is similar, I am sure.

If we stayed in this area, we would likely move to Lititz.
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