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Old 04-05-2007, 10:11 AM
 
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My wife and I are considering moving to the south central area of PA. We recently spent a weekend touring the area. We both like the Hollidaysburg/Altoona area but know nothing about the area (except for great fishing is located just 30 minutes away at Raystown Lake). Any info about the area would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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I commuted to work in Altoona for 4 yrs. I know Altoona is a nice mid-sized town. They have good schools, both public and parochial. Hollidaysburg is the county seat and is just like 7 mi south of Altoona. There's lots of shopping and businesses along US 220 / I-99 corridor that connect them. They have the Altoona Curve, a farm team of the Pirates with a new stadium. There's Lakemont Park (amusement park) with the oldest operating roller coaster. You're also about 45 min from State College and Johnstown. Penn State has a satellite campus at Altoona that offers 2 and 4 yr degrees. Hope this helps you.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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Default Thanks

Thanks for the information!
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
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Is that person kidding? The city itself is in shambles, there are very few amenities and zero job growth. The population is declining all over the county. I would recommend looking further east at Harrisburg or northeast at State College.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
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Originally Posted by danwxman View Post
Is that person kidding? The city itself is in shambles, there are very few amenities and zero job growth. The population is declining all over the county.
The same could be said for MOST urban cities in not only PA, but also Upstate NY, OH, WV, MI, IN, and the rest of the "Rust-Belt." Just because an area is declining in population doesn't make it "undesirable." I just read an article yesterday that showed that if there wasn't substantial growth from foreign immigrants, then places like NYC, L.A., and Boston all would have declined in population. Nationwide, families are continuing to bleed out of the cities and into the suburbs, and this trend is even mirrored in small cities like Altoona. I've only been to the town once, but I can recall seeing PLENTY of housing developments in its surrounding townships, more than likely home to former Altoona families. You can't blame a NATIONAL trend on a small city such as Altoona.

Even Pittsburgh lost 60,000 residents between 2000 and 2006, and its own residents continue to praise it for its large strides towards economic recovery and revitalization. Scranton has continued to lose population as well, and this city has one of the lowest crime rates in the state, great schools, and has been seeing a LOT of NYC-related investment growth over the past few years. Statewide, I can't even think of one city that is attracting new residents. Nevertheless, the vast majority of PA cities (including Altoona) look to have some very liveable neighborhoods. The power of urban sprawl is simply too alluring for many families.

I think one of the only downsides to Altoona is its relative isolation. If there's someplace you want to shop at or eat at that isn't in Altoona, then you'll likely have a hefty drive to Pittsburgh to satisfy your needs. I'll also throw you a bone and say that the economy of Altoona leaves much to be desired; if you have a job lined up already in the city, then I say "more power to you." However, if you think Altoona is some sort of Shangri-La of economic opportunity, then you're sorely mistaken. High-paying jobs are scarce there. On the plus side, the lower wages have kept the cost-of-living and housing prices in check.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
The same could be said for MOST urban cities in not only PA, but also Upstate NY, OH, WV, MI, IN, and the rest of the "Rust-Belt." Just because an area is declining in population doesn't make it "undesirable." I just read an article yesterday that showed that if there wasn't substantial growth from foreign immigrants, then places like NYC, L.A., and Boston all would have declined in population. Nationwide, families are continuing to bleed out of the cities and into the suburbs, and this trend is even mirrored in small cities like Altoona. I've only been to the town once, but I can recall seeing PLENTY of housing developments in its surrounding townships, more than likely home to former Altoona families. You can't blame a NATIONAL trend on a small city such as Altoona.

Even Pittsburgh lost 60,000 residents between 2000 and 2006, and its own residents continue to praise it for its large strides towards economic recovery and revitalization. Scranton has continued to lose population as well, and this city has one of the lowest crime rates in the state, great schools, and has been seeing a LOT of NYC-related investment growth over the past few years. Statewide, I can't even think of one city that is attracting new residents. Nevertheless, the vast majority of PA cities (including Altoona) look to have some very liveable neighborhoods. The power of urban sprawl is simply too alluring for many families.

I think one of the only downsides to Altoona is its relative isolation. If there's someplace you want to shop at or eat at that isn't in Altoona, then you'll likely have a hefty drive to Pittsburgh to satisfy your needs. I'll also throw you a bone and say that the economy of Altoona leaves much to be desired; if you have a job lined up already in the city, then I say "more power to you." However, if you think Altoona is some sort of Shangri-La of economic opportunity, then you're sorely mistaken. High-paying jobs are scarce there. On the plus side, the lower wages have kept the cost-of-living and housing prices in check.
No, but I'm serious, Altoona is the armpit of Pennsylvania. I know people who have lived there, and I've driven through plenty of times. The city is dead (no great architecture to redeem itself like most other PA cities), the people there are..well...total hicks. The city is surrounded by some gross recent suburban sprawl.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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Thumbs up Cool

Thanks for all the various views, aint it wonderful to live in America.. We liked the fringes of the city and the area just south towards Hollidaysburg the most. The inner part of the city did nothing for us at all. The job market should not be an major issue. I have retired once and hopefully the second time by then. The wiffee is in health care, hopefully they need nurses there. Thanks for all the different views.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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Hollidaysburg and Duncansville are nicer areas than Altoona.
Yes, the economy in Altoona could be better .. and it could be better in other cities as well. It has stagnated due to loss of the locomotive shops, but is trying to draw new development (agreed, mostly retail/commercial endeavors). Attacking the character of those who live there is not helpful or beneficial. There are "hicks" wherever you go, but that was a broad generalization. I stand by my earlier post.

Also, nursing jobs are available in Altoona, either at Altoona Hospital, Altoona Center for Nursing Care (assisted living/long-term health care), Valley View Nursing Home (county owned, for now) or VA Hospital, both right along Pleasant Valley Blvd. Also, Hollidaysburg Veterans Home.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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im laughing so hard right now.
I have been rebuilding houses and making a living in altoona for about 3 years.
The inner city needs help. Its on its way.
The guy who posted no shopping or stores better drive through again.
Altoona is exactly perfect for the twice retired guy. why?
he sells his current home and pays cash for his "new" house.
His wife can work and make NYC comp. salary in health care, he can fish all day every day. In a variety of places.
And his property taxes may well be the lowest in the country.
Oh yeah if he get hurt fishing- altoona hospital is the major trauma center for the entire area- the next closest is pittsburgh.
As a retirement community altoona would be an excellent choice.
affordable convenient and has it all.
For the young people who desire to work in cubicles in an inner city...leaving altoona is a must--they get paid more elsewhere-- but life isnt really about getting paid is it?
For ROI in investment property altoona is the best investment in real estate today PERIOD. TO HOLD AND RENT. Least risk most reward.
look me up poconomls@hotmail.com
I'll be happy to show you around altoona. I commute from poconos twice a month to keep projects on track.
why don't i move there? I live on a horse farm. The one thing the inner "city" of altoona cannot provide me
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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I agree with poconobob, except for one item:

Quote:
Originally Posted by poconobob View Post
Oh yeah if he get hurt fishing- altoona hospital is the major trauma center for the entire area- the next closest is pittsburgh.

The Altoona Hospital's trauma unit is good; however, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown (45 min SW of Altoona) is a Level 1 trauma center and the next closest before Pgh.
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