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Old 08-19-2018, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,895 times
Reputation: 236

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When are you moving? Spring 2019
Where are you coming from? Western NY
Why are you moving? Closer to family
Where will you be working? Unknown
Have you been here yet? No

Will you buy or rent? Rent, then buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo?Townhome/condo, up to $400k
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? Hopefully under $2200 for 2 bedroom for the first 6 months or year
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? No preference

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb?
Philadelphia suburb in PA

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, no kids, none planned
Do you have pets? Small dogs and a cat
Do you want or need a yard? Would like, somewhat negotiable
Are you keeping a car? Yes, probably 2
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Mixture, we're from urban areas but found we also like suburbs. Ex-urban probably not.

What do you want to be closest to?
Shopping Somewhat
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.) Yes
Train or subway stations In proximity

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Don't want 55+community, diversity good

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Non-alcoholic

I want to cut the distance to family in southern Long Island but don't want to live there or in NYC. I'm exploring Philadelphia and the Hudson Valley for a move expected to last 10 years before we retire further south. My wife has talked about Philadelphia before and maybe it's time to try it out.

Location: I pay over 4% of my home value in property taxes now and this is a hot button. The city tax will probably keep us in the suburbs. On the other hand, I see some townhomes with tax bills at $7-9k while others brand with similar values are in the $4-6k range. What are the factors at work here?

It looks like the most desirable suburbs are in Chester and Montgomery counties. How far out can you go in either and still feel suburban instead of rural? I see homes in West Chester and Downingtown for instance but that looks like it might be pretty far out. How far are they from the city and how much time would they add to a drive to NYC?
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:38 AM
 
1,506 posts, read 1,390,380 times
Reputation: 842
Look for something in Bucks county. You can probably "go as far" as Doylestown and still feel suburban vs. rural and in the other direction, as far as maybe Chaddsford or West Chester. Bucks county is closer to NYC but possibly more expensive though. You may want to re-consider NJ too as they are generally cheaper on that side. You can ask the same thing but in the NJ forum if you're interested in checking out NJ more.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
288 posts, read 161,897 times
Reputation: 284
City wage tax is 3.88% of your household salary. City RE tax is 1.4% of your assessed home value. So for something up to 400k, the city RE tax you'd pay would be up to $5,600. If the place you pick is not new construction or newly renovated, you can apply for a homestead exception, knocking down it down to $5,180. Depending on your numbers, you may come in below what you are paying now so the city might be doable. The drive up to LI is not too bad - my wife is from Massapequa and door-to-door it takes us around 2.5 hours from Philly. About half of that is the godforsaken Belt.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:19 PM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,688 times
Reputation: 2100
Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
City wage tax is 3.88% of your household salary. City RE tax is 1.4% of your assessed home value. So for something up to 400k, the city RE tax you'd pay would be up to $5,600. If the place you pick is not new construction or newly renovated, you can apply for a homestead exception, knocking down it down to $5,180. Depending on your numbers, you may come in below what you are paying now so the city might be doable. The drive up to LI is not too bad - my wife is from Massapequa and door-to-door it takes us around 2.5 hours from Philly. About half of that is the godforsaken Belt.
Some new construction in the city has a 10 year tax abatement (there have been some good arguments put forth lately, saying 10 years is too long. Others say it's served its purpose and should be phased out. But at the speed these things move it almost certainly wouldn't affect you once it's time to purchase.) So don't categorically rule Philly out.

If one of the primary concerns is access to LI, then the northern 'burbs in (Montgomery County) could be a good fit, because they're close to the PA Tpk. The inner (closer to Philly) locations like Ambler, Glenside, Abington, Jenkintown might work. I really like West Chester (considered it when my wife and I were relocating from NC), but it seems far away from Philly, and it would add about 1/2 hr each way going to LI compared to Ambler and the others I mentioned.

That drive to LI can be easy (sometimes you hit all the sweet spots) or really nasty (noted above, the Belt Pkwy can be brutal, and the Staten Island Expressway is no bargain, either). Be prepared for different experiences every trip (the PA, NJ Tpks are generally smooth sailing; it's just when you get into NY that things can go off the rails).
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,895 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
City wage tax is 3.88% of your household salary. City RE tax is 1.4% of your assessed home value. So for something up to 400k, the city RE tax you'd pay would be up to $5,600. If the place you pick is not new construction or newly renovated, you can apply for a homestead exception, knocking down it down to $5,180. Depending on your numbers, you may come in below what you are paying now so the city might be doable. The drive up to LI is not too bad - my wife is from Massapequa and door-to-door it takes us around 2.5 hours from Philly. About half of that is the godforsaken Belt.
2.5 hours is doable since Dutchess county in NY is easily 2 hours. That stretch includes the Throgs Neck which can be a real beast as well. I just have a hard time passing 4% of every household dollar to the municipality so it will have to be suburbs, preferable not too far out.

However bad property taxes can be, they are a part of life wherever you go.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:22 AM
 
1,506 posts, read 1,390,380 times
Reputation: 842
Oh yeah, maybe DE is okay if you think that's not too far out. The northern part of the state would be about the same as going from say Chaddsford or West Chester, but DE overall is cheaper than the SE region of PA no doubt.
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