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Old 02-03-2008, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
23 posts, read 76,588 times
Reputation: 13

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Hi, here's the dealio, my wife and I are planning to buy a home in the States, after much searching we're thinking of New Castle, PA because of affordable homes, low crime and close proximity to a major urban area and public transportation links to Pittsburgh.

We're mature students in our late 20's and mid 30's here in Ireland (Software Development & Criminology respectively) and when we graduate in a few years time we want to have everything setup for a move to the States well in advance. We have some savings and think that investing now in property is a good idea for our future (just out of uni and having a home that's mortgage free sounds damn good to us!) But is New Castle really as safe as the statistics suggest? The statistics (Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed
) also say that Aliquippa is heaven on earth (well, not quite) but is at or below the national average but we are reading everywhere to avoid Aliquippa like the plague!!!?) Great home prices in Aliquippa.

We were aslo thinking about Turtle Creek, PA but the house there looks like it might fall down if we jump up and down!.......But Turtle Creek might also still be an option. Johnstown,PA might be an option too (any insight into Johnstown?)

The reason why we would move to the States is because the price of homes there is so cheap.......we don't wanna be 70 and still paying off a killer mortgage in Ireland. For your basic home in Ireland your'e looking at paying about $450,000. In New Castle we can grab a bargain at $10,000!!!! Jese louise!

During our search we also considered Steubenville (corruption and crime - nope), Mingo Junction (the name just sounds too weird and too close to Steub) , Buffalo/Niagra Falls (too much crime - but did find an fantastic house at under $15,000), Jamestown,NY (crime is a bit too high) and East Cleveland (crime,crime,crime...but homes look nice from the outside at least. When I phoned the police in Cleveland to ask about it the guy told me that he doesn't even let his wife drive through there....hmmm,okay...)

So, finally it looks like it might be, will prob be, New Castle,PA (I feel like shouting "Go, Steelers!" but I don't understand that game!) Now,rugby, that's a game and a half!

Anyways, do you reckon it'll be safe to leave the house unoccupied for 2 or 3 months at a time? We will travel to New Castle at least every 2 or 3 months. We plan to install an alarm but are worried that if it does go off and we are in Ireland...em, how the hell does it switch off!!!??? Automatically? (We hope)

Maybe we could try to rent it out for short term lets but that's highly unlikely. Maybe we could bring the neighbour a bottle of Irish whiskey and with a smile and *** and a reel ask him to keep an eye on the place?.....But then ya never know if your'e living next to the next Ted Bundy or not?!!!

Are appliances such as cookers (called stoves in America, I think), washing machines, dryers, microwaves etc expensive in the States? God, very often the terminology is very different to our terminology. Is it true that everyone says "have a nice day" before they hang up the phone.......seems so....just those four words: have-a-nice-day.......is it obilgatory? Ok, I will have a nice day. And the thing is....nobody really means it,lol....

Sorry that my question got lost in this! So, what do you nice folks think of New Castle? As good as it seems or a wolf in sheeps clothing?!!!! Any replies much appreciated, thanks!.............and have a nice day....

Last edited by Yac; 03-06-2008 at 07:01 AM..
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:00 PM
 
475 posts, read 1,125,315 times
Reputation: 174
Default Job Market Not so Good!

As someone who grew up in Western PA, I can tell you overall that New Castle may not be a bad place to live, but jobs will be hard to come by. I would go closer to Pittsburgh, but even there, the economy can be bad. I grew up in Aliquippa and it has really gone downhill since the steel industry left in the 80's. That's the reason for the inexpensive real estate. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
23 posts, read 76,588 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodgirl49 View Post
As someone who grew up in Western PA, I can tell you overall that New Castle may not be a bad place to live, but jobs will be hard to come by. I would go closer to Pittsburgh, but even there, the economy can be bad. I grew up in Aliquippa and it has really gone downhill since the steel industry left in the 80's. That's the reason for the inexpensive real estate. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Statistics say Aliquippa is at and under US average but word of mouth tells a very different story. It is a pity. Ireland is quite safe, the police here don't even carry guns! New Castle is not so far from Pittsburgh, commuting to work would not be problematic at all. And if we buy and things don't work out we could always sell later on.
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:31 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 21,493,573 times
Reputation: 21784
Quote:
Originally Posted by irish8 View Post
Hi, here's the dealio, my wife and I are planning to buy a home in the States, after much searching we're thinking of New Castle, PA because of affordable homes, low crime and close proximity to a major urban area and public transportation links to Pittsburgh.

We're mature students in our late 20's and mid 30's here in Ireland (Software Development & Criminology respectively) and when we graduate in a few years time we want to have everything setup for a move to the States well in advance. We have some savings and think that investing now in property is a good idea for our future (just out of uni and having a home that's mortgage free sounds damn good to us!) But is New Castle really as safe as the statistics suggest? The statistics (Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed
) also say that Aliquippa is heaven on earth (well, not quite) but is at or below the national average but we are reading everywhere to avoid Aliquippa like the plague!!!?) Great home prices in Aliquippa.

We were aslo thinking about Turtle Creek, PA but the house there looks like it might fall down if we jump up and down!.......But Turtle Creek might also still be an option. Johnstown,PA might be an option too (any insight into Johnstown?)

The reason why we would move to the States is because the price of homes there is so cheap.......we don't wanna be 70 and still paying off a killer mortgage in Ireland. For your basic home in Ireland your'e looking at paying about $450,000. In New Castle we can grab a bargain at $10,000!!!! Jese louise!

During our search we also considered Steubenville (corruption and crime - nope), Mingo Junction (the name just sounds too weird and too close to Steub) , Buffalo/Niagra Falls (too much crime - but did find an fantastic house at under $15,000), Jamestown,NY (crime is a bit too high) and East Cleveland (crime,crime,crime...but homes look nice from the outside at least. When I phoned the police in Cleveland to ask about it the guy told me that he doesn't even let his wife drive through there....hmmm,okay...)

So, finally it looks like it might be, will prob be, New Castle,PA (I feel like shouting "Go, Steelers!" but I don't understand that game!) Now,rugby, that's a game and a half!

Anyways, do you reckon it'll be safe to leave the house unoccupied for 2 or 3 months at a time? We will travel to New Castle at least every 2 or 3 months. We plan to install an alarm but are worried that if it does go off and we are in Ireland...em, how the hell does it switch off!!!??? Automatically? (We hope)

Maybe we could try to rent it out for short term lets but that's highly unlikely. Maybe we could bring the neighbour a bottle of Irish whiskey and with a smile and *** and a reel ask him to keep an eye on the place?.....But then ya never know if your'e living next to the next Ted Bundy or not?!!!

Are appliances such as cookers (called stoves in America, I think), washing machines, dryers, microwaves etc expensive in the States? God, very often the terminology is very different to our terminology. Is it true that everyone says "have a nice day" before they hang up the phone.......seems so....just those four words: have-a-nice-day.......is it obilgatory? Ok, I will have a nice day. And the thing is....nobody really means it,lol....

Sorry that my question got lost in this! So, what do you nice folks think of New Castle? As good as it seems or a wolf in sheeps clothing?!!!! Any replies much appreciated, thanks!.............and have a nice day....
The thing about Alliquippa is that there is Alliquippa and then there is "Alliquippa" -- the town proper is in a big mess, with very little money, but some of the nicer places you'll find just have an Alliquippa address.

And even here -- when you find dirt cheap home prices -- chances are really good they aren't places you want to live.

You also have to consider the traveling times -- it may be easy to think -- a half hour and I can be in Pittsburgh -- but sometimes it isn't. Rain can muck things up, snow will definitely muck things up and then if you're backroading it and not on freeways.... add more time. A lot of the roads are two laners, with plenty of stop lights.

You really need to come check it out... I would never just up and buy some place without going there first....

Last edited by Yac; 03-06-2008 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
23 posts, read 76,588 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
The thing about Alliquippa is that there is Alliquippa and then there is "Alliquippa" -- the town proper is in a big mess, with very little money, but some of the nicer places you'll find just have an Alliquippa address.

And even here -- when you find dirt cheap home prices -- chances are really good they aren't places you want to live.

You also have to consider the traveling times -- it may be easy to think -- a half hour and I can be in Pittsburgh -- but sometimes it isn't. Rain can muck things up, snow will definitely muck things up and then if you're backroading it and not on freeways.... add more time. A lot of the roads are two laners, with plenty of stop lights.

You really need to come check it out... I would never just up and buy some place without going there first....

We won't be buying in Aliquippa, very possibily we will buy in New Castle. But just trying to get as much info as possible. Yes, we won't just buy a home without actually going there first and checking it all out, that's why I plan to fly out to PA soon.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:28 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 21,493,573 times
Reputation: 21784
Quote:
Originally Posted by irish8 View Post
We won't be buying in Aliquippa, very possibily we will buy in New Castle. But just trying to get as much info as possible. Yes, we won't just buy a home without actually going there first and checking it all out, that's why I plan to fly out to PA soon.
Sorry -- I was clear as mud, wasn't I? The part I left out was that I was familiar with Alliquippa and that I'm sure New Castle is the same way, the cheap cheap areas you probably don't want to move to.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
23 posts, read 76,588 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Sorry -- I was clear as mud, wasn't I? The part I left out was that I was familiar with Alliquippa and that I'm sure New Castle is the same way, the cheap cheap areas you probably don't want to move to.
You might well be right. I look at it 3 ways, either the neighbourhood is BAD thus the price is low and from looking at the photos of the house I would be surprised if it was a bad neighbourhood (but of course that's just a photo)
The housing market is pretty depressed and distressed at the moment, it could be a foreclosure, a reasonably fine home in a reasonably ok area but the owners (the bank) want to get rid of it........they don't wanna be stuck paying taxes and insurance etc, therefore they sell at well below market value.

Or, it could also be in a fine area but needs a bit (or maybe quite a bit) of work done to it? But if you get it cheaply then you can afford to do that.

Oh, maybe we get a bit too excited when we such such nice homes for such nice prices....you see here in Ireland some of the homes we have seen in PA and other states would cost minimum $450,000 going upto $600,000....seriously. And even if they did need to be rehabed that might only knock off 10% - 20%. The average salary in Ireland is about $52000, the average in the States is about $37000. I cannot figure out how homes, even new ones are so cheap in the States? Baffles me!!!

But I could be wrong of course. It might look fine outside but be a nightmare inside and be in a bad area. But the thing is, New Castle has a low (relatively) crime rate? Of course we would have to get an inspection and all the usuals done before buying.

Last edited by irish8; 02-03-2008 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:18 PM
 
475 posts, read 1,125,315 times
Reputation: 174
Default Try California!

Housing prices may be relatively cheap in the areas that you are looking, but if you looked in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego you wouldn't think so. I live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and a decent home can't be had for less than $500,000 and you don't get much for that price. This would be similar to the prices you are mentioning about Ireland. Overall, though, the economy is a good deal better out here than Buffalo, western PA and eastern Ohio. There is economic contraction all over the US right now, but it seems like downturns always linger longer in the places where you are looking because they have lost a good deal of their economic base. I'd say Pittsburgh is slowly coming back but has a ways to go before you can say it has a "good" economy.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Cork, Ireland
23 posts, read 76,588 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodgirl49 View Post
Housing prices may be relatively cheap in the areas that you are looking, but if you looked in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego you wouldn't think so. I live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and a decent home can't be had for less than $500,000 and you don't get much for that price. This would be similar to the prices you are mentioning about Ireland. Overall, though, the economy is a good deal better out here than Buffalo, western PA and eastern Ohio. There is economic contraction all over the US right now, but it seems like downturns always linger longer in the places where you are looking because they have lost a good deal of their economic base. I'd say Pittsburgh is slowly coming back but has a ways to go before you can say it has a "good" economy.
Average house prices all over Ireland are pretty much the same, give or take 10% - 20%. Here you would not, ever, find the discrepencies that exist in the US housing market. Ireland is in the top 20 most expensive house price index in the world. Not good.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:46 PM
 
475 posts, read 1,125,315 times
Reputation: 174
I guess that's capitalism for you! The strength of the local market lends itself to greater or lesser demand and then in areas with greater demand, the prices go up.
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