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Eastern Pennsylvania area and general moving questions
Old 03-31-2021, 07:16 AM   #1
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Eastern Pennsylvania area and general moving questions

Not sure how to delete this post so I moved it to the appropriate forum.https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ue-108650.html


[MOD EDIT] I merged the two posts.
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Eastern Pennsylvania area and the art of moving without a clue.
Old 03-31-2021, 07:20 AM   #2
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Eastern Pennsylvania area and the art of moving without a clue.

We sold our house in Michigan and are looking to move a little closer to where our kids (grandkids) moved to out east. Eastern Pennsylvania makes sense to us since our kids live in Connecticut and Maryland but we have no idea where to explore first. The suburbs of Philadelphia seems logical so we will have to rent for a while there and check it out. For anyone who has done a similar move (out of state without a clue) did you put most everything in storage? How is the PODS system of moving vs. Brick and mortar storage? Any input would help.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:27 AM   #3
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I would want to rent in a locale for at least a year if I was unfamiliar with it and I was trying to determine if I wished to move there permanently. I would not want to live without my "stuff" for a year. Personally, I would rent a house for 12 months and move my belongings in with me. It means moving twice, but that's better to me than having 3/4 of my stuff stored in a vault somewhere for a year.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Third Son View Post
We sold our house in Michigan and are looking to move a little closer to where our kids (grandkids) moved to out east. Eastern Pennsylvania makes sense to us since our kids live in Connecticut and Maryland but we have no idea where to explore first. The suburbs of Philadelphia seems logical so we will have to rent for a while there and check it out. For anyone who has done a similar move (out of state without a clue) did you put most everything in storage? How is the PODS system of moving vs. Brick and mortar storage? Any input would help.

My son used PODS last summer to move from the Seattle suburbs to western Montgomery County, PA, in the Philly suburbs. It went pretty smoothly considering it was during the COVID lockdown. He also arranged to have their cars shipped and just flew his family out here. You can arrange to hire movers through PODS to load and unload the POD. He and his wife did the packing themselves.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:42 AM   #5
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I would want to rent in a locale for at least a year if I was unfamiliar with it and I was trying to determine if I wished to move there permanently. I would not want to live without my "stuff" for a year. Personally, I would rent a house for 12 months and move my belongings in with me. It means moving twice, but that's better to me than having 3/4 of my stuff stored in a vault somewhere for a year.
This is exactly what we're doing: renting a house for at least 12 months.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:54 AM   #6
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I have no input on PODS, but the location you pick should have access to the quickest routes up to CT and down to MD. Depending on the exact locations, you may want to divide the area of Phila. into east and west suburbs for comparison. The drive times can be found on Google for any time of day.

Anywhere in the entire region you'll run into horrendous traffic on the summer weekends as the roads are cluttered with vacationers going to the Poconos or shore points up and down the coast.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:35 AM   #7
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I lived in Media, Pa for over 20 years, and loved it. Five minutes to I-95 heading north or south which was important to me because I worked in Wilmington, DE and used I-95 everyday. Delaware County, Pa has some very nice Philadelphia suburbs, so it might be a place to start looking for a rental.

I have known a couple of people who have used the PODS storage system to make cross country moves. They were fine with it. A bit of work to load and unload the PODS themselves, but it worked.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:48 AM   #8
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Anything in or around Philly, is a HCOL area, DD,DDIL, and family have lived there over 12 years. Housing, I think is atrocious compared to western PA. Weather is definitely milder than western PA. I do have friends who live along PA's southern border, but they are defense contractors and federal employees, and although housing is high there, it's cheaper than DC area.

Rent first, as others have suggested, and get out and about to explore some other PA towns off the beaten path.

Currently, PA does not tax pensions, SS, or retirement tIRAs monies. SSSHHH! Keep that under your hat.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:58 AM   #9
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First of all purge, purge, and then purge again....
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:24 AM   #10
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I live in south central PA, west of Harrisburg. I moved here from Silicon Valley in 1998 and did not look back. I spent one weekend house hunting and found the perfect house for us, so we took a chance and bought it. It worked out fine for us.

If you get away from the Philly suburbs and go a bit farther west, it is much more affordable. I live in the greater Harrisburg area. Hershey is just east of that-world class medical care, and we are also accessible to Johns Hopkins and the many stellar hospitals in Philly. The faculty at Penn State Medical Center formed their own orchestra years ago. We have many community theaters, other music groups, and several colleges in the area, as well as lots of summer activities along the Susquehanna River. Minor league baseball in Harrisburg and York, HersheyPark, Gettysburg. Good hiking and walking areas. I'm west of Harrisburg and less than 5 miles from the Appalachian trail. I can take the train to NYC or Philadelphia, and Baltimore and DC are a two hour or less drive.

One more thing about taxes: Property taxes are much lower in central PA than near Philly. PA doesn't tax retirement income as noted above. But they do have an inheritance tax. No tax for surviving spouse, 4.5% for adult children, 12% for siblings, 15% for the rest.

Another plus-it's not as cold as in Michigan, but we do get some snow.

I'd probably rent and explore to find out what situation works best for you.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Third Son View Post
Not sure how to delete this post so I moved it to the appropriate forum.https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ue-108650.html


[MOD EDIT] I merged the two posts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Third Son View Post
We sold our house in Michigan and are looking to move a little closer to where our kids (grandkids) moved to out east. Eastern Pennsylvania makes sense to us since our kids live in Connecticut and Maryland but we have no idea where to explore first. The suburbs of Philadelphia seems logical so we will have to rent for a while there and check it out. For anyone who has done a similar move (out of state without a clue) did you put most everything in storage? How is the PODS system of moving vs. Brick and mortar storage? Any input would help.
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I live in south central PA, west of Harrisburg. I moved here from Silicon Valley in 1998 and did not look back. I spent one weekend house hunting and found the perfect house for us, so we took a chance and bought it. It worked out fine for us.

If you get away from the Philly suburbs and go a bit farther west, it is much more affordable. I live in the greater Harrisburg area. Hershey is just east of that-world class medical care, and we are also accessible to Johns Hopkins and the many stellar hospitals in Philly. The faculty at Penn State Medical Center formed their own orchestra years ago. We have many community theaters, other music groups, and several colleges in the area, as well as lots of summer activities along the Susquehanna River. Minor league baseball in Harrisburg and York, HersheyPark, Gettysburg. Good hiking and walking areas. I'm west of Harrisburg and less than 5 miles from the Appalachian trail. I can take the train to NYC or Philadelphia, and Baltimore and DC are a two hour or less drive.

One more thing about taxes: Property taxes are much lower in central PA than near Philly. PA doesn't tax retirement income as noted above. But they do have an inheritance tax. No tax for surviving spouse, 4.5% for adult children, 12% for siblings, 15% for the rest.

Another plus-it's not as cold as in Michigan, but we do get some snow.

I'd probably rent and explore to find out what situation works best for you.
How do you like the Harrisburg area? That was kind of on my radar already so thanks for the thumbs up. We are currently in southwest Michigan and was looking for a similar situation..in a suburb with the opportunity for a small outbuilding for a shop.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:04 AM   #12
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We had a $4000 garage sale last year. We got rid of a lot of stuff.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:43 AM   #13
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Consider the Lehigh Valley area.
The counties of Northampton, Lehigh, and to the north, Monroe.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:39 PM   #14
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Lived in Pa all my life. Travel from Pittsburgh to Montgomery area often for business projects. I can also tell you I have been in almost every corner of the state for work . Summer and Fall awesome! The problem is winter and the cloudy number of days per year on the western side of the state . The changes in temperature add to the maintenance of homes and everything else.

The population in Pa is old and getting older and many of the young people are leaving the state. The oil gas boom with the new administration has just been kicked in the leg and the rail and coal industry is almost extinct. The one term governor's agenda is to legalize pot ,tax more and free internet is going to solve Pennsylvania's problems. Look at the age and population numbers before you make a move and rent.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:55 PM   #15
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I'm in Northeast PA about an hour and a half drive from Philadelphia land in a very LCOL area. Philly and surrounding area is definitely a HCOL area, and with real estate prices as high as they are now, renting for at least a year is a great idea. Wilkes Barre Scranton area is fairly close to both NYC and Philly, has a decent amount of stuff to do there, and is LCOL. As was mentioned earlier, Lehigh Valley is a very nice area, a bit more expensive, but nothing crazy. Rent, and take frequent road trips to see what will work out best for you.

What are your interests and hobbies?
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:31 PM   #16
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We live in Bucks County, PA close to New Hope. We love the area and will likely keep our home as our primary residence. However, prices are not for the faint of heart. If I can answer any questions feel free to PM me.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:35 PM   #17
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I'm in Northeast PA about an hour and a half drive from Philadelphia land in a very LCOL area. Philly and surrounding area is definitely a HCOL area, and with real estate prices as high as they are now, renting for at least a year is a great idea. Wilkes Barre Scranton area is fairly close to both NYC and Philly, has a decent amount of stuff to do there, and is LCOL. As was mentioned earlier, Lehigh Valley is a very nice area, a bit more expensive, but nothing crazy. Rent, and take frequent road trips to see what will work out best for you.

What are your interests and hobbies?
We like to travel and I enjoy photography and build furniture for a hobby.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:46 PM   #18
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I'm in Northeast PA about an hour and a half drive from Philadelphia land in a very LCOL area. Philly and surrounding area is definitely a HCOL area, and with real estate prices as high as they are now, renting for at least a year is a great idea. Wilkes Barre Scranton area is fairly close to both NYC and Philly, has a decent amount of stuff to do there, and is LCOL. As was mentioned earlier, Lehigh Valley is a very nice area, a bit more expensive, but nothing crazy. Rent, and take frequent road trips to see what will work out best for you.

What are your interests and hobbies?
I grew up in the Wilkes-Barre area. Its LCOL, but not a lot of good paying jobs, a lot of older residents, and the tax base is stressed because of that. W-B's roads are the worst pothole wise. Also, parts of Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Forty Fort, etc. are in the flood plain so buy carefully.

Also, to the OP, it's important to consider areas where the hospitals are better and more prevalent. In an emergency, that could make all the difference.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:54 PM   #19
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Another option would be Lancaster County--Amish Country.

It is just an hour west of Philly and the cities there are very healthful places to live. Lots of furniture craftsmen there too. It is a big tourism area too.

You can catch Amtrack there and both NYC and DC are easily reached. Home prices are somewhat reasonable too.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:59 PM   #20
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Grew up in north central Pennsylvania and frequently went back to outside Philly on business. I enjoyed it there, really nice part of the state. Your plan is sound. Enjoy.
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