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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default Talk to me about living in Lehigh valley/outside of Philly

    SO and I are looking to relocate to somewhere south of Allentown, PA in about a years time. We aren't sure exactly where yet, and that's why I'm here! We're moving from NoVa so I'm expecting rent/living prices to be a bit cheaper? My SO is a director in the IT field and I can do IT or legal stuff. We would both very much prefer to not work in Philly, one of the suburbs would be awesome.

    Folks that live in this area, what do you like? What do you hate? We would love to find a two story town house/half double to rent. Will also consider moving into another apartment.

    Which areas would you suggest we look into? Malvern? West Chester? Other places I may not be considering?

    I'll also be bringing my gelding and dog with us. I currently do hunter/jumpers with the gelding. I don't need anything super fancy, but good care and trust worthy.

    We have a year + to try to find a place but I figure it doesn't hurt to start looking now! Any suggestions/leads are much appreciated!
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default

    hi, to help out, i'd have to know why you are looking south of allentown. are you trying to be in proximity for your husband's job or...? malvern and west chester are pretty far from allentown, close to an hour i'd say. i can give recommendations once i know more about where specifically you want to live.
    My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    I've lived in Northern Pa, near the Poconos, but we are looking to move closer to Philly for job prospects/horsey areas. I'd like to live definitely south of Allentown for sure, not sure exactly where yet.
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2000
    Location
    Upper Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default

    My husband and I live in upper Bucks County, just south of Allentown ~ Haycock Township with a Quakertown mailing address.

    The areas you mentioned ~ Malvern and West Chester ~ are very expensive! Central Bucks County is also pretty pricey. We had a condo in Doylestown for 10 years (sold in 2007), and the value more than doubled in that time, which is what gave us the down payment for our farm. Central Bucks is a desirable area because it is more "upscale," has what people consider the best school systems, is a less than hour train ride into Philly, and has a good job market.

    When we were looking, the upper Bucks area was overall the most affordable, and still within reasonable driving distance for our jobs in central Bucks (but I now work from home). We do not have children and cannot due to my health problems, so schools were not a consideration. We live in a very rural area but are only 10 minutes from town, with all the "name" stores, such as Target, Staples, Kohl's, Lowes, etc.

    Are you looking to board a horse? That is also something to consider as good boarding facilities in this area are few and far between (including all of Bucks County in that evaluation); you can find fabulous facilities for big bucks, but the "average horse keeper" is going to be challenged finding something affordable with good care, adequate turnout, and all-weather riding areas.

    Check out www.everyhome.com ~ it lists all the properties for sale in SE Pennsylvania and it's how I found our place!
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    6,836

    Default

    If schools are a consideration, you can check out school districts on www.greatschools.com. We're actually looking west of Allentown, and there are a few very nice school districts out there in less expensive areas than Bucks, and right around Philly.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,240

    Default

    I live in Pottstown. Not the borough of Pottstown but it still has the same PO. Pottstown actually is in two counties. I am in the part that is Northern Chester County (East Coventry). The borough and other parts are in Montgomery County.
    I am in the OJ Roberts School District rather than Pottstown SD. I personally would not want to live in the actual borough of Pottstown but generally like the area around it.

    I like where I am. We are close to major roads (Rt 100 and 422). There is a small mall and a few shopping centers nearby. Lowe's, Target, Walmart, Kohl's, Dick's, Boscov's, Macy's, Bed, Bath and Beyond, TJ Maxx, Best Buy and a number of restaurants. The grocery store is close. There is a bigger mall about 1/2 hour away in Exton. I have a Cost Co about 20 minutes away. If shopping is your thing the Philadelphia Premium Outlets are pretty close.

    Plenty of h/j boarding facilities in a range of prices, with and without indoors. There are a number of parks nearby to trail ride in. A few farmer pack foxhunts and a recognized hunt. Horse shows virtually every weekend- h/j, dressage, eventing. We have a used tack store nearby that sells some new tack and feed. Not far from a TSC. Rick's Heritage is half hour away, which is a big tack store.

    DH works for Pfizer in Collegeville so a nice commute for him. There are a few pharmaceutical companies in the area. I would assume they have IT needs. I wouldn't want to commute to Philly from where we are. And I say that when I commute almost an hour to Wilmington, DE. We do not have good access to the train to Philly. It would take me more like 1.25 to 1.5 hours on a good day to commute to Philly and way more on a bad day.

    I like that I am about an hour from either the Allentown or Philly airports (during non-rush hour times). I can easily run to Philly for a concert or sports or museum but really don't have to deal with the taxes, traffic or crime of the city.
    The housing tends to be a little cheaper up in Pottstown than down by Downingtown, Exton, West Chester and definately cheaper than Malvern.

    Elverson and Morgantown are other areas to explore as you are right by a turn-pike entrance so that opens up a number of commuting possibilities. I lived in Elverson for 6 years.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2007
    Location
    Oxford, PA
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnysMom View Post
    I live in Pottstown. Not the borough of Pottstown but it still has the same PO. Pottstown actually is in two counties. I am in the part that is Northern Chester County (East Coventry). The borough and other parts are in Montgomery County...
    I agree with pretty much all SunnysMom had to say. My mom lives in Pottstown (Northern Chester County, South Coventry Township) and also works in Collegeville in Pfizer. Collegeville still has a decent number of pharma companies. I lived there for a while and while commuting into Philly was a pain (I usually drove to Exton/Downingtown/Malvern to catch the train), the commute to Malvern or Collegeville wasn't terrible. There are are plenty of IT places to work in the general area. King of Prussia isn't a bad drive either nor is Exton which opens up a lot of possibilities. Lots of places to board as well. Private farms, large boarding facilities, etc. Depending on how far you want to drive, between Elverson and Chester Springs, there are plenty of options.

    I'm currently in Southern Chester County in Oxford (pretty much at the PA/MD/DE boarder) and work in Delaware. I can't say there is quite as much out here in terms of tech jobs, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. The commute from Philly from my area isn't great either, but people do it. It's probably only a little over an hour depending on traffic.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,568

    Default

    I would say average board prices in the lehigh valley are 3-500ish per month, for good care, varying degrees of amenities. Once you cross in to Bucks county, the price goes up, more like 5-700 for board and lessons go up as well. There are exceptions of course, but this is the average I've found.
    Heading in to Berks county, your prices drop a little, but are mostly on par with the lehigh valley.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    You guys have given great advice thus far, thank you! Tons to think about as we really aren't sure exactly where we want to be yet.

    No kids now or in the near future so don't have to worry about school systems.

    I do like a rural area, but don't want to be out in the boonies. It sounds like most places are 10/15 minutes from a town for dining/shopping/entertainment?

    The board prices sound great and very doable for me. I really don't need fancy fancy, but would like lots of turnout and good feed/hay. Would prefer either an indoor or all weather footing ring with lights. Having an onsite trainer would be awesome.

    What is the job market like in that general area? One of the things I like about the area I'm in is there really are jobs everywhere. I've done a bit of looking and it does seem like there are jobs readily available.

    I have a friend that lives in Doylestown, I haven't been there for several years but I always really liked that area.
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,252

    Default

    I'm in Schwenksville. You might consider looking in that area. I have a 10 acres farm in Limerick Township, Schwenksville address. If you know where the Limerick fire station is you can get to me.

    I really like my location. Off of the main roads you're pretty quickly in a more rural setting, it's not uncommon to have horses in the backyard (3-4 acres) and a large farm around the corner. Yet 10 mins away you have the Limerick outlets, 5 minutes away is a Giant, Target, Petco, a few restaurants, etc. 422 is less than 10 minutes from me. Evansburg (trail riding) is a 15 minute trailer ride, so is Green Lane (trail riding). Valley Forge (trail riding) is a little farther than that, Bucks County Horse Park (xc course, trails, eventing) is less than an hour and Fair Hill isn't horrible either. I can ride off my farm and have a few good hours of trails, although it involves some road riding.

    Oh bonus, you're about 30 minutes from DEVON!!!

    Board prices range from less than $200 for very basic field board all the way up to $850+ for premium board with great onsite trainers and facilities. Barns with indoors are typically $600+.

    I honestly love the area, people are more farm oriented around here, I can go into Wawa or Giant with boots/smelling like horse and not get any strange looks. The other day I saw at least 3 other horse people in Wawa while I was in there.
    Not that it's low class or anything, just a little more country/rural.

    I can't say much about the job market...I'm an artist.

    This house is 5 minutes away from me.

    This house is over 11 acres, plus a building you could convert to a barn. 3 minutes from me too!
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    Thanks for the additional input! I think we've definitely decided to look at Pottstown(the North Chester County area) and I'd like to look around Doylestown and Collegeville. It will ultimately depend on where we both find jobs but nice to look around and window shop!
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2004
    Location
    Ambler, PA
    Posts
    652

    Default

    I would never put Malvern or West Chester on a list of inexpensive places to live.

    I'm in Ambler (Montgomery County) and much closer to the city than most of the folks who have posted, about 30 min without traffic or a quick train ride. We used to live just south of Quakertown, and I actually really like living in a more populated area, where we can walk to dinner, movie theater, etc. I think your jobs will dictate where you live...commuting in this area can be a real b*tch.

    I board in New Hope, and it's a solid 40 min drive from my house to the barn. For a facility with excellent care, a trainer, an indoor, and good turn out you're going to pay $700+ in this area. I think my barn is an absolute STEAL...we have a great trainer, huge paddocks, great care, big outdoor ring, small but functional indoor, and fabulous people. At a price that would have you beating down our door. If you end up in our area, PM me.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    495

    Default

    I think you've received some great advice already, I live about 15 mins from Sonnysmom.

    From what you are saying, I think you need to forget about the Allentown area, it's a long way from Philly, and not a commute I would want to make. It's pretty likely that an IT guy would find work in Collegeville or King of Prussia, and so not need to go into Philly. However a great many people commute into the city from there.

    Phoenixville is nice, has a cute downtown and is close to all the main work areas, plenty of horse boarding there too.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    I was hoping you'd stumble upon this, Chezzie! I am a bit nervous about moving somewhere too rural but we don't want to be too boxed in either. I will certainly look into the Ambler/surrounding areas. In traffic I'm 40 mins from our barn now so that commute doesn't bother me. If I end up anywhere near you I will absolutely reach out, thanks!


    Thanks Alex! We definitely don't want to be living in Allentown, will be south of there. I have Collegeville on my list for sure and I'll research Phoenixville. Sounds like there are lots of options !
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2011
    Location
    Newnan, GA
    Posts
    4

    Default Lehigh Valley

    I lived in Macungie (west of Allentown) for 5 years and I liked the area as far as things to do, landscape, affordability, boarding options, etc. However, I didn't find the people particularly friendly...they weren't necessarily rude, but not friendly either. I don't know if it was the PA Dutch or blue collar influence or whatever. I've lived near Detroit, Boston, Atlanta and Kansas City and found people in these areas to be so much friendlier. If I were you, I would look outside the Lehigh Valley.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2002
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    Thanks for the advice FP. I will certainly take notice of things like that when we are visiting the areas we consider.
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!



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