The bottom line: spend less money and get better quality of life for your family. What else could you want?
1. Lower Property Values
If you are planning on buying a house in New York, read this first. This house sold for $280,000 in a community not too far from what I live. 4 beds, 3 baths, over 2,500 sq ft, 0.69 acre (that’s a property of over 30,000 sq ft). Price tag for something similar in NY? I found this beauty sold for $505K. Right outside of the city. Very similar specs, the lot is a bit smaller at 0.58 acre – I’m not convinced it’s nearly that spacious though – and it was built in 1935 vs. 1995. And that’s without peeking inside, which I’m sure would make this an even easier sell. Oh, and did I mention the unfinished basement? Well, you get my point.
2. More Space
We mentioned acreage above, but it’s also about quality of acreage.
Would you rather have a huge yard or a fence separating you from your neighbors’ houses sitting just a few feet away? And I’m sure you’ve had storage issues before. Where do you put that portable AC unit after summer? What about a bicycle or two? Christmas ornaments are no longer a problem over here. Because now you have a spacious garage and most likely an extra room and a shed. But if you’re fine with shedding thousands of dollars every year for a storage or stuffing your bedrooms with shelves, then go for it.
Another no-brainer. Pennsylvania’s personal income taxes is one of the lowest in the nation at 3.07% flat. New York’s are near three times that at 8.82%. But what about Jersey? It’s actually harsher at 8.97% for 2016. I won’t go into detail about sales taxes, city taxes and other types of taxes here, but rest assured this is not the last time we’ll come back to this topic.
4. Closer to Nature
One time my mother came from abroad to visit us in Queens, NY during the fall. She was surprised that within a few miles there were so many public parks and playgrounds. All we had to do was drive for a few minutes. With some luck you could just stroll a few blocks to the nearest playground. “What a blessing”, she said. Well, that was before we came over to PA. Now our backyard has more trees than some of the parks we used to visit in Queens, and with the money we save on everything else we have a house with a pool and bought a trampoline. Who knows, maybe could buy our own playground next spring!
5. Family-Oriented Environment
With all of the above points you might get the impression that the author is against New York City or metropolitan areas in general. It is not the case at all. That is a great place and has plenty of features that will probably never be available here. The point is that each of these places cater for a completely different audience. The Poconos are exceptionally great for anyone trying to raise a family. The school districts are very good, your kids will be exposed to a very diverse community while also being able to go back home and spend time with you. You have enough space to have pets, flowers and a greenhouse where you can grow your own spices and berries. All of which are probably just marginally valuable when you’re in the city and before you have children.