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Planning a move to Eastern PA - Bucks County

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi folks! We are planning a move to the NE this spring, and I'm hoping to find some crunchy mamas to hang out with. I've been in Athens, GA for a few years, my son is 3 and my dh 18mos, and I was just starting hit my stride socially when my dh got a job offer in PA. We're looking at Bucks County because he will be commuting between Spring House and Raritan, and I'd like to enroll my son at The River Valley Waldorf School 2 mornings/week. Any suggestions? I'd really love to RENT when we first get there, so if you know anyone that would be willing to rent to us (2 adults, 2 children under 4, 2 dogs and....6 cats) PLEASE let me know!

I'll also be looking for resources for local food, foraging, knitting, wildcrafting, bulk flour for breadmaking, real milk, fresh eggs, etc, etc.

It's a great opportunity for us, but I'm sad to leave the place where my kids were born and where I know where everything is!

Any help you can offer would be wonderful, THANKS!


Becky

post #2 of 12

We do not live in Bucks but frequent it often (monthly) and have family that lives there- we live north in PA.

 

It's a great area when the weather is nice and it's a PIA when it is not! STAY AWAY FROM WATER! you do not want to live near the beautiful river. And FYI when you google directions get 2 or 3 ways to go- what says it's 20 mins can be 40+! The waldorf school by google is 20 mins from me-reality is 45+ (bad weather forget about it!) - so you might want to take some things inconsideration when you look for a place - Spring House and or near Raritan=driving a distance and if you are not use to ice and snow that might be an issue for you.

Some parts still have not recovered from past storm (hurricanes/flooding)- Rt 611 and Rt 32 really are 200+ year old road only made a tiny bit wider. heavy rain=detours 

 

The area has lots of great stuff but major drawback as far as we are concerned and would never consider it. Since you may not have a choice you sadly get stuck in the highest cost of living in PA=highest taxes and if you can afford it that is great. There are tons of place for sale. Really the road issues for us are another major drawback.

 

With the number of pets you have I would not look without a realtor - IMO

 

others might help you more as to the other things you are looking for

 

one thing to keep in-mind if you do not know is the nuclear issue - http://www.buckscounty.org/readybucks/BiologicalChemicalNuclear.aspx

 

Hope you are like some that are working hard to oppose the "fracking" of PA- the Delaware is major and it's a really important issue to soooooooooooo many! good luck

post #3 of 12

Wow....  I think Bucks County is a great place!!!  I've never seen such negative stuff posted about it.  To each her own course!  :)

 

I don't know of anyone renting but you'd probably want to look at the New Hope/Solebury area, Doylestown, Warrington, etc.  You want to be near route 202 which is a straight ride to Raritan.  As far as the roads go, I guess it depends on what you are used to.  Once you go north of the New Hope area, Bucks County gets very rural which i LOVE!  But I can see how others would view it as a negative with long winding roads. 

 

If you stick to the New Hope area (or close to Rt 202, I think you'll be fairly equidistant to Spring House and Raritan - it's a matter of going in opposite directions on Rt 202.  Rt 202 is a 4 lane road for much of the trip (not exactly a highway b/c it has lights and stuff and it is 2 lanes in a couple areas). Part will be smooth sailing and part will have heavier volumes of traffic. I'm not sure about spring house but there is traffic around Raritan.  I commuted that for years and I didn't find it unbearable - just annoying. 

 

So, area stuff.... New Hope is a quaint somewhat alternative town. The downtown is narrow but walkable.  I'm betting you and your kids would love the Howell Living History Farm right across the river in NJ.  It is a farm that is run the way farms were run around 1910.  You can google it for the website.  I haven't been there in a while but there is Whole Earth in Princeton for the basics (bulk flour, etc).  There is a knitting store (I think it's call The Wooly Lamb)  in Pennington NJ which my friend's mother loves. 

 

The housing is not cheap but i don't think the taxes are terrible there but I live in NJ now where taxes are completely insane.  However, taxes in the Allentown /Easton area are much cheaper so I can see how the area looks expensive.  Schools are wonderful if you do ever use public.  There is a wonderful coop in Pennington NJ - Honeybrook Farm - where you can join and pick your own food.  There are plenty of more commercial pick your own farms.  Real milk can legally be sold in PA.  I'm sure once you get to the Waldorf school, families can point out the best places for local food, etc that you want.  I just don't live close enough to think of any places!!!  There is also a Whole Foods and Trader Joes in nearby Princeton.  Good luck!

post #4 of 12

 

 

Quote:
 I've never seen such negative stuff posted about it

 

WOW! 

 

there are still bridges closed and roads that have major problems, flooding has destroyed a lot, Rt 32 S after spring rains is a PIA no way to sugar coat it-winter and not use to those conditions it's a mess, I prefer not to have to deal with nuclear drills in my town, didn't think stating the truth was negativedizzy.gif

 
 

 

Quote:
However, taxes in the Allentown /Easton area are much cheaper

comparing Lehigh county to Bucks it real simple to see the $$$ difference-again, truth is not negative 

 

ETA- commuting is very common in the area- you may want to think about having you DH do the commute and look outside of Bucks yet not too far from the school-given what you posted if you are in Buck's and want to attend the school you are already looking at a drive for the school if you are looking at living near the Spring House area


Edited by serenbat - 1/11/12 at 7:21am
post #5 of 12

Uh, okay.  Not sure what's up with all the snarky smilies but whatever.  Someone's got a little chip in her shoulder about Bucks County.  ;)

 

Route 202 is fine.  The Route 202 bridge into NJ is fine.  The bridge between New Hope and Lambertville is fine.  I only walked across the bridge and walked briefly on Rt 32 (which was fine) but I can't comment on what it looks like the whole way to the Waldorf School.  There is also a Waldorf school in Princeton.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

comparing Lehigh county to Bucks it real simple to see the $$$ difference-again, truth is not negative 

Can't figure out what she is trying to say here but if she is suggesting that you should look at the Lehigh Valley b/c it's cheaper and commute, I can tell you that would be a nightmare commute.  A lot of people live in the Easton area for much cheaper housing but it will be a nasty long commute. You can afford a lot more but you'll see your dh a lot less.
 

[quote]

 

ETA- commuting is very common in the area- you may want to think about having you DH do the commute and look outside of Bucks yet not too far from the school-given what you posted if you are in Buck's and want to attend the school you are already looking at a drive for the school if you are looking at living near the Spring House area[/quote]

 

Again, that's possible.  You could look at Montgomery County and be closer to Spring Hill.  But how long do you want him commuting? 

 

Oh, and the "nuclear issue" - WTH?  They have a readiness plan (that's what the website is).  It's not like the place is a nuclear plant waiting to explode (it's not).  To criticize a county because they have a plan to deal with any kind of terrorist attacks is laughable at best.  :)  Let's NOT live in a county that has a plan to deal with a terrorist attack if it happens!!! Oh my!!!!   :lol: 

post #6 of 12

Guess the PP has never been given iodine tables by their employer.

 

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/bucks-hold-nuclear-drill-at-souderton-firehouse/article_ca15bff5-7d7d-5c82-bec6-3604dfd3d4b2.html

 

to the OP education is the best when moving to a new area- the local papers and blogs have tons of information and facts- 

 

Quote:
The area has lots of great stuff 

 

 

Quote:
good luck

 

 

ETA - if I was moving to another section of the country I would want to know the most I could prior to moving- that's just me-

This area (not just Buck's county but the surrounding) has experienced 3 MAJOR floods in the recent past that were described as "once in a hundred years" and again, there were three, within the past few months this regions as seen devastating effects from storms (a hurricane too) that left a large portion of the area without power for over a week (most of the electrical infrastructure is above ground) - mold is a real issue in many rental properties as well, not to mention other storm related problems the area faces.

 

my DH dealt with PA nuclear problems in Harrisburg, no place is perfect, but knowing what is around you and the associated risk IMO is the best way to make informed decisions. 

 

 

these are from this past Nov and Dec (current concerns some in PA hold)

 

http://www.nrdc.org/media/2011/111128.asp?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NRDCPressReleases+%28NRDC+Press+Releases%29

http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/12/09/news/doc4ee245680ade3679281016.txt?viewmode=fullstory

 

 

 


Edited by serenbat - 1/11/12 at 7:44pm
post #7 of 12

Uhm, no I have never been given iodine tablets.  I lived in Bucks County for 10 years and never heard of anyone given iodine tablets over a nuclear fallout.  That article was about a DRILL.  A drill does mean anything actually happened.  headscratch.gif

 

Where the heck are you going with all of this?

 

The Limerick Generating station is in Montgomery County.  How does this affect Bucks County?  Any effect on Bucks County would affect many other local counties in PA too.  Limerick is also about 40 miles from the New Hope area of Bucks County, PA - certainly not within a 10 mile evacuation area. 

 

An OP, I assure you, the entire County of Bucks does not flood out, even in major storms.  I live in NJ now and unfortunately, those storms affects many parts of NJ, PA and north of here.  Living in a different part of PA will not make you immune to the floods (which, again, don't affect everywhere).  I never had a problem getting back and forth from PA and NJ after Floyd, Irene or the 2007 Nor'ester, especially using the Rt 202 bridge.

 

If you move further north in PA, be aware that you will typically deal with more snow than Bucks county (it's a much more mountainous area).  But the mountains are gorgeous in PA!  I'm not sure where serenbat would suggest that you live but I'm sure it's lovely there too.  I just like PA in general.  :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

Guess the PP has never been given iodine tables by their employer.

 

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/bucks-hold-nuclear-drill-at-souderton-firehouse/article_ca15bff5-7d7d-5c82-bec6-3604dfd3d4b2.html

 

to the OP education is the best when moving to a new area- the local papers and blogs have tons of information and facts- 

 

 

 

 

 

ETA - if I was moving to another section of the country I would want to know the most I could prior to moving- that's just me-

This area (not just Buck's county but the surrounding) has experienced 3 MAJOR floods in the recent past that were described as "once in a hundred years" and again, there were three, within the past few months this regions as seen devastating effects from storms (a hurricane too) that left a large portion of the area without power for over a week (most of the electrical infrastructure is above ground) - mold is a real issue in many rental properties as well, not to mention other storm related problems the area faces.

 

my DH dealt with PA nuclear problems in Harrisburg, no place is perfect, but knowing what is around you and the associated risk IMO is the best way to make informed decisions. 

 

 

these are from this past Nov and Dec (current concerns some in PA hold)

 

http://www.nrdc.org/media/2011/111128.asp?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NRDCPressReleases+%28NRDC+Press+Releases%29

http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/12/09/news/doc4ee245680ade3679281016.txt?viewmode=fullstory

 

 

 



 

post #8 of 12

Add me to the "I love Bucks County" camp.  :)  I grew up there and still love it.  I move before I got married/had kids so I can't answer a lot of your questions but we visit there all the time and it really is a great place to live.  They have a website which you can google.  Depending on the commute that your dh is comfortable with,you could move a little further into PA as well.  I have friends that lived in Newtown and commuted to the Princeton Waldorf school.  I'm not sure about the River Valley one but I've been the Princeton one a few times and it was really nice.  :)

post #9 of 12

I'm in Bucks Co also.  Lower Bucks.    I love it.  We have a great Holistic Moms Network.  Wonderful farms in the area.    Raw Milk is available.   Whole Foods, Trader Joes.  Lots of great parks to visit.   And all of it is within an hour of driving.  I'm from NE PA originally and would never move back.  

 

post #10 of 12

I grew up in Bucks/Montgomery.  There really is no comparison, IMO between those areas and further north.  Bucks and Montgomery schools for the most part are fantastic (of course, look at your local district in particular).  I got a much better PS education than others I know now in nyc who went to private schools here, and was able to get into a top college with almost a full ride from my opportunities in HS.  Parts of those 2 counties are beautiful.  Easton area is just not my cup of tea.  At all.  

 

Now, I don't like suburbs at all and chose to move to nyc immediately after high school, but as far as suburbs go Bucks country can be pretty beautiful and rural in areas.  Many co-ops.  I don't understand the driving in the winter problems-- isn't that true everywhere in the NE United States?  I've never seen Bucks county to be any worse than anywhere else that gets beat up in the winter.  

post #11 of 12

We live in Upper Bucks, which is about 45 minutes to an hour from the River Valley Waldorf School.  Upper Bucks tends to be a lot less pricey than the New Hope area and is plenty far from the river, so no catastrophic flooding.  You may want to check somewhere around the Bedminster/Plumstead area.  It is still pretty rural, a bit closer than I am to the Waldorf School, and you can probably find nice farmy places that won't mind renting to you with lots of animals.  Plus, there are plenty of farms that sell meat, eggs, produce, etc.  Also, you're close enough to New Hope and alot of the more touristy areas that you can take lots of day trips to historical sites and the river, etc. 

 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all the great ideas! I'm working on my next questions!

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