Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Background info on Northumberland County

    Hi all,

    I'm a retiree hoping to escape New Jersey in the next few years (waiting for wife to retire). I've been researching moving to PA and have been taking day trips to the eastern counties (Bucks, Chester, Berks, etc.) but the property taxes don't look all that much better then where I am now. I don't want to be chased out of my own home because I can't afford the taxes. So my search has shifted a little further west. I was hoping the members here can give me some background info on Northumberland, such as: desirable/undesirable places to live. I am more leaning toward buying between 7 to 10 acres and building a house on it. I'm interested in the property tax situation, water/air quality (don't want to build over a reclaimed strip mine or the like), proximity to emergency services (e.g. decent hospitals) and exposure to weather disasters (e.g. flooding). Also looking for an area that tolerates the shooting sports. Any insight would be appreciated. Don't worry...I'm looking to escape Jersey socialism, not spread it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    jersey shore, Pennsylvania
    (Lycoming County)
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyOldRetiree View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm a retiree hoping to escape New Jersey in the next few years (waiting for wife to retire). I've been researching moving to PA and have been taking day trips to the eastern counties (Bucks, Chester, Berks, etc.) but the property taxes don't look all that much better then where I am now. I don't want to be chased out of my own home because I can't afford the taxes. So my search has shifted a little further west. I was hoping the members here can give me some background info on Northumberland, such as: desirable/undesirable places to live. I am more leaning toward buying between 7 to 10 acres and building a house on it. I'm interested in the property tax situation, water/air quality (don't want to build over a reclaimed strip mine or the like), proximity to emergency services (e.g. decent hospitals) and exposure to weather disasters (e.g. flooding). Also looking for an area that tolerates the shooting sports. Any insight would be appreciated. Don't worry...I'm looking to escape Jersey socialism, not spread it!
    Any place in central/north central PA is going to be way friendlier to shooting sports than anything you're used to. Northumberland county seems decent. I would avoid Sunbury personally, seems like they have some "city" type problems for a small town. If you stay more twards the route 15 side of the county you'll find prices a little higher for land/homes, but you'll definitely avoid the "building on a strip mine" problem. Over by Shamokin you'll find really cheap real estate, but the environment has been damaged from all the coal mining. I'm not sure there are many fishable streams even left out there. Only upside is you can probably buy a house for @ 50k that is actually pretty nice. If you're looking for land and more privacy look up north a little from there. Lycoming, Sullivan, Clinton counties have parts that are pretty vacant and still have some amenities within driving distance. Union is also much like Northumberland and might work well for ya. I've lived in lycoming, Clinton, Northumberland and union in my life and all have there positives. I like being a little further from civilization and the hunting and fishing is a little better up north here.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Thanks for the reply. When I went on google maps to scope out the areas you mentioned, I noticed that Shamokin is pretty close to Centralia (the coal mine fire ghost town). I've read about it but never knew where it was. That's exactly the type of areas I'm looking to avoid. Do you have any opinion on Millmont in Union County?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyOldRetiree View Post
    Thanks for the reply. When I went on google maps to scope out the areas you mentioned, I noticed that Shamokin is pretty close to Centralia (the coal mine fire ghost town). I've read about it but never knew where it was. That's exactly the type of areas I'm looking to avoid. Do you have any opinion on Millmont in Union County?
    I've been through there, but don't know a whole lot. Should be pretty quiet out that way. There's a large Mennonite and Amish population out that way, lots of farms. Seems like a decent area. I know there's a Mennonite store in mifflinburg I've been to before and you'd be close to some good state park's. We go as a family to RB Winter park usually a couple times in the summer over that way. Lewisburg is close and has stores and restaurants if you like and state college is less than an hour. I live due north as a crow flies on the other side of I80. As far as shooting goes someone else might have to chime in. I'm not really familiar with any clubs or ranges over that way, although I know there's a couple out there. If you get a decent chunk of property I wouldn't think shooting on your own property would be a problem either.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Is it safe for me to assume that New Columbia generally fits the description given in your last reply?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyOldRetiree View Post
    Is it safe for me to assume that New Columbia generally fits the description given in your last reply?
    New Columbia seems like a nice area. Pretty rural, and right of us15. I have a friend who lives near there and frequent a gun shop in the area as well. I don't think anyone would bother you about shooting out there as long as you have some property and are safe about it.

    Keystones Sportsmans is a quick drive also. Check them out for a range. It seems pretty nice when I've been there. They offer idpa and nra high power matches there as well.
    http://www.keystonesportsmenassociation.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Shamokin, Pennsylvania
    (Northumberland County)
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    I moved to Shamokin 3 years ago when I got married and to be honest, I'd probably suggest picking another county for your purposes. Land is dirt cheap at a lot of places and taxes usually are too (my house was $200k and we pay $1800 in taxes), but there are 'other costs'. Shamokin and Sunbury (and I'm not trying to be ignorant, just being honest) have a LOT of undesirable type people....welfare bums, druggies, child abusers, etc. One random thing though.....you'd be surprised about the mine situation. We live literally <1 mile from a large, abandoned mine and have no issues with water, soil erosion, etc. Actually ours is better than my parents, who live near Lancaster.

    Very little in central PA will compare to NJ, for better or worse. Geisinger hospital in Danville is probably one of the better ones around, Selinsgrove has a mall and some attractions but nothing too significant, Lewisburg has Bucknell university and high taxes, Muncy/Hughesville has a nice mall/Gander Mt/crafts stores (for the wife, if she does that kinda thing). Personally, I'd concur with what was already said and look more to the Jersey Shore/Muncy/outside-of -Williamsport-but close-to-it type areas for what you're interested in. As long as you stay 10+ mile away from the cities, you should find what you're looking for. Oh, and don't buy anything on the banks of the Susquehanna....floods badly every once in a while

  8. #8
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    (York County)
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    Default Re: Background info on Northumberland County

    Don't be afraid to go a little further west or south. Both the Lewistown / State College area and the Harrisburg / York area have reasonable land and tax costs, good hospitals, relatively strong economies, and decent local activities.

    Hint: if you are purchasing land, buy no less than 10 acres, then you can get the land in PA's clean & green program, reducing taxes on the land by about 90%!!
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

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