The Best Commutable City For New Yorkers To Raise A Family Is Allentown, PA.

It might seem far away but Allentown is looking better and better.

By Team Agorafy September 14, 2016

There’s some good news and some bad news. The good news is that America is a great place to raise a family. The bad news is that you might have to move to Utah to do it. But if you want to stay in NYC, there may still be a family friendly city, commutable to the Big Apple: Allentown, PA.

According to a recent Forbes survey of America’s largest 100 cities, the modest city of Provo Orem, Utah is the best metro area in the US to raise a family. The Forbes survey took into account things like population age, crime, median income, cost of living, commute time, cost of childcare and schools. But not too far down on the list (fourth, in fact) is the forgotten little burg of—Allentown, PA.

Related: 5 Pros & Cons Of Buying Multi-Unit Investment Properties

So if you’re looking for an urban spot to spawn, but still want to keep your amazing NYC job, Agorafy has put together a starter guide for the best stroller-friendly—and commute from NYC friendly—city in the country. Before you hit the snooze on your biological clock, here’s a way you can have it all, sort of.

For New Yorkers who wish to hold on to their NYC pay checks and are ready to make a significant daily commute, there are really two possible options: Allentown, PA and Bridgeport, CT. Both cities have a sizable commuter population already. Probably the cheaper and closer of the two is Allentown, but the drawback is unlike Bridgeport (that has trains), Allentown is dependent on a bus service which is susceptible to bad traffic and weather.

But, perhaps making up for that, there are a number of good public school districts around the Allentown area such as Parkland and Southern Lehigh with four bedroom homes in those neighborhoods running anywhere from $250,000 and up. Expect a new 4-5 bedroom, 2 car garage 4000+ square foot home in a good school district to cost around $450K-$650K. With taxes, insurance and 20 percent down you should be looking at a mortgage payment of around $2800. Add $500/month for a 90-minute commute (the Beiber Bus runs a non-stop service from Hellertown. The Trans Bridge service stops at Newark Airport and sometimes Trenton, NJ).

Photo courtesy of Allie Caulfield via Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Allie Caulfield via Wikimedia Commons

So, your total cost for living in the fourth most family friendly city in the US is around $3300/month including 3 hours per day on the bus—but not including any additional subway rides from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Think about how much time you’re spending on the subway anyway and you might wanna think about calling a PA realtor and taking a drive out on Route 78.

If you already own in New York but need space for your family, the obvious option would be to rent out your apartment. The rent from a claustrophobic 2-bedroom in Prospect Heights could cover your entire mortgage for a spacious 4-bedroom house in PA.

On the downside, you won’t be living in NYC anymore. No popping out to that great new Cambodian/Iranian fusion restaurant everyone’s talking about. Your cosmopolitan social life could be over and, if you have kids, any social trips to the city now need to be organized with the meticulous precision of a military invasion. Important to know, Allentown is an ethnically diverse place but the top performing schools are not, so if you’re not ready for a classroom as white as a Donald Trump rally, you might want to stay put. If not, grab your John Deere baseball cap. The grass’ll need cutting.

Team Agorafy



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