Perhaps the premier destination for great housing is Scranton’s West Side. The West Side, initially an independent borough, is now considered part of Scranton proper, so the housing here will definitely feel more suburban than in other places throughout the city. But you’ll also have more access to amenities such as convenient shopping centers, restaurants and bars.
Adjacent to downtown, The Hill section of Scranton is a radically varying neighborhood due to its strange mixture of old-fashioned mansions and apartment life. The Lower Hill, located on the border of downtown has had a recent push to make the area more livable. Smack dab in the center of The Hill is the University, which means a lot of low cost housing with flexible leases and a much younger, more party-oriented vibe. The Upper Hill, located adjacent to Nay Aug Park is where you’ll find those beautiful, old-fashioned coal money mansions. Affordable rentals are available throughout The Hill, but if you’re not a beer pong enthusiast, try to stay up The Hill as much as possible.
The North and South Sides:
The Upper Green Ridge section of the North Section is considered to be the wealthiest area of Scranton. The South Side is part of an urban revitalization plan that centers on planting trees to make the area greener.
Apartments in the downtown area are certainly there; they just don’t have the appeal of other cities. But then again, if you’re looking for a hustling/bustling city, you should probably search elsewhere. The atmosphere is slower and not as exciting or nice, but you can still get by living here inexpensively.
Scranton, for all its curmudgeonly old-timey residents, has a pretty friendly rental market. Flexible leases can frequently be found in most neighborhoods, particularly around the university campus. You can find the more urban rentals around The Hill through online apartment searches, but for the suburban rentals on the West Side, you may need to go through a real estate agent or management company.
When completing your pre-move budget, be aware of the high income tax rate in Scranton. At 3%, your paycheck can get drained pretty quickly. It gets pretty cold in town, too, and landlords will not be bothered to pay your utility bills in the winter. So make like a squirrel and stock up some funds for the snowy season.
Three words: get a car. Scranton’s sprawl necessitates automobile transportation. The County of Lackawanna Transit System operates slow-moving, fairly unreliable buses throughout the city, predominately in the downtown area. However, the low temperatures and high average snowfall make bus stops the least desirable places in town.
But where the buses fail, the sport scene thrives. Put simply and somewhat crudely, Scranton is a winter sports enthusiasts’ wet dream. The nearby Snö Mountain provides skiers and snowboarders with miles of slopes, while the Pocono Mountains are about 45 minutes from town. The summer months provide lots of outdoor recreation as well, with woods, lakes and rivers ripe for hiking, fishing and swimming when you want to get out of the city’s urban sprawl.
So welcome to Scranton! Even if you won’t be bumping into Michael Scott at your local Chili’s, you’ll still have plenty to keep you busy and great housing galore!