Moving to Reading
Welcome to a captivating journey of discovery as we dive into the charming realm of Reading, Pennsylvania! Are you contemplating moving to this enchanting city? Well, you're not alone! Reading, quietly nestled between Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Dutch country, offers an exceptional blend of history, culture, and a slice of urban living, all encapsulated within a small-town charm. This comprehensive Reading relocation guide will help you navigate the process, making it as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Buckle up, it's time to embark on your exciting journey towards creating a new home in Reading!
What to Know Before Moving to Reading
1. A Lively Arts Scene
Are you an art aficionado? Reading, PA promises not to disappoint with its vibrant arts scene. The city is home to the Reading Public Museum, the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra - all bound to tickle your cultural taste buds. The Berks Jazz Fest, held annually, is known to attract global artists and tourists alike, transforming the city into a vibrant hotbed of activity.
2. A Melting Pot of Diverse Cuisine
Food is a pleasure, part of life, and Reading realizes this too well. Our city is a melting pot of diverse cuisine - from potent Thai spices to rich Italian pasta and handmade pretzels locally referred to as "pretzel city". You can stroll through our specialities farmers markets and eat your way through all global flavors, right here at the heart of Pennsylvania.
3. Find Your Love for Outdoors
If spending time outdoors is your thing, prepare for some exciting times. Reading offers a plethora of options: trail walks in the emerald-green Nolde Forest, mountain biking on Mount Penn, or fishing in Blue Marsh Lake. Look forward to getting your adrenaline running, and becoming one with the breathtaking beauty of nature.
4. A Rich Historical Tapestry
Reading is a city that wears its history on its sleeve. From its establishment in 1748, the city has witnessed a considerable share of American history. Iconic sites such as the Reading Railroad and the Pagoda, originally built as a luxury resort, offer a glimpse into the city's rich historical tapestry that's sure to fascinate any history buff.
5. A Literary Namesake
Here's a fun, less-known fact: Reading city (pronounced Red-ding) was named after the English town of Reading (pronounced 'Red-ing'). In the 18th century, the sons of the wealthy Englishman William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, named the city after their father's county seat back in England. And no, the city didn't inspire the world famous Reading Railroad in the Monopoly game. That's a common myth that locals love to debunk!
6. Beer Heaven
Are you a fan of craft beers? Here's a second well-kept secret: Reading is also known as a beer city. Even during the Prohibition, the city's local taverns never stopped pouring. Today, Reading is home to numerous breweries like the Reading Soda Works and Saucony Creek Brewing Company, making it a must-visit for any beer enthusiast.
7. World-Class Education
Last but not least, Reading takes immense pride in its education system. With five colleges and universities, including Penn State Berks and Alvernia University, the city continues to be a hub for learners from across the globe. So, if you're moving with kids or considering further studies, Reading has stellar educational opportunities to offer.
In conclusion, whether you're a nature lover, a foodie, a history buff, an arts enthusiast or an aspiring student, Reading, PA has something to offer everyone. A city steeped in captivating history, diverse culture, education and beer - isn't that the kind of place you'd love to call home?
Pros and Cons of Living in Reading
Pros of Living in Reading
Diverse Cultural Heritage
Reading has a rich and varied cultural heritage which it celebrates, allowing residents to experience and appreciate a broad range of cultures. This has allowed the city to sustain a vibrant arts scene, with local artists and craftsmakers thriving.
Access to Outdoor Activities
Reading is well-known for having ample recreational opportunities, from hiking in the nearby Appalachians to boating and fishing on the Schuylkill River. Outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home with the easy access to green space and natural parks.
Affordable Cost of Living
If your main goal is to get the most out of your paycheck, Reading might be a great option. Compared to many areas of the country, it has an affordable cost of living which extends to groceries, utilities, and services.
Unique Local Cuisines
Foodies will love the unique blend of cuisines available in Reading. From traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare to more international options, there is always something different and delicious to try.
Reading is a city steeped in history. From the beautifully preserved buildings of the historic district to the Reading Public Museum and the Reading Railroad, history buffs will have plenty to explore and enjoy.
Cons of Living in Reading
High Unemployment Rate
Reading has a higher unemployment rate compared to some other areas in Pennsylvania. It's important to ensure secure employment before moving as job opportunities might be slightly limited.
City Schools Perform Under Average
Although there are certainly some bright spots in Reading's educational system, overall, Reading's public schools perform under average in comparison to other parts of the state. If you have school-aged children, it would be wise to thoroughly research the schools in the area.
The winters in Reading can be quite harsh, with snow and ice being common occurrences. If you're not a fan of cold weather and dealing with snow, this is something to take into consideration.
Lack of Nightlife
Reading is a fairly quiet city, with a noticeable lack of nightlife options. While there are some restaurants and bars, it doesn't quite match up to larger cities for those who appreciate a bustling night scene.
Can Feel Isolated
While Reading has a strong sense of community, it can also feel somewhat isolated due to its location. The closest large cities are an hour or more away, which can contribute to a feeling of seclusion, especially for those accustomed to living in more urban environments.
Is Reading a Good Place to Live?
Reading, PA is a great place to live because of its rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant arts scene. The city also boasts a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, biking trails and lush parks for all the nature-lovers out there. Plus, its affordable cost of living and friendly neighborhoods make it an attractive option for families and young professionals alike.
What Is Reading Famous For?
Founded in 1908, the iconic Pagoda located atop Mount Penn was initially constructed as a luxury resort. Today, the Pagoda is a symbol of the city, no visit to Reading is complete without a trip to this iconic landmark.
Remember Monopoly's four railroads? Yep, Reading is one of them. Reading Railroad was one of the most important US railroads in the 19th century, playing a major role in the industrial and economic development of not just the city, but the entire nation.
Reading Fightin Phils
The Reading Fightin Phils are the city's beloved minor league baseball team and an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Some Phillies' greats have come through Reading on their way to the big leagues, giving local fans a first-hand look at future stars.
Home to the Reading Fightin Phils, FirstEnergy Stadium sits as the oldest in the Eastern League circuit and has a rich history. It's classic look and timeless charm mixed with modern amenities makes it a must-visit for any baseball fan during a trip to Reading.
Overview of Tax Rates
As of 2023, the average property tax rate for residents of Reading, PA is near 2.47%, which is relatively high compared to the national average property tax rate of approximately 1.07%. Unlike many states, Pennsylvania doesn't offer a homestead exemption, which can often lower the effective rate of property tax for homeowners significantly.
Reading, PA has a state sales tax rate of 6% this 2023, which is similar to the median for all states of 5.45%. Certain products like food and clothing are exempted from sales tax, making PA less taxing in sales compared to other states that tax these items.
In Pennsylvania, a flat income tax rate of 3.07% is applied as of 2023, which includes Reading. This is lower when compared to the US average state income tax, which carries a progressive rate up to 9.9%. The flat rate can be favorable or disadvantageous depending on the taxpayer's income level.
Reading, PA boasts a remarkably affordable housing market, with median home prices well below the U.S. average at $140,000. Renting in Reading is also significantly cheaper, with average rental prices slated around $850 per month. While offering pocket-friendly living, appreciate the city's economic growth, improving schools, and robust cultural scene, key attractions for both renters and buyers. However, compared to other U.S parts, Reading's home appreciation rates are relatively modest, and inventory can be limited. Conducting thorough research and enlisting local real estate professionals' help can help navigate this unique market scenario.
Cost of Living
Currently, the cost of living in Reading, PA is comparatively lower than other U.S. cities. General expenses such as housing, utilities, groceries, and healthcare are all significantly below the national average. While income rates are also slightly less than other regions, the reduced living costs balance it out. Thus, Reading, PA offers an affordable lifestyle without compromising on necessities and comfortable living.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Reading, PA experiences a humid continental climate characterized by four distinctive seasons. Summers are typically warm and humid, with high temperatures ranging from 80 to 90degF, while winters can be quite cold, with temperatures often falling below freezing and regular snowfall. Spring and fall offer moderate temperatures, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor activities. The weather can vary greatly, with occasional extremes in both precipitation and temperature. Reading is prone to natural disasters such as floods, due to being situated on the Schuylkill River, and storms, especially in summer. While tornadoes and earthquakes are less common, the city acknowledges the potential risks. Despite the climate challenges, Reading's stunning seasonal shifts contribute to its charm, offering snow-clad landscapes in winter, vibrant foliage in fall, lush greens in spring, and sunny skies in summer.
Economy & Job Market'
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Accommodation and Food Services
Once popularly known as "Pretzel City, USA", due to its thriving pretzel bakeries, Reading, Pennsylvania has a rich economic history that\'s as deliciously varied as the twists in its salty snack of fame. Historically, the city has been a bustling beacon for industries ranging from iron and steel production, to textiles and manufacturing. While manufacturing still holds a significant footprint on the economic landscape, present-day Reading is equally well-known for its robust healthcare and social assistance sector, proving there\'s a lot more than dough rising in this city. The retail trade, education services, and accommodation and food services sectors also play solid supporting roles in making Reading\'s diverse economy a veritable feast of job opportunities.
So you're thinking about making the move to Reading, huh? Well, put on your pretzel-wearing pretzel earrings because you're in for a ride that's as exciting as bending dough into knots (trust us, it's a real thing)! With an unemployment rate typically lower than the national average, Reading offers a pretty beleza, or, beautiful, job scenario for newcomers. The healthcare and social assistance sector tops the list as the city's largest industry, offering ample job opportunities for a range of professions. However, if kneading dough or operating machinery sounds more of your thing, fear not, the city's manufacturing and retail trade sectors may bring a twinkle to your eye. So, whether you envision yourself in a white coat, a hard hat or an apron, Reading's got a spot for you. Welcome home!'
Traffic and Transportation
Going places in Reading, PA? On average, you'll have a commute time of approximately 24 minutes, just a wink more than the national average - not too long to enjoy a podcast or snag a power nap on the bus. Speaking of buses, the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) might just be your new best friend. Serving Reading and Berks County, BARTA buses will ferry you to and fro efficiently, and with a certain jaunty charm. If you're aiming for the sky, the Reading Regional Airport is ready for takeoff! This bustling hub offers leisure and business flights, putting you in the fast lane - or rather the jet stream - to your destination. So come, whether by bus, by car, or by plane, let Reading, PA sweep you off your feet and transport you to new adventures!
Best Neighborhoods in Reading
If you're on the hunt for a taste of suburban life combined with accessibility to urban amenities, Wyomissing is the place to be. Known for its fantastic school system and family-friendly vibe, Wyomissing offers a perfect blend of tranquility and convenience. With the Berkshire Mall, Wyomissing Park, and a bevy of delightful eateries, there's never a dull moment around here. Plus, the locals rave about their extremely friendly and welcoming neighbors.
2. West Reading
West Reading, a jewel in the heart of the city, has rapidly evolved into a vibrant neighborhood with a thriving arts and culture scene. If you love a mix of unique and trendy, West Reading's Penn Avenue is the place for you. Brimming with quirky boutiques, galleries, and funky restaurants, Penn Avenue is everything a city street should be dynamic, interesting, and inviting. West Reading is a neighborhood that enjoys celebrating life, don't miss out on their annual Oktoberfest and Art on the Avenue festivals.
3. Mount Penn
Mount Penn loves the outdoors, and when you get here, you'll understand why. With its spectacular views of the city and its assortment of parks including the famed Antietam Lake Park, Mt. Penn offers a natural oasis right at your doorstep. It's perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities, from hiking on the nature trails to picnicking amid the serene beauty.
4. Exeter Township
Exeter Township offers residents a rural feel while also providing easy access to modern amenities And, if you're a bookworm, you'd be delighted by the award-winning Exeter Community Library. Though it's a quiet, peaceful place to live, the neighborhood knows how to have a good time. Check out the annual Community Days Festival, where the whole neighborhood comes together for food, fun and fireworks!
5. Cumru Township
Last but definitely not least, Cumru Township, couches a vintage charm with its blend of historical and modern architecture. The Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center is a definite must-visit locale, with its sprawling acres of beautiful woodlands and babbling streams. And did we mention their famed holiday parade? A bright hodgepodge of festivity and fun, it's a neighborhood tradition that truly captures the spirit of Cumru Township's close-knit community.
In the end, one of the best parts about moving to Reading, PA is that there's a neighborhood for just about everyone. Whether you're looking for a place that's laid-back and serene, vibrant and artsy, or anything in between, you're sure to find your perfect fit in this engaging city. Who knows - you might even end up calling two or three of these locales your favorite! After all, the beauty of moving to a new place is the endless exploratory opportunities it provides. Happy Moving!
Things to Do
Congratulations on your decision to move to Reading, PA! Packing your belongings is just a small part of the relocation process; settling in and weaving yourself into the fabric of the community is the big picture. To aid in this coverage, we've curated a list of top things to do in Reading, PA. Whether you are an arts enthusiast, a foodie, a history buff, or an outdoor explorer, the City of Reading has something for everyone.
1. Stroll Through The Reading Public Museum
A Reading classic, the Reading Public Museum is a must-visit. Considered a hidden gem, this museum hosts an eclectic collection of art, culture, and natural history. From Egyptian mummies to impressive pointillism artwork, the museum has something for everyone. Don't miss their Arboretum, a 25-acre park which is gorgeous year-round with its beautiful plants and tranquil ponds.
2. Catch an Event at the Santander Arena
This large city venue is bustling with life and enthusiasm. Serving as the home for minor-league ice hockey and other sports events, concerts, circuses, and trade shows, there's always something to watch here. Regardless of your interest, the Santander Arena is an experience to witness.
3. Taste at West Reading's Penn Avenue
Ready your palette for an eclectic mix of excellent culinary options along Penn Avenue in West Reading. From artisan cuisine at Say Cheese to international delicacies at Go Fish Seafood or craft beers at Third and Spruce Cafe, there's a menu for everyone in your family.
4. Hike on Neversink Mountain
For those who enjoy natural beauty, take a hike at the Neversink Mountain Preserve. With its fantastic views, various hiking trails and historic ruins, the preserve offers a nature-oriented escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
5. Dig Deep at The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum
This may be somewhat under the radar, but certainly worth it. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is an aviation haven, showcasing an impressive collection of restored aircraft from different periods. They host "World War II Weekend" annually in June, transforming the place into a 1940s airfield, complete with vintage aircraft, reenactments, and period vehicles.
6. Visit the Crystal Cave
Go on an adventure deep under the Earth's surface at Crystal Cave. This subterranean wonder, discovered in 1871, welcomes visitors with an enthusiastic guide, offering knowledge and insight into the cave's fascinating geology. This geological jewel offers an educational and awe-inspiring spectacle right in Reading's backyard.
7. Connect with History at The Daniel Boone Homestead
Take some time to visit the birthplace of American legend Daniel Boone. Here, you'll connect intimately with the 18th Century frontier life. This historical site offers interactive displays and pioneer reenactments, making for an educational and immersive experience.
Now that you're armed with this whirlwind exploration guide, your journey through Reading is about to get a lot more fun, adventurous, and educational. Remember, settling into a new place doesn't happen overnight, but fostering an understanding and appreciation of it will make it feel like home in no time. Enjoy everything Reading, PA has to offer, and welcome to your new home!
Find Movers for Your Reading Relocation
As you embark on your new journey to Reading, embracing the city's rich history and vibrant culture, let Great Guys Moving simplify your transition. Use our network of licensed, insured, and high-quality movers to circumvent the stress and complexity typically associated with moving. Share the details about your move with us and let us link you with the best movers in the industry, achieving the most affordable pricing for your relocation. No time like the present to organize a smooth and efficient moving experience. Request a free moving quote for your imminent relocation to Reading through Great Guys Moving.
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