The feeling here is that the economy is slowly but inexorably on its way back, and that real estate will again assume its rightful and traditional place in the normal lexicon of bedrock investments. No doubt, the economy has considerable obstacles to overcome, made worse by the plain disregard of real estate reality over the past ten years or so. But at least there are some positive signs.
The market in Jim Thorpe is, in my opinion, ripe for the careful, realistic buyer. During the go-go years between 2000 and about 2007 the expectation was instant wealth. During the rest of modern history, the hope was for modest, incremental gains that would nonetheless be impressive over the near term with, say, yearly five percent increases in value. With this more sane model in mind, one that used to be the norm until we so completely lost our way, there are clearly intriguing real estate possibilities here.
I lived in Boulder, Colorado for about 20 years before relocating to Westchester County just north of New York City. In 1998 I visited Jim Thorpe for the first time, hearing that it was the place to ride bikes. I remember the moment I first stepped out of the car when I got to town. I saw the low-slung mountains, the river through the middle of town. On Broadway there was a grand hotel, and all sorts of little shops up and down the street. After a day of bike riding on the Switchback trail we had a nice dinner downtown.
I just assumed it had to be too expensive to afford. Out west, a town with a river through it and other great recreation opportunities, with easy proximity to bigger towns and cities, some nice restaurants, and well-preserved houses that really just needed people to work on them – well, that town would have been spoken for, with Jettas and Beemers parked all around. For a town so close to Philadelphia and New York City I figured Jim Thorpe real estate would be out of reach.
Turns out it’s different here in the east. Or at least here in Pennsylvania.
I decided to check out a few places and just see if I could afford something big enough for a bike and a bed, and have a nice quiet place to visit on weekends. When I saw some prices, being used to the western experience, it was as if they were missing a digit. So I bought a row house on Race Street, and then later moved a couple of blocks north on Broadway across from the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Then I got busy was some local projects and decided it was time to relocate here permanently.
For a time local prices, to an extent, trended with the national real estate bubble, but not to such ludicrous extremes. So they never got outrageous and are now more than reasonable. And there is a lot available. There is also business space available. Do some research online or check out the websites of some of our various real estate companies.
There is value in Jim Thorpe as a result of many positive factors: the aforementioned recreational opportunities and historically interesting houses. The area produces a feeling of being far away while at the same time being only 2 hours from NYC and Philly and maybe 40 minutes from Allentown and Bethlehem. The Opera House in town has national-level touring acts most weekends and is right in the middle of town. Only three miles away is Penn’s Peak, a beautiful 1500-seat performance venue. There are excellent restaurants here and quaint shops. Most everything is just a walk away, a true village with a remarkable number of things to do and enjoy.
So the Jim Thorpe real estate market is certainly favorable – do yourself a favor and check it out. Even better, pay us a visit, spend some time here and see for yourself.