If you’d like to live in one of the most historical states in the country, moving from New York to Pennsylvania may be the right choice for you.
Popular cities like Philadelphia provide easy access to NYC for those that want to visit while maintaining a lower cost of living.
While Pennsylvania is the 5th most populous state in the country, its population size has only grown by around three-quarters of a percent since 2010.
For New Yorkers ready to make the move, this guide will cover all your relocation questions and walk you through the moving process.
NY to Pennsylvania: Average Moving Costs
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the cost of your relocation, but the most significant is the distance you need to travel.
The Keystone State is fairly long, and the distance from one location to the next can vary dramatically.
For example, if you’re moving from NYC to Philadelphia, you only need to cover about 100 miles. However, if you’re relocating to Pittsburgh from Syracuse, that number jumps to just over 350 miles. That’s a big difference, and the cost of your move will reflect that change.
Renting a self-service moving truck will be your cheapest option. Even so, you can expect to pay from $200 to $1,000, depending on the size of truck you need. Moving from a one-bedroom apartment will cost significantly less when compared to relocating a three-bedroom household.
On top of that, you’ll need to add in fuel costs and any extra services you may need, such as labor services to help you load and unload the truck. If you plan to handle everything yourself, consider the time and physical effort you’ll need to expend to get everything done.
On the other end of the moving spectrum, you can opt for a full-service, FMCSA-registered moving company. These companies will handle all the heavy lifting, including packing, loading, shipping, unloading, and unpacking your belongings, all for a flat fee. Of course, this comes at a higher cost. You can expect to pay at least $1,500 and upwards of $5,000 for a fully furnished house.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide how much your time and effort is worth to you and what you can fit into your budget. Fortunately, you can still use some moving services while still keeping your moving costs low.
Even if your budget is flexible, there are plenty of ways you can drive down your relocation costs. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do this.
While it may not be obvious, many moving companies offer price matching with a valid quote.
Request free moving quotes from several affordable movers in your area, and you can use these to get the lowest price. You’ll need to make sure each quote follows the same basic guidelines so that you’re getting an accurate comparison.
However, this won’t be as easy as getting an online estimate or a quote over the phone. To price match, you’ll need a more accurate estimate. A professional moving company will want to visit your home to take inventory, or you’ll need to provide them with an itemized list of your furniture and goods.
This quoting process is even more complicated now, thanks to COVID-19. Fortunately, many moving companies have adapted to this situation. Your Hometown Mover offers Live Video Estimates, where you’ll be connected to a live operator who will walk you through the inventory process.
Getting these moving quotes can be rather time-consuming, but it may be well worth it if you can save some money by lowering your relocation costs.
Moving Labor & Packaging Services
If you feel comfortable driving a self-service rental truck, you can drive your relocation costs down while still taking advantage of some moving services.
Long-distance moves require a lot of logistics that drive up the price. The commitment of resources provided by a professional moving company for this type of move, such as a truck, driver, and more, is costly.
By driving your own rental truck, you can cut out a lot of these costs, making it more affordable to hire help for other parts of the move.
That’s where labor services come in handy. Many moving companies will hire out hourly or daily movers to help with the heavy lifting, such as loading and unloading your truck for you.
When you’re relocating out of the Big Apple, narrow hallways and flights of stairs can make the process difficult, making labor services even more essential. Packing services are also a great option.
If you decide to skip the full-service move and take advantage of these services, keep in mind that you’ll also need to hire local Pennsylvania movers to help you unload when you reach your new home.
If you need to keep costs low and stick to a budget, hiring help only where you need it can help you do that.
Occasionally, financing options that help you cover the cost of a full-service move are available. These options allow you to finance the cost of your relocation and pay it back over a set term with a small amount of interest.
However, these “move now, pay later” options have become even harder to find due to the pandemic.
Even though you’re only traveling 100 to 400 miles from New York to Pennsylvania, transit times will be longer than you think.
Due to the labor and resources involved in a long-distance move, most professional movers will estimate 7 to 14 days between pickup and delivery.
This may seem like a long delay, but most moving companies don’t take a direct route from your New York home to your destination. Instead, your belongings will be consolidated at a warehouse with other shipments heading to the same destination.
While this is more effective (and profitable) for the moving company, the need to travel to a consolidation center in New Jersey results in longer lead times for your relocation.
What About Expedited Delivery?
Can’t wait a week or two to get your possessions? Ask your moving provider about expedited delivery options.
With a typical turnaround time of one to three business days, expedited services may be the way to go. Your movers will drive your belongings straight from New York to Pennsylvania, cutting out the consolidation process to get your goods to you faster.
Of course, you’ll pay a premium for these services, potentially adding thousands of dollars to your moving cost.
In many cases, expedited delivery may only save you a day or two, which may not be worth the price. Be sure to double-check your delivery dates for each service with your shipper before signing any agreements.
Expedited services are a great option if you’re in a hurry. Plus, they’ll save you the hassle of having your possessions potentially lost or mixed up during warehouse consolidation.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to long-distance relocations. It’s essential that you plan ahead to ensure you don’t run into any shipping or delivery obstacles when your truck arrives.
The difference between a local move and a long-distance move is the amount of time your goods will be in transit.
When you’re relocating locally, it’s easier to keep track of where your possessions are at all times. However, with an interstate move, your goods will be out of your sight for days or weeks, and you won’t have any idea of their exact location.
This lack of knowledge is frustrating, and it makes it difficult to plan ahead for your delivery day when you don’t know when to expect the arrival of your belongings.
Your Hometown Mover can offer you peace of mind regarding this issue. Our world-class moving software provides automated texts detailing your truck’s location at all times. This live GPS tracking information is provided on every shipment, so you can make your delivery arrangements ahead of time.
If your moving company doesn’t offer this, ask if they provide something similar, and if not, what updates you can expect on your delivery.
If you’re relocating to a big city, there are some considerations you’ll need to think about for your delivery.
Shared living spaces, such as condos and apartments, and gated communities offer unique challenges and can take some pre-planned coordination.
In a gated community, you may be required to list your moving company as an approved visitor at the guard gate. Even if this isn’t the case, you’ll likely need to provide your movers with a code to get through the gate.
Apartment complexes and condos usually have limited parking. Many may require you to secure additional parking for your moving truck. For residences on the second floor or higher, it might be possible to reserve an elevator to help with your move.
Check in with your community representative or manager to see what you can do to create a smooth delivery process.
If you’re looking to escape city life, there are many rural areas in Pennsylvania. These areas require their own special considerations for move-in day.
It’s important to make sure that your moving truck will have proper clearance to get to your front door. Trees with low-hanging branches along the driveway could pose a problem, especially during the winter when they’re overloaded with snow.
Your professional moving company may require a shuttle service to get your possessions from the truck to the door if the truck lacks the overhead clearance to get close to the house. This moving service can add a significant amount to your relocation costs, and the longer the driveway, the higher the price.
Clearing your driveway to provide access to your house will provide a smoother move-in experience.
The weather can also affect your relocation, occasionally causing problems or delays in your delivery.
Keep in mind that you may need to delay your delivery by a day or two if the forecast is predicting severe weather. Moving in the rain is possible, but there are risks involved. Not only do you have to worry about water damage, but slips and falls are also more common, which could lead to broken possessions or injuries.
Snowy conditions are even worse. Slipping on ice or tripping in the snow are common. Plus, the extreme cold and wind chill make moving in the snow pretty miserable.
When you’re moving in these conditions, hiring professional movers to help can be even more critical.
There are a couple of different insurance options for a move, and it’s important to choose the right one when you’re moving long distances.
Moving companies do their very best to provide a hassle-free moving experience and protect your belongings, but accidents can and do happen.
If you understand how professional movers value your items and how moving insurance works, you can choose the type of coverage that best suits your needs.
Basic Liability Insurance
Typically, moving companies include basic liability insurance in their standard moving package.
While this may seem like an acceptable option, these rates are based on the item’s weight rather than its perceived value. Your shipment’s value may be at risk by using basic liability insurance.
You’ll only receive a fraction of the value of certain high-ticket items, such as jewelry or priceless paintings. Imagine your rate is $.60 per pound, and an item like that is lost or damaged. Your claim would be significantly under value.
Premium Move Coverage
Full-value coverage is the smarter way to insure your goods, which means you’ll need premium insurance.
This option does require a little extra work to secure. Your moving company will need a list of the estimated value of your belongings, and a price will be calculated based on the total value of your move.
A deductible is usually included with premium insurance, which needs to be paid before a full payout is issued. However, if something precious is lost or damaged during transit, you’ll receive the full value of these items (less deductibles).
Large antiques and lightweight valuables should be packed carefully to keep them safe during your move. Custom crating and packing solutions, like the ones Your Hometown Mover offers, can ensure your valuables arrive safely.
Moving Vehicles & Boats
The largest cities in Pennsylvania have some public transportation, but it’s likely you’ll need a car to get around this state.
If you already own a vehicle, trying to move it a long distance can be challenging. You’ve only got a couple of options. You can drive it yourself, or you can attach it to the back of your rental truck with a rig.
If you’re uncomfortable with these options or if you have a boat or multiple vehicles, you’ll need to secure a spot with an auto-transporter or rigger. Since hauling vehicles requires specialized equipment, most moving companies don’t handle this themselves, but they can help by contracting out for you.
Since your vehicle will be traveling separately from the rest of your goods, it won’t follow the same delivery schedule. With expedited delivery, your vehicle could be excluded, cost more, or take longer than the rest of your shipment.
Your Hometown Mover also outsources this work. We’ll get everything set up for you to create a seamless transition.
Pennsylvania Relocation Resources
Pennsylvania is one of the most historical states in the country. Even if history isn’t really your thing, this state has something for everyone, with big cities, small towns, and everything in between.
The cost of living throughout the state is lower than in New York City, although a few of the cities may be a little more expensive than areas in the Upstate region.
Let’s explore some of the features you’ll find in popular Pennsylvania destinations.
Cost of Living: 37.7% cheaper than NYC / 24.9% more expensive than Syracuse
Walkability Score: 75
Transportation: SEPTA, Car, Bike, Walk
Known for: Liberty Bell, Rocky, Cheesesteak
Philadelphia is the largest city in the state. It’s rich in history and lore going back to the time of the American Revolution. It’s also a popular tourist destination. Crime rates are pretty average compared to other big cities.
Also popularized in the media, outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you’ll see the stairs featured in “Rocky.” At the top, you can snap a photo with your fists in the air just like Sylvester Stallone or get a selfie with the Rocky Statue. Art lovers will also want to actually go to the museum to see all the exhibits displaying over 227,000 objects.
The Barnes Foundation is another great place to visit if you love art. This facility boasts one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings, with works by Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, and more.
Philadelphia is also famous for the Philly Cheesesteak, and you’ll find the best ones at Geno’s Steaks. After lunch, you can visit the Liberty Bell Center to see the famous crack in the Liberty Bell, which is less than two miles away from the restaurant.
Then, you’ll want to walk on over to Independence Hall and take a tour of the place where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both signed. If that’s not enough history for you, you can also make a stop at the Museum of the American Revolution. Exhibits in this museum showcase how this nation came to be.
One of Philadelphia’s most recognizable landmarks is the Reading Terminal Market. This covered public market hosts over 100 vendors selling farm-fresh produce, baked goods, beer, arts and crafts, and more. It’s open seven days a week and has been around for 127 years.
Another place you might recognize is the LOVE Park/John F. Kennedy Plaza. Take a picture with the LOVE sculpture before heading over to the Philadelphia City Hall, which is the largest municipal building in the country. It’s also one of the tallest buildings in the nation, and you can walk around the exterior to see all 250 sculptures.
This is just a shortlist of some of the most notable attractions in this bustling city, but there are many more to discover and visit if you choose to call Philly home.
The weather in Philadelphia is fairly temperate. Summers tend to be hot and muggy, with average temperatures in the high 80s. Winters are only moderately cold compared to New York, and the city gets less snow, especially if you’re relocating from the Upstate. Tornadoes and other natural hazards are a risk, so check out the city’s resources on how to prepare and stay safe.
Cost of Living: 45.5% cheaper than NYC / 9.3% more expensive than Syracuse
Walkability Score: 62
Transportation: Bus, Light Rail, Car, Bike
Known for: Invention of ketchup, “City of Bridges,” “Steel City”
If you love architecture, Pittsburgh may be the city for you. Known as the “City of Bridges,” it’s home to 446 bridges. It’s also known as the “Steel City” thanks to the over 300 steel-related businesses. Skyscrapers, railways, and more might make NYC residents feel right at home.
Fun fact: Pittsburgh is also the city where ketchup was invented. You can learn all about it in the Strip District by visiting the Senator John Heinz History Center, where you’ll also learn more about the rest of the city’s history. There’s even an exhibit all about “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” that the kids will love.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is another great place to take the kids, with 400 different species of animals. You’ll also love visiting North Park for ice skating, hiking trails, a pool, kayak rentals, and more. On your way there, between McKinney and Kummer roads, you’ll find a mysterious hill that’s worth checking out. When you’re on this hill, and you put your car in neutral, you’ll magically roll uphill.
One of the most popular attractions in Pittsburgh is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Not only does this museum have 20 galleries to explore, but it’s also home to the world-renowned “Dinosaurs in Their Time” exhibition. The Carnegie Science Center is another must-see, with four floors of interactive exhibits.
If you really love art, you’ll want to visit the Carnegie Museum of Art. This contemporary museum houses thousands of works of art, including every medium imaginable, from painting and sculpture to film and video. You’ll even find decorative arts and design. You also won’t want to miss the Andy Warhol Museum. The famous local’s art collection is spread out over five floors in this popular museum.
History lovers will want to take a trip to the Point State Park/Fort Pitt Block House. You’ll find monuments, plaques, and more throughout the park, commemorating the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The Fort Pitt Block House was a key British fortification during the French and Indian War and the only surviving structure of Fort Pitt.
Other fun places to visit are the Duquesne Incline and the Market Square. Ride a historic cable car on one of the last remaining inclines in the country to see a panoramic view of Downtown Pittsburgh. Just across the Fort Pitt Bridge from the lower station, you’ll find the Market Square. The Market is full of restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as plenty of unique shops and stores.
Living in Pittsburgh is very similar to New York City when it comes to the weather. While this city might see a little more snowfall than the Big Apple, it’s not a huge difference. Winter temperatures are pretty close to the same. Summers are warm, with average temperatures in the low 80s. Floods, winter storms, tornadoes, and more are a risk in this city, so it pays to be prepared for natural disasters.
Cost of Living: 44.8% cheaper than NYC / 10.6% more expensive than Syracuse
Walkability Score: 67
Transportation: Bus, Car, Bike
Known for: Liberty Bell Museum, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Beautiful Parks
Allentown is another large city in Pennsylvania, but it’s full of parks and has the highest acreage of parkland of any American city its size. It’s also full of history and is the location where the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British Army during the Revolutionary War.
Until you get a chance to take a trip to Philly to see the real thing, you can check out a full-size replica of the famous icon at the Liberty Bell Museum. You’ll also learn about the hiding of the bell, the American Revolution, and what colonial life was like in the area. Be sure to check out the Museum of Indian Culture, where you’ll learn all about local Native American history, traditions, and culture.
Allentown also has a rich automotive history that you can learn about at the America On Wheels Museum. One of the first gas-powered cars ever made called this city home, and you can take a tour of transportation history from the earliest car models to futuristic designs.
If your interest has been piqued, you can also visit the Mack Trucks Historical Museum to see antique Mack Trucks, photos and memorabilia, and even some trucks used in movies.
When you get hungry, check out the Downtown Allentown Market. You’ll find a variety of ethnic food options, like Jamaican cuisine, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and more. You can also visit the Allentown Farmers Market, which hosts over 60 vendors with farm-fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and more.
Plenty of family-friendly attractions abound. The Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is a huge amusement and water park with plenty of rides and other attractions. And don’t forget to catch a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game at Coca-Cola Park.
The Allentown Fish Hatchery is the only park in the nation with a fish nursery. Named the Lil’Le-Hi Trout Hatchery, the park allows visitors to feed the thousands of fish here. There are also walking trails, sculptures, and more.
Another great place to enjoy nature is the Allentown Rose Gardens. Walk along the 1.3-mile trail and view the gorgeous roses. It’s a great place for a romantic date or just to enjoy the outdoors.
Allentown is another city with weather pretty similar to that of New York City, although a little worse on both ends of the spectrum. It gets a little hotter than NYC during the summer, with average temperatures in the high 80s. Winters are cold and snowy, and the city sees a few more inches of snow than the Big Apple. Like most of Pennsylvania, the biggest natural hazards are floods, winter storms, and tornadoes, so make sure you’re prepared for them.
Cost of Living: 53.1% cheaper than NYC / 5.9% cheaper than Syracuse
Walkability Score: 60
Transportation: Bus, Car
Known for: Lake Erie, the “Flagship City”
Located in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania, Erie is the only “seashore” the state has. Presque Isle State Park is the most popular place to visit, and its sandy peninsula juts out into Lake Erie. Hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and boating are just a few of the activities you can do in this park.
If you want to get a great view of Lake Erie, you can climb to the top of the Port Erie Bicentennial Tower. At 187-feet tall, it’s one of the largest buildings in the state. There are two observation decks, giving you different views of the lake and the city.
You’ll also want to visit the Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens. You’ll see over 400 animals from around the world. When you’re done there, you can walk around the adjoining Botanical Gardens to see all the beautiful flowers and plants.
Another great outdoor destination is the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park. There’s plenty to see and do, with a labyrinth, slides, willow art, and the Benjamin Winter Garden. The Arboretum’s mission is to plant trees and emphasize their importance to the public.
If you still haven’t gotten your fill of nature, Asbury Woods covers 205 acres of fields, forests, streams, and wetlands. Not only can you do all the normal activities, such as hiking, biking, etc., but you can also enjoy craft workshops, animal exhibits, and more.
In Downtown Erie, you’ll find the Erie Art Museum. Filled with over 8,000 pieces of art and artifacts, you could easily spend hours seeing it all. A few miles down the road, you’ll find the Erie Maritime Museum, with interactive exhibits showcasing the city’s maritime history. You can even book a day sail on the US Brig Niagara.
If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, check out the Presque Isle Downs & Casino. Not only is it a casino, but it’s also a race track and an entertainment hub. You’ll find live entertainment and plenty of restaurants and shopping nearby.
For families, the Waldameer Park & Water World is a water and amusement park with games, rides, music, and food. There are over a hundred rides, slides, and other attractions that are fun for the whole family. The Millcreek Mall has all your shopping needs and is a popular hangout for teens. With dozens of stores, a food court, and a movie theater, you’ll find everything you need.
Erie’s weather is a lot closer to what you’d see in Syracuse rather than NYC. Winters are freezing, and it gets the most snow in the state. Summers are warm, with average temperatures in the high 70s. Floods and winter storms are the highest risks in Erie, but the city put together a resource that can help you prepare for any natural hazards you may see here.
Cost of Living: 53.1% cheaper than NYC / 6.1% cheaper than Syracuse
Walkability Score: 58
Transportation: Bus, Car
Known for: Steamtown National Historic Site, “The Office,” Coal Mines
If you’re a fan of “The Office,” you’ve probably heard of Scranton, PA. Made famous by the show, this city is a fun place to visit. True fans can even take The Office Self-Guided Tour to see some of the locations featured in the show.
The most popular place to visit is the Electric City Trolley Museum. Here you can check out restored trolley cars and learn about the area’s transportation history. You’ll also want to visit the Steamtown National Historic Site to learn about the city’s locomotive history and take in all the rare train cars or take one of the train rides offered seasonally.
A great place to take the family is Nay Aug Park. This park is the largest in the city and features swimming pools, playgrounds, a small amusement park, and the Everhart Museum. The museum is one of the best in the state and houses a variety of collections, from dinosaur bones to paintings and more.
The Houdini Museum is also a fun place to visit. Not only can you see some of the escape artist’s famous memorabilia, but you can also take in a thrilling magic show. Your kids will also love seeing all the marine life and reptiles at the Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den.
Scranton is known for its coal mines, so you’ll definitely want to go on a Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour. You’ll get to travel down into a real mine and see what conditions were like for coal miners in the area. The Anthracite Heritage Museum covers even more of the city’s mining history, and you’ll learn how the coal mines affected immigration to the area.
Outdoor adventurers will love the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. It spans 70 miles, offering gorgeous views for hiking, biking, and more. In the winter, the Montage Mountain Resort offers skiing, snowboarding, and other cold-weather activities.
Scranton weather falls somewhere in the middle of NYC and Syracuse. Summers are warm and humid, with temperatures in the low 80s. Winters are freezing and snowy. You’ll see more snow than New York City, but less than what you’d get in the Upstate areas. Like the rest of the state, Scranton is at risk of some natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, and winter storms. Make sure that you’re prepared for these types of events.
Early on, Pennsylvania enacted strict measures that kept COVID-19 numbers low. However, as restrictions eased, numbers have climbed. New variants have also caused a spike in cases.
Right now, cases are on a downward trend. Different cities and counties are implementing their own set of restrictions and rules. To get the latest updates on current mitigation procedures, check Pennsylvania’s government website.
What is the average cost to move to PA from NY?
If you’re planning a full-service move, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and upwards of $5,000, depending on the size of your move.
It’s possible to move for less, but you’ll spend between $200 to $1,000 for a rental truck alone. You’ll have to factor in the cost of fuel, other moving services, and the time and effort you’ll expend during the process.
How long will my move take?
Most professional movers estimate 7 to 14 business days for a long-distance move.
Ask your moving provider for a more accurate estimate since each company and the distance you need to travel will affect this estimate.
For those who need to move fast, expedited delivery is also an option and typically takes 1 to 3 business days. However, expect to pay a premium for this service.
How is living in PA different from NY?
While New York City offers plenty of tourist attractions and landmarks, Pennsylvania is the most historical state in the country.
Larger cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are actually fairly similar to NYC, but on a smaller scale. However, the rural areas are a different story. These places offer a taste of small-town life that’s hard to find in NYC but will feel very familiar to those moving from Upstate.
The cost of living is lower than New York City pretty much anywhere you choose to go in PA. However, if you’re coming from the Upstate, it’s hit or miss whether the cost of living is higher or lower in Pennsylvania.
How do you get around in Pennsylvania?
Some of the larger cities like Philly and Pittsburgh have decent public transportation. Even the smaller cities usually have a bus route.
However, there are a lot of rural areas in the state, so having a car is going to be the easiest way to get around.
Is Pennsylvania a good place to live?
Pennsylvania is one of the top states to live in, ranked at number ten in the nation.
Housing prices are low, there are plenty of job opportunities, and many locals feel the quality of life is better than anywhere else. In fact, the state is ranked number two for the best quality of life.
You can choose from cute, small towns or larger cities, and the state is close to many popular travel destinations, making it a great location to call home.
Moving to Pennsylvania from NY
While moving to Pennsylvania from New York may seem daunting, you don’t have to do it alone.
Your Hometown Mover can help! With locations in New York and South Florida, our teams can work with you to create a long-distance moving solution that makes sense for your family.
We offer guaranteed pricing and offer expedited delivery within 1 to 3 days for many moves. Get a free moving quote today!
Our team will do the heavy lifting so that you can spend less time worrying about your relocation and more time enjoying your new home.