Michelle Scudero

Cancer Care Counselor, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Michelle Scudero and her husband are originally from New Jersey, and when they started looking to buy a home, they naturally decided to start their search in their home state… but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work out.

“The costs were astronomical!” said Michelle, who was working part-time and pursuing her master’s degree in social work at the time. “It was very discouraging.”

But some of her husband’s co-workers lived in Lehigh Valley, and when they suggested she look at houses there, she immediately fell in love with the area. It wasn’t long before they purchased a beautiful new home in Nazareth borough.

I would never have a starter home like this in New Jersey, it’s incredible,” Michelle said. “I keep telling people to move out here.”

Michelle isn’t the only one who has had that experience in Lehigh Valley. The region was recently ranked among the top 10 markets for homebuyers between the ages of 18 and 35, according to realtor.com, based on such factors as household income by age bracket, median home sale prices, and mortgage interest rates.

The quality of life in Lehigh Valley is a huge factor as well, according to Michelle.

“The pace is noticeably different here,” she said. “Whenever I go back to New York and New Jersey, I feel rushed and stressed out, and it seems like everyone else feels that way so it’s contagious. That just melts away when I’m driving back towards home. The people in Lehigh Valley have been incredibly kind and welcoming, and I find myself to be a happier person out here versus when I’m back here.”

Michelle has made connections with neighbors and other people through her job and social work internships. Contributing to her community is important for Michelle, and she’s found many opportunities for volunteer and charity work in Lehigh Valley, particularly through her job at the St. Luke’s University Health Network.

She works as a cancer care counselor at St. Luke’s, and also works for the Be Well Integrative Health Services. Michelle’s background includes social work, holistic wellness, and fitness rehabilitation, and her goal is to try to combine her varied interests into the perfect career for herself.

“To me, success means being able to make an income while making an impact,” Michelle said. “Doing work that you love and helping others in the process. It’s like a beautiful cycle, that you’re helping yourself and helping others at the same time. I think that’s possible here in Lehigh Valley.”

Live Like a Local

Favorite Date Night Spot: We went to a place once called Mesa in downtown Easton, and it had a beautiful atmosphere and delicious food and really strong drinks, which was very appreciated.

Favorite Place to Eat: Nazareth Diner or Diner 248. I was concerned when I moved out thinking “We’re not going to have New Jersey diners anymore!”, but the food in these two places is phenomenal.

On your Fall “Must-Do List”: I’ve been wanting to go to a winery or brewery tour. My husband won’t do this with me, but I’ve been wanting to do a hot air balloon experience. And another draw that people have been coming out to is the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino.