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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:08 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,313 times
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My husband and I are looking to buy a house in the Harrisburg area, and we could really use some help in finding the ideal location. We moved to downtown Harrisburg in February and have been looking around since. However, there is only so much that can be learned in a few months, and we'd like to buy before September, so any guidance would be appreciated.

About us: We’re a professional couple in our 40s, no children (so we don’t have to worry about school districts). Both of us grew up in the countryside and enjoy being in nature, but we’ve also lived most of our adult lives in cities, where we learned to really enjoy the conveniences of urban living. We're not "sporty" but we do enjoy walking/hiking.

What we’d like in a town: Within at most 15-20 miles from Harrisburg, we’d like to find a low crime, walkable, small-to-medium-sized town surrounded primarily by natural beauty (mountains/farmland, rather than suburbs). There are so many towns like this around here that we feel spoiled for choice. The trick is finding a place that has as many conveniences as possible. For us that means things like (at a minimum) a good pub, a really good diner, a decent-sized convenience store (preferably open early & late), and a market (not necessarily a supermarket, but a place where we can buy nice groceries/pharmacy stuff 7 days/week). A town with its own farmer's market would also be nice. We also would like a town with well-run municipal services, like good snow and trash removal, problem-free internet/power/sewer, etc. With the economy being as unpredictable as it is lately, we’d also like to find a place where the cost of living is lower rather than higher. An area that is less congested traffic-wise would also be ideal. We particularly love the mountains, but we'd like to know if there are places that have significantly more snow-related problems than others, or if it's all pretty much the same in the area.

What we’d like in a house: We’re looking for something that will be comfortable for us, but also for family/friends who may come for extended visits. We’re thinking at least a 3 bed, 2 bath, but more bedrooms would be great. We’re not afraid of a house that needs a little work, but we’d like something that's basically move-in ready and with no major issues (no structural issues, not on a flood plain, etc.). Central air seems particularly important after the past couple of weeks(!), and we’d also like at least a little bit of a yard (for our small dog) and our own parking. I like older houses that were built to last and have a lot of architectural character, but we’re not big fans of major maintenance, either, so we’re open to all kinds of homes.

Price range: Value for money and finding the right house/location is more important than price, for us. We’d like to find a sweet spot where we can spend as little as possible to get all that we’re looking for; that may mean spending $180k, but if we can do it for $35k, all the better! The other consideration is that we’re having trouble finding clear information on which towns/counties tend to have the lowest property and school taxes; any guidance there would be appreciated, again in consideration of cost of living.

We'll probably do most of the legwork on our own, but if anyone knows a realtor who they think would be a good person for us to work with, we may be needing one! Thank you in advance for any help you can give; we truly appreciate it.

Last edited by DogsLife; 07-02-2012 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:01 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,360,403 times
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Duncannon Borough has unusually well run municipal services (including electric) for such a small town, and you have the surrounding mountains along the Appalachian Trail. Mutzabaugh's food market is just outside town, in town you have the hiker bar (the Doyle Hotel) and the other larger bar (The Pub). Now 2 Sheetz locations although both are short drives not walk-to. School is outside town and fair-to-middling so no big price premium. Watch the flood zones.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:45 PM
 
69 posts, read 147,468 times
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I will suggest Mount Joy in Lancaster County. It's a little further from Harrisburg than your specifications, 30 miles, but it has an Amtrak station in the heart of town which will get you to Harrisburg much quicker than driving (Philly or NYC too). Bube's Brewery is a nice little brewpub, and there are several other little bars along Main St. There's a Weis Market right in the middle of town, across from a 24 hour CVS, definitely walk-able. I know people who live in the mixed use community being built on the western edge of town, Florin Hill, they like it a lot. There are plenty of newer and older homes in the town, and they aren't very sprawling which makes everything walkable or just a short drive away. As a town with historic character and strong connectivity to both Lancaster and Harrisburg, I think it's a pretty good investment. I'm also a downtown Harrisburg resident, and I'm considering it. Good luck in your search!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Hampden Township (Mechanicsburg), PA
26 posts, read 78,669 times
Reputation: 19
DogsLife,
Wanted to send you a private message however it's not an option. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Michelle
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