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Old 07-09-2014, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
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Hello All...

I'll find out next week if I'll be moving to Lancaster for work, which will be slightly south of the Lancaster Country Club, east of Hwy 30. I'd like to rent an apt within 20-30 min from work at most, if possible & had a few general questions about apt complexes in the area.

Covered parking... I don't want to shovel snow around my car every time it snows... or have to regularly shovel out an on-street parking space... decades of Boston/NYC snow shoveling was enough. I was wondering, do most Lancaster apt complexes offer covered parking, either garage or carport, or is it a rarity? If not, are there nearby cities/towns where covered parking is the norm in apt complexes? I'm searching apt websites, but they don't describe which type of parking is available.

Nearby supermarket & some amenities... I'd like to live within a 10-15-min drive to at least 1 major food market & about the same distance to P.O., liquor store, a few small restaurants/cafes/Starbucks/Target/whatever... just something.

Quiet... I currently live in a smaller town, after a lifetime of enormous cities. I never thought I'd adjust, but I'm really rather enjoying the quiet & ability to sleep through the night sans continual clamoring from yelling neighbors & their too-loud movies, traffic & partying dolts headed en masse to their cars from 1-3am. It means I gave up walkability, which I don't like, but I've adjusted to the trade off. Are there any sections of Lancaster or nearby towns which would offer more considerately quiet neighbors? If it helps, I'd rather have a rent only up to $800, because I'm currently in saving-for-a-rainy-day mode. I could pay more, but it seems the area has plenty of apts under $800.

Also, I don't mind living out further from amenities if it means a nice quality of life, with peace & quiet and/or lesser rents or flats which are more upscale or offer more amenities, because I just realized, I'd surely pass a market on my way to/from work. Conversely (& I realize this sounds like a contradiction), a neighborhood with sidewalks so some safe neighborhood walking can be done is great. Which towns or parts of Lancaster would be my best bet?

Thank you so much. I appreciate your help & am looking forward to exploring Lancaster.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
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Just bumping once, in the hopes of garnering a reply.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 507,861 times
Reputation: 382
Hello,

I'm not very familiar with apartment complexes in Lancaster, however, if a covered parking area is important to you then I would suggest calling the apartments directly and inquiring as to whether or not they offer that service.
I can give you some general advice on Lancaster. Since you will be working on the east side of town I would obviously look for something on that side of town, or to the north or south of your workplace. If you live on the west side you will either have to cross through town on Route 30 or downtown during your commute, both routes are bottlenecks during rush hour. If you are looking for a quiet place within 20-30 minutes you can try and look for a rental in Lititz or Ephrata, and there are dozens of other small towns within that range of Lancaster. However, those small towns don't really have a lot of rental options, so you might have to refine your search to Lancaster. The east side of Lancaster along Route 30 really seems to be growing, you might want to start looking at that area. If you do move to a smaller town I should warn you that the people here in Central PA can be extremely conservative. Lancaster City is becoming more diverse, but Central PA is still a very conservative area. Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben1234 View Post
I would suggest calling the apartments directly and inquiring as to whether or not they offer that service.
Of course I'd call them, but, I was wondering about the norm, e.g. off-street spaces being common or uncommon & covered or open lots being more plentiful in the area, etc. For example, having lived in Denver, I can tell you that carports/garages/covered parking bays are normal in apt complexes. There are a few complexes with open parking... they're cheaper (so that oftentimes brings a less desirable clientele), but it would need to be taken into consideration that moving your car by 8am may be necessary so the complex can plow snow... not always convenient if wanting to sleep in on a snowy weekend. Having lived in Boston/NYC, I can tell you that non-reserved, on-street parking is almost exclusive if living in the inner city, with on-street permit parking in small neighborhood pockets. If one wants dedicated and/or off-street parking, head for the suburbs.

Quote:
I can give you some general advice on Lancaster. Since you will be working on the east side of town I would obviously look for something on that side of town, or to the north or south of your workplace. If you live on the west side you will either have to cross through town on Route 30 or downtown during your commute, both routes are bottlenecks during rush hour. If you are looking for a quiet place within 20-30 minutes you can try and look for a rental in Lititz or Ephrata, and there are dozens of other small towns within that range of Lancaster. However, those small towns don't really have a lot of rental options, so you might have to refine your search to Lancaster. The east side of Lancaster along Route 30 really seems to be growing, you might want to start looking at that area.
Thank you, Ben, this info is really helpful. I've never lived near work before or have only been 7-mi away, but had 1-1/2+ hrs commute each way through city traffic (driving or public transit) to work, so I've decided I don't want to waste 15-20-hrs/wk commuting any longer. It's been draining. Sometimes, it can't be helped... but, I don't want to do it unless there's no other choice & it's a short term situation.

Quote:
If you do move to a smaller town I should warn you that the people here in Central PA can be extremely conservative. Lancaster City is becoming more diverse, but Central PA is still a very conservative area. Good luck.
What do you mean by warn? When you say conservative, do you mean the area is made up of more religious and/or families with kids, rather than catering to singles?

I'll adjust in time, but it's good to be aware of the norm (I know... that phrase again!) I've noticed apts along Rt 30 (more plentiful to the west), so once I arrive I'll begin my drive about that area. Since I'm currently only able to look from clean 'cross the country, I just wanted an idea on where to begin.

Thanks so much for your input, Ben. I really appreciate it!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 507,861 times
Reputation: 382
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatanjaliTwist View Post
Of course I'd call them, but, I was wondering about the norm, e.g. off-street spaces being common or uncommon & covered or open lots being more plentiful in the area, etc. For example, having lived in Denver, I can tell you that carports/garages/covered parking bays are normal in apt complexes. There are a few complexes with open parking... they're cheaper (so that oftentimes brings a less desirable clientele), but it would need to be taken into consideration that moving your car by 8am may be necessary so the complex can plow snow... not always convenient if wanting to sleep in on a snowy weekend. Having lived in Boston/NYC, I can tell you that non-reserved, on-street parking is almost exclusive if living in the inner city, with on-street permit parking in small neighborhood pockets. If one wants dedicated and/or off-street parking, head for the suburbs.



Thank you, Ben, this info is really helpful. I've never lived near work before or have only been 7-mi away, but had 1-1/2+ hrs commute each way through city traffic (driving or public transit) to work, so I've decided I don't want to waste 15-20-hrs/wk commuting any longer. It's been draining. Sometimes, it can't be helped... but, I don't want to do it unless there's no other choice & it's a short term situation.



What do you mean by warn? When you say conservative, do you mean the area is made up of more religious and/or families with kids, rather than catering to singles?

I'll adjust in time, but it's good to be aware of the norm (I know... that phrase again!) I've noticed apts along Rt 30 (more plentiful to the west), so once I arrive I'll begin my drive about that area. Since I'm currently only able to look from clean 'cross the country, I just wanted an idea on where to begin.

Thanks so much for your input, Ben. I really appreciate it!

"...more religious and/or families with kids, rather than catering to singles..." would be an understatement. Central PA is one of the most conservative areas of the country. I have family that live in Oklahoma City and Central PA is hands-down more conservative. I'm guessing that you have never visited? Lancaster is becoming more diverse and progressive but "outsiders" typically aren't welcomed here. Brace yourself for a bit of culture shock.

You have to understand the history of Central PA, especially Lancaster. The majority of people who first settled here were PA Dutch (Amish). Many Lancasterians are descendants of Amish (consider the overwhelming number of German surnames), and of course there are still many practicing Amish in the area. This sort of extremely conservative mind-set permeates throughout Central PA. Most people who move into the area from other areas of the country are not warmly welcomed. Lancaster City is seeing an influx of Hispanics, but almost all of them live below the poverty line in the downtown area and are ostracized by the majority.

On the bright side, Lancaster is a short train ride from Philly. And, as previously mentioned, the area is slowly becoming more progressive/diverse as more and more people move here from Philly, NYC, Balt. etc.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben1234 View Post
"...more religious and/or families with kids, rather than catering to singles..." would be an understatement. Central PA is one of the most conservative areas of the country. I have family that live in Oklahoma City and Central PA is hands-down more conservative. I'm guessing that you have never visited? Lancaster is becoming more diverse and progressive but "outsiders" typically aren't welcomed here. Brace yourself for a bit of culture shock.
Hiya Ben... Thanks again for the info. Actually, I was born in PA & have visited (mainly NEPA & SEPA) in recent years & have visited Lancaster... but living in any area is wholly different than a quick visit. So yes, I am aware of PA's history & people, but imagine that specific area to be fairly unfamiliar. I've moved so many times, I'm always the outsider (enough that everyone always thinks I'm from somewhere else, no matter where I am in the world), but I do know what you mean. I didn't know the ultra-conservative bent gravitated far from the Amish & Mennonite communities of the area. I have found Pennsylvanians as a whole to be fairly friendly, compared to other dodgy places I've lived, although, I haven't lived in a small city before, so there will be an adjustment period. In my personal experience, Boston & Atlanta win hands down in the rudeness, unwelcoming, culture shock categories (lived in both for decades)... so I'm imagining Lancaster can't be worse.

Quote:
On the bright side, Lancaster is a short train ride from Philly. And, as previously mentioned, the area is slowly becoming more progressive/diverse as more and more people move here from Philly, NYC, Balt. etc.
Yes, that is good news. I think Amtrak runs through Lancaster & into NYC, as well, so that will be fun. I'll make the best of it... I'll be working odd hours & finishing my schooling, so once the cold hits, I'll be found indoors with the heat on! And, I don't plan on remaining for years... it's just my next step. Cheers for your advice.

BTW, I've passed through OKC & found the people to be absolutely lovely. Kind, friendly women & real, gen-u-ine cowboys, who jumped out of trucks & hopped out from behind hedges to open doors for me. Nice city, too. Do you miss it?
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
Reputation: 3424
Default BigBen1234

Since you were kind enough to reply, perhaps I could run this passed you? I'm also interviewing for a job in the King of Prussia area. I'm curious, do you know anything about that area as far as people & local culture? Maybe being closer to Philly has certain advantages?

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 507,861 times
Reputation: 382
Hello again,

I actually don't mind the rudeness of Boston/NYC/Philly residents. I think its refreshing when people say what is on their minds. What drives me crazy is the snooty, holier than thou type rudeness that you are more likely to find in Central PA. Here you will find a lot of locals trashing other people behind their backs, gossiping and judging. (I know this kind of behavior can be found everywhere, but it is much more prevalent here) This kind of indirect rudeness really drives me crazy sometimes.

If you do end up working in Lancaster and it turns out that you don't like the area, you could live in the Downingtown/West Chester area which would put you at about a 50 min commute from work and only about 40 minutes from Philly. I know you said you wanted a short commute but I thought I should mention that.

I was just in King of Prussia last Tuesday. It is a pleasant and relatively quiet suburb of Philly (lots of soccer moms and strip malls). Obviously much more culturally diverse than Lancaster and you are only 30 min from Center City (with out traffic of course) But you will find Philly COL there.

Finally, I don't miss OKC. The people are friendly but the area can be boring. The only place that I really miss is El Paso, TX. The beautiful weather and desert scenery, good nightlife and a unique border culture. A very entertaining city that most people know nothing about.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,800,321 times
Reputation: 3424
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben1234 View Post
Hello again, I actually don't mind the rudeness of Boston/NYC/Philly residents. I think its refreshing when people say what is on their minds.
Perhaps you misunderstood my point and/or definition of rude. To me, rudeness doesn't necessarily = honesty, but I'm guessing you haven't lived in the inner-city hostile, prejudiced, unwelcoming 'hoods of Boston? Again, decades of being a resident vastly differ from vacationing, visiting or being a short term resident. No matter... we all have different experiences.

Quote:
I was just in King of Prussia last Tuesday. It is a pleasant and relatively quiet suburb of Philly (lots of soccer moms and strip malls). Obviously much more culturally diverse than Lancaster and you are only 30 min from Center City (with out traffic of course) But you will find Philly COL there.
Thanks for your observations.

Quote:
Finally, I don't miss OKC. The people are friendly but the area can be boring. The only place that I really miss is El Paso, TX. The beautiful weather and desert scenery, good nightlife and a unique border culture. A very entertaining city that most people know nothing about.
I've had friends who've lived in El Paso for years... they've always hated it. This is why, I suppose, it's so difficult to give recommendations to strangers. I'll make it work (even if I need to cross stare borders), no matter where I end up. Thanks again, Ben.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 507,861 times
Reputation: 382
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatanjaliTwist View Post
Perhaps you misunderstood my point and/or definition of rude. To me, rudeness doesn't necessarily = honesty, but I'm guessing you haven't lived in the inner-city hostile, prejudiced, unwelcoming 'hoods of Boston? Again, decades of being a resident vastly differ from vacationing, visiting or being a short term resident. No matter... we all have different experiences.



Thanks for your observations.



I've had friends who've lived in El Paso for years... they've always hated it. This is why, I suppose, it's so difficult to give recommendations to strangers. I'll make it work (even if I need to cross stare borders), no matter where I end up. Thanks again, Ben.
You are so right. It is very hard to give recommendations to strangers.

I also think that one's immediate coworkers are far more important to happiness than the city that one lives in. I've lived in great cities but was unfortunate to have some pretty awful coworkers. On the other hand if you really like the people you work with that can make up for living in a not so desirable city. I hope you find a great team, and you certainly seem intelligent enough to make any situation work.

BTW, El Paso is very polarizing, so your friends opinions don't surprise me.
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