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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:09 PM
Location: Maryland
57 posts, read 90,541 times
Reputation: 95


My wife and I live in a small town in Maryland with our two children, who are in their early 20s and looking for career-type jobs and could therefore potentially move out at any time. My mother-in-law spends half the year at a small vacation home she owns and the other half in a retirement community townhouse. The family agrees that it is ridiculous for her to be paying the very high monthly fees to the retirement community for the whole year when she's not there half the time, so I suggested that she move in with us for those months. However, our present home does not lend itself to another resident, so it would involve us moving.

We are interested in an older home this time (more than 75 years old). I have been looking at various houses within a one-hour commute of my job (did longer than that for years, no problem) and found a bunch of them in the York area, especially in the city, at a fraction of the price of other areas.

Of course, there has to be a reason for that. One would be schools, which we don't have to worry about any more since our kids are older. Another would be crime. Unfortunately, I don't know York other than going to a concert, a couple of restaurants, and some Revolution games. Are there any parts that would be considered relatively safe where I could focus my search? Or are there other major reasons for the noticeably depressed prices in York? Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:22 AM
Location: West York
121 posts, read 212,420 times
Reputation: 144
The Springdale area right around the hospital is nice, filled with bigger, nicer old homes. The taxes can be kind of high there though. The areas immediately to the south and west of York College are nice too, but again you are paying city taxes, but those two areas have the older homes you are looking for. East York suburb might also fit your style, that is the neighborhood boxed in by I-83 and Route 24 to the west and east, and Market St. to the north with E. Prospect to the South. All three areas are quick and easy access to I-83, I assume you are commuting to MD. These are all nice areas, but I will say with Springdale and the area out around the College, it can go from nice to ghetto in a matter of a few blocks.

Oh, another nice area is up around Penn State York and York Suburban HS, the areas marked on a map as Valley View (but this is still York). Also the neighboorhood that sits on top of the hill off of Queen St, is a nice, older neighborhood.
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:38 PM
Location: Kittanning
4,656 posts, read 7,951,295 times
Reputation: 3614
Isn't most of downtown York gentrifying? There is so much downtown, and most of the housing is in good codition. It boggles my mind how cheap those beautiful historic townhouses are. In bigger cities, they would command 200k plus, at least.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:54 AM
Location: Midwest transplant
2,048 posts, read 5,332,088 times
Reputation: 1613
Taxes for York City are very high, seemingly/jokingly offset by the low cost of housing. As a previous poster suggested, the areas around York Hospital and York College have the oldest larger homes. Some of them will be in the city limits (high taxes and city school district) and the others will be in Spring Garden Township, or the York Suburban School district, recently voted as a top school in the country. The area of East Market/83 in Springettsbury Township has some older homes (not sure if they reach the 75 year age, but would come close). Even along East Market Street coming out of the city into East York has a neighborhood of older large homes. If you have your heart set on an older home, expand your search to include southern York County; Shrewsbury, Fawn Grove, Red Lion, Dallastown, New Freedom. There are many larger homes interspersed throughout these communities, keeping you out of (but still close) to the city itself and with as much house and lower taxes...plus better school districts and resale value down the road.

The reason many of those homes are so inexpensive is the fact that people just don't want to live in the city, pay high taxes, have to keep up those large homes, deal with the lack of parking, the politics, the pockets of crime etc. Those small homes (less than 1000 sq. ft) can carry a tax burden of $10,000 or more a year. The larger homes will easily double that amount.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:20 AM
Location: Central Texas. Wait, I mean South Texas. Actually, both Central and South Texas
317 posts, read 487,051 times
Reputation: 373
IMO York City is really depressing. Lots of crime for a small town and high poverty rates. Thrown in high property taxes (even by PA standards) and you have an area that's just not desirable.

On the bright side there are a few cool restaurants/bars in York City.

I would recommend looking at East York, Spring Grove or Red Lion.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:36 PM
52 posts, read 87,434 times
Reputation: 72
Honestly, I would stay in MD. York is pretty damn rough. There's not much nice in that area. Downtown is really dangerous. Yes, it is cheaper to live there than MD, but you get what you pay for. Most desirable places are pricey. Places that are cheap, are cheap for a reason.
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