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Old 07-17-2018, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
273 posts, read 198,548 times
Reputation: 724

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefret View Post
This month's Kipplinger magazine listed Lancaster as one of the best places to retire. That doesn't fit in with what I'm reading on this thread.
A few things at work here:

Assumably, the Kiplinger criteria for “best places to retire” were weighted heavily toward taxes, cost of living, senior services, and quality/availability of heath care. On all of these counts, the Lancaster area would be quite competitive with many other metro areas nationally.

I’ll also assume that Kiplinger was not necessarily referring to the City of Lancaster itself but rather the greater Lancaster area. As with most Pennsylvania cities (and unlike many cities in the South and West), the municipal boundaries of the City of Lancaster represent a relatively small proportion of the overall metro area—representing just a little over 10% of the metro population and less than 1% of its land area. So much of the hand wringing you see in this thread regarding the city’s problems (which has been overstated, in my opinion) refers only to a portion of the city itself—which in turn is only a small portion of the Lancaster metro area.

And has been mentioned by a few posters upthread, some people’s complaints about genuine problems in the city itself are amplified substantially their personal gripes over demographic changes (the Latino population has mushroomed in the past two decades), their bitterness over pieces of Old Lancaster that no longer exist, and a general fear of a city they no longer know: In my experience, many of these complainers are people who fled to the suburbs a generation ago, and are basically disconnected from the city except for quick glances at sensationalist local news coverage. Similar choruses of suburban nattering nabobs exist in Philadelphia, Allentown, and Harrisburg, just to name a few cities in Pennsylvania alone.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:07 AM
 
584 posts, read 251,717 times
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Excellent synopsis by briantroutman. I challenge anyone to find one of the founding cities in the mid-Atlantic, and New England states. Those cities that are 200-300 years old, and of a similar size and demographic composition, that are as vibrant, and clearly on the right track, as Lancaster City is. Good luck with the search. The last two decades + of turning the city around have been the envy of a lot of city planners and governments on the east coast, and there are no shortage of those folks showing up to ask how to get their own cities out of seemingly endless decline.

As for opportunities in the nearby burbs and towns (which as BT correctly notes, could easily be part of the city itself, in many other regions of the country), they are IMHO tough to beat, just about anywhere. I spent 2-1/2 years researching and visiting potential retirement locations in the eastern 2/3rd of the states. I found similar places in other locations. In each case they had exponentially higher costs (income, personal property taxes, home and vehicle insurance can be stunningly higher, and overlooked by those that plan to retire to another state since it has no income tax, or dirt cheap property taxes) and/or higher crime, hot wet climate for 5-7 months a year, or they provided very similar offerings of single family homes, in great old stately neighborhoods, at twice the cost and beyond. Often accompanied by explosive growth, and crowds everywhere from the clogged interstates, to rural walking paths. When it comes to crime and other quality of life issues, the contrast between Lancaster and the nearby cities of Reading and York make it pretty clear that some cities have their act together, and some have a LONG way to go.........................
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:51 PM
 
15,846 posts, read 29,127,800 times
Reputation: 19772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefret View Post
This month's Kipplinger magazine listed Lancaster as one of the best places to retire. That doesn't fit in with what I'm reading on this thread.
Willow Valley is a great place to retire (as long as one can afford it). The rest of Lancaster not so much.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:14 PM
 
Location: NY
9,819 posts, read 2,808,580 times
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This map is hilarious.
Love it when people tell it like it is and trying to be politically correct at the same time.

Now when you say here be the dragons you mean monsters not a certain ethnicity. Right? L.O.L.

Last edited by Mr.Retired; 09-09-2018 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:19 PM
 
Location: NY
9,819 posts, read 2,808,580 times
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Great observation.
Now if it was someone who used to live in the city housing projects making the complaint
here in Lancaster that would be something to worry about.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:16 AM
 
7,304 posts, read 2,692,870 times
Reputation: 4770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefret View Post
This month's Kipplinger magazine listed Lancaster as one of the best places to retire. That doesn't fit in with what I'm reading on this thread.
Those Best of Lists tend to be based on removed number-crunching for larger areas (say, the entirety of Lancaster County).

Rather than being an on-the-ground subjective assessment of specific regions of those areas that some people may be more interested in living in (Lancaster City).

Lancaster County is huge and is filled with financially and socially stable Mennonite communities (which is a factor that is rare for the vast majority of counties in the United States). The Lancaster suburbs have a solid mainstream-American (non-Amish) middle class, which also helps.

That all goes a long way toward buffering any negative numbers from Lancaster City. Most rural areas of most counties in the United States, in contrast, are filled with relatively poor people with more social dysfunction on the whole than the Mennonites. This may be a large reason why many fewer measurable issues show up on Kiplinger spreadsheets for "Lancaster", putting it at the top of their listings. Most people looking to retire will never live too far away from Lancaster City. Though, you don't have to be too far away to be able to forget that it exists at all.

Last edited by golgi1; 09-18-2019 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
6 posts, read 1,623 times
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This thread is very interesting for me as I'm inheriting a house in Lancaster and will probably be looking to sell it. Unfortunately, it's right in the "dragon" area on the map posted here and near the culliton/farnum park. I realize that post is over 4 years old... have things changed much? I grew up outside of Philly but now live in Charleston, SC. I haven't been to Lancaster in decades.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:28 PM
 
584 posts, read 251,717 times
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Not too much changed lately, except that the property market is red hot, and if you ask nearly any type of competent contractor or builder if they have time for you, the answer is, "maybe next year". I watched a a literal tear-down quality dump sell near me, in one of the most desirable small towns just outside of the city. It's 1100 or 1200 sq. ft. 2/1 on a slab, ancient in floor heat (which will fail any day now) and staple up tile ceilings. The undersized, attached garage interior is finished in particle board, nailed on with roofing nails, the joints are cover in masking tape, and the whole mess is painted hospital puke green. The dirt cheapest caliber of any repairs, or new finishes, have been done to patch this piece of garbage up to keep tenants happy. It has 7' wall height, the siding is falling off, and it needs EVERYTHING from rewiring and plumbing to a roof. It sold in a couple of days, to the highest offer, which in this market usually means at least a few thousand over asking. The list was $215K

Bottom line for you? If you're going to sell, do it now, as in right now, while things are crazy hot. I spoke to the broker who sold the garbage pile I referred to. He told me that, in forty years of selling in the county, he never saw a frenzy like this. It's not going to last. One day soon, the reality that the feds printing free money can't go on forever, the fact that unemployment is really 2-3X the showcase number, that the now collapsing stock market was based on wishful thinking and unicorn flatulence, and 1/3rd of renters and mortgage holders are no longer making their payments, is going to hit the property market like an asteroid. At that point, hipsters will no longer be clawing their way into $200K plus row homes in the fair to sketchy parts of L City, and whatever you own is now worth a fraction of the peak value it is right now.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
6 posts, read 1,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wharton View Post
Not too much changed lately, except that the property market is red hot, and if you ask nearly any type of competent contractor or builder if they have time for you, the answer is, "maybe next year". I watched a a literal tear-down quality dump sell near me, in one of the most desirable small towns just outside of the city. It's 1100 or 1200 sq. ft. 2/1 on a slab, ancient in floor heat (which will fail any day now) and staple up tile ceilings. The undersized, attached garage interior is finished in particle board, nailed on with roofing nails, the joints are cover in masking tape, and the whole mess is painted hospital puke green. The dirt cheapest caliber of any repairs, or new finishes, have been done to patch this piece of garbage up to keep tenants happy. It has 7' wall height, the siding is falling off, and it needs EVERYTHING from rewiring and plumbing to a roof. It sold in a couple of days, to the highest offer, which in this market usually means at least a few thousand over asking. The list was $215K

Bottom line for you? If you're going to sell, do it now, as in right now, while things are crazy hot. I spoke to the broker who sold the garbage pile I referred to. He told me that, in forty years of selling in the county, he never saw a frenzy like this. It's not going to last. One day soon, the reality that the feds printing free money can't go on forever, the fact that unemployment is really 2-3X the showcase number, that the now collapsing stock market was based on wishful thinking and unicorn flatulence, and 1/3rd of renters and mortgage holders are no longer making their payments, is going to hit the property market like an asteroid. At that point, hipsters will no longer be clawing their way into $200K plus row homes in the fair to sketchy parts of L City, and whatever you own is now worth a fraction of the peak value it is right now.
Thanks, I see similar activity here in Charleston and a lot of it is from investors. Ditto with the trouble finding a decent contractor who is available and in any way reasonable. The house is going into probate, so I'm not sure how quickly it could be sold.

Are you familiar with the Cabbage Hill neighborhood in particular?
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:55 PM
 
584 posts, read 251,717 times
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No, I really know nothing beyond what you could learn on this forum, or similar sources, when it comes to specific neighborhoods in the city. Investors are only part of the game here. There is a serious shortage of housing stock of all types. The county has some of the strictest preservation rules for open land, in the nation. This county is a stunningly productive, labor intensive machine in so many areas, farming, food manufacturing, heavy construction (bridge building, precast concrete, steel fabricating) furniture production, tourism, hospitality, retail and much more. My guess is will never be enough housing to fill the void. The Corona impact on available listings is severe. At the start of last month there were roughly 900 homes available on the multi-list. The same time in 2019 there were 2100.

So, you have families and first timers looking for homes, retirees from all over the region looking to buy, "english" or non-Amish investors looking for rentals, and a very aggressive,very successful community of Amish landlords who will buy just about anything from a $40K shell of a burned out row home in a rough part of the city, to a $400K McMansion in a rural area. Some of these Amish guys are 18, buying their first property. Others are a decade older, and selling their portfolio of rentals to buy a $1.5M Farm, or piece of ground to build one. It's an interesting place, indeed.
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