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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:58 AM
145 posts, read 219,913 times
Reputation: 44


We have been residents of Annville for just over a year and our jobs and schools more or less keep us in this location for the foreseeable next 7 years.

We love the countryside and mountain areas of Central PA, areas like Big Valley, Port Royal and areas about 25-30 minutes south of State College.

We are starting to research where a good place to purchase a few acres and possible place a weekend camp?

We want to start with just the land and eventually build a small cabin or something similar. We feel it would be a great area to get away from the hustle and bustle and not be too far for weekend getaways.

Any ideas from those that have a similar situation or can recommend some sweet spots that are good for this lifestyle?

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Old 11-24-2015, 04:44 PM
4,267 posts, read 10,412,540 times
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Starting with bare land is not a great idea in PA with many issues getting driveway permits on state roads (in areas with recreational cabins, typically any paved road is a state not a township road), septic permits, etc. Much of that could be avoided by getting a property with some type of functioning septic and a driveway.

Sometimes there are cabin subdivisions where they have done the heavy lifting for you (subdivisions this century require probes and percs for septic). But they might also come with condominium associations for road maintenance, stormwater, etc. setting up argue points with neighbors.

There are many areas with camps/seasonal properties in the edges of Mifflin and Juniata counties, adjoining or not too far from state forest or game land. Last year when I went there it seemed like every other shack on the road to Reeds Gap State Park was for sale. These counties seem to be a little cheaper than Centre or Perry counties where one actually could commute to reasonable paying work. Although western Perry county out past Blain might be worth looking into as well.

If you are looking in a particular area and not much comes up on your favorite real estate listings website, or craigslist, try getting the local weekly newspaper and studying the classified ads. Or maybe Lancaster Farming - Lancaster Farming Many rural properties in southcentral PA are auctioned vs. listed for sale. Or they may be FSBO, drive around looking in your target zones for signs.

If you want really rustic, there are little shacks grandfathered in to ground leases on State Forest land. PA*DCNR*-*Leased Campsite PSCLA :: Camps Wanted/For Sale Basically, you own the structure but the state owns the ground and sets the rules, usually no running water and no permanent electric. But if you can live with that there may be thousands of acres for you to roam on that you don't have to pay the taxes on (but you also can't keep others off of).
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