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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 405,771 times
Reputation: 339

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My husband and I are thinking of moving to the Gettysburg/Harrisburg area in a couple of years.
We are used and rare booksellers. He does bookbinding as well and we are looking for a town/community that will be strong enough to support our businesses. A number of book shows that we sell at, are within Pennsylvania or a few hours away. We have been to the Gettysburg area a number of times as well as Butler.


Here is the info that was suggested I note:


When are you moving? 2-3 years
Where are you coming from? Massachusetts
Why are you moving? To be closer to our book shows and open a retail bookshop and bookbindery
Where will you be working? Out of our business. We will need an area that has good internet reception. A lot of our work is online as well.
Have you been here yet? We have been to certain areas...Gettysburg, Butler and visited others

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House 150-200
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? n/a
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up?

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married no children, in our 50's-60's
Do you prefer public or private schools? n/a
Do you have pets? 2 cats
Do you want or need a yard? yes, enough area for a veggie garden 1-2 acres, more if possible
Are you keeping a car? yes, two cars
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? calm quiet

What do you want to be closest to?
Work - might end up renting a retail space if we cannot find an old farmhouse we can sell out of as well
Shopping 1-2 miles away
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife n/a
Train or subway stations 5 miles away

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Flexible

Phillies, Pirates or Orioles? Um..Patriots and Green Bay Packers At least right now. I can be converted, my husband, probably not.


Drucilla

Last edited by medievalbooks; 01-14-2016 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:11 PM
 
235 posts, read 198,568 times
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You say you've been to Gettysburg several times. I assume, then, that you are familiar with New Oxford? Lots of antique shops, as you probably know. The problem is finding an acre or two, very close to shopping and a train station, for under 200K. I can't imagine where you are going to find that. Drop the train station preference, and change the 1-2 miles to shopping to a bit further out, and you just might be able to find something.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,048 posts, read 5,341,252 times
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New Oxford or perhaps Lititz or Lancaster? There's a huge antique mall in Adamstown, lots of others in the area along Routes 30, 422, 772.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:40 PM
 
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Anywhere in Adams County would be a good fit for your business. Gettysburg and New Oxford have an upscale, educated tourist vibe that would attract many of your type of customers.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 405,771 times
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The train station preference isn't that important. We are hoping to find an old farmhouse or such that can be made into a Bindery and bookshop with us living in another part of the house.
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 405,771 times
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We are starting to look seriously - at least do homework. Where can I find information on property taxes, school taxes in the areas around Gettysburg. Our interests and focus of the book business will be Civil War and Medieval Renaissance History, Crafts. If we can't find a farmhouse to fit the bill, will also look for a two bedroom house and commercial space. Might have to spend around 300k if so.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:34 AM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,407,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medievalbooks View Post
The train station preference isn't that important. We are hoping to find an old farmhouse or such that can be made into a Bindery and bookshop with us living in another part of the house.
You will need very carefully to review zoning restrictions in both the municipality (city, borough, township, not necessarily same as postal address) and in the zoning district your potential property is assigned to. PA is somewhat similar to New England in that the town (here, township or city or borough) is the "king" of local government, not the county. An in-home book bindery would likely run afoul of nearly every zoning ordinance I've seen.

There are still townships and maybe even boroughs with no zoning. However, the more artsy-vibe places tend to have zoning. A form-based zoning code might allow an in-home book bindery. That level of advancement is very rare currently. One community that has zoning that might support your use in some sections is Halifax Borough, in Dauphin County north of Harrisburg: Ordinances & Resolutions But that town is rather out of the way of Civil War or really much of any other kind of tourism.

The general level of artsi-ness in PA is probably not as high as what you may be used to in New England. You will probably want to stick relatively close to a town with a college or existing collection of antique shops.

One thing to watch out for is that you can easily find character-filled old structures listed for sale that seem very cheap. It is likely that these have serious floodplain or sewage issues (possibly both). Flood zones can extend well out of sight of rivers or even streams. A potential rule of thumb is that if you are looking up at a railroad track, you are likely in a flood zone. An old grist mill is always in some type of flood zone, otherwise they wouldn't have enough water to run it. PA sewer system rules are stricter than in many other places, and even for a single residence and small business can trigger fixes costing well into the five figures even if possible. A holding tank (where you pay someone to come every couple of weeks to pump out and haul away all the water you run) is only a possibility for an existing last-resort repair, or for a new very small business. New residences can't be permitted with a holding tank.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 405,771 times
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We are starting to think that having the business in the same building may not be viable because of zoning. One thing for a bookshop but think a Bindery might trigger concerns. The place we have now in Massachusetts we got because it was grandfathered in. The place had been a businesss from 1920-1993 plus the selectmen wanted us in in the worst way. But we don't have a Bindery. They probably would have said no to the Bindery since a river to the reservoir that is the water supply to Boston, is right across the street.


We probably will buy a small two bedroom house in a somewhat rural area plus some commercial property in the center of whatever town we decide to move to. We had very much wanted to move to Gettysburg but friends who live there have been scaring us with news of the expensive taxes, school taxes they have there. Now that could be not a problem compared to what we are paying here but need that info. Trying to figure out a site that has the taxes in each town so we get a btter idea of what place might be good for us.


An area that has historical importance - especially about the Civil War - would be good for us. Will most likely feed off the tourists and locals interested in the battlefields.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 405,771 times
Reputation: 339
Starting to narrow it down. Areas within 15 minutes of Gettysburg, probably along Rte 30 or maybe Rte 15. Starting to find out about the tax structures in PA and the differences/alike they are to Mass. and working within those perimeters. We have been going to Gettysburg at least 2-3 times a year for the last 20 years or so. Thanks for the zoning info and other towns info near to Gettysburg. It is helping ALOT in our decision-making. Thinking possibly of getting a dual use building with living quarters above.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:32 AM
 
15 posts, read 12,558 times
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I would like to suggest the Franklin County, PA (Chambersburg) area. 200K will give you a better deal in this area. Close to Washington, DC and Baltimore. Any questions about the area, feel free to ask. All the best.
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