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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:27 PM
2 posts, read 1,748 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, future neighbors!

We are relocating to either southern central Pennsylvania or northern Virginia at the end of this coming summer. The nest is emptying and we are moving back to where he's from. I have lived in Virginia also, so we are kinda familiar with the region. He works in the operating room of an either level 1 or 2 trauma center, and I work from home as a technical writer. We are seeking a nice town where we can afford a decent house on a little bit of land, at least half an acre. No crowded subdivisions, please. We live quietly and try to be the best neighbors we can.

We are requesting your insight on areas to consider. Right now, we're looking at Hershey, but are open to other options. We are seeking a laid back town, within 30 minutes from either the hospital in Hershey or Lancaster. We like libraries, good internet, gardening, dog parks, farmer's markets, and you-pick farms.

When are you moving? end of summer 2017
Where are you coming from? Colorado
Why are you moving? nest has emptied
Where will you be working? me: from home, him: Hershey Medical Center? Lancaster? We need to be within 30 minutes of his work for when he's on call.
Have you been here yet? not yet, visiting next month (June 2017)

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House, 3 br/2 ba minimum, between $275,000-$375,000. No fixer uppers. I am considering trying airbnb for renting out part of the house when kids aren't staying with us. Has anyone used it? If so, what do you think?

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Not married, not going to be, 5 grown kids between us who will no doubt visit or stay with us for a while. We want them to be welcome for visits but not so comfortable they never leave. :-)
Do you prefer public or private schools? public
Do you have pets? yes, dogs, cat, parrot
Do you want or need a yard? yes for dogs, need to be able to fence it so no restrictive covenants
Are you keeping a car? yes, two
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? definitely quiet

What do you want to be closest to?
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Train or subway stations
None of the above, we like to be home and relaxing. We'll go out for dinner every now and then, but don't mind travelling for it. He's got relatives in Virginia, so we'll do small scale entertaining every once in a while.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Diverse please! We are quietly liberal, not conservative, and not traditional. We are introverts and like to be home. We aren't religious, and don't want to become a project.

Phillies, Pirates or Orioles? Broncos! Actually, we are easygoing and not too concerned with sports.
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:47 PM
403 posts, read 854,533 times
Reputation: 727
I would go with East Hempfield township given your requirements. Just be forewarned that real estate in the area is hot right now so good properties go pending very quick.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:17 PM
15,861 posts, read 29,165,086 times
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Originally Posted by KevinE View Post
I would go with East Hempfield township given your requirements. Just be forewarned that real estate in the area is hot right now so good properties go pending very quick.
East Hempfield prohibits homes to be rented out via Airbnb. Agree that East Hempfield is a hot area. With Wegman's coming in it is only going to get hotter.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:55 PM
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Hershey (legally "Derry Township, Dauphin County") has a bit of a school district premium and larger lots are harder to come by. The empty nester has the ability to look further afield.

Pennsylvania is divided into over 2,000 independent municipalities. To a first approximation, township (the class of municipality more likely to have 1/2+ acre lots) government in PA is equivalent to a county government in the South or West, in terms of service provisions and rules. These township names do not often correspond to postal addresses. Unfortunately as well, the names of townships can repeat: there are at least 2 other Derry Townships in PA, as well as other variations of Londonderry, Hanover, and even Swatara, hence the parenthetical addition of the county name so you know which I'm talking about.

Within 30 minutes of the Penn State hospital could put you into Londonderry, Conewago, South Hanover, East Hanover (Dauphin) townships in Lower Dauphin school district; Lower Swatara township in Middletown Area school; Swatara (Dauphin), West Hanover, and Lower Paxton townships in Central Dauphin schools; North or South Londonderry townships in Lebanon County in Palmyra schools; or possibly Mount Joy TOWNSHIP (NOT borough or postal address) in Elizabethtown schools. Even further out parts of these townships are difficult to stay within a real time 30 minute window from the Hershey medical center. It can take 10 minutes or more just to drive from one end of the hospital complex to the other on US 322!

Postal town addresses for these areas can be Hershey (yes, the 17033 zip extends well into South Hanover Twp, and even a tad into a couple of others); Hummelstown; Middletown; Harrisburg (17111 zip); Elizabethtown (even well into Dauphin county); or Palmyra.

With that said (whew!), I'd look first in South Hanover Twp. It's between Hersheypark and I-81, close to basic shopping and not far from the outlets, and has been very slow to extend sewer lines so many areas still are on septic with lot sizes to suit. Areas near Hoernerstown (a crossroads with a church) about 2 to 3 miles northwest of Hummelstown Borough have not-too-old homes meeting this description. Hummelstown borough itself has a few independently owned shops and eateries, including a large and wondrous toy store https://www.toysonthesquare.com/ (much better brick-and-mortar location than website) for you to spoil the grandkids.

Londonderry and Conewago townships to the south have some newer larger-lot homes too. A bit further from basic shopping, and that (in Middletown) is considered a bit downscale compared to the Hummelstown addressed locations.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:39 AM
Location: Midwest transplant
2,048 posts, read 5,337,112 times
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You might also want to expand your look to the corridor between Lancaster and York. There is more open land, at a lower cost and still within 1/2 hour of either York Hospital or Lancaster Hospital. The Mt. Joy area of Lancaster as well as the Manheim Borough area are far enough north that you would be within a 30 minute drive of Hershey. The area between York and Harrisburg (Mechanicsburg/New Cumberland~West Shore School District) would give you access to the hospitals in Harrisburg or York.

If you were to expand your radius just a few miles you would open up options in several more hospitals as well as the municipalities that might offer the housing you desire.

Just be aware that some areas of 83, 283 and 322 are can be very congested and could add significant amount of time to your commute.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:33 PM
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743 between Elizabethtown and Hershey is a nightmare anymore as well and getting from that road a half mile over to the hospital is a slow crawl through several light cycles on day shifts and cutting through back streets doesn't really work either.
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