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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:48 PM
250 posts, read 297,170 times
Reputation: 134


My bf and I (gay couple in our early 30s), recently visited Lancaster and loved it, and were pretty amazed at how much you could get for buck in terms of real estate, right in the city.

We loved that it seemed very walkable, reasonably lively, and was reasonably close to Philadelphia. It shot to the top of the places we're considering moving to later this year (somewhat unexpectedly)...we both will be working remotely, so job market is not an issue at this time. If we have any reservation, it's that it feels just a bit smaller than we'd like, but certainly not a deal breaker.

We haven't visited Harrisburg, but from what i've read and seen, it seems to have quite a bit of the same lovely attributes of Lancaster. However, just practically speaking Lancaster has some pros over Harrisburg for us...

a) easier access to a big city and international airport
b) a bit better weather
c) generally a bit safer

So I am curious about a few things that could make Harrisburg worth considering...

a) What is the comparison in terms of price of real estate in Harrisburg vs. Lancaster for areas that are similar in terms of urbanity and safety? Is Harrisburg more affordable for a similar neighborhood? And which seems like a better investment for the longer term?

b) Does Harrisburg feel considerably bigger/more lively/more urban than Lancaster?

Anything else Harrisburg offers that Lancaster doesn't that we should maybe be considering?

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Old 02-15-2019, 08:51 PM
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Reputation: 3840
Lancaster is actually larger than Harrisburg, and has generally more attractive residential neighborhoods if you are seeking row homes or small-lot singles. Also, some of the stores one finds in Lancaster (such as the Apple store) don't exist in Harrisburg.

From Harrisburg you have slightly easier choice of large cities with more direct driving routes to Baltimore, DC, and NYC, and not very much further driving to Philadelphia (US 30 in eastern Lancaster County is slooowww going in summer and fall especially). The train is emptier if you get on west of Lancaster eastbound to Phila/NYC too. To many destinations it's at least worth checking MDT flights, though it recently lost Air Canada which was a secret stepping stone to a leap across the Atlantic.

As the state capital, Harrisburg is guaranteed more churn of people moving to and from the outside world. The attractiveness of Lancaster to relocatees is limited to a relatively small area in the city and just to the west. In other Lancaster County areas, even more modern looking subdivisions, many folks picked their friends and their church generations ago.
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