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Old 01-07-2020, 03:41 PM
 
207 posts, read 117,519 times
Reputation: 1102

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My husband and I are actively looking to move in the next few months. I like the city quite a lot and it fits a variety of needs/wants for us, so the search has begun. I'm interested in anything anyone has to share with regard to buying a house there, but also any other thoughts, experiences, advice about the move, the place, the good, the bad. Also would love any suggestions for specific real estate agents I might meet with to discuss buying a place. Preferably agents who are based in Lancaster itself and familiar with properties, neighborhoods, old building issues, etc. (If you have a suggestion, send by private message.)

If you live or have lived in Lancaster, what do you love about it? What could be better? Neighborhoods to seek out, neighborhoods to avoid?

Here is my response to the sticky post at the top of this forum:

When are you moving? We're beginning the home search now. We're not under any huge pressure to move ASAP, but would like to have a place by mid-May if we can find the right one.

Where are you coming from? We have lived in Oregon for the last 20 years, California before that. Currently we're perched in Connecticut for a few months (husband has a short term job here), then we'll be floating around a bit. I can get to Lancaster to home search as needed.

Why are you moving? Retiring. This would put us closer to our adult kids than staying on the west coast.

Have you been here yet? For a visit a couple times.

Will you buy or rent? Could do either, really. We have the proceeds from the home we just sold in Oregon, so could buy with cash.

If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? Would like to be in or close to downtown. Not much interested in a suburban environment. House, condo, townhouse... all possible. Don't need anything super fancy or slick or designer-y, but also not a fixer upper - did that once, it was great, don't want to do it again. But a little funky is fine for character. We're old hippies. Need to keep it at or under 300K. Don't especially want a big place, it's just two of us. My biggest priorities with regard to a home are that it be fundamentally in sound condition (plumbing, electric, windows, structural elements), if it's an old building that it have basic upgrades and not require substantial repairs or remodeling, and that it have central A/C and dedicated parking off-street.

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married. Children grown and gone, but will visit from time to time.

Do you have pets? We'd like to get a dog once we're settled.

Do you want or need a yard? Just enough to let the pup out as needed between walks.

Are you keeping a car? Yes. Two cars. Would need off street parking of some kind - a garage, a driveway, a dedicated graveled spot, whatever.

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? I'm somewhere in between. Probably leaning toward activity.

What do you want to be closest to? Gym, coffee shops, library, basic services.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:48 AM
 
4,550 posts, read 4,044,920 times
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Have you seen the thread linked below?


https://www.city-data.com/forum/penn...ople-rude.html
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:38 PM
 
207 posts, read 117,519 times
Reputation: 1102
I had not seen that! Not sure whether it was illuminating or not. LOL. The worst place ever? or the best place ever?
Sure was an interesting read though. The divide between the rural areas and the city seemed understandable. As for being hostile to newcomers, 20 years ago we moved to a small town in Oregon from California (Los Angeles, no less). There was a widely touted dislike of California transplants attributed to the locals, for the same reasons I saw in that argument about friendliness in Lancaster. The transplants 'want to change the culture', they drive up housing costs, etc. It was one of those things though that everyone would say was a problem for transplants, but wasn't actually a problem for any transplant that I knew, nor was it for us.

In any case, we are more drawn to living in the city proper at this point.

Thanks for the link. It was a good insight, at the very least, into a local experience argument that seems to have some charge around it!
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,915 posts, read 1,100,634 times
Reputation: 1949
Lancaster is an absolutely adorable city with a thriving culture. It really is on the up and up and I cannot recommend it enough. Are you more interested in owning a rowhome or a single family? The area by Franklin & Marshall is lovely, with many modest size rowhomes that are still walking distance to the downtown square. The city is not very large so it really is worth just booking a few weekend trips and explore some of the neighborhoods to see which you would enjoy most.

They are building more and more apartment and condo units close/within downtown Lancaster as well if you want that as an option.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:29 PM
 
4,550 posts, read 4,044,920 times
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Here's another thread about native friendliness in central PA.


https://www.city-data.com/forum/nort...ends-nepa.html
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:43 PM
 
207 posts, read 117,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
Are you more interested in owning a rowhome or a single family? The area by Franklin & Marshall is lovely, with many modest size rowhomes that are still walking distance to the downtown square. The city is not very large so it really is worth just booking a few weekend trips and explore some of the neighborhoods to see which you would enjoy most.

They are building more and more apartment and condo units close/within downtown Lancaster as well if you want that as an option.
I think a rowhome would be nice. I would appreciate the no-yard aspect of it. We had heavily tree'd half acre at out former house in Oregon, and while it had all the beauty of a gorgeous state campground, I am glad to not have to care for it anymore. So a townhouse with just a tiny patch in the back sounds appealing. You're the third person to specifically mention the area by Franklin & Marshall to me. I'm going to be back in Lancaster in about a week so I'll make sure to spend some time walking around that neighborhood.

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:23 PM
 
207 posts, read 117,519 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Here's another thread about native friendliness in central PA.
https://www.city-data.com/forum/nort...ends-nepa.html
I think I'm not the best person to appreciate the complaints of unfriendliness. One post in that thread said something to the effect that local people are pleasant, say hello, goodbye, have a nice day, but it doesn't go any deeper than that. Which is pretty much a description of how I deal with most people myself. Not that I'm unfriendly or I don't like people, just that I'm not that social, not one to have people in my house much —I like my privacy and my husband is even more that way than I am— and I don't especially want to know the psychological depths of people with whom I don't have some shared deep experiences, history, bond of some kind. I tend also not to seek out new bonds of that sort because they carry with them expectations I'm unlikely to meet. Yes, my husband and I are those people that other people invite over for dinner and never get a invitation from us in return. I don't think we're jerks, we're just very introverted people, not skilled in cooking, hosting, playing card games, mixing cocktails, or whatever people do. Company can certainly be pleasant sometimes but it's always tiring. We accept those invitations mostly as a courtesy for having been asked, honestly, but we always have to gear-up with great effort to be social in the way that such invitations require. It's not like we actively want them and although we may like the people who extend them, we're not so eager to go spend time in their personal space making conversation just because... well, that's what happens on such occasions. I generally do not find the exchange of opinions about things (food, places, politics, movies, etc.) to be a bonding experience. It always leaves me feeling awkward and uncomfortable and ready to leave.

So........... I guess we'd fit right into these less-sociable communities.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,915 posts, read 1,100,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie Mitchell View Post
I think a rowhome would be nice. I would appreciate the no-yard aspect of it. We had heavily tree'd half acre at out former house in Oregon, and while it had all the beauty of a gorgeous state campground, I am glad to not have to care for it anymore. So a townhouse with just a tiny patch in the back sounds appealing. You're the third person to specifically mention the area by Franklin & Marshall to me. I'm going to be back in Lancaster in about a week so I'll make sure to spend some time walking around that neighborhood.

Thanks!
Yes! Most definitely check out any of the neighborhoods close to the central square (downtown) and continue north and west and I am sure you will find something you enjoy. Lancaster city is such a beautiful and vibrant city with a strong arts and culture scene.

Amenities include Whole Foods and an Apple Store to give you a sense of place. Good luck!!

Do not listen to the naysayers on this thread. Lancaster is a friendly and welcoming place!
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Lancaster, PA
977 posts, read 1,048,502 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie Mitchell View Post
I think I'm not the best person to appreciate the complaints of unfriendliness. One post in that thread said something to the effect that local people are pleasant, say hello, goodbye, have a nice day, but it doesn't go any deeper than that. Which is pretty much a description of how I deal with most people myself. Not that I'm unfriendly or I don't like people, just that I'm not that social, not one to have people in my house much —I like my privacy and my husband is even more that way than I am— and I don't especially want to know the psychological depths of people with whom I don't have some shared deep experiences, history, bond of some kind. I tend also not to seek out new bonds of that sort because they carry with them expectations I'm unlikely to meet. Yes, my husband and I are those people that other people invite over for dinner and never get a invitation from us in return. I don't think we're jerks, we're just very introverted people, not skilled in cooking, hosting, playing card games, mixing cocktails, or whatever people do. Company can certainly be pleasant sometimes but it's always tiring. We accept those invitations mostly as a courtesy for having been asked, honestly, but we always have to gear-up with great effort to be social in the way that such invitations require. It's not like we actively want them and although we may like the people who extend them, we're not so eager to go spend time in their personal space making conversation just because... well, that's what happens on such occasions. I generally do not find the exchange of opinions about things (food, places, politics, movies, etc.) to be a bonding experience. It always leaves me feeling awkward and uncomfortable and ready to leave.

So........... I guess we'd fit right into these less-sociable communities.


We moved here last year from too busy Austin....RowHomeCity provided us excellent advice as well.
Everyone has been friendly, welcoming, etc. Even the window and gutter repair guys. We are reserved too but have met others through daycare, dogpark, and volunteering. The community here is vibrant, there are old and new breweries, ethnic restaurants, fantastic Pho. Frankly I find the coffee shops crowded and perhaps overrated. If ya'll ski, we've made several trips to Camelback.

The area around F&M is so nice, quintessential Lanc in my eyes. Buchanan Park is attached and has a hill for sledding, surrounded by old row homes and several mansions, playground, and the dogpark has lounge chairs and water features for the warm months. But there are other areas to consider, and less costly.

We wanted to an older home too but in a quiet area with solid schools. We looked at many. One thing we had no idea about is that many of these homes use oil heat. Our neighbor (20 feet away) uses propane. So consider that cost and which system the home uses and the system age. It's been a rather mild winter so far, we had our first snow (3 inches) a few days ago but tomorrow it's going up to 60.

Good luck with the visit, be sure to post back.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:44 PM
 
207 posts, read 117,519 times
Reputation: 1102
Thank you for the insights, and the good advice to inquire about heating systems. I've been to the city before, but this will be the first time specifically with an eye to finding a place to live. I'll definitely post back once things become clearer or if I have some specific questions!
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