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Old 03-21-2007, 09:52 AM
5 posts, read 75,766 times
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Any info will be great. My husband has a job offer in Lancaster and we are from S.Jersey. We don't know a thing about the area, so any help would be greatly appreciated. We have 2 yr. old twin girls, and we love the outdoors! TIA!!!
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:26 AM
64 posts, read 269,128 times
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Post Hi Momma

Well, I'm in the same boat as you, so don't completely take my word! But we've been doing quite a bit of research and planning a move by this fall (from Europe, originally NY) and are looking on the west side to avoid tourism traffic etc. So here's what I know... Mind you, my kids are school age already...

I'm reading that Lancaster is a vibrant, family-oriented, safe county that has a lot to offer including tree-lined streets. Several schools have great ratings - specifically Manheim Township, Hempfield, Warwick, Penn Manor and Elizabethtown. Heard to avoid schools in Columbia and Lancaster City. We received a relocation guide and after Phili and Pittsburg, Lancaster is the next city up there economically. There seems to be lots of parks and trails all over the county, including (to my husband's thrill), the Susquehanna being dammed up into Lake Clarke which is 11 miles long - boating, fishing etc. There seems to be a great work ethic (partly from the Amish influence) and efforts to preserve and protect the farm land and environment, not to sprawl all over etc. I read that Lancaster is the most productive non-irrigated agricultural county in the country. (I supposed this means rain) - or actually, fairly even amounts of rain, not drastic wet/dry seasons. That winter is there, but not drastic, very nice change of seasons. Folks are reputed as being a bit unfriendly, until you've gotten to know them and been there awhile. They don't sound rude, but rather hard working, private - hey, not busy-bodies, and that's a good thing! Taxes are certainly not minimal (approx .20 on $1000), but then you get what you pay for, and we found surrounding counties to have even higher taxes, but not necessarily better rated schools (some yes, some no, but then, like up near Hershey, higher real estate costs...) Health care is supposedly better than York, hands down. Sounds like a germanic influence historically, but there is a "culture" of it's own. Big mall - Park City, is on the west side, and several outlets on the east side (?) of the city. Lots of restaurants, lots of private places too. Big into fairs, road side veggie stands, antiques, quilts, pretzels, shoo-fly pie (did I spell that right?) and lots of other very home-town sounding favorites. Definately a farm/rural community within minutes of the city, but yet it sounds like a fair number of transplants are to be found just outside the city too. Oh, there is supposedly a very large Puerto Rican community in the city too. Check out some of the older threads about Lancaster, (much of this info is there) and the one about "what folks love about Pa" was nice too. It's a little hard to get info. about living in Lancaster as opposed to visiting since it is such a big tourism draw.

Hope this helps - I'll be watching your thread for more info.! Good luck to you.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:05 PM
5 posts, read 75,766 times
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meandb, Thanks!!! Wow you really took the time to type all of that and I really appreciate it! Its really great to hear about the tree lined streets, that means allot to me! Although we wont need school for a few years it also good to know that their are so many with great ratings. You have made it sound like a very nice choice for us. We are contemplating a day trip soon to check it out for ourselves!!! I will let you know how that goes. Thanks again!
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:04 AM
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
236 posts, read 872,348 times
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Default Lancaster County

I lived in Lititz Pa for 18 years while my girls were growing up, as a single mom, I found the area to be a great place. I lived in a wonderful townhouse in a development called Crosswinds! It was the best place I ever lived. Never locked the doors, all the kids played together, and everyone watched out for each others children. My backyard backed up to a farm! I moved from Union County NJ, this was culture shock!
The only drawback I ever found was the locals. Fortunately most of my neighbors were from Jersey and NY! The locals are very backward in their ways and will even tell you "This is LAncaster County and we are a little behind the times. And they are! I guess as schools go, the schools are good. If your the typical PTA type Mom you'll do fine. Me? I'm a boomer that still had a rebel in her. The principal called me a devil woman! lol!
The area takes their religion very seriously, so be prepared. Lancaster City is like any other city, wasnt my favorite place to be at night. But unless you go to the wards, you are fairly safe. Lancaster General Hospital is an EXCELLENT hospital. Some excellent doctors, especailly a group on Newport Road in Lititz. I know there is still alot of growth out there and sure you would be able to find housing. MOre than enough shopping and Park City Mall is a very nice mall!
HOpe this helps and good luck!
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:16 PM
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Thanks Blue717- very helpful!!!! The devil woman....wow! LOL!!! They take their religion very seriously...now you have me scared
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:54 PM
330 posts, read 1,921,650 times
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Default We need more Lancaster info!

I would like to hear more from actual current Lancaster Pa residents.For some reason we dont seem to get all that many responses on the Lancaster County area.

We were & I guess still are considering a move to Lancaster County. The main thing keeping us in " Sin City " Las Vegas is our jobs. And the lack of employment in Lancaster County itself.

I have heard about the same though, that the locals of Lancaster do not like outsiders all that much, which is their choice and we cant change how they think. But they really should treat the newcomers nicely.

I have heard the schools are very good, good medical. I heard shopping , as far as malls is limited. Property Taxes are in the middle, not high like NY but not as low as here. We pay 2000 a year on a brand new 2100 square foot house here in Vegas. When we were looking into a house in Lititz Pa the taxes were about 3800 a year and the house was older, maybe 15 years old.

But again i would like to hear more from the locals. Especially on what areas to avoid, what areas are considered the best schools. How the employment is and so on.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:16 PM
Location: Lancaster, PA
33 posts, read 205,579 times
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Default I'm a Local

Hi ladies... I am a local (yahoo!).

I was born and raised in Lancaster County. I grew up in Ephrata, but have lived in Lancaster for the past 2 years. I swear that someday my husband and I will leave this area (we love to travel, experience new places and people, etc...), but there are things about this place I will surely miss!

I think this is a great area to raise a family. It is also very affordable compared to Chester County or Bucks County (which are beautiful too). My husband is a Science teacher and teaches in the Lancaster city schools. I wouldn't send my kids to that district, unless they came from a city school elsewhere and are used to a multi-cultural environment. The west end of Lancaster City is quite nice (home of the small, private, ritzy Franklin & Marshall College), but for school age kids, I would recommend Manheim Township, Hempfield or Warwick. Lititz is a beautiful, growing area. It is getting crowded though, as many people are relocating there. The downtown is very quaint with coffee shops and gift shops.

We live outside the city, almost in Leola. We like it here because we live near lots of farms and it's quiet, but we are only 10 minutes to the city and shopping. We only have 1 shopping mall, which is decent, but Rockvale Square Outlets is closeby... TONS of outlet shopping on brand names, if you can stand the crowds and traffic. Also, there is a Farmer's Market in Manheim that is great to buy fresh veggies, meat, crafts, etc...

Lancaster City is a cool little city; I like it. I work in the city and spend quite a lot of time driving around exploring. There is a great downtown central market too.

As far as the "conservative" stereotype in Lancaster County goes... yes, you will find that overall here, but so many people are relocating here from Phila, New York, etc... so I think you will find more diversity in some areas. Personally, I think Lancaster itself is friendly. Some of the more rural towns would likely be less welcoming and more reserved with "outsiders".

And then there's the Amish and Mennonite. Well, we live across from a road side stand (fresh fruits and veggies right off the farm!) and those Amish people are so sweet and friendly to us "English folk". Amish folks just don't really bother with us most of the time, and vice versa. The majority of them tend to be very friendly and just don't want to be bothered. You will see horse-n-buggies if you live in Lancaster County, which I think is pretty cool and incredible.

After being raised in a small, conservative town, I would not live in Lancaster County unless it was close to the city. My husband and I are a little too "progressive" for the rural metality. We like culture and diversity, but we like to feel safe and secure too. We have found that happy medium here.

Unless you live in the city, you will likely find the majority of the communities here are white and Christian. There are TONS of churches here. In my opinion, other religions are not widely accepted here. Also, homosexuals are not widely accepted due to the religious influence. We are definitely more on the liberal side of the fence, although we are both Christian.

I think you will find Lancaster a very quaint, lovely place to live and raise a family. It is becoming more diversified, but the heart of Lancaster will remain due to the preserved farmland and conservative religious influence.

Feel free to ask me further questions. Hope I'm helping you both.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:59 AM
64 posts, read 269,128 times
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Default Gee thanks BBG!

Did you hear me **sigh** out loud? This is a really big move for us and we so hope, after tons of research (from Florida to Virginia to York county to the Hershey area) that Lancaster county will fit us well.

If you had to choose by what different bouroughs/townships have to offer their residents, (ie. library, community center, sports/fields, parks, pool, traffic, shopping...) can you give me the order you'd pick for the following districts:

Manheim Township
Penn Manor

From what I read, the Warwick/Lititz area sounds wonderful, but how long would it take to get down (in traffic?) shopping at the mall, outlets, Walmart/Target... Maybe not so many stores up in Lititz? Where would we be more likely to find a home with a little land (an acre?)

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Old 03-28-2007, 10:08 AM
Location: Lancaster, PA
33 posts, read 205,579 times
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Glad I can help...

If you lived in Lititz (Warwick distrcit), you will likley have to deal with commuter traffic; the area is expanding and there are lots of housing options. If you want land, you will pay a pretty penny for it in Lancaster County. Depending on what part of Lititz you live in, it could take you anywhere from 20-40 minutes to get to the big shopping areas in Lancaster, but there are some shops locally. Maybe you want to check out some real estate to get an idea of the area. By the way, if you are adventurous, you can learn the back roads and avoid some of the traffic issues.

Penn Manor is a little more farm/country, although I don't have much experience in that neck of the woods. You would be close to the west end of Lancaster city and near Millersville University.

I would suggest Manheim Township for what you seem to be looking for. We live just over the border and Township is very, very nice but a little pricy. It is close to everything. You will find all that you mentioned nearby.

Good luck!

Last edited by Yac; 03-30-2007 at 11:39 AM.. Reason: Reraltor advertising not allowed.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:11 AM
Location: Lancaster, PA
33 posts, read 205,579 times
Reputation: 28
Also you may want to check out the area of Manheim/Manheim Central schools. I've heard good things about the school - big football school, and the area is pretty, but I think there is still a lot of open land there. Also, a short commute to Lancaster.
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