Lancaster, PA Real Estate News

By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
A new non-profit group is making its presence known in Lancaster!  The goal of Lancaster City Living is to boost homeownership in Lancaster City, and to encourage the recent trend of suburbanites to move back into the city.A new website has been launched in cooperation with the Lancaster County Association of Realtors(R) so that the MLS can be searched. (You can also search the Mult-List for  homes at  http://findlancasterhomes.com/).  You can explore Lancaster neighborhoods, and find interesting articles on local events and attractions.Lancaster City Living is building on the success of similar groups in other cities.  Many young people as well as empty nesters are moving back to the city for the convenience of walking to shops and restaurants, and the many musical, sports and cultural...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
With all the recent publicity about the new Lancaster Convention Center, there has been some concern that putting such a huge $170 Million project in the middle of downtown, without making concurrent improvements in the overall environment,  might not be the best recipe for long term success.  Political uncertainty about whether the Convention Center and hotel would ever actually be built put other plans on the back burner.  Now new retailers will have to be brought into the area; more police will be needed to provide a safe environment.  Simple things like neglected trash cans and lamp posts with peeling paint can make an area look rundown - or, conversely, if upgraded, can totally change the atmosphere of a neighborhood.The James Street Improvement District has been making such improv...
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Lancaster PA Home Buying Tips Do you Need it?  or Want it? Whether you are buying your first home in Lancaster PA, or your fifth, the process of buying a home can be an emotional period, not to mention a a detailed and time-consuming venture laden with difficult choices. You want to ensure that the home you purchase meets your needs now, and in the future. When you consider all that buying a home represents, you'll want to ensure that you don't pay too much for a home that will meet your needs. By becoming an educated buyer and working with a professional Realtor, you will be able to avoid some of the pitfalls inherent in the home-buying process. It is important to know what your "wants" and "needs" are before you begin shopping (and what the difference is between a want and a need), t...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Lancaster County, PA has an interesting and diverse selection of Bed & Breakfasts to stay at when you visit here.  If you'd like a change from the sameness of the modern chain hotels, why not try a Bed & Breakfast? One elegant choice would be King's Cottage, located at 1049 East King Street, Lancaster.                                                    A 1913 Spanish-style mansion just east of the city, this B&B is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It has been charmingly restored, and some of its rooms boast whirlpool baths and fireplaces.  There is also a sunroom for guests, and even a honeymoon cottage on the premises.  For those who cannot vacation without being in touch, high speed wireless internet access is available.Afternoon snacks and gourmet breakfasts are provided...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Long's Park, Lancaster PA Gets a Makeover Long's Park was created at the beginning of the last century from farmland bequeathed to the city of Lancaster by Judge Henry Long.  In recent years there had been some problems with an ever-increasing population of ducks, geese and other water fowl polluting the pond and the surrounding area.  Last year a concerted effort to reduce the paddling polluters has made the center of the park much more inviting.   This year the park is undergoing an additional makeover, largely due to help from the Sertoma Club of Lancaster.  The Sertoma Club, named as an acronym for Service To Mankind, raised about $100,000 of the $300,000 project.                                                               First, excess brush was cleared from the southeast quadran...
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By Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Here's a good article from Lancaster City Living's latest newsletter, courtesy of Michael Sprunger, Executive Director.______________________________________________________________________________________ May 2007 It doesn't take much looking around to notice that things have been changing for the better in Lancaster.  Construction seems to be in the works at every turn.  In fact, Lancaster Newspapers observed, at the end of 2006, that "Lancaster is hot".  The real estate market is in close pusuit.  Houses are selling for more and spending less time on the market than before.  It also doesn't take much to remember the mid-90's when nearly 900 city properties were on the market at one time.  At this writing, there are fewer than 140 single-unit houses available.A survey of Lancaster's c...
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By Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
A new organization is promoting homeownership within our great city of Lancaster!  The oldest inland city in the U.S. and one-time home of the Continental Congress, Lancaster is a very historic & beautiful town which is currently undergoing a renaissance of culture, which is carrying over into increased home ownership (currently estimated at 63%). As a big fan of Lancaster City, I was pleased to hear of  "Lancaster City Living", a new non-profit group with the express goal of increasing home ownership in Lancaster.  I interviewed Michael Sprunger, the group's Executive Director, to get a feel for his mission:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jeff: What was the big thing that helped you make the decision to join Lan...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Lancaster Square has never quite come up to the expectations of city planners.  Located in the 100 block of North Queen Street between the Bulova Technologies Building on Orange Street and the Hotel Brunswick on Chestnut Street, it seems disconnected from the shops and restaurants of the first block of North Queen, and a bit uninviting.Lancaster City now plans to search for a developer to propose a new master plan for the Square.  It will be a complex proposition, involving the cooperation of public and private interests.  The city owns the sidewalks and the open spaces.  However, The Bulova Technologies Building, Hotel Brunswick, and the vacant store fronts between them are in various private hands.Mayor Rick Gray says that a $150,000 grant from the county will be used to pay to search...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Hampton Chase in Penn Manor, Lancaster PA Hampton Chase is a pleasant neighborhood of townhouses located west of Lancaster off Columbia Avenue. Close to shopping at the Wheatland Shopping Center plus the restaurants and services of Columbia Avenue, Hampton Chase is a quiet and private enclave away from the main road.                       Just a few blocks up Temple Avenue from Columbia Avenue, Hampton Chase abuts scenic Greider Park, which has landscaped walking paths,  a pavillion, baseball field, and restroom facilities.                                                                                Hampton Chase is part of the Penn Manor School District. 
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
The historic Hotel Brunswick is once again getting ready for a major renovation, in order to be ready for the expected hotel demand brought on when the nearby $170M Lancaster Convention Center project comes on stream.The Brunswick, at 151 North Queen Street, is undergoing its own $6M upgrade.  Three floors of newly upgraded hotel rooms will be opening by the end of May.  The hotel is hoping to attract business travelers and leisure tourists coming to see the many new and established  art galleries, shops, restaurants and cultural events that make up modern Lancaster.The first stage of the project will be 68 refurbished rooms.  Each room will now have its own climate control center, new upscale bedding, and a 32" wall-mounted flat panel TV.  Future phases will include improving the indoo...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Exciting things are happening in Lancaster City.  Construction seems to be everywhere.  The new Clipper Magazine Stadium is ready for another season of Lancaster Barnstormers baseball.The construction for the new Convention Center on Penn Square is going full steam (refer to my post of May 4, 2007).              Just as important, whereas almost 900 city properties were available during the slow market of the mid 1990s, fewer than 140 single family homes are now available!  Often the city homes in cood condition and competitively priced will have multiple buyers bidding for them.  63% of homes in the city currently are occupied by their owners. Neighborhood improvement projects are planned or under way for South Queen Street, South Prince Street, West James Street, the 300 block of Nort...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Fulton Theater, Lancaster PA:  "The Grand Old Lady of Prince Street" The Fulton Theater, also known as the Fulton Opera House, is thought to be the oldest continuously operating theater in the USA.  It first opened in 1852 as Fulton Hall, named after Lancaster County's Robert Fulton, the renowned steam engine pioneer.  Fulton Hall was built on the site of Lancaster's former pre-revolutionary jail, the site where the infamous Paxtang Boys gang had massacred the last of the Conestoga Indians, who were being held there for their own protection.  The exterior wall of the old jail's courtyard was built into the rear wall of the Fulton. The first concert at Fulton Hall was by the famed violinist Ole Bull.  Since then, a host of top entertainers and artists have played the Fulton:  dramatic ac...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Musser Park, located between North Lime, East Chestnut, North Shippen and East Marion Streets in Lancaster, has been closed for renovations since November, 2006.  The park has been fenced off during the renovation work.  The $550,000. project is being financed through a combination of public and private money, with about three quarters of it being funded by the city.For sidewalk curbstone, the Musser Park Civic Association will be using Belgian block found at the location of the Clipper Magazine Stadium.  This same type of stone was used in some of the early stone houses of colonial Lancaster.The landscaping will include new walkways across a previously open area, new lighting, grass, fencing, and a new rubberized surface for the playground.          Musser Park became a public park in ...
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I have to say that I have the absolutely best Mother.  She endlessly and selflessly gives so much to me and my family.  Never complaining - just doing - and never asking for anything in return.  I hope that I have become the type of woman that she is, and that I never cease to remember to give so much of myself as she does. Last week, she made a homecooked meal - Pastichio for those who know what Greek food is - and overnighted it to my son away at college.  He was thrilled.  I've gone so far as sending him a care package of favorite snacks and groceries, and money of course (lots of money!) - but not overnighting a homecooked meal.  So, I'm not exactly like my mother.... yet.  But I'm working on it.      She and my dad moved to Lancaster to be closer to us (we are originally from New Y...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Refer to my first article on firsts, bests, biggest, and oldest for some interesting tidbits on the long and colorful history of Lancaster County, PA past and present.  To continue...Lebzelter's, on the 300 block of North Queen Street, Lancaster, is the oldest Goodyear Tire dealer in the world!  (Established 1854, and a Goodyear representative since 1900.)The Sertoma Club annual Chicken Barbecue at Long's Park in Lancaster is the largest in the world! (Over 35,000 chickens barbecued and sold each year.)Incidentally, Pennsylvania has the fourth largest printing market in the U.S. - after California, New York and Illinois.  And little old Lancaster is the third largest printing market in Pennsylvania - after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh!Did you know that Pennsylvania has more roads than an...
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2007 --  Celebrate Spring by meeting your fellow Manheim Township neighbors at the Overlook Campus (off of Fruitville Pike).  This is the third annual Spring Fling being held by the Manheim Township Commissioners.  Saturday, May 12th from 11am to 3pm, you and your family can enjoy complimentary miniature golf at Overlook Falls (pictured left) and take a Red Rose Trolley ride of the campus.  Bring Fido or Rover along for a playtime at the Overlook dog park.  There will be an ice cream eating contest and free ice cream (can't beat that!), and music courtesy of a local radio station.  Food will be sold courtesy of Barny's, the restaurant in the restored barn in the Overlook Campus. Evening activities are also planned for the adults of the Manheim Township community, featuring a jazz band a...
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By Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
The first friday of every month, Lancaster City comes alive with the sound of groups of  walkers around the arts district along King, Queen & Prince streets.  Folks driving by might well wonder "what's going on here?".  No, it's not a performance at the Fulton, although the events may coincide.  What's going on is First Fridays, where galleries and shops stay open late to exhibit artwork, antiques and curios of all sorts.  Sponsored by the excellent Lancaster Arts, the event is going full steam this year.   Don't forget dinner; several local restaurants are open, ranging from Carrs at Central Market to Prince Street Cafe, for a light snack and great coffee.  If you are looking to expand your art horizons, this is a great exposure!  Meet the artists, many of whom are on hand to talk abo...
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By Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Manheim Township is a large area extending north from Lancaster City along 4 major arteries: Fruitville Pike to the west, Lititz Pike, Oregon Pike and New Holland Pike on the east.  The main freeway (222) to the PA Turnpike and Reading also runs through Manheim Township.  This area is one of the oldest settled in Lancaster County, and boasts many pristine neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and green parks.  The largest park is Overlook, a complex near the center of the township with a pool, golf course, restaurant and many other attractions.  Landis Woods Park, a great walking trail and home to an annual outdoor art show, is just off Lititz Pike near the small hamlet of Neffsville.  Also near Neffsville is the Manheim Twp park, with lots of picnic spots and trails, where an annual ca...
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I was fortunate enough to take a drive through Pequea Township yesterday in Lancaster County PA. Pequea Township is located in the Penn Manor School District, and is located south of Lancaster City. I forget how much I love this rural area of beautiful Lancaster County.  Travelling south on Route 272 (Willow Street Pike) , I turned west onto Truce Road.  I know there were quicker ways to get to the address I was visiting, but to me this was the more direct route.  By the way, watch out for the road construction on 272.  What is normally a pleasant drive turned out to be a bit of a knuckle-clencher, as the lanes are narrowed down thus forcing you to drive half on the road and half on the shoulder!  Still, once I turned off of 272 onto Truce Road I was able to relax and enjoy the "show". ...
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By Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA)
Makeover of a Historic Lancaster PA Log Home I have always been enthusiastic about historic architectural styles and American history.  In my career, I have personally restored 12 historic homes in Lancaster County, saving two from demolition.  So it was was with great excitement that I showed this eighteenth-century Lancaster log home to one of my best clients, whom I have helped to purchased four previous investment properties. My client was as enthusiastic as I was, and together we put together an offer.  After some negotiation, we got the property under agreement.  It needs to be restored, as there are considerable problems with the roof, heating system, rain gutters, and two additions to the rear which had fallen into disrepair.  The previous owners had done some work on it, but wo...
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