Urban utopia or suburban serenity?Jeff Geoghan
With the spring real estate market upon us and the nicer weather bringing with it the inevitable uptick in website home search traffic, it seems a good time to compare and contrast the two schools of thought that usually separate one Pennsylvanian from another: whether to “go urban” or “stay suburban.”
For most, the choice is pretty clear cut.
Why clear cut?
The vast majority of clients I’ve worked with are predisposed to city life or not at all. It’s common to hear folks raised outside of an urban environment rule out looking at properties in a downtown setting — and this goes for both commercial and residential customers. For many, the memories of the “nasty downtowns” of the 1970s and 1980s still seem fresh. My own family (by marriage) holds to these tenets; for the most part they are “south countians” here in Lancaster. No city for them.
On the other hand, many people are more interested than ever in the idea of urban living, being only steps (no car needed) from essentials, and the arts and culture is very alluring. In particular, two groups are impacted here: folks moving here from out of state and the younger set below, say, 30. To them, all the promise of American community life is embodied in the downtown setting — no interest in manicured streets with newly planted trees in half-grown grass yards.
A third (and very interesting) subset are those looking to go suburban, yes, but even farther “out” by going “exurban.” More on this phenomenon next week.
Where do you fall on this? Do you want your home or business situated downtown in a Central Pennsylvania city or does a suburban environment just feel better?
Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.