Here at 55places.com, we can’t say enough good things about picturesque Lancaster County. Located in the southern part of Pennsylvania, it's bordered on the left by the Susquehanna River, and it's home to 10 sought-after retirement communities. Its county seat is the charming city of Lancaster, which is about 30 miles southeast of Harrisburg.
So now that you know where it is, let us tell you all about it (along with details on homes for sale in the Lancaster area). To start, U.S News & World Report chose Lancaster as the Top Place to Retire in the Country for 2019. It’s true: Lancaster beat out Sarasota, Florida this year, and the results were based on health care quality, retiree taxes, and most importantly, the happiness index. Within the county, well-maintained suburbs share space with rolling farmlands, regional attractions like The Amish Farm and House and Dutch Wonderland amusement park, historic covered bridges, and delightful downtown areas.
Top county hospitals include Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and UPMC Lititz, and residents can also reap the benefits of the many farm-to-table restaurants and friendly farmers markets. And if all this weren’t enough, Pennsylvania doesn't tax retirement income including social security, 401Ks, IRAs, and pensions, and the income tax rate is a flat 3.07 percent.
The Lancaster County area also gets bonus points for its appealing active adult communities that offer new construction homes. Here are four worth looking at.
Low $200s - High $200s
Stonecroft Village is a laid-back 55+ neighborhood with 214 new and resale single-family homes that sit about an hour north of Lancaster city. Builder Landmark Homes broke ground here in 2006 and designed 14 single-story models. They range from 1,380 to 2,495 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached garages. Upgrades may include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and gas fireplaces, and the reasonable homeowners’ association fee (HOA) provides for community services.
The tasteful community center has a multi-purpose area with a comfortable gathering room. Outdoors, there's a gazebo, walking trails, plus a pond and pier on the grounds. Nearby attractions include Blue Marsh Recreation Area (boating, fishing, hiking), Santander Arena (dinner shows, concerts, special performances), and Berkshire Mall (shopping). For those who like to golf, the closest links are at the private Heidelberg Country Club and the public Lebanon Valley Golf Course.
High $200s - Mid $300s
Similar in size to Stonecroft Village, Watson Run broke ground in 2007, and it's slated to have 190 new and resale single-family homes when construction is complete. Builder Berks Homes offers seven thoughtfully-designed models, ranging from 1,348 to 2,471 square feet with one to three bedrooms, two to three baths, first-floor master suites, and attached two-car garages. Options include fireplaces, attractive vinyl plank flooring, and upgraded kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The HOA fee covers lawn care, trash and snow removal, and common area maintenance.
Watson Run’s community clubhouse offers an outdoor pool, a workout room, a fireplace lounge, a catering kitchen, and several activity rooms. Gordonville is about 11 miles east of Downtown Lancaster, and on the way, you'll pass the historic Kitchen Kettle Village, farmers markets, restaurants, and Amish farms. Most folks run their errands in the nearby town of Intercourse, which has a butcher shop, a beauty salon, a library, coffee shops, and markets.
Mid $300s - Mid $600s
This exclusive active adult neighborhood is another Landmark Homes community, and it'll have 300 new and resale single-family homes upon completion. There are 16 spacious floor plans, including ranch homes and two-story models. They are sized from 1,807 to 3,245 square feet and offer two to four bedrooms, two to three baths, and attached two-car garages. Features like first-floor master suites, dens, kitchen islands, wood laminate floors, and lush landscaping make these prestigious homes comfortable and well-designed.
The community’s modern clubhouse provides homeowners with an exercise room, activity rooms, a catering kitchen, and an outdoor pool area. There are also walking and biking trails on the property, and a reasonable HOA fee to cover trash pickup, snow removal, and lawn maintenance. Home Towne Square is a 30-minute drive from Lancaster city and about six miles south of the pristine Middle Creek Park and Reservoir. The small town of Ephrata has plenty of grocery stores, churches, and pharmacies.
Mid $200s - Mid $300s
The quiet active adult neighborhood of Heritage Strasburg is less than 10 miles from Lancaster city, and it'll have 106 new and resale single-family homes when completed by builder Charter Homes. The eight contemporary floor plans are sized from 1,194 to 2,209 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms, first-floor master suites, eat-in kitchens, and attached two-car garages. Options include expansive outdoor living areas, gas fireplaces, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. The monthly HOA fee provides for trash and snow removal, lawn care, and exterior maintenance.
Active adults who prefer to be part of a larger community will appreciate the fact that Heritage Strasburg is close to the center of town, and historic Strasburg is very walkable. Residents can walk or bike to restaurants, coffee spots, churches, and local shops. For shopping needs, the community is about six miles away from the closest Walmart Supercenter, and the Tanger Outlets are also just a hop, skip, and a jump away.