Once the kids move out of the house and empty nest syndrome sets in, visions of downsizing may begin to appear. Have you fallen into this category? If so, you’re probably tired of mowing your lawn, shoveling snow, and taking care of that big house. Now could be the time to start looking for a smaller home, and Pennsylvania’s Lancaster-Ephrata area could have just what you’re looking for.
The city of Lancaster is in Lancaster County, and it’s located about two hours outside of Philadelphia. The county is part of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, known for its quaint charm, cultural history, and scenic beauty. The region has many Amish farms, where people can enjoy fresh food, delightful shops, and tours of working farms. Attractions like the Sight & Sound Theatre, the Waltz Vineyards Winery, and handsome covered bridges make this a wonderful place to visit—and an even better one to retire in.
55places currently lists 12 active adult communities in the Lancaster-Ephrata area with home prices ranging from the low $200s to the low $800s. Here are some worth considering if you want to downsize.
Low $200s – Mid $400s
Brookshire is about 12 miles north of Lancaster and just outside of downtown Manheim. This welcoming active adult community has 230 resale attached and single-family homes built between 2005 and 2014. Local attractions include the Mount Hope Winery and Bent Creek Country Club; Manheim is also the site of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and the famous Manheim Auto Auction.
There are four floor plans at Brookshire ranging from 1,520 to 2,050 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. The monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers snow cleanup and trash removal, and the homes have upgrades like basements, dens, and gas fireplaces.
Residents here love keeping busy, and there are over 35 clubs and activities to choose from. Many meet at the Brookshire Community Center, which has a banquet room, activity rooms, an exercise studio, and a coffee shop. The property also contains shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, plus walking trails and a fishing lake.
Low $200s – Mid $300s
One of the greatest benefits of living in Timber Villa is that it’s right by Elizabethtown College. They offer continuing education courses, plus the main drag has a post office, plenty of eateries, a library, medical offices, houses of worship, and shops.
This established 55+ neighborhood has 102 resale attached homes, ranging from 744 up to 2,882 square feet. They offer one to three bedrooms, one to two-and-a-half baths, and attached one- or two-car garages. Upgrades may include walkout finished basements, vaulted ceilings, skylights, and decks.
Timber Villa doesn’t have a clubhouse, but it’s just minutes from the E-Town Fitness Center and the Elizabeth Area Senior Center. For shopping needs and errands, there are several Walmart Supercenters in the area, plus farmers markets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and specialty shops.
High $200s – Mid $500s
The town of Womelsdorf is about 30 miles north of Lancaster, and here, you can find the gracious 55+ community of Stonecroft Village. Womelsdorf isn’t far from U.S. Route 422, and this small village has houses of worship, restaurants, a VFW Post, grocery shops, a library, and a post office. And if you’re a golfer, you’re in luck, because this property is surrounded by golf courses like Heidelburg Country Club and Galen Hall.
This appealing neighborhood has 214 new and resale single-family homes, all designed with low-maintenance living in mind. The reasonable monthly HOA fee provides for trash removal and common area maintenance, and there are 14 floor plans. These 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 vinyl plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, and sliding glass doors in the dining areas.
The relaxing community center has a welcoming multipurpose room, and it’s open to homeowners for gatherings and meetings. You can also find walking trails, a gazebo, and a charming pond and pier on the grounds.
Mid $300s – Mid $600s
Traditions of America at Lititz has it all: a desirable zip code, a wide variety of floor plans at different price points, and sought-after amenities. It has 329 resale attached and single-family homes on a 60-acre plot within walking distance of Downtown Lititz, dubbed the “Coolest Small Town in America.”
There are three attached garden floor plans ranging from 1,268 to 2,191 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. The six single-family models range from 1,274 to 3,078 square feet, also with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. All of these homes are customizable, with features like fireplaces, dens, luxury master suites, and screened-in porches. The HOA fee provides for trash and snow removal, lawn care, and exterior maintenance.
The state-of-the-art clubhouse offers a modern fitness center, saunas, a restaurant and bar, activity rooms, and outdoor perks like tennis courts and a heated pool. And like other Traditions of America properties, an onsite lifestyle director will plan fitness classes, holiday parties, day trips, and other fun activities.