Founded as a safe haven for Quakers, the state of Pennsylvania combines beautiful nature with history, culture, and a growing economy. After years of net population losses, PA is once again on the rise.
If you’ve thought about moving to Pennsylvania, here’s what you need to know to determine whether it’s the right state for you.
Top 5 Reasons to Move to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has something for everyone, combined with a warm and friendly culture and fabulous junk food. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten fries…on a salad.
1. History, Culture, and Big City Living in One. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, next to first class dining and shopping. Philadelphia played an important role in our nation’s development and is contributing to its future.
2. Passionate Fans, Excellent Sports Teams. You’ll never attract stares if you want to paint your team’s colors on your face or dress in all Steeler’s gear. The fans take their sports seriously, and their teams win.
3. Fall foliage to waterfalls, beautiful outdoors. Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks are filled with fishing spots, waterfalls and hiking trails. The fall foliage is New England at its best.
4. Chocolate and Amusement Parks. Hershey, Pennsylvania. See how some of your favorite candies are made, and visit one of the best amusements parks in the country.
5. Affordable Housing, a Recovering Economy and Job Growth. Housing prices in Pennsylvania are cheap, even in the cities. Their economy has been on an upswing, leading to job growth.
Quality of Life in Pennsylvania
At one point, swimming in the Allegheny River wasn’t advised due to pollution. Old mining techniques and steel factories contributed to high pollution state-wide. But nowadays, Pennsylvania’s quality of life has risen dramatically.
Trout fill the state’s streams, cross-country skiing trails wind like ribbons through the countryside, and the quiet Quaker life can be visited and observed.
A tour of Hershey’s Chocolate World, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is perfect for the chocolate lover in your life. On the drive there, soak in the gorgeous fall foliage, or stop to pick apples.
Philadelphia has become known for its free business environment and high healthcare rankings. The city has been attracting a lot of venture capital and start-ups are forming at a rapid rate. It’s also steeped in history — both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were written, call the “City of Brotherly Love” home.
Pittsburgh is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates and is a huge sports town. But it’s not all beer and wings — it’s also an intellectual powerhouse. Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University, all top-ranked institutions, are located within the city limits.
Economic Outlook in Pennsylvania
As a state in the former rust belt, Pennsylvania has gone through some hard times. While some areas are still recovering, instead of looking to its past, look to its future. Pennsylvania has the sixth biggest economy in the country, and its 1.3% job growth rate in 2018 was its strongest showing in 18 years.
A booming natural gas and energy industry is helping spur growth in areas that were hard hit by coal industry losses.
As these industries continue to grow, so do the industrial machinery and equipment sectors, which manufacture component parts used in the energy industry. Other key industries include agriculture, chemicals, fabricated metals, healthcare, and printing.
Because parts of the state have yet to recover from the long period of job stagnation and losses, pay attention to where your industry operates in the state when deciding where to move. After all, there are still 35 communities in the state where over 30% of the residents live in poverty.
Housing Market Forecast for 2019
The local housing market should always factor in a move decision. Will you be able to sell your current home, hopefully at a profit, and buy something better or comparable in a new state?
Home values in Pennsylvania went up 5.3% in 2018, and are expected to rise by 5.7% in 2019.
The median price of homes sold is $164,700, which is very affordable — making it a great choice for first-time home buyers. In fact, PA is ranked the 12th most affordable housing market in the nation!
The differences in prices between cities within the state closely aligns with those areas that have recovered from economic downturns.
It’s a hot market in Pittsburgh, with values that rose 11.8% in 2018 and will rise $8.0% in 2019. Philadelphia is even hotter, with a growth of 12.7% in 2018 and expected growth of 14.4% in 2019. In Erie, however, home values declined by 0.9% in 2018 — though they’re expected to rise by 3.7% in 2019.
Next Steps for Would-Be Pennsylvanians
Moving to a different state or city is a big step. If you’ve already been thinking about it, compare your reasons to what Pennsylvania offers to see if the state would be a good fit for you and your family.
Before you pull the trigger and commit to the move, it’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced, local real estate agent for additional insight and advice.
Agents can provide invaluable guidance on all aspects of the home-buying and relocation processes — from which neighborhoods best fit your needs and budget to connecting you with local lenders, contractors, movers, and/or any other resources you may need to get through the move.
Want to connect with a top-rated, PA real estate agent? Clever can help!
Fill out our online form and a Clever representative will be in touch to answer any questions you might have and introduce you to one of our local Partner Agents for a no-obligation consultation.