It was great to see the news today, that the world finally knows what I discovered a decade ago. Lancaster County is a great place to live and work. Zillow.com, a website that tracks real estate data, has ranked our fair metropolitan area as one of the best places in the country to buy a home. We’re No. 7 in its Top 10 list. This is out of 125 metropolitan areas nationwide, which, to say the least, is a big deal for our county. Zillow’s research team used four criteria by which to rate these places – unemployment, price appreciation, foreclosure rate and, perhaps the biggest reason of all, affordability. They weighed these criteria equally, but I think affordability plays a big role in our housing market success. Folks here in Lancaster have known that we didn’t always go with the national flow in the housing market trends. For the most part, our conservative nature sheltered us from the significant home value depreciations and foreclosures that made such big news in Nevada, California, and Florida. As far as affordability, home buyers searching for their dream home have more buying power than ever. We have extraordinarily low interest rates, under 5 percent if you have a FHA loan, and a vast inventory of lovely homes from which to choose. Home buyers can now afford homes they couldn’t afford even a few years ago. Thanks to all these factors, Lancaster, Pa., made Zillow’s list and the notoriety it so deserves. As for me, “transplant” of 10 years who met her husband here and where we bought the home where we’re raising our rambunctious little boy, Lancaster will always be my No. 1.
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