Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Western and Central PA: A Good Value Place to Live

If you are thinking of a real estate transaction in Western or South Central Pennsylvania, it's a buyers market in off-the-resort properties. If you moved to Pittsburgh, Baltimore or District of Columbia, or their suburbs, you would be paying 20% to 50% more per square foot. If you buy in the resorts in the area it becomes more a neutral comparison, but property values in our area are still way below Colorado and Utah resort prices. Even though we are seeing increasingly rapid appreciation in prices, seemingly undeterred by the recent housing downturn, the Laurel Highlands and Bedford Valley still offer the second home and retirement home buyer reasonable prices with a great quality of life and great amenities.

Our five largest all-season resorts in the Laurel Highlands are 7 Springs Resort, Bedford Springs Resort, Hidden Valley Resort, Blue Knob Resort and Nemacolin Resort. These are all about a 90 minute drive to the south east from Pittsburgh PA and 3.0- 3.5 hours from Baltimore, MD and Washington DC. These resorts are 4 season, and offer a full slate of summer activities to include golf, swimming, tennis, hiking, horseback riding, and other unique activities such as the alpine slide, challenge courses, climbing tower and skeet and trap range at Nemacolin and Seven Springs. Each resort offers on or near resort lodging. With Hidden Valley recently being bought by Buncher Group of Pittsburgh, we are seeing major improvements at this resort, with accelerating investment in this resort projected to come.
The Laurel highlands offers residents an endless offering of outdoor activities, historical sites, cultural events, and quick access to Pittsburgh, just 60 miles away. From the resorts in the Champion area you are just minutes from great hiking, such as the Laurel Highlands trail, the National Highway (Route 40) that Braddock and Washington carved out opening the "Frontier of the Americas", biking and easy access to the rails to trails system from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C., great climbing and bouldering at local craigs, Coopers Rocks, and Seneca. The area has two off-road trails networks: Mountain Ridge Trails in Somerset County and Rock Run in Cambria County. There are class III to V whitewater rapids at Ohio Pyle, and there is skydiving at Connellsville. There are miniature golf ranges, such as in Donegal, bowling and high partying at 7 Springs, plus top dining spots. If there is something you like to do from polka to wine tasting to parachuting, it's all here. Bring your skis, quad, snowmobile, motorcycle, and your hiking boots, and get some of the best outdoor life on the East Coast.

Hat Tip: Abe and Wags for the description of Laurel Highlands attractions.

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