Homes for Rent in Lancaster, PA: What You Need to Know
Lancaster is the seat of Lancaster County in South Central Pennsylvania. It’s home to more than 33,000 Amish people, the largest Amish population in the United States.
The Local History
Lancaster was initially called Hickory Town, but it was later renamed after the English city. It was incorporated as a borough in 1742 and as a city in 1818. Lancaster served as the capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812, before Harrisburg became the capital. President James Buchanan, the 15th American president, was Lancaster’s most famous resident. His beloved home, Wheatland, still stands today.
Culture and Lifestyle
The Amish people were persecuted in Europe and condemned as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants. They settled in the Lancaster area in the 1720s, benefitting from William Penn's initiative to practice religious tolerance. The Pennsylvania Amish believe that individualism and other secular values common in modern society threaten community harmony. Hence, they limit any interaction with non-Amish and avoid technology. The Amish wear distinct black clothing. They don’t use modern conveniences such as electricity, and they continue to rely on horse-drawn buggies and carriages.
The Cost of Living in Lancaster
The cost of living in Lancaster is 7.4% higher than the national average, but it’s still much lower than in Philadelphia, just 62 miles away. Also, food and housing costs in Lancaster are 26.5% and 14.7% lower than the national average, respectively. Its median gross rent is $834. Another plus factor – Pennsylvania’s 3.07% income tax is the lowest among all the states with a flat tax.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Locals say they get the best of both worlds in Lancaster, a city with excellent amenities and surrounded by idyllic farmland. More than half of city residents are renters. If you want to live in the suburbs, Manheim Township and Landisville are just a hop and a skip away from Lancaster. They are known for their topnotch schools. In Landisville, residents enjoy cheap fresh produce and goods at the weekly Root’s Country Market & Auction. If you don’t mind a longer commute, Millersville (15 miles away) is a vibrant college town with lots of activities centered on Millersville University.
Getting Around Lancaster
The Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA) has been providing public bus services in the area since 1976. RRTA offers fixed-route and shared ride services. Two Amtrak trains service Lancaster – the Pennsylvanian, which runs between New York and Pittsburgh, and the Keystone Service, which runs between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. The Lancaster Airport is only six miles from downtown.