Berks County- PA’s best kept real estate secret- By Mark Crystal
Berks County Real Estate.
A decade ago if one would have mumbled that phrase, the average person probably wouldn’t have flinched.
Today, those words are bound to turn up a few eyebrows.
As the traffic, congestion and affordability in the Philadelphia area continues to skyrocket, smart home buyers are heading East.
What they are finding is Pennsylvania’s best kept real estate secret.
Berks County has it all: Jobs, industries, affordability, recreation, entertainment and quality of living. And a lot of each. It’s a great place to live, and centrally located between a trio of airports (Philadelphia, Allentown and Harrisburgh). Close enough to major cities, but far enough away from the density and traffic.
If you live in the mountains, you’re far from the beach.
And if you live at the beach, you’re far from the mountains.
Both places feature very expensive real estate.
But Berks County is right in-between all of this, and not too far from each.
And when it comes to real estate, Berks County residents get all this…. for a fraction of the price.
Let’s take a closer look.
Jobs- Not only is Berks County home to major corporations like Cartech, Brenntag and Deka which employ thousands of people, the county also boasts several world-renowned food factories such as Sweet Street Desserts, Bachmans and Unique pretzel factories, Goods potato chips, Giorgio mushrooms and Berks meats. The Reading Health System is one of the top hospitals in the East and the new facility near the Reading airport is state-of-the-art. Home improvement, you say? There’s not a contractor in the area who isn’t busy. Downtown Reading just opened the successful Doubletree hotel to complement the neighboring arena and performing arts theater which have been drawing big name acts and entertainment for years. Factor in ongoing construction, especially in the Hamburg area including a half-million square foot food processing factory and more, and a bustling economy which has area restaurants consistently crowded on a daily basis, and you’ve got a recipe for a healthy economic cycle.
Affordability- If you’re looking for affordable housing, you’ve come to the right county. In November 2018, the median sold price of a Berks house was just under $165,000- much less than its neighboring county of Lancaster to the West and especially Montgomery and Chester County to the East. Many times, Berks County offers the same nice houses, but for a fraction of the price.
That same statistic in November 2018 for Chester County was $340,000. That’s more than double!
Recreation- There’s so much recreation in Berks County it’s hard to even fit it all in a book. Lakes, trails, forest, mountains and plenty of sporting activities are just a few of the plentiful list of things to do in Berks. From the Nationally-renowned hiking/biking trails of Blue Marsh, to the miles of peaceful river trails along the Schuylkill River, to the Neversink Mountain, Mount Penn, Nolde Forest and French Creek State Park trails, it’s easy to venture far into nature yet stay close to home. And if that’s not enough, head just a bit north to Blue Mountain and hike the famous Appalachian Trail, which spans virtually the entire length of the Northern Berks County border. Cool off or kayak in one of several lakes including Blue Marsh, Karcher Creek Lake or Hopewell Lake, visit one of dozens of parks and playgrounds with your children or tee-off at one of nearly 20 golf courses. At the end of the day, rest assured there will be a place nearby to get ice cream and sit outside while looking at the mountainous backdrop or fireflies in the amber farm fields. Skiers can flock to Bear Creek Resort over the winter, which recently added a brand new luxury hotel and base lodge. The possibilities are endless.
Entertainment- Having something fun to do is what Berks County residents live with on a daily basis. Reading boasts one of the nicest and loaded minor league baseball parks in the country- complete with a swimming pool, picnic pavilions, activities and beautiful deluxe left field deck. The Sovereign Arena and Performing Arts Center downtown hosts top-notch concerts and entertainment, as well as the Reading Royals minor league hockey team during the winter.
Quality of life- Through all this, the traffic in Berks County is very minimal compared to that of cities and suburbs to the East and South. However, Berks County residents don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to live here and experience the hassle free living.
Berks County: there’s no better, and more affordable place to live. And I’ll be here to help you find the home you’re looking for. Shhhh….it will be our little secret.