When we were looking for our home 5 years ago, we explored everywhere in the area and chose Quakertown. I'm biased, but it's absolutely perfect for us and our family, I can't imagine a better place to raise your children. It's the next exit up the turnpike from Lansdale (but not nearly as busy as the Lansdale exit :) Small town feel but with all the modern conveniences. Cool history - we're on the Liberty Bell Trail and they hid the Liberty Bell here, lots of neat Colonial and Victorian buildings and Inns.
The building boom brought in several amazing new home communities back in the old farmlands, but the township has a very aggresive "Open Space" program Builders donated acres and acres of land back to the community so there are gorgeous nature trails, parks, bicycle paths, open areas wound all through the communities. Lots are larger than the surrounding areas (the home we're selling is over 2600 sq ft on a half+ acre, best neighborhood in Quakertown for well under $400K - ha, ok, I am a bit biased but the point is that's amazing compared to the surrounding areas...)
If you have kids, schools are outstanding! Challenging, and interesting. I can't say enough about the parks system - several large parks with pavilions, baseball stadium, basketball courts, and even a skate park. Cool festival/fireworks celbration in the summer in the main park in town. They're finishing a 7 field park called Veterans park devoted to girls softball. Great sports organizations including a Soccer Club with a huge facility, girls softball, football, you name it. YMCA with an indoor pool, very nice community pool. And you're 10 minutes from Lake Nockamixon State Park.
This realtor calls Quakertown "The Heart and Soul of Upper Bucks County" - I don't know anything about this realtor but this is a nice writeup about the area:
Surrounding areas all have positives, but Quakertown is definately the best value and best mix of "Small Town Family Values" and having a Target, Lowes, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, and everything else you need 5 minutes up on the highway.
If you want to be further out, Skippack is a ridiculously quaint and cute town right out of a novel, a walk back in time, we love visiting (especially at Christmas.) Lansdale is very congested but a very nice area, more expensive and homes will be on the average older and smaller.
Good luck Jason and please let us know how you make out!
There is something for everyone - even if you have to commute a bit to get it. I would be happy to assist you, just let me know how I can help!
Lansdale is known for a few things including the NE Extension exit of the same name. The actual Borough is quite small, but the Lansdale post office 19446 serves an area that is quite large. Thus if you search for properties by the zip code, you'll get Upper Gwynned, Towamencin, some of Montgomeryville, etc. For 1 acre at a good price, you are looking at the NW border of the the zip code, or you may want to wander further to Souderton, etc. A 4 mile arc north of the turnpike exit should catch some larger lots. Anything built here in the last 3 years has a lot size of about .2 acres. You will need to look for something built prior to 1990 (estimate) to get a full acre. (Back when land was cheap and plentiful).
John Burns is right-- if you go low price/area on the way in, you'll have to go low price on the way out.
There are many options in that area. Although Bucks County may seem quite developed there are a surprising amount of rural areas as well. More information in terms of what you're looking for would be helpful because likely you have more requirements for your next place of residence than just the lot size. ;)
At any rate I agree with William that the Quakertown area has a great balance between community and rural living. The area has a reputation for being a bit backwards, but having lived there myself and talking with other residents it really isn't justified, just avoid the farmer's market and you'll be fine. They have several street festivals a year and it still has a community feel to it, which should make it easier to meet people. It is close to the turnpike, route 78, 313 and 309 and the housing prices there are a lower than most of Bucks County as well.
I would also recommend the Perkasie/Dublin area, which is a bit more rural than Quakertown. It all depends on what you're looking for.
Happy house hunting and should you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to contact us.
There are quite a few properties for sale that may suit your needs. I need some additional information though. Please email or call me. How much are you looking to spend? What type of house? How many beds? How long are you willing to travel?
Gregory S. Parker, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Realty Professionals
2924 Swede Road
East Norriton, PA 19401
Office 610-277-5000 Ext. 249