When William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1682 as a haven for Quakers, Chester County’s idyllic beauty must have convinced him that he found the perfect place.
Postcard-worthy sights abound in one of the state’s founding counties—from the rolling hills dotted with historic farms, to the charming brick-facade shops, to the flowering trees that line streets.
History plays a central role in this community, too. Chester County is home to George Washington’s Valley Forge encampment and the Brandywine Battlefield. Sites such as these are now parks, where visitors can appreciate both their scenic beauty and historic significance.
Living in Chester County also means that nature is your backyard. About 30% of the county is a nature preserve, giving residents acres of terrain where they can hike, camp, canoe, hunt, and fish.
It’s also the kind of place where you can live in a rural suburb while working in a big city. For instance, Chester County is only about an hour’s drive from downtown Philadelphia. And thanks to highways like the I-95, Delaware and New York are easily accessible.
For all these reasons, Niche.com gives Chester County an A+ grade and ranks it second among Pennsylvania’s best counties to live in.
Religion is closely tied to the founding of Chester County. In the 1600s, William Penn secured a charter from King Charles II. This allowed him to establish a community where Quakers could live free of persecution. The endeavor would later be dubbed as “The Holy Experiment.”
Take a look at the fascinating journey that turned Chester County from a religious refuge to one of the country’s most affluent and sought-after suburbs:
- 17th Century: Chester County was established by William Penn in 1682. Quakers settle into Chester County and formally establish The Religious Society of Friends in 1690.
- 18th Century: The first forge was built in 1717 and steel manufacturing would become the leading economic driver in Chester County.
- 19th Century: The establishment of the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad contributes to the development of towns like Strafford, Malvern, and Downingtown.
- 20th Century: The Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) was completed in 1950, spurring rapid commercial and residential growth.
- 21st Century: Today, Chester County is a thriving area that measures 756 square miles and is home to over 500,000 residents.
Real estate for sale in Chester County, PA
According to BestPlaces.net, the county’s median home cost is about $341,800 and property values have grown by 10.5% over the past decade
The average home typically has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, and measures between 1,800 and 2,500 square feet. Being a suburb, a spacious yard often comes standard.
As a county steeped in history, homes here are heavily influenced by architectural styles from the Colonial and Civil War eras. Homes built in the Georgian, Cape Cod, Queen Anne, and Federal styles line the streets of Chester County’s charming boroughs.
Living in Chester County, PA
Quality of life is Chester County’s biggest draw. It provides easy access to modern conveniences while allowing residents to commune with both nature and history.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Chester County is about 20% higher than the national average. Given its posh neighborhoods, the preponderance of parks, and proximity to nature, however, buyers are happy to pay a premium to be part of this community. The steeper cost of living is offset by the area’s higher median salary of $96,000 per year.
Fun things to do are always around the corner in Chester County. Below are some of the best things you can do here:
Longwood Gardens is always awash with colors, thanks to the thousands of plants and flowers that cover its terrain. You can also head over to Anson B. Nixon Park, the woodlands of which include beeches that are over 250 years old.
If you’re looking for a quick day hike, the beautiful 5.2-mile Struble Trail is relatively flat and follows the eastern branch of Brandywine Creek. Avid bikers, meanwhile, will surely love the 14.7-mile Chester Valley Trail.
Chester County’s fertile lands make it an ideal wine country. Places like 1722 Vineyards, Kreutz Creek Vineyards & Winery, and Black Walnut Winery allow you to sample some of the best vintages on the East Coast.
Come home to Chester County, PA
If you’re looking for a place where idyllic meets historic, look no further than Chester County. Let RE/MAX Direct help you find the best real estate for sale in Chester County, PA. Call us at 610.430.8100 or email us at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com to get started.