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Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty serves buyers and sellers in the greater Lehigh Valley, an area made up of Lehigh and Northampton counties, with Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton as its largest cities. Approximately 821,000 people live in the Lehigh Valley, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, making it the third largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania. Much of its growth in the past two decades has been driven by an influx of residents from New Jersey and New York, areas accessible via the I-78 corridor.
Major employers in the Lehigh Valley include Lehigh Valley Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Air Products & Chemicals, Olympus, PPL, Sands Casino, higher-education institutions, Mack Truck, Sodexho, Amazon.com and others. In addition, the Lehigh Valley’s proximity to New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area means residents can work in those areas while enjoying the often lower cost of living in the Valley. Learn more about Lehigh Valley employers here.
For those new to the area and seeking a home, there is tremendous variety in house styles and price points. Some of the more popular residential areas are Saucon Valley, Historic Bethlehem, Emmaus and nearby Lower Macungie Township, the suburbs north and west of the city of Allentown in South Whitehall Township, the College Hill neighborhood in Easton and adjacent to Easton, Williams Township. Points farther north in Northampton County, stretching towards Carbon and Monroe counties also have seen a lot of residential growth as commuter-road improvements make those areas more accessible to New Jersey.
Historical brick row houses; new and vintage estate homes, mid-century modern ranchers, picturesque stone farmhouses, townhouses and condos — there are thousands of houses available for purchase at any given time in the Lehigh Valley real-estate market and luckily for buyers, every price point is represented. If you’re relocating to the Lehigh Valley and aren’t sure what area is right for you, contact an agent with our office to help you understand your options. Tim Shannon and Michael Strickland, experienced realtors with Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, both know the Lehigh Valley and its outer-ring suburbs very well.
Founded in 1741 by Moravian settlers and nicknamed the “Christmas City”, Bethlehem Pa., once held a world-wide reputation for its steel manufacturing. Today the town is well into a cultural and economic leadership position in the Lehigh Valley. Home to Lehigh University and Moravian College, the city also has seen a growth in fine restaurants, art galleries and shopping districts in its historic district, south side and in the Sands Casino complex. Sands Bethlehem, a casino with 3,000 slot machines and table games, restaurants, hotels and nightclubs, is attracts huge numbers of visitors each year. The facility has expanded as more buildings that formerly belonged to Bethlehem Steel are either converted to new use or torn down to make way for new construction. The Sands Event Center draws top-name musical acts throughout the year. The residential neighborhoods closest to this new complex are Historic Bethlehem and Saucon Valley, as well as Fountain Hill.
Bethlehem is also home to Musikfest, an annual celebration of all types of music with free performances taking place throughout the historic district and at other nearby venues. Each year’s event draws about 1,000,000 visitors.
The Christmas season is celebrated in style in Bethlehem’s charming historic district, where a vibrant Main Street is lined with independently-owned shops and restaurants and the surrounding residential area presents streetscapes with 19th-century homes tastefully restored. Special events take place throughout December, including Christkindlmarkt, a German-inspired holiday shopping area that now sets up at the casino complex.
Allentown, Pa., is home to an Lehigh Valley International Airport, Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest Colleges, a fantastic public parks system, and a wide variety of residential neighborhoods. Some notable Allentown neighborhoods include the Parkway, an area abutting Lehigh Parkway, a wonderful park with bridle paths, fishing in the Little Lehigh and running/biking/walking paths; the Rose Garden area, overlooking Cedar Beach Park and the Rose Garden with close proximity to Muhlenberg College and the city’s far west end; West Park, a historic district of mostly rowhomes surrounding a very leafy city park; the Old Fairgrounds Neighborhood, a certified historic district in downtown consisting mostly of 19th-century rowhomes; and the Old Allentown Historic District, another downtown neighborhood whose layout dates to an original city plan from 1762.
Downtown Allentown is undergoing something of a renaissance with much new construction and a strong effort by city leaders to attract new businesses. There is the PPL Center, an arena that serves the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, an American Hockey League feeder team for the Philadelphia Flyers. The arena also hosts concerts and other events throughout the year. A number of new restaurants have sprung up to serve the downtown neighborhood, and two major residential rental buildings are now part of the streetscape. The Allentown Art Museum and Miller Symphony Hall are located in center city, adding some high-culture options for residents and visitors.
Sports fans also can take in the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, a Triple A feeder team for the Philadelphia Phillies. The stadium, Coca-Cola Park, is on the city’s east side, and it has proven very popular throughout the summer baseball season.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is another major recreational attraction located in Allentown. Situated off of I-78, it, too, attracts thousands of visitors each year.
A favorite shopping spot for residents in the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market, at 17th & Chew Streets, where produce, meat, fish, poultry, candy, baked goods and prepared food vendors sell their wares Thursdays through Saturdays. Catch a foreign or independent film at the 19th Street Theatre, just a block from the market.
East of Allentown and Bethlehem, on the border with New Jersey where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet, Easton, Pa., is home to Lafayette College as well as several museums along the Delaware River and Canal. Easton has a growing arts community spearheaded by the State Theater for Performing Arts. The restaurant scene downtown is hot, and like Allentown, Easton is striving to attract more businesses to its riverfront business district.
Easton is also home to the world headquarters of Crayola. Along with corporate offices and manufacturing facilities, Crayola also offers an exciting children’s attraction in downtown Easton. The Crayola EXPERIENCE® shows visitors how the company makes crayons and markers and offers dozens of interactive and hands-on activities for children.
College Hill in Easton remains one of the most esteemed neighborhoods within the city limits. It is a designated historic district with 855 buildings primarily built between 1830 and 1940. College Hill overlooks downtown Easton and has housing stock representing a wide variety of architectural styles, ranging from Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne to later “Revival” styles from the first half of the 20th century.
Together, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton form the third largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania and welcome new residents with a wealth of interesting community events, nationally recognized medical care, excellent public and private schools, various outdoor activities and fine dining all built on 250+ years of history.