Are you considering buying a house in State College PA? State College might just be the perfect place for you! Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Centre County, State College offers a unique blend of vibrant college-town energy and serene natural beauty. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or someone looking to invest in real estate, this guide will discuss all about buying a house in State College.

Where Is State College Actually Located?

State College, PA, also known as Happy Valley or Nittany Valley, is home to Penn State University and the surrounding area. Found in the center of Pennsylvania, State College has something to offer to everyone, boasting the largest alumni association in the world at PSU.

Is Buying a house in State College a Smart Idea?

As a former schoolteacher turned realtor, I would always ask my clients and residents what brought them to State College. I’d hear all types of reasons, from a family who moved here because their child had learning disabilities and they were advised to move here due to the excellent programs for their child. One couple moved to State College from South Carolina because as was his father, their son wanted to pursue an engineering degree, and PSU is known for its outstanding rank nationally for its engineering program. Some couples, who are former alumni, tell me they move back to State College once they retire, as they loved the memories they made here and want to “come home” in a sense and reconnect with former friends and family.

State College not only boasts one of the best and largest universities in the country, and all the events and activities that go along with that, but also offers tons to do for everyone of all ages around the city.

What to do at State College?

State College has plenty of things in and around the university to do year-round, not just during the summer.

  • Tussey Mountain offers fun for all ages all year round. During the spring, summer, and fall there is a golf course, an event area where various concerts are held, and a go kart track to race your friends and family. During the winter Tussey Mountain has its own ski resort!
  • Pegula Ice Arena offers tons of fun, from learning how to ice skate, to joining a hockey team, or just to skate around with friends.
  • PSU Thon is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world! It’s a year long effort that raises funds and brings awareness to childhood cancer. THON puts on events like their 5k race, hair donations, and their annual THON weekend, where PSU students and volunteers gather in the Bryce Jordan Center for a 46 hour no sitting, no sleeping dance event to raise money.
  • Bryce Jordan Center Hosts top-name performers, bands, singers, family shows, commencements, comedians, and various sporting events.
  • Palmer Museum of Art is a brand new 85-million-dollar art museum being built by Penn State next to the Aboretum to open soon. PSU required a bigger, more spacious facility to showcase their extensive art display from the world.
  • Penn’s Cave is the only all water cave east of the Mississippi. Guests can take a boat tour to explore the unique cave.
  • Beaver Stadium is the 2nd largest stadium in the United States and offers and atmosphere unlike anywhere else. The 106,572 seated stadium is the home to the Nittany Lions football team.
  • Central Pa 4th Fest is the largest firework display show in the state of Pennsylvania. Few events bring more excitement and energy to the State College area. (All ages involved) As a music teacher my chorus was accompanied by a piano on Allen Street. Great art and entertainment, a variety of food, and plenty of fun for all.


State College is a Great Location for First Time Home Buyers

State College, PA is an excellent choice for first time home buyers. Here are a few of the many reasons new homeowners will love State College:


Compared to many other areas in the country, State College offers relatively affordable housing options. This is particularly advantageous for first-time homebuyers who are often working within a budget.

Strong Economy

Home to Penn State University, State College enjoys a stable local economy, with a steady stream of students, faculty, and staff contributing to the region’s economic growth. This can make investing in a home here a promising financial decision.

Quality of Life

State College boasts a plethora of recreational, cultural, and entertainment activities that cater to all ages. From hiking in the nearby Bald Eagle State Forest to enjoying the vibrant downtown scene, there’s something for everyone.

Educational Opportunities

The presence of a world-renowned university means access to excellent educational facilities and resources. This is especially appealing for families looking to provide the best educational experience for their children.

Things to Look Out for When Buying a House in State College PA

  1. Neighborhood Research: Like any other place, State College has a variety of neighborhoods with distinct vibes and characteristics. Research different neighborhoods to find the one that aligns with your preferences and needs.
  2. Budget and Affordability: Determine your budget and get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your house hunt. This will help you narrow down your options and save time.
  3. Inspection and Appraisal: Ensure that you conduct a thorough home inspection to identify any potential issues. An appraisal will also give you an accurate assessment of the property’s value.
  4. Resale Value: While you might be focused on your current needs, consider the resale value of the property as well. A real estate investment that appreciates over time can provide financial security in the long run.
  5. Local Real Estate Market Trends: Keep an eye on the local real estate market trends in State College. Understanding whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market can influence your negotiation strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a House in State College, PA

What is the Average Cost of Homes in State College, PA?

The average cost of homes in State College can vary based on factors such as location, size, and condition. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the median home price in State College was around $280,000. However, it’s important to note that real estate prices can fluctuate over time. It’s recommended to consult with a local real estate agent or research current listings to get a more accurate understanding of the current market prices.

Are There Any State-Specific Programs or Incentives for First-Time Homebuyers?

Pennsylvania has historically offered various programs and incentives to assist first-time homebuyers. These could include down payment assistance programs, tax credits, and low-interest loan options. It’s advisable to check with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) or consult a local real estate professional to get information about any current programs that might be available to help first-time homebuyers in State College.

Wrapping Up – Buying a House in State College PA

Buying a house is an exciting journey, and State College, PA offers a welcoming community and a promising real estate market for first-time homebuyers. With careful research, expert guidance, and a clear understanding of your goals, you can find the perfect home in this charming town. So, embark on this adventure with confidence and get ready to call State College your home sweet home.

There is no place quite like State College. Positioned right in the heart of Pennsylvania, You won’t find anything else quite like it. There’s a reason they call us Happy Valley, and you should come find out for yourself. – Emily Schmalstieg