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Bucks County PA

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Bucks County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 625,249, making it the fourth-most populous county in Pennsylvania and the 99th-most populous county in the United States. The county seat is Doylestown. The county is named after the English county of Buckinghamshire or more precisely, its abbreviation. Bucks County constitutes part of the northern boundary of the Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, more commonly known as the Delaware Valley. It is located immediately northeast of Philadelphia and forms part of the southern tip of the eastern state border.

Bucks County is one of the three original counties created by colonial proprietor William Penn in 1682. Penn named the county after Buckinghamshire, the county where he lived in England. He built a country estate called Pennsbury Manor in Falls Township, Bucks County.

Some places in Bucks County were named after locations in Buckinghamshire, including Buckingham and Buckingham Township, named after the former county town of Buckinghamshire; Chalfont, named after Chalfont St Giles, the parish home of William Penn’s first wife and the location of the Jordans Quaker Meeting House, where Penn is buried; Solebury Township, named after Soulbury, England; and Wycombe, named after the town of High Wycombe.

Bucks County was originally much larger than it is today. Northampton County was formed in 1752 from part of Bucks County, and Lehigh County was formed in 1812 from part of Northampton County.

General George Washington and his troops camped in Bucks County as they prepared to cross the Delaware River to take Trenton, New Jersey, by surprise on the morning of December 26, 1776. Their successful attack on Britain’s Hessian forces was a turning point in the American War of Independence. The town of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania and Washington Crossing Historic Park were named to commemorate the event.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 604 square miles (1,560 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.8%) is water.

The southern third of the county between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey, often called Lower Bucks, resides in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and is flat and near sea level, and the county’s most populated and industrialized area. Bucks County shares a western border with Montgomery County, and also borders Philadelphia to the southwest, and Northampton and Lehigh Counties to the north. From north to south, it is linked to Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer and Burlington Counties in New Jersey by bridges.

Tohickon Creek and Neshaminy Creek are the largest tributaries of the Delaware in Bucks County. Tohickon Creek empties into the river at Point Pleasant and Neshaminy at Croydon (Bristol Township).

The boroughs of Bristol and Morrisville were prominent industrial centers along the Northeast Corridor during World War II. Suburban development accelerated in Lower Bucks in the 1950s with the opening of Levittown, Pennsylvania, the second such “Levittown” designed by William Levitt.

Among Bucks’ largest employers in the twentieth century were U.S. Steel in Falls Township, and the Vulcanized Rubber & Plastics and Robertson Tile companies in Morrisville. Rohm and Haas continues to operate several chemical plants around Bristol. Waste Management operates a landfill in Tullytown that is the largest receptacle of out-of-state waste in the USA (receiving much of New York City’s waste following the closure of Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, NY 40 miles (64 km) away).

Bucks is also experiencing rapid growth in biotechnology, along with neighboring Montgomery County. The Greater Philadelphia area has become the second largest area of biotechnology in the United States, only behind Boston. It recently pushed San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to lower rankings. It is projected by 2020 that one out of four people in Bucks County will work in biotechnology.

Another important asset of the county is tourism. The county’s northern regions (colloquially referred to as Upper Bucks) are renowned for their natural scenery, farmland, colonial history, and proximity to major urban areas (particularly Philadelphia, but New York City, Allentown, Reading and Atlantic City are also within a two-hour radius).

Bucks County is home to ten covered bridges that are still open to vehicular traffic. Two other bridges, both located in parks, are open only to non-vehicular traffic. All Bucks County bridges use the Town truss design. The Schofield Ford Bridge, in Tyler State Park, was reconstructed in 1997 from the ground up after arsonists destroyed the original in 1991.

Popular attractions in Bucks County include the shops and studios of New Hope, Peddler’s Village (in Lahaska), Washington Crossing Historic Park, New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, and Bucks County River Country. Rice’s Market near Lahaska is a popular destination on Tuesday mornings. Quakertown Farmer’s Market (locally called “Q-Mart”) is a popular shopping destination on weekends. The county seat of Doylestown is also home to several points of interest for tourists, and also is home to Fordhook Farms, the famous trial farm of the Warminster-based Burpee Seeds, which also serves as a bed & breakfast inn. Doylestown also has the trifecta of concrete structures built by Henry Chapman Mercer, including the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill, Mercer’s personal home.

Southern Bucks (colloquially referred to as Lower Bucks) is home to two important shopping malls, Neshaminy Mall and Oxford Valley Mall, and Sesame Place, a family theme park based on the Sesame Street television series. Also within Lower Bucks County is Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem, a casino and thoroughbred horse racing track. The casino was built on the grounds of what was originally Philadelphia Park Racetrack. The complex includes the throughbred horse racing track, expansive casino, a dance club, numerous dining options, and the Xcite Center.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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