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Old 08-17-2012, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,457 posts, read 7,523,622 times
Reputation: 4344

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In terms of the Philadelphia area, West Chester, as mentioned, is definitely a great option. Several other suggestions would be Media, Ambler, and Phoenixville.

All of these areas meet the criteria you're looking for in terms of very nice, safe, and walkable towns with great amenities and high-performing schools. Real estate costs tend to be higher in West Chester, but the other towns would definitely afford you more reasonable housing costs.

Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 08-18-2012 at 12:00 AM..
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:53 AM
 
56,609 posts, read 80,910,543 times
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I wonder if places like Corapolis or the Sewickley area in the Pittsburgh metro would fit the OP's criteria?
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,259,760 times
Reputation: 36087
Lawrence, Kansas.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
1,424 posts, read 2,096,192 times
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I lived in Boston. Loved it. Its not affordable at all. I live in Richmond now. Love it, just like Boston downtown. Its dirt cheap.

Look at Richmond
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:47 PM
 
17 posts, read 25,799 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImissThe90's View Post
Ok, so I know this may not be attainable, but my wife and I are looking for a town that fits these criteria...
1. Safe
2. Good schools
3. Walkable downtown area with cafes, coffee shops, and other local shopping
4. Decent cost of living
5. Bike friendly
6. Within 30 minutes of a larger city which could provide jobs and cultural amenities.

Size of the city would depend on how close it is to a city. The further away the more people it should have. We are looking at the northeast, mid-atlantic, and Midwest. We are particulary interested in the Philadelphia area, the Boston area, and the Hartford area. Also interested in the Chicago area, as well as northern ohio and the Indianapolis area, but a little less so. I realize that no city will have it all,more than likely. So any input you guys could provide would be great.
So, I know I might be a little late to jump onto this thread, but I have lived in Philadelphia (in the city) for years and my partner has been looking for the same kind of town you are. Although I've been insistent on staying in the city, I have been starting to give in and take a look at some towns that meet the criteria you are looking for. From my extensive research, it seems that Collingswood, NJ is the best option in the Philly area. It is a very walkable town with cafes, coffee shops, art galleries, cute stores, and lots of restaurants. It's a really cute town with great parks and really nice downtown area. There is a bike share program in the town as well as zipcar options. It is also very safe and apparently has a very good school district. Some other towns outside of Philly, on the PA side, have the same things that Collingswood has, but the thing that gives Collingswood the edge for me is it's easy commute into Center City Philadelphia. The Patco train that runs through Collingswood gets you into Center City in only 10 mintues (15 minutes if you're going to Rittenhouse Square area) and the train runs very frequently (every 4 minutes during rush hour) and runs 24 hours per day. The walkable suburbs in PA just do not offer this kind of convenience. Especially since SEPTA regional rail only runs every hour or so during the middle of the day and stops running at night. It also takes a lot longer to get into the city from most of the PA suburbs (it takes about 40 minutes to get into the city on regional rail from Media, PA as opposed to the 10 minutes it takes from Collingswood). Since I work and play in Center City Philadelphia, being able to get into the city in 10 minutes, around the clock, is very important to me. Anyway, that is my two cents. Please keep in mind that I still live in the city, but I have been spending everyday in Collingswood for the last few weeks ever since we started seriously thinking of moving there and I can attest to how convenient, walkable, friendly, and safe it is. We actually just put an offer in on a house there and are waiting to hear. Good luck in your search! It seems like there is a lot of good advice on this forum so I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,487,957 times
Reputation: 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broadrippleguy View Post
Indianapolis has the lowest cost of living of any major US city and luckily for you its a large safe city that is the fastest growing city/metro in the midwest.
and 2nd Downtown Indianapolis is very compact and has over 200 unique places to eat most locally owned and tons of places to shop.

From Wikipedia: Both Forbes and Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowedrank Indianapolis as one of the best downtowns in the United States citing "more than 200 retail shops, more than 35 hotels, nearly 300 restaurants and food options, movie theaters, sports venues, museums, art galleries and parks" as attractions

Indy is also very bike friendly and is getting national attention for the amazing growth in bike lanes and bike trails. the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is an example of this.

Plus Indy has the nations most affordable housing market. its cheaper to buy a house in Indy than rent in most cases. Plus this is a buyers home market right now with the record low interest rates.

Good Schools in Indianapolis would be any of the suburbs or in Marion County any of the schools outside of IPS are decent.
IPS can be ok if you know how to play your cards and get into a charter school that is branched off from IPS.

Also your last criteria doesnt need to be met cause Indianapolis has plenty of culture and amendities for being the nations 12th largest city.

Yes I have heard what you mentioned concerning Indianapolis. Very good I hope the city keeps improving. It would be nice if they put some effort into public transport, but the population and politics in that area seems to frown on people that take it or want it. Whatever the reason there is some problem with that issue in that city. Otherwise the city does have some good points.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:27 AM
 
681 posts, read 1,316,426 times
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The Philadelphia area is experiencing a renaissance. Due to cheap housing and a median cost of living, we are seeing an influx of youth and a spike in housing. I live in Collingswood, NJ; it is an "inner ring" suburb of Philly that is more accessible than many to most philly suburbs. We are 10 minutes from center city with a rich housing stock, good schools a cool, hip main street and a nice mix of culture. Please check us out at Collingswood.com.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: In my view finder.....
8,521 posts, read 13,988,384 times
Reputation: 8079
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlesaf3 View Post
I lived in Boston. Loved it. Its not affordable at all. I live in Richmond now. Love it, just like Boston downtown. Its dirt cheap.

Look at Richmond
What's the weather like in Richmond, VA? All 4 seasons?
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:13 AM
 
4,649 posts, read 3,614,472 times
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Lakewood, Ohio. Lakefront community adjacent to Cleveland comes to mind but there are many other great communities in the area as well (Chagrin Falls, Rocky River, Cleveland Hts., Shaker Hts.)
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:05 PM
 
4,649 posts, read 3,614,472 times
Reputation: 2046
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraysFerryB4 View Post
The Philadelphia area is experiencing a renaissance. Due to cheap housing and a median cost of living, we are seeing an influx of youth and a spike in housing. I live in Collingswood, NJ; it is an "inner ring" suburb of Philly that is more accessible than many to most philly suburbs. We are 10 minutes from center city with a rich housing stock, good schools a cool, hip main street and a nice mix of culture. Please check us out at Collingswood.com.
Philly and its metro is a great call as well. Excellent location for access to the shore, the Chesapeake, mountains, NYC, DC...etc. South Jersey is included in the metro area as well; great hi-speed PATCO train into Philly.
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