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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:38 PM
 
11 posts, read 41,215 times
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I want the good, bad & ugly!

We are about to make an offer on a house located near the Cooper River, East of Browning. We love everything about the area during our many visits there, but you can never really get a feel for a place until you live in it... We are hoping to stay there for about 25 years to raise our family & take advantage of the downtown, public schools, community atmosphere, parks, pool, etc.

Also, if you know the area from visiting or live in a surrounding town, I would love to hear your perspective too.


thanks!
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
691 posts, read 2,827,141 times
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Collingswood has definitely improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade. The downtown is thriving with new condominiums popping up, lots of very good restaurants and shops as well as the PATCO station to Philly. I believe more development is planned right around the station. I think you will enjoy living there. The Cooper River is relatively close to downtown and Route 130 serves as a nice buffer from Camden. Now if only Collingswood wasn't a dry town......
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:04 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
16 posts, read 43,475 times
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I say go for it, especially in that Cooper River area. There is so much development within a few miles from there that will be convenient from there, and would make your home attractive because of it's close proximity.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:28 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,978,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyka View Post
I want the good, bad & ugly!

We are about to make an offer on a house located near the Cooper River, East of Browning. We love everything about the area during our many visits there, but you can never really get a feel for a place until you live in it... We are hoping to stay there for about 25 years to raise our family & take advantage of the downtown, public schools, community atmosphere, parks, pool, etc.

Also, if you know the area from visiting or live in a surrounding town, I would love to hear your perspective too.


thanks!
I grew up right off Cooper River in neighboring Haddon Township in an area called the 'bluebird section'. I used to walk through Collingswood to Haddon Ave. Collingswood has grown its reputation in recent years. When I was a kid in the 70s, it was more rundown and probably on the decline. The downtown area is far better now than it was then. Public schools are also-ran, not horrible, not terribly distinctive. Certainly not on the scale of Cherry Hill or Haddonfield. Quality of life is above average, it has a bit of an urban feel in an otherwise suburban environment. Friendly neighbors - yes. Housing is affordable. Overall not a bad choice, close to the Patco train line and not far from more upscale Haddonfield with higher end shopping and restaurants. The one main negative is that it borders Camden. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:04 PM
 
11 posts, read 41,215 times
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thank you all for your help & suggestions!


ah- the haddonfield vs. collingswood debate goes on... that really should have been the title of my post, because that has been the big question in our house for the last few months! We definitely want a downtown, boro neighborhood, community feel. parks are great, restaurants are great, shopping is nice for visitors.

We feel like we can get a lot more for our money in collingswood & also save on taxes. my husband thinks that haddonfield feels a little more "uppity", but I think it looks SO nice. Right now, the schools in collingswood are looking pretty good (I think they will just get better), but in haddonfield they are excellent. We like the restaurant selection better in collingswood as well as the many parks. please help us prioritize!

should we save $500/month and live in a bigger house in collingswood, where most likely the property values will continue to grow throughout our stay (20+ years), or should we move to the already excellent haddonfield and live in a little bit smaller house surrounded by million dollar homes & beautiful streets?
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:48 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,978,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyka View Post
thank you all for your help & suggestions!


ah- the haddonfield vs. collingswood debate goes on... that really should have been the title of my post, because that has been the big question in our house for the last few months! We definitely want a downtown, boro neighborhood, community feel. parks are great, restaurants are great, shopping is nice for visitors.

We feel like we can get a lot more for our money in collingswood & also save on taxes. my husband thinks that haddonfield feels a little more "uppity", but I think it looks SO nice. Right now, the schools in collingswood are looking pretty good (I think they will just get better), but in haddonfield they are excellent. We like the restaurant selection better in collingswood as well as the many parks. please help us prioritize!

should we save $500/month and live in a bigger house in collingswood, where most likely the property values will continue to grow throughout our stay (20+ years), or should we move to the already excellent haddonfield and live in a little bit smaller house surrounded by million dollar homes & beautiful streets?
Sounds like a lifestyle decision to me. In Haddonfield you are paying for the address and top-tier schools. Collingswood will never be Haddonfield and it is not even close at this point. To me $500/month isn't worth arguing over but you should be sure that is an accurate number. You should also consider where you are in your lifecycle, if you are younger and see your household income going up over the years or are in an occupation that lends itself toward affluence then maybe Haddonfield is better for you. There are lots of young couples with kids in Haddonfield. Be aware that Collingswood still has lots of low income households. You won't see that in Haddonfield.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:52 PM
 
212 posts, read 560,182 times
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You need to think about how much money you're willing to spend and how for schooling. You may end up with a smaller house and somewhat better schools in Haddonfield but you need to weigh the taxes. Taxes are close to double in Haddonfield vs Collingswood for comparable houses. If you only have one child, you could come out ahead financially by sending that child to a Catholic school and living in Collingswood. My child goes to a Collingswood elementary school and I think it's fine; I like the fact that there are 5 elementary schools and the schools are small enough that everyone knows each other. My worries come in with the middle school and high school for a multitude of reasons.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:21 PM
 
11 posts, read 41,215 times
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tangledthreads- can you elaborate on your concerns with the middle & public schools? (please private message me if you don't want to discuss publicly) They are not rated so poorly according to GreatSchools.net & the report card.

We hope to have 2 children and are leaving philadelphia so we don't have to worry about private school, so it is worth it to me to pay more in taxes for good schools. That said, I was really under the impression that Collingswood schools are pretty good? am I way off with this? I know that Haddonfield schools are top-notch, which is great. My husband & I have been very successful with our public school (ranked lower than Collingswood) foundation, so I was thinking Collingswood would give our children a pretty solid foundation???


thanks!
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,727 times
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My husband and I have been in Collingswood since 1995. We have two children in the public school system and could not be more pleased with the town and the school district. There is a very diverse population (for a suburb, anyway), great parks, restaurants, easy access to Philly (car or train, 15 minutes) and friendly people. There's always something going on or somewhere to go (park, coffee shop, Haddon Ave). Not uppity like Haddonfield, Moorestown, Cherry Hill. Very down to earth people and good vibes. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: NJ
983 posts, read 2,541,329 times
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I think Collingswood is a great town and agree with Colleen. I can't comment on the schools but I think it's a nice town with a great downtown, restaurants, very accessible to Philly, down-to-earth people, etc. Haddonfield is gorgeous but it's very uppercrusty.
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