Family moving from No. California to Media or Swarthmore PA Help! (Philadelphia: real estate, how much)
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When are you moving?
June timeframe 2010
Where are you coming from?
Northern California Bay Area near Stanford University
Why are you moving?
Husband's new job is in PA and NY so we're looking at Media and Swarthmore
Where will he be working?
Media and NY
Have you been here yet?
Will you buy or rent?
If buying, are you looking for a house? How much can you spend?
House $600,000 -$800,000
Are you married or single? Do you have children?
Married, three children: 12(m), 15(f), 17(f) (she will graduate high school June 2010!)
Do you prefer public or private schools?
Do you have pets?
Do you want or need a yard?
2 Highlanders, 1 toyota civic hybrid
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
Absolutely need activity for kids interests: sports, church groups, great high school, son is into guitar and baseball, oldest daughter starting college, middle daughter very academic, many friends, involved in great high school ministry group here. Mom is K-8 art teacher)
What do you want to be closest to?
Basic services (schools, supermarket, drugstore, doctors, vets, etc.)
Shopping (ie: Trader Joe's, Nordstroms, Micheals, REI, Target)
Train or subway stations
Can you bike or walk anywhere, like downtown?
Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?
Would love diversity. In our current block we have Asian, Indian, Hispanic and African American neighbors. It is safe and we want a safe neighborhood. good sense of community, liberal and young feel
Phillies, Pirates or Mets?
Giants, Sharks. Sorry. I guess this will change
Please help with neighborhoods and schools - it's hard to move teens and they are really afraid of having to make new friends, try out for new teams, and join new groups. They're great students and very involved in their community but apprehensive about the move. Please help!
Last edited by Momstyle; 01-24-2010 at 10:52 PM..
Swarthmore area will certainly have much to offer according to what you have outlined. Housing is more expensive there, than Media might be, but your housing price range will fit well there.
Swarthmore is the home to Swarthmore College, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the country. The surrounding town has a decidedly more well-educated, affluent, liberal feel than Media.
HS for Swarthmore is Strath Haven HS & it is very well regarded. Your kids would do well there. Penncrest HS is the school for Media. Also pretty decent HS. Media has a more homey main street & it is the county seat for Delaware County so it has the courthouse & tons of law offices around.
There is a fair range of shopping nearby via Baltimore Pike with the Springfield Mall, Target, Michaels & Trader Joe's all closeby. Unfortunately, for Nordstom's you have to head up I 476 to the King of Prussia Mall.
You will be able to find what you want in either place, but I think Swarthmore might be perfect for you.
Media + Swarthmore, the towns themselves are tiny only 1 sq. mile each if that.
The town of Media has more to do than Swarthmore.More restaurants/bars/shops Trader Joes etc..
The town of Swarthmore is more affluent than Media.
The surrounding area of Media which includes Upper Providence and Middletown Township is slghtly more affluent than the Swarthmore area.
If you are looking at houses in these two towns you will be dealing with these towns.
Swarthmore Area Wallingford- Swarthmore School Distict.
Media Area Rose Tree Media School District.
Upper Providence- Nicest area imo. Some Lake views + 2600 acre state park.Ridley Creek State Park-hiking,jogging,biking trails, fishing, horse back riding etc. If I was moving cross country of all the areas mentioned above I would look at Upper Providence first.
Media + Swarthmore are very nice areas. With that being said the areas to the N+ W of Media/Swarthmore are arguably the wealthiest part of the entire state of Pa. not surprisingly the schools are more highly regarded.
Just throwing some other towns + school districts out there to research if you are open to a 15-20-30 minute commute to Media.
General rule of thumb is the closer you are to Philly the more parochial the area will be. The further you go from Philly the greater the new population growth, more newcomers,newer everything(schools,stores,houses etc) easier for outsiders to assimilate to.
All these school districts are top notch academically.
Lower Merion School District Research Main Line-PA
Gladwyne- Wealthiest town in Pa.
Radnor School District
Tredyffrin -Easttown#1 ranked school district in Philadlephia area-Philadelphia Magazine 2008.
There are 7 School of Rock franchises in this area if your son is a serious guitar player.
Rainrock, thank you so much for the straightforward and clear explanation of suburbs in PA. If you ever need the lowdown for the SF Bay Area, I will graciously do the same. Meanwhile, we will use the information when we look at real estate and schools with this in mind.
Our son is into the electric guitar pretty big time - he's making his 70s' rock parents proud. Thanks for the lead to the School of Rock. He is in a very similar program here, so it would be nice to replicate that.
Again, thank you for spending the time with the information here. The photo is beautiful, we would love to see where it was shot. That was a nice touch.
You are welcome! Further western suburbs are really great as rainrock mentioned above, but you will find they will not have as much ethnic/racial diversity.
Actually Media & Swarthmore won't have as much either...but Swarthmore will be more liberal leaning politically. Otherwise, most of the suburbs mentioned are probably more conservative than the SF Bay area!
For the most racial, ethnic, socio-economic diversity, you would need to look in the city of Philadelphia or very nearby suburbs.
We live in Wallingford-Swarthmore and value academics, athletics, and arts highly. The district reflects those values. My kids are 19, 17, and 14--one in college, one at Strath Haven HS and one at MS. We have been thrilled with their education there. Swarthmore is charming. We live close the high and middle schools, though, in Nether Providence, which I love, because the kids can walk to the schools. Media is about a mile away, and we take advantage of all it offers. Also, we live within walking distance of the R 3 train line, which brings you right into Philadelphia 30th St station (the one to go to for Amtrak to NYC). Looking forward to meeting you--you are making a great choice!
Thanks so much, Centrist - Are you originally from Pennsylvania? It's good to hear about Strath Haven, their site looked really promising. My husband is there now, just took the Amtrak to NYC this afternoon. I think we'll be taking a field trip in the next month, and we'll be looking at houses in Nether Providence as well as Media and Swarthmore. Would really love to hear more. Your values sounds very similar to our own. My concerns are very centered around making the transition best for them, at their ages, so it's nice to hear you have nearly the same ages in your family. Please keep in touch. !
Long story. I grew up in northern NJ but my mom grew up in Swarthmore. Swarthmore definitely has more of a town feel to it; Nether provides larger lots and more privacy. It depends if you want to be able to walk to the coffee shop and chat with all your neighbors. I like where we live because I can get a respite from small town feeling but also take advantage of it. Your price range can buy some really nice houses, as you may have figured out. There is a neighborhood called Moylan that we love--lots of old Victorians. Rose Valley is charming. There is new construction, too, but be careful because taxes in Delaware County are much higher on new construction than old (another long story). About to go hang with my daughter. Will tell you more later.
Also, not sure which church you belong to, but I think the youth programs at Swarthmore Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal in Swarthmore are excellent. People come from all over the district to all different churches, synagogs, etc...no need to live in specific town where house of worship is based.
I find the Baird and Bird realtor website is good, and it accesses the multiple listings, so you can find a lot there. (I do NOT work in real estate!)
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