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Old 07-26-2010, 11:07 PM
4 posts, read 8,715 times
Reputation: 12


Currently interviewing for a senior role in a healthcare company overseeing facilities in Bryn Mawr and Blue Bell area, as well as one in Wayne and one in Haagerstown, MD.

It is a great opportunity, but I know nothing about the area other than what i can read or what I have visited during a conference or two.

So what types of things should I be thinking about in moving to the area? We are from the upper midwest (Michigan originally, now in overly rural and terribly conservative northern Wisconsin) but loved living outside of Minneapolis. Have spent a fair amount of time in Chicago, too. How does Philadelphia compare?

We will also be looking for homes - details below. ANY help for a family of Midwesterners looking at their first East Coast relo would be greatly appreciated.

When are you moving? 60-90 days

Where are you coming from? Northern WI

Why are you moving? Work

Where will you be working? Western Philadelphia Suburbs (health care)

Have you been here yet? Conferences, and will be traveling for next interviews.

Will you buy or rent? Rent while learning market to buy in.

If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House - 300K - 400K (would like to spend less, though.

If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? Negotiable

Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Walk up

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married with 1st/2nd graders

Do you prefer public or private schools? Public if gifted and talented programs are available. Kids now in PUBLIC Montessori Charter school.

Do you have pets? 2 dogs

Do you want or need a yard? yes - doesnt have to be big, but has to hold two 70 pound dogs

Are you keeping a car? 2-3

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm, with activity near by

What do you want to be closest to? basic services

Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Probably more similar, although ethnicity doesn't matter. Prefer young professionals with families.

Coke or Pepsi? Coke Zero!!
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:16 PM
Location: The City
22,374 posts, read 32,880,658 times
Reputation: 7799
Philadelphia will be more similar to Chicago than any other mentioned.

Depending on the level of vibrance you are looking for your price point my be the challenge. At first glance I am thinking West Chester PA, but you may want to be coser to KOP goven that that Hagarstown is the outlier (Basically a Baltimore exurb) of those mentioned.

Some other thoughts are Skippack and Pheonixville
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:51 AM
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,909 posts, read 12,702,167 times
Reputation: 2634
I think you will like the western suburbs. People think Philadlephia as congested and very urban but the western suburbs are just the opposite. Not rural by any means but very suburban most of it upscale, crime is really not an issue, schools are terrific with a general high quality of life. Lots of shopping, restaurants,outdoor activities( Valley Forge National Park, Ridley Creek State Park,Wissahickon Gorge) and many smaller neighborhood parks. You will also be 1 1/2 -2 hrs from some fantastic beaches/amusement parks in South Jersey.

Id concentrate on researching school districts.

The best ones in the western suburbs are :

Tredyffrin- Easttown School District. 6th rated school district in Pa. Per Schooldigger
Includes towns of Paoli, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, Chesterbrook, Strafford, and Wayne

Radnor School District.Rated 12th out of 536 State school districts.
Includes Township of Radnor

Lower Merion School District.13th out of 536 state districts.
Includes towns of Bala Cynwyd,Wynnewood,Merion,Penn Valley,Narberth,Ardmore,Bryn Mawr,Haverford,Rosemont,Villanova,Gladwyne.

Great Valley- ranked 14th out 536 state districts per schooldigger.com

Includes towns of Charlestown Township,Malvern,East Whiteland,Willistown.

West Chester,Downingtown,Exton,Chester Springs areas are newer suburbia. They are the far western suburbs. Just west of those areas mentioned above.

Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:06 PM
316 posts, read 880,629 times
Reputation: 133
I would suggest looking in Flourtown, Plymouth Meeting, and Blue Bell, along with Skippack already suggested. All are up Route 73, which will get you into Blue Bell easily, likely exactly where you need to go since many of the healthcare places in Blue Bell are near each other. Bryn Mawr is about 30-45 minutes from these areas, the first 3 are closer to 30 minutes.

Do you know if there is one facility he will be visiting more often than the others? That might help in choosing a place. Your budget is more friendly near Blue Bell in terms of living within 20 minutes of there. Bryn Mawr and Wayne are on the Main Line, which is an old money area (since you know Chicago, think North Shore) and your budget won't take you that far and where you can afford would pull you further away from Blue Bell.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:58 PM
119 posts, read 348,027 times
Reputation: 42
Here is a good listing site for real estate in the area: www.everyhome.com

Because you have young children I though one of the most helpful things to do would be to list the school districts ranked in the top 100 in the state from each county surrounding Philadelphia. The rankings are according to schooldigger. Here you go:

Montgomery County
Lower Moreland = 4
Lower Merion = 13 (of 536 statewide)
Methacton = 26
Upper Dublin = 27
Perkiomen Valley = 37
Hatboro-Horsham = 39
Jenkintown = 49
Souderton = 53
North Penn = 61
Wissahickon = 63
Upper Merion = 65
Spring-Ford = 69
Boyertown = 80
Upper Moreland = 93
Springfield Twp. = 94

Here is the map of the school districts in Mont. Co. = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Districts.png

Chester County
Tredyffrin-Easttown = 6
Unionville-Chadds Ford = 11
Great Valley = 14
Downingtown = 28
West Chester = 46
Avon Grove = 54
Phoenixville = 64
Owen J Roberts = 90

Chester S.D. Map = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Districts.png

I can't find my list for Delaware County atm (but I will make one later if I can't locate it), and I didn't list Bucks because I thought that might be a little tough when working in West Philly. Obviously all of the districts I listed are not within reasonable commute time to west Philly, I just wanted to give you a complete picture of the very good public school options in each county. Good luck!
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:55 AM
119 posts, read 348,027 times
Reputation: 42
As promised here is the Delaware County list:

Delaware County
Garnet Valley = 10
Radnor = 12
Wallingford-Swarthmore = 21
Rose Tree Media = 29
Springfield = 43
Marple Newtown = 50
Penn-Delco = 51
Haverford = 73

And map = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Districts.png
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