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Old 05-15-2012, 08:45 AM
PFK PFK started this thread
 
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Greetings all, first and foremost, here is the questionnaire:

When are you moving? Once job situation pans out (Federal)
Where are you coming from? Washington DC metro area, currently Charles County, MD. Very unhappy there.
Why are you moving? Closer to spouses family (Cherry Hill) and mine (CT)
Where will you be working? Not sure... Philly
Have you been here yet? here? Just to cherry hill area.

Will you buy or rent? Likely rent first, then buy once current house sells.

Require ~ or >1 acre land, massive garage or shed, basement. Needless to say house.

Preferred price point: 300-400K

Are you married or single? Married
Do you have children? No, but the clock is ticking...
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public -require great schools
Do you have pets? two dogs
Do you want or need a yard? absolutley
Are you keeping a car? Yes, many (hobbies)
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm

What do you want to be closest to?
Work - yes
Shopping- reasonable distance
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)- reasonable,
Nightlife- reasonable, less important
Train or subway stations- reasonable, less important

We are looking for a community with a decent Jewish popluation. We are both Jewish and would like to live in an area where there are other Jews. Our current location has none, and it is important to us for future offspring.

Diversity is fine, but we are looking for a change. Low crime is important.

We have been looking at the Council Rock School district in Bucks (Churchville, Richboro, Holland, Southhampton, and the like), but we are curious to know of comparable areas in Montgomery County or Montgo as I understand you call it. While those towns in Bucks appear to have what we are looking for, I wonder if there are any similar locations in Montgo that just happen to be a few miles closer to the city.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?

Coke or Pepsi? either or. Soda is a special treat

Thank you in advance for your insight/ opinion.

Last edited by PFK; 05-15-2012 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:37 PM
 
7,991 posts, read 18,282,737 times
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While working a federal job in Philly most likely means Center City (aka downtown), some clarification would be useful when you receive more information.

The Council Rock School District is quite highly regarded. I do concede having no knowledge of the Jewish population in the area. I believe Bucks County has a decent-to-good population of Jewish residents but I'm personally unaware of where many may coalesce.

In Montgomery County, on the other hand, I can tell you that you will find many in the area I like to call "The V" which bisects NW and NE Philly: Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Upper Dublin, Lower/Upper Moreland. Schools are good to great. It shouldn't be difficult to find a home in your preferred range. Lots of Regional Rail trains for a 30-40 minute ride into Center City.

Bala Cynwyd, also in Montco and bordering another part of the city, has a significant Jewish population. Enough so that residents can easily walk to their synagogue(s?) It's in the very highly regarded Lower Merion School District. Compatible ome prices may be a challenge. 20 minute ride on Regional Rail.

Almost forgot Lafayette Hill, in the Plymouth-Whitemarsh School District and near tony Chestnut Hill (think Georgetown without the students). Homes likely in your range. Probably the only option that I mentioned that might make driving to work more convenient.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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To add to Tone's post - you'll have to prioritize between getting an acre with a huge shed, paying $300-$400K, and being closer to CC Philly. Choose two, because you likely won't get all three.

Also, the further you go from the city to where you might find the right sized place for your budget, the less likely it will be to find more than a smattering of a Jewish community. I'm thinking of places like Perkasie, Sellersville, etc. - I'm sure others can fill in other ideas. There may be areas in South Jersey that fit the bill as well, though the same caveats apply.

And it's Montco, if you want to sound like a local.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:03 AM
PFK PFK started this thread
 
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Thank you both very much for the insight. Hopefully this plan of mine is more than just a pipe dream and actually comes to fruition.

I suppose that I do have to prioritize proximity to Philly and amenities that I desire in my new home. My current commute is very similar to what Google maps describes for the towns in Bucks that listed, but 25 miles and 45-1:15 commute time has been wearing on me. On the other hand, I do so many home improvement and vehicular projects, it would be foolish of me to compromise (again) on features that I desire. My current house is only on .25 acre, no basement, and has a one car garage. The garage is lined with shelving for storage and is full of my tools, auto parts, etc. I feel like a hoarder, but that is not case; my house is just too small.

I mentioned the Judaic aspect of it all, but that is just to have any future children be raised around the culture. I am quite possibly the least stereotypical one that you would ever meet. Walking to a synagogue is not an issue, nor is being surrounded by them. I merely do not want to be one of maybe 5 families in a city of 70K plus (like Waldorf MD).

IRT South Jersey: I have vowed to not live in Jersey. I do have an appreciation for areas like Collingswood, but there are other factors that I must take into account when selecting a residence such as vehicular laws and taxes, personal property tax, firearm laws, etc. SJ might cut it as an interim solution, but I would not wish to stay there long term despite the closer proximity and lower home prices.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:09 AM
 
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Thanks for mentioning the acre preference that I glossed over, maf763. I agree; PFK will definitely have to prioritize between that and other major wants.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,057 posts, read 4,231,285 times
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Tone's suggestions are great. I will add Lower Merion, in Montgomery County, but most home prices in that are much higher than you are looking for (however, there are parts of Lower Merion where you can find a modest home for under $400k).

I went to Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS (the Colonial School District) and graduated in the late 90's. I'd estimate that the Jewish population of that district is about 10 - 15%. Lafayette Hill, which is where about 75% of PW's Jewish population lives, is a great area. It's quiet but close to everything, including all the shopping in Plymouth Meeting, the Turnpike (276), the Blue Route (476), the Northeast Extension (476 as well), and, as Tone mentioned, Chestnut Hill.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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the reality is that if you want an acre of land for <$400k , you are going to have to live far outside of the city, and the typical jewish areas of lower merion and huntingdon valley/lower moreland/jenkintown will not be an option.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:12 AM
PFK PFK started this thread
 
14 posts, read 43,419 times
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I would be willing to go as small of a parcel as .5ac, depending on the layout and if there is room to build a large (3+ bay) garage. I guess I really need to secure a job up there prior to thinking along these routes. The benefit of family in the SJ/Langhorne area is that I could have a place to stay when I look.

After all the consideration, it is looking like the initial plan of Bucks county is the most sound. I suppose I will reassess the situation as it draws near.

I found a 3000sf farmhouse built in 1850 on 1.5ac for 240K in Newtown. It is a handymans special which is right up my alley. Hopefully somethign along these lines is on the market when I am in a position to buy another house.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:13 AM
 
7,991 posts, read 18,282,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
I went to Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS (the Colonial School District) and graduated in the late 90's.
Oops, thanks for the correction on the school district!
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:16 AM
 
7,991 posts, read 18,282,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFK View Post
I would be willing to go as small of a parcel as .5ac, depending on the layout and if there is room to build a large (3+ bay) garage. I guess I really need to secure a job up there prior to thinking along these routes. The benefit of family in the SJ/Langhorne area is that I could have a place to stay when I look.

After all the consideration, it is looking like the initial plan of Bucks county is the most sound. I suppose I will reassess the situation as it draws near.

I found a 3000sf farmhouse built in 1850 on 1.5ac for 240K in Newtown. It is a handymans special which is right up my alley. Hopefully somethign along these lines is on the market when I am in a position to buy another house.
You would have quite a commute to Philly from Newtown...but coming from Charles County MD, it won't be much different than what you are used to.
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