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Old 11-11-2012, 07:57 PM
 
5 posts, read 3,820 times
Reputation: 10
Default PA towns like Madison or Chatham, NJ?

Hi - My husband and I have friends that live in Philly that have been trying to convince us to move to PA. They don't know much about the burbs but I've been doing some research and it's definitely appealing. It looks like we'd be able to get a lot more for our money and have much lower taxes.

We currently live in Essex County, NJ and are planning to move next summer. We have 2 children and our oldest will be starting kindergarten next Fall. We'd like to be in our new home by end of next summer so she can start the school year in our new town. An excellent school district is a must. We are a bit torn as to where to go. If we stay in NJ, we're going to buy in Madison or Chatham which is in Morris County. If we move to PA, we'd like to find a town that is similar to those two towns. We'd like a newer or recently renovated house...I'd even be interested in new construction. I've filled out the newbie questionnaire below. TIA!

When are you moving? Summer 2013
Where are you coming from? West Orange, New Jersey
Why are you moving? We had a 5 year plan on current house; need better schools and bigger house
Where will you be working? Home
Have you been here yet? Yes

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House - $800K max

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA suburb

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married with 2 young children
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public
Do you have pets? Hopefully will have one by then:-)
Do you want or need a yard? Yes
Are you keeping a car? Yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? I'd like a suburb

What do you want to be closest to? I'd like a downtown with restaurants and shops
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
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? No real preference but it would be nice to be in a close knit community with other young families.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
5,866 posts, read 3,918,356 times
Reputation: 2047
Try Newtown, PA in Bucks County. With your price range you won't have any trouble finding a home here. Many homes in Newtown are new construction. School district is Council Rock which is as good as it gets. Newtown has a nice, walkable downtown. Oxford Valley Mall is a 10 minute drive. You can get to Center City Philadelphia in 40 minutes via the Woodbourne stop of the SEPTA Regional Rail West Trenton Line.

Other areas to try will be areas in Montgomery County like the Jenkintown/Abington/Ambler area.. you can get to Center City Philadelphia via the Rydal, Noble or Jenkintown stops on the SEPTA Regional Rail West Trenton Line. Here you will be close to Chestnut Hill and Manayunk (nice walkable areas of Northwest Philadelphia). Jenkintown Also has it's own walkable downtown area. You will also be close to Willow Grove Mall and about a 20 minute drive from the second largest mall in America, King of Prussia. Also try some areas along the Main Line, Philadelphia's collection of "wealthy elite" neighborhoods. Try areas like Villanova, Gladwyne, Radnor, Haverford, Bala Cynwyd, etc. etc. In these towns you will be very close to KOP mall. You will also be close to Conshohocken which is a walkable town with good nightlife and Manayunk in Northwest Philadelphia. Manayunk is an awesome part of Northwest Philadelphia with shops and nightlife lining Main Street along the Schuylkill River. All these towns are serviced by various SEPTA Regional Rail lines that will take you into Center City. The majority of public schools in Montgomery County will be top notch or above average.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
3,898 posts, read 8,045,666 times
Reputation: 1815
Doylestown

Berwyn,Wayne,Radnor,Gladwyne,Villanova,Haverford,B ryn Mawr,Ardmore,Narberth,Penn Valley,Wynnewood.

Chestnut Hill
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,789 posts, read 9,222,702 times
Reputation: 2099
All very nice recommendations but also keep in mind that South Jersey taxes are the same as all the areas in PA that is being recommended, so you should also be looking at Haddonfied, Moorestown in Nj too. Its way closer to Philly too all the areas in PA that were listed. South Jersey is NOTHING like North Jersey. All the Philly burbs are very nice and south Jersey is just as nice + you guys don't have to change your car insurance, registration etc moving to another state if you don't have to. Keep that in mind.

Here is Haddonfield.

http://www.haddonfieldnj.org/

http://www.haddonfield.k12.nj.us/

http://www.levins.com/haddon.html
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Reading, PA
933 posts, read 655,720 times
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With your price range, I'd suggest the Radnor/Villanova/Wayne area. Lots of big houses that would be 1m+ in North Jersey that would fit in your price range, good schools, close to the city for activities, nice downtowns, big yards.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,789 posts, read 9,222,702 times
Reputation: 2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
All very nice recommendations but also keep in mind that South Jersey taxes are the same as all the areas in PA that is being recommended, so you should also be looking at Haddonfied, Moorestown in Nj too. Its way closer to Philly too all the areas in PA that were listed. South Jersey is NOTHING like North Jersey. All the Philly burbs are very nice and south Jersey is just as nice + you guys don't have to change your car insurance, registration etc moving to another state if you don't have to. Keep that in mind.

Here is Haddonfield.

Haddonfieldnj.org - A website all about Haddonfield, New Jersey, featuring updates on Haddonfield events and happenings as well as important community information.

Haddonfield Public Schools

Historic Haddonfield Home Page
and Haddonfield's schools are the best of the best. Keep in mind Haddonfield is less then 15 mins to Center city where most of the comparable pa burbs are twice that distance. Also keep in mind any home around here approaching a mill is gong to have darn high taxes. North jersey high.

Last edited by frankgn87; 11-12-2012 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
3,898 posts, read 8,045,666 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
and Haddonfield's schools are the best of the best. Keep in mind Haddonfield is less then 15 mins to Center city where most of the comparable pa burbs are twice that distance. Also keep in mind any home around here approaching a mill is gong to have darn high taxes. North jersey high.
Just for the record The Inquirer did a ranking of the top high schools in the PA/South Jersey/Delaware region and I believe the top 25 were all found in the PA suburbs. If education is the #1 criteria then the Pa, suburbs are the way to go.

I dont know where you are getting info that ALL the Pa burbs are 2x the distance to Center City as Haddonfiled, that is a ridiculous statement. Villanova is 5 minutes to the Gulph Mills Exit on 676, avg an additional 10 minutes to Center City. From narberth,Bala Cynwd,Wynnewood,Penn Valley its a 10 minute into Center City via Conshohocken State Rd and Belmont Mansiopn Rd.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,789 posts, read 9,222,702 times
Reputation: 2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Just for the record The Inquirer did a ranking of the top high schools in the PA/South Jersey/Delaware region and I believe the top 25 were all found in the PA suburbs. If education is the #1 criteria then the Pa, suburbs are the way to go.

I dont know where you are getting info that ALL the Pa burbs are 2x the distance to Center City as Haddonfiled, that is a ridiculous statement. Villanova is 5 minutes to the Gulph Mills Exit on 676, avg an additional 10 minutes to Center City. From narberth,Bala Cynwd,Wynnewood,Penn Valley its a 10 minute into Center City via Conshohocken State Rd and Belmont Mansiopn Rd.
I was talking Radnor/Villanova.. And sorry NO burb is 10 minutes from CC.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:29 PM
 
1,896 posts, read 1,048,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Just for the record The Inquirer did a ranking of the top high schools in the PA/South Jersey/Delaware region and I believe the top 25 were all found in the PA suburbs. If education is the #1 criteria then the Pa, suburbs are the way to go.
I don't think the Inqy has done a "best high schools" list in a couple of years but Philly Mag does

The Top 100 Philadelphia-Area Public Schools 2012 | Philadelphia Magazine Articles

and the towns that are in the top 25 that have a downtown (some of these are the townships that surround the borough with the downtown)


1 Masterman Philadelphia
2 Lower Merion Ardmore, PA
5 Harriton Rosemont, PA
6 Haddonfield Haddonfield, NJ
8 Radnor Radnor, PA
10 Strath Haven Swarthmore, PA
12 Jenkintown Jenkintown, PA
13 Central Bucks East Buckingham Twp., PA
14 Council Rock North Newtown (Bucks Co.) PA
15 Upper Dublin Upper Dublin, PA
16 Moorestown Moorestown, NJ
17 Wissahickon Ambler, PA
18 Downingtown East Downingtown, PA
19 Central Philadelphia
20 Penncrest Media, PA
21 Cherry Hill East Cherry Hill, NJ
22 Central Bucks West Doylestown, PA
23 Council Rock South Newtown, PA
24 Henderson West Chester, PA
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:19 PM
 
5 posts, read 3,820 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I don't think the Inqy has done a "best high schools" list in a couple of years but Philly Mag does

The Top 100 Philadelphia-Area Public Schools 2012 | Philadelphia Magazine Articles

and the towns that are in the top 25 that have a downtown (some of these are the townships that surround the borough with the downtown)


1 Masterman Philadelphia
2 Lower Merion Ardmore, PA
5 Harriton Rosemont, PA
6 Haddonfield Haddonfield, NJ
8 Radnor Radnor, PA
10 Strath Haven Swarthmore, PA
12 Jenkintown Jenkintown, PA
13 Central Bucks East Buckingham Twp., PA
14 Council Rock North Newtown (Bucks Co.) PA
15 Upper Dublin Upper Dublin, PA
16 Moorestown Moorestown, NJ
17 Wissahickon Ambler, PA
18 Downingtown East Downingtown, PA
19 Central Philadelphia
20 Penncrest Media, PA
21 Cherry Hill East Cherry Hill, NJ
22 Central Bucks West Doylestown, PA
23 Council Rock South Newtown, PA
24 Henderson West Chester, PA
Thank you, everyone. You've all been very helpful. This list is interesting...I appreciate the town next to the school district. Before posting I had my eye on Radnor Township and Upper Dublin or Ambler but I thought the downtown in Upper Dublin school district was in Ambler. I didn't realize Upper Dublin had a downtown. Of all the towns in UDSD, is one more desirable than the next? Also, I believe the towns that make up Radnor School District consist of Radnor, Wayne, Bryn Mawr, and maybe Villanova. What's the difference between these towns and is one considered more desirable? Thanks again!
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