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Old 03-22-2014, 08:21 PM
 
59 posts, read 79,610 times
Reputation: 36

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Im moving (I actually moved all ready but in a temporary place) in Reston, VA. But tbh... people are ahol-ish here. Just my opinion. But it can be just a DC thing... Im a traveling consultant so a majority of my work is airport based. So, being near a major airport is a must.

So, since I currently have temporary housing... I have until May 1st to find a permanent home for my wife and two young kids. 5 and 3. Please guide me on the philly side since I have no clue about Philly itself.

The things I know about Philly are:
1. Dont want to live in downtown Philly.
2. Its an very urban area but from my limited visits... its very run down.
3. A lot of old industrial areas. Kinda like North Jersey imho.

What Im hoping to find out is (taking into context that my jobs requires me to be close to an airport):
1. With a young family... where is a good suburb to live for school district?
2. I heard that rent is fairly inexpensive. Compared to DC, Im paying about $1500 for a single bedroom and Im hearing I can practically get a single family home for that amount?
3. I would prefer to live in that medium suburb-near-the-city-area.
4. School district... lets be real... its going to be all about the school district right?

Thx in advance,

-A
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:53 PM
 
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As it happens, I'm one of (I think) a few people on this forum who have experience in both Philadelphia and the NOVA side of DC. I think you'll probably find the people more laid-back and the traffic less intense in comparison.

The vast majority of suburban school districts are good to great. Unlike Virginia, they are not county-wide but instead split up by (sets of) communities.

Is $1500 your preferred budget? If not, what is it and for what kind of housing? Just note that like Northern Virginia - or most anywhere else - the "best" school districts here will come at a housing premium. So that $1500 may get you anywhere from a nicer 2BR apt to a rambler or townhome, depending on where you look.

Without knowing your budget for certain, I would suggest Media. It's convenient to the airport, its Rose Tree/Media School District is well-regarded and its downtown is family-friendly.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:59 PM
 
59 posts, read 79,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
Is $1500 your preferred budget? If not, what is it and for what kind of housing? Just note that like Northern Virginia - or most anywhere else - the "best" school districts here will come at a housing premium. So that $1500 may get you anywhere from a nicer 2BR apt to a rambler or townhome, depending on where you look.

Without knowing your budget for certain, I would suggest Media. It's convenient to the airport, its Rose Tree/Media School District is well-regarded and its downtown is family-friendly.
$1500 is my "rolling solo" budget but when the family comes... Im most definitely looking to go to $2k. If $500 more dollars gets my kids into a better school then Im hoping that juice is worth that squeeze. Thats if I need to spend that much? But I think $2k is my hard limit because otherwise... I would be paying the same amount in SoCal and we were maintaining. But of course, I dont know what COLA (cost of living expenses) are in Philly area.

Thank you for the suggestion and Im looking it up as we speak. =)
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:20 PM
 
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I recently moved to Philly metro (but not close to airport). I think u will find 2 bedroom apt/ condo for well under 2K in the suburbs. I like it here so far, and would certainly recommend this area to anyone looking for a nice and interesting metro.
Edit: have kids in school, and they are liking school as well.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:31 PM
 
33 posts, read 43,088 times
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A nice single family home relatively close to the airport (1/2 hour ) would start near $2000. You can find houses for less than that but I don't think you would be happy there. Sounds like you need to be away from the 95 corridor(industrial-rundown) and out into suburbs.

Chesterbrook might work for you. Its a self contained community with some fairly nice townhomes. School district is top notch Treddyfrin-Easttown. Nice pleasant area near Valley Forge, newer relatively speaking.

Media is a great town but its on the older side and the apartments are old. Like from the 50's and 60's. As I mentioned I suspect if you could find a single home near Media to rent $1500 would you put you in a very modest house. The Philadlephia suburbs at least the newer/ nicer ones aren't as cheap as you may think.

You could also try Glen Mills, Concord and Chadds Ford. Newer suburban areas 1/2- 1 hr from the airport .
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:42 PM
 
59 posts, read 79,610 times
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@Pennsgrant - thank you for that info. Either way I dont know where to look so mentioning city names gives me a "defined" search other than looking at regions.

A townhome fits the bill perfectly... tbh. Im still undetermined if the East Coast is going to be my long term home or just the temp area until I can get back to SoCal.

@FromGA - If you dont mind, can you relate your impressions of Philly? Just curious how an "new transplant" would say?
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:08 PM
 
33 posts, read 43,088 times
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Trulia has a pretty good rental feature.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:21 AM
 
1,220 posts, read 3,579,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aythan View Post
@FromGA - If you dont mind, can you relate your impressions of Philly? Just curious how an "new transplant" would say?
Hi aythan,
First off, I have been extremely surprised how nice all the people I have spoken to have been. From school staff, to the check out people at grocery and department stores. There is all this chatter about rude people etc. in this area, and I am yet to encounter one. I have noticed that people don't engage in useless chit chat -- such as -- "how was your drive to Philadelphia". But at a true level, that is just useless chit chat. Where it matters, people have been extremely helpful. I have spent some time in the city as well, and other area other than mine, so I have not been just holed up in my own suburb.

Second, Philadelphia has a wonderful Chinatown (for food), Reading Terminal, historic places, etc. Just drive up to here on a weekend, park your car near the convention center, and walk around. I think Philadelphia (Center City and surroundings) is more than enough of a city for most people.

Third, I considered northeast (Boston-DC corridor) vs California, and chose northeast. It just works better for me / my family for various reasons. Philadelphia is the center of this corridor, and has best access to mountains, ocean, etc. at costs more or less comparable to any major top 15 US city (excluding SF, LA, NY, and DC -- which I think are a different kind of metro, as they are world leaders in their major industry).

Finally, I do recall seeing all the old industrial parts in previous trips if you drive on I-95. But if you are on say 202, driving from say Conshohocken to Doylestown, you will see nothing but nice areas. Philadelphia metro has the SEPTA regional rail system, so if you are a consultant, you could get dropped at the train station, and you could ride SEPTA to the airport.

More later based on any questions you might have.
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Philly
9,958 posts, read 14,276,277 times
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media is a great suggestion if you can find homea for rent. if youre open to taking the train to the airport you might consider the northern suburbs as well like jenkintown and ambler. swarthmore is expensive but a beautiful town. people are generally less arrogant than in dc in my experie ce. pennsylvania does towns a lot better than nova though few towns have the level of transit service the metro in dc affords.
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