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Old 12-04-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Glenside
19 posts, read 23,816 times
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One of our criteria when shopping for a house ~4 years ago was proximity to the Wissahickon area as well, plus train access to the city. So we checked out much of the area. Are you concerned about school districts? An avid mtn biker friend of mine ended up at the top of the hill in Roxborough, though that might be a bit more suburban than you're looking for.

Looks like there are a few twins and a couple small singles in Narberth under 400k. That would put you right next to the trails in Belmont too :-) Wyndmoor, just across Stenton Ave from Chestnut Hill, has some singles in your range and a small town center along Willow Grove Ave. The 'Wissahickon' neighborhood of Manayunk (south end of town) does have a handful of singles.

FWIW, we ended up in Glenside but that commute would be a bit of an indirect one for you.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
12,001 posts, read 12,250,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Thanks Elijah, we did drive thru at night..I guess I better give a second look but so far pretty slim pickings as far as houses for sale up there.
Chestnut Hill homes usually go quickly, and inventory is probably smaller than other nearby areas on top of it.

But like Elijah mentioned "East Chestnut Hill"-East of Germantown Ave- has more modest homes and prices than the larger homes generally west of the avenue. But there are also smaller twins/singles/rows near the "Top of the Hill" on the westside and close to the train line. Germantown Ave is the main drag that separates East and West and seems like it would be exactly what you are looking for.

Mount Airy is a good option too-both sides. And like Joe stated above I was going to mention the Wissahickon neighborhood in Roxborough, Wyndmoor.

Don't rule out East Falls itself-it really is a great neighborhood.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
703 posts, read 482,144 times
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Not real concerned about the schools (our kids are grown) but I was really hoping to stay away from a twin and get a stand alone house..Seems like that's pretty difficult in my price range though. My wife didn't really care for Manayunk for that reason and though I'm totally open to Roxborough I also didn't see too many single houses up there either.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
12,001 posts, read 12,250,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Not real concerned about the schools (our kids are grown) but I was really hoping to stay away from a twin and get a stand alone house..Seems like that's pretty difficult in my price range though. My wife didn't really care for Manayunk for that reason and though I'm totally open to Roxborough I also didn't see too many single houses up there either.
Just doing a quick search on the MLS-There are many singles for sale in Roxborough (19128) in your price range (like 30) but some function more like rowhomes. Technically they are "single" and "detached" but there may only be an alley walkway between your home and your neighbors-which could be a block of rows. There are others in Upper Roxborough-some ranches and more suburban looking homes with more space but it wouldn't be as "quaint".

Chestnut Hill has exactly 1 and it is at the top of your price range, but it looks nice-albeit not as historical as most homes there. Mount Airy has several that could work and East Falls surprisingly doesn't really have what you are looking for at this moment.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:52 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
703 posts, read 482,144 times
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Thanks so so much, Not real familiar with the area frankly. Which area of Roxborough (near intersection if you happen to know) would I look in ?, also which do you think (Roxborough, Chestnut or East Falls) would be most stable, and have a walkable feel. The only area of East Falls I've really driven thru is near the university off Henry.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
1,325 posts, read 2,315,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Thanks so so much, Not real familiar with the area frankly. Which area of Roxborough (near intersection if you happen to know) would I look in ?, also which do you think (Roxborough, Chestnut or East Falls) would be most stable, and have a walkable feel. The only area of East Falls I've really driven thru is near the university off Henry.
Chestnut Hill is the best area with the best downtown. It's relatively expensive, however. A small, stand-alone house in decent condition (but not completely updated) would probably start in the low 400's.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:09 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
703 posts, read 482,144 times
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wow sure not like Michigan (where we came from). Real estate in Mi isn't as expensive as here, but I would love to get closer to wissahickon (for biking)
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
12,001 posts, read 12,250,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Thanks so so much, Not real familiar with the area frankly. Which area of Roxborough (near intersection if you happen to know) would I look in ?, also which do you think (Roxborough, Chestnut or East Falls) would be most stable, and have a walkable feel. The only area of East Falls I've really driven thru is near the university off Henry.
Most stable and walkable feel is Chestnut Hill.

East Falls and Roxborough have walkable areas too and are stable, but it becomes more green and residential closer to Henry Ave where the University is versus Ridge Ave, where most of the action is. Upper Roxborough/Andorra are more residential/suburban. Think around Leverington and Ridge Ave and above. Park access is great along Henry Ave (which pretty much goes through the Park) but it is not very urban. I personally live a few blocks from Henry in Germantown and love it. In fact The Wissahickon may be my favorite thing about living here.

Are you ruling out Mount Airy? It may have the best trifecta-park access, walkable feel, and price range.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:52 PM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
703 posts, read 482,144 times
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Didn't totally rule out Mt Airy, honestly I saw more businesses with bars on window the further I went down Germantown so I had figured Chestnut Hill may be safer. I would also love to be near a train line and I know 2 different lines run up thru Chestnut where the Manayunk line is only down near the river.


My biggest concern is safety, I work up in NYC and my wife is at home alone a lot so that's why I got concerned when I saw bars over windows etc-
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 2,099,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Didn't totally rule out Mt Airy, honestly I saw more businesses with bars on window the further I went down Germantown so I had figured Chestnut Hill may be safer. I would also love to be near a train line and I know 2 different lines run up thru Chestnut where the Manayunk line is only down near the river.


My biggest concern is safety, I work up in NYC and my wife is at home alone a lot so that's why I got concerned when I saw bars over windows etc-
The same train lines that go to Chestnut Hill run through Mt Airy - the East and West. If you live in a certain section of Mount Airy - East or West (in the general vicinity of Germantown and Mt Pleasant, let's say) you will be within walking distance of both train lines (as you would be in Chestnut Hill). The two trains are a life saver for me personally - my usual after work CHW train has been in terrible shape for weeks on end, being like 10 minutes late literally most of the time. I just switch platforms and take the Chestnut Hill East and I make it home at the same time. Basically you have 4 trains an hour peak and 2 trains an hour off peak if you can live near both train lines. Really good service.

I personally like both - the Chestnut Hill business district has really grown on me over my time in NW Philadelphia, aside from its inherently charming nature. It's a little more diverse than people give it credit for. There are a few nice little markets, a hardware store, and some good reasonably priced restaurants. Chestnut Hill has the more completely business district.

The Upper Part of Mount Airy is nearly indistinguishable from Chestnut Hill safety wise, in my opinion. In fact I walk to Chestnut Hill from East Mount Airy all the time for really basic things. It's extremely close. That little creek and railroad trestle isn't doing anything for anyone's safety being my point.

Mount Airy is an enormous neighborhood. Trying to think of a nice and helpful and non-offensive way to say it, best I can come up with is if you don't like the part of Mount Airy that's a little rougher looking (which I'm guessing is the part closer to Germantown), just don't look to move there or hang around there.

My wife and I are personally comfortable with going up and down most all the Avenue, all the way down to North Philly, and the drag in Lower Mt Airy is probably where we've spent the least time just due to it not having very many places of interest. Even so, if you look off the avenue a little bit towards, say, Upsal Station you'll find that the residential parts west of the avenue are still quite nice - although less walkable. The parts to the east of the avenue around here - is what people are generally talking of when they talk about the rougher part of Mount Airy (and even so, most of East Mount Airy is just fine).

If you're looking for proximity to the walkable main street, you'd be looking toward the upper part of Mount airy anyway. Say, on a relatively short stretch from Carpenter to Allen Lane, where most of the shops and restaurants are (and even so, there's definitely not as much going on as in Chestnut Hill).

One thing that Germantown Avenue has that Media doesn't is 24 hour bus service - buses running up to every 5-10 minutes during weekdays - far more useful for short local trips than the Media trolley probably is. If you're comfortable with buses, that also can greatly expand the "walkability" of the area, being that you and your wife would have the entire stretch of Germantown Avenue at your disposal, without a car, within a few minutes. It's one of the reasons I'm up here, anyway.

One last thought. You say you want a walkable feel. Yet you've only mentioned driving through places on this thread. If you haven't, you really ought to walk around. Best way to make up your mind about how you would actually feel about a place.
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