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Old 04-20-2017, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
1,077 posts, read 1,477,673 times
Reputation: 1034

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Hi. I've answered the sticky questions below. My wife and I are both pretty familiar with the Philadelphia area. Although neither of us are originally from the Philadelphia area, between the two of us, we have lived or worked in Collegeville, West Norriton, Center City Philadelphia, West Chester, Conshohocken, and Bryn Mawr. I'll be working regular M-F hours at a large employer in Malvern and my wife will be working night shift at a hospital in Wynnewood as an RN. We are definitely prioritizing my commute because we anticipate starting a family in the next year or two, and my wife may not continue working full-time after that. Also, as a nurse, there are other job opportunities closer to Malvern that may eventually open up whereas my job location is going to be pretty fixed.

The immediate places that have drawn our attention moving back have been some of the new construction communities in the Malvern area - Atwater, Pickering Crossing, Spring Oak, Linden Hall (I think there are a few others). In particular, we really like Atwater. So, if anyone has experiences (good or bad) with any of these types of communities, I would really love to hear about it. We're not only interested in those communities - would definitely consider existing homes, but I am someone who detests house work and yard work, so I would want something that is as low maintenance as possible. We've lived in a 45 year old SFH home with a wooded back yard these past 5 years or so, and I want something that is not going to require quite so much regular maintenance and yard work.

To a much lesser extent, we have considered the Collegeville area, mostly on account of my wife's like of this area having went to high school there. Our budget would go further, but I worry about my commute from that area. I already know 422 would be a no go for commuting during the normal morning and evening rush, so that would leave Route 29 and the other roads in between 422 and 202, and I worry about how long that commute would be. I think it would grow old over time. But, if anyone has experience with commuting from Collegeville to the Malvern area, I'd be delighted to hear about that too. Maybe it isn't as bad as I think it would be.

If you have other communities or areas you think we should consider that are a reasonable commuting distance to Malvern (and wouldn't make the commute to Wynnewood for my wife too terrible - we know it isn't going to be that fun even from Malvern, but it is probably going to be better than her current commute into DC from our home), would be happy to hear about it.

When are you moving? Mid-May
Where are you coming from? Springfield, VA (Washington, DC Suburb)
Why are you moving? New job
Where will you be working? Me: Malvern, PA; Wife: Wynnewood, PA
Have you been here yet? Yes, we both lived in the Philadelphia area before moving to the DC area. I went to law school in Philly and worked in center city Philadelphia for 5 years and my wife graduated high school in Collegeville, PA, went to West Chester for college, and Delco for RN degree.

Will you buy or rent? Buy (We do have 90 days of temporary housing lined up)
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? SFH or TH, no condo How much can you spend? $600k

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

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, no children, likely starting a family in next 1-2 years and wife may or may not continue to work full-time at that point
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public
Do you have pets? Yes, one dog, a border collie
Do you want or need a yard? No, I hate yard work and would rather live in a community where all yard work is taken care of. I don't really use our yard to exercise our dog - I walk and run him almost every day, so I certainly like to have trails or other places to do this nearby.
Are you keeping a car? Yes, 2 cars
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm and Quiet

What do you want to be closest to? Work

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? No preference - we do prefer to live in a neighborhood with people of a similar socioeconomic status to ourselves. Would be nice if there are good numbers of people in our age/marital/family status as ourselves, but that's not a necessity at all.

Coke or Pepsi? Coke Zero.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:16 AM
 
834 posts, read 501,503 times
Reputation: 1160
I work in Malvern and live in Havertown, which isn't that far from Wynnewood, so I'm quite familiar with that commute. It's not horrible, so your wife shouldn't have too much trouble, especially if her shifts end up being outside of the normal commute times.


In the Malvern area, you will have access to the Chester Valley Trail, which will enable you to run, walk, ride, or take the dog for a walk. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the communities you mentioned, but really, I think anywhere between Wayne and Malvern will be good for both you and your wife in terms of commuting.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:37 PM
 
22 posts, read 14,984 times
Reputation: 25
Have you considered Conshohocken or that general area?

Having lived the suite life of the 422 commute to the 202 corridor, and having kids to get back to, the only way we made that scenario work well is staggering work schedules, regular/weekly use of WFH, and ultimately an au pair. It's challenging and, with bad weather + PennDOT, unpredictable. I'd look for a locale a little more central and conveniently located to the city (because jobs change!) and main line + 202 corridor - and Conshy is a place I seriously considered a few years ago. Being completely reliant on 422 is a tough pill to swallow. At least in Conshy, you have options for getting in and out. Collegeville and the other 422 exits rely on 422 and Germantown Pike. There's a tradeoff on school quality, but I'd have been comfortable with Colonial. On your budget, I'd think you can find options in Lower Merion as well.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:34 PM
 
834 posts, read 501,503 times
Reputation: 1160
I agree with cnh128; I would recommend against going to any of the west/northwest towns along the 422 corridor. It's just brutal and will not make for a happy commute after time.


Something else I forgot to add regarding trails in my earlier post. The Schuylkill Trail is just a short drive away and that goes from Valley Forge Park all the way to the Art Museum in Philly and goes through some nice towns along the way for a pit stop (most notably Manayunk). But that kind of mileage is really more for a cyclist than a runner (the full length anyway). It's a very nice trail.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,057 posts, read 4,250,999 times
Reputation: 1444
Commuting from Collegeville to Malvern is fairly easy if you take Route 29. There is no need to use 422.

Commuting from Collegeville to Wynnewood; that's a little tougher. But, if it's night shift, and if it's temporary, it might not be too bad.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,204 posts, read 770,831 times
Reputation: 714
Check out Chesterbrook.

I don't like Atwater because it is still under construction but I think in a few years it may look good so you will have to but up with the construction for now. I know someone who moved to Atwater and they like it. I just think it is in a very busy location in terms of traffic. I would rather the entrance was on Church road, plus who knows what else they are planning on building at the entrance. There's a gas station/Wawa and I hear they will also be a restaurant coming up soon.

Pickering crossing/Spring Oak is also at a busy intersection. I think the 29/turnpike area has too much traffic. Plus I'm not a fan of new construction because I think they don't make houses like they used to make them despite all the bells and whistles.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
1,077 posts, read 1,477,673 times
Reputation: 1034
Thanks for the thoughts so far. I really appreciate the trail info and I will also check out Chesterbrook. I think we'd be open to the Conshohocken area too - not a bad suggestion to think about.

I agree with the thoughts about Collegeville and the 422 corridor. While I think the commute to Malvern using 29 would be tolerable and my wife's commute for night shift would probably be ok, I am still hesitant to go that way just because I know how bad that 422 corridor can get. Maybe we wouldn't have to deal with it every day, but it still becomes something that you have to start planning your life around to some degree. I get the sense that the 202/turnpike corridor does not have nearly the same types of limiting traffic issues that the 422 corridor does.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,057 posts, read 4,250,999 times
Reputation: 1444
Quote:
Originally Posted by airjay75 View Post
I agree with the thoughts about Collegeville and the 422 corridor. While I think the commute to Malvern using 29 would be tolerable and my wife's commute for night shift would probably be ok, I am still hesitant to go that way just because I know how bad that 422 corridor can get. Maybe we wouldn't have to deal with it every day, but it still becomes something that you have to start planning your life around to some degree. I get the sense that the 202/turnpike corridor does not have nearly the same types of limiting traffic issues that the 422 corridor does.
I take 422 every day from the Collegeville area to the KOP area. If you are coming from Northern Virginia, it's going to be bad, but not that bad. There is no one that can, with a straight face, say that the Route 422 corridor is going to be too much to handle for someone coming from Northern Virginia.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
1,077 posts, read 1,477,673 times
Reputation: 1034
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
I take 422 every day from the Collegeville area to the KOP area. If you are coming from Northern Virginia, it's going to be bad, but not that bad. There is no one that can, with a straight face, say that the Route 422 corridor is going to be too much to handle for someone coming from Northern Virginia.
Yeah, I hear what you're saying. We're no strangers to traffic nor complete strangers to 422 since my wife used to live in Collegeville, and I have driven it many times myself. We moved away in 2012, and I'm guessing it hasn't gotten much better since then, but it is not going to be any different (and maybe even a little better) than some of the clogged corridors here in Northern Virginia. Still, all things being equal, if I don't need to deal with it, I'm thinking I would prefer not to. But, of course, with housing choices, everything is not equal - our money would clearly go further in Collegeville than Malvern so I guess it's about what trade-offs we want to make.
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,570 posts, read 6,165,876 times
Reputation: 7682
I agree that staying in the Malvern area would be preferable to Collegeville. Chesterbrook would be a good option because it's not far for you to Malvern, and your wife can easily hop on 202 and the Expressway. P.S. I worked in Malvern and commuted through Collegeville on Rt. 29 from Skippack and later Lansdale....wasn't a fun drive. I would much rather have been closer to work.
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