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Old 12-12-2018, 08:35 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,419 times
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Hey there!
Iím looking to move from Queens NY to Drexel Hill PA. Iíve grown up here all my life but need a change. The cost of living is horrendous and for 890,000, the home is a shack.
Drexel Hills has these amazing gorgeous homes (including tudors!). Iím well aware that the taxes are bad and schools not that great. I was told that the best area is between route 1 and state road. Can someone confirm? Also, is the area safe? I need walkability.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:17 PM
 
1,001 posts, read 1,109,741 times
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Drexel Hill is not great for walkability, but it would fit your other requirements enough. Sounds like you want suburbs with good transportation access since you're not looking into Philly city proper. For Drexel Hill, those border lines are probably correct.

Look at Media for your budget and enough walkability there and access to get to the city.
In the city limits, consider Manayunk, Conshohocken, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Packer Park, Queen Village.
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Old 12-13-2018, 04:44 PM
 
8,636 posts, read 4,737,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
Drexel Hill is not great for walkability, but it would fit your other requirements enough. Sounds like you want suburbs with good transportation access since you're not looking into Philly city proper. For Drexel Hill, those border lines are probably correct.

Look at Media for your budget and enough walkability there and access to get to the city.
In the city limits, consider Manayunk, Conshohocken, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Packer Park, Queen Village.
Conshy is not within the city.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
953 posts, read 487,032 times
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Drexel Hill is great. It most certainly is safe and the architecture is just so beautiful! Taxes are your biggest downfall here, but the lower home prices kind of balance that out. The size and style of your home would fetch 100k - 200k + in the lower taxed suburbs. So it kind of balances out. But high property taxes are always a net negative in terms of desirability. Unforunately.

Schools are C. Not terrible. Not high performing. But from my understanding large enough that the high performing students have programs and do quite well.

Walkability, it is an older inner ring suburb, so it is definitely a neighborhood feel with walkability to several simple amenities, (for example you could probably walk to the wawa, a local bar, library and one or two other things, but thats about it. The biggest desire for you would to move close to one of the trolley lines. (Yes Southeast Pennsylvania suburbs still have trolleys - how fun).

These trolleys direct you to Upper Darby which has a subway direct connection to Center City Philadelphia in 20 minutes.

What is your price point of a home?? That is integral in advising. And also what you are looking for in a community.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 1,419 times
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Thanks everyone for your replies. My main point is walkability. Thatís so so so so important to me. I donít drive. Employment wise, Iíll atill be keeping my job in NYC and doing remote work. Should that sour, I donít think Iíll have a problem finding a job in Philly.

Price wise really want to be below 300k. Those homes in Drexel Hill are gorgeous and so well priced. I know the taxes may be a big hit, but am hoping it could balance out. Can someone confirm the best part is between route 1 and state rd?

For trolleys, are they safe?

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:23 AM
 
1,001 posts, read 1,109,741 times
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The trolleys are generally safe from my experience. One time, I had a person ask me where the Springfield Hospital was though, and after I answered him, he started trying to sell me a watch. It was odd, and I just politely said I didn't need one and tried to keep the conversational minimal after that.



Other than that, nothing memorably bad thankfully.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
143 posts, read 46,485 times
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The biggest drawback to Drexel Hill is that it's caught in a vicious cycle. Taxes go up, which drives people out, which makes home prices drop, which makes them raise taxes more in order to make up for lost revenue...

The new SALT limits on income tax deductions should only worsen this effect. Home prices obviously won't go to zero, but they've been falling consistently (even while the rest of the market has been going up) and I don't know how/when it will end. The home prices currently present a great value, so there is a risk/reward, but I'm just worried about you getting underwater on your mortgage and eventually selling your house for less than you bought it for.

But yes, I can confirm that the best part of Drexel Hill is between Route 1 and State Road.

If you're working remotely, why not consider a downtown area in the outer suburbs? $300k should get you a decent downtown place in Kennett Square, Downingtown, Phoenixville or Lansdale (and property values in those places should increase over time). They all have better schools than Upper Darby School District. Downingtown and Lansdale have train access into Philadelphia, and Phoenixville will supposedly have train access in 10-20 years.

Last edited by Patmcpsu; 12-14-2018 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:35 PM
 
370 posts, read 501,886 times
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The OP doesn't drive, so outer suburbs wouldn't work, I don't think.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Media
174 posts, read 95,386 times
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Hi Mel-

You mentioned that walkability is very important to you—but at the same time, you also seem to be at least a little excited by the idea of owning a spacious, detached suburban home (like the kind you’d find in Drexel Hill) for a modest price. The challenge is you’re giving up one column to get the other, so you really have to decide where on the compromise spectrum you want to end up.

I think Drexel Hill is attractive only if your number one priority is to have a nice looking large home at a low price. Drexel Hill is walkable in the sense that the streets have sidewalks, but there’s really not that much to walk to. The community is largely residential, and the few clusters of businesses scattered about aren’t very large or comprehensive. But again, if your primary goal is to buy a stately stone house for under $300k, Drexel Hill is one of the few places you’ll find that in the region.

In greater Philadelphia, there aren’t many places outside of the city where you can live a truly car-free existence. One of the best examples is my town, Media. Within this densely packed borough, you can walk to two grocery stores (Trader Joe’s and Acme), a hardware/general store, numerous restaurants, several coffee shops, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, a public library, public parks, and many special events. The same trolley that runs through Drexel Hill runs down Media’s main street (State Street), connecting to the Market-Frankford Line (subway) at 69th Street, and there’s also commuter rail line offering a one-seat ride to Center City Philadelphia. I do own a car, but I work from home and rarely drive from one day to the next. I get around by walking, biking, and using public transit and primarily use the car for out-of-town trips.

That said, the ride from Media to Center City is just long enough (about 1 hour by trolley/subway or 40 min. by train) to be a deterrent for casual trips. And for under $300k in Media, you’d be lucky to buy a fixer-upper twin house (half of a duplex-type attached home) or a not-so-spectacular condominium. But if you’re willing to compromise on the housing situation, you may find Media’s local scene more enjoyable on a daily basis

All things considered, if owning a detached single-family home isn’t a priority for you, I think you’d be a good candidate to live within the City of Philadelphia itself. There are a number of neighborhoods (including some of the ones chessimprov mentioned) where you could find something in your price range and benefit from a more vibrant business/cultural community within walking distance plus easier access to other city amenities via faster and more frequent mass transit. Then too, if you’ll be traveling back to New York for occasional work meetings or to visit family and friends, you’ll likely be doing that via Center City (either train or bus), and those trips will also generally be easier and faster starting from a Philadelphia neighborhood vs. the suburbs.

Property taxes are fairly low within the city, but the major downside, tax-wise, is the city’s wage tax—which is nearly 4%. But with annual tax bills on many Drexel Hill homes flirting with the $10,000 mark, you may still end out ahead paying the Philadelphia wage tax unless you’re earning $200,000 per year.

I hope this information helps. Let me know if I can answer any further questions. Good luck!

Last edited by briantroutman; 12-15-2018 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:23 AM
 
8,636 posts, read 4,737,851 times
Reputation: 2879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel220 View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. My main point is walkability. Thatís so so so so important to me. I donít drive. Employment wise, Iíll atill be keeping my job in NYC and doing remote work. Should that sour, I donít think Iíll have a problem finding a job in Philly.

Price wise really want to be below 300k. Those homes in Drexel Hill are gorgeous and so well priced. I know the taxes may be a big hit, but am hoping it could balance out. Can someone confirm the best part is between route 1 and state rd?

For trolleys, are they safe?

Thanks!
Yes, the trolleys are safe and mostly reliable. Depending upon where you may end up in Drexel Hill, there are two lines. One terminates, westbound, in Media(which is also walkable). The other terminates in Sharon Hill.

I rode those trolleys for 20 years and rarely had a problem. The problems I can recall were related to heavy snow fall when snowbirds(folks who normally drove) came out or when snow, occasionally would suspend service.

Another suggestion. Have you looked in Lansdowne, which is somewhat adjacent to Drexel Hill? There is septa regional rail service which travels directly into Center City Phila. The trolleys require a transfer to the Market Frankford Line(El) to get to Center City. There are nice houses in Lansdowne too.
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