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Old 12-21-2018, 12:45 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,006 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone,

I know, another person looking for advice on moving to the region. I've done some searching and found a handful of threads, but a lot doesn't quite pertain to me (kids and their needs are irrelevant). Without further adieu:

When are you moving? Q1 2019
Where are you coming from? Indianapolis, IN
Why are you moving? Starting a new job
Where will you be working?Spring House, PA
Have you been here yet? I was in Philly once for a class about 6 years ago and was up in Spring House for the interview a number of weeks ago.

Will you buy or rent? Probably rent to start with, though it depends on where we settle.
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? Either, would like to keep it sub 275K, and would definitely consider a place in need of some rehab. Nothing too large, we don't need more than a 2 bdrm
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? Any, preferablly sub 2K. Would consider a 1bdrm.
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Don't care

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA, if we go suburb


Are you married or single? Married, two early 30s millenials, 2 cats. No kids and no plans for any kids
Do you prefer public or private schools? N/A
Do you have pets? 2 semi-cuddly, hell-beasts
Do you want or need a yard? I wouldn't miss mowing and yardwork
Are you keeping a car? We have two currently (hooray midwest) but would consider selling one and walking/biking/transiting in its stead
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? More active than not. I think the wife would prefer to live in a much more urban setting than our current situation (modestly urban, old suburb about 6 miles from downtown).

What do you want to be closest to?
Stuff. If we're going to live out in the burbs I'd rather have minimal commute. If we live in the city, I'd rather be able to walk to as many things (transit stops, bars, restaurants, stores, etc) as possible

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Diverse

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Beer by a mile, my wife currently works in the industry as a sales rep as well.

Ok, so basically, its my wife and myself (early 30s) and our two furballs. My wife would like to live in a more urban-y setting than suburban and I wouldn't mind either. My current thoughts are:

1) Live in CC near the regional rail stations. Rent a 1 bdrm, sell a car, and take the RR up to ambler every morning (my company provides a shuttle service to the station). How bad is this reverse commute? The timing and length of the train rides don't appear to be too bad. I hate drive commuting and wouldn't mind the chance to read in the mornings/evenings instead of making sure I'm not going to die in a fiery wreck at any moment. I feel this option also provides my wife with maximal job potential--She works in the beer industry.

2) Live out closer to Spring House. Probably Lansdale or Ambler. Probably buy a small place. Easy driving commute. Though decidedly less urban than we'd like or are used to. The RR would provide ready access to the city though. The added space and lower COL would be nice, though I look around our current 3 bdrm/2 ba bungalow and see almost half the house rarely used except for storage.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:13 PM
 
937 posts, read 1,086,975 times
Reputation: 350
Sub I'm guessing means "no more than"?

Since you're coming from Indianapolis, adjusting to city life in Philadelphia and it's roughness may not be too much of a transition for you as it seems it is rough in Indianapolis. Since you don't mind either, you should do urban. It is possible, but hard to get a studio at 275k in a real nice neighborhood just to give you an idea. South Philly with a garage or West Philly Univ City area with a parking space I think could work well.

Something by the 49th St Regional rail stop in West Philly would best fit your needs. It's not the greatest section though, but I don't think it's the worst either. That is kind of what your budget would get you for buying. Either that, or a really tiny place if one exists.
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:00 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,006 times
Reputation: 10
I guess I need to clarify my self a bit:

We're likely not going to buy downtown. That was more relevant to possibly buying a place in/near Lansdale.

I suppose my biggest question is just how rough a commute from Center City to ambler is via the Doylestown/Lansdale line. Are trains crammed full? Are the usually on time? etc
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,976 posts, read 1,930,776 times
Reputation: 2486
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadlerLyfe View Post
I guess I need to clarify my self a bit:

We're likely not going to buy downtown. That was more relevant to possibly buying a place in/near Lansdale.

I suppose my biggest question is just how rough a commute from Center City to ambler is via the Doylestown/Lansdale line. Are trains crammed full? Are the usually on time? etc
If you'd like to live in the city and have a one-seat Regional Rail commute, your choices are limited to Center City or:

Overbrook Farms
Germantown near Wayne Junction
Fern Rock
East Oak Lane (passage to Melrose Park station)

In terms of attractiveness, I'd rank them Overbrook Farms -> East Oak Lane -> Fern Rock -> Germantown near Wayne Junction.

Any other city neighborhood with a Regional Rail station would require a change of trains at one of the central stations (30th St, Suburban, Jefferson, Temple University) or at Wayne Junction (if you lived on the Chestnut Hill East or Fox Chase lines; you'd ride into Wayne Junction then back out on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line).

Regional Rail's on-time performance has been slipping a bit of late, but the trains remain generally reliable.

Since you'd be riding reverse-peak direction from Center City, you should be able to get a seat on whatever train you caught. If you lived on one of the lines headed to Center City, you'd be riding peak direction as far as there - and you would also pay an extra fare on top of the one-way "daytime" fare from Center City.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:42 PM
 
417 posts, read 373,606 times
Reputation: 456
What is your budget for renting in CC? If you can afford it I would just do that. Center City and the surrounding area is the best place for a transplant IMO. Since your wife will be looking for work it will give her the most options as well. I would try to live an easy walk to either Jefferson, Suburban, or 30th Street Stations. Since you are keeping a car be sure to factor in parking as well. If she is going to use her car every day it will be a pain to try to find nearby parking everyday. May want to find a parking spot.


You are reverse commuting so the train should be pretty comfortable and they are fairly reliable. I would also look at the town of ambler which, IMO, has one of the best suburban downtowns in the region.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
21 posts, read 7,705 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadlerLyfe View Post
Hello everyone,

I know, another person looking for advice on moving to the region. I've done some searching and found a handful of threads, but a lot doesn't quite pertain to me (kids and their needs are irrelevant). Without further adieu:

When are you moving? Q1 2019
Where are you coming from? Indianapolis, IN
Why are you moving? Starting a new job
Where will you be working?Spring House, PA
Have you been here yet? I was in Philly once for a class about 6 years ago and was up in Spring House for the interview a number of weeks ago.

Will you buy or rent? Probably rent to start with, though it depends on where we settle.
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? Either, would like to keep it sub 275K, and would definitely consider a place in need of some rehab. Nothing too large, we don't need more than a 2 bdrm
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? Any, preferablly sub 2K. Would consider a 1bdrm.
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Don't care

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA, if we go suburb


Are you married or single? Married, two early 30s millenials, 2 cats. No kids and no plans for any kids
Do you prefer public or private schools? N/A
Do you have pets? 2 semi-cuddly, hell-beasts
Do you want or need a yard? I wouldn't miss mowing and yardwork
Are you keeping a car? We have two currently (hooray midwest) but would consider selling one and walking/biking/transiting in its stead
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? More active than not. I think the wife would prefer to live in a much more urban setting than our current situation (modestly urban, old suburb about 6 miles from downtown).

What do you want to be closest to?
Stuff. If we're going to live out in the burbs I'd rather have minimal commute. If we live in the city, I'd rather be able to walk to as many things (transit stops, bars, restaurants, stores, etc) as possible

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Diverse

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Beer by a mile, my wife currently works in the industry as a sales rep as well.

Ok, so basically, its my wife and myself (early 30s) and our two furballs. My wife would like to live in a more urban-y setting than suburban and I wouldn't mind either. My current thoughts are:

1) Live in CC near the regional rail stations. Rent a 1 bdrm, sell a car, and take the RR up to ambler every morning (my company provides a shuttle service to the station). How bad is this reverse commute? The timing and length of the train rides don't appear to be too bad. I hate drive commuting and wouldn't mind the chance to read in the mornings/evenings instead of making sure I'm not going to die in a fiery wreck at any moment. I feel this option also provides my wife with maximal job potential--She works in the beer industry.

2) Live out closer to Spring House. Probably Lansdale or Ambler. Probably buy a small place. Easy driving commute. Though decidedly less urban than we'd like or are used to. The RR would provide ready access to the city though. The added space and lower COL would be nice, though I look around our current 3 bdrm/2 ba bungalow and see almost half the house rarely used except for storage.

Thoughts?
I would go CC....if you must live on the outskirts in a PA suburb I would highly avoid Lansdale. My family is from that area and I would die before you caught me purchasing real estate there.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:53 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,006 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks everyone for the input. It's all being taken under advisement.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:22 AM
 
79 posts, read 30,158 times
Reputation: 87
As far as the reverse commute on the train for me it was no problem at all. 5 years ago and earlier I would take it from Jeferson (Market East then) to Jenkintown everyday and always had a seat and usually a window seat. Jenkintown has three lines running through there and one of them is the Lansdale/Doylestown line.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,976 posts, read 1,930,776 times
Reputation: 2486
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingBigger1 View Post
I would go CC....if you must live on the outskirts in a PA suburb I would highly avoid Lansdale. My family is from that area and I would die before you caught me purchasing real estate there.
I don't know about the rest of the borough, but its Main Street is on the mend. There are new shops, several good restaurants (including a Q joint that served the best - hell, the only - burnt ends I've had in this area), a craft brewery and a craft distillery.

There's also a new apartment building that's gone up in what used to be the parking lot right next to Lansdale Regional Rail station. SEPTA built a garage next to the site of the old lot that freed up the space.

Crime, which I have heard has been a problem in the past, is also down.

I took a tour of the borough with the borough manager this past spring. You can read the result of my tour on Phillymag.com.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
100 posts, read 31,812 times
Reputation: 136
I would recommend Phoenixville. It's a diverse, walkable, "urbany" suburb with houses in your size/price preference. The only drawback is that it's a 45 minute drive to Spring House.

Conshohocken also checks the same boxes, but it's more expensive and only a 25 minute commute.

I don't want to trash the northern suburbs too much, but your only options for towns are "dull" or "expensive".
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