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Old Yesterday, 10:56 AM
 
51 posts, read 29,493 times
Reputation: 51

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Hello, I have recently "discovered" Drexel Hill via the Internet and considering buying a home there; however, I do not/will not keep a car do not want the headache, expense of owning and maintaining a vehicle. Therefore, walkability and public transportation is of the utmost importance to me, since I have been living "urban" in North Jersey/NYC area. Also, for many years, I had the pleasure of staying in Center City (Rittenhouse area) when visiting Philly. The latest "gentrification" makes living in CC impossible for me and since I do not the typical 14 x 48 ft. "row" I would not buy in CC. Having stayed in and become familiar with "Rittenhouse" nothing quite compares.

Will you readers please advise of areas in DH that are WALKABLE & near public transportation. I need to do this very soon, since I am "old", but not yet "dead" LOL and like urban amenities.
thanks all !
Vee
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Old Yesterday, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Media
171 posts, read 93,622 times
Reputation: 414
Hello Vee-

There was recently another thread about Drexel Hill started by a woman from Queens who wanted to relocate to the Philadelphia area. Here’s the response I gave to her, and basically the same response is relevant here.

In short: Drexel Hill is walkable in the sense that there are sidewalks, but there’s really not that much to walk to. There’s really no “downtown Drexel Hill” with a tight cluster of shopping, dining, etc. to satisfy a broad range of the places you’d want to go on a regular basis. You can find homes that are within walking distance of a supermarket or a couple of restaurants or a convenience store, but if your desire is to live in a walkable neighborhood with urban amenities, you’ll probably be disappointed. Drexel Hill is essentially a suburban residential community with the added benefit of trolley lines to 69th Street, where you can transfer to the Market-Frankford Line (subway) for quick access to Center City.

People are generally attracted to Drexel Hill because they see large, stately stone homes advertised at relatively low prices. You’ll find that Drexel Hill home prices are artificially depressed for two reasons. One is that the school system—while not necessarily dysfunctional—ranks rather low in terms of student performance. Even if this isn’t relevant to you personally, it does affect the home’s value. The other reason is that property taxes are quite high, often approaching $10K annually or even more for a typical Drexel Hill home.

If your number one priority is living a car-free existence in a walkable community, there are relatively few places in the suburbs that I’d recommend. One is my town: Media. The same trolley line that runs through Drexel Hill continues outward to Media and runs right down the middle of the town’s main street—which is a dense business district with a wealth of shopping and dining options. I have a car, but I rarely use it from one week to the next. I work from home, can do most of my shopping within walking distance, and frequently take the trolley/subway in to the city. The schools here are ranked highly and property taxes are relatively low, so home prices are much higher than Drexel Hill...around $300K+ for even a rough twin (half of a duplex) and generally $500K+ for even a modest detached home.

You could also look at some of the Main Line towns (Ardmore, Bryn Mawr) which have dense, walkable business districts along Lancaster Ave. (US 30) and are also served by a Regional Rail line offering a short ride into Center City. But again, if you were lured to Drexel Hill on the basis of low home prices, you’ll find prices much higher on the Main Line.

Other walkable towns with rail access to the city include Ambler, Glenside, maybe Conshohocken...

But honestly, if walkability and living without a car are your main priorities, I’d recommend looking at other city neighborhoods that are served by more frequent public transit. Unless you absolutely insist on having a detached single family home (can’t tell exactly from your post—looks like you left word or two out of your posting), you’ll find an abundance of walkable neighborhoods within the city that are much more affordable than Rittenhouse or Old City.

I hope the above helps. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
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Old Yesterday, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Pocopson
129 posts, read 41,667 times
Reputation: 165
I agree with everything briantroutman said. Drexel Hill might be a good fit for you, but it would help if you told us what drew you to this neighborhood in particular, as it's not a good walking-town and its public transit options into the city are patchy.

There's a sticky on this board that helps explain your situation better.
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Old Today, 09:48 AM
 
990 posts, read 1,102,460 times
Reputation: 371
Part of this depends on how significant commute time is. If commute time to the city and back doesn't really matter, you could easily live near a trolley stop. If it only matters slightly, you could live near a regional rail stop. If your commute time to the city needs to be 30 minutes or less regularly to the city, then Drexel Hill might not be a good match.

I love Media, but if commute time to the city is super important, I feel like you could get more for your money than from living in Media, as Media is at the end of the 101 line and further out than cheaper places along the 101 trolley line. There are regional rail station(s) too you could consider instead.

Maybe Upper Darby near the 69th St. terminal is worth a good look. Definitely scope out the area first to see if that is where you'd want to be type of thing.
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