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Old 02-04-2019, 10:30 AM
 
245 posts, read 139,216 times
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My husband and I are in our 30s and have a 6 month old baby. We live in downtown Philly now but are starting to research where to move in the burbs. We would like an area with access to good local restaurants, good schools and proximity to Philly, since I work there. I grew up in Abington and definitely do not want to go back there. There wasn't much to do around there so hoping for a place with more to do. School was okay but would prefer a better school district and neighborhood. Also, I am Jewish and my husband is catholic so I was hoping to find an area with a Jewish community. We are looking to spend around 700-800k on a house. We really like the mainline area but the houses I have seen online seem to be older with no updates and very expensive. Are there any towns in the main line that are more affordable? We were also considering Media/Newtown Square area. Any thoughts on those areas? Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:49 AM
 
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In the Lower Merion School District, I would recommend Ardmore or Bryn Mawr from the standpoint of having restaurants and things to do nearby. Lower Merion has a sizable Jewish population, albeit they tend to be more in the Wynnewood/Bala Cynwyd areas.


I'd also recommend Media, which you have mentioned. There's a regular poster here who lives in the downtown area of Media and he lives a pretty car-free existence. There are two ways to get to the city via PT (a one-seat regional rail offering, and the trolley to 69th street, then transfer to the MFL).


In terms of housing, you're not going to find shiny brand new too often unless you go further out. The reality is that the inner-ring suburbs of Philly are densely populated and very old. So unless entire swaths of old homes are being razed, you're not going to see a ton in new construction. For your price point, you could get updated in Media, even in the downtown area. Personally, I love the charm of old (read: pre-1940s) homes, but that might not be your taste.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:43 AM
 
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The Lower/Central Bucks area (i.e. Newtown, Yardley, Makefield...) fits most of your criteria. I'm most familiar with Newtown (but the other areas are similar):

walkable downtown
variety of good restaurants (not like Philly, but nowhere in the burbs is...)
great schools (Council Rock)
near parks/recreation (Tyler State Park)
convenient amenities

The only thing I saw on your list as a possible downside is that Newtown is a little far from Philly - about an hour in rush hour traffic, but you can get to Septa either at Langhorne (15 min drive) or Cornwell Heights (halfway to Philly on 95 - the non-trafficky half) if you're looking to commute by train.

Not being Jewish myself, I'm not really familiar with the Jewish community, although I know my kids both have Jewish friends (as evidence by invitations to multiple bar/bat-mitzvahs...), and there are at least 2 synogogues in the area, so it seems to an outsider to be a pretty big community around here.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:43 AM
 
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Media is a great town. I'm partial to the S. Jersey burbs and the Haddons, in particular (Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, portions of Haddon Township). Though Haddonfield and neighboring Collingswood are dry towns, there are a surprising number of good restaurants and cute, walkable main streets. Property taxes in Camden County are high, but the home prices tend to be a bit lower than what you'd find for a comparable place along the Main Line.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
959 posts, read 490,032 times
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I will be blunt. I do not recommend South Jersey. Overall the real estate market is shaky there and not strong by any standards. (New Jersey has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation).

Especially given your price point. Typically you will pay 20K plus in property taxes yearly. (insane).

What was your aversion to Lower Gwynedd and Abington? Just to get a better idea of what you are looking for?

I would #1 recommend Wyndmoor, PA! Within your price range you can find a very nice 700k home.

You are walking distance to absolutely beautiful Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia with its gorgeous main street. (surely more beautiful than any of the Jersey towns) and in Springfield school district which is known to have a great Jewish population.

AND SEPTA transit to Center City is steps away.

I 100% recommend Wyndmoor. You will not get a new construction close to Center City.

Southeast Pennsylvania is old. We founded America. If you want to be close to the city and stay within your price range in the suburbs new construction is the one thing you have to sacrifice. Unless you are comfortable with attached housing options located along the mainline.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:32 PM
 
245 posts, read 139,216 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
I will be blunt. I do not recommend South Jersey. Overall the real estate market is shaky there and not strong by any standards. (New Jersey has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation).

Especially given your price point. Typically you will pay 20K plus in property taxes yearly. (insane).

What was your aversion to Lower Gwynedd and Abington? Just to get a better idea of what you are looking for?

I would #1 recommend Wyndmoor, PA! Within your price range you can find a very nice 700k home.

You are walking distance to absolutely beautiful Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia with its gorgeous main street. (surely more beautiful than any of the Jersey towns) and in Springfield school district which is known to have a great Jewish population.

AND SEPTA transit to Center City is steps away.

I 100% recommend Wyndmoor. You will not get a new construction close to Center City.

Southeast Pennsylvania is old. We founded America. If you want to be close to the city that is the one thing you have to sacrifice.
I do not want jersey either so no problem there. As far as Abington, there was nothing to do there and do not find it a nice area. I like the main line since it has such pretty scenery and cute downtown areas.

I will look in to wyndmoor. Donít know anything about it. I do like chestnut hill though so could be an option.

I donít need a new construction but I would like to have a house with updates.

Thanks for recommendation !
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:33 PM
 
245 posts, read 139,216 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtownBucks View Post
The Lower/Central Bucks area (i.e. Newtown, Yardley, Makefield...) fits most of your criteria. I'm most familiar with Newtown (but the other areas are similar):

walkable downtown
variety of good restaurants (not like Philly, but nowhere in the burbs is...)
great schools (Council Rock)
near parks/recreation (Tyler State Park)
convenient amenities

The only thing I saw on your list as a possible downside is that Newtown is a little far from Philly - about an hour in rush hour traffic, but you can get to Septa either at Langhorne (15 min drive) or Cornwell Heights (halfway to Philly on 95 - the non-trafficky half) if you're looking to commute by train.

Not being Jewish myself, I'm not really familiar with the Jewish community, although I know my kids both have Jewish friends (as evidence by invitations to multiple bar/bat-mitzvahs...), and there are at least 2 synogogues in the area, so it seems to an outsider to be a pretty big community around here.
I do love that area actually as we go to new hope a lot but I thibk it is a little outside the distance we would want to be to the city. Thanks for the suggestion !
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,200 posts, read 4,753,705 times
Reputation: 2462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyers Girl View Post
In the Lower Merion School District, I would recommend Ardmore or Bryn Mawr from the standpoint of having restaurants and things to do nearby. Lower Merion has a sizable Jewish population, albeit they tend to be more in the Wynnewood/Bala Cynwyd areas.


I'd also recommend Media, which you have mentioned. There's a regular poster here who lives in the downtown area of Media and he lives a pretty car-free existence. There are two ways to get to the city via PT (a one-seat regional rail offering, and the trolley to 69th street, then transfer to the MFL).


In terms of housing, you're not going to find shiny brand new too often unless you go further out. The reality is that the inner-ring suburbs of Philly are densely populated and very old. So unless entire swaths of old homes are being razed, you're not going to see a ton in new construction. For your price point, you could get updated in Media, even in the downtown area. Personally, I love the charm of old (read: pre-1940s) homes, but that might not be your taste.
At least a plus with Newtown Square is the insane amount of new construction as of late. The OP wouldn't be walking to Media, but a quick 10 minute drive isn't bad either.

I did a quick check of 19063 (specifically Media borough) and yes, new construction is very limited, mostly townhomes, a small subdivision of 7 singles on a vacant plot off of towntown.
Most of this falls in the $600-900K range, which is insane, but within their budget.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:58 AM
 
245 posts, read 139,216 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
At least a plus with Newtown Square is the insane amount of new construction as of late. The OP wouldn't be walking to Media, but a quick 10 minute drive isn't bad either.

I did a quick check of 19063 (specifically Media borough) and yes, new construction is very limited, mostly townhomes, a small subdivision of 7 singles on a vacant plot off of towntown.
Most of this falls in the $600-900K range, which is insane, but within their budget.
Yea Newtown square is top of our list. Is Marple Newtown a good school ?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:43 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,200 posts, read 4,753,705 times
Reputation: 2462
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillygirl123 View Post
Yea Newtown square is top of our list. Is Marple Newtown a good school ?
Yes, very good, as is Rose Tree Media.
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