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Old 05-29-2019, 04:16 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,356 times
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I'm looking to buy a home, preferably multi-family, and I've been approved up to $300k. I have a commute to Penn and my partner commutes to Temple. We don't wanna live further than the Morton-Rutledge stop. We're mid-20s, but we don't drink/party and prefer family oriented neighborhoods. We just moved to PA so we are not familiar with the area whatsoever. Any insight would be great. Ideally, we're looking for a safe and interesting neighborhood. We'd like it to be dog-friendly, but that's not a necessity. We're also hoping for a decent sized yard. Just by looking at the crime map were considering: Morton, Wyndom, and Rutledge. A maybe would be Aldan, Clifton Heights, and Lansdowne. I may have missed some neighborhoods in between. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:37 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
330 posts, read 205,414 times
Reputation: 237
Lansdowne has some great neighborhoods, look near the Gladstone stop. I would consider getting a daily Independence Pass and taking the train and getting off at any stops that look interesting. When I was initially looking (were in Media now) I opened google maps, and zillow tabs and searched along the rail line. I suggested Lansdowne because they have a nice little downtown area thats surely going to flourish a bit now that they have recently (last week) lifted a ban on alcohol sales.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
Lansdowne has some great neighborhoods, look near the Gladstone stop. I would consider getting a daily Independence Pass and taking the train and getting off at any stops that look interesting. When I was initially looking (were in Media now) I opened google maps, and zillow tabs and searched along the rail line. I suggested Lansdowne because they have a nice little downtown area thats surely going to flourish a bit now that they have recently (last week) lifted a ban on alcohol sales.
Lansdowne is brimming with both charm and potential, and the lifting of the alcohol ban may help it realize the latter.

One of the things that keeps it from fully realizing its potential, however, is its school district, generally regarded as only a few notches above Chester Upland at the bottom of the Delaware County public-school heap.

I have become an advocate of actually visiting the school in a neighborhood you like rather than relying on a GreatSchools number or Niche grade to do the heavy lifting for you after hearing a few too many stories from parents of kids in "bad" schools whose kids are thriving in them. And if the OP thinks Lansdowne checks off more of their boxes than any other community along the (R3) Media/Elwyn Line, I would encourage them (being a male Sandy, I'm not going to make gender assumptions about that name) to visit the grade school in whose catchment they would like to live. If they can live with it, they should find living in Lansdowne quite pleasant indeed.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:01 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,356 times
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Thank you both for the insight. I have plans to drive around the neighborhood this weekend. Does anyone happen to know the demographics of renters in Lansdowne (students, families, young adults, etc...)? Do you also know anything about the other neighborhoods that I listed? A one sentence description would be more than enough.

Since the alcohol ban has been lifted, do you think bars will start popping up?

@MarketStEl I'm female and was raised in the ghettos of Los Angeles. My school wasn't so nice either. It made the news a few times and not for the right reasons. This probably won't be my family starter home so I'm less interested in the school system and more interested in renters since I want a multi-family home.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:24 AM
 
47 posts, read 46,025 times
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I would suggest you look at the areas of Springfield located just north of the Morton train station on either side of Church Road or to the east of Woodland Avenue (420) across from the Dave's BBQ. Both neighborhoods are south of Baltimore Pike and within walking distance of train station. You can also check out the houses in Morton between the Morton and Secane train stations. All these areas are in the Springfield School District which is a strong school district.

Another alternative is the borough of Rutledge just south of the Morton train station. It is in the highly rated Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. However, the property taxes in that district are very high.

There are houses in the $250,000 to $300,000 range each area.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:24 AM
 
Location: USA
20,976 posts, read 9,837,364 times
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Springfield north of Providence Road. West Ave, North Ave, Stoney Creek, etc.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyTr View Post
Thank you both for the insight. I have plans to drive around the neighborhood this weekend. Does anyone happen to know the demographics of renters in Lansdowne (students, families, young adults, etc...)? Do you also know anything about the other neighborhoods that I listed? A one sentence description would be more than enough.

Since the alcohol ban has been lifted, do you think bars will start popping up?

@MarketStEl I'm female and was raised in the ghettos of Los Angeles. My school wasn't so nice either. It made the news a few times and not for the right reasons. This probably won't be my family starter home so I'm less interested in the school system and more interested in renters since I want a multi-family home.
I think that Lansdowne is the most comely of all six, but Morton in Springfield Township and next-door Rutledge Borough also rate high on this factor in my book. None of them are places I would warn you away from. Aldan strikes me as the most residential of the six communities if that matters to you, but I don't know what percentage of the dwellings in it are rentals. Clifton Heights has the next-biggest small-town Main Street of the six after Lansdowne, but IMO it's no great shakes and not as nice as Lansdowne's; Morton's seems nicer to me.

I suspect we should see the first liquor license in Lansdowne sometime this fall. Given that I hear that restoration of the Lansdowne Theater is progressing nicely, we might see some others follow suit as more events take place there.

I have no demographic information on renters in Lansdowne or any of the other five communities on your list.

But given that you're interested in owning a rental property: is Media too far out for you? I've heard that about 80 percent of Media's housing stock consists of rental properties, and the Delaware County seat has one of the liveliest Main Streets in the Philly 'burbs - State Street is what Lansdowne Avenue wants to be when it grows up. (It even has a trolley line that runs down its middle.) And there's the added bonus that its school district, Rose Tree Media, is highly regarded and a draw for would-be residents. I believe also that most of those rental properties are owned by one company, Media Real Estate - I see their signs everywhere in the borough - but there should still be some ownership opportunities for you to establish a toehold there.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:08 AM
 
Location: NYC & Media PA
330 posts, read 205,414 times
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I will say based on what I've seen $300- will be low for Media, when you say multi family do you mean getting a row home or did you want to buy a home with in law quarters ?

You may also want to consider areas along the 101 trolley line (Drexel Hill, Springfield etc). The 101 connects to the L at 69th and the monthly cost to get to CC is considerably less, although admittedly the ride to CC isnt quite as peaceful on the L as the regional
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
233 posts, read 141,062 times
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As much as I am a tireless booster of Media, I think whatever affordability the town had (relative to the region) is long gone. At a maximum price of $300,000, I doubt you’d be able to find any kind of a multi-family property, other than perhaps a small two-unit building in rather rough shape. As a matter of fact, that price range would more likely get you into a reasonably decent two-bedroom condominium; single family homes would nearly be out of the question.

I’ve been witness to this myself recently...at my own residence. My building, which looks like a fairly typical postwar twin, actually consists of two compact (~650 sq. ft.) two-bedroom apartments—one on the upper floor and one on the lower. My landlord bought the property in 2015 for about $150K and spent (by my guess) maybe S50K on improvements: new windows, new roof, new kitchen. Under closer scrutiny, it’s apparent that some of the improvements were done on the cheap, but the overall impression is of being a tidy, nicely updated property.

As of a few months ago, Zillow’s estimate of the property’s value was about $350,000, and my landlord decided to put the building on the market to free up capital. He listed the building at a “dream” price of $430K, and to his astonishment, he was bombarded by cash offers within one day of having listed the property, some from investors who hadn’t even looked at it. A bidding war ensued, and the property sold for nearly $470,000 to a local investor who owns several rental properties in Media. The buyer eagerly paid cash, accepting the property as-is and waiving his rights to an inspection.

A few weeks later an unfamiliar man approached me as I came out of the apartment. As I soon learned, he owns and rents the modest $500K single-family house across the street (perhaps one of multiple properties in his portfolio—who knows?) and was quite interested in buying my building. The man looked a bit disappointed when I told him a sale had already taken place.

SandyTr- I don’t know where your priorities lie (neighborhood feel vs. city access vs. quality of schools), but I’d generally second the idea of considering areas around the trolley lines instead of the Media/Elwyn regional rail line. I’ve lived in Media for over two years, and I almost never take the train anymore—preferring the trolley/subway option for a few reasons.

One reason is that the trolley/subway route actually serves the areas it passes through and that its ridership tends to reflect a broader cross section of the population. Yes, that sometimes means panhandlers on the subway—but it also means chuckling at the inane conversations of uniformed teenagers boarding at the Catholic high school in Drexel Hill, feeling heartbreak over the telephoned lament of a West Philadelphia single mom on her way to pick up her children from daycare, and being energized by the excited chatter of Phillies fans going home after a game. You have at least some vague sense of connection to the people who call greater Philadelphia home.

And on a more practical note, the trolley/subway ride is both less expensive ($3 vs $6) and offers better service to more numerous city destinations. Yes, Regional Rail lines offer stops at both University City and Temple, but depending on exactly where you’re headed, you might be able to arrive closer to work via a subway station, and subways offer far superior service to nearly any shopping, dining, or entertainment destination you could possibly want to visit in your off time.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:59 PM
 
37 posts, read 43,356 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyTr View Post
I'm looking to buy a home, preferably multi-family, and I've been approved up to $300k. I have a commute to Penn and my partner commutes to Temple. We don't wanna live further than the Morton-Rutledge stop. We're mid-20s, but we don't drink/party and prefer family oriented neighborhoods. We just moved to PA so we are not familiar with the area whatsoever. Any insight would be great. Ideally, we're looking for a safe and interesting neighborhood. We'd like it to be dog-friendly, but that's not a necessity. We're also hoping for a decent sized yard. Just by looking at the crime map were considering: Morton, Wyndom, and Rutledge. A maybe would be Aldan, Clifton Heights, and Lansdowne. I may have missed some neighborhoods in between. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
I live in Aldan and work at Temple. I honestly wouldn't want to make that commute from any further out. In Aldan, you can catch the express trains at Primos station (which can shave 20 minutes off the trip) and when there are problems with the regional rail, you've got the 102 Sharon Hill trolley that connects to the El at 69th street. It's really nice to have the alternate route. For what it's worth, I can bike across Aldan, Clifton Heights, and Lansdowne in 20 minutes, traffic is bananas and that's not reliable or always safe (particularly at rush hour), but it's trivial to drive between boroughs for any particular thing or if you don't mind mild walks or biking, you're not landlocked to any single borough. Traffic, trash, and nuisance crime is worse in Lansdowne/Clifton Heights, but they have more commercial properties, bars, restaurants, etc., and Lansdowne has more interesting events with larger crowds (although the Clifton Heights 4th of July is the best fireworks show outside of Philly) whereas Aldan is sleepier. I think all of the parks are signed off-limits for dogs, but I always see people walking their dogs in the park and with large yards in Lansdown and Aldan (Clifton Heights is mostly row homes), there are lots of dogs.
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