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Old 06-11-2019, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia (East Falls)
64 posts, read 72,993 times
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Is anyone able to compare these two areas for a family with children in elementary school. Collegeville provides a better commute for us but we are very unfamiliar with the area. Interests are good schools, outdoor activities for young children, accessibility to Philadelphia. We live in an inner suburb of Philadelphia at the moment and looking to get more for our money.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:39 PM
 
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Collegeville is in Methacton School District, which is generally highly rated. Accessibility to Philadelphia will be somewhat difficult with both Collegeville and Phoenixville, but Collegeville would provide you with a straight shot (down Germantown Pike) into the northwestern part of the city (Chestnut Hill, specifically). Neither town has public transit, but again, you can drive down Ridge Pike from Collegeville to Norristown to pick up the regional rail into the city if that's of interest to you.


I would classify Phoenixville as slightly more vibrant in light of the fact that it has a walkable downtown (along Bridge St) that you won't find in Collegeville. That said, the vibrancy of the downtown area may be more appealing to singles and DINKs than to those with school-aged children. (I'm well aware that I'm making a generalization here, so other posters, please don't jump down my throat.) I know nothing about the schools in Phoenixville, so I can't help you there.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:03 PM
 
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Downingtown is nice. Good access to Septa regional rail. Schools are decent but part of Downingtown is in the Downingtown schools district and part of it is in the Caotesville Area school district . Make sure the home you purchase is in the downingtown schools. CAS schools are awful.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Pa
42,677 posts, read 45,083,120 times
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Go to Collegeville. It's more pricey but worth it. It's ideal because of the great towns near it. Not far from Norristown and the Courthouse or train station to Philly. Collegeville has many medical buildings and science labs. Childcare facilities
are abundant if you need them or for before or after care. Premium outlets are located town near which is Pottstown.
King of Prussia you just need to hop on 422 to get too.
Any more questions just DM me.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:03 AM
 
557 posts, read 404,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raena77 View Post
Go to Collegeville. It's more pricey but worth it. It's ideal because of the great towns near it. Not far from Norristown and the Courthouse or train station to Philly. Collegeville has many medical buildings and science labs. Childcare facilities
are abundant if you need them or for before or after care. Premium outlets are located town near which is Pottstown.
King of Prussia you just need to hop on 422 to get too.
Any more questions just DM me.
Well, it really depends on what you want. I work out of Collegeville a couple times a week and that drive from Philly is an absolute nightmare. It's more or less flat out not doable anytime after 7am and before 3pm (yes, 422 and the expressway start getting jammed at 3 on the nose). Also, Collegeville is quite rural and "towney," with a lot of old timers who have old timer mentalities. With this said, it's safe, has a good amount of amenities and as a poster previously stated, you get at least some kind of social scene from Phoenixville. The general vibe though is definitely country hick. I find that to be pretty depressing personally, but if you that doesn't bother you, it could be a fit. And, I think real estate there has potential to increase over the coming years, so it might be a good investment.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,057 posts, read 4,231,285 times
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A few comments on the above...

re Flyers Girl... “Collegeville Borough” is in the Perkiomen Valley School District. The Collegeville post office covers Collegeville Borough, Trappe Borough (also in the PV School District), and parts of Lower Providence Township (Methacton School District) and Upper Providence Township (Springford School District). The general Collegeville area does provide a straight shot down Germantown and Ridge Pikes to Northwest Philadelphia or the Norristown Train Station but neither makes for a pleasant daily commute. Also, Phoenixville Borough’s downtown area is far more vibrant than Collegeville Borough, and young families are making multiple offers on homes there which are selling almost immediately. The schools are good but not rated as well as Methacton, PV, or SF.

re Pennsport... Referring to the general vibe of Collegeville as “definitely country hick” is off-base. Who/what/where did you get this opinion? I lived in Collegeville or Trappe for ~ 15 years and my neighborhoods were full of young families, educated Asians (many off the boat), among other nationalities, and lots of pharma workers. It is a fairly transient area and I would hardly refer to the area “depressing.” Are you sure you aren’t projecting the racist and curmudgeon-y, unenlightened Catholic “Two Street” attitudes and run-down nature of portions of Pennsport onto Collegeville?
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:47 AM
 
557 posts, read 404,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
A few comments on the above...

re Flyers Girl... “Collegeville Borough” is in the Perkiomen Valley School District. The Collegeville post office covers Collegeville Borough, Trappe Borough (also in the PV School District), and parts of Lower Providence Township (Methacton School District) and Upper Providence Township (Springford School District). The general Collegeville area does provide a straight shot down Germantown and Ridge Pikes to Northwest Philadelphia or the Norristown Train Station but neither makes for a pleasant daily commute. Also, Phoenixville Borough’s downtown area is far more vibrant than Collegeville Borough, and young families are making multiple offers on homes there which are selling almost immediately. The schools are good but not rated as well as Methacton, PV, or SF.

re Pennsport... Referring to the general vibe of Collegeville as “definitely country hick” is off-base. Who/what/where did you get this opinion? I lived in Collegeville or Trappe for ~ 15 years and my neighborhoods were full of young families, educated Asians (many off the boat), among other nationalities, and lots of pharma workers. It is a fairly transient area and I would hardly refer to the area “depressing.” Are you sure you aren’t projecting the racist and curmudgeon-y, unenlightened Catholic “Two Street” attitudes and run-down nature of portions of Pennsport onto Collegeville?
LOL... no, not projecting. I guess you know better than me as you live there, but to miss rush hour, I frequently go to pubs or restaurants for a beer and a bite before I attempt to drive home. I think I've been to every venue in Collegeville and Phoenixville dozens of times. Just my observance, but from what I've experienced, Collegeville seems extremely rural in look, feel and patrons. Maybe the actual neighborhoods are more diverse and young and those individuals don't go out much. Regardless, as someone who goes out quite regularly in Collegeville I stand by my statement above. I shouldn't have used the term "hick." I don't mean to insult you or anyone else. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:16 AM
 
Location: USA
20,988 posts, read 9,837,364 times
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Downingtown School District is very large, and also one of the best in the state, and has an excellent STEM academy. I don't know much about Methacton, but it has a positive reputation as well.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia (East Falls)
64 posts, read 72,993 times
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OP here again. We feel very comfortable in our inner suburb location in terms of 'fit' but we need a bigger house so just weighing our options. I know D-town b/c I sometimes find myself out that way. It feels very suburban but generally a nice place where I could see us being happy. We are liberal but I don't need to be surrounded by people who are exactly like me and D-town seems like a good mix.

I guess we just have to visit Collegeville. Most the houses I see in that area are either Perkiomen or SpringFord Schools. Are those better or worse districts than Methacton? Only in PA are there three school districts for one town lol
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,057 posts, read 4,231,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
LOL... no, not projecting. I guess you know better than me as you live there, but to miss rush hour, I frequently go to pubs or restaurants for a beer and a bite before I attempt to drive home. I think I've been to every venue in Collegeville and Phoenixville dozens of times. Just my observance, but from what I've experienced, Collegeville seems extremely rural in look, feel and patrons. Maybe the actual neighborhoods are more diverse and young and those individuals don't go out much. Regardless, as someone who goes out quite regularly in Collegeville I stand by my statement above. I shouldn't have used the term "hick." I don't mean to insult you or anyone else. Different strokes for different folks.
Fair comments. There are certainly "locals" that look rural, but for the most part, I think you would find that residents of the Collegeville area are fairly standard "suburban." There are some people that give off a small-town blue collar vibe and that's probably what you are seeing in the local places. Note that, for the most part, the blue collar people don't bite .

40% of GSK's worldwide R&D is just outside Collegeville Borough, as well as large facilities for Pfizer, Dow, and Quest Diagnostics.

I just checked Wikipedia, and here is a snapshot of certain regions and median household incomes:

Collegeville Borough - $77,500
Phoenixville Borough - $57,000

Ardmore (census-designated place) - $61,000
Media Borough - $43,000
Blue Bell (census-designated place) - $106,500
Cherry Hill Township - $88,200

I suppose some of the above is off-track but probably worthwhile for the OP. The Collegeville area is great for raising kids. The schools are well-regarded and there's plenty of outdoor activities (the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River Trails, kayaking/canoeing in Phoenixville, parks, etc.). Access to Center City from Downingtown would be easier due to the train, but access to East Falls/Manayunk/Chestnut Hill/etc. is easier from Collegeville.

As for the Methacton, Perkiomen Valley, and Spring Ford School Districts, I would check www.greatschools.com or www.schooldigger.com or www.phillymag.com/tag/best-schools/

Last edited by BPP1999; 06-12-2019 at 10:04 AM..
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