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Old 08-11-2019, 06:33 PM
 
809 posts, read 488,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Yes, COL will bite you as you are learning.

There was another moving inquiry about a week ago with a similar housing budget as yours. There are suburban houses within your budget in decent school districts with not bad commutes.

I have relatives who live in Birmingham so I am familiar with AL

OP, here's a link to that thread. May be some good answers in there for you too. Suburbs of Philadelphia-new home buyer
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,573 posts, read 2,723,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddieb226 View Post
Thanks, he would like to stay under $900 a month for a studio or 1 bdrm apartment. Ideally he would use public transportation. if it's safe and convenient.

As far as homes are concerned we have 2 children and 3 dogs. so we are looking for at least a 3-4 bdrm home with a budget around 300-350k if possible. I will fill that out. thanks for the help.
Well, if it's just him moving up to an apartment while you house-hunt, then anywhere in the region is fair game. Greater Philly's transit system is extensive, safe and convenient, and the Regional Rail network (in Pennsylvania)/ PATCO (in South Jersey) will get you into the city within that 45-minute window.

As for a 3+ br house for <$350k in a good school district? You're going to find that a stretch. There are some parts of Lower Merion Township where you might be able to find one of these. Collingswood ditto. Maybe Lansdale (North Penn schools aren't bad).

But: If you are indeed willing to consider private - or public charter - schools, you will have some options in Northwest Philadelphia as well, especially in East Mt. Airy and the further-out part outsiders call "Cedarbrook" but residents don't. You also might want to consider a heterodox strategy that I increasingly recommend based on anecdotal evidence given me by parents of kids in "bad" city public schools:

Identify a city neighborhood that you might find comfortable - then visit its local public school. I've heard several parents of kids in schools that score 3s on GreatSchools or C+ or C grades on Niche say they're quite pleased with how their kids are doing in these schools. I've come to believe that what happens at home - the kind of support and environment parents and relatives provide - explain a lot more about "school quality" and "school performance" than what happens inside the school; in addition, many of these "mediocre" schools do have dedicated and talented teaching staffs that know how to help kids learn effectively. The possible fly in the ointment is whether the school also has a lot of "problem children" who absorb a disproportionate share of the teachers' and staff's attention and make it harder for the other kids to learn. But you won't know how big a problem that is unless you visit.

The reason I recommend this strategy: You don't buy houses sight unseen, do you? Yet people choose schools on this basis all the time, despite the emphasis they place on schools as an influence on their decision.

Edited to add:
I'm a single gay African-American male with no kids and no plans to raise any. But I have a reason for following this subject. Here it is. I'm in charge of this section.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:46 AM
 
515 posts, read 229,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Well, if it's just him moving up to an apartment while you house-hunt, then anywhere in the region is fair game. Greater Philly's transit system is extensive, safe and convenient, and the Regional Rail network (in Pennsylvania)/ PATCO (in South Jersey) will get you into the city within that 45-minute window.

As for a 3+ br house for <$350k in a good school district? You're going to find that a stretch. There are some parts of Lower Merion Township where you might be able to find one of these. Collingswood ditto. Maybe Lansdale (North Penn schools aren't bad).

But: If you are indeed willing to consider private - or public charter - schools, you will have some options in Northwest Philadelphia as well, especially in East Mt. Airy and the further-out part outsiders call "Cedarbrook" but residents don't. You also might want to consider a heterodox strategy that I increasingly recommend based on anecdotal evidence given me by parents of kids in "bad" city public schools:

Identify a city neighborhood that you might find comfortable - then visit its local public school. I've heard several parents of kids in schools that score 3s on GreatSchools or C+ or C grades on Niche say they're quite pleased with how their kids are doing in these schools. I've come to believe that what happens at home - the kind of support and environment parents and relatives provide - explain a lot more about "school quality" and "school performance" than what happens inside the school; in addition, many of these "mediocre" schools do have dedicated and talented teaching staffs that know how to help kids learn effectively. The possible fly in the ointment is whether the school also has a lot of "problem children" who absorb a disproportionate share of the teachers' and staff's attention and make it harder for the other kids to learn. But you won't know how big a problem that is unless you visit.

The reason I recommend this strategy: You don't buy houses sight unseen, do you? Yet people choose schools on this basis all the time, despite the emphasis they place on schools as an influence on their decision.

Edited to add:
I'm a single gay African-American male with no kids and no plans to raise any. But I have a reason for following this subject. Here it is. I'm in charge of this section.
I understand where you are coming from, and that you typically try to sell people on NW Philly, but in this case, we have a family moving from AL asking about suburbs and putting a priority on top quality public schools. I don't think living in the city is going to be a reasonable answer for this person. The neighborhoods you mention are very nice and relatively safe compared to other parts of the city, but I don't think you're putting together the recommendation with the proper target audience in this case.

Collingswood and Lansdale are both very good recommendations. Possibly Jenkintown as well.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:14 PM
 
6 posts, read 8,832 times
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For the home purchase, take a look at the Havertown, PA area. Good schools and affordable homes near public transportation. Husband can take the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) to the 69th Street Transportation Center, and then take the subway (MFL) to the 15th Street Station. Take a look at the Septa.org website for public transportation information.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:17 PM
 
21 posts, read 9,269 times
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thanks for the reply. The apartment is just temporary for my husband only. We would be buying a house by the end of this year of after the school year is over. I'll commute when I can to look for houses with him. I've heard good things about haddonfield NJ. Thanks
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:24 PM
 
21 posts, read 9,269 times
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Thanks a bunch for the reply. Our kids currently go to private school, so that is a definite option for us. We do however like to be in a more suburban/country type setting. I have an aunt who lives in Reinholds pa and I really like the privacy, however it's just way to far from philly to commute. I'll definitely look into your suggestions, thanks again!
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:26 PM
 
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great information thank you. Sorry if I'm not replying correctly I'm new to this site.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:29 PM
 
21 posts, read 9,269 times
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Only I would be coming to house hunt here and there while my kids re in school.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:30 PM
 
21 posts, read 9,269 times
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yes, they are in 2nd and 3rd grade. They currently attend a small catholic school in town.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,573 posts, read 2,723,109 times
Reputation: 3501
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddieb226 View Post
thanks for the reply. The apartment is just temporary for my husband only. We would be buying a house by the end of this year of after the school year is over. I'll commute when I can to look for houses with him. I've heard good things about haddonfield NJ. Thanks
Haddonfield is great, but you're going to be hard-pressed to find a 3br house for <$350k in it. It's the toniest of the South Jersey 'burbs, and unlike some of the Main Line suburbs, it doesn't have a "wrong side of the tracks" less-expensive district.

If you're looking in New Jersey, I'd still recommend Collingswood given your budgetary constraints.
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