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Old 10-17-2019, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
233 posts, read 140,983 times
Reputation: 597

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Hi Jane-

For what it’s worth: I’m a native of Pennsylvania, but I lived several years in the Bay Area (Marin County), and I spent a considerable amount of time traveling throughout northern California—including all of the territory your husband covers. So at least I know the area you’re coming from.

The suggestion of Media is probably a good one. I happily lived there up until a couple of months ago. Media certainly checks several of your boxes, including “community feel”, “mom and pop shops”, and “safe and welcoming”. The borough brands itself as “Everybody’s Hometown”, and since it’s walkable, you see the same people out and about walking dogs or pushing strollers; you say ‘hi’... It’s a friendly place. It’s not a conservative community, but I also wouldn’t categorize Media as being in-your-face about its progressiveness. It’s not Berkeley, in other words.

The one difficulty you might have is budget: I think you’d have a tough time renting a single-family home (let alone one with a garage) for under $2,000 a month. Detatched home rentals are few and far between in Media, and they’re generally upwards of $2,500 at the very least. Garages aren’t ubiquitous in the borough itself, and when you go to purchase, you might find the search for a detatched single family home with a garage and room for three dogs—all for under $600K—to be a bit challenging. If you broaden your search to the surrounding areas (Upper Providence and Middletown Townships, etc.), you’ll have more options—but you’ll be a bit farther removed from the community.

If that sense of being connected to a local community is important to you, I’d suggest you look at other walkable towns in the region. Even though you didn’t specifically mention walkability, I find that walkability and a sense of community frequently go hand-in-hand. Along those lines, you might consider Ambler, Glenside, Jenkintown... The Main Line towns (Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Wayne, Malvern, etc.) would also qualify but generally present even more of a budgetary challenge than Media. Less expensive but farther out options would include Phoenixville, Downingtown, and others (but would be a stretch for your 45-minute limit).

Most of the above locations have rail service to Philadelphia (Phoenixville unfortunately doesn’t)—and if your husband is working in Center City, a rail commute would be far superior to an automotive one. But I don’t know how literally you mean “Philly”, and if his job would be in a suburban office complex in Fort Washington, for instance, your 45-minute zone will look completely different.

Good luck in your search. Let me know if I can be of any additional help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
I don't think you have any inclination of what they are looking for. Unfortunately, this is not the first time you are giving an irrelevant or wrong response.
I’m not inside chessimprov’s head, but that’s not the way I read the post. I took it to mean “Despite the fact that Media has ‘nightlife’, it’s a local and more mature crowd, so don’t discount it.” If so, I’d say it’s a valid observation.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Your answer to the next-to-last question just screamed "Narberth!" to me.

This almost wedge-shaped borough surrounded entirely by Lower Merion Township on the Main Line has that 1950s small-town vibe down cold.

It's known for having the best, most family-friendly Fourth of July celebration in the 'burbs, and the organization that puts on the show, the Narberth July 4th Committee, sponsors events and activities in the community throughout the year.

Entering it, you do get the feeling that you passed through a time warp and landed in a simpler time. The residents are very friendly and community spirit runs high.

You should even be able to find a house within your budget within its boundaries - $650k is close to the middle of the market in this region, and Narberth isn't at the top of the market.

If by "conservative" you mean culturally, Narberth should be a good fit. If by that you mean "politically," the Main Line has turned purple, or even downright blue, over the last decade or so, and I might suggest someplace like Abington Township or a community in Chester County instead.

My one caveat: I'm not sure whether you will find a church that suits you there. All of Narberth's older churches seem to be undergoing conversion into residences.

But good luck in any case. This is one of the most pleasant parts of the country in which to live.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,534 posts, read 6,102,970 times
Reputation: 7534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanie Beanie View Post
Dear Wells - When she said her husband drives all over Northern California, I took that to mean he had a client base to service over a multi-county area. You're thinking he's driving truck so he has to have a truck terminal at Point A. I'm not sure who is right. I hope the OP comes back to clear things up.
She said he needs to drive a car for his work. I'm thinking he's in sales but in any case, he's not a truck driver.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:58 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,935,468 times
Reputation: 419
If your husband will be working in Center City, you’ll want to be relatively close to a train line. If your husband will be driving around the area a lot (ie. For a sales job) you’ll want to have good highway access (ie. 476, 76, 95, 276), depending on where he thinks he will be driving most often. Traffic in the Philadelphia area is pretty bad, so anything you can do to cut down on driving time will benefit quality of life. I would try to narrow in on a location based on commuting considerations.

You will find plenty of churches throughout the area. While relatively moderate on average (excluding the city itself), the social/political climate can vary considerably across the area, with some areas skewing into the “progressive liberal” category, particularly closer to the city. But I think you will generally find a good mix of people. The Christian community is definitely more Catholic (first) and mainline Protestant (second) than evangelical.

There are downtown areas throughout the suburbs, and chances are you will be close to one or more of them just about anywhere you go. Some of them are Media, Ardmore, Ambler, Doylestown, Newtown, Phoenixville, West Chester, Jenkintown, to name a few.

You may find that single family rental homes in the suburbs are in short supply here, and $2k may be a tight budget (though $600k for a purchase will give you plenty of options). A $600k home would more likely rent in the $3k - $4k range, if you were able to find one.

Last edited by Angus215; 10-18-2019 at 04:34 AM..
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:37 PM
 
35 posts, read 30,259 times
Reputation: 37
Your response sounded pretty Narberthian to me as well. Narberth has three active churches, all very walkable. St Margaret’s is the catholic parish and then we have Narberth Presbyterian and Holy Trinity Lutheran. You’ll see folks walking to church/mass Sunday mornings as well as other days of the week.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:40 AM
 
514 posts, read 228,730 times
Reputation: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by briantroutman View Post
The suggestion of Media is probably a good one. I happily lived there up until a couple of months ago. Media certainly checks several of your boxes, including “community feel”, “mom and pop shops”, and “safe and welcoming”. The borough brands itself as “Everybody’s Hometown”, and since it’s walkable, you see the same people out and about walking dogs or pushing strollers; you say ‘hi’... It’s a friendly place. It’s not a conservative community, but I also wouldn’t categorize Media as being in-your-face about its progressiveness. It’s not Berkeley, in other words.
In the Philly suburbs, there is nowhere really that is "in your face" progressive. Maybe some neighborhoods in the city, but the suburbs are all pretty much politically moderate or mixed at this point. The super progressive areas are in the city and the super conservative areas are out past the four major suburban counties (i.e. Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester) in places like Lancaster County or Luzerne County.

Quote:
Originally Posted by briantroutman View Post
Most of the above locations have rail service to Philadelphia (Phoenixville unfortunately doesn’t)—and if your husband is working in Center City, a rail commute would be far superior to an automotive one. But I don’t know how literally you mean “Philly”, and if his job would be in a suburban office complex in Fort Washington, for instance, your 45-minute zone will look completely different.
This is a really important consideration because Philly area traffic can be a nightmare at times. If Center City is your husband's work destination, then Newtown (my hometown) is outside your 45 minute circumference (it's a little over an hour during rush hour times), but if it's Fort Washington, it's well within. If it's somewhere like Malvern, then it's even further than Center City.

As far as places go, the small towns mentioned are good suggestions - Media, Malvern, Jenkintown, Bryn Mawr, etc. Newtown definitely checks all of your boxes except possibly the commute time. Any of these towns will have strong church communities if you look for them. I don't know what denomination you belong to, but another suggestion might be Bryn Athyn. Bryn Athyn is home to a historic church:

https://brynathynchurch.org/about/

I'm not particularly religious myself, but the cathedral is a historic landmark with architectural significance, and I have actually taken a tour of the cathedral and it is stunning. The church is the center of the community there.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtownBucks View Post
In the Philly suburbs, there is nowhere really that is "in your face" progressive. Maybe some neighborhoods in the city, but the suburbs are all pretty much politically moderate or mixed at this point. The super progressive areas are in the city and the super conservative areas are out past the four major suburban counties (i.e. Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester) in places like Lancaster County or Luzerne County.


This is a really important consideration because Philly area traffic can be a nightmare at times. If Center City is your husband's work destination, then Newtown (my hometown) is outside your 45 minute circumference (it's a little over an hour during rush hour times), but if it's Fort Washington, it's well within. If it's somewhere like Malvern, then it's even further than Center City.

As far as places go, the small towns mentioned are good suggestions - Media, Malvern, Jenkintown, Bryn Mawr, etc. Newtown definitely checks all of your boxes except possibly the commute time. Any of these towns will have strong church communities if you look for them. I don't know what denomination you belong to, but another suggestion might be Bryn Athyn. Bryn Athyn is home to a historic church:

https://brynathynchurch.org/about/

I'm not particularly religious myself, but the cathedral is a historic landmark with architectural significance, and I have actually taken a tour of the cathedral and it is stunning. The church is the center of the community there.
But Bryn Athyn's cathedral is the home of a splinter Christian sect, the Swedenborgians, whose theology I suspect the OP would find somewhat problematic. (Edited to add: Let me revise that. Much of the philosophy of the New Church seems to me compatible with conservative / evangelical Christianity save maybe that part about good people of every religion going to Heaven. Oh, and: evangelicals actively proselytize. I don't think Swedenborgians do, as the New Church philosophy is influenced by Enlightenment thinking that holds that we are free to choose our own paths and able to follow the right one if we want. The OPs did not mention whether they were evangelical Christians or not.)

Again, I think the rest of you are dancing around their sweet spot, which is Narberth.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 10-19-2019 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:38 AM
 
514 posts, read 228,730 times
Reputation: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
But Bryn Athyn's cathedral is the home of a splinter Christian sect, the Swedenborgians, whose theology I suspect the OP would find somewhat problematic. (Edited to add: Let me revise that. Much of the philosophy of the New Church seems to me compatible with conservative / evangelical Christianity save maybe that part about good people of every religion going to Heaven. Oh, and: evangelicals actively proselytize. I don't think Swedenborgians do, as the New Church philosophy is influenced by Enlightenment thinking that holds that we are free to choose our own paths and able to follow the right one if we want. The OPs did not mention whether they were evangelical Christians or not.)

Again, I think the rest of you are dancing around their sweet spot, which is Narberth.
Narberth is a good suggestion, too.
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:24 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
22,616 posts, read 27,948,763 times
Reputation: 9302
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
But Bryn Athyn's cathedral is the home of a splinter Christian sect, the Swedenborgians, whose theology I suspect the OP would find somewhat problematic. (Edited to add: Let me revise that. Much of the philosophy of the New Church seems to me compatible with conservative / evangelical Christianity save maybe that part about good people of every religion going to Heaven. Oh, and: evangelicals actively proselytize. I don't think Swedenborgians do, as the New Church philosophy is influenced by Enlightenment thinking that holds that we are free to choose our own paths and able to follow the right one if we want. The OPs did not mention whether they were evangelical Christians or not.)

Again, I think the rest of you are dancing around their sweet spot, which is Narberth.
When I see white conservative Christians, that sounds like Evangelical Christians, to me. They are in abundance in South Jersey, because of the late Reverend Carl McIntyre. If they have a problem finding a church in the suburbs, if they find a church in South Jersey they should be able to get a referral to a church in Pennsylvania or northern Delaware.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:09 PM
 
3,786 posts, read 3,265,968 times
Reputation: 3701
The OP hasn't replied. I suspect that she's reconsidering.
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