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Old 07-18-2008, 10:57 AM
 
11 posts, read 64,709 times
Reputation: 12

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My family is considering a move to Philadelphia for a job at UPenn.

Looking for a great public school system, easily accessible to shopping - Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Costco would be ideal.

We have 3 children and lots of family visiting and would like a 5 bedroom house.

Any thoughts on the communities that are in Philadelphia? A huge consideration for us is commuting time. 10 minutes would be dreamy, but I'm guessing we'll probably have to be 20-40 minutes out. Suggestions greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:39 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,327,361 times
Reputation: 394
Media has a Trader Joe's and very good schools. Wallingford and Swarthmore are even closer to the city and close to Media with even better schools and a liberal collegiate neighborly atmosphere.

Lower Merion is a very wealthy area with great schools and proximity to shopping in Ardmore and Bala Cynwyd. These areas and Wynnewood as well should be on your list.

Havertown is right next to Bryn Mawr and has good schools and a family friendly more middle class atmosphere, you have to drive for the shopping.

Wayne is an affluent area with a walkable downtown but its more upscale than utilitarian. Its also a pretty far train ride.

King of Prussia has a Costco but you probably don't want to commute from there.

Parts of Malvern and Devon and Wayne, all of Berwyn and Paoli encompass the Tredyffrin Easttown school district which is the 2nd best in the state. This is also an affluent area but has a mix of middle class families as well. Add in the green space and great schools and this is my choice in the area. But your commute will sufffer unless you live in Wayne as close to the trains as possible - in some areas the tracks run right behind or across the street from the houses!

If money is more of an object, you should check out Springfield, Delaware County. Schools are good, its close to the city and housing will be much more reasonable than any of the other areas I've mentioned. There is a Bj's Wholesale Club in Springfield which is also accessible to Wallingford, Swarthmore, and Media.

Some may recommend Radnor school district, Villanova and Radnor, but I would not. Its the nouveau riche area and the kids in the schools are so spoiled that not only will even upper middle class kids have trouble fitting in, the values and attitudes are not something I would want to subject my children to. There have been reports of corruption and grade fixing in the high school and things like skipping are not reported to parents because the parents don't care.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:50 PM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 4,710,029 times
Reputation: 1492
Philly is such a big sprawling place there isn't one or two or three suburbs that are really special or better than the others. There are probably a thousand different choices north , west and south of the city as well as east in New Jersey. Only a handful of the towns aren't good or have bad schools.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:16 AM
 
1,899 posts, read 4,886,320 times
Reputation: 508
You might want to look South Jersey. You have a Costco (Mt. Laurel), Trader Joes (Moorestown), a Whole Foods (Marlton) plus two Wegman's (Mt. Laurel and Cherry Hill) All of these communities are very close to one another with excellent schools. You could also consider Haddonfield. To get to Penn you would just take the NJ High Speed Line to 8th and Market in Philly and then transfer to the Frankford El.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:58 AM
 
11 posts, read 64,709 times
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I dont' think that we want to live in New Jersey. Really leaning towards Philly. We will basically have 1.5 days to look at towns and evaluate where we want to live and so I'm trying to do as much research from home as possible.

Thank you all for the info you've given to date. I think we want to live on the Main Line - but in a community that (sorry for the repetition!) offers good schools, playgrounds, community parks, a town center (we live in a town now that has no commerce - makes it hard to do anything with the kids!), diversity, and is close to UPenn.

Seems like Wynnewood might be a good fit, though from what i can tell on realtor.com there isn't that much on the market right now. Why is that?
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
3,971 posts, read 8,577,166 times
Reputation: 1889
Depending on what type of community you are looking for.There is a pretty dramatic shift in lifestyle right along the main suburban highways outside of Philadlephia. S+ E of 276 + 476 is much more diverse and tends to have older neighborhoods with lots of character(some very affluent-e.g. Mainline towns-Swarthmore-Chestnut Hill) N+W of the highways is where the newer growth is happening, more typical american suburbia. Big mcmansions, life style centers,new schools every 5-10 miles.The only signs of lower socio economic conditions are in very isolated older industrial towns and they are few and far between.

The good news is there are outstanding school districts in both settings.

Older suburbs

Mainline towns
Bala Cynwd
Belmont Hills
Penn Valley
Merion
Wynnewood
Narberth
Ardmore
Bryn Mawr
Haverford
Rosemont
Villanova
Gladwyne
Radnor
St Davids
Wayne
Berwyn
Paoli

Older non-mainline towns commute about 30 minutes or less
Media
Swarthmore
Nether Providence
Upper Providence(Delaware County)
Ridley Park
Havertown
Springfield
Drexel Hill-Amazing housing stock caught in a so-so declining school district
Marple
Newtown Square

Newer communities closer to an 1 hr commute to the city
Garnet Valley
Thornbury
Westtown
West Chester
West Goshen
Great Valley
Chester Springs
Exton
Tredyffrin
King of Prussia
Plymouth Meeting
Valley Forge


Good luck

Last edited by rainrock; 07-19-2008 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:31 PM
 
15 posts, read 42,742 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by orrmobl View Post
Media has a Trader Joe's and very good schools. Wallingford and Swarthmore are even closer to the city and close to Media with even better schools and a liberal collegiate neighborly atmosphere.

Lower Merion is a very wealthy area with great schools and proximity to shopping in Ardmore and Bala Cynwyd. These areas and Wynnewood as well should be on your list.

Havertown is right next to Bryn Mawr and has good schools and a family friendly more middle class atmosphere, you have to drive for the shopping.

Wayne is an affluent area with a walkable downtown but its more upscale than utilitarian. Its also a pretty far train ride.

King of Prussia has a Costco but you probably don't want to commute from there.

Parts of Malvern and Devon and Wayne, all of Berwyn and Paoli encompass the Tredyffrin Easttown school district which is the 2nd best in the state. This is also an affluent area but has a mix of middle class families as well. Add in the green space and great schools and this is my choice in the area. But your commute will sufffer unless you live in Wayne as close to the trains as possible - in some areas the tracks run right behind or across the street from the houses!

If money is more of an object, you should check out Springfield, Delaware County. Schools are good, its close to the city and housing will be much more reasonable than any of the other areas I've mentioned. There is a Bj's Wholesale Club in Springfield which is also accessible to Wallingford, Swarthmore, and Media.

Some may recommend Radnor school district, Villanova and Radnor, but I would not. Its the nouveau riche area and the kids in the schools are so spoiled that not only will even upper middle class kids have trouble fitting in, the values and attitudes are not something I would want to subject my children to. There have been reports of corruption and grade fixing in the high school and things like skipping are not reported to parents because the parents don't care.

I realize this is your opinion but your assessment regarding Radnor/Wayne is WAY off. Living here for 15 years, I can say this area is perfect for living and commuting into Philadelphia. Sorry to burst your bubble but 4 households on my street work either at Penn or the hospital. They take the train and the ride is approx. 35 minutes. Boy that sounds sooo far.My children both attend Radnor and if I heard they skipped school and no one told me, I think I'd be upset. And no we are not nouveau riche, I'd love to hear where you're from so I could make a sweeping generalization about your town. You seem bitter, someone lives here who got under your skin? Keep your "help" to the facts not to your misconceived ideas.

P.S. The town of Wayne is in Radnor. The closest Tredyffrin Easttown school district train stop is Strattford, not in Wayne or Delaware County for that matter. Horrors! A train goes by my house! Please!
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:36 PM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 4,710,029 times
Reputation: 1492
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Mainline towns
Bala Cynwd
Belmont Hills
Penn Valley
Merion
Wynnewood
Narberth
Ardmore
Bryn Mawr
Haverford
Rosemont
Villanova
Gladwyne
Radnor
St Davids
Wayne
Berwyn
Paoli

Older non-mainline towns commute about 30 minutes or less
Media
Swarthmore
Nether Providence
Upper Providence(Delaware County)
Ridley Park
Havertown
Springfield
Drexel Hill-Amazing housing stock caught in a so-so declining school district
Marple
Newtown Square

Newer communities closer to an 1 hr commute to the city
Garnet Valley
Thornbury
Westtown
West Chester
West Goshen
Great Valley
Chester Springs
Exton
Tredyffrin
King of Prussia
Plymouth Meeting
Valley Forge


Good luck
That's what I'm talking about.... and that is only to the west. There are more lists of places like this, really great suburbs to the north along Rt 611 and to the northeast into Bucks County. There aren't as many to the south until you get into Delaware and you have already scratched all the great towns in New jersey.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:16 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,327,361 times
Reputation: 394
[quote=waynerocks;4523013]I realize this is your opinion but your assessment regarding Radnor/Wayne is WAY off. Living here for 15 years, I can say this area is perfect for living and commuting into Philadelphia. Sorry to burst your bubble but 4 households on my street work either at Penn or the hospital. They take the train and the ride is approx. 35 minutes. Boy that sounds sooo far.My children both attend Radnor and if I heard they skipped school and no one told me, I think I'd be upset. And no we are not nouveau riche, I'd love to hear where you're from so I could make a sweeping generalization about your town. You seem bitter, someone lives here who got under your skin? Keep your "help" to the facts not to your misconceived ideas.
[quote]


Hmm with a name like Waynerocks, I'm surprised that you don't see the warts your town has. My information comes from a friend whose nieces were pulled from Radnor High because of the unreported skipping. His brother was indeed furious that the school let it go on for quite a while before finally calling him. And he was told that parents don't want to know so the school doesn't call right away.

The grade fixing and corruption stuff comes straight from a local main line newspaper, can't remember the name, but I pulled it up online, and the article itself mentioned the declining mores at Radnor High. And the parking lot full of BMW's can't really be ignored now, can it? How bout the Stepford people I encountered at the consignment store in Wayne? And the snobby moms at my baby's gym class with their "W" stickers plastered on their bohemoth vehicles carrying just them and an infant? I guess I'm just making them up as well, right?

I don't really care who lives near you and what you think of the town you love so much. I like to think of myself as a fairly reasonable person. And I'm entitled to my opinion based upon facts and my value system. Both of these point to the Radnor School District as one that I wouldn't want my kids attending, and tell others the same. I'd rather have the homers like you mad at me than have people move to an area and feel like they've landed on Mars, which is how I've often felt interacting with people from those environs.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: USA
1,582 posts, read 3,060,356 times
Reputation: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by orrmobl View Post
[And the parking lot full of BMW's can't really be ignored now, can it? How bout the Stepford people I encountered at the consignment store in Wayne? And the snobby moms at my baby's gym class with their "W" stickers plastered on their bohemoth vehicles carrying just them and an infant? I guess I'm just making them up as well, right?

Hmmm, you just sound like a bitter liberal to me. Throw in a little class envy a bit? Nothing wrong with a person having a BMW if they want one. You going to tell me what to drive next? Those suburbs are as nice as any in the Philly area and are convenient for commuting.
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