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Old 08-18-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Shandon, CA
15 posts, read 37,878 times
Reputation: 17

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I am planning on attending Eastern University in the fall of 2010. I've got two years to plan (more or less) and to be honest, I really, REALLY don't know what I'm doing. I'm asking for some help and a little compassion!

I've always lived in small towns here in California (30K people or less) and although I'm willing to live in the city, my husband is absolutely NOT interested. We're looking for a rural, historic type atmosphere within commuting distance of Radnor for school and possibly Philly if that's where the work is. My husband is a GM certified automotive technician and his greatest concern of course is finding work.

We are okay with apartment living. We're not really sure how the cost of living there compares with where we live now (Paso Robles, CA) although, according to city-data, Radnor is statistically similar to Paso.

To be quite honest, we're looking for inexpensive because we don't know what our salaries are going to look like and because I'll be a student working only part time. I don't want to make any assumptions about big city suburbs (because the last time I lived anywhere near the big city was when I was like 6) but I am concerned about safety. What compromises am I going to have to make in order to find affordable housing?

If you guys have any helpful information I would so so appreciate it. Sometimes it's hard finding valuable information online that you don't have to pay for. Any resources you could suggest would be most helpful as well.

Also, if anyway has advice on how to approach a major relocation like this, I have open ears (or eyes... whatever ). I just want to know what the region is like so I have an idea of what to expect. Obviously, the weather is going to be radically different (it snows MAYBE once a year here... and it usually doesn't stick!) and I suppose east coasters are just different culturally from west coasters. I'm just lost!

Help!
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:04 PM
 
65 posts, read 181,578 times
Reputation: 25
I used to live in Los Angeles. Philly suburbs are great and have little crime, at least in the Main Line area (Radnor and west).
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
3,807 posts, read 5,638,180 times
Reputation: 4608
Cost or distance may be factors as Eastern is in the middle of a very expensive area. Conshohocken is close but may be fairly pricey as it has become popular with the post-college crowd. A big fire also just wiped out a couple of hundred apartment units so demand will get tighter. You can try some of the Main Line towns like Narberth or Ardmore but they can get pricey too - there are some cheaper apartments there but they're cheaper for a reason. Media might be a better option.

For commuting purposes, you might want to stay west of the Schuylkill River because crossing at Conshohocken to get to Eastern is a PITA, as is the daily drive on the Expressway (I76).
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
3,955 posts, read 8,495,096 times
Reputation: 1871
You wont have any trouble finding employment in the auto technician field.
If you are looking for a quiet non urban area relatively close to Eastern I would suggest

1. West Chester/West Goshen/Chadds Ford area
2.Exton/ Chester Springs/Malvern
3.King of Prussia/Gulph Mills

Last edited by rainrock; 08-19-2008 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:34 AM
 
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 4,347,983 times
Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by keriish View Post
I don't want to make any assumptions about big city suburbs (because the last time I lived anywhere near the big city was when I was like 6) but I am concerned about safety. What compromises am I going to have to make in order to find affordable housing?

Also, if anyway has advice on how to approach a major relocation like this, I have open ears (or eyes... whatever ). I just want to know what the region is like so I have an idea of what to expect. Obviously, the weather is going to be radically different (it snows MAYBE once a year here... and it usually doesn't stick!) and I suppose east coasters are just different culturally from west coasters. I'm just lost!

Help!
hehe. With the exception of old towns like Chester and Norristown the suburbs here are remarkably safe. Even Norristown has a reputation much worse than it deserves. There are also a few towns in Delaware County that border the city that have taken a turn for the worse.

And BTW - last winter it also snowed only once here. You shouldn't expect to find New England winters here. It gets cold here, sure, but we normally only get one snowfall, maybe two that sticks around for longer than a day or two.
If you wind up an hour north or west of the city you'll probably see more.

From what you've been describing and your age it really sounds like you should check out West Chester.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:34 PM
 
Location: West Mount Airy
160 posts, read 518,771 times
Reputation: 39
I would agree with rainrock with their recommendations. I would also through in Plymouth Meeting and Lafayette Hill as areas you may consider. In case you can't find what you're looking for in your budget, nearby Roxborough which is in philadelphia limits, it's much more suburban than many other areas of the city.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Shandon, CA
15 posts, read 37,878 times
Reputation: 17
wow! thanks so much. i was already checking out West Chester and some of the others you all mentioned. i really really appreciate it.

and thanks for the information about the Radnor area. I had compared the cost of living to where I live now, and even if it is a pricey area there, it's still about 15% less than here. I guess Californians pay for their nice weather...
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:39 PM
 
183 posts, read 425,872 times
Reputation: 51
Be sure to check out the tiny town of Bridgeport, which is south of Norristown. Nice little town, affordable housing, and only six miles from Eastern. I had never heard of Bridgeport, but friends of ours relocated to Philly and rented a house there, and loved it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
3,955 posts, read 8,495,096 times
Reputation: 1871
Quote:
Originally Posted by keriish View Post
and I suppose east coasters are just different culturally from west coasters. I'm just lost!

Help!
Maybe I'm wrong but once you get away from the (hustle +bustle) of the big urban cities themselves the lifestyle + cultural differences between the two coasts aren't nearly as a great. NYC,Philly,Bos and the immediate inner ring suburbs are without question a culture shock to most outsiders but the further suburbs are much more comfortable to newcomers.

There might be a bigger culture clash between the people of Chester Springs and Philadlephia then Chester Springs and say the suburbs of Los Angeles.
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:38 PM
 
266 posts, read 988,723 times
Reputation: 84
You could also consider Havertown for a cheaper alternative that is still near Radnor.
Good luck.
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