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Old 01-05-2009, 01:48 PM
4 posts, read 15,453 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, my husband and I (and our two small children) are planning on moving back up north from NC to be closer to our families in NJ. I'm trying to keep it to about 2 hours or less from Bergen County. My husband likes having space and not a cookie cutter neighborhood (and of course, a low house price - like below $300). I, on the otherhand, like having neighbors and shopping near by. I want us to both be happy obviously, so I need some help please. I'll be traveling up to see family around mid-Jan and want to check out some areas.

I really like Doylestown and Collegeville (from what I've seen on the internet) but I think it will be too expensive for us to live there and I don't know about getting land/space like my husband wants. We also like West Chester and Downingtown.

Can you suggest anything else or what's our best alternative of those choices. We like woods and rolling hills and not 'big city' to live, but not too far away either.

I hope all of this makes sense. Since my husband is the bread-winner, I'll say that he's in IT and I don't think he'll have a problem finding a job commuting from any of these areas, but I don't know how the salaries compare to down here either, so that's why we're looking for lower cost housing (but we'll rent for awhile before we buy).
Thanks so much!!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:11 PM
Location: Katy, TX
1,288 posts, read 4,516,832 times
Reputation: 626
I recently moved from the Collegeville area, and I'm familiar with the West Chester area as well. I doubt you'll be able to find too much with land under 300K in those areas, but if you look just a bit further west you may luck out and you still wouldn't be far from shopping and such. Part of it also depends on how important schools are to you as compared to acreage. I'd advise looking in the Limerick/Royersford/Gilbertsville/Boyertown area. It's a bit more rural than Collegeville but you are still very close to plenty of shopping, like the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, the Limerick shopping center, and even the King of Prussia mall.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:14 PM
4 posts, read 15,453 times
Reputation: 10
I know it's a lot to ask. Schools are or will be important. Low crime is also very important to me. Obviously, if the income is more, than the housing margin could be more flexible. I don't want to be out in the sticks. I should clarify - by more 'land', I just mean my husband doesn't want to be looking into our neighbor's windows from ours. Just some more space but not acres and acres.

Thanks again to anyone to replies. I really appreciate it!
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:43 AM
4 posts, read 15,453 times
Reputation: 10
I just saw this, so hopefully this will help get responses...

When are you moving?
Within the year
Where are you coming from?
Raleigh, NC
Why are you moving?
To be closer to family
Where will you be working?
We wanted to find an area that we liked first and then look for jobs
Have you been here yet?
I'm coming for a visit in two weeks
Will you buy or rent?
Rent initially - buy eventually
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend?
House with more than .25 acres - less than $300k
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up?
Walk up

Are you married or single? Do you have children?
Married, 2 young children
Do you prefer public or private schools?
Public if they are well rated
Do you have pets?
Small dog
Do you want or need a yard?
Are you keeping a car?
Yes, two
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
Suburbs, but not far removed

What do you want to be closest to?
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)

This would be my pick. My husband might say work
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?
Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:24 AM
Location: Asheville, NC
12,005 posts, read 27,445,426 times
Reputation: 4749
Are you stuck on suburbs north or west of Philly? I was going to say West Chester too. Maybe King of Prussia or Norristown? What about more east? Do you like NC? Are you just moving b/c family? I lived in PA for 30 years, but now headed to Raleigh?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:31 PM
1,623 posts, read 5,940,001 times
Reputation: 449
How bout areas like Harleysville and Quakertown? Montgomery County tends to be less expensive/developed than Bucks or Chester County. Just start at Plymouth Meeting and work your way North and East from I-476 until you find what you can afford and like....
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:35 PM
Location: Katy, TX
1,288 posts, read 4,516,832 times
Reputation: 626
Yes, Harleysville is pretty rural and nice. Frankly I don't think it's wise to buy a house before you know what your commute will be like...especially in this economy where jobs are not as plentiful as they once were.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:57 PM
4 posts, read 15,453 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks so much. I'm going to check out all of these areas when I come up. We definitley won't buy a home until after living in the area for at least a year or two. We would just like to initially move to the same area that we will eventually buy a home. Thanks again!!

Raleigh is great. A lot of northerners move down here. The winters are usually very mild. Pretty much never snows. A lot of new homes for great prices (especially if you sold a home up north to come here). Summers can be unbareable (in my opinion) and a lot of people stay indoors quite a bit in the summer. central air is standard. We tried to get any and all of our families to move here, but no one is coming, so I think moving back up just makes sense for us.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:18 PM
23 posts, read 70,662 times
Reputation: 15
In your price range, I think that you should consider Glenside if you want to be near Philadelphia, although it is an older suburb and might not give you as large a lot as you might want. However, it is in a good school district, has plenty of shopping nearby, and is quite nice -- especially for the price. If you don't mind being in the outer suburbs, you should consider Quakertown and the Dublin area (which are about as close to Doylestown as you could likely afford), and Quakertown offers easy access to I-476 North and I-78 to get you to Bergen County in under 2 hours. And you could get even more for your money if you don't mind living/working in the suburbs of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area, such as Nazareth or Stroudsburg, PA or Phillipsburg, N.J.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:23 AM
271 posts, read 1,302,024 times
Reputation: 93
with your housing price, I'd consider Broomall or Havertown area. Your husband might have to travel abit once he settles on a job, but SAP America has headquarters near there in Newtown Square, PA.
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