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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:23 PM
 
16 posts, read 63,093 times
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Hello NJ'ers!

I'm a Marylander moving to work in Philly this summer. I'm going to be a medical resident working at UPenn Hospital so my wife and I have been thinking about living in PA suburbs vs NJ suburbs (She will be working in Moorestown).

After thinking about what would be affordable to us (looking for a single family home in the $280-$320k range), we decided South NJ would probably be better. PA suburbs (Havertown, Ardmore, Wynnewood, Narbeth) that we looked at have home prices that are very expensive and property taxes that were also very high (about as high as Camden county).

My main concerns are also commuting time. Off-peak, I would need to be within 20-25 minutes to Upenn to be able to respond in case of an emergency. So to keep prop taxes low, we've focused our search to the Cinnaminson, Delran area and/or the Gloucester county (Deptford, Mount Royal, Mickleton) area.

A couple of questions I had, if someone could help out:

1. Are there were any other areas of South NJ that we should be considering?

2. My biggest additional unfactored expense would be daily bridge tolls ($5) in any of the bridges to Philly. Is anyone aware of a Ezpass commuter plan?

3. Other financial pros/cons we should be considering in this debate of living in Philly suburbs in PA vs in NJ? Commuting time is actually not that different between NJ suburbs and PA suburbs that we're considering, but it looks like South NJ (avoiding the heavily priced Cherry Hill/Voorhees area) we can definitely afford a nice single-family home in the area we're looking at.

If anyone is working in Philly and living in NJ and is in a similar situation, I would welcome any comments -- any "I wish I knew this before moving" situations or "I'm so glad I'm living in NJ and not PA...".

Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
155 posts, read 353,059 times
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I know there used to be a commuter plan through EZ Pass, something like 18 trips in a month and you got something back, but I believe they did away with it. Not positive on that one.

Are condo's on the table for you?
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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20-25 minutes to Penn will be tough. In off peak hours, it takes me about 15 minutes to get from U City to Western Cherry Hill. 280-320k can also fetch you a decent piece of property in Cherry Hill/Voorhees, so I wouldn't necessarily write those areas off. Marlton/Mount Laurel will probably be to your liking as well.

If you want to be really close to the city, Collingswood/Haddon Heights/Haddon Township are also worthy contenders, especially if you'd rather not live in sprawl.

Since your wife is working in Moorestown, I definitely think you're better off sticking to the Jersey side of the river. Otherwise, I'd additionally recommend Havertown/Broomall/Springfield.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:29 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 41,720,790 times
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Quote:
Hello NJ'ers!

I'm a Marylander moving to work in Philly this summer. I'm going to be a medical resident working at UPenn Hospital so my wife and I have been thinking about living in PA suburbs vs NJ suburbs (She will be working in Moorestown).

After thinking about what would be affordable to us (looking for a single family home in the $280-$320k range), we decided South NJ would probably be better. PA suburbs (Havertown, Ardmore, Wynnewood, Narbeth) that we looked at have home prices that are very expensive and property taxes that were also very high (about as high as Camden county).

My main concerns are also commuting time. Off-peak, I would need to be within 20-25 minutes to Upenn to be able to respond in case of an emergency. So to keep prop taxes low, we've focused our search to the Cinnaminson, Delran area and/or the Gloucester county (Deptford, Mount Royal, Mickleton) area.
Since your wife will be in Moorestown, I would stick to the NJ side, as was already said. In terms of commuting, you will be travelling just as far time wise to UPenn from most of South Jersey, so I would bias the commute towards the wifes job in Moorestown.

Quote:
A couple of questions I had, if someone could help out:

1. Are there were any other areas of South NJ that we should be considering?
Cinnaminson is a nice area as is Mount Laurel and Marlton. I wouldn't necessarily write off all of Camden County, as there are plenty of housing options that would fit your budget in most of the towns. If you weren't going to UPenn, I would definitely suggest one of Camden County PATCO communities, but getting from the PATCO line in Center City to UPenn is a real pain with public transit.

Quote:
2. My biggest additional unfactored expense would be daily bridge tolls ($5) in any of the bridges to Philly. Is anyone aware of a Ezpass commuter plan?
I believe the DRPA has stopped all discounts for EZ Pass use, unless you are a senior citizen. However, not all bridges to Philly are $5. The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge which goes between the Cinnaminson area and NE Philly is only $2. If commuting offpeak, it wouldn't be a big deal to cross there instead of at Walt Whitman to get to UPenn.

Quote:
3. Other financial pros/cons we should be considering in this debate of living in Philly suburbs in PA vs in NJ? Commuting time is actually not that different between NJ suburbs and PA suburbs that we're considering, but it looks like South NJ (avoiding the heavily priced Cherry Hill/Voorhees area) we can definitely afford a nice single-family home in the area we're looking at.
You've already touched on most of the pros and cons. One of the hidden benefits is that you are able to write off what you pay in Philly City Wage Tax against your NJ income taxes, meaning a net lower tax liability versus living in PA when you work in the city.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:51 PM
 
16 posts, read 63,093 times
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Thanks for all the replies.

I wouldn't be taking public transport (it isn't a feasible option for me with needing to respond to the hospital for emergencies in the middle of the night). I've been told that 25 minute commute is the limit that I should be looking at off-peak.

I really liked the communities in Gloucester twp (Deptford, Mt Royal). Seems like our money goes a long way there. When I did a dry run to the hospital from one of the homes we were looking it only took me 25 minutes. The same was true with Delran, Cinnaminson (both communities that I liked a lot).

We have a 2 year old, and I'm horrible with house-repair type stuff (plus won't have the time) so I'm partial to moving to an area with newer construction. I didn't seem to catch any of those in Voorhees/Cherry Hill when I went looking online.

Our of curiosity, what would the rush hour commute be like from say Gloucester county suburbs (Mount Royal, Deptford) to UPenn? Someone told me that Cinnaminson to Philly may take upto about 45 minutes. Is the timing similar?

Again, thanks so much for the advice.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:56 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 41,720,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himzie View Post
Thanks for all the replies.

I wouldn't be taking public transport (it isn't a feasible option for me with needing to respond to the hospital for emergencies in the middle of the night). I've been told that 25 minute commute is the limit that I should be looking at off-peak.

I really liked the communities in Gloucester twp (Deptford, Mt Royal). Seems like our money goes a long way there. When I did a dry run to the hospital from one of the homes we were looking it only took me 25 minutes. The same was true with Delran, Cinnaminson (both communities that I liked a lot).

We have a 2 year old, and I'm horrible with house-repair type stuff (plus won't have the time) so I'm partial to moving to an area with newer construction. I didn't seem to catch any of those in Voorhees/Cherry Hill when I went looking online.

Our of curiosity, what would the rush hour commute be like from say Gloucester county suburbs (Mount Royal, Deptford) to UPenn? Someone told me that Cinnaminson to Philly may take upto about 45 minutes. Is the timing similar?

Again, thanks so much for the advice.
On peak, the commute times would be very similar to UPenn from the Gloucester County burbs. Additionally, your wife going to Moorestown would probably end up with about a 30-45 minute drive both ways. With a two year old and the wife working in Moorestown, I would bias that way to give her a short commute as I am assuming she will be the primary emergency contact for your child, important when you start in with public schools in the next few years. The added benefit of the cheaper toll is just icing on the cake.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:02 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
8,933 posts, read 12,000,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himzie View Post
Thanks for all the replies.

I wouldn't be taking public transport (it isn't a feasible option for me with needing to respond to the hospital for emergencies in the middle of the night). I've been told that 25 minute commute is the limit that I should be looking at off-peak.

I really liked the communities in Gloucester twp (Deptford, Mt Royal). Seems like our money goes a long way there. When I did a dry run to the hospital from one of the homes we were looking it only took me 25 minutes. The same was true with Delran, Cinnaminson (both communities that I liked a lot).

We have a 2 year old, and I'm horrible with house-repair type stuff (plus won't have the time) so I'm partial to moving to an area with newer construction. I didn't seem to catch any of those in Voorhees/Cherry Hill when I went looking online.

Our of curiosity, what would the rush hour commute be like from say Gloucester county suburbs (Mount Royal, Deptford) to UPenn? Someone told me that Cinnaminson to Philly may take upto about 45 minutes. Is the timing similar?

Again, thanks so much for the advice.
If you're looking for something brand new, you're right that your given price range probably won't cut it for a single family home, but a lot of those older homes for sale have revamped interiors, so don't be afraid to dig a little bit.

20-25 minutes off-peak gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of distance. FWIW my friend's father lived in Mt. Laurel during his residency at Penn.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 20,928,655 times
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we work in pa and live in Cinnaminson and LOVE it here. Delran/Cinna area is a super area to live. quiet, safe, clean. + your wife would be minutes to work in Moorestown and you can get to CC in about 20 mints tops. NJ gets uyou more home for the $ then pa too. Look to Burlington county rather then Canden county. Less homeowners less car insurance dues to furthur from Camden. + less traffic and more farmland
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:50 AM
 
203 posts, read 312,919 times
Reputation: 108
Here is an approximate boundary (white) of 25-Minute drives in NJ showing existing rail, and the proposed Glassboro-Camden Line:




Here is a link to it in Google-Maps:
UPenn-25min - Google Maps

Last edited by jasomm; 02-14-2012 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:27 AM
 
1,001 posts, read 3,484,239 times
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I drove from Cinnaminson to the Palestra at U Penn in about 15 minutes off peak because my son's CYO team was playing at halftime of a Upenn game. The commute from the North is easier IMO.
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