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Old 07-23-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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My husband and I are looking to relocate from Long Island to Chester County. He would be working in Wilmington, Delaware if we relocate. We have driven around the Tredyffrin, Downingtown and Exton areas. We fell in love with T/E schools and area - particularly Chesterbrook but we are afraid that it is a little out of our league - we don't want to be too much out of our element financially. After all, these will be our neighbors and my son's classmates and I don't want to play (and can't play) "keeping up with Joneses". Exton was nice but we were warned that it is a bit of a trip to the schools in West Chester from the townhome communities we were looking at. Downingtown looks affordable but is a little more spread out than we would like. Also, I don't want my son to end up in Coatesville Schools due to a rezoning of school districts which I am afraid of because of the growth and development of new homes in the Downingtown area. Our town now has a nice downtown with all kinds of community events, parades, fairs and we want something like that in our new area. Any advice????????
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Why not look at West Chester! Its closer to Delaware than Exton or T/E and the schools are great,theres a community feel,nice downtown area etc........
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Actually we are planning to look around West Chester. We are hoping to make the drive from LI this weekend and check out Malvern and West Chester. From what I am reading on these posts, cost of living will probably be what it is on LI but my housing dollars will probably buy more and the schools will be good for the most part.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:05 AM
 
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Default e. bradford township

We just bought a house in West Chester and without knowing everything there is to know, we spent a full week investigating schools, taxes, houses priced from $450K to $745K and there is plenty of inventory. We visited the town center, the schools my children will attend, and a few restaurants. Overall, it has a lot of appeal and charm. We've lived in New York, New Jersey and Texas, and the areas that we were in were exactly like West Chester, which is just perfect for us.

Good luck with your search. Oh, by the way, there is plenty of new construction going on in WC insofar as townhomes and carriage houses that are in really beautiful areas, so you shouldn't have any problems finding a property.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
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Believe it or night, there are parts of the Main Line that are affordable (try Berwyn and certain parts of Devon).

There absolutely is a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality in parts of the Main Line (Bryn Mawr, Villanova, Haverford, Wayne, Gladwyne), but these parts aren't that close to Wilmington, anyway (and not everyone is like that). The Downingtown/Exton is newer suburban sprawl, places like Berwyn and Devon are older.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,927 posts, read 14,138,994 times
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West Chester
West Goshen(#12 rated town in the usa by Money Magazine 2007)
Westtown
Thornbury

West Chester is more town oriented, the others are more suburban in nature.

You might want to also give Garnet Valley (Delaware County Pa.) a look. Great schools, fast growing and much closer to Wilmington.

Good luck
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Downingtown, PA
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Hi There! I was born and lived in Delaware County, grew up in Chester County and my mother has worked in Montgomery County for 25 years. I have many friends/family who live on the main line. I am a current resident of Chester County and I do not know that I will ever leave the location I live in now- Downingtown, PA. I LOVE this area!! I worked in Newark, DE for 2 years so I understand the commute to DE. I don't think you would like the drive from here. I did spend about a year in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - so beleive me, I understand you may have a little culture shock!

I am actually a Realtor and I work in all 3 counties. In my opinion, if you are not the "Keep up with the Joneses" type to begin with, you may not like the Main Line. As I said earlier, I have many friends, family, clients that live in the Main Line so I do see the mentality there. I sent a bunch of information to a client of mine relocating about a year ago, so I figured I would forward it on to you - hopefully you will find this helpful:

If you are focused on schools, the four School Districts that really stick out in my mind in the general vicinity would be Unionville Chadds Ford, Garnet Valley, Great Valley, and Treddyffrin-Easttown. (Radnor and Lower Merion are also the tops in the state - but NOT an easy commute to DE)

Each area has differences in price and, more importantly, offer very different surroundings. It depends on what type of area you want to live in.

Unionville -Chadds Ford

To explain further, Unionville -Chadds Ford is known for its historical roots (Brandywine Battlefield, etc.), rolling hills, wide open spaces, and farm-like atmospheres. Even though it offers a country setting, it is still within minutes of commerce - shopping malls, small towns and such.

If you look at a map: Chadds Ford School District’s location- North of Rt 1, East of Rt 841, and West of 202 (until you hit Rt 926). It’s Southern most location actually touches Delaware.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (Unionville Chadds Ford Schools Homepage)
Chadds Ford Facts (http://www.chaddsfordhistory.org/info/facts.htm - broken link) (history)
Chester County Pennsylvania Attractions And Recreations Website Directory. (area attractions)
Brandywine Valley Guide: Southern Chester County PA

Garnet Valley

Garnet Valley is more wooded and flat, but is most known for its location. This area has very easy access to many shopping malls and shopping centers; as well as easy access to Rt 1, Rt 202, Rt 322, I-476, I-95. You can basically get to anything you need within 20 mintues, as long as it is "OFF" hours. I lived there until I went away to college and the congestion is really increasing. This has actually been the fastest growing school district in PA for the past few years. However, this (and Chadds Ford) would be your easiest drive to DE.

If you look at a map: Garnet Valley School District is East of Rt 202, West of 261 and also extends down to Delaware. It is the western-most tip of Delaware County.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
gvsdindex (GV Schools Homepage)
Concord Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania - Resources (http://www.twp.bethel.pa.us/delco.htm - broken link)

Great Valley

Great Valley also has a lot of farm, but is known more for the larger lots. Many of the townships in this School District have 3-4 acre lot minimums. There are a lot of horse farms and there are even Hunt Clubs and some Riding trails that go on for miles. Great Valley is also known for its Corporate Centers. It is a farm area that is surrounded by commerce, but you would never know it when you are on the properties.

If you look at a map: Great Valley School District is North of Rt 3, South of Rt 133, West of Rt 252, and East of Rt 100.


Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Welcome To Great Valley School District (GV Schools Homepage)
http://www.chesco.org/geninfo/links.html (broken link) (County Info)
Welcome to Willistown Township PA (Radnor Hunt Club in this twp)

Tredyffrin-Easttown

Tredyffrin-Easttown is more on the Main Line. A lot more business and commerce, lots of traffic, but you can still live in tranquil environments. It is just more congested. You are much less likely to see homes on large acreage because the area was so highly sought after for so many years. It is just west of King of Prussia in the northeastern most point of Chester County.

If you look at a map: Tredyffrin-Easttown School District is South of I-76, North of Rt 3, West of Rt 663 and East of Rt 252.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Tredyffrin/Easttown School District (T-E Schools Homepage)
Main Line Life - News - Top Stories (Main Line information)

One last place that you can check out all the districts is: GreatSchools.net

Just one last thing you may want to keep in mind… the population in this area is moving in a westerly migration outward from the city of Philadelphia. Just as in New Jersey, it is moving eastward from Philadelphia. I know you are coming from the New York area and you are probably used to some congestion; but if this is an area you are planning on staying for a while, I just want to give you a head up! The closer you are to the city, the more congestion.

WEST CHESTER

Do you want your house to be in a “city like” atmosphere, more of a country, or somewhere in between? I actually think that one area that you might like, would be West Chester. This school district is also very good and their taxes still remain much lower that Garnet Valley and Unionville Chadds Ford.

West Chester School District is directly in the middle of Unionville, Garnet Valley and Great Valley. In many ways…it IS the center of everything – easy access to almost everywhere (obviously, you may get different opinions from people who grew up in different areas).

I actually went to Catholic High School in the borough of West Chester – it is a very quaint, adorable little town. There is a mixture of house from town homes to million dollar house within walking/riding distance from the center of town, but most of them are over 80 years old. There is also still some newer construction being built w/in 7-8 miles of the town. I don’t know if you have ever been there, but I would suggest driving around the area a bit to see what you think of it??

DOWNINGTOWN

Downingtown area is really starting to BOOM. ALso in the top 10 or so, in the state as far as Schools. They are thinking of so may things to make their living environment fun, exciting and in the future- in my opinion, BETTER than many of the other quaint little towns (such as West Chester, Kennett Square, and even the Main Line). They have a major advantage over many of the other areas because there was not much there before, so they were able to build everything from scratch to the standards of today.

Like I said. most was pre-written so if there is anything that doesn't make sense, that is why! I hope you find this information helpful and I hope it releives some of the stress of finding the right place to live. Feel free to contact me with any other questions! I will be happy to help!
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:05 PM
 
13,247 posts, read 33,303,463 times
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That ^ was an excellent post and I think summed up the school districts that I think the op should look at very well. We lived in both Garnet Valley and Downingtown School Districts and I think the above descriptions are accurate. I also think that you should concentrate on West Chester and South. The schools are no better and the traffic and time of commuting will be worse if you go north and east of that.
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:51 PM
 
104 posts, read 308,987 times
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Definitely look at the Unionville-Chadds Ford school district. Great student/teacher ratio - 16 kids in my son's 1st grade class! Unionville-Chadds Ford has been rated #1 in all of PA's 501 school districts for three years in a row.
If you are traveling to Wilmingtown every day, I would look at Garnet Valley or Chadds Ford. Easy commutes but 202 does get backed up. I probably would not live past the rt. 1 and 202 intersection. It could take you 4 light changes to get through the intersection (but there are alternate back roads). Taxes are higher in Garnet Valley but you can get a newer home. It's getting pretty crowded over now, hence they keep building new schools and the taxes keep rising. In Chadds Ford you will get more land and for the education the taxes are pretty low. If you stay between 202 and Rt. 52 your commute should be about 25 minutes depending on where in Wilmington. Be careful if you are looking in Chadds Ford near 52, some houses are Unionville - Chadds Ford district but others are Kennett. With your choices of West Chester, GV and U - Chadds, I would not choose Kennett.
Some established neighborhoods that you might like in Chadds Ford are The Ridings, Raven Crest, Radley Run, The Reserves. There's a new neighborhood going up right next to Pocopson Elementary school by Toll Brothers that have a lot of different price ranges. New house sales are down right now so you might be able to get a steal! Another new Toll Brothers neighborhood in the U-Chadds district is the Estates of Chadds Ford on Hillman off of 202.

If your son is into sports there are a lot of Youth clubs in these areas as well. My husband is from Long Island and he loves it here! I hope you find what you are looking for. Good Luck!
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:13 AM
 
5 posts, read 23,862 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimannbrooks View Post
Hi There! I was born and lived in Delaware County, grew up in Chester County and my mother has worked in Montgomery County for 25 years. I have many friends/family who live on the main line. I am a current resident of Chester County and I do not know that I will ever leave the location I live in now- Downingtown, PA. I LOVE this area!! I worked in Newark, DE for 2 years so I understand the commute to DE. I don't think you would like the drive from here. I did spend about a year in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - so beleive me, I understand you may have a little culture shock!

I am actually a Realtor and I work in all 3 counties. In my opinion, if you are not the "Keep up with the Joneses" type to begin with, you may not like the Main Line. As I said earlier, I have many friends, family, clients that live in the Main Line so I do see the mentality there. I sent a bunch of information to a client of mine relocating about a year ago, so I figured I would forward it on to you - hopefully you will find this helpful:

If you are focused on schools, the four School Districts that really stick out in my mind in the general vicinity would be Unionville Chadds Ford, Garnet Valley, Great Valley, and Treddyffrin-Easttown. (Radnor and Lower Merion are also the tops in the state - but NOT an easy commute to DE)

Each area has differences in price and, more importantly, offer very different surroundings. It depends on what type of area you want to live in.

Unionville -Chadds Ford

To explain further, Unionville -Chadds Ford is known for its historical roots (Brandywine Battlefield, etc.), rolling hills, wide open spaces, and farm-like atmospheres. Even though it offers a country setting, it is still within minutes of commerce - shopping malls, small towns and such.

If you look at a map: Chadds Ford School District’s location- North of Rt 1, East of Rt 841, and West of 202 (until you hit Rt 926). It’s Southern most location actually touches Delaware.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (Unionville Chadds Ford Schools Homepage)
Chadds Ford Facts (http://www.chaddsfordhistory.org/info/facts.htm - broken link) (history)
Chester County Pennsylvania Attractions And Recreations Website Directory. (area attractions)
Brandywine Valley Guide: Southern Chester County PA

Garnet Valley

Garnet Valley is more wooded and flat, but is most known for its location. This area has very easy access to many shopping malls and shopping centers; as well as easy access to Rt 1, Rt 202, Rt 322, I-476, I-95. You can basically get to anything you need within 20 mintues, as long as it is "OFF" hours. I lived there until I went away to college and the congestion is really increasing. This has actually been the fastest growing school district in PA for the past few years. However, this (and Chadds Ford) would be your easiest drive to DE.

If you look at a map: Garnet Valley School District is East of Rt 202, West of 261 and also extends down to Delaware. It is the western-most tip of Delaware County.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
gvsdindex (GV Schools Homepage)
Concord Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania - Resources (http://www.twp.bethel.pa.us/delco.htm - broken link)

Great Valley

Great Valley also has a lot of farm, but is known more for the larger lots. Many of the townships in this School District have 3-4 acre lot minimums. There are a lot of horse farms and there are even Hunt Clubs and some Riding trails that go on for miles. Great Valley is also known for its Corporate Centers. It is a farm area that is surrounded by commerce, but you would never know it when you are on the properties.

If you look at a map: Great Valley School District is North of Rt 3, South of Rt 133, West of Rt 252, and East of Rt 100.


Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Welcome To Great Valley School District (http://www.great-valley.k12.pa.us/schools/schools.html - broken link) (GV Schools Homepage)
http://www.chesco.org/geninfo/links.html (broken link) (County Info)
Welcome to Willistown Township PA (Radnor Hunt Club in this twp)

Tredyffrin-Easttown

Tredyffrin-Easttown is more on the Main Line. A lot more business and commerce, lots of traffic, but you can still live in tranquil environments. It is just more congested. You are much less likely to see homes on large acreage because the area was so highly sought after for so many years. It is just west of King of Prussia in the northeastern most point of Chester County.

If you look at a map: Tredyffrin-Easttown School District is South of I-76, North of Rt 3, West of Rt 663 and East of Rt 252.

Some good sites to go on to find out more about this area:
Tredyffrin/Easttown School District (T-E Schools Homepage)
Main Line Life - News - Top Stories (Main Line information)

One last place that you can check out all the districts is: GreatSchools.net

Just one last thing you may want to keep in mind… the population in this area is moving in a westerly migration outward from the city of Philadelphia. Just as in New Jersey, it is moving eastward from Philadelphia. I know you are coming from the New York area and you are probably used to some congestion; but if this is an area you are planning on staying for a while, I just want to give you a head up! The closer you are to the city, the more congestion.

WEST CHESTER

Do you want your house to be in a “city like” atmosphere, more of a country, or somewhere in between? I actually think that one area that you might like, would be West Chester. This school district is also very good and their taxes still remain much lower that Garnet Valley and Unionville Chadds Ford.

West Chester School District is directly in the middle of Unionville, Garnet Valley and Great Valley. In many ways…it IS the center of everything – easy access to almost everywhere (obviously, you may get different opinions from people who grew up in different areas).

I actually went to Catholic High School in the borough of West Chester – it is a very quaint, adorable little town. There is a mixture of house from town homes to million dollar house within walking/riding distance from the center of town, but most of them are over 80 years old. There is also still some newer construction being built w/in 7-8 miles of the town. I don’t know if you have ever been there, but I would suggest driving around the area a bit to see what you think of it??

DOWNINGTOWN

Downingtown area is really starting to BOOM. ALso in the top 10 or so, in the state as far as Schools. They are thinking of so may things to make their living environment fun, exciting and in the future- in my opinion, BETTER than many of the other quaint little towns (such as West Chester, Kennett Square, and even the Main Line). They have a major advantage over many of the other areas because there was not much there before, so they were able to build everything from scratch to the standards of today.

Like I said. most was pre-written so if there is anything that doesn't make sense, that is why! I hope you find this information helpful and I hope it releives some of the stress of finding the right place to live. Feel free to contact me with any other questions! I will be happy to help!
I have been away from my computer for a while so I am just getting to your email now. Thanks for all the great information. My husband and I are planning on taking a ride down to look at West Chester and Chadds Ford.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
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