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Old 11-30-2007, 10:33 PM
1 posts, read 4,583 times
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I am thinking about taking a job in Reading, PA. I have friends in Chester county. They say that it is better to buy a house in Chester County and commute to Reading. Is social life and schools are that bad in Reading? Could i find a decent high school?
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:23 AM
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Both counties have plusses and minuses. In Berks you have Reading, which is pretty bad in many areas. In Chester you have Coatesville, equally bad but smaller. Chester has some great attractions and shopping, Exton, for example. Berks has Wyomissing. Chester has some very bad sprawl along east route 30. Berks isn't as bad, yet, but 422 is getting there.
Western, southwestern Chester is rural with not much happening, northern Berks is pretty much the same way. Aside from Reading, Berks schools are good to very good to great. Chester is probably the same.
You'll find low crime, high quality of life suburbs or rural areas 5 or 10 to 15 minutes away from Reading. I don't know if driving an extra 30 to 45 minutes for the same thing is a good idea, but it might be if other factors are considered.
Many people are relocating from the close Philly suburbs and New Jersey to Berks. Some commute to KOP or even Philly, others find jobs here. I'm sure many are doing the same thing in Lancaster and Chester.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:30 AM
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It's about 20-30 minutes along route 422 to get from downtown Reading to the Chester/Montgomery/Berks County line near Pottstown, at the route 100 junction.

There are better schools in the suburbs than Reading School District - Governor Mifflin, Exeter and Daniel Boone or Twin Valley school districts, to name a few in Berks County, could place you in close proximity to work in Reading and your friends in Chester County. They are near major roadways like the turnpike, 422 and 222.

I think it is more expensive to live in Chester Cty because you are inching closer to the Philly suburbs.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:52 AM
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I think you need to investigate schools and figure out your priorities. We lived in Chester County (Downingtown area) for four years and enjoyed it very much (we also lived in Delaware county for 6 years after that) but now that we live outside the sprawl zone, I've come to appreciate less traffic, less shopping opportunities and a slightly different way of life. There are nice smaller towns outside of Reading but still in Berks county. What kind of lifestyle fits you? You can compare the different schools on SchoolMatters - Home
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:44 PM
Location: NJ on the way to Chicago!
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Have you considered looking outside of the immediate city of Reading? We live in Exeter Twp. It is beautiful and completely safe. Also, a very quick shot into King of Prussia and Philly. Reading is undergoing change. It was actually just featured this week on The Today Show, as one of the top 5 places in the US to buy property. No Joke!! An old industrial town that is up and coming. The shoppes at Wyomissing just opened and are great. There is quite a lot to do here. If I were you I would save my commute time and buy locally. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:51 PM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
6,994 posts, read 10,075,682 times
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You should definitely consider cost-of-living, which is considerably different for both counties -- Berks being cheaper, as it is farther from Philly than ChesCo. School quality is not drastically different. Both counties contain top-notch school districts:

Berks: Wyomissing, Governor Mifflin, Muhlenburg, Boyertown, Daniel Boone and Wilson -- all close to Reading

Chester: West Chester, Owen J. Roberts, Downingtown, Spring-Ford and Great Valley -- areas in ChesCo that would grant relatively easy access to Reading.

As was mentioned, Coatesville in ChesCo and the actual city of Reading in Berks are areas you'd want to stay away from. The suburban areas around Reading are completely fine and quite nice. Routes 422/222/202 are all major commuter corridors you'll come across in the area, so perhaps keep in mind living near one of those for easier transportation. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:38 PM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,838 posts, read 18,701,011 times
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Personally, I like my commute to be as short as possible because it saves time, money, and the aggravation of sitting in traffic. When gas prices go up again the financial impact won't be as severe with a shorter commute. When the roads are slippery, with a shorter commute, there is less risk of getting involved in a costly, aggravating fender bender or even getting killed or injured in an accident. Living closer to work you are less at the mercy of events out of your control.

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:32 PM
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Berks County (where I live) has a very good balance of cost of living vs. development and congestion. Real estate prices are reasonable, traffic is almost non-existent, schools are good (not Reading schools) and the big cities are all accessible - Philly, NYC and Washington, DC.

Northern and western Berks is pretty sleepy. Southern Berks (Morgantown) is developing surprisingly fast, along the turnpike. The two hospitals in the county are in the middle of major expansion projects. A number of medium size manufacturing companies are doing very well in their respective markets.

All in all it's a good place to live and raise kids.
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:39 PM
4 posts, read 12,526 times
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i can not voch for everything but I know the crime and drug rates are raising quickly in Reading.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:13 PM
Location: Collegeville, PA
3 posts, read 11,534 times
Reputation: 11
Can anyone give me any school information and experience with Parkside, pa
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