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Old 08-31-2008, 09:27 PM
511 posts, read 1,657,981 times
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Hi there,

We just moved to PA a few months ago from California, and are currently renting a place in Chadds Ford. I work in Wilmington, and my husband just got a job in Warminster. When we got the rental we were thinking that we will end up buying a place in Chadds Ford, as we have two kids and the school district is excellent here. However, now the commute is too much for my husband, and someone suggested Media as a good town for us. I don't know much about Media, so any advice helps. What can you tell me about the two towns and how do they compare to each other? I would like to help my husband with his commute, but I am not sure about Media... I would like to end up in a very nice area, safe, great schools, and a population composed of mostly professionals. I also don't want to have snobs for neighbors, or people that judge you by how much money you make. I am hoping for a friendly, family athmosphere, good values, respect, etc. Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:38 AM
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,927 posts, read 13,961,725 times
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The Media area is very nice.Its similar to West Chester if you have gotten the chance to visit WC. Media area is quite a bit older than Chadds Ford which isnt necessarily a bad thing imo since the Media area is very well kept, lots of character/great older housing stock. It would take 15-20 minutes off of the warminster commute but add 15 to 20 minutes to the Wilmington commute vs. Chadds Ford.

There are 2 very well regarded school districts in the Media area.

Rose Tree Media school district is very good.Towns include
Upper Providence
Middletown Township

Wallingford Swarthmore school district
Nether Providence Township(Wallingford)

The Media area surrounding Springton Lake and Ridley Creek State Park is phenomenal(Upper Providence/Gradyville/Newtown Square/Westtown). Its pricey but definitely worth a look if you are leaning in that general direction. The town of Media for the most part is as clean of a town as you will see.

Nether Providence last year was named the 9th best town usa to live in by cnn/money magazine. You could say its an older mature version of Chadds Ford in regards to it being mostly a commutable single family home community. On the otherhand Media is a walkable mainstreet usa type town.
Best Places to Live: Top 100 - Nether Providence (Wallingford), Pa. (9) - Money Magazine

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:57 AM
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I agree with Rainrock. If you look in the Philadelphia forum you'll find another thread comparing Media and West Chester. I think those two towns are very similar. And if you are from California, then you would very much appreciate the Trader Joe's right on Main Street in Media.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:53 PM
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Thank you both very much. Two questions:

1. Is there a status difference between Chadds Ford and Media (in other words, is one regarded as a better, higher status town than the other?). One of the reasons I am asking this question is to understand realestate value and appreciation over time, and the perception people have about the two towns.

2. When I looked on Google at what my commute would be from Media to Wilmington (Experimental Station), I got 30 min. Of course, I don't have an address I can use for Media yet, so it was probably from the center of town. Would you agree with that estimation?

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Old 09-01-2008, 08:48 PM
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,927 posts, read 13,961,725 times
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Chadds Ford is more highly regarded/affluent compared to the actual town of Media. Chadds Ford has a better school district although Rose Tree Media is no slouch. Newer housing,newer amenities, slightly better landscape and its closer to the professional hub of Wilmington where alot of people like yourself work.Chadds Ford is one of the more highly regarded areas of this region.

You can't really compare the town of Media to Chadds Ford. Chadds Ford is a newer sprawling suburban community mostly made up of a slew of mcmansion developments with a few historic big estates thrown in for good measure.Media is a diverse older planned town with a street grid, row homes, main street,trolley,malt shops, county court house etc.. Now the surrounding towns around Media are a different story and very similar to Chadds Ford. The demographics, W-2 form data, and feel of Upper Providence,Glen Mills,Westtown,Edgmont,Willistown,Newtown,Rose Valley will be very similar to that of Chadds Ford.

If you get a chance ride around and check out the area just to the north of Media around Ridley Creek State park,Springton Lake,and just on the N side of Route 3. Willistown,Whitehorse,Sugartown,St Davids,Paoli.

Good luck
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:01 PM
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Thank you, Rainrock. I will take your advice and drive around. However, a bit of "insider" information goes a long way...

I am willing to balance the commute with my husband, but it doesn't sound like Media is what I am looking for. I would like a more affluent area. Don't get me wrong, I am not a snob and don't care for snobs, but I am looking for a certain environment. Also, given the industry that I am in, I would like to position myself strategically, just in case I will ever be in the position to look for a job north of Philly (Collegeville, King of Prussia, etc., where the rest of the big phrama are), keeping a potential commute for under an hour. However, I don't plan to leave my current job any time soon, so I need to be close enough to my current employer as well. It's complicated... Any suggestions you may have of the cities that you mentioned would help. Public schools are important as well.

And by the way, everyone speaks very highly of Chadds Ford, but so far I don't know why... Is there a center/downtown? All I know is 202 and route 1. Granted, the scenary is beautiful, but other than that it doesn't really feel like a community... It may be that I haven't been here long enough. Also, is West Chester rated at the same level with Media, or the comparison is simply based on the age and feel of the town? Sorry, I am asking a lot of questions, but I don't know where else I can get such great information...

Many thanks,

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Old 09-04-2008, 12:30 PM
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Chadds Ford is not a real town in any sense. It was wealthy horse farm country for many, many decades before it began to be developed. Hence, there was no town center. People who lived there had "estates" or country homes & it was much less populated than it is today - that is it's community history. People who lived there 30+ yrs ago weren't concerned with commuting to their jobs.

If you want more affluence than Media, try Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Wayne, etc. on the Main Line. You could also look at Edgemont in Delaware co. These would all be IMO wealthy areas than West Chester & Media.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:40 PM
Location: Villanova Pa.
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Most of the wealth in Media,West Chester areas live in the surrounding towns and patronize Media and West Chester.The surrounding towns are affluent.

In Media its Rose Valley,Upper Providence,Nether provdence,Middletown,Edgmont,St Davids,Newtown Square,Marple.

In West Chester its Chadds Ford,Birmingham Township,Thornbury,Westtown,Willistown,Glen Mills,Pocopson,East Goshen.

All of the above towns are similar to Chadds Ford though in that they are new single family homes in upscale developments.As 6th said Chadds Ford is pretty much a bedroom community for the professional workforce of Wilmington, West Chester, western burbs.Its definitely not a town.

Wayne which is in Radnor Township is probably the best combination of a community feel and newer upscale.The leafy Main Line towns Villanova,Bryn Mawr,Radnor,Rosemont,Merion,Wynnefield Heights,Gladwyne,Haverford,Penn Valley are very upscale but old money. Much different feel than Chadds Ford in just about every way.The Main Line is more authentic east coast, ivy league like.Its Philadephias version of Greenwich CT.

Chadds Ford,Garnet Valley,Chester Springs,Exton,Great Valley, the newer suburbs imo mirror Raleigh,No.Va. or Atlanta moreso then they do old school East Coast.

Then there is Chestnut Hill which is arguably the best community in the entire area but that would swap your commutes. Warminster would be a piece of cake but Wilmington would be a daily challenge.

All the towns listed above are just as affluent as Chadds Ford and would even out the commutes a bit , its just a matter of personal preference, which type of area you are most comfortable in.

There is a school thread around here and the top 5 school districts in the entire region are all located between Chadds Ford + Villanova.

1.Tredyffrin-Easttown which is Berwyn,easttown,Tredyffrin,St DavidsPaoli.
2.Lower merion- Main Line towns
3.Radnor-Wayne Radnor Ithan
4.Unionville Chadds Ford
5.Wallingford-Swarthmore- Just to the south of Media
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:16 PM
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Thank you all!
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:10 AM
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Media may not be totally upscale but it is very "It's a Wonderful Life". Pure Americana which you may appreciate if Chadds Ford left you feeling a bit cold.
The people are friendly, help their neighbors and you can actually walk to the downtown and go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Wanda Sykes recently moved up the street from my aunt so it can't be too downscale, right?

Wayne is very upscale, some would say snobby. West Chester may fit your needs from an affluence perspective but the commute to Warminster will probably be tougher.

You should definitely check out Media, Wallingford and Swarthmore as they are all in close proximity and are pretty darn affluent in their own right. And their public schools are a good bit better than West Chester.

For a good big pharma locale, you should check out Berwyn, Paoli, Wayne, Devon, Malvern, basically the western Main Line as it offers good proximity to most places, as well as the airport.

And the Red Bridge Farms community in Chadds Ford is very friendly - I think you will find the neighborliness once you settle into a development there...
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