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Old 07-28-2013, 07:53 PM
 
28 posts, read 67,708 times
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I've posted on this forum before about debating whether to live in Havertown (where I grew up) or Ridley Township (where my wife grew up). After talking to family and friends and doing a thorough (and I do mean thorough) search of Delco for our future home I have a question.

We decided to look in Drexel Hill. We've heard that Upper Darby Township taxes are ridiculously high and that Upper Darby High School is quickly declining. However, we fell in love with two neighborhoods in Drexel Hill: Aronimink and Drexel Park.

After having lurked this forum (and pretty much any forum regarding real estate and QOL in Delco that I could find) I need to know why these two sections of Drexel Hill are (seemingly) overlooked? After speaking with a few people, I've come to find out that these two sections are homes to plenty of college-educated people in very "high up" professions (such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, even government officials). The average home prices start around $250k and go up to $400k and the median income in these two areas are $100k and $120k respectively. In my humble opinion, this makes these 2 areas a huge standout. Considering the beauty and size of the homes in the area it makes me wonder why people don't put it on par with places like the Main Line, Swarthmore, Media, Wallingford, etc. I feel as if it surpasses areas such as Media, Wallingford, Rutledge, and Springfield.

Is there something we're missing or is it the high taxes and the "crappy" school district that drives people away?
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:29 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gophils09 View Post
I've posted on this forum before about debating whether to live in Havertown (where I grew up) or Ridley Township (where my wife grew up). After talking to family and friends and doing a thorough (and I do mean thorough) search of Delco for our future home I have a question.

We decided to look in Drexel Hill. We've heard that Upper Darby Township taxes are ridiculously high and that Upper Darby High School is quickly declining. However, we fell in love with two neighborhoods in Drexel Hill: Aronimink and Drexel Park.

After having lurked this forum (and pretty much any forum regarding real estate and QOL in Delco that I could find) I need to know why these two sections of Drexel Hill are (seemingly) overlooked? After speaking with a few people, I've come to find out that these two sections are homes to plenty of college-educated people in very "high up" professions (such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, even government officials). The average home prices start around $250k and go up to $400k and the median income in these two areas are $100k and $120k respectively. In my humble opinion, this makes these 2 areas a huge standout. Considering the beauty and size of the homes in the area it makes me wonder why people don't put it on par with places like the Main Line, Swarthmore, Media, Wallingford, etc. I feel as if it surpasses areas such as Media, Wallingford, Rutledge, and Springfield.

Is there something we're missing or is it the high taxes and the "crappy" school district that drives people away?
You hit the nail on the head. Whether that's sufficient to drive you away is up to you (though I personally feel that Drexel Hill, while definitely underrated, doesn't aesthetically surpass Media or Wallingford... Springfield, maybe [Rutledge I have no experience with]). Keep in mind that a lot of those high-income professionals are sending their kids to private (particularly parochial) school.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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I only included Wallingford on that list because I felt that a lot of the homes in Drexel Hill were as nice as if not nicer than the homes in Wallingford (although that is obviously subjective based on personal preference), the taxes are astronomically high in both Wallingford and Drexel Hill, but Wallingford's close proximity to Chester and the "seedy" section of Wallingford known as Garden City really put me off to the area.

Also, I was never a fan of Media. Again, a personal preference thing.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:08 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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Awww, Garden City is a dump? I've never been there, but it always just sounded so darn pleasant.

Wallingford's no closer to Chester than Drexel Hill is to Upper Darby and ITS "seedy" sections.

I have family in Drexel Hill and I think the area is beautiful. Love the big old stone homes. But the astronomical taxes (my friend pays almost $10K for a not-that-large house) combined with the school district are the rap.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:36 AM
 
28 posts, read 67,708 times
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Avalon08 - I totally agree with you. Drexel Hill is very close to Upper Darby and its seedy sections. BUT, let's not compare apples to oranges. Upper Darby is WORLDS away from Chester! Honestly, Chester might be the only city of its kind in the entire country.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:27 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Originally Posted by gophils09 View Post
Avalon08 - I totally agree with you. Drexel Hill is very close to Upper Darby and its seedy sections. BUT, let's not compare apples to oranges. Upper Darby is WORLDS away from Chester! Honestly, Chester might be the only city of its kind in the entire country.
Now that's definitely false. There are plenty of small, depressed, post-industrial, crime-ridden cities. McKeesport immediately comes to mind...
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:32 AM
 
3,107 posts, read 2,882,694 times
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Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Now that's definitely false. There are plenty of small, depressed, post-industrial, crime-ridden cities. McKeesport immediately comes to mind...

Trenton and Camden are a couple of garden spots that you can add to that list.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:00 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Originally Posted by james777 View Post
Trenton and Camden are a couple of garden spots that you can add to that list.
I'd put those in another category. 1) They're bigger, and 2) they still have economies of their own, especially Trenton, by virtue of being New Jersey's capital. Chester is more like a super-duper depressed Norristown.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 07-29-2013 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:15 AM
 
3,107 posts, read 2,882,694 times
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I think you hit the nail on the head, high taxes. I heard it from a realtor over ten years ago that housing prices in Drexel Hill have been kept down by the high real estate taxes, as most people buy a house on how high the monthly payment is. The higher the taxes, the less of that monthly payment can be devoted to principal and interest. Coming from out of state, I had never seen anything like it before. Upon closer examination, I can tell you that there are lots of wonderful neighborhoods in the suburbs of Philly, on both sides of the Delaware, that people avoid because of high property taxes. There really needs to be a revolution, but it will never happen because the uninformed public defends high taxes as a necessity for good schools.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:20 PM
 
28 posts, read 67,708 times
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James777 that would be all well and good if Upper Darby Township actually provided good schools! I've heard that Aronimink Elementary is a good public school - but where do you go from there? I've heard mixed reviews about Drexel Hill Middle School. Obviously it's worlds better than Beverly Hills High School, but apparently it's not too hard to get mixed up with the wrong crowd. And then Upper Darby High School with the highest high school enrollment in the entire state of Pennsylvania. You have your good kids, sure... But apparently it's become overrun with people from the city lying about their address so they can go to UD instead of a city high school. Apparently they're taking serious steps to alleviate this problem, but there's really no telling when it will get better.

If only a bit of redistricting could be done and residents from the Aronimink and Drexel Park sections could attend Haverford High School! A bit of a commute but it would be well worth it!
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