U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-01-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,886 posts, read 12,716,032 times
Reputation: 10841

Advertisements

Hi all,

I have no immediate plans to move to Philadelphia, but the city has always tugged on my heartstrings. Although my family moved away from the area when I was three (I grew up mostly in Connecticut), my extended family still lives scattered around Philadelphia and the suburbs. My grandmother grew up in Port Richmond, and my Grandfather in East Falls. But mostly it's because I have a daughter now, and a son on the way. They have no first cousins, since my wife and I had brothers who did not have children (and almost certainly will not have them). I have a much younger first cousin on my father's side who is only two years older than my daughter, some of my second cousins have young children, and my first cousins may eventually as well, which is as close as my daughter (and son) will get to cousins close to their age.

So yeah, this is hypothetical. I wouldn't consider this unless something falls through with my job, but I'm still curious about the area. Some background on our needs.

1. We're city people. We live within the city of Pittsburgh in a 19th century rowhouse neighborhood. While I'm okay with living somewhere outside of a city proper provided we lived in a historic neighborhood (we both hate modern construction), my wife is even more anti-suburban than I am, and considers living in a walkable, mixed-use area a requirement.

2. As intimated, we're rowhouse people. My wife considers places with a 6-foot deep front lawn to have too much yard. That said, our current house is only 1,260 square feet, and since we're soon to be a family of four, it's getting cramped, especially with only having one bathroom. It seems like Philly rowhomes are much smaller than in Pittsburgh from what I've seen. Third stories seem rare, for example, where most in Pittsburgh either have traditional peaked or mansard roofs. Still, we'd like something like a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath. And having a house which hasn't had its fascade butchered (through poorly matched windows and the like) is essential. We don't care about garages or off-street parking at all - we only have one car, and don't care if we can't always find a space on our block.

3. We're committed to sending our kids to public school. Here in Pittsburgh we're planning on using the magnet system for our daughter when she turns five. I understand a similar system exists in Philadelphia? We're not scared to send our kids to a predominantly nonwhite school. My daughter has been going to a mostly black daycare for several years, and aside from picking up some black dialect, it's had no negative impact. I would not feel comfortable sending my kids to a monolithicly black school where they would stick out like a sore thumb, but our range of tolerance is much higher than the typical suburbanite.

Anyway, throw some stuff out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-01-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,695,391 times
Reputation: 1492
What is your price range?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,886 posts, read 12,716,032 times
Reputation: 10841
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNigh View Post
What is your price range?
Hrrm. This is difficult to say because the cost of housing is so much less in Pittsburgh.

Out here, we bought our first house for only $53,000 back in 2007. The neighborhood has gentrified like crazy, however, so we could buy another house for up to $200,000 without increasing our mortgage payment above the current $523 per month.

We could afford a lot more though I'm sure going by national measures. My wife and I have a combined income just shy of the six-figure mark.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 12:37 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
Reputation: 4755
Bella Vista/Queen Village (anywhere within the Meredith K-8 catchment) has your name written all over it. Hip, rowhouse-heavy, family-oriented neighborhood blocks from Center City that feeds into a great public school. You'll have to up your budget a bit though (a fixer-upper might be within your price range).

Keep in mind that South Philly High, the neighborhood high school (sadly, like all neighborhood Philly high schools) is quite terrible. This particular high school is also very dangerous. Bright, high-achieving kids will have a good to very good shot at one of Central, Masterman, or CAPA, but it's never a guarantee. There is no Philly equivalent of Allderdice; it's basically an all-or-nothing deal.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 08-01-2013 at 01:43 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 18,921,816 times
Reputation: 2329
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Hi all,


3. We're committed to sending our kids to public school. Here in Pittsburgh we're planning on using the magnet system for our daughter when she turns five. I understand a similar system exists in Philadelphia? We're not scared to send our kids to a predominantly nonwhite school. My daughter has been going to a mostly black daycare for several years, and aside from picking up some black dialect, it's had no negative impact. I would not feel comfortable sending my kids to a monolithicly black school where they would stick out like a sore thumb, but our range of tolerance is much higher than the typical suburbanite.

Anyway, throw some stuff out.
Then do NOT move to Philly. The public schools are in shambles and are closing schools as we speak. Move to one of many small towns outside Philly that have older classic homes with excellent public schools.. Do a search for topics about Philly public schools. We work in the system and its BAD..

//www.city-data.com/forum/phila...imploding.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
Then do NOT move to Philly. The public schools are in shambles and are closing schools as we speak. Move to one of many small towns outside Philly that have older classic homes with excellent public schools.. Do a search for topics about Philly public schools. We work in the system and its BAD..
in fairness, closing schools aren't a bad thing, and the schools that are on that list are not ones the OP would consider anyway. since the OP isn't necessarily moving, there's plenty of time to see how things play out.

eschaton-no other city in america has the variety of rowhouses that Philadelphia does in size, shape, price, and style. many rowhomes have third floors, some are 800 sq ft (trinities are technically rows right?) and others as large as 4k sq ft, new, old and everything in between. If there was a king of rowhouses, that king would be Philadelphia. Even leafy Mt Airy has rowhomes, heck, even the suburbs have some. yes, there would absolutely be a place for you.
schools are a challenge but possible. most pick small homes in one of the few good school catchments or play the charter lottery. determination is often rewarded with entrance to one of the magnets. In addition to the usual (masterman and central) i believe there's a very good magnet in south philly whose name escapes me at the moment.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Center City
7,085 posts, read 8,214,674 times
Reputation: 10149
It appears you have a history on CD. As I suspect occurs on the on the Pittsburgh forum, we also have our regulars who post on the the Philly forum only to remind us of how bad Philly is. You will just need to sort the wheat from the chaff. Philly should meet all your needs nicely. Given your wife's view towards suburbs, I don't think the "urban flight" suggestion made a couple of posts up is going to work for you. Also, I just don't see you getting the type of house you want outside of the city. We house hunted just a few years back in Center City. We are the opposite of you and preferred two stories. In fact, they are hard to come by in CC where the norm is three stories with a basement. As to exactly where you would live, CC is out of your budget as is the above suggested Queen Village and Bella Vista unless you want a shell that needs to be totally re-fitted. Without not knowing your tastes, it will be hard to point you to a particular neighborhood. I think you might look into deep South Philly, or Germantown/Mt Airy/East Falls. If you are serious, I'm sure you've looked on some realtors sites to see what fits your budget.

As to schools, it's also hard to advise you. Although we don't have children, I wouldn't really care whether they went to school with children of a different race as long as they were getting a good education. Philly schools get a bad rep, and I'm sure there are valid reasons for that. That said, we see parents in our neighborhood picking up their grammar school-aged children in the evenings, so not everyone with children has fled for the 'burbs. I'd simply advise you to learn a lot more about what's available here, as I'm sure you want your children to have the best education they can receive. I'm sure the parents in our neighborhood feel the same, and apparently have figured out how live in the city and do so.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 08-01-2013 at 03:59 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2013, 07:10 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 18,921,816 times
Reputation: 2329
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
in fairness, closing schools aren't a bad thing, and the schools that are on that list are not ones the OP would consider anyway. since the OP isn't necessarily moving, there's plenty of time to see how things play out.

eschaton-no other city in america has the variety of rowhouses that Philadelphia does in size, shape, price, and style. many rowhomes have third floors, some are 800 sq ft (trinities are technically rows right?) and others as large as 4k sq ft, new, old and everything in between. If there was a king of rowhouses, that king would be Philadelphia. Even leafy Mt Airy has rowhomes, heck, even the suburbs have some. yes, there would absolutely be a place for you.
schools are a challenge but possible. most pick small homes in one of the few good school catchments or play the charter lottery. determination is often rewarded with entrance to one of the magnets. In addition to the usual (masterman and central) i believe there's a very good magnet in south philly whose name escapes me at the moment.

Charters are lottery(your admittance is up to luck) Magnet schools are for the selected few.. The public school sin Philly are the worst that can be. PERIOD
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2013, 07:56 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
Charters are lottery(your admittance is up to luck) Magnet schools are for the selected few.. The public school sin Philly are the worst that can be. PERIOD
Penn Alexander and Meredith are outstanding exceptions to the rule. And for the umpteenth time you really don't have to be all that smart to get into Central (SAT averages confirm this), although there are a lot of above average-on-up kids competing for (relatively) few slots so there is a necessary/sufficient problem.

But if you move into one of the good K-8 catchments and set aside some money for private high school just in case the kids don't get into a magnet or charter, and you will be fine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2013, 08:58 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 18,921,816 times
Reputation: 2329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Penn Alexander and Meredith are outstanding exceptions to the rule. And for the umpteenth time you really don't have to be all that smart to get into Central (SAT averages confirm this), although there are a lot of above average-on-up kids competing for (relatively) few slots so there is a necessary/sufficient problem.

B

This essentially means the top tier get in and the rest don't. Few spots are filled by top performing kids. Here is their admission page..
\And I quote.. http://www.centralhigh.net/pages/Cen...Nav/Admissions

Quote:
Grades Applicants must have major subject marks of A or B with the exception of one C on the most recent year-end report. Test Scores Both Reading & Math scores must be at or above the 88th percentile. If the PSSA is utilized, Reading and Math scores must be submitted in the numerical advanced range. Please Note: You must provide the numerical value for your PSSA score. Other accredited Standardized Test are acceptable.
No average kids need not apply, that means.

Penn Alexander and Meredith are elementary schools. I'm talking high schools

Last edited by toobusytoday; 08-04-2013 at 06:45 AM.. Reason: Added link and quote html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top