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Old 08-19-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
Reputation: 12

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I'm back and already read all the posts. Thanks everyone for your input! We're from SoCal living in the Bay Area for 2 years already. If you ever lived in SoCal you will know that no matter where you go, no rush hour is going to be like what we had there. Traffic is a pain but the most important thing for us is living in a place we like with a very nice community feel, safe, good schools, good parks, good shopping (Whole Foods, Costco, etc) close by. My husband doesn't want to commute more than 45 min to 1 hr that's all.

If there's anyone out there who ever lived or know Marin County well, I'd appreciate input about what location close to Philly resembles them more of MC in terms of lifestyle.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
I'm back and already read all the posts. Thanks everyone for your input! We're from SoCal living in the Bay Area for 2 years already. If you ever lived in SoCal you will know that no matter where you go, no rush hour is going to be like what we had there. Traffic is a pain but the most important thing for us is living in a place we like with a very nice community feel, safe, good schools, good parks, good shopping (Whole Foods, Costco, etc) close by. My husband doesn't want to commute more than 45 min to 1 hr that's all.

If there's anyone out there who ever lived or know Marin County well, I'd appreciate input about what location close to Philly resembles them more of MC in terms of lifestyle.

You may have already done this but you can go to Google and type in Plymouth Meeting Pa. There will be a map on the right hand side that has an amazing birds eye view that gives you a first hand look at all areas. Drag your cursor and it has a terrific zoom feature as well.



The Caifornia living areas are so compact and dense its hard to make a fair comparison to Pa. The Main Line would be the closest combination of density and upscaleness imo.Even here the density will pale in comparison to the Bay Area. The Main Line consists of Lower Merion Township(includes 15 separate communities), Radnor Township and parts of Tredyffrin Township. Maybe 120,000 people all told in a relatively confined linear area.

The rest of the region is a mix of suburban developments, older towns,cities, shopping centers,farms,forest,valleys.

There is so much more available land here that its incomparable to the Bay Area. Out near Plymouth Meeting everything is so spread out that you have a treasure trove of options. It all depends on what you value most? Schools? Shopping? Diversity? Walkable town? Newer housing? Housing with character? Maybe a house with a little elbow room and a nice big yard?

This thread has taken a lot of turns so if you can update the few major things that are most important people could help you better.

One major thing I can add is that There are good schools everywhere out in the suburbs but the top rated ones are generally The Main Line schools- Lower Merion,Radnor,Tredyffrin-Easttown.

Last edited by rainrock; 08-19-2013 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
It all depends on what you value most? Schools? Shopping? Diversity? Walkable town? Newer housing? Housing with character? Maybe a house with a little elbow room and a nice big yard?

This thread has taken a lot of turns so if you can update the few major things that are most important people could help you better.

One major thing I can add is that There are good schools everywhere out in the suburbs but the top rated ones are generally The Main Line schools- Lower Merion,Radnor,Tredyffrin-Easttown.
What we value most are schools, shopping, walkable town would be nice but we don't have to be walking distance, big yard and new or newer house (or at least updated and big).

From all I read we are leaning towards Malvern area. Good preschools and schools, seems to have a good community feel to it. Or maybe Chester Springs.

Is Malvern part of Main Line or not? Some places say yes others say no.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post

Is Malvern part of Main Line or not? Some places say yes others say no.
Imo its a stretch to say Malvern is part of the Main Line. A terrific area nonetheless. Its a tiny town which may be better noted for its schools and surrounding suburban communities. It borders Willistown and East Goshen which are beautiful areas comprised of a mixture of newer housing developments, nature preserves, and horse farms. Great area.

Malvern is a 20 minute drive to a lot of good things. West Chester,Exton,King of Prussia,Media, Main Line,Ridley Creek State Park.

Chester Springs is also a very nice area to live although it may not be as centrally located as Malvern.


Exton acts as the main shopping hub for both Malvern and Chester Springs. The Exton Mall and Main Street at Exton. King of Prussia is another huge shopping hub and only 10 miles away from these towns as well and is home to the largest shopping mall on the east coast. Both hubs have all the big box stores Target,Costco,Home depot,Walmart etc etc..

Also there is a Wegmans Market in both Malvern and King of Prussia. Wegmans are kind of a big deal here.

Wegmans

Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.

Trader Joes in the town of Wayne(Great town) and Ardmore.

Last edited by rainrock; 08-19-2013 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:07 PM
 
16 posts, read 35,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Also there is a Wegmans Market in both Malvern and King of Prussia. Wegmans are kind of a big deal here.

Wegmans

Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.

.
There is also a Whole Foods near Malvern in Devon (near Strafford/Wayne) Devon | Whole Foods Market.

And yes, Wegmans is great!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
Reputation: 7809
Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
What we value most are schools, shopping, walkable town would be nice but we don't have to be walking distance, big yard and new or newer house (or at least updated and big).

From all I read we are leaning towards Malvern area. Good preschools and schools, seems to have a good community feel to it. Or maybe Chester Springs.

Is Malvern part of Main Line or not? Some places say yes others say no.
Well, I just wiki'd "Main Line" and Malvern is on the official Wiki list of Main Line towns. However, I don't think of it as part of the Main Line. (Bala Cynwyd is also listed and I never thought of that as Main Line, either.) Can I ask what is the importance of the Main Line to you? Because many, many areas in the suburbs meet your criteria but aren't on the Main Line. That said, if "living on the Main Line" is important to you (for prestige purposes?), try to find something in Radnor, Gladwyne or the places you were originally asking about. I lived for a time in Berwyn (a Main Line town) and loved it. Wish I could have afforded a home there. I think you could get quite a house for your money (moreso than Radnor or Gladwyne), it's in a beautiful area and prestigious school district, has a cute little downtown, train station to the city, close to everything, etc. Not to try to divert you from Malvern, but just mentioning another option that truly IS a Main Line town, if that is important to you.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Malvern's town center itself doesn't compare favorably to Wayne,Haverford,Bryn Mawr,, Ardmore,Narberth but the surrounding countryside is top notch if you are ok with a more suburban lifestyle.

Ive been to the Bay Area on a visit years ago and while its very very nice the living areas are also very compact in regards to a place like suburban Philadelphia. There is a wide variety and selection available here that anyone considering moving here almost has to pay a visit to see what suits them best. Or rent initially until you find an area that feels right for them.


This is what I think of when I hear Malvern.


Applebrook- Malvern






Radnor-Gladwyne-Villanova-Bryn Mawr. Historic, heavy foliage, privacy,housing character off the charts.

Radnor


Gladwyne
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:30 AM
 
56 posts, read 62,815 times
Reputation: 50
Mom, I just registered after reading all the pages of comments and was surprised no one said anything about this end of the Main Line. Wynnewood/Narberth may be the solution. Firstly, I don't know why everyone one this board is pushing you to the outer reaches of the suburbs. Both towns are on the border of Philadelphia, access to the city (better restaurants, imo) is outstanding from here, either by car or regional rail (both Wynnewood and Narberth stations are very walkable). Plymouth Meeting is pretty close, I used to work in Plymouth Meeting and used surface streets to get to work and avoided the Expressway like the plague. While others were late for work, wasting gas, frustrated before work even started and getting dizzy from exhaust, I would take a 15-20 minute ride daily through the wooded hills, streams, stone bridges (very pretty with a dusting of snow) and past the over-the-top homes of Gladwyne on my low volume commute.

Even though both towns abut the city, crime is of no issue here. There is the convenience of retail and restaurants on Montgomery and Lancaster Aves, and an upscale outdoor mall with Suburban Square (including Ardmore Farmers Market). There is much more convenience than I care to type, but everything is close by. Both towns are compact, with smaller lots, and very walkable. Being a city person, I like that. Narberth also has a nifty downtown with lots of family activities, concerts, events. A real community feel. The houses are mostly 100 year old stone colonial in Wynnewood and a mix of every type of older home in Narberth. These towns have more than ample character, not at all cookie cutter. You said you want low maintenance, well the housing stock is in good shape, you can buy a 100 year old 5 bedroom/3 1/2 bath (small rooms though, not a ton of square footage, houses were more practical back then) with a very recent top to bottom remodel in the price range you had stated.

Schools are excellent, Lower Merion High School is rated one of the best public schools in the country. If your kids are young, there's a lot of kids to play with and accessible parks/playgrounds that are a walk away.

Whole Foods is in Wynnewood, Trader Joes at Suburban Square. I know you like wine, but the best place for beer is a great little brew pub (the only one on the Main Line for now, but another one is slated to open a few blocks away) that opened recently in Ardmore (Tired Hands). Their beer has won some local and national awards. I walk there from my house.

There is a Jewish presence here, but churches way outnumber synagogues. The nearby towns of Bala Cynwyd and Merion have a much larger Jewish base. BTW, all of the towns simply flow into one another here. This end of the Main Line is a whole, rather than parts.

The stereotype of the Main Liner is sometimes evident, people with $$$ mostly have a sense of entitlement, but I have to say overwhelmingly, the folks around here are very friendly.

Hope I sold you in at least putting these towns on your check list.

Last edited by Johnny P'unk Square; 08-23-2013 at 06:27 AM..
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
Reputation: 7809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Pun'k Square View Post
Mom, I just registered after reading all the pages of comments and was surprised no one said anything about this end of the Main Line. Wynnewood/Narberth may be the solution. Firstly, I don't know why everyone one this board is pushing you to the outer reaches of the suburbs. Both towns are on the border of Philadelphia, access to the city (better restaurants, imo) is outstanding from here, either by car or regional rail (both Wynnewood and Narberth stations are very walkable). Plymouth Meeting is pretty close, I used to work in Plymouth Meeting and used surface streets to get to work and avoided the Expressway like the plague. While others were late for work, wasting gas, frustrated before work even started and getting dizzy from exhaust, I would take a 15-20 minute ride daily through the wooded hills, streams, stone bridges (very pretty with a dusting of snow) and past the over-the-top homes of Gladwyne on my low volume commute.

Even though both towns abut the city, crime is of no issue here. There is the convenience of retail and restaurants on Montgomery and Lancaster Aves, and an upscale outdoor mall with Suburban Square (including Ardmore Farmers Market). There is much more convenience than I care to type, but everything is close by. Both towns are compact, with smaller lots, and very walkable. Being a city person, I like that. Narberth also has a nifty downtown with lots of family activities, concerts, events. A real community feel. The houses are mostly 100 year old stone colonial in Wynnewood and a mix of every type of older home in Narberth. These towns have more than ample character, not at all cookie cutter. You said you want low maintenance, well the housing stock is in good shape, you can buy a 100 year old 5 bedroom/3 1/2 bath (small rooms though, not a ton of square footage, houses were more practical back then) with a very recent top to bottom remodel in the price range you had stated.

Schools are excellent, Lower Merion High School is rated one of the best public schools in the country. If your kids are young, there's a lot of kids to play with and accessible parks/playgrounds that are a walk away.

Whole Foods is in Wynnewood, Trader Joes at Suburban Square. I know you like wine, but the best place for beer is a great little brew pub (the only one on the Main Line for now, but another one is slated to open a few blocks away) that opened recently in Ardmore (Tired Hands). Their beer has won some local and national awards. I walk there from my house.

There is a Jewish presence here, but churches way outnumber synagogues. The nearby towns of Bala Cynwyd and Merion have a much larger Jewish base. BTW, all of the towns simply flow into one another here. This end of the Main Line is a whole, rather than parts.

The stereotype of the Main Liner is sometimes evident, people with $$$ mostly have a sense of entitlement, but I have to say overwhelmingly, the folks around here are very friendly.

Hope I sold you in at least putting these towns on your check list.
I think it's the other way around....
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:20 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
I think it's the other way around....
The OP is the one who seems to like what she sees in the outer western suburbs/inner exurbs.
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