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Old 08-14-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJCPHL View Post
I used to drive from a Delaware County suburb to Philadelphia during rush hour. That was nothing like good old Bay Area traffic. Since you're going suburb to suburb, the traffic shouldn't be that bad. The real killers are the 76, the 476 and the 95 into the city in the AM and out of the city at PM.
Malvern to Plymouth Meeting is about 20 miles via Rt 202. Rush hour? Id guess around -45 min.

Gladwyne to Plymouth is 8 miles via 476. Anywhere from 1/2 hr to 45 minute depending exactly where you live/work.

No train to Plymouth Meeting.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
The Main Line towns are definitely not all the same. Bala-Cynwyd is very different from Ardmore, which is very different from Penn Valley, which is very different from Devon, and so on and so forth.

Also, you're going to find uppity people in any upscale Greater Philadelphia community, though I've found they're generally not hard to avoid.
Not surprisingly I have found people to be much friendlier and nicer the further you go out into suburbia. The retail crew at the Target in say Malvern/Great Valley/Chester Springs are completely different and more friendly breed then you would find in say Springfield Delco.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
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I just noticed a new development in Horsham which is close to Plymouth Meeting. I have no idea if it's a good area/good school district. Any info on that? We would love a new house but an older updated one would be very nice too.

A little about our background... I'm Catholic and my husband is Lutheran but we're not church going people (no problem with the ones who go either), we're very open minded and respectful of other people. I read there is a big Jewish community on the Main Line but I also have a lot of Jewish friends and went to school with a lot of them growing up, this is not an issue to us. We like diversity but would really love to be in a very safe area (major concern to us) preferrebly family-oriented with parks and activities for kids, and good preschools. I read Malvern is very family-oriented. Can anyone give us more info about Malvern?
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
I just noticed a new development in Horsham which is close to Plymouth Meeting. I have no idea if it's a good area/good school district. Any info on that? We would love a new house but an older updated one would be very nice too.

Horsham is less affluent than the towns you have previously mentioned but its a great small town and certainly more affordable than Gladwyne and Radnor.

Philadelphia Magazine ranked the top 100 area High Schools in the area. Hatboro-Horsham came in at #37.

Radnor, Great Valley(Malvern), Harriton(Gladwyne) are top 10.




http://money.cnn.com/magazines/money...ndex.html]Best Places to Live 2013 - Money Magazine


Horsham was just named 1 of the usa's top small towns 2013 by CNN/Money Magazine.


Three Philly Suburbs Among America’s Best Small Towns

Two Pennsylvania and one New Jersey suburb have been named in the “America’s 50 Best Small Towns” list compiled by CNN Money roundup, one of them even making the top 10.

West Goshen(borders Malvern), in Chester County, was named the 10th-best small town to live in, with its “lush, suburban feel, quiet, tree-shaded residential areas, lovely parks, and a full slate of community activities.” Hillsborough, N.J., was named 17th, and Horsham, Pa. came in at 34th


Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin
We like diversity but would really love to be in a very safe area (major concern to us) preferrebly family-oriented with parks and activities for kids, and good preschools. I read Malvern is very family-oriented. Can anyone give us more info about Malvern?
Just about all these suburban areas are very safe. The bigger cities in this area have a lot of crime but the suburbs are polar opposites. The crime for the most part is incredibly contained and condensed in the cities.

As we tell all possible newcomers , a visit is a must to see which area suits you best.

Gladwyne, Malvern, Horsham are only 10-20 miles apart but they may as well be 100-200 miles from the in differences in each community. Even the difference in landscape is striking. Gladwyne/Villanova/Radnor are leafy ivy league-ish hamlets hidden in a forested canopy . Many houses never see the sun due to foliage. Malvern/Great Valley is more prairie-like with open fields and rolling hills.



Development near Malvern. This is actually a part of Charlestown Township near Great Valley







Even though you aren't directly on the coast in PA the many beaches of South Jersey are only 1 1/2 -2 hrs away. I think you will be pleasantly surprised on what you find.




Wildwood New Jersey
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Horsham is less affluent than the towns you have previously mentioned but its a great small town and certainly more affordable than Gladwyne and Radnor.

Philadelphia Magazine ranked the top 100 area High Schools in the area. Hatboro-Horsham came in at #37.

Radnor, Great Valley(Malvern), Harriton(Gladwyne) are top 10.




http://money.cnn.com/magazines/money...ndex.html]Best Places to Live 2013 - Money Magazine


Horsham was just named 1 of the usa's top small towns 2013 by CNN/Money Magazine.


Three Philly Suburbs Among America’s Best Small Towns

Two Pennsylvania and one New Jersey suburb have been named in the “America’s 50 Best Small Towns” list compiled by CNN Money roundup, one of them even making the top 10.

West Goshen(borders Malvern), in Chester County, was named the 10th-best small town to live in, with its “lush, suburban feel, quiet, tree-shaded residential areas, lovely parks, and a full slate of community activities.” Hillsborough, N.J., was named 17th, and Horsham, Pa. came in at 34th




Just about all these suburban areas are very safe. The bigger cities in this area have a lot of crime but the suburbs are polar opposites. The crime for the most part is incredibly contained and condensed in the cities.

As we tell all possible newcomers , a visit is a must to see which area suits you best.

Gladwyne, Malvern, Horsham are only 10-20 miles apart but they may as well be 100-200 miles from the in differences in each community. Even the difference in landscape is striking. Gladwyne/Villanova/Radnor are leafy ivy league-ish hamlets hidden in a forested canopy . Many houses never see the sun due to foliage. Malvern/Great Valley is more prairie-like with open fields and rolling hills.



Development near Malvern. This is actually a part of Charlestown Township near Great Valley







Even though you aren't directly on the coast in PA the many beaches of South Jersey are only 1 1/2 -2 hrs away. I think you will be pleasantly surprised on what you find.




Wildwood New Jersey

I love the picture of the development near Malvern. Very pretty area. Thx for sharing! We're really looking forward to our visit there.

How about weather? Any major flood zones? Do you get a lot of snow? We love the seasons and miss having that.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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Mom, what is your budget? I don't think you mentioned it? The reason I'm asking is, if you have looked at Villanova and Gladwyne, then your budget must be pretty high. They are two of the most expensive areas in the Philly suburbs. I don't know why you'd then be looking at Horsham, which is way more middle-class and then, well, maybe you just might as well look at Plymouth Meeting area.

I sort of feel like there is a hidden message here. Like, "Is the Main Line primarily Jewish? Because if so, we're OK with that...sort of". Or, "We like diversity but want to be in a SAFE FAMILY-FRIENDLY areas, so don't put us near the ghetto." You may not have meant it that way, but I am not sure why you keep emphasizing "family-friendly"....I mean, all suburbs are family-friendly with parks and activities, aren't they? Most of the Phila. suburbs consist of single-family homes, not apartment complexes, so they're geared toward families. And to be specific, there aren't a lot of suburbs here with a ton of diversity.

Yes, Malvern is further out from the "city" but it's not exactly a quick commute to Plymouth Meeting in rush hour. I really like the Main Line towns (lived in Berwyn for awhile) but most of them do not (as Rainrock mentioned) look like the McMansion style-development pictured above. Most have older homes with more character, IMO. If you like the newer McMansion style, there are tons of those developments all over the place.

So, anyway, I just realized I didn't have much in the way of advice but I did grow up in the Plymouth Meeting area, so if I knew your budget, it would help.

ETA: Yes, you'll have all four seasons here. As for snow, sometimes we have winters with hardly any (last year). Sometimes, every other day it snows. Sometimes, it doesn't snow much but we get one or two huge blizzards. You just never know.

Last edited by Avalon08; 08-15-2013 at 12:42 AM.. Reason: added something
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Mom, what is your budget? I don't think you mentioned it? The reason I'm asking is, if you have looked at Villanova and Gladwyne, then your budget must be pretty high. They are two of the most expensive areas in the Philly suburbs. I don't know why you'd then be looking at Horsham, which is way more middle-class and then, well, maybe you just might as well look at Plymouth Meeting area.

I sort of feel like there is a hidden message here. Like, "Is the Main Line primarily Jewish? Because if so, we're OK with that...sort of". Or, "We like diversity but want to be in a SAFE FAMILY-FRIENDLY areas, so don't put us near the ghetto." You may not have meant it that way, but I am not sure why you keep emphasizing "family-friendly"....I mean, all suburbs are family-friendly with parks and activities, aren't they? Most of the Phila. suburbs consist of single-family homes, not apartment complexes, so they're geared toward families. And to be specific, there aren't a lot of suburbs here with a ton of diversity.

Yes, Malvern is further out from the "city" but it's not exactly a quick commute to Plymouth Meeting in rush hour. I really like the Main Line towns (lived in Berwyn for awhile) but most of them do not (as Rainrock mentioned) look like the McMansion style-development pictured above. Most have older homes with more character, IMO. If you like the newer McMansion style, there are tons of those developments all over the place.

So, anyway, I just realized I didn't have much in the way of advice but I did grow up in the Plymouth Meeting area, so if I knew your budget, it would help.

ETA: Yes, you'll have all four seasons here. As for snow, sometimes we have winters with hardly any (last year). Sometimes, every other day it snows. Sometimes, it doesn't snow much but we get one or two huge blizzards. You just never know.
We're not looking forward to spending more than 850K but we could go a little higher depending on the property tax.

I really don't know the area yet. I've been to North PA but not South PA Philly area. I looked into Horsham because I saw an ad for a new development there and on the map it looked like it was close to where my husband will be working. I know nothing about the area and that's why I asked.

There is no hidden msg really, I don't know why you'd assume that. I mentioned the Jewish community because I read it's a big part of Main Line and, because we are Catholic/Lutheran, people might think we don't want to live in an area where the majority of people are Jewish. I love my Jewish friends and their tradition and I don't mind at all living close to them. And yes, I guess you're right, I don't want to be put next to unsafe neighborhoods where I will fear for our safety. That doesn't mean I'm racist. Not at all. I have friends from all walks of life, races and creeds. Diversity not only exists in unsafe neighborhoods. You can have a family-friendly, safe and diverse neighborhood. That's what I meant.

In CA, not all suburbs are family-friendly with good schools. Some suburban areas are not as safe and not as family oriented, like Oakland for example. That's why I emphasized FAMILY-ORIENTED.

We would like to have an updated house that we don't have to do much work on it. It doesn't matter if it's a "McMansion" how you call the new construction there or older more charming homes. I personally am not a big fan of huge tracts and cookie-cutter communities but if it's a charming house with nice sq ft I don't mind that either.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:41 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Well first of all coming to this area will be a huge culture shock for you, and it's got nothing to do with the weather.

For starters, you won't experience it on the Main Line but this area is a completely different kind of diverse and laid back than anywhere in California. Around here, when we talk about diverse places, we talk about places that are diverse in every way, because the vast majority of people from all ethnic groups around here had to struggle at one point or another and move their way up. The most diverse districts outside of the cities (Upper Darby, Cheltenham, then I believe either Abington or Lower-Merion?) are very mixed areas in every way. They range from upscale places with the average salary being in the six figures all the way to working class, and everything in between. They also all border the city.

When it comes to being laid back, well people in the middle-class and especially the working class areas of the metro are laid back in that they don't care about dressing up unless they're going out somewhere, and they're unpretentious in a way you probably won't be used to. There's a lot of "lifers" in parts, who feel no shame in being lifers nor should they. A lot of families tend to have big get-togethers, and certain parts of the metro have block parties and other neighborhood and community events. Sports is very big outside of the Main Line, too (not saying it's not big there but sports doesn't dominate as much there), and there are a lot of sports bars and other places that are fill of people watching the Philles, Eagles, Flyers, and even the Sixers. College and even high school sports (especially football and basketball) is very big in this metro, so much so that the Delaware Valley's ABC affiliate even has a high school football show on Friday nights that runs for a half-hour after the 11PM news. Outside of the urban cores of the major cities of the metro, this metro is really like a lot of small towns, centered around school districts and high schools, or at least that's the case for families around here anyway.

The further out you get from the city, the less diverse the district and area you live in will be, with the exceptions of the cities or older boroughs outside of Philadelphia.

A lot of places in the metro will feel unsafe to you compared to California because the people are completely different, and because so much of this metro is much older than the majority of California.

Also, every Main Line school district will flat out blow the district your children went to in California out of the water. I'm not somebody who looks up to the Main Line either; I'm just telling it like it is. The Main Line is like this area's Connecticut. Some parts are more upscale or prestigious than others, but every Main Line school district is among the best in the country. I know California and especially the Bay Area has wealth, but it's not Blue Blood like some of the Main Line is.

Honestly, the whole metro is very family-oriented outside of some of the young, hip places for college students, singles, hipsters, and young professionals.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:05 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Not surprisingly I have found people to be much friendlier and nicer the further you go out into suburbia. The retail crew at the Target in say Malvern/Great Valley/Chester Springs are completely different and more friendly breed then you would find in say Springfield Delco.
Maybe it's your attitude towards them. Also, people closer to the city are much more likely to give you the shirt off their back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
Wildwood New Jersey
Why would you mention all of those places and then show a picture of Wildwood? Wildwood is the place for my kind of people, not exactly "nice" or "prestigious", just a lot of unpretentious fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
I love the picture of the development near Malvern. Very pretty area. Thx for sharing! We're really looking forward to our visit there.

How about weather? Any major flood zones? Do you get a lot of snow? We love the seasons and miss having that.
The flood zones are near creeks or rivers. Other than that, you shouldn't worry too much about flooding unless you live at the bottom of a hill or something. The further out into the suburbs you go, the more weather you're going to get in general. You're more likely to get snow than places closer to the city but you're also more likely to get the severe thunderstorms and the isolated risk of tornadoes that goes with them in the summer. Mostly Montgomery and Bucks counties are the places you tend to see the tornado watches/warnings the most often, though I don't think they've had one for a long time. Still, things will be much different than California, especially the further you go out into the suburbs.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:06 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
We're not looking forward to spending more than 850K but we could go a little higher depending on the property tax.

I really don't know the area yet. I've been to North PA but not South PA Philly area. I looked into Horsham because I saw an ad for a new development there and on the map it looked like it was close to where my husband will be working. I know nothing about the area and that's why I asked.

There is no hidden msg really, I don't know why you'd assume that. I mentioned the Jewish community because I read it's a big part of Main Line and, because we are Catholic/Lutheran, people might think we don't want to live in an area where the majority of people are Jewish. I love my Jewish friends and their tradition and I don't mind at all living close to them. And yes, I guess you're right, I don't want to be put next to unsafe neighborhoods where I will fear for our safety. That doesn't mean I'm racist. Not at all. I have friends from all walks of life, races and creeds. Diversity not only exists in unsafe neighborhoods. You can have a family-friendly, safe and diverse neighborhood. That's what I meant.

In CA, not all suburbs are family-friendly with good schools. Some suburban areas are not as safe and not as family oriented, like Oakland for example. That's why I emphasized FAMILY-ORIENTED.

We would like to have an updated house that we don't have to do much work on it. It doesn't matter if it's a "McMansion" how you call the new construction there or older more charming homes. I personally am not a big fan of huge tracts and cookie-cutter communities but if it's a charming house with nice sq ft I don't mind that either.
Here's a little primer on the sections of PA: There is Southeast, which is Philadelphia and Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. There's Eastern PA which is Reading and the Lehigh Valley (though others consider the LHV to be Northeast PA) There's Northeast PA, which is Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and the general areas around those two cities. There's southern Central PA, which is the Lancaster, Harrisburg, York metro. There's Central PA, which is State College, Johnstown, Altoona, and Williamsport. There's Southwestern PA which is Pittsburgh and its metro. There's Western Pa, which is from Hermitage to Clarion and basically everything in the center of Western PA. There's Northwestern PA, which is Erie and its metro. Then lastly there's Northern PA, which is what we refer to as "the T".

How is Oakland suburban? That's like saying Wilmington or Camden are suburban just because they're near Philadelphia. I mean there's almost 500,000 people in Oakland and it has three pro sports teams.

By the way, you might want to cool it with the "I'm not racist" stuff. Nobody was saying you were. We are very aware that diversity exists in safe, family-friendly neighborhoods because some of us live in them.

Also, HeavenWood is probably the guy to ask about the Main Line as he seems to know it better than anybody.
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