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Old 08-15-2013, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,673 posts, read 10,245,988 times
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I'd echo Heavenwood's suggestion to look at Whitemarsh, Whitpain or Upper Dublin, and I'll throw in Lower Gwynedd as well. They're all on the same side of the river as Plymouth Meeting and have the kind of affluence the op is looking for while being more convenient of a commute.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:28 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozne View Post
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.

Less pretension, doesnt really equate to laid back. I wouldnt consider most of Montgomery or Delaware County laid back but I agree with everything else that this area has a great family community vibe.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:06 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
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Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Less pretension, doesnt really equate to laid back. I wouldnt consider most of Montgomery or Delaware County laid back but I agree with everything else that this area has a great family community vibe.
There are different kinds of laid back. Personally, I don't find supposed "laid back" areas all that laid back.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozne View Post
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.

Its got nothing to do with my attitude. I was in an urban big box store yesterday returning an item that I had purchased and the experience was well, depressing. The help was incredibly rude, unpleasant and incomprehensibly slow. I thought I was in a time warp. Out in the newer areas like Chester Springs,Great Valley, Concord the quality of the individuals is so much more pleasant and efficieint. That's really not an opinion but a fact that I have learned through the years..

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozene
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.
Why do you care what I do?

For the record I was merely showing mominmarin that this a great area for a young family. The Shore is a big part of why this area is a great place to live. Wildwood can be enjoyed by everyone although a better beach fit might be Cape May,Stone Harbor,Avalon.

Now get back to daydreaming about the A's returning to Broad + Lehigh

Last edited by rainrock; 08-15-2013 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 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.

OK, that's helps a lot, knowing your budget. You can certainly spend up to $850 or more, but you do not NEED to spend that to get a large, updated home. This is not CA. You will get a lot of house for your money here. Depending on the area, I'd say $500K gets you a really nice home, or even less. Unless you really do want to live in Villanova, Gladwyne, Radnor, etc.

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.

OMG, no one here would think of Oakland as a family-friendly suburb. We understand that you're looking for safe. There are some Jewish enclaves in the area (Lower Merion comes to mind, not sure which other areas), there are some areas with a lot of Indian or Asian professionals, I personally love the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia for its diversity of all kinds (but that's not the suburbs), but you'll fit in anywhere.

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.
(Other answers embedded above in your quote.)

The "McMansions" are the extravagantly large and upgraded new-construction homes primarily built in the 90's/00's pre-bubble-burst. Yes, many of them are cookie-cutter, albeit with different facades and floor plans. Toll Brothers is one builder who comes to mind, of this type of home. You'll have to see them, v. older character homes, when you come here. You may want to look, as someone else advised, on the Plymouth Meeting side of the river (Whitemarsh, etc.) to help with your hub's commute.

Not sure what you mean by laid-back, but I can tell you, Philly people are intense. Very passionate about their sports teams and many other topics. Not too much laid-back about them, LOL! This was a glaring cultural difference I noticed when I moved from PHL to SoCal. I know SoCal is different from NoCal, but I just want you to be prepared for the "hype" of us Philly people. Don't be scared, we're still nice!

Last edited by Avalon08; 08-15-2013 at 10:36 AM.. Reason: clarified
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:00 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
For the record I was merely showing mominmarin that this a great area for a young family. The Shore is a big part of why this area is a great place to live. Wildwood can be enjoyed by everyone although a better beach fit might be Cape May,Stone Harbor,Avalon.

Now get back to daydreaming about the A's returning to Broad + Lehigh
They sound like Avalon or Stone Harbor people; maybe Longport, which is close to AC but more mixed Jew-Gentile than Margate. But we're putting the cart before the horse on this one.

OP: Horsham is a decent area, but if you're looking into Northern/Eastern MontCo, I think Whitemarsh, Upper Dublin, Whitpain, or Lower Gwynedd would be better fits.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
They sound like Avalon or Stone Harbor people; maybe Longport, which is close to AC but more mixed Jew-Gentile than Margate. But we're putting the cart before the horse on this one.

OP: Horsham is a decent area, but if you're looking into Northern/Eastern MontCo, I think Whitemarsh, Upper Dublin, Whitpain, or Lower Gwynedd would be better fits.
LOL, I was thinking the same thing -- they might need a slow indoctrination to Wildwood. Maybe start off in Ocean City if they want a nice boardwalk and little rides for the kids.... But to the OP, yes, going "down the shore" (that's the way you say it) is a big thing here. Philly people clear out on the summer weekends for the Jersey shore, which can be from 1 to 2-1/2 hours away, depending on which "shore point" you're going to. OK, I admit, some of the more uppity types call it "the beach". Hey, with your budget, you might even be able to buy a house up here, with something left over for a shore house. OK, yeah, I'm now putting the cart ahead, too....

But hey, there really IS one thing you need to be warned about regarding Pennsylvania (if you drink or buy alcohol or beer): Its draconian liquor laws. They are some of strictest and most inconvenient in the country. Not trying to be negative, but I was looking at a "pro's and con's of PA" thread, and there weren't many con's -- except that one, so I wanted you to be prepared. But there are ways around it, so no worries.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
LOL, I was thinking the same thing -- they might need a slow indoctrination to Wildwood. Maybe start off in Ocean City if they want a nice boardwalk and little rides for the kids.... But to the OP, yes, going "down the shore" (that's the way you say it) is a big thing here. Philly people clear out on the summer weekends for the Jersey shore, which can be from 1 to 2-1/2 hours away, depending on which "shore point" you're going to. OK, I admit, some of the more uppity types call it "the beach". Hey, with your budget, you might even be able to buy a house up here, with something left over for a shore house. OK, yeah, I'm now putting the cart ahead, too....

But hey, there really IS one thing you need to be warned about regarding Pennsylvania (if you drink or buy alcohol or beer): Its draconian liquor laws. They are some of strictest and most inconvenient in the country. Not trying to be negative, but I was looking at a "pro's and con's of PA" thread, and there weren't many con's -- except that one, so I wanted you to be prepared. But there are ways around it, so no worries.
Hahaha I've never heard anyone call it the beach, including the uppity types.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
I'd echo Heavenwood's suggestion to look at Whitemarsh, Whitpain or Upper Dublin, and I'll throw in Lower Gwynedd as well. They're all on the same side of the river as Plymouth Meeting and have the kind of affluence the op is looking for while being more convenient of a commute.
On the "Plymouth Meeting side of the river", I'll throw in Erdenheim, Flourtown, and Blue Bell. Just for fun, I looked at some listings in Blue Bell and saw some very nice homes in the 5's and 4's.

Also, get ready for "traditional", as in home styles and decor. PA is pretty traditional and you won't find many "contemporary" or "trendy" homes, except in maybe older stock. In line with that, much of the preferred decor is traditional. It all seemed much different when I was in living in CA.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
Reputation: 7809
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Hahaha I've never heard anyone call it the beach, including the uppity types.
You haven't been hanging around with the right uppity types, LOL. Or maybe it's the faux uppity's. My girlfriend (a wannabe uppity who had a place in Avalon) would never say "I'm going to the shore". One time when I asked her where she was, she said "At the beach". I was like, "Isn't it kind of cold?". She meant at her BEACH HOUSE, not literally the beach.
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