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Old 08-16-2013, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
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If we lived in Malvern, how far would it be by train to City Center and how about NYC by train? Could we take the train directly to NYC or do we have to transfer somewhere?
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:48 AM
 
12,767 posts, read 28,906,844 times
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Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
Hi! My family and I are looking into relocating from Novato, Marin County (Northern CA - 30 min north of San Francisco) to the Main Line area. My husband would be working in Plymouth Meeting and I'm a stay-at-home mom of twin toddlers. We would like to move to a safe, nice area with good public schools, family-oriented, and we'd be happy if we could get some nice sq ft for the kids to play and have fun. A Whole Foods nearby or a similar type of market would be nice. We have looked into a few towns but we need help figuring out what would fit our personalities best. We're very laid-back, we love spending time at home and exploring with the kids. We love nice restaurants and movies but we don't necessarily need to live right by downtown. My husband currently commutes to SF for work which is about 30 minutes from where we live in Novato but he takes the bus or car/ferry. We don't mind driving but a longer commute than 40-45 minutes would be a bit of a hassle. What areas do you recommend for us? We have looked into Gladwyne, Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Wayne, Radnor and Malvern. Can you please help me figure out the difference between them? Also, I heard property tax is a little bit on the high side there. Here we pay 1.5% of purchase price. Can you please explain to me about that as well? Thx!
I would also invite you to look North instead of in the areas immediately surrounding Plymouth Meeting. While the towns you mention above look closer, because of constant traffic, the time spent in the car will be longer and yes, the price you pay will most likely be higher. I live in Southern Lehigh School district and we chose this area over several others that were within commuting distance for my husbands job because of the schools. We've also lived in Delaware, Montgomery and Chester counties. While we do have sprawl up here, it's not nearly as overwhelming as it is in the Philadelphia suburbs.

This site will be helpful with school comparisons: Pennsylvania State Districts - PA School District Rankings I prefer to use these numbers more to rule out school districts. Any school district can have a terrific elementary school, but comparing High Schools is a better meter IMO. Another preference can be for the size of the schools. We were looking for smaller schools and a geographically smaller school district. PA schools are self ruled and can vary widely from district to district with the policies and classes offered being different. PA_School_Districts_and_IUs
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:52 AM
 
512 posts, read 876,936 times
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Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
If we lived in Malvern, how far would it be by train to City Center and how about NYC by train? Could we take the train directly to NYC or do we have to transfer somewhere?
Septa runs the trains out of Malvern. Check out their website at septa.org Regional Rail Paoli/Thorndale Line.. its the line with the best service... 30 -45 minutes to Philly with service every half hour. plenty of rush hour express trains. http://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/pdf/tho.pdf

Amtrak runs out of the next station over at Paoli and has direct trains to NY and Harrisburg plus one train to Pittsburgh. Check out amtrak.com for more info its one the Keystone Line http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/808/755/...ule-071513.pdf

Driving to NY or Philly sucks from the burbs. Advice train over driving.

The northeast extension ... lansdale exit and Quakertown exit has lots of traffic backing up for miles every day especially during ski season. beware. Plus its a toll road. Traffic is severe on the suburban highways so try to live closer to Plymouth meeting. There is no rail service to the area so i know your husband will drive but remember that the traffic will get to him and probably make him miserable. Definity try out the commute during rush hour before getting a place. But good luck.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:02 AM
 
Location: The City
22,381 posts, read 33,159,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckinsj View Post
Septa runs the trains out of Malvern. Check out their website at septa.org Regional Rail Paoli/Thorndale Line.. its the line with the best service... 30 -45 minutes to Philly with service every half hour. plenty of rush hour express trains. http://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/pdf/tho.pdf

Amtrak runs out of the next station over at Paoli and has direct trains to NY and Harrisburg plus one train to Pittsburgh. Check out amtrak.com for more info its one the Keystone Line http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/808/755/...ule-071513.pdf

Driving to NY or Philly sucks from the burbs. Advice train over driving.

The northeast extension ... lansdale exit and Quakertown exit has lots of traffic backing up for miles every day especially during ski season. beware. Plus its a toll road. Traffic is severe in the suburban highway so try to live closer to Plymouth meeting. There is no rail service to the area so i know your husband will drive but remember that the traffic will get to him and probably make him miserable. Definity try out the commute during rush hour before getting a place. But good luck.
Also another option to me for NYC would be driving to Trenton or Hamilton NJ (~45 min drive, then NJT to NY Penn ~70 mins), much cheaper than even the standard Amtrak service to NY Penn; Acela is fast from 30th to NY Penn (62 minutes but expensive and mostly business travelers)

Drive time (to NYC) can actually be as quick as 1:35 mins baring any major issues at the Lincoln or Holland, even from say Malvern. I drive to N Jersey often and have made it from 14a to CC in 1:10 mins TBH (again traffic permitting and that excludes the tunnels)

One other option is Bolt/Chinatown/Mega bus services which are cheap and run like every 15 mins or so, but you have to get to CC. To me for someone not familiar with NYC by car from that area (Malvernish) I would drive to Hamilton station in NJ and take NJT into NY Penn.

Also to the OP on wine, dont expect CA quality locally - Chadds Ford (mentioned earlier) is serviceable, better wine on the EC would be in NY State (Finger lakes region, gorgeous) or in VA (Horse country outside of DC, also gorgeous). There is alo a few wineries along the Delaware River Valley (PA and NJ side that are ok, the region (check out New Hope, Lahaska, and Lambertville) is more enticing than the wineries overall.

On buying wine in PA, well could be a topic for a whole thread. PA controls liqour and wine sale in the state. There is specialty stores with what they call Chairman's selection which can be good. My recommendation would be taking the Pilgrimage accross the DE border to Wilmington and the wine super store, is like Coscto for wine and worth the trip and stock up. Maybe one the best wine selections in the country and very knowledgable staff.

Last edited by kidphilly; 08-16-2013 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: The City
22,381 posts, read 33,159,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mominmarin View Post
Very good info! Thanks! My husband likes skiing, I snowboard and my kids will start learning soon... they're 2 1/2 yrs old.

There is also a small ski slope about 20 mins from KOP, they have a great kids learning center, especially considering the age. My daughter attended at age 3 and had a great experience. You guys would get bored quickly as its small but great for the kids of that age.

https://www.springmountainadventures.com/
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Novato
21 posts, read 45,715 times
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Thanks everyone for the very helpful tips! I'll be away this weekend but I'll check back on Monday. Anything is helpful info for us as we're trying to get to know the area, people and all the activities around the Philly area. Thx again!
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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You should be fine with your FWD SUV. AWD is nice to have, but not a necessity here. That said, I loved having the security of 4WD (Jeep Grand Cherokee and later Infiniti QX45) when those occasional snowstorms or blizzards hit us. ETA: That was prior to gas prices being so high....

You seem to be steering towards areas in Chester County, and I think probably enough people have already told you, but your husband's commute to Plymouth Meeting is not going to be fun. If you look at the map, you can see that Plymouth Meeting is at the convergence of a bunch of major roads where traffic at rush-hour gets all backed up. And there are only so many ways to get across the Schuylkill (pronounced "SKOO-kle", LOL) river to the Plymouth Meeting side. If it were me, I would be staying on the Plymouth side of the river, and I would avoid having to take the Turnpike, 476, or 202 to get to work. I don't know about school districts, but there are a lot of well-to-do folks in close-by areas (Blue Bell, Gwynedd, etc.) so I doubt the school districts could be that horrible...?

"Total Wine", right over the DE border, is fantastic! Just don't let the PA state police catch you bringing untaxed wine over the border.

Last edited by Avalon08; 08-16-2013 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: added a few things
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:02 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,913 posts, read 4,726,196 times
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Originally Posted by rainrock View Post

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.”
Not to be picky-picky, but West Goshen does not border Malvern...it's two townships away (East Goshen and Willistown).
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:29 AM
 
512 posts, read 876,936 times
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Yeah it also said that West Goshen was great because its [b]near[b] West Chester, Philadelphia and Whilmington. They didnt mention the punishing traffic to get anywhere.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckinsj View Post
Yeah it also said that West Goshen was great because its [b]near[b] West Chester, Philadelphia and Whilmington. They didnt mention the punishing traffic to get anywhere.
Traffic in West Goshen is not bad.

These "Best or Top" rankings are incredibly arbitrary. West Goshen #10 in the USA? Its a nice area, its a great town but I might not even have it in the top 30 in the Philadelphia area let alone top 10 USA. Strangely peculiar.

Libragirl when I think of Malvern I tend to expand the boundaries to include the surrounding countryside and housing developments of Willistown and East Goshen. Much like Media seems to encapture a much greater connecting area.


Malvern a tiny hamlet of 1 sq mile 3,000 people carries a much greater brand name than it should.
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