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Old 08-24-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
221 posts, read 320,472 times
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I would stick with chestnut hill, w. mount airy, or east falls. East falls has some beautiful single family homes right on Henry Ave.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:21 AM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 7,737,587 times
Reputation: 1586
Can we assume that you hate West Hollywood, which actually reminds me a lot of Mount Airy physically with smallish single family houses on tiny lots except that Mt Airy is dominated more by traditional families than the gay culture? Mt Airy is also like West Hollywood in that it is a mostly quiet residential area where people sleep but nothing much happens during the day? This is also true of the other areas you targeted except Manyunk which is more of an entertainment district. I am still wondering what kind of area you are actually looking for. BTW you are correct that your million dollars will probably go go further in the city than an upscale suburb....... unless you want a penthouse in a downtown hi-rise and then your money won't go so far. Property tax in the suburbs is much higher in order to support good schools which the city doesn't offer and you don't need. Another point, the city has a wage tax (not income tax but wage tax) for residents (if you work for a wage) that takes about 4% of what you earn regardless of where you earned it. Perhaps if you go through our picture thread //www.city-data.com/forum/phila...to-thread.html you will see some area that appeals to you. Otherwise you must have been somewhere in your life that you enjoyed and would like to recreate in a new home.

Last edited by bryson662001; 08-25-2013 at 02:34 AM..
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:57 AM
 
2,394 posts, read 3,051,801 times
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A half acre in the city will really limit your options. It's not that they don't exist it's just that there aren't many of them so there's not likely to be much on the market at any given time. A 1/4 acre would open things up quite a bit more.

Unless you're retired I would really consider both the property taxes in the city + the wage tax vs. the property taxes in the suburbs + the wage tax.

Chestnut Hill and most of Mt. Airy are virtually identical to a lot of other towns in the suburbs so if it's all about house price and taxes I would cast a wider net to make sure you're getting the best value.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:03 AM
 
581 posts, read 1,243,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
A half acre in the city will really limit your options. It's not that they don't exist it's just that there aren't many of them so there's not likely to be much on the market at any given time. A 1/4 acre would open things up quite a bit more.

Unless you're retired I would really consider both the property taxes in the city + the wage tax vs. the property taxes in the suburbs + the wage tax.

Chestnut Hill and most of Mt. Airy are virtually identical to a lot of other towns in the suburbs so if it's all about house price and taxes I would cast a wider net to make sure you're getting the best value.
I used to live in Chestnut Hill (a block or so from Stenton). I regularly walked through Wyndmoor (just a few blocks north east) and the style of the homes and feel of area was pretty similar to Chestnut Hill. Only difference is that in Wyndmoor that parcels tended to be bigger, homes were more affordable, you didn't have to pay city wage, and the public schools are quite good.

Another Philadelphia county area that the OP might look at is East Oak Lane - there are some larger homes there. Though, again, going just a few minutes North takes you into Elkins Park, Wyncote, Cheltenhem (etc).
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:10 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,966,926 times
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There are plenty of homes with a half acre in chestnut hill, although many of them will be in the $1 million + category.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3 posts, read 3,375 times
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If you're looking for close to a half acre, a single family home and something close to the value of your current home, you'll want to focus your search in Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy. Though something may pop up in the Andorra neighborhood (upper Roxborough), however the price point would likely be lower so you'd have to look into capital gains if you go there.

I ran a quick search for active and recently sold homes (.4+ acres, $800k-$1,200,000) in all four of the areas you mentioned and there are currently 13 active listings that meet your criteria (all of which are in Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy). In the past year, 17 homes in these areas have sold and all were in Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy. In East Falls and Roxborough, you'l find more twins and rowhomes and fewer detached homes. The detached homes that are in these areas are typically on much smaller lots.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stylistvg View Post
I am going to be moving to Philadelphia within the next few years and , although its early, I am making a few trips a year ( the next one is this december) trying to pin down when I want to purchase a home. I currently live in Los Angeles and thankfully my semi crappy home here will allow me to purchase a nice home in Philly. The four neighborhoods Im currently considering are Chestnut Hill, West Mt Airy, East Falls, and Overbrook Farms. I want to stay within metro Philly so am not really looking at the Main Line towns. I will not have school age children by the time I move so school districts are of no concern to me. I am concerned about safety, ease of transportation into center city and general vibe/atmosphere of each neighborhood. Feedback is greatly appreciated, thank you
Others have weighed in regarding wage tax, property taxes, etc. Consider as well the Philly transfer tax (part of the closing costs - about 2%, I believe), title insurance (extortionate!) and auto insurance rates (generally higher in the city than in the burbs). If you do consider some place outside the city proper, see if the town has its own wage tax - many do, although they are lower than the 3.9% you'll pay in Philly).

The four locations you identified are all good - Ch. Hill and Mt. Airy have more to offer locally (a lot of shops and restaurants along Germantown Ave.). I'd also add East Mt Airy to your list - more house for your $, and the same variety of lot sizes that you have in W. Mt. Airy. Also, well-served by regional rail, and close (10 minutes or so) drive to Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe's, etc.

On a personal note: I live in E. Mt Airy; moved here in 2008 from Chapel Hill NC. My wife and I wanted an urban life style, motivated in part by our being weary of driving everywhere in a non-pedestrian friendly area. I'm on the "empirical" side and ran the numbers: we pay a $1500-$2000 premium living in town v. one of the suburban locations we considered (West Chester) (don't recall if I factored in reduced gas consumption). BUT ... we love it here - the housing stock, the people, the accessibility to Center City. The extra $2k buys us the life style we sought. By that measure, Philly's a bargain.
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