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Old 08-26-2013, 12:28 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,004 times
Reputation: 13

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We are moving to the Philadelphia area very soon from Washington DC. I will be staying with a friend for the next month and my wife will be moving up at the beginning of October. Our plan is to try and find a month to month rental while we are looking to purchase a home. I will be working in Malvern and my wife will be working from home, but she will be commuting down to DC for work once a week. Since she plans to take the train, we would like to be close to the train station. We originally wanted to live in the city, but since I will be working in Malvern, it doesn't make sense because of the tax and the commute. Two areas we are thinking about Ardmore and Media. We plan to have kids in the next couple of years, so the school system is pretty important. Right now, we would prefer to stay around 450K or below. If we sell our investment property, we could increase our buying power, but we are not sure if that is something we want to do yet.

Any feedback on Ardmore or Media would be very helpful, as well as suggestions for other areas. Please let me know if I could provide any other details/preferences that would help us find the right area!

When are you moving? Sept 2nd, staying with a friend Roxborough
Where are you coming from? Washington, DC
Why are you moving? Moving closer to family
Where will you be working? Malvern and my wife will be working remotely from home, but traveling down to DC once a week, preferable by train.
Have you been here yet? Yes, to visit friends / family.

Will you buy or rent? Looking for a temporary month to month rental, while figuring out a place to buy.
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House, 450K.
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up?

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA suburb

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, children in the next couple years so schools are important
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public schools
Do you have pets? None, yet, but plan on having dog/cats
Do you want or need a yard? Yes, but doesn't have to be big
Are you keeping a car? Yes we share 1 car, but will probably buy another
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Mix. We would like to close to a town center (walkable)

What do you want to be closest to? Can I say all? Really though, I would like to keep my commute to Malvern under 40 minutes. We would be like to close to a town center and close to a train station.
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? More diverse

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Thanks!

Pat
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:45 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,476 posts, read 10,242,105 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by paschuman View Post
We are moving to the Philadelphia area very soon from Washington DC. I will be staying with a friend for the next month and my wife will be moving up at the beginning of October. Our plan is to try and find a month to month rental while we are looking to purchase a home. I will be working in Malvern and my wife will be working from home, but she will be commuting down to DC for work once a week. Since she plans to take the train, we would like to be close to the train station. We originally wanted to live in the city, but since I will be working in Malvern, it doesn't make sense because of the tax and the commute. Two areas we are thinking about Ardmore and Media. We plan to have kids in the next couple of years, so the school system is pretty important. Right now, we would prefer to stay around 450K or below. If we sell our investment property, we could increase our buying power, but we are not sure if that is something we want to do yet.

Any feedback on Ardmore or Media would be very helpful, as well as suggestions for other areas. Please let me know if I could provide any other details/preferences that would help us find the right area!

When are you moving? Sept 2nd, staying with a friend Roxborough
Where are you coming from? Washington, DC
Why are you moving? Moving closer to family
Where will you be working? Malvern and my wife will be working remotely from home, but traveling down to DC once a week, preferable by train.
Have you been here yet? Yes, to visit friends / family.

Will you buy or rent? Looking for a temporary month to month rental, while figuring out a place to buy.
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? House, 450K.
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up?

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA suburb

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, children in the next couple years so schools are important
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public schools
Do you have pets? None, yet, but plan on having dog/cats
Do you want or need a yard? Yes, but doesn't have to be big
Are you keeping a car? Yes we share 1 car, but will probably buy another
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Mix. We would like to close to a town center (walkable)

What do you want to be closest to? Can I say all? Really though, I would like to keep my commute to Malvern under 40 minutes. We would be like to close to a town center and close to a train station.
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? More diverse

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Thanks!

Pat
Both are great areas that fit your criteria quite nicely. You may also want to check out the portions of Bryn Mawr close to Lancaster Avenue. West Chester could be a good fit as well, although it lacks immediate train station accessibility.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:51 PM
 
147 posts, read 245,909 times
Reputation: 135
to comment on the commute to DC your wife could consider driving. I drove from DC to Philly a couple times a week for a few months before making the move to philly. The drive only takes around 2.5 hours without traffic, if your wife can time her commute to avoid the bottle necks going into Baltimore and DC respectively its not that bad of a drive to do once a week. Would strongly advise against this kind of commute on a more frequent basis as will take its toll. The alternative is that your wife would have to take a train, or drive to 30th street and then catch the regional or express. Regional is the cheaper option but is hit or miss sometimes in terms of delays whereas the express us pretty good in terms of punctuality.

If you lived near malvern the only real train option is for your wife to take septa to 30th and then catch the train to DC. Driving to 30th would be a massive time suck going down 76, but now your wife is probably looking at a wash in terms of drive vs. train with regards to speed.

Bonus on going the driving route is that this would open more options for your family in terms of location. West chester as an example would provide a decent commute for you to Malvern and your wife could get to i95 and avoid the typical bottlenecks around philly. your housing options would also improve as you move away from the mainline in terms of cost and size.

an option
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:34 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,004 times
Reputation: 13
She thought about driving, but she would hit DC traffic going into the city and leaving. Plus the ability to work on the train is a huge benefit.

I just looked at West Chester a little, it seems like what we are looking for but to far from the city. Thanks for the suggestion though!
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:47 PM
 
147 posts, read 245,909 times
Reputation: 135
fair enough, two other suggestions would be ambler/fort washington area (septa for the wife to 30th) and you can take the toll to malvern. Second suggestion is chestnut hill which is another septa line. Chestnut hill may be closer to what you are looking for, Germantown ave is kind of a mini georgetown but the schools are not that great. both require a 40 min drive for you though

if your heart is set on the mainline you can't go wrong with any area ardmore and north, homes are just a bit more expensive in those areas than the options above.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:36 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,153,281 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuhusky11 View Post
If you lived near malvern the only real train option is for your wife to take septa to 30th and then catch the train to DC. Driving to 30th would be a massive time suck going down 76, but now your wife is probably looking at a wash in terms of drive vs. train with regards to speed.
Not at all. Typically people who live along 476 (at least south of 76) drive to Wilmington to catch Amtrak southbound. No need to bother with 30th St station, and it's a stop closer to your destination.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,696,447 times
Reputation: 1492
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyViaBoston View Post
Not at all. Typically people who live along 476 (at least south of 76) drive to Wilmington to catch Amtrak southbound. No need to bother with 30th St station, and it's a stop closer to your destination.
It's still a terrible drive though.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,774,932 times
Reputation: 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyViaBoston View Post
Not at all. Typically people who live along 476 (at least south of 76) drive to Wilmington to catch Amtrak southbound. No need to bother with 30th St station, and it's a stop closer to your destination.
That was my first inclination. Live around Media or West Chester and be 20-30 minutes to Wilmington's train station.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,696,447 times
Reputation: 1492
If your wife is working from home you should move to the city. Me and my wife worked from home in the suburbs and she made it pure torture out of her boredom. Just rent until you have a kid. You won't regret it.

Also the wage tax seems steep however philly is still the cheapest place you can get real urban living. A total state+city tax of 8%+ is simply what it costs for urban living in america. Also most of the suburban towns have a 1%+ wage tax of their own which is waved if you live in the city.

For the Malvern commute... http://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/pdf/tho.pdf The Paoli/Thorndale has an "express" train that leaves at 7:10 and arrives one stop from Malvern at ~7:50. If you left your car at the station your commute would be about an hour. I once took a train for my commute for an hour and half. When you take a train, you don't really notice the time pass. My wife actually takes the train daily to a station past wilmington and she'd take it 100 times over than what her drive used to be of the same distance. For the time you lose, you gain in that everything you could want to do will be in walking distance when you get back home - but for your wife the difference will be huge.

Last edited by MikeNigh; 08-26-2013 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:48 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,004 times
Reputation: 13
That's a good point about living in Media and catching the train in Wilmington. Could be a nice time saver. Thanks!
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