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Old 03-11-2014, 11:09 AM
 
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Which areas in the Philadelphia suburbs are the most down to earth?

I currently live in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we are thinking about moving our family to the suburbs. We have been looking in Mount Laurel NJ but I'm not sure if we will fit in there personality wise. Hoping to find an area with ok taxes, good schools, great community and great people.

Are there any suburban areas with all of the above that are still blue collar/white collar and the people are cool?
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:41 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,476 posts, read 10,242,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by port1234 View Post
Which areas in the Philadelphia suburbs are the most down to earth?

I currently live in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we are thinking about moving our family to the suburbs. We have been looking in Mount Laurel NJ but I'm not sure if we will fit in there personality wise. Hoping to find an area with ok taxes, good schools, great community and great people.

Are there any suburban areas with all of the above that are still blue collar/white collar and the people are cool?
This is a highly subjective issue that depends mostly on individuals' preconceived notions in conjunction with highly variable anecdotal experiences. I fear there will be a lot of prejudice-fueled nonsense in response to your question, but hopefully that won't be the case.

If you're looking for a nice community that has a tight-knit feel and mixed blue/white collar vibe, however, I think the Havertown portion of Haverford Township could be right for you. Taxes aren't the lowest, but you aren't really going to find a low-tax suburb with good schools. Heck, even most of the bad school districts have high (often even higher) taxes.

Abington runs the socioeconomic gamut as well, with the median family being almost (but not quite) on the verge of upper middle class. Old York Road acts far more as a have/have-not divider, however. Nonetheless, any place will have its wealthier and poorer sections.

What's your budget? Since you say you were looking in Mt. Laurel, I'm guessing anywhere from the $300-$400k range?

Haddon Township over in South Jersey might be another good option. Same goes for Springfield (DelCo).

If you were to go the parochial school route, I'd say the Borough of Narberth as well. I have the feeling the Lower Merion School District, while it does have its blue collar/working class pockets (parts of Narberth, Route 30-Adjacent Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, and Belmont Hills), the Township as a whole would be too aggregately upper crust for your liking.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:33 PM
 
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Thank you for your feedback. I understand that this is a highly subjective issue and I hope it doesn't turn ugly

Yes, my range is about 350k or less. I like alot of the areas you listed above and have looked into some of those as well. I was actually quite surprised to see that some Delco areas had such high taxes as I thought the outrageous ones were in NJ, lol. I haven't looked at the Lower Merion area as I do feel that I will be out of my comfort zone there. I appreciate the information, thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:28 PM
 
50 posts, read 73,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by port1234 View Post
Which areas in the Philadelphia suburbs are the most down to earth?

I currently live in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we are thinking about moving our family to the suburbs. We have been looking in Mount Laurel NJ but I'm not sure if we will fit in there personality wise. Hoping to find an area with ok taxes, good schools, great community and great people.

Are there any suburban areas with all of the above that are still blue collar/white collar and the people are cool?
sounds like reverse snobbery... stay in port richmond
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:36 PM
 
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He's an anti-snob-ite!
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:11 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,476 posts, read 10,242,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by port1234 View Post
Thank you for your feedback. I understand that this is a highly subjective issue and I hope it doesn't turn ugly

Yes, my range is about 350k or less. I like alot of the areas you listed above and have looked into some of those as well. I was actually quite surprised to see that some Delco areas had such high taxes as I thought the outrageous ones were in NJ, lol. I haven't looked at the Lower Merion area as I do feel that I will be out of my comfort zone there. I appreciate the information, thanks again.
Your budget is on the low side for LM/Narberth anyway, and I'd imagine you'd want a bit more house for your dollar. FWIW, most people in these upscale suburbs are perfectly fine as human beings, and it's only a small (but persistently annoying minority) who perpetuate the negative snob stereotype.

That said, if you just generally feel more comfortable in more conventionally middle class areas with noticeable blue collar presences, I can understand why you'd be set on such a community. Finding one with low taxes will be tough, if not impossible. I think you're just going to have to bite the bullet/accept that your wants and needs are located in a higher tax communities. Check individual homes; assessments vis a vis market vale can be very uneven, especially in Pennsylvania.

Also, you might like Ambler, but Lower Gwynned/Whitpain people probably wouldn't be your speed either.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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You should move to the West Coast. Plenty of dry desert and down to earth people. Of course they like to smell their own smog, but they're really nice when you get to know them.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
221 posts, read 320,673 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by port1234 View Post
Which areas in the Philadelphia suburbs are the most down to earth?

I currently live in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we are thinking about moving our family to the suburbs. We have been looking in Mount Laurel NJ but I'm not sure if we will fit in there personality wise. Hoping to find an area with ok taxes, good schools, great community and great people.

Are there any suburban areas with all of the above that are still blue collar/white collar and the people are cool?
I'd check out Rockledge in Montgomery County and Feasterville-Trevose in Bucks County. Both border Northeast Philly and feel like an extension of Fox Chase/Somerton but with no wage tax and good schools. The taxes arnt as bad as some of the Delaware County burbs.

I don't know anything about the Jersey suburbs.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Fox Chase, Philadelphia
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I'd say Jenkintown which is very similar to Ambler and it has a blue/white collar mix and a main street (old york road) It has a small school district which consists of the town only unlike ambler which is part of Wissahickon. It's a great town with many down to earth people.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,848,885 times
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Your post makes me think of the Media area. It really is diverse in so many ways (socioeconomically, racially, religiously, etc.) While proximity to areas like Swarthmore and Newtown Square may give off a bit of a snobbish vibe, I've found Media to be remarkably friendly. It has a great sense of community, good schools and would likely not be as much of a "culture shock" moving from the city as many other suburbs. I think there are some great housing deals to be had, as well.

The catch is that taxes are not exactly the cheapest, but that tends to go hand-in-hand with better schools/amenities.
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