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Old 03-26-2014, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista
2,472 posts, read 3,485,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quebecoise30 View Post
I would say that that is absolutely true--we LOVE historic homes with character, hence the interest in Overbrook. However, if the commute is a nightmare, it's not worth it. Dang it! I wish they had century-old homes as well in the suburbs. We'd have the best of both worlds. The suburbs seem to have "newer" construction, and we're not entirely fond of them...
You can definitely find century old homes in the suburbs, although considering the fact that a century ago the suburbs were very sparsely populated it's understandable that there are far fewer of them. However considering your budget, if your goal is a historic home that is closer to Chads Ford, I'm sure you could achieve that goal if you set your mind to it. If your job is in Springfield however commuting from Overbrook would be pretty painless.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:18 AM
 
50 posts, read 73,897 times
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OP, check out West Chester, PA... easy commute to Chads Ford... it has older homes and a nice 'downtown' area. the commute from Chads Fords to Overbook would be a killer.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:25 PM
 
116 posts, read 410,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Cheesesteak View Post
OP, check out West Chester, PA... easy commute to Chads Ford... it has older homes and a nice 'downtown' area. the commute from Chads Fords to Overbook would be a killer.
That's good to know! We've lived in Chicago, and though I LOVED it, my husband despised the traffic that he had to face every day. Not something he wants to do again. I think we'll have to forget Overbrook..

If working in Chadds Ford, are there towns/cities/counties to avoid? Are there some that are more kid-friendly? (We have three little ones... Maybe a rec center, or an outdoor pool, or lots of parks....?)

How is Drexel Hill? Haverton? West Chester (I know Charlie mentioned it, but I was wondering if it's kid-friendly)? Lansdowne? Glen Mills? Wallingford? Aston?

Last edited by Quebecoise30; 03-27-2014 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:52 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,632 posts, read 12,787,411 times
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I drove through Lansdowne the other day, and it had some gorgeous Victorian and Arts & Crafts style homes. It's a little closer. Have you investigated Lansdowne?
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I drove through Lansdowne the other day, and it had some gorgeous Victorian and Arts & Crafts style homes. It's a little closer. Have you investigated Lansdowne?
Good suggestion. Lansdowne has so much hidden potential and is slowly but surely being re-discovered (and has a nice little recovering main street, to boot).

While there are definitely some good real estate bargains on historic homes there, however, it's also important to mention that the school system does not have the best reputation -- but If the OP is without children, that shouldn't be a concern.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:30 AM
 
184 posts, read 691,162 times
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There are plenty of other places with old homes with character in the area - don't lose hope! I think you should look at Swarthmore.

Individual houses in Overbrook Farms can be charming, but the area as the whole is not uniformly so. I think these houses are more seductive on a computer screen than they would be if you were driving around. I know people who have bought in the neighborhood, and been thrilled with what they got for the $ but then faced the dilemma about what to do once their kids hit school age.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:42 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quebecoise30 View Post
Dang it! I wish they had century-old homes as well in the suburbs. We'd have the best of both worlds.
If you are working in Chadds Ford check out West Chester, and Kennett Square. And There is an amazing collection of historic rustic houses scattered in the countryside surrounding Chadds Ford,albeit at a fairly high price. You can also look into Northern Del. Talleyville,Concord De which I believe both use a Wilmington zip code.

If you are working in Springfield, dont underestimate Springfield itself,plenty of housing gems here. -Drexel Hill and Landsdowne can go toe to toe with Overbrook in regards to older charming housing stock. Should be noted that if schools are an issue Drexel Hill + Landsdowne place lower in regards to most suburbs,better than Philly but not as good as our average suburb. Above avg schools nearby to Springfield - Media,Upper Providence,Nether Providence,Swarthmore,Rose Valley,Wallingford are superb but keep an eye on the high property taxes in some locations, can be a game changer.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:24 PM
 
48 posts, read 89,051 times
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So since all the typical responses about living inside the city of Philadelphia's limits have been posted here, I'll offer perspective as someone living in Overbrook and about to renovate a home in Overbrook Farms. Firstly, the neighborhood is not mostly African American as one post mentioned. 50/50 is probably a better estimate; east of the train tracks is mostly African American, west of it, like from 63rd to 66th, is much more racially diverse; overall all residents are middle to upper income on the west side of the area.

Another area that is often never mentioned is west of 66th street off Sherwood Road: Greenhill Farms. This area was constructed in two different eras: the 20s and then the 40s and 50s. So you have a combination on some streets of colonial revival and Tudor homes, and then many mid-century modern ranch homes. It's a very quiet section entirely surrounded by Fairmount Park's Morris Park, and then City Line Avenue forms the NW border. We are going to renovate a home in that section; most people lump it in with Overbrook Farms and have never heard the phrase, "Greenhill Farms".

Overbrook Farms has low crime and violent incidents are very rare. As another post stated, it's in a kind of locational limbo in the city: it's suburban in character and lacks much of a walkable commercial district. It is also up against Lower Merion Township and loses families that opt for the schools there, never considering a Philadelphia address at all or on the way out of living in the city because everyone essentially says the Philly schools are awful, and of course they'll remain schools of last resort as long as everyone acts that way about them and never looks into any of them. But that's another fight. For most of the neighborhood's existence, frankly, most kids went to parochial or other private schools irrespective of the public school system in the city.

Adjacent areas can be run-down especially farther east on Lancaster Avenue past 62nd Street; but the rowhome area immediately south, just called "Overbrook" is typically safe and quiet, though it underwent a complete resegregation of residents between 1990 and 2005. It remains a working and middle class section, however.

You cannot beat Overbrook Farms's distance from the Main Line (it was the first Main Line community in some respects), and Center City. It does have train access and many bus lines nearby, as well as the 10 trolley.

Chadds Ford is just down Route 1 about 30 minutes from Overbrook Farms. I know traffic can get slow at times as one goes down Route 1 especially in Drexel Hill and Springfield, but ultimately it could be reasonable to live in one place and work in the other.

Property taxes are lower in the City of Philadelphia. Residents pay 3.7% city income tax and commuters who live outside the city but work in it pay a lower version of that tax: 3.5%. This is down from nearly 5% twenty years ago! It was dropping incrementally until the 2008 crash. It is slated to continue dropping.

I would encourage you to look at Overbrook Farms. It has a committed set of residents, has traditions that occur each year - Santa in the Park, Easter Egg Hunt, Historic House Tour, etc. It also has historic status and a good, long-established civic organization looking out for it.

Greenhill is worth a look, too. The house next to ours is available and cheap and in move-in condition...feel free to get in touch if you like.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,817,344 times
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^+1 Good post. Good reminder that Overbrook is really the first town on the Main Line too.

Old Maids Never Wed And Have Babies-Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr.

Places people consider the Mainline today like Paoli and Malvern are not really.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:01 AM
 
116 posts, read 410,918 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kukla65th View Post
Another area that is often never mentioned is west of 66th street off Sherwood Road: Greenhill Farms. This area was constructed in two different eras: the 20s and then the 40s and 50s. So you have a combination on some streets of colonial revival and Tudor homes, and then many mid-century modern ranch homes. It's a very quiet section entirely surrounded by Fairmount Park's Morris Park, and then City Line Avenue forms the NW border. We are going to renovate a home in that section; most people lump it in with Overbrook Farms and have never heard the phrase, "Greenhill Farms".

Overbrook Farms has low crime and violent incidents are very rare. As another post stated, it's in a kind of locational limbo in the city: it's suburban in character and lacks much of a walkable commercial district. It is also up against Lower Merion Township and loses families that opt for the schools there, never considering a Philadelphia address at all or on the way out of living in the city because everyone essentially says the Philly schools are awful, and of course they'll remain schools of last resort as long as everyone acts that way about them and never looks into any of them. But that's another fight. For most of the neighborhood's existence, frankly, most kids went to parochial or other private schools irrespective of the public school system in the city.

Adjacent areas can be run-down especially farther east on Lancaster Avenue past 62nd Street; but the rowhome area immediately south, just called "Overbrook" is typically safe and quiet, though it underwent a complete resegregation of residents between 1990 and 2005. It remains a working and middle class section, however.

You cannot beat Overbrook Farms's distance from the Main Line (it was the first Main Line community in some respects), and Center City. It does have train access and many bus lines nearby, as well as the 10 trolley.

Chadds Ford is just down Route 1 about 30 minutes from Overbrook Farms. I know traffic can get slow at times as one goes down Route 1 especially in Drexel Hill and Springfield, but ultimately it could be reasonable to live in one place and work in the other.

Property taxes are lower in the City of Philadelphia. Residents pay 3.7% city income tax and commuters who live outside the city but work in it pay a lower version of that tax: 3.5%. This is down from nearly 5% twenty years ago! It was dropping incrementally until the 2008 crash. It is slated to continue dropping.

I would encourage you to look at Overbrook Farms. It has a committed set of residents, has traditions that occur each year - Santa in the Park, Easter Egg Hunt, Historic House Tour, etc. It also has historic status and a good, long-established civic organization looking out for it.

Greenhill is worth a look, too. The house next to ours is available and cheap and in move-in condition...feel free to get in touch if you like.
I like lower taxes, and the fact that it is so close to downtown. We're definitely going to look into Greenhill Farms--that's an area that is not mentioned anywhere, so it's worth a look. We love old homes with charm--with not too much repairs. (We're looking for at least 5-6 bedrooms, and the older homes seem to accomodate those needs more)
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