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Old 03-24-2014, 10:01 PM
 
116 posts, read 410,918 times
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Hey guys!

Looks like Philly may be a go for us! We're looking at areas of Philly, and there are so many gorgeous homes reasonably priced in historical parts of Philly (at least, that's what we read--we know nothing about Philly).
Why are houses so low-priced in Overbrook Farms? They seem to have a decent amount of land, and the homes are beautiful. Some of those homes have been on the websites for several months. Do they have a hard time selling them? Is the area not desirable?

What areas are to be avoided at all costs?

We're really hoping to buy asap and not rent, as we don't want to move twice.

We have three children and will be working in Chadds Ford. Is the drive doable?
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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Without knowin what your pricerange is i'd say that these are the main points you have to consider when looking at Overbrook Farms:

- It isn't a bad neighborhood, and is actually very nice in parts. However it is closer than you would probably like it to be to some of the most blighted neighborhoods in West Philly.
- Be prepared for a mostly African American neighborhood, not saying this is a bad thing but its worth noting to someone who is not from the area. It is one of the few generally middle class black neighborhood in the city.
- Public schools are far from the best, if you want to send your kids to public schools one of the best school districts in the state is just on the other side of city line avenue.
- Commute to Chadds Ford will be a little difficult, probably about 45 minutes or more...but that is totally a guess since I have lived in the area for most of my life but never done that commute.


Overall Overbrook Farms provides a solid quality of life but a major reason alot of those houses have been on the market is that the neighborhoods has many of the downsides of the city (city tax, schools, close to bad neighborhoods) with few of the upsides of the city (walking distance to great restaurants, public transportation, shopping districts). All of this while being within a short drive/walking distance of one of the most desireable suburbs in the area...Lower Merion. If people are moving into that area they would generally prefer spend more for less space in Lower Merion with the amenities it provides for a family (lower tax rates, better school districts, peace of mind when it comes to safety for your kids).

Hope this is helpful
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweendog024 View Post


Overall Overbrook Farms provides a solid quality of life but a major reason alot of those houses have been on the market is that the neighborhoods has many of the downsides of the city (city tax, schools, close to bad neighborhoods) with few of the upsides of the city (walking distance to great restaurants, public transportation, shopping districts).
Good post.Overbrook Farms in itself is a terrific area but its the intangibles that make it less desirable.

The single most important factor for the low housing cost in the city limits imo is the terrible schools. Another factor is The city wage tax (4% of your income ) goes to the city of Philly.


Quality of schools is why most middle class families who can afford to live in the suburbs do so.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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Have you thought about just moving to Chadds Ford? It offers some of the best school in the entire state.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:53 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
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Originally Posted by Guitarguy73 View Post
Have you thought about just moving to Chadds Ford? It offers some of the best school in the entire state.
Talk about apples to alpacas.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:41 PM
 
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This is sooo interesting. The homes we're looking at (from outside the state, online) are absolutely beautiful. Some of them have been on the market for quite some time.

For instance: 6370 Church Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19151 is For Sale - Zillow

6389 Overbrook Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19151 is For Sale - Zillow

and 5901 Overbrook Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131 is For Sale - Zillow

Chadds Ford looks wonderful as well, however it is quite a bit more pricey for what you get, it seems. Also, the homes are newer, and don't have the same charm. We may be working in Springfield or Chadds Ford, depending on where the clinic will be built.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,632 posts, read 12,787,411 times
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Wow, those are lovely homes!

One advantage to living within the city limits of Philly maybe property taxes. I live in a Victorian "Twin" (semi-datached duplex townhouse), 3 stories, 6 bedrooms, circa 1894. My property taxes jumped from $1,900 a year last year to about $2,900 a year. I'm not complaining because the fair market value of the house, 4 blocks from Penn campus, is somewhere from the mid $400'sK to the high $400'sK ... and that is stil much, much less than the suburbs.

Wage tax is 3.9 for residents, but it's nearly 3.5% for non-residents ... so even if you live in Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore but work in Philly you still have to pay the wage tax,
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:20 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,876,969 times
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However if you end up working in Springfield or Chadds Ford, and live in the suburbs, you would NOT pay the wage tax.
You WOULD pay it if you lived inside city limits and worked outside.
Not that it's' necessarily a big deal...
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quebecoise30 View Post
This is sooo interesting. The homes we're looking at (from outside the state, online) are absolutely beautiful. Some of them have been on the market for quite some time.

For instance: 6370 Church Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19151 is For Sale - Zillow

6389 Overbrook Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19151 is For Sale - Zillow

and 5901 Overbrook Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131 is For Sale - Zillow

Chadds Ford looks wonderful as well, however it is quite a bit more pricey for what you get, it seems. Also, the homes are newer, and don't have the same charm. We may be working in Springfield or Chadds Ford, depending on where the clinic will be built.
One thing that Philadelphia has absolutely no shortage of is beautiful, solidly-built historic homes. Many of can be had for an absolute steal compared to similar homes in other major cities. Unfortunately, many of them need lots of TLC and reside in rather neglected neighborhoods -- but Overbrook is not one of them. It's definitely a relatively unknown gem in the city. If choosing Overbook, I think you'd be investing in an area that is primed for some nice appreciation over time. Some of the homes may need a little bit of work -- hence their time on the market -- but it would be a great investment given the rebound of West Philadelphia that is currently happening and is bound to continue.

As far as commute to Chadds Ford, we'd be lying if we said it'd be easy. You'd have to travel some pretty chronically congested routes (namely, Route 1). It's not impossible, but it would likely test your patience (upwards of an hour during rush hour). Hopefully, your work will eventually be based in Springfield, as that would be much more reasonable.

If it does end up being Chadds Ford for the job, I'd advise looking into the Boroughs of West Chester or Media for a home, given that you seem to really appreciate historic character.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:41 PM
 
116 posts, read 410,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
One thing that Philadelphia has absolutely no shortage of is beautiful, solidly-built historic homes. Many of can be had for an absolute steal compared to similar homes in other major cities. Unfortunately, many of them need lots of TLC and reside in rather neglected neighborhoods -- but Overbrook is not one of them. It's definitely a relatively unknown gem in the city. If choosing Overbook, I think you'd be investing in an area that is primed for some nice appreciation over time. Some of the homes may need a little bit of work -- hence their time on the market -- but it would be a great investment given the rebound of West Philadelphia that is currently happening and is bound to continue.

As far as commute to Chadds Ford, we'd be lying if we said it'd be easy. You'd have to travel some pretty chronically congested routes (namely, Route 1). It's not impossible, but it would likely test your patience (upwards of an hour during rush hour). Hopefully, your work will eventually be based in Springfield, as that would be much more reasonable.

If it does end up being Chadds Ford for the job, I'd advise looking into the Boroughs of West Chester or Media for a home, given that you seem to really appreciate historic character.

Good luck!
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...
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