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Old 05-08-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,663,137 times
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There's Ardmore shady and there's Kensington under-the-el-at-3am shady. One of these is not like the other.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:30 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by refried sushi View Post
We have two issues: one is semantic problem, where one poster's "not so nice area" does not necessarily equal another poster's "shady area." Whether or not an area is desirable or undesirable is an individual preference, and trying to quantify that leads to circular discussions.

The other issue is an historical misconception, in my opinion anyhow, that the Main Line is an uninterrupted string of idyllic neighborhoods as far as the commuter rail will take you. This is certainly the propaganda that got Philly old money to buy houses there in the first place, but all you need is a road map to see this is not the case. The street grids tell the whole story: there are pockets of denser, working class neighborhoods throughout, with smaller lot sizes, on-street parking, often side-by-side duplexes, etc. I live in one. The area has always been more socio-economically diverse than advertised. Is it a slum? No, far from it, but it is also not all Sunday brunch at the Merion Cricket Club either.
Shady implies dangerous, which it most definitely is not. Desirability is another issue entirely.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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(below) actually, what you say about ardmore is incorrect. part of 30 running through the main town area are unsafe. when we used to live there, on more than one occasion we had run-in's and were confronted by a group of teenagers (mind you - they weren't approaching us to 'spread community cheer'). its important to bear in mind, that when you have a nicer atmosphere - nicer homes and/or apartment buildings you have a nicer quality of people and a much less likelihood of having certain elements around - oormobl, you are completely right. it is not a nice place to live.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,224 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous12345888 View Post
(below) actually, what you say about ardmore is incorrect. part of 30 running through the main town area are unsafe. when we used to live there, on more than one occasion we had run-in's and were confronted by a group of teenagers (mind you - they weren't approaching us to 'spread community cheer'). its important to bear in mind, that when you have a nicer atmosphere - nicer homes and/or apartment buildings you have a nicer quality of people and a much less likelihood of having certain elements around - oormobl, you are completely right. it is not a nice place to live.
Your a few years too late.. but that is not true. A few seedy blocks and homes along route 30 does not make an area "bad" I would not consider Ardmore or any mainline town bad. Ardmore had some very nice neighborhoods and working class ones. I wouldnt categorize an area based on a negative experience like that. As you get closer to City Ave you probably have some bad crowd that might wander, which I dont like either trust me. I just think your being alittle too harsh.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:32 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Your a few years too late.. but that is not true. A few seedy blocks and homes along route 30 does not make an area "bad" I would not consider Ardmore or any mainline town bad. Ardmore had some very nice neighborhoods and working class ones. I wouldnt categorize an area based on a negative experience like that. As you get closer to City Ave you probably have some bad crowd that might wander, which I dont like either trust me. I just think your being alittle too harsh.
This is absolutely correct.

Again, I can understand someone seeking a middle class atmosophere not wanting to pay $350k to live in an area that in large parts sports a working class culture. But Ardmore is not dangerous, regardless of what some of the teenagers who fancy themselves as "thugs" may tell you. The same goes for Belmont Hills, Garrett Hill, Paoli, parts of North Narberth, the portions of Bryn Mawr around Lancaster Avenue... The Main Line's "seedy underbelly" is only a seedy underbelly in very relative terms.

My mother lived in a house on Cricket Avenue (generally considered to be one of the "bad" parts) in the early '80s, a bit before it started becoming hip with yuppie/urbanist type, and she never had any problems. And she was a nice, 4'10" Jewish girl--not a lady body-builder type.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,667 times
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Hi there, I've thoroughly enjoyed the diverse points of view in this thread.

My husband and I are in our mid 30s-early 40s with two kids under the age of five looking for a "suburb" just outside Philly. We are from Denver CO, possibly taking a job located in center city. We are looking for a place that has some character, easily accessible to the city, good schools and decent housing space. Further, we are very active, enjoying as much time outside as we can. On the surface you could misjudge us as a yuppy granola loving bunch but definitely not stuffy. Though we were both raised in the church, neither of us are practicing and our girls attend Jewish community school, so religious diversity is a plus. We lean more towards the left and love Philly for its rich cultural diversity and history. We want more space and quiet than the city can afford us but are terrified of places that tote Chilis as a restaurant. Assessiblity to parks, shopping and dining is also important. Please help us find some good areas to check out or let me know if I am simply chasing a unicorn. Much appreciated!!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Wynnewood, PA
70 posts, read 165,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecdeluca View Post
let me know if I am simply chasing a unicorn.
It depends, as so much does in this life, on how much you can spend. We live in Wynnewood, and it's lovely. Plenty of park space, close to rail, the city, good shopping, downtown Ardmore. Very walkable. Highly rated schools. Fantastic area for kids. Certainly not the only community along the ML that fits your description, but not a bad place to start.

Anyway, back to how much you can spend. As a price point, 3/2 1900 sqft. house across the street from us is asking $489K. Add another bedroom, a few hundred sqft. and stay in Lower Merion School District and you're looking at another 75-100K, easily.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:57 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,667 times
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Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post
It depends, as so much does in this life, on how much you can spend
Good point. Ideally 4/2 2900 sq ft for less than 650k. I've been scoping out Wynnewood too, seems like it's right up our alley but the housing market there confuses me. There are a surprising amount of foreclosures/pre-foreclosures, some houses have only appreciated 10k or less in over 10 years and yet priced like it's a hot area. Would love to buy a foreclosure and fix it up but quite a few are still in the 600k range and probably need a good 200k to get the up to par... I digress but Wynnewood, particularly Penn Wynne seems like a good fit from our one brief drive around the area. But Philly may not be our forever home so we're definitely looking to rent before we buy.

Is there a good mix of age ranges in Wynnewood? It seems to cover a larger area than some of the neighboring areas so I'm not sure if that is a fair question. Can you also tell me a little bit about the feel of Wynnewood compared to Ardmore, merion station, bala cynwyd? Someone suggested Havertown but we got a more "small town" feel from that than we're looking for but again, that's just from the one time we've been through the area. Thank you!!
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:08 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecdeluca View Post
Good point. Ideally 4/2 2900 sq ft for less than 650k. I've been scoping out Wynnewood too, seems like it's right up our alley but the housing market there confuses me. There are a surprising amount of foreclosures/pre-foreclosures, some houses have only appreciated 10k or less in over 10 years and yet priced like it's a hot area. Would love to buy a foreclosure and fix it up but quite a few are still in the 600k range and probably need a good 200k to get the up to par... I digress but Wynnewood, particularly Penn Wynne seems like a good fit from our one brief drive around the area. But Philly may not be our forever home so we're definitely looking to rent before we buy.

Is there a good mix of age ranges in Wynnewood? It seems to cover a larger area than some of the neighboring areas so I'm not sure if that is a fair question. Can you also tell me a little bit about the feel of Wynnewood compared to Ardmore, merion station, bala cynwyd? Someone suggested Havertown but we got a more "small town" feel from that than we're looking for but again, that's just from the one time we've been through the area. Thank you!!
The Main Line as a whole has been a perennially desirable area, though some parts are more desirable than others. Wynnewood is right around the middle of the pack; Penn Wynne is somewhat lower on the totem pole, though still perfectly nice, IMO. Your budget is about in line with your desired home specs.

It's funny that you say Havertown has more of a small town feel, because it has a higher population density than all of those other areas except Ardmore.

Wynnewood is mostly residential, but has some (suburban-style) commercial areas, similar to Merion. Wynnewood is also mostly families and empty nesters.

Bala-Cynwyd is a lot of office parks and apartment buildings toward City Avenue and lower density residential in the remainder. Bala Village has a town center that's on the quieter side and is increasingly catering to the Orthodox Jewish community.

Ardmore has a more clearly defined commercial nucleus consisting of Suburban Square between Montgomery and Lancaster Avenues and a commercial strip ending with a couple shopping centers on Lancaster Avenue. North Ardmore, above Montgomery Ave, is less walkable, more leafy green, and consists of large homes on large lots, similar to neighboring Gladwyne and Haverford. South Ardmore is more dense, walkable, and diverse, and is upper working to conventionally middle class.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:40 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
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Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post

It's funny that you say Havertown has more of a small town feel, because it has a higher population density than all of those other areas except Ardmore.
The "small town feel" reaction about Havertown may be about the commercial areas not population. Compared to Ardmore, for instance, Havertown's commercial districts are businesses mostly near Brookline Blvd/Darby Rd
and Eagle and Darby Rds. Very little about those places will draw anyone but locals who live right near them.
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