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Old 06-30-2016, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Wynnewood, PA
70 posts, read 165,661 times
Reputation: 49

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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!!
ElijahAstin's description of the area is dead accurate, though I'd be interested in him elaborating on his assertion that Penn Wynne is lower on the desirability totem pole. (As an aside, ElijahAstin is the most thorough-going resource on this forum regarding the Main Line. If you're interested in living here, you'd do well to read all of his posts on ML communities.)

The number of actual foreclosures in Wynnewood is low compared with other communities in Metro Philly. "Pre-foreclosure," IMO, is a marketing scam invented by Zillow to drive traffic to their site. Keep in mind that Zillow's data aggregation is a black box, and people all over the country who have never missed a mortgage payment have discovered to their horror that Zillow has listed their home as being in pre-foreclosure -- or worse, as already having been taken back by the bank and auctioned off.

The only reliable way of getting block-level financial metrics like that that I'm aware of is a service like CoreLogic's Realist report, which you have to be a realtor or broker to access.

Your observation that even actually foreclosed properties in this area are priced high is accurate, or at least relatively accurate. My observation has been that most of the homes for sale in Wynnewood/Penn Wynne/Ardmore are nice, but not as amenable as their asking prices might suggest, especially if you're used to shopping another metro market. IMO, when you buy here you're paying at least as much for the Main Line -- its community, it's amenities, and especially its school districts and location -- as you are for the housing stock. Others may disagree.

I don't know what you mean when you say certain homes have appreciated 10K. If you're referring to the county property appraiser's numbers, stop right there. The property taxes in this area are so notoriously janky that no one I've ever talked to has been able to explain them to me in plain English.

I can tell you from hard experience that the single family rental market in the Main Line can be brutal. Housing stock is almost nonexistent, many of the houses are not maintained, the leases are criminally favorable to the landlord, and you have to sign yesterday or someone else will snatch your ****-shack from you while you and your spouse are still debating whether or not the master bedroom will fit a king-size. Oh, and if you have a cat, cross half of the properties off your list and prepare to bleed upfront cash. If you have a dog, prepare to be homeless.

Last edited by frankmaraschino; 06-30-2016 at 11:20 PM..
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:33 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post
ElijahAstin's description of the area is dead accurate, though I'd be interested in him elaborating on his assertion that Penn Wynne is lower on the desirability totem pole. (As an aside, ElijahAstin is the most thorough-going resource on this forum regarding the Main Line. If you're interested in living here, you'd do well to read all of his posts on ML communities.)
Thanks for the boost, Frank.

Regarding Penn Wynne, the housing stock is more modest than the rest of the 19096 zip code. There are a lot of very cute, but very small, pre-war and early post-war single family homes, and even some twins and rows--no different from the portions of Bala-Cynwyd and Merion very close to City Avenue. There's more upscale custom construction closer toward Remington Road.

Not knocking the place (I started life there after all ). And it's gone through some interesting incarnations. In the '50s through '90s, it was very secular/Reform/Conservative Jewish, in the '90s through early aughts it started shifting more shomer shabbos Jewish as Overbrook Park experienced rapid white flight, and now a lot of upwardly mobile Asian and African American families are moving in. It's on its way to become a bona fide multicultural neighborhood. There's a reason Penn Wynne elementary is LMSD's most diverse elementary school by far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post
Your observation that even actually foreclosed properties in this area are priced high is accurate, or at least relatively accurate. My observation has been that most of the homes for sale in Wynnewood/Penn Wynne/Ardmore are nice, but not as amenable as their asking prices might suggest, especially if you're used to shopping another metro market. IMO, when you buy here you're paying at least as much for the Main Line -- its community, it's amenities, and especially its school districts and location -- as you are for the housing stock. Others may disagree.
Absolutely, 100% correct, and I'm not sure who would disagree. Sure, there's more upscale housing stock, but the disparity is clear when reviewing comparable houses. A $400k split off Lawrence Road in Havertown could sell for up to $600k if you plopped it down in Wynnewood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post
I don't know what you mean when you say certain homes have appreciated 10K. If you're referring to the county property appraiser's numbers, stop right there. The property taxes in this area are so notoriously janky that no one I've ever talked to has been able to explain them to me in plain English.
There's certainly that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post
I can tell you from hard experience that the single family rental market in the Main Line can be brutal. Housing stock is almost nonexistent, many of the houses are not maintained, the leases are criminally favorable to the landlord, and you have to sign yesterday or someone else will snatch your ****-shack from you while you and your spouse are still debating whether or not the master bedroom will fit a king-size. Oh, and if you have a cat, cross half of the properties off your list and prepare to bleed upfront cash. If you have a dog, prepare to be homeless.
I have no personal experience with this, but I believe it.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:37 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
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.
I agree, though that's more "suburban bedroom community" than "small town," IMO. Katz Pharmacy, still going strong!
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:47 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
I agree, though that's more "suburban bedroom community" than "small town," IMO. Katz Pharmacy, still going strong!
Lol, Katz has been there for how long? Dunno.

I went to Haverford Twp Jr(now middle school) and Sr Highs from 1961 through 1967 and it was there then. It's amazing that it's still there.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:16 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Lol, Katz has been there for how long? Dunno.

I went to Haverford Twp Jr(now middle school) and Sr Highs from 1961 through 1967 and it was there then. It's amazing that it's still there.
Supposedly it's been around since the '20s!

I wonder if it started in West Philly and moved after the war? I don't think people named Katz were allowed in Havertown before 1948.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:19 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
Supposedly it's been around since the '20s!

I wonder if it started in West Philly and moved after the war? I don't think people named Katz were allowed in Havertown before 1948.
It may, indeed, have started in W. Philly.

Nitpicking-ly, "Havertown" didn't exist in 1948. It was Oakmont, Brookline, Llanerch... Didn't the creation of zipcodes create Havertown?

There were definitely Jews in Haverford Twp in the 1950s because I went to elementary school(Preston, later Coopertown) with them. But the ones I knew then lived in Bryn Mawr.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:22 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
It may, indeed, have started in W. Philly.

Nitpicking-ly, "Havertown" didn't exist in 1948. It was Oakmont, Brookline, Llanerch... Didn't the creation of zipcodes create Havertown?

There were definitely Jews in Haverford Twp in the 1950s because I went to elementary school(Preston, later Coopertown) with them. But the ones I knew then lived in Bryn Mawr.
Quite possibly (as the USPS is wont to do), but I defer to you on that one.

And the '50s, for sure. 1948 was just a landmark year for a lot of suburbs because the Supreme Court invalidated racially/ethnically restricted covenants.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Wynnewood, PA
70 posts, read 165,661 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
Thanks for the boost, Frank.
You're more than welcome. Your posts on CD helped me considerably to make sense of the area when we first moved here. Now, if you could explain the area's property tax disparities, we'd have to erect a shrine in your honor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
Regarding Penn Wynne, the housing stock is more modest than the rest of the 19096 zip code. There are a lot of very cute, but very small, pre-war and early post-war single family homes, and even some twins and rows--no different from the portions of Bala-Cynwyd and Merion very close to City Avenue. There's more upscale custom construction closer toward Remington Road.
That's interesting. Meandering through Penn Wynne, I've often wondered how much of the semi-detached and attached housing you refer to are rentals. Some of them certainly seem less kept up than other fully detached homes on the same street. I haven't made a scientific study of it, but I regularly notice fully detached homes for sale in Penn Wynne that are somewhat lower priced than comparable homes in Wynnewood. I wondered if it had to do with their closer proximity to City Ave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
A $400k split off Lawrence Road in Havertown could sell for up to $600k if you plopped it down in Wynnewood.
This brings up what is for me another Main Line real estate mystery: Homes in Haverford School District are lower priced than comparable nearby homes in Lower Merion School District, some even on the same street. (In fact, there's a house for sale right now on Beechwood Rd. that's listed as being "the first house in from Lower Merion." In other words, the school district's boundary is at the home's side yard. 4/1+ 2600 sq ft, asking price is 329K. Unless there's some substantial defect, that house dropped on our street in Wynnewood would get 550-600K+ all day long.)

Normally, one would assume that's because Lower Merion's schools are that much more highly rated than Haverford's schools. However, if you explore various metrics (not just Great Schools, but state tests and other mainstream statistics), Haverford's elementary and middle schools are comparably rated with Lower Merion SD's, it's just Haverford High School that's rated poorly relative to Harriton and Lower Merion high schools.

So, the mystery is:

1. Is this disparity in home values mainly due to the respective high schools' ratings, and
2. What on earth could possibly cause a school district to drop off so far in these metrics from middle school to high school?
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:45 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmaraschino View Post


This brings up what is for me another Main Line real estate mystery: Homes in Haverford School District are lower priced than comparable nearby homes in Lower Merion School District, some even on the same street. (In fact, there's a house for sale right now on Beechwood Rd. that's listed as being "the first house in from Lower Merion." In other words, the school district's boundary is at the home's side yard. 4/1+ 2600 sq ft, asking price is 329K. Unless there's some substantial defect, that house dropped on our street in Wynnewood would get 550-600K+ all day long.)

Normally, one would assume that's because Lower Merion's schools are that much more highly rated than Haverford's schools. However, if you explore various metrics (not just Great Schools, but state tests and other mainstream statistics), Haverford's elementary and middle schools are comparably rated with Lower Merion SD's, it's just Haverford High School that's rated poorly relative to Harriton and Lower Merion high schools.

So, the mystery is:

1. Is this disparity in home values mainly due to the respective high schools' ratings, and
2. What on earth could possibly cause a school district to drop off so far in these metrics from middle school to high school?
It's possibly perceptions about class rather than reality like school metrics. Goes like this: all of Lower Merion Twp is on the Main Line while only a portion of Haverford Twp is on the Main Line. The largest named community in Haverford Twp is Havertown. Havertown is not part of Main Line, never has been, never will be.
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:32 PM
 
250 posts, read 129,535 times
Reputation: 309
I live in the Beechwood section of Havertown, and my wife and I always joke about how our house would be worth $50k more if it were plopped a two minute walk up the road into Lower Merion Twp. Our oldest starts kindergarten at Chestnutwold in September and everyone we've spoken to whose kids attend it raves about it. Our neighbor is sending hers to private school and is always comparing Haverford schools to Lower Merion's like they're deficient in some way. And yet the state scored Haverford HS higher than Lower Merion last year! So yes, perception vs. reality is definitely an issue for some.
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