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Old 01-08-2008, 09:01 AM
 
10 posts, read 67,619 times
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I've been following these threads closely, as we're considering a possible relo to the area. But I'm starting to wonder if the plan is feasible given the high price of homes in towns along the Mainline and in Media.

We are a family with three young children, the first of which will start elementary school next year. Basically looking for the usual- older established neighborhood, safe, walkable, quaint, not too far from the city (did not like KOP). But education is a top priority.

Can anyone comment on home prices in towns with excellent public schools? We really don't want to spend more than 300-400K and would like a 4/2, though it doesn't have to be a large house. Would going up to 500K change the picture much?

Alternatively, are there any nice neighborhoods that have lower home prices (320K or below) and maybe not the greatest schools but where private school might be an option.

We have distant family in Broomall, though I know they send their children to private school- might this town be recommended?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,289,577 times
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Yes, the Main Line can be seen somewhat as a haven for the rich. Ardmore, though, in the Lower Merion SD, is more affordable.

Have you heard anyone talk about Nether Providence? It was just ranked #9 on Money Magazine's annual survey, and some of the highlights, other than good schools and proximity to the city, included the affordability of the homes, many of which are older stone homes. Be aware of the real estate taxes, though; they can be very high. Media and Swarthmore, nearby, will provide you with the "town" kind of atmosphere you are looking for.

You should definately check out Broomall and Havertown. You will find these areas lack the pretentiousness that can sometimes be found in the Main Line. However, Broomall and Havertown are not all that walkable. The school districts are pretty good.

You might also want to check out Ambler. Downtown is very quaint and walkable, the homes are generally affordable, and the school district (Wissahickon) is very good.

Responding to another of your questions, you could check out a part of West Norriton called the Halford tract. These are gorgeous homes in a fairly bad school district. Many people in that neighborhood send their kids to Catholic schools.

Other areas to check out: North Wales, Lansdale (much more blue collar and further from the city but quaint), West Chester (further from the city, very quaint and a bit trendy, but expensive).
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,397 posts, read 5,762,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
Yes, the Main Line can be seen somewhat as a haven for the rich. Ardmore, though, in the Lower Merion SD, is more affordable..
Main Line suffers from an elitist, East Coast attitude- a lot of kids go to private exclusive schools like "The Haverford School" and are expected to try to go to an Ivy League. Belonging to a country club to socialize is viewed as important. I think Media, Broomall and Havertown, each has a different vibe but all are much more middle class family friendly. The Main Line is for retirees who hit Ludington Library daily, Yuppies who work and socialize in Center City and people with whats known as 'Old Money'. That said I have met other young families here on the Main Line that aren't ritzy but we all are here due to various circumstances and wish we were in other places, Philly Metro and beyond. Ardmore and Wayne, tho' expensive, seem more family approachable of the Main Line towns.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:25 PM
 
20 posts, read 96,984 times
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Default Check out Bucks County!

Leighland - you should take a look at Bucks County. Upper Bucks school systems are absolutely top notch. Charming, very historic area with quiant towns, amazing architecture, and your choice of old construction in historic neighborhoods or new construction in private developments.

We live in Quakertown and it's an amazing place. Combines charming, historic elegance with modern convenience. Progressive, and an amazing place for families. Superb schools. Located on the Libery Bell Trail, they hid the Liberty Bell here during the War of Independance. Wholesome environment.

Great park system, plenty of out door activities for everyone. Several parks : Memorial Park in town has a giant wooden castle structure (think Godzilla swingset city), skating pond, pavilions, baseball stadiums, basketball courts, tennis courts, bicycle paths, and a public swimming pool. Cedar Grove Park has street hockey, basketball. Brand new Veterans Park is a state of the art girls softball facility with 7 fields. We even have a skate park. YMCA. 10 minutes away from Lake Nickamixon State Park (awesome). Tot lots and smaller parks everwhere.

Great shopping - Target, Wal-Mart, Staples, Circuit City, Kohls - everything up on the highway. 15 minutes from Promenade Shops up north and Montgomerville down south.

Convenient. 5 minutes from the PA Turnpike which makes you close to everything. 20 minutes to Allentown, Doylestown, Montgomerville (shopping!). 1 hr to Philly or the Poconos. 90 miles from NYC.

You can get a nice 2500 sq ft, <5 yr old home on a half acre in a private development for well less than $400K. Great people, great environment.

Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,397 posts, read 5,762,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBurrito View Post
Leighland - you should take a look at Bucks County.
Sounds great but my husband works off hours in CC and there is NO PARKING so he must take SEPTA. Plus we do not want more than a 30 minute commute one way. Also, we are renters, we can't afford to buy. I've heard of lots of nice down to earth places in Philly metro but we have made the priority to be in a safe hood, near the train, with a short commute. Can't have everything.....
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:58 PM
 
2,189 posts, read 6,851,982 times
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The R7 train line is convenient parts to Bucks County.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,397 posts, read 5,762,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmarlig View Post
The R7 train line is convenient parts to Bucks County.
Yes but again, we 're renters and only want a 30 min max commute in a safe hood. Bucks isn't exactly renters central- as i said, can't choose everything.
The OP might like it a lot tho'.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:20 PM
 
20 posts, read 96,984 times
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Sorry Leighland - I meant to address my post to mandapanda1.

BTW I worked in Main Line, and the people are nice but there is definately a bit of aloofness. Very congested area. Definately a great place to work.

We like Quakertown much better - much more laid back and friendly, family-oriented, smalltown values but the schools are still great. Easy commute out to the Main Line if you're working there.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,654 posts, read 6,822,831 times
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You could try Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County. I think you could possibly find something in your price range here.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:20 PM
 
27 posts, read 30,635 times
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If your willing to go with private schools you should be looking at neighborhoods in the city itself. You get the most for your money, great parochial and private schools and lots of great neighborhoods. Dont believe the hype about the crime. It IS centralized to certain areas and many neighborhoods are great . Youll be able to buy a very nice place in the best neighborhoods in the city at the price your mentioning. Most people want to send their kids to public schools and for that reason rightly so aviod the city. But the money you make up in property tax and speding less on a house you can put towards private schooling. Plus your husband will be that much closer to work!
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