U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-29-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
49 posts, read 80,401 times
Reputation: 35

Advertisements

Hello good people of City-Data forum!

My husband & I will be moving to the Philadelphia area this summer (08). We are really excited, but can't decide where to live. Seems like there are plenty of good options...

My husband will be working at Villanova U. We will be renting for the time being (planning on spending up to $1,500 / mo.). A short commute would be really nice.

We are childless & plan to stay that way, so school districts are not important to us.

We lived in downtown Chicago for 6 years & loved it - being near all the culture, museums, shopping, restaurants...

His colleagues live out in West Chester (the "greater" West Chester, not the borough). It's lovely, but is it mostly families with kids, or older people?

We are curious about living in Center City, but what about safety? And the tax? And car insurance?

The other option is the Mainline towns - I see there are lots of rentals on the R5 (yay public transportation!). I've heard that for the commute to VU it's best to stay south of 202. I've heard good things about Wayne, Paoli, Malvern... what about Bryn Mawr or Ardmore?

Any insights you locals have would be much appreciated... thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-29-2008, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,845,060 times
Reputation: 4700
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViolaNova View Post

His colleagues live out in West Chester (the "greater" West Chester, not the borough). It's lovely, but is it mostly families with kids, or older people?

We are curious about living in Center City, but what about safety? And the tax? And car insurance?

The other option is the Mainline towns - I see there are lots of rentals on the R5 (yay public transportation!). I've heard that for the commute to VU it's best to stay south of 202. I've heard good things about Wayne, Paoli, Malvern... what about Bryn Mawr or Ardmore?
Welcome to the area!

Starting with West Chester, it is a popular destination for young families, but it's also a college town with plenty of students and young professionals thrown into the mix. The downtown is very vibrant and is growing each year, so you definitely shouldn't discount it if the suburbs end up being a better fit.

Center City is the safest and most vibrant part of Philadelphia, with around 90,000 people living downtown, largely consisting of white-collar professionals that work in the city. "Spillover" of crime from surrounding neighborhoods occurs at a very minor level, as the vast majority of crime is committed in select neighborhoods on the fringes of the city you probably wouldn't have any business going into, anyway. However, car insurance and tax rates in the city would be considerably more expensive.

Any town on the Main Line is always a nice, although expensive, option -- especially if you're commuting to Villanova, which makes it convenient. However, keep in mind that there's not a whole lot to do in the Main Line area in the way of night life. Then again, you can always go to the nearest SEPTA station for a quick ride into the city.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 07:05 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,469,927 times
Reputation: 2738
Duderino's pretty much got it covered. The Villanova stop on that R5 train is right off campus so it would be an easy 30-minute commute between Center City and the university, no matter which end you chose to live. You should know that Philly has a wage tax of around 4% for people who live and/or work in the city. You could avoid that by living and working outside the city... but Center City residents in particular are willing to absorb that in order to have access to everything that downtown has to offer. One way to balance it out would be to give up your car (if you have one) as you won't need it in Center City's walkable two square miles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,398 posts, read 5,763,115 times
Reputation: 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViolaNova View Post
We lived in downtown Chicago for 6 years & loved it - being near all the culture, museums, shopping, restaurants...
I lived in Wicker Park for 12 years and worked in the Loop. I think since you are w/o kids, that you would love to live in Rittenhouse Square or Old City. Yes, you'll pay the higher end wage tax but you'll really be in your element. The Mainline and 'burbs will be too slow for you. I believe you'll have a tiny place on 1500 per month. It'd be better if you could move up to 1850 per month (and ask if you get a parking space with your place! Very important!).. Make sure you go to SEPTA.com to check out train schedules. I know people who take the train from Center City to Nova everyday and like it. Have fun!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
49 posts, read 80,401 times
Reputation: 35
What about Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Wynnewood, etc? What are they like?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,398 posts, read 5,763,115 times
Reputation: 1235
The Main Line is its own thing. Its suburban, lots of retail and Apts clustered on Lancaster St/ Rt 30 and Montgomery Ave. Otherwise Huge homes on huge lots. Narberth is the closest thing to a town with middle sized homes, not middle priced tho'. Its the most expensive part of Philly metro. Lots of yuppies who work and socilaize in CC and retirees live on the Apts cluster. There's also a contingent of college kids due to Bryn Mawr College, St Joes, Villanova and the plethora of small colleges up here. Its pretty quiet except for the traffic-some really big trucks roll up and down Montgomery and Rt 30.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 08:05 PM
 
27 posts, read 30,639 times
Reputation: 17
This is a really cool and very usefull tool, it helped me find my apartment. Check the first link first then relate it to the 2nd link to get an idea.

Walk Score - Helping homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods.

Last edited by FindingZen; 01-31-2008 at 07:27 AM.. Reason: advertising
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635
Just to add to the other great info that has been given I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons of living in center city and whether it is for you. Of course before making any big decisions a visit to the area is highly recommended if possible.

Pros of center city:
Great culture-theater,music,museums,restaurants,nightclubs,walka bility,vibrancy, ethnic diversity

Cons:
Wage tax,parking hassles,homeless,occassional crime, economic diversity.

I love visiting the city every chance I get but quite frankly the crime is a little unnerving to make a committment to live there. I've been a suburbanite my whole life which may explain my hesitancy .If it werent for the crime and schools I would have moved to center city long ago.

West Chester will give you access to a small walkable downtown, excellent restaurants, cafes, coffee shops etc. a little light on the other cultural amenities but its very safe.

The Mainline living arrangements at $1500 are going to be in apartments that were built 50-60 years ago. Its an expensive area and you wont be blown away by the apartment choices. The houses especially North of Lancaster Ave are another story. Great housing stock, the housing stock would make you want to live on the mainline. Not so sure the same can be said for the apartments. Lancaster Ave is very congested and again for such a supposed wealthy area Lancaster Avenue isnt all that great, it needs a makeover.



I'll throw out a couple more options albeit auto oriented and a bit reclusive. .Here are a couple newer somewhat upscale apartment/townhomes communities that sit on the Schuylkill River. Per 4wallsinphilly.They all have their own websites if you want a better read on these communities. Very convenient to Villanova.

One is in Conshohocken(10 minutes to Villanova) and the other 2 are in Valley Forge (20 minutes to Villanova). I've never been in any of them but they all have pretty decent reviews and look fantastic from afar. The Lofts at Valley Forge is the newest community.

Riverwalk at Millenium
Riverwalk at Millennium Apartments in Conshohocken, PA

Lofts at Valley Forge
The Lofts at Valley Forge Apartments in Valley Forge, PA

Riverview Landing at Valley Forge.
Riverview Landing at Valley Forge Apartments in Valley Forge, PA

Last edited by rainrock; 01-30-2008 at 09:06 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-31-2008, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,485 posts, read 8,318,272 times
Reputation: 2375
I've never lived on the Main Line, but from passing through (inside the Blue Route/I-476) on two major streets (US 30/Lancaster Avenue and Montgomery Avenue) and on the Amtrak Keystone Corridor/SEPTA R5, I think the Main Line towns in general are very nice. Ardmore in particular looks to be an attractive place with a good amount of small and medium-scale commercial retail along Lancaster Avenue and near the railroad station. (Incidentally, the Amtrak/SEPTA rail line runs between Lancaster Avenue and Montgomery Avenue - they all parallel each other - and the distance from Lancaster to Montgomery is less than 1/2 mile, probably closer to 1/4 mile.) One additional positive of Ardmore (and Paoli) compared to other Main Line towns is Amtrak's Keystone Service trains stop there; those trains have direct service to New York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg (and obviously Philadelphia as well).

Based on your preferences, I think Center City Philadelphia (specifically south of Market Street) or somewhere on the Main Line near Villanova University and preferably east of I-476 (with Ardmore being my recommendation) would be your best bets.

P.S. Many of the Main Line towns have small colleges, and most of those towns probably would offer at least some of what you are looking for.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-31-2008, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
49 posts, read 80,401 times
Reputation: 35
Thank you SO much everyone!!!

I think we're going to go with CHIP72's advice & go for Ardmore. Center City sounds great, but we can always hop on the train & be there quickly.

One more question... in Ardmore, how far would we be to an entrance to the Schuylkill River Trail?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top