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Old 01-30-2008, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
12 posts, read 38,471 times
Reputation: 13

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I am trying to narrow down my suburb search in the Philadelphia area. My job will take me to the downtown Philly Suburban Station every morning and I'd like to keep my commute around 30 minutes.

I can afford to buy a home in the $400-500K range.

I want a newer (built in year 2000+) home with enough yard to have a bit of privacy, a garden, patio, and garage in a community with virtually no crime, proximity to quality shopping, golf, restaurants, and train station that will take me to work that isn't riduculously remote from my house. I want a community my wife can feel safe in.

Can anyone suggest good communities to start my search? So many posts here name communities, but I was hoping someone could point me towards a suburb with newer construction that wasn't built 4 feet from the neighbors.

I know Birmingham and Philadelphia are Apples and Oranges. I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance.
Octavedoctor
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:25 AM
 
97 posts, read 514,586 times
Reputation: 43
You might have to go to 45 minutes, or take an older home. I took the train for years, and I'm thinking of all the zone 2 towns along the Septa lines [once you factor in either ten minutes walking to the train or driving to the train]. I'm having a hard time thinking of a new development with homes that will keep you to exactly a 30 minutes door-to-door.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:30 AM
 
97 posts, read 514,586 times
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I just saw a new large 3/2 townhouse with a garage and a big deck in Ardmore within a walk to the station. Check that one out in the listings if you're willing to buy a townhouse.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
690 posts, read 2,769,848 times
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You might be able to find some newer homes in Delran or Mt Laurel, NJ within your price range. You would have to drive to the Woodcrest PATCO park & ridge station and take the train into center city philly. Would take about 30-40min.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,773,912 times
Reputation: 2635
New single housing at $ 500K within a 1/2 hour of center city is going to be a challenge.1/2 hour from Center city is already developed for the most part and anything new that gets built starts around $1 M. Your options increase significantly if you can go 45 minutes to an hour. You may also have to drive 5-10 minutes from your house to the nearest rail station for the commute to Suburban station.

Here are some towns with a little bit of elbow room. Great public shools, plenty of nearby shopping.


Delaware County :
Garnet Valley( which is Concord Township + Bethel Township)
Glen Mills
Middletown Township
Upper Providence
St Davids

Chester County:
Malvern
Westtown
East Goshen
West Goshen
West Chester
Birmingham Township
Chadds Ford

Montgomery County:
Valley Forge
Phoenixville area
Plymouth Township
East Norriton
Collegeville
Skippack
Blue Bell
Gwenydd Valley

Good luck.Lots of good choices.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
12 posts, read 38,471 times
Reputation: 13
It sounds like I need to wake up earlier to get the kind of home I want for my family. Upping the commute to 45 minutes is nothing if it will drastically change my home options. Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
12 posts, read 38,471 times
Reputation: 13
Let's assume we exclude everything 30 minutes out and focus only on newer construction in the 45-1 hour commute by rail range. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,773,912 times
Reputation: 2635
476 is the main N-S highway that runs through the western suburbs, its a 20-30 minute drive into center city from there. The general rule of thumb is the older, more mature suburbs are east of 476. West of 476 are the newer areas, growing areas which it sounds like you are interested in.

A similar scenario is the northern suburbs with 276. South of 276 tends to be older, N of 276 newer, growing towns.

You really cant go wrong if you look for housing west of 476. The towns I've listed earlier all would fit your criteria of less than an hour and reasonably close to a rail stop that will get you into Philly.I'd suggest digging up a website with a good map of metro Philadlephia and look into the towns in the W/NW suburbs of Philly. The entire area is very livable, with the only industrialized area being the Norristown area. From Collegeville/Blue Bell all the way down to Westtown,Garnet Valley,Elam is new housing less than an hour commute into Philly.

Good Luck.If I had to give you one area to zero in on Westtown/Sugartown/East Goshen/West Chester. If you arent sold on PA. There are also nice options in South Jersey where housing is a bit cheaper and you are an hour from the beaches.







Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority Regional Rail Map

The western part of the R-5 and the very end of the R-3(Elwyn) would fit your criteria the best.

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:58 PM
 
97 posts, read 514,586 times
Reputation: 43
Hurdle for poster is the time. I lived in Paoli for years. He's not doing your towns in under an hour. It ain't happening unless he catches the flyer. With drive to train time, it's an hour and a half, min.

Poster, go to Septa.org. Look at the Zones in the schedules under the regional rail link. Example, on the R5 Paoli, only outer limit of zone 2, maybe inner 3, gets you to Suburban Station in an hour door-to-door.

Seriously, why don't you take a look at some of the completely modernized and renovated houses in Lower Merion? All the comforts of "new" are there, and you get home for dinner. Might even get to make it to the kid's evening activities.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
12 posts, read 38,471 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the replies...I'll look into your suggestions. If the bones of the home are old but strong, I'm cool with that as long as it's updated. New flooring, faucets, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, etc. Older homes are notorious for small closet space, at least in the South. Those types of things may be beyond the purpose of this forum, but thanks for all of the help. I'll ask some of my co-workers if they know a knowledgeable real estate pro.
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