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Old 11-17-2006, 03:22 PM
1 posts, read 6,189 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all, I'd be grateful if you could collaborate on a couple of items about moving to and living in Philadelphia.

First a few words about the background: we are North-European family considering moving to Philadelphia for a year or so, and one of the things to do is to find a place to live in.

Where should a family with kids live in Philadelphia? We are no strangers to urban living, though a few US friends have told us that urban living in some US cities differs from ours. To keep it short, they claim us to live in an upper class urban area in a very open society.

We have heard good things about Olde City, Queen Village and Rittenhouse Square (I am not sure if the names came in falselessly) and of Villanova and surroundings from the suburbs. We would really wish to keep the commuting short, 20 minutes at maximum.

We might be willing to spend USD 2000 - 3000 on the rent, or go for a more complicated arrangement, e.g. a buy and put-option. We would need 3 bedrooms and one or two study rooms.

Please, let us have your honest views.

Are we on the approximately correct price range? Are there any other suggestions? Anything else we should take into account or consider?

Thanks beforehand for your comments.
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:45 PM
Location: Newtown Square, PA
179 posts, read 991,992 times
Reputation: 62
well what area will you be working in makes a big difference. If in philly your best to stay in philly, find a good private school for the kids, the neighborhoods you mentioned are nice, prices might be a bit higher. Don't tell the landlords that you will be leaving after 1 year!!! Villanova area is very nice but the commute to philly will probably be longer the 30 minutes most days and bad days traffic can be 40-60 min.
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Old 11-17-2006, 05:44 PM
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635
Well imo if you didn't have children I would say Center City, but since you do have children I would recommend living along the Main-line area-Villanova-Haverford-Bryn Mawr-Narberth where they have beautiful homes, terrific schools and almost zero crime. Center City,not all of Philadelphia, just Center City(Rittenhouse-Soceity HIll-Queens Village-Bella Vista--Old City) has a very nice quality of life to it. Downtown Philly imo other than Boston probably resembles the narrow streets and quaintness of the European cities the most, but the downfall is that a couple a miles away things kind of fall apart signifigantly. Great place to visit. Great place to live if you are young, single, or retired but unfortunately its not the greatest place for families. Although I do see more and more baby strollers in and around Center City.

I would give a strong recommendation for the Main-line towns and to Chestnut Hill which is a spectacular section of northwest Philadelphia. Very quaint, very unique, very well designed.

Other possibilities if you are looking for a more open suburban feel such as rolling hills and valleys are towns like West Chester, Swarthmore,New Hope, Valley Forge area and Doylestown.

$2000- $3000 dollars gives you some pretty decent housing options. Here is a good site that will give an idea of some of the housing prices in the area. There are 4 counties(Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Chester) that surround Philadelphia and they are all great places to live.

There is a search feature for rental houses allows you to puch in your rent range and county you wish to move to. The mainline towns border Montgomery and Delaware Counties.

Give a looksee to Chestnut Hill, Villanova,Narberth,Haverford and Gladwyne if you decide to come this way.

Good luck.

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Old 11-18-2006, 10:20 AM
35 posts, read 62,880 times
Reputation: 17
Where are you commuting to? Where do you want to be within 20 minutes of?

If its Center City your options become fairly limited.

In Philadlephia: Rittenhouse, Fitler Square,Soceity Hill, Queens Village, Bella Vista, Fairmount (art Museum area), University City( Spruce Hill), Mt. Airy. Chestnut Hill.

Suburbs with some character within 20-30 minutes of Center City:

Mainline towns as someone noted above Villanova etc.. Swartmore, Media are also worth looking into.

My personal opinion is that you need to come check out Center City and the suburbs before you make a decision. You can be in the heart of center city around Rittenhouse and be extremely impressed but if you walk or drive 2 miles to the south or north you will have some reservations about being so close to some rough conditions.

The suburbs especially around the Mainline are not exposed to the lower quality of life.

If you are serious about moving for a year or so I would recommend planning a visit if thats possible and seeing what suits your needs the best.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:46 PM
2,189 posts, read 6,852,431 times
Reputation: 840
I think living in the center of any major city for a year would be a wonderful experience for children. It is a good way to interact with all kinds of people and an easy way to access all sorts of cultural activities. You didn't give your childrens' ages, but if you do not want to go the private school route, there are excellent public schools in center city. Three would be Greenfield (Rittenhouse Square area); McCall (Society Hill); and Meredith (Queen Village), although I believe all schools are open to any child in center city. However, since I don't have children, I am not positive about that.
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