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Old 05-18-2017, 01:03 PM
 
438 posts, read 567,825 times
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I am re-posting this in the Philly-specific thread as suggested by someone else. Can anyone help? I am relocating to PA from south Florida and I need some help with finding a place to live. I will eventually working in Coatesville, but I was told that Downington and Exton are among the better places to live. I am open to suggestions. I'd also like to get opinions on the area in general...for newcomers. I am reading so many negative posts about PA and Philly in general. No place is perfect, but is it really as bad as some of these posts say? :|

When are you moving? Late summer/early fall
Where are you coming from? Southeast Florida (Fort Lauderdale area)
Why are you moving? Work
Where will you be working? Initially in Pottstown for a couple months then in Coatesville
Have you been here yet? I was in Pottstown last week Mod edit - OP had written Pottsville, meant Pottstown

Will you buy or rent? Rent for a year, then buy. After I get settled, I will eventually be looking around for a house with a big enough yard for kids to play in. Something newish, 4 bedrooms, and under $500K

If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Townhouse or single family to rent. Max budget is $2500/month.

Do you prefer public or private schools? Public school, but if the public education system is bad I will do private.

Do you have pets? No.

Do you want or need a yard? Yes.

Are you keeping a car? Yes

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm and quiet

What do you want to be closest to? I need to be 'relatively' close to shopping and amenities, but far enough away from hustle and bustle, traffic, and too many people.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? I don't care about other people's race. I am more on the conservative side of the spectrum. I like peace and quiet and traditional values. I want to live in an area that is not run down or that has ghettos and a lot of crime. A place that has a park and things that kids can get involved in.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 05-19-2017 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,165 posts, read 8,257,942 times
Reputation: 5331
I imagine you've might have read the famous "Your opinion of why PA sucks so bad thread" or many others in which folks hurl baseless insults against a vast geographic area because very often acute personal problems.

The fact of the matter is PA is, even with its warts, a great state. That's not to say every resident does well, has a perfect lifestyle/experience and makes perfect personal choices, but I think generally there are very few states as balanced, stable, overall safe, and where getting ahead financially isn't impossible, as Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians (especially ones who aren't particularly well traveled or have never even lived outside of their small town) too often have keen ability to self-depricate and focus on negatives and neglecting consideration of any positives of the world around them. It's fundamentally a provincial outlook problem, but as a transplant, you have the benefit of not possessing that trait.

As a large state with several subregions, of course there is some variation, but the good news is you seem to be focusing on one of the more opportune regions of the state (eastern/southeastern PA). I think your budget is also pretty generous.

Pottsville is considered more or less Northeastern PA, so I'd recommend that subforum to inquire for more info, but for your longer term plan of living near work in Coatesville, I'd focus on areas around Downingtown, West Chester or Exton as a start for sure. All have an abundance of amenities, and not hard to find housing that's a little more secluded if that's your preference. Good luck!

Last edited by Duderino; 05-18-2017 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:39 PM
 
438 posts, read 567,825 times
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Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,507 posts, read 999,554 times
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For $500K and with kids, I'd stay away from Coatesville and Pottstown because they don't have highly rated school districts. You want to be close to Coatesville, so I would say Downingtown and Exton are both OK, although Downingtown is closer but but has no malls. You could also consider northern or western parts of West Chester. There is also Chester Springs, though it is a bit of a drive to Coatesville.

I'm also a transplant and I can tell you Philly area does not suck. Personally, I think the area is not pulling up it's weight and lives in the shadow of the nearby New York city. It doesn't help that the city looks a bit beaten up and past it's glory days. I think that is the perspective people have of PA. They expect much more from Philly.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:05 AM
 
6,128 posts, read 3,571,507 times
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Idk much about that area but when looking for a rental around Pottsville, I would personally look around Collegeville. Boyertown if you want to go further into the country.

Kenneth Square area or Downingtown will suit your needs when you have to work near coatesville.

Last edited by thedirtypirate; 05-19-2017 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,250 posts, read 4,031,854 times
Reputation: 5351
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
I'm also a transplant and I can tell you Philly area does not suck. Personally, I think the area is not pulling up it's weight and lives in the shadow of the nearby New York city. It doesn't help that the city looks a bit beaten up and past it's glory days. I think that is the perspective people have of PA. They expect much more from Philly.
If by this you mean that denizens of the rest of the state expect more from Philadephia, I'm not sure that's the right interpretation of their attitude.

It's long struck me as more like "the city is a hopeless cesspool of filth and corruption and the Commonwealth would be better off without it."

This leaves aside ample evidence of corruption and misdeeds on the part of politicians in other parts of the state (maybe not as consistent or thoroughgoing, but it's there, especially in the state capital), and it ignores the fact that, for better or worse, Philadelphia is the anchor of the state's most economically productive region, and that region would be much the worse off were Philadelphia to disappear completely.

Ed Rendell, the first Philadelphian to be elected Governor since 1911, won office largely on the basis of his enormous popularity in Philadelphia's collar counties, where he was even more highly regarded than he was in the city he ran. (And, of course, Allegheny County residents voted for him as well, because he was the Democratic candidate and the state's second-largest city is almost as Democratic as its largest one is.) But after he took office, the complaint arose in the outstate regions that he was "the Governor of Philadelphia."
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,082 posts, read 4,437,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Ed Rendell, the first Philadelphian to be elected Governor since 1911, won office largely on the basis of his enormous popularity in Philadelphia's collar counties, where he was even more highly regarded than he was in the city he ran. (And, of course, Allegheny County residents voted for him as well, because he was the Democratic candidate and the state's second-largest city is almost as Democratic as its largest one is.) But after he took office, the complaint arose in the outstate regions that he was "the Governor of Philadelphia."
The strange thing about this, though, is that, at least to me, the national perception of PA, as well as our own perception of ourselves, seemed to get better under Rendell. PA seems to have more national respect now than it did 20 years ago. Maybe I'm imaging this, but that's how it seems to me. Rendell was all about marketing the state, which was the same thing he did while mayor of Philadelphia.

The rest of the state is raised to hate Philadelphia and Southeast PA. I'd love to see some statistics that showed that Rendell sprinkled gobs of money on the Southeast while ignoring the remainder of the state. The idea that Rendell didn't care about the rest of PA always seemed like "fake news" to me.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:00 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,875,700 times
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I'd say any of the towns/areas surrounding Coatesville, but not Coatesville itself will suit your desires. You'll pay more East of Coatesville, but Downingtown and West Chester schools are very good. I'm familiar with both of them having lived in that area. Both have walkable downtowns. West Chester is quite a bit larger, since it's the county seat and also has a State College within it's boundaries. When we lived in Downingtown, I loved the small town feel but it's also full of people new to the area so not so cliquey as some more rural areas where people tend to stick to themselves. I don't quite get 1onders comments about the lack of a mall, as you don't mention that as something you really want. There is ample shopping in Downingtown and areas within 15 minutes of it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: New York City
7,185 posts, read 6,259,445 times
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I am open to suggestions. I'd also like to get opinions on the area in general...for newcomers. I am reading so many negative posts about PA and Philly in general. No place is perfect, but is it really as bad as some of these posts say? :|

There was actually a recent quite active thread on City Data, a competition of which major US city has the best suburbs, and Philadelphia won the poll! I think a lot of the negativity is geared toward Philadelphia not its suburbs or Pennsylvania as a whole. And many of those negative remarks are from older, uninformed people who visited Philadelphia once in 1980 when it was indeed crappy. But 1980 was almost 40 years ago and a lot has changed (for the better).

Last edited by toobusytoday; 05-19-2017 at 09:04 AM.. Reason: removed spaces for easier reading on mobile devices - great post!
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:17 PM
 
10,789 posts, read 6,581,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I imagine you've might have read the famous "Your opinion of why PA sucks so bad thread" or many others in which folks hurl baseless insults against a vast geographic area because very often acute personal problems.
The OP may have heard negative things from ex-Philadelphians who now live in FL and who have not been to Philly in decades.
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