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Old 09-03-2018, 10:44 PM
 
5 posts, read 4,252 times
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Moving mid- November from Indiana due new to job at Merck.

Never been to Philly other than for the interview.

Looking to buy a house/ condo/ townhome, etc.
Budget max $450k

Prefer walkable location - close to shops, restaurants, parks, and city transportation

Within 30 minute commute to North Wales Merck location.

Great school system (have 1 child in pre-k). Open to private school if the neighborhood checks all of our other wishes, but prefer public.

No animals - do not need a large yard (or at all)

Will have 2 cars and would prefer a garage for both.

Would like a location that is active - with activities available often (street parties, art festivals, food festivals, fairs, parades, etc).

We would love to live downtown (Manayunk, Fishtown, Old City, Chestnut Hill) but the commute is too long. Are there any suburbs with a similar vibe to downtown within 30 minutes of the North Wales Merck location? Or are there easier ways to commute that Google isn't finding?

Thank you in advance for your opinions and suggestions!!
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:48 AM
 
5,348 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Your budget is probably a little low for Doylestown, but I'd go with that option if at all possible. Excellent public schools, very walkable, a good amount to do for a suburb. But you are far from the city. Ambler looks like the next best option, although the schools aren't quite as good and it's smaller. Both options are on the same regional rail line, right into Center City. Too bad Merck is located outside North Wales, because that line stops right in town.

And unfortunately, there is no quicker/easier way to get from the city to Merck. The joys of jobs in the burbs!
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:37 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,076 posts, read 3,334,428 times
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I would think Chestnut Hill should be right on the border of a 30 minute commute to Merck. From Chestnut Hill to 309 to North Wales should be about a half hour.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:49 AM
 
541 posts, read 252,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Your budget is probably a little low for Doylestown, but I'd go with that option if at all possible. Excellent public schools, very walkable, a good amount to do for a suburb. But you are far from the city. Ambler looks like the next best option, although the schools aren't quite as good and it's smaller. Both options are on the same regional rail line, right into Center City. Too bad Merck is located outside North Wales, because that line stops right in town.

And unfortunately, there is no quicker/easier way to get from the city to Merck. The joys of jobs in the burbs!
Wissahickon School District (Ambler) is every bit as good as Central Bucks (Doylestown). Both are two of the top districts in the state (both A+, CB #9, Wissahickon #12 on Niche ratings, which means zero difference). Another option that might be easier to fit in the $450k budget is Lansdale. Slightly more urban than either Doylestown or Ambler with a nice downtown in North Penn schools (also A+ rated).
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:35 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,252 times
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Thank you very much for these suggestions.

I'm happy to hear that Chestnut Hill is probably within the 30 minute commute.

As for living in Chestnut Hill - is there a street or block that is better than another?

And - just looking at the SEPTA - any thoughts around living in northern downtown Philly? I see the school districts are not very good, but are there good private schools to accommodate? It looks like it would be ~40 minute train ride from that area and then a 10 minute walk from North Wales station to Merck.

Is the northern Philly area worth the longer commute (but easier since it's a train commute)?

Or if I'm willing to do a 40 minute train, should I expand my driving commute to 40 minutes and then find a nice neighborhood downtown?

What downtown area is better for a family with 1 child?
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:06 AM
 
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What area(s) are you thinking of when you say, 'northern downtown Philly'?
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:20 AM
 
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Temple University, North Broad, Nicetown, Wayne Junction. Looking at places that are on the Lansdale/ Doylestown Line.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:44 AM
 
883 posts, read 529,901 times
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Okay. I'd say no to living in those areas, personally. If you want to be within the city limits and not terribly far from North Wales, Chestnut Hill is the area to be. That said, consider the fact that once within the city limits, you will be subject to the city wage tax. It'll be somewhat less for because you would only live in the city and not work there too, but it's something to think about. I think the suggestions of Lansdale, Ambler, etc. are good ones to start.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,076 posts, read 3,334,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nufsed2018 View Post
Temple University, North Broad, Nicetown, Wayne Junction.
Nope. Those are not areas that a professional family would choose to live in.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:06 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,076 posts, read 3,334,428 times
Reputation: 2779
That Merck location just won't support you living in downtown Philly. Your only options for the city are Chestnut Hill and Mt airy, which are both really good neighborhoods in Philly, by the way. The closer to Germantown Ave, the more walkable will be your daily life.

Ambler or jenkintown are on the train line to North Wales, and I think have walkable areas.
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