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Old 09-06-2018, 05:53 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,182 times
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Hello everyone!
I am a 30 year old State Trooper and recently took promotion in the Philadelphia area where I am seeking to relocate my family of five.

In trying to digest the information I've come across on this forum and through various articles I've researched online regarding the area, I am finding myself feeling a bit overwhelmed.

We have recently sold our home in NEPA and will be living in an apartment in the area until the the early spring when we intend on seriously looking for a house.

A bit about us: my wife and I grew up in the suburbs NYC on Long Island before moving to NEPA 8 years ago for my job. Although we loved the space we had, we ultimately missed the accessibility that comes with living in a more densely populated area.

We have three young children 4, 2 and 5 months and place a very high importance on a quality education, which the area does not seem to be in short supply of. Access to a top notch public school system for our kids is our first priority in relocating.

We are BIG into cooking and seeking out great ethnic food. My son often has fiendish cravings for the beef tripe at on of the local Chinese restaurants we've taken him to. Some of our best quality time has been spent in fish markets, farmers markets and perusing the aisles of H-Mart for new things to try.

Our maximum budget would be 415k or so and we would be looking for a 3 bedroom home with at least 2 full baths and are open to the idea of a townhouse, but are concerned about being "That neighbor," should the kids get rowdy and make noise. I've never lived in a townhouse and don't know if it is a standard that they look to provide better sound insulation when constructing them.

We've been focusing on the Main Line area, though are really open to suggestion. I can transfer to a different barracks on relatively short notice to accommodate the move, so, my work commute is really not a factor.

I have the benefit of being able to explore for the next few months to really get a feel for the area, but, I was hoping for some insider experience on what you folks think would be the best towns to consider for my family.

Ideally, we would like to be within a 35 minute commute to Philadelphia as we enjoy spending time in the city.

Any neighborhoods that I'll be met with a general antipolice vibe? I bring home the police car on occasion, so, the secret will be out quickly.

What are you guys generally paying for full time preschool in the area?

Thank you for your time in advance!





When are you moving? Here now, but, will look to purchase in spring 2019
Where are you coming from? NEPA
Why are you moving? Promotion/Transfer
Where will you be working? Answered above.
Have you been here yet? Here now and exploring as much as I can.

Will you buy or rent? Buy

If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? No preference. Budget will be up to 400-415k.

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?

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? REQUIRED to live in PA
(If you answered NJ - post your answers here: //www.city-data.com/forum/new-j...-philadelphia/)

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married with 3 kids
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public
Do you have pets? No
Do you want or need a yard? No preference
Are you keeping a car? Two cars
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Would like someplace that is a happy medium of the two leaning towards "Busting activity."

What do you want to be closest to? Walkable to a "Downtown," or "Main St," area would be ideal. Would like to be within 30-40 minutes of Philadelphia City.

Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? We welcome diversity in our family, this would not be a deciding factor.

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Water!
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:08 PM
 
Location: The Left Toast
1,232 posts, read 1,521,384 times
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Hi. Welcome to the Metro. You prefer to live outside the city but be within an half hour of it? Depending where your barracks is located ( I'm assuming Troop K around Cityline?) I think Phoenixville may be the borough of choice.
In Phoenixville, millennials + empty-nesters = success
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:38 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,968,132 times
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You should have a good number of options for a 3/4 BR home at around $400K. The main line area is probably not a good one, however, as that is some of the most expensive real estate in the area, and quite honestly I doubt that you would want to be around many of the people who chose to live there. I would say your budget is below average for many of the good suburban areas, but certainly doable.

Most of the suburban schools are excellent (with some notable exceptions), which you can see in a site like Niche. Just know that traffic around Philly, particularly going into and out of the city, is terrible, due to the poor highway system. If you want to realistically be within ~30 min of the city, you should live near a train line. So, start with the towns along the train lines within 30 min, look at the price of housing and ratings of their school districts, and go from there. That will allow you begin to narrow down your alternatives. You may find that you want to sacrifice the time into the city a bit, in order to get the combination of price/schools you are looking for, however.

I'm just throwing out some random suggestions, but places like Abington, Hatboro/Horsham, Ambler, Glenside come to mind.

Last edited by Angus215; 09-07-2018 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,220 posts, read 3,054,930 times
Reputation: 3937
I know that the others have put you off the scent of the Main Line, but you might want to at least give Narberth a shot.

This is a borough that is completely surrounded by Lower Merion Township, whose schools the residents' kids also attend. The community has a very small-town, neighborly feel, yet you're close (via Regional Rail) to the city's attractions and also a short drive away from the liveliest of our suburban downtowns, that of Ardmore.

Everyone who lives there loves it. You will too if you can find a house you can afford there.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:15 PM
 
541 posts, read 253,218 times
Reputation: 579
I'll throw in a pitch for my home town of Newtown. First and foremost, this is A+ rated Council Rock School District. We rented a 3BR/2.5 bath townhouse on a cul-de-sac in Newtown Grant for a year before we bought a house in Newtown Township. Almost every townhouse on the cul-de-sac was a family with kids and every day after school, all the kids went out an played together, boys and girls ages 7-12 or so. There was no "that family" in that neighborhood, everyone had kids. We were renting at the time, but most of the townhouses were owner-occupied, not rentals, and should fit in your budget.

As far as your other concerns, Newtown has a great downtown area with restaurants and shops, an Amish farmer's market, and all possible amenities. There are a lot of historic buildings in the area, and a great state park (Tyler) with miles of trails for biking, jogging, and horseback riding. It is a little further than 30 mins from Philadelphia. It's about 30 miles, but the drive can be anywhere from 35 to 70 mins depending on time of day, etc.

There are tons of great areas to live around Philadelphia. Newtown is just one. Good luck.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:44 AM
 
544 posts, read 463,028 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenses & Lights. View Post
Hi. Welcome to the Metro. You prefer to live outside the city but be within an half hour of it? Depending where your barracks is located ( I'm assuming Troop K around Cityline?) I think Phoenixville may be the borough of choice.
In Phoenixville, millennials + empty-nesters = success

Phoenixville is ALOT farther out than 30 minutes.


I would recommend looking in Jenkintown. Good schools, close to the H mart and other Asian restaurants and about within your desired distance to Center City. The houses should generally be within your budget. Jenkintown has a nice main street though it is on a busy road. A high percentage of the households will have children so you wont be "that" family.

Last edited by KansastoSouthphilly; 09-10-2018 at 07:54 AM..
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:25 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,274,166 times
Reputation: 7809
There is somebody on here who always recommends Havertown. In looking at the map, that is very convenient to center city as well as to City Line, if that's where you will be working. In fact, where WILL you be working? That's kind of important. I don't think Havertown necessarily has any walkable downtown but it's more blue-collar than the Main Line so your police car would probably be welcomed with open arms, plus the housing would more likely be in your price range.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:46 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,182 times
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Thank you all for the responses so far, all of your suggestions will most certainly keep us busy exploring on our days off.

I'm currently working about 40 minutes from Philadelphia, but, can transfer elsewhere with relative ease should my commute from the new home be excessive.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:26 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,274,166 times
Reputation: 7809
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeO8888 View Post
Thank you all for the responses so far, all of your suggestions will most certainly keep us busy exploring on our days off.

I'm currently working about 40 minutes from Philadelphia, but, can transfer elsewhere with relative ease should my commute from the new home be excessive.
Hmmmm, well, unless we know which direction you are from Philly, it's hard to know which area would be best. For example, if you're in Schwenksville, then the Phoenixville/Collegeville area would make sense, but if you're in Media, those places would make less sense. So it might be a good start to pursue the recommendations near where you'll be stationed rather than pick a place and have to deal with a commute right out of the gate. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:46 AM
 
Location: The Left Toast
1,232 posts, read 1,521,384 times
Reputation: 905
Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
Phoenixville is ALOT farther out than 30 minutes.


I would recommend looking in Jenkintown. Good schools, close to the H mart and other Asian restaurants and about within your desired distance to Center City. The houses should generally be within your budget. Jenkintown has a nice main street though it is on a busy road. A high percentage of the households will have children so you wont be "that" family.
I'm out there a couple of days per week, and yes depending on the time of day, good old (OLD & OUTDATED) 76 can add some minutes on to your commute. I have gone out there on Sunday Mornings to pick someone up and return for church in East Hunting Park and it's pretty much 30 minutes each way during that time frame. Mondays & Fridays will probably add on 10-15 minutes going towards Belmont.

Anyway....if he's already in the region (40 minutes out) I'm not sure why he's asking.
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