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Old 12-08-2018, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,573 times
Reputation: 236

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Thanks to all for your insight and thoughtful replies. Spending hours here and on Redfin, things are coming into clearer focus.


Anything that feels exurban/ isolated won't so Buck's county is probably out but Delco is in play. The Conshohocken/KOP/Norristown area has highway and rail access, population density and the Schuylkill running trail, which is a big plus. Parts of this area look somewhat gritty. Lafayette Hill seems promising.


Towards the city along the river, Manayunk/ Roxborough ticks a number of boxes. Vibrant main street, transportation access and quite a few homes look like a match. However, parts of that area also appear a bit tired. To the east, Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy are promising but not much is available, at least presently.


West of the river near downtown is a conundrum. On one hand, it looks to have a desirable University/young vibe. On the other, very low value real estate is prevalent. I don't want to buy in an area if it's surrounded by poverty.


East of the river, the rowhouses are mostly three story with no attached parking. However, there are some wider two story units and suppose there are lots available because people do need to park their cars. The 10 year tax abatement also makes some properties work that otherwise might not.


The seems to be a selection of nicely updated townhomes in the middle burbs. Except for certain towns on the Main Line, they are mostly within budget. I haven't spotted many of them near Media. In the city, twins are appealing. Many have parking and feature low taxes with no HOA fees. Rowhomes are the quintessential Philly housing style and I do find the combination of classical architecture and modern renovations alluring.


The property taxes of NJ make it a non-starter. We'll probably have city tax regardless where we live due to city employment. HOA fees only go up over time. As a working professional, it's not a huge deal. But we're both approaching retirement so it factors in more.


Thanks again for everyone's insights and contributions to this thread. If this hospitality is what I will find in Philly, I can't wait to get there.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:58 AM
 
400 posts, read 554,782 times
Reputation: 458
Default East Falls?

Don't have a horse in this race at all, but I really like East Falls. My daughter lived there for a while and I liked that I could visit and get a parking space and if I walked downhill I could run/stroll along the Schuylkill River in to the art museum, or if I walked uphill the train was there to go into the city. Plus, they have a nice library near the train station and I really liked the style of the twin homes there. Things are nicely kept up with flowers and care evident in the cute tiny front "yards". Like Manayunk, it seems you're always going up or down hill. But the neighborhood is nice and the commercial development is on a gradual improvement, as well.

Ooops, was I not supposed to say anything about a "best kept secret?
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:35 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,169 posts, read 28,586,554 times
Reputation: 9566
Quote:
Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
Thanks to all for your insight and thoughtful replies. Spending hours here and on Redfin, things are coming into clearer focus.


Anything that feels exurban/ isolated won't so Buck's county is probably out but Delco is in play. The Conshohocken/KOP/Norristown area has highway and rail access, population density and the Schuylkill running trail, which is a big plus. Parts of this area look somewhat gritty. Lafayette Hill seems promising.


Towards the city along the river, Manayunk/ Roxborough ticks a number of boxes. Vibrant main street, transportation access and quite a few homes look like a match. However, parts of that area also appear a bit tired. To the east, Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy are promising but not much is available, at least presently.


West of the river near downtown is a conundrum. On one hand, it looks to have a desirable University/young vibe. On the other, very low value real estate is prevalent. I don't want to buy in an area if it's surrounded by poverty.


East of the river, the rowhouses are mostly three story with no attached parking. However, there are some wider two story units and suppose there are lots available because people do need to park their cars. The 10 year tax abatement also makes some properties work that otherwise might not.


The seems to be a selection of nicely updated townhomes in the middle burbs. Except for certain towns on the Main Line, they are mostly within budget. I haven't spotted many of them near Media. In the city, twins are appealing. Many have parking and feature low taxes with no HOA fees. Rowhomes are the quintessential Philly housing style and I do find the combination of classical architecture and modern renovations alluring.


The property taxes of NJ make it a non-starter. We'll probably have city tax regardless where we live due to city employment. HOA fees only go up over time. As a working professional, it's not a huge deal. But we're both approaching retirement so it factors in more.


Thanks again for everyone's insights and contributions to this thread. If this hospitality is what I will find in Philly, I can't wait to get there.
Are you aware that the Philadelphia wage tax is deductible on NJ state income tax?

You have to work the numbers for your personal situation to know which area works better for you.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,573 times
Reputation: 236
NJ is a non-starter for me. Its overall tax burden is among the highest in the country, and PA also exempts retirement income.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:33 PM
 
1 posts, read 371 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
The property taxes of NJ make it a non-starter.
Some of the SEPA communities have property taxes just as high or higher. It tends to vary by school district. For example, taxes in the Wallingford-Swarthmore SD (outside of Media in Delaware County) for a $500K house can be 13K+.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:48 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,169 posts, read 28,586,554 times
Reputation: 9566
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipatent View Post
Some of the SEPA communities have property taxes just as high or higher. It tends to vary by school district. For example, taxes in the Wallingford-Swarthmore SD (outside of Media in Delaware County) for a $500K house can be 13K+.
I think that the OP has made up his mind on this. I know that for years, living in South Jersey & working in Philadelphia, only the city wage tax was withheld from my paycheck & that was it. No taxes paid to NJ at tax time. As I've said, everyone has to work the numbers for their own situation, but it worked for me.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,335 posts, read 744,209 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipatent View Post
Some of the SEPA communities have property taxes just as high or higher. It tends to vary by school district. For example, taxes in the Wallingford-Swarthmore SD (outside of Media in Delaware County) for a $500K house can be 13K+.

Wallingford - Swarthmore SD is a top performing school district. And Media and Swarthmore are absolutely charming architecture rich, walkable and charming areas with direct transit access to center city via regional rail and even a trolley (how many suburbs have a trolley in the USA - almost NONE) and Media is the largest and most vibrant suburban town of the entire immediate region with transit access.

Cinnaminson, NJ. A typical suburb frankly nothing that nice in regards to amenities. Below I found two listings and the property taxes within Cinnaminson, NJ. They are below.

375k house is 13k in property taxes.

500k house (there was only one listed) is 16k

I will take Media/Swarthmore. Its character. Transit access. And walkability. Then a place like Cinnaminson in NJ.

NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation. Period.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,335 posts, read 744,209 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Speaking of over the bridge, if you are willing to consider Southern New Jersey, Collingswood has everything you want in spades, and then some.

Haddon Avenue, its Main Street, is the liveliest of all this region's suburban Main Streets (and it should have by now dawned on you that there are plenty of good ones here). It's chock-full of great restaurants, including two Phillymag "50 Best." It has several really cool boutiques, including one store where you can get clothing, vintage vinyl, and coffee and sandwiches. Its Saturday farmers market under the PATCO viaduct, which runs nine months out of the year, was the first of its kind in South Jersey and remains, if not the best, one of the best - it helped spark Collingswood's Main Street renaissance. There's also a grocer and deli on Haddon Avenue, which means you can pop in and pick up something to eat without having to run to the supermarket or dine out. It has four very nice parks, all within walking distance from downtown, and its Shriners Auditorium - attached to the back of a large house on the borough's south side - has an active calendar of music and theatre performances. The Ritz in next-door Oaklyn augments the artistic side.

And if your wife lands a position at one of the hospitals in Philadelphia itself, especially Jefferson but also Pennsylvania, Hahnemann, HUP, CHOP or Penn Medicine Rittenhouse (no longer a hospital, but it provides specialty services including hospice care), PATCO gets you to 8th and Market in just 15 minutes.

The downside: Property taxes in New Jersey are significantly higher than in Pennsylvania. But you will find houses there that fit your purchase budget.

Why Young Homebuyers Should Consider Collingswood | Philadelphia Magazine

I will politely disagree that Media is the more lively place. Collingswood lack of liquor license, means the nightlife scene cuts out quite quickly, despite having well rated restaurants.

A walk around Media, always feels more vibrant and energetic, as it has a healthy bar and arts scene. A trolley running down its Main St. and healthy programming.

I do recognize Collingswood as a vibrant suburban town. But not the most, I think if it was no longer a dry town that would change. I am aware that they have made a few exceptions with the opening of one brewery. But Media has a brewery and I want to say 10+ very nice bars all within its Main St. Creating an extremely vibrant and energetic scene I did not get from Collingswood.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,573 times
Reputation: 236
I have always believed taxes were the price of civilization. Paying 4% of my home's value each year in Rochester, NY has changed my perspective.

I want to move to SEPA, not NJ. I will also say this.

Tax free retirement income in PA impacts every dollar of reportable income. That is the top of the funnel.

DE tax free retail shopping only impacts retail purchases.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
348 posts, read 103,573 times
Reputation: 236
A update. Last Friday, I arrived in Conshohocken. My belongings will be here tomorrow.

This is a great location, close to the highways, the rail and the Schuylkill River trail. Several quality eateries and a good variety of shops nearby.

Thanks to all for your insights and help. I will continue on the forum and look forward to many more chats with all of you.
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