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Old 02-12-2019, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,335 posts, read 744,209 times
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The trolley's are safe. Nothing you have to worry about on any level. If you do not drive. Media and Upper Darby would be your main 'hubs' and you would want to be on the trolley line that alternates between both.

Be conscious of taxes. 300k home usually means 10k a year property taxes, which factor into a mortgage.

I am a proponent of Drexel Hill and it surely is gaining traction from people moving into the region. In my opinion.

New Jersey tax rates are comprehensible, but most likely the school district is a bit higher performing. Which means housing values are shakey, but still garner a bid.

Upper Darby is not high performing, but not low performing. It is one of the largest, diverse suburban districts in the region (Cheltenham being #2) and while Southeast Pennsylvania has an exceptionally top performing public school system. (One of the highest in the nation). Upper Darby gets a C. Which in many suburbs nationwide is actually the standard.

With that your property taxes are a premium. I would also suggest Jenkintown and Cheltenham Twp if you wanted to get alot for your money, but with these locations you would give up the Trolley.

And also the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. You will not get a house that size, for that price, but your property taxes will be much lower. You will have easy access to Center City and Germantown Ave. is very walkable.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:54 AM
 
19 posts, read 13,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
Drexel Hill is not great for walkability, but it would fit your other requirements enough. Sounds like you want suburbs with good transportation access since you're not looking into Philly city proper. For Drexel Hill, those border lines are probably correct.

Look at Media for your budget and enough walkability there and access to get to the city.
In the city limits, consider Manayunk, Conshohocken, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Packer Park, Queen Village.
Drexel Hill is not great for walkability? Are you crazy? It is fantastically walkable. There are not a ton of commercial areas but anything you need is within walking distance. All of the residential streets have well-maintained sidewalks, street lights, storm water management. It is a great town with a diverse population. The people are very nice. I have lived in Drexel Hill for quite a few years now and I have no complaints (except the taxes but you can at least write it off and they are just as bad in other areas if you compare a comparable house - not house price but the house itself*). The area is undervalued in my opinion. I think it is crazy that people will pay much more money to live is a cheesy, pre-fab house in a place like Broomall just to save some money on taxes.

If you are financially stressed and you home is an investment, there are better places to maximize the appreciation on your home. If your house is not your biggest investment (like those dumb commercials), Drexel Hill is worth the lower ROI. It is a great place to live with quality homes, good people, low crime, tons of activities for kids, good infrastructure and public services, parks, public transit and, yes, decent schools.

Also, the public schools in Upper Darby are better than people say. There are problem kids at times but that is any large school district (Upper Darby has 80,000 residents). There are over 100 languages spoken at the high school and it is understandable that some of these people with English as a second language will test a bit lower. Test scores are also highly correlated with family income (for whatever reason) and there are low-income areas of Upper Darby that feed into the public schools. There are track-levels for a range of students. The kids in the higher tracks perform very well. School ratings are based on averages and a large school district with a fair number of low-income students will have lower averages regardless of the quality of the schools.

If the public schools are not for you, there are several catholic and private schools available from kindergarten through high school. The Catholic elementary schools are open to everyone (regardless of faith) and cost under $4,000 per year to attend.


* For example, if you put my house in Lower Merion, the tax bill would be very similar to what it is now (over $10k/yr). You could compare it to he taxes on a $300k house on the Main Line and see the taxes are much higher but a $300k house on the Main Line would be a closet or a dump.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:53 AM
 
377 posts, read 333,995 times
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When people say they want live somewhere walkable they don't mean that it has sidewalks, lighting and drainage. While all of that is nice, the desire is generally to have places to walk to (transit, shopping, food, nightlife, etc.).
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:30 PM
 
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No, I think they mean that they can walk to the places that they need to go and don't need a car. Post Office, grocery stores, restaurants, parks, the local swim club, etc. - all within easy walking distance. Drexel Hill is definitely lacking in nightlife but that doesn't mean it isn't walkable. In fact, very few of the suburbs in the area have much in the way of nightlife, most with less than DH. We at least have a few decent bars - Station Tap, Chickie's and Pete's - and have the Tower Theatre a short trolley ride across town. The Springfield Mall is a short trolley ride away too. Everything is pretty much there except a main street.

My kids walk to and from school. They walk to their friends houses and to the pool. They walk or ride their bikes to the park for little league. We walk to church. I walk to meet friends to watch the games at Chickie's & Pete's. . . and on and on. Not bad for a place that isn't walkable.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:37 PM
 
19 posts, read 13,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeEd32 View Post
When people say they want live somewhere walkable they don't mean that it has sidewalks, lighting and drainage. While all of that is nice, the desire is generally to have places to walk to (transit, shopping, food, nightlife, etc.).
And don't take street lights, sidewalks and storm drains for granted. I am amazed by some of the high prices areas where there are no sidewalks and where a heavy rain turns people's lawns turn into swamps.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:49 PM
 
26 posts, read 18,384 times
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I love Drexel Hill, sometimes we take a detour through the neighborhood just to see the homes.

One thing to mention though is that many of them don't have air conditioning and winters can be expensive heating with oil. So factor that in on top of your $750/month tax bill. I'm not sure how many people you're coming with or how much of the house will be occupied but something to keep in mind. I helped retrofit a house with A/C years ago and then it cost over $10k.

Beautiful neighborhood and safe. Trolleys, busses, and walking... no issues. Drexel Hill Middle School is very good. UDHS offers great opportunities if your kids take advantage. Easy commute to the city, to the western suburbs like Malvern and KoP... not so much.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:09 PM
 
377 posts, read 333,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drooper View Post
I think they mean that they can walk to the places that they need to go and don't need a car.
That's exactly what I said.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:57 PM
 
19 posts, read 13,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaffleCone View Post
I love Drexel Hill, sometimes we take a detour through the neighborhood just to see the homes.

One thing to mention though is that many of them don't have air conditioning and winters can be expensive heating with oil. So factor that in on top of your $750/month tax bill. I'm not sure how many people you're coming with or how much of the house will be occupied but something to keep in mind. I helped retrofit a house with A/C years ago and then it cost over $10k.

Beautiful neighborhood and safe. Trolleys, busses, and walking... no issues. Drexel Hill Middle School is very good. UDHS offers great opportunities if your kids take advantage. Easy commute to the city, to the western suburbs like Malvern and KoP... not so much.
That is true about the AC but people are installing central air now that the prices have come down. I know of someone who spent close to $40k putting in central air with all of the old school duct work. Getting a high velocity system is not very expensive. I had a high velocity system put in for under $15K and it has been money well spent. The issue will having to install central air is going to be a potential issue in any house older than about 50 years.

As far as heating, some people do still use heating oil. I have gas and I know some people are switching over. I don't know that oil is any more expensive but it means that there is a separate bill to the delivery company rather than just PECO. Either way, the hot water hearing systems in these houses is much better than forced hot air. I would say the heating is an overall plus.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:31 PM
 
99 posts, read 143,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaffleCone View Post
I love Drexel Hill, sometimes we take a detour through the neighborhood just to see the homes.

One thing to mention though is that many of them don't have air conditioning and winters can be expensive heating with oil. So factor that in on top of your $750/month tax bill. I'm not sure how many people you're coming with or how much of the house will be occupied but something to keep in mind. I helped retrofit a house with A/C years ago and then it cost over $10k.

Beautiful neighborhood and safe. Trolleys, busses, and walking... no issues. Drexel Hill Middle School is very good. UDHS offers great opportunities if your kids take advantage. Easy commute to the city, to the western suburbs like Malvern and KoP... not so much.
Agreed.
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