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Old 03-11-2019, 11:29 AM
 
251 posts, read 130,039 times
Reputation: 309

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Just throwing my 2 cents in here. We live in the Chadds Ford-Unionville school district, in Birmingham Twp. which is technically a West Chester address. It definitely does not take 15 minutes to get to a grocery store, lol. We're a 5-minute drive from Rt. 202 which has an abundance of shopping all the way down to Wilmington, Delaware (a state that has no sales tax), 5 miles away. West Chester, Pa. has that "Main Street" vibe and is right down the road the other way.

Yes, it is car-centric. Yes, some of the older homes have wells and septic tanks (as our does) but there has been lots of development over the past decade and the newer homes are mostly gas and sewer. It's quiet, but we're not removed from civilization.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:07 PM
 
541 posts, read 253,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I think you will find that of the other three, Doylestown is the most physically attractive, with Malvern second and Lansdale third. Supermarkets in all of them are on the fringes of the town rather than at its center. I'm not familiar enough with where the parks are to recommend one over the other, but I do recall that Doylestown has some decent-sized parks right outside the downtown.
Doylestown has a huge park just outside the borough - Doylestown Central Park, which includes the largest public playground I know of in Bucks County - Kids Castle.

Doylestown Township Parks & Recreation: Facility Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I also think you will be looking longer and harder for that home you want in Doylestown and Chadds Ford than you will in Malvern. If you buy in the borough of Lansdale, you may have a hard time spending $500k for a house, though the townships that border it should have some decent houses in that range. The people who have warned you away from Lansdale remember its recent past as a rather down-at-heels, seedy community with a crime problem; it's neither down at heels nor crime-ridden now.
I wouldn't call Lansdale "crime-ridden" or dangerous (unless you're someone who lives a dangerous lifestyle...), but it's definitely not as well-heeled as the surrounding area.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
390 posts, read 171,218 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by mslhu View Post
Just throwing my 2 cents in here. We live in the Chadds Ford-Unionville school district, in Birmingham Twp. which is technically a West Chester address. It definitely does not take 15 minutes to get to a grocery store, lol. We're a 5-minute drive from Rt. 202 which has an abundance of shopping all the way down to Wilmington, Delaware (a state that has no sales tax), 5 miles away. West Chester, Pa. has that "Main Street" vibe and is right down the road the other way.

Yes, it is car-centric. Yes, some of the older homes have wells and septic tanks (as our does) but there has been lots of development over the past decade and the newer homes are mostly gas and sewer. It's quiet, but we're not removed from civilization.
Birmingham Township is probably the most "connected" township in the school district (it even extends a little bit east of 202), to the point that it's the exception to the rule.

Moderator cut: link removed, competitor site

As far as sewers go, the age of the house is irrelevant. What is relevant is the house's proximity to a sewage treatment plant, and having pipes between them. Here is a map of the sewer network in Birmingham township. Notice what percent of the township's area it services (and no surprise, it's the portion right next to 202). And again, this arguably the most "connected" township in the district (Chadds Ford has sewers too, but I think those are the only townships in the district that do).

EDIT: I also want to add that I specifically said that it's "not exactly frontier living" in my previous post. My points about lack of sewer/water, local police, and things being spread-out are all valid and accurate. And yes, I'm aware Birmingham has a local PD, but they're again an exception to the overall trend. Chadds Ford doesn't have a local PD, nor does Unionville.

Last edited by Yac; 03-14-2019 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:09 PM
 
251 posts, read 130,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
Birmingham Township is probably the most "connected" township in the school district (it even extends a little bit east of 202), to the point that it's the exception to the rule.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:36 PM
 
85 posts, read 37,517 times
Reputation: 259
I'll throw in my 2 cents. I grew up in the Bay Area and have lived in Montgomery Co. PA since 2000. I left California for many reasons, but the main reason was cost. In my late 20's I could see the writing on the wall as far as cost of living, and after taking a couple of trips East, I really liked the Philadelphia area. I could never have afforded to purchase a home in the town I grew up in, or any town near it for that matter. I'm glad I made the move when I did. Absolutely no regrets.

If your husband will be working in North Wales, I would suggest North Wales(Upper Gwynedd), Ambler(Upper Dublin Township), Lower Gwynedd Township or Towamencin Township areas. Lansdale can be a little rough around the edges in some areas, but all these areas are safe. I live in a town adjacent to Lansdale, and have never experienced any crime. My kids played outside all the time when they were young, and we've never had an issue or heard of any issues. I can't tell you how many times I forgot to close the garage door and left it opened all night. The public schools in the area are good, but you may want to check on individual schools. Upper Dublin and Wissahickon districts have good reputations, as does North Penn. North Penn High School is enormous though, and is only grades 10 - 12. Middle schools in North Penn are grades 7 - 9. Why commute a long distance in traffic when you can zip to work in 10 or 20 minutes without getting on freeways or the PA Turnpike.

We purchased a 4 Bed 2.5 bath 2 Garage home on .6 acres and have been very happy. For what we paid, we probably couldn't get a 1 bed 1 bath home in the Bay Area. You will need to get used to cold Winters and warm Summers with humidity, but you'll find friendly people and a safe affordable area to call home.

Best of luck in your move.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,220 posts, read 3,054,930 times
Reputation: 3937
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHL10 View Post
The OP doesn’t really know, so no offence intended and not that anyone should care what I think but the thread should be “Planning to move to the Philadelphia area….”


(Please excuse the somewhat off topic, cranky guy post. I’ve never been a fan of the name “Philly” unless it’s part of a description, i.e. “South Philly”, “Philly Special”, etc. Second, I’m not a fan of using “Philadelphia” or “Philly” as a description for the entire metro. It leads to the inevitable, “where do you live? Philly. Oh, where at exactly? Yardley.” Or considering a lot of the suburbs are still hostile toward the City, “hey, you’re from Philadelphia? Yes. Oh, I heard it’s really nice things – quaint older City , Liberty Bell, etc. Oh no, the suburbs are great but the City is dangerous, I haven’t been there in 30 years. It’s like Detroit.”)
It's precisely because of that last tendency that I would prefer people use something like "Greater Philadelphia" over "the Delaware Valley."

In most of the rest of the country, once outside a metropolitan area, people - even those who live in that metro - refer to it using the name of its core city.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:58 PM
 
11 posts, read 8,675 times
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If North Penn seems like too big of a school district for you, Upper Dublin, Hatboro, and Wissahickon are all great school districts. The Central Bucks schools are good too. The Main Line area also has good schools, but you may have to look into townhouses rather than a single home at your price range. Good luck looking! Honestly all those schools are good! You can't really go wrong.

Also, will you plan to go to the city at all for dinner, entertainment, etc? Because traffic can be pretty bad depending on what area you settle on. It can easily take 1.5 hours if you are trying to get dinner at 7pm on a Thursday night even though you are only traveling 13 miles.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,220 posts, read 3,054,930 times
Reputation: 3937
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy21 View Post
Also, will you plan to go to the city at all for dinner, entertainment, etc? Because traffic can be pretty bad depending on what area you settle on. It can easily take 1.5 hours if you are trying to get dinner at 7pm on a Thursday night even though you are only traveling 13 miles.
Unless you're staying out real late, SEPTA Regional Rail lets you avoid all that.

And you might note that the OP seems to have a preference for walkable suburban communities with Main Streets, which would put them in good stead wrt transit access.

All of the communities I recommended to the OP that they're still considering have Regional Rail stations at or near their center (in Jenkintown, it's on the edge of the borough and also serves Wyncote). Hop a train in and you have to worry about neither parking nor traffic - and the only place where your train trip to the city will take an hour and a half is Doylestown.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,645 times
Reputation: 14
I live in Jenkintown Borough, and the entire school district is on one single campus in the middle of the borough, and all the kids from kindergarten to high school walk to and from school. $500k can get you a beautiful single family home with a big yard close to a nice little downtown. Doylestown is a much nicer, wealthier commercial core, Ambler is probably more of a night life scene, but Jenkintown offers a much smaller and active/close-knit community to be a part of. It's also served by two RR stations and is closer than the other places to Philadelphia. That said, as far as suburbs go, Media, West Chester, Doylestown, Ambler, Narberth, and pretty much anywhere along the Main Line (Ardmore to Villanova) offer nice walkable neighborhoods. If getting to North Wales is less important, I'd consider Mount Airy or Chestnut Hill inside Philadelphia. Much more diverse, and even more walkable commercial corridors than all of these suburbs. They are also both extremely safe, and they touch Wissahickon Valley Park, which is a massive, stunning, beautiful natural park full of great hiking trails and opportunities for exploring nature. Great place to go for a run, walk or bike ride. If you find a house along the park, you'd be very lucky.

All the above mentioned towns are great but I'd say for walkability, proximity to the city, safety, diversity and big house with a yard, this is the order:
West Mount Airy (Phila) *the only place with substantial diversity whatsoever out of any place mentioned in the thread*
Chestnut Hill (Phila)
Ardmore (MontCo)
Jenkintown (MontCo)
All the others
The others just seem too remote for what it seems like you want.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:52 PM
 
24 posts, read 22,257 times
Reputation: 15
So many great ideas, Thank you! Does anyone have any feedback on Malvern?
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