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Old 06-18-2020, 01:31 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,245 times
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Hi! My family (with 2 kids in elementary) is moving this summer, and I need all the advice I can get as I've never been to the area (and covid has prevented/delayed us from visiting). It's so hard to get the feel of a place through zillow pictures. I’m looking for a new/updated house with a big yard in a kid-friendly neighborhood in a top school district. The handful of people I've talked to have told me to look at houses in the Main Line. I've narrowed my search to the Radnor and Lower Merion school districts, but then I'll see a nice house at Newtown Square or Devon, and I'm wondering if my search is too limited. Thanks in advance for your help!!

When are you moving? within the next couple months
Where are you coming from? Bethesda, MD
Why are you moving? job
Where will you be working? King of Prussia
Have you been here yet? no

Will you buy or rent? buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? house
How much can you spend? flexible but looking at $1 to 3 million range

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? PA

Are you married or single? Do you have children? married with 2 kids
Do you prefer public or private schools? public but open to private
Do you have pets? no
Do you want or need a yard? yes, with flat open space to kick a ball/build a fort
Are you keeping a car? yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? calm, safe neighborhood but within a short drive to the action

What do you want to be closest to? Work, Shopping, Basic services

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? I want to be around other families with elementary school aged kids and also value diversity. I would love to find a neighborhood like the one I live in now--kids can ride their bikes out front, walk over to a friend's house, impromptu front yard play dates and happy hours, neighborhood block parties, friendly family fun.

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? beer, bourbon, cocktails

I'm eager to hear what you all have to say! Be my guide! THANK YOU
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:13 PM
 
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With this budget , you can do whatever you want.
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Old 06-19-2020, 08:06 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,659 posts, read 5,860,772 times
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Many options to choose from. I would suggest Wayne, Radnor, Newtown Square, Malvern. Additional zipcodes 19028 (Edgemont) and 19063 (Media, Upper Providence, Middletown). All either on the Main Line or near the Main Line. All have excellent public and private schools, plenty of amenities, and a few have walk-able downtown areas notably Wayne, Media and nearby Ardmore. Even King of Prussia has a sort of walk-able area, but its a new development, not really organic.

Also sounds like you prefer a neighborhood rather than a more secluded private setting. Some communities off the top of my head in that price range.

Liseter - Newtown Square, beautiful location, 400+ houses, different home and lot sizes, large community pool, gym, etc. 20-25 min from King of Prussia. Marple-Newtown School District.

White Horse Estates - Newtown Square. Right next to Liseter. 50-ish homes, a little quieter and more exclusive. Streets are Bridle Lane, Withers Lane, Farrier Lane. I put the streets because there is also a retirement community called White Horse and Google might mess up the search.

Whitegate - Wayne, minutes from King of Prussia. I believe this is either Treddyffrin-Easttown or Radnor School District (both the best in the state).

There are hundreds of communities like these throughout the area, with some research and a visit you should be able to narrow down a few towns. Finally, don't worry about any hesitations with school districts in that region, they are all excellent, if you are unsure, you can always ask on here about a specific one.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:56 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the info! I appreciate it!
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,133 posts, read 3,417,203 times
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To give you the names of the top 20 or so school districts in the region, in approximate order:

Tredyffrin-Easttown*
Radnor*
Unionville-Chadds Ford*
Lower Merion*
New Hope-Solebury*
Wallingford-Swarthmore*
Colonial
North Penn
Haverford Township*
Rose Tree Media
West Chester Area
Wissahickon*
Marple Newtown*
Spring-Ford
Council Rock*
Central Bucks*
Great Valley
Owen J. Roberts
Pennsbury
Jenkintown
Abington
Kennett Consolidated
Downingtown

The districts I've marked with asterisks are likely to have the greatest concentration of houses in the $1m-$3m price range.

N.B.: About half the Main Line straddles the Delaware-Montgomery county line, and many of the communities along it lie partly in each county until you get to Radnor (which is in Delaware County; Radnor Township, which includes St. Davids, Wayne and more working-class Garrett Hill, is that county's wealthiest municipality).

Bala-Cynwyd, Gladwyne** and Narberth Borough (which won't have any houses in your price range but which I recommend highly for its small-town, family-friendly vibe) all lie entirely in the Lower Merion School District, which generally no longer ranks at the top of the list of the region's school districts but enjoys the loftiest reputation — and is also the most racially diverse of these districts, which I'm afraid isn't saying a lot. Ardmore, Haverford*** and Bryn Mawr all lie partly in the Lower Merion School District and partly in the School District of Haverford Township (Delaware County). Villanova is split between Lower Merion and Radnor Township. The upper reaches of St. Davids and Wayne lie in the Upper Merion School District, which is not in the top 20 but not bad either.

Once past Wayne, the rest of the Main Line lies in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District until you get to Malvern.

**Gladwyne — the wealthiest of all the communities in the Greater Philadelphia region — will have the largest selection of houses in the price range you want. But it won't have that small-town/Main Street/urbane vibe.

***Not to be confused with Haverford Township, Delaware County, in which it partly lies. Most of the township is known as Havertown. Llanerch is also located in it.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:51 AM
 
561 posts, read 371,366 times
Reputation: 141
What are average single house prices and tax in these top school districts?



Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
To give you the names of the top 20 or so school districts in the region, in approximate order:

Tredyffrin-Easttown*
Radnor*
Unionville-Chadds Ford*
Lower Merion*
New Hope-Solebury*
Wallingford-Swarthmore*
Colonial
North Penn
Haverford Township*
Rose Tree Media
West Chester Area
Wissahickon*
Marple Newtown*
Spring-Ford
Council Rock*
Central Bucks*
Great Valley
Owen J. Roberts
Pennsbury
Jenkintown
Abington
Kennett Consolidated
Downingtown

The districts I've marked with asterisks are likely to have the greatest concentration of houses in the $1m-$3m price range.

N.B.: About half the Main Line straddles the Delaware-Montgomery county line, and many of the communities along it lie partly in each county until you get to Radnor (which is in Delaware County; Radnor Township, which includes St. Davids, Wayne and more working-class Garrett Hill, is that county's wealthiest municipality).

Bala-Cynwyd, Gladwyne** and Narberth Borough (which won't have any houses in your price range but which I recommend highly for its small-town, family-friendly vibe) all lie entirely in the Lower Merion School District, which generally no longer ranks at the top of the list of the region's school districts but enjoys the loftiest reputation — and is also the most racially diverse of these districts, which I'm afraid isn't saying a lot. Ardmore, Haverford*** and Bryn Mawr all lie partly in the Lower Merion School District and partly in the School District of Haverford Township (Delaware County). Villanova is split between Lower Merion and Radnor Township. The upper reaches of St. Davids and Wayne lie in the Upper Merion School District, which is not in the top 20 but not bad either.

Once past Wayne, the rest of the Main Line lies in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District until you get to Malvern.

**Gladwyne — the wealthiest of all the communities in the Greater Philadelphia region — will have the largest selection of houses in the price range you want. But it won't have that small-town/Main Street/urbane vibe.

***Not to be confused with Haverford Township, Delaware County, in which it partly lies. Most of the township is known as Havertown. Llanerch is also located in it.
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,133 posts, read 3,417,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewin888 View Post
What are average single house prices and tax in these top school districts?
I'd have to do some digging through records to get answers to those questions, but I think a pithy short answer would be "Higher house prices and lower property taxes than in less-affluent suburban districts."

I'm looking at you, Upper Darby, when I type this.

Property taxes are lower in Philadelphia than in any of these communities, however.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:03 AM
 
561 posts, read 371,366 times
Reputation: 141
Common sense is better schools = higher price and higher tax and higher teacher salaries



Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I'd have to do some digging through records to get answers to those questions, but I think a pithy short answer would be "Higher house prices and lower property taxes than in less-affluent suburban districts."

I'm looking at you, Upper Darby, when I type this.

Property taxes are lower in Philadelphia than in any of these communities, however.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,133 posts, read 3,417,203 times
Reputation: 4522
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewin888 View Post
Common sense is better schools = higher price and higher tax and higher teacher salaries


Two of those three, yes, but not the third (higher tax).

Here's why: With a substantially higher residential tax base (total value of residential property), it will take less revenue from each property to raise the funds needed to run the school district at the desired level. Taxes in absolute dollars may be high, but that's because the property values are high; expressed as a percentage of the house's value, those taxes may well be lower than they would be in less affluent communities, and usually are.

And, of course, the businesses in these communities probably rake in enough revenue to further offset the need for high taxes on residential property. Lower Merion Township, for instance, has a substantial commercial district in its southeast corner, along City Avenue near Presidential Boulevard, and there are substantial commercial ratables in Radnor Township right next to the Blue Route/Lancaster Avenue (I-476/US 30) interchange.

And actually, the relationship between per-pupil spending and academic quality is non-linear, it turns out. Go take a look at the per-pupil spending in T-E as opposed to the next five districts below it on the list.
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,245 times
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So it looks like Radnor and TE rank highest. How are they different? What is the general school/student culture at each?

Also, I’m noticing the highlighting of counties. What should I know about living in Montgomery County v. Delaware County?
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