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Old Yesterday, 07:20 PM
Location: Middletown, DE
60 posts, read 64,120 times
Reputation: 30


I am interested to know if anyone can share their experience in moving from Delaware to PA

particularly one of the Philadelphia suburbs... I'm currently in Middletown, Delaware

and it is very safe quiet town, but in (2) years my kids will be going to college and while

I love Delaware -- there just isn't much to do -- yes we have movie theaters, bowling alleys,

and some restaurants, and yes I know that none of that is relevant right now while we are in the

midst of Covid-19 -- I have to imagine someone will find a vaccine at some point!

So when that passes even if in (2) years -- I'd like to have a plan .

I can't be in Philly because it is just too urban for me

but a suburb of Philly offering the same quiet suburban feel of a small town in Delaware would be great.

Right now its an hour to Center City for all the great restaurants, the Kimmel Center, and so much more

to do... so the thinking is that being 30-35 drive to plenty of stuff do is much better than an hour

drive and thats at 65/70mph if there is no accident on I-95

We have lower taxes yes, but Delaware imposes over 6% in state taxes whereas I read that

PA is a flat 3% tax -- yes PA charges sales tax but we can still drive to the Christiana Mall for tax

free shopping like I see many other Pennsylvanians do on the weekend and PA I think doesn't charge

sales tax for everything like food and other essentials I think.

Oh Yeah.. I know that the same house I have in Middletown will be probably 100K more in PA

but we're thinking of getting something smaller in PA to accommodate the higher price

The higher property taxes offset by the reduce state income tax

What has your experience been? Are you happy? Did the expenses go up or down or a wash?

Where were you in Delaware and where did you go in PA?

Last edited by franklinb; Yesterday at 07:23 PM.. Reason: broaden the title
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Old Today, 09:43 AM
Location: Philadelphia
1,356 posts, read 792,918 times
Reputation: 1393
Hello, Welcome to the forum!

A few notes. Yes Pennsylvania has a 6% sales tax, but many essentials including clothing are all tax free. The state also does not tax retirement income, which is a huge plus for any retirees. And for this reason the state is considered to be a retirement friendly state, despite the property tax burden.

There are some really interesting and vibrant suburban towns that I would suggest you explore. Mainly West Chester off the top of my head. Not knowing your price range is a bit of a challenge, but West Chester is a historic vibrant town with a state university, that brings a great deal of vibrancy, community events and "things to do". You are about a 40 minute drive to Center City, about 25 minutes to Delaware and about 15 minutes to Exton for Amtrak or SEPTA service to Philadelphia and NYC.

I would also suggest Media and Swarthmore if you are looking to be a bit closer to the city, but you will find these communities are a bit more dense.

I definitely recommend West Chester. Good Luck!
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Old Today, 12:30 PM
Location: Chadds Ford
406 posts, read 190,257 times
Reputation: 416
Yeah, West Chester is the most obvious choice because it's so close to Delaware and offers the tranquility that you are mentioning, while still having amenities.

Also consider:
  • Glen Mills: Kind of like West Chester, but closer to Philly. No big town center in the area; just WC in the one direction and Media in the other.
  • Chadds Ford: A little more pretentious than WC, higher real estate taxes, closer to DE, but more open space.
  • Kennett Square: A smaller-scale West Chester, closer to DE, cheaper, further from Philadelphia.
  • Other southern Chester County Towns (Avondale, West Grove, New London, Oxford): Quaint, perhaps too quaint. Your house budget will go the furthest here, but also more rural and less amenities. Getting into Philadelphia would be a pain.
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Old Today, 05:21 PM
Location: Pa
209 posts, read 147,207 times
Reputation: 462
We retired in 2015 and lived in Nj. We checked out DE as well as several of the places mentioned in the above postings, moved to West Chester Borough, we love it. People are very friendly, the town has a community spirit, downtown is alive with always something going on, tons of places to explore, live theater, 50+ restaurants many shops. The Halloween and Christmas parades are amazing and not to be missed. It seems they always have something going on downtown where they shut down the streets and have a great time. If you love gardens Longwood Gardens is 20 min drive, amazing place a must see. We are members and visit many times during the year. The area around West Chester has many walking and bicycle trails.

Train service to Philly is 15mins away in Exton, local train you are in center city in 55 minutes . You can be in the country in 10 mins. Schools are rated very high. Tons of shopping nearby, King of Prussia mall is 20 mins away, largest mall in the east. Many others malls in the area.

West Chester is a university town, West Chester University with about 10K students on campus, if that bothers you may not like it. You have to be careful not to live near student housing, this website from the borough lists all student housing
With that said we have had no problems living near the university. We take advantage of the many free concerts, lectures, etc the university has to offer. The University has a large music program with many talented students. We attend quality concerts 2-3 nights a week, all for free.


The local police and campus security keep close tabs on the students and pretty much do not put up with a lot of stuff. Our encounter with students have been great, we were moving in a couch and struggling when all of the sudden it got lighter, a few big guys saw us and stopped and helped and would not take anything for their time.

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center http://uptownwestchester.org provides live theater, and concerts. Also the University has live theater, concerts and lectures for a fee

Some streets parking can be a problem so look for homes with off street parking or where parking is not restricted. They love to give out $25 parking tickets! Here is a map http://www.west-chester.com/DocumentCenter/View/764 of where parking is controlled.

Homes can come on the market and be gone in a few hours. When we purchased our home in 2015 we were bidding against 3 others. Our home came on the market on a Friday and they accepted our bid on Monday yea that fast.

When we were looking to move out of NJ,we looked at Media, Chestnut Hill, Phoenixville, Doyestown and several places in Delaware and settled on West Chester a decision we do not regret at all.

More info here

Good luck in your search.

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