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Old 06-25-2020, 06:36 AM
 
3 posts, read 529 times
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Hi Everyone

My wife and I are relocating from greater-Boston to Greater-Philly, we are in mid-50's and active and social. I will be working in City-Center, and we would like to narrow down the towns to visit this weekend. Our objectives are:

- Single Family house between $800K - $1.1M with at least half acre, between 3000 - 4000 square feet
- 30 minute or less car commute to City Center, with option of mass transit direct
- A City/town with local downtown of shops, restaurants, bars. Not rural, rather small city feel
- Great Schools because they typically correlate to good neighborhoods and property value retention
- Parks, riding trails, walking trails, least distance to good ocean beaches (presumably New Jersey)
- If your familiar with areas elsewhere, similar to Newton Mass, Chevy-Chase MD, Bethesda MD

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Greater Philadelphia
213 posts, read 52,035 times
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I'd recommend checking out Lafayette Hill, it doesn't have too many restaurants, bars, or a downtown, but it's a 10 minute drive from the Plymouth Meeting mall and downtown chestnut hill is about 5 minutes depending on where in the city you're coming from. There's a Chestnut Hill West station, the route would be the Chestnut Hill Line to Suburban Station.

Abington acts as a city with a great downtown area, good public schools, and shopping centers. The Transportation to CC via train would be Warminster Line, there's a few choices, Rosyln station or Jenkintown station. It's larger than Lafeyette Hill, but is more similar to Chevy-Chase and Bethesda.

Last edited by AshbyQuin; 06-25-2020 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:45 AM
 
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Check out Lower Merion Township and Haverford Township. You'll find estate like properties there on acreage well within your budget. Easy commute to central Philly via SEPTA.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Check out Lower Merion Township and Haverford Township. You'll find estate like properties there on acreage well within your budget. Easy commute to central Philly via SEPTA.
Yep, Main Line communities like Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Narberth, Haverford and Bryn Mawr are definitely a near-identical analogues to Newton, MA and Bethesda, MD. Those would be ideal towns in which to focus your search.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Yep, Main Line communities like Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Narberth, Haverford and Bryn Mawr are definitely a near-identical analogues to Newton, MA and Bethesda, MD. Those would be ideal towns in which to focus your search.
I would add Wayne to the list.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:23 AM
 
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Main Line towns for the reasons said on here. Anywhere from Merion Station to Wayne will tick the boxes. Driving will take much longer. I would not plan on driving regularly into Center City.

Another option is Haddonfield, NJ, using PATCO to get into the office.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:26 PM
 
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Thank You everyone! Very helpful.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,359 posts, read 800,078 times
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I would highly recommend:

Chestnut Hill: This is in NW Philadelphia (really charming and historic downtown with a cobblestone Main Street).
You will be presently surprised. My New England friends are incredibly impressed at the historic charming architecture in this part of the city which is adjacent to Fairmount Park for plentiful recreation. You will get more for your money here. A good mix of young families, and that classic Philadelphia old money make it an eclectic hip mix.

Wayne &/or Ardmore on the Main Line. Philadelphia's storied Main Line is charming, beautiful and unique, all with a level of understated wealth. Great transit access. (This commuter line is the busiest/most frequent of SEPTA). Your money goes the least here. Old Money is predominate.

Lower Gwynedd: Beautiful area approximate to Ambler which has a nice charming town center. You will get a bit more for your money here vs. the Main Line and the area surrounding is quaint with beautiful rolling hills. This is the most removed from Center City for commuting purposes. Pushing around 45 minute commute. Nice area, a mix of young and older families. Well to do, without the stuffy vibes.

Media: I would focus more closely around Newtown Square which is a short drive to both Media and the Main Line towns. Media is an incredibly vibrant suburban town (the most in the region) and offers a lot. It is highly popular with families. This is by far the younger, crunchy granola, yuppie, young family vibe. Excellent schools. Lots to do.

All communities above are about 30 - 40 minutes commute to Center City via Commuter Rail. All communities have a charming town center. All communities are close to great outdoor recreation. All are in excellent school districts except Chestnut Hill, but Chestnut Hill is very established and most residents send their children to private school.

Good luck and welcome to Southeast Pennsylvania!
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:27 PM
 
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@rowhomecity - thank you for the detailed and thoughtful recommendations.

On my list is Chestnut Hill, Lower Merion, Radnor, Bryn Mawr, Admore, Villanova. My wife and I are driving from MA to PA tomorrow and will check out Center City, and the above areas in Southern Montgomery County.

While a excellent school district is a proxy for good retention of real estate value, my children have already graduated from university with one working and one in grad school. (both in greater DC, so we will be closer to children from PA than MA).

My wife and I enjoy going out to restaurants, bars, cafe's, nightlife even though we are in mid-50's. Being around younger people and young families is a great, and looking for social opportunity for our age (tennis club, etc).

Thank You!
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,359 posts, read 800,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliF1 View Post
@rowhomecity - thank you for the detailed and thoughtful recommendations.

On my list is Chestnut Hill, Lower Merion, Radnor, Bryn Mawr, Admore, Villanova. My wife and I are driving from MA to PA tomorrow and will check out Center City, and the above areas in Southern Montgomery County.

While a excellent school district is a proxy for good retention of real estate value, my children have already graduated from university with one working and one in grad school. (both in greater DC, so we will be closer to children from PA than MA).

My wife and I enjoy going out to restaurants, bars, cafe's, nightlife even though we are in mid-50's. Being around younger people and young families is a great, and looking for social opportunity for our age (tennis club, etc).

Thank You!
You're welcome! In regards to Chestnut Hill, while it is part of the Philadelphia School District, the neighborhood is very established and desirable.

Chestnut Hill and Lower Merion seem to be the best mix of what you are looking for in terms of enjoying both Center City and Suburban life.

Both are highly accessible to Center City via car and train, while also retaining attractive vibrant town centers.

Good luck! (Also for what it is worth: Lower Merion has Amtrak service to NYC!)
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