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Old 05-28-2008, 08:52 AM
 
666 posts, read 5,396,871 times
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My husband and I would like to relocate to the Philly area. We currently live in DC. We love DC, the mid-Atlantic, and all the area has to offer, but we can't buy a house here because it's way too expensive. We've been looking at Philly, and think we may be able to find a house in our price range there. Anyhow, we have never been to Philly before, but are looking to learn more about the area before making our first trip out.

We are looking for an area with newer homes (don't like old homes), that is 30 min. or less from downtown Philly, and we'd preferably like a suburb that has a nice little downtown (we've heard West Chester, Chestnut Hill, Moorestown, and Doylestown may be some to consider with walkable downtown areas). For instance, if you've ever been to Evanston in the Chicago area, that is the type of suburb I'd like to live in (nice suburb with a nice little downtown area with shops and restaurants).

Given these three criteria that we have: newer homes, 30 min. or less from downtown Philly, and nice, walkable downtown area, are there any other suburbs you can recommend? (Though I know West Chester is about 45 min. from Philly).

Thank you!

 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: DC
3,299 posts, read 10,753,702 times
Reputation: 1346
Just fyi, Chestnut Hill is not a suburb, it's a neighborhood in Philadelphia. It's also more of a historic area, so if you want something new, it won't be right there. Close by there is Lafayette Hill and Plymouth-Whitemarsh, which would probably be newer. It's about 5 minutes from Germantown Ave in Chestnut Hill (the main street). My favorite part about Lafayette Hill is that you're technically right outside the city, but there's sheep running around when you go down Flourtown Road. As a neighborhood, it's a lot of nice homes with kids, and despite the "farm" it's pretty walkable (my best friend grew up there). You can probably get to Center City from there in 30-45 minutes (depends more on traffic than anything else, but Philly traffic is NOTHING compared to DC).

As for Doylestown, that will take you 45-60 minutes to Center City. The hardest part about Doylestown is that there's no clear-cut highway to Center City. You basically just have rt. 611 (Easton Road/Old York Road/Broad Street - lots of traffic and lights), and maybe rt. 309 (a highway for a bit, but lots of construction). Since it's further out, you're more likely to get newer things there as well. Doylestown supposedly has a nice little downtown area (I'm not familiar with it), but the majority of the area is your stereotypical suburb (i.e. you need a car to go just about anywhere, lots of shopping areas, etc.).
 
Old 05-28-2008, 01:19 PM
 
7 posts, read 26,790 times
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30 minutes to Center City with newer homes and quaint town is hard to find because Philly and its environs is an old, large established metropolitan area. West Chester and Doylestown are great, but way beyond 30 minutes during rush hour, as is Moorestown, which is in New Jersey. There are lots of quaint, walkable towns around Philly within 30 minutes: Narberth, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Haddonfield(NJ) are just some. However, in most of these towns the homes are older. But of course, there are always newer homes that have been built close to (but not necessarily within walking distance) to the towns. Other areas to consider (but outside 30 minute radius) are New Hope & Newtown, which are both in Bucks County, as well as Ambler (Montco), and Media & Wayne (Delco). I'm sure I am missing others. Variety of price points, but most are on the higher end.

I agree with the other poster's comments about Lafayette Hill & PW. Newer homes but in driving proximity to Chestnut Hill. One could travel 5 minutes or so outside of any of the above areas mentioned and find newer homes. I've been to Evanston and lived in Arlington, VA and unfortunately both are just newer than the areas I have discussed. My suggestion is that you get a list of towns then go visit them and decide if you like them.
 
Old 05-31-2008, 04:19 AM
 
Location: NJ
980 posts, read 2,477,643 times
Reputation: 1860
What is your price range?
 
Old 05-31-2008, 09:44 AM
 
1,623 posts, read 5,965,113 times
Reputation: 449
If you search this board for Evanston, you will find several posts from former Chicago residents like this:

"I lived in Chicago 12 years and am very familiar with Evanston. You want Main Line, Ardmore, Narberth, Wynnewood and Haverford. They are all very much like Evanston and have that College town in the city like tone that Evanston has in its relation to Northwestern. Good Luck!"

I would like to throw in that these areas are expensive and snooty as well. So it depends on your pocketbook and tolerance for materialism.

Similar areas are Media which has a walkable shoppable down town, Wayne, ditto but also on the snooty side of town and Wallingford which is charming, green, very liberal and next to Swarthmore which has a few businesses but you really need to travel a few minutes next door to Media for the shopping and restaurants. Swarthmore and Wallingford have older more affordable homes but the taxes are through the roof because of the lack of a business district.
 
Old 06-01-2008, 12:35 AM
 
Location: a swanky suburb in my fancy pants
3,391 posts, read 7,737,587 times
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Moorestown is within 30 minutes (barely) of center city but new construction there is of the McMansion type. Areas in Pa that close to the city were built out in the '50's and '60's although small builders are always building infill new houses here and there. Try this site New Home Guide: New Homes for Sale; New Home Construction
 
Old 06-03-2008, 06:20 AM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,843,384 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by doglover29 View Post
My husband and I would like to relocate to the Philly area. We currently live in DC. We love DC, the mid-Atlantic, and all the area has to offer, but we can't buy a house here because it's way too expensive. We've been looking at Philly, and think we may be able to find a house in our price range there. Anyhow, we have never been to Philly before, but are looking to learn more about the area before making our first trip out.

We are looking for an area with newer homes (don't like old homes), that is 30 min. or less from downtown Philly, and we'd preferably like a suburb that has a nice little downtown (we've heard West Chester, Chestnut Hill, Moorestown, and Doylestown may be some to consider with walkable downtown areas). For instance, if you've ever been to Evanston in the Chicago area, that is the type of suburb I'd like to live in (nice suburb with a nice little downtown area with shops and restaurants).

Given these three criteria that we have: newer homes, 30 min. or less from downtown Philly, and nice, walkable downtown area, are there any other suburbs you can recommend? (Though I know West Chester is about 45 min. from Philly).

Thank you!
Moorestown IMO is your best location in the greater Philly area, however, there are plenty of nice burbs on both sides of the river. PA is generally more crowded with less stringent zoning over the years that has caused overdevelopment. SJ has better economic growth, better zoning and is more central located to the northeast corridor. As you can see I'm pretty biased to NJ, I respect the Main Line in PA but not much else. Doylestown is a funny little town, it's a glorified Easton, PA, lots of lipstick and character but primarily a blue collar area. Areas on the train line to Philly to consider - Collingswood, Westmont and Haddonfield, with the latter being most desirable. Property taxes are a problem in NJ though. You'll find cheaper housing farther south but the commute will be an issue. If you want to get to the shore and/or NYC, don't even consider PA. We have the best of all worlds in NJ. Happy hunting.
 
Old 06-03-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoorestownResident View Post
Moorestown IMO is your best location in the greater Philly area, however, there are plenty of nice burbs on both sides of the river. PA is generally more crowded with less stringent zoning over the years that has caused overdevelopment. SJ has better economic growth, better zoning and is more central located to the northeast corridor. As you can see I'm pretty biased to NJ, I respect the Main Line in PA but not much else. Doylestown is a funny little town, it's a glorified Easton, PA, lots of lipstick and character but primarily a blue collar area. Areas on the train line to Philly to consider - Collingswood, Westmont and Haddonfield, with the latter being most desirable. Property taxes are a problem in NJ though. You'll find cheaper housing farther south but the commute will be an issue. If you want to get to the shore and/or NYC, don't even consider PA. We have the best of all worlds in NJ. Happy hunting.

Crawling out from under your rock trying to blow up a couple more threads I see.

Didn't you learn your lesson a couple months ago? South Jersey is a nice blue collar area with small pockets of wealth e.g. Moorestown,Haddonfield,Voorhees. Think I-295 Industrial Parks and Jr. VP's working in Center City. Great area for the middle class.

On the otherhand the Pa burbs are full of corporate office parks, bio med,pharmacuetical, and about 60 colleges and universities. Think HQ corporate parks and CEO's.

Its not even close the economic disparity between Chester,Bucks,Montgomery Counties in Pa and the 3 South jersey counties. Its ridiculously skewed towards the Pa counties having the higher quality of life.

The North jersey counties are different story but South Jersey is not of the same ilk as the Pa burbs and especially their Northern brethren.
 
Old 06-03-2008, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,290,092 times
Reputation: 1478
Sigh, here we go again.

We all know Moorestown is GREAT, Moorestown resident. We also would likely all agree that Jersey (South Jersey, especially), has THE BEST access to Philadelphia, NYC, and the shore.

For the record, I think your posts are your way of letting everyone know you supposedly live in Moorestown, and they allow you the ability to passive-aggressively put down other areas to make yourself feel better/wealthier/more worthy/etc.

Can't you talk nice about Moorestown without grinding your axe against anyone else? Keep your facts straight, don't just spew out rhetoric to make yourself feel better as a way of compensating for the fact that you grew up and live in a state that gets no respect.

It's nice to know you "respect" the Main Line but "not much else." I guess you must really feel like the man when you walk around places like Camden and Pennsauken.

And for someone in NJ to call PA "overdeveloped" - that's just too funny. Haven't you ever seen the bumper stick "Don't Jersey PA"?
 
Old 06-03-2008, 10:10 AM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,843,384 times
Reputation: 411
Relax dude. Actually I was waiting to see how long it took Rocker to respond. He probably just got back from Kohls :-)

I'm entitled to my opinion. PA just isn't NJ. I can drive through corn fields on my way to some of the most prestigious addresses in the country - in case you missed HGTV's airing of the Top 10 Dream Kitchens episode this weekend which highlighted a Moorestown dream kitchen at number 3, nothing in PA to be found.

Nevertheless, we are all the same region and I think Philly holds lots of promise. Till then I'll keep watching my property value go up (up over last year) and relax on a tree lined street in the number 1 town in America.

Last edited by MoorestownResident; 06-03-2008 at 10:51 AM..
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