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Old 03-09-2007, 03:26 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,234 times
Reputation: 13

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My husband is talking to a company in Wilmington, DE and I need to start thinking about what we'll do if that winds up happening. We live in a city now and my kids are in these really cool private schools here I'd hate to leave, but I could---I love Philadelphia!

I'd love to live in the city, but it's too late to apply for private schools and I don't hear too many wonderful things about the public ones...With my two oldest starting 6th and 9th grade in the fall, good schools are imperative. We're lucky---we can afford a house in just about any suburb (unless there's one where all the houses are a million bucks).

The thing is, I'm such a city girl, and really like diversity. I don't want them to go to a school where everyone expects a fancy car on their 16th birthday and is into designer stuff, or a school so competitive that kids moan if they "only" get into a non-ivy but really good college.


So---where do I get good schools and nice houses without too much pretension? Or do I want too much? (I feel like I have all that now, but that's probably just because I've worked hard to find that here).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Newtown Square, PA
179 posts, read 991,992 times
Reputation: 62
well the main line is definately image oriented. Great schools especially the private ones, but there is lots of money there and plenty of kids driving bmw's when they turn 16. if your husband takes a job in wilmington, take a look at chadds ford, very nice area but definately not as pretensious as the main line but certainly not city like at all, much more rural.
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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The Garnet Valley area might work. Great schools, seems like a down to earth upper middle class place. Theres no town center but you're only 15 minutes to West Chester, 15 minutes to Media, 30 minutes to Wilmington and Center City.

Great location, great place to live if you can deal with the sprawling community type.

The thoughts of commuting from the Main Line to Wilmington become less appealing to me persoanlly as traffic congestion + sprawl continue to be a factor in this area.
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
47 posts, read 184,718 times
Reputation: 19
I just moved from Mainline (Merion) to San Antonio (husband's job) and I can tell you that we looked in both Wilmington and Mainline; hands down I would choose mainline. We LOVED our neighborhood (near General Wayne Park). Traffic? What traffic! We were so close to town that we always took the train in and oh by the way, on a lovely day we walked to the train.

Lower Merion is a top rated blue ribbon school district. None of my neighbors sent their kids to private school Perhaps out of Lower Merion yes but not in the heart of LM.

I never felt like I lived amongs snobs but did feel like 'others' liked to label us this way. Are there alot of BMWs and such? Yes but I wouldn't let that make me look somewhere else.

Our neighborhood was so hot that we sold our house ourselves in 1.5 weeks to a person with no realtor either!

Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635
Tommi brings up a good point about house values. You will pay a higher price along the mainline but what a solid investment it is. Philadelphia Magazine has a large section in this months magazine about home values in all the area communities. They labeled the Mainline as east coast version of "Beverly Hills". Thats probably overstating things but they did mention that alot of wealthy New Yorkers have been buying into the area as personal homes and as investment properties.

Last edited by rainrock; 03-10-2007 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 03-17-2007, 12:49 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,234 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you all---great advice....
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:28 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 3,677,578 times
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The Main Line has a very annoying bourgeous attitude but
its a solid investment and around good schools. Wilmington
on the otherhand has some tolerable neighborhoods close by
(Greenville) but all in all is not even in the same stratosphere
as the Main Line. If I wanted an urban environment or neighborhood
nearby one, Wilmington wouldnt even be on my list. The Main Line,
and areas before it like Malvern and Paoli are very nice places.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:45 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,234 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks, Kozmic Ninja...it sounds like somewhere on or near the Main Line is our best bet. The area I live in now has good schools and some people have money but it's not "showy"---then again, I'm a real city person and would much rather be closer to a theater or cool restaurant than a mall. So I'll have to see the downtowns of these places. Thankfully, this site is a real help!
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:42 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,379 times
Reputation: 10
Default Wilmington

Ok, enough from the snobs on the mainline.

Most people drive through I95 or down 202 and see a strip mall and think that is Wilmington, it isn't.

Wilmington does have its problems (public schools), but there are several great neighborhoods in the nearby suburbs, Wawaset, Rockford Park, Trolley Square (my commute is 15 minutes and I live in Centreville near the PA border). There are also several great private schools - and the downtown, through renovations and new buildings mostly by developer Buccini Polin Group have changed the city.

The benefit to this area, if you want a school that is diverse, is that there is a great Quaker School, Wilmington Friends School, that despite the BMW's could provide the atmosphere that you seek. Similarly Wilmington Montessori which stops before high school is another wonderful - balanced school.

There are several new buildings with high end condos in the downtown area. it is not New York or Center City Philadelphia, but neither is the mainline.

Wilmington is also about 25 minutes away from Swarthmore off of 95 on the highway, which is a great town. The mainline commute would be brutal.

You could also live in Chadds Ford - Unionville and get great schools.

In addition both Baltimore and Philadelphia are 45 minutes away and NY and D.C. about 1 1/2 to 2 hours if you really need a fix, some parts of the mainline are, due to traffic also 45 minutes away from downtown Philadelphia.

Commuting from the mainline would be pretty tough. I think I could only stomach the commute from Swarthmore. The mainline is nice, but really far from where he is probably working.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:01 PM
 
42 posts, read 204,039 times
Reputation: 22
I AM ALSO A LOVER OF THE CITY AND I SEEM TO BE A SPOKESPERSON FOR UNIVERSITY CITY. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, U-CITY, WHICH IS CLOSE TO PENN, AND DREXEL, HAS A SCHOOL CALLED THE SADIE PENN ALEXANDER SCHOOL. IN ORDER TO GO TO THIS SCHOOL, YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITHIN A CERTAIN CATCHMENT AREA. THE SCHOOL WAS RECENTLY BUILT FROM THE GROUND UP A FEW YEARS AGO TO BASICALLY ACCOMODATE AND ATTRACT PROFESSORS AND EMPLOYEES OF UNIVERSITY OF PENN. UNIVERSITY OF PENN FUNDED $15 MILLION DOLLARS TO HELP BUILD THE SCHOOL AND THEY ALSO PAY A OVER A MILLION A YEAR TO KEEP THE SCHOOL RUNNING. THE SCHOOL HAS GREAT PARENTS AND TEACHERS. IT IS A RACIALLY BALANCED SCHOOL. THE HOMES IN THE AREA ARE BUAUTIFUL RENOVATED VICTORIAN STYLE HOMES. THE MAJOR REALTORS IN THE AREA ARE URBAN&BYE REALTOR, (URBANBYE.COM). i FORGOT THE NAME OF THE OTHER REALTOR OFFICE FOR THAT AREA. YOU WILL BE CLOSER TO THE CITY'S POPULAR AREAS SUCH AS THE ART MUSEUM, KELLY DRIVE, OLD CITY, SOUTH STREET, AND THE WATERFRONT. YOU CAN WALK TO REALLY NICE RESTARUNTS AND CAFES. YOU CAN ALSO WALK TO A BOWLING ALLEY AND MOVIE THEATER.
ALSO, CHESTNUT HILL/EAST MOUNT AIRY IS ANOTHER NICE PLACE TO LIVE. THEY HAVE NICE PRIVATE SCHOOLS (DON'T KNOW THE NAMES OFF HAND BUT IF INTERESTED, LET ME KNOW AND I CAN LOOK IT UP FOR YOU). IT IS FURTHER FROM CENTER CITY BUT IS A BUAETIFUL FAMILY COMMUNITY. THE HAVE A NICE TOY STORE, RESTAURANTS, CAFES, BEAD SHOPS ETC.

Last edited by Yac; 03-21-2007 at 05:21 AM.. Reason: Realtor link removed. Please stop posting in capital letters only.
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