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Old 03-18-2009, 12:01 PM
Location: Philadelphia
51 posts, read 146,340 times
Reputation: 24


Hi all...need some Philly suburbs help..living in Center City now, but contemplating a move out. Outgrowing our home and with our desire for great schools/safety/a play area for the kids, a move may be on the horizon. We also want to balance a great area(good people,fun things to do), with the need for one spouse to commute to NE Philly everyday for work. In summary, our needs are:

1.Great,positive school system for kids(they are very young now)
2. Great, safe neighborhood with nice people to meet/interact with
3. Good location for commute/close to highways/arteries (commutes will vary-1 person to Philly Northeast Airport area and 1 person work from home, but needs access to all of main travel areas of Philly, esp airport and CC.

We have narrowed our choices to:

-Main Line towns close to 476/Consh State Road Exit(Rte 23) Gladwyne/Villanova/Radnor/St Dvds(LM/Radnor Schools)
Haddonfield, NJ (Haddonfield Schools)
-Rydal,PA (Abington Schools)
My head is now spinning, with all the variables etc...would sincerely appreciate some real world advice as to why/where you think might be best. Thanks to all for participating.http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/images/smilies/biggrin.gif (broken link)
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:21 PM
9,237 posts, read 19,610,621 times
Reputation: 22313
Haddonfield is wonderful, but I would rule out NJ, at least for the near future.
The taxes are out of control, and it seems that they will get worse before they get better.
Taxes (property & school) are high too, but not as bad as NJ, in general.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:58 PM
Location: Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
463 posts, read 1,395,490 times
Reputation: 277
I know you have narrowed your choices down to exclude these places, but you should take another look at Bucks County, particularly Council Rock, Pennsbury, and a few of the other school districts. If someone in your family works at NE Philadelphia airport it would be a shorter commute from Bucks County. But if you are set on the western Philly burbs, there are good school districts there too but I personally know less about them.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:18 PM
316 posts, read 886,598 times
Reputation: 133
Rydal has everything you're looking for, great schools, great community, terrific proximity to NE Philly, getting to the airport isn't a problem and if you take the train to the airport, you're very close to the R1, just as getting to CC isn't a problem either. Out of the 3, really don't see how you can beat Rydal in terms of what you're looking for.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:41 PM
2,783 posts, read 6,520,483 times
Reputation: 865
You'd be doing your kids a disservice by moving to Radnor.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:07 PM
Location: Yardley PA
689 posts, read 2,095,016 times
Reputation: 184
I agree w Newtown - close commute to NE phila.. Great schools.. great community to raise kids.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:19 AM
117 posts, read 519,072 times
Reputation: 50
Also think about both Upper Moreland and Lower Moreland. Both have good schools, nice parks, and a short ride down Byberry Rd to Woodhaven and 95.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:36 AM
Location: Philadelphia
51 posts, read 146,340 times
Reputation: 24
Default Great replies, thank you! My follow up...

Again, thank you for participating thus far, your advice is appreciated.
A few questions, observations...

1. I will look at Newtown/Lower Makefield...our concern was tha it is a little far outside of Center City for us, we have no family/friends in the area and the schools, while good, not really better than any of the others....that being said, I will look closer...any additional/recommendations on Newtown is appreciated as perhaps I overlooked?

2. I know Haddonfield's main negative point is NJ taxes/property tax...do you think all of the other positives make it worthwhile, especially with a commute to NE Philly, and social time in CC and the Jersey Shore and desire for a small town/family atmosphere for us/kids?

3. Why would I be doing my kids a disservice moving to Radnor?
We love the homes right off the Villanova/St Davids exit, and also the Gladwyne/Villanova/Bryn Mawr homes right off Conshy State Road, and think that the NE philly commute won't be so bad, bc it will all be 476/276(30 min)...are the great neighborhoods/schools/homes worth a little extra travel? (obviously alot more than Rydal, but perhaps it is worth it?)

4. We looked at Lower Moreland(not into Upper) vs. Abington and although we thought the Lower Moreland school district was marginally better, and smaller, we thought for the $ spent, Rydal offered the nicest housing stock, neighborhoods...is there any reason to think this might change over time? In fact, in finding Rydal, that took Bucks Cty out of the equation bc it was just a nice suburb, with older homes instead of McMansions...am I looking at this wrong? Is Abington school district on the way up or way down?

Thanks so much for your advice, this is SO helpful!!!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:48 AM
Location: Pennsylvania
5,673 posts, read 10,245,988 times
Reputation: 9515
Abington schools will probably stay pretty stable, as people tend to be pretty engaged in the community. Likewise, I'd see little likelihood that the Rydal community will change much. One thing Abington has in its favor is a pretty solid commercial tax base for a suburban community.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:21 AM
1,623 posts, read 5,965,113 times
Reputation: 449
Radnor is snob city - the kids skip school and the parents don't care so the administration looks the other way. There was also a cheating scandal at Radnor High a few years ago.

Tredyffrin schools are the best in this area and possibly the state. Central Bucks, Chadds Ford, LM and Radnor also make the cut. Rounding out the top school districts in this area - Wallingford-Swarthmore and Great Valley.
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