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Old 03-21-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
245 posts, read 613,992 times
Reputation: 115

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Hello everyone...

My wife and I are from Indianapolis, and are investigating the possibility of moving to Philadelphia for me to take a promotion (Mt. Laurel, NJ is where my office would be). As you might have guessed, I have some of the typical "I'm not from here, where should I go" type questions.

First off, a little about us: we are in our mid-twenties and have been married a little under a year (no kids). We live in the suburbs of Indy right now (to be closer to our jobs), but we go into the city all the time to go out. We are currently renting a condo from a private individual. We love our place because it has plenty of space (1700 sf) and is very new, has nice amenities (including a two-car garage) and is close to everything (groceries, the freeway, etc.). Our landlord is super nice and does not breathe down our necks. All for $1000/month.

I know it will be near impossible to find something like this place for that price point in Philly, but I was wondering if there is anywhere that we might come close. Also, what neighborhoods should we avoid? I've heard West Philly is scary, and I know Camden, NJ is known for crime. We would definitely love to live in Center City (if we can afford it) or anywhere else inside city limits as long as its safe and the place isn't a dump. If we have to live in the suburbs, I imagine we'd live in NJ since that is where my job would be. Like I mentioned before, we like to go out in the city. We mostly go out to eat and have drinks or to sports bars to watch games...we really don't go out to clubs or really crazy bars unless its with our single friends. I hope that is enough background info...I know it's hard to suggest places for people you don't know.

Also, how is the job market in Philly? If we move there, it would be for me to take a promotion, but my wife would need to find a job. She will have a teaching degree as of May but no experience. She wants a job in education, but would be willing to take any college graduate-level job.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:41 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 5,967,012 times
Reputation: 449
Avoid West Philly. You would probably be looking at sections of South Philly or Fishtown (up and coming but not great) and I don't think the place will be huge or the condition will be that great.

I would look at Collingswood, NJ or Swedesboro, NJ, Cinnaminson, NJ, Cherry Hill, NJ, Haddon Heights, NJ, Haddonfield, NJ. You can catch PATCO train line from stations in Jersey and be in Center City in 20 minutes or less. And still have a decent work commute. \

As for jobs, I think teaching jobs in general are hard to come by, especially in this economy, with Philly's mess of a school system and financial condition. There should be something for your wife but it would probably be in a private school or day care or doing something other than teaching...
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,774,932 times
Reputation: 2635
If you live in the city of Philadelphia you have to pay a 4% wage tax on your incomes even if you work in NJ.

Personally I would look in NJ for housing - Mount Laurel,Marlton,Moorestown, and Cherry HIll areas. These are all very nice areas free of crime and you are still a short commute into center City Philly if you want to go experience big city life.

If you havent done so already you would probably get some great help in the NJ forum.

Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:26 PM
 
316 posts, read 886,917 times
Reputation: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave.dawsn View Post
Hello everyone...

Also, how is the job market in Philly? If we move there, it would be for me to take a promotion, but my wife would need to find a job. She will have a teaching degree as of May but no experience. She wants a job in education, but would be willing to take any college graduate-level job.

I would say the general job market isn't great at all, much like most of the country. But for teaching positions, at least on the PA side is holding steady, can't speak to getting NJ positions. That's not to say it will be a snap, but there's the option of substitute teaching when she first gets here, she could investigate these possibilities and get the approval process started from Indy. As for a permanent teaching position, it would depend on whether you wife is already certified and if she isn't she will need to do so and should look into programs that help with certification. My best friend is a teacher and did a local program where she was a student teacher, got certified, and got her Master's degree. So, it definitely depends on what experience and credentials your wife already has, but there are teaching jobs, but start looking before getting here at area school districts.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
245 posts, read 613,992 times
Reputation: 115
Thanks for all of your responses. This all really helps. I do have a few more questions:

1. What is the general feeling about Manayunk? It seems from reading random websites that a lot of 20-somethings live in this neighborhood and that it is really safe. Is that true? If anyone is from Indianapolis or has spent any time in Indy, what are the neighborhoods in Philly that are comparable to Broad Ripple or Mass Ave.?

2. Are there any upsides or offsets to the wage tax, like state or federal tax breaks or anything that makes it less painful? What do you get from the city for your money? I've heard Philadelphia politics are highly corrupt...is that true?

3. Is there a good way to get from Philly to Mount Laurel (where my office will be)? I've looked at the SEPTA route map, and it seems that the line that serves NJ goes to the southeast, and ML is pretty much due east. PATCO makes it seem like there is bus service from the rail station to ML, but how long should I expect all this transit to take? It seems like between crime, transit, taxation, the tolls I will invariably have to pay, etc. that it would make more sense (as rainrock suggested) to live in NJ and just go into the city for entertainment, but I have always wanted to live in the "big city" so I don't want to totally close the book on Philly just yet.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:06 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 5,967,012 times
Reputation: 449
Manayunk is an extremely hilly (bad in snow) semi yuppified frat party spillover. Kind of played out.

You will pay that 4% in tax no matter what - you are getting a break for not working in the city!

If you were to live in the city, you'd be better off along I-95 in South Philly, Fishtown, maybe Northern Liberties (very cool and up and coming but expensive) and driving to work.

I just don't think PATCO is going to cut it in commuting from PA to NJ. If you live in NJ, it's great to drive to a station and be downtown in 20 minutes - whether everyday for work or just on the weekends.

So again, if you're being practical and cost and safety conscious, living in NJ is a better deal all the way around.

If not, the places I mentioned would be where to start looking.

Philly politics seem to be getting better but the mayor is tightening the belt so much that some side streets will no longer be plowed in winter, there was talk about making people pay for garbage collection, etc. Things are bad so you will not get much bang for the buck living there.

You should look into Wilmington, DE if you really want to live in a city as it is smaller, has some cool places for young professionals, offers a decent commute to NJ and no sales tax!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:26 PM
 
2,365 posts, read 10,510,206 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave.dawsn View Post
Hello everyone...

My wife and I are from Indianapolis, and are investigating the possibility of moving to Philadelphia for me to take a promotion (Mt. Laurel, NJ is where my office would be). As you might have guessed, I have some of the typical "I'm not from here, where should I go" type questions.

First off, a little about us: we are in our mid-twenties and have been married a little under a year (no kids). We live in the suburbs of Indy right now (to be closer to our jobs), but we go into the city all the time to go out. We are currently renting a condo from a private individual. We love our place because it has plenty of space (1700 sf) and is very new, has nice amenities (including a two-car garage) and is close to everything (groceries, the freeway, etc.). Our landlord is super nice and does not breathe down our necks. All for $1000/month.

I know it will be near impossible to find something like this place for that price point in Philly, but I was wondering if there is anywhere that we might come close. Also, what neighborhoods should we avoid? I've heard West Philly is scary, and I know Camden, NJ is known for crime. We would definitely love to live in Center City (if we can afford it) or anywhere else inside city limits as long as its safe and the place isn't a dump. If we have to live in the suburbs, I imagine we'd live in NJ since that is where my job would be. Like I mentioned before, we like to go out in the city. We mostly go out to eat and have drinks or to sports bars to watch games...we really don't go out to clubs or really crazy bars unless its with our single friends. I hope that is enough background info...I know it's hard to suggest places for people you don't know.

Also, how is the job market in Philly? If we move there, it would be for me to take a promotion, but my wife would need to find a job. She will have a teaching degree as of May but no experience. She wants a job in education, but would be willing to take any college graduate-level job.

Welcome to Philadelphia!!

Yes, your wife will have no problem finding a teacher job!! My sister is a teacher, special education and had her choice of jobs just 4 months ago. They are now hiring for summer jobs. Certain fields are better than others, like special ed. no problem finding a job, or math or science! or bilingual!!

Regarding an apartment or a house. You might want to rent a small house. There are plenty of nice nooky neighborhoods. And as long as you are not driving during morning or evening rush hours, you will enjoy going out for coffee and croissants.

My sister and her husband live in Palmyra. She picks me up all the time in phila and we go out, so a brief trip over the bridge.

Your best bet is to go online and circle all of the neighborhoods within 30 minutes from your job and then drive around and then pick and choose. Stay in an inexpensive bed and breakfast while you search!

Downtown, old city, art museum, queens village, south street, northern liberties are all near downtown neighborhoods and within walking distance of downtown phila. A 2 bedroom apt is between 1200 to 2400!

There are a lot of condos near the river and on broad street! They are overpriced for what you get, since many of them are old buildings converted into condos, but the walls and floors are not well insulated, so your neighbors are in your lap unfortunately!
Have fun!
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:05 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,844,779 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave.dawsn View Post
Hello everyone...

My wife and I are from Indianapolis, and are investigating the possibility of moving to Philadelphia for me to take a promotion (Mt. Laurel, NJ is where my office would be). As you might have guessed, I have some of the typical "I'm not from here, where should I go" type questions.

First off, a little about us: we are in our mid-twenties and have been married a little under a year (no kids). We live in the suburbs of Indy right now (to be closer to our jobs), but we go into the city all the time to go out. We are currently renting a condo from a private individual. We love our place because it has plenty of space (1700 sf) and is very new, has nice amenities (including a two-car garage) and is close to everything (groceries, the freeway, etc.). Our landlord is super nice and does not breathe down our necks. All for $1000/month.

I know it will be near impossible to find something like this place for that price point in Philly, but I was wondering if there is anywhere that we might come close. Also, what neighborhoods should we avoid? I've heard West Philly is scary, and I know Camden, NJ is known for crime. We would definitely love to live in Center City (if we can afford it) or anywhere else inside city limits as long as its safe and the place isn't a dump. If we have to live in the suburbs, I imagine we'd live in NJ since that is where my job would be. Like I mentioned before, we like to go out in the city. We mostly go out to eat and have drinks or to sports bars to watch games...we really don't go out to clubs or really crazy bars unless its with our single friends. I hope that is enough background info...I know it's hard to suggest places for people you don't know.

Also, how is the job market in Philly? If we move there, it would be for me to take a promotion, but my wife would need to find a job. She will have a teaching degree as of May but no experience. She wants a job in education, but would be willing to take any college graduate-level job.

Look right in Mount Laurel. You don't want to drive to ML from Philly. You'll have far more at your disposal in the ML area anyway than anywhere in PA.
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