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Old 04-01-2009, 09:14 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,840 times
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I am moving with my wife and two small kids to Philly this summer, and will be working in West Philadelphia. We are almost certainly going to buy along the Main Line, likely in one of the closer-in towns, where a train commute is possible: Bela Cywyd, Wynnewood, Narbeth, or Ardmore seem like good options. After years in the city, we are interested in the 'burbs, and like the great schools and the possibility of walkable neighborhoods with a few shops and places to eat within range.

Does anyone have general advice as to which of these towns to pick (or avoid)? Also, any other advice on moving to the Main Line with children - such as good activities, ways of meeting other families, or preschools of note?
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:53 AM
 
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All of your choices are excellent.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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You will discover that we have some funky names for neighborhoods and landmarks here in Philly: Manayunk (colloquial pronounced "MANNY-yunk") and the Schuykill (SCHOOL-kill, SCHOOL-cull, SCHOOL-cool) River, for example. Just to help you out, one of the towns you're favoring is called Bala Cynwyd.

And I agree with newmarlig: all of your choices are a good start.

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-02-2009 at 11:42 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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I dont think Wynnewood is walkable like Narberth, but pretty much everything is within a two to five minute drive.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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They all sound like they'd work for you. They're nice, have good schools, and are close to each other. I'd choose based on which house you like best.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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Narbeth is a really family friendly place to live, as is Havertown.

As far as schools the ranking in that area is roughly:
Tredyffrin (Roughly second in the state)
Radnor (snobby area spoiled kids and parents, school scandals, very high pressure and very high test scores) Top 10 in the state
Lower Merion (monied area also really great schools) Top 12 in the state

You can't go wrong with any of these, or Haverford schools as well...

As for meeting people, there are plenty of mother's groups, also check for newcomers groups, meetups, and apparently there's always the country club if you have the money time and inclination for that sort of thing...
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
51 posts, read 146,340 times
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Default My response to generalizations posted above...

"As far as schools the ranking in that area is roughly:
Tredyffrin (Roughly second in the state)
Radnor (snobby area spoiled kids and parents, school scandals, very high pressure and very high test scores) Top 10 in the state
Lower Merion (monied area also really great schools) Top 12 in the state

You can't go wrong with any of these, or Haverford schools as well..."

I have been looking at many of the same towns and per above, I will list some of the advice I have gotten on this blog and beyond:

1. Tredyffrin/Eastown-Seems to be the most laid back option and probably top ranked schools on the ML. Downside for us is that even in their closest in towns, it is too far outside the city for our commutes/liking.

2. Radnor-Seems to be either love or hate. The places that I have seen like St. Davids, seem to be great. That being said, it is quite homogeneous feeling and I understand why there are some haters.

3. Lower Merion-Probably the best fit for us on the ML bc of the proximity to CC and diversity of religions etc...but, people seem to give thumbs up for Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore & Bala and make snob faces when we bring up Gladwyne, North Bryn Mawr and Villanova...we are pretty down to earth people, so it may be warranted, but those towns look nice and are better highway commuting towns which is important to us. It was inferred that not too many of the moms work, which could be a social impediment to us, as we are a two spouse working family.

4. Haverford-Again, love and hate...seems most like the town, do not like the Havertown school system, relative to $ spent to get into the house.

Hope this helps...I have found it all pretty confusing.
In fact it has prompted us to take some suggestions to also look at Abington Township and Haddonfield, NJ to make sure we are turning over every stone.
Wish you luck!
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:09 AM
 
271 posts, read 1,306,275 times
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RE: above, when you mention Gladwyne, N. Bryn Mawr or Villanova, people may make snob faces, because, relatively speaking you have to be VERY wealthy to live in any of those towns..think CEO/CFO's or sports and TV personalities, etc.

Whereas, the areas of Narberth, Ardmore or Bala, have a greater range of incomes represented. And probably a more 2 income families
If you have the bucks to live in Villanova or Gladwyne, go for it!
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