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Old 04-14-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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I've been hearing mixed things about the safety of University City. I like the city environment and that you can get more for your money than say, Center City. I also like the idea of being in the catchment area for the Penn Alexander School. But, is it safe? Is it a good place to raise a family? Are there things I should consider when deciding between that and a place like Narberth or Ardmore? Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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I would think that you'd be relatively safe in the catchment area for the Penn Alexander School.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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Thanks. Is it just a small boundary though? We drove around, but it's hard to gauge..... It seems that there are things to do within walking distance and we wouldn't really need a car. Is that true?
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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As far as things to do that would involve your baby... Clark Park, bounded by 43rd and 44th Sts and Baltimore and Chester Aves., would be a pleasant place to take the family for some fresh air and see other neighbors. Strolling along the Penn campus can be fun as well. There are a lot of interesting restaurants there that are reasonably priced compared to Center City. The Arts League is a cool community resource that all of the family will be able to benefit from.

As always, I say that my personal comfort zone there is between 43rd and 48th going west and perhaps Spruce to Springfield going south. That's a fairly considerable area. Penn Alexander is bounded by Walnut Street but it's a noisy street to live on. East of 43rd St, you're likely to run into semi-independent Penn students. West of 48th becomes a block-by-block basis as you're likely to run into poor/graduate Penn students and mixed bag of households, some of whom take better care of their house than others.

There's probably a school of thought out there that says picking Narberth or Ardmore over University City is a no-brainer. But if you're determined to have your family experience city culture and your job is located in Center City, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more convenient place than University City.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Thanks a lot. It's hard to figure out where to purchase a place from afar. We had a real estate agent take us around, but of course it's not the same as living there! Have you lived there? Was it a nice place to live?
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boringmember View Post
Thanks a lot. It's hard to figure out where to purchase a place from afar. We had a real estate agent take us around, but of course it's not the same as living there! Have you lived there? Was it a nice place to live?
I lived there twice for a total of three years, most recently from about 2002-2004. To me, it was a nice place to live. There are some pretty amazing houses in this neighborhood, especially on about the 4600 block of Osage. But you are in the city. You may also want to look into Chestnut Hill and West Mount Airy, neighborhoods towards the NW corner of the city that are even more laid-back (and expensive in Chestnut Hill's case) than UC.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Thanks a lot! One thing I liked about University City was the Penn Alexander School. If we bought there, at least we could stay for a bit and not worry too much about school.....
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boringmember View Post
Thanks a lot! One thing I liked about University City was the Penn Alexander School. If we bought there, at least we could stay for a bit and not worry too much about school.....
Yes, Penn has invested both in the school as well as housing incentives for its faculty and staff, both of which have turned the area around over the last couple decades.

I also meant to post this link: University City District, Philadelphia, PA .
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the link!
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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I would advise to look at Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Narbeth, Ardmore, Media, West Chester. You are paying a good bit for that catchment and you are still in a transitional part of the city. Clark Park can be nice during the day but also shady at night which usually translates to a certain amount of trash, etc. Philadelphia is not a clean city and I've read UC is full of feral cats as well.

Ain't the worth the money, aggravation (car break ins are fairly common) and taxes to live in UC if that's what you can afford - you get a much cleaner, safer, better bang for you buck in the burbs.
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