U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-11-2010, 02:26 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,656 times
Reputation: 20

Advertisements

When are you moving? Next 6 months?
Where are you coming from?
Farmington, NM
Why are you moving?
Husband is considering applying for a job.
Where will you be working?
Malvern
Have you been here yet?
Never

Will you buy or rent?
Rent
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend?
We are not planning on buying right away, but would consider it. Probably somewhere in the 200k - 225k range. If we bought, only interested in a house.
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Need something with a little bit of yard space (2 small dogs). We can probably spend 1600/mo. (That is based on where we currently live, and if there is no pay raise with the new job.)
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up?
Walk-up.

Are you married or single? Do you have children?
Married, w/3 kids.
Do you prefer public or private schools?
Homeschool, but would consider private (PA homeschool laws are stricter than we have now).
Do you have pets?
4 (2 small dogs, 2 cats)
Do you want or need a yard?
Yes
Are you keeping a car?
Yes. But I do not drive, so walking distance or public transportation are a big plus.
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
Calm and quiet, but privacy more than anything.

What do you want to be closest to?
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket [Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be awesome], drugstore, etc.). Incl. doctors in that.
Train or subway stations
Also, would like to be close to children's activities - dance studios, museums, parks, etc.


Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?
Diverse is fine with me.

I'm a hard one to please I want calm and quiet in the country, maybe on a few acres. But at the same time I want to be able to easily get places (mainly get kids to dance/music/etc lessons) without a car (don't drive). So, if I can have everything I need/want (including safety...BIGGIE for me) at my fingertips living smack dab in the middle of the city, I'll take it. If I can't get that, I want the country setting. This is why I want to rent....I am not familiar with the area, so I really have no clue what I want

Also, I have no idea what the commutes are like. Is it feasible to live in NJ and commute to Malvern for work? NJ homeschooling laws are preferable.

Thanks!

Last edited by discojo; 01-11-2010 at 02:36 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-11-2010, 03:26 PM
 
8,465 posts, read 19,538,915 times
Reputation: 3316
I think you may have to prepare for some sticker shock to get the kind of space you ultimately want. $200K is likely to get you a smaller and/or older home in any area considered particularly convenient to Malvern, one of many upscale NW suburbs in what is known as the Main Line. A $1600 rental may be tough as well. My first thoughts for either situation would be Phoenixville, maybe Downingtown. Coatesville prices might seem tempting, however that appears to be a struggling outer 'burb.

Unless you have particular values/methods that you prefer to teach, suburban school districts here are generally well-regarded. Many are considered some of the best in the state. Private schools do exist but tend to focus on students with special needs or who are focused on the Ivy League.

Commuting from New Jersey to Malvern would be pretty rough. But if you're comfortable with that distance, you may want to consider going further west of Malvern into Lancaster County. While technically outside the Philly metro, it is increasingly becoming an option for households who commute to Malvern/Paoli/King of Prussia for work yet want more bang for their housing buck. You can probably find more of those residents on the general PA forum.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2010, 04:05 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,656 times
Reputation: 20
Yeah, I figured we would be limited in housing. And it could be a while before that changes - my husband is saddled with school loan debt and working on his PhD, yet he hasn't moved up in his line of work yet (we're hoping this move will open up opportunities). I will try to find out if the position will mean an increase in income, I'm sure that would help.

I was also just coming back to edit my post (after doing a bit more research). I wouldn't mind a high-rise apartment really. My biggest issue with that living arrangement is 1) I have 3 rambunctious children and the last time we we lived apartment style sandwiched between two floors, it was not fun, and 2) I can't wrap my mind around potty'ing 2 small dogs several times a day while living in a high-rise apartment (really, my only need for a yard). How do people make that work? Other than those two issues, as long as there are parks and children's activities nearby, I could definitely make that work for a few years (or at least give it a shot ).

I would very much prefer to continue homeschooling, so school districts aren't really a priority. Just VERY safe neighborhoods.

I figured the commute from NJ to Malvern would be a bit much, but I thought I'd ask. The only appeal there is NJ homeschooling law.

I also thought I'd mention that we're a little "crunchy" - you know, whole food eating, baby wearing, non-vaccinating, crazy folk I've read that Phoenixville is a pretty crunchy place.

Thanks for the info!

Last edited by discojo; 01-11-2010 at 04:33 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 6,572,998 times
Reputation: 654
In that price range you're only likely to find a townhouse/condo in the suburbs and probably not anywhere near a train station. Not out in Chester Co. anyway.

There are only two places that really came to mind that fit most of your criteria:

1. western parts of Germantown (in Philadelphia) near East Falls/Lincoln Dr. - the yards aren't huge but certainly big enough for a garden and two small dogs to run around in and since you'll be home schooling the school district isn't an issue. Driving to Malvern will likely take 45 mins to an hour during rush hour. You'd be hard pressed to live more than a 5 minute walk from a bus or train station.

2. The area around Burlington, NJ - particularly where the PA Turnpike crosses into NJ. That will also keep the commute to Malvern at about an hour. There is a light rail line in the area that runs through all the towns along the river (the RiverLINE). It connects with the trains to Philadelphia (in Camden) and with the trains to NYC (in Trenton).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2010, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,108 posts, read 15,501,892 times
Reputation: 2848
Quote:
Originally Posted by discojo View Post

Where will you be working?
MalvernWill you buy or rent? Rent
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend?
We are not planning on buying right away, but would consider it. Probably somewhere in the 200k - 225k range. If we bought, only interested in a house.
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend?
Need something with a little bit of yard space (2 small dogs). We can probably spend 1600/mo. (That is based on where we currently live, and if there is no pay raise with the new job.)... 2) I can't wrap my mind around potty'ing 2 small dogs several times a day while living in a high-rise apartment (really, my only need for a yard). How do people make that work? Other than those two issues, as long as there are parks and children's activities nearby, I could definitely make that work for a few years (or at least give it a shot ).
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Walk-up.
Are you married or single? Do you have children?
Married, w/3 kids.
Do you prefer public or private schools?
Homeschool, but would consider private (PA homeschool laws are stricter than we have now).
Do you have pets?
4 (2 small dogs, 2 cats)
Do you want or need a yard?
Yes
Are you keeping a car?
Yes. But I do not drive, so walking distance or public transportation are a big plus.
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet?
Calm and quiet, but privacy more than anything.
What do you want to be closest to?
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket [Whole Foods or Trader Joe's would be awesome], drugstore, etc.). Incl. doctors in that.
Train or subway stations
Also, would like to be close to children's activities - dance studios, museums, parks, etc.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood?
Diverse is fine with me.

...I'm a hard one to please I want calm and quiet in the country, maybe on a few acres. But at the same time I want to be able to easily get places (mainly get kids to dance/music/etc lessons) without a car (don't drive). So, if I can have everything I need/want (including safety...BIGGIE for me) at my fingertips living smack dab in the middle of the city, I'll take it. If I can't get that, I want the country setting. This is why I want to rent....I am not familiar with the area, so I really have no clue what I want
Also, I have no idea what the commutes are like. Is it feasible to live in NJ and commute to Malvern for work? NJ homeschooling laws are preferable.

Thanks!
well, you seem to realize that you want conflicting things (unless you make so much you can have a country house at cresson and a house in the city). you're doing home or private so top school districts aren't important. stay away form lower merion, great school district, but you pay for it, and in this case, unnecessarily. Phoenixville is an okay fit, relatively affordable, short drive, nice downtown, though not terribly functional (easy to go to a restaurant or coffee shop, not walk to the grocery store). It's not on a train line. neither is west chester, which is also nice, pretty close to malvern, and very walkable. wayne might fit near town, not too far from malvern, on a train line to philly (and malvern). there's a nearby (though not walkable) WF and a somewhat walkable local supermarket. that said, there are two places that might work. first, roxborough. a semi-suburban (at least by philly standards, population density is higher here) area close to 76 (highway to malvern). the eastern end of ridge ave has a nice tosn area complete with a supermarket. it's a family oriented area. nearby, within walking distance, is a beautiful park named wissahickon creek. that rent range should get you a nice row/twin with a yard. lastly, but not least, fairmount. there are rowhomes or rent that have small outdoor spaces. it's very urban in that it's dense, extremely walkable, including to the museums, excellent bus service to center city. lots of families, doctors, a couple small parks/playgrounds. I believe there are some local private schools. it's got a lot of trees and is a nice urban neighborhood. there is a family owned grocery store and a whole foods within walking distance, a place hat gives art classes, yoga, etc. the outdoor space will be small, but you are near the parkway, a big park, and a riverfront trail. it's not too far from the subway should your husband be a baseball fan (or anything else). the commute would be long, probably 45-60 min. now is a great time to rent, plenty of unsold homes or rent. you may also want to look at renting a condo in this area. I'd look at spring garden north to girard, fairmount park to about 20th (technically that's fairmount, spring garden, and part of francisville). OTOH, 4BR would be hard to find in this area, most things in your range would be 2 and 3 BR's.

Last edited by pman; 01-12-2010 at 09:19 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-12-2010, 10:26 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
8,128 posts, read 11,346,481 times
Reputation: 5235
The Drexel Hill neighborhood in Upper Darby is safe, quiet, relatively affordable, and not extremely far removed from Malvern. It's a very family-oriented neighborhood with beautiful homes and a strong sense of community. The Upper Darby schools aren't the greatest but since you do plan on private or home schooling, that's irrelevant.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2010, 02:21 PM
 
35 posts, read 69,641 times
Reputation: 47
Yes, I agree with the others that a shock is in store for you!!!! I would say flat out that living in NJ and commuting to Malvern is NOT possible. Well, anything's POSSIBLE...but NJ involves a bridge, bridge tolls, and higher car insurance. And Malvern is FAR from NJ in traffic. Furthermore, Malvern is basically just on the Regional Rail, which would mean riding the PATCO train to center city, then taking the Regional Rail (like on Amtrak tracks) to Malvern. That's probably a 2-hour commute. And you won't save much in rent and will pay more for buying in NJ.

Second, having lived in the Southwest as well as Philly (where I currently live), I must tell you that in NM you buy acres, but in Philly you buy 0.10 and 0.20 acres. You will simply not get the acreage here for any price you're willing to pay.

And now the fun stuff: Philly area has A LOT to do, and much diversity. You probably know the downsides, but people always exaggurate on the web. ANYWHERE near Malvern is safe. I grew up not far away from there. It's very suburban. But as for "crunchy" in Phoenixville - I would have to say NO - Phoenixville is a quaint and safe blue-collar town, but it's not crunchy. There's not much "crunchy" in the Philly area. There are a few places that ARE crunchy: New Hope (all crunchy), Doylestown (very crunchy), Newtown-Bucks County (somewhat crunchy), Kennett Square (somewhat crunchy), Fairmount/Art Museum section of Philly (mostly crunchy), University City (some crunchy with some crime). All these places are fun. That said, if I were you, your best choices are: 1) if public transportation is primary, you should strongly consider anywhere along the Route 100 (see the SEPTA website for a route map). Route 100 does not go to Malvern, but Malvern is not a good public transportation area anyway. However, Route 100 does get you as close to Malvern as the Villanova area. basically, anywhere on the Route is safe, although you will find downtown Upper Darby (69th street) has crime and is very much city. I agree the Drexel Hill is good and cheap, but it's bus line only (sorry - my mistake - it's also on the 101/102), which means less mobility. 2) All the crunchy places are expensive. If a good place to live is more important than public transportation, try King of Prussia, Wayne, Berwyn, Paoli, etc. There is no crime in these places. The city is good too, but more expensive and there's more crime. If you can afford the Fairmount/Art Museum area, it's lively and safe, but the commute to Malvern would be just short of hell. 3) As far as commute time to Malvern, I would stay in the suburbs of Chester, Montgomery, or Delaware Counties. There are plenty of places to live on your budget, both for rent and purchase in these places (less-so for purchase in Chester county). however, you will pay the price in lack of quick and easy public transportation if you do not live on a light rail line (Routes 100, 101, and 102). Regional Rails (R5, R6, etc.) are "just okay dogg" because they are pricey, don't stop that many places, and virtually shut down on weekends. 4) The Southwest has wide open spaces and acreage - Philly does not, except in beautiful Valley Forge park. I think it will all look city from your POV. 5) I am long-winded. Welcome to Philly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2010, 03:19 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,656 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
...(unless you make so much you can have a country house at cresson and a house in the city).
I wish.

Thanks everyone for all the great info! It is really helpful. I lived in central Albuquerque for a bit, so an urban setting hopefully won't be a complete shock. (Unless Albuquerque's "urban" is Philly's "suburban" ).

Now, if I only had a weekend to be in the area and have a look around, any tips? I thought it might be good to get in touch with a rental management company so that we can get a feel for what is available in our price range (any companies I should look at in particular?).

Also thought I'd mention that I found this site, its been very helpful with locating activities for children.

The job my husband is applying for is with Immaculata University. Any thoughts on the school in general?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2010, 03:29 PM
 
8,465 posts, read 19,538,915 times
Reputation: 3316
To GBL: Very good points with one minor clarification. With the exception of the R6, all other Regional Rail lines have regularly i.e. hourly service through most of the day and early evening. I believe a couple now offer late night service, although that wouldn't be relevant to a family.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2010, 03:36 PM
 
8,465 posts, read 19,538,915 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by discojo View Post
I wish.

Thanks everyone for all the great info! It is really helpful. I lived in central Albuquerque for a bit, so an urban setting hopefully won't be a complete shock. (Unless Albuquerque's "urban" is Philly's "suburban" ).
I actually passed through central Albuquerque this summer. You'll find Philly's downtown to have more taller buildings (of course) as well as much fewer detached homes through most of the city, which is typical for an older Northeastern city.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top