Home Buying in Philadelphia>Question Details

Mgeagles, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

My wife and I and our 2 yr old child are moving to Philly and trying to find the right place to live that is safe but close to town. Any suggestions?

Asked by Mgeagles, Atlanta, GA Wed Dec 29, 2010

We live in Atlanta now and enjoy the inner city living but schools are a concern. We would like to be close to the city, but want to make sure it is safe and an area where there are families living there. Any suggestions would be great as we are interested in town and in the near suberbs (Lower Merion, Bryn Mawr, Drexel Hill).

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Nothing beats actually spending a weekend with someone who knows the area and seeing what "clicks" with your and your family. Areas that come to mind are: Narberth in Lower Merion for its wonderful small town feel and great schools. Not far to the city. ALso Wayne, further out but also great schools and has a family orientation. I recommned you use a buyer agent and select the agent before you start selecting possible homes. Happy to help if you want to learn more about the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
Hello!! I live and do business west of Philadelphia where there are a ton of great schools, entertainment, shopping (The King of Prussia Mall) and lots of friendly people. There are a few things that you should take into account while deciding where you want to live. How far of a commute is acceptable and how much do you want to spend on a home. Most of the time the further west that you go the more house you will get for your money. There are many nice suburban areas (going East to West) including King of Prussia, Collegeville, Royersford, Schwenksville & Limerick. If you go further West into Douglassville you can get a very nice single 4 bedroom home on a third of an acre for around $240,000 - $250,000. These towns are all very close to 422 which is the major route that connects you to 76 heading into Philadelphia. If I can give you some other suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me. Also, you can check out and compare the school districts on my website http://www.RealEstateDuck.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 7, 2011
How have the answers the other agents have given you helped? I would like to know your process and what has worked best for you. Have many clients that move into Philadelphia from other cities, non from Atlanta though, and just would like your feedback as to what helped you. If you get a moment and can take the time I would appreciate it.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
There are some very good public and private schools in Philadelphia and suburbs. The city has a lot to offer .For information about schools go to http://www.schoolmatters.com
Go to web site of schools to see what programs they offer.You should visit Philadelphia and go to different areas and see which suburbs you want ot consider.We also have a great public transportation system so you can take the train to Philadelphia. http://www.septa.org
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 4, 2011
Hi Mgeagles. You might also consider southenr New Jersey. We are a few minutes from Philadelphia, just over the bridge. Many people live in NJ and work in Phily. Lot's of options!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
I think you need to define "close to town." How far commute do you want to be? Will you be working right in the city and commuting every day?

I would plan a visit here to see the suburbs and your choices in person. I am north of the city but do know some very good Philly realtors who can help you with your search. Email me if you want guidance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Good Morning,

Safety is a relative concern. Many of the areas mentioned by the other agents are great areas. The question is what are you comfortable paying per month for a mortgage? That will also determine what areas you will be able to look for housing. The first suggestion I will make is to get a pre-approval from a lender so you know where to target your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Hello, Mgeagles,

Lower Merion includes, Bryn Mawr, Villanova, Ardmore, Merion, Wynnewood,Rosemont, Bala Cynwyd, Penn Valley, etc. and adjacent Narberth Borough. The housing choices are endless if you can afford upwards of $300,000. Taxes are pretty good there because there is a substantial amount of industry which offsets residential real estate taxes. You can be in the "city" in about 20 minutes and some of those areas have "walkable" neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill and Roxborough are in the far NW corner of the city and are bounded by the Fairmount Park System. If you like "small town" feel, most of Chestnut Hill is walkable, and Roxborough is a hop,skip and jump from Manayunk, which is a pretty trendy locale. Just across from Chestnut Hill is Wyndmoor, and you would have options for Springfield Schools and Cheltenham Schools.

If you are ok with about a 35 minute commute to center city, you might enjoy Glenside (Blue Ribbon Schools) and Upper Dublin (just on the edge of the town of Ambler) - also with fabulous schools. You have many, many choices, but your price point will be the determining factor. You can check out values, community info, etc. at http://www.sendmyvalue.com. If you need anything else, please let me know.

Carol Cei
ReMax Action Realty
Web Reference: http://www.carolcei.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Hi, Mgeagles.

Welcome to Philadelphia! Rather than tell you my own opinion, I posted the following information in a past Q&A.

Please check out these websites to learn more about our wonderful city:

http://www.phillymag.com - Philadelphia Magazine puts out school rankings every year for both the city and suburbs. Very easy to read with great details.

http://www.philadelphiaspeaks.com - This is a neighborhood forum website that allows you to speak to actual people living in and around Philadelphia; it's broken down by neighborhood/town.

http://www.phillypolice.com - This is the Philadelphia Police Force's website. It has a "Crime Maps & Stats" section at the bottom of the home page that lets you view crime stats for different areas. It can be a little overwhelming, but it's a good tool.

Best of luck with your search!


Timothy M. Garrity | Brown McKinney Real Estate, Co.
Real Estate Professional & Consultant http://www.phillyurbanliving.com

tgarrity@brownmckinney.com Email| http://www.brownmckinney.com/tim Website
215-825-2250 x 1007 Office | 267-879-2716 Mobile | 267-519-5490 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010

There are many options to choose from. I would be happy to speak with you regarding what is important to you directly. Feel free to contact me at 267-688-1110.

Warm Regards,

Keith Lawson

Keith J. Lawson
RE/MAX Affiliates N.E.
9237 Frankford Ave.
Phila, PA 19114
267-688-1110 (cell)
215-992-5534 (office)
LawsonRE@gmail.com (email)
http://www.keithlawsonhomes.com (web)
Member- N.A.R.,P.A.R.,G.P.A.R
Member - AREAA Philadelphia Metro
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Some communitites to also consider: Wyndmoor, Erdenheim, Flourtown, as awell as Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Narberth, and Wynnewood.

My last 2 clients that relocated here for jobs in Philly considered these neighborhoods. If Philly is an option I would add Chesnut Hill and Mt Airy into the mix!


Amanda Saunders
Prudential Fox and Roach
(215) 514-9597
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Bryn Mawr, Wynnewood, Radnor, and Haverford are all excellent choices. There is also Cheltenham township (Wyncote, Glenside, etc) and Abington Township. There are several choices in Bucks County as well. Most of these choices are about 30 minutes away from the city. I would be more than happy to show you around.

Shakela Y. Strawberry
"Making Your Dreams a SWEET Reality"
Keller Williams Realty-Center City
1619 Walnut Street - 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Lower Merion and Bryn Mawar is not bad but NOT Drexel Hill. I recommended PINE VALLEY in North East Philadelphia because of Greenburg Middle School and the beautiful houses in that area. Bucks county is another good choice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
If you are asking about my two listings, it is close to Central City (20 min drive), by train just 12 min. Accessable to major transportations and located in a safe area. If a General comment about Philadelphia City area, Northeast area (PINE VALLEY) is more safe and neat area but 30 min drive to Central City. For more details just call 267 312 4862. Thanks

Raju V Geevarghese
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
The safest areas of the city are Roxborough, Manayunk or East Falls. Call me if you need to know more about these areas or wish to see homes in these areas. Thanks and happy home hunting.

Eileen Gray
Century 21 Alliance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010

Welcome to Philadelphia! There are great choices for families and schools, both in the city and in the near suburbs. The Main Line is an easy commute by train and offers excellent school systems in Lower Merion. Also an easy train commute are the northern suburbs of Abington and Cheltenham. I went to Cheltenham High School and on to the University of Pennsylvania so I can vouch for the excellence of the schools there. Many of my classmates and friends from Cheltenham, Abington and Lower Merion went on to Ivy and other excellent colleges and universities.

Philadelphia's rich Quaker tradition has given rise to many wonderful private schools both in the city and the suburbs. There are also many other excellent private schools.

I would be happy to share my in-depth knowledge of the city and the suburbs with you. I have lived in a number of center city neighborhoods as well as in Cheltenham and Lower Merion townships. Shoot me an email or call.

Whatever you do I wish you well in your move and hope you'll be happy in your new home.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
There are a number of great neighborhoods outside of the city. Just let me know what type of house you would like and price range. I will then send you a preview of homes in your price range. Thanks, Bev Shinnen, Unlimited Realty, 610 529-3564, cell. Bevshinnen@comcast.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
There are so many options in the northwest suburbs that can accommodate your needs and wants from quaint neighborhoods dotted with parks, to walkable town centers, to the East Coast's largest mall, to rolling hills and pastures, and always having access to downtown Center City, museums, major roadways, regional rail, early education centers for your toddler, and private and public schools. Good Hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Also, if you decide you want to live in the city and not just near it, there are lots of available homes there, for instance South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, and the Art Museum area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Hi there!

There are so many places to consider, and you might want to take a trip up to explore the different neighborhoods. I am not sure what price range you are in, and that may make a difference in where you should begin looking, but some basic suggestions are Springfield, Drexel Hill, Havertown, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Wynnewood, Broomall, Bala Cynwyd, Media.

If you want me to run a detailed search for you, email me with your requirements and price range and I'll gladly send you some listings so you can get a good general idea of what's available.

Good luck and happy new year!

Lorri Paster
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
I moved my family to Philadelphia from New York in 2005 after thoroughly investigating the top public and private schools in the Center City area. I ended up choosing Queen Village, but there are several great neighborhoods to raise a family. My two daughters are now 10 and 13 and doing very well, and are in what is rated one of the top 50 public schools in the country. I find the quality of family life here to be very good. Center City is a very intimate area wherein you are never more than a block or two from historic homes, restaurants, cafes, and groceries. The culture, shopping, and lifestyle is fantastic. It is a very walkable city, parking is very manageable, and the public transportation is good. My office is near Rittenhouse and Fitler Squares. Feel free to contact me so that I can learn more about your interests and help you begin a home search.

Best regards,

Michael Garden
215 500 2981
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Queen Village in the Meredith School District
University City in the Sadie Alexander School District
Both part of the city, great neighborhoods with good family lifestyles
Web Reference: http://thephillypretzel.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
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