There are many places to choose from in the area. Aston, Boothwyn, West Grove, Media, Warrington, Warwick, and Doylestown. Just to mention a few. What price point are you considering and homewise, what are the features that you desire? Lots of luck!
I currently live in the Northeast, I did live in Glenside for years, and know people who live in the other mentioned areas. I have 2 school age girls. I heard what you said loud and clear about the walking bit, obviously not everyone else did. I can tell you that I heard you because for half of my life, I did not drive.
I know how you feel since i live in center city and i have gone through what you are going through with many of my friends in that past number of years. I work as a mortgage banker for a local company in Pa/ NJ and have helped them with their home purchases when they were making their move. There are a few neighborhoods i'm familiar with such as Newtown Square ( near Bucks), West Chester, Mount Airy and Fairmount which are much closer in the city limits...now there is a young and professional neighborhood in DE right outside of ChaddsFord, Pa called Trolley's square ( i think...i havnt been there in a lil while) but i used dto work close to there and it was very similiar to manayank but a bit older crowd....if you are interested in talking or getting any advise feel free to contact me any time.
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It seems that there are quite a few places that would fit that bill. Bala Cynwyd and Narberth first come to mind. These are lovely communities with lots of "walkability". Bryn Mawr is another such place. Going South on Route 1 you will venture near the Wallingford-Media area, and then could head on out to West Chester and then Downingtown. All of these communities will offer you the type of amenities for which you are searching.
Your price range will determine which of these communities will be the best fit but, at the moment, it seems like you have lots of choices. Good luck with your search!
Have you looked into the homes in the Penn Alexander catchment in University City? Penn Alexander is a wonderful school. http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/p/penn-alexander ; http://www.upenn.edu/campus/westphilly/pas.html ; http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=685 ;
You can definitely get more house for your money when you compare Center City to University City. You can even get a little backyard and some trees.
I work as a buyers agent in University City area. I also have a 2nd grader at Penn Alexander and was on the board for the HSA/PTA last year and am continuing as an HSA member this year.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call anytime. You can find all my contact information on my website below.
Have a great new home search!!!!