I used to live in Drexel Hill (Upper Darby township) but moved because of my job. I liked the area and housing, but the taxes were significantly higher than neighboring townships when I moved about 13 years ago. I lived there for 19 years, and proportionately the school and township taxes increased at a more rapid rate than most other townships. At the same time, township services, such as trash pickup, were reduced (when I moved there, trash was picked up twice a week). I know in many areas, twice a week trash pickup has been reduced to once a week, but has been replaced by a weekly recycling pickup. The trash pickup reduction was a number of years prior to the State mandate to pick up recycling, which when instituted was twice a month in Upper Darby (Note: Trash fee was a separate charge from the County, Township, and School taxes when I was there). Regardless of many respondents blaming the problem on West Philadelphia, which due to proximity of the township was always there with its problems,the tax problem existed long before now. I provide the following reasons that are the real causes for the high taxes:
1. As an older township and virtually no open space for new development, there are limited new sources to increase tax revenues. Costs for teachers salaries, police and fire, trash pickup and other services continue to rise, but there are few new sources to deal with the growth of these costs.
2. Declining tax base: Upper Darby continues to lose its commercial tax base, which increases the burden on making up that lost revenue by increasing taxes on remaining commercial establishments and residential property to run the various government services. This has driven out more affluent residents and encouraged a number of commercial establishments to do business elsewhere.
3.Local government unequipped: The caliber of local politicians is poor and nepotism is high. The people running the government are not forward thinkers or problem solvers and never addressed the viability and survival of an aging community. It was evident when I lived there, politicians and administrators operated and spent taxpayer dollars on cronyism and nepotism instead of long term solutions. There was never any long term planning that addressed the need for change to prevent further deterioration of the tax base and improve the quality of life in the township. Contracts and jobs are given to relatives and friends (it always amazed me as to how many school board members were related to people who received jobs in the school district when competition for such jobs was very high). Poor and ineffective government is entrenched.
Some of the problems of high taxes are inherent due to the age of the community. But the direction taken by the leaders of Upper Darby Government and School District over the past 30 years, either due to their incapability to deal with complex issues or their lack of desire to make decisions to address the long term needs for survival, contributed significantly to the downward spiral of its tax base. As indicated above, a dwindling tax base and increased taxes present other problems for attracting new residents and businesses.
Again, I have fond memories of living in Drexel Hill. The location was pretty convenient for where I worked most of my time there. The neighborhood and housing were nice, and it was fairly convenient to other parts of the region once the Blue Route was built. But, in retrospect, my prediction for the tax base and taxes appears to have been dead on, which certainly has exacerbated any opportunity for revival. You cannot address the problems by ignoring them and pretending they will right themselves over time.... more
All three of these areas have seen a drop from the boom market. As it stands now Westbrook Park seems to have recents sales a bit higher on average. The best way to ensure long term value is to make a smart purchase and consider homes priced lower because cosmetics like carpeting and paint are dated, build your own equity!... more
According to TREND, over the past year, more than 50 properties sold in Drexel Park Gardens, over 30 in Briarcliffe and just seven in Westbrook Park. It's difficult to predict long-term market value based on these numbers, but it's a start.
If you'd like more information, contact me directly... thank you!... more
It depends on the home and improvements made upon it. Marshall Rd is very busy almost the entire length so it tends to NOT be the first choice of homebuyers looking in Drexel Hill. Generally they go from the low $120's up into the $160's not varying THAT much in size or style. THAT block is one of the busier sections and its been my experience that :
a. the homes fetch lesser values and
b. they take longer to sell which may end up working FOR you if you really like the home and are trying to "throw a low offer at the seller"
Drexel Hill in general is a good bet most of the time though, especially for first time home buyers.... more