the best area in philly, for schools, safety and house overall?

Asked by Vicki Mather, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA Wed Oct 6, 2010

I am from England and looking to move to Philadelphia. I am very unsure of the areas, so needed advice on the best area to live. Please give me three options of area number 1 being the best. I am looking for schools, general area, and the house itself.

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Joe White’s answer
Joe White, , 19102
Sat Oct 16, 2010
I see Michael Garden gave you two good recommendations for elementary schools: Meredith and Greenfield.
The School District of Philadelphia gives you comparative information.

However, you didn't mention school age. For middle and upper school, you should check out Masterman in the city's Fairmount / Art Museum area. President Obama was recently here to praise their accomplishments.

Finally, don't forget the great array of private, religious and charter schools. The bottom line is you have many great choices.

But I can speak more freely in person. I'll give you first hand experience and others you can talk to. Feel free to call me at 215 266 7227 or write me:

Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love,

0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue Oct 12, 2010
Hi Vix. I grew up in Northeast Philly and would not recommend it. This is my personal opinion. My parents still live 3 blocks from Loesche Elementary School and I don't like this neighborhood.

Option #1 for me would be Center City, hands down. The beat, the tempo and vibe, the pace!, cannot be matched in any suburb or neighborhood far removed from the city. Nothing comes close. If you live in the city, you'll be taking your kid(s) to the Children's Museum, the Museum of Art, the riverfront, the Academy of Natural Sciences, all of the great events on the Parkway, Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, Independence Hall and more! My kids practically lived in museums when we lived in Philly. If you can find a magnet school or charter school for your child, you'll be a happy family and your children will grow up aware of history, culture and arts.

Option #2 and #3 would just be finding the right neighborhood in CC that you find warm and inviting. Philly is a walking town, I didn't own a car for several years while I lived there, and was very happy using my feet to explore the city.

Philly has a LOT to offer.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
1 vote
Michael Gard…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
I moved to Philadelphia from New York in 2005 and researched the public elementary schools in Philadelphia and chose to live in Queen Village, in the Meredith Elementary School catchment area. Meredith is widely considered one of, or the top public elementary schools in Philadelphia. And keep in mind, that "public" in America means it is free to attend. Some of the other top elementary schools are McCall, in Society Hill; Greenfield, near Rittenhouse Square (all in the Center City area); and Penn-Alexander in the Spruce Hill neighborhood of West Philly. The three Center City communities are widely well regarded historic neighborhoods with a mix of architecture from the 18th century to contemporary, and a range of types of housing from single family homes to condos and rental properties. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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1 vote
Kim Tokar Te…, Agent, Langhorne, PA
Tue Oct 12, 2010
HI Vixterjm,

The agent below is correct. go to Philly Mag. If you are looking for schools the suburbs seem to be more desirable than the city itself. Also, it all comes down to how much you can afford. If you can spend a million I would recommend the Mainline. If you are in the 500's I would think Newtown/Yardley would be good. Also, would you be taking the train and/or going to New York City much? Email me at and let's figure out exactly what you are looking for.


Joel Gruenke
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0 votes
Timothy Garr…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
Hi, Vixterjm.

Let me start off by saying, "Welcome to Philadelphia!"

To answer your questions is no easy task. There are many questions that I need to ask before I can just say what areas would be suitable for you and your family. To help get you started, here are some good Philadelphia websites to visit: - Philadelphia Magazine puts out school rankings every year for both the city and suburbs. Very easy to read with great details. - This is a neighborhood forum website that allows you to speak to actual people living in and around Philadelphia; it's broken down by neighborhoods. - 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.

After you do some more research on your own, please feel free to contact me with any additional questions. If you would like to meet and discuss your goals, I can suggest a good place for coffee.

If I do not hear from you, I wish you and your family the best.


Timothy M. Garrity | Brown McKinney Real Estate, Co.
Real Estate Professional & Consultant Email| Website
215-825-2250 x 1007 Office | 267-879-2716 Mobile | 267-519-5490 Fax
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0 votes
Vicki Mather, Home Buyer, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
Hi Joe Biachimano,
We live in an urban area at the moment. We travel 8 miles to get to work at the moment, so anything like that (roughly 30-45 minutes driving time) is acceptable. I would like a good public school. I noticed some lovely houses by Watson Comly elementary School and William H Loesche elementary School. I am hopeful about the schools with a class 4 or 5 rating. We have $400.000 give or take.
0 votes
Joe Biachima…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
Hi Vixterjm, I have reviewed the answers given to you from the agents in reference to "Best Schools". I agree with them that there are many other factors to consider There are many good schools scattered throughout the City and Suburbs. It's a large area, population 5,116,830, according to the 2010 US census in the Philly metro area. Do you prefer an urban or rural setting? How far of a commute is acceptable? Are you looking for private schools ( tuiton), public schools (free tuition) or denominational schools (tuition)? Knowing the price range will help focus the search. My office is located in the Northeast section of the City right on the border of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.Therefore, I can give you a good sampling of available inventory in and close to the City. I have 25 years of experience and I am the Broker Owner of ReMax 2000 and I will personally handle the purchase of your new Home and do everthing possible to make it a pleasant experience. I can be reached toll free at 1800-878- REMAX or Cell 267-228-2853. You can also visit my website which has ALL the available inventory in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. School information is also included in the website;
Joe Bianchimano
Broker Owner ReMax 2000
0 votes
Alison Goldb…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
Hi Vixterjm,
It is great to have you here! Philadelphia, once you are here is an incredibly easy area to navigate with each area having it's own unique attributes. By knowing a few of your interests, hobbies and perhaps your job position, I can help you determine which neighborhood would be the best fit for you. Do your weekends consist of strolls in the park or meandering around a Museum? Do you have a pet? Would you prefer to live in a neighborhood that is on the rise or one that is already established? Let me know and I can give you some more detailed information that should help you moving forward. My email is

If you check out my company website you can search the green space, restaurants, statistics and news for each neighborhood in the city. This will help acclimate you as well.

Philadelphia Magazine's data regarding:
Most Exclusive Areas to live:…
The Best Public Schools
Guide to Private Schools

I look forward to hearing from you with any questions or specifics!

All the best,
Alison Pearlstein
0 votes
Kahlia Rhodes, Agent, Cityscape, PA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
The best opinion is your own go to they give statics on how schools rank on a national level as well as a state level. you can review the information and come up with a decision that works for you .
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
Mr. England, did you just pick Philly out of your, or have you been there before? If you have not been there before, you need to visit yourself and find something YOU LOVE. What I like, dont like, etc. may not be your taste. And if you have been here before, then why ask? Think of an area you liked and put it in 1,2,3 order with #1 being your best and get the family on the plane.
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Dennis Stran…, Agent, Huntingdon Valley, PA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
are you looking to live inside Philadelphia or in a close suburban community? I am not sure if our school systems are similar to the schools here. There are public, private, catholic, and charter schools available in Philadelphia.
If you want to live in Philadelphia then I would suggest schools in the 19115 zipcode. I have clients and friends that are currently teachers in the Philadelphia school system and even they tell me we have the best public schools in the city.
email me with the answers to these questions(for privacy reasons);

how old are your children?
when do you plan on moving?
what is the price range of the home you want to buy?
how many bedrooms and bathrooms?

I cansend you school reports and community reports for both Philadelphia and the suburban schools as well.

Dennis Strange
REMAX Premier
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0 votes
Nick & Trudy…, Agent, Devon, PA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
I am English and moved here 20 years ago.Do you want to,live center city or suburbs? A good indication is school districts, look at how good they are, this link to the philadelphia inquirer report on schools can be a big help… you can also obtain great information on the city here: Hope this helps, feel free to contact me through my website if you want more help.
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0 votes
Fred Glick, Agent, Mountain View, CA
Wed Oct 6, 2010
Hi Vixterjm,

I live and work in the downtown area.

The Center City area of zip code 19103 has the highest per capita income in the City. It is reminiscent of a mini-Manhatten and has a great quality of life.

It also depends on the ages of your children. The elementary and middle schools are highly rated and there are great charter schools for high schools dependent on your children's interests.

I am happy to help you with your transition and any detailed questions.

Fred Glick
1-215-852-4469 Cell
U S Spaces, Inc
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