Relocating to the Philadelphia Area: Berwyn
Is Berwyn a town you should consider if you’re moving to the Philadelphia suburbs? This community is one of the larger Main Line towns, geographically speaking. Most people who commute to Philadelphia from here feel like it’s worth the drive/train ride. Most of Berwyn falls within the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, but there are also sections that are part of Great Valley or Marple-Newtown. The taxes and values of the homes vary in connection with the school districts, so pay attention when browsing listings. Access to dining and shopping is mostly along Lancaster Ave. but there is not much of a town center in Berwyn. Other than this commercial corridor, Berwyn is almost exclusively residential.
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As far as real estate prices on the Main Line, Berwyn is usually considered one of the best bargains. Still within commuting distance to the city, but with (in general) low taxes, it has a lot to offer. Other than several office parks near route 202, Berwyn is heavily residential. What is there to do here? Wilson Farm Park is a wonderful, huge park and is very popular as is the Chester Valley Trail, which is a biking/walking trail that was converted from a disused railway line. The outdoors is often a draw for people who choose to live here. Berwyn residents often cite the rolling hills and dense trees as one of the benefits. While certain areas feel solidly suburban, they don’t tend to have that “exposed” feeling that many newer planned communities have.
Berwyn: What it’s like to live here
Berwyn offers several established neighborhoods (many built about 50 years ago) that feature split-level or colonial houses. These neighborhoods include Lenape Farms, with lots usually around 3/4 of an acre, Coldstream, which has smaller lots and Devon Downs, where the homes are a bit more modest. Buttonwood Farms, in the southern section of Berwyn is similar to Coldstream. Woodlea has a slightly different flavor as it’s very mixed in terms of house size, age and architectural style. The narrow streets here make it a bit less easy to congregate with neighbors, but it’s in a very desirable location.
Looking for a more modern house? If you like a true neighborhood, but prefer newer construction, consider the Greens at Waynesborough, which abuts the golf course. This development is very family-friendly and is in the T-E School District. Nearby, in the Marple Newtown district is Newtown Hunt and Saybrook, which offer larger, newer homes. If you want a house like that, but don’t enjoy development-style living, try Leopard Farms, along Leopard Rd. If you want “low-maintenance”, try Daylesford Lake, a large townhouse community.
Finally, there are a couple of communities in Berwyn which deserve special recognition. Leopard lakes is a group of homes built around a lake and they are coveted in the rare event they go up for sale. There are some which are quite grand, and some more modest, but the closed, safe neighborhood is in very high demand. Leopard Lakes has lots of community-oriented activities and events.
The Radnor Hunt neighborhood is named for (and is near) the famed Radnor Hunt Club which hosts the oldest fox hunt in the nation. The properties here range from about five to 50 acres. Some homes are quite new, while others are over 200 years old, with barns and other outbuildings. These homes sell for millions and the landscape is truly horse country, yet it is less than an hour to Philadelphia.
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