Relocating to the Philadelphia Area: Havertown
If you are moving to the Philadelphia suburbs but are looking for a very down-to-earth, tight-knit community, Havertown might be for you. Never snooty, always neighborly, Havertown residents often have very strong roots and lots of friends and family members who still live there. Located just to the south of Ardmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr, it is still fairly central, but not quite in the heart of the Main Line. The vibe, however, is quite different. As a generalization, work and family are more the focus than material possessions,
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Havertown is not usually considered part of the Main Line, but is just to the south of it. All of Havertown is served by the Haverford School District (except for a few homes that are districted to Upper Darby). Houses in this community are often on smaller lots and many are older, though there are several newer construction homes where others have been razed (beware of high taxes on these). Twins (often known as duplexes elsewhere) are very common. There are also many older, three-story Dutch colonials as well as small brick colonials. The location is very good in terms of access to the airport, University City and downtown Philadelphia by car. While there is a train, the 100 line’s route isn’t particularly direct. The average home price in Havertown is a bit less than on the Main Line, though taxes, relatively, may be a bit higher.
Havertown: What it’s like to live here
Like the city of Philadelphia, Havertown is comprised of several distinct neighborhoods. Penfield is located very close to the train station and is a heavily treed “storybook” neighborhood with older, mostly stone colonials. Lots here are somewhat on the larger side for Havertown and people of all ages and wide variety of professions live here. The Brookline neighborhood has a lot of Dutch Colonials and residents enjoy the proximity to Darby Rd. shopping, the library and the middle and high schools. Woodmere offers Dutch colonials as well as Capes and a few colonials thrown in, too. The lots are small, there are sidewalks and not as many trees as in some other areas, so it has a bit more of an urban feel. People sit on porches and talk to neighbors.
Oakmont has wide, winding streets and feels a little more like a traditional suburban spot. The houses are not quite as old as in other sections of Havertown and the lots are a bit larger. These homes are mostly Capes. Paddock Farms offers some of the largest homes and biggest lots in Havertown. There is very little traffic here and lots of dog walkers and joggers. Like Oakmont, but even more so, this area feels suburban. In contrast, some of the most urban feeling sections are Chatham Park and Chatham Village which are located very near City Ave.
Marilyn Park has large, split level homes on large lots and all the streets here are named after women. It is fairly hilly and few of the yards are level. Manoa and Lynnewood are neighborhoods separated by Eagle Rd., but similar, with mostly smaller, often brick houses. There are singles as well as twins and the access to shopping on West Chester Pike is a benefit of living here.On the south side of West Chester Pike, you’ll find West Gate Hills and Richland, which deliver a little more house for the money, but are far from the train and the rest of the Main Line. People who live here tout the friendliness of the people and there are book clubs and some seasonal gatherings.
Havertown is a large area, and there are few lots over .3 acres, so the population is fairly dense. Many of its residents were born here and have lots of family in very close proximity. Havertown has a “no nonsense” kind of feeling to it and many people describe it as “real”.
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