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Suburban life in the 30 miles west of Phila - 7/23/2008
I've lived here for 20 years. I was raised in nearby West Chester. Except for 10 years in my 20's when I lived in different places around the country, I've always called this area my home.
But I'm looking to leave. The overbuilding of new homes has made a commute to any business center close to an hour. The three hospital systems are poor to below average and for first class care, residents need to go into Philadelphia, which isn't always possible because...the traffic is so bad!
The schools are excellent so if that is your main criteria, do what you can to live here. But you can barely rent a small apartment for less that $1000/month and that's if there is a vacancy. A townhouse starts at $250K, a single family home starts around $400K. Mass transportation is virtually non-existent and includes a one train line to the city and one bus line that is run by a private bus company.
The local government has worked hard to provide small parks and walking trails. Most of what the community has to offer is centered around "family life" meaning activities, chain shopping, chain restaurants. However there are a few "fine dining" locations. The hotels are the basic business chains situated near the PA Turnpike exit.
Overall, it's a lovely, busy community for folks living busy lives. If you have special needs like frequent medical care, home medical care, mass transportation, unique shopping and entertainment experiences, easy access to an airport, etc. then keep looking. This isn't an area where you can "age in place." At least not yet.