Real Estate 2010: 10 Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home

If the tanking of the real estate market has taught us anything, it’s that a house isn’t an investment. It’s a home — a place to retreat to at the end of the day, to raise your kids and hang with your friends, to build your life around and become part of a larger community. So, what are the best places to call home around Philly? Here, our guide to some great neighborhoods worth discovering … or rediscovering

The Model Suburb
Drexel Park,
Delaware County

The old stone houses in this charming section of Drexel Hill were mostly built in the late 1920s and early 1930s — and still boast neatly trimmed lawns and a neighborhood Fourth of July extravaganza with fire trucks, kids on bikes, and the world’s shortest parade route (one square block).

Schools: Public: Upper Darby. Private: Catholic Holy Child Academy (PK-8) is close by.

Commute to Philly: 20 minutes by car, or a trolley and a short El ride.

Things you get: A warm, family-friendly feel; a trolley that makes commuting into town a breeze.

Things you don’t: There’s no town center, and the high Upper Darby/Delco real estate taxes can take a bite out of your budget.

Betcha didn’t know: The Park has its own green-and-yellow street signs, paid for and maintained by the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association.

Residents you ought to know: Former Kixx goalie Peter Pappas; Fox 29 anchor Joyce Evans.

The future: If all goes well, exactly the same as the past. The Park has recently been trying to replace some of its aging trees.

Meet the neighbors: “I just can’t get over how friendly people are,” says Shannon Gordon, 36, a jewelry designer who moved here three and a half years ago with her attorney husband, Jimmy, and their three kids. “We’ve made these great friendships, and now people are convincing each other never to move.”

Wanna buy here? As with many neighborhoods, prices have dropped in the past couple of years, says Weichert’s Skip Millier (who not only sells here, but lives here). So you can get plenty of house for a lot less than you’d spend in, say, Wayne.

Just sold: A center-hall stone colonial with hardwood floors, marble baths, stone fireplace and five bedrooms, on Kenwood Road, for $302,000.

You might also like: Neighboring Lansdowne, with big Victorian homes, an easy commute to the city, and an on-the-verge-of-a-comeback main street.