School district: Jenkintown
Average SAT scores: 565 math / 574 reading / 579 writing
Crime rate: .93 violent crimes per 1,000; 3.49 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $160,000
For the car-averse, the organic, the financially squeezed and, most of all, the urban-obsessed, the options for raising a family once that family starts growing can seem troubling: Stay in the funky, gentrifying city ’hood (NoLibs, Bella Vista, Grad Hospital), down the street from the PBR-strewn vacant lot where the hipsters play their weekly games of ironic kickball? Or pull up stakes for the ’burbs, only to try to forget you’re in the ’burbs? What you need is a house—multiple bedrooms with a touch of greenery that you can call a yard, a town with good schools and no crime that still feels like you’re in the city. Enter Jenkintown (factoid: hometown of Bradley Cooper), the inner ’burb with the urban flavor, where the median home is a steal at $160,000 (which can mitigate the higher-than-average tax rate). The housing stock does tend to skew a bit older (character!), so the same $250K you’ll pay for that 800-square-foot cement-fronted one-bedroom “condo” in Queen Village will get you a three-bed, two-bath house with almost three times the space and an actual yard. Yes, you’re going to take a hit when it comes to good restaurants, bars, clubs, nightlife and cultural diversions (the exception being the awesome, member-supported Hiway movie theater, right there on Old York Road), but you’re two roads and 10 miles away from Center City—still close enough to make the occasional kickball game.
To read about East Marlborough, click here.