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Realtor Q&A: Why You Should Raise Your Kids in Swarthmore

Imagine, for a moment, all the great things about a college town. Green spaces, great grub, walkability and all-around youthful exuberance come to mind. Now, imagine a community that embraces all of these sensibilities without the negative college town attributes (think: rowdy frat bros and raucous off-campus ragers). That’s Swarthmore. With a cult-favorite food co-op, dreamy tree-lined streets and an award-winning school district, Swarthmore has become the go-to neighborhood for families, and we’re totally on board. So, to get the scoop on moving to (and living in!) Swarthmore, we asked three local Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associates to weigh in.

Who is moving to Swarthmore?

Jessica “Jess” Mudrick: The vast majority of the people moving to Swarthmore are families interested in being in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District and are professionals looking for an easy commute on the regional rail to Philly. [Editor’s note: there’s a Regional Rail station right on Swarthmore’s campus!]

What’s the food scene like? Is there a favorite restaurant amongst local foodies?

Mudrick: Swarthmore is a small town but there are plenty of options for food. The local pizza joint, Renato’s has been a favorite for my family, my husband went there often as a kid and now enjoys taking our children to his childhood hangout.

Brooke Penders: One of the most popular events in town is the “Food Truck-a-thon” where some of the best food that our region has to offer rolls into town. The streets are shut down and all of Swarthmore comes out for dinner.

What do you have to say about the local schools?

Penders: While there are three elementary schools in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, Swarthmore-Rutledge School is the one that serves all of Swarthmore. Located on College Avenue, surrounded by sidewalks, many students are able to walk to school. There is a single middle school and a single high school for the entire district, Strath Haven Middle School and High School, respectively. The schools are consistently ranked among the top in our state.

Of course, the town is also home to a prestigious liberal arts college, how does that fit into residents’ living experience? Are there any perks?  

Mudrick: Swarthmore College is a beautiful, liberal arts college that allows residents to frequent the Scott Arboretum, participate in various programs & encourages the town to watch their sporting events. The college also owns the Swarthmore Community Center, which it rents for a small fee to the Swarthmore Community Center (SCC) board.

What kinds and styles of homes should potential buyers expect?

Penders: Swarthmore was originally developed as a summer community for Philadelphia residents and the homes from that period are largely Victorians. Since then, the best housing types of almost every period have been built here: Arts & Crafts Bungalows, stone center-hall colonials, split-levels, Capes, high-rise and low-rise condos and even a few Mid-Century modern homes.

For more information about buying or selling a home in the communities of the Greater Philadelphia area and the Delaware Valley, including southern New Jersey and northern Delaware, visit Coldwell Banker Preferred online at http://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/

This interview has been condensed and edited for length.