5 Best Suburbs Around Philadelphia, PA

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With a metropolitan area as large as Philadelphia’s, it’s virtually impossible to narrow down the best suburbs and not lose all the context that makes those suburbs so great in the first place. A young family’s perfect suburb is probably not going to be the same choice for a retiree. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best suburbs in Philadelphia for 5 specific needs. To make your search for homes for sale in Philadelphia easier, think about what your needs are and which of these 5 suburbs would make the best fit for you.

1. Best Suburb for Young Families


Abington is easily one of the best suburbs around Philadelphia for young families. Just 40minutes from the city center, parents needing to commute every now and then can do so with ease. There are also several train stations along the south and east borders of the city that facilitate transport over the river to New Jersey and to downtown Philadelphia.

The Abington School District is perfect for elementary-age students. There are seven elementary schools in the suburb, each with a few hundred students apiece, which helps to keep class sizes small. In addition to these elementary schools, there is a junior and senior high school.

The Abington Real Estate market is very attractive to young families. About half of all homes for sale in Abington range between $200,000 and $338,000. Over 50% of these homes are three bedrooms and great for a small family, but you can find plenty of four-bedroom homes in Abington as well. Appreciation rates have stayed solid over the last 20 years, and once you see these green as can be photogenic streets, it won’t be hard to understand why.

2. Best Suburb For Big Families

Newtown Square

If you need a big house with a large front lawn and plenty of bedrooms, Newtown Square is the Philly suburb for you. Newtown Square is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Philadelphia, perfect for anyone making the odd trip into the city.

Newtown Square real estate is remarkable in that four-bedroom houses make up nearly a third of the housing supply (5 bedrooms or more make up 10%) and the suburb is primarily occupied by owners, not renters. The larger 5+ bedroom homes generally sit on an acre or more of land and feature large yards perfect for big dogs and energetic kids. The median listing price for a single-family homes for sale in Newtown Square is $595K, while those larger homes tend to list around the million-dollar range.

Newtown Square schools are overseen by the Marple Newtown School District. Local students have access to four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The Newtown School District is highly rated by Niche.com, and one of the brightest highlights we can point to is that, across the district, the average teacher to student ratio is 1:13, virtually ensuring small class sizes and a more focused education.

3. Best Suburb for Retirees, Empty Nesters, and Downsizers


At a certain point, that four bedroom house that once felt barely enough to contain a family becomes far too much to deal with; that’s when you know it’s time to downsize. If you’re trying to live smaller in the next chapter of your life, look into Jenkintown. Jenkintown is a small town about 45 minutes north of downtown Philadelphia and has more or less stayed the same size for the last seventy years.

Jenkintown real estate is perfect for couples looking to downsize and settle into a stable market. The median listing price for a single-family homes for sale in Jenkintown is $447,000 and there is a wide variety of housing options to be found in this suburb, with townhouses, single family homes, and apartments all more or less taking up equal shares of the available properties.

Jenkintown is noteworthy for its access to recreational and city amenities as well as quality healthcare. The nearest hospitals are less than 20 minute drives away. You can stay active by exploring some of the great restaurants along Old York Road or hitting the greens at Alverthorpe Park, a delightful large park just southeast of downtown Jenkintown.

4. Best Luxury Suburb Around Philadelphia

Bryn Mawr and Haverford

Ask anyone where the nicest suburb around Philadelphia is and Bryn Mawr is bound to make the shortlist. This interestingly named town (Bryn Mawr means ‘Big Hill’ in Welsh) is just 12 miles to the west of Philadelphia’s downtown but it feels appropriately secluded as to forget you’re near one of the largest cities in the U.S. at all. We also feel compelled to include Haverford as it’s contiguous with Bryn Mawr and features similar properties.

Bryn Mawr real estate has some of the most valuable and most beautiful properties in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Bryn Mawr east is especially known for its luxury homes which sit under a thick forest canopy. Many of these large homes for sale in Bryan Mawr feature stone facades, five or more bedrooms, and 8,000+ square feet of floor space. In addition, a lot of these homes sit on an acre or more of land and typically list between $2 and $6 million.

Bear in mind too that the local public school system here is among the best in the nation. The Radnor Township School District has won several blue ribbon awards and according to Niche.com has spectacularly high reading and math proficiency scores. If you’re interested in private schools, the area in and around Bryn Mawr and Haverford is replete with high-rated private schools such as Friends School Haverford and The Shipley School.

5. Best Walkable Suburb Around Philadelphia

West Chester

When people think of the word ‘suburb’, the term walkable usually doesn’t come to mind. Be that as it may, there are some exceptionally walkable suburbs around Philadelphia and West Chester is chief among them. West Chester is a small town on the very western edge of Philly, about an hour’s drive from Center City.

This country town is home to West Chester University whose nearly 20,000 students add lots of vitality to the downtown arts scene and nightlife for most of the year. Though plenty of single-family homes for sale in West Chester are scattered about traditional suburban neighborhoods, the core of its real estate is taken up by the townhomes which form nearly a third of the available housing in the area.

These townhomes put residents within three blocks of West Chester’s downtown which, during the warmer months of the year, is largely blocked off to make the town even more walkable. Whether you’re working as a professor at the local university, retiring on this urban island in the Pennsylvania countryside, or just looking for an exciting life in a fun college town, West Chester has it all, and within walking distance.

Whether you’re looking for a luxury, walkable, or a family friendly suburb, you’ll need a real estate agent with the proper connections to help you get the home of your dreams. We have compiled a list of questions to ask a potential real estate agent before hiring them so you’ll have an excellent idea of who is the right fit for you.

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