Montgomery County, Pa., located just northwest of Philadelphia, is Pennsylvania’s second-wealthiest county thanks to the presence of such communities as Gladwyne, Bryn Mawr, Rydal, Abington, Huntingdon Valley, Lower Gwynedd and others. The county is 487 square miles and has a population of approximately 800,000 people. It is an incredibly diverse place as far as housing stock and community feel, so for those considering a move there, a road trip and consultation with a knowledgeable real-estate agent are essential.
Much of Montgomery County’s early suburban neighborhoods formed because of close proximity to Philadelphia by train, and its most populous areas remain the ones closest to the city. However, in the past 30 years, Montgomery County underwent tremendous growth as employers set up large operations in the county. This has prompted residential growth in some previously rural areas such as Blue Bell, Lansdale and Collegeville – ask an old-timer and you might get an earful about just how much residential and retail construction has taken place in many former farming areas. The county’s major employers include pharmaceutical firms, hospitals and healthcare-related organizations, aerospace/aircraft manufacturing, financial services companies and retailers.
Despite this growth, Montgomery County still has rich farmland and scenic countryside, particularly in its northwest region. County history dates to 1784 when it was a mix of farms, timberland and villages carved out of Philadelphia County. The National Register of Historic Places includes a long list of sites in Montgomery County, many dating to the 1700s. The sites include notable homes, farmsteads, old mills, Valley Forge National Park and even a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed synagogue in Elkins Park. See the complete list here.
Montgomery County has many highly regarded public school districts, some ranked in the top five in the state of Pennsylvania. In addition, it also has more than 200 private schools. Montgomery County, Pa., private schools include 180+ elementary schools and 35 high schools.
College and universities are well represented in Montgomery County, including Temple University’s Ambler campus; Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College and Rosemont College on the Main Line; Penn State’s Abington campus; Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College); St. Joseph’s University, Ursinus College and others.
No matter your price range or taste, there’s a house for you in Montgomery County. As in most every community, the supply of homes available; quality of the schools; overall economy and employment levels; proximity to Philadelphia and other employment centers and local community amenities help determine the strength of the real-estate market.
For those who enjoy historical homes, Montgomery County will be a treasure trove as it offers a wealth of stone construction ranging from 18th-century farmhouses and manor homes to streets lined with stately, early 20th-century suburban homes. Gladwyne, the epicenter of wealth on Philadelphia’s storied Main Line, are home to true estate properties as well as some homes for “mere mortals” looking in the $500,000 range. For more choices in Main Line real estate for sale in Montgomery County, try searching Bryn Mawr, Penn Valley, Wynnewood (parts are also in Delaware County), Narberth and Ardmore (also straddles Delaware County).
Somewhat more affordable are such places as Rydal, Huntingdon Valley and Abington; Wyndmoor in Springfield Township; and Whitemarsh and Whitpain Townships. These areas have a wide variety of housing stock, so while there are plenty of $1,000,000 and above homes available, there are also options for first-time and move-up buyers.
For more specific information about Montgomery County and its many communities, please contact our Philadelphia Main Line real estate office in Bryn Mawr: 215.229.9011.