Guide to The Main Line

What is the Main Line?

The Main Line is a collection of affluent towns, such as Bryn Mawr, Bala Cynwyd and Haverford, that extend northwest from the city of Philadelphia. This collection of western Philadelphia suburbs garnered its name from the Pennsylvania railroad of the same name. The traditional Main Line communities were constructed around this Main Line railroad, currently called the Septa R5 line; this is the region referred to as the Main Line real estate to this day.

Best Place to Live

The Main Line is frequently cited as one of the best pieces ofPhilly real estate to live in, as well as the Northeast and, in fact all, of the United States. It is known for its sprawling estates, top notch public and private schools, world class shopping and beautiful scenery. It is one of the most beautiful and desirable areas to live in the Philadelphia region and home to many celebrities and public officials.

“The Philadelphia Main Line is one of the best places to live in the Northeast.”

Main Line Rail

Some of the earliest Main Line real estate communities built along the R5 line were Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr. From there the Main Line has continued to expand upon the R5 line to extend to Rosemont, Villanova, Radnor, St. David’s, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, Paoli and Malvern. The Main Line proper has also since expanded to include communities such as Bala Cynwyd, Gladwyne, and Penn Valley, which are not geographically part of the original Main Line as they are not on the original R5 rail line, but by being adjacent to other Main Line communities have gained characteristics similar to other Main Line communities and as such are now considered bona fide Main Line towns.

Main Line Counties

The Main Line is located in portions of three counties, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester. There are also many municipalities on the Main Line including Lower Merion, Radnor, Easton, and Tredyffrin. At times the boundaries of the communities can be confusing as a single town may be in more than one county. For instance, Villanova has a zip code of 19085 and straddles both Montgomery County and Delaware county, sharing two townships, Radnor and Lower Merion. Both parts of Villanova are equally nice, but the fact that both are called Villanova is confusing to some. Because of this people often do not know which part of Villanova is nicer or which township has the better school system. This is the case on other Main Line communities such as Wayne as well, and can cause confusion to someone new to the area.

Main Line Home Prices

Main Line real estate tends to be expensive and did not suffer as much deflation as other areas during the most recent market slump. Gladwyne and Villanova tend to have the most expensive homes on average, with the mean listing price approximately $2 million dollars. Areas such as Narberth and Ardmore average in the mid to high $400′s, with other communities falling somewhere in between.