Submitted by aaactuary t3_10nyxt0 in philadelphia

Hey all, wanted to see what you thought about the borough of norristown? This would be pretty close to dekalb and the police station but closer to the zoo. I found a well priced home there that is cute but has on street parking.

I love this area and want to own something but damn has KOP gotten expensive. I love being close to philly and Norristown is only 10 min further from philly than I am currently.

What do you guys think of the idea of buying a home in the borough of norristown? The block seems like a good one but I do not love that the house has on street parking.

Apparently the home already has offers and will likely sell over list, but I guess that a problem for a different thread. So that aside what are your opinions / experience?


Thanks guys and gals!



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bighugegiantmess t1_j6c0nl9 wrote

Yeah, don’t. I live in Philly, and work in Norristown with the homeless population. Drugs and theft are a huge problem, and in a town that small, it’s disproportionate. In addition to that: A pretty big lack of good grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, restaurants… anything.


danstecz t1_j6eezmm wrote

The owner of the Dekalb IGA also owns the IGA in Germantown and if the IGA there is as bad as the IGA in Philly (which I heard it is) then I would not even think about shopping there.


Jolly-Cheek5779 t1_j6g21z2 wrote

Omggg 😒 it all makes sense. I drove past it recently (Germantown native moved to KOP) and was like ew I hope it’s better than ours. #bringbackpathmark


danstecz t1_j6gawqu wrote

Yeah. It sucks because everyone was excited that Chelten Mart opened. There was even a worker asking for feedback in the Germantown Facebook group. After a while it was apparent the owner didn't care about the rotten fish smell, the outdated products, the crazy bag policy, etc. I actually started missing the old Fresh Grocer even though all the registers had Weights and Measures Rejected stickers on them or cashiers that would be on their phones while checking you out.

Weavers Way is coming to the old JEVS building but not many can do a full shopping there.


givemesendies t1_j6c5gi4 wrote

To adapt a quote from 30 Rock "Norristown is just like Philly, except without all the stuff"


Allemaengel t1_j6d3phl wrote

You know how every PA county has that one place that's the shitter in that county? Norristown handles that role in southern Montco and Pottstown as a bonus does the same for northern Montco.

Don't do it. Buying a house in a truly shitty town rarely gives you any return on investment and if you buy one with a lot of issues to fixed you're doubly-fucked.

I made that mistake buying a place needing work in a Bucks County borough I thought was on the upswing and after 10 years I had to sell and the town wasn't really any better so I lost big time. Also the school district quality can screw you over even more which happened in my case too.


XSC t1_j6dlkya wrote

Is pottstown bad? Only seem parts of it, look alright but then again that was during an event.


Allemaengel t1_j6dmzmm wrote

Parts of Pottstown itself aren't good but I don't think they're worse than Norristown.

You'd probably be better out in the immediate surrounding Pottsgrove townships if you could swing that.

Or for a more rednecky but still reasonably cheap deal still in Montco check out East Greenville-Pennsburg-Red Hill boroughs but by that point you're on the way towards Quakertown and the Lehigh Valley. The Upper Perk S.D. isn't that bad there.


TiberiusCornelius t1_j6dp4vf wrote

The crime rate in Pottstown is actually worse than Norristown if you look at the data. Violent crime is 1 in 128 vs 1 in 216, property is 1 in 32 vs 1 in 60. Crime has also slowly been trending down in Norristown while still worse than most of the rest of the county.

I have friends in both and the basic vibe I get is that Norristown kind of has a baseline level and then some areas are much worse (especially down around Markley) whereas Pottstown is kind of pockets of good and pockets of complete shit.


Turtle-power2021 t1_j6c6tbh wrote

Look at Phoenixville, more single homes with yards and lots of summer events.


aaactuary OP t1_j6cv5ar wrote

I love phoenixville. Its out of my budget on a single income.


Skeeter-Pee t1_j6eg9y8 wrote

Check out Bridgeport. It’s next to Norristown on the KOP side. It’s nicer than Norristown and with a huge development being done right now you can expect even more businesses to move in.


aaactuary OP t1_j6ejeif wrote

Ahh yeah I’m not a fan of bridgeport. I live very close to it.


k2j2 t1_j6d28p9 wrote

I live in Plymouth but not far from Norristown. There are pockets that are ok- probably worth checking this out- East Norriton, West Norriton and Bridgeport still have some homes that aren’t astronomical. One thing to consider is if you have kids or plan to- NASD isn’t the greatest.


TDarryl t1_j6d5m6x wrote

This right here and your house probably won't appreciate, or will appreciate much slower than it should. That being said lots of fun new Mexican restaurants on Main street.


Series_G t1_j6e08f5 wrote

Our house in E Norriton has doubled in value within past 7 years. Appreciation has been a bit slower than other places with unsustainable bubble prices. But that's not why I am here, though.


TDarryl t1_j6e18qn wrote

I don't think he is describing E. Norriton. I think he is describing closer to Johnson Highway.


fs008015 t1_j6cutb5 wrote

No don’t. I know that exact area and it’s getting worse every year. That house will be worthless in 10 years.


BukkakeKing69 t1_j6dk8yf wrote

Norristown has a reputation as a shithole, and it kind of is, but also not. It was a poor and crime riddled shithole 10 - 15 years ago and now it is mostly just poor.

Violent crime has decreased by about 50% in the last decade, though upticked slightly with the national crime wave post pandemic. It has held up a lot better than Philly has. If I have to attribute the drop in crime to anything, Norristown has seen a large Hispanic immigration wave over this period that are working class and family-oriented.

Overall as far as crime goes, it is very block by block. Some areas you would definitely feel uncomfortable being out and about late at night. Other areas have a good feel to it. My impression is the area you're looking is a better area, but I would look into crime statistics carefully.

Some pro's, the location is great, as I'm sure you're aware. It's basically the only working class area in the region that has both regional rail access to Philly as well as close access to a huge job hub at KOP. Anything else in the area that ticks both those boxes is expensive. The borough itself has some amazing bones and unrealized potential, however there are several reasons why I think this potential stays unrealized.

Some cons: I believe Norristown borough has both higher property taxes and a higher wage tax than the surrounding area. So you should look into that. Montgomery County in all its wisdom has stuck every single social service possible in Norristown which has basically guaranteed it to be an isolated bubble of armpit-stank forever. The school district is also horrible. Both those factors along with high taxes will limit any upside potential to your real estate.

Overall I'd say if you can do better than Norristown, then I would do better. But at the same time if it's all you can reasonably afford and you buy in a safer area I don't think you're irredeemably doomed by any means.


cst79 t1_j6dbsiw wrote

I live in East Norriton - have been here for 22 years. I really like it, have had no problems with crime, noise, etc. Norristown proper ends at Johnson Highway - I live near Cole Manor elementary school. The neighborhood is bordered by Johnson Highway, Dekalb, Swede Street, and Germantown Pike. There are homes for sale here, and not outrageously priced. Take a drive around, then look them up on Zillow. Only downside here is if you have kids, Norristown School District has rep of not being the best. I am single and childless so that isn't an issue for me.


aaactuary OP t1_j6dcl99 wrote

The house is literally next to elmwood park zoo if that means anything. What do you think of that area.


cst79 t1_j6ddtog wrote

That's also very close to the Farm Park, which is where I did my long run this morning. And close to the State Hospital, which used to have some very cool abandoned buildings but they are tearing them all down now :-( I have run through all those neighborhoods - they don't *look* too bad, and most of the homes look to be kept up pretty well. I think the closer you get to Markley Street, the less desireable it gets. I really dannot offer anything else about the neighborhood, but anything around there is a good location - close to Transportation Center, and can get to highways, KOP, malls pretty easilty.


Series_G t1_j6dz6as wrote

I have peeps right on that block near Elmwood Park. That's a nice spot. E. Norriton less risky, with nicer housing stock. Our home value is way up over past few years. I think that's the wrong way to think about it, but I get it.

Our kids have done great in Norristown schools but there's a lot of poor families who aren't engaged in their kid's education. Our valedictorian last year went to Harvard, 2nd went to Brown University, and so on. Kids do fine here if they want to. Rest of the hype is just people being uncomfortable in majority black/brown schools. Yeah, I said it.

PM if you wanna chat.


cst79 t1_j6e1srm wrote

That's most likely true. So many of the parents I know, at work and at the gym, have put their kids in private schools due to what they know (or think they know) about NASD.

Norristown, in general, has always gotten a bad rap. I run down Cherry Street to get to the SRT, and I probably would not want to live there. That area near the Zoo, though, looks nice to me, at least when I run or bike through there. Proximity to the Farm Park would be a big selling point for me, as that Farm Park is great. I am in Coleston, near Cole Manor Elementary, and love it. Houses go up for sale occasionally here, but usually are not on the market long. I bought this house in 2002, and it's doubled in value. Not too transient here - once folks move in, they tend to stay.


hknewbie t1_j6ddkci wrote

That’s actually a nice area as I recall. If you had to live in Norristown (easy access to the train and 76, plus cheap AF), then you’re looking at a good spot IMHO. Overall, I agree with the general consensus: Norristown is crap.


aaactuary OP t1_j6ddqll wrote

Yeah i agree i get bad vibes in most of norristown.

When i drove through this neighborhood i was so surprised. It was actually really charming…


k2j2 t1_j6epjo1 wrote

Norristown does have bright spots- Lou’s for zeps, 5 Saints Distilling, VonC Brewing, Theater Horizon is a great local theater, Elmwood Zoo, access to the farm park, August Moon, Emiliano’s, multiple legit taquerias, access to the R6, high speed line, SRT, etc. It’s not all doom and gloom.


aaactuary OP t1_j6es6uv wrote

Emilianos is amazing! I have been wanting to go To august moon.


ShelleyTambo t1_j6gkqln wrote

Do it! We were so happy they finally reopened after being closed for reno.


TiberiusCornelius t1_j6dqr69 wrote

Generally the periphery parts of Norristown are better. A friend lived in an apartment near the Catholic school just over the line from West Norriton and it was fine. I also know a couple who until recently lived in a place up on the far north side of Powell and as far as I know they never had any issues; definitely nothing major.


Linzabee t1_j6kqa3j wrote

My friend used to live right by the zoo there. She enjoyed it, but she had children. We used to go to the zoo all the time, which is pretty great. Didn’t have too many issues with the neighborhood although I know it can get worse a couple blocks further down. They lived there until the children were pre-school aged and then moved out because she and her husband didn’t want to send them to Norristown schools.


fairak17 t1_j6fxx25 wrote

I recently bought a home in Norristown and I disagree with all the negative attitudes about it on here.

Here’s why I decided on it:

Affordability - we looked in Jenkintown, Glennside, Ambler, conshy, and Norristown got us the nicest house with the most amenities.

Location: Two train stops in town and you can be in the city in about a half hour or drive in about the same time. Or be out in KOP, Allentown, Doylestown, pretty quickly.

Improvements: Current $52M project for mixed retail on Main Street next to courthouse which should boost shopping, housing, and entertainment options.

SRPA - the rail line running from Norristown out to Reading is set to re-open in the next few years with Norristown as the hub to connect that line with SEPTA.

NHSL KOP extension - I don’t actually love that this is the improvement SEPTA is making as opposed to the Rt.1 subway but it will make getting to KOP even easier.

Potential slip ramp off of Turnpike further improving access in and out of town which would further boost commerce.

I think all of these things will continue to attract people to Norristown and flip its identity from being so negative.

Fishtown wasn’t the hot spot it is 15 years ago either.

Also crime wise I was living in South Philly before here and the amount of times my windows were broken, motorcycle attempted to be stolen, and run ins with homeless was far higher than my time out here.


Richardthisisyerdad t1_j6dc239 wrote

All the surrounding areas are nicer, Conshy, Bridgeport, East Norriton, West Norriton, Eagleville, Audobon and Kop. Norristown has always been dumpy and always will be.


[deleted] t1_j6gtr2h wrote



Series_G t1_j6jmjx7 wrote

Disagree on the school district. Our valedictorian last year is now at Harvard, 2nd is at Brown University, Villanova ,U Penn, you name it. Granted, some schools are better than others, but most of the bias is due to...well, bias. Kids who want to do well, do well. Others, whose parents aren't engaged...don't. These are truths in every school district.


Series_G t1_j6jmp8r wrote

Oh, and I do agree with your last statement, 100%.


mssmartie1201 t1_j6dp6br wrote

High property taxes for a terrible school district - hard pass.


lissssxo t1_j6erxfw wrote

Worked for Montco for 3 years. I would not live in Norristown due to the crime rate, same with Pottstown. If you look out Pennsburg, East Greenville, they’re monitored by PSP so if something happens you’re looking at a longer wait time for emergency response. Lansdale, Collegeville, Conshohocken, Upper Dublin, Plymouth, Whitpain.. all townships and boros I would recommend.


burrata-academy t1_j6dnz21 wrote

well according to lots of folks on this sub, it should be an oasis since it is a suburb and not Philly. Weird how it's never that simple.

But I would not. It is pretty economically depressed and does not have much to do. Which is really weird when I think about it. The NHSL should make it really attractive to commuters into Philly---it is a really efficient way to get into the city, and I wish it was maintained better. Also the Courthouse should be a decent economic anchor, bringing lots of highly educated professionals to the area and giving local restaurants and stuff steady business. A college is nearby, and it is walkable. It has a lot of the same features that have made a place like West Chester thrive over the last 15 years or so.

All that aside, I would not bet on it, sadly, and would look elsewhere.


Series_G t1_j6dzi7l wrote

I think long prospects are good, even tho risk is real, right now


TiberiusCornelius t1_j6e2bpz wrote

Crime is down and incomes are up compared to 15-20 years ago. Property values are also up, just not as sharply as the rest of the county. It is slowly getting better, but the emphasis is on slowly. It has the bones to be a great community but so far it hasn't happened. I think it's kind of in a weird state where you don't want to completely displace people and wreck the housing market with gentrification, but at the same time I think you kind of do need a wave of people to move from the city or other parts of the county to kind of give it that little push. There's only so much you can do with the situation as-is.