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Old 06-20-2007, 12:50 PM
126 posts, read 536,881 times
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We've noticed that Philly is basically made up of rowhouses. Quite different from where we're from -- actually VERY different. So we have a couple of questions. Do rowhouses have HOA fees (we don't want those)? Can you hear your neighbors through the wall usually, or are they pretty well-built? Do they have yards?

We love the culture of Philly and we'd like to move to somewhere that's affordable, within walking distance to shops (or at least not a far drive), and not suburban. We also love nature and we're looking at different places in PA, but if we move to Philly we'd like to at least try to be near some kind of natural area with hiking. Our housing budget, depending on the pay we'll be getting, might be around 150k, and we really are just interested in a simple 2-bd (nothing fancy, but not in a bad neighborhood because we have a little baby). We really love the build/architecture of rowhouses, so it's definitely on our list.

I also just heard of an all-vegan Philly Cheesesteak restaurant in Philly. That's a good enough reason for me to move there anyway!!
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:29 PM
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I grew up in a rowhouse, so I can tell you that you can hear through the walls, if the people next door are really fighting or partying. It's not horrible, but it is there.
I'm not sure what you mean by HOA fees, so i'll skip that one.
Several do have yards, I'm sure the size varies. We had a very small front yard and a small backyard. I think it was 14 feet wide, maybe 20 feet long?
Some rowhouses in the city have driveways on the back, so you wont have a yard usually.
Fairmount park is in Phila, I think it's the largest park in the country? It has some relevance like that. Anyway, you definitely can hike/bike/walk through this park, although I wouldnt do it alone, or a night. During the day though it is fine, some areas are actually really well kept. "Pennypack Park" is how it is referred to in Northeast Philadelphia, which has been where I have walked through it.
Northeast philadelphia is mostly rowhomes, so I would take a look there. I would recommend Mayfair over Tacony or Wissinoming. Rhawnhurst is decent I think too.
The northeast is about 15 minutes from Center City Philly. I am sure others can give you some idea on the downtown rowhome experience, I can only give you mine of NE philly.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:39 PM
126 posts, read 536,881 times
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Thanks for the info!! Sounds basically like townhouses, to me. An HOA fee is a Homeowner's Association Fee that's charged to people in HOA housing on top of their mortgage to cover expenses like lawn maintenance and trash pickup. Any other input would be appreciated!
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:47 PM
2,025 posts, read 6,134,244 times
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A rowhouse is basically a townhouse, but older (with no HOA's which may come with townhouses). You may also be interested in a twin home. That is two houses attached, then a space (usually a lawn) followed by another set of homes, etc. That way you only have one common wall rather than two.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:08 PM
Location: FL
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I too grew up living in a rowhome. Come to FL, and hear they call them "townhomes", but in a way, they are like condos with HOA fees. No, rowhomes do not have HOA fees. And yes, you can hear through the walls. I too agree that I would recommend Mayfair or Rhawnhurst over Tacony. Having grown up in Tacony, I would NOT recommend living there. Pennypack park is nice, and most of the area around Pennypack isn't too bad. I wouldn't recommend Holmesburg too much, due to the projects...if they're still there. Heard they might be getting demolished, but am not sure about that.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:54 AM
42 posts, read 299,517 times
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The projects are STILL there! I heard they might get demolished too, but they've been saying that for a few years now, and no new news.
I grew up in Tacony too! Which is why I definitely do not recommend it either, haha. It's so bad now. It's a shame, it has so much history.
Definitely no HOA fees, thanks for defining that. City taxes, which are about 4% pay for trash pick up, and you take care of your own lawn should you be fortunate to have one.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:01 AM
Location: FL
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Riley-i sent you a PM regarding area of Philly.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:11 PM
1,529 posts, read 1,572,238 times
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Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post
and hear they call them "townhomes"
I think of it this way...

-Townhouse, driveway

-Rowhouse, no driveway


Of course there are also other specifics like:

-Attached or semi attached.
-Porch or no porch.
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