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Old 08-26-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: See above. ;)
4 posts, read 3,963 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband and I are trying to decide if we should move to Philly. We would love to move to New York, but we are not earning that type of money yet. A little about us:

We are 24/27 yr old Black couple with two children. I am a stay at home mom and husband is in college, and would be attending a local community college there and then transferring into one of the universities in town. Right now we live in Dallas, TX (he has been here his entire life) and we HATE the South in general. Moving to the Northeast has always been a dream of ours. He is also a Hip Hop Artist, and Philly has a great legacy of music. I know that Philly being as large as it is and having I-95 run through it, it has its problems with drugs, gangs, and crime in general. However, we feel that Philadelphia would be a great fit for us. All we really want to know is what areas in should we avoid and why. Please don't respond with just a whole sweeping area like "South. West, or North" and then not explain why. Preferably I would like to hear about the area YOU stay in and why. We don't have a ton of money, so we would like to stay somewhere that was under or near $800 month. This is huge for us and we would really appreciate your help.

Things to consider:

Gun Violence (Kids and whatnot)
Break-Ins (I'm a stay at home!)
School System (daughters are 2yrs and 2mos)
Transportation (we have a car but would like to take advantage of public transit.)
Street Traffic (homelessness, drug block, etc..)
Proximity to Employment ( I used to have to travel an 1 hr 30 min to work here to make any money)

Things NOT to consider:
Race of Neighborhood (Just cause they're not white doesn't mean they're criminals)
Income Level of Neighborhood (as long as it aint the projects, we're okay)

We understand that some neighborhoods in any city get bad reputations and some deservedly so. We live in an area called Oak Cliff in Dallas which has a reputation of being one of the worst places in my city. But I have never had a problem here, went to a great school, had great friends, and my little girl plays outside everyday. I know people who do things that are little less than legal, but that doesn't always equal drive-bys and crackheads (both of which we are trying to avoid by the way!). So please, help us out! and give us the scoop on your city! THANKS!

PS---We do not have to have a "Philadelphia" address, if you live outside the city (including NJ), please feel free to answer as well. Dallas is made up of many suburbs and this is what we are used to , so suburb info is also greatly appreciated
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,783 posts, read 12,002,970 times
Reputation: 2249
$800/month rent will be tough for a couple with 2 kids.

As you seem to already know, North, West and South Philly all have their share of challenged neighborhoods. But there are some decent even nice areas in all of those places.

University City, home to UPenn and Drexel University is the easternmost neighborhood in West Philly. This is one of the more economically and culturally diverse areas of the city. Your budget may allow you to rent a place on or just outside the fringes; I'd recommend looking around 50-52nd Streets between Pine St. and Chester Avenue. Cobbs Creek, on the city border with Delaware County, isn't bad either.

Speaking of Delaware County, you may be okay with Upper Darby (as opposed to unrecommended Darby), Lansdowne or Yeadon.

In NW Philly, look into Germantown. It's sort of a block-by-block situation at times, but I think you'll be able to tell the relatively decent areas. Also consider East Mount Airy, just above Germantown. It might stretch your budget a bit but it's a quiet working-to-middle class area.

In North Philly, look at Fern Rock.

All of these areas will be convenient to mass transit. Those with street wisdom should be able to avoid any potential mishaps as well.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:17 AM
 
1,899 posts, read 4,886,320 times
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If you look into University City, be sure you are in the catchment for the Penn Alexander School.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander - The School District of Philadelphia
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:50 AM
 
Location: See above. ;)
4 posts, read 3,963 times
Reputation: 10
This is very helpful. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:27 AM
 
1,899 posts, read 4,886,320 times
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Here's some UC info.

University City District, Philadelphia, PA
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:27 AM
 
561 posts, read 689,399 times
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In Delaware County you might have luck finding a 2 bed apartment in your range in Alden, Clifton Heights, Drexel Hill, Upper Darby, and Lansdowne. For the most part this would put you in Upper Darby or William Penn school district.

In Phila - you might look into East Falls and parts of Germantown (as others have suggested). I have friends who live in Alden Park Apartments. I think this is on the border of Germantown/East Falls and they are pretty happy there. One thing to be aware of is if you live in Philly, you have to pay a wage tax. If you find work outside of the city, you may consider living in the suburbs to avoid paying the wage tax.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:50 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
365 posts, read 278,143 times
Reputation: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
In NW Philly, look into Germantown. It's sort of a block-by-block situation at times, but I think you'll be able to tell the relatively decent areas. Also consider East Mount Airy, just above Germantown. It might stretch your budget a bit but it's a quiet working-to-middle class area.
I'd second the vote for East Mt Airy. My wife and I moved here from Chapel Hill NC a couple of years ago (our friends thought we were out of our minds), and we love it. It's safe, accessible to the Chestnut Hill East/West lines, and is a great mix of people (age, race, professions, etc.). I have no idea about what $800 buys you, but would encourage you to do some research. If you have questions about specific blocks/areas, feel free to contact me directly.

Good luck in your search, and welcome to Philly!
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