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Old 01-02-2012, 08:50 PM
 
17 posts, read 18,063 times
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Hi all,

I'm back again now that I decided to purchase an investment property for rental in West Philly. I'm priced out of most University City neighborhoods but it seems that areas a bit further west (say, 48-53rd streets, between Walnut and Spruce) have some more affordable options. I'm a grad student at Penn and have heard enough stories about this area being sketchy. However after taking a few walks there I found those areas seemed safe and relatively well kept, and I'd like to confirm my impressions with this board. Also, I'd appreciate any advice on the rentability/desirability of this neighborhood. Again this property would be used as a rental. Any suggestion on other location/neighborhood is also welcome.

Thank you in advance for your comments!
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:54 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 1,313,332 times
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I know some college students who live out that way. A few people have been buying houses as well, but a bit further south around Malcolm X Park. The closer you get to Market St generally the sketchier it is.

But know this: if you rent the place out to creeps I and my University City neighbors will be very... upset with you. We know all about "investors" buying properties and renting them out to the worst kinds of people and then never setting foot in the neighborhood again. I'm talking about real slumlords here, really screwing up the neighborhood.

That area is just starting to see some new life now, don't screw it up by renting to lowlifes.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:01 PM
 
17 posts, read 18,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius Pontmercy View Post
I know some college students who live out that way. A few people have been buying houses as well, but a bit further south around Malcolm X Park. The closer you get to Market St generally the sketchier it is.

But know this: if you rent the place out to creeps I and my University City neighbors will be very... upset with you. We know all about "investors" buying properties and renting them out to the worst kinds of people and then never setting foot in the neighborhood again. I'm talking about real slumlords here, really screwing up the neighborhood.

That area is just starting to see some new life now, don't screw it up by renting to lowlifes.
No I will not rent anything out to creeps. The whole reason of buying in West Philly is the possibility of renting out to students. Any specific comment on the area? Thanks.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 1,313,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenith1107 View Post
No I will not rent anything out to creeps. The whole reason of buying in West Philly is the possibility of renting out to students. Any specific comment on the area? Thanks.
Thank you. I appreciate you coming here to ask then. That area is away from the traditional "University City" area. Like I said, college students do live up that way, but not as many as live further south and east. Although recently there's been more dynamism in that area. More people are buying houses, more places are up for rent for students. On top of that many of those blocks are pretty strong to begin with. Good working class blocks. There are some problems for sure, and it can be block by block. That's why it's important who you rent to. Some of these blocks, all it takes is that one problem house and it changes the quality of life for everyone living on that block. However, generally the closer you get to Malcolm X Park and Baltimore Ave, the better, and the closer to Market St, the worse off you are. I think, while some of those blocks are still pretty much intact, students like living closer to the 34, since it's so convenient to get to campus.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:24 PM
 
17 posts, read 18,063 times
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Thanks. How about graduate hospital area as an alternative to West Philly?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:34 PM
 
958 posts, read 275,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius Pontmercy View Post
But know this: if you rent the place out to creeps I and my University City neighbors will be very... upset with you. We know all about "investors" buying properties and renting them out to the worst kinds of people and then never setting foot in the neighborhood again. I'm talking about real slumlords here, really screwing up the neighborhood.

That area is just starting to see some new life now, don't screw it up by renting to lowlifes.
That's exactly what happened/is still happening to my old neighborhood. They don't even care who they rent or sell to.

To the OP: You want to stay away from the areas closest to Delaware County. As Marius Pontmercy said, closer to Market street the further west you go is going to be worse. That's the area where people are slowly moving into Upper Darby from or just going down Market to commit serious crimes in Upper Darby from. Baltimore Avenue closer to Yeadon won't be nice either.

Just stay as far away from Delaware County as you can, not because of Delaware County itself but because if you're in a part of the city that borders Upper Darby or Yeadon then chances are it isn't a great place to be because those aren't "young professional" boroughs or townships so they only encourage thugs to come in and live or even just "do work" there. That in turn will ensure that until gentrification pushes out that far, those areas will continue to get worse because things are being pushed in that direction by the gentrification going on further from the Delaware County/Philly border, and there's nothing pushing back against it or fighting it from the Delaware County side.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:37 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,338,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenith1107 View Post
Thanks. How about graduate hospital area as an alternative to West Philly?
Definitely a more up and coming area compared to where you're looking IMO...I don't know the details about blocks though...
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 1,313,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenith1107 View Post
Thanks. How about graduate hospital area as an alternative to West Philly?
Pricey. If you were priced out of University City you might have a hard time in the GradHo area. You could try looking south of Washington Ave. Again, watch who you rent to. If you bring in good tenants and keep your building in good repair than the people trying to make the block nicer will thank you immensely.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:20 AM
 
17 posts, read 18,063 times
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Some friends suggested areas around St Joseph's University, e.g. Overbrook and Wynnefield. Now I don't really care which university the property is located at as long as there's student demand. That being said, can anyone compare the area in West Philly that I mentioned above (Walnut Hill and Cobbs Creek) and the areas around SJU in terms of desirability/rentability? Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:55 AM
 
958 posts, read 275,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenith1107 View Post
Some friends suggested areas around St Joseph's University, e.g. Overbrook and Wynnefield. Now I don't really care which university the property is located at as long as there's student demand. That being said, can anyone compare the area in West Philly that I mentioned above (Walnut Hill and Cobbs Creek) and the areas around SJU in terms of desirability/rentability? Thanks!
When it comes to the parts of Philly that border Delaware County, the further south you go, the worse it's going to be. The parts that border Cobbs Creek (the creek) are places to stay away from because the entirety of Cobbs Creek (the creek) runs along the worst parts of Delaware County outside of Chester and the most quickly declining ones.

Wynnefield and Overbrook are closer to much nicer parts of Delaware County. You can walk down City Ave/Township Line from Havertown and walk right into that area. Also, being close to a good university is much better than being further out from a better one. I would suggest though that you stay as close to Township Line/City Ave and to the university as possible because on the Delaware County side, below Township Line is Upper Darby and above it is Havertown/Haverford and other parts of the Main Line. South and north of Township line are like night and day on the Delaware County side. Definitely stay north of Lansdowne Avenue.

Last edited by couldntthinkofaclevername; 01-03-2012 at 06:22 AM..
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