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Old 12-05-2018, 05:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 344 times
Reputation: 10

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Finally figured I would get around to making an account as I get more serious about a move in 2019. I am looking at Philadelphia for a potential move next year, and I was hoping to get some insight from other posters. As the title says, I am really only looking at Philly. Have lived in other cities before, have done my research on countless others, and Philly just seems like the right fit for me. As a longtime lurker I know how some of these moving to threads can be so I made it easier by answering the questions below (in bold):

When are you moving? Planning a move in August 2019.

Where are you coming from? NE Ohio/Western Pennsylvania border.

Why are you moving? I want change. I love older big cities with character that are underrated. Philadelphia fits that bill. I am making this move with the intention on making it my home, not just a few years and move on.

Where will you be working? I work for a county government now in economic development. More specifically I oversee the county land bank in demolition and rehabilitation of homes. So working for the City of Philadelphia would be something I would look into.

Have you been here yet? Yes.

Will you buy or rent? I would like to rent for a few years at first and look into buying later.

If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? How much can you spend? I know this may sound cheap, but I don't ask for much in an apartment. I am looking to spend between $800-$850 for a small studio. It does not need to have granite and stainless steel, and it does not need to be right next to CC. So I am not picky, just something small that fits my needs in a decent walkable neighborhood not far from a rail line and relatively safe. Walk-ups are perfectly fine; I don't need an elevator. I have been able to find many apartments that I feel will fit my needs from doing my research so far.

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania please.

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Single gay male in his late 20s. No children.

Do you prefer public or private schools? Schools are not a concern yet.

Do you have pets? No.

Do you want or need a yard? Outdoor space is not a bad thing, but I do not need a yard.

Are you keeping a car? Yes. I travel a decent bit and I have many family and friends regionally from Ohio and Pennsylvania on up to New Hampshire and down the East Coast. Most of the time I plan on using a SEPTA pass to get around locally for work, going out and shopping.

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? I am honestly fine with either. Anything from the fringes of Center City to the leafy streets of Germantown.

What do you want to be closest to?
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Train or subway stations

Work/basic services/train in no particular order as they are all important. I have never been huge on nightlife, but it is nice to go out every now and then. Not that big of a factor. Shopping I can head down to Walnut or get in the car and go to KOP if I want the big box stores.

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Philadelphia is diverse in many of its neighborhoods. I think I can be content as a late 20s/early 30s single gay male is most parts of the city. Right? Specific neighborhoods you suggest?

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Check all three.

I really appreciate any advice. I am heading out there next week to check out a few different neighborhoods that I haven't seen before. I am not unfamiliar with Philadelphia as I have been there (LOVE the city). Most of my family is from the Pittsburgh area and central Pennsylvania. I know that state well, but Philadelphia is a bit different I know.

Honestly I have no other cities on my radar. I am all about making Philadelphia work for me. I have looked at west coast cities, Chicago, Minneapolis. I lived down in Florida for a few years, and it just didn't feel like a place I wanted to call home. Like I said, I am ready for some change and I am looking at making that change in Philadelphia.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,146 posts, read 5,575,585 times
Reputation: 6481
Your acceptable criteria are so broad that it's hard to really narrow down a place for you. Why don't you let us know where you can find apartments within your rental budget and we can give input? I'm always one to recommend Center City or somewhere as close as possible, especially for someone young and single, but I don't know what that price point will get you. It's helpful that you don't have a pet, for rental purposes.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:43 AM
 
8,397 posts, read 4,533,392 times
Reputation: 2791
OP, you might want to seek out MarketEl in pm wrt renting in Germantown. He seems to like it and, Germantown, is one of the most historic parts of the city. He has also lived in the Oxford Circle section of the city. He did live in Center City(Wash West/Gayborhood) years ago too.

I would recommend my neighborhood , but ,nowadays, you probably couldn't get a studio for less than $1000.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
83 posts, read 24,617 times
Reputation: 121
I'm primarily going off your age and budget: Manayunk

It's barely located inside of Philly, but has lots to do. It has been getting more expensive over the years, but you can still get a studio apartment for under $1000/month. The parking situation is rough, but doable. You can take a Septa Train into the main part of the city, and the Schuylkill Expressway can get you to KOP.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:20 AM
 
8,397 posts, read 4,533,392 times
Reputation: 2791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
I'm primarily going off your age and budget: Manayunk

It's barely located inside of Philly, but has lots to do. It has been getting more expensive over the years, but you can still get a studio apartment for under $1000/month. The parking situation is rough, but doable. You can take Septa into the main part of the city, and the Schuylkill Expressway can get you to KOP.
Actually the OP could take the same exact train to Norristown and bus it from there to Plymouth Meeting or KoP malls. The Expressway is such a nightmare...
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,146 posts, read 5,575,585 times
Reputation: 6481
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Actually the OP could take the same exact train to Norristown and bus it from there to Plymouth Meeting or KoP malls. The Expressway is such a nightmare...
Awww, that's a little extreme (train and bus to get to the Mall). He should be fine if he's driving on off-peak hours to KOP.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:49 PM
 
201 posts, read 70,171 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
It's barely located inside of Philly, but has lots to do.
I'm not sure what this means. I would consider Manayunk a more interior neighborhood before I would consider it far-flung. If Manayunk is barely in the City then what's Roxborough, West Oak Lane, Frankford, etc.?

Philadelphia doesn't have expansive borders; every neighborhood, including Center City is pretty close to a municipal or state border.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Concrete Jungle
315 posts, read 460,262 times
Reputation: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHL10 View Post
I'm not sure what this means. I would consider Manayunk a more interior neighborhood before I would consider it far-flung. If Manayunk is barely in the City then what's Roxborough, West Oak Lane, Frankford, etc.?

Philadelphia doesn't have expansive borders; every neighborhood, including Center City is pretty close to a municipal or state border.

Manayunk barely inside the city.....lol. If traveling to the burbs from Manayunk you'd still have to drive through Roxborough or Germantown / Chestnut Hill depending on which street you take. So hardly an outer lying neighborhood.


To the OP, Manayunk would be a good option. Your close to center city, lot's of young urban professionals in Manayunk, which also has Main street for some night life (if that's your thing).
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:43 PM
 
2 posts, read 344 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Your acceptable criteria are so broad that it's hard to really narrow down a place for you. Why don't you let us know where you can find apartments within your rental budget and we can give input? I'm always one to recommend Center City or somewhere as close as possible, especially for someone young and single, but I don't know what that price point will get you. It's helpful that you don't have a pet, for rental purposes.
Sorry, I know a lot of my questions are pretty broad based. I am trying to get a better understanding of some areas in Philadelphia so I can focus in on a select few neighborhoods. Just to give you an idea of three places I want to check out next week. These are all studio apartments and they are in my price range:

-One is in Point Breeze about 4 blocks south of the border with Graduate Hospital. Nothing too big, nice building, pretty updated.

-Two is in Poplar south of the Spring Garden School and north of Spring Garden street. Again, a good looking building, apartment is pretty updated. More new infill happening in this area it seems.

-Three is a little sketchier. It is located in West Powelton between Powelton and Haverford Avenues. Not a bad looking apartment, not as updated, but the biggest of the three.

**These are just three random properties that I have found that are worth checking out. I like what I have seen online so far, but I don't know too much about the immediate areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
OP, you might want to seek out MarketEl in pm wrt renting in Germantown. He seems to like it and, Germantown, is one of the most historic parts of the city. He has also lived in the Oxford Circle section of the city. He did live in Center City(Wash West/Gayborhood) years ago too.

I would recommend my neighborhood , but ,nowadays, you probably couldn't get a studio for less than $1000.
I really like what I have seen in Germantown when I was last there in May. Honestly, a more gritty or rundown appearance does not scare me off. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, New Castle and Youngstown so grit is just more character to me. I noticed Germantown can go from down on its luck to beautiful homes fairly quickly. I think most of my searches have led me to places in the NW neighborhoods. I do like the access to Wissahickon, too. Train access to Center City seems good as well.

I can honestly go higher in price, but I prefer to be price concise in the beginning. If I do go higher, I would like to find something that has most utilities included in the rent. Just ballpark, what are some of the average utility costs for an individual in the city? I know that can depend on a range of factors.

Also, what neighborhood are you located in? Sounds like even though it is pricier, there may be some good suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
I'm primarily going off your age and budget: Manayunk

It's barely located inside of Philly, but has lots to do. It has been getting more expensive over the years, but you can still get a studio apartment for under $1000/month. The parking situation is rough, but doable. You can take a Septa Train into the main part of the city, and the Schuylkill Expressway can get you to KOP.
Manayunk is a place certainly worth checking out. I was on a flight from Pittsburgh to Miami a few years ago and sat next to someone from Manayunk and she had a lot of pride in her neighborhood. I had planned on checking it out as well. Like Germantown, great access to Wissahickon and trains into Center City. I know you can easily live without a car in Philly, but I unfortunately need one. I know in a lot of areas it will be tight, and a parking permit will be required. I am not going to complain if I have to park a few blocks away just so I can get a spot.

Thanks for the responses so far. I don't plan to just post a little and go away. I am sure I will have a lot more to ask to familiarize myself with Philadelphia.
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Old Yesterday, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,850 posts, read 1,858,285 times
Reputation: 2344
rdr2133: I just turned 60 but otherwise all but match your description of yourself. (I am, however, in a relationship with a gentleman who's 36. He lives in the West Philadelphia neighborhood called Hestonville by its residents and virtually no one else.)

I tend not to recoil at "unsafe" neighborhoods as much as many others do, a quality I share with kyb01. I live just steps away from the roughest intersection in all of Germantown, whose reputation for crime exceeds the actual amount of crime that takes place there.

Chances are that whatever neighborhood of the city you may live in, I've probably written about it at some point or other.

You will find many people who say, "West is Best." West Philadelphia as a whole is generally very convenient to Center City thanks to strong transit connections (the closer you are to the Market-Frankford Line or the Route 52 bus, which crosses the El at 52d Street station and runs extremely frequently, the better; the boyfriend's house is one block off 52d, about five minutes from the El by bus, and almost as close to the Route 10 trolley, which also runs right into Center City), and there are a number of neighborhoods there where you could find studio apartments within your price range.

I'm among those who say, "Northwest is Best." It is the greenest part of the city (I grew up in one of the greenest cities in the country, so I'm real big on tree cover, which also has environmental and economic benefits). It contains its second most historic neighborhood after the Historic Square Mile in Old City/Society Hill itself (that would be Germantown, along with part of neighboring Mt. Airy; these two communities and Chestnut Hill comprise the pre-1854 Germantown Township, the second-oldest settlement within the present-day Philadelphia city limits). It's both socioeconomically and racially diverse (though the real racial/ethnic diversity champs are now the neighborhoods of lower Northeast Philadelphia: Juniata Park, Oxford Circle, Frankford and Northwood, Castor Gardens, Lawndale, Crescentville, Lawncrest. They are less socioeconomically diverse, though).

Here's an admittedly rosy take on what's happening in Germantown now. Some will dispute its optimistic tone, but I think I can back this up with numbers too:

How This Philadelphia Neighborhood is Gentrifying without Displacement | Next City

But this reporter, in her own story, rings some of the same changes I do in mine. The second African-American man featured in it and I are acquainted, and I can be found among the large number of residents, white as well as black, who patronize his real cool coffee shop/bookstore right on Market Square. I also know that the first person featured is gay, like us:

Black middle class finds refuge in East Germantown's diversity, gentrifying on their own terms | WHYY


East Germantown is also where I live. I know you can find an $800 studio apartment in it; it will probably be a little nicer or larger or on a more attractive block than the one I pay $500 a month for (and mine's not all that bad, really).

Should you find yourself in this area on a Tuesday evening, PM me; if I'm free, you could join me at the weekly LGBTQ Northwest Philly meetup at Earth / Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy.
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