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Old 07-12-2014, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Good article here on housing affordability in Philly (relevant to a lot of other places) and if you scroll down it has a graph price per square foot in various cities.

Philly Has an Income Problem, Not a Housing Affordability Problem – Next City
Francisville? Really? I never heard it called that, and I know people (who'd probably be called first-wave gentrifiers; people willing to put up with some ugly to get a cheap place to live) who bought there several years ago; 19th street was the boundary then, looks like it has moved east.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Francisville? Really? I never heard it called that, and I know people (who'd probably be called first-wave gentrifiers; people willing to put up with some ugly to get a cheap place to live) who bought there several years ago; 19th street was the boundary then, looks like it has moved east.
Yeah, Francisville is east of 19th St. - that's a pretty rookie mistake - but it's been called that for awhile. At least the last 10-15 years.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Yeah, Francisville is east of 19th St. - that's a pretty rookie mistake - but it's been called that for awhile. At least the last 10-15 years.
OK, the area the people I knew moved to was west of 19th, so not Francisville. East of 19th was much nastier then.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Back to the OP, if I may . . . I'm just gonna freestyle here and I don't have any real conclusion (not yet anyway)

I left Philly many moons ago and wound up living in a fairly suburban (by my standards) neighborhood. It was mostly out of convenience - the price was right, the transit was good, and I needed a place to live.
When I say suburban, it's denser than your average suburb, about 6,000ppm but it's mostly single family homes on 1/4 acre with a bunch of 4-8 unit apartment buildings mixed in. The apartments were mostly built in the 60s/70s but new ones do go up occasionally.

I really dislike the neighborhood and plan to move when the lease is up. It's convenient in that I can walk to the basics - groceries, coffee, bottle shop, pharmacy, a few casual, dine-in/take-out kind of places, etc. and the transit is pretty good from 6am until 10pm.

I live in an apartment and one of the huge drawbacks with kids is having to climb a flight of stairs just to get in the front door. That said, even if we had one of the houses nearby I still wouldn't want to live here. It's great that there are lots of little parks nearby and that they're all connected by a greenway but kids rarely use them and the parents are a lot less social when you do run into them. The traffic around here is insane by Philly neighborhood standards. Once you get off the residential side streets there's a lot of it and it's fast moving. The greenways cross these busy roads so there's nothing relaxing at all about taking your kids for a bike ride on one of them.

I expected peace & quiet when I got here. It's just a different kind of noise now - road noise, lawnmowers and leaf blowers, kids from the nearby school, etc.

While I don't have any desire to live in a downtown hi-rise, a rowhouse or a bungalow near downtown would be nice. A patch of grass for the kids to play in - doesn't have to be huge - the green space is appealing but then so is the social life we left behind. For us and for the kids. Play dates have to be arranged now whereas before we would just show up at the playground and someone we knew would be there.

So, if I'm saying anything at all, it's that the greenery of the suburbs is what's appealing (to me) and that's basically it. People talk about living space but houses in my Philly neighborhood were mostly in the 800-2500 s/f range with a few outliers so that was never an issue. Go to West Philly and it's more like 1600-3500 s/f range. What makes South Philly unappealing is the lack of greenery and the overall lack of parks. If we wind up back in Philly it's likely to be West Philly/Germantown/Mt. Airy
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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To be more exact in something I alluded to before, my family and I are looking at moving to a new neighborhood, which while in the city, is a lot less urban.

The house itself is gorgeous. It was built around 1908, and is a detached brick Queen Anne similar to the ones I linked to upthread. It has a unpainted woodwork on the first floor, stained glass, a grand entry, pocket doors, etc. The square footage is twice our current house, with four bedrooms on the second floor and another two on the third. The house does not have off-street parking, but it's not really needed in the neighborhood. It does have a front porch with a swing, lacks a front lawn (there's a setback, but it's too steep for anything but ground cover), and has what I would call a right-sized backyard.

In terms of the neighborhood itself, it's very different from our current neighborhood in typology. Where we live now most of the houses were built between 1870 and 1900, but there the housing stock was built out between 1900 and 1930, with the homes ranging from Queen Annes down to American Foursquare and what passes for Bungalows out here. Here's a nearby street view. It's pretty much a classic streetcar suburb - a long skinny neighborhood which follows a valley. On the plus side, there is literally a bus stop right outside the door. On the bad side, there really isn't much of anything to walk to in the area. The nearest business district would take nearly 15 minutes to walk to, and only has a few things (a coffeeshop, a small market, a bakery, and around 5-6 restaurants).

I'm okay with the tradeoff, because we simply cannot afford a house like the one we are considering in our current neighborhood, or for that matter any of the highly walkable rowhouse neighborhoods in the city (minus a few that remain blighted and unsafe). My wife is not however, because it feels to her like moving to the suburbs. I'm just not sure what other options we have however, because we simply cannot stay where we are much longer.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Play dates have to be arranged now whereas before we would just show up at the playground and someone we knew would be there.
I'm not sure if that's a function of suburban life or not. The play date, to my knowledge, is something that's relatively new. I have friends in Manhattan and DC who set up play dates. Back in the old days, kids just went out and played...it didn't matter whether you grew up in New York or a small town in Mississippi. That's a cultural change, imo. Childhood today seems much more structured to me. When I was a kid, we weren't loaded up with tons of activities (camp, then karate, then fencing, then piano lessons, then...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
People talk about living space but houses in my Philly neighborhood were mostly in the 800-2500 s/f range with a few outliers so that was never an issue. Go to West Philly and it's more like 1600-3500 s/f range. What makes South Philly unappealing is the lack of greenery and the overall lack of parks. If we wind up back in Philly it's likely to be West Philly/Germantown/Mt. Airy
I thought living in the city with 6 people in our family was a real challenge. I would prefer to have a free-standing home.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
To be more exact in something I alluded to before, my family and I are looking at moving to a new neighborhood, which while in the city, is a lot less urban.

The house itself is gorgeous. It was built around 1908, and is a detached brick Queen Anne similar to the ones I linked to upthread. It has a unpainted woodwork on the first floor, stained glass, a grand entry, pocket doors, etc. The square footage is twice our current house, with four bedrooms on the second floor and another two on the third. The house does not have off-street parking, but it's not really needed in the neighborhood. It does have a front porch with a swing, lacks a front lawn (there's a setback, but it's too steep for anything but ground cover), and has what I would call a right-sized backyard.

In terms of the neighborhood itself, it's very different from our current neighborhood in typology. Where we live now most of the houses were built between 1870 and 1900, but there the housing stock was built out between 1900 and 1930, with the homes ranging from Queen Annes down to American Foursquare and what passes for Bungalows out here. Here's a nearby street view. It's pretty much a classic streetcar suburb - a long skinny neighborhood which follows a valley. On the plus side, there is literally a bus stop right outside the door. On the bad side, there really isn't much of anything to walk to in the area. The nearest business district would take nearly 15 minutes to walk to, and only has a few things (a coffeeshop, a small market, a bakery, and around 5-6 restaurants).

I'm okay with the tradeoff, because we simply cannot afford a house like the one we are considering in our current neighborhood, or for that matter any of the highly walkable rowhouse neighborhoods in the city (minus a few that remain blighted and unsafe). My wife is not however, because it feels to her like moving to the suburbs. I'm just not sure what other options we have however, because we simply cannot stay where we are much longer.
I know you have been looking for a long time, and I hate to be a wet blanket, but. . .

You definitely need off-street parking. My DD and her partner have a house (rental, thank goodness) in St. Paul, MN w/o off street parking. She has been the victim of a hit and run, got a ticket for "abandoned car" when she didn't move her car for several days, has had the neighbors complain when she's parked in front of their houses, had to return from a vacation to move her car at Christmastime due to a snowstorm (plowing), etc.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:37 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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It depends on the city and your needs. I don't have off street parking right now, and am fine with it. I know plenty of others that don't. BajanYankee doesn't either. It does have downsides, but it's a trade off I'm willing to accept.

Note in NYC the move of your car rules are suspended for snowstorms, the opposite of Minneapolis.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You definitely need off-street parking. My DD and her partner have a house (rental, thank goodness) in St. Paul, MN w/o off street parking. She has been the victim of a hit and run, got a ticket for "abandoned car" when she didn't move her car for several days, has had the neighbors complain when she's parked in front of their houses, had to return from a vacation to move her car at Christmastime due to a snowstorm (plowing), etc.
Getting your car hit is the only thing on your list I think someone needs to be legitimately concerned about. And even the risk of that happening is low. The biggest thing for me is getting my bumper scratched up from parking. But that's not that big of a deal to me. It's to be expected in the city to an extent.

Parking can be difficult in very dense, trendy neighbors, but not all neighborhoods. I often get asked "But will I be able to park in your neighborhood???" as if finding a parking space will be like driving to the Macy's Day Parade.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You definitely need off-street parking. My DD and her partner have a house (rental, thank goodness) in St. Paul, MN w/o off street parking. She has been the victim of a hit and run, got a ticket for "abandoned car" when she didn't move her car for several days, has had the neighbors complain when she's parked in front of their houses, had to return from a vacation to move her car at Christmastime due to a snowstorm (plowing), etc.
I've been living in a neighborhood without off-street parking for seven years now. It's no biggie except that I sometimes get fined if I don't move our second car (which seldom gets used) for street cleaning.

It has gotten to be very difficult to park in our area however because it's dense and has a trendy business district. This past Sunday we came home from shopping at 2PM and there was not a single open parking space on our entire street. The area we are looking at is many blocks away from any business district, and mostly owner-occupied single-family housing, so I cannot see why the area would have parking issues.
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