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Old 08-14-2013, 11:50 AM
 
4 posts, read 6,876 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone,

First, thank you to those who go out of their way to help newbies like myself. I have been scouring these threads for info, and it is much appreciated.

I am looking for suggestions for affordable neighborhoods for my fiancee to rent in. We are trying to not to spend more than ~$1,200/mo, so we are looking at apartments that are ~$1,000 or less in rent. Our initial plan was to rent in Manayunk- we love the neighborhood, and she currently works in Bala (however, her office is moving to Center City within the next 6 months). I will be working in NE Philly (by the airport) so my commute would be 30-45 min, which is doable for me. The problem is affordability. We are looking for a 1-2 bedroom apartment (rowhome would be even better, but not likely in our price range), as we'll hopefully be able to stay there for a few years, and there's a chance we could be starting a family by then. We're also trying to find off-street parking, if possible. However, all we see in our price range are studios or very dingy looking apartments.

Therefore, we're going to start expanding our search. What we love about Manayunk is that it has that urban feel, with lots of activity, and yet still has a neighborhood/family vibe. Neither of us drink, so we could do without the college partiers, but we love the trendy restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc. So what would some other options for us be? I've heard that Fairmount is nice, but what is the parking situation there (we currently have 2 cars)? Is Chestnut Hill similar to Manayunk? I see there are some apartment complexes around there, anyone have any experience with them or others to recommend? I've seen some negative reviews about the complexes in Manayunk, which is a shame b/c we've had good experience with apartment complexes in the past (Haddonview in NJ).

Anyway, we'd appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions.

Thanks much.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,177 posts, read 9,640,419 times
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You could rent a 2 bedroom row home in Pennsport for the $1200 price range. You will have utiliites on top of that.

Look for zipcode 19147. You need to look for area at the edge of Pennsport 19147 toward 19148
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:02 PM
 
4 posts, read 6,876 times
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Thanks for the suggestion! Does Pennsport have a similar feel to Manayunk?

I neglected to mention our ages in my previous post - we are both 30.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda
318 posts, read 506,803 times
Reputation: 949
Manayunk's ok, but another option is renting in the NE closer to your place of employment. And if your fiancee's job is transferring to Center City, she could either drive down I-95 to work or catch the regional rail line (Trenton Line). It has multiple stops in the NE. Your budget is doable for renting in the NE. I just took a quick look at Zillow.com and saw several listings with price range of 700-1200. Most times you have to park on the street unless it's a complex with a parking lot. Or you land a townhome as most in the far NE have their own driveway which is just large enough for two cars. Just some food for thought.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Thanks AgelessStranger. I did think about looking in NE Philly, however, my understanding (and please correct me if I'm mistaken) is that the area has more of a suburban feel. Since we both spent our lives in suburbia (North Jersey), we're hoping to experience city-living before we (hopefully) are able to buy our own house, which would likely be in the suburbs.

When you say Manayunk is "ok", to what are you referring? We both really like the area, but perhaps there are factors we're not considering?
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:30 PM
 
183 posts, read 575,965 times
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Manayunk is great, but not sure you can find a nice place within your budget. South Philly, especially the area around Passyunk Ave, is really taking off in terms of its young professional/hipster population. What's great about South Philly is similar to what's great about Manayunk - you can walk to a ton of great bars, restaurants and shops. And Center City is a long walk or short cab ride. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:07 PM
 
28 posts, read 60,611 times
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I recommend you move to NE Philly (Frankford). Since you wife's job is moving to Center City she will be able to ride the MFL from Frankford Transportation center, so you won't have to fight for the car. There are plenty of houses you can rent in the Frankford for that amount. The crime rate is fairly low around that area; one of the safest in the city. Use Padmapper to help!
https://www.padmapper.com/
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,695,391 times
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You should consider being able to go as small as a one bedroom. If you have a kid you don't immediately need them to have their own room. Since you are renting it shouldn't be a problem to move to a bigger house when or after it is needed.

No Libs? You are probably going to want to park one of your cars outside the city once your fiancee begins working downtown.

Last edited by MikeNigh; 08-14-2013 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:22 AM
 
4 posts, read 6,876 times
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Thanks guys. I've started looking into S. Philly, but I could use a little guidance. I've reviewed some of the threads on here, and it seems like the neighborhoods can be very different from one another, block by block.

1- kelb, when you say that the area around Passyunk Ave is similar to Main St, whereabouts on the Avenue are you referring?

2- I've seen a lot of recommendations for Pennsport. However, one poster had recommended that someone stay between above Reed St, as the area below is very different. Can anyone expand on this a bit? What are the differences in these areas? Again, we love the feel and accessibility to restaurants/shops etc. in Manayunk, is the section above Reed more similar to this?

3- Northern Liberties- I have two concerns, based on the limited info I've heard of the area:

a) safety- from what I understand, this area is still in the process of gentrifying and random violence still occurs here time to time. I'd prefer to avoid that kind of thing. Is than accurate depiction? How does this area compare to, say, Fairmount in terms of safety?

b) atmosphere - although we love the trendy restaurants/shops etc in Manayunk, we're now in our 30s and we're not drinkers. I've heard that NoLibs is popular with college-age party-ers. Is that accurate? Is that scene more prevalent in NoLibs than in Manayunk?

4- We have seen some nice & affordable places in Manayunk/Roxborough that are a bit further from Main St. My concern here is that if we're a mile or so away from Main, we won't end up walking down to the activity, and I understand parking is hard to come by. The neighborhood seems great, but I try to remind myself that we're trying to get the city-living experience while we're young, so maybe it's not what we're looking for. With that reasoning, would another neighborhood like Pennsport or Fairmount make more sense for us then a spot further out in Manayunk?

Lastly, I do think you're right MikeNigh. I'm getting ahead of myself with the 2-bedroom. I despise moving and was trying to find a place where we could stay for a few years without having to relocate, but I suppose anything could happen, so maybe it's silly to plan for a kid that's not even in the works yet!

Thank you all again for all of your help!
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,177 posts, read 9,640,419 times
Reputation: 3486
Quote:
Thanks guys. I've started looking into S. Philly, but I could use a little guidance. I've reviewed some of the threads on here, and it seems like the neighborhoods can be very different from one another, block by block.
That's a very accurate statement for S. Philly. When you are South of Washington Ave, one block may be much better than others. There are still "pockets" of questionable blocks. One of the biggest problem with some of the blocks is the lack of care in keeping the street clean.
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