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Old 03-23-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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I have spent maybe a grand total of four hours in Philly, years ago. Now I'm moving there and I'm pretty clueless. I was advised to look for a rental in Center City, primarily for social reasons, but finding a nice place with parking for my car for under $2,000/month has proved to be a difficult task. Despite being born/raised in NYC, I've been living in the south since 2008 and am more of a suburbs type of person. Can anyone recommend suburban (PA, not NJ) areas with moderately priced rentals (WITH PARKING!) that won't make for a miserable commute to UPenn?
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:18 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Originally Posted by NorthStar602 View Post
I have spent maybe a grand total of four hours in Philly, years ago. Now I'm moving there and I'm pretty clueless. I was advised to look for a rental in Center City, primarily for social reasons, but finding a nice place with parking for my car for under $2,000/month has proved to be a difficult task. Despite being born/raised in NYC, I've been living in the south since 2008 and am more of a suburbs type of person. Can anyone recommend suburban (PA, not NJ) areas with moderately priced rentals (WITH PARKING!) that won't make for a miserable commute to UPenn?
Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Media, Conshohocken, Glenside. Also, Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy for "suburbs in the city."

And why do you discount NJ right off the bat? Over in South Jersey, Collingswood and Haddon Township could fit the bill as well.

Manayunk may also be a good in-city middle ground--it's definitely urban, but not densely packed the way Center City is.

You should have no issue finding a decent rental + parking there for under $2,000 (you could do it in Center City too if you really wanted, though since you said you're "more of a suburbs type of person" anyway, I won't press the issue).
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:29 AM
 
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I checked all of those neighborhoods out on Trulia. In my search, I came across a complex called Rittenhouse Hill. It's on Lincoln and W. Harvey, in what may be called Germantown? Can you vouch for that area?
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NorthStar602 View Post
I checked all of those neighborhoods out on Trulia. In my search, I came across a complex called Rittenhouse Hill. It's on Lincoln and W. Harvey, in what may be called Germantown? Can you vouch for that area?
Parts of Germantown are fine, some areas are probably not anything you'd be interested in. Check apartmentratings websites for reviews of the specific complex. Have you thought about University City itself? Literally right at UPENN, it's in the city yes, but a bit less dense and quieter than Center City. Many detached houses, it was originally a suburb back in the streetcar days. Outside of the city, Media gets a lot of mentions on this site for your criteria.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:14 AM
 
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I read the only five ratings I could find and they all are great. But I know they can be quite misleading.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStar602 View Post
I checked all of those neighborhoods out on Trulia. In my search, I came across a complex called Rittenhouse Hill. It's on Lincoln and W. Harvey, in what may be called Germantown? Can you vouch for that area?
Germantown is a neighborhood in Philly, and not a suburb. And while it's a very varied and diverse neighborhood both physically & demographically, I would not call it especially suburban (by Philadelphia standards). It could be a fine place to live though. Not a ton to do right around there, but a fairly easy (driving) commute to Penn if that's your priority.

That complex is right at the edge of a large wooded park, and so it would have a lot of exposure to green space and greenery. It's also nearly at Germantown's border with another Philadelphia neighborhood: Mount Airy.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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I live only a few blocks away from Rittenhouse Hill in Germantown. I've been in Germantown for going on two years now, and like others have said, as a whole the neighborhood is a big mixed bag (to the extreme really - there are beautiful tree lined blocks with big houses right next to mostly abandoned blocks in some cases). There are lots of things to like and dislike about it. Some sections are just terrible and some are beautiful. The area you are looking in is probably in the nicest section of Germantown, and you should have absolutely no apprehensions about the neighborhood. I also think that Germantown is the most unique neighborhood I have ever lived in, in terms of both the natural and man-made landscape (pre-war anyway).

However, the complex itself is pretty isoloated from the neighborhood - meaning its off of the grid of Germantown proper, and access on foot is kind of hard. I know you say parking is important to you - but having passed by the complex myself many times while going to and from the Wissahickon Park (an amazing place) I think that lack of easy pedestrian accessibility to the place is a big negative to anyone who ever walks anywhere.

There are some pretty nice and large apartment buildings which would be in your price range just a hop, step, and a jump over at Chelten and Wissahickon that are actually on the street, if that's any matter to you. All would be extremely close to Chelten Avenue station on the regional rail, about a 15 minute train ride to 30th Street Station. Some may advertise as being in East Falls (and some actually are, as I believe Wissahickon is the border between Germantown and East Falls).

Don't expect to be doing too much in Germantown, although your basic necessities are all in the neighborhood (groceries, pharmacies). There are a few nice restaurants, and people keep on trying to open coffeeshops, hopefully one of them will stick one day. Close to train, buses, and highways, it's easy to get other places from here.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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Check out the website for Collingswood, NJ. Our town is like a "village" extension to CC Philly. You can get into the center of everything on the PATCO subway in 13 minutes, 24 hours a day. Most SEPTA rails stop before midnight cutting places like Manayunk and Ardmore off from the city. Its a dry town but the BYO's and restaurant row make up for a hip, artsy vibe. You get a safe area and a walkable town.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
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Originally Posted by GraysFerryB4 View Post
Check out the website for Collingswood, NJ. Our town is like a "village" extension to CC Philly. You can get into the center of everything on the PATCO subway in 13 minutes, 24 hours a day. Most SEPTA rails stop before midnight cutting places like Manayunk and Ardmore off from the city. Its a dry town but the BYO's and restaurant row make up for a hip, artsy vibe. You get a safe area and a walkable town.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the last trains on the Paoli Thorndale Line (to name just one example) respectively depart from Suburban Station at 1:26 and 1:45, making a fun evening out very possible.

Patco's 24 hour service is nonetheless an advantage, though not necessarily one that should foreclose someone from choosing the more active PA suburbs.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:32 PM
 
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Can anyone vouch for the Roxborough (maybe?) area. Specifically the area behind the Cook-Wissahickon school - Righter St, E. Salaignac. Going towards the park.
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