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Thread summary:

Pros and cons of living in Philly, cost of living, crime rates, job market, housing and rental costs, need information for possible relocation

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Old 12-17-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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Can someone tell me about the good and bad of Philly? I have heard a lot about crimes, not sure how serious they are and if everyone who lives in the city will be somehow affected. I need to hear both the good and the bad so that I can reach a decision about relocating. I especially want to hear about the job market and apartment rentals in the $700.00 to $900.00 range. Thanks in advance
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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You'll probably get a lot of differing opinions on this topic. We also would need a little more info from you regarding your age range, your interests, etc.
I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that you're a 20-30 something (or maybe even older) with no kids.

Center City (what we call downtown) would be the ideal place to be. However, many people have already come to that conclusion. For your rental range, you'd probably consider a studio, a roommate or a location on the fringes (e.g. Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Bella Vista, Fairmount).

Across the Schuykill (Schuykill) River in University City, life is a slightly less frenetic and more affordable than in Center City. I lived here on two separate occasions and enjoyed it very much. You'll get a diverse mix of people from various socioeconomic levels that get along well more often than not. If you like (or ever wanted to try) West African food, this is your place. The gentrification wave spawned by the University of Pennsylvania has raised the stability level of the area but has not necessarily pleased some long-term residents.

Towards the NW part of the city is Manayunk, a hip perhaps overheated (IMO) neighborhood famous for its hilly streeta and stylish Main Street, in particular. It may be a nice compromise for someone who may be commuting out to the suburban job centers.

Some mellower NW neighborhoods to consider include East Falls, West Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill.

Crime: this does seem to have become more of a challenge this year in Philly. I still hold the view that it is most likely to happen in lower-income areas between people who know each other. That's not to say life will be perfect in any area of the city. Street wisdom and common sense always helpful.

I guess I blabbed on a bit long... but again, if you give us more specifics, then we can be more specific ourselves.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:15 AM
 
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You guessed right..I am a 34 yrs old lady, not married, no kids. I currently live in the deep south (Raleigh NC). This area is primarily for retired people and not for someone like me who needs to work and is active. I do work in healthcare but I've always loved big cities and thought Philly may be good for me. Here in Raleigh life is cheap..$700.00 will get you a beautiful big one bedroom apartment in a hip neighborhood, with a fantastic view and balcony. Unfortunately, when you look left and right, all you see is old people. you don't see young, active working people a lot, although they do exist. I'd love to live in NYC of course but I can never get an apartment for my price range and roomates are a thing in the past when I was in college. At my age, no roomates are necessary. You did not mention anything about the job outlook though, in your reply. I need help with that before I fly into Philly this spring to take a look at the whole place. Thanks..
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Too far from the beach, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatiana1 View Post
You guessed right..I am a 34 yrs old lady, not married, no kids. I currently live in the deep south (Raleigh NC). This area is primarily for retired people and not for someone like me who needs to work and is active. I do work in healthcare but I've always loved big cities and thought Philly may be good for me. Here in Raleigh life is cheap..$700.00 will get you a beautiful big one bedroom apartment in a hip neighborhood, with a fantastic view and balcony. Unfortunately, when you look left and right, all you see is old people. you don't see young, active working people a lot, although they do exist. I'd love to live in NYC of course but I can never get an apartment for my price range and roomates are a thing in the past when I was in college. At my age, no roomates are necessary. You did not mention anything about the job outlook though, in your reply. I need help with that before I fly into Philly this spring to take a look at the whole place. Thanks..
As far as the job market, what industry are you in?
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:05 AM
 
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I guess I forgot to mention my take on the job market in Philly. Granted, I'm two years removed but I like to think things are similar now to how I see them.

Philly has a diverse white-collar economy. The only areas that are particularly booming are health care and pharmaceuticals. The city proper has a lot of great teaching hospitals which subsequently have a great reputation. On the other hand, most of the pharmaceutical opportunities are found in suburban/exurban office parks. In fact regarding the suburban job market in general, to paraphrase rainrock, anyone who wants a job out there probably has one. The city is another story. Center City is buzzing with office workers, however the high business and wage taxes, along with a desire for perks and cheaper land have had an effect on the city. Their targeted tax break program has had mixed success at best IMO.

One thing to note: if you live and/work in the city, you will be required to pay around 4% wage tax, whether you work in the city or not. The rate is slightly lower if you live outside the city but work in the city. If you live in the city but work outside the city, you will still have to pay the wage tax.

So it's a no brainer just to work and live in the 'burbs, right? Well, not if you're a Gen X-er who wants to come home to a walkable, trendy community. There are some suburban oases like Conshohocken, West Chester and some towns along the upscale Main Line that you might find interesting enough... but they're not Center City.

That said, depending on where you do find a job, Conshohocken (Con-sho-HOCK-en) may be a good compromise. You'd be relatively close to the suburban office parks as well as Center City. However, I'm not sure if the rents would be in your range.
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tatiana1 View Post
You guessed right..I am a 34 yrs old lady, not married, no kids. I currently live in the deep south (Raleigh NC). This area is primarily for retired people and not for someone like me who needs to work and is active.
I've never heard anybody call Raleigh the "Deep" South, in fact I was under the impression that Southerners considered the Triangle to be an oasis of Yankee-land plunked down in the Carolinas...

What do you think of the 9th Street / Old West Durham area? Or Carrboro, around the Weaver Street Market? If I had to live down there that's where I'd be. I think Raleigh's always had the reputation of being the most boring of the three spokes in the Triangle.
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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This would probably get you a decent studio in center city - you'd get a little more for your money probably in the art museum section, especially in winter mos (slow for rentals).
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
I guess I forgot to mention my take on the job market in Philly. Granted, I'm two years removed but I like to think things are similar now to how I see them.

Philly has a diverse white-collar economy. The only areas that are particularly booming are health care and pharmaceuticals. The city proper has a lot of great teaching hospitals which subsequently have a great reputation. On the other hand, most of the pharmaceutical opportunities are found in suburban/exurban office parks. In fact regarding the suburban job market in general, to paraphrase rainrock, anyone who wants a job out there probably has one. The city is another story. Center City is buzzing with office workers, however the high business and wage taxes, along with a desire for perks and cheaper land have had an effect on the city. Their targeted tax break program has had mixed success at best IMO.

One thing to note: if you live and/work in the city, you will be required to pay around 4% wage tax, whether you work in the city or not. The rate is slightly lower if you live outside the city but work in the city. If you live in the city but work outside the city, you will still have to pay the wage tax.

So it's a no brainer just to work and live in the 'burbs, right? Well, not if you're a Gen X-er who wants to come home to a walkable, trendy community. There are some suburban oases like Conshohocken, West Chester and some towns along the upscale Main Line that you might find interesting enough... but they're not Center City.

That said, depending on where you do find a job, Conshohocken (Con-sho-HOCK-en) may be a good compromise. You'd be relatively close to the suburban office parks as well as Center City. However, I'm not sure if the rents would be in your range.
Thank you so much for all the info. I do work at a hospital here also, so most likely, I will do the same if I decide to move there.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollygolightly View Post
As far as the job market, what industry are you in?
I am in the healthcare industry. I work at a hospital here, in the Business office, which is what my degree is in.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:29 PM
 
560 posts, read 1,411,279 times
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Originally Posted by passdoubt View Post
I've never heard anybody call Raleigh the "Deep" South, in fact I was under the impression that Southerners considered the Triangle to be an oasis of Yankee-land plunked down in the Carolinas...

What do you think of the 9th Street / Old West Durham area? Or Carrboro, around the Weaver Street Market? If I had to live down there that's where I'd be. I think Raleigh's always had the reputation of being the most boring of the three spokes in the Triangle.
Yes, there are lots of retired Yankees who moved here in the past and still moving here (this area sees about 40,000 people, mostly retirees, moving here every year). And please people don't take me wrong...I do think all these towns like Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Raleigh etc are all quiet and charming, which is why I think they are a retirement haven for many. But for people who love big cities and who must work, this is not the area I'd recommend, unless of course one is desperate to get out of a city and wants somewhere to go for a while. What attracted me here personally is the cheap rent, I was not mature enough (7 years ago) to do my research in the other aspects of life here, like the job market, ethnic diversity, etc, etc.
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