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Old 06-15-2016, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwlcb92 View Post
Thanks for the helpful answers, everyone! Great to know we're not being totally unrealistic with our preferences and our budget - $1600 in NYC basically gets you a shoebox so I wasn't sure. I'm definitely going to look into these neighborhoods further. As far as the hipster vibe goes, neither of us are really into super hipster or crunchy stuff and we're both pretty low-key in terms of partying/socializing.

We did a bit of research, and so far (based on your guys' great suggestions), we're looking into the following. Does anyone have any recommendations of apartment complexes in these areas (assuming we don't do a by-owner rental or a house), and are they all quite safe?

- Fairmount
- Spring Garden
- Fishtown
- Northern Liberties
- Queen Village
- East Falls
- Mount Airy

One concern about University City I have is that it'll be overrun with college kids. We are young, but we both graduated 4 years ago and we're thoroughly over the college scene, so not sure about living there. However, we are willing to visit and look into it in the interest of keeping our options open.
I can only speak quite directly about Spring Garden since I live there regarding safety. I'm old enough to be your grandparent. I've lived in SG for 20 years. I've seen it go from marginally sketchy to mostly not sketchy anymore. I've never had a problem walking around solo. But, of course, living in any city requires some "street sense". Coming from New York, I don't think you all will have any problems.

We do have limited 24 hr city pub trans, btw, if that's a concern of yours.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:38 PM
 
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Thanks again for all the help, guys. Great to know that UC is not strictly a party-heavy college town and I am totally okay with running into grad students there, as many grad students are probably my age or older.

Another question for everyone: how far in advance should we be realistically looking to sign a lease?
In NYC, the process is extremely fast. In my experience, you can almost never start looking for places more than a month in advance, and once you view an apartment, you're expected to decide on the spot and put in your deposits very shortly after. I assume it's not quite as fast-paced in Philly based on my research thus far, but would appreciate anyone who has firsthand experience sharing their insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
I carpooled with my friend who lived at the Granary and it is awesome inside. It was built a couple years ago and the apartments inside are all new - engineered hardwood, new appliances, cabinets, everything. There are a ton of dog owners and doctors/nurses living there that work at the hospital nearby (Hahnemann). Her rent was I think $2,200 for a 1BR though. But there will be a Target across the street soon and a Whole Foods that is moving a block away, so it is a prime location. Plus the river trail is within walking/biking distance.

We looked at Queen Village during our house hunt and we loved the area, but parking was very tough, even for one car. I went by after work a couple nights, getting there by 6PM, and it was a little tricky to find parking. You can pay for parking by the 95 overpass but it might be pricey.
Yikes! $2200 is definitely steep. I just checked the Granary's website, and when attempting to apply for an apartment, the lowest price-range is $1700-$2200. However, I'll be sure check into surrounding apartment buildings / houses / rowhomes.

It's too bad parking in Queen Village is tough - hopefully we can find some places with off-street parking included, if that ends up being the neighborhood we fall in love with. Really looking forward to visiting again and seeing a few places in the coming months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
Solid list, as someone already mentioned, University City is not really overrun by college kids past 42nd street. Part of the reason is Penn has partnered with the school district on the local elementary school (Penn Alexander), giving urban parents a rare viable public school option, creating a huge rush of youngish families to the area. You'll definitely run into student rentals here and there though. Mostly grad students.

As far as safety, all those areas are pretty safe by Philly standards. Meaning you can walk around at most times without too much concern, but be aware of surroundings and stuff does happen time to time, like in any city.

A note on finding apartments- Philly is not really an apartment city, especially once you get out of Center City. Rowhouses are the dominant housing stock. Plenty of investors/developers specialize in renting those out (for better or worse). My Fishtown rowhome is under agreement with such an investor. So unless you specifically desire apartment living, I'd suggest expanding your scope to rowhouse rentals as well.
We'd absolutely looooove to have a yard, so we're definitely not set on apartment living and would be open to exploring rowhomes and free-standing houses. I just tend to think of everything in terms of apartments being from NYC and never really having lived anywhere else. Thank you very much for the insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
I can only speak quite directly about Spring Garden since I live there regarding safety. I'm old enough to be your grandparent. I've lived in SG for 20 years. I've seen it go from marginally sketchy to mostly not sketchy anymore. I've never had a problem walking around solo. But, of course, living in any city requires some "street sense". Coming from New York, I don't think you all will have any problems.

We do have limited 24 hr city pub trans, btw, if that's a concern of yours.
Thanks! I definitely don't think I'll have any issues with safety being born and raised in NYC - it's more my girlfriend I'm worried about, since she has always lived in the suburbs, and still lives and works in the outer-borough burbs. However, she has a good amount of street sense, so as long as it's reasonably safe we should be okay.

Also, awesome to know that there is some sort of 24-hour transportation. We are rarely out very late, but I rely heavily on public transportation being that I don't drive. And if all else fails, I'll Uber it!
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dwlcb92 View Post
Thanks again for all the help, guys. Great to know that UC is not strictly a party-heavy college town and I am totally okay with running into grad students there, as many grad students are probably my age or older.

[...... some deleted]


Yikes! $2200 is definitely steep. I just checked the Granary's website, and when attempting to apply for an apartment, the lowest price-range is $1700-$2200. However, I'll be sure check into surrounding apartment buildings / houses / rowhomes.


There are two other rental multi unit bldgs that I can think of in lower Spring Garden/Fairmount, in the 1800 block of Callowhill and 22nd and Spring Garden Sts respectively. I'm blanking on their names! The other multi unit bldgs in the neighborhood are condos: The Tivoli, City View, The Colonnade. There are probably unit owners in those who are renting their units. I would look into Museum Towers too; it's a rental.

Right on Ben Franklin Pwy is Park Towne Place complex which just had a fabulous huge rehab(new owners). It was recently added to the National Registry of Historic places. It's a funny place because it had a dowdy rep but now it's hip again. Its neighborhood is Logan Sq/Logan Circle.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwlcb92 View Post
Thanks again for all the help, guys. Great to know that UC is not strictly a party-heavy college town and I am totally okay with running into grad students there, as many grad students are probably my age or older.
There are two other schools in the heart of UC but I don't think either will be much of bother as far as rowdy behavior is concerned. University of the Sciences in Phila. at 43rd and Baltimore/Woodland Aves and The Restaurant School at around 45th and Walnut.

Check septa's website about pub trans. And be aware that septa is transitioning to a new electronic fare system...so Phila will finally get rid of tokens! Lol
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Here&There
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It's all over the map in Philly concerning when to look and sign. It's upwards to 3 months in advance to the day, depends on how hot the property and area is.

I will also recommend University City area, although I'm getting confused where West Philly begins and UC ends, so many new (bogus) neighborhood names. I just moved to UC/wphilly area from Washington Sq, I thought I would miss it but it isn't so bad, not as dense as center city. Also, don't look into anything past 50th St., stay between Market and Baltimore.
Of all the city neighborhoods, it's easier to find street parking. If you choose a CC neighborhood, you may have to look into a parking garage. With your budget though, you could live in any of the neighborhoods.

I personally would avoid Fishtown, Nolibs, Kensington, it's fun to visit but not to live in, waaaaay overhyped.

If you have the time, you should definitely visit and check out the neighborhoods.

And if you happen to get a place with a yard and decide to do some gardening, be aware of what I call, tree rats aka squirrels - they are destructive.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
It's all over the map in Philly concerning when to look and sign. It's upwards to 3 months in advance to the day, depends on how hot the property and area is.

I will also recommend University City area, although I'm getting confused where West Philly begins and UC ends, so many new (bogus) neighborhood names. I just moved to UC/wphilly area from Washington Sq, I thought I would miss it but it isn't so bad, not as dense as center city. Also, don't look into anything past 50th St., stay between Market and Baltimore.
Of all the city neighborhoods, it's easier to find street parking. If you choose a CC neighborhood, you may have to look into a parking garage. With your budget though, you could live in any of the neighborhoods.

I personally would avoid Fishtown, Nolibs, Kensington, it's fun to visit but not to live in, waaaaay overhyped.

If you have the time, you should definitely visit and check out the neighborhoods.

And if you happen to get a place with a yard and decide to do some gardening, be aware of what I call, tree rats aka squirrels - they are destructive.
West Philadelphia starts as soon as you cross the Schuykill River, traveling westward on JFK Blvd, Market, Chestnut, Walnut and South Sts.

University City, which didn't used to include Powelton Village but seems to now, is a collection of W. Philly neighborhoods(Spruce Hill, Clark Park, Cedar Park, Walnut Hill) anchored by Penn and Drexel. As I recall it "University City" started as a real estate term kind of like "Art Museum" which has traditionally been called Fairmount and parts of Spring Garden.

The rest of W.Philly is composed of Mantua, Parkside, Belmont/Mill Creek, Haddington, Cobbs Creek, the Overbrooks(Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Overbrook Farms), Wynnefield and chunks of Fairmount Park(eg Belmont Plateau).

One other suggestion was East Mt Airy which will, likely, have the best on street parking of any of the places mentioned to the OP.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Here&There
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
West Philadelphia starts as soon as you cross the Schuykill River, traveling westward on JFK Blvd, Market, Chestnut, Walnut and South Sts.

University City, which didn't used to include Powelton Village but seems to now, is a collection of W. Philly neighborhoods(Spruce Hill, Clark Park, Cedar Park, Walnut Hill) anchored by Penn and Drexel. As I recall it "University City" started as a real estate term kind of like "Art Museum" which has traditionally been called Fairmount and parts of Spring Garden.

The rest of W.Philly is composed of Mantua, Parkside, Belmont/Mill Creek, Haddington, Cobbs Creek, the Overbrooks(Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Overbrook Farms), Wynnefield and chunks of Fairmount Park(eg Belmont Plateau).

One other suggestion was East Mt Airy which will, likely, have the best on street parking of any of the places mentioned to the OP.
That's what I thought was WPhilly. But I've been corrected so many times, by locals and homeowners, I just am about indifferent to it now. Supposedly there's another neighborhood adjacent to Rittenhouse just past 22nd, I just about sent my brain into the shredders.

I looked into East Mt Airy when I had moved to Philly several years ago, I wouldn't recommend it to people newish to Philly, from a transplant's perspective, it seemingly is disconnected from the city core.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
That's what I thought was WPhilly. But I've been corrected so many times, by locals and homeowners, I just am about indifferent to it now. Supposedly there's another neighborhood adjacent to Rittenhouse just past 22nd, I just about sent my brain into the shredders.

I looked into East Mt Airy when I had moved to Philly several years ago, I wouldn't recommend it to people newish to Philly, from a transplant's perspective, it seemingly is disconnected from the city core.
Well, the nomenclature, I suppose, really depends on, let's be frank, where the majority black population starts in W. Philly and that's about at 52nd St. Heaven forbid if UC is connected, in any way, to the rest of W.Philly because of all of those black people!

But, yes, agreed the tide has changed and, for whatever reason, the residents of UC don't want to be associated with the rest of W. Philly.

Not sure if you are aware of it but a big chunk of the Science Center, along Market St, was a black neighborhood once upon a time.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:40 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
That's what I thought was WPhilly. But I've been corrected so many times, by locals and homeowners, I just am about indifferent to it now. Supposedly there's another neighborhood adjacent to Rittenhouse just past 22nd, I just about sent my brain into the shredders.
That's Fitler Sq.
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:07 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
I looked into East Mt Airy when I had moved to Philly several years ago, I wouldn't recommend it to people newish to Philly, from a transplant's perspective, it seemingly is disconnected from the city core.
My wife and I moved from NC to East Mt Airy. Never felt disconnected (not sure what that actually means) because the neighborhood had everything we wanted. We go into Center City often (20+ minute drive, a tad longer by either SEPTA Chestnut Hill East or West lines. Mt Airy (East or West) is certainly not a leafier version/extension of Center City, so in that sense it's "disconnected." But it certainly shouldn't be offputting to people who are new to the city: it has bars, restaurants, etc. as well as the best access to parks and hiking of all the 'hoods that were mentioned in previous posts.
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