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Old 12-08-2018, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,210 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr2133 View Post


I really like what I have seen in Germantown when I was last there in May. Honestly, a more gritty or rundown appearance does not scare me off. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, New Castle and Youngstown so grit is just more character to me. I noticed Germantown can go from down on its luck to beautiful homes fairly quickly. I think most of my searches have led me to places in the NW neighborhoods. I do like the access to Wissahickon, too. Train access to Center City seems good as well.

I can honestly go higher in price, but I prefer to be price concise in the beginning. If I do go higher, I would like to find something that has most utilities included in the rent. Just ballpark, what are some of the average utility costs for an individual in the city? I know that can depend on a range of factors.
Maybe you can benchmark this:

My apartment occupies one floor of what was once a three-story one-family rowhouse. I'd estimate it probably has about 350 or so square feet of interior space.

Because it was once a house, it has a furnace that supplies heat to all three units, and heat is included in the rent. There's no gas, so my only utility bill is for electricity. That runs me about $30/month in winter and $50 to $60 in the summer, when I run a window air conditioner.

If you can find a unit in an older building with central heat, you will save by having the heat included in your rent. The downside is that you will not be able to control the heat, and depending on how well it works or how well your apartment is insulated, you could be warmer or colder than you'd like to be.

Newer apartments will probably have individual HVAC units in them. Electricity bills for those will probably be about double what I pay. If the heat is supplied by gas, you will probably also have a gas range; the bill in summer will probably be around $20, or less if you don't cook all that often; in the winter, it will probably triple. If you have gas cooking and heat, your electricity bill will probably be close to mine.

Apropos of nothing, I note that one of the apartments you mentioned in this post is in Point Breeze, just below Graduate Hospital. The latest Census Bureau estimates show that Graduate Hospital just overtook Chestnut Hill as the most affluent neighborhood in the city (based on median household income).
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:30 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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OP, if you can I would highly recommend you visit the areas where you "saw" those listings.

Places that might look sketchy might be safer than they appear.

I'm not afraid of going to most sections in the city because I'm a lifer and I'm used to even the badder looking parts of the city.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:34 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post


Apropos of nothing, I note that one of the apartments you mentioned in this post is in Point Breeze, just below Graduate Hospital. The latest Census Bureau estimates show that Graduate Hospital just overtook Chestnut Hill as the most affluent neighborhood in the city (based on median household income).
Wow, absolutely stunning!!

OP, there is no actual Graduate Hospital today although the neighborhood name remains.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:57 PM
 
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The hospital is still there, just now it is called Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.
I always thought it was funny that the site of the Graduate Hospital is outside of the neighborhood that bears its name.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frbrown View Post
The hospital is still there, just now it is called Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.
I always thought it was funny that the site of the Graduate Hospital is outside of the neighborhood that bears its name.
Doesn't GH start at South St going south to Carpenter or as far as Washington Ave., 17th to 20th/21st?

Yes, the bldg is still there but renamed.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,210 posts, read 3,048,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Doesn't GH start at South St going south to Carpenter or as far as Washington Ave., 17th to 20th/21st?

Yes, the bldg is still there but renamed.
Generally accepted boundaries today:

South Street on the north
Washington Avenue on the south
Broad Street on the east
Grays Ferry Avenue on the west

This is, unless I'm mistaken, also the territory covered by the neighborhood's primary RCO*, the South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA).

There have been occasional, short-lived discussions about coming up with a new name for "G-Ho," based on the fact that it bears the name of an institution that (a) no longer exists (b) lies outside the neighborhood. (The origin lies in real estate agents' habit of listing homes and apartments for sale or rent within about a three- to four-block radius from the old Graduate Hospital on three sides as being in the "Graduate Hospital area" back in the 1980s, when the area to the hospital's south was dicier. (To GH's north lies the Rittenhouse [Square] neighborhood, long considered the choicest addresses in Center City, so there was no need to attach the hospital's name to those.)

In at least one of those discussions, I suggested we name the neighborhood "Andersonville," after the person who is probably its best-known former resident, famed contralto Marian Anderson. (The neighborhood was the home of Philly's black professional and upper middle class for most of the 20th century. It went into decline fairly rapidly in the 1970s. It's completely rebounded now, but it's no longer mostly black. You should be able to figure out how and why this happened.)

I think some other people agreed with me, but there is an unfortunate association with this word, namely, an infamous Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War.

*RCO: Registered Community Organization. These groups, which are usually neighborhood civic associations but can also be political party ward committees or social clubs, play a role in shaping building and development in the city. They review any proposed development that violates any provision of the city zoning rules for its lot and thus requires a variance to proceed. Their recommendations are advisory to but not binding on the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment, which actually grants the variances. The boundaries of the various neighborhood civic groups usually do not overlap, but a few do, and the political party-affiliated RCOs overlap with a bunch of them.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:34 AM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,076 posts, read 3,334,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
rdr2133: I am, however, in a relationship with a gentleman who's 36. He lives in the West Philadelphia neighborhood called Hestonville by its residents and virtually no one else.
I grew up on 59th/Jefferson, so I claim overbook. Never heard the term Hestonville until I saw it on Google maps recently. I'll ask my mom if she's familiar with the term.

Also, if you live in Germantown and date someone in Hestonville, isn't meeting up supremely annoying if using public trans? Tell me there's a better option than 23-BSL-El-52? This feeds into the other thread about why people dislike SEPTA.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
I grew up on 59th/Jefferson, so I claim overbook. Never heard the term Hestonville until I saw it on Google maps recently. I'll ask my mom if she's familiar with the term.

Also, if you live in Germantown and date someone in Hestonville, isn't meeting up supremely annoying if using public trans? Tell me there's a better option than 23-BSL-El-52? This feeds into the other thread about why people dislike SEPTA.
I never heard "Hestonville" either and I have W. Philly root(Haddington and Carroll Park) going back decades.

I do have a very old paper Septa Street and Transit Map, circa 1990, which does show Hestonville, between Lancaster/Landowne Aves with Girard Ave on the south from 52nd to, maybe, 56th/57th Sts.

Sandy can speak for himself of course but he's used to stuff like that. No need to take the BSL or El. He can do whatever he normally does to get to Center City and take the 10 trolley.

Lol, at your thinking that traveling to be with someone you really, really love is in any way annoying.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,210 posts, read 3,048,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
I grew up on 59th/Jefferson, so I claim overbook. Never heard the term Hestonville until I saw it on Google maps recently. I'll ask my mom if she's familiar with the term.

Also, if you live in Germantown and date someone in Hestonville, isn't meeting up supremely annoying if using public trans? Tell me there's a better option than 23-BSL-El-52? This feeds into the other thread about why people dislike SEPTA.
Yes. The Route 65 bus is one of the most frequent and heavily used circumferential crosstown routes on the SEPTA system. An alternative to the 18/26-BSL-10 or 18/26-BSL-El-52 is the 26/K-65-52. Total travel time is often actually less than going through Center City.

But tbh, much of the time, he or I UberPool it. Even faster, though costlier.

He's staying at my place tonight because his own apartment is now torn up and there's construction dust everywhere (not something he had planned to do so soon. His mother had other ideas). I'm very content right now.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:25 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
rdr2133: I just turned 60 but otherwise all but match your description of yourself. (I am, however, in a relationship with a gentleman who's 36. He lives in the West Philadelphia neighborhood called Hestonville by its residents and virtually no one else.)

I tend not to recoil at "unsafe" neighborhoods as much as many others do, a quality I share with kyb01. I live just steps away from the roughest intersection in all of Germantown, whose reputation for crime exceeds the actual amount of crime that takes place there.

Chances are that whatever neighborhood of the city you may live in, I've probably written about it at some point or other.

You will find many people who say, "West is Best." West Philadelphia as a whole is generally very convenient to Center City thanks to strong transit connections (the closer you are to the Market-Frankford Line or the Route 52 bus, which crosses the El at 52d Street station and runs extremely frequently, the better; the boyfriend's house is one block off 52d, about five minutes from the El by bus, and almost as close to the Route 10 trolley, which also runs right into Center City), and there are a number of neighborhoods there where you could find studio apartments within your price range.

I'm among those who say, "Northwest is Best." It is the greenest part of the city (I grew up in one of the greenest cities in the country, so I'm real big on tree cover, which also has environmental and economic benefits). It contains its second most historic neighborhood after the Historic Square Mile in Old City/Society Hill itself (that would be Germantown, along with part of neighboring Mt. Airy; these two communities and Chestnut Hill comprise the pre-1854 Germantown Township, the second-oldest settlement within the present-day Philadelphia city limits). It's both socioeconomically and racially diverse (though the real racial/ethnic diversity champs are now the neighborhoods of lower Northeast Philadelphia: Juniata Park, Oxford Circle, Frankford and Northwood, Castor Gardens, Lawndale, Crescentville, Lawncrest. They are less socioeconomically diverse, though).

Here's an admittedly rosy take on what's happening in Germantown now. Some will dispute its optimistic tone, but I think I can back this up with numbers too:

How This Philadelphia Neighborhood is Gentrifying without Displacement | Next City

But this reporter, in her own story, rings some of the same changes I do in mine. The second African-American man featured in it and I are acquainted, and I can be found among the large number of residents, white as well as black, who patronize his real cool coffee shop/bookstore right on Market Square. I also know that the first person featured is gay, like us:

Black middle class finds refuge in East Germantown's diversity, gentrifying on their own terms | WHYY


East Germantown is also where I live. I know you can find an $800 studio apartment in it; it will probably be a little nicer or larger or on a more attractive block than the one I pay $500 a month for (and mine's not all that bad, really).

Should you find yourself in this area on a Tuesday evening, PM me; if I'm free, you could join me at the weekly LGBTQ Northwest Philly meetup at Earth / Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy.
Thank you so much for the advice, Market. I apologize I am just now getting to this. I would like to make it a point to get on here more often so I can reply quicker. I honestly have enjoyed what I have found in Germantown, and really enjoyed my time there back in May. I already have addresses lined up for when I visit this weekend and several are in Germantown. I have done my research on the neighborhood, and tell me if I am wrong, but one of the things that I really like about Germantown is that it seems more racially integrated than many others? That says so much about a neighborhood. As a single gay male, Gayborhood seems attractive, but I also could care less about the bar/club scene, and I figured it would be easy to take the train to Center City if I want it.

I guess one of my biggest questions in Germantown is connectivity to Center City. Looks like transportation is good with two lines, but it seems like one is better than the other. Does the Chestnut Hill East have quicker times into CC? It looks like Chestnut Hill West connects through 30th?

Your responses are greatly detailed!
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