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Old 06-07-2008, 09:09 PM
RNG RNG started this thread
Location: Collingswood, NJ
31 posts, read 120,346 times
Reputation: 17


I have a friend, a female (not sure of age, I would say between 50-60), who is from the US but who has lived in France for the past twenty years. She is looking for move permanently to the US and would like to buy property somewhere in the vicinity of where I live, which is Collingswood, NJ. However, Collingswood is too pricey for her, and she really does not want to spend more than $10k-25k. Yeah, I know, dream on... She is willing to move into Camden or Philadelphia. The problem is that the only homes in that price range in these areas are those that are bombed out, burned out, or smashed out, but she, in her eternal optimism, is OK with that. She feels that the values of said property will undoubtably rise in time and that the areas will gentrify some day. She is most interested in North Philly. I told her she is nuts, that it is too crime-ridden and unsafe for an older, white woman, and she risks being hurt or robbed or worse. She is willing to buy a cruddy house and spend time re-doing it. I think it's a bad, bad, bad idea. Does anyone have any real experience with this? Maybe I'm too cynical, but I think she is a bit naive and not considering the real dangers. She is very thrifty, does not work but gets a bit of alimony, and cannot and will not get a mortgage. If this were your friend, or aunt, or mother, what would you think about this?
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:09 PM
1,623 posts, read 5,967,012 times
Reputation: 449
Tell her to rent somewhere decent ie not North Philly or Camden, save her money and then buy somewhere decent as well. Her life is not worth risking...I read on another blog about an Australian who moved north of Girard and had his car firebombed! Needless to say, he went back to Australia.

Why would she want to buy this year anyway when prices should continue to drop for the next 6 months to several years out? Better to rent and take a wait and see approach.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:37 AM
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,907,879 times
Reputation: 2272
I too recommend renting. If she is older, why would she want the hassle of ownership? I say rent- get into a better neighborhood where you don't have to deal with all of the crime, murder, violence, shootings, drugs....and I worked in that neighborhood and went to school in that neighborhood and went through some of that. Many of the people who live in North Philly do so without choice, because they can't afford to get out. No one really wants to move in. She should rent.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:30 AM
Location: wilkes-barre
1,974 posts, read 4,717,494 times
Reputation: 1000
Tell your friend North Philly is nice...if he/she likes Moderator Cut: Addressing issues is one thing; blanket statements are another.

Last edited by FindingZen; 06-09-2008 at 06:32 AM..
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:29 AM
8,048 posts, read 18,476,341 times
Reputation: 2738
If your friend is accustomed to the Paris suburbs, then she might begin to appreciate the challenge of living in North Philly. However, without not knowing the specifics of the life in the banlieues, I would guess that the socioeconomic issues in the US, specifically in Northeast cities like Philly, are a different animal.

I can't say that I'm totally familiar with all of the current dividing lines of gentification these days, but some places to consider (albeit likely above $25K) might include areas on or above Girard Avenue in North Philly/Fishtown as well as Chester Avenue west of 50th. If/when the next economic boom hits, I predict these areas will benefit urban pioneers like your friend.
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:25 AM
46 posts, read 169,758 times
Reputation: 20
She'd be better off renting in a nicer part of Philly rather than renting in North Philly or Camden. YIKES!!!
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:07 PM
468 posts, read 2,168,079 times
Reputation: 226
There are some slightly almost okay parts of North Philly, but if she's looking at properties for under $25k, it's because they're in neighborhoods where nobody in their right mind would live. They're probably properties that are actively used by drug dealers as stash houses and crack dens, on blocks that are entirely abandoned, where their value simply represents speculation that one day someone will buy them all up and demolish or rehab them as part of a big project.

But I assume she'll actually look at the house before she buys it, and will soon change her mind when she realizes what she's getting herself into.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:38 PM
Location: Suburban Philadelphia
19 posts, read 98,632 times
Reputation: 15
Please advise your friend to rent somewhere else insted of moving to North Philly. I have family there and I go there often and I cannot wait to go home. Then you stated her race and gender, I hate to say it but she is even more vunerable to the bad element. No to North Philly for your friend.
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:32 AM
Location: Center of the universe
24,672 posts, read 34,777,846 times
Reputation: 11780
it's simple. Stay the he** out of North Philadelphia!
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