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Old 03-19-2009, 08:55 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,463 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,
I am considering moving to Philly to attend Temple University - the main campus. Having never been to Philly, I know nothing about neighborhoods, transportation, etc, and can use all the advice/help you can give!

I would be looking to buy a home - hubby and I have too many pets for a condo - between $150-$200K. I'd prefer somewhere near campus, as I'll be living out of the library, but I'm not opposed to a commute to a safer(?) neighborhood. Any suggestions? I'm an art history student and I've read about the NYC art migration, but I don't know whether these neighborhoods are convenient to school or within my price range.

Also thinking about giving up one of the cars. How's parking around Temple? Could I get around and do shopping/eating/entertainment without a car? I'm moving from Lexington, KY which is built for cars, so I'm a little leery of giving mine up.

Slightly different subject: hubby is a carpenter. How's the building market?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Florida
86 posts, read 375,253 times
Reputation: 42
I've visited Temple's campus when I was in Philadelphia for a week, and from what I saw, it is not in a desirable neighborhood. Students from the city said that north of Girard Ave is cheaper, more rundown, and more dangerous, so many of them try to live elsewhere. Temple has a big school police force and bought a lot of the property surrounding the school, but personally I would feel a bit uncomfortable taking the late-night subway home from the library.

However, I'm not a native and the students may have been exaggerating to try and put a scare in me. Who knows.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:20 AM
 
544 posts, read 463,028 times
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Philly is a great town and temple is a good school. Crime in Philly is constantly overstated. However, you DO NOT want to buy a house near campus. The area surrounding Temple is very distressed and has a huge crime problem.

This is isn't a comment on Temple U itself because Temple is like a fortress in the middle of North Philly and has a great security force to keep its students safe. Temple doesn't have a great parking situation either. I would recommend taking the subway (or regional rail train if you live out in the burbs) to get to campus. The Cecil B. Moore subway stop is right in the middle of campus so it is very convenient.

I moved to Philly to be a student and sold my car soon afterwords. I think it was a great decision. Having a car in the City is just a pain and not worth it in my opinion. It is very hard to avoid parking tickets and insurance is very high. It is very easy to get around without and a car and all major nightlife/restaurants/entertainment areas are easily accessible. I would recommend signing up for Philly car share and then you can borrow a car for cheap whenever you need one (their prices include gas/insurance).

Sorry don't know the answer to the carpentry question.
Good luck! I love living in Philly.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:07 PM
 
2,783 posts, read 6,521,899 times
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No need for a car, and don't buy a house near campus. Nothing very desirable to buy right now.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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Have you thought about renting? You really shouldn't buy in the Temple area, doubt its what you're looking for (have you visited the area?). But there's a nearby area, Northern Liberties, that you could rent, not buy in (your budget is too low to buy), that you could consider. Not sure about a house rental, you might have to settle for a condo, just look for a larger one.

If you are set on buying, you need to look further out, I would suggest looking in the Mount Airy area, which will have some things in your price range and is close to a Regional Rail line that goes directly to the Temple train stop. Which is great and convenient. You will have to rethink late nights at the library, I personally wouldn't advise it in terms of traveling on public transportation late at night. Temple does good job at keeping the immediate area relatively safe, but that doesn't mean its devoid of crime and you can't run into problems, you have to be cognizant of that.

Although I don't think you need 2 cars, I do think a car is useful when living here. If you are right in the thick of things in Center City you don't have to use it much but I tend to think that's true of a work commute not everything. Things like grocery shopping are a pain without a car. And a lot of the better regular shopping is outside of the city, a car opens up the possibilities of going to these places more often. I wouldn't necessarily tell someone to get a car if they were coming without one, but if you have one, no reason to not keep it unless you think its too much money to keep. A quick note though - if you have an address that you are keeping in KY, continue to get your insurance from there, it will save you a bundle, whether one or two cars.

Back to house hunt, if you are set on being close to campus, you should really look into renting though. Northern Liberties is closest, but other areas in Center City are also possibilities and still close to campus.
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