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Old 04-19-2009, 10:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,291 times
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Hi all! I'd love some advice from anyone acquainted with the downtown philly area...
A quick summary of my situation: I will be moving to Philly this June with my boyfriend. We both will be new residents working at Albert Einstein, both in our 20's, and no kids. I'm originally from NY so I'm familiar with living in a big city, but not so familiar with the most safe/ least safe areas in philadelphia.

We're looking to buy either a condo/ townhouse/ loft at around $350,000. We heard great things about queens village, bella vista, center city and old city. What are the neighborhood vibes of these places? As in - young urban professionals, versus bohemian, etc. Also, how does convenience rank with each in terms of grocery shopping, gyms, parks, and street parking?

I'd really appreciate any help in choosing the best place to live since we're hoping to buy, plus we'll be here for the next 5 years at least!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:48 AM
 
8,048 posts, read 18,469,927 times
Reputation: 2738
Quote:
Originally Posted by suprina View Post
Hi all! I'd love some advice from anyone acquainted with the downtown philly area...
A quick summary of my situation: I will be moving to Philly this June with my boyfriend. We both will be new residents working at Albert Einstein, both in our 20's, and no kids. I'm originally from NY so I'm familiar with living in a big city, but not so familiar with the most safe/ least safe areas in philadelphia.

We're looking to buy either a condo/ townhouse/ loft at around $350,000. We heard great things about queens village, bella vista, center city and old city. What are the neighborhood vibes of these places? As in - young urban professionals, versus bohemian, etc. Also, how does convenience rank with each in terms of grocery shopping, gyms, parks, and street parking?

I'd really appreciate any help in choosing the best place to live since we're hoping to buy, plus we'll be here for the next 5 years at least!

Thanks everyone!
Center City actually covers a lot of neighborhoods including Old City. Queens Village and Bella Vista are part of South Philly. Virtually of all them would be comfortable for young urban professionals.

South Street, which is where South Philly (and Queens Village) begins is Philly's answer to Greenwich Village. However, the bohemian vibe has gone commercial in recent years with the arrival of such merchants as Starbucks and the Gap. There are two supermarkets around 10th and South - Whole Foods and Superfresh. There's also another Superfresh on 5th and Delancey, a few blocks north. Parking will probably be easier in these two 'hoods than almost anywhere else in or near downtown. (The Fairmount/Art Museum area might be relatively decent for parking as well.)

You may find yourself spending a lot of time in Old City and Northern Liberties. These are two of the "hotter" neighborhoods these days for younger urban professionals. Old City has the most concentration of bars and nightclubs as well as an art gallery contingent that opens its doors to the public every first Friday. Northern Liberties has a bit more laid-back vibe but is still very popular these days. You may have to trek to that 5th and Delancey Superfresh unless you're comfortable with the expanded mom-and-pop type stores.

If you have upscale tastes in shopping and dining, you may like Rittenhouse Square. Not exactly a "yuppie" haven but if you can afford to live there, there's no age discrimination. Nearby Fitler Square may be a more laid-back atmosphere.

Basically, Center City is a two square-mile downtown, so you'll never be to far from anything, including a plethora of gyms. Areas like Fishtown, Brewerytown and Fairmount (above Poplar St.) are still in the transitional phase so be mindful of that if you see "good deals" in those areas.

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-20-2009 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: meant to say South Philly instead of South St. twice :)
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,558,445 times
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Tone's on point with his comments. i currently live in QV and the vibe is an even mix of yuppie/hipster. evenhough South Street's a mere shadow of its former self, there's still the bohemian/hipster spillover. and the whole SS area definitely has that village vibe. although, there seem to be a more younger wanna-be thug element these days. but that stays on SS. there are great local restaurants and bars..its more residential than Old City with a neighborhoody vibe. same goes for BV. you'd probably be able to get something nice for your price range. there's permit parking on every street. and its usually not THAT bad. most of the time, you should find a spot on the first circle around the block. a lot of townhouses have garages too.

Old City is more established and a big tourist area. you'll see flocks of people and there are some great restaurants and bars there too. the price range will definitely be higher. Same with Washington Square and Rittenhouse. i'm not sure about the parking situation. you'd probably have to pay to put it in a garage in those areas.

i haven't visited Norther Liberties, but as Tone mentioned, that's supposed to be THE bohemian/hipster/artist spot in Philly. people are equating it to SoHo. although i think Old City has a little SoHo vibe as well.

here's a summarized breakdown of neighborhoods from some sites:

Center City District / Central Philadelphia Development Corporation Of Philadelphia

Philadelphia: Neighborhoods (http://www.aroundphilly.com/neighborhoods.php - broken link)
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,291 times
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Default Thanks

Today was our first day touring apartments, and you guys both accurately describe these areas.

So far we're very fond of Queens Village and Old City... we'll see what happens this week!

Thanks so much again, I really appreciate it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:29 PM
 
144 posts, read 423,013 times
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You don't really say what you're looking for other than a townhouse/condo? You could live in some pretty nice neighborhoods in single-family structures that will be closer to where you'll be working. Mt. Airy has some great places to live well within your range.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:32 PM
 
Location: NJ
980 posts, read 2,477,643 times
Reputation: 1860
This isn't related to areas, but I've always heard that it is not usually financially adviseable to buy if you are going to sell in 5 years or less. Not sure if that applies in the current market but it might be something to talk with a financial advisor about. There are some subtantial costs incurred in purchasing real estate, like closing costs, points, etc. that factor in the equation of whether it is worth it or not.

Just something to look into.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:48 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,843,384 times
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If you like to go out drinking and hang out, Old City is best for someone in your age group.
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