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Old 07-12-2009, 02:52 AM
1 posts, read 4,474 times
Reputation: 11


Hey all,

I'm a single, 23-year-old female looking for a place to rent in Philly and was wondering where the safest areas would be. I'm looking for something within the $800 range in an area where I don't have to feel nervous about getting mugged while walking to my car. I currently live in South Jersey and have been to the city often enough to be somewhat familiar with what areas to stay the hell away from after dark, but not familiar enough to know which areas would be safest (in terms of crime rate) for living.

Any input is appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:00 PM
13 posts, read 33,103 times
Reputation: 11
I've heard that the South Philly area is fairly safe and you can probably find a place for around 800$ there.

I was looking for a place there a few months ago and it looked all right, but then I found a different place that's out of your price range.

I would say that Center City is the safest, but unfortunately, I don't think there is any way you're going to find a place in CC for under 800$ a month. Most of the studios, even in the no-so-great buildings, are at least 900$ a month.

"University City", anywhere from 40th street and east is decent because there is Drexel and UPenn, so there are a lot of college students and security escorts. I've had escorts approach me on their bikes and offer to guide me home after dark.
But again, a place below 800$? Good luck.

I had an apartment that was almost 800$ a month on 42nd street, and it was run by a slum lord company. There was hardly heat in the winter, no insulation, not enough electricity to run an AC during the summer, and they left my neighbor's dead body sit in his apartment for 4 weeks even after I continually complained about the terrible smell. (I was there when they FINALLY broke down the door and I saw him.)

While crime rate is something you definitely should be concerned about, you really really need to look into the company/landlord that you're renting from.
Your landlord and the building you live in can cause a lot more stress than the crime here.

Finding a decent place, owned by a reputable landlord, for under 800$, where it's safe...in Philadelphia? I think your odds of finding that are extremely slim, although I wouldn't say impossible.
If you want to broaden your options, consider renting a place with friends or other people, because it will lower the overall cost.
You may have added stress from dealing with your roomates if you don't get along, but it could be great if you do.

I've lived in 4 different places in Philadelphia, so I'm used to the apartment search. Prices, reviews, location...I've seen quite a bit.

So you'd have to decide if you want safe or expensive. The safer places are more expensive (out of you price range) and the unsafe places are cheaper.
And don't forget to do a google search on your landlord/company (stay away from University City Housing Company).
Being in a roach infested, smelly, falling apart, no heat, no electricity, no compasion from a landlord, building is just as bad as not feeling safe in my opinion.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:07 PM
Location: Villanova
2 posts, read 12,531 times
Reputation: 11
I would definitely second Fina1’s recommendations of South Philly and University City. As Fina1 said, Center City is the nicest and safest, but at the most you could find a 400 sq ft or so studio for $900 a month.

I do disagree though regarding finding a nice place in your price range. You shouldn’t have any problem finding an attractive, clean 1 bedroom or studio in University City for less than $800. University City has safety patrols - the guys in the yellow shirts riding around on bikes – so, just look for something within the boundaries of the patrol if safety is your issue. At worst in University City you will get someone breaking into your car at night or something.

I know people say not to go past 40th but I think it is actually pretty safe a couple blocks past into West Powelton even. As a single female with safety as your primary concern, that would probably be a little farther than you feel comfortable though. Some places have more undergrads and some have more grad students/professors/people who just like living in the diverse and up and coming University City, so some places may have a bit more noise or partying.

I haven’t touched on South Philly yet, but I think it is definitely a strong bet as well. I think based on your price range and safety concerns, I would look in certain parts of University City first though.

Just make sure you research your landlord as much as they research you. As Fina1 pointed out, there are a lot of slumlords in the area. Exam the apartment closely for any problems and maybe take a friend or something that knows more about that sort of stuff too.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:12 PM
1,623 posts, read 6,504,617 times
Reputation: 457
1. Stay in Jersey. You can get a great place and still be 15 minutes by train. And you get to keep your car, lower insurance, and it won't be broken into or dented up or vandalized.

2. South Philly or the Northeast are your only safe alternatives IMO.

I would not consider University City safe enough for you or your car. You could also check out Port Richmond and Fishtown but I'm not sure what kind of rents they are pulling in.
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