I live and breathe this Philadelphia freedom. From the day that I was born I've waved the flag. Philadelphia freedom took me knee-high to a man. Gave me peace of mind my daddy never had." (Elton John - "Philadelphia Freedom"). Read Guide >
When Philadelphia was designed by William Penn (Putting the “Penn” in Penn-sylvania) way back in the 1600s, he set it up as a grid with one green square –basically, a mini-park– smack dab in the middle, with other green squares in each corner.
Those squares still exist today, and that grid, set between the Delaware River to the east and the Schuylkill River to the west, still makes up Philadelphia’s downtown, aka “Center City.”
But as more and more people have made their home in Center City, we’ve had to gently shove some of them past the traditional boundaries, which means even the once-dicey “fringe neighborhoods” just beyond the grid are now perfectly livable.
The farther you go from Center City, the cheaper the rent, thanks to the No. 1 real estate rule: location, location, location.
Center City is generally more expensive because that’s where we keep the shiny, high-rise towers, doormen, fitness centers and parking garages. Mixed in between are the low-rise apartment buildings and rowhomes/brownstones/townhouses-turned apartments. While these building names are essentially interchangeable, it should be noted that Philadelphians usually think of “rowhomes” as the ones in the cheaper ’hoods, whereas “brownstones” or “townhouses” reside in the ritzier areas. As per usual, the rates for townhomes and brownstones drop the further you get away from the city’s center.
By contrast, smaller buildings and street parking dominate the surrounding neighborhoods. So if you’re coming with a car in tow, you might want to consider the benefits of convenient parking.
Of course, since we love our neighborhoods, even Center City is broken up into smaller chunks:
Rittenhouse Square: Hey there, moneybags. A Rittenhouse address is the most coveted around. Here’s where you’ll rub elbows with the city’s elite as they browse high-end shops and grab lunch at outdoor cafés overlooking Rittenhouse Square, one of the five original parks. Don’t expect to find a decent studio for less than $1,000, or a tolerable one-bedroom for under $1,300. And with those prices, you can forget about included amenities, like central air or free laundry facilities. But, if your job has you raking in the dough and price is no factor, then consider giving this area a chance.
Washington Square West: Using another square as a landmark, “Wash West” is a step in the younger and cheaper direction. There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants here, many of them catering to the gay crowd and clustered in a section called the “Gayborhood”. You can’t miss it: just look for the iconic rainbow flags on the street signs.
Old City/Society Hill: Touted as “America’s most historic square mile,” Old City is where you’ll find the Liberty Bell; Independence Hall, where the Constitution was written; the Betsy Ross House; Ben Franklin’s grave; Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in the country; and, especially in the summer, way too many tourists. The neighborhood also has a dense concentration of restaurants, bars, and inebriated 20-somethings (a plus or a minus? You decide). Society Hill is Old City’s more-residential sister, filled with Colonial-style brick townhouses, quaint courtyards and cobblestone streets. Rents around here rival Rittenhouse, but you’ll get more space for the money.
Northern Liberties/Fishtown: Consider yourself a hipster? Ride a fixie to your job at a coffee shop/dive bar/tattoo parlor? Create sculptures out of trash in your spare time? You’ve found your ’hood. Northern Liberties is the area immediately north of Old City; Fishtown is the next stop over. Northern Liberties, especially, is slowly being gentrified, with new homes and apartments sprouting up. That means there’s now a huge range of rents, depending on if you’re looking for a small space in an older rowhome, or a swanky, artist-style loft. Just remember that if one place doesn’t suit your budget, another a few blocks down probably will.
Art Museum: At the northwestern edge of Center City is the Art Museum neighborhood, where the appropriately located Philadelphia Museum of Art resides. Set on the other side of the wide boulevard known as Benjamin Franklin Parkway, this area feels slightly removed from downtown. Quieter, narrower streets and cheaper rents are typical fare around here, perfect for someone looking to for someplace a bit quieter. People do, however, tend to use the word “funky” when describing this neighborhood, so keep that in mind if you shy away from the Bohemian-type.
Graduate Hospital: Also known as “South of South,” “Southwest Center City,” or sometimes -- don’t worry, we’re trying to put a stop to this -- “G-Ho,” Grad Hospital is what the polite folk call an “up-and-coming neighborhood.” There’s an optimistic blend of brand-spanking-new townhouses; slightly larger properties, each being converted into two or three upscale apartments; and run-down fixer-uppers being bought by young professionals who want to be near their jobs in Center City. Add an abundance of students living in the places that haven’t been rehabbed yet to that mix, and you’ve got a pretty good image of what to expect when moving out here.
Bella Vista/Queen Village: These classy next-door neighborhoods just east of Grad Hospital are pretty hard to tell apart, with one exception: Queen Village gentrified a little earlier, so it’s a bit more expensive. Both have a settled in, family-friendly feel, especially compared to the other fringe neighborhoods. A lot of the homes here, whether for one family (more common) or broken up into apartments, are old. Like, 18th-century old.
University City: Just west of the Schuylkill River, Center City’s western boundary, is West Philly. The section of West Philly closest to Center City is called University City. If you haven’t figured out the elaborate naming system yet, it’s where the universities are. Surprising, right? Here, you’ll find a mix of students, professors, hippies and, of course, hipsters. Normally, you’ll find them all heading to the park to check out the farmers market and play Frisbee, so consider joining in if that’s your scene. The properties catering to students/closest to the colleges are typically pricy, but you’ll be able to find plenty of affordable options carved out of rambling old Victorian homes. In fact, the low-cost apartments here are among the cheapest in the city: One-bedrooms start as low as $600.
It’s a good thing Philly is a very walkable city, because parking is a pain and the public transit system is spotty at best. It’s not as if you can’t get anywhere using SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), it’s just that it’s not always convenient. If you’re someone who plans your day out to the minute, you might want to give yourself a pretty big window, just in case. There are two fast subway lines, one north-south and the other east-west, and many, many slow buses and trolleys. It’s always good to make sure you have available transportation options before signing a lease, but we recommend you double check. And don’t even bother planning to catch a free ride for just a stop or two on one of the suburban trains that pass through the city. The conductors are on to that trick, and they’ll embarrass you in front of the whole car. Um, not that we’d know.
Now that you've gotten a taste, go out and find yourself that perfect pad. This historic city is just waiting for you to make your mark, so go out and do it already! Happy hunting!
Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love, where the desire for independence was birthed and the center of the first 13 colonies was stationed! From hosting the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence to the First Continental Congress, Philadelphia has been at the forefront of America's ability to remain a free country!
Philadelphia apartment dwellers reside in a spectacular city sharing it with more than 1.54 million directly in city and 5.8 million in the greater metro area. Holding the seat and full capacity of the Philadelphia County, Philadelphia apartment occupants live in a metropolis noted as the fourth largest urban center and the fourth largest consumer media market reported by Nielsen Media Research.
The first to revere this city as their own was the Lenape Indians, prior to the 17th century. All that changed when the Swedish, English and Dutch landed in the early 1600s. The Swedish took leadership of the settlement west of the Delaware River and named the vicinity, New Sweden. The New World settlers dwelled in harmony with the Native Americans who had already established a village in the area. Interestingly, the newcomers experienced tension between themselves over the property rights. In 1658, the Dutch seized control from the Swedish of the colony situated by the Delaware River. In spite of this reorganization, the Swedish still maintained their militia, court and lands.
If you are interested in living the mix of the excitement illuminating from the city's nucleus, survey the Philadelphia apartments offered in Center City. Pillage through the communities of Callowhill, Franklintown, Logan Square, Avenue of the Arts, Penn Center, Rittenhouse Square, Old City or Museum District. If the area of South Philly is more your speed, consider the neighborhoods of Bella Vista, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Lower Moyanmensing, Devil's Pocket or Italian Market.
Some of Southwest Philadelphia community offerings are Angora, Bartran Village, Clearview, Kingsessing, Eastwick, Elmwood Park, Hedgerow, Hog Island, Mount Moriah and Paschall. Make sure to include in your Philadelphia apartment search the communities of West Philadelphia as well. Don't skip the Belmont District, Carroll Park, Cathedral Park, Cedar Park, Cobbs, Creek, Dunlap, Garden Court, Overbrook, Parkside or Powelton Village just to name a few.
The Philadelphia apartment market is extremely vast. So is the plethora of activities woven into the city's center. From major league games to state-of-the-art museums and buckets of historical artifacts, Philadelphia apartment dwellers are blessed to have a city that breaths events, culture, progression and art. From luxurious open-spaced parks to accessing some of the best higher educational institutions in the nation, Philadelphia apartment residents are privy to a way of life much envied by other parts of the country.
So what on earth could you be waiting on? Grab a map and start searching for your Philadelphia apartment space now! There are so many to choose from it will make your spin! You will not have a problem locating a Philadelphia apartment you will fall in love with! You will love some many, the problem will arise when a decision has to be made!
Pros •Great place to live for a true sports fan •Philly has everything you need, everywhere around you
Cons •Being such a large city, crime can be high, but only in some area •Philly is rich in history and that can be seen all around town
The People - Who Lives Here?
According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial composition of Philadelphia was as follows: White: 42.5% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 39.0%) Black or African American: 43.5% Native American: 0.3% Asian: 5.5% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1% Some other race: 6.4% Two or more races: 1.8% Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 11.0%
Of the 590,071 households, 27.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.1% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.22. In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 25, 29.3% from 25 to 45, 20.3% from 45 to 65, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
Social Scene - Bars, clubs, restaurants
Although Philadelphia is well known for being one of the most historic cities in the country, it should also be recognized for having a great nightlife. Philly has a diverse bar scene-there's truly something for everyone. Live music clubs, college bars, dance clubs, dive bars and sports bars are just a few of the drinking establishments that can be found in Philadelphia. Old City has many popular bars including Eulogy Belgian Tavern that boasts about 300 bottled beers and over 20 on tap. Lucy's Hat Shop, near Eulogy, has an infamous happy hour that attracts hordes of college students. Northern Liberties is another area of Philadelphia that is home to several great bars. The Khyber is a funky live music venue with two floors, each with its own bar.
I love the Bamboo Lounge it took over the second floor of a popular Philadelphia bar with a renovation. Bamboo Lounge is a hip lounge to hang out and enjoy cocktails under a ceiling of bamboo. The beautiful décor has an Asian flair and plush leather couches to lounge on if you just want to sit back and enjoy the scenery. The cocktail waitresses and bartenders are decked out in custom designed outfits by designer Wade Blackmon that make the servers part of the suavity in the atmosphere. The Bamboo Lounge features DJs spinning everything from rock and techno to hip-hop and reggae for the 21 and over crowd. The Bamboo Lounge has an intimate setting has an exclusive VIP area with full bottle service, but the whole bar is something of a VIP experience for those looking for an upscale night on the town.
If you like to drink and have fun then you will dig the neon signs, pinball machines and 40s of the Drinker's Pub near Philly's Rittenhouse Square? This popular dive bar caters to drinkers, but not of the sophisticated sort. Mostly students and twenty-somethings populate the place. Some specials include $2 draft and $5 pitchers of Bud Light, $3 Finlandia vodka drinks and $3 Jack Daniel's shots. This may not be the classiest establishment, but for those who want to get drunk on a budget, Drinker's Pub may be the best Philadelphia dive bar to do it in.
The Value - Rental prices vs. quality of living
The cost of living in Greater Philadelphia is lower than in most other major U.S. metro areas.When compared with major U.S. metropolitan areas, Greater Philadelphia's "real" place-adjusted personal income ranks just behind Washington D.C.'s. Greater Philadelphia has one of the lowest median home price of the top U.S. metro areas and residents can choose urban living, small towns, open country or anything in between
Rental Advice & Tips The average price of a studio apartment in Philadelphia is $1,025. A one bedroom apartment has an average list price of $1,012. If you're interested in an apartment with several rooms in Philadelphia, then, on average, a two bedroom rental will cost you $1,331. Average rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1,339. The average rental rate in July was $1,184, as compared to one-month later during August, which was $1,233. In September, the average rental rate was $1,434 while in October the average rental price was $1,415. Most recently, in November and December, the average rental prices were $1,535 and $1,331, respectively.
Entertainment & Recreation - Things to do
The total parkland amounts to about 10,334 acres. Philadelphia's largest park, Fairmount Park, encompasses 9,200 acres and includes 63 neighborhood and regional parks. The largest tract of Fairmount Park is on the west side of the city along the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek and includes the Philadelphia Zoo.
The history of Philly is available through tours of city. Some range from an hour or two up to all day tours. You also have a ton of sports to choose from with all of the major sports teams as well as the minor leagues.
Recommended Neighborhoods & Areas
The Fairmount neighborhood is home to some of the city's best attractions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Eastern State Penitentiary and Fairmount Park. Rittehouse Square has everything from restaurants to high-end shopping, discover the neighborhood surrounding the park. Queen Village is situated just under South Street and next to the Delaware River, this early Swedish settlement is now filled with history and things to do.
The Essentials - Groceries, gyms, banks
Shopping options in Center City include The Gallery at Market East, The Shops at Liberty Place, Jewelers' Row, South Street, Old City's 3rd Street Corridor, and a wide variety of standalone independent retailers. The Rittenhouse area, known as Philadelphia's outdoor shopping mall, includesRittenhouse Row, a four-block section of Walnut Street, which has higher-end clothing chain stores and some hipster-inspired clothing stores. The parallel streets of Sansom and Chestnut have some high-end boutiques and clothing retailers. Old City, especially the 3rd Street corridor, has locally owned independent boutiques and art/design galleries. Midway between Old City and Broad Street is The Reading Terminal Market, with dozens of take-out restaurants, specialty food vendors, and small grocery store operators, a few of which are operated by Amish farmers from nearby Lancaster County. Philadelphia has a few eclectic neighborhood shopping districts, which generally consist of a few blocks along a major neighborhood thoroughfare, such as in Manayunk or Chestnut Hill. The Italian Market in South Philadelphia offers groceries, meats, cheeses and housewares, historically from Italy, but now from many nationalities. Two famed cheesesteak restaurants, Geno's and Pat's, are located nearby. There are several large shopping malls and strip malls in the region, including Franklin Mills in Northeast Philadelphia, and many in the suburbs, most notably the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19 miles from the heart of the city. The King of Prussia Mall is the largest shopping mall on the U.S. East Coast
•Greater Philadelphia's economy is more knowledge-based than ever before. •Highly skilled workers now make up 44.8% of the region's total employment (from industries such as education and health services, professional and business services - 19.9%, professional and business services - 15.2%, financial activities - 7.6% and information technology - 2.1%). •In 1990, the manufacturing sector accounted for 13.7% of total non-farm employment in the region; by 2009 the sector's employment share had fallen to 6.9%. By contrast, in 1990 the private, services-providing sectors had 67.5% of the region's total employment, by 2009 these sectors accounted for 75.3 percent of total employment due primarily to the rising importance of the knowledge economy. •Greater Philadelphia's annual non-farm employment during 2009 averaged 2.9 million workers, fifth largest among the U.S.'s ten largest metro areas based on their July 1, 2008 total population. •The growth rate between 1990 and 2009 is about 0.5%.
Philadelphia employment statistics show that as of March 2010, while the national unemployment rate had been 9.7%, Pennsylvania had an unemployment rate of 9.0% Since Philadelphia is the major contributor in Pennsylvania, the fact that from 2002 to 2010 the unemployment rates in Pennsylvania were lower than the national unemployment rate speaks positive about job opportunities in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has a wide slection of schools both public and private. Located all over the city and it's outskirts there will certainly be plenty to choose from. There are several major Universities and colleges around town as well. Check out this link for a full list of schools www.city-data.com/city/Philadelphia-Pennsylvania.html
Philadelphia's residential real estate sales continues to outpace the national average and most every city on the east coast.
Philadelphia's Source for Real Estate is www.CenterCityRealEstate.com
While it's true that Philadelphia Real Estate market remains remarkeably steady and even growing, the Philly rental market seriously outpace historical averages in regards to number of available units and price per unit. Luxury units from $6,000 to $10,000 go quick. More info http://mccannteam.com/blog
Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing only light snow and others bringing several major snowstorms. The average annual snowfall is 19.3 in. Precipitation is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 42.1 in
This city has a lot of variation from neighborhood to neighborhood. Obviously there are a ton of historical sites and you should check them out. There is a lot of diversity and always something to do. -Mark Helton