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"I am the heart with no name / Airbrushed on the license plate / Of a Subaru that was / Registered in Pennsylvania" - Bloodhound Gang plant
Life in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the 33rd most extensive state in the United States and the ninth most densely populated! It pretty much has everything a resident could want, which is why Pennsylvanians are so darn proud to call it home. It's a gateway between the Midwest Great Lakes and the East Coast and has big cities, rural areas and a 50-mile stretch of coastline that will leave you awestruck! It's also one of the original 13 founding states in the U.S. and has enough history to keep history buffs around for decades! The state capital is Harrisburg, but most people think of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh when they conjure up a Pennsylvanian city. The arts scene is alive and thriving, and many young artists prefer Philadelphia to New York City these days because it's more affordable living and just an hour and a half from midtown NYC. Swing through Pennsylvania to get a taste of life here -- chances are you won't want to leave!

Moving to Pennsylvania

If you're thinking about finding an apartment to rent in Pennsylvania, you're in luck. Plenty of rental units are available, whether you're looking for a whole house or one- or two-bedroom apartments. Vacancy rates are dropping across the state, but there's still plenty of room for new folks to move in. There are a few things you should consider when moving to Pennsylvania, but rest assured that if you give it enough time and thought, you'll find the perfect apartment for rent in the perfect location! Here are some things you might want to consider.

What types of rental homes are you interested in?

Before making a move, think about what kind of home you'd like to move into. Do you want to rent a standalone single-family home with plenty of space and a big yard? Or do you prefer apartment-style living where someone else is taking care of the yard and your plumbing issues? Making these decisions about exactly what you want from an apartment will help you find the right one more quickly. If you have pets, that should also be a consideration - maybe you'd rather have a home with outdoor space where they can roam in the wild instead of having a tiny apartment. If you have roommates, you can skip the studio apartments for rent in favor of places with multiple bedrooms. Anything that can help you narrow down your search will be incredibly helpful to you!

What kind of environment do you want?

Like we mentioned before, Pennsylvania pretty much has it all, so you have your pick of surroundings. Do you like sprawling, green countryside views from your kitchen window? Do you want to live in an urban environment where you can walk or take public transit everywhere? Are you a fan of museums and art and want to be close to a cultural center of the state? Do you have a job or will you need to move somewhere you can easily find one? All of these questions will factor into your decision about where to move. You might end up out in rural Amish country or you might end up in a high-rise in Philly. The sky is, literally, the limit here!

What You'll Need

If you're planning a move to Pennsylvania, get ready to deal with landlords and management companies. If you have a printer, that will help, because you're going to need copies of all your important documents, including your ID, your proof of income, references, bank statements, pay stubs and any other documents you think might help you score a place. Chances are landlords are going to be a little more lax in the quiet rural towns than they will be in big cities, but either way you want to make sure you're prepared beforehand. If you have pets, be sure to bring along proof of their shots and general health -- and good behavior, too. Many apartments have restrictions when it comes to breeds, so it can't hurt to check with your landlord first to make sure you're all clear. Other than that, just bring a smile and a positive attitude, show up on time for your appointments and don't forget your checkbook -- that will be the real key to securing the apartment of your dreams.

Living in Pennsylvania

It's hard to talk about life in Pennsylvania at-large because the state is so varied and diverse. But rest assured that you will be moving to a state steeped in history and tradition and one that prides itself on its beauty and historical treasures. Here's a bit more info about the different areas of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia: By far the top tourist attraction in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is home to some of the most beautiful landmarks in the country. It's where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed by America's top leaders, and you can even visit the table where George Washington sat to sign the declaration! You'll also find Congress Hall, Old City Hall and a number of other famous institutions in this city. Renting here is easy breezy as there are so many transients coming in and out of the city at all times. You can find suburban homes on tree-lined streets or bustling apartment complexes in high-rises right downtown!

Western Pennsylvania / Pittsburgh: Western Pennsylvania, sometimes called Westylvania, has a very distinct feel that separates it from the rest of the state. It's known as a powerhouse of American industry due to the number of rivers that flow through it and having Pittsburgh right at the center. There are also a number of beautiful state parks and the lovely Appalachian mountains, which draw thousands of visitors every year.

Lancaster: Lancaster is a distinct area known for many things, but being right in the heart of Amish country is one of the main reasons people are drawn to the area. Here, you'll feel like you've stepped backwards in time to a simpler era filled with buggy rides, schoolhouses, quilt shops and down-home cooking. You'll also find great shopping and dining, plenty of awesome local artists displaying their work in galleries and boutiques, and fun amusement parks peppered in between the small Amish villages. It's a great place to vacation, and the town of Lancaster has some pretty gorgeous real estate that's worth checking out if you're planning a move to this area.

Living in Pennsylvania

No matter whether you choose to settle in a bustling city or out on the plains, you're in for a treat in Pennsylvania. It's one of the most historically rich states in the country, and you'll be able to visit some of the oldest and most beautiful monuments in American history. They also have a ton of great sports teams here, from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you're a foodie, you'll have to try an authentic Philly Cheesesteak followed by some Hershey's chocolates for dessert. Visiting the town of Hershey is also a great way to enjoy the state -- they even have their own theme park! Soft pretzels and Tastykake are also staples of the region. People move to Philadelphia because you can find beautiful housing in a number of wonderful environments. You can feel as close to city life or as far away from it as you choose -- so figure out what your preferences are and get started on your housing hunt in the Keystone State!

PA Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how PA ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Pennsylvania’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Pennsylvania renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories above-average or average scores."

Key findings in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • Pennsylvania renters gave their state a B overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Pennsylvania were commute time and public transit, which both received A- grades.
  • The areas of concern to Pennsylvania renters are quality of local schools (D), state and local taxes (C+), jobs and career opportunities (C+) and safety and low crime rate (C+).
  • Millennial renters are very satisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of B+, while renters who are parents are less satisfied, giving it a B.
  • Pennsylvania did relatively well compared to other nearby states, including New York (C), Connecticut (D) and Ohio (C+).
  • Pennsylvania earned similar scores to other states nationwide, including Arizona (B), Maine (B) and Tennessee (B).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.

Surveyed Cities in Pennsylvania