The Best Places to Live in Philadelphia (For You!)

As they say, Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and with such diversity, there’s something for everyone. As a Philadelphia real estate agent, I’ve helped dozens of people from all walks of life, and helped them find the right home for them. While everyone’s individual needs are different, I like to provide general guidelines to my clients, that will aid them in finding the home that fits their needs. So with that being said, here’s a few basic rules to get started on your Philadelphia home search. And remember, if you’ve got more questions and would like to discuss buying a home in Philadelphia, please email me – mickey@themickeygroup.com

  • If you’ve got kids and you’re looking for great schools: I would recommend Queen Village, Fairmount or West Philadelphia. These neighborhoods are home to three of the best public schools in Pennsylvania (Meredith, Masterman and Penn Alexander, respectively) and all three are family friendly neighborhoods.
  • If you’re looking for late nights on the town (and affordable homes): There was a time when Old City was the one and only neighborhood for late night drinks, food and fun. But as home prices rose, Philadelphians began rediscovering neighborhoods like Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Graduate Hospital (now three of the most popular hoods amongst investors). With easy access to public transportation and a ton of restaurants, coffee shops and music venues, these hot  neighborhoods are the place to be.
  • If you’re looking for Big City hustle and bustle: Center City and Rittenhouse Square are the places for you. You’ve got all the attributes of typical city living, and with everything in walking distance, you won’t even need a car!
  • If you’re looking green space: Check out the far Northeast. Although backyards aren’t so easy to come by in the city, the Northeast is the family friendly choice. Most homes feature front and back yards-perfect for the family pooch!

There you have it- A few great options to get you started when searching for the perfect neighborhood in Philadelphia. Remember, no two situations are exactly alike, so when you do your research, make sure you find the home that perfectly fits your needs, whatever they may be. Philadelphia is such a fantastic city and has something for everyone. If you’d like to learn more about the great places to live in Philly, please give me a call at (267)-238-5713.

Best Places to Live in Philadelphia: Ranking the Neighborhoods Part 3

It’s back again! Time to rank more of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. In our first two installments we got an in-depth look at Northern Liberties, Fairmount, Queen Village, University City and Graduate Hospital. This time around we’re going to be exploring Old City  and Newbold. Just a quick refresher on the following criteria (on a scale of 1-10):

  • Culture: Access to culturally enriching events, exhibits and activities
  • Safety: The general safety and security of a neighborhood
  • Walkability: Easy to navigate by foot and/or access public transportation
  • nightlife: Different and unique bars, restaurants, clubs, events etc.
  • Value: Whether property values will rise for the foreseeable future

Old City

  • Culture: 9/10: Home to a plethora historical attractions, museums and over 40 galleries, Old City is truly the cultural center of Philadelphia!
  • Safety: 8/10: While relatively safer than many Philadelphia neighborhoods, Old City is a still a destination for the bridge and tunnel crowd. Expect to be dealing with tons of traffic and drunk weekend warriors at night.
  • Walkability: 10/10: With the Market Frankford Line running from Front Street all the way into the heart of West Philly (with a free transfer at City Hall), plus just a 20 minute walk from Center City West, Old City’s central location makes it the most walkable neighborhood in the city.
  • Nightlife: 6/10: While there is plenty to offer in Old City, it’s not for everyone. You can certainly find plenty of low key bars and intimate restaurant, but the neighborhood tends to exhibit more of a “wild night on the town” kind of vibe.
  • Value: 6/10: With a median listing price in the low $300s, Old City is one of them more expensive Philly neighborhoods. While the historic homes we well maintained, your dollar doesn’t go nearly as far as it would in an up and coming neighborhood like Graduate Hospital.

Final Score: 7.8/10

Newbold

  • Culture: 4/10: The recently christened neighborhood just east of Point Breeze and West of Broad is still very much in its infancy. While recent popularity can be attributed to the areas close proximity to Center City, the neighborhood as of right now still doesn’t have much in the way of “cultural activity” (although don’t be surprised if that changes very soon).
  • Safety: 3/10: While crime statistics could only be found on the entire 19146 zip code (of which Newbold is a small portion of, as well as part of 19145) the area within the zip code has seen 109 crimes year to date, compared to the 19130 zip code which had only 80. But the key difference is that 77 of those 109 crimes in the 19146 zip were considered violent (13 of the crime committed within 19130 were violent).
  • Walkability: 9/10: Located no more than three blocks from Broad street (and the Broad street subway line) and a ten minute walk from Center City and Bella Vista, Newbold’s walkability makes it a desirable neighborhood.
  • Nightlife: 5/10: There are a handful great restaurants and bars in Newbold, but they’re few and far between. The growing neighborhood offers great options for nightlife (including South Philly Tap Room), just not very many.
  • Value: 8/10: The median listing price of homes in the 19145 zip code is $138,630. While it’s difficult to predict exactly what the average property value will be in the next five years, my professional opinion is that buying low right now in Newbold is a wise move.

Final Score: 5.8/10

Do you agree with my neighborhood ratings for Old City and Newbold?

Best Places to Live in Philadelphia: Part 3

Here we go again, exploring the best places to live in Philadelphia. This time around we’ve got Passyunk Square, Society Hill and Newbold:

Passyunk Square: It’s amazing when you consider the diversity of neighborhoods in South Philadelphia. Passyunk square (located South of Bella Vista and West of Queen Village/Pennsport) is a family friendly neighborhood with a strong commercial corridor along Passyunk Avenue. Traditionally an Italian area (and the home to both Pat’s and Geno’s), the neighborhood has recently seen an influx of diverse restaurants, such as Cochon BYOB and S & H Kebab House. Formerly a hidden gem, the neighborhoods has seen an increased interest, and Passyunk Square homes for sale are some of the most popular in the city.

 

 

 

Society Hill: If you were to ask the average person to picture “historic Philadelphia”, odds are they’d be picturing the cobblestone streets and antique home fixtures of Society Hill. Located between Front and 7th streets East to West and Walnut and Lombard North to South, Society Hill is home to the largest collection of original 18th and 19th century architecture in the United States. Generally considered one of the safest neighborhoods in downtown Philadelphia, Society Hill offers easy access to most major highways, Penn’s landing and virtually all of Center City. Of course, home prices reflect this safety and convenience, with the average Society Hill home for sale listing price at $484,660.

Newbold: So what exactly is Newbold? Located West of Broad and South of Washington Avenue, this relatively new neighborhood was originally part of the much large Point Breeze. The neighborhood has been redubbed Newbold as part of the neighborhoods ongoing revitalization effort. It comes as new surprise that both commercial and residential developers have taken a liking to the area, thanks to its convenient location near Broad Street and Center City.  Restaurants such as South Philly Tap Room (pictured right) and the 16 unit Renewbold development at 16th and Moore are leading the charge, and there’s plenty of new construction and rehabbed homes in the area. While relatively cheap at the moment, I expect Newbold real estate to see a huge increase in value, similar to that of Northern Liberties or Graduate Hospital.

Best Places to Live in Philadelphia: Ranking the Neighborhoods Part 2

Yesterday I started ranking the best places to live in Philadelphia. In my experience as a Philadelphia realtor, I’ve found that those looking to move to the city are interested in roughly five different criteria: Culture, safety, walkability, nightlife and value, so I ranked a few popular neighborhoods on just those things, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best (you can check out the original article and a more in-depth explanation here). And as promised, I’m going to continue my rankings- today looking at the neighborhoods of Queen Village, Graduate Hospital and University City. But remember, the “best place to live” is subjective, and really depends on what you’re looking for in a property. If you’ve got some more questions about finding the best places to live in Philadelphia that meet your individual needs, please email me: mickey@themickeygroup.com.

Queen Village

 

  • Culture: 9/10: Philadelphia’s first suburb has plenty of historical sites, galleries and exhibits, including the Magic Garden mosaic on South Street.
  • Safety: 7/10: Generally a safe neighborhood, although South Street can be a bit  seedy at times.
  • Walkability: 9/10: Supermarkets, pharmacy’s, restaurants and almost all other amenities are within walking distance. But access to the subway and regional rails are about ten blocks away.
  •  Nightlife: 10/10:Queen Village deserves a perfect score for its diversity. South Street is great for a rowdy weekend, but if you’re into something more low-key, there’s plenty of excellent restaurants and bars that could meet your needs.
  • Value: 7/10:  Although home values are amongst some of the highest in Philly, the neighborhood’s popularity means it would be tough to find a great deal compared to some other neighborhoods. Although there are plenty of affordable homes for sale in Queen Village.

Final Score:  8.4/10

Graduate Hospital

  • Culture: 6/10:  Graduate Hospital doesn’t have too many galleries or performing arts venues, but the neighborhood still gets a 6 thanks to the annual Odunde Festival and Blocktoberfest.
  • Safety: 6/10: While safer than some Philly neighborhoods, a lack of commercial activities means there’s some desolate streets at night.
  • Walkability: 8/10: Upenn students and young professionals love this neighborhood because of it’s easy access to Center City, Rittenhouse Square and University City.
  •  Nightlife: 6/10: Although it is home to a few of the best restaurants and bars in the city, commercial real estate hasn’t quite caught up with residential, leaving something to be desired in terms of nightlife.
  • Value: 10/10: It’s been Philly’s hot new neighborhood for some time now, but there’s still plenty of  affordable homes in Graduate Hospital. As more restaurants and bars come to the area, expect home values you to rise significantly in the coming years.

Final Score:  7.2/10

University City

  •  Culture: 10/10: Home to UPenn, Drexel and the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, University City has no shortage of on and off campus galleries, events, exhibits and venues.
  • Safety: 6/10:  Pretty typical of any urban neighborhood. Safe for the most part, but still necessary to be smart and pay attention.
  • Walkability: 9/10: University City is like its own little town, where you can get almost anything you need without crossing the Schuylkill. It’s also home to 30th street Station and the El has stops all along Market Street.
  • Nightlife: 6/10: UC in many ways is a college town. Although there’s plenty happening in terms of restaurants and bars, the neighborhood isn’t right for everyone.
  • Value:  7/10: With so many college students, there are plenty of renters. Home values have remained consistent but there are fewer long-term neighbors compared to other Philly neighborhoods.

Final Score:  7.6/10

So what do you think of my rankings? Let me know in the comments!

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Best Places to Live in Philadelphia: Ranking the Neighborhoods

One of the questions I hear most often as a Philly real estate agent is “what are the best places to live in Philadelphia?”. Obviously the question is subjective as one person’s idea of what makes a neighborhood “best” is absolutely wrong for another. But  if you’re looking to move to Philly, or any typical American city for that matter, you usually do so for a few different common factors. Most home buyers looking for city living are typically interested in neighborhoods that exemplify five things:

  • Culture: Access to culturally enriching events, exhibits and activities
  • Safety: The general safety and security of a neighborhood
  • Walkability: Easy to navigate by foot and/or access public transportation
  • nightlife: Different and unique bars, restaurants, clubs, events etc.
  • Value:  Property values will rise for the foreseeable future

Any neighborhood defined as one of the “best places to live in Philadelphia” would excel in all five of these categories, but the importance of each category would depend on the individual. For instance, if value and safety is more important to you then culture and nightlife, perhaps a tight-knit South Philadelphia neighborhood like Pennsport makes the most sense for you (Pennsport is generally safe and family friendly, plus you can easily access the historic sites and restaurants of Old City and Center City).

So, with the rules all laid out, here’s two Philadelphia neighborhoods and how they rank amongst the best places to live in Philadelphia (ranked on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best):

 Northern Liberties:

  • Culture: 9/10: NoLibs is home to several galleries, plus annual events, festivals and  concerts.
  • safety: 6/10: Generally pretty safe but you’ll still be dealing with many common issues you’d find in any city.
  • Walkability: 10/10:  A huge supermarket, liquor store, parks and tons of bars and restaurants are all within a 5-10 block radius. Plus a train stop at 2nd and Spring Garden provides easy access to Center City.
  • Nightlife: 9/10: With so many restaurants and bars nearby, NoLibs has one of the most active nightlife’s of any Philadelphia neighborhood.
  • Value: 9/10: Property values have risen for the past ten years. And new construction and rehabbed homes in Northern Liberties indicate that homeowners are investing in the area.

Final Score:  8.6/10

Fairmount/Art Museum Area

  •  Culture: 10/10: The aptly named “Art Museum Area” is home to several museums, including the world-class Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • safety: 8/10: Fairmount is popular with empty nesters and families thanks to its relative safety.
  • Walkability: 7/10: Although restaurants and cultural/historic attractions are within walking distance, the lack of a supermarket brings down Fairmount’s walkability score. Fairmount does not have a train stop but downtown Philly is accessable by bus.
  • Nightlife: 7/10: Fairmount’s restaurant scene is currently booming, and there are plenty of fun bars but it’s not necessarily a “party” neighborhood, nor does it have an extremely active nightlife.
  • Value: 9/10: Home prices in Fairmount are amongst the highest in Philadelphia and those values will most likely remain consistent.

Final Score:  8.2/10

Check back tomorrow when we rank Graduate Hospital, Queen Village and University City amongst the best places to live in Philadelphia!

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The Best Places to Live in Philadelphia: Part 2

A few months ago, we did a post entitled “The Best Places to Live in Philadelphia“, showcasing some of the best and most diverse neighborhoods in Philadelphia, including Queen Village, Art Museum Area, Northern Liberties and Graduate Hospital . While “best places” is subjective, and everyone is looking for something different, our list focused on Philadelphia neighborhoods with the most amount of activity- Whether this be a burgeoning community or residential and commercial development.

So what makes these new areas part of the “best places to live in Philadelphia”? These four new neighborhoods are growing everyday, bringing new residents, and new commercial development as well. Not only that, but real estate in these neighborhoods are still cheap! And will most likely appreciate in value over the next decade. If you’re looking to buy an affordable Philadelphia home in an up and coming neighborhood, then these are 4 more of the best places to live in Philadelphia:

  • Spring Arts: What is Spring Arts you ask? While not a household name, this new neighborhood located East of Broad and North of Northern Liberties, the Spring Arts real estate market is growing considerably, adding tons of new construction homes (including 55 townhomes near 10th and Green streets), new bars and restaurants (such as Institute and LLama Tooth), and the biggest addition to the neighborhood, Union Transfer, a brand new music venue at 10th and Spring Garden.With affordable new housing, easy access to public transportation and Center City, and plenty of new bars and restaurants, Spring Arts real estate seems like a solid investment.
  • Fishtown: So much more than an affordable alternative to NoLibs, Fishtown is quickly becoming the new place to be in Philadelphia. With a slew of new construction and revamped Fishtown homes for sale, destination restaurants and bars such as Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall, and Barcade. But even with all this gentrification well underway, Fishtown real estate is still affordable- averaging a sold price of $160,000.
  • Brewerytown: The neighborhood that was once the next hot area (this was before the economy really took a nosedive). Located north of The Art Museum Area/Fairmount, Brewerytown is continuing to grow. The Fairmount coffee shop Mugshots, has recently opened up a new location in Brewerytown, and bars like Era and North Star Bar make it a very trendy place to be. Although still rough around the edges, Brewerytown’s easy access to Center City and Girard Avenue, plus growing community of young professionals, make it a wise Philadelphia real estate investment.
  • The Loft District: Located in the former ruins of Philadelphia’s warehouse district (north of Center City, South of Spring Garden), the loft district is a neighborhood still searching for an identity. Although, trendy bars such as the recently reopened Trestle Inn and Prohibition Tap Room are both attracting attention, and more and more warehouses being transformed into residential buildings, the neighborhood has yet to form a cohesive image. my best guess is that the loft district is still a few years away from being a hot neighborhood, but considering what developments are already in the works, plus the neighborhoods accessibility, real estate in Philadelphia’s Loft District will be a hot commodity in the years to come.

What Neighborhoods do you think should be added to our “Best Places to Live in Philadelphia” list?

 

 

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The Best Places to Live in Philadelphia

Looking to move to Philly? If you’re asking yourself where are the best places to live in Philadelphia, you’re in luck! We’re going to give you a run down of some of the best Philadelphia neighborhoods and help you decide which one is a best fit for you. Whether you’re moving to Philly, or just looking for a new neighborhood, here’s a sampling of a few diverse neighborhoods in downtown Philadelphia:

  • Northern Liberties: Real estate in Northern Liberties has become a hot commodity within the past ten years. The neighborhood is vibrant, young, chic and trendy. Considered by many to be one of the best places to live in Philadelphia, the centerpiece of Northern Liberties is the Piazza at Schmidt’s- a huge open air plaza surrounded by retail space, condos and restaurants. Despite the popularity of the neighborhood, there are still plenty of affordable homes for sale in Northern Liberties. If you like to be in the middle of the action, Northern Liberties is the Philly neighborhood for you!

Click the Link to Download a Free, in-depth Northern Liberties Newsletter, featuring restaurants info, shops, public transportation and insider info you can’t find anywhere else!

  • Queen Village: Bordered by South Street and South Philadelphia, Queen Village is a Philadelphia neighborhood that exemplifies the traditional and the new sides of Philly. Featuring historic, colonial row homes, as well as some of the best BYOB’s and brunch spots in town, the Queen Village real estate market has consistently remained one of the most popular in Philadelphia. Residents looking for a home for sale in Queen Village are either young families with children(there are many parks, playgrounds and public spaces nearby) or empty nesters looking to move back to the city.

Interested in Queen Village real estate? Click the link to Download a Free, Queen Village Newsletter featuring insider info you can’t find anywhere else!

  • Art Museum Area/Fairmount: Tucked away to the north of Center City, behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the Art Museum Area(also known as Fairmount). This a tight-knit Philadelphia neighborhood, popular with transplants to Philadelphia, who prefer its quiet atmosphere, plus close proximity to downtown. Art Museum Area homes for sale vary in price, but with some searching, you can still find a great deal.

Want to get insider information about the Art Museum Area? Click the link to download a free, in-depth Fairmount Newsletter

  • Graduate Hospital: One of the hottest new neighborhoods in Philadelphia, (and in terms of value one of the best places to live in Philadelphia),  Graduate Hospital is located just south of Rittenhouse Square. The neighborhood is popular with young professionals who work downtown, as well as Drexel and UPenn students and faculty, as University City is just across the Schuylkill River. Residential and commercial real estate developers have begun to notice the appeal of Graduate Hospital, bringing brand new condominiums, townhomes, retail space and other developments to the area.

Interested in Graduate Hospital Homes for sale? Click the link to download a free insider Graduate Hospital newsletter

With so many different neighborhoods, it’s hard to say what are the best places to live in Philadelphia. If you’re looking to buy a home for sale in Philadelphia, it’s best to have a conversation with someone who know the city and can help you decide which neighborhood works best for you. If you’re interested in buying a home in Philadelphia, give me a call – 267.702.5608 , or send me an email – mickey@themickeygroup.com to have a conversation about the best places to live in Philly.

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