Relocating to Philadelphia? We have the perfect guide to help alleviate any stress of moving into your newly adopted city. Check out this guide before packing your bags for the City of Brotherly Love!
Living in Philadelphia
As you may already know, Philly is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. With over 1.5 million people calling Philadelphia home, there is always a neighborhood and community to fit perfectly into your lifestyle. In addition to being a diverse city, it is also historically rich as it is the birthplace of the United States and home to the nation’s first library, hospital, medical school, stock exchange, zoo, and business school. There are endless activities to enjoy from festivals, to music and theatre, museums, and so much more!
Cost of Living
A trend started several years ago when New Yorkers began settling in Philadelphia and commuting to their NYC jobs causing many people to call Philly the “sixth borough of New York.” Though this concept causes quite a debate within the city, there is no debate as to why people do it. While living in Philadelphia still costs substantially higher than smaller cities, it boasts a cost of living that is 16% lower with housing costs that are 48% lower than many other cities across the East Coast including New York and Washington, DC.
You can use tools like Numbeo to compare the latest cost of living in Philadelphia with the city you are currently residing in, however keep in mind that these numbers are not always a true representation of the market and prices are subject to fluctuate accordingly.
Housing Prices are Low
Did you know it’s cheaper to buy than to rent in Philadelphia? If you’ve been on the fence about this one, then you’ll be pleased to know house prices on average are among the lowest in the northeastern United States. It also has a low property tax, even lower than across the state in Pittsburgh, where it’s 2.01%.
So, if you’re moving to Philadelphia to rent, you’re in the right place if you want to get your money’s worth as a home buyer in the future. With so many of Philly’s neighborhoods on the rise, the city is far more welcoming to first-time homebuyers and real estate investors than most other American cities.
Philadelphia is a very walkable city, with five public squares—Franklin, Washington, Logan, Rittenhouse, and Dilworth—spread out to provide great places to rest during a long day out. To make navigating even easier, the north-south streets are numbered and the east-west streets are named after trees.
Philadelphia is also one of the most bike-friendly cities in America, with more than 440 miles of dedicated bike lanes and more than 1,300 bikes that can be rented from 140 stations throughout the city.
For more conventional public transit, the city offers a subway, about 70 different bus routes, and the SEPTA Regional Rail, which connects residents to surrounding areas as far east as Chestnut Hill and as far west as New Jersey. Amtrak also operates through the city’s historic 30th Street Station.
Fishtown and Northern Liberties
Fishtown and Northern Liberties have emerged as one of the most popular neighborhoods due to the variety of housing ranging from older, craftsman-like housing to new construction with modern amenities. Furthermore, the areas are accessible to public transportation and are easily walkable. This area has also become an arts center with an array of studios, galleries and pop-ups. Fishtown and Northern Liberty have a hipster reputation due to the lively arts, music and craft beer scene, while simultaneously attracting those who want to be in a vibrant city environment.
Rittenhouse Square and Old City
Rittenhouse Square and Old City appeal to those who want to live in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Old City is within a dining district, which means there are many places to visit right outside your doorstep. However, some might not like that the neighborhood is too loud on weekend nights when the bars are open, and festivities are in full swing. In contrast, Rittenhouse Square is quieter and has a Parisian flair. There are numerous outdoor cafes and restaurants, which are perfect for a conversation over coffee or a meal on a sunny day. Rittenhouse Square Park is a favorite relaxation spot where children play while couples lounge on blankets.
If you’re moving to Philadelphia but don’t want to be in the heart of Center City, then Manayunk, just 15 minutes from downtown, is a great neighborhood for you. With lots of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, along with incredible local festivals like the StrEAT Food Truck Festival every spring, there’s always something going on. It is also a biker’s dream, with multiple trails and parks nearby. In Manayunk, there’s a wide variety of housing types in this neighborhood too, from turn-of-the-century row homes to contemporary townhouses, chic lofts and even a few converted churches.
Philadelphia is known for its vast array of neighborhoods and almost anyone who has visited can find their perfect home within one of these neighborhoods. If you are struggling to find the perfect neighborhood to fit your style, use this KW neighborhood guide to aid your search.
Moving to a new city can be nerve-wracking, but you’ll find Philly offers all the benefits of a big city without the intensity. If you’re still not sure, take a trip there first and check it out in person! Grab yourself a water ice (it’s pronounced “wooder”) and stroll around. Take in the city, see some sights and keep a close watch out for the bicyclists. Philadelphia is sure to enchant you, and you’ll be even more excited to call it home.
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