Moving to The Philadelphia Area
Ah, the City of Brotherly Love. Whether it was the famous (and delicious) cheesesteaks, affordable housing, or wealth of history that caught your attention, you’ve likely discovered why Philadelphia is among the nation’s most populous cities. It’s one of the best cities for young people, and accordingly there’s no shortage of good eats, great bars and great people.
But how do you get your move to Philly started? We’ve got a few suggestions to kick start your life in the City that Loves You Back. The feeling, you’ll soon find, is mutual.
Finding Your New Place
In a city of over a million people, you might a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options, not to mention the variety between them. If you’re looking for a quiet, serene neighborhood great for families, East Falls will likely be your choice. If you’re looking for a neighborhood equally tranquil, but full of theaters and museums like the Woodmere Art Museum, look no further than Chestnut Hill.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a trendy, hip area to play, dine and do, you might try an area like Fishtown, or, the neighborhood lovingly named “the place we came to drink,” Manayunk, especially if you’re looking for live music and art. And if you’re looking for a neighborhood chock full of incredible dining, Washington Square West might be your place. But of course, for history buffs and lovers of architecture, there’s going to be no better place to settle than Philly’s historical Old City. And there’s plenty of neighborhoods still up and coming.
Just know that wherever you choose, rent prices can vary wildly, from affordable to slightly-less-than-affordable. Learn a bit more about the cost of living in Philly to accurately tally how much you can spend on rent and utilities. Ask friends who are residents of the city their average utility bills. Visit your prospective apartment in person, and watch out for red flags. And most importantly, remember good parking is an premium asset in the city.
You’ve picked out your new neighborhood, and you’re excited to get on the road. Now comes the hard part--picking a moving date, packing up your things and actually moving in. Moving into Philly can be a tricky thing, with its old, narrow streets, tightly packed buildings and notoriously bad parking. Make sure you choose a moving date either in late fall or early spring, to avoid tourist seasons, and try to move midday to avoid the commuter rush. Map out your finances carefully to cushion yourself for expenses like a security deposit (equal to first and last month’s rent, as well as an additional deposit) and other necessities. Research local movers and compare reviews and comments.
You might also consider getting a moving permit with the city, to avoid expensive fines in case parking proves to be a bear. A permit will block off street space for your moving van and vehicle, and costs $25 per 40 square feet of road. A small price to pay, for peace of mind (and for no fines).
Now you’ve moved the essentials in, it’s time to explore your new neighborhood! Bike, walk, or use one of Philly’s many (excellent) public transit options to take a look around. Check out local monuments (Liberty Bell, anyone?) and museums, or do a little furniture shopping at local handmade furniture shop Thos. Moser, or shop mid century modern and vintage home goods at one of Jinxed’s four locations. Get a few recommendations from neighbors and friends for the perfect pieces for your new home--but, of course, beware of narrow halls, doors and staircases!
Phew! You’re a local now--let’s see about some cheesesteaks.
Janis Peterson, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP
Main Line Homes Luxury Real Estate Agent