Relocating in Philadelphia
December 4, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I currently live in Center City, Philadelphia in a 700 sq. ft. apartment that costs me $1300 / mo without parking. I'm getting married in the spring and I'm looking to move out of the city to the suburbs. I'd like to find a reasonably priced one-bedroom place with parking and access to public transportation. What areas or apartments outside the city do you recommend?

Since I'm moving out of downtown, my hope is that I'll be able to bring my rent down to ~$1000 / mo. I work in University City and I also don't want to be forced to drive to work every day. Any suggestions?
posted by Aanidaani to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could find a 1bd with street parking in West Philly for under $1000, I'd think. You could bike or take a trolley to work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:33 AM on December 4, 2010

Elkins Park or Glenside would both probably meet your requirements. Regional rail to Market East, switch to El..
posted by fixedgear at 9:47 AM on December 4, 2010

You could live at the Dartmouth apartments in Swarthmore - Free parking, walk to the R3 train line that goes directly into center city, next to the small but very nice grocery store, near the library, quiet and safe town, location at the foot of the college campus. Actually, the R3 has express trains that stop first at University City so it would be a really nice commute.
posted by belau at 9:58 AM on December 4, 2010

Try looking in Ardmore - this is the cheapest area on the Main Line. It's a very safe area, there are plenty of apartments to rent and you may even find a small house to rent for $1000 - $1200 a month (look in the Inquirer for ads). You'll have lots of green spaces to walk in, you'll hear the birds singing and there are lots of cool but inexpensive restaurants in the area. Plus, it's a direct ride (25 mins) into 30th St. on SEPTA's R5 train service. If you find somewhere to the west of Lancaster Ave, you should also be in 10-15 mins walking distance of the trolley line into 69th St Station, where you can change for the L-line trolley to 34th St./University City. If you find somewhere near to Haverford College, there are huge grounds to enjoy, with a great wood and duck pond to walk around!
posted by Susurration at 10:28 AM on December 4, 2010

Also look into East falls (southern end of Manayunk). 4br houses are going for about $1800, apartments for much, much less. Close to the R6, R8, and the Wissahickon Transfer Center-- cheap and easy to get to all points central, to say nothing about the easy proximity to Kelly drive for biking or driving.
posted by The White Hat at 11:09 AM on December 4, 2010

Yeah, seconding Swarthmore. Very quiet, lots of trees, extremely safe, and the train goes right to the University City SEPTA stop. Dartmouth House is pretty nice, and there are other options: Greylock Apartments and Swarthmore Apartments are the other major complexes.
posted by skyl1n3 at 11:21 AM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Collingswood, NJ. It's a 12 minute PATCO train ride into center city, the trains run continuously 24 hours a day. Great little town, you can walk to restaurants, the post office, etc. You're in the suburbs but can get into the city so easily, that it feels like you have a lot of the conveniences of the city. I've been in my apartment for several years so I'm not sure what current rents are running, but I believe you could find something in your range or less.
posted by daikon at 5:10 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I realize it's not PA proper, but taking the blue line to PATCO, then out to Haddonfield is pretty painless, runs 24hrs and is really a very nice/safe neighborhood - About a year and a half ago, I was paying $800 for a small 1br about 5 blocks from the station and street parking. (Rentometer claims 80% of the rents are $874-$1300)
Here's A CL link for apts under $1000 and a link to Rentometer which will give you an idea as to what's the reasonable rent to pay in ANY area.
posted by Orb2069 at 5:18 PM on December 4, 2010

Let me chime in to suggest Mt. Airy. I lived there for about three years (in three different apartments) and overall enjoyed it quite a bit. Based on my last place, I'd say rent for a one-bedroom is anywhere in between $750 and $900.

The last apt. was a block from the "main" Mt. Airy business district that centers on Germantown Ave (around the 7100 to 7300 block or so). A Wawa, several good restaurants, a few good bars, a coffee place, and a branch of the public library near the Acme. I didn't need much else. Parking was free and reasonably hassle-free.

First two apartments I lived within walking distance of the R8 (Upsal and Allen Lane); which took about 25-30 minutes to get to Center City. Last apartment was closer to the R7, which also was pretty quick to Center City -- about 25 minutes.

And what you read about Mt. Airy is true -- plenty of trees, and stunning stone architecture.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 5:56 PM on December 4, 2010

One of my friends rents in Bala Cynwyd just outside the city and commutes in to campus. I go out to Ardmore and also Collingswood on a weekly basis and find that those are both pretty easy public transportation commutes.

Is there something specific that you're looking for in the suburban lifestyle where you absolutely have to be out of the city? I agree with BP above about West Philly-- there is some great rental housing stock (interesting Victorian conversions) and you get much better square footage for your money than in CC.

(On preview, other friends rented in Mt Airy and had a 1BR w/ original stained glass, beautiful hw floors, a circular bay ish window in the living room, very nice apt for not a ton of $).
posted by tangaroo at 6:10 PM on December 4, 2010

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