Moving to Philadelphia for the first time? Finding the right apartment isn’t impossible. Today, we’re explaining the best locals-only tips for finding the perfect Philly apartment.
1) Pick a Few Apartments and Neighborhoods Online, Then Go for a Walk
Philadelphia is home to a surprisingly diverse range of neighborhoods. You’ll be surprised by how much the city can change from one neighborhood to the next. That can be both a good and bad thing.
The best way to determine your perfect neighborhood is by going for a walk. First, scan a few online listings and write down some addresses. You may even want to setup some appointments with landlords or realtors.
Then, start walking. There’s no better way to see a neighborhood in Philadelphia than by walking. The city is surprisingly walkable. You could even take advantage of one of many walking tours.
2) Understand Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods
Like any city, Philadelphia is home to certain neighborhoods with certain characteristics and stereotypes.
Bella Vista and Queen Village are known for their affordable living, although you might not get the same tree-lined streets and impeccably-manicured parks you see in a place like Rittenhouse. Passyunk is popular among young families and urban professionals. It also has a great local dining scene that’s become even better over the years. Fishtown feels gritty and a little sketchy when you first arrive, but you’ll soon feel at home at a local dive bar. If you’re looking for a laidback vibe and even a bit of hippie culture, then West Philadelphia is a good place to start your apartment search.
Overall, Philadelphians have a “thing” where we take our neighborhood more seriously than other cities. Choosing your neighborhood is a big decision.
3) Know Your Commute
It would be silly to pick a Philadelphia neighborhood without first knowing your commute. The city has some very bad commutes – especially if your daily drive takes you along the I-76, also known as the Schuylkill. If you take the Schuylkill to work every day, then you’re better off taking a detour with the longer, more scenic Kelly Drive instead.
If you want to be extra careful during your Philadelphia apartment hunt, visit your apartment during rush hour. Take a test drive of your commute and see for yourself how good – or bad – it can be. Overall, Philadelphia’s traffic isn’t as bad as certain other cities in America. However, there are certainly some trouble spots.
4) Scan Local Listings
Craigslist is ubiquitous for apartment hunting across America. However, Philadelphia apartment hunters have a few additional options available. Rental Beast is a startup that launched in Philadelphia several years ago. It provides a more user-friendly searching experience. There’s also Zillow, Trulla, and Padmapper, all of which are available across America and provide greater insight into Philadelphia’s rental markets and neighborhoods.
5) You Have Unique Renter Rights in Philadelphia
As a renter in Philadelphia, you have certain legal rights. The landlord is responsible for keeping your heat at a minimum of 68 degrees during the winter months. They’re also responsible for making sure your toilet flushes.
If you want to report a problem with a troublesome landlord, you can do so through the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections here.
Overall, Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in America. Your apartment building could be nearly a century old. Unless you’re living in a brand new building, you’re likely going to encounter some problems.
6) Call Your Landlord – Don’t Email
For whatever reason, landlords in Philadelphia frequently don’t respond to emails. Most people have a much smoother experience calling landlords on the phone. Call your landlord to get a faster response. Maybe it’s the number of scams in the city, or maybe it’s just the personal connection. Just trust us – calling is always better for getting apartment stuff done today.
Work with a Local Moving Company
Man With A Van is a locally-owned Philadelphia moving company with 10+ years of experience moving customers across the city. Man With A Van is known for its competitive prices, reliable moves, and friendly movers. To request a free, no-obligations estimate, visit Man With A Van online today. Or, call for immediate assistance.