Looking for Multi-family in Philadelphia to live in and rent

7 Replies

I am still very much at the start of the learning curve, but I'm fairly sure I want to become a Buy and Hold investor -- the rest is too abstract for me -- and that I will likely live in my first property, in part so I can qualify for the homeowner advantages.

I don't live in Philly so will be traveling frequently from my home in Brooklyn over the next several months to get the lay of the land. Can anyone recommend a neighborhood where the cap rates are likely to be favorable that is also some place where I would like to live? I like relatively safe urban neighborhoods with good access to transit and a high walkability quotient. I live in Park Slope in Brooklyn -- where I can't afford to invest -- and if you know the neighborhood, you know I'm spoiled. But I'm also flexible, which is good, because I have to be. 

Philadelphia multifamily owner here. I bought a duplex and live in the top unit of a neighborhood called Blue Bell Hill. Most people don't even know the name of my little area. It's part of a larger area called West Mt. Airy. This area is not as cool or fun but up and coming and supporting an eclectic mix of urbanites. It is the city but we are surrounded by parks and trees, and center city is only 10 minutes away on a typically uncontested road named Kelly drive. I'm 31 and done with the party scene, so I enjoy my quiet time home in this area. 

Adjacent to my neighborhood is Roxborough/manayunk. Roxborough kind of blends into Manyunk' which is definitely a happening neighborhood with higher rents. Lots of younger people are drawn to the Main Street bar scene, shops, and restaurants. Rents are higher but not obscene. Parking is difficult. A driveway or garage will easily add 20k to the sale price. Also, there are hills. Lots of them. Steep ones too. 

There are plenty of more areas in Philly right now. These are just the areas I know because I live here. My neighborhood isn't as sexy as some of the others, but that's not what I was looking for. I wanted quiet, grass, trees, and street parking. I would have kids in my neighborhood if the Philly Schools werent so terrible. Dog walkers seem to multiplying every month, and if you're into parks and trails, I have the best one in the  city a football throw away from my door.

The areas in Philly which have high cap rates are areas you probably don't want to live as a home owner. I have been working on compiling this data for the different neighborhoods in Philly over the past few months and can you send you my results. Might be able to get you started when you being your search. Send me a PM.

Most of my investing has been in Manayunk/Roxborough. You'll never have a problem filing up vacant units there. I also live in Roxborough and love the area.

@Cory Land  I would love a copy of your compiled data on the different neighborhoods if you don't mind sharing!  I live and invest in West Philly, among others. Thanks, and look forward to hearing from you.

@Mike Girard  There are still deals to be had in West Philly, particularly if you don't mind living on the fringe.  My most recent purchase was a 4plex in Squirrel Hill (West Philly neighborhood). It's incredibly easy to show, pretty great rents, but best of all, the tenants are fantastic. I may be biased, having lived here since college, but West Philly is the Best Philly.  As opposed to other congested areas, West Philly has trees, and easy street parking, great walkability, and I can be in Center City in 12 minutes on the subway.  But there is about 2 billion dollars of RE development going on right now (mostly east toward (and over) the Schuylkill River and Penn/Drexel Universities)... so the secret's out!  By the by, I have seen so many posts about NYers looking to invest in Philly in the last year. And I have seen our skyscrapers being sold to NY equity partners. NY is a little bit in love with us at the moment :)

Thanks. Brian. You're the second person to recommend West Philly to me.