Philadelphia metro area recommendations

5 Replies

Hello BP community,

I am currently a NYC resident, but will move to Philadelphia this summer. I want to take advantage of the move and buy a duplex or fourplex, with my family living in one unit and renting out the other units.

I plan to drive to the area this weekend to get a feel of the neighborhoods/suburbs in the Philly metro area. To those who are familiar with the market:

  • What areas do you personally like, either in the suburbs or neighborhoods in the city?
  • What areas do you think are growing or have a particular feature attracting residents (particularly young married couples with no children)?
  • What areas should we stay away from? This is particularly important since we don't know the area.
  • What local publications you like or deem reliable (e.g., newspapers, blogs, or business trade publications) to know the area well?

Please feel free to contact me by inbox, as I am also interested in networking and building my RE team (broker, lawyer, accountant, property managers, etc.)

Thanks for you help!



Depends on where you feel comfortable living. The family areas are mt. airy, west oak lane, fox chase, northern liberties, roxbourough, manyunk....... thats a just a few areas where ppl are rehabbing homes and families are migrating to. 

Every part of philly has it's ups and its downs. You really just have to roll around and get a feel. Like personally i love south philly but it's so small and everyone is on top of each other not to mention the prices are stupid. But the area has so much history and I enjoy the culture. It's a lot to philly.

Hello Franciso,

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love the City of Philadelphia and its surrounding areas.  It is a city full of history, diversity, and culture.  You and your family will never be in want of something to do here.

I have lived in the city of Philadelphia my entire life and have worked in the suburbs most of my adult working life.  All of the flips I have done have been in the suburbs and all my buy and holds have been purchased in the city.  The reason? Simple, the majority of renters (48%)  reside in the city and the vase majority of people in the suburbs own their homes.  That is not to say there aren't renters in the suburbs, because there are, just a lot less of them. In fact there are some pockets in the suburbs were there are a high percentage of renters, such as Norristown, but I don't think this is a good area for investing.  Also, I have noticed that duplexes can be found in the burbs more readily than triplexes or fourplexes.

Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods.  Neighbors are close, mostly rowhomes and twins.  So, if you are looking for area where your children could make friends in the neighborhood the city  provide this.  With that said the areas of West Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill have large percentages of large single family homes that are located at distances away from one these may not be good if you have children.  West Mt. Airy, East. Mt. Airy, Center City, Parts of South Philly, Fishtown and more recently Kensington are all areas where single young professional are buying homes.  You will also find many multifamily units in these areas as well.

Below are a few  links to help you learn a little more about the city.  Please feel contact me via my inbox with questions about an area you have identified, purchase price points, or simply an RE reference. I have not found any links like the ones listed below for the burbs, but an internet search on the suburban areas you are interested in will give some information. - Click District Plans

Thank you, Paulette. This is very helpful.

What areas/neighborhoods do you recommend staying away from and why? (e.g., high crime rates, housing issues, etc.)

Would appreciate any thoughts on Overbrook neighborhood?  Is this considered suburb or city?  How is the rental demand, etc?

I would share Paulette's comments as well.  Outside the city, I would throw in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Ardmore, and Bryn Mawr as places "trending up" with millennial renters.  These areas are all connected downtown via rail and have close proximity to a number of schools, but have a slightly more mature population compared to say Manayunk.  If you are looking for areas where millenials are starting families, I would look add in Phoenixville, King of Prussia, Media, Plymouth Meeting, Collegeville, and even as far out as Malvern (in addition to the aforementioned areas in the city). 

I would consider Overbrook a hybrid area.  It is a tiny geographical area that touches the city limits.  I would lean towards an urban feel given it's proximity to downtown Philly.  

I am 30, and purchased a 2/1 row home in Conshohocken with the intent of renting it out in 5-10 years once starting a family.  

The county planning documents are a great read in terms of finding areas with planned improvements.  For example, there is a detailed Montgomery County plan to put in a additional rail line to King of Prussia by 2023.  Philly Business Journal (regional), and (conshohockens/Plymouth/Whitemarsh) are other publications worth reading for insights.

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