Darby PA rental feedback

15 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wanted to see if anyone has experience investing in Darby, PA. I am looking for feedback on vacancy rates, quality of tenants and general experience investing in the area. Thanks!

Hi Aman,

I do not invest in Darby, but I do have a two properties in nearby towns in Delaware County.

Darby is a low income area and you will be dealing with low income tenants.  Unless you're experienced with these kinds of rentals, it might be a good idea to consider some other nearby towns.  Try checking out Aldan, Clifton Heights, Drexel Hill, or Folcroft.

Hey Aman, 

Michael is correct, I do sell to many investors that like the Darby area and are very happy with their returns. Depending on what you are looking to do long term it could be a good area for you to invest in. 

Thanks Michael and Sam for your feedback!

I do own 2 properties in Aldan and Clifton Heights. Those are good areas and tenants are decent.

Sam - I will reach out to you via PM.

Thank you again!

I'm a property manager for Delaware county and that is correct. I would stay away from Darby. Better places to invest are Drexel Hill, Some parts of UD, Clifton, Aldan, Lansdowne. 

Hi @Aman Gulati looks like you are getting more activity on this thread so I will copy my post from your other thread. Before I do, I think you already have some great feedback, but I would add that some of the areas being suggested are fairly significantly higher price points, which can mess up your numbers. Here is my other post: 

Hi Aman, do you mean Darby Borough, Darby Township, or Collingdale (Darby mailing address)? They are all VERY different. I stay away from Darby Borough personally but know people who love it. Cash flow is good but tenants are a challenge from what I hear. Darby Township is actually pretty nice. I would buy there if I could find nice deals. My sweet spot is Collingdale. Tenants are manageable (with good screening), cash flow is good, and everything works well for my model there.

Hope this helps! 

Thanks @Gina Grantland . Appreciate the feedback. The areas you mentioned are definitely good for rentals and the quality of tenants decent.

Thanks @Rich O’Neill. I like the distinction in the areas between Darby boro, Darby Twp and Collingdale. I’ll look up Collingdale/Darby Twp for future investments. The property prices in Darby do make it attractive for investors. 

Thanks both for your awesome input!

I just finished a property in Glenolden Darby township. Some of the neighbors are rough but I was able to find a great tenant.  Row house renting for $1300/month. 


“Darby Borough” is actually to vague a term. There are areas there that I def will not invest in. You have to break it down further. I have many, many properties in a section near the hospital and have great, hardworking tenants. Many are section 8 but I screen like crazy. Yes, you will have drama and issues but I can tell you that my returns are through the roof.

As far a Sharon Hill and Collingdale, love both areas also. Again, it’s a bit rough but if you know how to deal with the local authorities as well as the tenants you can do very well.

This is NOT a hands off investing area though and requires oversight and management to make things work.

@Jason Bruning I have to disagree. I think Folcroft and Aldan are much better than Sharon Hill and Darby. Collingdale is in between. You will see this in the property values but also in income levels, education levels, and a few other factors. 

All great comments and everyone's opinion is hopefully based on their own experiences that they have had in the communities, mentioned. If you are operating in Class C-D areas then you have a more labor intensive asset to manage hence the higher cash flows but lower appreciation. I own in Clifton Hts and Upper Darby in areas considered to be class B-C and rely on very competent property management to stay on top of my assets. I find that tenants that are coming from the class C-D areas will have to take a little tenant re-education as to what is expected of them, especially if they were renting from landlords who were not professionals or who just didn't care. 

So if you are buying in Darby Borough, be ready to manage the tenant from the beginning, screen, screen, screen and do some more screening. There are good people in these areas both on the Section 8 program and not who deserve a competent, professional owner and/or property management company. If you set the expectations from the start, you can reduce (not eliminate) some of the more serious headaches.

Good Luck