A Breakdown of Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Values

53 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

@Michael Lyons with that being said- when you’re looking BFF or those values similar to the neighborhoods you are in, the more north east you are, the better. It has a pretty sharp drop once you’re under 76 or down to Snyder

@Jimmy O'Connor I noticed that only trendy bars and coffee shops was one of your top mentions…

I think you should also consider school district - at least when it comes to building a rental portfolio in these areas. A rental in SD 1 (A -C rating) will always have higher demand (and usually higher rent) than the rental down the street in SD 2 (D - F).

This is coming from my last 6 years of experience with my 4 (3/1 B/C) rental properties in the area. All of them have been continuously rented for the past 6 years, until now. I just put one for rent for $1700/mo - and received 14 inquiries in 12 hours. All these properties were purchased for under 100k (not possible now, we got lucky with the downswing of the market at that time). Another good thing (which is also a PIA) is that the borough has strict rental guidelines and also strict CO policies when properties are sold or rented. This is really annoying for a landlord, but it keeps the neighborhood slightly nicer than the next.

Please let me know your thoughts… or if I am way off base on what you were trying to accomplish. Either way thank you for the breakdown - it was interesting and insightful.


@Sara Finley thanks for your comment. Since all of Philadelphia is one school district, did you mean school catchment area in the neighborhoods broken down by Mr. O’Connor? Except handful of schools, schools are not really good in Philadelphia school district. Thanks again!

@Sara Finley thanks for the input! If this was in the suburbs I would be 100% there with you but unless you are in catchments like Meredith or Penn Alexander, it does not really make a difference. Philly public schools are not classically know for being blue ribbon. Over here neighborhoods make a bigger difference than school district as they all fall into the Philadelphia public school district.

@Sara Finley also the trendy bar and coffee shops is not my only metric, it’s more about numbers and some of the key indicators of gentrifying neighborhoods in the city. The bars and coffee shops is a good visual indication to show where the young professionals and college graduates are flocking too which usually equates to a higher price tag area on the rise. In the burbs this is less of a factor, in the confines of the city it’s a surprisingly effective rule of thumb

@Jimmy O'Connor I was not bashing your insights and references to bars and coffee shops - I thought it was informative and interesting thing I had not thought of before.

In my post I was just trying to offer another perspective.

Let me replace “school district” with zoned school or catchment. As a parent, and landlord, and previous renter I will always choose to live or rent in the area with the higher rated schools - maybe they aren’t Blue Ribbon Schools, but a C+ rated Elementary School > F Elementary School. And no I’m not talking about the “burbs.”

It is just something that I have found that has helped make my properties easy to rent - and I thought I would share.

@Sara Finley in the city of Philadelphia there is no “zoned school”. you literally send your kid to whatever school you want.

Now, do people send their kids to the closest school? Absolutely. But you don’t have to, you can send them to whichever school you want for whatever reason you want.

@Michael Lyons I disagree with your assessment, there is absolutely a catchment area that matters. I live in Fishtown, and Adair and Hackett are getting so many applications from students who want to go there who don't live in the catchment, it's become incredibly competitive. Meredith in South Philly is the same. All of the real estate listings are using the schools as selling points... Certain schools have reputations and they matter

@Kara P. exactly….. you just proved my point.

i said it doesn’t matter where you live, you can send your kid to whichever school you please (contingent they get in obviously). you don’t need to live in a certain catchment area to go to a certain school….. for example, i grew up in the “Sharswood Catchment”, and went to grade school and high school nowhere near that. on the flip side, just because you live in a certain catchment doesn’t automatically mean you go to whatever the top notch school in that catchment is, or actually any school in that catchment.

all of the real estate listings you mention using schools as a selling point in the city are wrong because it matters 0% where you live

@Michael Lyons please refer to the FAQ section of the Philadelphia SD . Org page.

If a student doesn’t get the Charter School or neighborhood school of their choice, (which happens all the time), or the Charter School closes, they have the ability to enroll in their “neighborhood” school.

I and not taking about “A+ only” - schools, but the difference between C to F.

The families that live outside their preferred neighborhood school have to apply and the places are chosen by a computerized lottery. (Which I’m sure is toooootally legit).

I don’t know about you but I would rather not have my child’s education decided by a lottery. I would do everything in my power to buy or rent in a neighborhood with the best school I could afford.

That said, 100% of the people renting from me are renting b/c the neighborhood elementary school is fantastic- and the neighborhood isn’t so bad either.

Maybe we can also take into consideration that we are talking about 2 completely different set of buyers. People who are younger and don’t have kids - are looking for the up and coming trendy spots.

In the end my portfolio is very small compared to most, so focusing on this strategy has worked for me, but might not work for everyone. Good luck and great success to us all! $$$$

Originally posted by @Slawek Jakubowski :

@Eric Greenberg Berks and Susquehanna?

So just a 3 block north/south span from 2nd to 10th. Kinda odd region but to me 2nd and Diamond vs 5th/6th and Diamond vs 10th and Diamond are very different to me. Id personally classify those as three different investing areas.

@Michael Lyons @Sara Finley I have to agree with Sara here, because all of the really good schools are getting so many applications these days they aren't accepting out of geography applications. If you live in a catchment area with a bad default school you, might get denied at all the schools you are applying to, so you're stuck going to the school in your default geography. Yes you have more options in the city, but it's no guarantee that you're going to get into a decent school anymore with families moving to catchment areas of the schools that they want and filling them. Parents are absolutely looking to rent (and buy) in a catchment area with a default school that's okay- great. I also think people are looking to commute less with their kids, especially in elementary school and therefore want the local elementary school to be good enough. Traveling for middle school and high school is easier because you can give your kid more freedom around the city. Just my opinion as a parent who lives in the city and has property. As Sara pointed out, you might also be marketing to a completely different demographic where it is in fact less important.