Any opinions on Germantown neighborhood in Philly?

21 Replies

Hello all,

I have an opportunity to purchase a large property in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with seller financing. I'm currently helping a friend rehab another property a few doors down but I'm largely unfamiliar with the area. My plan here would be to hold for cashflow (the property is 2 buildings with a total of 3 units). 

The nearest major intersection is Germantown Ave and Chelten Ave.

Any information about the area would be appreciated. As far as I can tell it's block to block like many other parts of Philly but has a wider swing than I have seen in other up and coming areas. Anyone have experience out there?

Thanks

Keywords: Philly, Philadelphia, Germantown, gentrification, north west

Originally posted by @Lucas Pfaff :

Hello all,

I have an opportunity to purchase a large property in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with seller financing. I'm currently helping a friend rehab another property a few doors down but I'm largely unfamiliar with the area. My plan here would be to hold for cashflow (the property is 2 buildings with a total of 3 units). 

The nearest major intersection is Germantown Ave and Chelten Ave.

Any information about the area would be appreciated. As far as I can tell it's block to block like many other parts of Philly but has a wider swing than I have seen in other up and coming areas. Anyone have experience out there?

Thanks

Keywords: Philly, Philadelphia, Germantown, gentrification, north west

Germantown and Chelten Avenues is a great rental area, imo. Its a busy shopping area, several bus routes to get to around town. All of Germantown Ave is filled with art galleries, boutiques, grocery stores, tatoo parlors, a vast array of restaurants and more. Its an endless commercial  avenue from North Philly up through when Germantown Ave becomes Germantown Pike pass Chestnut Hill. Chelten Ave is very similar for quite a number of miles. Still depending which way you turn (block by block) varies as usually for any section of Philly. It'll be $40K-$50K 2-story rowhouses 3/1 950sf filled with mostly renters(maybe a few section 8ers) on a tiny side street; then turn the corner and go down the block on a slightly bigger street and its $150K+ 3-story twin houses 4 /1.5 1500sf with mostly homeowners and of course you have the MFRs 2-8units on average. The main thing you want to be mindful of as an investor is the historical properties as Germantown is known for having. If you have to do rehab they have a different set of guidelines that you must follow and can be costly. I imagine that you'll be put on notice by the agent / seller or someone before you close if it is or not. Otherwise its a great area for rentals & flips. Even the small matchbox houses/ apt units in Germantown usually secure an attractive rental income. If you ever read about the history of Germantown its a very intriguing story.  

Kudos,

Mary

@Mary B.  Thanks for your feedback!

Would you consider this area a B neighborhood, or closer to C? With your mention of section 8 I'm guessing C (where I would have placed it based on my limited knowledge).

Thanks again.

@Lucas Pfaff  Section 8 is nearly everywhere with very few exceptions but yes I'd call G-twn & Chelten Aves a C area. 

Kudos,

Mary

@Lucas Pfaff  Found this post late, searching for something else. I don't know if you're still considering buying in Germantown, but I live here and have some rentals in the area as well. All have worked out well for me! The neighborhood is gradually improving with more young professionals and families moving in, making it a good area for buy and holds. As far as specific location, my sense is west of Germantown ave is better and north of Chelten is better. The Tulpelhocken Station district is really nice. I'd definitely encourage any other investors (or home buyers) to consider the area for its good values and rental returns!

@Nancy Larcom  Thanks for the feedback. My apologies for not responding sooner. I am still considering purchasing in the neighborhood but need to sit down and work out hard numbers before approaching an owner about seller financing/land contract. 

If you're open to it I'd love to buy you coffee/lunch and learn a bit more about Germantown and what you're doing. I've been reading some of your posts and picking up what you're putting down!

Lucas, what did you end up deciding in regards to Germantown? I live in nearby Mt Airy and am a new investor looking at lots of properties in Germantown. It seems like a good opportunity for buy and hold, but there seems to be a lot of variation in terms of the state of properties, even just on a single block, which concerns me at times - being the 'best house on the block', and in terms of desirability for rentals and commanding higher rents etc. Also, finding those better pockets, as I am not hugely familiar with Germantown outside of the Tulpehocken area. Anyway, would love anyone's feedback on Germantown. I'm excited about the value here. Thanks!

I am also curious as to the Germantown area of Philadelphia to purchase a muti unit buy and hold. Also, I'm playing with the idea of investing in the Temple University area and weighing the pros and cons. I am new to Phili, (live in New York, but invest in other out-of-state markets), but I'm doing my research and trying to learn all I can as I am in the process of exploring a new market to invest in. Any thoughts?

Hi Sharon,

You'll notice that around the Temple area there is a ton of development. I am not even considering looking in that area due to high prices, low quality tenants (college students) and high crime. It's not that I'm against purchasing in college towns, I'm actually extremely interested in learning about it and potentially doing so, but along with the other factors I've turned away from Temple. But hey maybe that's why I'm not a millionaire :)

Temple is where the money is.....urban missing out @brianbond. Lol. Germantown is a very historic area so the houses are enormous and you make out well turning them into apartments as opposed to renting the whole house. Temple area is great for charging high rents because people come from all over to go to Temple. They need places to stay so you are able to get what you are asking. My mom rented her house in Temple are for $1800. Feel free to connect with me for more info on areas and listings.

I lived in Germantown years ago. I am a born and raised Philadelphian. As with everything in Philly, it is block by block. However, because there is tons of stores around Germantown and Chelten it is very busy. Close to public transportation and huge homes. There is a police station 2 blocks away. The further you go up Germantown towards Chestnut Hill the better it gets. There is a low income housing development 2 blocks away from Germantown and Chelten also. Germantown high was closed permanently. There is a public assistance office 2 blocks away as well. But you can definitely do well with a buy and hold and charge a good amount for rent because the properties are soo big. The homes come with a lot of character because of their age.  Feel free to ask me any questions. 

Thanks for your input @Brian Bond .  I really like the idea of investing in college towns, actually, and was considering giving college students rentals a try. I know there are pros and cons with that rewntal pop I did notice that the Temple area has plenty of development going on, and was wondering whether that's a sign that the area is emerging, or up and coming. I'm just not sure yet but I am hoping to learn as much as I can within the next couple weeks so I can make a decision.

@Account Closed , you say that Temple is where the money is, and from the little research I've done so far, and folks that I've spoken to, I've been hearing the same thing. I'd love to hear more about the Temple area and the prospects of investing there so I'll connect with you. 

I've also heard about University City as an area that's good for rentals. Any thoughts about that area? Any distinct differences between University City and Temple? Thanks in advance for your input.

University City and Temple have two of the largest, most esteemed colleges in the country.  With that being said, it is a great area to rent homes out or even flip as investors are constantly looking for properties in that area. In these areas you see a lot of college students, and if they can afford these major universities, they are more then willing to pay for a nice place to stay.  You can rent out by the room and put more in one home, essentially charging almost $3000 for a house. The presence of security is high in these areas also because they are provided by the schools.  The blocks are well lit and the areas are much safer. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any more questions. @Sharon Jacas

@Sharon Jacas Temple area is definitely up and coming. Temple is buying everything up and they have knocked down a lot of the housing developments to make the area nicer.  They are building houses everywhere. If you are going to buy in North philly now is the time! They are expanding and Temple is taking over everything. North Philly is nothing like it was.

HI everyone.

i'm here to help if anyone interested buying in Philadelphia , Bensalem and Bucks county

If anyone needs help investing in Philadelphia and surrounding zipcodes let me know

this feed is making me want to look into Germantown.  I grew up in the Mayfair section of philadelphia and always thought of Germantown as not that great of a neighborhood but I'm sure that has changed.  Mayfair has actually changed a lot, it went from police, fire and blue collar, hard working families to a lot of section 8 and drug addicts.  

Originally posted by @Mike Lightcap :

this feed is making me want to look into Germantown.  I grew up in the Mayfair section of philadelphia and always thought of Germantown as not that great of a neighborhood but I'm sure that has changed.  Mayfair has actually changed a lot, it went from police, fire and blue collar, hard working families to a lot of section 8 and drug addicts.  

 not all sections of Mayfair are bad . I actually own a property there.. i believe in the 19135 19136 is good to buy now and hold them .

If you help in finding properties to invest let me know.. 

not all sections but a lot of it is bag and getting worse.  It's night and day if you grew up there.  

I hear you . .. are you a investor ? 

@Genaro Quiles I've been a realtor since 2003 but I haven't practiced the last 6 years and have my license with Coldwell bankers referral program. I'm pulling out and making it fully active so I can more easily search investment properties for myself and submit offers without worrying about coordinating with an agent.

oh ok I'm a real estate agent myself lol..

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