What's impacting real estate sales in Roxborough/Andorra more? Some theories
1. Potential buyers are worried about the impact of the pending (and often delayed) revamp of the city real estate assessment system.
2. The fact that police officers don't have to live in the city any more means many are leaving - and none are buying in the city.
By most accounts property taxes should remain more or less unaffected in 19128. There will probably be a minor increase, compared to major increases in choice neighborhoods elsewhere in the city, so I don't think that's a factor.
Originally Posted by Lollyblogger
Reference please. Or just conjecture?
Northern Liberties is hotter then Manayunk for singles and families buyers.....
Graphic Designer, Social Media Consultant. Twitter: @Sdlaugh
Here are some thoughts from a local Realtor.
Originally Posted by Lollyblogger
1. I agree with The Mule on this. Our taxes in 19127 and 19128 are already higher than many of Philadelphia's up-and-coming neighborhoods. There will probably be increases, but subtle ones. Thus, this should not deter people from buying homes around here. Even when the increases take effect, our property taxes will probably still be less than the surrounding suburbs.
2. Also, not a big deal. 19127 and 19128's current supply and demand stems from renters, students, young professionals, young families, and transplants; not city workers. It's true that there are a lot of police officers and firefighters living in this area, but it's not our bread and butter.
Put it this way, local developers would not be building expensive, new construction homes on every available piece of ground in this area if there wasn't a demand for it; not in this tight housing/credit market.
The demographics are changing, in my own professional opinion.
I agree with your two unnumbered paragraphs. When new construction is invariably nicer and grander than adjacent properties, that means the neighborhood is getting fancier. That's why I want to see Westrum in EF go out of business. Everyone else who builds new in EF builds nicer than him.
The new stuff going in on the Ridge next to Stanley's, for instance, seems much fancier than the airlites that used to get built in the neighborhood.
Originally Posted by The Rox
Last edited by billy ross; 07-08-2012 at 06:56 PM.
Almost all of my friends live in Fishtown/NoLibs, Fairmount, West Philly (around Baltimore Ave.) and South Philly. I have only four people in my social group who live in NW Philly -- a couple in Roxborough, one in Mt. Airy and one in Chestnut Hill (who is moving to West Philly).
My wife would move to Fairmount or West Philly in a heartbeat. She's a lot more city than I am. If I had my way, we'd live in a suburb like Glenside or Ambler. 19128 is a great halfway point for both of us. You can get to the above listen neighborhoods in no time at all and there's also things like supermarkets with parking lots. We also now own a dog and we love going into the Wissahickon with her. I also work in KOP and she works in Ardmore so the commute's really great for both of us. I also commuted from Philly to Manhattan for a few years and I got on the 9 bus to 30th and took the train up to NYC from there.
Our friends kind of scoff at us for living past the art museum. They don't have cars, for the most part, and never really make it our way unless our bike afficianado friends are headed into the trails.
The reasons why they live where they live and wouldn't dream of moving out this way:
1) They're all single and in their late 20s/30s. They're far from alone in that trend. They're also "creative class" and non-profit types with employment and hobbies. Their dating scene and their employment is focused down there. They're still going to Johnny Brenda's and the Barbary and Union Transfer whereas my wife and I have become more homebodies.
They're hipsters while we're more Custard Stand people, if that makes sense.
2) None of them are anywhere close to having kids so safety isn't that big of a factor. I do have a friend who lives in Bella Vista who vaguely knew the guy who was killed at 4th and Lombard. He lives right by there and was really shook up by that. He and his wife are thinking of putting their house on the market and are eyeing NW Philly as a possibility.
3) "Better" restaurants and bars are down those ways. I'm perfectly fine with what we have but there is no place with a cool cachet up here. Han Dynasty's the most well-regarded critically but he has a place in Old City and one in West Philly. East Falls Taproom is great (see other thread) but you can get the same stuff at any of the good gastropubs in the city. There's no real destination restaurant/bar/concert venue.
4) Remember that "douche bar" ranking list that half of Main Street was on? Main Street's had that reputation forever. I like going to Main Street (I love Le Bus, the Italian place, Han, the burger joint) but I avoid that place like the plague on Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights. I'm married in my 30s and the last thing I want to deal with are college bros. The people who go to Main Street's nightlife aren't of the age where they can buy a house. They rent. Main Street's not an attraction for probable home buyers. If anything, it chases people away.
5) Ridge Ave. really needs a facelift. My wife says she wants to throw up anytime she drives down Ridge Ave. I kind of like it since it is a little worn down and old-fashioned looking but I can definitely see her point.
6) The edgier places to live in our area -- the refurbished lofts and churches -- for some reason don't have the cachet the same places in Fishtown and closer to the city have. I have no idea why that is.
7) We know that transportation isn't hard. But the Regional Rail is more expensive and less frequent than the subway/trolleys the people closer to Center City take. Our area's probably a little too far and hilly for bike commuting, which a lot of my friends do.
I also think West Philly's the next big thing. I've got a few friends who are already there or headed there and know other people eyeing it up. Parts of West Philly look aesthetically as nice as the more pleasing parts of our area. Baltimore Ave. and the surrounding streets with commerce have become really interesting. The housing's really cheap. Clark Park has a ton of stuff going on there constantly. You can avoid the college kid bars and go to places like Local 44 or Dock Street or the Ethiopian bars but are still close enough to the more interesting things near UPenn/Drexel. The dangerous areas don't really become too prevalent until 50th Street. It's like a cliff once you get passed 50th (since 52nd Street is terrible) but the housing stock and commercial strip doesn't get worn down until 50th.
South Philly's been a big place for a lot of my friends to live for years. East Passyunk Ave. is really awesome if you haven't been down there. It's the same size any layout as Main Street but nowhere near as aggravating. The one bar I have an issue with down there is The Pope, which is hipster hell. But The Cantina and a few other places are great and there's also old-school places like Marra's. It combines the best of both new and old Philly. Main Street can't compete with that.
If all the "doom and gloom" tax hikes ever come to fruition, most of the neighborhoods here in the Northwest will be much better off than places like South Philly, West Philly, No Libs, etc. We're already paying way more than our fair share under the current system and a slight increase isn't going to cause any sort of mass exodus. On the other hand, some other neighborhoods elsewhere in Philadelphia that are currently paying a pittance in taxes might suddenly be looking at Roxborough, East Falls, Mt. Airy, etc. in a much prettier light once the tax disparity is evened out to some degree.
People who consider the city's park system, restaurant scene, mass transit, etc. to be important parts of their lifestyle aren't going to jump ship if taxes go up 10-20%. For the most part, the people who will leave are either people who get very uncomfortable about any sort of change (real or imagined) or people who don't really like the city anyway, and are only here because it's cheap.
I just moved from Roxborough to Bella Vista. I did this because my last child is in high school (in Bella Vista!) and I needed to downsize. I wanted to live in a neighborhood with amenities within walking distance. I have to say, I walk 1000 times more than I did in Roxborough! I can easily walk to Queen Village and East Passyunk and the Italian Market is two blocks away.
Still, I'm happy I lived in Roxborough while my kids were little. For a reasonable price, they lived in a big house, had their own rooms, a big backyard, and even a pool. They could have parties here with their friends without needing to go to a public park- we had our own park!. (Though my youngest really liked Gorgas.) They went to good public elementary schools. I was close to work and close to my parents (in Glenside). I could park on my street easily. I agree that Ridge needs work. It would be nice if there were more things to walk to but there are grocery stores and the best hardware store just a quick drive away (still looking to find a new Stanley's- ain't gonna happen). Frankly, I rarely, if ever, went to Main Street for dinner but liked the consignment shops and stores.
When I looked for a place to move, I looked first in Roxborough but I felt that, after a big personal loss, we needed a fresh start. I looked in Fairmont- the parking is really a nightmare and the houses are too big for our current needs. The East Passyunk Square area was a bit young for me- a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. As a single woman with a teenaged girl, I didn't consider West Philly. Lovely, but my pioneer days are over. I hit on Bella Vista after my daughter decided to attend high school here (it was just one bus from Roxborough, by the way) and found everything I needed- small houses, mixed races and ages of the residents and great walkability.
I don't know what the housing market is like now in Roxborough but I sold my house relatively quickly (considering I put it on the market in September. Who does that?) and at a good price. My friends, also in Roxborough sold their smaller houses in just a couple of weeks. I enjoyed my time there and would encourage anyone with a family to consider the area. It was a great investment for me 29 years ago. The sale of my house will finance my daughter's college education. Not many places you can say that about.
What exactly are you saying? That prices/sales are declining more than average in Rox/Andorra, and that these are the contributing factors?
Originally Posted by Lollyblogger
As to point 2, see here: http://www.philadelphiaspeaks.com/fo...ity-arent.html
As to point 1, some people have mentioned that our area won't see much of a shift. That may be true...but do potential buyers know this?
As for those who referenced Ridge Ave, I agree. As you may or may not have already noticed, this commercial stretch is slowly changing as well (to complement the changing demographic around it).
As some have already stated, residents want to walk to more things. The central business district on Ridge Ave is currently undergoing a multimillion dollar face lift (sidewalks, trees, planters, etc.). This will help provide an aesthetic boost to businesses.
Rents along Ridge Ave are fairly reasonable, but it's case-by-case. When The Foodery hits by the end of 2012, my guess is that more businesses will follow. Planet Fitness may also be coming soon, which would provide another solid anchor tenant for the central business district.
Good points, all!
Wow, this is all so interesting. I posted my theories - and they were just that, definitely theories and my own, though based on comments I'd heard from others - to get a conversation going and, hopefully, learn something. Which I have, thanks!
Still wondering about the state of Upper Rox/Andorra real estate, though. Love this 'hood - has the best of all worlds - and want it to flourish.
Can see from the comments here that I'm not alone in that.
One curve ball. What is the difference between Roxborough and Mayfair / the Lower Northeast? 20 to 30 years ago they were interchangeable, but since then Roxborough has had a strong run while the Lower Northeast has struggled. I think the difference is jobs. In that time period Conshohocken/Plymouth Meeting has become an enormous jobs center, and so has King of Prussia/Malvern/Great Valley. They are all commutable from Roxborough/Manayunk/East Falls, especially the former. The Lower Northeast has nothing like that (both neighborhoods are commutable to Center City). Look at it this way - if you work in the burbs in the very wealthy and booming Schuylkill Corridor the residential areas around there, some of which I already mentioned (e.g. Conshy / Whitemarsh / Plymouth), are pretty expensive. Norristown is beautiful and affordable but highly challenged and most people would and do shoot it down, and anything west of Norristown (say, Perkiomen Valley or Oaks) is pretty isolated, with horrific traffic. That puts Roxborough in a great position, with a great combination of affordability and quality of life and access to jobs, and I think that explains alot of what has been going on. In a weird way we're talking about a bedroom community for the suburban jobs base, especially for those who want access to the stadium district, Center City, etc. Meanwhile the Northeast and Lower Bucks are hurting. So is Jersey, too, for the most part (I can't think of any booming jobs centers in Bucks County or South Jersey, with the possible exception of Mt. Laurel). It's very jobs-driven, and the jobs growth is in Montgomery and Chester Counties (and maybe Radnor Township, which is barely in Delaware County), and also the Navy Yard and University City. We have reasonable access to all of that, and that's why we're doing well.
Originally Posted by Lollyblogger
Last edited by billy ross; 07-09-2012 at 02:45 PM.
Originally Posted by billy ross
Another thing to consider: The proximity to the local colleges makes Manayunk college central. But people who work in the colleges or are grad students also seem to make up a decent amount of the Roxborough population. I know quite a few people in those situations.
I also have one thing about Andorra. Two of my friends who are from the area originally moved to Brooklyn a few years ago. They're now moving back here. They're looking at NW and West Philly, but are leaning towards NW because of commuting to the aforementioned Conshy area job base where one of my friends will be working.
They were looking at finding an interesting, older home in Mt. Airy, Germantown and Blue Bell Hill. I told my friends to look at Andorra and they made fun of me because it's "too suburban" for them. While this is true, Andorra has so many awesome old farm houses and other quirky digs.
The attraction of Andorra is definitely the suburban feel but maybe the real estate marketers might want to focus a bit more on that really unique characteristic?
I'll second that this is right on the money. A lot of people want the amenities of the city with easy access to the western suburbs.
Originally Posted by billy ross
South Jersey is hurting for jobs. The main cluster is Cherry Hill, Mt Laurel, Moorestown, Evesham, and Voorhees but most of these markets have lost jobs in the past 10 years and are nowhere near as big of employment centers when compared to the PA suburbs. Mercer County is a big jobs center but I believe a majority of the people that work there are from Upper Bucks if they live in PA.
Originally Posted by billy ross
Here are my personal selling points for Roxborough:
- Just over 10 miles to Center City.
- Just over 10 miles to King of Prussia.
- Just over 15 miles to PHL Airport.
- Access to 3 train stations, ample bus options, and all major highways.
- Close to all NW Philadelphia Main Streets (Manayunk, Roxborough, East Falls, Chestnut Hill, & Mt Airy).
- Close to Malls (KOP, Plymouth Meeting, & Willow Grove).
- Close to Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill River Trail.
- Green, scenic, and plenty of rivers/streams.
- Variety of living options. Anything from an industrial loft, to a single with a driveway/yard, to a new construction home.
That's why I love it here!
NW is just on the verge of popping for the better. My Brooklyn friends are moving to Roxborough because they think it's cool. The housing stock is incredible. I totally agree that Ridge is in need of some work but a gastropub will fix that (scoats? are you listening?). A business strip will attract more visitors and residents. I can tell you this: in 1996, Ridge Ave. was downright scary...not so much anymore. As much as I loathe them, Starbucks speaks volumes. It's safe, clean, green and well connected to the rest of the city. Billy Ross make the most important point thus far....the job bonanza in Plymouth Meeting and Conshy office parks completely draw people to the area. the immediate burbs are awesome...Plymouth/whitemarsh/Conshy/Lower Merion/KOP/Blue bell and Springfield blow the NE out of the water. Penndot has plans to expand a connector expressway to Norristown which I think will finally be what that town needs in order to flourish.
The 476/276 interchange put Plymouth Meeting and Conshy on the map for business draw. They are widening the NE extension. these are all infrastructure improvements that draw people to the inner ring suburbs as well as the Philly "burb" of NW Philly.Germantown is gentrifying. The area is uniquely separated from the rest of the city, yet so close. NW is an underdog that, when the next real estate boom comes, albeit slowly, it's coming to NW.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, all the young professionals who want to live here (not the Manayunk bros). Now only if Standard Tap would come to Ridge............one can dream.
I'm more of a city-core kind of guy, but want to say that I've been coming to and from Roxborough for various reasons for the past 20 years and think it has done nothing but improved, if not significantly.
I just wish Roxies would realize they've upped their game and demand more from developers of new homes. Case in point #1: the new development planned for the old motel/assisted living site (can't remember which it was) on Ridge is a travesty. The houses as proposed are 1. already dated and mimic Roxborough's worst housing stock (airlights with street front garages and no eyes and ears on the street) and 2. could probably fetch significantly more than the developer realizes if just a bit more thought was put into materials and facade designs.
It's as if the developer thinks Roxborough is still the Roxborough of 20 years ago.
The closure of Gary Barbera is probably the best thing that ever happened to Roxborough. Freeing up that real estate for higher and better use plus the extinction of his stupid marketing campaigns which squarely associated Roxborough with his dealership has definitely removed a layer of muck from the moniker.
I completely agree with 3rd and brown....great points!
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO