Military Family Moving to Philly in October from AL
I copied this from another post to answer some basic questions. We will be new to the "big" city thing, so I'm sure I might have a lot of questions that seem basic to some of you. I appreicate any help or feedback!
When are you moving? Mid-October
Where are you coming from? Huntsville, AL (military family though so been numerous places)
Why are you moving? Husband’s is relocating for Army to job for DCMA at the Boeing Plant in Ridley Park (I work from home as an financial analyst)
Where will you be working? Husband - Boeing Plant in Ridley Park, Me – from home
Have you been here yet? Yes, short visit this past spring and I’m coming up to look at houses in South Philly next week (Aug 25-29)
Will you buy or rent? Rent – will only be in Philly for 3 years
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? All are OK. Looking between $2000 and $3000.
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Walk up is preferred, okay with multi levels
Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married with 21 month old daughter (so looking for good daycare/school - any suggestions would be great)
Do you have pets? 2 small Boston terriers.
Do you want or need a yard? Not necessary, but small area would be nice. Close Parks would also work
Are you keeping a car? We both have cars and plan to keep them (understand this might be an issue and would love to know more about parking and how that works in the neighborhoods)
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Both are OK.
What do you want to be closest to? We like the center city area since we’ve never lived in a “big” city, we are looking for a change of pace from the suburbs
Work - would like hubby not have more than an hour commute
Shopping – nice, but not necessary.
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.) – Yes, grocery stores, etc.
Nightlife - no
Train or subway stations – yes, would be nice, but again we both have cars (probably one will just stayed parked though)
Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? In our 30’s with a small child so would prefer area with other children. Race, religion, sexual preference do not matter to us
2-3k will take you a long way. If you're not planning on making room for kids soon, shoot for the moon and look at places in CC. I know for a fact that it is possible to find a small rowhome for rent in Washington Square area or around west South Street for that much. They're not always the most common type of housing, versus studios and bi-levels, but they exist.
Originally Posted by dajb29
how many cars do you have? Parking can be a real problem in south Philly and worse in CC, you should consider looking in Ridley . It's a nice hike up 291 from SP also. Ridley is a nice burb of Philly. you may even get some grass and a driveway.
It depends on what part of South Philly you're in. I lived in Passyunk Square for 6 years (moved out in March), and never had a problem with parking. Like, in those 6 years there was probably less than 5 times I had to park more than 1 block away. Most of the time I got parking right on my block. That said, in "deep" South Philly people double and even triple parking is part of the lifestyle.
Originally Posted by 2happy4u
The OP expressly said they want to try the "big city" after being tired of the suburbs, so Ridley Park should be out of the question.
To dajb29 - what thoth says is right. For $2K to $3K you can choose from a lot in Center City. That's the best part of Philly; housing is incredibly affordable, but as 2happy4u mentions, take into consideration parking.
Fitler Square is a beautiful little corner of Center City, and it deserves to be much more pretentious than it is. Architecturally it's second-to-none, there are plenty of rentals, the dining options are fantastic but not full of frou-frou. Most of the neighborhood is in the catchment for one of the city's best elementary schools, if you plan on your daughter starting school within those three years; even if not, that draws lots of young families to the neighborhood, another asset.
If you decide to look for bargains, you would want to cross South Street into Graduate Hospital, but if Fitler is well within your budget (and it is), you should give it some consideration.
Yeah but "We like the center city area since we’ve never lived in a 'big' city, we are looking for a change of pace from the suburbs"
Originally Posted by 2happy4u
Last edited by OffenseTaken; 08-21-2012 at 09:22 PM.
Reason: better link
Are you ok parking one a bit further away? Because if so, I think Queen Village (which is the north-most part of South Philly) could be great. There are lots of parks, a ton of dogs, even more kids and it's walkable to everywhere. Street parking can be tough after 6, but during the day is no problem. But one nice thing is a relatively inexpensive community parking lot under I-95. I'm sure someone will correct me but I want to say it's under $100/month? It's a couple of blocks from anywhere in QV, but may give you a lot of options.
Plus if you're here for 3 years, most of QV is in the Meredith public school catchment which is one of the best public schools in Philadelphia for Kindergarten.
With your budget, Queen Village and Fitler are among your best options. Good suggestions. The school catchments are Meredith and Greenfield, respectively (if you want to research their specific boundaries).
Both are close to highways (QV to 95 and Fitler to 76) which get your hubby to Boeing in 20-25 minutes, max.
That being said, if you want to do the CC thing, Fitler is probably a better introduction. It's walking distance to the shopping and restaurants of Rittenhouse Square, which is probably the most amenity-rich neighborhood in the city. Plus, you're close to neighborhood parks (both neighborhoods are named for the parks they surround) as well as the Schuykill River Trail (as well as a very popular dog park). Take a look. You'll like it, I swear.
Oh. And for parking. You buy a residential permit ($35 first year, $25 thereafter) and just leave it on the street. Petty theft from vehicles can happen but if you leave the interior stark and empty you won't have a problem.
Thanks for the Info...
wow, thanks for the replies....Ridley Park is out of the question, not really the area we're looking. We've contacted a real estate agent and will be in philly next week to look around the Queen's village/Rittenhouse Square/Fitler areas.
3rd&Brown - I did read on the Queen's Village Association website that there is a parking lot for about $90/month. Depending on where we end up and the parking situation we run into, that might be the best option. The good news is that I work from home, so I will be leaving a car parked a lot and not having to give up any good space I find very often (I guess they make you move your car for street cleaning just like other bigger cities??). Thanks for the info on the parking permits also, it's those kinds of things I'm ignorant about.
Another possibly dumb question - I read that our moving trucks will need to have permits. We're using a moving company, so are we the residents responsible for getting those or the moving company? This may be a question for the moving company.
Thanks again everyone and we are really excited about our move to Philly!
I work from home in Queen Village (not Queen's), and just leave my car on the street so my husband can have the garage. But since the car seats are in my car, if we go out at night as a family, sometimes instead of switching them we just do the car shuffle - the kids and I get into my car while he gets his from the garage and drives it around, then he takes my spot and I get the garage at night.
Originally Posted by dajb29
I would also say that for 2-3k mo. in Queen Village you could possibly find a house with a single car garage and do what Jess does.
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