Philadelphia, as one of the oldest cities in the United States, continues to be a top destination for travelers seeking an exciting and vibrant atmosphere. In recent years, the city has attracted a younger demographic with its focus on expanding the tech industry, offering picturesque parks to unwind, and hosting a range of enjoyable and engaging activities that encourage socializing. From sports to restaurants, bars to shopping centers, Philadelphia has something for everyone.
If you’re planning to relocate to Philadelphia, it’s essential to have an idea of the top neighborhoods to live in the area. Our research on the 10 most sought-after Philadelphia neighborhoods took into account several crucial factors, such as crime rates, quality of education, and many others. This blog is an excellent resource for anyone considering a move to Philadelphia or even current Philly residents looking to switch neighborhoods within the city.
Discover the top 10 best places to live in Philadelphia, as well as three locations that you should steer clear of. These areas may have expensive living costs, unsafe crime rates or other issues that make them less than ideal living situations. Additionally, we provide answers to commonly asked questions about Philadelphia to help you make an informed decision before relocating. Be sure to read the entire article to gain these insights and guarantee a successful move to the City of Brotherly Love.
Best Place to Live in Philadelphia
Discovering the perfect place to live in Philadelphia can be a daunting task. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the best Philly neighborhoods that offer a high standard of living, reasonable real estate prices, and a range of other benefits. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve organized the list in reverse order, allowing you to evaluate their worth and choose the neighborhoods that fulfill your unique living requirements.
Located in Philadelphia, Conshohocken is often criticized for its lack of diversity and high crime rates, but in reality, both are below average. Despite these misconceptions, it’s a wonderful place for families and homebuyers alike. The area boasts affordable housing prices, with a median home price of $344,800, which is lower than surrounding areas. While rental prices are higher than most areas in the city, at $1,818, they are still lower than the national average. Additionally, Conshohocken has excellent public schools, making it an ideal location for families. The split between renters and homeowners is nearly equal at 50/50.
This area boasts 16 exceptional public schools, with most of them ranking as A+. Along with top-rated education, residents can enjoy numerous parks, ample shopping options, and a distinctive urban vibe blended seamlessly with a suburban atmosphere. Despite the slightly inflated rental prices, it’s still an ideal location for young adults looking for affordable living arrangements.
9. Rose Valley
Rose Valley, an area located above Conshohocken, boasts improved crime levels and a vibrant nightlife despite its questionable diversity ranking. The community has a rural ambiance due to the high number of home-owners, a population of just over 1,100 individuals, and a lack of major businesses. These factors contribute to its bedroom community atmosphere, making it a comfortable and laid-back place to reside, particularly for older or retired individuals seeking a peaceful and relaxing environment.
There are a total of eight schools in this city, out of which two have been ranked as A+. The remaining schools have been ranked as A. The median income in this area is quite high, standing at around $185,500. However, most individuals in the region have to commute to downtown Philadelphia to secure jobs that offer such high salaries. The majority of businesses in this city are service-based, providing ample opportunities for young teenagers who are looking for part-time jobs to earn some extra money. Even full-time employees can explore these businesses as a source of additional income for their personal expenses.
Located in the big-city area of Philly, Narberth is a charming town with a population of around 4,467 people. The town boasts of a high level of safety, making it one of the most secure places to live in Philadelphia. Besides safety, the town is also known for its vibrant nightlife and diverse community. Moving to Narberth means you can expect to have a lot of fun activities to engage in and plenty of friendly people to meet.
This city boasts an impressive education system, offering 29 highly-rated public schools. However, the cost of living in this area is slightly higher than the national average, particularly when it comes to housing. The median cost for a home here is $550,600, which is over double the national average. Rent is also a bit steep at $1,528, although it is still more affordable than other cities on this list. Nevertheless, there is a healthy mix of rental properties and homes for purchase, making it a great option for a variety of individuals looking to move to this area.
Berwyn consistently earns high rankings in national comparisons with other cities of similar size. It has been recognized as the 72nd best place to live in the nation, the 30th best suburb based on the quality of public schools, the 38th best suburb overall, and the 12th best place to raise a family. Additionally, Berwyn is ranked as the 11th best suburb to start and raise a family. The city’s public schools are particularly noteworthy, earning a 30th ranking overall, making Berwyn an excellent place for families with children to not only live, but also receive a quality education.
In terms of real estate in Berwyn, there is a relatively equal balance between property ownership and renting. The median home value stands at $550,100, while the median rent is $1,538. Although these figures may seem a little steep, the quality of homes in the area is exceptional. The median home income of residents is $120,000, which suggests that many will need to commute to work outside of Berwyn as there is a shortage of large businesses in the local area.
As we continue our list of the best places to reside in the city, we come across some truly fantastic options, with the next five entries gaining even more recognition. Exton managed to secure a spot on this list, though it received a lower diversity rating, earning a B+. Despite this, the area still boasts an abundance of great restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, making it an attractive option for those who have an open mind towards new residents and a moderate perspective on life. However, its lower rankings in nightlife and housing, while still high, do bring it down a notch.
Exton offers a warm and welcoming community of educated and amiable individuals. The median household income here is almost twice the national average, and the crime rate is remarkably low compared to other suburbs of Philadelphia. Although it may not yet be in the top five, in a few years, Exton may very well rise to the ranks and become one of the best places to live in Philadelphia. For now, it proudly holds its position as the sixth best place to call home in the city.
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Swarthmore is a city that offers an unparalleled quality of life. The peaceful and suburban ambiance of this place makes it an ideal location for anyone looking for a laid-back and relaxing lifestyle. Despite having a limited number of rental properties, the options available are of high-quality, making it effortless to find a comfortable home here. With a consistent ranking as one of the best places to live in the United States, Swarthmore has a lot to offer, which we’ll delve into further in the following paragraph.
In America, it’s known as the 14th best suburb and the 24th best place to raise a family. Additionally, it is ranked as the 30th best place overall to raise kids and the 30th best place to live in America. The city’s public schools are also highly regarded, with 16 of them receiving an A+ ranking. This makes it an excellent choice for parents who want their children to receive a top-notch education that is worth the investment.
Swarthmore is a great option for those looking for an affordable place to live, with median home prices coming in a bit high at $443,000, which is almost twice the national average. Additionally, median rent is about $100 more than the national average at $1,275, but still quite reasonable compared to other major cities. All in all, Swarthmore is a great option for anyone looking to balance affordability and quality of life.
Living in Devon is a delightful experience owing to its exceptional quality of life. Though the region is not as diverse, with about 84% of residents being white, it still offers a great standard of living. Devon has a 9% Hispanic population, 3% of two or more races, and a minimal African American population. Despite the lack of diversity, it is still considered one of the best places to live in Philly. This is because it boasts high employment and income rates in the area, making it an excellent choice for many.
The median income of individuals residing in this region is $197,820, which is significantly higher than the national average. This area provides ample job opportunities across various industries, although it is primarily a bedroom community. Hence, commuting for work may be necessary, but traffic should not be a major concern if you are accustomed to it.
This region boasts a robust school system, providing several A+ rated educational opportunities for your children. Additionally, the crime rate in this area is below average, making it one of the safest communities in the Philly region. As a result, this is an ideal location for raising a family and an excellent choice for young professionals seeking to establish roots in a thriving community.
3. Penn Wynne
Penn Wynne is widely recognized for its public schools, family-friendly environment, diverse community, and vibrant nightlife, which often earns it high rankings. Furthermore, it is considered a safe place to reside due to its low crime rate, which is notably lower than what you would anticipate in Philadelphia. It’s worth noting that while Philadelphia has a reputation for being crime-ridden, this perception is primarily based on certain areas, and areas like Penn Wynne are remarkably secure.
Although the area has numerous advantages, one potential downside is its high home-ownership rate, which stands at 88%. While this is a positive aspect for those who plan on settling down in the city for the long term, it can be a source of frustration for individuals seeking rental options. Additionally, the median home value of $395,300 may also prove challenging, although it’s worth noting that this is lower than other cities of comparable size and scope, such as Philadelphia.
The community here boasts a diverse population of highly-educated professionals, with an almost equal distribution of male and female residents. Although the majority of the residents are Caucasian, comprising about 71% of the population, there is also a significant 20% representation of African-American and Asian residents. This makes it an ideal place to settle down if you’re looking to broaden your social circle and meet fascinating individuals from different backgrounds.
When visiting Ardmore, a suburb of Philadelphia, it’s easy to see why it’s considered one of the best places in the city. While it may not be the most diverse area, almost every other aspect of Ardmore is highly rated. In fact, a survey of residents revealed that 67% of them described the area as “progressive” and 33% as “friendly,” indicating that it’s a welcoming community for newcomers.
In the area, you can find a plethora of public schools, with over 30 different options available. Many of these schools have received A+ rankings and positive feedback from local residents. As for the job market, it’s pretty robust, with an average resident earning around $107,087 annually. While about 64% of residents are homeowners, there are also various rental options available for those who are new to the area and looking to settle down quickly.
Ardmore has gained national recognition for being the second-best suburb in America, the third-best place to live in the country, and the eighth-best place to raise a family. Additionally, it has been ranked as the sixty-second-best place for young professionals. With a plethora of incredible amenities, Ardmore is the perfect place to start a new life, especially if you’re a young professional.
Chesterbrook is the ultimate winner when it comes to finding the top-notch living areas in Philadelphia. Although the cost of living may be higher than the average in Pennsylvania and the United States, with a median home cost of $438,200, it offers numerous other advantages that make up for it. The locals of this neighborhood have given high ratings to various aspects of their community.
According to Niche, the public schools in this area are highly acclaimed and have received an impressive A+ grade. The overall quality of life in this location is exceptional, as evidenced by its high ratings in every category. Families will find this place to be an ideal home due to its outstanding schools, vibrant nightlife, diverse community, and welcoming culture. In addition, the homes here are top-notch, providing a comfortable and relaxing climate for residents.
With a 34% home rental option, this region boasts a great mix of owned and rentable homes, making it an easily accessible area to move to without confusion. Crime rates are considerably lower than the national average, and almost 90% of residents hold a college degree. Furthermore, the median household income stands at $126,687, and the area offers plenty of excellent job opportunities.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Place to Live in Philadelphia
Before making the move to Philadelphia, it is important to consider several factors to ensure that you find a neighborhood that you will love. Take the time to evaluate the location, safety, and amenities of the area you are considering. By doing so, you can ensure that you make an informed decision that will provide you with a comfortable living environment.
- Cost of living, including how much homes cost
- Job opportunities, including how much you can make
- Schools, such as what public schools get ranked
- Culture, such as whether residents have college degrees
- Climate, including whether it feels comfortable for non-residents
- Crime rate, such as violent and non-violent crimes
- Diversity, including whether it’s welcoming to everyone
- Quality of life, including what kinds of parks are available
3 Places in Philadelphia You Should Avoid
Understanding the areas to avoid in Philadelphia is just as important as knowing the best places to live. If you come across any real estate investment or rental properties in these areas, it’s best to steer clear. Take our advice and avoid these locations at all costs. Make sure to read through each review to gain a better understanding of why these areas are not recommended.
3. Franklin Mills
According to Niche, Franklin Mills doesn’t fare well in several rankings such as housing, family life, crime and safety, and public schools. In particular, the public schools in the three neighborhoods in this section get low grades. As a result, it may be a good idea to look for private support if you have children or consider living in another area altogether. For families, avoiding this area may be the most practical decision.
Franklin Mills receives high diversity ratings, which contributes to its positive grade. Additionally, the area offers numerous options for nightlife enthusiasts, including bars and restaurants. However, the prevalence of crime in the neighborhood can make it an inconvenient and unsafe place to reside. It’s advisable to consider the other neighborhoods mentioned above before considering Franklin Mills as your new home.
2. West Parkside
If you have children, West Parkside might not be the best place for you to move to. The area’s schools have consistently received below-average scores of 4 out of 10 from Great Schools. While there are a few places to enjoy such as restaurants and coffee shops, West Parkside is generally labeled as a “bedroom” community. This means that the area is relatively quiet and lacks excitement, making it less than ideal for children.
Niche’s grading system gives West Parkside a B- for violent and property crimes, which is a significant cause for concern amongst residents. Many people in the area don’t feel safe residing here, making it an area to avoid, especially if you have children. The lower salaries in the region also suggest a lack of quality employment options, further emphasizing the need to steer clear of West Parkside for safety reasons.
When it comes to living in Philly, Cochranville is often considered the least desirable option due to a variety of factors. The nightlife scene is lackluster, crime rates are high, and the area isn’t particularly diverse. In fact, it’s known for being a retirement community, which unfortunately attracts criminal activity. Despite having a pleasant suburban atmosphere, the public schools are one of the few redeeming qualities of the area.
In this area, the majority of residents, approximately 82%, own their homes, leaving limited rental options. This can pose a challenge for those who wish to live in this location, especially considering the average median home price is $211,300. Although this is below the national average, the available housing options may not justify the cost.
Is Philadelphia affordable to live?
Philadelphia ranks as one of the most affordable big cities in the nation. Cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Seattle, and Chicago are between 10-130% more expensive, making Philadelphia an attractive option for those seeking a comfortable and affordable home.
Is Philadelphia a good place to live?
People living in Philadelphia often highlight its small-town vibe, lower cost of living, and unique sports scene as significant aspects of residing here. Despite some crime concerns, considering this city as a great place to raise children is worthwhile.
Is it better to rent or buy in Philadelphia?
For those on a budget, renting in Philadelphia is likely ultimately cheaper than buying. However, if real estate investment or home flipping is in your plans, buying is a better idea. Consider long-term investment before making a choice here.
Is rent expensive in Philadelphia?
Zillow reports that rental prices in Philadelphia currently average $1,600, a decrease of $17 from the previous year. While relatively high, there are cheaper options available in the city, with a myriad of rental choices to consider.
Is Philadelphia a good place to buy a house?
Philadelphia boasts an average home price of $370,000, matching the surge in costs nationwide in recent years. Surprisingly, this rate is more affordable than in some cities, making Philadelphia a wise place to invest in a home.
What is a good salary to live in Philadelphia?
Due to its relatively low cost of living, a salary of about $59,384 in Philadelphia allows for a comfortable life. This is significantly lower than in places like San Francisco and Chicago, making living in Philadelphia more comfortable and affordable.
Is it expensive to live in Phoenix?
The cost of living in Phoenix depends on the lifestyle you are accustomed to, but considering its size and city status, living in Phoenix comes at a reasonable price. To determine if Phoenix is expensive compared to your current or desired financial situation, you can use Forbes’ cost of living calculator.
Is it better to live in Las Vegas or Phoenix?
Comparing Las Vegas and Phoenix is challenging due to their different vibes. Phoenix embraces cultural influences from various sources, including Native American forebearers. Las Vegas, while more of a resort city focused on entertainment, does have residential areas and hidden gems for residents.
Both cities offer a good quality of life, but Las Vegas is more expensive than Phoenix with higher home costs. However, despite its high unemployment rate, Las Vegas has higher projections for job growth.
Is Phoenix hotter than Las Vegas?
Phoenix and Las Vegas experience similar summer temperatures, but Phoenix tends to be slightly warmer throughout the year, being five to nine degrees hotter than Las Vegas. Both cities have dry heat, but Phoenix is slightly more humid, intensifying the feeling of heat.
Is Phoenix better to live in or Houston?
There is overlap between living in Houston and Texas, but differences in culture and lifestyle exist in each city. Visiting each city will provide insight into these distinctions.
Both cities have pleasant weather with less intense seasonal changes, hot summers, and mild winters. Houston has fewer extremes, resulting in slightly less hot summers and cooler winters. Phoenix has dry heat, while Houston experiences higher humidity.
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