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Appartments in University City/West Philadelphia


Porridge
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Porridge, if you find a good realtor for rentals, I'd appreciate you posting here about it! I'm looking to live somewhere on the Main Line, but I imagine a realtor who does one area might do the other.

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Penn runs an off-campus housing site that includes reviews of a lot of landlords.  While there are a lot of larger property management companies, I think the best deals are found through small companies and independent landlords.  The larger apartment buildings around campus are, on the whole, not that great and mostly populated with undergrads.  Most people live in older rowhouses that have been divided into apartments at some point and many of those are managed by small companies or independents.

 

Try reaching out to the people in your future department, often they have the best leads on livable places.  If you contact them now, they might know of people that are planning to move whose leases you could take over.

 

I came to Philly a week before the semester and stayed in a hotel for a week while I hit craigslist hard.  I don't advise renting something sight unseen.  You can get a great deal in a good location, but it takes a bit of searching.

 

http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusservices/

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Is there a specific area I should look into, and conversely, ones I should not?  Also, what's a realistic expectation for monthly rent for a 1BR?

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University City is generally okay.  There's a lot of grad students, but also a lot of professors.  It's quite suburban-y.  For safety, stay below 50th Street, which is the area that has been Penn-trified.  Center City is expensive, but can be nice.  There's also some great places in Graduate Hospital (which is across the South Street Bridge from Penn) and Queens Village near Old City.  Really there's a lot of nice neighborhoods, but you'll probably want to see where the place is located in person; neighborhoods can change from one street to the next.

 

Realistic rent depends on where and when you look.  I'd say $700 to $900 for a one bedroom in nicer areas, though there are deals to be had if you're willing to settle on neighborhood or find it at the right time.

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