Home Buying in Philadelphia>Question Details

Liam O'neill, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

Neighborhood Question

Asked by Liam O'neill, Philadelphia, PA Tue Dec 11, 2012

I am currently looking to buy my first home, I'm split between 3 neighborhoods (East Falls, Roxborough and South Philadelphia) what is the best way to tell if the neighborhood is up and coming or depreciating?

Help the community by answering this question:


Peggy House’s answer
I always recommend that buyers drive around the neighborhoods during the day and then
especially weekend nights. Although I can give you information from my experience and
knowledge, there is nothing like being there to get the feel of a neighborhood first hand.
You can tell what neighborhoods are appreciating by the condition of the houses
and amount of renovation that you see.
Another factor I would consider is the amount of rentals in a specific neighborhood. That information
is so important to an owner occupant buyer ...a real estate professional can help you find out.
If you want to discuss this further, please call me at 215-680-5577.
Thanks for the inquiry, Peggy House
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
Hi Liam,

You can research recent sales and see where each neighborhood is trending. South Philadelphia is probably the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of the three.

Please feel free to call me to discuss this further. Once we talk about your goals and preferences, I'll be able to provide you more specific data to help you compare the neighborhoods and which would be better for you.

Have a great week. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

All the best,
Larry Lichtman, CNE
REALTOR, Property Manager
Your Real Estate Resource For Life
Cell/Text: (267) 254-7994

Real Estate Sales & Leasing
Property Management & Insurance
1611 Snyder Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Office: (215) 271-7070
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
Hi, Liam.

Great question.

In all honesty, you have chosen 3 great neighborhoods, but all 3 of them will have their own individual pros and cons. Roxborough and East Falls are both located in Northwest Philadelphia, and South Philadelphia is an expansive area altogether; so it depends which area you like.

A good first step to take would be to sit down and interview a few different Buyer Agents, and then choose to work with one that is best for you. If you would like to sit down and chat about your real estate goals over a cup of coffee, I'd be more than happy to meet with you.

All of my contact information is below.


Timothy M. Garrity | REALTOR®, ABR®, e-PRO®
U S Spaces, Inc. | #RS314897
2043 Locust St. 1F | Philadelphia, PA 19103
267-879-2716 - Call & Text
215-829-8850 - Office
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
Liam -- East Falls and Roxborough are in the NW section of Philadelphia, and South Philadelphia is a large area that is 4 zip codes and neighborhoods change block by block. Everyones preference is different so I suggest you do some more research by traveling to these areas and ask friends or coworkers who live in the area.

Below are Things to Think about when Determining a Neighborhood to buy a House

Jobs – look for towns that have good employment. Jobs = people wanting to live there = good demand for real estate. Be cautious of towns with a single big employer. Example, Detroit and the auto industry.

Development Projects -- Any major construction can alter the value of homes close by. Check with the local planning board to make sure an super highway isn't about to come through the neighborhood where you are about to make an offer.

Amenities – these amenities historically are premiums when people are looking for a house: Easy commute, public transportation is nearby, cul-de-sacs, tree lined streets, short commute to shopping/ major roads, ocean/lake/mountain view.

Comfort / quality -- Do you have friends or coworkers who live in the area, or have said good things about it? Drive/walk the neighborhood different times of days. Talk with people you see about the neighborhood.

Commuting -- will you be near the highway, subway or train station you will be using? Is traffic bad? How long will the work commute be?

Shopping -- Will you have to travel miles to pick up groceries, or is the house convenient to a shopping center? Will living near a shopping center create unwanted traffic congestion?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
The answer is simple. Have a REALTOR provide you with year over year sales data for each area. The data is available to any real estate professional who is a member of the TREND MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The smaller the area the better the data. For example South Philadelphia as a whole may be trending up but some neighborhoods in South Philadelphia may be down while others up. Be sure to SEE the data. Some Agents will give you opinions or limited data that may be less than dependable. EVERYTHING doesn't lie. If you review a summary of ALL the sales in a neighborhood over a period of time and compare it to ALL of the sales the year before, and the year before...appreciation and depreciation can become obvious. Best of all, you will be basing your conclusion on facts, and not opinions. Best wishes for an educated purchase!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2012
Hello Liam,

I would be happy to assist you and answer any questions you have regarding these 3 area's, home values, etc. Please feel free to call me at 215-992-5534 so we can discuss.

Warm Regards,


Keith J. Lawson
RE/MAX Affiliates N.E.
9237 Frankford Ave.
Phila, PA 19114
267-688-1110 (cell)
215-992-5534 (office)
LawsonRE@gmail.com (email)
http://www.keithlawsonhomes.com (web)
Member- N.A.R.,P.A.R.,G.P.A.R
Member - AREAA Philadelphia Metro
Follow me on Facebook at http://facebook.com/keith.j.lawson
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/KEITHJLAWSON
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
Hi Liam;
South Philadelphia has been on the rise and continues.East Falls and Roxborough are values that have always been high.
The things to consider are your lifestyle.Does your worklife and or social life revolve around Center City?If so,then South Philadelphia might be your choice.If trees and grass are more to your liking then the other 2 areas may be for you.
Please call me so we can discuss your wants and desires.
Don Sherman-SRES
Century21 Advantage Gold-Castor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
All three neighborhoods have good and questionable areas.

The only way is to drive around and "feel" the neighborhood, see what is going on (new building, rehabbing) and check the local blogs.

If you need detailed data on the areas, I have a specialized website that is private for certain realtors that I have access to.

You can call me 215.238.9400 or email fred@fredglick.com, I can go over details with you.

Good luck!

Fred Glick
U S Spaces, Inc
2158298850 Main
Licensed in PA, NJ and CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
Liam, I am a resident of East Falls and have owned a home there since 2006, so I am familiar with the area. The property values in East Falls compared to other Philadelphia Neighborhoods has
always been stronger and it is considered one the best areas in Philadelphia. I currently have
a home listed for sale in the neighborhood at 3518 Cresson St. it is listed for $149,000 and would
be an excellent first home. Please visit our website at marys-homes.com to search all area
listings in Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

You can contact me directly at 267-615-8741
Denise Lee
The Mary Robins Team
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
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