I am considering living in the old city, northern liberties, fishtown area. I will be in the area for 4 to 5 years at least. Should I rent or buy? I

Asked by Rice2010, Philadelphia, PA Sat Jan 23, 2010

only need a one bedroom, but more would be fine. I am looking to pay between 1000 and 1500 a month and have money to put down.

Also, is there a significant difference in the prospects of these neighborhoods over this period?

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Carmel Archdekin’s answer
Carmel Archd…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Mar 16, 2010
Hello Rice
I live in Fishtown and my office is in Old City so I am very familiar with these areas and I used to work in Northern Liberties. If you are going to be in Philadelphia for more than 5 years, my best advice it to buy something. The money in rent that you would be saving by purchasing your own home is astounding, (I could do the math for you but I am sure that is the least of your concern).

From what I understand in your question is that you are concerned about the appreciation of these three areas. There is so much going on in Fishtown with the emerging of 2424 Studios, The Memphis Taproom, Memphis Flats, Frankford Arts Corridor, and the addition of the newest Stephan Starr restaurant and beer garden, you are pretty safe with this area for a long term investment. Northern Liberties is always a destination for newcomers to the area and it appeals to a variety of home buyers due to the local parks, restaurants and shopping that are within walking distance, as well as the building of a new Pathmark on the corner of 2nd & Girard that is coming soon. And then there is Old City, which perhaps is the last of my recommendations due to the fact that it has already hit its peak several years ago but if you can buy right you may be able to make some money long term.

As far as payment goes, if you are looking for a monthly nut of 1000-1500 Fishtown is a great area, and if you have a pretty good down payment then Northern Liberties and Old City are good options for you.

More than neighborhood appreciation values, what is most important is buyer appeal for the long term. For example, you do not want to buy something in a booming area that has negative living attributes like a corner condo that has no light and is located in the basement. So for resale value, I would recommend a home with at least 2 bedrooms rather than a 1 bedroom as you will be able to appeal to a more broad range of buyers and things like some outdoor space, good kitchen layout, street parking or private parking if possible, and if you are going to buy a condo, make sure it is in a building that has more than 75% owner occupancy...(this is a mortgage criteria point that you will need to know if you plan to sell in less than 5 years)

Please contact me directly for more info; I would love to help you.

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Carmel Archdekin
Coldwell Banker Preferred
223-225 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Office: 215.923.7600
Cell: 215.680.5998
EFax: 215.940.8207

The Archdekin Team is focused on listing and selling homes in the Art Museum/Fairmount, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, East Falls, Manayunk, Roxborough, Old City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Port Richmond, Pennsport, Queen Village, Bella Vista, Graduate Hospital, Passyunk Square, & Temple University. Call us today!
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Delia Peters…, , Jenkintown, PA
Sun Jan 31, 2010
Northern Liberties and Fishtown have a lot of activity going on with condos being built and the area has been expanding immensely. Best advice I could offer, do your research and then recheck everything three and four times. Purchasing may be a good investment, but you should make sure that you can live with the worst case scenario in 4 to 5 years if values are not where you may project them. If you think you cannot live with the worst scenario or think you may need to make a move sooner, possibly renting would be the way to go. The one thing about renting that hurts the most is calculating how much money you put into someone else's pocket over 4 to 5 years that could very well be going into your own property value and overall worth. $1500 over a 5 year period is $90,000. Good Luck!
0 votes
Ellen Schupa…, Agent, Rockledge, PA
Sun Jan 24, 2010
Hello Rice 2010- I have a few apartments that I rent out in Northern Liberties. While I am a licensed sales agent - these I rent out on my own, ie. by owner. They fall within your parameters. Let me know if you are interested. I would also like to have the rent vs. buy conversation with you but there are many variables right now. I would need some more info.
Ellen Schupack
Coldwell Banker Hearthside
office- 215- 379- 2002
preferred- (cell) 215-913-8219
515 Huntingdon Pike
Rockledge PA, 19046
FAX- 215-690-4152
license #- RS 309050
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Sat Jan 23, 2010
I would tell you to check the numbers. You might be way ahead by doing either.

I wrote the blog below to help people make that decision. It gives you a common sense way to look at your real numbers and see what really makes more sense for you. It never says to buy or not. It only shows how to look at the numbers to decide.
It is possible to check out the numbers and decide to do the opposite thing. It is a decision you must make for yourself. You will live with whatever you decide.

If you decide that was useful I have several other blogs that show different aspects of buying a house from step one.
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