When asked what they envisage when they think of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, many people say the scene in the film ‘Rocky’ where he ran up the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or they think of it as the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The city has so much more to offer, however.
Philadelphia is home to just over 1.6 million people, with a wider metropolitan area that is the 6th largest city in the United States. The city is only about a 2-3 hours’ drive away from NYC and Washington DC, 3-4 hours’ flight away from the Caribbean, and just 7 and a half hours from London in the UK.
Summers in Philadelphia tend to be hot and muggy and winters cold and snowy, but overall the climate is mostly mild. The average temperature in Philadelphia is 54°F (12.2°C). Winter temperatures average around 33°F (less than 1°C)(, with seasonal snowfall of less than 23 inches (58 cm). During the summer the temperature is usually in the mid-70s (20-30°C), so is warm and pleasant. This type of climate appeals to many expats.
Whether you are looking to buy or rent a property, in Philadelphia the prices are considerably less than similar properties in NYC, which is only a couple of hours away. Next to local real estate agents, many websites can also help you find a suitable accommodation to rent or buy in Philadelphia. The following are just some examples:
Expats who are looking to buy property in Philadelphia can begin by take a look here:
You can also find properties in the local newspapers in Philadelphia such as The Philadelphia Inquirer.
When deciding on an area of Philadelphia to live in, there are many different neighborhoods with varying prices expatriates moving to Philadelphia can choose from, including:
Also known as 'The Loft District' because of the modern high rise residences, this area is home to great live music venues, lots of restaurants and a mixed choice of independent art galleries. Ideally suited to those who like to keep their adrenaline pumping, this is a vibrant place to live.
Most of Philadelphia’s tourism is focused here, and this is where you will find some of the higher priced real estate. If urban living is for you then the Center City has plenty of trendy lofts and luxury apartments on offer.
Although this area is associated with affluence, Chestnut Hill is a great place to live for expats with families who can afford it. Property here ranges from a modest row house to expansive mansion type homes. The area has great schools, and its location close to the city gives it a vibrant and exciting atmosphere.
This area has a stable housing market, low crime rates, good amenities in the local area and high graduation rates. Whilst the purchase price of a home in Roxborough is a lot higher than the average price of property in Philadelphia, the area is a much sought after neighborhood by expats looking to move to Philadelphia.
A 45 minute drive from Center City, or 30 minutes on the train, Abingdon has a great reputation and has been recognized as being one of the best places to live in the USA. Properties here range from colonial style family homes to garden style apartments. The homes in Abingdon tend to have a lot more character than the modern homes in other areas. Schools in Abingdon have a fantastic reputation, so for expats with children this area is a great place to consider.
Located less than 30 minutes from Center City, Drexel Hill is known for being a family friendly neighborhood. It offers both modest twin-homes and federal style houses. This is a great area for expat families, with a good choice of top quality private and public schools along with great value housing.
A couple of areas that don't have great reviews in Philadelphia are Harrowgate and Fairhill. The crime rate in Harrowgate is an estimated 60% higher than the average in Philadelphia. In Fairhill, you have a 1 in 14 chance of being a victim of a crime.