Philadelphia, PA, provides a one of a kind setting for an eclectic blend of different contemporary lifestyles. Moving to Philadelphia is a worthwhile option because of the culinary hotspots, rich history, and affordable housing.
Is Philadelphia a good place to live? Located close to New York, Philly has a well-established culture and friendly vibe. It’s a terrific city with a lively downtown scene, excellent restaurants, major universities, and an impressive waterfront. The cost of living is also reasonable.
Are you moving to Philadelphia soon for a new job opportunity or some other reason? You must be wondering what life is like in this city.
- How are the schools?
- What do residents do for fun?
- How much does a home cost?
- What is the cost of living?
Read on for more details.
Is Philadelphia a good place to Live? Prons & Cons.
Are you looking to relocate to Philadelphia as an expat? The best neighborhoods in the area are Fairmount, Chestnut Hill, Manayunk, Fishtown, Old City, East Falls, Ardmore, and Roxborough.
On the other hand, Tioga-Nicetown, Hunting Park, and Strawberry Mansion are the less desirable neighborhoods. The crime rate in Philly per 1,000 residents is 39.99, according to data provided by NeighborhoodScout.com.
When it comes to education, Philadelphia encompasses more than 200 elementary, middle, and high schools. There are also nearly 900 private schools. 59 Philadelphia high schools have received recognition from the U.S News Best High Schools rankings. There are also 42 higher education institutions, and 7 of them have earned spots on the U.S News Best Colleges rankings.
In terms of transport, The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provides buses, subways, and trolleys. SEPTA also offers regional railway lines across the city and the nearby areas. The Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) railway system connects central Philly to Camden, New Jersey, and other towns. The Philadelphia International Airport, which is the biggest airport in Pennsylvania, also services the residents.
What is there to do in Philly? Philadelphia offers elegant dining options and is also home to a bustling food truck scene. There are also numerous established beer gardens in the area. Moreover, Philly is a center for sports with multiple stadiums and sports bars. The parks in the area give residents plenty of opportunities to stay active.
Is Philadelphia a good place to Work?
Philly is home to many large employers in the healthcare and education industries, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania. Finance and technology are also major job fields here too, with firms such as Comcast, Wells Fargo and Bank of America offering a significant amount of jobs.
The unemployment rate in Philadelphia is slightly above the overall USA rate. It stood at 4.5% on May 31, 2019. However, the average salary for this city is higher than the countrywide average at $59,807 (as of July 2019).
People with a degree in Bachelor of Science earn $69,178 on average, Ph.D. holders earn an average of $92,365, and Bachelor of Engineering degree holders make $80,612 on average.
Is Philadelphia a good place to buy a House?
Purchasing a home in a big city is often out of reach for many urban dwellers, but the story is different in Philly. For a long time, it has been a buyer’s city. In 2015, more than 52.6% of Philadelphians owned homes. That’s because, in comparison to other major cities like NYC and San Francisco, Philadelphia’s property prices stay relatively affordable – though this is changing.
The real estate market is a different challenge than it has been in the past years. Therefore, it has become harder for potential homebuyers, particularly first-timers, to join the game.
The median home price in Philadelphia, PA is $449,365 (as of July 2019). A one-bedroom home can cost $287,500, a three-bedroom house can have a value of $324,900, and a five-bedroom property can go for $725,000.
If you are looking to rent, the median rent in Philly is $1,408. A home with a single bedroom can rent for $1,200/month, and a three-bedroom property can go for $1,400 a month. Larger five-bed homes can rent for $1,670 per month.
Philadelphia is a major metro area with plenty of banks, credit unions, mortgage lending firms, and insurance companies. The mortgage interest rate for a twenty-year fixed-rate loan is 4.34%. A good credit score is required to qualify for a loan. Home insurance in Philadelphia is expensive at a rate of around 1,988 per year.
Is Philadelphia a good place to Retire?
Living in Philadelphia as an expat retiree is well worth considering because of several factors. For starters, the city has quiet streets, parks, golf courses, and other recreational amenities. Secondly, it offers easy access to state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. Thirdly, seniors living in Philadelphia are not charged wage taxes if they aren’t earning an income.
Health-conscious retirees in Philly may spend their morning shopping, going for a bike ride, or a walk. The walkability score for this city is very high.
Another reason for choosing Philadelphia as a place for retirement is the abundance of retirement homes. The retirement home care costs in this city range from $578 a month to $6,188 a month. The median amount is roughly $2,687 a month, which equates to about $32,244 per year.
Is Philadelphia a good place to visit?
Philadelphia is worth visiting as it has stunning architecture, history, art, culture, and beer. It is just an hour away from Toronto by air and the 5th most populous U.S. city. Philly is also the nation’s birthplace and is well-known for its cheesesteak sandwich. The city’s exact location is between New York City and the country’s capital city.
Dating back to 1682, Philadelphia served as the first United States capital and is the base for Independence Hall. It was at this hall that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, which led to the birth of the USA.
There are several museums around Philly’s Old City, including the Benjamin Franklin Museum, the National Museum of American Jewish History and the African American Museum. Art museums can be found along Benjamin Franklin Pathway and the downtown area. The Barnes Foundation is yet another arts and culture center concentrating on impressionist paintings.
Other famous museums are the Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For something more unusual, visitors can go to the Mutter Museum to view medical exhibits or check out the Insectarium.
Philadelphia’s Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the Arts, has numerous theaters and spaces for art performances. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is also a nice spot for art lovers.
For those who love trendy and hipster things, Fishtown is the place to be. It is a hotspot for lively nightlife, amazing craft drinks, and sumptuous food. The Garage in Fishtown is a bar that is housed in a garage and offers awesome music and food. There’s also the German beer garden at Frankford Hall, where visitors can eat giant Bavarian pretzels and play ping pong. All in all, Fishtown has a virtual reality lounge, many cafes, comedy cabarets, music places, and ethnic eateries.
Although Philadelphia’s Chinatown is not the largest in the nation, it is worth a visit. It is home to Ray’s Café, which serves Japanese coffee brewed in a siphon system. For an authentic, Chinese lunch and some frozen rolled ice cream, Emei is the perfect spot. Serious eats are also available at Reading Terminal Market. Beer is served at the Hip Sing Laundromat and Trestle Inn.
Fairmount Park is a very massive and diverse park in Philly. The best way to explore this place is by car because it is vast. Fairmount is a great attraction because it is scattered with ancient mansions built in the 1800s that tourists can tour. Moreover, it has hiking trails, cycling paths, and stunning views of the river.
Another beautiful park in Philadelphia is the Wissahickon Park. It offers numerous hiking and cycling opportunities and also allows adventurists to wander into the woods. There are also wooden bridges over streams and the Devil’s Pool (a natural swimming hole).
South Street is another must-visit site in this city. It’s a classy strip featuring quirky stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Fat Tuesday’s, Tattooed Moms, Magic Gardens and TLA are popular spots in South Street.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
Living costs in Philadelphia are 17% higher than the U.S. average. The energy bills are $208.74 per month; the monthly phone bills are about $222.51, and gas costs $3 per gallon. A loaf of bread here is $3.87, a gallon of milk sells for $2.25, a carton of eggs sells for $2.10, a bunch of bananas costs $3.90, and a hamburger goes for $4.93. Furthermore, a doctor’s visit costs $117.02, while a dentist’s appointment is $100.53.
Is Philadelphia a good place to invest in property?
Philadelphia’s real estate market offers an excellent investment opportunity. The home values continue to rise, but it is still possible to find affordable real estate in this area. In addition to that, Philadelphia’s economy is healthy, which offers more job growth.
Is Philadelphia a good place to raise a family?
Raising a family in Philly is worth considering because it is a beautiful city with a steady economy and good schools. Additionally, it has excellent dining options, many parks, and plenty of kid-friendly outdoor opportunities.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.