What will your rent budget get you in Philadelphia?

What will your rent budget get you in Philadelphia?
M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

When it comes to relocating in Philly, settling into a different neighborhood can feel like moving to a different city entirely. Depending on location, starting your apartment search with a budget of $1,300 a month could mean you’re looking at a tiny studio, or a roomy two-bedroom.


Fixed-gear bikes, bars pouring craft beer and small batch coffee roasters are three things you’ll find in this neighborhood. Realtor Chris Somers of Re/Max Access works extensively in the area.

“For $1,300, that’s going to be a smaller two-bedroom property, maybe 800 to 1,00 square feet,” Somers says of renting in Fishtown. “It might be in Fishtown central, or closer to Olde Richmond.”

Somers notes that Fishtown is great for its lifestyle — bars, cafes, galleries — and its walkability. But that does come with a price tag.

“Rents continue to go higher because there’s not a lot of inventory and the demand is so high,” he says.

Center City

Gary Pett of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services echoes the sentiment of all realtors: “location, location, location.” And Center City is where you’re in the middle of everything.

“Commute is one of the top indicators of how happy people are, so if you can shorten your commute to a five-minute walk, I think you’re better off,” says Pett.

The median rental price for a one-bedroom in Center City is $1,400, Pett says, but there are less expensive options available — he suggests the Adelphia House at 1229 Chesnut St. and the nearby Arts Condominium at 1324 Locust, both older, refurbished building broken up into relatively small units.

An online search shows apartments in the Arts Condominium ranging from $800 to $1,200 for 300 to 400 square feet.

South of South

If you decide to head south of South Street, to Grad Hospital, Point Breeze or Newbold, you’ll get more bang for your buck. You can find apartments and townhomes in the $1,300 range, usually ranging between 840 and 1,100 square feet, says Maria Tropea of Spectrum Realty, a South Philly-focused company her father started in the 1970s.

“You’re getting all the Center City people to move [south of South] — the young couples, the hipsters like you see in Passyunk Square,” Tropea describes. “[Passyunk Square] is overcrowded now, so they go to Newbold and Point Breeze.”

A new sight on Point Breeze Avenue points to more changes coming to the neighborhood: Indego bikes.

“They even put the bicycles there, the ones they have in Center City!” Tropea says. “That’s saying something; it’s up and coming.”