Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About 2 Bedroom Apartments In Philadelphia

July 12, 2013

Steven asks…

HELP, please read these options. Where should I move? Which option is best?

Okay so I want to move out my parents house VERY SOON like by next month or earlier if possible. Before it gets cold anyway. These are my current options:

Go back to my old college for grad school (Spring 09) and in the meantime get an apartment in the area ($750-$900/month) My school doesnt offer housing for the grad level students. So this would be my best bet to relocate altogether. I am fairly familiar with the area and know people who still attend the college even though I graduated roughly 2 years ago. I would not be completely alone in a town I dont know. Downside is the town is small, nothing to do–I dont have a car but I would use extra loan money to purchase one once I begin classes.

Another issue is all of the apartments in my opinion are overpriced without any furnishings. So it would be even more expensive to purchase furniture or air beds, etc.

The next option is to move to Philadelphia, PA. There are actually some decently priced apartments that run in the $600-$800 range. I want to live as close to downtown or Center City as possible for the public transportation since I do not have a car. I came across a nice ad that is only asking for $550 a month but wants a $600 deposit, 1 months rent and to pay an application fee. It would be shared housing, I get my own room share a bathroom but have access to all amenities/utilities included that I need. There is a great apt/condo development called Chestnut Hills most apts in the $810-$1050 range they are fully furnished with great amenities. The only issue there is the rooming I want wont be available until December. The available rooms are all expensive and are very large 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. I just want a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment!

The last and final option is to live in the south (NC) where most of my mother’s family is. You can actually get a very affordable apartment for $400-500/mo even less in the major cities. The downside is I would have to get a car which is an additional expense. Another plus side is my cousin could live with me she is with her parents too.

Which option should I take? Try to give a reason why I should or should not consider certain choices. Thank you.

Altogether I have about $2500 saved up towards the move. This is only meant to be enough for the first two or three months thats it.
Thanks for answering my question everyone I really appreciate the answers I have gotten so far. To answer the obvious, I am not currently employed and I dont have a car. I figured that if I move to a larger city like Philadelphia, I would be able to find a job much easier/public transit. As for NC, although its most affordable rent wise my mother’s family is much more intrusive than they need to be so maybe that is not a good idea. My cousin is having a hard time getting work herself!

As for going back to graduate school, I think its my best bet at this point only because a shared housing situation doesnt seem desirable to me, the more I think about it. Plus I dont know anyone in that city that well so maybe I should stick with going back to school. This school is most likely to accept me.

My goal is ultimately to go back to school and get a decent job. The sooner the better. I am at the point in my life where I want to make my own decisions and have MORE liberties

Administrator answers:

Well I guess the first question is – what is your source of income? Can you get a job to support the apartment in each of these locations?

If you do have the income to cover the cost of renting in these places, the next question is where do you really want to be? Is going back to school important to you? I would say that if you have the option to go back to school, it is rarely a poor choice.

As for living in downtown Philly – some of the area is nice, some isn’t. My cousin and his wife lived there for about 3 years while they finished their med degrees, and they gave us plenty of warnings about some of the areas when we came to visit. So if you’re sure the apartments that you can afford are in a decent part of town, and you can afford to live there – and if it’s really where you want to be, then go for it.

As for NC and your mother’s family – obviously the cost of living is less, but so is the job market. If being close to family is important to you, that might be your best option – but again, this really depends on what you’re going to be happy with as far as a living situation goes.

I will say that you may find renting a room to be about as fun as living with your parents. You’ll have about the same privacy and it’s not something you’re probably going to want to do long term.

Renting a fully furnished apartment would be a better option, assuming you can afford to pay that much in rent.

And as for having to buy furniture, you can get some real steals and deals on websites like freecycle.org and craigslist.com.

For someone just starting out, used furniture is really not the end of the world. We sold a nearly-new couch via craigslist because it was too big to fit into the house that we moved into. It was rarely sat on when we owned it, and it was a really nice couch. We paid $550 for it brand new, and sold it to a family just starting out for $60. They certainly got a great deal, and I didn’t have to worry about dealing with it in the new house or putting it into storage.

I have to say if it were me making this decision – I’d go back to school. Scan craigslist and freecycle for furniture and necessities, get a nice used car to hold me over, and live as frugally as possible while completing a degree that is probably going to get me a much better job in the future so that I can afford to live wherever and however I want.

But that’s just me. ;)

Good luck with whatever you do decide on.

George asks…

How difficult is it to get a mortgage these days, post-subprime collapse? Am I qualified to get one?

I live in the Philadelphia area. I have two jobs(one full-time job that I’ve been at for over 1 yr, and one part-time job for extra money) and an annual income of about $32,000.

Overall my credit is good. My TransUnion + Equifax scores are in the 720-730 range. My Experian score is in the 690-710 range due to a long-ago public judgment from 2002 that’s been paid in full since 2003(the judgment only appears on my Experian report). I have a good mix of credit and it’s all paid current/on time. I have several credit cards(all cards paid off in full to ZERO), a paid-off personal loan, a car loan(I owe only $7K of the original $26K; it’s a 6yr loan that I’ve had for 2.5yrs now), and a student loan(I owe a little under $10K; my payments are $105/mo).

Could I “handle” a mortgage or would I get rejected? Right now I’m paying over $900/mo for a 1 bedroom apartment, which I think is downright b.s. I’m hoping to get a house that costs between $140-180K. What do you think?

Administrator answers:

Your main issue will be the part time income, lenders will not count part time jobs unless you’ve been at the same job for over 2 years. Other than that I think you’d qualify, most lenders use the middle of your credit scores to qualify so you’d be entitled to the best interest rates with a score above 720. The last thing though is depending on how much your other liabities are you may not qualify for such a high loan amount with your income. Lenders want a debt to income ratio of about 41% or less including all credit liabilities, the mortgage, taxes , insurance and PMI, so I’d say you’d more likely qualify for about a loan of $120-140 depending on your other monthly liabilities. Good luck and contact a few mortgage brokers to find the best deal for you.

Betty asks…

Does anyone out know a nice apartment building on roosevelt boulevard in philadelphia, pa?

I am looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom. Thanks for your help.

Administrator answers:

Theres a nice one onthe blvd right by welsh, not to sure what its called but by far it would be the best one.
Its big and you cant miss it, so look it up on google earth or something and find the name

Donna asks…

I’m moving to Philadelphia in August, I’m looking for a safe neighborhood with reasonable prices?

My fiance and I are getting married. I moving to Philadelphia to be with him. He works at University of the Arts so he wants to live somewhat close to the campus or I’m guessing in West/ Southwest Philly. I’m looking for an apartment with 1-2 bedrooms with at least 1.5 baths. We’re on a tight budget so the most we can spend is $900.00 on rent. I’d prefer something with a washer and dryer in the apartment. and I want it to be SAFE and CLEAN and NICE, for the most part when I lived in NY I lived in a “luxury” apartment….so I mean I’ll take ANY suggestions or even contact information for landlords, Please and thank you!
University of the Sciences**(eh, I was tired when I typed this.)

Administrator answers:

You are not going to get safe, clean, and nice for that money in that area. You are looking to live in almost the ghetto. That’s as nice as I can put it. You may get some answers that try to soft soap things. This is just the hard truth. $900 will not get you what you want in that area. You will either have to pay more, or look in other areas or suburbs of the city, with a longer commute. Please, look before you leap!

Maria asks…

What areas of Philadelphia are safe and cheap to live in?

My boyfriend and I are moving to Philadelphia in fall 2010 because we’re transferring to Temple University. We’re both from PA, though neither of us know much, if anything, about Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and other than being told to stay far away from the area that Temple is located at with regards to housing. We’re looking to rent a house or apartment in a decent area with a lot accessibility to the subway system. We’re on a budget of about $800/month, so we need to know what areas to look at. Please keep in mind that subway accessibility is key because neither of us have a car and aren’t planning on getting one anytime soon. Also, we’re looking for a 2 bedroom and I know this is going to be difficult to find with our budget (if we need to settle for a 1 bd, we can) but I thought maybe there would be a safe, cheaper neighborhood that we could look at. It doesn’t have to be anything of luxury quality – the main thing we’re looking for here is someplace safe. Thank you so much for any help!

Administrator answers:

Try the East Falls area.

It is right on the regional rail line – probably about 10-15 ride into the Temple area. There is a train stop almost right in the middle of the Temple campus. You might be able to find a 2br for $800 and you would definitely be able to find a 1br for $800 or below. It is a safe area with some shopping/dining within walking distance.

University City is another area to check out.

It is a safe area with mostly college student residents. It is very close to the Market St subway line, which will take you towards Temple (though not as close as the rail line from East Falls).

Thomas asks…

How can I find out that this horrible kitchen is violating the city code?

We are looking at 1 bedroom in Philadelphia PA USA and this is the kitchen of the apartment. Looks like there is hardly any space infront of the stove to stand and cook. I would be dangerously close to the stove with my back stuck to the wall.

http://screencast.com/t/MWNhNTg0ZWIt

http://screencast.com/t/N2Y2MTBl

1. Is this property violating any Philadelphia PA code, if yes, which code? Can someone please send me a link?
2. It would also be great if you could tell me the minimum dimensions a kitchen should have.
Replay to Answer 1. Thanks for the tip, but we are in a difficult situation. The security deposit was given before I saw the house. I thought I liked the pictures but i was wrong. I need solid info to show to landlord and get my deposit back.

Administrator answers:

I don’t see how this kitchen possibly violates code. Looks to me that you’ve got a fairly new refer and a relatively new oven/range combo plus some decent cabinets in there. There aren’t any holes in the ceiling, I don’t see signs of pest infestation, and it looks freshly painted with newer flooring. According to our city’s building code (which follows the uniform bldg code) there isn’t a minimum floor space dimension for a kitchen. However, adequate space must be provided in front of sinks, refers, and ranges to be functionable ~ the minimum dimension of “working space” is 30 inches which appears to be what this kitchen has.

This is an example of what’s called a galley kitchen ~ which was pretty common years ago for small apartments. Yeah it’s tight ~ but it rather looks to me that the landlord opted for standard sized appliances instead of 3/4 sized appliances which would have freed up some more floor space.

I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear…but again, you shouldn’t have put down a non-refundable deposit without seeing the place first.

Helen asks…

issues with landlord..?

I live in an apartment which is a section of a large older house in a fairly well to do suburb/small city of the Philadelphia area….the apartment is 2 rooms with 1 bathroom and an extremely small closet sized kitchen….me and my gf pay $800 a month total…the lease includes heat and water……the first issue is we have a major hole in our bedroom ceiling which is the access panel to the 2nd floor bathroom pipe work, there was a major leak that flooded into our bedroom on a few occasions and the 4×4 foot access panel has since been left open in case of further flooding to detect the locaion, this has been open for the entire month of january, it’s extremely unsightly and draws out all of the heat and is rather loud due to exposed piping, the other issue is our lease states heat is included, before the access panel was left open it was rarely warmer than 60 degrees in the apartment, now the temperatures are closer to 50-55 with the access panel open, it’s the middle of winter and temperatures are generally below freezing, what are the appropriate actions for discussing a temporary rent reduction(as well as potential reduction amounts) until the issues are resolved as well as getting the heat up…thanks in advance

Administrator answers:

A past rent reduction is out of the question, but instead it is you responsibility to in form the landlord in writing about any material defects that need to be repaired for you to retain your “Quiet Enjoyment”, of the property. If after ample warning is given to the landlord to fix the issues is not complete, you then have a couple of options. 1. Fix it yourself and deduct from the future months rent all direct costs involved with documentation submitted to your landlord (receipts). Option 2. Sue your landlord for breach of contract to have your lease voided by a judge and allow you to move without penalty.

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