How to find an apartment in Philly

2474_l
The area west of Passyunk Square is a hot neighborhood for renters, according to Jessica Ruck of Urban Igloo.
Credit: J. Fusco for GPTMC

Apartment shopping in Philly in late July or early August means competing with the flood of grad students vying for the choicest locations in the city. Rents rise and inventory gets snatched up quickly. But don’t despair. We spoke with Jessica Ruck of Urban Igloo, an apartment-finding service with an office at 20th and Walnut, to learn some tricks of the trade.

Prince or pauper

How much you can spend will dictate which areas you should be looking in. “A realistic budget range is important, and will inherently direct which neighborhood for the renter,” says Ruck.

Find your ‘hood
“Over the past 10 years Northern Liberties and Fishtown have been the fastest developed neighborhoods, adding a large amount of rental properties to the inventory,” Ruck says, which translates to more tenants, more businesses — and raised prices. If you’re priced out up that way, “Newbold and Passyunk Square West are the two hottest neighborhoods for redevelopment,” she says, “adding a fresh addition with moderate rent pricing to the inventory.”

Predict the future
“Before renters make their decision they should look months ahead to see if their family will be growing or will they have a new partner living with them,” Ruck says. “Or ask if they will be bringing a new pet into their home. Many times there are restrictions in a lease on allowing pets, or a maximum number of occupants.” And when you do have that lease in hand, read, don’t skim. The fine print in there might make you change your mind — or at least give you a jumping off point for negotiations.

Beware of the slumlord
Does your potential new landlord seem like a bit of a creep? We say listen to that gut of yours, and Ruck says ask to see the rental license. “In Philadelphia landlords are responsible for having a license if they have tenant occupants,” she says. “This license will ensure that the Landlord takes his responsibilities seriously.”

Share your space

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, finding roommates is a great option.  “Many people have found success with Craigslist,” Ruck says. “Other alternatives for a more personalized roommate search are alumni networks, Facebook, friends and colleagues, and other social networks on a referral basis.” Make sure that anyone living in the house signs the lease, so all the roomies are legally responsible for coughing up the rent money.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.