Is becoming a Philly homeowner on your New Year’s resolution list? Congrats! You have, quite clearly, chosen the best city. But unfortunately so have a lot of other savvy people, and those neighborhoods you saw profiled in the New York Times aren't exactly cheap these days. The good news is that right outside the established hotspots are up-and-comers for those in the know. We checked in with some local realtors to get a read on what's next.
You want: Fishtown
As the host of two Stephen Starr joints and a veritable La Colombe palace, it's safe to say that Fishtown is an established 'hood with the price tags to prove it. But if you stay nearby, you could get in on the ground floor of the next up-and-comer.
"The next Fishtown might be the neighborhood just outside the borders of the current Fishtown: Kensington," says Stephan Sitzai, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred, Old City. "There’s a lot of spillover already, and it’s only going to increase in the years ahead. Many who want to live in the Fishtown of five years ago are looking beyond the horizon a bit. I’ve actually had buyers from New York asking me about Kensington recently."
You want: Point Breeze
Consider: Grays Ferry
With the University of Pennsylvania on one side and investor darling Point Breeze on the other, Grays Ferry is an attractive option for patient buyers with a budget. "It may take more time to see a strong return on investment — there's not a lot of commercial opportunities there, no cafes or smaller eateries, bars or shopping options right now. Still, the reward will be huge," says Gwen Perseghin, director of operations and partner at JG Real Estate. "Point Breeze has already been developed, and even shells are over $100,000 there now, so that overflow of demand is trickling west."
You want: Fairmount
Consider: Francisville or Brewerytown
Fairmount has come with a steep price tag for years. But right next door? Not so much — yet, that is. "Francisville is just incredible right now," says Sean Kaplan, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach. "It feels like every other property is under construction, with some really exciting and attractive buildings going in. It reminds you of parts of Graduate Hospital 10 to 12 years ago. And it all makes perfect sense given its proximity to both Center City and North Broad Street."
Across Girard Avenue, Brewerytown is another Fairmount alternative. "The location is ideal being just west of Center City," say realtors Katherine Cohen Jordan and Chad Jordan via email. "You can see the development starting to take hold both with investors and also with owner occupants. Restaurants and coffee shops are starting to open, you see more people out walking their dogs, it's definitely moving in a positive direction."
Crossing the bridge
If you've considered defecting to New Jersey but don't want to completely leave city life behind, make sure Collingswood is on your list.
"In New Jersey, Collingswood has been experiencing a great resurgence," say Katherine Cohen Jordan and Chad Jordan. "It has an idyllic, family-friendly downtown, and is only minutes from Center City via PATCO or by car. Beautiful houses with nice yards and lots of parks. The Collingswood Farmers Market is a great place to hang out every Saturday May through Thanksgiving."