Our favorite, most livable city neighborhoods are in easily accessible locations, with a wide variety of nightlife options, inspired restaurants (including those hole-in-the-wall gems) and intriguing culture. And it's not just the younger urban crowd looking for that combo — empty nesters are coming back to the city "in droves," says David Snyder of Prudential Fox & Roach, and they're bringing the same checklist.
Timothy Garrity at U S Spaces says he's seeing empty nesters move into the city every day. "For most empty-nesters, moving to Philadelphia offers more options for downsizing and convenience," he says. "Also, low-to-no maintenance living is appealing to that demographic. No more yard work, no more exterior maintenance and no more driving."
Garrity sees Center City as the go-to neighborhood for empty nesters, for two reasons. "It's the most convenient section of Philadelphia," he says, "and it's the most urban section of Philadelphia," by which he means it's highly populated. But while the older crowd might not be pouring into NoLibs or Pennsport, they are, occasionally, straying from Rittenhouse.
"It used to be that everyone was going to Rittenhouse and living in a high rise. Everyone wanted a building with a doorman," Snyder explains. "Now they want a more 'urban' setting. We see a lot of people moving to Old City, Society Hill and Fitler Square."
And who goes where? "People who are more interested in the galleries, for example, move to Old City," Snyder says. "People pick a neighborhood based on their interests."
What are empty-nesters looking for?
"They don't want to do the work they did in their earlier life," says David Snyder, listing yard work and home maintenance at the top of that list. "They want an ease of transition into the new residence, that's the desire. What's important is being close to their interests and their friends and family."