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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.