Philadelphia Apartments: Making Heads or Tails of Your Rental Options in the City

Are you looking to rent in the City of Brotherly Love? You have a number of options, from a studio in a luxury apartment building in Center City to a two-bedroom in a rowhouse in South Philly. Learn more about your apartment options in Philly.

Sometimes, renting makes more sense than buying a house or condo. If you’re not quite ready to buy a home in Philly yet, there are a number of options when it comes to finding appropriate Philadelphia apartments. Perhaps you want to live in the heart of the city and enjoy breathtaking views of town. Maybe you want to get a feel for what it’s like to live in a residential neighborhood in Philly. Or you might just be passing through and only need a place to live for a few months. Let’s explore the options.

Luxury Buildings

If you want to be in the middle of the action and to have restaurants, stores, and parks pretty much right at your doorstep, living in one of Philly’s luxury apartment buildings might be for you. You can find high-end Philadelphia apartments throughout the city, although they tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods such as Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square, and the area near the Ben Franklin Parkway.

These buildings often contain apartment units or condos for rent that also include a number of amenities, which set them apart from non-luxury apartments. For example, you’re likely to find fitness centers, roof decks, and swimming pools in many luxury buildings. Many feature doormen and concierges.

Mulit-Unit Rowhouses

Not everyone wants to live in the middle of Center City on the 30th floor of a high-rise building. If you prefer something a little closer to the ground, in a neighborhood that’s a little quieter, a unit in a Philadelphia rowhouse might be a better option. Rowhouses are located all over the city. While some are divided into several units, others are single-family homes. You might find an apartment in a rowhouse in parts of West Philly, South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, or Fishtown.

Usually, rowhouse apartment units don’t include the features that come standard in a bigger building. There will most likely not be a fitness center, for example. Since most rowhouses are just three stories high, you won’t get the same views. But you’ll be able to enjoy living in one of Philly’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, without committing to buying.

Short-Term Options

If you won’t be staying in Philadelphia long enough to sign a 12-month lease but want to live somewhere a little more homey than a hotel, a short-term rental might be the pick for you. You can find short-term options throughout the city, including in luxury apartment buildings and in extended-stay hotels.

Another option is to look for a sublet, which means you would rent from another tenant for a set amount of time. Usually, a sublet opportunity arises when an apartment’s tenant needs to live elsewhere and wants to avoid breaking his or her lease. In many cases, sublet tenants leave their furnishings behind, so you won’t be staying in a bare apartment.

Full-Service Apartments

If you want to combine the benefits of a hotel with the privacy of an apartment and you only plan on staying in the city for a short time, a full-service apartment might be just the thing. Full-service apartments come furnished and often include housekeeping. Usually located in luxury buildings in locations such as Washington Square or Rittenhouse Square, they can give you a taste of what it’s like to live in Philly.

The type of apartment that works for you depends on where you want to live in the city, how long you’ll stick around, and what you want to get from a building.

Image Source: Flickr/Tom Ipri

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