Philadelphia is a busy city that draws countless visitors and new residents every year. The city is full of people hustling and bustling about their daily business. Steeped in rich history, while also being a modern metropolis, there is so much to see, do, and enjoy in Philadelphia.
As a newcomer, adjusting to big city life can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a guide of what you can expect from your next big move.
Know Your Options When Moving To Philadelphia
The first thing you need to do is determine where you want to live. With 150 neighborhoods and 100 suburbs, Philadelphia offers an abundance of options with varying rent costs to meet various needs. Reach out to a local real estate agent for help with choosing the perfect neighborhood that accommodates your needs.
Getting around the city isn’t difficult given the vast number of options. While some people opt for their own vehicles, Philadelphia has more than 143 miles of walkable terrain and provides good public transportation. Bicycles are a common method of transportation, especially considering the number of biking trails surrounding the city. There are also numerous scenic trails and parks.
If you’re from an area where Metro is uncommon, it may seem a bit strange at first, but it is an incredibly convenient way to travel around the city. Additionally, unlike countless other train systems in the country, it’s a clean and safe alternative to driving, biking, or walking.
If you’re planning on relying on the Metro, learn its schedules and routes. This will help alleviate stress and eliminate unnecessary legs of your journey to and from wherever you need to go. The system isn’t complex, but you will need some time to adjust to the switch. To make it easier on yourself, learn which stops are closest to where you need to go so that you can save time and move around stress-free.
Traffic isn’t as frantic as in New York City, but it still is cumbersome. So if you drive, give yourself extra time to get to where you need to go and be prepared to sit in traffic.
Expect Sales Tax
The taxes in Philadelphia may be surprising to newcomers who aren’t used to the taxes. Sales tax sits at 8% (the state tax is 6% and if you move to Philadelphia County there is an additional 2% tax) but excludes things like liquor (taxed at 10%) and restaurant meals (taxed at 8%). Items that are generally exempt from tax include:
- Food (not ready-to-eat)
- Candy and gum
- Most clothing
- Computer services
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Sales for resale
- Residential heating fuels such as oil, electricity, gas, coal, and firewood
Expenses And Salary
Many individuals and families alike who are considering moving to Philadelphia worry about the same thing: expenses and what salary it takes to be comfortable. The answer to these questions lies in how you define expensive, what you do for work, and where you are moving from.
If you’re moving from somewhere rural, the cost of living may be overwhelming. But, on the other hand, if you’re moving from a city where the cost of living is through the roof, like New York City or San Francisco, the cost of living in Philadelphia most likely won’t seem like a big deal.
To better explain the cost of living, consider these statistics:
- The cost of living is 17% higher than the national average
- The average rent is $1,652 for an 805 sq foot apartment
Living in Philadelphia is very doable, but those interested in moving to the city need to research neighborhoods in the area to determine which location is best for them.
Expect The Possibility of Downsizing
For the most part, large cities mean living in smaller spaces. Depending on where you choose to live, there is a possibility that you’ll need to downsize or store some of your belongings. This is especially true if you are moving into an apartment where storage space is limited.
Many self-storage units throughout the city are well-maintained and offer a secure place to store your excess belongings. In addition, many of them have safety and security features, which makes them a great place to put your extra belongings without having to stress about them.
You may also want to consider storing your car. Although you could sell it, if you feel that it’s the best choice for you, it’s nice to have an outlet that doesn’t require navigating the public transportation system.
If you decide to keep your vehicle, consider storing your car. However, since parking prices can be steep and taxes may be tacked on additionally, parking a car you don’t use regularly might not be the best idea.
Check Out The Free Entertainment
Various locations throughout the city are fun to visit and free to the public. For example, the Wagner Free Institute of Science and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are all available to visitors and residents alike at no cost. Free activities throughout the city are plentiful, so remember to take advantage of them.
Plan Your Philadelphia Move
Once you’ve decided you’re moving to Philadelphia, you’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of you. Packing your belongings, renting a trailer to move everything from point A to point B, disconnecting the utilities and phone line at your old place – the list continues.
Create a list to make sure you check off all of your boxes and don’t accidentally let anything slip through the cracks. While you are going through your stuff as you pack, get rid of the broken stuff, or you don’t use anymore. You can donate or sell good-quality items. Decluttering will help save money on the move and minimize the number of things you need to transport.
Consider A Helping Hand
Moving can be overwhelming and downright stressful, especially as you try to remember to complete all of the little things on your list in your restricted time frame. So whether you need help with packing, a local move, or a long-distance move, we are here to help.
Here at Born To Move NYC, we have the experience and knowledge to help you move to your new home. We handle the stress of packing for you, leaving you to manage other pressing items on your list. If you’ve got that covered and simply need a hand transporting everything from point A to point B, we can help you with that too! Get a quote online today at our website, or give us a call at (617) 903-2609 to get started.