The last time I looked for a house was 16 years ago. I moved from Los Angeles, CA to Philadelphia , PA. back in 1997. I never thought I would stay in the area as I was really not a fan of Philadephia before. While living in Baltimore, MD in the early 90s, we used to call Philadelphia – Filthadelphia. You see, our corporate headquarters is located in Philly. Every time that there is a seminar or workshop, we all had to travel to corporate. I would normally stay in the Holiday Inn right next to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on Columbus Boulevard. The city was very filthy then and you are advised not to walk around the city after dark. That was then. Today, it is a different story.
Philadelphia has improved a lot since the scary 90s. In fact, it has become a city where real estate is in high demand that a lot of the abandoned buildings and houses are now being renovated and rebuilt in a pace that I believe could be dangerous in the long run. Nevertheless, there are locations that are very high in demand. Let’s say, Passyunk Square! I have looked around the area and I love it. But, to get a house nearby, you would have to shell out a lot of money or compromise a lot in space and parking. That’s the luxury that I have today that I may not have tomorrow should I decide to move to the city. I have to weigh things and find what is best for me I love entertaining friends so I have prioritized the space in this regard. I need a place like a backyard or a patio that could accommodate guests during nice summer days and cool spring evenings.
I am working with a great realtor now and he seems to be patient with me. He understands my needs and he is working hard to find me the right home in the right neighborhood. Of course, the closer to the gay neighborhood, the better. But that would be above and beyond my budget. A little further away would do as long as it is safe and parking is not so much of an issue. That means – impossible.
I don’t have a huge house now. As a matter of fact, my house is big enough for a single person like me. I really don’t have to move to Philadelphia but certain things are making me look at it another way. I am a single man living in the suburbs. I always find myself in Philadelphia anyway, whether it is in Chinatown for dim sum on Sundays, or going out for drinks and dinner with friends. Yes, I am only a train ride away from Philly but it still is a hassle when I have to drive there, pay toll and drive back after a long night of hanging out.
If you or anyone you know lives in Philly, I am looking for a home close to the gayborhood (or in South Philly), possibly Passyunk Square, Girard Estates or Pennsport areas. My requirements include a nice size backyard, three bedrooms as a minimum, 1.5 baths as a minimum as well, with a kitchen window, move-in ready, and decent neighborhood with ample parking. I understand that I must compromise and the one thing I can probably compromise is the 1.5 bath minimum. I see a lot of houses in Philly – from 3-6 bedrooms with only 1 bath. Why is that? I have no idea. I would think, that a 1.5 bathroom requirement is a must for anything with more than 1 bedroom but who am I to judge.
In any case, please be on the lookout – as my real estate agent is in fierce mode trying to find the best home for me. If it doesn’t happen this year, then I would have to delay it until next year.