Finding Housing in Philadelphia

Before you begin looking for housing, try to have a clear idea of what you want and ask yourself the following questions:

Will I need to rely on public transportation or will I have a car?

Temple University is easily accessible by public transportation from most of Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The Broad Street subway, many bus lines, and several SEPTA (www.septa.org) regional rail lines all have stops on Temple's campus and many of our students rely on public transportation to get to school each day. From Temple's campus, they also take the subway and regional rails to summer and part-time jobs in the law firms, agencies and courthouses of Center City.

Learn more about SEPTA at www.septa.org

Many of our students do not have a car because they do not need one. Maintaining a car is expensive and insurance and parking can be expensive in the city. Additionally, car and related expenses are not included as part of the financial aid budget, so unless absolutely necessary, there is no need to have a car. If you do plan to have a car, remember to ask if parking is available in the area you are looking for housing. Housing located further outside the city typically does have free parking available.

Do you want/need a roommate?

This is an important question you must ask yourself. Can you afford to live alone? If you need a roommate, will you have enough privacy to study? Remember that the costs of living on your own are more than just your rent (food, utilities, phone, entertainment, household items, travel, commuting). While living in Philadelphia is quite affordable, there are still expenses related to living in a city for which you must plan.

The Admissions Office maintains a list of students who wish to be placed on a roommate list. The list is shared with all of the students who have indicated that they are interested in looking for or sharing housing with another incoming law student.

Do I want to live on campus?

Although most of our law students prefer to live off campus, there is a limited apartment-style housing available for law students on the University campus. If you think you would like to live campus-affiliated housing, you are encouraged to act immediately. Space is limited. All inquiries about campus-affiliated housing should be directed to the Office of University Housing and the law school is not involved in making housing assignments. For information on living on Temple University's campus visit www.temple.edu/housing/. The University Housing Office also provides information on securing off campus housing. Click here for more information.

When should I begin looking for housing?

Now that you have made some basic housing decisions and have an idea of where you want to live you need to begin your search. Determine that you want and can afford, and remember that very few landlords will agree in May to hold an apartment until August, if he/she can get someone who will start paying rent sooner. First year registration is in mid-August so it may be best to plan a visit to Philadelphia during the summer to find a house or an apartment. Prepare in advance before beginning your search. In the past organized students have found a place in only one or two days.

Where do I begin?

Students have told us that they have done their basic apartment-shopping research online and then schedule appointments at the apartments they wanted to visit. They recommend a number of websites dedicated to apartment shopping in Philadelphia:

  • www.philadelphiaweekly.com Philadelphia Weekly is a city newspaper that is available beginning Wednesdays of each week. It can be accessed online and is the best resource for people who are searching for something available immediately or in the future. Many of the landlords/management companies who list specific apartments have other housing options available and may be worth exploring. Time is of the essence so it is best to call on Wednesdays and be flexible when it comes to checking these places out.
  • www.apartmentsolutions.com/ 888-994-7368 Once you have a better sense of what you're looking for, check out Apartment Solutions for some additional guidance on what is available in your price range and in the size of apartment that works for you. You'll work with an agent that will set up appointments for you to see various options, sometimes multiple places in one day. There is no charge to you for this service.
  • www.craigslist.com
  • www.phillyapartmentco.com
  • www.istudentcity.com (For international student housing)
  • www.thesublet.com
  • www.historiclandmarks.com
  • www.myapartmentmap.com
  • www.apartmentlist.com

Additionally, if you want to live in a high-rise apartment complex, get a copy of the Apartment Shopper's Guide from the Admissions Office. This guide contains advertisements and listings for many of the area's nicer apartment buildings. A one- or two-bedroom apartment in these buildings offer additional amenities (pool, gym, doorman, cable, washer/dryer). Other listings can be found in area newspapers (Philadelphia Inquirer and The Daily News). Current students have told us that the Sunday edition of the Inquirer and the Philadelphia Weekly Paper contain the most and best listings.

Realtors know the city well and they usually have many places to choose from. Best of all, they don't charge you anything for helping you find a place. Their fee is paid by the apartment owner.

What neighborhood would be right for me?

View Neighborhood Guide prepared by local realtors

Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods. Here are some brief descriptions of Temple Law students' favorite places to live:

Center City

Situated between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, south of Spring Garden and north of South Street, Center City is the heart and soul of Philadelphia. Currently the third most populous downtown after New York City and Chicago, Center City has seen a welcome resurgence. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and plenty of neighborhood dives can be found anywhere from Chinatown around 10th and Arch Streets to Rittenhouse Square at 20th and Walnut to Old City, technically a part of Center City. Center City has a lot to offer anyone looking for something or anything to do. Now a thriving downtown, the vibrant hub of the Greater Philadelphia metropolitan region is home to state-of-the-art office towers, world renowned museums and cultural institutions, nationally-known fine dining, charming historic neighborhoods with townhouses, lofts and apartments with great views, world-class tourist attractions, great shopping, from national retailers to unique small shops, and a growing and vibrant downtown population.

Art Museum/Fairmount

West of Broad Street, between Girard Avenue and Spring Garden Streets, this section of Philadelphia is also known as the Art Museum Area. Head northwest from City Hall on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and look straight ahead to get the best view of the art museum perched atop its elevated mount. To the north of the parkway is the meat and potatoes of the Fairmount area. Plenty of bars and restaurants spot this sophisticated, middle-class neighborhood. During the summer expect plenty of special events to pop up at the art museum and along the parkway, including Independence Day festivities. Flanking both sides of Franklin Parkway are plenty of tall high-rises bringing a density of life to the community. Head west of the art museum and you'll be entering FairmountPark, the neighborhood's namesake. Beginning at the Ben Franklin Parkway, Fairmount Park encompasses more than 8,900 acres of winding creeks, rustic trails, green meadows and 100 miles of recreational trails. The world's largest landscaped urban park also contains early-American mansions, historic landmarks, a variety of outdoor sculpture, playing fields, and 19th-century Victorian structures along Boathouse Row. There are also a lot of museums around here, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Moore College of Art, among others.

Old City

Old City is Philadelphia's original neighborhood. When the Quakers first came here, this is where they set up shop and port. Traditionally Old City is considered to lie south of Vine Street, north of Pine Street, and east of about 7th Street. Originally the Delaware River served as the natural eastern border of Old City, but today you're much more likely to stop your wandering once you get to the I-95 expressway, now between the river and the Old City neighborhood. The most happening spot of old city lies along 2nd and 3rd Streets. If you're looking for art galleries and performance theaters, head just north of Market Street. Old City is known for the most exciting collection of art galleries on the East Coast. For restaurants, look just south to Chestnut and along Market. Of course, no trip would be complete without a stroll through Independence Park, lying on the western edge of Old City, where one can learn and absorb the rich history of this old Pennsylvanian town.

Manayunk

Perhaps too ironically, "Manayunk" is derived from the Native term meaning "where we go to drink." They probably meant where they drank water, from the SchuylkillRiver. North of the SchuylkillRiver, upstream from the mouth of Wissahickon Creek, Manayunk is another place for the young, hip crowd to unwind. Main Street in Manayunk has a huge assortment of bars and restaurants, and while some places can be pricey, there are still the average affordable places as well. Named a National Historic District in 1983, "Philadelphia's Main Street" boasts more than 65 chic boutiques and galleries and dozens of restaurants. There's good live music just about every night at some bar here, and weekends you can usually find hundreds of people out on the streets walking around, jumping from one place to another.

Surrounding suburban counties

Bucks County has more than 300 years of history, 600,000 residents inhabiting more than 600 square miles, and many towns, villages and neighborhoods that enjoy a robust quality of life in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Relax in a riverside café. Experience one of the eclectic eateries or family restaurants. Enjoy a romantic dinner to the tune of a cascading waterfall. In Bucks, there's always something new on the menu. Stroll the quaint shops at Peddler's Village. Explore treasure trove of antiques, crafts and collectibles purveyors. Bag a bargain at Penn's Purchase or Franklin Mills. The values are abundant and exciting at Bucks.

Delaware County, midway between Philadelphia and Wilmington, blends the sophistication of the city with the tranquility of the countryside. You'll find bustling industry, rolling Pennsylvania hills, turn-of-the-century small towns and gleaming cityscapes, neighborhoods with large Victorian homes and shaded streets. Media is a restored business district, complete with a trolley down the main street and anchored with a gleaming white courthouse. Delaware County also has a bustling industrial waterfront along the Delaware River. There is something for everyone in Delaware County.

Montgomery County is a combination of 20th-century technology, traditional charm and colonial history. Shining office buildings and shopping centers exist against a backdrop of gracious homes, historic sites and lush green countryside. Yet one of the country's largest cities, Philadelphia, is only minutes away. The region was settled by hardy British farmers late in the 17th century. With Norristown as the county seat, it was the scene of pivotal Revolutionary War battles, including Washington's winter encampment at Valley Forge, where he and his valiant troops fought to preserve ideas born in Philadelphia. Later industrialization came through the hard work of varied European immigrants in iron mines and foundries and in flour, cotton and wool mills. Railroads soon connected these growing enterprises with the rest of the East Coast. Today Montgomery County is notable for serene parks, exceptional schools, high income average and its convenience to Philadelphia. More than 650,000 people from all walks of life bear witness to MontgomeryCounty's acclaimed way of life.

Learn about more neighborhoods in the Philadelphia region

Please feel free to contact the Admissions Office if you have any questions. Good luck as you begin your search!