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Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is renowned for its iconic landmarks and rich American history. As the largest city in Pennsylvania, it’s a congregation of cultures, careers, and family sizes. What makes Philadelphia stand out is its affordability, with average home prices of less than $300,000, making it a prime location for real estate investment. However, to make the most of this opportunity, real estate investors must thoroughly understand the market and implement the best tips and strategies for success. 

Ideal Philadelphia Suburbs

Before seeking out homes for sale in Philadelphia suburbs, it’s crucial to know which suburbs are the best for investors regarding safety, affordability, and popularity.

East Falls

If you want to start your real estate investment portfolio with student rentals, East Falls is a great place to start. It is located near two prominent schools, including Thomas Jefferson University. With breweries and trendy eateries geared toward college students, you’ll likely get a great return on investment here.

Mount Airy

Mount Airy is known for its historic architecture, bakeries, and walkable trails. Its decent mix of suburban and urban feel appeals to many tastes and needs. Real estate here is more than worthwhile; this neighborhood has amenities like horseback riding and art galleries.

Port Richmond

Port Richmond, also known as Little Poland, is home to historic churches and delicious Polish food. A real estate investment here would be ideal housing for foodies, history enthusiasts, and those who want a safe and affordable neighborhood in the city.


With beautiful river views and homes, Manayunk has a charming small-town vibe in the heart of Philadelphia. These architecturally enchanting homes are almost guaranteed to host a wide variety of tenants, as nearby bars and restaurants create ideal amenities for all residents.


Brewerytown is another small-town neighborhood with a suburban feel. It hosts many casual restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it ideal for those who want a quieter part of the city. It’s one of the highest-rated neighborhoods regarding safety, which is a bonus for investors and residents.

Olde Kensington

Olde Kensington is a good bet if you want to invest in an evolving neighborhood before it reaches its peak. It’s a haven for hipsters, as abandoned factories have been repurposed into trendy, modern living spaces, art galleries, restaurants, and dive bars.

Logan Square

As one of Philadelphia’s most popular and well-known neighborhoods, you’ll likely have a return on investment here. However, it comes with a price tag as one of the pricier neighborhoods in the city, for good reason—it’s a haven of the arts, cultural diversity, and historical homes.

Investment Strategies in Philadelphia

Create an Investment Budget

No matter how far along your real estate investment journey, inadequate budgeting can be a significant trouble. Ensure your investment budget includes future carrying costs, renovations, and repair emergencies. You don’t have to pay in cash for the home, but be sure your debt-to-income ratio is reasonable (less than 40%).

Turnkey vs. Sweat Equity

It’s crucial to understand your preferences in an investment. Do you want only turnkey properties requiring little hands-on work before inviting a tenant? Keep in mind that turnkey homes are pricier for that reason. Would you instead work on a cheaper home to save costs but increase your workload? Only you can decide this, but if your budget is lower, you may want to consider your budget before deciding.

Vet Out All Contractors

You’ll need contractors to inspect, renovate, and repair your investment property when necessary. You mustn’t cut corners with this, as inexperienced contractors can create safety and liability risks for your tenants. Be sure all contractors are licensed or certified, reputable, and have plenty of experience for the job.

Don’t Overdo Renovations

Investment properties often need renovations to create a safe, functional,  and attractive home for prospective tenants. However, going beyond necessary can put you in debt as an investor for no reason.

Prepare for Maintenance

Time and money are the most critical aspects of a real estate investor. Maintenance issues will arise in any home, which will cost time and money, but it’s crucial to be prepared for this in your budget and schedule.

Consider Property Managers

Property managers are valuable partners to a property owner. They can manage tenants safely and positively while protecting your property assets and reducing your workload.

Hire Financial Experts

Managing finances alone can be tricky, even if you’re an experienced property owner. Hiring an accountant and financial advisor can help you budget, plan, and maximize your returns in your real estate career.


Philadelphia is a large city with many amenities without the high price tag, making it an attractive place to live and work for many different cultures and families. These benefits make it a beautiful place to start a real estate investment portfolio. Before purchasing any property, research the ideal Philadelphia neighborhoods to meet your investment goals and budgets. Team up with financial experts, property managers, and reputable contractors to help manage your properties.