What to look for in a home when renting in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia

Mt. Airy is located in northwest Philadelphia. It is one part of the Germantown Township, the second oldest community in Philadelphia. This means there are plenty of historic homes in the area. Yet there has been significant redevelopment because the area is thirty minutes from downtown Philadelphia.  You can buy properties here for anywhere from $150K to $3.5 million, making it one of the most economically diverse areas in Philly. Rental rates are reasonable, too. Median rent in East Mount Airy is $1350 a month while it is $1670 a month in West Mt. Airy. But what should you look for when searching among the houses for rent in Mt Airy Philadelphia?

Walkability

Older cities like Philadelphia are pedestrian friendly by design. The average walk score in East Mount Airy is 73. The average transit score for the area is 56, while its bike score is 52. Note that the average in these categories by Walkscore is 50. West Airy has the same scores except it gets one point hire for its bike score. This makes Mount Airy a good choice for those who want to walk everywhere. However, you need to research the proximity of a given rental to bus routes if you want to do without a car. Some choose to be in walking distance of the Stenton train line, but you’ll pay a premium to be near the train station.

The Quality of the Schools in the Area

West Mount Airy was ranked the twelfth best neighborhood in Philadelphia in which to raise a family. It received an overall score of A from Niche. Why didn’t such an affordable, integrated neighborhood rank higher? Because the public schools fall far short of expectations. Niche.com gave the area’s schools a D+. However, schools range from great to terrible. For example, Masterman Secondary School is considered the best public high school in Pennsylvania. The Science Leadership Academy ranks well. And a number of other schools are mediocre at best. If you have children, find out what schools your children would be assigned to and how they rate. Of course, this isn’t an issue if you don’t have children who are school age.

Compatibility with Modern Life

The upside of a historic home is that you can enjoy real hardwood floors, antique fixtures and stone exteriors. The downside is that it isn’t designed for modern life. The house may not have enough power outlets, bathrooms or closet space for modern tastes. When you’re touring a property, look for issues like these that you’ll either have to live with or work around if you can’t find a better place to live. On the other hand, you might have to pay more to rent a house with enough bathrooms to prevent morning routines from being a continual headache.

Condition

We’ve mentioned that the Mount Airy area has homes that date back three centuries and properties built in the last thirty years. As a renter, you don’t need to pay for a new roof, but the condition of the building will affect your quality of life. Are there leaking pipes and drafts? This could lead to higher utility bills. Are there serious lingering problems like pests and mold? You don’t want to risk being kicked out while the property is cleaned up. Look for signs of neglect like torn window screens and peeling paint. If these issues are obvious when they’re looking for a new tenant, they probably won’t fix the broken hot water heater very fast.