Moving from Boston to Philadelphia - Expert Tips and Advice

Having lived in Boston, you must have had your fill of the famous Boston baked beans and cream pies! And let’s not forget the breathtaking Fenway Park and all of the timeless museums. Boston, by all means, is a city of new beginnings and growth. So, now it’s time for your new beginning, away from Boston. While Boston has so much to offer to its residents, the heavy expenses, nightmarish traffic and parking problems, and the glum and gloomy days can get to you. In stark contrast is the vibrant and energetic city of Philadelphia. A growing metropolis that still exudes its small-town charm, Philadelphia definitely grows on you!

Philadelphia, or ‘Philly’ as called by its residents, is one of the major cities in the state of Pennsylvania and has grown both in terms of economy and population. The city is shrouded in history and art and is known for its dynamic and diverse culture and friendly residents. Philly is a great place to start a new chapter, there’s no doubt about this! But, what all do you need to prepare for your move to Philadelphia? How different or similar is life in this growing metropolis to that in Boston? All your questions will be answered in this article, as we cover all the information you’d need for your move from Boston to Philadelphia.

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Factors To Consider Before Moving From Boston To Philadelphia

Weather Conditions

Philadelphia is a city that truly experiences four seasons, with drastic differences throughout the year from summer to winter. So, if you’re someone who loves watching the seasons go by and bring about their changes to the world, then you’ll definitely love living in Philly! Bordered by three rivers, Philadelphia’s overall climate is affected by the humidity. In comparison, the weather in Boston is rather windier and either hot or cold depending on the season. Philadelphia’s subtropical climate is an adventurous feat of the city, loved by all and yet cribbed about at times!

Only three words can aptly describe Philadelphia’s summers – hot, humid and muggy. The humidity can be tough to deal with for many residents, which prompts a number of summer trips out of the state. But, it brings with it thunderstorms and sudden showers that cool off the heat for a few days. For rain-loving romantics, Philly’s weather can be quite entertaining!

Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak summers:

  • Boston in July – The average temperature falls between 66°F to 82°F.
  • Philadelphia in July – The average temperature falls between 68°F to 88°F.

Unlike Boston’s snow-filled winters, the winter season in Philadelphia is cold and cloudy. While snowfall in Philly is significantly scattered and in moderation, the overall weather is definitely chilly. The Philadelphia skies during winters are covered in gray clouds and you’d have some beautiful days filled with peeking sunshine. The thought of a cold windy day with the slight warmth from the sun peeking through the clouds is perfect to enjoy a day outdoors!

Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak winters:

  • Boston in January – The average temperature falls between 24°F to 37°F.
  • Philadelphia in January – The average temperature falls between 26°F to 43°F.

Cost Of Living

Any place you move to, the cost of living and housing expenses are two of the most important factors taken into consideration. Along with the moving costs and housing, if the cost of living is not within your budget, it can be a major downer. Well, moving to Philadelphia is most definitely not going to rain on your parade!

The cost of living in Philly is much lower than that in Boston. The living expenses in Boston have always been on the pricier side and constantly increasing so you’re not going to be disappointed with Philadelphia in that regard. For a city the size of a major city like New York or Boston, Philly’s cost of living and housing, and rent are quite affordable and budget-friendly for young professionals and students alike.

Buying A House

Buying a house in Philadelphia is very affordable in comparison to Boston. What’s even greater is that the housing cost in Philly is lower than both the national and state average, which means that you’re bound to save money living in this metropolis. You can find all types of diverse and spacious housing styles from old-style townhouses and modern rowhouses to highrise apartments and condos here. Whatever suits your style and budget, Philadelphia has it all!

  • Median Home Value In Boston: $728,730
  • Median Home Value In Philadelphia: $228,970

Renting A House

Just as with the living and housing expenses, Philadelphia has cheaper rental rates which are great for both students and newly working employees. After all, wherever you live should be budget-friendly and should go easy on your pockets! The median rent in Boston is around $2,520 with the prices increasing by 20% every year! Shocking, right? Well, the median rent in Philadelphia is a mere $1,400 – half the price in Boston – with a yearly rise of just 4% which is definitely affordable.

Utilities

The average monthly cost of utilities in Philadelphia is approximately $150 which includes the electricity, heating and cooling, water, and garbage pickup. Adding internet costs, which is a monthly cost of $60, the price of utilities in Philly averages around $220. The average utilities cost in Boston however is $170, and adding the internet charges would round it up to $260. Well, there you have it! The price differences are very apparent.

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Job Market

Living in Boston, no doubt, means an amazing job market with diverse job opportunities and a booming economy! After all, Boston has a strong economy with an abundance of job opportunities in the fields of tech, innovation, education, and finance. And moving from this thriving city is bound to come with its own set of doubts. Will Philadelphia be able to compete with Boston on the job front? Does the city have as many diverse options? Is the job market in Philadelphia growing? What does the economy and future job growth of Philadelphia look like? Well, you should relax since Philadelphia’s economy has grown quite a lot in the past few decades.

Philadelphia is the leading metropolitan city in the state of Pennsylvania in terms of job opportunities and diverse job roles. It is a haven for job opportunities in the education and healthcare sectors. So, if you’re a teacher, professor, a doctor, or work as hospital staff, you need not worry at all! Philadelphia will definitely have something for you.

But this is not to say that Philly has no opportunities for other industries and sectors. The city has an expansive job market with opportunities in real estate, business, finance, art and entertainment, food and hospitality services, technology and IT, along with education and healthcare. You just need to streamline your search and you’re bound to find something that piques your interest!

And if this isn’t enough to catch your attention, then here’s an additional piece of information that might: Philadelphia also has a number of Fortune 500 companies that have set up camp in this growing metropolis. These companies are corporate giants and account for a large chunk of the state’s economy. These world-class tycoons have recruited and employed hundreds of thousands of employees in Philly.

Some of these well-known business leaders have been mentioned in the list below:

  • Amerisource Bergen
  • Comcast Corp
  • DuPont
  • Lincoln National Corp
  • Aramark
  • Corteva
  • Crown Holdings
  • Universal Health Services
  • Toll Brothers

The unemployment rate of Philadelphia was bound to take a hit during the pandemic as did other metropolitan cities all over the globe. Though the unemployment rate is slowly decreasing with restrictions being lifted. Philly’s unemployment rate is higher than that of Boston’s. While Boston has an unemployment rate of 6.6%, Philadelphia’s rate is at 9.2%. But with Philadelphia’s constantly growing job market and a positive job trajectory predicted for the next five years, this rate is bound to come down a great many notches. Also, since Philadelphia is located between two major metropolitan cities – New York and Washington DC – the job opportunities and economy in Philly are sure to see major changes in the coming years!

  • Median Household Income in Boston: $107,608
  • Median Household Income in Philadelphia: $68,379

See also: Job Relocation Guide

Transportation

Philadelphia’s public transportation system is no less than that of Boston. The public transit system of Philly is super efficient, easily accessible from any part of the city, and very affordable for daily commuting purposes. Philadelphia’s transportation system is called the SEPTA, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which serves Philly and its neighboring cities. The SEPTA is an elaborate system with transportation facilities including buses, rails, subways, trolleys, and even special high-speed lines.

  • Philadelphia is served by two major subway lines; the Market Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line. These lines run in the north-south and east-west directions respectively, which essentially means that between these two subway lines, the entirety of Philadelphia is covered! The subways have stops at major neighborhoods within the city and are great modes of transit for workplace commuting or simple neighborhood touring.
  • Philly has an amazing and unique option of traveling by trolleys. The SEPTA transit system provides eight trolley lines that run at both street and underground levels, running across important commercial centers throughout the city. Furthermore, the Regional Rail services connect Philadelphia with other neighboring counties like Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and New Jersey.
  • There is also the option of buses if you’re looking for some easy ground transportation. Philadelphia’s bus system consists of nearly 100 bus routes that are traveled to and fro by numerous buses, connecting major centers of the city. The special Night Owl buses run 24/7.
  • Finally, we cannot leave behind Philadelphia’s Norristown High-Speed Line. This line connects certain parts of Delaware and Montgomery counties to the Market Frankford Subway Line, and some trolley lines and regional rails as well. The high-speed line stops at many countryside towns in case you plan to explore small boutiques, indulge in tasty meals, or catch concerts or events.

Philadelphia’s Strong Points

  • Philadelphia brings you the best of both worlds – all the amenities of a large metropolis and the peace and quiet of a small town. So, you’re never short of restaurants, cafes, art galleries, or malls. At the same time, you can enjoy a lovely time at parks in the city and amidst super friendly neighbors.
  • The best part of this metropolitan city is its budget-friendly nature! The low cost of living and affordable housing prices of Philadelphia is a major plus point of the city, and one of the biggest reasons behind young professionals and numerous families moving here.
  • If you’re an art enthusiast and love eclectic and vivid artworks, then Philadelphia is an amazing city to quench your creative thirst! With numerous art galleries and museums, the city’s art collection is ever-growing and extremely diverse.

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Top Neighborhoods To Move In Philadelphia

Chestnut Hill

Chestnut Hill is located in Northwest Philadelphia and is a green haven against the busy atmosphere of Center City. This tree-lined neighborhood is known for its idyllic and quaint beauty. With rustic cobblestone streets, music, and conversations filtering into the air from charming little cafes, bakeries, and hipster pubs, Chestnut Hill is quite an engaging neighborhood. It is a green getaway with 2000 acres of the Wissahickon Valley Park nearby. The park has a number of hiking and biking trails and is a great spot for a weekend picnic. This garden district neighborhood features historic mansions and Victorian townhomes along with modern apartments and has a welcoming community.

Median Home Value: $632,500

Monthly Median Rent: $1,510

Roxborough

Roxborough is located in Northwest Philadelphia. This lovely suburb is a neighbor to the popular suburbs of Manayunk and East Falls and is a much larger neighborhood in comparison to the two. Roxborough maintains its unique identity with tons of biking paths and parklands. This riverside district was originally a site for industries but later, as the city’s wealthy elite moved in here, they transformed this suburb into the beautiful oasis neighborhood it is today. Lined with a number of trendy restaurants, indie-retail stores, quirky cafes, and taprooms, Roxborough has much to offer to its residents and visitors alike. With the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Valley Park bordering this neighborhood, there is no doubt that it is a sight to behold!

Median Home Value: $320,750

Monthly Median Rent: $1,437

Society Hill

One of the oldest Philadelphia neighborhoods, Society Hill is the largest historic colonial neighborhood in the country. Sorry Boston, but Philly beats you at this! Society Hill maintains its distinct colonial Philly vibes with its collection of Georgian row houses, original and rustic cobblestone streets, and brick sidewalks lit dimly by the old Franklin lamps. It truly exudes a sense of timelessness and feels as though you’ve walked back in time! While the streets of Society Hill may seem to transport you to the olden days, the modern residents and diverse community grounds you back into the present with quintessential bars and pubs, dog parks, and annual block parties!

Median Home Value: $641,500

Monthly Median Rent: $1,779

Queen Village

Queen Village is indeed a neighborhood fit for royalty. With dynamic culture and history that oozes out of its cobblestoned streets and the incredibly vibrant community, this place makes you want to stay here forever! Queen Village is a quirky amalgamation of bohemian, punk, goth, hip-hop, vintage, and classic, all in one little neighborhood.

It is an energetic place with iconic cheesesteak joints, dive bars, punk boutiques, vintage record shops, and art and music halls. The neighborhood features one of America’s oldest farmer’s markets which is still running, wherein you can find anything and everything you’d need for your home, your kitchen, or daily essentials. This quirky neighborhood is a must-visit at the very least!

Median Home Value: $465,000

Monthly Median Rent: $1,395

Fairmount

If you are a hardcore Rocky fan, or simply an art and history buff, Fairmont should definitely be on your list of top neighborhoods to visit in Philly! Fairmount is the cultural hub of Philadelphia and you’ll find numerous museums and historical attractions here. The neighborhood exudes a posh and refined feel which envelops you almost immediately – so much so that even the wine starts tasting sweeter!

Fairmount has its fair share of trails and green spaces and is home to the largest urban park in the country. It portrays a myriad of houses ranging from brick and brownstone townhouses to terraced homes with front gardens to highrise condos and apartment buildings. So, whatever suits your style, Fairmount is sure to have it!

Median Home Value: $389,900

Monthly Median Rent: $1,650

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Also read: Popular Neighborhoods In Philadelphia For Families | Best Neighborhoods in Philadelphia for Singles and Young Professionals

Things To Take Care Of When You’re Moving From Boston To Philadelphia

  • Make sure that you’ve decided on the neighborhood you plan to move into and have extensively researched the same. Philadelphia has a number of housing style options and urban to suburban neighborhoods. So, pick your fit in terms of your budget and facility requirements.
  • While you’ll be prepared for Philadelphia’s winters having moved from Boston, it’s the summers you’d want to be better armed against. Make sure to carry sunscreen and your summer essentials during the season since Philly receives a hot and humid summertime.
  • Philadelphia houses a diverse community of people. From students to young professionals to families, from artistic and quirky Gen-Z localites to energetic and jovial Millennials, Philly is home to a spectrum of individuals. So be prepared to meet a unique mix of people within a small neighborhood at all times!

Boston To Philadelphia Moving Costs

Since Boston and Philadelphia are cities in different states, your move will be an interstate one. This factor alone can give you variable rates. But on average, a one-bedroom apartment move from Boston to Philly would cost you around $1,600 roughly. This cost can vary depending on the number of rooms, belongings to be moved, bulk weight, transportation fees, and additional services you might have asked for. Movers might also charge you based on packing supplies and extra labor if you’ve employed any.

Summing Up

Philadelphia would be a breath of fresh air in comparison to Boston’s professional and business-like aura. While Boston and Philadelphia have a number of similarities, their differences are what affect your move. The lower and much more affordable cost of living and the super diverse and vibrant sense of community of Philadelphia are the qualities that stand out in stark contrast to the Bostonian way of life! So, good luck moving!

See also: Best Moving Companies in Boston

FAQs On Moving From Boston To Philadelphia

Is It Worth Moving To Philadelphia?

It is definitely worth moving to Philadelphia. Philly is a top-tier city that is known for its range of cultural, artistic, historical, and recreational attractions. But beyond these, Philadelphia’s residents enjoy a low cost of living, an extensive transport system, a booming economy, and a job market – all amenities of a metropolis while retaining its old-town charm!

What Are The Advantages Of Living In Philadelphia?

Philadelphia‘s major advantages are its low cost of living, affordable housing prices, prime location, excellent public transportation, diverse neighborhoods, and quality education. Apart from these, Philly also has a rich historical and cultural heritage, a love for anything art and hip, beautiful parks, and majestic museums. No day is a dull day in Philly!

What Is The Best City To Live In In Philadelphia?

Some of the best places to live in Philadelphia are Old City, University City, Chestnut Hill, Bella Vista, Queen Village, Society Hill, and Fairmount to name a few. These neighborhoods have a lot to offer to their residents with their own unique characteristics that make them worthy of being called the best.

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Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.