To avoid wasting time and energy in your search for an apartment with a yard, it’s best to do some research beforehand. Follow these steps –
- Check the listing description online – does it mention anything about a yard? Does it refer to an indoor-outdoor lifestyle? Usually if an apartment comes with a yard or garden, this is an advantageous feature that will be highlighted in the description.
- View the photos available online – if the apartment has a yard or outdoor area, there are likely to be photos online. Make sure the photos are for a private patio or yard, and not a common “amenity” area (if that is what you want).
- Call the listing agent / landlord and ask the question – if this information is not readily available in the description or photo.
- Check alternative options like townhouses in the area if they meet your budget considerations – if apartments aren’t easily available, you may be able to find townhouses with yards as long as they fit into your budget. There are some disadvantages to renting an individual house versus an specific apartment, including maintenance needs, ease of transaction, and others.
It is also important to understand the geography and density of different neighborhoods in Philly so you can narrow down your search to areas that are more likely to offer a yard/patio.
Northeast or Northwest Philly
If an apartment with a yard is your priority, you really need to look for garden-style apartments and first floor units with a private entrance (patio). These types of units are popular in the neighborhoods of Northeast and Northwest Philly compared to neighborhoods immediately around Center City. This is largely due to the amount of open space that exists compared to other neighborhoods.
In Center City, you’re not likely to find an apartment with a yard/patio. However, if you’re willing to rent an individual townhouse (rather than an apartment) you may find a yard. There are townhomes in many neighborhoods just outside the center city business district including in Society Hill, Old City, and Fitler Square which have quaint enclosed private yards.
Alternatively, there are a number of new townhouses to rent without backyards, but which may be able to satisfy your needs for outside space with a deck or balcony, within or around Center City.
Northern Liberties / Fishtown
If you’re looking in the Northern Liberties / Fishtown neighborhood, it is unlikely that you will find an apartment with a yard. Most common in this area will be townhouses for rent with a rooftop deck, many of these living units will require you to get in touch with individual owners. Many of the newer buildings (including townhomes) in this area do not have balconies.
Most of the newer apartments in Brewerytown are mid-rises. Most of the apartments in these buildings do not have balconies, and nearly none have (common or private) yards. You may be able to find some townhomes for rent in the area that do.
If you are looking for a Philadelphia apartment with a yard, this guide and steps will help you make the right choice for your lifestyle.