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Philadelphia, PA - Places to live

Philadelphia real estate experts characterize the scene in the City of Brotherly Love in much the same way experts nationwide are describing real estate sales: slowing, but still strong.

In Philly, the fifth largest city and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, home-sale prices are gaining, and the average cost for new homes in the city is over $325,000. The strength of new and existing home sales in the city can be attributed in part to the city's rebirth in recent years. In the 1970s, following the trend of many urban areas, the city proper of Philadelphia was being abandoned, and the suburbs sprawling. But in the last decade, urban renewal efforts have recreated attractive architecture, hip and comfortable city neighborhoods, and an ideal place to live. They've reminded people of the meaning of Philadelphia.

Philly is one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the United States. It was the site of the convening of the Continental Congress, as well as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The city was the nation's first capital at the end of the Revolutionary War before being relocated to Washington, D.C. Probably the most famous Philadelphia resident, Benjamin Franklin, called the city the "new Athens" for its role as the birthplace of American democracy.

In the centuries since, Philadelphia has remained one of the most important economic, legal and cultural centers of the country. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the oldest exchange in America, was founded in 1790 and continues to assert an enormous economic role. The government still has a strong presence in the city, with the U.S. Mint, the Federal Reserve Bank, and enough prestigious law firms to call itself a national center of law.

The highly eclectic and diverse neighborhoods within the city are centered on historic monuments, economic centers, hip and trendy dining and entertaining locales, and ethnic regions. Made up of over 1.5 million people, the city has the second largest Irish, Italian, and Jamaican populations, the third largest Puerto Rican population, and the fourth largest African-American population in the nation. A look at some of the city's specific neighborhoods shows more of what Philly has to offer:

    Center City: Home to renowned shopping and dining, city hall, and LOVE Park. This park features the famous LOVE Statue that has come to represent the city, literally translated from Greek as the "City of Brotherly Love." The park and other areas throughout the city offer public art that makes up the largest collection in the country.

    Old City: Here is the heart of historic Philadelphia. Constitution Hall and Independence Hall pay homage to the revolutionary documents penned here. The Liberty Bell has its home here in the new and expansive Liberty Bell Center, where the tale of the famous crack and the meaning of the bell are told through documents, images and film.

    South Philly: Famous for its Italian heritage. This neighborhood is also the site of all Philadelphia's major sports teams and their arenas: Eagles (football), Phillies (baseball), Flyers (hockey) and the 76ers (basketball).

    University City: Home to the University of Pennsylvania and other institutes of higher learning.

Other neighborhoods, such as West Philly, Manayunk, East Falls, Society Hill, and more, offer unique places to live and visit. Other special Philadelphia spots include: South Street, home to hipsters and the straight-laced for evening entertainment; the Reading Terminal Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers' market that features ethnic regional, and Amish fare; and Valley Forge, 3600 acres of hills, trails and open space.

Philadelphia is also surrounded by a vast suburban network spanning over several states, including Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland. The suburbs are home to some of the most affluent counties in the country.

To learn more about Philadelphia, visit the following sites:

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