Finding home bargains in Philly

Although increasing demand across the country has sapped for-sale inventories in many places, the City of Brotherly Love has recently seen its supply of homes growing. Experts suggest a wide range of reasons for this, but most agree that the region's slowly depleting stock of distressed properties and not-yet-in-the-clear housing market may be the biggest players. For people considering moving to the city, this could mean that there is a great deal of value to be found among the homes for sale in Philadelphia, PA.

Rising inventory
Unlike many similarly sized cities, Philadelphia saw its for-sale listings grow between August 2011 and August 2012. According to the Department of Numbers, the 21,402 single-family homes and condos on the market represent a 6.7 percent year-over-year gain. Coupled with prices that have dropped nearly 9 percent over the same period, now could be an ideal time for a bargain-hunting potential buyer to find a great deal.

Where to find value
In a recent blog post, local real estate expert Mickey Pascarella - who runs the blog Mickey Knows Philly - had some advice for thrifty home-seekers. Noting the supply of foreclosed properties that are still lingering on the market, Pascarella suggests taking the time to research the region in an effort to locate a great deal.

"In Philadelphia, there are great foreclosure properties scattered throughout the city," he writes. "From Old City condos, to family homes in the Northeast. Take your time to research amenities such as nearby schools, access to public transportation, restaurants etc. and take into account the rate of property value growth in the area."

This advice could help someone find his or her dream home at a good price. Researching various areas and the likelihood of impending property value increases may be the perfect recipe for scooping up a house at below-market-value prices.

Rising rents
Another reason this might be a good idea was supported by recent data from a real estate analytics firm. While home prices have been dropping in the City of Brotherly Love, rents have been rising. In fact, according to iExpat.com, rents rose by 1.5 percent between August 2011 and August 2012.

People looking for the most economical way of living in Philadelphia may want to consider buying one of lower-priced homes on the market. In one of the few cities where inventories are growing and rents are rising, this approach could represent a sound investment.