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Showing posts from February, 2020

Weekend Events Roundup

Events list for Feb 28-March 1
All WeekendThe Philadelphia Flower Show!

Friday Jane Austen Night at the Woodlands
Learn regency style dancing, and have seasonal treats and drinks in an Austen-approved setting!


Saturday Kennett Winterfest 
60+ craft breweries, food trucks, & live music!

Bryn Mawr Film Institute Family Matinees - Snow White

Girls Scout Cookies and Beer Tasting! 
Iron Hill is celebrating Leap Day and National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend with a twist! (At all locations!)



Sunday Meet the Women of Betsy Ross House
Fun and interactive way to kick off Women's History Month!

The Best Rental Upgrades

We talk a lot about home-ownership on this blog, but home "ownership" comes in many forms, even in not actually owning the home!
Being custodian and inhabitant to a house/apartment has its own sense of ownership and making that space feel your own is a big part of that.

Further, renting for a longer time is becoming more and more common. And while The American Dream of owning your own home still makes financial sense for most people who put down roots someplace for 5+ years, if you are jumping around more often, or could only afford a home that will take more repairs than the neighborhood can justify, renting can make more financial sense.

So how do you take what someone people consider a "temporary" home and make it feel more like the real thing?

I'm running down on my favorite ways to renovate your rental!
(And if its not obvious, of course, please always run this by your landlord and get approval in writing!)

Low Cost/Work

Paint! (Duh)
A little obvious, but a…

Philly Weekend Events: Feb 21-23

Events list for Feb 21st-23rd 
All Weekend
Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens  Tuck in from the cold and take in the gorgeous beauty of delicate orchids! 

Friday 
White Hot Winter Cabaret at the Ruba Club  An unexpected date night choice! 
Shark in the Dark! Sleepover for 6-12 year olds at the aquarium with lots of shark-tastic activities! 
Putt N' Brew at Linvilla!  Adults only! 

Saturday Party for the Market at Reading Terminal For the market, at the market, its a Roaring 20s, open bar, food-stall spectacular! 
Heritage and Hops at the Colonial  Docu showing of PA brewmakers followed by a lunch and tasting at Root Down Brewing 
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day  The Franklin Institute invites girls to explore the world of engineering! 

Sunday 
The Music of Queen for Kids!  Kid-friendly introduction to Queen at Ardmore Music Hall
Free Family Workout at Philly Craft Hall Stay for brunch at the best the "Bar for Parents"
Mummers Mardis Gras as Xfinity Live!  9 hours of Mum…

Pro Tip Tuesday: Learning to Change Out Your Lighting Fixtures

Lighting has long been called the "jewelry of the home" by designers. Lighting fixtures are extremely decorative, conveying a particular style, but also work as pieces of architecture as they are fixtures to a room (as opposed to a couch or pillow). Further, lighting conveys warmth - a glow that can make you feel a certain way in a home. 
Yes, these are also beautiful rooms, but the lighting MAKES these spaces and add a high-end appeal. From TheCoastalConfidence
As such, lighting is one of the most impactful things you can change in your home, right behind paint. And, like paint, its generally an inexpensive and easy switch. 
Similarly, a few small changes, including a lux new light, changed this builder-grade bath into something special. From LifeonVirginiaStreet
If you are a homeowner, switching out light fixtures is one of the best skills you can learn to add value, and an updated feel, to your home. 
If you are a renter, swaping out light fixtures is also a good way to ma…

Featured Neighborhood: Ambler

As part of the running series on neighborhood looks, I'm focusing on the Montgomery County hotspot of Ambler.

Ambler is a relatively small, walkable oasis Northwest of Center City. Most likely accessible by route 309, its also an easy trip on Lansdale/Doylestown line in and out of the city.

Interestingly enough, its probably one of the few towns also named in honor of a woman! The town collective, not yet incorporated, was the site of a terrible train wreck in 1856. Mary Johnson Ambler took immediate action, bringing medical supplies and directing rescue efforts, and turned her home into a make-shift hospital for the wounded. Years later, the railway co named the train station in her honor and when the town incorporated in 1888, it followed suit!

Walkable Downtown  Image via Ambler Main Street
One of the most beloved features of modern Ambler is its walkable and jam-packed downtown. Centered around Main St & Butler Ave, Ambler's downtown has a long list of shops, restauran…

Presidents' and Valentine's Day Weekend Round Up!

Friday
Dia Del Amor: Tour and Mezcal Tasting at Philly's Magic Gardens Fun tour and tasting at one of Philly's funnest venues 
Artist Bash: To Die For  The Barnes goes for "an extreme take on Valentine's Day" with music and dance


Saturday
Jazz Festival  International Jazz Fest at the Philly Convention Center 
Survival of the Slowest Opens  at Academy of the Natural Sciences 

Sunday
Cellar Tasting at the Rittenhouse 

Monday

Washington's Birthday Party at Valley Forge 

All Weekend

Wine and Chocolate at Chaddsford Winery 
Philly Home Show at Oaks
Last Weekend for The Greenhouse at Fairmount Park


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Even the best designers stage their homes to sell!

One of the most common objections to staging a home is a homeowner's fondness for their design choices. I often hear "Oh, but don't you think my house looks nice as it is?!" or "We'll cut the clutter, we don't need a stager to come through" or "We had a designer come through to decorate for us!" etc.

What these homeowners don't initially understand is that staging, or at least modern staging, is about showcasing your home to the greatest amount of buyers' tastes as well as providing the most updated and current ideal-lifestyle for your target audience.

Photo by Julie Kwak on Unsplash

That means "cutting the clutter" doesn't cut it.

And your specific design choices, while they might appeal to you and people like you, may not appeal to the greatest audience possible. Further, they might not appeal to your target audience. So even though you decorated your home in rustic-chic decor that appeals to everyone in your circle,…

Pro Tip Tuesday!

While most people don't have the "problem" of having extra cash, all of us can benefit from ways to save and budgeting.
One of the most missed opportunities for this in the mortgage world is the extra mortgage payment.



This sounds crazy but essentially if you have extra cash you don't need to stuff into an emergency fund and are looking for a place to invest it, think about putting it back into your home equity.

An extra payment can just be extra cash paid with your monthly payment - whatever you have to give. This is like a forced savings plan. You send it separately with your mortgage payment but this one gets marked "To be applied to principal".

Most mortgages work by having the first few years of mortgage payments being applied directly to interest, not the principal loan amount. Thats now lenders can guarantee some earnings if you sell your home in 3 years. But if you do sell your home quickly, you'll notice when you get to your mortgage payoff at …