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Breaking Down the Commission Headlines and the NAR Settlement

The news right now around real estate is ripe with "The 6% Commission is Dead" or how buying and selling real estate is about to become a whole lot cheaper.  Sounds tantalizing, right? Because often news is sensationalism and this one is no different.  Did something actually change?  Yes, a little.  NAR (the National Association of Realtors - the trade organization that makes a real estate agent a 'Realtor' by a separate code of ethics and educational criteria) settled a case that brought about a few, minor changes.  1. It eliminated any requirement that listing brokers or sellers must make offers of compensation to buyers brokers.  2. It prohibits sellers and their agents from making offers of compensation on the MLS and disclosing any compensation and requires the elimination of all compensation fields on the MLS.  3. It requires MLS members working with buyers to enter into written agreements with those buyers.  So what changed?  Not much.  Particularly in Pennsylv
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Neighborhood Spot Light: Media

In the covid and  post-covid (are we finally post??) era of suburban boom, many people are finding they are having to settle for less. Less house, less yard, not their ideal school district or commute, less walkability, etc. But one area in the Western Suburbs that seems like a gem for continuing to be affordable (in comparison to the Main Line), walkable, charming and accessible is Media Borough and its surrounding neighborhoods (Rose Valley, Wallingford, and nearby Swarthmore).  Image courtesy of Riddle Village Media is another Victorian, suburban hub, among many around greater Philly. A walkable downtown with mid-19th century architecture and a wide variety of restaurants, bars and stores makes it a charming locale. Its one of the few non-Main Line hubs, though, that has several direct rail lines in the city, though, making this a wonderful spot for urban commuters.  Its main street (State St) is home to an accessible Trader Joes, several local brewery chains like Brick & Brew a

Love Letter to Philly

 Philadelphia,  We met about 14 years ago and it was love at first sight. I had never been to a city in the US with such European flair, walkable streets filled with people, restaurants, coffee shops, trendy stores and bars. I had never seen architecture that spanned centuries, with brick facades and charming window boxes.  I grew up in the Midwest, where space is plentiful and streets are wide. I was initially caught off guard with your narrow alleys and cobblestones. And there was nothing that could prepare me for following said small streets to turn the corner onto Broad and look up to a wide, open thoroughfare with the stunning, French-style Second Empire City Hall at its head.  I was smitten.  Over the next decade I came to love much more than the architecture of you, though. Yes, you are beautiful but you are deep. You have a history and importance in the story of modern culture that can barely be rivaled. Written on your streets are the stories of our country and the people who

Predictions for the 2023 Real Estate Market

 Its the beginning of the year, and nothing is more popular than predicting what comes next. Whether its fashion, home decor, paint colors, or real estate, we love thinking about whats to come.  Of course, predictions are only that: an educated guess at what is to come. No one could have predicted Covid, and few guessed at its ensuing impact on health and the economy, and similarly few predicted we would see the intense rate hikes that may only come once or twice in century. So with an ever-changing, quick moving and unpredictable market, lets put a few predictions together for the Philadelphia real estate market, regardless...  Rates will continue to Rise.... Momentarily  The rate hikes aren't over yet. We know that. And since the Fed gives the market little time to catch up, we definitely will see more over the first quarter. That will impact the Spring market to some effect.  However, we expect those to rate hikes to be less intense going forward. Since that will allow some stab

Stress-Free Winter Cocktails

Its holiday party season and that means contributing to gatherings, either as a guest or host!  One of my favorite ways to join pot lucks or show up to a party is with a big-batch cocktail. They are also great for intimate parties that you want to add a signature spin to the menu.  Here are some of my favorite options for winter cocktails:  Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash Apple Juice Cocktail  If you are a previous client of mine, you should have gotten an apple juice with a cocktail recipe for Thanksgiving!  That recipe is GREAT for an easy, refreshing but cold weather cocktail  I also love this simple recipe because you could easily switch liquors. Rum and apple or tequila and apple (with a little agave, of course) would work well too!  Mulled Wine , aka Gluhwein  This is a simple, smells-great way to make your home feel like the holidays Swedish Glogg  Basically mulled wine, but with more nuts and more alcohol!  Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash Winter Pimm's Punch  I love

Where to Buy Local this Holiday Season

 Whether its for yourself or the holiday host, its great to stay local with holiday decor this season.  Here are some of my favorite, local spaces to pick up holiday decor and gifts!  Center City  Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market  Chestnut Hill  Robertson's Flowers  Tailored Home  Ambler  Antique Garden Cottage  Roost Home  Skippack  Floral and Hardy Wayne  Valley Forge Flowers  Nest Home  Havertown  Hendren House  West Chester  Pine + Quill  Also, any local garden and nursery center is usually a great place to get fresh greenery, from Christmas trees to garlands!  Have something you want to add? Let us know! 

Winter Maintenance List!

  As it gets colder and you break out those winter coats, its a good reminder to make sure your home is also warm and dry this winter season. Here are some home maintenance reminders, and local suggestions for help, as we head into colder weather: Have your boiler/furnace serviced Climate Care HVAC Clean your gutters ‬ Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning Have your chimney cleaned and checked Lou Curley's Chimney Services Alliance Chimney Check the trees on your property McFarland ProTree Additional suggestions: Remove AC units and seal windows Shut off and drain exterior water lines Test sump pumps Reverse ceiling fans to circulate warm air Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors Get snow blower ready and purchase pet safe ice melting compound Winterize (blow out) your sprinkler system Let me know if you have any questions or need additional resources! Have someone else you have loved working with? Please tell me! I love passing along other tried-and-true contractors.