Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2015

House of the Week: Calling All Dogwalkers!

Ok, for that matter, lets call out the regular walkers, joggers, museum lovers, picnic-havers.... If you like the Parkway and Fairmount Park, you'll love this adorable Fairmount home. Its an affordable ($299,000) 2 bed home tucked on a quiet street only a block from the Fairmount footbridge (29th and Pennsylvania). Its has a partially finished basement, an updated kitchen, high ceilings and all the charm you can take! The great thing about this property is you can still add equity to it - redo the garden, update the bathroom, and fully finish the basement. Its not spacious by any means, but would be a wonderful starter home or downsizer! For the full listing information and more pictures, visit the property site *This is not my listing. I do not represent the owner/seller and have no stake in the advertising and selection of this home. Any suggestions or comments in this post are purely my opinion. Facts are limited to public listing information such as

Philly Airbnb - What you need to know

If you live in Philadelphia and not under a rock, you know the Pope is visiting in a few months and bringing with him about 1.5-2 million visitors to the City of Brotherly Love. According to PlanPhilly , that number will likely be more like 3-4 million if other papal visits for Pope Francis are any indication. Mayor Nutter was quoted as saying, "This will be the largest event in the City of Philadelphia in modern history." And if the formulas are correct, the $418 MILLION economic impact will surely make that a true statement. Philadelphians have jumped on that economic bandwagon and many are looking to rent out their places to the several million visitors who won't have a hotel room. In particular, most Philadelphians are using the new Airbnb site to list their homes. With this influx of rental options, Philly has had to make some major decisions about what these short-term listings mean and how to regulate them. At the beginning of July, the city legalized Airbnb r

Representation & Agency

Who represents who in a real estate transaction should be apparent and easily known, like knowing how to write or tie your shoes. But as I go through this business, I realize the average person doesn't know how to protect themselves or defend themselves with the right agent representation. When they meet an agent, they have no idea who that person is to them.  So instead of going into the depths of what "agency" and "fiduciary duty" means, here's what I tell my clients/future clients/and anyone who will listen.... There's a team BUYER and a team SELLER. Teams, like in sports, where one person is trying to win. If all works out well, we get to say "Good game, good game, good game..." to one another in passing high-fives at the end, but we are still separate, opposing teams all the while with a goal to do what is best, to "win", for our team. Now the way you know if an agent is on your team is if you've signed a contract

Closing Costs 101

Its a scenario I've seen countless times now... A young couple walk into a home, maybe its an open house or maybe they've gone out of their way to contact an agent to take them through several homes they've fallen in love with online. Their eyes get big, they look at each other and smile. They know they've found their future home and they are as happy as when they first met each other. This scene plays in their head...  ... and then, in steps the evil villain, the Dream Squasher, generally played by the part of the mortgage/bank rep or the Realtor. "I'm so happy you love this home! Its great isn't it!?", the Dream Squasher starts, "Have you had a chance to be pre-approved yet?" The couple frown a bit, look down and shake their heads silently. "No problem!", the Dream Squasher says, giving them a bit of hope before delivering the final blow. "How about we just look at some estimated costs." The Dream Squa

House of the Week: The Ultimate in Philly History with a Modern Twist

Philly is known for its Old City cobblestone streets surrounding Independence Hall; those tiny row homes with minuscule closets. And while we might all enjoy a B&B experience in one such home, few of us would want to live our daily, modern lives in these cramped quarters. Luckily, now (and if you have $850,000 to spend), you don't have to - you can have it all! This home on famous Elfreth's Alley (the oldest, continuously inhabited street in America) has the best of American history and charm but the ultimate in spacious, modern living (certainly helps that its one of the widest homes on the street). 135 Elfreth's Alley  Did I mention it has one of the largest Center City backyards I've seen all year?! It has a massive backyard, a beautiful, wide Juliet balcony AND a roof deck. I mean thats just greedy... Oh, and if all that space and airiness is too much for you, don't worry, you can retreat to your sauna-cave and drink wine from your

How to Deal with your Terrible Tile

If you aren't buying a million dollar plus home, you are probably going to have to deal with some aspect of your future home you don't like. Maybe its the school district that is less than ideal. Or maybe there isn't enough outdoor space to host the BBQs you like so much. But one thing I hate to see people skip over good homes for is decor or style, which is a very changeable thing, regardless of budget. Other than paint color (which if you complain about there is no hope for you and you should just keep renting), the thing I hear people skip over homes for the most is outdated kitchens and baths. Yes, the average kitchen and bath renovation in the US is pretty high, about $5,000-15,000 for a bath and $20,000+ for a kitchen. If you are buying a home, its unlikely you are going to have that much cash in your pocket after closing. But there are some really easy ways of managing an outdated bathroom or kitchen. In particular, the ones I see shunned more than any other is t

I'm in Love with Elizabeth Banks....

Ok, maybe not the standard line for a home buying article, but after you watch these, you'll probably say the same. Apparently she was searching for her own home and snagged her home-searching interests and brought her on board to do what might be the greatest Real Estate 101 videos ever. For some reason, Realtor hasn't done a great job of making these very accessible outside of their website and what I assume are TV spots (I haven't had cable TV in over 5 years so I'll just assume) but the whole set are right HERE . Also, below. No need to leave me. I am in love with their accessible language/thought process model here. Its enjoyable to watch, hits the major points - "DON'T BE AN IDIOT" - and actually has some good advice in 2 1/2 mins. My favorite piece of advice from EB and Realtor thus far: "The most important thing for a first time buyer is to live within your budget. Also, don't be an idiot.... B

House of the Week: Spring Mill Farmhouse

As this is post #1 in this category, let me introduce to you what will likely be my favorite category on this blog: House of the Week! Every week I will introduce one amazing home currently on the market in the greater Philadelphia area. These listings will either have amazing style, architecture, location, and/or price. If given the opportunity, I will also offer tour insights from my own personal walk-through's! So stay tuned for more amazing Philly homes! But on to great home #1. 242 Barren Hill Rd in Consh. For those of you who don't know this area, on the East side of Conshohocken is a little back-woods area called Spring Mill. Its gorgeous and there is a little french bistro called Spring Mill Cafe there that is sheer heaven. This house is right down the street from it. And while it does sit right on the road (as old farmhouses often did), its an affordable, unique home right in the middle of everything. Oh, and you can own this 4 bed, 2.5 bath home for under $4