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31May/100

A Memorial Day Video on the Ben Franklin Bridge

Memorial Day 2010 - Philadelphia - Walk with us on the Ben Franklin Bridge !

Related:

Overcoming that Fear of Heights can be Exhilarating and Prosperous

A Year in Reflection as I walked (in FEAR) over the Ben Franklin Bridge !

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31May/100

What Do You Do When the Appraisal Comes in Low ?

Just recently, I have had 2 appraisals come in low. Both properties were in the $200K range.  One came in $17K low and the other came in $55K low.   With the wrong agent involved, these deals can easily blow up.  I recommend keeping your cool and begin to do some of the following:

What do you do when the Appraisal comes in low ?

  1. Request a copy of the appraisal report and review - It is important to see the report so you can analyze it, assess it and see where they may have been errors.  For example, on our two, one of the appraisers forgot to classify a finished basement and the other forgot to classify a 2nd full bath.
  2. Assess Comparable Sales that were used - Look at the comps that the appraiser used.  Do they make sense ?  Are they inferior ?  What types of adjustments were made ?  In both reports in our case, the appraisers used comps that were in a different section with lower values.  Also, both used a comp that was under a train line without making any adjustment for location.
  3. Examine Other Comparable Sales that were not used- Study your MLS and look for other properties that are better comparables that may have not been used by the appraiser.
  4. Let the Mortgage Professional know that you will be asking for a reconsideration of value. In most cases with the new appraisal rules, the mortgage company needs to begin the process in order for the appraiser to speak with you or to begin the reconsideration of value process.
  5. Write a letter to the appraiser and the mortgage professional- State your case.  Go over the adjustments, the inferior comps that may have been used, and the better comparables that should have been used.

For this really to work, you really need to know your market inside and out, have a strong reputation in your area and be a consummate professional.  Yelling at an appraiser is certainly not going to help your case.  And just sending higher priced comparable sales that are not good comparables for your subject property will make you look desperate as well.

Also, pick your battlesBelieve it or not, sometimes the appraiser is right. There is no need to go through this time-consuming exercise if the appraiser is on the money.  Try to negotiate the deal with the buyer and seller on these cases and save your fight for another deal.

So what were the results in our 2 recent cases ? The one that was $17K low came up $9K.  We were able to negotiate the difference between buyer and seller.  And the one that was $51K low came up $51K !!  How about that ?  Am very proud of that one.

To summarize, know your market inside and out, understand the appraisal process, be a professional, pick your battles and get more of your deals to the closing table !

Good luck !

And for you buyers and sellers out there reading this, all the more reason to have an experienced, seasoned and knowledgeable Realtor to represent you during your process.  Nothing against inexperienced or low producing agents, but you get what you pay for !  Which in my experience is more deals not making it to the settlement table.

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28May/100

Take a Break from Modern Life and Go Antiquing in Northern Liberties

Architectural Antiques Exchange

I walk by Architectural Antiques Exchange in Northern Liberties nearly every day. On some days, the door is open and I grab a little peek of what is beyond. Mysterious artifacts and bar furniture beckon a closer inspection.

It wasn't until this week that I dropped by to see what they had in stock. I was hunting out a bar to rent for an event with Eclatante Design, and they suggested we walk over to check things out. Inside the dimly lit space, we wandered through, amazed by the antique bar counters and canopy pub bars. It felt like being transported to a bar in a much earlier period. What if my great grandpa had sat at one of these bars over a stiff drink?

There wasn't just bar equipment.  The place is huge. There are several floors of discoveries to be made and it feels like a bit of a maze. There were dozens of lamps, light fixtures, glassware, serveware, statues, chairs, tables, and assorted items. If you are looking to outfit your space in a specific vintage time period, you can do no better in the city than shop at Architectural Antiques Exchange. If you happen to be staging an event or need to rent an item for your theme party or show, the fantastic pieces can be yours for a brief moment. Maybe you're building a unique home? You can find antique doors and mirrors, and other details that you could work into the design.

Much of the furniture is in excellent condition and there are items that can be repaired or finished should you choose to rent or buy them. Architectural Antiques Exchange will deliver and set-up whatever you choose.  Then you get to experience the 1930's, and until a time machine is invented, this is the way to do that. We found exactly what we were looking for.

Architectural Antiques Exchange

Architectural Antiques Exchange

Architectural Antiques Exchange

Architectural Antiques Exchange
715 N 2nd Street
215-922-3669

Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10 am - 5pm

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28May/100

Welcome Leotah’s Place, A New Kensington Coffee House

Leotah's Place

I thought I saw it out of the corner of my eye at the intersection of York Street and Coral Street last week.

"Wow!", I said out loud. "I think that was a coffee shop!"

I love coffeeshops and apparently so do many of my clients because several of them who have recently purchased a home in New Kensington officially and excitedly confirmed that indeed a new coffee house had opened.

So I popped by Leotah's Place today and it is really fantastic. I had the most delicious mint tea that was perfectly brewed. They have an assortment of things to eat and plenty of coffeeand teas to choose from.  Their beans are from La Terza, which provides fair trade, organic coffee, and you can also order bags of it here.  There are 3 large rooms for gatherings, free Wifi, and plenty of seating.

Leotah's Place

Owners Blew and Kristen Baskin want to serve the community as an eco-friendly meeting place where folks can gather during open mic nights and other activities.  York Street has long needed a coffeeshop, especially to meet the needs of the workers and artists at  2424 Studios.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Leotah's Place.

Leotah's Place
York and Coral Streets
215-749-2114

Related:

Leotah's Place to Bring Lattes to Kensington

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28May/100

2 Lots for Sale in Fishtown, Philadelphia – Development Opportunity in Fishtown for 2 Lots w/ Approved Plan and Zoning

2 Lots for Sale in Fishtown, Philadelphia

Call The Somers 215-400-2620, RE/MAX Access, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia

1126 & 1128 E Wilt Street

Land for Sale in Philadelphia

Zoning approved and plans available!

Package opportunity: (1126 E Wilt St -MLS 5710521 & 1128 E Wilt St - MLS 5710520)

Opportunity to build 2 properties in hot Fishtown!

This block is in the heart of the action right off of Girard Ave and a short walk to great restaurants such as Hot Potato, Kraftwork and Sketch Burger to name a few!

View Architectural Documents

Learn more about the Neighborhood of Fishtown

The Somers Team - Philadelphia Real Estate

TheSomersTeam.com

215-400-2620

Remax Access, Northern Liberties

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If interested in buying or selling properties in Philadelphia, contact Chris and Stephanie Somers at [email protected] or 215-400-2612.  For investment properties, check out our new investor site at Philly Investor Hub!  If interested in checking out our new office in Northern Liberties, let us know !

The Somers  Team - Philadelphia Real Estate

Search the MLS Properties Here in Philadelphia

Areas of specialty include: Northern Liberties, Old City, Center City, Fishtown, Graduate Hospital, Art Museum, Queen Village, Pennsport, Old Kensington, Port Richmond, Bridesburg, Society Hill, Loft District, Spring Garden and more !

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28May/101

A Lush Summer in Philadelphia: Center City Sips

Center City Sips

Remember when you used to leave the office in time for happy hour? Now there's added enticement to get all of your work done on time, in the form of Center City Sips. The annual ode to happy hour is back with plenty of sips and bites to snag before 7 pm. Stay for dinner and receive a 15% discount.

You know the rules. The participating restaurants will feature special $4 cocktails, $3 wine, $2 beers and half-priced appetizers every Wednesday from June 2 through August 25.  This year, you can keep up with the deals via Twitter/CCDSips. They're already taunting us with deals. You can view the list of participating bars and restaurants and their special offerings at the CC Sips website.

Newcomer Cooperage in Washington Square West whips into the Sips fray with two inventive cocktails and all of their appetizers marked half off. The Johnny Be Good sounds like our summer drink.

Specials: Cooperage

Beer
Stella (Draught)
Miller Lite (bottled)

Wine
Shiraz
Pinot Grigio

Cocktails
Sangria Rose: Grapefruit & Rosemary infused Leblon, white wine & rosewater
Johnny Be Good: Pimms No.1, muddled citrus, cucumber, rhubarb bitters, ginger ale

Rittenhouse Square's Noble Cookery will be pouring quite nicely, with the rye whiskeyed LBJ, and the scrumptious chickpea fries that we love to dip in their housemade catsup.

Specials: Noble

Wine
Bridlewood Chardonnay, William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Cocktails
The Ladybird: vodka, fresh squeezed lemon, simple syrup, clubsoda, Peychaud’s
The LBJ: rye whiskey, fresh squeezed lime, simple syrup, clubsoda, Angostura

Appetizers
Chickpea Fries, Fried Chicken Wings

Specials: Chifa

Chifa, in Washington Square West, is your ceviche chill spot. Get your Vitamin C with a lychee sangria.

Beer
Cusquena, Peruvian Lager
Cristal, Peruvian Pilsner

Wine
Terranoble, Sauvignon blanc
Terranoble, Cabernet Sauvignon

Cocktails
Lychee Sangria: crisp white wine, lychee, orange
Chicha Morada: spiced rum, Peruvian purple corn, fresh pineapple

Appetizers
Ecuadorian Ceviche: fresh shrimp, yellow tomato gel, avocado
Pork Belly Buns: grilled pork belly, hoisin glaze, pickled daikon & carrot, togarashi mayo

[photo: centercityphila.org]

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27May/101

Another Thing to Love About Summer in Philadelphia

Summer Love Ale

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. and Victory Brewing have hooked up just in time for Philly Beer Week, with the release of  Summer Love Ale. The golden ale will debut on June 4 at local summer drinking spots like P.Y.T., Fork, Chifa, and Standard Tap.  We can't think of a better way to promote the city right now than with a cold brew named Summer Love.

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27May/100

Soapy Smells on Girard Avenue

Coa SoapsWhat does Fishtown wash their hands with?

Beekman's Copa Soaps has been crafting sudsy bars on Girard Avenue in Fishtown for quite a long time. If you've ever walked past the storefront, you can smell the clean, herbal scents emanating from the building.  The all natural, cold-processed soaps are made from various oils such as coconut, olive, palm, and almond - hence the name, C.O.P.A.

Soaps can be purchased online and are available in lush avocado, soothing honey oatmeal, several types of lavender, rejuvenating seaweed, and exhilarating peppermint. And that's just to name a few. We like the spicy zing of the ginger carrot. Bars range from $1.25 to $4.00.  You can also pick up large quantities in boxes.  Order 10 bars, and shipping is free.  And the nice clean feeling of knowing where your soap comes from? That's a pure bonus.

Copa Soaps
438 E Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
800-315-569

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27May/100

Wrenches, Saws, and 24 Taps: Visit Kraftwork in Fishtown

KraftworkIf eating is the plan, then dinner and drinks at Kraftwork is one of the finest projects to take on in Fishtown. At the corner of Girard and Montgomery, Kraftwork has the makings of a real neighborhood bar with elevated food, from owner Adam Ritter and chef Michael Thomas. Ritter also owns the Sidecar Bar in Graduate Hospital.

On a recent Saturday evening, we headed over to Kraftwork and waited for a table at the bar. The place was packed with locals, immediately drawn to the center wraparound bar.  The giant saw hanging over the bar? That's just a tribute to the working man. The rest of the space was decked out with industrial and tool inspired objects. It felt airy and inventive, and the volume was exciting.  The kitchen doors swung open behind the bar every now and then, with the smells of awesome wafting out and plates of shareables and things that are too delicious to share carried forth by servers.

The drinks menu was laid out in a schedule with all of the particulars, making it a breeze to select your beverage. Selections from Flying Dog, Slyfox, and Founders, and maybe any beer you've ever loved, they're all here.

Oysters, ricotta dumplings, vegetable or charcuterie boards, and sandwiches like the Beer Can Chicken and the Falafel are on the agenda. For the finish? Pork Krispy Treats with chocolate, marshmallow, and bacon. Communal-style wooden tables make eating here a group effort, rewarded in deliciousness.

Explore more about Life in Fishtown. Ready to search for Fishtown properties?

Related:

It Must Be Fishtown Friday: Kraftwork Opens on Girard Avenue

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26May/101

4 Bedroom Home for Sale in Fishtown, Philadelphia – Extremely Spacious & Updated Fishtown Home near the Frankford Ave Arts Corridor

4 Bedroom Home for Sale in Fishtown, Philadelphia

Call The Somers 215-400-2620, RE/MAX Access, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia

2074 E Cumberland Street

Virtual Tour

2074 E Cumberland StreetWelcome to this extremely spacious, large and updated throughout 4 Bedroom home for sale in Fishtown, right off of Frankford Ave in the Frankford Ave Arts corridor!

Enjoy over 2,000 square feet of living space along with a large backyard on a very tranquil and quiet block. First floor has large living room and dining room with expertly crafted tile flooring along with brand new kitchen and a convenient half bath. This space is perfect for entertaining. Exit to large backyard with plenty of space for summer bbq or pets.

Upstairs has brand new carpeting. The bathroom features a large stylish spa bath. All four bedrooms are huge and include ceiling fans. Basement is full and large, great for storage and easy to finish. Electric heating throughout. Updated plumbing and 200 amp electric as well as new roof.

Photo Gallery

2074 E Cumberland Street

All you have to do is unpack your bags and move right in to this 4 Bedroom Home for Sale in Fishtown.

Easy access to public transportation via the "El" or being one block off of Frankford Ave. A quick walk to the likes of the Rocket Cat Cafe and all the shops and restaurants!

Taxes are only $532 a year.

We welcome your visit to tour this beautifully updated Fishtown Home.

Discover more about Living in Fishtown

The Somers Team of Philadelphia

TheSomersTeam.com

215-400-2620

Remax Access, Northern Liberties

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Phone: 215.253.6818