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TheSomersTeamBlog
30Mar/120

Open House in Northern Liberties: Sunday, April 1st 1pm – 3pm

OPEN HOUSE

NORTHERN LIBERTIES

Sunday, April 1st 1pm-3pm


902-904 New Market Street

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You won’t want to miss this Open House on Sunday, April 1st from 1PM-3PM at 902 and 904 New Market StreetHere’s your chance to tour two original New Construction 3 Bedroom Homes with private decks, yards, and incredible design from local award-winning architects, right here in Northern Liberties!

Here are some of the great features you’ll see on your tour:

  • Strand woven bamboo floors throughout
  • Designer kitchens with Whirlpool appliances
  • Exquisite tile work in baths and kitchens
  • 2 story factory size custom Jelwin windows
  • Master bedroom suite
  • Private decks and yards
  • 10-year tax abatement, all starting at $524,900.

If unable to tour this weekend, call us for more details: 215-400-2600 - Ask for Chris or Stephanie Somers

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Chris and Stephanie Somers
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29Mar/120

Spring Fever in Fishtown

Following today's Spring Cleanup Tip Jar, we wanted to point out some perfect springtime activities (including the April 14th cleanup) happening nearby in Fishtown in the coming weeks:

Saturday, March 31st: Easter Egg Hunt at Penn Treaty Park

Saturday, April 14th: Spring Cleanup, check-in spots in Fishtown and Port Richmond:

Fishtown Rec Center (1202 E. Montgomery Avenue)

NKCDC Garden Center (Frankford & Berks)

Leotah's Place (York & Coral)

Olde Richmond (Huntingdon & Aramingo)

From the NKCDC: Brings your gloves! As always volunteers will be given a ticket to a special BBQ hosted by the great people at Philadelphia Brewing Company after the cleanup. For more information contact Tom: 215-427-0350 x 119 or [email protected]

Saturday, April 14th: Race & Rock Scavenger Hunt at Penn Treaty Park. Families, teams, or individuals will bike or walk, solve clues and puzzles around the city, and win prizes!  All participants will receive free entry into the all ages after show at Kung Fu Necktie and will receive free Vitamin Water and and event tee shirt. Registration is atRaceandRock.Eventbrite.com.

Sunday, April 22nd:Spring tree planting at 2771 Jasper Street. Help plant over 40 trees in Fishtown, Port Richmond, and East Kensington!  Pick-up trucks (& drivers) needed. Tools will be provided. Bring gloves. Two hours of planting estimated. No experience necessary. All ages welcome.  Rain or Shine!  Volunteer lunch to follow at the Philadelphia Brewing Company on Martha at Hagert. Please email [email protected] for more information if needed.

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29Mar/122

Tip Jar: Spring Cleanup Time!

Walking to the office this mild and sunny day, I was inspired to write my seasonal Tip Jar tip...clean it up for Spring!

With the windy days in Philadelphia, trash is blowing everywhere. In this video I remind homeowners and landlords to clean up their stoops and front walk area. With the warmer weather, a Spring Cleanup can really be a weekly event that you can incorporate into your weekly chores. Some folks in the Northern Liberties neighborhood do a great job keeping their street and front stoops clean. On the 800 Block on N Hancock, for example, the local neighbors have even created several flower boxes around unattractive areas like phone poles of which they will enjoy and tent all the way through the fall months.

Cleaning up may not be a lot of fun but it sure does create a really nice sense of community. Do your part this Spring and join the rest of Philadelphia and celebrate the 5th annual Spring Cleanup Day. For more information check out this website: http://www.phillycleanup.com.

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28Mar/120

Bodine High School to Hold 1st Annual Flea Market & Raffle Fundraiser

Bodine High School for International Affairs in Northern Liberties hopes to raise money for its Technology Fund with its first annual flea market and raffle.

In the wake of tremendous budget cuts, the school wants to enhance its technology program to prepare its future graduates for the growing demand of technology-based jobs and fields. There are many ways to help!

1) Sign up to be a flea market vendor. Calling all artists, vendors, and those who want to clean out their closets: Rental space is $30 and you must bring your own table.

2) Donate to the raffle fundraiser: Bodine is accepting items and gift certificates for the raffle baskets, which will be fully tax-refundable.

3) Food and beverage donations: Bodine will display business cards and menus of businesses that donate.

4) Donate your time!  Volunteers are needed to help with the event.

5) Please attend: The event date is yet to be determined, but we'll being posting it here as soon as we find out. Come out and support a neighborhood school!

For more information or to sign up, please contact:

Bodine H&S President Shelah McMillen at [email protected] or 2nd Vice President  Tracey Hill at [email protected]

You can also call 267-312-9042.

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27Mar/120

Calling All Investors: Old Kensington Opportunity

313 Cecil B Moore Avenue is a fantastic opportunity to renovate a shell in one of the fastest growing/appreciating areas in all of Philadelphia!

Interested? Here are the specs...Great comparable sales surrounding this property as well as new construction. Property already has rough-in work done as well as framing, carpentry, a new front and new windows. New electrical panel and pecs plumbing throughout. Large property - sq footage is actually close to 1,700 due to its depth. Property line goes back to the fence. You can walk around to the backyard. Basement is a full basement and tall which will be perfect for storage. Laundry area and plumbing was framed out upstairs. Easement and variance paperwork has been approved by the City (see disclosure). Parking is easy outside. Very private as not too many homes on this block.

Daytime showings only as there is no electricity - please be EXTRA careful. Bring flashlight. Contractors and investors only. Contact the Somers Team for more information.

 

 

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26Mar/120

Investor Opportunity at 5400 Walnut Street

12 Unit Apartment and 1 Commercial Store Front is included in this investment property at 5400 Walnut Street in the extremely desirable University City section of Philadelphia. It has a 92 Walk Score as a "Walker's Paradise".

6 units are studio apartments rented for $350/mo, 4 units are 2 bedrooms, 2 are 1 bedrooms. Rents vary for the 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. Total monthly income is a tad shy of $8,000/mo. Currently all units are rented with the exception of 1 efficiency unit.  Inquiries welcome.


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Contact the Somers Team for more information.

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26Mar/122

Elevate Your Standards…Introducing the Penn Treaty Village Pennthouses

We have been watching with bated breath, the transformation happening at Brown and Front Streets in Northern Liberties. Finally emerging from the dust, steel, and cobblestone is the stunning Penn Treaty Village. Positioned between the majestic Delaware Waterfront and the action and electricity of Center City is where you will find this fortress of refinement.  Penn Treaty Village is the newest invocation in true upscale housing.  These legendary smart flats are available in 1, 2, and 3 bedroom options. Aah but they are not for everyone. They are only for those of you who want to “Elevate Your Standards” when it comes to lifestyle and culture in Philadelphia.

These Luxury Apartments are ready for immediate move in.

Amenities? They're unbelievable.  The Pennthouses have everything from a wet deck and walking track to yep, fresh cookies!

Amenities:

  • Covered/garage parking
  • Storage pods
  • 24hr Concierge
  • Continental breakfast M-F
  • Catered lunch on weekends
  • Starbucks coffee
  • Fresh baked cookies-daily
  • Rooftop deck
  • Wet deck
  • Fitness center
  • Conference/meeting space
  • On-site caterer
  • Monthly resident community events
  • Smart apartment
  • 50' television in great room
  • 22' television in master bathroom, in 2/3 bedroom units

Features:

  • 24 hour front desk, ssecurity
  • 24 hour maintenance
  • Secured entry to lobby and garage
  • 24 hour access to gym, lobby, lounge area
  • Panoramic views of skyline (city)
  • Breathtaking views of bridge (water)
  • 9' ceilings
  • Walk in closets
  • Gourmet kitchens: stainless steel appliances, dishwasher, microwave, garbage disposal, ice maker
  • Floor to ceiling windows, over sized
  • Marble and hardwood flooring
  • Granite throughout
  • Individually control HVAC
  • Gas stove
  • Ceiling fans throughout
  • In ceiling speakers
  • Washer/dryer
  • Solar automated Window treatments
  • Spa shower system
  • Jacuzzi tub
  • Green-ish building: energy efficient, water conservation (toilets)
  • Pet friendly
  • Walking distance to grocery stores, nightlife, local bars, restaurants, transportation
  • Easy access to major freeways
  • 1,2 and 3 bedroom units with den options
  • Trash, water, sewer included
  • Trash compactor on every floor

Schedule your personal tour today with The Somers Team.

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25Mar/120

Philadelphia Short Sale Paranoia

It seems like more and more these days buyers agents and consumers are afraid of short sales, and perhaps even terrified.  Philadelphia Short Sale ParanoiaI think one of the main problems in Philadelphia is the lack of short sale education among real estate offices and the fact that short sales make up a small percentage of the transactions.  As a result, agents and consumers just hear about the "horror stories" so they either stay away or enter with extreme caution.

Recently, with several of our short sale listings, I will receive multiple calls a day from different buyer agents with a whole slew of questions starting out with "What is the deal with this short sale" "Who is the bank" "How are they to deal with?". Five minutes into the conversation, I am explaining the whole short sale process.   And then I am thinking "Geez, what are they telling the buyer?"...

At the end of the day, it is not really complicated.  Our closing ratio on short sale listings is 100 percent.  The only times they have not settled is when the buyers have flaked and then we have to sell the property again.  With one property, we had to sell the property 5 times, another 3 times.  With a current listing, 2 buyers have already backed out.

I am not sure what is up with this trend.  To me, there is something going on with the buyers agents and the consumers.  Not too long after they flake, we get another buyer, short sale approval and go to settlement.  That is why it is extremely important to have the most committed buyer to be in the deal from the beginning.  It takes too long to get a short sale approval and way too much work to have a flaky buyer.

Here are some tips with our short sale listings:

  • You can be confident that short sale approval will be reached by our past history.
  • We do not use an attorney that passes any additional costs onto the buyer.
  • Do not submit a contract where inspections and mortgage process starts after short sale approval.
  • Settlement will take 90 to 120 days and perhaps longer (overpromise and underdeliver)

Yes, there is risk with a short sale listing for a buyer and a buyers agent.  But with the risk comes the substantial reward of being able to procure a property below market value.

And with what I have seen to date, I would strongly encourage all brokerage offices to increase their efforts on short sale training internally and encourage their agents to go to GPAR when short sale training is offered.   And be extremely careful with the fraud that can occur with agents, short sales and consumers.  For example, recently a Center City real estate office had the FBI investigating them.  As a result, their office closed temporarily due to a fraudulent short sale flop.

At REMAX, we are the leaders in CDPEs (Certified Distressed Property Experts).

The more offices and agents that are better versed in Philadelphia short sales, the better consumers will be served.

And of course, as always, if you are a seller in need of doing a short sale, contact us.

 

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23Mar/120

Guest Blog: 2012 Tax Season Updates

Today's guest blog is from CPA Stan Wielgus at Stephano Slack and it couldn't come at a better time during tax season...follow @StephanoSlack for more tax news and tips! What's changed this year? Read on...

The joint committee is expected to be flooded with proposals to reduce the federal deficit. President Obama has urged the joint committee to take a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction. The president has called for reducing the federal deficit through a combination of spending cuts and revenue raisers. Some of the tax provisions mentioned by President Obama for repeal or reform include tax incentives for oil and gas producers and the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of accounting. President Obama also wants Congress to extend the two percent payroll tax cut, which is scheduled to expire after 2011.

One of the most contentious proposals the joint committee may address is the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act (2010 Tax Relief Act) extended the Bush-era tax cuts through the end of 2012. President Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for lower and middle income taxpayers but not for higher income taxpayers (which the White House defines as individuals with incomes over $200,000 and families with incomes over $250,000). It is unclear at this time if the joint committee will take up the Bush-era tax cuts.

The joint committee may look to some recent tax reform proposals for guidance. In 2010, the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform developed a six-part plan to reduce the federal deficit. The commission recommended reducing or eliminating many tax incentives for individuals in exchange for lower individual income tax rates. The commission also endorsed lowering the corporate tax rate to 26 percent. In July 2011, a bipartisan group of senators, known as the "gang of six," introduced a plan for deficit reduction. The senators' plan would, among other provisions, replace the current individual income tax rate schedule with three new tax brackets along with abolishing the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

Expiring tax provisions

A number of popular but temporary tax incentives (known as "tax extenders") are scheduled to expire after 2011. In past years, Congress has routinely extended many of them. This year may be different. The joint committee could include the tax extenders in its work, extending some but allowing others to expire. Alternatively, the joint committee could decide not to touch the tax extenders. In that case, some or all of them could be extended in separate legislation.

Some of the extenders scheduled to expire after 2011 are (not an exhaustive list):

• Research tax credit

• 15-year recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, restaurant property and retail improvements

• Work Opportunity Tax Credit

• Employer wage credit for activity military reservists

• Indian employment credit and accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian reservations

• Special expensing rules for film and production costs

• Basis adjustment to stock of an S corporation making charitable contributions

• Enhanced deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory, corporate charitable contributions of book inventory and corporate charitable contributions of computers

• Expensing of environmental remediation costs

• Grants for investment in certain energy property in lieu of tax credits

• Income tax credit for alcohol fuels

• Refined coal production facilities credit

• Tax treatment of payments to controlling exempt organizations

• Subpart F exceptions for active financing income

Additionally, one hundred percent bonus depreciation is scheduled to expire after 2011 (except for property with a longer production period). Enhanced Code Sec. 179 expensing ($500,000 maximum amount $2 million investment ceiling) also is scheduled to expire after 2011.

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22Mar/120

Relisted: Rent or Buy 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, 16A12

2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, 16A12, is back on the market!

It's all yours for $199,900 or rent it for $1,300 a month.

All utilities included w/ maintenance: unlimited fitness classes at the gym, free bus rides into town, 24 hr concierge, 2 social rooms, a library w/ a view, free bike dock and on-site shopping, pharmacy, dry cleaner, spa, diner and bank! Gym membership includes full use of the indoor & outdoor pools ($30/mo). Majestic Views of the Art Museum & Schuylkill River. Kelly Drive's jogging paths & biking trails are a stone's throw away. The interior of this studio includes new carpeting, hardwood kitchen floor, granite counters, stainless appliance, tile back splash, professionally fitted closets, built-in bed, a huge balcony with slider doors & aerial views year round. Rent includes all utilities, including basic cable. Elevator access to private floor, security entrance, elegant foyer,& extra storage.

Contact the Somers Team for more information.

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Phone: 215.253.6818