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Questions on AVI? Have Breakfast with GPAR

ar13623229145543Does AVI (Actual Value Initiative) and the recent property tax increases leave you scratching your head? Trust us, you're not alone. Join GPAR (Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors) for a  Legislative Breakfast where AVI and other real estated related issues will be discussed. Several City Council members will be on board to answer your questions.

The details:

Date:               Friday, April 5, 2013

 Time:              9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location:        Sheet Metal Workers Union

                         Penns Landing Caterers

                         1301 S. Columbus Blvd.

                         Philadelphia, PA  19147

You are cordially invited to attend a Legislative Breakfast Hosted by Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTORS®.  Come listen to what the Community Leaders have to say about the Future of Philadelphia, Actual Value Initiative Reassessments and other Real Estate related legislation.  Also obtain feedback from the Community Leaders on how our city can continue to grow and prosper.

A light breakfast and refreshments will be served.

$15.00 for Members

$25.00 Non Members

To Register or for further information please contact

                                                                                                                                                              Maureen Smith at 215-423-9381 or by email at [email protected]


Rent or Buy: 167 W Jefferson Street

167 W Jefferson Street is a rent or buy option ready for your spring move!

This newly renovated 3 story row home offers many wonderful features you will enjoy. Beautiful curb appeal, located across from a large clean park, and near beautiful architectural buildings. Solid hard wood floors throughout every room, new kitchen with appliances and plenty of cabinets and counterspace for cooking. The dining room and living room are combined in a completely open floor plan on the first floor. There is a rear powder room with bamboo style designer vanity and a first floor laundry area. The 2nd floor has 2 bedrooms that share a full bath. The 3rd floor is the incredibly tasteful master bedroom suite with walk in closet, room for a sitting area and bedroom set. The master bath includes a spa tub, beautifully tiled ceramic walls and floor, and a large vanity for storage. The master bedroom and bath have skylights and there are good views of the Ben Franklin Bridge. This property has a full clean unfinished basement, new electric, new plumbing, and has central air conditioning. Gas heat and cooking.

Rent for $1,500 a month or buy for $239,900. Contact the Somers Team for more information. 



Meet Your Neighbor: North Shore Beach Club

Have you been to the North Shore Beach Club in Northern Liberties yet? Come meet your neighbors and join already! As members to the only 21+ adult private swim club in the city for the last couple of years, North Shore has provided a great sanctuary for us and you can bet we will be there this summer.

Memberships are now on sale for Summer 2013. Last season sold out quickly, so don't wait. Check out the amenities below and see more of what North Shore is about in our video. See you in April!


• 1,500 Square Foot, 4.5 Foot Deep Pool

• Posh Cabanas With Personalized Service & Luxuries

• Balinese Lounge Chairs, Over-Sized Day Beds & Portable Sun Umbrellas

• Complimentary Plush Towel Service

• Shaded Hammocks

• Ping Pong Tables, Baggo & Other Games

• Upper Level Sundeck

• Air-Conditioned Men’s & Women’s Locker Rooms Complete With Showers & Bathrooms

• Cozy Fire-Pit Lounge

• Live Dj & Music Entertainment

• Complimentary Wi-Fi Coverage

• Poolside Office Center With Fax, Scanning & Copying Capabilities

• Poolside Food & Beverage Service

• Outdoor Shaded Bar & Restaurant

• Gift Shop Offering Specialty Sundries, Clothing & Spa Products

Apply for your Summer 2013 Membership now!


Gorgeous Renovation in Rhawnhurst!

Looks like someone had a lot of work done! Spring is in the air and so are the renovations... 2310 Afton Street is a beautifully renovated 4 Bedroom Home in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia.

Complete with a finished basement/in-law suite, this home features an extremely open layout with open kitchen with solid wood countertops and island. Stainless steel appliances and exhaust hood. Plenty of counter space and cabinets. Open living room with original hardwood throughout the entire main floor. There are two single bedrooms and one bedroom with private updated tile bathroom. The main bathroom has two sinks and a skylight. Wide stairwell leading to a newly carpeted finished basement which is set up as a studio/in-law suite with updated kitchen and full bathroom. The rest of the basement was finished off with laminate flooring and built in closets and shelves. Newer HVAC system and laundry hooks-ups. Walk out basement leading to large fenced in yard that wraps around home. Rear yard leads to driveway and garage with brand new door.

This an amazing house and a must see!! Contact the Somers Team for more information. 


We Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up: ‘Cause I’m the Taxman

As very active Philadelphia Realtors we at The Somers Team at Remax Access experience a lot of interesting and often hilarious things in our day to day activities. We find ourselves saying, "We Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!"

This time one of our peers took those words right out of our mouths in a Facebook discussion regarding unpaid Real Estate Taxes and yet another gutsy indiscretion by city Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown!

Here is the latest headline.


Property owned by Philly councilwoman's husband is more than $4,200 behind in taxes

A property owned by the husband of Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is more than $4,200 behind in taxes, creating more negative publicity for an elected official already facing criticism over violations of city campaign-finance laws.

Christopher Somers Shocker... and I was just at City Hall yesterday listening to testimony regarding tax delinquency. And Blondell of course seemed to support people behind on their tax bills.... her name is on the rental license. Thoughts?


And so it is true... we just can't make this stuff up. If you are Philadelphia voter, please look into the candidate's history before pushing that lever. We need people in government positions to lead with honesty and integrity. Please read John Featherman's article on


Tip Jar: The How and Why to Staging a Home

865thompson2Today's guest post comes to us from Paul Benjamin, a District Manager at EZ Storage.

Today's selling market is rough. Though house prices are starting to rebound, the environment remains extremely competitive. Staging your home is an excellent way to help your house stand out, catch the attention of potential buyers, and ensure that it sells for a good price. Whether your house is vacant or still furnished, there are multiple ways to make your house look more attractive and inviting to as many potential buyers as possible. Read on to find out why you should stage your house and to discover some quick house staging ideas.

What are the advantages of house staging?

Staging your house helps it sell faster and at a better price. While house staging can't make your house sell at a price above its worth, it serves as a sort of insurance against the price of the house being forced below its worth.

Selling your house in the current economy means having to compete with similar houses which are likely priced lower than yours. Your house needs to be presented as attractively as possible- and to the greatest number of people.

Staging a house can be done relatively inexpensively (less than a thousand dollars!) and helps to neutralize a house. This is beneficial in eliminating quirks or specific stylistic choices that might put off some potential buyers.

Do you have an old bathroom or ugly carpeting? Home staging can also draw attention to a house's strengths while simultaneously downplaying its weaknesses. Staging a room to draw attention to a large bay window and away from old flooring is much cheaper than renovation, after all.

3 Quick and Inexpensive House Staging Ideas

1. Make sure your house is spotless from top to bottom: It sounds obvious, but many sellers underestimate the power of a de-cluttered house. Making sure that everything is organized and in its place makes a house look larger and more attractive, inevitably attracting more interest from buyers. A key to making a house less cluttered is to get rid of extra furniture; even if a house is spotless, an overcrowded room with one too many chairs or end tables in it will quickly make a house seem smaller and dirtier.

2. Re-purpose unused spaces: Taking empty or unwelcoming spaces and transforming them into usable, attractive rooms is an excellent way to add value to a home. Do you have a 'sewing room' that you barely use? Adding a well-placed book shelf or desk can instantly make a room serve dual purposes. What about a den that just seems dark and gloomy? Bring light in by adding an interesting lamp or a few brightly colored accent pillows-- or even draping bright fabrics on the wall. 

3. Lighting, lighting, and more lighting: As far as house staging ideas, this one is pretty easy. Brightly lit homes always look more welcoming and attractive. Make sure every room is carefully illuminated and potential buyers will automatically find it warmer and more livable. It's not a simple matter of making sure you have enough lamps in a room, however; increase wattage in already existing lamps and make sure the light isn't too glaring or bright; a mixture of soft and harder lighting is best.

Bottom Line: Home staging is one of the most inexpensive ways to up the selling price and appeal of your home. While it won't fix an old kitchen or outdated flooring, it can draw attention away from flaws to ensure as many potential buyers as possible find the house attractive. 

Put the house staging ideas above to practice and watch your home sell!


logoPaul Benjamin is a District Manager at EZ Storage, a self storage company serving the Philadelphia area for over 40 years.


Spring Showings: 1133 N 3rd Street

1133 N 3rd Street is ready to show for spring! Two decks and a rear patio await you in Northern Liberties...

This home features 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, a rear patio, 2 decks, and a full 12' tall basement that can be finished. Pine hardwood floors throughout, recessed lighting and ceiling fans throughout, high efficiency dual heating and air conditioning. The interior is appointed in a warm transitional style. Enter in to a spacious foyer area that opens to the the kitchen with granite counters, ample storage and room for a dining table. There is a large bar area with generous space for a dining and open living room. There is a cement rear patio that is accessible through the living room with room for out door furnishings, plantings, and a grill. Second floor has 2 large bedrooms with a deck and a hall bath and the master suite is the entire third floor with extra large shower, a private deck overlooking N 3rd St.

We welcome your inquiries and encourage you to visit. 5 yrs remain on tax abatement. Contact the Somers Team for more information. 


4 Bedroom Home for Sale in Northern Liberties!

Need a lot of room? How does 4 Bedrooms sound? 868 N Lawrence Street is your perfect match.

This three-story home is being sold with the rear adjoining lot (tax id #056224000 18x46 879 N Orkney). Behind this beautiful brick facade is a charming property with original hardwood floors, original doors and trim and amazing character that remains in mint condition from the original home. There is a vestibule entrance that leads to a large open living room and formal dining room. The kitchen has a pantry and all appliances are included. Access to the yard and an 18x46 foot lot with access from Orkney St. The second floor has a hall bath and sunken tub, and 2 bedrooms with hardwood floors. The third floor includes two rooms with dormer windows and an A shaped roof line. Tall unfinished basement with laundry.

This property is in move in condition though there is opportunity for personalization for someone looking to add their own touches and upgrades. Radiator heat. Gas cooking, and the uses for the adjoining lot are endless. Fantastic location - walk to everything Northern Liberties has to offer.

Contact the Somers Team for more information. 


Why We Love New Construction in Philadelphia


The new construction at Norris Point in Fishtown, the upcoming Leithgow VI in Northern Liberties, 1234 Mascher Street in  Old Kensington and 711 Belgrade Street, also in Fishtown. What do all of these projects have in common? The developers and renovation teams that came together to create these homes were of the finest in Philadelphia.

As listing agents for these incredibly successful projects in Fishtown and Old Kensington, we are always observing, comparing and sizing up the quality of the homes and renovations as they compare to other areas in Philadelphia.  We are inspired by the industry's developers as well as the renovation specialists that provide a superior product for the home buyers in Philly.  From our perspective, great homes, impeccable new construction, and superior renovations are available right now in the Fishtown, Northern Liberties and the Old Kensington neighborhoods. A premium high quality home is not a given to home buyers in Philadelphia. Not every new construction or renovation is created equally. That is why we want to take this moment to identify those developers who we recognize are raising the bar in Philadelphia's housing market.

The developers for Norris Point are noteworthy.  Behind this wildly successful project in Fishtown at Trenton and Norris just a block from Rocket Cat Cafe and the Soup Kitchen is a new construction development that you should pay attention to. Known for their earlier projects at the Memphis Flats and the Nines,  these local developers are creating a high quality home that will sustain value in years to come.  Recent home renovations including the contractors involved with the renovation of 1234 N Mascher Street, 711 Belgrade Street, and 865 E Thompson Street are other examples of recent renovations done by local pros with impeccable taste and attention to detail throughout every aspect of the renovation process.

At the end of the day, it is the quality of the products we represent for sale coupled with the quality of our marketing that help us introduce and match these homes to happy, excited buyers and renters who are looking for a beautiful home that they can enjoy without a thought lost to repairs and improvements.  We're often on the scene marketing the property throughout its construction, highlighting the details and the neighborhood for curious buyers.

We represent the best listings out there and when consulting with us, you can expect proven successful results. If you are a developer producing a great product, why not list with the Somers Team? Get in touch with us today!


New Construction Alert: 2143 E Norris Street

2143 E Norris Street, AKA Norris Point, is a point you will find extremely well-taken...

About Norris Point...Norris Point features 10 new, three-story, 17 foot wide, 2000 square foot modern homes with off street parking in the heart of Fishtown. Built by experienced, reputable developers these houses offer distinct design elements both inside and out.

Inside 2143...The first level open floor plan includes European kitchens with solid stone countertops, stainless appliances, high ceilings, bamboo floors, and a half bath. Upper levels include a full-floor master suite with study, two full baths, ample closet space and roof deck with unparalleled skyline views. Full basement with height ceilings with the option to finish. These homes also qualify for the city’s 10 year tax abatement program. Taxes less than $300 a year!

And outside 2143...Within steps, you’ll find all the amenities of a vibrant, emerging neighborhood including Fishtown’s many new cafes, galleries and restaurants and easy access to mass transit.

Come see what Norris Point is all about... Contact the Somers Team for more information. 


Phone: 215.253.6818