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TheSomersTeamBlog
30Aug/130

Live the Philly Lifestyle. Take a Peek at the Possibilities!

Have you seen our videos highlighting the Philadelphia lifestyle with Krispfilms? Didn't catch them all? Check out the video reel!

The Somers are proud supporters of Business, Art, and Real Estate in Philadelphia... Contact the Somers Team for more information.

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23May/130

Northern Liberties: 1 Bedroom Condo & All of the Perks…

Love never having to get in the car to go to brunch or your favorite bar? Then 233 Fairmount Unit A is for you... Its superior location in Northern Liberties gives you access to all of the great spots within walking distance - the Abbaye, N 3rd, Palm Market, Standard Tap, Green Eggs Cafe, and the list goes on and on.

Welcome to the heart of Northern Liberties! Enjoy condo living with low condo fees and taxes. This is a convenient first floor unit. Hardwood floors throughout with modern/open layout. Plenty of natural light as it is a corner building. 12 ft ceilings with recessed lighting. Kitchen has granite countertops, custom cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Full bath has been completely updated. Bedroom is private with ample closet space. Storage space in unit as well as shared space in the basement.  All mechanicals just a few years old.

Easy to show! Make your appointment today. Contact the Somers Team for more information.

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1May/130

Looking for a Great School in Philly?

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Great Philly Schools makes it easy. We recently came across this wonderful resource that helps you find all of the K-12 schools in the city, search by neighborhood or zip code, with a helpful rating system that lets you compare schools side by side.  The search results will rank the school by safety, academics, and college bound statistics. Great Philly Schools will make your move within Philly that much easier for you and your family.

[image via GreatPhillySchools.org]

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24Feb/130

REMAX Access Does the Harlem Shake!

I do not need a lot of words for this blog...

The video and post-photos speak for themselves.  I must say this was a lot of fun!

 

 

Thank you to everyone who participated and to our friends at Home Jab for doing the video!

Here is our post Harlem Shake group shots!

REMAX Access - Harlem Shake !

REMAX Access - Harlem Shake - Unmasked !

 

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15Feb/130

Open House Sunday 2/17 at 2149 Norris Street in Fishtown

2149 E Norris Street

Starting at High 300’s

View Photo Gallery

2149 E Norris Street, Norris Point is Fishtown’s latest and hottest New Construction development with expected delivery of Phase 2 - June, 2013.

Open House Tour: 1:00-2:00PM

Features of this incredible home include:

  • Modern, Distinct Design
  • 2,000 square feet
  • 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths
  • 17' wide
  • Study/flex space
  • Private off street parking
  • Roof decks with skyline views
  • Rear patios
  • Full Basements
  • 10 year tax abatement
  • Great location - close to cafe's, galleries and restaurants all in walking distance More details: http://norrispoint.info/

 

If unable to tour these properties on Sunday call us to schedule your tour at 215-400-2600 - Ask for Chris or Stephanie Somers.

Remax Access - The Somers Team
Chris and Stephanie Somers
Contact us: http://www.thesomersteam.com/contact.php

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24Jan/130

Liked, Friended, Followed, and now Highly Recommended

We've got an app guy for that.

We're spreading the word about local vendors and service providers that we know, use and who consistently surpass our expectations. Apps are cool but can't refinish your deck, treat for termites, or clean your house...but here are a few good people who do!

Are you local and passionate about serving customers? Want more people to enjoy the services you provide? Then get in touch! We'd like to consider adding you to our preferred vendor list. If you are looking for a local service provider and did not see one on our list, please contact us. We have endless resources.

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15Nov/120

OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, Nov 17th 1-3PM Tour 1714 Memphis St #117 in Fishtown

1714 Memphis Street, #117

Offered at $325,000

View Photo Gallery

Open House Tours: Saturday, November 17th 1-3PM

We invite you to tour this exquisite luxury condo in Fishtown that offers the best of all worlds: Deeded parking, tax abatement, and attention to detail at every inch.

One floor living with ample square footage (almost 1,400) has tremendous appeal for the sophisticated, low-maintenance owner.

Features include:

  • Bamboo hardwood throughout
  • Two incredible spa baths
  • Second bedroom with floating wall offering many options
  • Bathrooms with high-end vanities and custom tile
  • Open Layout offering great space for entertaining
  • 15" ceilings
  • Expansive windows offering south side view and lots of natural light
  • Custom cabinetry and countertops with island
  • Stainless Steel Bosch appliances
  • Large walk in closet
  • Gym, lounge and storage facility in basement
  • Great location close to restaurants, galleries and shops

If unable to tour these properties on Sunday call us to schedule your tour at 215-400-2600 - Ask for Chris or Stephanie Somers.

Remax Access - The Somers Team
Chris and Stephanie Somers
Contact us:
http://www.thesomersteam.com/contact.php

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3Sep/120

Labor Day

Philadelphia is gloomy and dreary today as I write this.  And I have a gloomy heart as well on this particular Labor Day with tens of millions of people being unemployed and even worse, so many folks have dropped out of the Labor Force.  When will it get better? Our politicians continue to rant and rave how things will get better and we look to them for that belief, yet the recovery remains at a dismal pace.   If all the money that was spent on both campaigns was funneled into the economy, I know there would be less people unemployed... but that is not the point here.

The Dept of Labor defines Labor Day as:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Congrats to all the folks who have the pride and gratitude for being employed and for staying employed during our Country's recession.

And to those that walk the Boulverard of Broken Dreams (as Green Day sings it), do not give up.  Scratch, claw and never give up.

Thomas Edison has a great quote:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Carpe diem and seize the opportunities.  Do not let them slip through your fingers.  Harness all the energy you have into making a difference.

Perhaps for all of us we can tell all the politicans to screw it, fu@# off, and make it happen for ourselves and make it happen for your respective City.    My college friend Andy Bloom from the University of Maryland taught me those exact words "Make it Happen" and I have not forgotten them 20 some years later.

As individuals, we can make it happen daily.  Improve ourselves and make the world a better place.  Seize those opportunites and create your own opportunities.

As a neighborhood, as a City and State, we can make it happen as well, by improving our community through pride and inspiration and striving to be the top City in the United States - to have the lowest unemployment rate and ranking as one of the best Cities and States to live in.

As a Country, there is no excuse...  We are the United States of America.  We are the best country and have the potential to stay on top for decades to come.  Let's not forget the things that make us great - hard work, prosperity and opportunity.   Cheers to all the workers for those contributions to improve the strength, prosperity and well-being of our Country.  And for those that are not employed, have faith and confidence that things will improve for you.  It will... make it happen.

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13Aug/120

Meet Your Neighbor: Heather Karlie Vieira

Meet your neighbor Heather Karlie Vieira. Heather owns a fabulous (and when I say fabulous I really mean fabulous) antiquity/art/lighting/cool furniture and more store on the south side of Frankford Avenue near Girard Avenue.  The store is called 20th Century by HKFA located on 1311 Frankford Ave in Fishtown. Take a look at the exterior door on her building! The facade is a work of art.

Vieira has great taste and quite a unique collection of affordable antiquities and art. It is quite impressive. She started a successful business called Heather Karlie Fine Art in New York City, and began by dealing in antique frames and selling them directly to the top art galleries on the Upper East Side. Living in Manhattan and in Rio de Janeiro influenced and expanded her personal taste and exanded her business relationships as well. Now,  Heather is taking on Philadelphia!

Heather has a large warehouse filled with amazing industrial, rustic, advertising and uber-cool as-found objects,  from small trinket boxes to oversized outdoor signs, (there's a little bit of everything). I am sure if you are looking for something special, you will find it and still have a few bucks in your pocket for a beer at Frankford Hall which is conveniently located right across the street!

Connect with 20th Century by HKFA on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and check out her blog on ARTFIXdaily.

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12Aug/120

Will the AVI Derail the Housing Recovery in Philadelphia ?

Real Estate Tax Burden in Philadelphia

Similar to across the country, the Philadelphia real estate market has already started to rebound, showing many signs of strength. Total housing inventory has decreased from 8,888 units to 7,862 units (from 12.4 months to 10.4 months of supply). From June 2011 to June 2012, total homes sold ticked up to 4,533 from 4,450 with median prices being up 4.8 percent during that same period. In many parts of Philadelphia, the inventory for some neighborhoods is extremely low where many properties sell quickly with multiple offers. In 2012, the homebuilders have been one of the top performing sectors in the stock market. Who would have thought? Well, we did in our 2012 Predictions (see numbers 4 and 12). In some neighborhoods such as Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Graduate Hospital, new construction continues to happen at a brisk pace with a very healthy demand.

With the perfect storm in place to deliver a strong rebound which includes historically low mortgage rates, a shrinking inventory, increased consumer confidence and the election being out of the way in a few months, what could possibly derail this recovery?

Unfortunately, that would be the Actual Value Initiative (AVI) . What is the AVI? It is some sort of system that no one really understands that at the end of the day, real estate taxes will go up substantially for many of Philadelphia's neighborhoods. The main purpose is to raise funds for the ailing Philadelphia School District. Since City Council refuses to make responsible fiscal choices, raising real estate taxes is their easy solution year after year. Unfortunately, for property owners, real estate taxes have already been increased 3 years in a row and will be facing the largest potential real estate tax in Philadelphia's history once the AVI is implemented. The plan is for every property to be reassessed by a City employee (not associated with the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors nor an appraiser) and then to have the real estate taxes be assessed on that value. Due to the complications and complexity, the AVI was delayed a year.

Councilman Bill Green was quoted in a Philebrity article "Council delayed this with open eyes. We did the right thing that you argue may be against our interest. We will do the right thing next year and get AVI done but we will use the data and the tools available to blunt unintended effects and impacts. Next year council, with full information, will responsibly provide AVI relief that helps people who can’t afford it and has the least impact (increase) on millage for everyone else.”

So in 2013 every homeowner will get a reassessment on their property and an update on their real estate taxes will be for 2014 as part of the AVI. The way real estate taxes are computed now is already hard to understand but the way the AVI will work, it is even more complex. In speaking to Matt Ruben, president of the NLNA, a simple formula might be 1.5 percent of the value of the property. If that is accurate, then a $300,000 property will have taxes of $4,500 and a $500,000 property will have taxes of $7,500. If this is true, some homeowners may face an increase of 300 percent or more. It is hard to find a property in Northern Liberties or Graduate Hospital for example where the real estate taxes are more than $2,500 a year so homeowners are bracing for this tax increase rape.

This tax increase rape on hardworking homeowners can really hurt the housing market in a number of ways. First, just when the affordability index is close to an all time low, that will change quickly. For example, a new buyer takes into account their real estate taxes as part of their monthly mortgage payment. With those increases, a mortgage payment goes up dramatically which will prevent buyers from buying in a neighborhood they want to live in, or buying at all. Second, the increase in real estate taxes may cause many homeowners to put their homes on the market (increasing the inventory) simply because they cannot afford it or out of principal since they may ask where is the money going or how is it used in the black hole of Philadelphia ? Others will simply fall behind which will cause more sheriff sales, tax sales and foreclosures and thus more squatters stealing copper and benefiting from Squatters Rights (who do not pay real estate taxes at all). Third, as less properties are sold, the City and State will collect far less in transfer taxes. When a property is sold in Philadelphia, 4 percent is collected (3 percent by the City and 1 percent by the State) at settlement. For every $300K property sold, the transfer tax is $12,000. By the way, the 4 percent transfer tax is already one of the highest in the Country!

The conversation can get deeper when folks ask where is this money going? How is it being spent? How come there is not an overhaul with City contracts, pensions, the DROP program, cuts across the board since Philadelphia is on a fiscal brink? It seems like there are many other options besides going after the homeowners (taxpayers) again to fund the black hole, specifically being the ailing Philadelphia School District. Instead of Mothers Fleeing Philadelphia, could this be homeowners fleeing Philadelphia once the AVI is implemented ? In such a fragile time in our local economy and our local housing market, why derail it? And if you are a renter, be prepared for higher rental prices as landlords (who are used to the money grabs such as the brilliant Lead Base Paint bill passed by Blondell Reynolds Brown) will simply pass those expenses along to their tenants who have already seen a large percentage increase on rental prices. Or just sell their properties...

The good news is that until this is law, perhaps Mayor Nutter and City Council will get their heads screwed on straight and reconsider one of the largest real estate tax hikes (rape) to date and if there is any common sense, they would start to understand the numerous unintended consequences of this tax hike. Let's only pray...

What are your thoughts?

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