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21Nov/120

OPEN HOUSES: Sunday, November 25th in Fishtown– 2 Homes to Tour!

OPEN HOUSES ON SUNDAY, November 25th

 

2360 E Tucker Street – $150,000

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Tour this charming 2BR home with updated kitchen and bath located on a quiet block on Sunday from 12-2PM.

Features include:

  • 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
  • Original staircase
  • Updated kitchen
  • New stainless steel appliances
  • Breakfast nook
  • Large backyard
  • Updated bathroom
  • Unfinished basement with lots of room for storage & washer & dryer

 

2405 E Huntingdon Street - $268,900

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Visit this completely Renovated 3BR Luxury Fishtown Home on Sunday from 2:15- 4:15PM

Features include:

  • Completely renovated
  • Spacious and open floor plan – 1700 SF
  • Bamboo floors
  • Custom cabinetry, granite counters, backsplash and stainless steel appliances
  • Spacious bedrooms
  • Plenty of closest space
  • Updated full bath
  • Washer/dryer
  • Full basement
  • Nice backyard (partial deck/yard)
  • Great location close to some great Fishtown hotspots.

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

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5Oct/120

2 OPEN HOUSES in Fishtown Sunday October 7th–New Kitchens & Baths in Both!

1214 Day Street - $234,900

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, October 7th 2:15-4:30pm

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We welcome you from 2:15-4:30pm on Sunday to tour this beautiful 2 story brick front Fishtown home with 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, new kitchen and baths, a powder room on the first floor and a large private rear yard.

Features include:

  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • New kitchen and baths
  • Full unfinished basement
  • Formal living and dining rooms
  • Granite counter tops
  • Large bedrooms
  • Lots of closet space
  • Cathedral ceilings
  • Recessed lighting
  • Central air
  • Gas cooking and heating

Make a day of it and tour our next listing just 5 minutes away:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

2547 E Norris Street - $314,900

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, October 7th 12-2pm

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Virtual tour

2547 E Norris Street is a beautiful 3BR 2 full bath 3 story brick front home offering great interior space with new kitchen and baths as well as great outdoor space with its large fenced in yard.

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

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 full baths
  • Powder room on 1st floor
  • Hardwoods
  • New kitchen with glass tile backsplash
  • New baths
  • Full unfinished basement with 6’ ceilings
  • Large bedrooms
  • Lots of close space
  • Formal living and dining rooms
  • 3rd floor master suite
  • 2nd floor laundry
  • Central air

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

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28Sep/120

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday 9/30 12-2PM – Tour a Stunning home in Point Breeze!

1903 Annin Street - Open House from 12-2PM

Offered at $239,900

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Stop by on Sunday, September 30th and tour this completely remodeled and updated 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath property, with a fenced in cemented yard and a finished basement.

Some of the beautiful features to take note of during your tour:

  • Beautiful hardwood floors on the first floor
  • Crown molding and chair rails throughout
  • Formal living and dining room
  • Kitchen is beautiful with glass back splash, 42" cabinets, stainless appliances and granite counters (you’ll want to check out the special under cabinet light features too!)
  • Bedroom level includes large hall bath and 2 spacious bedrooms
  • 1 block to the park and an easy walk to Center City

This home is available immediately and won’t last long!

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

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7Sep/120

OPEN HOUSES on Sunday, September 9th in Fishtown & the Art Museum Area

3027 Cambridge Street - Open House from 12-2

Offered at $224,900

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Come tour this beautiful move in ready 2BR home in the Art Museum section of Philadelphia with close proximity to Brewerytown, Kelly Drive and south of Girard Avenue. Home has lots of charm and unique features that include modern lighting, exposed brick, modern kitchen and bath, original refinished hardwoods and a nice sized yard.

 

 

711 Belgrade Street - Open House from 2:30-4:30

Offered at $299,900

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Tour this beautiful 3 bedroom 2 full bath home in Fishtown. You’ll enjoy walking through its spacious living and dining area, and kitchen with polished granite, custom cabinetry, and new stainless steel appliances. Other features include bamboo flooring throughout, recessed lighting, a modern open floor plan, 3rd floor master suite, large closets, and fantastic yard with patio and green space. Enjoy walking to some of Fishtown’s greatest hotspots just minutes away.

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

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7Apr/122

The Risks of Using a Large Bank Such as Citizens Bank For Your Mortgage

It is exciting when you are about to purchase a home and even more exciting when you get that sales contract back signed Who Should I Get My Philadelphia Mortgage With?by the seller!  The house is yours!  Now you have to begin your mortgage process.  You might think that the best option is the large banks that you are familiar with such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or a bank that you have your checking account with such as Citizens Bank or PNC Bank.  What else should you do?  Go to Lending Tree?

This is where you really need to trust your Realtor in terms of which local mortgage company has the best service, who stays on top of their loans and who makes sure your loan will close on time.  There is substantial risk if your mortgage company falls behind in the processing and underwriting of the mortgage.  If your mortgage company cannot produce the mortgage commitment by the date that it is due or be ready to perform by the settlement date, the seller can terminate the agreement and your dream home is poof - gone due to incompetence.

We have found that the best local mortgage companies in Philadelphia are the ones that have underwriting in-house or local. That means the loan does not need to be shipped to a different state to be reviewed by someone else who is not familiar with the Philadelphia market.  This can be important if a repair issue comes up on an appraisal where an underwriter may need to make an exception for properties  "common to the area".  If an underwriter is in a different state, that will never happen. For example, all of Citizens Bank underwriting is out of Rhode Island.  A repair issue came up on a crawl space in the basement where in discussions with the below banks, the repair would have been waived.  In this case, it was not and it cost the buyer an extra $1,500 for a repair that was not necessary.

So usiing that example, I will pick on Citizens Bank for a moment where I just had a loan close 5 weeks after the settlement date due to a whole series of debacles.  I went on Facebook and asked if anyone else was experiencing delays (of course I knew the answer already):

Jamie:  This is very helpful information Chris. Thank you so much for sharing! I am working w/a Buyer who is insistent upon using them and I have experienced nightmarish situations with their underwriting as well.

Ryan:   I was fortunate to close my deal with Citizens, but the process was a nightmare. My clients went to a local branch to get approved, but after that we never dealt with that loan officer. We were pushed to a lady in Rhode Island and it was just an all around bad experience.

Tom Tommy Mortgages Mellett: They use to be pretty decent but I've been hearing quite a few horror stories out of them lately. A lot of lenders have operation centers in other places, not the end of the world if there is communication between the local person (loan officer) and the ops center. But when there isn't, it's a nightmare.

Dave:  I could tell you a horror story about Wells Fargo, Mortgage and Bank.

Ken Krauter: I had a Citizen's Bank loan cause a two week delay just last Thursday due to underwriting problems; they do not have the infrastructure to handle purchase-loans...terrible service!

Mark: Having a devil of a time with Citizens underwriting for one of my buyer clients. I warned her strenuously about it.

Not great feedback...

So what is a buyer to do?

My recommendation in Philadelphis is to go with one of the 5 mortgage companies/banks below:

  1. Cardinal Financial
  2. Boulevard Mortgage
  3. Allied Mortgage
  4. Trident Mortgage
  5. 3rd Federal Bank

The main difference is that the mortgage loan officer is a 100 percent professional that works at these companies, knows the product inside and out, and most importantly, the underwriting of the loan is done LOCALLY, not shipped 6 states away or worse, to a different time zone.  Or the bank is just too big, your loan is sitting at the bottom of the pile.  You deserve better than that. 

It is also important to note that none of the recommended banks required ANY bail-out money!

There are many other good local mortgage companies too that I might be leaving out, and other large bad mortgage companies too.

Overall, of course there are a lot of opinions on this.  Ours comes from dealing with A LOT of buyers and sellers over the course of the last 2 years.  Our team alone sold 172 houses in 2011.

What are your thoughts?

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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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9Mar/120

Open House in Northern Liberties, Sunday, March 9th 11am-1pm

OPEN HOUSE

NORTHERN LIBERTIES

Sunday, March 9th 11am-1pm


429 Poplar Street

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You won’t want to miss this Open House on Sunday, March 9th from 11-1PM at 429 Poplar Street. Here’s your chance to tour a roof-decked out 3 Bedroom 3 Story Home with private 1 car garage and and panoramic views of Northern Liberties and Center City.

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

  • Hardwood floor throughout
  • Lower level family room made for entertainment
  • Kitchen with breakfast nook, stainless steel, granite, & easy access to the patio
  • Bright Master bedroom suite with fitted walk in closet and private bath
  • Marble tile & wood vanity hall bathroom
  • Large laundry room w/ side by side washer and dryer
  • All this and more for $499,900

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

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2Feb/120

Tip Jar: Don’t Fore-go Your Pre-Settlement Walk-Through!

This tip is for our buyers out there! A pre-settlement walk-through is what we do right before a settlement occurs. Typically it includes the buyers and the buyers' agent and it is an opportunity to check out the property before you sign off on buying that home. The walk-through allows the buyer to check on the condition of the property to make sure all repairs have been done and nothing new has popped up. We want to make sure there are no problems at settlement or post settlement. That is why we walk through the property the day of the settlement, the day before settlement or in this case a few days before.

This pre-settlement walk-through in the video reveals that only 50% of the repairs have been completed and the seller has only a few days to get things wrapped up. If the seller fails to do so, then these few repair items can delay settlement. We certainly don't want that to happen! So, buyers... do not fore-go your pre-settlement walk-through!

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3Nov/110

Tip Jar: Early Birds Always Catch The Worm

Early birds may always catch the worm but who the heck wants worms? And who wants to get up early to catch them? Well if you are like us and you are the kind that savors gently easing into your day and not rushing to beat traffic only to find yourself stuck in it anyway, then you will like this week's simple tip.

Take your time.

Even FoxNews this morning warns not to shop early for holiday gifts this year, that the best sales will come to the late shoppers. Don't be fooled by the lure of pre-season sales and definitely comparison shop. Many retail stores will beat the price of their competitors even if they are not advertizing the "meet or beat" price challenges. And the big sales will occur later even after the Holiday.

Does this advice apply to the housing market? Actually, NO! If you are window shopping for homes, trolling the online websites looking at properties and you see one you love, then do not wait! Toss our previous advice right out the window! The inventory may be high but those "dream homes", the "doll houses" and yes, your "perfect place" will be gobbled up by the Early Bird.

So, Tip #2 is: If you are shopping for a home for sale or a home for rentMove Fast! Have your financial pre-quaifications ready in advance,  don't overload your credit cards this holiday (that will hurt your credit),  and don't wait. When it comes to Real Estate,  the old saying still goes: The Early Bird Always Catches The Worm.

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22Sep/110

Tip Jar: How to Banish the 4 Letter Curse Word “MOLD”

What do the Mad Hatter and the Salem Witch Trials Have in Common?

Answer: All were created by toxins/molds.

Today's Tip Jar is about an all-too-familiar 4 Letter Curse Word: MOLD.

With Hurricane Irene behind us, coupled with the record high rainfall this year, I though it would be a good time to discuss the dreaded 4 letter curse word MOLD. Many homeowners have it. And if they didn't have it before, they could have it now. Mold counts are higher than ever post-Irene.

I am talking about that stinky, musty, nasty matter that plagues so many basements, bathrooms, and anywhere that water sits. There is growing knowledge about mold, such as its dangerous variety, toxic black mold, and more and more people are finding they have an allergy to mold spores.

So how can you stop mold in its tracks?

1) Trusty Bleach. I occasionally get some reddish color mold in my bathroom shower that I can clean with a bleach type chemical remover and voila, it is gone. That is not the best approach for larger areas that have mold and it is certainly not an environmentally friendly remedy.

2) Go Natural. In my research to destroy mold I have found three natural approaches to bleach. Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and good old vinegar. These natural remedies do a great job killing the spores.

3) Anti-bacterial Primer. If you have some residual mold on a somewhat porous area I have read that encapsulating the area by painting over it with an anti-bacterial primer such as Kilz helps a lot.

4) Call in the pros.  Try a Mold Remediation Specialist for mold that is extra pesky and dangerous. In the Philadelphia area, we like Jason Morris (610-842-0338).

Why it's important. It's not just the potential health risks and general grossness of mold that matters. Buyers and sellers will want to tackle their mold problem quickly! Mold pops up on home inspections all of the time. We have had some appraisers call for the remediation of a moldy baesmement as a condition of the loan. A Mold Certification (when called for by a lender) is what we typically provide and that shows that the mold was permanently dealt with. A professional will come to the property and take samples of the air back to the laboratory for a series of tests to confirm that the area is safe.

For home sellers, I have a special tip for you: In preparing your home for showings, double check your shower curtains and the grout around your bath and shower. Mold on these surfaces make your bathroom smell less than fresh and the ugly appearance really turns prospective buyers off. And if you have a funky basement that has a water leak or has recently been flooded, it behooves you to look into professionally waterproofing the basement. A wet basement is a "deal killer" for many buyers out there!

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Phone: 215.253.6818