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Philadelphia is a “Top Green City”!

Posted on: January 30, 2015

According to Organic Gardening Magazine, Philadelphia is  “An urban area working to make their neighborhoods (and the planet) healthier and more sustainable.”

Jump to the full article HERE

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Philadelphia
Score: 15.686
Population: 1,450,000

Since 1974, Philadelphia Green, a pioneer urban greening program, has advocated for the development and care of community gardens and open spaces all over the city. The Mill Creek Farm has turned a once-vacant lot into a source of affordable organic food—and a model for sustainable living—in its low-income community in West Philadelphia. Helping to clean the Philadelphia air are the more than 25,000 residents that participate in PhillyCarShare, the world’s largest regional car-sharing organization.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s largest indoor flower show. theflowershow.com.


What’s the best approach to selling a house? Outside fixes or inside?

Posted on: January 28, 2015

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In the Inquirer Business Section, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Neil DiFranco and Keith Adams were quoted in a story discussing inside vs. outside home improvements when it comes to selling a home. Take a look at the full article HERE.

 

Real estate’s premier selling season traditionally begins after the Super Bowl. Some local agents will tell you the spring market is already underway.

No matter how one defines spring, hopes for 2015 are high, given last year’s numbers. The National Association of Realtors reported Friday that U.S. sales volume in 2014 was 3 percent below that of 2013, which saw a booming first six months and a tepid run July through December.

Housing’s recovery was hamstrung much of last year by a shortage of salable inventory – that is, houses that met the dual criteria of being priced right for their market and being in move-in condition.

That shortage may have resulted partly from 2014’s severe winter and an apparently widespread concern by prospective sellers that prices had not recovered sufficiently to warrant listing their homes.

What will attract buyers to the available inventory this year? On that the national Realtors group and some area real estate professionals don’t fully agree.

The Realtors group suggests that smaller exterior home improvements offer the best-value investments for sellers. In its 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, done in collaboration with Remodeling magazine and available at www.costvsvalue.com, the association recommends projects such as replacing vinyl siding or garage doors as cost-effective.

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors’ associate broker Keith Adams in Northwest Philadelphia doesn’t see it. Today’s buyer remains “more strongly influenced by the condition of the interior and the space/layout,” he said.

Curb appeal may set the tone, but “it isn’t, in my experience, the most tangible or influential home element on my buyer’s list,” Adams said.

Lynn Mundy Coggin, an agent in Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors’ Jenkintown office, acknowledged that exterior improvements may offer the best value, but noted that “once a potential buyer walks through a new front door, first impressions of the interior are important as well.”

No one, Coggin said, “should discount the power of paint.” Once prospective buyers are inside, “they are looking for freshly painted, neutral gray walls, clean open spaces, updated kitchens with granite countertops, bathrooms with classic subway tile and, definitely, no clutter.”

“Simple is the new chic,” she said.

Elfant Wissahickon’s Neil DiFranco said that “an attractive color palette and tasteful staging will make a huge difference on the interior without a lot of cost when compared with major renovations.”

When it comes to tweaking a home’s exterior, Andrew Himes of BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors in Collegeville said, “buyers are more willing to make landscape upgrades and other small outside things themselves.”

They don’t, however, “want the cost nor have the time to handle kitchen and bath upgrades on their own,” Himes said. “They really want that to be done in advance.”

All of which raises the question: Will would-be sellers do the necessary work?

“Most sellers don’t want to spend any money in getting their homes ready for the market, but they still want top dollar for the home,” said Lena M. Tella Gelenberg, of Re/Max Services in Blue Bell.

“A little improvement goes a long way,” she said. “You don’t need to spend lots of money to make a house show well, but need to focus on the things that will make an impact.”

One example: those readily observed outdoor fixes the Realtors group advises.

First impressions can make or break a sale, said Lisa Fazio, of Weichert Realtors in Jenkintown.

“Attention to landscaping and gutters are also very important, since they can lead to trouble when it come to basement moisture problems,” she said, and untrimmed or dead trees can create safety and liability concerns.

Patios, decks and exterior lighting, done well, can add value, Fazio said.

Of course, the risk of any renovation done for the sake of a sale is that the potential buyer may not like the choices made.

Said DiFranco: “One homeowner’s perfect kitchen is another homeowner’s demolition project.”


Schools showcase achievements for area Realtors

Posted on: January 20, 2015

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When local Realtors toured some of Northwest Philadelphia’s public schools, they discovered that, just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a school by the news.

The Nortwest Philadelphia Public School Realtor Tour, organized by the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition and Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, was formed to showcase the educational opportunities and strong school programs available to prospective home-buyers in Mt. Airy and the surrounding areas, while counteracting negative opinions about the school district.

Katey McGrath, director of operations at Elfant Wissahickon and a board member of Friends of Jenks, along with Abby Thaker, of the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition, came up with the idea to arrange the tour last year…

Continue reading on The Chestnut Hill Local Website


Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Welcomes Leah Strenger

Posted on: December 17, 2014

Leah Strenger Photo

Leah has called Philadelphia home for over eight years, and lived throughout Center City and Fairmount before purchasing in the Callowhill neighborhood of Center City. Born and raised in New York City, Leah moved to Philadelphia in 2006 and has never looked back.


Leah attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, where she focused her studies on urban studies, art history, painting, and printmaking. In the following years, she has worked as an office administrator and a marketing manager, while maintaining a painting and textile design studio practice.

Leah applies her years of administrative and management experience to keeping transactions and marketing running smoothly. A pragmatic approach, strong eye for detail, and years of experience in the arts allows Leah to envision a property’s full potential. When Leah isn’t in the office, you can find her in her studio painting and drawing, participating in Callowhill neighborhood association events, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring different Philadelphia neighborhoods.


Forget Brooklyn: Mt. Airy Realtor pitches Philly as the affordable alternative

Posted on: December 10, 2014

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Elfant Wissahickon Realtor Christopher Plant appeared yesterday in this great article in The Chestnut Hill Local about the affordability and great amenities Philadelphia has to offer those looking for an urban lifestyle without paying New York prices. Take a look at the article HERE!


Town By Town: It’s still hip, and still the place they want it to be

Posted on: December 8, 2014

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This week in Philly.com there was a cool article on Manayunk, with some nice quotes from Elfant Wissahickon Realtor, Keith Adams, discussing the neighborhood’s value to buyers looking for a Center City experience for far less money. Take a look at the full article HERE and feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for a home in the Manayunk area!


Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

Posted on: November 18, 2014

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As the Managing Partner and Broker of Record of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, I’m often asked the question, “When is the best time of the year to sell a home?”

Well, I recently came across an article online and thought it did a wonderful job illustrating the pros and cons of selling in any season. Every situation is unique and regardless, one of our professional Realtors will be able to guide you through the selling process with grace and ease.

Take a glance at the ARTICLE and call us today if you are thinking about selling your home.

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-Paul Walsh

Managing Partner and Broker of Record, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors