Our Blog

A chat with Joanne Colino, Realtor

Posted on: February 14, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

In the City of Philadelphia, City of Brotherly LOVE for Valentine’s Day

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

Jules thin-crust pizza, keeps a girl slim and trim

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

Anywhere on Germantown Ave, Mt Airy, Chestnut Hill is a little respite during your day

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

Hang at the beach!

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What does your perfect weekend look like?

Sunday Football, when in season

iPhone or Android?

iPhone all the way!

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Santa Fe, NM

What is your favorite dessert?

Red wine in a large glass

How do you organize your day?

Old habits die hard

Tea or coffee?

Coffee to pump you up, tea to relax

What is your favorite style of house?

Clean

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

Room Service

What is your favorite season of the year?

Games of Thrones, winter is coming

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I love challenges and meeting new and interesting people from all walks of life

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

Multiple offers!!

To contact Joanne, call 215-920-6464 or email jcolino@aol.com

Visit Joanne’s Homepage here!

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joanne

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A chat with Deb Stanitz, Realtor

Posted on: February 3, 2017

What did you do before you became a realtor?

I am an Artist by training having earned my BFA and MFA and practiced as a sculptor primarily in welded steel, glass and light. For many years I designed and fabricated furniture as well as teaching Art at the University level. I loved helping students visualize their ideas and master the skills to realize those visions. How things are put together is a passion of mine, from conception/visualization through execution. In addition I have spent many years recreating my own home in Manayunk/Roxborough.

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I love people and realized I could use these skills to help other people visualize their new home and assist them if realizing that dream. I love problem solving and I am very detail oriented, all very helpful attributes in navigating a Real Estate transaction.

Where is your favorite place to vacation or to relax?

Getting out into nature is a must for me, be that into the Wissahickon Gorge or the mountains of Vermont, Pennsylvania, Colorado or Peru. When I need a break I love going birding with my husband, Leo, sometimes just a day trip to some of the great birding spots near Philadelphia in PA and NJ or on an extended trip like Costa Rica. Yet, I still love to check out museums, other artist studios and gallery shows. It gives me pleasure supporting other artist by collecting their work.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Leo is a fabulous gardener and has made our tiny garden an oasis. Photographing the textures, colors and natural wonders of his garden, the Wissahickon Park or other natural locations is how I stay connected to my visual creativity. I frequently use these photos in my marketing.

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

We enjoy Craft Beers and good creative food shared with friends. McMenamins Tavern in Mt Airy is a favorite of ours for years and recently we discovered The Pub of Penn Valley in Narberth.

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

Many early mornings a week you will find Leo and me power walking on Forbidden Drive or on the secluded trails of the Wissahickon Park. It is, also, important to me to nurture long time friendships and several early mornings each week I am on the phone with friends who live in other states. These friends have known me through many stages of my life some as far back as Jr High School and they represent industries as diverse as clothing manufacturing, aerospace engineering, a student of Ram Das, symphony violist, lawyer and psychologist. Getting support and perspectives from these areas of expertise is fascinating and enriching.

To contact Deb, call 267-235-7028 or email deb@elfantwissahickon.com

Deb Stanitz

Some of Deb’s photography work:

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A chat with Patrick Walsh, Realtor

Posted on: January 27, 2017

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

In my free time I like to see live music as often as possible. Whether it be in a small, intimate club setting or an arena rock show, live music has always been something that I’ve been passionate about. I also enjoy exploring Philadelphia’s exploding culinary scene. There is a seemingly endless list of restaurants and bars that I have yet to visit, as new places continue to open so frequently.

What is your favorite season of the year?

My favorite season of the year is Autumn. This has a lot to do with living in/around Northwest Philadelphia. The foliage along the tree lined streets of East Falls, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill has always amazed me. Autumn in this area is truly breathtaking!

Tea or coffee?

Coffee. Always coffee.

What is your favorite style of house?

My favorite style of home has to be the old, stone Singles found throughout Northwest Philadelphia, in particular in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy. The sheer size and age of the homes are enough to impress, but most seem to have features unique unto themselves. They tend to tell a tale about the previous owners throughout the years, and I love the historic aspect of these properties.

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

I’d have to say my favorite on-the-go lunch choice is Green Soul in Chestnut Hill. They have an excellent selection of ready-to-go juices and smoothies, as well as delicious made-to-order wraps and sandwiches. I’ve also been known the frequent Chubby’s Steaks in Roxborough, trying to cut back, so delicious!

To contact Patrick, call 609-529-4080 or email patrick@elfantwissahickon.com

Patrick Walsh Patrick Walsh (photo f. blog)


A chat with Marissa Brooks, Realtor

Posted on: January 20, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

All over! I spent the morning in West Philly, quick stop in Mt Airy, the afternoon in Port Richmond, and happy home to my fam in South Kensington.

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

Reading terminal all the way. So many great stalls to choose from! Some days a piece of cheese from Downtown Cheese and a baguette from Metropolitan OR Four Seasons Juice Bar (next to Market Blooms) and a pretzel from Miller’s twist.

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

PlayArts at Front and Thompson opened in September and it is a wonderful business! It is a beautifully rehabbed old municipal pool building turned into a spectacular play space complete with sensory, art, music, and dance classes. From infants on up, it is a great addition to the neighborhood.

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What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

When I’m not showing houses or chasing a toddler around, I love to cook!!

iPhone or Android? 

iPhone

What is your favorite dessert?

Pizza 🍕

Tea or coffee?

Coffee – I’m very spoiled since the flagship La Colombe is just a few blocks from my home.

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La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

Helping people take the next step in their lives. In my experience, physically moving is usually a manifestation of change in life, and it isn’t always young people starting fresh or growing into a “dream home”(though that is really fun!). Sometimes it’s because of death, divorce, retirement, or downsizing. A house can come to symbolize so many very personal things for people; a loved one that resided in it, a relationship that may not have worked out, a space that whole generations of a family have been raised in… It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rewarding. The purchase or sale of real estate is a very empowering experience.

Visit Marissa’s Facebook page here!
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Marissa Brooks

 

 

 


Christmas Lighting Tips to Save Time and Money

Posted on: December 21, 2016

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon @ Houselogic.com

Here’s how to light up your Christmas light display safely and economically.

Christmas lights can be modest displays to show good cheer, or million-bulb light-apaloozas that draw gawkers from near and far.

Here are some tips on how to get the most from — and spend the least on — your holiday display.

1. Safety First

Emergency rooms are filled with homeowners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also, avoid climbing on roofs after rain or snow.

2. Unpack Carefully

Lights break and glass cuts. So unpack your lights gingerly, looking for and replacing broken bulbs along the way.

3. Extension Cords Are Your Friends

Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.

4. LEDs Cost Less to Light

LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. Downside: Some think they don’t burn as brightly as incandescent bulbs.

5. Solar Lights Cost Nothing to Run

Solar Christmas lights are roughly four times more expensive to buy than LEDs, but they cost zero to run. They’re a bright-burning, green alternative. Downside: If there’s no sun during the day, there’s no light at night. The jury’s also still out on how long they last; they’re too new on the market for results.

6. Dismantle Lights Sooner Than Later

Sun, wind, rain, and snow all take their toll on Christmas lights. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays. The longer you leave the up, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.

7. Plan Next Year’s Display on Dec. 26

Shop the after-Christmas sales to get the best prices on lights and blowups that you can proudly display next year. Stock up on your favorite lights so you’ll have spares when you need them (and after they’re discontinued).

8. Permanent Attachments Save Time

If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. You’ll get a couple/three years out of the clips before sun eats the plastic.

9. Find Those Blueprints

Instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring with a tape, dig up your house blueprints or house location drawings (probably with your closing papers) and use those measurements as a guide.

10. Store Them in a Ball

It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to ball them up. Wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. Store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.

 


Dream Come True: Yoga Studio, Fitness Boutique and Healthy Canteen Open Under One Roof

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors represented the buyers of this lovely Yoga studio. Please visit if you are so inclined.

 

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BY  @ PHILLYMAG.COM

If your dream afternoon includes hitting a hot yoga class, grabbing a matcha latte and maybe snagging a new pair of leggings, I’d like you to say hello to Chestnut Hill’s Rebel, otherwise known as your new heaven on earth. Rebel houses a yoga studio, an activewear boutique and a healthy canteen (that’s basically a cafe with a trendier name) under one roof. See? Heavenly.

Rebel, helmed by yoga instructor Sue Pinto, opened pretty quietly at 8020 Germantown Avenue earlier this month. The space features a 400-square-foot yoga studio offering a range of heated and non-heated classes; a 700-square-foot retail space, where shoppers will find activewear brands like Spiritual Gangster, Beyond Yoga, Alo and more, along with jewelry and accessories; and a canteen slinging cold-pressed juices from Stripp’d, Inspired Brews kombucha on draft, drinks like matcha green tea lattes and gluten, dairy, and sugar-free baked goodies from Pure Batch.

I repeat: heaven on earth.

And if yogis intimidate you in the same way bike technicians intimidate me (anyone else?), fear not. Per the press release, Pinto’s goal in opening Rebel is to provide a judgment-free environment where newbies and seasoned yogis alike feel comfortable. “Rebel will be fun, warm and feel like a community. It’s not intended to be an exercise factory. I want this to feel like a home away from home,” Pinto says.

Rebel’s grand-opening party is going down on Friday, November 18th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to the Facebook event page, folks can expect light bites and cocktails, along with discounts on yoga classes and boutique items. Here’s to hoping it’s warm enough to enjoy a drink in the garden. (Did we mention there’s ALSO a garden? Because there is.)


Winter Lawn Care: 4 Steps to Protect Your Turf

Posted on: November 3, 2016

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon @ Houselogic.com

Cold weather on the way means winter lawn care for your backyard.

Although spring lawn care gets all the attention, fall lawn care is the make-it or break-it season for grass.

“I’m already thinking about next year,” says John Dillon, who takes care of New York City’s Central Park, which features 200 acres of lawn in the middle of Manhattan. “The grass I grow this fall is what will be there next spring.”

Fall lawn care is no walk in the park. It’s hard work, and Dillon guides you through the four basic steps.

1. Aeration

Aeration gives your lawn a breather in autumn and provides room for new grass to spread without competition from spring weeds. Aeration tools pull up plugs of grass and soil, breaking up compacted turf. That allows water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach roots, and gives seeds room to sprout.

If kids frequently play on your lawn, plan to aerate twice a year — fall and spring. If your lawn is just for show, then aerate once a year — and maybe even once every other year.

A hand-aerating tool ($20), which looks like a pitchfork with hollow tines, is labor-intensive and meant for unplugging small sections of grass. Gas-powered aerating machines (rental, $20/hour) are about the size of a big lawn mower, and are good for working entire lawns. Bring some muscle when you pick up your rental: Aerating machines are heavy and can be hard to lift into your truck or SUV.

Depending on the size of your property, professional aeration costs about $150.

 

2. Seeding

Fall, when the soil temperature is about 55 degrees, is the best time to seed your lawn because turf roots grow vigorously in fall and winter. If you want a lush lawn, don’t cheap out on the seed.

Bags of inexpensive seed ($35 for 15 pounds) often contain hollow husks, weed seed, and annual rye grass seed, which grows until the first frost then drops dead. Splurge on the good stuff ($55 for 15 pounds of Kentucky Bluegrass seed), which resists drought, disease, and insects.

Water your new seed every day for 10 to 20 days until it germinates.

3. Fertilizing

A late fall fertilization — before the first frost — helps your grass survive a harsh winter and encourages it to grow green and lush in spring. Make your last fertilization of the year count by choosing a product high (10% to 15%) in phosphorous, which is critical for root growth, Dillon says.

Note: Some states are banning phosphorous-rich fertilizers, which are harmful to the watershed. In those places, look for nitrogen-rich fertilizers, which promote shoot and root growth. Check with your local extension service to see what regulations apply in your area.

4. Mulching

Instead of raking leaves, run over them a couple of times with your mower to grind them into mulch. The shredded leaves protect grass from winter wind and desiccation. An added bonus — shredded leaves decompose into yummy organic matter to feed grass roots.

A mulching blade ($10) that attaches to your mower will grind the leaves even finer.