Archives: Resources

Get the Homestead Exemption Before the Deadline Ends

Posted on: September 6, 2018

Did you know that you could save up to $550 on your 2019 Real Estate Tax bill with the City of Philadelphia’s Homestead Exemption tax relief program? You are eligible to claim Homestead for your primary residence in Philadelphia, which lowers the taxes for your property. Don’t miss out on big savings and sign up before September 13, 2018!

There are more than 200,00 households enrolled in the Homestead Exemption since 2012. Around 76% of eligible homeowners have taken part in saving on property taxes as of December 2017, making it one of the City’s most successful tax relief programs. It is expected to provide Philadelphians even bigger savings next year.  If you are an eligible homeowner and haven’t applied so far, don’t wait any longer and apply today – it only takes 2 minutes!

You can apply to Homestead by:

Already enrolled in the Homestead Exemption program? No action is needed, simply enjoy your savings. Once you’re in the program, you stay in automatically, unless you sell your property or if the deed of your property changes.

This program is for everyone! Income is not one of the limitations for eligibility and there is no age requirement.

If you benefit from LOOP (Longtime Owner Occupants Program) or have a 10-year tax abatement, you unfortunately won’t be able to get Homestead until that existing program ends. Nevertheless, you can apply for Homestead even if you have an OOPA (Owner Occupied Real Estate Tax Payment Agreement) or the Senior Tax Freeze.

Don’t miss the opportunity to save up to $550 on property taxes starting 2019. Hurry, the deadline for these savings is September 13, 2018.

​Source: http://bit.ly/2Q8qOxt /phila.gov​


Labor Day Weekend Guide

Posted on: August 31, 2018

Don’t let the forecast get you down! This holiday weekend there are plenty of fun and exciting events to attend both indoors and out. Whether it’s a new exhibit at the Art Museum or roller skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Below are just some of the many events Philly has to offer this weekend! Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Blue Cross RiverRink & Summerfest
August 31st – September 3rd
Celebrate the end of summer at the Blue Cross RiverRink! Monday is the last day of the season, so make sure to head over to the Delaware River waterfront for boardwalk eats, delicious craft beer and cocktails, outdoor activities like mini-golf, roller skating, the 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel and fun arcade games.


Philadelphia Museum of Art Special Exhibits
August 31st – September 3rd
Labor Day weekend is here and with it comes two special exhibits. Head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and get inspired by “Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950” and “Art Splash: Bright Lights, Little City”. Take advantage of the museum’s “pay what you wish” admission this Sunday.


Franklin Institute of Science
August 31st – September 3rd
This weekend marks the last days of the Franklin Institute’s Game Masters exhibit. Enjoy 100 video games, ogle original and transformative artwork, watch interviews with gaming pioneers, delve in to the classic arcade diversions and immersive multiplayer experiences, and learn the stories behind celebrity characters. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!


Labor Day Fireworks Penn’s Landing
September 1st
Head over to Penn’s Landing to attend the end-of-summer concert featuring the U.S. Army Band Downrange, followed by the amazing fireworks show that lights up the sky above the Delaware River. Enjoy these mesmerizing views to commemorate Labor Day.


Made in America
September 1st – September 2nd
Welcome to one of Philadelphia’s most popular music festivals! Another great year of live music. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host this great event with some of the biggest names in the music industry from Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo, Zedd to Alessia Cara and many more. Made in America runs Saturday-Sunday of the Labor Day weekend.


Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs
September 1st – September 2nd
The Philadelphia Phillies start off the month of September with a two-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. Don’t miss the chance to see two top teams of their respective divisions to compete against each other.

 


Last Minute Vacation? 6 Ways to Prepare Your Home Before You Leave

Posted on: August 24, 2018

Vacations are all about relaxing. The last thing anyone wants to come home to is a mess or worse, theft. By preparing your home before you leave, the risk of accidents or burglary will be greatly reduced. Follow these tips before hitting the road for a truly care-free getaway.

1. Give the impression someone is home:

  • Park your car in the garage (if available) and ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway occasionally.
  • Have a neighbor collect your mail, packages and newspapers or have delivery paused.
  • Use a timer to turn on lights in the home regularly.
  • Mow your lawn before leaving or have someone cut the grass while gone.

 

2. Protect your home against criminal activity:

  • Install a motion activated sensor on an outside floodlight.
  • Make sure all windows, doors, and gates are locked.
  • Remove all spare keys from any hidden exterior spots and bring them inside.
  • Set your security alarm and monitor security devices.

 

3. Set your thermostat:

Make sure you program your thermostat to keep your home at a safe temperature range. The ideal temperature range to keep the home when on vacation is 82-85 degrees in the summer and 60-65 degrees in the winter. This will keep your home and humidity levels comfortable without wasting energy (and money) while you’re gone.

4. Unplug electronics and small appliances:

Unplug electronics like TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, etc. to prevent excess power usage and to reduce the risk of an electrical fire.

5. Check your water and plumbing:

Turn off the water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, sinks and toilets to prevent accidental leaks or ruptures. Shut off the water heater or put it in “vacation mode”.

6. General home preparation:

  • Take out the trash before going on the trip.
  • Leave closet doors open to prevent musty air.
  • Go through your fridge and cabinets and throw away items that will go bad while you’re gone. Clean the refrigerator and place an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors.
  • Notify your credit card company and your security company (if you have one) that you’ll be going on vacation.
  • Make sure to leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor.
  • Have a neighbor water your plants and check on your home.

 

Source: www.servicemasterrestore.com


Winter is Coming, Prepare in the Summer

Posted on: August 16, 2018

With heat waves and beach trips still to come, it’s hard to believe colder months are right around the corner. Before you know it flip flops and sand shovels will be replaced with scarves and snow blowers. While vacation mode is in full swing, taking the time to prepare for winter could save your family and home from winter woes. Here’s how to get started.

1. Snow Plow Service Lists

Make sure to get your name on the snow-plow contractors list. Reach out to your neighbors to pitch in on a private company. By prepping now, you’ll have more options to choose from as schedules start to fill up fast come fall.

2. Schedule Your Furnace Service

With temperatures in the 90s, the last thing on anyone’s mind is heating the home. However, this is the perfect time to schedule service on your home furnace. Ask your HVAC company for a twice-a-year maintenance plan. If something does need to be repaired, you’ll have plenty of time to get the work completed before you need it. Giving you the opportunity to save money for the repair or find the best deal. HVAC companies often give discounted rates for larger repairs!

3. Schedule a Professional Energy Audit

Schedule a professional energy audit now. A professional audit will save you money and you will learn where your home is prone to energy loss. Check out energy.gov for info on how both professional and DIY energy audits work. You can also find energy auditors through the Residential Energy Services Network at resnet.us.

4. Plant a Tree!

Enjoy working in the garden but worried about the impending frost? Late summer, early fall is surprisingly the best time of year to plant trees. Planting them now provides adequate time for trees to establish roots before summer next year. Not only are trees beneficial to the environment, they increase the value of your home! Live in a Philly zip code? You can get one for free. Take a look at treephilly.org for more info.

 

Source: Kelley Walters/Houselogic.com


Building Community – A Chat with Katey McGrath, Director of Operations & Partner

Posted on: April 10, 2018

Do you volunteer or financially support a non-profit or charitable organization (if more than one, pick one)?

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook

What makes this organization special to you?

It’s an independent news organization covering the Philadelphia School District. I believe that our city needs an independent voice, working for quality, and equality, in our public schools.

I became involved with the Notebook’s board because the battleground for the fight for racial and social justice is public education, and the Notebook is an important ally, helping to create a culture of accountability.

I continue to work with the Notebook because it is an incredibly professional and hard-working organization at the center of a community that cares about the health of our public school system, the contributions of teachers and families, and the success of its students.

Do you volunteer your time or make regular donations of funds or goods?

Lots of time! I’m currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors. My family proudly makes a gift to the Notebook each year.

Do you host or plan fundraisers or events?

Yes, regularly – we host small events for members, house parties to raise awareness (and funds), and an annual event to celebrate the Notebook and honor student journalist and public education advocates.

Are you on its board or a committee?

Before I was Chair, I was Co-Chair, Vice-chair; I’ve served on the Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and Governance Committee.

What is your favorite thing about the organization?

I’m so proud of our staff and the content they produce. It’s the only place in Philadelphia where you can go for truly in-depth analysis on really complex education issues. Its credibility and integrity are inspiring to me.

When did you start volunteering?

2012

What made you support the organization?

I learned of the Notebook after completing the Young Involved Philadelphia’s Board Prep program (I highly recommend it for any young professional looking to get involved with a non-profit!).

Describe the organization in 3 words!

Equity, Quality, Impact

How can someone get involved?

Go to thenotebook.org, subscribe to our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and become a member!

To contact Katey, call 215-247-3600 or email katey@elfantwissahickon.com
Visit Katey’s Homepage here

 


A chat with Wendy Schwartz, Realtor

Posted on: December 6, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

6:30 AM My day begins when I wake in the morning catching up on emails and promoting my new listings in bed,

7:00 AM Then hustling three kids to three different schools,

8:00 AM Parent/Teacher Conference at Elkins Park Middle School,

10:00 AM Prespective Buyers for 520 Carpenter Lane at the office,

12-3 PM Busy Brokers Lunch at 6723 Wissahickon 19119,

3:30-5 PM Open House for Buyers at 520 Carpenter Lane meeting with 15 Buyers and their designers on site planning their move,

6:00 PM Our Annual Favorite Family Event at the Empty Bowl raising money for local homeless families.

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

Green Soul

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

I love the renovated Farmers Market in Chestnut Hill. Thursday night is a blast for all ages!

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

What Free time…spend every moment with my three kids and three dogs. We love hiking in the Wissahickon and we sometimes venture to the Palace in the Northeast to go roller skating.


Thanksgiving with my Grandmother the matriarch of the family with Isa and Cecelia in Delrey.


What I am most grateful for snuggling with my family.


My three dogs that constantly want attention.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Weekend at the shore. Biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and reading a book on the beach.

iPhone or Android?

iPhone

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Torn between Latin America and Israel. I am off to do a service project with my 14 year old daughter for 10 days in rural Guatemala.

What is your favorite dessert?

Dark Chocolate

How do you organize your day?

Highly dependent on my iPhone calendar.

I try to exercise and do physical therapy in the am with my favorite Morning Joe.

Trying to start meeting with Buyers and Sellers after 10 am and my day goes to 8 or 9 PM.

Tea or coffee?

Tea. I am very type A. I do not get tired.

What is your favorite style of house?

All homes have their special qualities however I have really been appreciating mid century modern.

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

Adventurous. I do not know how to relax ;(

What is your favorite season of the year?

Summer

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I love working with people!

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

Helping people make the biggest decision in their lives and holding their hands along the way.

To contact Wendy, call 215.913.1425 or email wendy@elfantwissahickon.com
Visit Wendy’s Homepage here



♦ Photo on top: Great settlement with the help of my listing coordinator Kathy Krebs.
♦ Photo bottom left: Luna my favorite shh.
♦ Photo bottom right: My office at home. Always PJ’s and the pups.


♦ Photo on top: Out celebrating with the boys!
♦ Photo bottom left: Proud to be honored as a Cushings Survivor Event. 15 months post op 8 hour brain surgery successfully removed two tumors! I “Kicked Cushing’s“ 😉 Nothing will stop me from selling houses.
♦ Photo bottom right: My ten year old Judah who runs the house. Best cook in town 😉 classic shot after trick and treating throughout Twickenham and Custis Woods! #proudcheltenhamparent


A chat with Denise Chapline, Realtor

Posted on: November 27, 2017

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

The Chestnut Hill Market at the Fareway is the best choice around. I can select sushi, pizza, Mediterranean, Korean, or just a plain cheese steak for lunch and enjoy any of these in the beautiful outdoor terrace embellished with fountains and fabulous flowers. Quick, easy, delicious, and lovely.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

My perfect weekend would start out with a movie and dinner in Ambler on Friday night, a walk through Morris Arboretum during the day on Saturday, down time on Saturday night, and spending time with my kids and 3 grandchildren on Sunday. I also enjoy watching Penn State and Eagles football games.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

We have friends with a house in Brigantine, NJ who we love to visit. Brigantine allows you to drive onto the beach so you can take all of your stuff with you in the car without dragging everything in your arms. It’s the best. We go down for long weekends and veg on the beach all day. We like to travel and have also been to Italy and Costa Rica. My favorite vacation spot to date has been South Africa, especially the game reserves.


Denise with her husband Phil in Alaska


Denise with Phil in Capetown, South Africa

What is your favorite dessert?

Bassett peanut butter ice cream. They sell it at Bredenbeck’s in Chestnut Hill which is right up the street from our office. Very dangerous!!

Tea or coffee?

Definitely coffee, 2-3 cups per day.

What is your favorite season of the year?

I like Summer best of all the seasons because I don’t have to wear shoes and I get to go to the shore.

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

My favorite part of being a realtor is helping people reach their goals. So satisfying! Getting up each day and having something new to look forward to doing. No day is the same as the day before.

To contact Denise, call 215-880-4795 or email denise@elfantwissahickon.com
Visit Denise’s Homepage here


Denise at her daughter’s wedding at Penn State


Denise and Phil at Ellis Island


Denise in Guadalajara, Mexico


A chat with Sara Stewart, Realtor

Posted on: November 17, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

Elkins Park

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

Grilled Cheese with tomato!

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

In Chestnut Hill we are loving Paris Bistro, but wine tasting at Jansen’s in Mount Airy is fun too!

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

Going to the movies with my family!

iPhone or Android?

iPhone

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Anywhere with my husband … City or Beach

What is your favorite dessert?

TIRAMISU hands down!

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

RELAXING

To contact Sara, call 215-880-1165 or email sara@elfantwissahickon.com
Visit Sara’s Homepage here! Check out Sara’s Instagram Page here!


A chat with Aileen Pasquel, Realtor

Posted on: August 4, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

I have been working in various neighborhoods throughout the city, from Market East, Graduate Hospital, Art Museum Area, South Philly, and North East. Society Hill will be coming soon. I focus on the areas that will match my buyers needs. Certain neighborhoods have specific amenities to satisfy needs. Also, certain architecture only exist in certain areas. Then consider close to transportation and always price. With investors, there are other parts of the city to work within, depending on their end use.

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

Slice and a soda

iPhone or Android?

iPhone

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Algarve, or any Mediterranean town. Love being in cities and beach towns.


Aileen strolling through the streets of Algarve.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate

Tea or coffee?

Coffee in am, tea during the day

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

I like to have a mix. A little beach or pool, something sporty and always a touch of art/culture

To contact Aileen, call 215-915-0044 or email aileen@elfantwissahickon.com


A chat with Christopher Plant, Realtor

Posted on: July 21, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

Spring Arts, Mount Airy, Kensington and Chestnut Hill. A good bounce around the City.

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

Top of the Hill Market in Chestnut Hill and NomNom Ramen for downtown.

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

Still can’t get over how much I enjoy Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Kensington.

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

Walking and running the trails in the Wissahickon, movies with my family, exploring the City of PHL’s every nook and cranny. Still obsessed with everything HAMILTON!

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A good night out with friends, lots of family time, a little work and a fast day trip to the beach.

iPhone or Android?

Straight up iPhone and Apple across the board

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Just had a killer snowboard trip to Powder Mountain in Utah in April that was epic.

What is your favorite dessert?

Salted caramel ice cream with chocolate bits, some fresh chopped almonds and chocolate sauce.

How do you organize your day?

Try to get up by 6AM, make coffee for my lady, get the dog out, get kids to school and then grab the day by the horns. I start at my new coworking space KISMET COWORK in Chestnut Hill and then hit the Elfant Wissahickon Realtors office to follow up.

Tea or coffee?

All coffee. Trying to drink less but it is a staple.

What is your favorite style of house?

One that I am helping my clients buy or sell! Mostly, I dig old houses with a good story but with a tasteful modern flourish.

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

Adventure. I don’t really relax that well.

What is your favorite season of the year?

Summer. But I love the Fall. And the Spring. Winter is pretty awesome as well!

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

After buying my first house, I was HOOK, LINE, SINKER. It was a love affair.

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

It sounds corny to say I love helping people shape their lives but that is the for real story!

To contact Christopher, call 215-740-2339 or email cplant@elfantwissahickon.com
Check out Christopher’s Facebook page here! Visit Christopher’s Homepage here!