Archives: Resources

A chat with Jenny Sweeney, Realtor

Posted on: April 24, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

Sundays seem to be my busiest day. I am working the floor schedule at Elfant Wissahickon this morning, showing an apartment in Germantown at noon and taking a client to see a great modern ranch in Flourtown this afternoon.

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

Favorite new restaurant is Jansen, The owner is a good friend and neighbor.

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

I was a Chef for 25 years before I became an agent, I cook a lot, do yoga and hike in the Wissahickon.

What is your favorite style of house?

My problem is I love all types houses! The shabbier the better for me.

To contact Jenny, call 215-527-2012 or email jenny@elfantwissahickon.com 

Check out Jenny’s Facebook Page here!

Jenny Sweeney

Delicious desserts made by Jenny

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Jenny’s beautiful garden

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Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Congratulates 2016’s Award Winners!

Posted on: March 8, 2017

awards 2016

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors proudly recognizes and congratulates

the company’s 2016 Top Producers at our Annual Awards Breakfast!

Thank you all for an amazing and successful year 2016!

 

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Mary Jo Potts & Associates – Top Producing Team (Transactions)

Mary Jo Potts – Top Producing Team Leader (Transactions)

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Tiffany Wainwright – Top Producing Team Member (Transactions)

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Joanne Colino – Top Individual Producer (Transactions)

Karrie Gavin Group

Karrie Gavin Group – Top Producing Team (Volume)

Karrie Gavin

Karrie Gavin – Top Producing Team Leader (Volume)

Jacob Markovitz

Jacob Markovitz – Top Producing Team Member (Volume)

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Joanne Colino – Top Individual Producer (Volume)

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Ksenia Scorsolini – Rookie of the Year (Volume)

Andon - Headshot

Andon George – Rookie of the Year (Transactions)

Adams Group

The Adams Group – 20 Million Dollar + Production

Schwartz Nealy Team Logo

Schwartz Nealy Team – 20 Million Dollar + Production

Philadelphia Moves Team

Philadelphia Moves Team – 20 Million Dollar + Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Don’t Forget To Spring Forward!

Posted on: March 6, 2015

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It may not look like it outside, but spring is at our doorstep! Soon we’ll be attending backyard BBQs, shuttling the kids to little league practice and complaining about the heat! There is no better indication of the coming of springtime than setting the clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time!

Even though most will set their clocks forward by one hour before bedtime on Saturday night, the exact time of DST 2015 is 2am on Sunday morning, March 8th. Two clocks you normally will not have to change are on your cell phones and cable boxes. These are usually automatically programmed to adjust for time change.

You may wonder, why do we observe Daylight Saving Time? At one time, it was to save electricity. But newer studies have been challenging the long-held reason.

In general, the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. When we go to sleep, we turn off our TVs and lights. In the average American home, 25% of electricity we use is from electronic appliances and lights, and a good percentage of that usage occurs in the evening when families are home.  So, by moving the clock ahead one hour, we cut the amount of electricity we use each day.

In fact, Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin was the first person to suggest DST in 1784, but the idea didn’t catch on until World War I to save on artificial lighting costs. Overall, Daylight Saving Time is said to cut back 1% of daily electricity usage!

So, spring forward and enjoy the coming warmth!


5 Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

Posted on: February 13, 2015

We found this great article on tips for first-time homebuyers we’d like to share with you HERE.

Real estate

The integral 5 steps are:

1) Check Your Credit

2) Evaluate Assets and Liabilities

3) Organize Documents

4) Qualify Yourself

5) Figure Out Your Down Payment

Purchasing your first home can be a daunting process. Get more info on the Home Buying Process through pre-purchase counseling with one of our Real Estate Professionals.

Meeting with an experienced REALTOR is necessary and will make finding and purchasing your new home a breeze!


Ditching Your Commute Is the Happiness Equivalent of a $40,000 Raise

Posted on: February 2, 2015

We found this cool little article in Lifehacker and thought we could be of assistance. Give us a call today if you are looking to shorten your commute and find a home closer to your workplace!

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“When you look at Americans’ day-to-day activity … the top two things we hate the most on a day-to-day basis is, No. 1: housework and No. 2: the daily commute in our cars. In fact, if you can cut an hourlong commute each way out of your life, it’s the [happiness] equivalent of making up an extra $40,000 a year if you’re at the $50- to $60,000 level. Huge … [So] it’s an easy way for us to get happier. Move closer to your place of work.”

Read the complete article HERE


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


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!


How to protect your home when you leave for vacation.

Posted on: July 30, 2014

Summertime is the time of year when most Americans take vacation. Over 60% of us, in fact, take our vacations in July or August. On average, we are gone for about 2 weeks per season.

That said, it is extremely important to protect your house and belongings when you are gone.  Thieves can case your neighborhood, looking for houses that appear vacant and can even be as bold as ringing the doorbell to see if you are home. There are a few sensible steps to make sure your house is protected when you are way, below are a few of them:

1) Never post your vacation dates and plans on social media, and if you do, make sure your privacy settings are set so just your trusted friends can see your posts.

2) Before you leave, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked and that your ground floor curtains or shades are pulled.

3) Invest in a home security or camera system if you leave your house unattended regularly. There are now low-cost options that can help protect your valuables.

4) Make sure it appears as though you are home. Keep outdoor lights on, illuminating your property enough to deter burglars. Set some indoor lights to timers in different rooms. Leave a television or radio on, or set it to a timer, as light to moderate sound will make thieves second guess a break in.

5) If you go on an extended trip, schedule lawn maintenance. Nothing says vacant property like an overgrown yard.

6) Have a trusted family member or neighbor check on your house every day or two and report back to you. This will ease your mind in addition to appearing like you have company if someone is watching you house.

7) Don’t forget to have your neighbor or family member pick up your mail and newspapers. Burglars also check mailboxes to see if letters have been piling up for some time.

If you follow some of these simple suggestions, it will go a long way in protecting your property and easing your mind so you can enjoy your rest and relaxation. Happy Summer!

 


Tips On Keeping The House Cool This Summer!

Posted on: July 3, 2014

About five months ago as we were cursing the icy air and abundance of snow, we longed for the carefree summer months. Well, they are here and they’re HOT! It’s hard to keep things in perspective when you’re sweating through your t-shirt, but, try to enjoy the summer months as best as you can, because right around the corner is…you know.

We were searching the web for some effective ways to keep the house cool during the summer months while saving energy and we found this great list below via Care2.com. Enjoy!

1. Reduce the cooling load by employing cost-effective conservation measures. Provide effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening on hot days.

2. Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.

3. You can help get rid of unwanted heat through ventilation if the temperature of the incoming air is 77 F or lower. (This strategy works most effectively at night and on cooler days.) Window fans for ventilation are a good option if used properly. They should be located on the downwind side of the house facing out. A window should be open in each room. Interior doors must remain open to allow air flow.

4. Use ceiling fans to increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A sow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.

5. In hot climates, plant shade trees around the house. Don’t plant trees on the South if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.

6. If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.

7. If buying a new air conditioner, be sure that it is properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor.

8. Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner: for room air conditioners, the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating should be above 10; for central air conditioners, look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating above 12.

9. In hot, humid climates, make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately get rid of high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house.

10. Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.

11. Seal all air conditioner ducts, and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.

12. Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms.

13. Maintain your air conditioners properly to maximize efficiency.

14. Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50 percent.

15. Close south and west-facing curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight. Keep these windows closed, too.

16. Install awnings on south-facing windows, where there’s insufficient roof overhang to provide shade.

17. Hang tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside the window during the summer to stop 60 to 80 percent of the sun’s heat from getting to the windows.

18. Apply low-e films.

19. Consider exotic infills in your windows, a new technology that fills the space between panes with krypton or argon, gasses that have lower conductivity than air, and which boost R-values.

19. Provide shade for your room A/C, or the outside half of your central A/C if at all possible. This will increase the unit’s efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent.

20. Clean your A/C’s air filter every month during cooling season. Normal dust build-up can reduce air flow by 1 percent per week.

22. Turn off your A/C when you leave for more than an hour.

23. Several studies have found that most central air conditioning systems are oversized by 50 percent or more.

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