Archives: market

A chat with Amy Greenstein, Realtor

Posted on: March 24, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

I am actually doing work at home today, I have to write up a listing contract, do last minute items for 2 of my closings next week and then I have an appointment to show houses in Chestnut Hill.

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

Most days, if I’m really busy, I’m sorry to say it’s a granola bar and maybe a yogurt. I try and eat healthy, but sometimes when you’re really busy, it’s hard. Sometimes I skip lunch altogether!

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

Depends on where I am. In Chestnut Hill it’s Green Soul, they have the best salmon salad! In Ambler, it’s definitely El Limon, it’s the closest I’ve found to actual food from Mexico, amazing burritos! In Mount Airy it’s Trolley Car Diner for best burgers, and in the Elkins Park/Jenkintown/Glenside area it’s the original Union Jacks, best wings I have ever tasted, although Gracie’s, the new place that just opened on Limekiln Pike is extremely good and kid friendly too!!

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

Free Time, What’s that? lol. I like to run/work out, go help out at my daughter’s Kindergarten class or bake, I LOVE to bake.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Actually, I’d like to hang out with the coolest person I know, my 5 year old daughter Sydney. My husband and I like to take her to plays, museums or to the movies, her excitement about everything is contagious and puts us both in a great mood! If it’s summer though, we like to go swimming or hiking/camping.

iPhone or Android?

iPhone please!!

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

We like to go to my husband’s Father’s house in Baja, Mexico. It’s on the beach and so wonderfully idyllic, we come home completely refreshed!

What is your favorite dessert?

hmmm, that’s a big question, I am a huge dessert person and I love to bake. I would say carrot cake. I think I could eat an entire pan of it myself!

How do you organize your day?

I start the day with marketing, I make sure I spend at least an hour either blogging or updating my website and SOI, then onto my callbacks for the day, making appointments and then I’m off to the races either showing or going to listing appointments.

Tea or coffee?

Tea actually. I am allergic to coffee!

What is your favorite style of house?

I love old, historic houses. My favorite style is Old Victorians. I am a sucker for the round turrets and the different level roofs. If it has gingerbread on it, I’m a goner!!

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

I would like to say relaxing, but I have a hard time doing that. I’m really an on-the-go person, so adventurous is really more my style. I love to try new things, places, new foods and anything else that sounds fun!

What is your favorite season of the year?

I am a Spring and Summer person. I love the warm weather! Puts me in a great mood and gets me up and running. I HATE the cold, although I like season changes, so I’m ok with Fall, but once the holidays are over I am DONE with the cold and I count the days until Spring.

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I have ALWAYS loved houses. A lot of my family is in different aspects of the business so I was exposed to it at an early age. I was a touring musician for 20 years and when it came time to settle down in one place it was a no-brainer for me to just transition to Real Estate. I also have to say it was a no-brainer to come to Elfant Wissahickon as well. They treat us like family and I would never work anywhere else!

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

I love the puzzles this job puts in front of you. In selling, the puzzle of finding the best way to market a property so that it goes quickly at the best price or initially figuring out what a client wants out of their Realtor, whether it be a friend/hand holder or a business-minded shark. In buying, I love the people-puzzle. Figuring out what EXACTLY they want in their perfect home and then finding it for them is so much fun for me. I hate sending people a bunch of properties that they have to wade through to get to the right one, so really figuring out what they think is best for them so I can vet through them first is always the most fun to puzzle out.

To contact Amy, call 267-226-3926 or email agreenstein@elfantwissahickon.com

Visit Amy’s Homepage here! Check out Amy’s Facebook account here!

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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!
marissa-brooks

Marissa Brooks

 

 

 


Mortgage Rates for October 20, 2011

Posted on: October 20, 2011

We asked Craig Smith of Mortgage Master to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“Mortgage rates have risen off their recent ‘historic’ lows by as much as ½%.  For most of 2011, mortgage rates have moved in the same direction as stock prices, and stocks have risen by about 10% since October 3.  Mortgage rates have jumped during that same time period.

Where will they go from here?  Many financial analysts and economists think that the recent rise in stock prices won’t last due to the current economic weakness, and that we will see another drop in stock prices soon.  When that happens, we should see a corresponding drop in mortgage rates.  Will they go as low as they were a few weeks ago?  It is possible, but that is hard to predict.  Even if rates do not go back down, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY is GREAT right now!

Housing affordability is calculated using both mortgage rates and house prices.  Since rates are still in the low 4%’s and house prices have dropped, housing affordability is near historic lows.

This brings me to my next point:  There is a MISCONCEPTION that it is hard to get a mortgage right now.  That is NOT TRUE!  The mortgage industry is lending billions of dollars every month for those who qualify.  To qualify, a buyer needs sufficient documentable income, good credit, and money (savings or gift) for at least 3.5% down payment and closing costs.  Many current renters want to buy a home, but don’t believe they can!  They should consult their local Realtor or mortgage representative to find out if they will qualify.  Please spread the word!!!”

Thanks Craig!

Posted by Paul Walsh


Rates for October 11, 2011

Posted on: October 11, 2011

We asked John Coneys of Superior Home Mortgage to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“So, what did last week’s economic data (jobs report) mean for the bond markets and interest rates?….

When our economy is struggling, our Bond Market usually benefits as investors seek a safe haven for their money. And since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, our home loan rates are sometimes at their best when our economy is struggling. In a way it makes sense…in times of economic struggle, good home loan rates can help kick start our economy in other areas. Yet, when good or better than expected economic news hits the wires, like it did with Friday’s Jobs Report, investors often move their money out of Bonds and into Stocks in an attempt to take advantage of these gains.

And that’s a big reason why we saw Bonds and home loan rates worsen late last week; some Home loan rates have moved up in the low 4’s.”

Thanks John!

Posted by Paul Walsh


Rates for August 25, 2011

Posted on: August 25, 2011

We asked Matt Lynch of First Choice Loan Services to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“Mortgage interest rates remain strong this week although they are slightly off of their lowest points from earlier this month.  Conventional 30 year fixed rates are available as low as 4.375% with 0 points for primary home purchases.

With interest rates at historic lows many customers have opted for shorter term loans of 20 or 15 years.  These mortgages offer even greater interest rate savings, saving tens of thousands over the life of the loan and lead to much faster debt free homeownership.”

Thanks Matt!

Posted by Paul Walsh


Rates for August 17, 2011

Posted on: August 17, 2011

We asked Craig Smith of Mortgage Master to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“WOW!  Current rates are amazing!  If buyers don’t buy right now, they may miss a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to lock-in at these historic levels!  Most economists expect rates to rise dramatically when the economy begins to recover.  With these low rates, buyers can buy nicer homes than they would be able to buy at normal (higher) rates.  What more motivation should they need?

Even though rates are a little higher than our recent low, which occurred on August 9th, they are still awesome!  Current 30 year fixed conventional rates with Mortgage Master are as low as 4.125% with no points.  FHA 30 year fixed rates with no points are as low as 3.875%.  Some scenarios may have higher rates depending on credit scores, loan amounts, down payments, etc.”

Thanks Craig!

Posted by Paul Walsh


Rates for August 8, 2011

Posted on: August 9, 2011

We asked John Coneys of Superior Home Mortgage to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

 

“Rates on Monday the 8th fell to their recent lows at 4.25 and 0 points. Much of the recent decline in rates relates to the economic data, suggesting continual slowdown in the economy. This  also follows a broad stock market selloff over the past week.  Rates on a 15 yr mortgage have fallen to the mid 3’s.

Activity has picked up over the last couple of months – as the summer has worn on, buyers have been excited with their timing of their purchase especially with the rates they are locking in at.”

 

Thanks John!

Posted by Paul Walsh


New Housing Legislation

Posted on: July 31, 2008

Most of you will have heard that President Bush signed into law legislation that will help almost half a million homeowners avoid foreclosure on their homes. Though the criteria for receiving assistance might seem complicated, CNNMoney.com spells out whether you can qualify for assistance:

“Qualified borrowers must live in their homes and have loans that were issued between January 2005 and June 2007. Additionally, they must be spending at least 40% of their gross monthly income on all household debt to be eligible for the program.

They can be up to date on their existing mortgage or in default, but either way borrowers must prove that they will not be able to keep paying their existing mortgage – and attest that they are not deliberately defaulting just to obtain lower monthly payments.

Before homeowners can get FHA-backed mortgages, they must first retire any other debt on the home, such as a home equity loan or line of credit. Borrowers are not permitted to take out another home equity loan for at least five years, unless it’s to pay for necessary upkeep on their home. To get a new home equity loan, borrowers will need approval from the FHA, and total debt cannot exceed 95% of the home’s appraised value.

The New York Times summarizes the rest of the bill very well here, which included about $15 billion in housing-related tax breaks.

All of this news and information about a ‘foreclosure epidemic,’ although very serious, doesn’t necessarily pertain to the Philadelphia area. Though many areas throughout the country saw extremely inflated sales prices over the last years, and are now experiencing a glut of active housing inventory, values in our marketplace remain strong. Sales prices for houses in places like Miami and San Diego rose about 50% from 1999 to 2004, where Philadelphia saw a more modest growth of 27%. Average ‘days on market’ have gone up, but only to levels still below those in 1999. Well priced, well prepared properties are still selling, even with competitive offers in some cases.

Philadelphia is a beautiful, walkable city, where people want to live. Interest rates are still low and home buyers in Philadelphia, I believe, are making a sound financial decision.

This post compiled sources from Trend, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and CNNMoney.com.

Posted by Paul Walsh