Archives: philadelphia real estate

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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Photo III


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

 

 

 


Right Now: What $500,000 Buys in 5 U.S. Cities (and Philadelphia)

Posted on: March 10, 2015

We always enjoy articles highlighting what kind of home a certain amount of money will buy you in a variety of  U.S. cities. This particular POST compares NY, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin and Chicago. We wanted to add some Philadelphia properties to that list, so here is what $500,000 will get you in our fair city:

 

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114 E. Moreland Ave. Philadelphia, Pa 19118

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520 Carpenter Ln. #2G, Philadelphia, Pa 19119

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7111 McCallum St. Philadelphia, Pa 19119

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440 S. Broad St. Unit 1504, Philadelphia, Pa 19146


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.”


PGW EnergySense Event at Citizens Bank Park

Posted on: May 8, 2014

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Rena Asher, Jacob Markovitz and Cathy Davis attended the PGW EnergySense event yesterday morning at Citizens Bank Park. While eating breakfast in the Executive Dining Room, they sat through a program created to educate Philadelphia Realtors about the various Home Rebate Programs available to either upgrade a building to natural gas usage or to a more efficient system. After several informative speakers and question-answer time, the group set out on a full tour of the stadium, including visits to the press box, broadcast booths, batting cages, and most exciting – the Phillies dugout and locker room.


Neighborhood Profile: BALA CYNWYD

Posted on: April 29, 2013

History:  Bala Cynwyd is a community in Lower Merion Township which is located on the Main Line in southeastern Pennsylvania, bordering the western edge of Philadelphia at US Route 1. It was originally two separate towns, Bala and Cynwyd, but is commonly treated as a single community. Bala Cynwyd lies in the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania and was settled in the 1680s by Welsh Quakers, who named it after the town of Bala and the village of Cynwyd in Wales.

(From Wikipedia)

Boundaries: Bala Cynwyd extends west of the Philadelphia city limits represented by City Line Avenue from Old Lancaster Road at 54th Street west to Meeting House Lane and then along Manayunk and Conshohocken State Roads north to Mary Watersford Road, then east along Belmont Avenue back to City Line.

Zip Codes:  19004.

What To See / Do:  West Laurel Hill Cemetery, History and Landmarks

More Information: The Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd

Schools: Cynwyd Elementary SchoolBala Cynwyd Middle SchoolLower Merion High School, Catholic Merion Mercy  Academy, Waldron Mercy AcademyFrench International School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s  Cynwyd Line

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