Archives: philadelphia

Building Community : Empty Bowl Dinner

Posted on: December 10, 2018

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors was a major sponsor of the 20th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network‘s Empty Bowl Dinner.  The Empty Bowl Dinner is a fundraising event benefiting PIHN.  The event is a family-friendly, lively evening with entertainment and activities.  Held right before Thanksgiving at the start of the winter holiday season, a time when people reflect on their good fortune and the needs of others, PIHN’s Empty Bowl Dinner raises awareness about family hunger and homelessness. Guests choose a hand-made bowl, donated by local students or professional potters, in which to eat their meal. Soups, stews, breads, desserts and beverages have been graciously provided by local restaurants and cafes. After the meal, guests take their bowls home as a reminder that every night hundreds of families go hungry in the City of Philadelphia.

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors hosted the event’s raffle table.

Pictured above is one of the beautiful bowls donated by Neighborhood Potters.

Since 1991, Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) has has moved “325 families—910 individuals— from homelessness to stability”.  The PIHN program provides assessment and referrals, emergency housing, supportive service, and transitional housing in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia.

EWR’s has been a longtime supporter of this event.  According to Executive Director Rachel Falcove, “this year’s Empty Bowl dinner raised over $40,000! An alumni family said the experience of being at the dinner was” like being in a roomful of love.”

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors volunteers for the evening included: Melinda Coughlin, Michelle Shlomo, Kate Shlomo, Bob Elfant, Karen Carrero, Karrie Gavin, Connie Gillespie, and Larry DiFranco, former PHIN Board Member.

Pictured behind table are Melinda Coughlin and Michele Shlomo

Kate Shlomo

Pictured speaking above is pottery made by Nina Gordon.

To learn more about Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, click here!

Photography credit Elizabeth Hasier Photography

 


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 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!

joanne lll

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!

joanne ll

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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Photo II

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Sale of Note: Grace Kelly House in East Falls

Posted on: October 26, 2016

Sale of Note: Grace Kelly House

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors would like to thank the Principality of Monaco and the Kelly family of Philadelphia for placing their trust in Elfant Wissahickon and giving us the opportunity to act as their agent on this meaningful purchase.  East Falls’ Grace Kelly House is a Philadelphia cultural landmark. It has long been a place that delights people when they pass by.  

This past summer, John O’Connell was asked to represent Prince Albert of Monaco (the son of Princess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier) and his interest in taking title to the ancestral property. The prince and his many Kelly cousins have for some time wished to return the handsome brick colonial at Henry Avenue and Coulter Street to family ownership and to see to it that both the home and its grounds are restored to its original condition, the storied property enjoyed during Grace Kelly’s childhood.

Even a property with historical significance can be affected by a fast-paced real estate market.  In order for the Kelly Family to acquire the property, they had to compete with other buyers.  As a result of the skill and patience of John O’Connell and the Kelly family, the sale was successfully negotiated and this historic landmark was returned to the family.

The day after settlement, the flags of the United States, the Republic of Ireland, and Monaco flew over the main doorway fronting on Henry Avenue.

“I have no doubt,” said John O’Connell, “that Philadelphians and especially the people of East Falls, will be pleased to see this magnificent house restored and reunited with its elegant past.”

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors has extensive experience in sales of properties of historical significance. Please be in touch if you would like to learn more.

grace-kelly-house-elfant-wissahickon-realtors

Select Press:

http://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/2016/10/25/local-realtor-behind-sale-of-grace-kellys-family-home/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/prince-albert-buys-philadelphia-home-mom-grace-kelly-42987910

http://6abc.com/realestate/prince-albert-surveys-fmr-grace-kelly-home-in-east-falls-(photos)/1572541/

http://people.com/royals/prince-albert-buys-mom-princess-graces-childhood-home-in-philadelphia/


15 DIYs to Increase Your Curb Appeal

Posted on: June 17, 2015

Here is a great little article we found on ApartmentTherapy.com of ways to increase your curb appeal with some fun DIY projects. Enjoy!

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On Apartment Therapy we spend most of our time on interiors—to us its what’s inside (your home) that really counts—but it can really pay off to give the exterior a little TLC. It’s the first thing you see before you step though the door and it can add a lot to your home’s value, should you own it yourself. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a few DIY projects to give your place a little extra curb appeal.

1. Modern House Number DIY from A Beautiful Mess

2. DIY Wood Shutters from Home Talk

3. How to Make a Tree Bench from This Old House

4. DIY Address Number Wall Planter from Shanty 2 Chic

5. How to Make a Window Box from Two Twenty One

6. DIY Modern Mailbox from Mod Frugal

7. DIY Cedar Planter Box from Shanty 2 Chic

8. DIY Bird Bath Planter from Mami Talks

9. Modern, Space-Saving Vertical Garden DIY from Man Made DIY

10. House Number Plaque DIY, 4 Men 1 Lady

11. Monogram Welcome Mat from Thistlewood Farms

12. DIY Crate Bench from Operation Home Blog

13. DIY Concrete Paver Planters from Life in Velvet

14. DIY Succulent Wreath from Pretty Prudent

15. DIY Slat Screen from The Brick House

 


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


Forget Brooklyn: Mt. Airy Realtor pitches Philly as the affordable alternative

Posted on: December 10, 2014

plant

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!


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.

Read more


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.