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January 2015

There are 81 blog entries for January 2015.

Was that East Passyunk mini-mansion we included in yesterday's roundup not rococo enough for you? This Rittenhouse Square townhome pulls out all the stops, and it can be yours for a mere $7.5 million; is that much-touted Millennial love affair with cities for real, or are they simply hanging around because they're too broke to afford that suburban dream home?; Home sales rose slightly while prices fell in the Philadelphia region last quarter, according to figures from Drexel economist Charles Gillen; and pour yourself a cup of coffee while our Top Gun and his trusty sidekick explain how coffee can give your home's value a jolt too:

Stop What You're Doing: 1910 Rittenhouse Square Just Hit the Market (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine)
Do Millennials

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Philadelphia Auto ShowBrands you know and cars you've never heard of share pride of place at the Philadelphia Auto Show. Photo from Philadelphia Auto Show.

One of the oldest auto shows in the nation, the Philadelphia Auto Show, rolls into the Pennsylvania Convention Center tomorrow for a nine-day visit. (The charity-ball crowd will get a classy preview tonight at the annual Black-Tie Tailgate fundraiser.)

This year's edition includes classic blasts from the past and cars yet to come—everything from a 1929 Dupont le Mans Speedster to the latest from Aston Martin, Fiat, Buick, Bentley and more. Over 700 classic, current, luxury, exotic and concept cars will be on display. Ride-and-drives will give you the chance to let your inner explorer roam behind the wheel of a Jeep or

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Credit score chartWhy are the slices of this pie the sizes they are? Read on.

As we noted in our last post, information from several streams on your credit report goes into calculating your FICO credit score. Before we explain each of them in detail, this post explains how the puzzle pieces are put together to generate that almost-all-important number. Why "almost"? We'll explain in a bit.

First off, let's look at the streams and their relative importance. On average, the typical borrower's FICO score is calculated as follows (and as shown in the pie chart above):

Your payment history is the most important item, accounting for 35 percent of your score. 

The next most important item, weighted at 30 percent, is the amounts you owe your various creditors relative

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Proposed LOVE Park redevelopment
The proposed site plan and underground cross-sections for the LOVE Park reconstruction.

By Gabriel Gottlieb

The Department of Parks and Recreation and Penn Praxis held a meeting on January 20 at the Central Library, to discuss, and receive public input about, the redevelopment of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park. This was a followup to a meeting the two groups held at the library in December; the purpose of this meeting was to detail the design process and receive further public input.

The city sold the parking garage underneath the park last year to Chicago-based InterPark but retains ownership of the park on top.  InterPark plans to rebuild the deteriorating parking garage and the Department of Parks and Recreation will rebuild LOVE Park as a result.  The

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After nearly 200 years in New York, the American Bible Society and its 200 employees are decamping for a place where they can live on a nonprofit's salary structure; the long-awaited rebuild of City Hall station will get under way next year, SEPTA officials say—but it will take a while for the agency to finish the job; since we show you so many Modernist high-end homes on this site, we figured it was time to give equal time to those who love a less austere style; it took three years and $800,000 in price cuts, but a Villanova mansion designed by a Clothier finally found a buyer who thinks it fits; and we close today with an extra—a call for Little Pete's defenders to rally 'round the restaurant tonight at the CCRA zoning meeting:

American Bible Society

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foreclosure signA wave of former homeowners will be moving away from this intersection over the next eight years.

It takes seven years for a foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure to disappear from a homeowner's credit report. That's how long it's been since the first homeowners to run into trouble during the 2008 housing market meltdown experienced their setbacks. And in turn, that means a wave of buyers who have been shut out of the housing market will be coming back in.

Foreclosure specialist RealtyTrac estimates that this wave will total 7.3 million potential buyers over the next eight years, Inman News reports. Most of these "boomerang buyers" are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, who entered the market in large numbers during the early 2000s.


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Lululemon AthleticaPart of a parapet wall on the building to its left fell onto the Lululemon Athletica store at 1527 Walnut St. yesterday afternoon, causing its roof to partially cave in.

Part of a parapet pried off a building next door, most likely by high winds, caused a big headache for the owner of the building at 1527 Walnut St. on Rittenhouse Row in the Rittenhouse Square section of Center City yesterday afternoon.

Those bricks fell onto the roof of the building, which houses the Lululemon Athletica clothing store, and triggered a partial collapse. Three women shopping inside the store when the roof fell suffered minor injuries.

This morning, a bright orange violation notice from Licenses and Inspections had been slapped on the store's front door, and

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A Kansas City-style steakhouse chain is putting down stakes in Philadelphia, leading one reporter to ask whether we might have too much beef; An urban explorer uncovers the buried support system beneath William Hamilton's Woodlands mansion; urban advocacy organizations are rolling out the red carpet to bestow awards on cities that advance their goals; and it looks like the owner of a long-vacant bit of blight on South Street West wants to play "Let's Make a Deal," but a reversal of the building's fortunes depends on whether "The Price is Right":

High-end steakhouse expanding in Philadelphia, but is the city reaching a point of saturation? (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Cryptoporticus Exposed: Tunnels Beneath Woodlands Mansion Bare All (Hidden City

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Several factors go into determining your credit score. The pie chart above shows the weight typically given to each factor, but the weight varies from individual to individual.

So how do the credit reporting agencies come up with your FICO or other credit score?

Since it's a number, it makes sense that mathematical formulas are involved. The formulas take information on your credit report and compare it with patterns from hundreds of thousands of past credit reports on file at the agency. 

In order for the calculations to work, your credit report has to have at least one account that has been open for six months or longer and at least one account that has been updated within the last six months. This gives the agency enough information to run the

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Mikhal Mary
Mikhal Mary

The Philly Living Team is not only the top performing sales team in Philadelphia and one of the top performers nationwide—it's one of the fastest-growing as well. We've been adding new agents at a steady clip, and over the next few weeks, we'll introduce them to you.

Join us today in welcoming Mikhal Mary to our team. Her focus will be on identifying and creating opportunities for success for new construction builders, multifamily real estate investors, land buyers and first-time buyers and sellers.

Mikhal comes to real estate from a social work background, and she has put her empathetic and listening skills to good use as she has progressed in her career. Helping first-time buyers, sellers and investors has been

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