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March 2015

There are 34 blog entries for March 2015.

Feeling flush yet? Your paycheck buys you more home in the Philadelphia area this year than it did in 2012, according to these figures. We'd be glad to show you some attractively priced homes that fit your (larger) budget.

We've said before that Philadelphia is one of the few affordable housing markets in the Northeast. In the last two years, it's become even more affordable, as the median price of homes for sale in Philadelphia actually fell while average wages rose.

The data come from the housing data website RealtyTrac, which compared the percentage change in median house prices with the percentage change in average weekly wages from 2012 to 2014 for the nation as a whole and for 184 metropolitan markets. Nationally, wages couldn't keep up with

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Here is a quick list of the 41 open houses featured this weekend in 19146.  
This includes:

  • Graduate Hospital
  • Point Breeze
  • Newbold
  • Southwest Center City
  • Grays Ferry 

Download the complete list with dates and times here

Complete list of open houses this weekend in text below
Call us at 215-392-0230 to schedule a private appointment to see any of these!

1222-24 S Broad St C $269,000
1305 S Chadwick St $349,000
1312 S Bancroft St $349,999
1330 S Bancroft St $329,999
1420 Pemberton St $1,199,800
1421 S 19th St $349,900
1522 Manton St $270,000
1553 S Chadwick St $329,999
1625 Catharine St $400,000
1700 Rodman St $799,900
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Walnut Estates architect's rendering
Projects like The Walnut Estates, now under construction, have taken Philly Living into the luxury home market. Now we have a team of experts that will help you sell your luxury home faster and at a better price.

Center City’s increased popularity has brought with it a new breed of luxury home buyer, one who is interested in exploring all of the high-end housing options Philadelphia has to offer. Up until now, finding a luxury home in the city meant dealing with a small circle of insiders who tightly controlled the market. That’s all changed now that the Philly Living Lux agent team is on the scene.

Philly Living Lux offers sellers access to a pool of buyers not just in the area, but beyond it—high-end home buyers interested in moving to this area

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approved mortgageLike travel agents, mortgage brokers can help buyers find mortgages that fit their budgets and goals, especially for buyers with credit problems or those interested in properties that may have trouble getting financed through the usual means. But as with just about every other decision a buyer faces in the home buying process, there are pros and cons associated with this one too.

Because there are so many lenders out there, some borrowers find it worthwhile to get some handholding as they swim through the sea of possibilities. Licensed mortgage brokers are independent middlemen who, much like travel agents, can help you put together a mortgage deal that’s right for your needs and your wallet. In exchange for their services, mortgage brokers typically

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click for a homeYou can let your fingers do the walking and comparison shop for mortgages online, or you can get expert advice. The choice is yours.

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now much easier for you to comparison shop for mortgages on your own. Sites like Bankrate.com offer tools that let you see rates for various mortgage products from different lenders side by side. One of the most comprehensive mortgage comparison-shopping sites is HSH.com, which offers detailed information on both general mortgage rate trends and mortgage rates in your own area along with articles offering advice and resources you can use to figure out the total cost to you of any given mortgage.

But you might be one of those buyers who prefers a personal touch when making a decision as big

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house, keys and moneyWhat happens if your adjustable-rate mortgage limits increases in your monthly payment but not your interest rate? You could end up owing a bundle—potentially even more than your home is worth.

Adjustable-rate mortgages have their advantages and disadvantages, as we have previously noted. But a feature of some ARMs may actually be hazardous to your fiscal health.

That feature is this: The loan has a cap on the amount your monthly payment can go up but not on the amount your interest rate may increase. In such cases, if interest rates rise higher than your monthly payment cap, your payment may end up covering only the interest due on the loan—and then not even all of that. Any unpaid interest is then added to the balance owing on your loan.

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conferenceA good lender is striaghtforward, helps you understand what you're getting into, and keeps you informed at every step of the application process.

No matter what kind of mortgage you decide on, you should shop around to get one on the best terms at the lowest cost. We know comparison shopping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but here, failure to compare terms can mean real money out of your pocket. For instance, a quick-and-dirty search for current mortgage rates online produced interest rates that varied from 3.875 percent to 4.625 percent, a difference of 0.75 percent. For a $165,000 mortgage with good credit and 20 percent down, the .75 percent difference adds up to $25,920 over the life of the loan.

Mortgage loans can come from a number of sources.

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money and calendar

Fixed-rate vs. adjustable-rate is just one of the two big questions you need to answer when choosing a mortgage. The other is: How long of a repayment period do you want?

Most mortgages offer repayment periods of 15 or 30 years, though loans with other terms are also available. Which term makes more sense for you also depends on what’s important to you.

If you need lower monthly payments, the 30-year mortgage is the loan of choice. You may have no other choice if you’re stretching to afford your home, but the longer-term loan has several advantages. The lower monthly payments free up money in your budget that you can then put towards savings or use to avoid being a financial prisoner to your home. If you aren’t putting away enough in

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interest rate

As we noted previously, adjustable-rate mortgages can save homeowners money in some cases, especially if they do not anticipate staying in their homes for a long period of time.

But as ARM interest rates usually begin to fluctuate after the first year, there’s still an element of uncertainty in this prediction. Homeowners who are likely to move within, say, seven years or so can get some of the best of both worlds—stable payments and lower interest rates—with a hybrid loan, or intermediate ARM.

As these loans lock in their starter interest rates for a fixed term, they offer the certainty of fixed monthly payments for that term. And as they are based on shorter-term rates than fixed-rate mortgages, they can offer lower interest rates, and hence

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2401 Washington AveThe City Planning Commission signed off last week on variances needed to allow this mixed-use apartment/commercial building to rise at 24th Street and Washington Avenue.

By Gabriel Gottlieb

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved zoning changes at its February meeting for a parcel of land at 2401 Washington Ave. to allow for the construction of a residential building. This is the first zoning change to allow residential development on the far western end of Washington Avenue, a longtime industrial street lined with warehouses and product showrooms. The site is currently a vacant lot with a couple of noticeable billboards.

The Planning Commission’s Matthew Pickering gave a brief presentation of the project. The building will be five

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