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June 2015

There are 14 blog entries for June 2015.

credit cardsOwe too much on these? Your mortgage lender may decline to pile a house on top of them. If so, your lender's doing you a favor. If you need to buy a house now, however, read on.

If you've followed the advice we've offered in previous installments in this series, you shouldn't encounter this problem when you apply for a mortgage. But if you do find your mortgage application gets rejected because you have too much outstanding debt, the fix for this is simple:

Pay off as big a chunk of that debt as you can, as quickly as you can.

This is one of the few mortgage problems for which no good "workarounds" exist. And for good reason: your mortgage will instantly become the single biggest debt on your balance sheet the moment you close the sale on your

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Vive le France! General Lafayette and his French forces helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War toward ultimate success for the Americans. L'Hermoine, the ship that brought the general to America, is touring the Eastern Seaboard this year to commemorate the 1780 voyage She pays a call on Philadelphia beginning today as part of the Tall Ships Philadelphia-Camden Festival.

Not since Philadelphia turned 300 have so many wind-powered ships converged on the central Delaware riverfront.

Back in 1982, 34 sailing ships paraded up the Delaware to salute the city's tricentennial. Only 10 of those were true, Class A "tall ships," though. This time around, all 15 of the ships docked along the central Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts starting today for

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Save yourself a little time: take a look at Beddia's menu of pies, taking care to note the many local producers who supply the ingredients. You'll be all ready for an outstanding experience when you get there.

If you haven't yet tried Pizzeria Beddia in Fishtown, you may want to wait a while, for the lines are going to be longer now that Bon Appétit has pronounced its pie "The Best Pizza in America."

"Pizzeria Beddia was one of those beautiful eating experiences that still haunts me," author Andrew Knowlton wrote in his review and profile of owner/chef Joe Beddia. "It was just me and that pizza in a forgettable space. But it changed everything."

Knowlton traces Beddia's obsession with perfect pizza to some of the other outstanding pizza

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Credit problemsProblems with your credit mean problems getting a mortgage. The problems need not be fatal to your effort, though: Depending on what they are, you may be able to do something about them.

In earlier posts in this series, we stressed the importance of good credit in obtaining a mortgage and outlined steps you could take to get your credit up to snuff. But it may not always be possible for a would-be buyer to have all his or her credit ducks in a row when the time comes to apply for a mortgage. Less-than-good credit will cost you, but it may not prove fatal to your effort to land a home loan if you can do one or more of the following:

Do some explaining. Your credit report will list all the times you fell behind in your payments or defaulted on a loan

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Hundreds of submissions. Fifteen finalists. Seven winners. The recipients of the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia's second annual Willard G. "Bill" Rouse Awards for Excellence represent the best of the best in urban design in the Mid-Atlantic region, from the Poconos to Harrisburg to the Jersey shore to the Delaware beaches.

The awards were bestowed on the winners at a ceremony at the Ballroom at the Franklin on June 17. Here are the residential projects among them:

Arbor Mews before and after

Arbor Mews, Norristown, Pa.
Two burned-out vacant buildings near the heart of the Montgomery County seat were combined with new construction to produce a 12-unit stacked townhome complex that blends seamlessly with the large century-old homes surrounding it. The homes in this Barton

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View of One Riverside from Schuylkill Banks boardwalkWith work under way on his first exclamation point at Broad and Spruce, Carl Dranoff started work on his second at 25th and Locust with the formal groundbreaking for One Riverside on June 17.

With his newest development, Carl Dranoff returned to familiar ground while breaking new ground with the ceremonial start of work on his One Riverside luxury condominium tower yesterday.

That ground is the area along the banks of the Schuylkill. The 22-story One Riverside tower, at 25th and Locust, has two earlier Dranoff projects, both converted factories, as neighbors: Locust Point, opened in 1986, and Locust on the Park, created out of the former National Publishing Company in 1992. A few blocks away on the river's opposite bank stands The Left Bank, a

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Home for sale
Got your sights on a new home you know you can afford, but your lender doesn't think so? The lender may be right. If that's not the case, however, there are steps you can take to make your next mortgage application successful.

If you've followed the advice we've given in previous Buyers Guide installments and gotten your finances in shape, you should have no problem getting the mortgage you need for the home of your dreams. But there's always the possibility you may have overlooked something. Or maybe you haven't gotten everything in order but decided to go for that mortgage anyway, only to have your lender turn you down.

Don't despair. It's not the end of the world, or even of your quest for your dream home. There are fixes and workarounds for

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Retirement community of tomorrow? Quite possibly. Condo projects like Carl Dranoff's One Riverside, shown here in an earlier architect's rendering, appeal strongly to Baby Boomer suburbanites who have left the working life and are ready to retire to someplace a little more interesting and walkable. 

The kids having flown the coop and the obligations of retirement behind them, a growing number of retirees are returning to the city to spend their leisure years.

At least that's what Realtor Carmel Archdekin of the Philly Living Team has seen in her own business over the last year.

"In the past 12 months, I've seen a large influx of this type of activity," she said.

Archdekin attributes the rise in retirees moving back to Center City to two

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In the beginning, customers who bought slices for the homeless left sticky notes to let them know a slice was waiting for them. Rosa's owner Mason Wartman uses a more sophisticated tracking system now, but the sticky-note tradition remains, with both buyers and recipients leaving notes of thanks on Rosa's wall.

Remember Rosa's Fresh Pizza? The place on 11th Street in Washington Square West where you can buy a slice of hot, fresh, crisp-crust pizza for a buck (or a buck and a half with toppings), then buy another for the next homeless person who stops by?

Ellen DeGeneres loved the place, and so do the thousands of customers who have left notes for the future patrons who take owner Mason Wartman up on his offer.

Now Wartman is adding merchandise to

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A delightful home in Rittenhouse Square you need to see!

Tucked away on a picturesque, tree-lined street, enter this home and discover all the original, beautiful details throughout, including hardwood flooring, high ceilings and large windows for tons of natural light.

The first floor includes a light filled dining area with an lovely decorative fireplace, as well as a charming kitchen with granite counters, slate flooring, stainless steel appliances, lovely cabinetry and access to a common rear space.

Upstairs, the second floor reveals a sun drenched bedroom with ample closet space and tiled bathroom with a whirlpool tub.

The third floor is also a treat with its spacious bedroom, tons of closet space and tiled bath with

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