Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 28, 2019

10 Tips to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

 

It's something we should think about doing all year round, but with Earth Day just a few days away, now is as good of a time as ever to start making some changes to your home that are a little more earth friendly. Here are our top 10 tips to make your home more environmentally friendly: 

1. Change to LED Lights

LED bulbs have been gaining popularity over the years, and it's easy to understand why: they use less energy, and they last longer than your average light bulb. A few more years and the traditional incandescent bulb will go the way of the cassette tape and the floppy disk: get a jump on this eco-friendly trend now and change the bulbs in your favorite light fixtures. 

2. Buy second hand and donate 

Hey, we all love updating our decor, but before you jump in the car to head to Ikea, think about buying second hand furniture. Thrifting is always a fun weekend adventure, or if you are more into the digital life, Craigslist has been a pretty solid option in addition to plenty of local Facebook groups where users can let one another know when a chair or other piece of decor is no longer sparking joy. 

3. Consider Composting

Less trash in the can means less in the landfill, so give composting a try. If you are unsure how to get started, the EPA has a page on the basics of composting that you can check out. One of the main benefits to composting is the fertilizer it provides for your lawn: but if you lack a yard and/or a green thumb, don't worry! There are services in the city that will pick up your composting scraps, like Bennett Compost!  

4. Low VOC paints 

We all know the familiar smell of a fresh coat of paint- turns out that familiar scent is from volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These VOCs are actually detrimental to the environment, but also to humans, as exposure to VOCs can lead to symptoms such as "skin irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headaches, allergic skin reaction, difficulty in breathing, labored breathing, nausea, and fatigue."

Do yourself and the environment a favor: if you are thinking your house needs a fresh coat of paint, look for a Low to No VOC paint. Large hardware stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot have these paints in multiple colors, so check them out! 

5. Fix gaps around windows and doors 

Do the environment-and your wallet!- a favor by fixing gaps in your windows and doors. Through the reduction of energy consumption by your heating or AC, you can help the environment and lower your utility bills: sounds like a win-win to us! 

6. Fix leaky faucets and toilets

According to the EPA, a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year- so this is a small fix that has a big impact in the long run! 

7. Install low flow showerheads and toilets 

Speaking of small changes having a big impact, did you know that installing a low flow showerhead can save an average family up to 2,900 gallons of water a year, which is enough energy to power a home for 13 days? Amazing! 

8. Ditch Paper Towels 

While paper towels may be convenient in the moment, their overall impact on the environment is less than appealing. Consider using dishtowels instead- bonus if you use some old t shirts and other clothing items as rags for cleaning and other household chores! 

9. Purchase Air Purifying Plants 

It's not pretty to think about, but the places that you live and work can be making you sick. Stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and stick around in greater amounts than we should be breathing in, and can even can cause "sick building syndrome," which shows up as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. 

Purchasing a couple of air purifying plants will not only add a lovely pop of foliage in your space, but will also help purify the air that you are breathing in day after day. For a full list of plants that can help "clear the air" (literally!), check out this article from HGTV! Our favorite plant is the Peace Lily, in case you were wondering. 

10. Unplug Appliances When Not in Use

You might not know it, but an appliance that is "off" but plugged in will still use energy when in standby mode. While you don't have to get too crazy with unplugging ALL your appliances (like the fridge- keep that plugged in!) other smaller appliances can be unplugged, helping the planet and your energy bill. 

 

With just a few changes in your shopping habits and daily routine you can live a more eco-friendly life at home! 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 1, 2019

What Philly Hospital was the First in the US?

If you guessed C, then you're right! Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital of our nation, originally opening its doors on Market Street in 1752. It remained a standalone hospital for over two centuries before merging with the University of Pennsylvania Health Care system in 1997. 

 

Posted in History, Old City
Feb. 28, 2019

Tops Picks for Women's History Month Events in Philly

Philadelphia has a variety of events both honoring the history of women, and celebrating their bright future. 

Below are our top picks for events to celebrate Women's History Month, courtesy of Uwishunu

 

1. International Womxn's Day at Asian Arts Initiative 

Taking place on Friday, march 8th from 6-11pm, this inclusive international women's day includes a reception with food from LALO Philly, Tarot readings creative writing activities, a queer dance social and more. Tickets for the event are $15-20- check it out! 

2. The Future is Female: A Dance Party at Ruba Club

Did someone say dance party? Happening Saturday March 9th at the Rhuba Club and starting at 10pm, jump into daylight savings by getting your groove on until the early hours of the morning- all with the help of an all female lineup helping to the keep the beats rockin'. With just a $13 cover, what's not to love? 

3. The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia

A 9 day festival that starts on Thursday, March 14th, the Women's Film Festival sets to show films made by women about women. The festival opens with the documentary "This Changes Everything", which examines the systemic gender bias and discrimination against women within the entertainment industry and outside of it. Happening at multiple locations across the city, visit thewomensfestival.org for more info. 

4. They Persisted: Three Centuries of Philadelphia's Courageous Women in Historic Philadelphia

Learn interesting and some surprising facts on Friday, March 22nd, starting at the Betsy Ross House, before taking a tour of the city's Historic District as you learn about some of the Philadelphia women who made history. 

5. Women in STEM Day at The Franklin Institute

Join the Franklin Institute on Saturday, March 23rd between 10-3 for interactive activities, talks and demonstrations that showcase female scientists and the potential opportunities for girls and women interested in a career in a STEM field. 

 

Posted in Philly News
Feb. 7, 2019

7 Places to Visit in Philadelphia if You’re a Movie Buff

What do a Philadelphia delicatessen, church, square, bank, sculpture, football field, museum and prison have in common? They share the spotlight of movie fame. We’ve rounded up just a few examples of the city’s film-worthy sites. If you’re into movies, you might want to take a tour of some of these famous silver-screen locales and find out what makes The City of Brotherly Love so attractive to film producers.

 

1. Rittenhouse Square

By Shelleykoon (own works)

Claim to movie fame: In the opening scenes of Trading Places, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), is down on his luck and begging in Rittenhouse Square. That’s before he “trades places,” taking on the ultra-rich lifestyle of stockbroker Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd).

While you’re there: There’s no need to reenact the begging scene at 18th and Walnut. However, since you’re already in the center of the movie’s action, consider taking a Trading Places tour. You can stroll southwest a few blocks to see Winthorpe’s house at 2014 Delancey Street. Then if you go east to 135 South Broad, you’ll find the Wells Fargo building. In the movie, it was the Duke and Duke Bank, where Valentine assumed his stockbroker role.

 

2. Famous 4th Street Delicatessen

Claim to movie fame: The outside of this delicatessen featured in the movie Philadelphia about Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) a lawyer suffering from AIDS. When his firm unlawfully fires him due to his diagnosis, he decides to file suit but has a hard time recruiting a lawyer to represent him. A dramatic turn of events occurs after Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) leaves the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, pastrami sandwich in hand. He finds Beckett and declares he will be his lawyer.

While you’re there: According to their menu, you can still try a pastrami sandwich. Reviews say the meat is tender and the portions are large.

 

3. St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church

By Beyond My Ken (Own Work) 

Claim to movie fame: In “The Sixth Sense,” (1999) St. Augustine’s is where (spoiler alert) the ghost of Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child psychologist, and Cole Sear, meet for the first time. Cole is the young boy who ominously claims “I see dead people.”

While you’re there: Feast your eyes on the church’s stained-glass windows, beautiful sanctuary and especially its frescoes — people believe they are the oldest in a religious building in the United States.

 

4. Eastern State Penitentiary

Claim to movie fame: In the sci-fi thriller Twelve Monkeys (1995), also starring Bruce Willis, the Eastern State Penitentiary was used to depict a post-apocalyptic mental hospital.

While you’re there: Take a tour of the prison. Visitors recommend the audio tour, which enables you to go at your own pace and focus on your areas of interest. You might want to wait for moderate temperate weather, however, because it’s known to be cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

 

5. Society Hill

Claim to movie fame: In National Treasure, historian Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) searches for a treasure that’s supposed to stem from the birth of the nation. One of the many chase scenes takes Cage through Society Hill and includes scenes at Old Pine Street Church and Headhouse Market.

While you’re there: Visit the churchyard at the Old Pine Street Church. You’ll find tombstones of 3,000 Philadelphians from the late 18th and early 19th century.

 

6. Franklin Field

By NASA World Wind, via Wikimedia Commons

Claim to movie fame: The star of Unbreakable, David Dun (Bruce Willis), who survives a gruesome train wreck, works as a security guard at Franklin Field.

While you’re there: This is the location of the University of Pennsylvania’s football stadium, site of the annual Penn Relays (track and field) and formerly the home of the 2018 Super Bowl champions — the Philadelphia Eagles. Depending on the time of the year, you can watch the Penn Relays, football, or lacrosse. Check ahead for upcoming events.*

 

7. The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Claim to movie fame: Rocky is, of course, the iconic Philadelphia movie. In that film and all but one of its sequels, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in his quest for fitness. The scene is so well known that the steps are sometimes even called the “Rocky Steps.” As an aside, here’s a fun Philly fact about Sylvester Stallone: he once lived in Holme Circle in Northeast Philadelphia.

While you’re there: If you’re ready to test your mettle, try conquering the 72 steps. When you reach the top, a view of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Philadelphia City Hall will be your reward. If you’re not up for such a strenuous workout, just take a selfie standing next to the Rocky statue, conveniently located at the bottom of the steps.

That’s just a small sampling of the varied Philadelphia backdrops that draw movie-makers to the city, but it’s enough to know there’s something worth exploring right at our doorsteps.

*Check before you go, to confirm the event calendar and other details.

 

About the Author 

 

Carolyn Frith, a content consultant who owns Carolyn Frith Marketing, aims to rid the world of snore-and-bore writing on the web. Topics she covers range from Philadelphia events and real estate options to a range of other content.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Posted in Center City
Jan. 29, 2019

Valentine’s Day: Where to Celebrate!

February have you thinking of where you and your SO are headed to celebrate Valentine's Day? We've taken the guess work out by putting together a list that encompasses a bit of everything from upscale ideas to more casual and fun date night places. Enjoy and be sure to share your posts if you deicide on any of these this holiday using #PhillyLiving

 

  • Upscale

    • Vernick: Reservations are as hard to grab; like catching smoke! To nab a coveted table here would not only make for a special occasion but you’ll also be in a quaint and romantic environment overlooking Walnut street through frosted windows. With the dining room dimly lit, a great cocktail & wine list, this spot was sure to top our list this holiday!

    • Vetri: What’s not to love about this intimate Italian hideaway tucked perfectly off of the hurriedness of the Avenue of the Arts on Spruce Street! You’re almost always greeted with a cocktail and swiftly (without feeling rushed) brough to your table. Rarely do you ever see more than a 4-top table which adds to the ambiance of quiet, romantic & exclusive.

    • Laurel: Top chef enthusiasts love this spot just as much as a foodie who enjoys top quality and unique dishes. Nick Elmi is typically in the kitchen serving up these astonishing dishes that not only look like art, but taste amazing.

    • Royal Sushi: In similar fashion to Vernick...good luck getting a reservation, at least for the private omakase experience behind a decorative curtain to the rear of the establishment. Choose between a 10 or 17 piece tasting (always go for 17...you’ll be sad you didnt!) and prepare to be wow’d. Jesse - the head chef and owner - dresses each sushi piece to perfection so you most certainly do not need to add anything. And as a bonus, eating with your hands is encouraged!

  • BYOB

    • Pumpkin: This has always held a special place in our hearts - located in Graduate Hospital - it’s in our backyard but not one we take for granted. With no more than 15 tables a reservation is a must however not extremely difficult to nail down.

    • Bibou: Quiet, intimate, relaxing and welcoming. These are all the best ways to describe the feeling walking into Bibou on a chilly winter’s night. With only a handful of tables, you feel like you’re dining at a friend’s place. This is a chef’s tasting menu only so when you make the reservation let them know of any dietary restrictions but be ready to be wowed!

    • Audrey Claire: Always farm fresh to table, this is a great spot for those in the heart of Rittenhouse. It’s across the street from it’s sister restaurant, Twenty Manning Grill, so you could put your name in at Audrey Claire and then head over to Twenty Manning for a drink until your table is ready. Every table has a great view of the frosted windows overlooking people walking around the outskirts of Rittenhouse Park so if you and yours are into people watching, this is a great spot for you.

  • Casual and Fun

    • Bistro La Minette: French comfort food on a cold winter night, it’s a must! There’s a tiny bar that greets to as you enter - the bartenders are always welcoming and ready to mix you up whatever you desire. The warmth of the restaurant is perfect for a romantic night out, plus the warm, delicious dishes coming from the kitchen are enough to keep you wanting to come back all season long!

    • Gran Caffe L'Aquila: Great stop right off of Chestnut Street you walk in an immediately feel like family. There are two bars to choose from if your table isn’t ready - or if you didn’t make a reservation! They explore a different region on Italy each week so the menu, while it does have staples, is ever changing. Now the cold may keep you from wanting it however you HAVE to try the gelato. It’s world famous & you will be glad you got your own because sharing one is just not enough!

    • Dandelion: Walk off the streets of Philadelphia and immediately you feel as though you’ve walked into a warm British pub. English comfort food is the best way to warm up and cozy up with your SO or with friends. So while this is a romantic, yet fun restaurant, it’s a nice spot for a group of friends to celebrate Galentine’s Day too!

Posted in Center City
Jan. 27, 2019

Philly Trivia: Center City District Parks Events

When you think of Center City District mostly you think of Center City Sips or Center City Restaurant Week, right? Well there's a lot more to CCDP and our trivia this month is:

 

Which of the following does CCDP not host?

A. Ice Skating

B. Fitness Classes

C. Quizzo

D. Cocktail Nights

 

Answer? It's a bit of a trick, the answer is NONE: Center City Distict offers all of these and so much more throughout the year!

Currently they host the ice skating at Dilworth Plaza while the weather is still cold! And if you've ever been, you've probably noticed theres a cabin right beside the rink. This is where you can warm up after skating or if you aren't into ice skating but you like cocktails or quiz, the cabin is your place! They host both these events at the cabin during the cooler months. They also put on fitness classes - more typical in the spring and summer months but there's also ice skating fitness classes being held on the rink once a week.

To see what all of these are about and even what else they offer, check out their site here!

Posted in Center City
Jan. 24, 2019

Winter Decorating: After the Holidays

 

The house may feel empty and cold with the warmth of the holidays behind us however we've come up with a few great ways to decorate before the spring decorations hit the shelves! First, as with any change to the house, it’s always best to do a deep clean. We’ve have people in and out of the home of the holidays, decorations creating dust and food throughout the kitchen, dining room and probably living room (if you hosted!). Now is a great time to refresh all your cleaning products and use them before redecorating.

 

The warmth of the tree, the lights and maybe even a festive throw pillow or blanket has gone and you’re back to the old pillows and decor, but it doesn’t need to feel that way! Adding in a plant (real or faux) can really bring a room back to life. Large potted floor plants are a great way to bring in some extra oxygen and fill that gaping hole where the tree used to be.

 

Next, seasonal coloring seems to be a thing of the past. Pastels are typically left for spring and darker hues for the winter, but why? Why surround yourself with darker colors when it’s already dark more than 50% of the day?! Break out those lighter colors to allow for a brighter room even when the sun is setting at 5pm. Cooler light colors are a good way to transition from the winter months into spring.

 

Whether your winter decorations are still up or you’re already decorated for spring it’s always nice to do a refresh. We hope this has helped...if not, try Tidying Up on Netflix for inspiration!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Jan. 13, 2019

Home of the Week: 240 Montrose Street

A gorgeous home in Queen Village that is sure to please! This charming home comes with features throughout, such as hardwood flooring, crown molding and so much more! Enter the open and inviting living and dining area- just the spot for hosting game nights with family and friends!

Continue through and admire the modern kitchen, complete with stunning floor tile, stainless steel appliances, mosaic tile backsplash, sleek granite countertops and elegant cabinetry. The kitchen also includes access to a backyard patio area- ready and waiting for some summer BBQs!

Upstairs, the second floor opens to a light filled bedroom with ceiling fan and ample closet space, and a main bathroom with a gorgeous custom tiled tub and shower, tile flooring, built-in shelving and a beautiful dual vanity. The second floor also includes a conveniently located laundry room. The third floor reveals a sun drenched, spacious bedroom with exposed brick, ceiling fan and its own ensuite bathroom with tile flooring and stall shower.

The bedroom also provides access to a deck- just the spot for a morning cup of coffee or your beverage of choice after a long day. For those who still need extra storage space, the full basement is ready and waiting to fulfill all of your storage needs.

Found in an absolutely ideal location in Queen Village and Nebringer catchment, this home has easy access to 95, making your morning commute a breeze. After hours, you can take a walk over to Philadelphia Java Company and have a latte, or enjoy a meal at Dmitri's or Royal Sushi & Izakaya before strolling through Mario Lanza Park, or one of the many other green spaces around the home. This is one you don't want to miss- contact Susanna Kunkel and see it today!

Jan. 6, 2019

Home of the Week: 5518 Warrington Avenue

Welcome to this beautifully rehabbed home with garage parking in Kingsessing! Found on a quiet residential street, this move-in ready home has features you'll simply adore, such as hardwood flooring and a keen attention to details throughout. The first floor offers an inviting open floor plan, which offers flexibility to accommodate any furniture layout you desire.

 

Next, imagine cooking your favorite meal in the fabulous kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances, custom tile flooring, pristine countertops, mosaic tiled backsplash and gorgeous cabinetry.

 

Upstairs, find respite after a long day in the light-filled master bedroom, which includes an immense closet with French doors.

 

There are also two other delightful secondary bedrooms on this floor and a lovely hall bathroom, complete with tiled flooring, a custom tiled tub and shower and a sleek, modern vanity with mirror. Still need space? The generously sized walk out basement offers a solution to your storage needs, and includes laundry for your comfort and convenience.

The home is in a location that can't be beat, on a desirable block in an increasingly popular neighborhood, it is just a few blocks away from the Kingsessing Library and Rec Center, and within easy walking distance to public transportation so Center City is simply minutes away. Don't wait, contact Susanna Kunkel and take a look today!

Dec. 27, 2018

Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

It’s that time of year again, with the new year comes new goals & new resolutions, but how long can you really keep them? If you set yourself up properly you can ensure you will uphold your New Year’s resolution all year long!

Start first with a simple idea; to go from not working out to your goal is to work out 6x a week can be out of reach. If you start small and work your way up, you’re less likely to stop along the way, or cave in completely.

Along those lines, it needs to be realistic. To have a goal of seeing every country this year is a bit far-fetched; however, if you make a goal of traveling to one new place this year, that can be more attainable.

Make a plan and map out a timeline. When you are able to meet smaller goals along the way, it is easier to reach your end goal without losing sight. If your goal is to travel; start with local places or put together a timeline of when you want to go and work backward taking into consideration cost, time away from work and other obligations, etc.

One of the most important ways to ensure you stick to your resolution is to have someone to hold you accountable. You’ve got a goal of working so many times per week but you’re tired after work or you’d rather hang out with friends (we get it!) but having someone check in on you to be sure you’ve worked out; or better, they work out with you, will result in reaching your goal. When you have someone who cares about you and your plan - it makes it much easier to accomplish!

Happy New Year, We Wish You a Happy & Prosperous 2019!

Posted in Real Estate Tips