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!

Nov. 15, 2018

New Pipeline facility takes co-working to the next level

Up to now, most of Philadelphia's successful co-working facilities, such as IndyHall in Old City, have had the feel of a high-tech startup. There's a youthful vibe in the air at most of them, a certain funky touch to the decor, a certain casualness about the place, even though there's serious work going on.

Pipeline Philly, which celebrated its official launch last week at 30 S. 15th St., across from City Hall, feels different. Yes, the ductwork is exposed in this space too—that's just about de rigeur for shared office centers. But everything else about this space says "we've gotten beyond the startup phase now. We're ready to get down to business."

"It's all about creating a community where people can come together and share ideas and thoughts and relationships and everything else that can contribute to one another. The space is very translucent, there's lots of glass, so people don't feel they're cooped up in their own little cubbyhole. Yet there is privacy, which people also need when they're discussing sensitive matters," said Philippe Houdard, co-founder of Pipeline

"It's about threading the needle—making an environment that appeals to people of a creative bent while still maintaining a professional atmosphere, so that people who need to present a certain formality can also do that."

(Well, there is one understatedly funky design element in this space too. More about that later.)

After leaving the studio, Smith found that co-working facilities offered numerous advantages. One of the biggest: Lower overhead costs. "It took down my overhead considerably, so much so that I could hire another person," he said.This combination of hipness and formality appealed to Tayyib Smith, one of the local partners in Pipeline Philly and the head of its community outreach efforts. Smith, a self-described "serial entrepreneur," came to the venture from a long background in the music business, all of it in shared workspaces, from his days with Axis Music Group, housed in a studio owned by music producer Larry Gold, to his years as the publisher of two.one.five magazine, a journal of arts, culture, music, entertainment and style that began as a print publication before moving online.

But there were aspects of the shared workplace he had moved into in 2011 that he found less than satisfying, so he and his business partner at the time began thinking about what they wanted to see in a shared office environment.

"We had approached David Grasso" - the owner of the building that housed their office - "about doing a shared workspace in Philly, but he passed on it at the time. Then, about a year and a half ago, he asked us to revisit the idea." As they were working on a cost analysis with a staffer in the Mayor's Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, they got word that Houdard and his partner were looking to expand to Philadelphia.

"We opened the first Pipeline in the center of downtown Miami, on Brickell," said Houdard. "As it gained traction, we started looking around at different cities" where they might locate. "I was very surprised to hear a lot of the same language coming out of Philadelphia that I was hearing in Miami, even though they are very different cities," said Houdard.

Houdard and Smith began a series of contacts that ultimately led to a trip to Miami for Smith and a partnership between the the Pipeline founders and Smith's Philadelphia team.

Smith noted that shared workspaces actually have a longer history than many know: "Artists and creative people have shared workspaces for some time," he said, "and churches have also offered shared space" for nonprofit activities. Some of Philly's current co-working spaces continue in that mold. Pipeline Philly, however, is aimed at a different clientele.

"This is an aspirational space," Smith said. "It's good for attorneys, it's good for real estate professionals. It's a space that can produce synergy between different types of businesses." The first tenants bear him out: they include a real estate broker, a mortgage company, an application development firm and the Philadelphia office of the Knight Foundation, Pipeline's "anchor tenant."

Gregory T. Walker, creative director of The Brothers' Network, a locally-based organization with a worldwide membership that organizes and sponsors events focused on arts and culture as a means of highlighting the talents and achievements of black men like Smith, had heard about the space from a Knight Foundation contact and asked for a tour of the facility, as his organization was looking for room to grow.

Knight Foundation Regional Director Donna Frisby-Greenwood obliged, and what he saw made a powerful impression on him.

Which brings us to that tastefully funky design element. Upon entering the Pipeline lobby, one is greeted by a rough-hewn wood backdrop behind the reception desk and a patch of wallpaper to the right of the desk that contains scenes of classic Philadelphia icons and historic events.

But look closely. Those icons and historical scenes mix past and present freely. Those are the Roots signing the Declaration of Independence. John Coltrane, dressed in colonial garb, blows his tenor sax on the steps at LOVE Park while Ben Franklin gets windblown. Will Smith, in his earlier "Fresh Prince" days with sidekick DJ Jazzy Jeff, cavorts in front of City Hall while Daryl Hall and John Oates guard the Liberty Bell.

"When I came in and saw the Roots, I said, 'Am I imagining this?' Then I said, 'This is our space,'" said Walker, who noted that the wallpaper communicates a central message his organization seeks to spread.

"Philadelphia's got such a rich history. It's not just Ben Franklin and the original Founders, but there also the modern-day Founders, Will Smith and the Roots and all these guys, so the idea was to grab an assortment of people throughout time who have contributed to Philadelphia, and that's how these guys and gals wound up on the wallpaper," said Houdard. The Pipeline design team had the wallpaper custom made by a firm in London.

At once playful and serious, the wallpaper accent underscores the vibe Houdard and Smith sought to create in this space. The large expanses of glass also give the space a more open feel than other co-working spaces offer. And there are the great views of City Hall from the corner conference room. Yet the individual office spaces offer privacy when needed. 

Smith also noted that Pipeline offers a level of service to its tenants that no other co-working facility in the city, and few in the country, offer. The facility offers striking conference rooms, including one overlooking City Hall, 100 Mbps broadband service, a full-time receptionist and on-site management staff, videoconferencing and private phone booths, secure storage, discounts on office supplies, free gourmet coffee and tea, and room to socialize and entertain as well - there's a cafe, a lounge, and event space, which the partners put to good use with a launch party last Thursday.

Smith's background in the music business, Pipeline's hiring of an events coordinator whose background includes organizing Bloktoberfest, and that wallpaper all demonstrate that while this operation is professional to the max, it's not strictly buttoned down. True to its Miami roots, it's all business, but with a special flair and verve. And while its memberships start at a level that even a greenhorn can afford, it's clearly aimed at those who've gotten off the ground—"the entrepreneurs who've at least gotten their first or second round of funding," Smith said—and are headed for the stars.

Posted in Center City
Nov. 12, 2018

11 Reasons To List Your Home During the Holidays ??

Have you been toying with the idea of selling but are thinking of holding off until the spring market...don't wait! The holidays are a great time to list your home for many reasons, see the whole list here:

  • People who are looking for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers meaning a good offer can come in quick!
  • Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from during this time & less competition means more $$ for you
  • Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your home, get in before the rush because less demand = less $$
  • Houses show better when decorated for the holidays
  • Buyers are more emotional during this time so they are more likely to pay ask price!
  • Buyers have more time to look now than they typically would during a work week
  • Some people MUST BUY before the end of the year for tax reasons
  • January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since people transferring cannot wait until spring to buy, they are out looking NOW
  • Entertaining family & friends this winter? No problem! You can still be on the market but can restrict showing times during the holiday week
  • You can sell now for more $$ & we can provide a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early 2018
  • By selling now, you may have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring when more homes are on the market for less $$

All of these allow you you sell for high & buy for low this spring, so if you've been thinking of selling, let's talk! For a free home valuation, or to learn more about the selling process from one of our experienced agents email info@phillyliving.com today! 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 2, 2018

Get The Home You Want this Winter!

Waiting to buy until the spring is so 2015... why not get the best deal without the stress of bidding wars & the ease of time this winter! Check out why the holidays are the best time to look for your new home & buy:

  1. Buying now will save you $$ over the life of the loan since interest rates are traditionally lower in the winter and increase in the spring
  2. There's less competition in the winter so you're more than likely not going to compete with other buyers!
  3. Sellers are highly motivated to get their homes sold & generally under priced
  4. Buying can help if you need a few more deductions this year!
  5. What home doesn't look beautiful after a fresh coat of paint in the spring? Looking at homes in the winter will give you an accurate sense of the home...ie. daylight savings!
  6. Slower months = easier access to movers, inspectors, mortgage brokers & more
  7. You can deduct the cost of the ownership each year & the impact can vary on your taxes

If these reasons aren't enough to get you motivated to buy before the end of the year, check out the current inventory here to see what's on the market! If there's something you like reach out & we will show you the ropes of home buying this winter!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 9, 2018

3 More Pieces of Evidence the Thrillist Editors Don't Get Out All That Much

Maybe you subscribe to Thrillist, the online site that offers guides to the best of just about everything Millennials care about, especially beer, burgers and restaurants, but not only those. Or maybe you don't. It's worth checking out (it's free to subscribe) if only to compare the judgement of the Thrillist editors with your own.

And with one recent set of Thrillist recommendations, we here at Philly Living decided that the Thrillist editors either needed to spend less time eating burgers in brewpubs or must live in New York, for there were almost no surprises on Thrillist's list of the "The Most Beautiful Places in Pennsylvania You Didn't Know Existed."

Many, if not most, of the 12 places on this list strike at least this blogger as pretty well known places, though maybe not to people living some distance from them. But I've heard of Fallingwater, and Presque Isle State Park, and Kinzua Bridge - and I, and probably you too, know all three of the places in Philadelphia (more than in any other single location in the state) that made the list. But maybe you haven't checked them out lately. So here are three good excuses to invite your out-of-town friends to visit you:

Boathouse Row
Begun in the 1850s and gradually expanded through the rest of the 19th century, the strip of boat houses along the Schuylkill above Fairmount Dam has been a well-known landmark for decades, but it became magical when they were outlined in strings of lights around the Bicentennial. The original incandescent bulbs have been upgraded to more efficient and longer-lasting LED lights, but the magic remains. Best views are from the opposite bank along Martin Luther King Drive.

Elfreth's Alley
The nation's oldest continuously occupied residential street dates to the 1690s; the oldest home on the street today was built in 1720 and the youngest in 1830, making this historic cobblestone street a trip back in time. Other Pennsylvanians may not know it exists, but thousands of visitors to Philadelphia each year do know.

Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
Even those locals who have never set foot inside Philadelphia's Catholic cathedral know about it, given its prominent location on Logan Square. The Roman-style cathedral, modeled on the Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo al Corsa in Rome, is as splendid on the inside as it is unassuming on the outside, with a 156-foot-high dome featuring a painting of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin at its top.

Then again, maybe they do get out enough and the rest of us don't: the article stated that at least one of the 12 sites would be unfamiliar to the reader, and that was certainly true for me: Ohiopyle State Park, Cook Forest and Cherry Springs State Park, one of the few dark-sky locations in the Northeast, were all off my radar screen. But if Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania is one of the most visited state parks in Pennsylvania, then it's certainly on lots of other Pennsylvanians'. Guess we all need to explore our diverse and wonderful state more.

The Most Beautiful Places in Pennsylvania You Didn't Know Existed (Thrillist)

April 6, 2018

Restaurant rap: 3 great sandwiches at the Reading Terminal Market


After the Liberty Bell, the Reading Terminal Market is the top visitor attraction in Philly. That's right, visitor attraction: the 122-year-old food emporium welcomes hundreds of thousands of out-of-towners through its doors each year.

Unlike us locals, most of them are there to get something to eat now, not to pick up top-quality foods and ingredients to make something wonderful at home. Fortunately, the RTM offers both, and there's nothing stopping us from chowing down while we shop for groceries. Or instead of shopping for groceries, for that matter. Market eateries offer everything from the commonplace to the exotic, all of it done unusually well. And since much of the RTM's traffic consists of lunchtime customers, sandwiches figure prominently among the star attractions, Here are three of the best of them:

Roast pork sandwich, Tommy DiNic's
There are those who argue that this sandwich, not the cheesesteak, should be Philly's signature sandwich, and they make a good case, for most of the shops that serve these turn out outstanding sandwiches. But DiNic's is the best of the best. And that's not just us speaking: The Travel Channel dubbed DiNic's roast pork sandwich the best sandwich in America last year. In its basic form, with toothsome bread, perfectly cooked roast pork, and sharp Provolone cheese, this sandwich is sublime; add greens or broccoli rabe and it's out of this world. (Photo from Eating in Translation)

The Train Wreck, Beck's Cajun Cafe
This little bit of New Orleans in the middle of the Market specializes in the tastes of Cajun and Creole cooking and does it better than anyone else in town. Of course, that includes po' boys, New Orleans' answer to the hoagie, as well as jambalaya, gumbo, muffaletta, beignets and sandwiches made with specialties like alligator sausage. Then there's this specialty of the house, which combines steak, andouille sausage, salami, cheese and onions, all finely chopped, combined together, and served on a crusty roll. Try one of these and you'll never go back to a plain old cheesesteak. (Photo by Bill Beck)

Grilled cheese sandwiches, Meltkraft
Yes, grilled cheese sandwiches. Any resemblance between Meltkraft's creations and the white-bread-and-American-cheese variety you probably grew up loving is purely coincidental, for the sandwiches at Meltkraft are fresh, local, and totally unprocessed. It all starts with the cheese, which comes from North Jersey's Valley Shepherd Creamery—or from Valley Shepherd's own cheesemaking facility inside the market. Then there are the add-ons: cured ham, cornichon pickles and whole grain mustard; brisket and baked macaroni and cheese (their own, of course); cranberry chutney, caramelized onions and pine nuts—you get the idea. Or maybe you might prefer New Jersey on a roll: their fresh mozzarella sandwich features roasted Jersey tomatoes on a baguette. (Photo from Meltkraft by Valley Shepherd Creamery)

Posted in Center City, Chinatown
March 30, 2018

Featured Home of the Week: 1905 Kimball Street in Graduate Hospital

Welcome to 1905 Kimball Street! Enter this newer construction home and discover details you'll adore, such as the 3 fireplaces, rich hardwood flooring, recessed lighting, high ceilings and large windows for ample natural light throughout.

The home's open living and dining area offers plenty of room for entertaining guests and further showcase the modern kitchen, complete with granite counters, gorgeous cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

There is also access to your rear yard with patio and privacy fence, perfect for grilling!

Upstairs, the second floor offers 2 spacious bedrooms as well as access to a full hall bath and laundry room.

The third floor reveals an amazing sun drenched master bedroom with a delightful full bath, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and plenty of closet space.

From here head up to your full roof deck with stunning views of Philadelphia and the surrounding neighborhoods, the perfect place for relaxing outdoors or entertaining guests.

Finally there is the full finished basement featuring high ceilings, a fireplace and another full bath - perfect for a home office or additional living space or bedroom!

At this beautiful location, you will be in Graduate Hospital one of the most desired neighborhood in the city - you will be in proximity to many parks, bars, restaurants, Center City and all major highways make for the ideal location. Don't wait, see this home with Jake today!

Posted in Graduate Hospital
March 14, 2018

Planning Commission gives blessing to zoning variances for 2401 Washington Ave.

The 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 stories and 60 feet tall and have 113 rental apartment units. The developers, Green Construction, are seeking three variances, for use, loading and rear yard depth. The developers claim to be unable to have a rear yard because of the site’s “odd shape.” The first floor will consist mostly of parking, with 57 car parking spaces and 53 bicycle parking spaces. The architects, Harman Deutsch, are designing the first floor to have a large commercial space in the middle of the 2400 block of Washington Avenue and a gym next door. The developers plan to use the corner space for the lobby of the apartment building, but Harman Deutsch is designing the lobby to be converted to retail space if the demand increases on that stretch of Washington Avenue. That was requested by the Civic Design Review meeting, held a few weeks earlier. The 24th Street side will have a game room as well.

The residential units will start on the second floor. The building is designed in a C-shape above the first floor, with a roof deck over the first floor facing Washington Avenue. The roof deck will be accessible to all residents of the building. The façade will consist of brick and stone panels with large windows and window bays, with an overhang at the roof.

Pickering said that the plan conforms with the Planning Commission’s Philadelphia2035 plan by repositioning an industrial site in a largely residential area. Planning Commission Executive Director Gary Jastrzab noted that the area is a “transitional area.” Project attorney Hercules Grigosmentioned that the developers have met with the local Registered Community Organization, the South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA), and that they have issued a letter of support. He said that the Washington Avenue Business Association also supports the project and quoted the group as saying that “Washington Avenue is never going back to industrial” and “what we’re looking at is the future of Washington Avenue.”

March 8, 2018

Featured Home of the Week: 132 W. Walnut Lane in Germantown

Stunning Victorian home on premier tree lined street in the heart of Germantown!

This spacious home presents an amazing opportunity to renovate a piece of history, featuring double height ceilings, original wood work and amazing details throughout.

The first floor features a living room, library with custom floor to ceiling shelving, and a full eat-in kitchen with butlers pantry.

The second floor features 4 oversized bedrooms with massive original windows , access to a full hall bath and laundry room.

The top floor features a separate nanny/in-law suite complete with kitchen, full bath and living room.

In addition to all of this there are 3 fireplaces throughout the home, a woodshop on the main floor, an expansive green backyard with custom built tree house and parking for up to 4 cars in the driveway.

At this location you are close to Greene Street Friends, Germantown Friends and the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, all major highways, Fairmount Park and Center City Philadelphia. Don't wait – schedule your showing today!

Posted in Germantown
March 7, 2018

Possible Snow Day = Places to Warm Up Around Philly

 
Forecasts say we’re expecting up to 3 inches of snow overnight tonight...does that mean there is potential for a snow day tomorrow? If so, we want you to be well prepared with the best spots to warm up with a drink around the city. In case we’re not so lucky, save these for another cold day this winter!

The Dandelion: You’re immediately drawn in just by the exterior; covered with plants & located on the corner of Sansom & 18th Streets. Step in the front door and if you’re not instantly hooked by the cozy lounge and fireplace chances are this list isn’t for you! Come early to snag the coveted couch by the warm fire & enjoy a proper afternoon tea including both sweet and savory options!

The Rittenhouse Hotel Library Bar: Tucked away from the busyness of the lobby this quiet bar is the perfect place to unwind. You’re immediately welcomed by a roaring fire & lounge area with a deep couch & multiple large armchairs but if you explore further you’ll find the bar and a few low cocktail tables & chairs. So take your pick & then settle in with a nice drink (they’ve got a great cocktail and wine list!).

Franklin & Mortgage Investment Co: Ever walk by a man on S. 18th, between Chestnut & Sansom dressed in a long black coat, just standing in front of what looks like an apartment complex & wonder what he’s doing? Of course you did...who wouldn’t, except someone who knows the location of Franklin & Mortgage Investment Co. This is one of the few speakeasies in Philadelphia & exactly what you need to step away from the outside world and lose track of time, maybe even the year!

Double Knot: On the ever popular 13th Street, Double Knot “doubles” as both a coffee shop and Asian-fusion restaurant/bar. So head there for a cup of coffee in the morning and then either hang out for the day or swing by again later to enjoy some of their amazing hand crafted cocktails! The lounge is always packed, but that’s because it’s truly one of the best bars in the city to relax & enjoy all the offerings!

ITV: Scroll through Yelp & some of the most common words used to describe the bar are cozy & warm. There’s no better place to spend a chilly day on Passyunk Avenue than at ITV. Pull up to the bar, or head to the lounge and enjoy a French-American flare throughout the small plates, cocktails & wine list.

Bud & Marilyn’s: Everything about this 13th Street restaurant screams comfort which is why we chose to include this in our snow day (or cold day) lineup! From the drinks which are guaranteed to warm the belly, to the variety of starters & specialties they offer...you’re sure to forget the snow and cold outside while you’re warm and happy in Bud & Marilyn’s.

Cambridge: Dimly lit & cozy tables are the first items you notice about Cambridge...that & the extensive beer list (nothing says warm & cozy than your choice of brews!). At 15th & South it’s a great central location to meet up with friends & enjoy a few!

Good King Tavern: Ready to be taken from a cold & dreary Philly & placed in a warm French Tavern? Perfect, the last stop on our list, Good King Tavern does just that! The bar, beautiful with a mirrored back & hand-crafted woodwork is a great place to pull up a seat, order the house wine (your choice of good, better or best) and dive into their French fare both the consistent menu as well as the daily specials!
Feb. 22, 2018

A #PhillyFoodie Paradise in Queen Village

At the close of 2017, Philadelphia Magazine came out with their top 50 restaurants in Philadelphia and Hungry Pigeon topped the list at #1.

Never been to Hungry Pigeon? There’s no excuse since this top restaurant is virtually open all day long. Week days starting at 7am with breakfast until 11am, then a lunch menu until 2:30pm, followed by “after school” fare and finishing out with dinner beginning at 5pm daily.

What’s great about a restaurant open at all hours of the day? The neighbors are able to stop by at anytime for a great snack, meal or drink! If you’re a foodie, 336 Monroe Street (located just around the corner) could be for you. In this prime location, you have access to some of the cities best dining options including Hungry Pigeon, Famous 4th Street Delicatessen (you know...the black & white cookie), Whetstone Tavern, Royal Izakaya, Kanella South, Southwark, Ambra, Ela & so many more! The diversity of cuisine less than a ½ mile from this condo building is unparalleled.

Living at this location is not only good for foodies but also people looking for convenience. Within the same radius mentioned above, there are more than 4 different markets (including one right out your front door), multiple coffee shops (including Starbucks for you grande loving caffeine addicts!), any pharmacy of your choosing and a few different banking options. You can stop at any of these locations on the way to work, or heading home - what’s easier than that?! Wait, you don’t work in the city, not a problem. Living at 336 Monroe Street you’re conveniently located close to South Street with direct access to I-95 which depending on where you live now, could cut off valuable minutes from your commute!

336 Monroe Street Condos offer three different unit options ranging from 2 to 3 bedrooms and 1 to 3 bathrooms. All three units offer:

  • Red Oak Hardwood Flooring with Dark Walnut Stain
  • Gourmet Kitchens with Shaker Style Cabinets & High-End Appliances
  • Custom Tiling in Kitchen
  • Outdoor Space
  • Heated Bathroom Flooring
  • Nest Thermostats
  • Located in the coveted Meredith Catchment
  • 10-Year Tax Abatement

Looking for something to do after work tomorrow? Stop by our open house (1/25) from 4-6pm to enjoy some cheese and wine from the local shops in the area! All three units will be available to tour & we hope to see you there! If you can’t make it but are still interested in learning more about these rare opportunities or scheduling a time to see any or all three, please contact Fred Capp at 215-490-8253 or by email at Fred@PhillyLiving.com

Posted in Queen Village