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Dream Homes

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NEWS
March 14, 1990 | By Lori Miller Kase, Special to The Inquirer
The most striking thing about Jerry Dawkins' home is the angry signs he displays in his living room window. "THE BACK OF THIS HOUSE IS UNFINISHED," one sign announces to people passing through Willingboro's partially completed Deerpark development. "DUE TO THE CONDITION OF THIS HOUSE, WILLINGBORO IS LOSING $1,390 IN PROPERTY TAXES. HOW? WHY?" demands the other. Those questions trouble Dawkins deeply. Almost three years ago, Dawkins said, he and his wife, Pam, decided to "trade up" their Trevose, Pa., home.
NEWS
December 19, 1991 | By Stephanie Banchero, Special to The Inquirer
The dream of developing an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course community with 850 homes on the Ballenrose property in Whitpain Township soon may crash to the ground. All that remains on the 500-acre Ballenrose property, at Morris Road and Route 202, are three hollowed-out structures scattered in a field of weeds. Whitpain supervisors believe that the decaying buildings, one townhouse and two single-family homes, are a hazard. At a meeting Monday, they voted unanimously to advertise for bids for their demolition.
NEWS
June 18, 1989 | By Wanda Motley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since getting married three years ago, Samuel and Rose Cooperman have been living in their dream house high atop a desolate hill with a spectacular view. "I can remember standing on this piece of land when it was nothing, and I couldn't write my check fast enough," Sam Cooperman said recently as he looked out from the sliding glass doors in his living room to a distant wooded slope. He and his wife have been happy, he said, even though the community in which they decided to settle, Rebel Hill in Upper Merion, is only 5 percent completed more than four years after construction began.
REAL_ESTATE
April 13, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Whether they're looking at newly built or previously owned houses, all buyers have lengthy wish-lists. When choosing new, they have a virtually empty canvas on which to draw their dream homes, especially if money is no object. These days, however, it is an issue, even for higher-end buyers, said Carl Becht, vice president of sales for Vaughan & Sautter Builders in Wayne. "They are very cost-conscious these days and might not be as willing to go overboard" as they were before the economic downturn, Becht said.
NEWS
March 8, 2002 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
If Joe Zamulinsky's house is the future, the fifth grader from St. Anastasia School in Newtown Square has a great one, and maybe the world will be a better place because of him. At least that was the thinking of the team of judges that awarded Joe first prize in this year's "Build a House . . . Build a Dream" competition, sponsored by Prudential Financial and Prudential Fox & Roach Real Estate for the benefit of the Delaware Valley Chapter of...
NEWS
March 9, 1999 | By Jon Stenzler, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Juanita Hicks sat on her living-room sofa a few winters ago and dreamed about fixing up her two-story house. The only problem was that Hicks, 56, a cafeteria worker at Virtua-West Jersey Hospital Camden, did not own the home or have the money for the project. But yesterday, Hicks, daughter Anita, 26, and granddaughter Capri, 9, lounged in comfort in Hicks' recently purchased home on the 1500 block of South 10th Street. Thanks in part to a $2.3 million housing rehabilitation program sponsored by Virtua, Hicks and seven others have been able to buy refurbished homes.
REAL_ESTATE
April 30, 2000 | By Larry Lewis, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mark and Kerry Centanni will be able to look from the back of the home they are having built in scenic North Coventry Township and see their children's new elementary school. The Chester County couple are moving there from Caln Township near Coatesville so their daughter Karly, 7, and son Adam, 3, can attend the sparkling new North Coventry Elementary School, which opened in August. They will be paying more in property taxes, but they figure it is worthwhile. Their other option was to stay put and pay tuition for Catholic school.
LIVING
February 22, 2008 | By Sally Friedman FOR THE INQUIRER
April and Bryan Zilai were looking for something different in a home, something truly original. They found it in an authentic log cabin in Rancocas Woods, an enclave of about 50 homes in Mount Laurel whose wooded trails and distinctive dwellings seem straight out of a storybook. Still, a few homes on these winding streets have broken the mold and no longer look anything like the log cabins they started out as in the late 1930s. In fact, turning a corner in this neighborhood occasionally yields a big surprise.
NEWS
February 2, 2001 | Daily News Wire Services
Dream homes can turn into nightmares when buyers fail to check out not only the inside, but what surrounds the property - namely, its neighbors. To avoid getting saddled with neighbors from hell or other annoying problems, here are some tips to follow: Walk through a neighborhood, chatting with residents to detect potential problems. If you're too shy, have your sales agent go with you. Watch out for "group homes" if you're moving to an area with colleges. It's a rare college where all the students live on campus.
NEWS
September 23, 2002 | By Jake Wagman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When a nonprofit agency announced it intended to convert a house in increasingly upscale Mullica Hill to a facility for mentally ill youths, neighbors were incensed. But they did more than just get mad - they got incorporated. Then, before the nonprofit closed the deal, the Gloucester County neighbors bought the home. Three months later, they sold it to a married couple. The story of how residents pooled their resources and formed a limited liability company to thwart the group home is unsettling to some, who see it as undermining fair-housing laws.
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REAL_ESTATE
April 13, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Whether they're looking at newly built or previously owned houses, all buyers have lengthy wish-lists. When choosing new, they have a virtually empty canvas on which to draw their dream homes, especially if money is no object. These days, however, it is an issue, even for higher-end buyers, said Carl Becht, vice president of sales for Vaughan & Sautter Builders in Wayne. "They are very cost-conscious these days and might not be as willing to go overboard" as they were before the economic downturn, Becht said.
REAL_ESTATE
March 30, 2014 | By Christine Bahls, For The Inquirer
The financial reality that the Mitchell family faced in 2010 was this: Their perfect home in West Chester had to be sold. Josh Mitchell, now 38, a self-employed contractor, had worked on the fieldstone rancher for 10 years. But a crisis involving wife Dawn's stationery shop - her partner suddenly pulled out - created debt, and when she became pregnant with the couple's third child, she closed the store. So they decided to create a new reality: They'd buy and restore a cheap house in a good neighborhood - luckily, just five minutes away, on the street where Dawn Mitchell's parents lived - and they would nearly double its 1,110-square-foot size.
NEWS
January 18, 2011 | By WENDY RUDERMAN & BARBARA LAKER, rudermw@phillynews.com 215-854-2860
TWO-AND-A-HALF years have passed since Robert N. Coyle Sr. defaulted on bank loans on nearly 300 Kensington homes that he rented to the city's poorest in search of the American dream. Dozens of tenants who had poured money into decrepit homes believing that they'd one day own them found themselves in the eye of a massive foreclosure storm, and one step from homelessness. That's when they dubbed Coyle "a dream killer" and a "slumlord millionaire. " Since the Daily News chronicled Coyle's shattered empire in October 2009, some tenants still fear they'll be evicted.
NEWS
May 15, 2010 | By Larry King INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The dream home of the dreamt-up Marine was sold Friday at a Bucks County sheriff's sale. The unfinished McMansion of Andrew A. Diabo - having sat abandoned and decaying for a decade while debts of $530,942 piled up - was claimed by his lender, GMAC Mortgage, for $892 in costs. For years, Diabo, 38, had held unhappy neighbors, creditors, and township officials at bay by portraying himself as a decorated, wounded Marine pilot on constant deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. But as The Inquirer reported last month, it was a ruse he had parlayed into sympathetic stories in the local media, free legal help, and kid-gloves treatment by Tinicum Township regulators.
NEWS
May 15, 2010 | By Larry King, Inquirer Staff Writer
The dream home of the dreamt-up Marine was sold Friday at a Bucks County sheriff's sale. The unfinished McMansion of Andrew A. Diabo - having sat abandoned and decaying for a decade while debts of $530,942 piled up - was claimed by his lender, GMAC Mortgage, for $892 in costs. For years, Diabo, 38, had held unhappy neighbors, creditors, and township officials at bay by portraying himself as a decorated, wounded Marine pilot on constant deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. But as The Inquirer reported last month, it was a ruse he had parlayed into sympathetic stories in the local media, free legal help, and kid-gloves treatment by Tinicum Township regulators.
LIVING
July 3, 2009 | By Sally Friedman FOR THE INQUIRER
There is something a bit disorienting about standing at the front door of the Simpsons' home. The glass panels of the door allow a spectacular, straight-on view of a handsome boat, bobbing on the water, dead ahead. And that's the idea: The massive home unites with the bay, and suggests, even before one enters, that this is no ordinary seashore cottage. The drama of the entrance doesn't disappoint. Inside the home, built by Andy Simpson, a lifetime resident of Brigantine, the initial showstopper is a staircase that seems to float like the Simpsons' boat, docked ahead.
LIVING
January 30, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Just a few miles south of 6755 Agave Azul Court, in suburban Henderson, Nev., there were at last count 6,300 homes in some stage of the foreclosure process. Yet here at the edge of the Strip, in one of this desert resort's oldest neighborhoods, stands the National Association of Home Builders' pricey annual showcase of products and building techniques - perhaps looking forward to a time beyond record foreclosures and falling prices, when residential construction will start up once again.
NEWS
July 15, 2008 | By Elizabeth Fox FOR THE INQUIRER
When the touring production of the Broadway hit Mamma Mia! breezes into the Academy of Music tonight, audiences will watch as bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan belts out the best of ABBA and attempts to find her father. But Rose Sezniak, the 24-year-old actress who plays Sophie, already knows exactly where her father will be - sitting in the audience, along with about 100 other relatives and friends, watching Sezniak make a triumphant return to Philadelphia. For Sezniak, a Mount Airy native who attended Holy Cross School there and Mount St. Joseph Academy in Flourtown, tonight's appearance is much more than just another stop of the cross-country tour bus: It's a vindication.
LIVING
May 2, 2008 | By Kate Campbell FOR THE INQUIRER
Gary Ott, a developer of public storage spaces and RV parks, fell in love with the wind-kissed hills and hedgerows of southern Chester County. When he and his wife, Kathy, purchased 22 acres of gently rolling farmland in Glenmoore two years ago, they were set to build their dream home. But there was the matter of where to put all the cars. The stable - two Porsches, a 1968 Corvette, plus two classic Corvettes that once were part of a collection amassed by Ott's father-in-law, Nicholas O'Dea, plus a red 1941 Series H International tractor Ott is restoring that belonged to his great-grandfather - deserved a home as grand and handsome as the main house.
LIVING
February 22, 2008 | By Sally Friedman FOR THE INQUIRER
April and Bryan Zilai were looking for something different in a home, something truly original. They found it in an authentic log cabin in Rancocas Woods, an enclave of about 50 homes in Mount Laurel whose wooded trails and distinctive dwellings seem straight out of a storybook. Still, a few homes on these winding streets have broken the mold and no longer look anything like the log cabins they started out as in the late 1930s. In fact, turning a corner in this neighborhood occasionally yields a big surprise.
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