March 16, 2015 |
After 120 installments of my "Town by Town" column in the Sunday Business section, I can state two things without fear of contradiction: First, all real estate is local, local, and local. Second, no two real estate agents agree unequivocally on the state of the market in which they work. It's one of those glass-half-full/glass-half-empty situations and applies even if the agents work in the same office. For that reason, I often don't talk to more than two real estate agents per location.
March 11, 2015 |
Shares in Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. climbed $4.06, or 12.5 percent, after the Wyomissing, Pa., company announced a hostile, $4.1 billion offer for the real estate holdings of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., a Las Vegas casino company. It was the biggest one-day gain for Gaming & Leisure Properties since the real estate investment trust was spun off from Penn National Gaming Inc. in the fall of 2013 to own most of Penn National's real estate. The stock closed at $36.43. Pinnacle owns 15 casinos and announced last fall that its board had decided to split into two companies, one to own its real estate and one to operate its casinos.
March 8, 2015 |
I wrote about green building a few weeks back, and about how some studies show that houses with sustainable features sell for 10 percent to 14 percent more than comparable houses without them. I had interviewed Jim Maransky, president of E-Built L.L.C. and builder of the Icehouse in Fishtown, who, while confirming those results, added that the appraisal process is the place "where the green premium many times falls apart. " Others had made the same complaint, and I also was aware that the Appraisal Institute has been trying to address it for several years.
February 23, 2015 |
Local start-up Houwzer.com is building a real estate brokerage around helping home sellers save money - by selling their houses practically for free. Yes, the real estate commission for the seller's agent could be a thing of the past. Home sellers save the 3 percent commission by listing their property with Houwzer.com, says cofounder Michael Maher. "On a $500,000 transaction, we save the seller $15,000," Maher said. Houwzer.com currently has about 60 seller listings on its site, and anticipates 250 listings in 2015, he added.
February 16, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. East Bradford Township is "one of the most desirable places to live in Chester County," says Kit Anstey, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors. He should know: It has been his home for 40 years. To be honest, Anstey's connections here go back three years more, to 1972, "when I joined the Radley Run Country Club. " He has owned two houses in his time in East Bradford, which is west of West Chester but east of West Bradford Township.
February 10, 2015 |
WHEN JIM KOLLER was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he wanted to find out all he could about the disease. He wanted to know, how could he, a fitness buff who thought nothing of a 24-mile bike ride from his home in Lafayette Hill to the Philadelphia Art Museum and back, contract the crippling, fatal disease named after the baseball player Lou Gehrig? How could he, a man who lifted weights and swam six days a week for 20 years, be afflicted with a disease that slowly destroys a person's ability to even flex a muscle?
February 9, 2015 |
Conshohocken-based How? Properties redevelops rental projects all over Philadelphia, with more than $100 million in real estate under development or management. By 2015's end, it expects to own and manage about 500 apartments. It also presents classes for tenants on how to build wealth by investing in real estate. How? Properties principals Andy Blum, Gary Jonas, Bill McLaughlin, and Gary Risler formed a mortgage company in 1998, then expanded into real estate in 2003. They went on to conceive their own construction and development projects and now manage the completed ventures.
February 4, 2015 |
The Super Bowl is history, marking the start of a new high-stakes season: the spring real estate market. After what many industry insiders considered a disappointing 2014, hopes are high for 2015. Among factors contributing to those hopes are continued low interest rates, new 3 percent down-payment programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and an improving economy. Builders anticipate a boost in single-family home construction starts - critical to their long-term health - to 804,000 units nationwide, still well below the 1.5 million pre-downturn level.
January 31, 2015 |
Samuel J. Pilotti, 85, of Berwyn, a Realtor and civic leader in Philadelphia's western suburbs, died Saturday, Jan. 24, of cancer at Paoli Hospital. Born in Devon, he attended Conestoga High School, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and Pennsylvania State University. After 17 years as a business executive, Mr. Pilotti followed his true passion by turning his hobby - investing in real estate - into a profession. He founded Metric Realty in Paoli in 1975 and continued to work for 40 years in all phases of real estate with daughter Lisa Campbell and son David.
January 22, 2015 |
WHEN JOSEPH Sindoni bought a boat for seagoing outings from the Jersey Shore, he thought his wife would be thrilled. But when she saw it, Margaret's reaction was less than enthusiastic. "Where's the bathroom?" she wanted to know. So, Joseph, always the devoted husband, went out and bought a bigger boat - a 24-footer with a bathroom. The family kept the boat for about eight years at North Wildwood, but, even though he was a former Navy man, the family didn't get that much use out of the boat and he finally sold it. Part of the problem was that Joseph Sindoni was the kind of guy whose favorite activity was work.