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.
January 19, 2015 |
If I've learned anything since the downturn, it's that you cannot predict the future of the real estate market, either in the short term or the long. When paired with "all real estate is local," predictability goes out the window, because what is happening nationally or regionally may not be the Hi-Nella experience. Yet each year, housing economists make a stab at predictions. I'm not singling out Jed Kolko at Trulia for any reason other than I have his prediction. Consumers, Kolko said, are upbeat, and they think 2015 will be a better year than 2014 to buy, to rent, and especially to sell.
January 9, 2015 |
The grand houses of Northwest Philadelphia aren't a tough sell for real estate agents. The schools are another matter. Lifelong West Mount Airy resident Rich McIlhenny, a RE/MAX real estate agent, had not set foot inside a neighborhood public school until Wednesday, when he and others whose job it is to sell the city toured five of its schools. The aim was to show that, very real budget crisis aside, the city schools can be a solid option for many families. "I do a lot of my work in this area, and people are always asking, where are the good catchments?"
January 5, 2015 |
Treetop Development, a Teaneck, N.J.-based real estate firm formed by two high school friends, is making a second major investment in Philadelphia by renovating the 504-unit apartment towers at 5450 Wissahickon Ave. in East Falls. Many commuters no doubt will drive by what is now known as Charter Court without noticing the new ownership. But plenty of people live in East Falls, too, and "we were interested in buying it as a transport hub-based development," said Adam Mermelstein, co-founder of Treetop.