April 20, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. When the housing bubble exploded in 2007, it ripped away nearly 25 percent of the value of Bristol Township's homes. For many in this Bucks County community, short sales and foreclosures followed, slowly and painfully, over the next five years. Veteran Coldwell Banker Hearthside agent Ellen M. Cassidy, who has been selling homes here for three decades, offers this welcome news: The real estate market has started to improve.
April 17, 2015 |
More than half the suburban real estate agents involved in Philadelphia transactions during the four years ended June 30, 2014, did not comply with license and tax requirements, according to a survey by the Philadelphia Office of the Controller. Of the 389 agents surveyed, 108 responded, and 56 of them admitted that they did not have a commercial activity license or a business income and receipts tax account number. Those agents accounted for $56 million during the period under study, which means the city missed out on $380,000 in taxes from those sales.
April 15, 2015 |
Despite the lingering downturn and the "tiny house" craze, mostly upscale suburban buyers continue to favor larger new houses on ever-shrinking building lots. The age of the buyer doesn't seem to matter. About 43 percent of 2,000 adults surveyed nationally would prefer homes bigger than what they live in now, the real estate search engine Trulia found. Baby boomers preferred bigger by a narrow margin, while millennials and those considered Generation X favored larger in even-greater numbers.
April 7, 2015 |
One of the nation's biggest retail landlords says it has turned the page on last year's troubles and is ready to grow again. Five months after its stock lost more than half its value in a financial-reporting scandal, American Realty Capital Properties (Nasdaq: ARCP), one of many firms set up by Jenkintown scrap-metal heir-turned-property mogul Nicholas Schorsch, still controls impressive assets: nearly 5,000 Lowe's building-supply stores, Red Lobster restaurants, CVS pharmacies, Citizens Bank branches, and others, totaling over 100 million square feet.
March 26, 2015
M IKE MAHER, 32, of Southwest Center City, is co-founder and CEO of Houwzer. The startup wants to disrupt the residential real-estate-brokerage biz by creating a more competitive marketplace for home buyers and sellers. Maher and his wife, Jennifer, co-founded the Center City co-working space Benjamin's Desk in 2012. Houwzer is located in Benjamin's Desk. Q: How did Houwzer start? A: My partner Kevin Baird approached me in October 2013. He'd been developing townhomes here and was frustrated by big commission checks for real-estate agents when he was doing much of the work.
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.