March 20, 2013 |
Philadelphians are rightly concerned about delinquent real estate tax collections. So am I. We have to do more, and we will. But we've also done a great deal to begin changing the culture of tax delinquency and increasing collections. Much has been said about our collection rate, and we differ with much of it. For 2012, we collected 91 percent of real estate taxes within a year of the due date. That's not high enough, but it is considerably higher than the figures The Inquirer relied on. And we don't stop collecting after a year.
March 17, 2013 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting the real estate market in this region's communities. Ask Dan White what it was like growing up in Haddon Heights, and the veteran real estate broker, who turned 49 Thursday, doesn't need time to think. "Getting our milk delivered from Green Valley Dairy; jumping on my bike to Station Avenue for pizza and to buy a record at the five-and-ten," says White, whose late father, Dan Sr., was a milkman for the dairy before opening his real estate office in 1972.
March 17, 2013 |
Over the years, I've referred to my houses by many names. Some are not appropriate for the pages of even a 21st-century newspaper. Vernyce Dannells calls her arts-and-crafts-style house on Woodbine Avenue in the city's Overbrook Park section "Stony Girl. " Dannells shared that in her response to a recent column in which I described as "Better Homes & Garbage" the latest version of a perennial "what do home buyers want" survey. As Dannells talked about the work she and spouse Kip are doing on their house, it very much reminded me of me 30 years ago. "When people who visit us periodically ask me, they're nearly wincing, but hardly mincing," she says.
March 12, 2013 |
Joseph Miele sat in a living-room chair by the front window of his Lower Merion home and waved his hand toward St. Charles Borromeo Seminary across the street. "We've been here since 1954," Miele, 86, said. "All my four boys growing up, we used the grounds for playing ball. " That was years ago. He might have been upset then if there were no open space, "but not now," he said. Miele's serenity is just as well, considering the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's announcement last week that it would sell or lease the 45 acres of the 75-acre campus closest to City Avenue.
March 11, 2013 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting the real estate market in this region's communities. It had been March for only about 12 hours, but already the front windows of houses on every street in Fox Chase were sporting shamrocks in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. The day also was on the mind of Gina O'Rourke, who with husband Sean owns In the Loop Cafe at Barnes and Loney Streets. She was in the market for Irish musicians to perform March 16 at the cafe's St. Patrick's "acoustic breakfast.
March 4, 2013
One in a continuing series spotlighting the real estate market in this region's communities. Real estate agents and residents agree the housing recovery is having a difficult time taking hold in Cheltenham Township. Why? Property taxes. The township's 2013 tax rate, 51.9 mills, is the highest in Montgomery County, according to the Board of Assessment Appeals. And though 41.6 mills finance what most current and prospective residents consider a top-flight school district, the taxes stop a lot of would-be buyers at the Cheltenham line.
February 24, 2013 |
Every time I complain to my 98-year-old aunt that, at 62-plus, I'm getting old, she replies, "You don't know what old is. " She's right. You're only as old as you feel. After chatting with 52-years-married John and Barbara Robbins, I no longer fear aging. It will be just fine. About two years ago, after spending 47 of those 52 years in a house in the Far Northeast (near Franklin Mills), where they had reared a son and a daughter, the Robbinses decided it was time for a change. They discovered quickly that real estate has changed mightily since 1962, and, what was even more critical, that the market in which they were planning to put their house up for sale was not one known for quick sales and good prices.
February 24, 2013
One in a continuing series spotlighting the real estate market in this region's communities. A right turn off Interstate 295's Exit 10 explains why Logan Township has the lowest property taxes around. Down Center Square Road, as far as the eye can see, is the Pureland Industrial Complex, 3,000 acres of warehouses and light industry that contribute mightily to the township's coffers. The complex is far from finished, too. Even on a day peppered by snow showers, work continued on the 70,000-square-foot facility that Albert's Organics is building in the Dermody Properties' LogistiCenter at Logan, at 1155 Commerce Blvd.
February 21, 2013 |
Sharply higher property taxes under Mayor Nutter's Actual Value Initiative reform will force potential home buyers in popular city neighborhoods, such as Queen Village, Fairmount and University City, to redo their math, real estate observers say. Every additional $1,000 in annual property taxes reduces the amount a buyer can pay for a house by about $18,500 at current interest rates, according to an industry rule of thumb, Noah Ostroff an agent...
February 20, 2013 |
City residents have had the long weekend to absorb and ponder the results of a citywide reassessment, and the first reviews from areas facing some of the biggest tax increases have been mixed. Matt Ruben, president of Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, on Monday put property owners in his area into three categories by reaction to the new numbers: Those who saw their assessments rise but think they are "in the ballpark. " Those who believe that their assessments are fair but that the likely tax increase will be "ruinous.