Tag Archives: Philadelphia

VERY Romantic: Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Melt your valentine’s heart with our VERY Romantic  ideas for the upcoming weekend.   From fun twists on the usual chocolates to restaurants that have the charm you’re looking for, VERY Real Estate has the ideas you need to make your Valentine’s weekend a success!

VERY Sweet 
Sweeten the weekend with some special candies from  Shane’s Confectionary in Old City or Lore’s Chocolates in Washington Square West. Blow her mind with specialty macarons from Old City’s ICI Macarons & Cafe or truffles from Flying Monkey Bakery in the Reading Terminal Market.

VERY Pretty
Don’t forget the flowers, with beautiful bouquets from Old City’s Petit Jardin en Ville or Sweet Pea in Graduate Hospital.  Head over to Milner Jewelers on jewelers row to find VERY pretty items that will last longer than a week!

VERY Tasty
Take your sweetheart to a classic dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants.  LacroixAudrey Claire or Barclay Prime in Rittenhouse are a few of our favorites.  Vintage and Talula’s Garden in Washington Square West are delicious and have a great vibe. The Olde Bar in Old City will help set the romantic mood.  With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday, brunch is also on the table.

You don’t have to go far to make it a romantic weekend. Book a stay at the Ritz Carlton, overlooking City Hall and Dilworth Park, the Hotel Monaco in the heart of Old City or at The Rittenhouse Hotel on Rittenhouse Square to  make the most of the romantic weekend without the hassle of traveling.

For more information on VERY Real Estate or to join our mailing list, feel free to  contact us!

VERY INTERESTING: Chilly temperatures could mean hot deals

There are many reasons to be excited now that the fall season is in full swing: the changing leaves, crisp air, and cheer of the holidays ahead. Beyond that though, fall and winter can also prove to be a great season for homebuyers.

Credit: VisitPhilly.com

Here are a few reasons why buying a home now could mean a bigger bang for your buck if you’re willing to bundle up a bit while on the house hunt.

  • Leftover inventory: Sellers tend to put their homes on the market for the first time in the spring, listing it at the highest price point, which means price reductions are likely by this point in the year.
  • Motivated sellers: Sellers who put their homes on the market now (or still have it on the market) during this time of year are typically more serious about selling – otherwise they would wait to list (or re-list) until spring. They want to get the listing off the market so they can enjoy the holidays uninterrupted, which means they are more flexible with buyers during negotiations and the closing process will likely move more quickly.
  • Less competition: Families who have young children want to be in a new home by the start of the school year so they are no longer shopping for homes at this point – they’ve either made their move or are staying put. That’s a huge segment of buyers out of the market, which means less competition.
  • Realistic view: The best way to determine whether you really love a home is when the weather conditions aren’t at their best. The distraction of beautiful foliage and sunshine often times causes buyers to overlook flaws or things they would not normally settle for. Plus, the home inspection will reveal a more accurate picture of the home so that you don’t get stuck with unexpected expenses down the road.
  • Tax perks: If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, points, and property taxes when you file in the coming year.
  • Lower moving costs: Home inspectors, moving companies, and contractors generally want to drum up business during the winter since demand is low. As a result, you’ll be able to take advantage of lower prices and special promotions.

If you’re ready to start your search, let us know! Our unique approach makes it VERY easy and we’ll take a lot of the stress and leg work out of the home buying process. It’s VERY fun, we promise.

VERY Sustainable: A Guide to Neighborhood Farmer’s Markets

It’s that wonderful time of year! The Farmer’s Markets and Farm to City Coops are popping up like May flowers.

Here’s a VERY helpful guide to the markets and some delicious vendors to keep an eye out for!

Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market

Location: 18th Street and Walnut Street

Day: Tuesdays, starting June 3, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

N3RD Farmers Market

Location: Church Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets (Old City)

Days: Tuesdays

Time: 2:00 – 7:00 PM

Old City’s latest community effort will return this season!

Fairmount Farmers’ Market

Location: 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue

Day: Thursdays

Time: 3:00 – 7:00 PM

Check out Philly Fair Trade Roasters for delicious coffee.

Jefferson Farmers Market

Location: 10th and Chestnut Street

Day: Thursdays

Time: 11:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Jefferson makes an impact on the local neighborhood of Washington Square West by sponsoring this weekly market.

Liberty Lands Park Farmers’ Market

Location: 3rd and Poplar Streets

Days: Thursdays

Time: 3:00 – 7:00 PM

This farmers market is located at the hub of the Northern Liberties community space, including a playground!

Fitler Square Farmers’ Market

Location: 23rd and Pine Streets

Day: Saturdays

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The Jennings 1785 Farm  will be selling grass fed beef.

Headhouse Farmers’ Market

Location: 2nd and Lombard Streets

Days: Sundays

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

This market is located in the historic Society Hill neighborhood, featuring more than 40 vendors, including Frecon Farms’ hard cider and LoveBar’s bean to bar chocolate.

The Food Trust Night Market is a great way to support local vendors! Check out the upcoming Night Market in Old City Philadelphia on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

VERY Improved: Spring Maintenance Tips

The warmer weather has us thinking of all the home improvement projects we thought up over the winter.  Here are a few items that should be on everyone’s spring cleaning list.

  • Check your roof & clean your gutters – with all the snow this winter, your roof and gutters might need some attention!
  • Clean or replace your HVAC filters. You need to do this more often than once a year. A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder, which in turn drains your wallet.
  • Clean decks, driveways, fences and other outside surfaces. A pressure washer makes the work much easier. You can rent one from a home center. While you’re cleaning, inspect for damage that needs mending.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. You never know when you’ll need them.

Working from top to bottom and the hardest task to easiest will help manage and complete the to do list.  Check out Philadelphia Salvage, an architectural salvage and design shop that resell fixtures and furniture, if you are looking for unique items to update your home with.

VERY 2014: Real Estate Resolutions for the New Year

It’s that time of year! Everyone’s making resolutions about getting in shape, either physically or financially. Below, VERY Real Estate offers helpful real estate resolutions for the New Year.

If you’re hoping to buy a home to live in or invest in during 2014, here are a few New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Understand your credit history and credit score: For better or worse, these will rule your financial life. 
  2. Find the best loan, on the best terms: That means you’ll have to do your homework.
  3. Build the best home-buying team: Whether you’re buying investment property or a home to live in, you’ll want to create a team of real estate professionals who can help you find the right property, at the right price, on the best terms, without any headaches.

If you are trying to sell your home in 2014, you’ll have a different focus. New Year’s Resolutions for home sellers:

  1. Overcome any possible objections a buyer would have:  Buyers are always looking for a reason not to buy your house. Your job as a seller is to eliminate any potential objections that would stand in the way for a buyer to make an offer.
  2. Get your home into selling shape: Cleaning your home is a must. After that, you should consider hiring a stager to give your home the television-worthy polish so many buyers expect. If you’re selling in January, clear out the holiday decorations as quickly as possible.
  3. Be realistic about the market: Find out what types of properties are selling in your area and how many days they’re sitting on the market. Accept the reality of your local market and make sure you price your home realistically.

Whatever New Year resolutions you decided upon, VERY Real Estate wishes you the best of luck!

Happy New Year!

VERY Snowy: What to do in Philadelphia on a Snow Day!

With weather forecasts calling for snow, VERY Real Estate shovels up fun snow day activities!

The Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park is a Philadelphian’s best chance for serious sledding.  Don’t want to clean the car off? Check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s famous “Rocky” steps and the hill to the side of the steps, the spot has become a favorite sledding destination.

If snow angels are more your speed, our favorite squares – Washington square, Rittenhouse Square or Franklin Square – offer enough open space for snow angles, building snow men and the inevitable snow ball fight!

We can’t forget about our furry friends – most dogs LOVE spending time in the snow. It’s a great time to bring them to the city’s dog parks, like the Schuylkill River Park Dog Run, near Rittenhouse Square.

After sledding and playing in the snow, warm up with some delicious hot chocolate from The Franklin Fountain in Old City

If après ski is more your speed, VERY understands! Layer your favorite alpine sweater with a puffy jacket and check out some great neighborhood bars and restaurants to make it through the bad weather!

There are two options for a snowy day in Old City: Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant which has amazing windows to watch the snowfall, while staying warm inside! The Plough & Stars has a cozy fire to warm you up. Both spots are cozy and welcoming.  For anyone near Rittenhouse Square, a.bar offers delightful and cozy cocktails and amazing views of the Square to watch the snowfall.

Growlers, in Bella Vista, offers fireplaces, a living room atmosphere and good food! Tria and Varga are great wine and beer bars in the Washington Square West neighborhood that will help this neighborhood weather the storm!

We hope you enjoy the snow and whatever you decide to do! Stay warm and safe!

VERY Supportive: VERY Real Estate supports Small Business Saturday in Philadelphia

Tomorrow, Saturday November 30, 2013 is Small Business Saturday. Small businesses benefit the community and neighborhoods they are located in, providing unique items and fantastic customer service – all qualities VERY Real Estate adheres to.

Adresse in Old City is perfect for any fashion-istas on your list! Or, if you are looking for a fabulous holiday party dress, this is the first place you should check!

If you’re in Northern Liberties, check out Swag Boutique! This shop takes local to a whole new level, offering unique, & handmade gifts by local artisans.

Miel Patisserie in Rittenhouse Square is the sweet spot for any sweet tooth on your list.  Grab an espresso to recharge your shopping batteries!

If you’re in the Art Museum/Fairmount neighborhood, check out Take 2 Chic Boutique for unique jewelry and accessories gifts this holiday season.

If you have an avid reader on your holiday list, check out Head House Books in Queen Village.

After crossing off your holiday to do list, stop by the Papery’s new location in Washington Square West for holiday cards, unique gift tags and fabulous wrapping paper! The Papery also has great hostess gifts.

Where ever you are, don’t forget that shopping local can make a big impact on your neighborhood.

VERY Thankful

The VERY Real Estate team took a few minutes to discuss what they are VERY Thankful for this Thanksgiving and their favorite parts of the holiday!

The one answer that was consistent amongst the VERY Real Estate team is how Elizabeth, Joe and Ben are all thankful for the acceptance of VERY Real Estate by the Philadelphia real estate industry. It’s truly remarkable. In such a short amount of time, we’ve met such wonderful people who we are excited to do business with in the near future.

Elizabeth Convery, Founder of VERY Real Estate, is thankful to be surrounded by people whose love and support keep her motivated and whose opinions challenge her.

Elizabeth’s favorite thing about this holiday is the fact that it’s socially acceptable to eat and drink wine for hours straight. She’s planning on working an elastic waistband into her holiday outfit.

Elizabeth’s favorite dish during the marathon dinner is the celery stuffing and her mom’s famous cranberry relish mold!

Joe Convery, Vice President of VERY Real Estate, had this to say about what he’s most thankful for this year:

“I’m most thankful for this year is the launch of Very Real Estate and the remarkable young woman who had the vision to launch it. Of course I mean my terrific daughter, Elizabeth. Few people would have the courage to do what she is doing. I am sure it will continue to grow. As we say at VERY, “Avanti” that is “move forward”.

Joe’s favorite thing about Thanksgiving is that it is truly an American holiday: a time for family, friends, food and football. It kicks off the holiday season but doesn’t have the stress of gift buying that comes with Christmas.

Joe could not assign a “favorite” food for the big meal. Turkey, while delicious, is his least favorite part. For Joe, it is all the surrounding calorie laden dishes. Throw in a multitude of pies and he’s never leaving the table!

Ben Rubin, General Counsel of VERY Real Estate is thankful that his family and friends are close by.

Ben’s favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the 4-day weekend! Who doesn’t love an extra couple of days off?

Ben’s favorite dish on this holiday is the Thanksgiving sandwich – stuffing, cranberry and turkey on good bread.

The VERY Real Estate team wishes you happy travels, a fun and safe holiday.

Eat, drink and be merry!

VERY Entertaining: Ideas for Entertaining and Decorating this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only one week away and VERY Real Estate wanted to offer some fun tips for entertaining this Thanksgiving!

Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas

A quick and easy way to introduce a snug and welcoming feel to your rooms is to swap out pillows in lightweight fabrics, like linen and cotton, for luxe velvet ones in rich, fall shades. Add coordinating throws for a warm, layered look.

Adding a wreath, in fall colors, to any space spruces up the area and gets you ready to entertain!  It’s a great piece to help transition through the fall entertaining season. Placing mums and a few pumpkins by your front door welcomes guests before they’ve even knocked!

 Setting the scene: Tablescapes

Our favorite idea for a unique Thanksgiving centerpiece is to frame black-and-white photos of memorable moments throughout the year, placing them along the center of the table. This creates depth and is a great conversation starter.

Want the “kids’ table to be just as special? Use these recycled plastic wishbones attaching one to each rolled-up napkin with some twine. It’s a unique napkin holder, and a perfect solution for including everyone in the holiday tradition.

A favorite hostess gift of VERY is sending a floral arrangement the day before the party! This helps the hostess decorate and is a unique way to express your gratitude!

 The Secret Ingredient:  Semi-Homemade

If cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner intimidates you, like it does a few of us, here are some delicious take out options

Percy Street BBQ in Queen Village/Bella Vista, offers two take out options:  a full Thanksgiving dinner or just the turkey which will feed between 6 to 8 people.

If side dish help is what you need, consider Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse! They are offering side dishes to go!

For a complete list of Thanksgiving Dinner take-out options, check out eater.com’s list.

 Get This Party Started!

Greeting friends and family with a tray of already prepared piping-hot cider, garnished with fresh cinnamon stir sticks is a great way to get the party started! This handy tip allows you to easily manage your guest’s arrival – taking their coats and handling any hostess gift or menu items they may have brought!

Serving dinner buffet style helps the hosts enjoy the party too! Assign dishes or ask your guests what they’d like to bring to dinner. When they arrive, transfer everything to matching platters and serving dishes to create a striking display. Create mini-menu cards, letting guests know what each dish is. This lets the cuisine take over hosting duties for a little while.

If you want to stick to the traditional sit down dinner, a dessert buffet is a great option during the holiday season.  This encourages guests to move and mingle!

VERY Walkable

Another awesome reason to live in Philadelphia!

Philadelphians are able to do more then just run the Art Museum steps, in a tribute to Rocky. Philadelphia was ranked as the 4th most “walkable” city according to Walk Score, a blog that covers “a range of walkability topics” such as biking, real estate and health.

The blog points to some interesting facts about living in walkable neighborhoods, such as Philadelphia:

  • Health Benefits: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs eight pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.
  • Social Benefits: People who live in walkable communities are more socially engaged and trusting than those who live in less walkable areas.
  • Economic Benefit: The average American spends over $9,000 per year on their car making cars the second largest expense for most households, costing more than food, clothing and health care.

After reading this blog, we got to thinking, what are the coolest places you can walk in Philadelphia. Here’s a list of some of our favorite walkable places:

  1. The Ben Franklin Bridge – The Bridge offers amazing views of Philadelphia’s skyline. And, if you happen to be a runner, it offers a decent incline for all the speed work!
  2. Food & Beverages– Philadelphia has a rich and tasty restaurant scene, and the VERY Team is made up of “Foodies”. We’re always willing to walk for a delicious meal or fun cocktail. Seriously, too many delicious places to name one!
  3. Culture – Philadelphia’s museums are a great way to spend a day, and most offer fun social events in the evenings – like Art After Five at the Art Museum or walking around Bella Vista/Queen Village checking out the mosaics and murals.
  4. Work – eliminating time on the Schuylkill, I-95 or SEPTA Regional Rail is life changing.

There’s no better way to become acquainted with Philadelphia then walking around the city. Each neighborhood is different, and every season you’ll notice something you hadn’t before.