Tag Archives: VERY Real Estate

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 savvy tips: Prepping your home for Leasing

Philadelphia has always been a robust rental town. While it’s still a buyer’s market on the homebuyer’s side, you can call it a landlord’s market on the leasing side.

Leasing isn’t just for apartments. Single-family houses are also a significant presence in the rental market. Whatever the reason for leasing, to prepare a home for lease you will have to thoroughly inspect, repair and clean it.

Here are some VERY savvy tips to prepare your home for leasing:

#1: Inspect the roof for leaks and general integrity. Fix any problems that you already know about or discover in your inspection. Clear the gutters, if necessary. Prepare the yards by mowing, pruning, gardening and weeding as necessary. Repair any faults in the driveway.

#2: Check all the plumbing, both indoor and outdoor, to make sure that everything is working correctly and nothing is leaking. Check all wall switches and electrical outlets for proper function. Check all lights and replace any dead light bulbs. Replace the air filters in your ventilation systems. Test all steps and stairs for soundness, and repair as necessary.

#3: Repaint or replace the wallpaper, if necessary. If not, clean the walls and ceilings and make spot repairs where necessary. Dust or mop the entire house. Clean and replace window blinds as needed. Inspect the carpets, if any, and replace them on a room-by-room basis if they exhibit wear and tear. Shampoo any carpets you will keep. Eradicate any pests.

#4: Clean and repair any defects in furnishings if you are renting your house as furnished; remove any furnishings you aren’t willing to risk having stolen or damaged.

#5: Contact the post office to divert any mail from current or previous owners, as necessary.

#6: Consult with a real estate attorney or real estate brokerage, such as VERY real estate, to draw up a legally effective rental lease.

#7: Hire a professional photographer to take the best photos of your space, highlighting your VERY best attributes. I highly suggest staging your rental. Most prospects do not have the vision to see how to furnish their new home, and staging helps show off your space.

Here at VERY we now offer homeowners the luxury of handling all these tasks. Employing VERY Real Estate’s unique strategy of focusing on the individual client experience, VERY Leasing tailors the services specifically for rental properties.

We provide investors and individual property owners with a full suite of services designed to enhance the tenant experience and decrease downtime for landlords between tenants.

If you are interested in finding out more information, please feel free to contact us at info@veryre.com today!

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 Entrepreneurial: Benjamin Franklin

Most Philadelphian’s would agree that Benjamin Franklin is one o the city’s coolest characters:  entrepreneur, a notorious flirt, inventor humanitarian and statesman.

In honor of Benjamin Franklin’s 308th birthday, VERY Real Estate takes a moment to honor a fellow Old City entrepreneur.

Ben was born January 17, 1706 in Boston and arrived in Philadelphia in 1723. Clearly ahead of the times, Ben fathered a child, William, in 1728. William’s mother is not known. In 1730, he married Deborah Read and the two had entrepreneurial spirit – running a general store, a bookstore and a publishing company.

Benjamin Franklin had quite a career. His publishing accomplishments include Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard’s Almanack. He also launched Library Company, the nation’s first subscription library. His scientific experiments and inventions include the famous Kite & Key experiment, the Franklin Stove and bifocals. His quotes are still relevant and used  today.

Franklin organized the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia’s Union Fire Company, the first in the city. He saw the opportunity for fire insurance, helping to create the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire.

Given Franklin’s entrepreneurial spirit and interest in science and technology, I can only imagine how blown away he’d be with today’s advancements. It’s because of people like Franklin that we are able to evolve as a society  and seek opportunities.

If you want to learn more about the man himself, Visitphilly.com is offering free admission to the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Old City January 17 – 19, 2014.

The Franklin Institute is also an excellent option for celebrating Ben’s birthday.

Happy birthday, Ben!

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!