R5Realty News and Notes

Market Snapshots and Commentary on Value and Quality of life along the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Rail Road, up until recently called the R5 Line, and now officially known as the Paoli /Thorndale line. R5Realty runs from Center City Philadelphia through the walkable, Westward outlying Towns & Townships.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Philadelphia-Area Buyers: How, When, Where to Get an Early Started House-Hunting in 2013

Like this Bobcat after Prey: Begin the hunt in January.
Selling listings is great, but there's something especially fun about working with Buyers. Call it the thrill of the hunt, if you will! Come February, new Listings will start to drip onto the market. By March, more new listings will start to spill, and by  April is when they really start to pour forth. All this makes January an ideal time to begin positioning yourself as a buyer ready to pounce on the right new home.

January is an excellent time to start checking out Open Houses and interviewing Real Estate agents (aka Realtors) to help you buy a home. Most Realtors are always happy to engage and connect with new home-shoppers . In January, open house traffic is usually on the lighter side and Realtors (such as us!) often have ample time to chat, share information, and hopefully impress potential clients.

Potential buyers should be advised, there is never any required fee or obligation when meeting/interviewing a Realtor to be your buyer's agent. Without buyers, there is no Real Estate Industry, so you are in the driver's seat. And this is true whether you are a buyer ready to pounce or someone who is just contemplating the possibility of buying a home.

Go to Open Houses this January. Talk to agents and let them do a little audition. See how much the agent you meet seems to know the neighborhoods you are looking for... Give the agent some "homework" and ask him/her to get back to you with information and see how he/she performs ... Make a date to have an agent show you several houses and see what kind of rapport exists or doesn't... Basically, you can test drive Realtors like you would a car. Get on the road, see how it feels, and move on if it doesn't click.

Try this during January and see who seems knowledgeable, eager for your business, and most importantly - competent! From there, next step is to get pre-approved for a loan, so you know how much house you can afford. You may also find that Realtors often work much harder and in more dedicated fashion once you have been pre-approved for a loan. Again, pre-approval is free of charge and free from any future obligation to anyone. But along with choosing a Buyer's Agent, it's an essential first step toward buying a home.

If buying a home in 2013 is in your gameplan, getting a January headstart on selecting and agent and getting pre-approved will put you in the catbird seat and ready to pounce on the right listing when it comes down the pike. It's true we are still in a "buyers market" but our region is not one of desperation for sellers. We saw it in 2012 and expect to see more of it this year -- the Best houses at the Best Values often get snapped up in less than a week by Buyers who begin the process a month or two before everyone else.

We're happy to share more inside tips and chat about the process of buying a home anytime via email or phone 610.348.7972. If nothing else remember this - having a Realtor work hard as your Buyers Agent should never involve any pressure or expense on your part, as it's only sellers who pay commissions. Having you own dedicated Buyers Agent is free and should make the whole process better.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2013 Mainline and Philadelphia-area Housing Markets: Best Time to List Your Home for Sale is Mid-February

Phil to Sellers: Nearly Time to Get Listed! 

For a variety of reasons, we are suggesting Friday, February 15, 2013 as an ideal date to list (or relist) your home for sale in R5Realty country, which includes the Mainline and Delco suburbs surrounding the R5 Railway to CenterCity Philadelphia. If you are currently listed, or are considering listing your home for sale soon, the next two months are an ideal time to plan for a February launch or relaunch.

Our opinion is that mid-Atlantic staters  tend to hunker down during the holiday month of December and the typically wintriest month of January.  By mid-February, folks are generally ready to shuck off Cabin Fever and begin looking towards a new spring and a new  beginnings. In addition to the (hopefully) improving weather and increasing daylight, other annual milestones which stimulate house-hunting this time of year include:

* Passing of February 2 Groundhog Day and February 5 Superbowl (winter's final grand unofficial holiday).
* Valentine's Day on Thursday, February 14 and its attendant afterglow of lasting love and Unity.
* Phillies' first workout Friday February 15th and the inevitable media focus on Spring arriving soon.
* Philadelphia Flower Show excitement for March 2. What better time to stimulate a  desire to both plant roots and acquire the land to put them!

While February 15th is a nice midpoint, anytime between GroundHog's Day and earliest March, will poise a Philadelphia/Suburban Seller to capture the attention of the largest swath of serious buyers. One may find a greater number of lookers out and about come April, but we find the pre-spring shoppers are Not-to-be-Missed. Pre-spring buyers often possess a focus and intensity that results in quick deals of enduring quality. These early-buyers, who are willing to muck through the slush, can be a whole different ballgame than fair-weather-folks who  bop about on a 60-degree post-Easter Sunday.

In addition to being a hardier and most-determined breed, early-season buyers often are aware and accepting that quality homes still attract competitive prices in our region. Many early-bird buyers learned this the hard way and were outbid on the best houses of 2012. These folks often have a market-saviness and determination to buy, which can see them step up to the plate with quality full-price offers, devoid of the games that less-tested and less-focused buyers are apt to indulge.

Even if you - as a seller - don't link up with one of these eager-beaver-buyers, a mid-February premier will get your home firmly established in the minds of real estate agents by the time they are bursting with April's avalanche of buyer clients. In addition a mid-February listing offers the opportunity to experiment with a higher asking price for the first month, while still having time to adjust downward in the high-volume selling months.  Finally, since 100 days For Sale is a typical marketing tolerance-point for sellers, a mid-February listing takes you to to Memorial Day weekend - which is the traditional end to the Spring Buyers Market and beginning of Summer Season. We'd hope you home sells before Memorial Day, but if not, late May is an excellent time to have your listing expire and to reassess and retool.

What to do between now and Valentines Day? If you're already on market, this is a great time to give your listing a rest, so you can re-emerge as a new-kid-on-the-block in 2013. With the holidays, inclement weather, vacations in play, this is the least likely time to attract quality showings and buyers.

These holiday/weather distraction also make December and January a less attractive premier date for the New Seller. Your new listing will get scant attention while racking up "days-on-market," leading the late March buyer to wonder whats wrong with your home that it hasnt sold in 100+ days on market!

December is a great time to start organizing and getting your fix-up projects underway. Start now on the interior and alert you contractors to be ready to do outdoor projects on the first passible days of January and early February. You'll be ahead of the game and prepared to begin marketing your home from a position of power at the best time of the 2013 home-selling season. The Prudential R5Realty.com team of Ted and Heather Gross welcome your call or email inquiry for a no-oligation analysis of your home's prospects in the upcoming market.

Home Prices Paid in Lower Merion School District October and November 2013 (Under 1 Million)

140 Upland Terrace Fetched $310,000 Needed Lots of TLC
This spacious Bala Cynwyd Tudor, needing interior and exterior TLC, sold for $310,000 this November. This photo shows home circa 2001, when it sold for $290,000. Presently, the house next door at 142 Upland Terrace - which has already been meticulously restored and outfitted with many top-line appliances - is listed for sale at $399,00. These homes on quiet tree-lined Upland Terrace are about 90 years of age and offer a grandeur inspired by high ceilings and exemplary woodwork.

Home Prices Paid:  Lower Merion School District  October/November 2013 (Under 1 Million)

TownStreet AddressSold ForSq FtBedsBathsListed For
Ardmore151 Walnut Ave$145,000 1,06431$155,000
Ardmore38 S Cricket Ter$232,000 1,05621.1$239,000
Ardmore49 Chatham Rd$312,000 1,33231.1$309,900
BalaCynwyd140 Upland Ter$310,000 2,16062.1$320,000
BalaCynwyd19 Old Lancaster$367,500 2,44143.1$385,000
BalaCynwyd127 Cornell Rd$390,000 2,42643.1$409,900
BalaCynwyd207 Marywatersford$472,500 2,31232.1$489,000
BalaCynwyd316 Cynwyd Rd$535,000 3,50863.1$574,900
BalaCynwyd129 Derwen Rd$875,000 3,08143.1$895,000
Bryn Mawr42 S Warner Ave$178,000 1,38042$187,000
Bryn Mawr1240 Wendover Rd$360,000 1,63232$379,000
Gladwyne1131 Waverly Rd$515,000 2,29632$524,000
Gladwyne1723 Martins Ln$572,000 2,75242.1$599,000
Gladwyne544 Consh. State$587,500 2,73842.1$619,000
Gladwyne132 Old Gulph Rd$670,000 4,22843$685,000
Gladwyne1539 Monticello Dr$765,000 3,57143.1$820,000
Merion523 Putnam Rd$520,000 2,78132.1$529,000
Merion 513 Baird Rd$402,000 1,91242.1$415,000
Merion 25 Merion Rd$695,000 4,68053.1$695,000
Narberth229 Wayne Ave$195,000 1,25231$229,990
Narberth14 Schiller Ave$266,500 1,31231$279,000
Narberth121 Woodside Ave$415,000 1,78851.1$450,000
Narberth516 Merwyn Rd$425,000 1,87631$449,000
Narberth109 Rockland Ave$428,000 1,54831.1$429,000
Narberth12 Narbrook Park$445,000 1,97841.1$475,000
Narberth108 S Narberth Ave$659,900 3,01553.1$659,900
Penn Valley710 Willow Way$400,000 2,39632.1$409,000
Penn Valley439 Penn Valley Rd$425,000 2,68842.2$440,000
Penn Valley1237 Hagys Ford $430,000 2,77543$470,000
Penn Valley510 Old Gulph Rd$707,000 3,82543.1$729,000
Villanova609 Cedar Ln$425,000 2,45442$425,000
Villanova725 Mount Moro Rd$750,000 3,35154.1$799,000
Wynnewood235 Harrogate Rd$260,000 1,36431.1$279,000
Wynnewood431 Redleaf Rd$375,000 1,86332.1$415,000
Wynnewood107 Trent Rd$460,700 2,57543.1$447,700
Wynnewood629 Greythorne Rd$485,000 2,42642.1$504,900
Wynnewood907 Bowman Ave$499,000 1,98042.1$499,000
Wynnewood1200 Weymouth $550,000 3,46852.1$540,000
Wynnewood532 Hansell Rd$592,000 1,84043$599,000
Wynnewood406 Wynmere Rd$601,000 3,13443.1$624,900
Wynnewood826 Primrose Ln$629,000 2,51342.1$644,900
Wynnewood114 Iris Ln$632,000 2,85642.1$669,000
Wynnewood406 Holly Ln$755,000 1,49642.1$749,900
Wynnewood1101 Indian Creek $850,000 4,36355.1$850,000

Haverford and Radnor Township Home Transactions Under $500,000 During October and November 2013

 Persistence is Rewarded with $405,000 Sale at 2 Old Oaks Rd. in Bryn Mawr.
After nearly three years off and on market, this very well-appointed, 3-bedroom Colonial near Villanova University final settled in late October. The 1800 sf home had a reasonable list price and a very appealing interior featuring a handsomely updated kitchen and baths. But the home's location on busy Route 30 near the Villanova stadium is certainly what led to its extended stay on the market. In a buyers' climate, folks can choose to avoid primary thoroughfares and pass on otherwise very desirable homes, such as this one in the coveted Old Oaks section of Radnor School District. Sellers with typical fortitude and urgency might have lowered the price below market value to affect a sale. In this case, the relatively modest list price of about $420,000 eventually attracted a fair market sale price for a quality home in an excellent neighborhood.

Haverford and Radnor Twp: October and November  Home Sales Under $500,000

Street AddressTownSold ForBedsBathsSq FtList For
2813 Saint Marys RdArdmore$170,800 31.11,152$189,900
2636 Chestnut AveArdmore$180,000 31.11,280$199,900
2307 Belmont AveArdmore$228,500 31.11,462$239,000
2805 Oakford RdArdmore$265,000 31.11,240$264,900
626 Ardmore AveArdmore$442,000 52.12,917$469,000
231 Callanan AveBrynMawr$168,000 311,238$179,000
226 Rodney CirBrynMawr$367,500 321,600$370,000
2 Lowrys LnBrynMawr$405,000 32.11,754$419,000
108 Stockton RdBrynMawr$405,000 421,767$425,000
925 Wootton RdBrynMawr$415,000 42.12,210$449,000
22 Old Oaks RdBrynMawr$465,000 31.11,987$459,000
124 Gilmore RdHaverford$185,500 311,352$209,900
201 Pine Ridge RdHaverford$245,000 321,292$249,900
633 Walnut LnHaverford$280,000 422,079$290,000
41 Caenarvon LnHaverford$435,000 42.13,395$489,000
140 Barcladen RdRadnor$345,000 31.11,640$349,900
330 Bailey RdRosemont$352,500 42.12,182$379,900
124 Eaton DrWayne$264,000 32.12,050$292,000
123 Eaton DrWayne$470,000 52.12,300$478,599
208 Farwood RdWynnewood$225,000 42.22,669$265,000
111 Juniper RdHavertown$115,000 42.11,908$119,900
1712 Marilyn DrHavertown$182,000 53.12,996$199,900
453 Olympic AveHavertown$185,000 311,500$189,900
20 Waverly RdHavertown$197,500 311,294$209,900
689 Washington AveHavertown$200,000 321,600$225,000
601 Furlong AveHavertown$205,000 31.11,204$219,900
1 Fairfield RdHavertown$210,000 31.11,920$239,900
1048 S Steel RdHavertown$211,000 431,912$219,000
201 Ivy Rock LnHavertown$211,000 311,121$220,000
132 Walnut Hill LnHavertown$219,900 321,438$219,900
30 Shelbourne RdHavertown$225,000 42.12,878$249,924
1227 Manor RdHavertown$225,000 31.11,500$219,000
130 Wyndmoor RdHavertown$225,000 31.11,254$239,900
25 Ralston AveHavertown$230,000 31.12,025$249,900
1336 Harrington RdHavertown$230,000 31.11,379$239,900
8 Pinzon AveHavertown$235,000 41.12,152$237,000
20 W Mercer AveHavertown$249,900 331,625$249,900
13 Derwen DrHavertown$250,000 321,259$269,900
427 Heatherwood RdHavertown$260,000 31.11,292$269,500
33 W Wilmot AveHavertown$260,000 41.11,836$275,000
741 E Manoa RdHavertown$275,000 31.11,377$285,000
249 N Belfield AveHavertown$286,000 31.11,488$298,000
817 Grove PlHavertown$290,000 32.12,158$299,900
318 Walnut Hill LnHavertown$295,000 311,380$319,900
1514 Brierwood RdHavertown$305,000 321,728$319,900
833 Homestead AveHavertown$311,000 431,944$310,000
411 Upland RdHavertown$329,000 31.12,008$349,900
46 Ralston AveHavertown$335,610 42.12,477$339,000
406 Achille RdHavertown$339,900 31.12,015$339,900
308 Brookline BlvdHavertown$342,500 53.11,934$359,000
430 Greenview LnHavertown$370,000 52.12,850$389,900
1615 Surrey LnHavertown$415,000 42.22,409$424,900
611 Lawson AveHavertown$425,000 42.12,034$479,000
209 N Morgan AveHavertown$436,000 53.13,275$429,000
309 Valley RdHavertown$475,000 52.12,750$499,500
1239 Leedom RdHavertown$475,000 53.13,700$475,000
2525 W Darby RdHavertown$482,500 52.13,374$525,000
255 E Marthart AveHavertown$485,000 42.12,700$485,000