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Here’s a familiar scenario: Following those yellow arrows along the cramped, cement hallways, trying to sift through Akurum, Stolmen, Bigel and Fintorp with overcooked meatballs on your breath. And in the end, after all of the time you spent trying to decide between the Baren or the Enudden toilet paper holder.. you realize when visiting friends that your apartment looks just like theirs. If your Philadelphia apartment décor is ending up way too identical to the pages of the Ikea catalogues, I have a new suggestion -
This local company is situated in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia and despite the fact that they were only just established in 2011, they have already become widely popular, even making Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly 2012 list for “Best Eco-Cool Décor in Philly.” So, what’s their deal?
- 5,000 square feet of architectural & industrial salvage products
- a variety of reclaimed doors, stained glass windows, repurposed wooden cabinetry & furniture
- a constantly rotating stock of rare, antique & vintage finds
For those who have the ability to see an object and create a new, repurposed use for it — this is golden. My neighbors have wooden boxes, similar to the ones in the photo, mounted flat against their living room walls to serve as shelving. Nail a decorative, antique door hinge to the wall with the posts sticking out and you have a place to hang your keys. They have antique storage trunks as well which could either be used now as decorations or… as storage trunks! The point is that someone else’s trash can actually become quite useful & creative.
It’s also perfect for those of you who prefer to be more eco-friendly. These objects are not mass produced (or, if they were at one time.. long long ago, they certainly aren’t anymore); their store is filled with things that were going to be thrown away completely but that someone is finding a new use for.
When I went there for the first time this weekend, I ended up with two old, matching window panes. I hung them on the living room wall because I actually liked the look more than any of the generic posters I have (besides, it’s what the kids on Pinterest are doing and I guess I need to keep up with that).
These repurposed materials can really make your Philadelphia apartment decor more in line with your individual tastes. Besides, these old things have stories of their own, past lives in different Philly spaces; they’ve been used in celebrations, have been kicked in a fit of frustration, have held strong the embrace of someone crying… and if that’s too corny for you, how about — the stuff just looks cool.
By the way, here are my windows. $10 each
and yes, the couch is Ikea… sometimes the Swedes are awesome.
Creating Internet Ads to Market Your Philadelphia Real Estate
In the age of Craigslist and Zillow, everyone who has a Philadelphia real estate rental property have posted an ad on the internet. There are hundreds to scan through every day until finding the perfect place for you to call home. For property manager’s and owners alike, it is important that these ads be realistic and well-written to increase interest. Below are some tips to live by when writing your Philadelphia real estate advertisements.
Tips to Increase Ad Interest
First and foremost, make sure that your ads are a realistic reflection of your property. Do not say that your property has “humongous closets,” when in reality there is only room in the closets for 5 things to hang. Maybe you will create more interest in the unit and get more people to see it, but, if you look like a liar to the interested parties, what else are you going to lie about? This is not a good place to start off a relationship.
When creating your ad, do your best to add pictures. This is what will draw a majority of the people who are looking at the property. Even if they aren’t the best quality, some kind of picture is better than nothing at all. In the case that your Philadelphia real estate is currently being constructed, get an image of the finishes, get a floorplan to ad to the listing – anything you can use to help others visualize the property is a benefit to you as the property owner.
The most important thing you can do is to reread your ad and make sure there are no errors. If you are listing on the internet, it is easier to go back and revise your advertisement, but, the last thing you want is to write “walking closet” instead of “walk-in closet,” or “available 1/1″ instead of “available 11/1.”
The video below touches on some of the things I discussed.
For more interest on ad writing and the way JG Real Estate exceeds expectations by creating incredible ads, please call our office today at 215-467-4100.
Fire Prevention in Philadelphia – Holiday Season Tips
When holiday time approaches, families around the Philadelphia area start decorating with lights and trees as part of the longstanding tradition. While they may increase your holiday spirit, they also increase your chance of fires in your Philadelphia property. “Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage.” In order to keep you safe, here are some tips to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season.
Tips For Fire Prevention
- When selecting a Christmas tree, try to choose one that is fresh and has not been sitting around drying out. Newer trees can be identified by greener needles and a sticky trunk. If you have tons of needles falling off of your tree, the tree is probably older and has dried out.
- Be smart about where you are placing your tree or decorations. Do not place them too close to a heat source like a vent or fireplace.
- Check your holiday lights. Make sure there are no wires frayed or broken sockets. Normal wear and tear does occur from weathering and taking down/putting up the lights.
- Do your best not to overload the outlets. If you are hanging a lot of lights, try to use different outlets around the house instead of plugging them all into one place.
- If you like the look of candles in the windows or around the house, consider using battery-operated candles. If you must have real candles, make sure the candles are in stable holders and never leave them unattended! Always blow them out before leaving the house.
As is imperative at all times of the year, make sure you have working batteries in your smoke detectors and they are working properly.
We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
The Winter Months Are Here
Finding renters may be increasingly tough during this time of the year. Why you may ask? There are several factors which play into these slow moving cold months. The main reason for this change has to do with the school year.
Start And End Of The School Year
Many college students have already found their housing before the start of the school year, which usually take place in August. So, their search doesn’t begin until the summer months, a few months before their lease ends again. Families with children also move accordingly with the school year, making sure their kids are settled in before the start of the school year. This unfortunately leaves a huge gap that takes place during these cold days. In general, the chilly weather and the lack of properties being available often turn people away. What can Philadelphia Property Owners do to get their units occupied? Read further to learn more tips and insights to get you on the right track.
Renter’s Insights and Tips
Offering a shorter lease term with a reduced price is the best way to keep your property occupied in the winter. The length of the lease can be directly related to the number of months left until spring starts. This lets Philadelphia Property Owners jump on the busiest cycle of renting, resulting in a happy outcome for both renters and owners.
The rental market in Philadelphia stays competitive throughout the year. Renters looking to live in major cities like Philly need a heads up before entering their search, so the “right one” doesn’t slip right between their fingers. Here are a few pointers to find and hold onto your right match:
1. Application- Have an application filled out before you come to your showing. At JG Real Estate, You can find a PDF version of our application under the Tenants Area tab of our website: http://jg-realestate.com/Docs/JG_Real_Estate_Application.pdf. Having this ready to hand in will speed up the renting process.
2. Deposit- Generally, first month’s rent will take the unit off the market. I would recommend giving a deposit for the unit that is on the top of your list. This will show the property owner you are serious and increase your chances of making the unit your home.
3. Lay Your Cards Out On The Table- If you have bad credit or a recent foreclosure, don’t try to push it under the rug. It will come out sooner or later during a background check. That’s why it’s good to be up front and include a letter of explanation with any application.
4. Be On Time- It is important to keep a track of all the appointments you have made to view apartments. Make sure you’ve researched the address and area of the place before viewing so you won’t have any surprises.
5. Keep Options Open- Putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea when making big decisions like renting a home. That’s why it’s recommended that you have a list rentals that suit you and pursue them accordingly. You can find your ideal location and any back ups under our rentals tab of the website: http://jg-realestate.com/category/listings/rentals/.
Philly Condo Management Features: 1221 Shackamaxon St. Unit 16
Come home to a roomy 2 Bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom condo with modern finishes throughout. Some updates include; stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors throughout, gas fireplace, and french doors that open out into a beautifully landscaped courtyard. This condo includes 1 garage parking spot and gated entry with keypad for extra security. Philly Condo Management selects this unit to be your next home if you’re looking for a classy, gated community in a great location; Fishtown.
Philly Condo Management’s Neighborhood Review: Fishtown
Easy access to transportation, amazing food, and plenty of attractions; what more could you ask for? Stroll through and see new restaurants pop up right before your eyes as you meet the locals walking their pets. Check out Steven Starr’s Frankford Hall Beer Garden, Johnny Brenda’s Bar, Fette Sau, PYT, and many other hot spots. If you feel like staying in and cooking, just walk on over to Super Fresh grocery store! The Girard trolley line and Market-Frankford El train gives you easy access to anywhere you wish to go to in the city. Visit the Sugarhouse Casino or tour through the Yards Brewery just to name a few attractions! Philly Condo Management gives this neighborhood a high rating for having potential and being able to flourish by using it.
Tour Without Stepping Outside: Walk Through With Philly Condo Mangement
Winterize Your Philadelphia Rental Property
As we are nearing Thanksgiving and the weather is getting colder, it is time for us to think about how to winterize our real estate. For those of you who rent units in the Philadelphia area, it is often not up to you to clean your gutters or check the age of the furnace. There are, however, things you can do within your own Philadelphia rental property to keep you warm and the energy bills low.
Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Philadelphia Rental Property for Winter
- Invest in some door drafts for your Philadelphia rental property. You can find these at any home store; they will keep the cold air from getting in and prevent the heat from leaking out.
- For those of you that have window air conditioning units that are not coming out for the season, make sure you cover them. Again, this an easy solution to keeping the cold air from coming in. Also, for your Philadelphia rental property that has storm windows, make sure to put them down. This acts as double duty for your window!
- Get yourself some thick or insulating curtains. They come in many styles and will not obscure your Philadelphia rental property style and aesthetic. They will reduce your heating costs and allow your home to be a warm oasis.
- If your Philadelphia rental property has lots of rooms or is a large square footage, the heating costs may be extremely high. Space heaters can be inexpensive and save you a lot of money. Use them to just heat one or two rooms while you’re in them. They heat up quickly and are useful when you only use specific spaces.
- A great tip is to reverse your ceiling fan in your Philadelphia rental property! In the spring and summer months, we use fans to keep us cool. In the winter months, when your blades have been reversed, the fan blades will push the air down and help keep the toastier air in circulation. “How do you know if your fan is rotating in the right direction for winter? Here’s the trick — turn your fan on and look up. For winter, your fan’s blades should be moving clockwise.” (Waits, Kentin)
For other larger issues, please talk to your landlord about making improvements to your Philadelphia rental property. We wish you all a warm and safe winter!
Philadelphia Property Management Video
The below Philadelphia property management video gives a brief explanation of our website, including the rentals, tenant resources, and management sections. Additionally, we pull up a real owner statement to shed some light on how our back end account software works. Rent is received, commissions are paid out, maintenance issues are accounted for, and finally the owner payment is remitted. This is really a cursory overview, so owners are encouraged to contact us with any questions whatsoever.
Philadelphia Real Estate Law – Consumer protections
Whether you are buying, selling, renting or leasing a home, the government has placed certain protections in the laws that protect you from being scammed out of your hard earned money. Understanding these will help you stand up for your rights and avoid potential scams.
Protection in the Home Buying Process in Philadelphia Real Estate Law
One of the biggest struggles homebuyers face is unethical lending practices from mortgage providers. In 2009, Pennsylvania passed a law to provide protections for homebuyers in the mortgage industry. Under these new laws, all salespeople working for mortgage companies must be state licensed. Also, mortgage providers must use a clear disclosure form to help buyers understand their mortgages, and they must go through the proper steps to ensure borrowers can afford the products they sell to them. These laws apply to both new purchase mortgages and refinance products.
The Pennsylvania Home Inspection Law also protects buyers. This law requires all homes to be inspected by a certified, licensed home inspector. This prevents buyers from purchasing a home with a serious, but hidden, flaw.
Philadelphia real estate law does not just protect buyers. It also has protections in place for sellers. For example, in a home sale, the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent must disclose any conflicts of interest, such as buying and selling agents who work for the same firm. Sellers then have the right to decide to change agents if they wish.
Protections in the Rental Process in Philadelphia Real Estate Law
Investing in property in Philadelphia can be quite lucrative, but there are also risks involved. One of the dangers investors face is the risk of tenants who do not pay their rent or take care of the property. The security deposit helps protect against this. Under current state laws, landlords can ask for two months of rent upfront for the first year of a lease. In the second year, this drops to one month of rent. If the tenant remains in the property for a third year, investors must place the security deposit in an interest bearing account, with the interest paid to the renter at the end of the lease agreement. We suggest using a Philadelphia Management company or at minimum Philadelphia rental agents to ensure that requirements are complied with.
If the renter damages the property or fails to pay the rent, then that security deposit becomes the property of the landlord, but only after a written list of complaints is presented. That list must be presented within 30 days of the violation. Otherwise, the money is returned to the renter at the end of the lease agreement, with interest if applicable.
In each of these situations, the law offers protection for consumers against unethical practices of others involved in the real estate process. If everyone understands and adheres to these laws, the real estate process, whether buying or leasing, will be much smoother.
Free infographic interpreting property management review data
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How YOU Feel about Philadephia’s top Property Management Companies – An infographic by the team at Philadelphia Property Management
The above is an info-graphic representation of totals units (Multiple category, not just residential homes) settled in the zip codes 19125 & 1946 in the month of July from 2007 to 2012. Please note that this takes into account only sales which were documented on Trend, the Philadelphia area Multiple Listing Service of which JG Real Estate, LLC is a member.
Professional Property Management
I recently read an article posted on bigger pockets (a well known blogging forum for real estate investors) which explained, from the client perspective, why professional property management is a crucial part of his business strategy. His closing paragraph is a great summation of how, and why he feels the way he does:
“In closing, let me be clear that no one will care as much about your properties as you will. HOWEVER, hiring a management company doesn’t mean you stop caring about your business – it just frees you up to focus on other aspects of the business. I’m not saying that this is the best option for everyone, but if you don’t have the desire or time to directly manage your properties, this could be a great option for you.”
Arthur goes on to explain how a professional property management company will take care of:
- Tenant turnovers
- Funneling of information
- Eviction and court
- Problems and solutions
He is correct that the person who cares most about a particular property is going to be the owner. However, if that individual lacks the knowledge, experience, or motivation to properly care for the investment; it’s a moot point. I base my Professional Property Management company around efficiency – that means letting the best people for the job handle it. When a property has a HVAC issue, I don’t send my handyman over. True, he would probably solve the issue BUT would also take 4 times as long as the qualified HVAC tech. The same theory should be applied to all veins of business.
Take a look at the Arthur’s original blog post here.