Philadelphia Real Estate Law | The basics

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.



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.

Properties Sold In Fishtown 19125, Month July Compared 2007-2011

Properties Sold In Fishtown 19125 vs 19146, Month of July 2007-2012


The above is an info-graphic representation of totals properties sold in fishtown (Multiple category, not just residential homes) 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.

A Professional Property Management Client Testimonial – From Bigger Pockets

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:

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.

5 Things to do in Philadelphia Before Summer is Over

With the beginning of August comes the inevitable end-of-summer blues – it’s time to get ready for the school year and the Labor Day party planning started. At JG Real Estate, our motto is “It’s not over ’til it’s over!” With that being said, here are five things you must do before the summer of 2012 comes to a close.



Embrace the end of the summer by doing something new every day in Philadelphia! Until next time, your Philadelphia Property management team.

Philadelphia Neighborhood: Manayunk

Manayunk, a Philadelphia neighborhood that is just west of Center City Philadelphia, is known for its intimate restaurants, local shops, and abundance of night life. Manayunk is bounded by the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal. It was, at one point, one of the manufacturing centers of Philadelphia. Over the years, with the decline of jobs in the manufacturing industry and closure of businesses, the warehouse buildings were left empty and storefronts were abandoned. During the 1990’s, there was a huge surge of revitalization and upscale stores and restaurants came to the Philadelphia neighborhood, and those empty warehouses were converted into gorgeous loft spaces. The large lofty spaces are offset by the two and three story single-family homes that also surround the area and give it a quaint and charming feel.



One of the most appealing characteristics of Manayunk, also referred to as the “Yunk,” is its abundance of outdoor “play” space. There is the wonderful Schuylkill River Trail which winds through Manayunk on surface roads, with numerous access points to a trail along Main Street. This trail leads out to Valley Forge or to Center City! You can also connect to the hiking and biking trails that Wissahickon Valley Parkfeatures. Here, you can find horseback riding, fishing, biking, and more! For the lovers of water, there are a ton of boating options in this Philadelphia neighborhood. You can kayak, canoe, and even engage in the sport of Dragonboating. Also, Manayunk features the Manayunk Bike Race every year, which is a huge attraction for all ages!

This Philadelphia neighborhood is full of shopping. There are tons of furniture stores like Nadeau andPottery Barn, clothing & apparel stores, jewelry shops, and galleries. This Philadelphia neighborhood is stuffed with wonderful restaurants and their delectable cuisines. Cafes and coffee shops line the streets of this Philadelphia neighborhood, and Manayunk does not fall short when it comes to ice creams shops! If you are looking for a good night out, Manayunk has a different type of bar for every personality-type. In all, I can find 20 bars, and that is not a complete list!



Manayunk has very special long-standing community traditions and great places for people to join together. Whether it is at the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, the North Light Community Center, or theManayunk Sport and Social club, residents alike

No matter what you’re into, this Philadelphia neighborhood has something for you! If you’re a landlord looking for Manayunk Philadelphia Property Management contact us today!