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NW Philadelphia Neighborhoods Hang On to Values, Almost…

March 17, 2011

 Philadelphia home values are drifting downward but only slightly, according to the statistics produced by Zillow. The year-over-year change in value was at -1.1% through the 1st quarter of 2010.

Looking more closely by neighborhood a few showed increases in value, most slight declines. In the NW neighborhoods, Mt Airy, East and West, and are hanging on at values comparable to those in 2006. West Oak Lane and Germantown saw increases in values from 2006 to 2008 resulting from over all improvements in those neighborhoods, and have held onto some of the gain. Chestnut Hill appears to have seen more decline, because sales in the lower price range for that neighborhood are stronger than for the higher value houses.

By clicking on the Zillow link you can check out your own Philadelphia neighborhood to see how you are doing.

Zillow Home Value Index

Philadelphia, PA: What to Expect from the 2011 Real Estate Market

January 10, 2011

Here we are at the beginning of the 2011 real estate year.    Last year, 2010 had some month when real estate sales were good, because of expiring Tax Credits for home buyers, and then several months when sales were terrible.  By the end of the year the total annual real estate sales in Philadelphia was down from 2009, although only slightly.

It was a challenging year, so I felt a sense of relief when December ended with a flurry of inquiries, from both past and new clients wanting to buy or sell a homes. I am looking forward to seeing business pick up in  2011. As business picks up I look for prices to stabilize.  On the other hand there is still too much unsold inventory, too many short sales and foreclosures moving values downward.

When I received an inquiry about whether a home purchased and renovated at the height of the market in 2007 could sell for a price which would net the owners their investment, I was not encouraging.

Today, Jan 10, The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors has come out with their projections for 2011.  There opinions, based on state wide date, concur with my ‘feelings,’  selling homes in NW Philadelphia. I’m sharing their Podcast: Optimism, less volatility and slight price declines in 2011 | PAR Just Listed™ for all who are considering whether 2011 is the time to make a move.

You can contact me for a personal consultation regarding your property and your situation.

Kathleen Sheridan

Phone: 215-740-3320, or email:

Kathleen Sheridan is a real estate agent with WEICHERT, Realtors® – McCarthy Associates

Kathleen is a licensed Realtor®. She specializes in NW Philadelphia properties for home owners and investors and in Philadelphia Short Sales.

Philadelphia: Electricity, One More Thing to Add to the Shopping List

January 7, 2011

Philadelphia residents, it’s time to select your electricity provider. You made it through holiday shopping, selected a cell phone service provider you new Smart Phone, decided between Cable, Dish TV, and FIOS.  You can do this.

Energy has been deregulated, so when it comes to getting electricity we have choice. PECO will continue to be the source for electric services, turning on, turning off, keeping up the lines that come into my house. PECO will also provide your electricity, but their rates are going up. But, now there are 20 additional providers of electricity that you can choose from.

Like me, you are probably thinking, “Twenty different companies, and I have never heard of any of them.” The list with links to all of their rates and information is available from the Public Utilities Commission. PECO’s new rates are posted too, so that you can compare.  Some are higher; some are lower. A few offer 20% green and even 100% green.  There is a local members coop, a company that can customize programs for small businesses, and institutions.

What to choose? The lowest price? The most green? Something in between? A coop? A local company? I decided to pick one with good rates, some green and from a company with a local head quarters, knowing that by next year we will all know more about these companies, and I may have to pick again.

By the way, gas has been deregulated too, but for those of us who live in Philadelphia, PGW is still THE choice.

Happy Shopping.

Thank you reading this post. Please add comments about your experience with energy deregulation.

Kathleen Sheridan a Realtor® with WEICHERT, Realtors® – McCarthy Associates

Kathleen Sheridan Lists and Seller Real Estate in the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Mt Airy, Germantown, Chestnut Hill, and Oak Lane. You can contact Kathleen with your questions about your property, buying and selling a home or investment property, where to look for financing. Realtor. Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Recycles – A Good Idea Gone Mad?

November 15, 2010

Philadelphia Recycles


I am hearing many complaints from Philadelphia residents and property owner who have received $50 fines, increasing rapidly to $100 if unpaid, for not following the trash and recycling rules. 

I am a big fan of recycling, I hate litter, but I can’t believe that it is cost effective to hire trash inspectors and clerical staff to issue and collect fines when better education and clearer directions are needed. It certainly does not create any good will toward City Government. 

For the most part people are not defying the rules, they are simply unaware, or confused. A co-worker of mine was dumbfounded to find a City employee sorting through her trash looking for envelopes with her name on them. Envelops belong in your recycling bucket. Better yet, shred them first. 

A client who owns a triplex already pays to get his tenants trash and recyclables put out properly. He contacted me, hysterical about  getting yet another fine. Apparently his recycling bucket was not properly labeled. 

In an effort to help, I set out to find the rules. There are many and they are complicated. There is a rewards program if you can figure out what to do. You will get points. That’s nice. 

I found information about recycling at the City’s website,, but only after a persistent hunt. The Streets Department is responsible for trash collection and recycling. Their website, provides information about what and how and when to recycle. provides the information and the sign up process for the rewards program. 

Beware, if you think you know what to do, the rules change from time to time. The rules about plastics changed in August 2010. 

If you thought you knew what to do with the leaves that are falling all over your yard, because you knew what to do last year, think again. The City is not sending trucks around vacuum up the leaves from the curb. 

You can recycle your leaves by putting them in the correct type of recyclable paper bags. You will have to buy the bags. Your properly bagged leaves will be turned into compost. If you put leaves in plastic bags they will end up in the regular trash. (No word about whether you will be fined for putting leaves in the regular trash.) 

If you have your own stories, advice, or suggestions about recycling and trash please share them here.

Philadelphia Leaf Recycling 2010

November 15, 2010

One of the wonderful reasons for living in Northwest Philadelphia are the trees. They provide shade in summer and an amazing display of color in the fall. Then they drop their leaves on our gardens, in our roof gutters, and on our streets and sidewalks.  Removing the leave is a big project.

The Philadelphia Streets Department helps with leaf removal and recycling, but what they will and won’t do changes from year to year.

 Bagged Leaves I recently received an email from State Representative, Cherelle Parker, with the rules for this years leaf collection program. I am sharing the with you here.

The Philly Bagged Leaf Drive is under way and will continue through Dec. 17, 2010.  Bagged leaves WILL be collected citywide. No mechanical leaf collection will be offered. 

Here are the 2010 guidelines for bagged leaf collection: 

  • Leaves will ONLY be collected in biodegradable paper bags
  • Set leaf bags curbside on your trash collection day
  • Leaves in plastic trash bags will be collected as trash, not recycling
  • Do not mix trash or recyclables with bagged leaves
  • Use as many bags as needed (max weight per bag is 40 lbs.)
  • Bags may be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores (The city Streets Department does NOT provide biodegradable bags)
  • No collection will occur on city holidays
  • Bagged leaves may also be taken to one of the following Sanitation Convenience Centers: 3033 S. 63rd St.; Domino Lane and Umbria Street; or State Road and Ashburner Street

I suggest that you think about creating your own leaf composting pile where ever possible. You will save 2 trips, one in the fall to buy bags, one in the spring to buy compost.   To create your own pile, you will need to create a barrier to keep the leaves from blowing around. You will need to remember that your leaf pile is not a place to put trash.   Although you can get fancier with your composting technique to speed up the process, that is about it. Heat and cold, rain and snow, plus some worms will turn your leaves into a lovely mulch. No bags, no cost, no travel.

NW Philadelphia Celebrates Revolutionary Past

September 29, 2010

It’s the first weekend in October, Fall is here, and General George Washington is returning once again to Northwest Philadelphia for the annual reenactment of the Battle of Germantown.  In 1777 Washington’s Army attached the British who had taken over the Chew property at 6400 Germantown Ave where the reenactment takes place on Oct 2, 2010

 Other Historic Germantown sites are also participating with activities throughout the day. Cliveden is hosting a display and sale of prints and maps from the collection of the Philadelphia Print Shop. Learn more about the day’s events at Revolutionary Germantown.

Historic Germantown – 6300 block of Germantown Ave

September 11, 2010

Historic Germantown in Northwest Philadelphia was laid out in 1681 as a single street village where property owners had their homes and their businesses together on one site. Within this district, 6300 block has long been a place where single family homes and small businesses exist side by side.

Land set aside in 1693Historic properties that are now museums include the Upper Burial Ground, set aside in 1693, the Concord School House established in 1775, as well as the Johnson House built in 1768 and served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the 1850’s.Built in 1768   

Among the oldest surviving property at 6377 dating from 1749 built by Leonard Stoneburner. It has been restored and is presently a law office. Built for Leonard Stoneburner in 1749  

‘Pomona’ was built by Samuel Shoemaker in 1760. Colonel Thomas Forrest bought ‘Pomona’ in 1788. In 1890 the house was torn down and the land divided up for building lots along the present W Pomona St.

Several older homes from the 18th and 19th century survive among the 20th century storefront rows and modern commercial buildings.

The best known small businesses on the block include the Lucien Crump Art Gallery  in a modern 20th century building at the corner of Germantown Ave and Johnson St. and the Rib Crib which occupies on of the store front rows between Washington Ln and Duval St.

Undergoing renovationIn 2010 several of the older buildings are being renovated including 6316 which was sitting unoccupied for many years had is being renovated inside and out.

6371 has a new facade and renovated interior. A new childcare facility is scheduled to move in.

6379 has a newly renovated facade and a new tenant. 

Home of the Lucien Crump Gallery6376-80 home of the Lucien Crump Gallery has a new roof.

If you have information to share about this block, please post a comment. 

For information about buying or selling property in Germantown contact:

Kathleen Sheridan, Realtor®  – WEICHERT, REALTORS® – McCarthy Associates 

Office: 215-842-1414 ext 230