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NW Philadelphia Farm Markets Make Eating Local Easy

August 8, 2010
Fresh Food Grown In Philadelphia

Produce From Philadelphia's Farm


In NW Philadelphia, eating local is easy with a wealth of Farm Markets setting up around the neighborhoods. This year you can find a markets on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The produce is fresh picked, comes to you ripe and ready to eat, and there are other tempting offerings as well including meats, flowers, baked goods, honey, preserves, and ice cream. 

Tuesday‘s you will find the Mt Airy Farm Market at LTS from 3 PM to 7 PM so you can stop on your way home and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, flowers, as well as local honey, jams, jellies and preserves. 

Lutheran Theological Seminary Plaza /7301 Germantown Ave /Philadelphia, PA 19119 

Farmer’s from Central PA arrive on Wednesday’s at Cliveden Park – Johnson St, 2 pm to 6 pm. Select just harvested produce, flowers and pumpkins (in season).. You can also sample the baked goods – pies, cakes, and breads, as well as jams, jellies and preserves. 

Chew Ave and Johnson St /Philadelphia, PA 19119 

On Friday stop at  Wyck between 2 pm and 6 pm to get produce grown in their own garden. 

Germantown Ave and Walnut Lane /Philadelphia, PA 19144 

 Saturday morning head to Chestnut Hill by the Mermaid Inn from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm for ripe peaches and tomatoes, produce from local farms including the Weaver’s Way Farm at the Awbury Arboretum in Philadelphia, also local meats, goat cheeses and soaps. 

Winston Rd between Germantown Ave and Mermaid Ln /Philadelphia, PA 19118 

Saturday go to Grumblethorpe 10 am to 3 pm for produce from their garden, fresh sausage, and their home-made, freshly churned ice cream and water ice all using fresh fruits in season. 

5267 Germantown Ave /Philadelphia, PA 19144


Avoid foreclosure and get the help you need : Fannie Mae

August 4, 2010
Too Much to Carry?

Mortgage Bill Weighing You Down?


Home owners struggling with too much mortgage debt can turn to a new website offering an excellent way to get useful information, calculate your options, learn what to say to get help from your lender.   

Fannie Mae has just unveiled a  website designed as a resource for  home owners trying to figure out if they can refinance to reduce their mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure.  This site provides information, gives step you step instructions and lets you know what to avoid.   

Among the possible programs offered to Fannie Mae mortgage holders is a Lease Back program.  But, whether your loan is with Fannie Mae or not, this site is an excellent resource for anyone looking for answers to their mortgage problems.

Mt Airy Mural Honoring Community Dedicated

July 16, 2010

The Muralist and Models with Mural Detail

View "It's All About Community" Video


I’ve watched the progress on the new mural at the corner of Germantown Ave and Sharpnack St for a year, ever since I noticed the scaffolding go up against an old brick wall and the outlines of the mural take  form.    

‘It’s All About Community’ is a  project of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program,  with the Mt Airy USA Commercial Corridor Revitalization project, and the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health/Mental Retardation.  On Jul 13, 2010 the sponsors, friends and neighbors came out for the dedication which featured the “It’s All About Community” Choir – directed by Michelle Kornegay, and the Muralist – Jon Laidacker.    

Special thanks is due to Rob and Chris Murray, the building owners, for their  contribution of the  space for this lovely mural.    

The mural design features a park, those familiar Germantown Ave cobblestones, and a vintage green trolley. Neighbors meet and talk. There are no groups, just one single community.    

 View a video of the dedication and mural development.    

Created by Kathleen Sheridan, Realtor®    

 WEICHERT, Realtors® – McCarthy Associates    

Contact Kathleen:    



Six Mistakes to Avoid When Making an Offer To Buy

July 9, 2010

 NW Philly Home

You’ve shopped for a home, and found the one that you want. Your Buyer’s Agent is ready, anxious, to prepare the Agreement of Sale.  She wants to know your terms.   

You want the house, but you don’t want to pay too much. And yet, if  there happens to be more than one offer, you want yours to be the one that is accepted. Nothing is more frustrating than making an offer that the Seller turns down, or that falls apart in negotiations. 

When making your offer avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Choosing a price without doing enough research. Get information on comparable sales from your Buyer Agent. They will tell you whether the seller’s asking price is high or low or right on the money. Find out how many similar properties have sold recently, (past 6 months) near the home you are considering. This information will help you decide what you should offer and whether you can go lower, or need to go higher than the asking price. Making an uninformed ‘low-ball’ offer will irritate the Seller and the Seller’s Agent.
  2. Not paying attention to the Seller’s non-price needs. A winning offer in not always the higher one, it is the one that comes the closes to meeting the Seller’s needs including the price. Has the seller already purchased another property and needs a quick settlement, or are they waiting on the completion of new construction and need a longer settlement? Can the seller do some needed repairs, or do you need to make an offer where you will be responsible for repairs?
  3. Choosing a discount mortgage company that you found on-line or was recommended by your brother-in law who live 1,000 miles away. Use a local mortgage broker with a good reputation in the area, or in the mortgage specialty which you need. Your Buyer Agent and the Sellers Agent will interview your mortgage officer. They are looking for confirmation that you are a good candidate for the loan. They are also looking for confirmation that this mortgage officer is going to be able the get the job done on time and without unneeded complications. Agents recommend mortgage officers based on past performance, if your Agent has recommended someone, you should at least check out that person before you select a lender.
  4. Providing inadequate or confusing financial information. The financial information which you provide needs to create a clear picture. The Seller’s agent will check this information to see if it makes sense. The mortgage that you are applying for, and the income you have disclosed, and your cash on hand need to add up to your offer and closing costs. When you are paying cash, be ready to provide a copy of a recent bank statement showing proof that you have the funds on hand that you need for the purchase.
  5. Not being ready for some negotiation. To get what you want there may be something that you have to give up. When you are prepared to compromise, the Seller is more likely to compromise. If you get stuck think of a different approach to the situation, or look at it from a different point of view. Some of the most difficult situations arise over small things, such as the seller has agreed to your price, and then won’t budge over the hour of the closing. Why does this happen? Because one side feels that they have ‘given enough.’ Keeping things ‘even’ goes a long way to avoiding these tense situations.
  6. Working with an inexperienced Buyer’s Agent. Experience teaches Buyer’s Agents how to turn your offer into a winning presentation. She knows what it should look like when it arrives gets to the Seller’s Agent. She knows how to make it easy to say, “Yes.” to. An experience Agent will help you with any special tactics that can help in certain situations, such as the escalation clause the help you win when there is competition, but only if used correctly. If your Buyer’s Agent is new, she should have a team or mentor to help her through any unfamiliar situations.


Ask me a question. I have closed agreements for my Buyers for 20 years.

Kathleen Sheridan, Realtor®   

WEICHERT, Realtors® – McCarthy Associates

How to Celebrate the 4th in NW Philly

July 3, 2010

Looking for a way to celebrate the 4th of July?  NW Philly offers events at historic sites where you can enjoy the day while visiting sites that existed in Revolutionary days.   

1. Bring your picnic and join in the ice cream making at Stenton (4601 N 18th St), site of the c. 1730 Georgian style country home of William Penn’s secretary, James Logan and one of the most authentic historic homes in America.   

Concord School House


 2.  Join the Ringing Out Freedom ceremony at the Concord School and Upper Burial Ground (6309 Germantown Ave) at 2 PM. The Concord School started in 1775, was the 1st English language school in Germantown and welcomed all students who could pay the tuition, including boy and girls, Black and White.  Revolutionary War Soldiers  buried in the Upper Burial Ground.   

3. Go across the street and tour the Johnson House (6306 Germantown Ave) built in 1768 and home to Abolitionist Quakers. In the 1850’s the Johnson House became a stop on the Underground Railroad, and is one of few Underground Railroad sites still in existence.    

Benjamin Chew Home In Germantown



4. Take a FREE tour of Cliveden (6401 Germantown Ave) site of the Battle of Germantown where George Washington confronted the British in 1777.  The home  built for Benjamin Chew remained in the Chew family until it became a National Historic Trust House in 1966.  The home has an outstanding collection furniture and paintings.   

Hood Cemetery


5. Tour the lovely Hood Cemetery (4901 Germantown Ave) situated on land set aside in 1692 as the Lower Burial Ground for settlers in Germantown.   

On Monday, Jul 5 visit Aces Museum (5301-3 Germantown Ave). Aces Museum is located Parker Hall an unofficial USO and entertainment venue for Black Soldiers during WWII.   

For event times and more information check out: Visit Historic Germantown – Freedom’s Backyard – Just Minutes from Philadelphia.   

Happy 4th!

Today’s Buyers, Demanding or Cautious?

June 19, 2010

June is typically a good month for selling real estate. This year sales have slowed compared to previous months creating an excellent buying opportunity for buyers. Interest rates have fallen to below 5%, while home prices are still mostly flat.  Still, buyer’s are taking their time, checking out comparable sales before deciding how much to offer, and their expectations are high when it comes to condition and/or value.

NY Times article by David Streitfeld suggests that Demanding Buyers Hinder the Housing Market – I would define the present buyers as careful. They don’t want to overpay, or buy a home or location which isn’t going to work for them. They want the house to be updated and in very good condition, or they want a price which reflects the work that they will need to put into the property.

This year buyers do not have the expectation that they can sell any time soon without losing money.  I believe we seeing the new normal buyer, the one who sees the purchase of a home as a place to live, and perhaps a long term investment. 

Seller’s will have to adjust to this market, getting their home ready to sell, and being prepared to do some repairs and provide some closing cost assistance if needed.

10 Steps to Preparing Your Home To Sell

June 1, 2010

Get prepared to sell and you will attract the most buyers and bring the highest price. Getting the house ready is a process that involves cleaning and maintenance as well as setting the stage which will attract a new buyer.

 A minimalist home may not be your personal style or preference, however, it is what you are going for if you want to attract interested buyers. Minimalist style is simple, uncluttered, inviting. Colors are muted. It is easy to clean. Read more about creating a minimalist home.

Follow these steps to prepare for a successful home sale:

  1. Let go. Make a plan for where you are going, look into financing, check out properties that you might buy or rent. When you are looking forward to moving on in your life, it will be easier to release your connection to your home.
  2. Toss. Get rid of the stuff that you are not going to move into your new home. If you get this task done before you list your house for sale it will result in a faster sale and an easier, less stressful move.
  3. Pack. Pack away personal items, bookkeeping items, and most decorative items in easy to move containers, arrange them neatly on basement or closet shelves, or if need be put them into storage. You will be that much closer to making a move, and your house will be more salable when buyers are not distracted by your treasures, and can concentrate on seeing themselves living in the space.
  4. Clean. Clean carpets, windows, kitchens and bathrooms, exterior.
  5. Repair and Paint. Take care of maintenance items, paint interior rooms to freshen, create a more ‘neutral’ color scheme. Paint any worn exterior surfaces.
  6. Put your best look forward.‘You only get 1 chance to make a good first impression.’ Give special attention to the front of your property,repair the sidewalk, trim the hedge, add some colorful annual flowers.
  7. Stage. Re-arrange furniture to show off the best features of the house, and/or to show how a room can be used. Remove and rearrange items on the walls, tables and shelves. Think in terms of 3 items on a table or counter. Remove items which will distract buyers from looking at the house.
  8. Freshen. Eliminate smells from animals, smoke, food, and mold, as well as from cleaning products, scented candles and incense,.  The way your house smells will influence a potential buyer’s reaction to your house in ways that even they may not recognize, the wrong smell can cost you a sale.
  9. Get the pets out-of-the-way. Potential buyers will not necessarily love your favorite dog, beloved kitty, or pet python, some will be afraid, others will be allergic. Make a plan for getting pets out of the house, or into crates when buyers are viewing your house.
  10. Lighten-Up. Remove heavy drapes, open curtains and blinds and let the outside light in, turn on lights.