Archive for April, 2009

Local Finds: Spring Horse Racing in DE, PA, and MD

April 28, 2009

Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware have a long deep history of horse racing.  The area has always had hunt clubs, steeple chase races, and track racing and we are now in the middle of the spring rush.

Delaware Park Starting GateDelaware Park in New Castle county began their 72nd Thoroughbred Racing Season last Saturday on April 25th.  The facility is open 24 hours per day for its slots gambling, but it also generally holds live racing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday through October and adds Sunday racing during June and July.  Founded in 1937, it is a great classic racing track and has a long and varied racing history.

In Chester PA, Harrahs Chester Casino is in its third Harness Racing Season.  Harrahs is also a full service casino with live racing generally held on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Harrahs Harness Racing Chester PAThursday through November and on Fridays from late May through November.  This is a brand new facility built on the former Sun Shipyard property right along the riverfront in Chester and is a cornerstone of the new development revitalizing the city.

Steeplechase racing also is continuing in full swing.  Their series actually started in February, but in the next month there will be four local events.  The Winterthur Point-to-Point Steeplechase races are being held on Sunday May 3 at the Winterthur Estate north of Greenville Delaware.  All tickets must be purchased in advance.  The 18th running of the Willowdale Steeplechase follows on Sunday May 10 just outside Kennett Square at the corners of Routes 82 and 926 benefitting Quest and the New Bolton Center.

Horse Racing OfficialThen on May 16th, there is the 79th running of the Radnor Hunt Races benefitting the Brandywine Conservancy.  All passes must be purchased by May 8th.  Finally on Saturday May 23, Fairhill will be holding the 75th running of the Fairhill Races just across the border in Cecil County Maryland.  All  the proceeds from this event benefit the Union Hospital

It’s going to be another great year for racing and an excellent opportunity to take some time off and enjoy more that the region has to offer.

Should you have any additional notes or questions, please feel free to call me anytime.

Runnymeade Farms – Variety in Edgmont PA Homes

April 22, 2009

Open House Sunday May 10, 12-2 Town Home Muirfiled CT

Conveniently located off Providence Rd just south of the West Chester Pike (Rt3) in Edgmont Township PA, Runnymeade Farms remains one of the most popular housing choices in the region.  Encompassing everything from small condominiums up to large single family homes all in a community with its own tennis courts, swimming pool, and plenty of open land, there is something to be found for most anyone.

Ruunymeade Farms Entry Edgemont PARunnymeade Farms actually has several separate sections.  Single family homes are found in the original Runnymeade Farms, The Ridge, Canter Village, The Reserve at Springton Pointe, and Springton Woods.  Pritchard Place is largely traditional condominiums.  The Clusters and a few units within Prichard Place are town-home construction.  All the various areas have access to the shared pool and tennis facilities.

The community covers a huge price range.  Starting at the lower end, Pritchard Place is primarily composed of 2 bedroom 2 bath condos although there are also some one bedroom units and some town-home designs.   Average pricing rose from below $200,000 in 2004 to peak at $233,00 in 2006 with 13 sales.  Since then prices have drifted down to $214,000 with 14 sales in 2008 and $202,000 with 2 sales year to date in 2009.

The townhomes are most commonly 3 bedroom units concentrated Springton Woods Runnymeade Farms Edgmont PAin The Clusters on Sawgrass Lane and Muirfield Court with some additional two bedroom units in Pritchard Place.  Pricing in these units also peaked in 2006 with only 2 sales averaging $328,000.  These prices have also been heading down to an average of $291,000 in 2007 (5 sales) and $265,000 in 2008 (3 sales).  Due to the small volume of sales, the price drop appears more dramatic than it is due to a shift in the mix of sold properties.

The single family homes have a more varied picture.  Due to the wide range of styles, settings, and sizes, it is much more difficult to make any generalizations as far as pricing.  From 2004 through today, averaging pricing has ranged from a high of $616,000 in 2005 (13 sales) to an average of $490,000 (2 sales) so far in 2009, but this encompasses sales prices from well below $400,000 to well above $800,000.   The pricing is very much Canter Village Runnymeade Farms Edgmont Township PAdependent on the homes exact location within the community.  Let me know if you are looking for pricing in a particular location and I can quickly provide you with some additional details.

Today, there continue to be a good selection of homes currently available.  Properties now available range from 3 one bedroom condominiums priced below $200,000 to 3  three and four bedroom single family homes priced in the mid $500s.  In all there are 18 properties on the market with an average asking price of $365,000 and three additional homes are currently under contract with an average list price of $324,000.

So if you are considering a move to a nice Pennsylvania country location with easy access to major highways and commuting routes and are looking for the amenities that can be found in a nicely planned community, it would be difficult to find a more all encompassing choice than Runnymeade farms.  In addition, Pritchard Place Condos Runnymeade Farms Edgmont TWP PAthe community is just minutes from future commercial development along Route 3/ West Chester Pike in both Edgmont and Newtown Square which should afford ample local entertainment options in the future.  It is also just minutes from the outdoor facilities and trails in Ridley Creek State Park.  From the convenience of small one bedroom condos to the privacy and  ease of living in a large single family residence, they can all be found within Runnymeade Farms.  Feel free to contact me anytime for further information.

(All statistics from the TrendMLS System believed accurate but not guaranteed.)

Tinicum History & Homes – PA ‘s First Permanent Settlement

April 20, 2009

Hidden directly below the western flight approach to the Philadelphia International Airport is one of the more historically rich areas in Pennsylvania.

Gov Printz State Park Tinicum PAAfter struggling for several years in their initial 1638 settlement at Fort Christina (now Wilmington, Delaware), the Swedes sent Johan Printz to reinforce the operation of New Sweden.  After searching the area, he moved the capital from Fort Christina to his new fort, New Gothenburg, on Tinicum Island.  Here, he created the first permanent settlement in Pennsylvania and governed New Sweden from the Printzhof from 1643 until 1653.  Although the exact site of the Printzhof is in some question, the settlement is commemorated on a portion of its original site in the Governor Printz State Park in present day Essington Tinicum Township.

After Printz’s departure in 1653, the Swedes only maintained control of the settlement for two more years until conquered by the Dutch in 1655. The Dutch maintained control until 1664 when it came under English jurisdiction.  After Penn arrived in 1682, most 1699 Morton Homestead Prospect Park PAdevelopment moved north toward Philadelphia and Tinicum remained primarily agricultural.  Some additional early Swedish development still stands in the area as seen by the Morton Homestead at the original ferry crossing to Tinicum Island.

Activity in the area renewed in 1799-1800, when the Lazaretto was built  just east of the present day park. The main building and several additional structures of this quarantine station are still standing and were built on a portion of the original Swedish site (possibly including the Printzhof site).  The Lazaretto remained a quarantine station until the buildings were turned into a private club in the 1890’s.

Sunrise at The Lazaretto Tinicum Township PennsylvaniaThis site plus adjacent parts of the original Swedish development continued to be variously used as a seaplane base, airplane school, dry dock, and marinas.  When the Lazaretto was threatened by demolition, Tinicum Township bought in 2005 and has now mothballed the property.  It has also built a new fire station and ballroom complex on part of the site while creating a separate organization to study the preservation and reuse of the original Lazaretto buildings.

Today the area is a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial development.  As in much of the area, Tinicum Township, Essington, has experienced the same rise and pullback in real estate home prices seen throughout the county.  Recent activity peaked back in 2005 with 48 home sales with an average price of $140,000.  Prices continued to rise through 2007 peaking with an average settled price of $161,000 with 40 completed sales.  In 2008 activity retreated to 26 sales at an average price of $146,000.  In 2009 we have only seen four sales for an average $122,000.  This should rise when four additional pending sales settle which had an average list price of $167,000.  There are currently an additional 12 homes on the market with an average asking price of $195,000.

Again confirming its strategic location, it is nice to note that the site of the original Swedish settlement is just west of one of the major international airports on the east coast and continues to be a major commercial hub.  As seen for the last 350+ years, Delaware County PA has been and continues to be a prime location for homes and development.  Should you have any questions, need any additional information, or be considering a move to the area, please feel free to contact me anytime.

(All statistics per TrendMLS System believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Happy Birthday WAWA

April 18, 2009

Congratulations WAWA on 45 Years!

Folsom PA WAWA

For those in our area, nothing else needs to be said.

For others, the Philadelphia Inquirer probably provides the best details.

On to another 45!

Media PA 101 Trolley SEPTA Orange St Stop

April 16, 2009

Media PA 101 TrolleyWell, today we’re at the end of the 101 Trolley line in Media PA Delaware County.  The SEPTA 101 Trolley runs from 69th Street Terminal Station out to just west of Orange Street on State Street in downtown Media.  The final stop is just two blocks north of Baltimore Av/Baltimore Pike and two blocks from the County Courthouse.

Any of the downtown Media trolley stops are convenient for commuters coming into the borough.  State Street itself is lined with commercial activity, restaurants, and other entertainment.  The surrounding area is filled with professional offices, the Delaware County Courthouse, and supporting economic activity.  Although there is no dedicated SEPTA parking in the area, the trolley stop is within easy walking distance to many residential areas and offers convenient access to other local Delaware County communities to the east as well as links to Philadelphia itself.

As far as homes in the area, the market has remained mixed.  Media has a wide range of housing from small apartments, to condos, town-homes, twins, single family homes, and small estates.  This diversity is what makes the borough a prime attraction for many residents, but it also somewhat limits overall generalizations as far as pricing.   As you have seen in many other areas, prices appear to have peaked in 2007 with the average sales price for residential properties reaching $328,000 with 66 sales.  Since then we have seen prices pull back to an average of  $270,000 with 57 sales in 2008, to $235,000 in the last six months, and finally $225,000 in 2009 with 10 sales settled to date.  On the surface this looks dramatic but appears more of a switch in the mix of sales rather than a major price decline.  Today, we still have an additional 7 properties under contract with an average list price of $331,000 and 28 additional properties on the market for an average asking price of $359,000.  Prices have certainly pulled back, but the market is too diverse to use the borough numbers exclusively.

So again, welcome to Media.  It’s a great suburban Philadelphia borough full of business, entertainment, and housing with easy rail accessibility by Trolley as shown here and by the regional rail system to be covered in the future.  Should you have any questions on the area or be thinking of making a move, please feel free to call anytime.

Graylyn Crest & North Graylyn Crest – North Wilmington DE Homes

April 14, 2009

With their ideal location, Graylyn Crest and North Graylyn Crest have remained popular North Wilmington housing choices since their construction in the late fifties/early sixties.

North Graylyn Crest EntranceThese Brandywine Hundred communities with over 800 homes are centrally located just off Foulk and Silverside Roads.  They have immediate access to Interstate 95 by either the Marsh Rd or Harvey Rd exits.  They also are just minutes from the Route 202 corridor with multiple retail opportunities including the Concord Mall.  These routes enable easy commuting to Wilmington, West Chester, and Philadelphia.  They also have access to the SEPTA R2 line at the Claymont Rail Station.

Although there are some other construction styles within the developments, split level homes are by far the most popular style.  Both developments are part of the the Brandywine School District with Brandywine High School within easy walking distance of Graylyn Crest.  The Forwood Elementary School is adjacent to North Graylyn Crest off Gravers Lane.  There are also several parks conveniently located to the developments.

Until recently, real estate prices have held up very well here.  Starting with an average sales price below $200,000 in 2001, prices climbed rapidly to top out at an average sale price of $305,000 with 32 sales in 2007. Graylyn Crest Split Level Homes Wilmington DE Since then the average sales price has fallen to $300,000 in 2008 and to $268,000 so far in 2009.  Despite the economy, it appears that prices should firm up a bit in the short term as there are three additional homes currently under contract with an average list price of $313,000.  In addition, there are now five homes on the market with an average sales price of $318,000.  The average time on the market has also been building from under 25 days on the market in 2006 to 58 days on the market average in 2009, but this remains well below the current New Castle County average of 87 days on the market for sold homes.

A strong community in a great location with good schools and reasonable prices makes an opportunity that is hard to beat.  With their ideal location off Foulk Rd midway between Rt 202 and Interstate 95, Graylyn Crest and North Graylyn Crest continue to be popular housing choices.   Add the lower prices and falling interest rates, now is a perfect time to consider a change.

As always if you are considering a move to the area or may be considering selling your home, please feel free to call me anytime to discuss your options.  I always look forward to speaking with you.

(All statistics per TrendMLS system believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Happy Easter!

April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Daffodils

flowe

tulips

Enjoy the Long Weekend, Your Family and Your Friends.

Green Notes for Delco PA Homes

April 10, 2009

As we enter firmly into spring, it’s a great time to clean up your yard, clear out your home, and get ready for summer.  It’s also important to remember not to forget to continue to attend to the environment.  Just a few reminders as we enter the outdoor season:

montboardThe second and last spring Delaware County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event will be held on Saturday April 25.  The collection will take place at the Emergency Services Training Center on 1600 Calcon Hook Rd in Sharon Hill Darby Township 19079.  Computers, monitors, scanners, printers, fax machines, and portable TVs will also be accepted at this event with a maximum of 3 systems per vehicle.  For more information, you can also check the Delaware County website.

Delaware County also now offers Free Collection of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs).  They will be accepted at any of the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events and can now be dropped off Monday CFLthrough Friday at the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority’s Office located in Rose Tree Park – Hunt Club at 1521 N Providence Rd (Rt 252) in Media just north of Route 1.  Home Depot is also accepting CFLs for recycling.  An estimated 99.9% of the mercury will be recovered.

Thinking of doing some additional retrofits?  Concerned about the returns and potential costs?  Check  for available programs in the state through the DSIRE website.  This site contains a great list of the available National, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy.  It is also a wealth of information for related programs and initiatives.

Also be sure to check Green and Save’s expanded website.  Their site is one of the leading resources for anyone who wants to save money and the environment while creating healthier PA homes and lifestyles.  It is packed with useful information, links, and resources that can be used throughout your personal and business life. Both the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Realtors use it as a key education and information resource.

Again, enjoy the remaining days of spring as everything once again begins to grow and bloom around Pennsylvania.  As always, do not hesitate to contact me anytime with questions or ideas.

MarpleWoods and Haverford Hill – Condos & Town Homes in Delaware County PA

April 8, 2009

(Be sure to check out the Haverford Hill update)

If you want to live outside the city but still crave the convenience of condo and town home living, you have a wide variety of options throughout Delaware County.  The area contains a diverse collection of condominiums ranging from the east with traditional properties such as the Contemporary Village in Glenolden and the Wildman Arms in Lansdowne to the more recent additions to the north and west such as Green Countrie Village in Newtown Square  and Runnymeade Farms in Edgmont Township.

With most of the communities under common maintenance, they allow the owners the flexibilty to come and go as they please knowing that their properties will be well tended.  Haverford Hill Condominiums Havertown PAMany owners also look for easy access to primary transportation links.  Two communities that are centrally located in the county close to major county crossroads are the Haverford Hill Condomiums and the townhomes in the adjacent communities of MarpleWoods and San Francisco East.

The Haverford Hills Condominiums are located just east of the intersection of I-476 (The Blue Route) and the West Chester Pike on Glendale Road in Havertown, Haverford Township.  They include over 250 one, two, and three bedroom units in several traditional buildings.  Haverford Hill Condo Entrance Havertown PennsylvaniaThis location affords easy commuting options both locally as well as into much of the Main Line, east and west along West Chester Pike, and to points ouside the immediate area using The Blue Route.

In Haverford Hills, the pricing has remained fairly solid over the last several years with the two bedroom units rising from an average price of $149,000 in 2005 with 18 sales to $162,000 in 2007(14 sales) and $163,000 in 2008(9 sales).  In the last six months 3 units have settled with an average price of $162,000 and an additional eight are currently on the market for  an average list price of $174,000.  The average price will be coming down as there is currently one unit pending with a list price of $149,000.

MarpleWoods Entrance Marple Township PAOne exit to the south on the Blue Route (I-476) at the Route 1 intersection in Marple Township, you can take advantage of the adjacent communities of Marple Woods and San Francisco East located just to the west of the freeway.  Located at the top of a hill north of Old State Rd, these communities contain over 200 town homes in a nice private environment.  This location provides you with easy access to much of the area by both Route 1 (which becomes Township Line Rd and then City Ave as you head further north and becomes Baltimore Pike to the south) and I-476.  You are also just minutes from Route I-95 and the airport.

San Francisco East Condominiums Marple Springfield PAWith a nice mix of mostly two bedroom units in both communities, the average sales price has remained between $203,000 and $207,000 from 2005 through 2008.  In the last six months, there has only been one sale for $190,000 and it appears prices are also heading down here with the current list prices averaging $205,000.  This mirrors what we have been seeing in many communities in the county.

These are just two of the many options in the area.  If you want to take advantage of suburban Philadelphia living but still want the convenience of condominium or townhome living, you have a wide variety from which to choose.

If you have any questions or would like to investage further, feel free to contact me anytime.

(All statistics are from the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Highland Ave Station Chester PA – SEPTA R2 Regional Rail

April 4, 2009

Highland Av Station & Commodore Barry Bridge Chester PAWelcome to the City of Chester, PA.

Chester actually has two rail stations that are situated on the SEPTA R2 Regional Rail Line.  The one to the north is the main Chester Transportation Center located in the original downtown area of Chester within easy walking distance of much of its commercial core and government offices.

This station is the next stop south and is known as the Highland Avenue Station.  Located just to the south of the Commodore Barry Bridge going from Chester to New Jersey, this platform is located about midway between the I95 Interstate exit to Highland Ave and the Delaware River.  It is the closest stop to the new Soccer Stadium which is being built just south of the bridge and the new commercial development along the riverfront including  The Wharf at Rivertown.

This is strictly a local stop as there is really no adjacent off street parking available.  There is on street parking, but one should check for any current local parking restrictions.  It is located within a mainly residential district but is within walking distance of the Community Hospital of Chester– part of the Crozer-Keystone Health System.  The video will give you some additional details:

The local real estate market has remained mixed.  The average prices for the City of Chester actually hit a peak in 2008 with 189 sales averaging $65,000.  Prices took a big hit in the fourth quarter with average pricing for the last six months (with 52 sales) averaging $54,000, but this has recovered a bit as we have entered 2009 with 16 settlements to date with an average list price of $59,000.  In addition, there are currently an additional 22 properties pending and 135 residential units for sale with an average asking price of $59,000.  With all the new development currently in progress in the city, future pricing will be dependant on the success of the development currently under way.

So today, this is a convenient stop for those in the immediate area but would generally not be a prime commuter station with parking particularly for those needing transportation to or from the station.  In the future, it could become an important link as new development continues in the immediate area along the river front since this is currently the nearest stop.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

(All statistics from the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed.)