Archive for August, 2009

Lawrence Park Broomall PA Real Estate Update

August 31, 2009

The Lawrence Park PA real estate market in Marple Township Broomall PA is holding up very well.

Lawrence Park Delaware County Split Level Home PAAfter taking a hit in both volume and pricing through 2008, Lawrence Park Delaware County has stabilized with the average prices even increasing just slightly in 2009 year to date.  As seen in the previous Lawrence Park Update, prices in the community had fallen from an average of $317,000 with 38 sales in 2007 to an average of $302,000 with 20 sales in 2008.  In 2009, there has been some improvement.

After having no sales in January and prices hitting a low of $274,000 with one sale in February, prices have risen a bit.  Lawrence Park Marple Township Broomall PA HomesIn March there were 2 sales at $290,000, 1 sale in April for $295,000, 1 in May for $340,000, 3 in June at $303,000, and 4 in July for $312,000 for an average year-to-date sales price of $304,000.  This average is expected to drift down as there is one pending sale for $299,000 and there are currently 4 additional properties on the market with an average list price of $292,000.   Generally there is some price weakening toward the end of the year.

Lawrence Park Homes Broomall PAUnlike many areas in Delaware County PA, Lawrence Park has been able to maintain a relatively stable home pricing environment.   As noted before with its prime location, great housing, and easy access, Lawrence Park should retain its reputation as a great place to live.  This should continue to be reflected in a stable real estate market with relatively consistent pricing as the economy continues to slowly recover.

As always, if you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

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

Local Finds: Pennsylvania Veterans Museum – Media PA

August 20, 2009

Now is a great time to take advantage of the remaining days of summer to visit the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum in Media PA.

Pennsylvania Veterans Museum Media PAAs the summer days grow shorter and families begin to look toward school and all the fall activities, there is still time to take advantage of the remaining days to enjoy some of the local attractions.  This becomes even better when the admission is free.

One of the newest museums in our area is the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum in Media PA found on the lower level of the old Media Armory below Trader Joes in Media PA. D Day Pennsylvania Veterans Museum Media PA Opened on Veteran’s Day 2005, the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum has quickly expanded and developed its collections. “The Pennsylvania Veterans Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the legacy and dignity of all veterans of the U.S. military.”

It has great displays covering different aspects of the conflicts in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam.  The museum is filled with exhibits, artifacts, dioramas, and first-hand accounts of the battles and events through the wars. Korean War Pennsylvania Veterans Museum Media PA The displays include special sections on the Tuskegee Airmen and the role women have played during the wars.  Three weeks ago, they opened a new diorama on the Korean War.

When I visited, they were several veterans on hand to answer all questions and provide in-depth descriptions of the articles on display.  Many of the items have been donated by local veterans who are still very much involved in the museum.  The museum also works closely with local veteran’s groups as they plan and attend reunions and gatherings throughout the area.  When visiting, be sure to save some time to view their educational filmsDisplays Pennsylvania Veterans Museum Media PAIn their “Ruptured Duck Theater“, they have half dozen films available ranging from the history of World War II to pieces on the “Women in the Military” and “The American Humanitarian Effort” during Vietnam.

This is a smaller museum packed with informative, thought-provoking displays that are perfect educational tools.  This is a great break from the summer heat.  The Pennsylvania Veterans Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 and special tours are available.

As always, if you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Oakview Station SEPTA Route 102 Trolley Upper Darby PA

August 17, 2009

Oakview SEPTA 102 Trolley Station Upper Darby PAWelcome to the Oakview Station on the SEPTA Route 102 Trolley Line located in Upper Darby PA.

The station itself is located at the Creek Rd bridge in Upper Darby.  It is the southernmost stop in Upper Darby just above Darby Creek.  It offers quick access to the Swedish Cabin, Darby Creek, and several residential areas in lower Upper Darby Township.

There is no assigned parking at the stop for commuters but it does have some limited space for dropping off and picking up passengers.  The platforms are also within walking distance of several residential areas.  On a relative basis this is one of the more remote stations on the system and does not have a large commercial, industrial, or residential base from which to draw passenger volume.  The video will provide a better feel for the area:

This station has easy access to several different communities so the local real estate is better covered by stations directly serving those areas.

If you live in the area and need a convenient connection to downtown Philadelphia, Sharon Hill, or any of the spots between, this is a convenient station to connect into the system.  If you are looking for a commuting station with ample parking, there are better options available.

As always, should you have any comments or need any additional information, please let me know anytime.

Westtown Station Gallery Ceramics & Art – Ken Kazanjian

August 15, 2009

Ken Kazanjian, owner of the Westtown Station Gallery in Westtown PA, continues to inspire with his pottery works.

Westtown Station Gallery Westtown PA Thornbury TownshipThe Westtown Station Gallery is located in the original Pennsylvania Railroad Westtown Station (originally aka Street Road Station) located adjacent to Street Rd just west of its intersection with Thornton/Westtown Rd.  Originally built in 1859, the station had seriously deteriorated by the 1980s as traffic declined and SEPTA prepared to discontinue the line to West Chester PA.  It was boarded up and ready for demolition when Ken Kazanjian found it.

Westtown Station Gallery Ceramics Ken Kazanjian PAHaving just returned to the area from the Peace Corps, he was looking for a new home and work space and arranged to obtain and rebuild the station.  Trained at the Philadelphia College of Art, over the next few years he remodeled the building to include a living area, studio, and gallery space for his future business.   Today the Westtown Station Gallery features the works of Ken Kazanjian and his wife, Shelley Shultis.

Ken specializes in high fire ceramics.  Based on an ancient Asian process, it allows for very strong pieces in muted colors.  Wesstown Station Gallery Interior Shelley Shultis PAEach piece is a unique design and although not complete settings, the pieces are meant to be used.

Over the years, they have continued to develop the space.  Today, Westtown Station is a “charming art studio and gallery featuring hand crafted art pottery.  Also on display, a fine collection of primitive and tribal arts, plus bronze windbells, Indian blankets, Mayan hammocks, textiles, and blown glass.”  On the grounds, they have created both a great Outdoor Sculpture Garden and a unique Train Underpass Gallery.

If you enjoy finely crafted art or are looking for that special gift, unique accent pieces, or outdoor sculpture, you need to stop by and take a look.  The Gallery is open daily from 10-5 from May through November.

This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy all the area has to offer.  As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Captain Chucky’s Crab Cake Co – Crab With An Attitude – Edgmont PA

August 12, 2009

Captain Chuckys' Truck Logo Newtown Square PACaptain Chucky’s Crab Cake Co continues to be rated as the best crab cakes in the area – “Crab With An Attitude”.

Thousands of people drive by Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cake Co everyday and most probably don’t realize that they have just passed by the best crab cakes in Delaware County PA.  Located in a small shop just off West Chester Pike in Ridley Creek Plaza , there is nothing to announce what waits inside but perhaps their delivery truck.

Captn Chuckys Store Display Edgmont PAVoted as:
“Best of the Main Line” – Main Line Today
“Best Crab Cakes” & ” Best Seafood” – Town Talk
“Best Crab Cake” – Main Line Life
“Good Neighbor Award” – Edgemont Township
Capt’n Chuckys continues its run as the best in the area.  The crab cakes and other seafood items are available directly in Edgemont or from many restaurants throughout the region.

Captain Chucky's Cakes Cole Slaw Sauces Edgemont PAThe food is brought in daily and made on site to be the freshest possible.  Their specialty is the “Smith Island” Jumbo Lump Crab Cake made with “succulent, tender, lump crab meet gently folded in a mayonnaise flavored cream sauce, no breading”.  They actually have six different types of crab cakes, including one wrapped around a Jumbo Shrimp, all filled with all jumbo lump crab meet.  In addition, they carry five different types of soups from Cream of Crab and Maryland Crab to Snapper and Shrimp Bisque.

Captain Chuckys Delivery Fleet Edgmont PAIf you are considering a fundraiser, Capt’n Chucky’s participates with many local organizations to support our community.  They also have a full line of crab and shrimp appetizers plus all the fixings and carry a selection of Pellman’s Cakes and Pies to cover all your party planning needs.   Looking for gift certificates? – these are available as well.  Even if you do not live in the area, they ship across the US and Canada.

Capt'n Chucky's Logo Best Crab CakesSo if you feel like a bit of good food or you’ve moved and your missing your crab cakes, be sure to drop by, call, email, fly in, or have some of the best crab cakes in the world shipped out to salve your cravings.  You’ll be glad you did.  The owners, Nancy & Chuck Wojciehowski, are always available to answer any of your questions.

As always, if you need any additional information, please let me know anytime.

Cosmos Diner Restaurant – Best Diners in Wilmington DE

August 8, 2009

Everybody should stop by Cosmos Diner Restaurant to experience the one of the best diners in Wilmington.

Cosmos Restarant Diner Best Diner in Wilmington DEI admit it – I love diners.  I like the food, the service, and the people.  Situated off Maryland Avenue south of Wilmington and just north of Newport, Cosmos Diner Restaurant is one of the best in Delaware offering all the classic diner fare plus many Greek Specialties.  The restaurant has been a local stalwart for years and they are currently planning for another expansion.

Cosmos offers booths, table top, and counter dining options.  The service is excellent with a great friendly staff.  Cosmos Diner Booths Greek Specialties Wilmington DEHaving a wide variety of seating options, there is rarely a wait, and if you are bringing a large family or group, there is plenty of room to combine tables in the back.  They open everyday at 6:30 and close at 9:00 except for Friday and Saturday when they remain open till 10:00.

The food is excellent with great service and hearty portions.   I would personally recommend the Pastitchio, French Dip, or Omelets, but they have a wide range of standard items covering most every taste.  Cosmos Classic Diner Counter Wilmington DEIn addition, they do have weekly specials Monday through Thursday including Chicken and Dumplings, Ham and Cabbage, Chicken Pot Pie, and a wide variety of additional daily specials.

Cosmos also serves a great variety of Greek Specialties everyday.  To finish off any meal, you need to try one of their pies or pastries that are baked right on the premises.  I have only been there during the day/evening, but their breakfasts are renowned and are served everyday, all day.

Cosmos Diner Restaurant Desserts Fresh Baked Pies Pastries Wilmington DEThey are easy to get to by following Newport Pike (Route 4) north from Route 141 in Newport or take Boxwood Road over to Maryland Avenue.  From the Riverfront (or from downtown Wilmington), they are just a few minutes south along Maryland Avenue just beyond the intersection with DuPont Rd at 316 S Maryland Avenue.

If you love good food and fast friendly service, you have to go to Cosmos Diner Restaurant now.  If you just like to check out the local diners and restaurants, you need to add this to your itinerary.  Enjoy!

Bethel Township PA Continues to Grow

August 5, 2009

Bethel Township PALocated in southern Delaware County along the New Castle County DE border curve, Bethel Township is a convenient, popular, mostly residential community.  Bethel is bordered by Concord Township to the west and Aston and Upper Chichester to the north and east.

Bethel Township was incorporated from Concord Township in 1683.  Founded as a largely agricultural community, it has been a traveling crossroads for years as the region has developed.  Foulk Road (Rt 261) travels generally north-south through Bethel Township while Naamans Creek Rd runs east-westGreystone Bethel PA along the southern edge and the Conchester Highway (Rt 322) crosses the township to the north.  With this easy access, Bethel has also become home to businesses such as the Booth’s Corner Farmers Market originally founded in the 1930s.

More recently, the area has seen tremendous residential growth with multiple new home developments and  several age restricted communities.  As in any area impacted by new construction and growth, the real estate statistics are a bit more difficult to interpret here than in more stable areas.   It is difficult at best to get a feel for the underlying sales pace Hidden Valley Bethel PAas new communities are built.  Pricing is also affected as the final recorded sales price on new homes can often be higher than the initial advertised asking prices reflecting additions and upgrades during construction.  Both of these issues appear in the numbers for Bethel.

Going back to 2002, Bethel Township experienced 91 sales with an average final sales price of $259,000.  This quickly rose over the next few years with 91 sales in 2003 at $322,000, 134 sales in 2004 at $399,000,Zebley Corner Bethel PA 122 sales in 2005 at  $424,000, and finally 109 sales in 2006 at an average final sales price of $476,000.  From 2003 though 2006, the average final sales price ranged from 99.8- 102.6% of the average asking price reflecting the impact of new home pricing.

In 2007, the average sales price pulled back to $428,000 with 118 sales and then fell to $403,000 with 87 sales in 2008.  So far this year, the average sales price has risen a bit to $434,000.  Today, there are also an additional 54 homes on the market with an average asking price of $433,000 and 15 properties are now under contract averaging $383,000.

Booths Corner Farmers Market Bethel PADue to its great location, Bethel Township should continue to see additional growth, but with the market downturn, this should be accompanied by reduced new home construction in the short term.  Due to the demand, pricing should remain fairly stable in the area, although the mix of sales could change quite a bit with reduced construction activity.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or if you are considering moving in the area.  (Also note: effective July 1, 2009, the US Postal Service has changed the Zip Code for the area from Marcus Hook 19061 to Garnet Valley 19060 so you may find businesses and properties listed under various addresses.)

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

Cutter’s Mill – The Natural Pet Place

August 3, 2009

Cutter’s Mill in Paoli PA, The Natural Pet Place, believes that your pets also deserve the best.

Cutters Mill Store Paoli PACutter’s Mill’s logo is that it is The Natural Pet Place.  They offer a “wide variety of natural, organic, holistic foods for dogs, cats, companion birds, small animals, fish and reptiles, plus  wide variety of unique and “gotta have it” accessories.”

When they say that they offer over 50 brands of traditional, premium, natural, and organic foods for your pets, you can believe it.  Cutter's Mill Store Interior Paoli PAThe aisles are stacked with a wide assortment of foods of every imaginable type and make.  They even include a raw bar and an amazing display of baked goods.

The store itself is beautiful with a nice upscale feel: nice wood finishes on the floors and fixtures, great and imaginative lighting, kiosks handling dog beds, toys, bones, and all kinds of accessories.  Natural Organic Holistic Pet Food Cutter's Mill Paoli PALast Sunday while I was there, they had a rep from  Wellness Core Foods describing their foods and health benefits.  Cutter’s Mill has a nice open layout with seats up front and a wide variety of items tastefully displayed for easy access and perusal.

The friendly staff encourages you to bring your pet, and they were able to answer all the questions thrown their way by the pet owners.  They really seem to enjoy being there and working with their visitors.

The Natural Pet place Cutter's Mill Paoli PAThis is an upscale environment as evidenced by the Nieman Marcus inspired $2500 dog bed emblazoned with Swarovski Crystals.  By signing up  for their newsletter, however, you will be notified of all the specials for each month so you can take full advantage of everything that is offered during the year.  They also hold many special events from Letterman’s Stupid Pet Trick Auditions to Pet Psychics and they support the local community with Certified Visiting Dog Trainers and many Animal Rescue groups.

If you are looking to pamper your animal with some special food or gift, Dog Bowls Cutters Mills Paoli PAthis is definitely one place you need to look for that distinctive gift.  They are open seven days a week and they do have four locations in the region but this is the only one in this area.

Take your time, enjoy your visit, and say “Hi” to Gus while you’re there.

Paoli SEPTA R5 Regional Rail & Amtrak Station – Paoli PA

August 1, 2009

The Paoli PA Station serves the SEPTA R5 Regional Rail system as well as the Amtrak Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian trains.

Paoli PA SEPTA R5 Regional Rail and Amtrak StationWith its key position on the western end of the Main Line, Paoli is a prime commuter and regional rail station.  It provides easy access to the city for those living locally with ample parking and plenty of space for dropping off or picking up passengers.  In addition, it is surrounded by some great commercial areas.

Through the frequent Amtrak connections, it also affords convenient access to Harrisburg and points west or Philadelphia and points east.  The next closest Amtrak stops are in Ardmore to the east or Downingtown (and Exton for many trains) as you travel west.  The station is serviced by both Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian and  Keystone Service trains.  The video will provide a better view of the station itself:

As far as real estate, the market here has held up very well until this year.  Looking strictly at zip code 19301, sales activity peaked in 2005 when 119 units sold.  This dropped to 83 in 2006, rose to 102 in 2007, and then dropped to 96 in 2008.  In 2009, through July, only 38 properties have closed with an additional 15 pending – running further behind 2008.

Prices have also taken a hit recently.  In the early 2000s, the average sales price was just above $300,000.   This average then rose to hit a peak in 2006 at $441,000 (also the slowest recent year for sales).  Prices then drifted down in 2007 to $421,000, and back up in 2008 to $440,000.  In 2009, they have fallen back 15% to $377,000.  There are also an additional 15 pending homes with an average price of $490,000, and 45 properties are actively for sale at an average price of $616,000.  We would expect to see the average pricing rise as we continue through the year.

Paoli is a convenient station both for short distance commuting as well as long distance travel.  The station is easy to access for people from throughout the area and has plenty of parking.  The station is expected to undergo further renovations soon and could become a key transportation hub if plans proceed to extend service up towards Pottstown.

As always, if you need additonal information, please do not hesitate to ask anytime.

(All statisitcs per the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed)