Posts Tagged ‘Delaware County PA’

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)


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.

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.)

Local PA Finds: Penns Woods Winery & Chaddsford Winery

March 25, 2009

Chadds Ford Winery Entry Chadds Ford PAAs we enter the last weekend of March, you still have the opportunity to take advantage of the Barrels on the Brandywine Event put on by the member wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail.  The Brandywine Valley Wine Trail encompasses seven wineries (soon to be eight) ranging from just west of Philadelphia to eastern Lancaster County.  Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00 are the last two days of the event and offer a perfect opportunity to sample the new 2008 vintages at each location.

With over 120 Limited Wineries, Pennsylvania has a rich variety of wineries throughout the state.  Of the seven on the trail in this region, five are located in Chester County, one in Delaware County, and one in Lancaster County. Penns Woods Winery Chadds Ford PA Locally, there are two that are easily accessible for anyone in Delaware County or New Castle County Delaware.

Penns Woods Winery is the only winery exclusively located in Delaware County.  Situated just west of Route 202 on Beaver Valley Road in Chadds Ford Township, Gino Razzi started crafting wines in 2002 and in 2004 bought the former Smithbridge Winery.  This allows him to take  advantage of a combination of 25 year old vines on an ideal vineyard site with the latest in technology in his state of the art processing facility.  This is a smaller exclusive winery producing about 2000 cases per year grown, processed, and bottled in Delaware County.

Just to the west of the Brandywine Creek in Chester County is the Chaddsford WineryChadds Ford Winery Chadds Ford PennsylvaniaThe Barrels on the Brandywine event is just the beginning as they gear up for the Spring season.  Beginning in April, they kick off their Spring Wine Education Schedule with Wine 101 on April 9.  This is the first of  nine scheduled events lasting through May 17th.  In addition, they are beginning their New Technical Tour of the winery on April 1.  Finally, following up on their successful promotion in 2008, they are again joining with WMMR’s Pierre Robert to produce a new wine, “Pierre Noir“, for 2009.  Bottled locally here in Chadds Ford, the winery both grows its own grapes at the Miller Estate Vineyard in Elverson and purchases additional grapes from throughout the area.

As we continue into Spring, this is another great opportunity to get out and sample more of what the area has to offer.  Enjoy!

As always, if you have any questions or need any information on your real estate needs, do not hesitate to contact me anytime!

Briarcliffe Darby Township PA Update

March 11, 2009

Briarcliffe Row Darby Township PA

Since its construction in the fifties, Briarcliffe in Darby Township Pennsylvania has always been one of the most popular communities in the area.

This Suburban Philadelphia community with over 2000 homes is centrally located in eastern Delaware County just west of Collingdale, north of Glenolden, and generally southeast of Springfield.  Ashland Avenue, which runs through the center of Darby township and the community,  provides direct access up to Providence Road or south to MacDade Boulevard.  Oak Lane on the eastern edge is a major generally north – south route in the area.

Briarcliff is part of the Southeast Delco School District.  The Darby Township School, serving grades 1-8, is located on Ashland Ave within easy walking distance of much of the community. The Kindergarten Center has its own location just off Rively Ave.  This is adjacent to the Briarcliff Athletic AssociationBriarcliffe Athletice Association In Line Hockey This great facility includes baseball fields, field house, in-line hockey rinks, snack stand, and all the support facilities required for a strong community sports program.  Briarcliffe also has its own Briarcliffe Fire Company on Beech Avenue which has served the Briarcliffe and the surrounding communities since 1954.

Real Estate Values have done very well here over the years and continue to hold up well.  After having an average sales price below $100,000 in 2003, prices rapidly appreciated to top out with an average sales price of $148,000 in 2007.  Since then, as seen in most areas, prices have drifted down – about 3.4% in 2008 and an additional 3.3% in 2009 with eight properties having settled year to date in 2009 with an average sales price of $138,000, down 6.8% from their peak.  There has also been a corresponding drop in activity from 101 homes sales in 2006, to 96 home sales in 2007, and to 65 settled properties through 2008.

Briarcliffe PennsylvaniaCurrently there are an additional 15 properties for sale in Briarcliffe at an average list price of $147,000.  Nine homes are under contract with an average list price of $154,000 indicating continuing strong demand in the area, particularily for those in move-in condition.

If you are considering a move into the area, need a good central location, and want to be in a strong community, you need to check out Briarcliffe.

If you need any additional information or are considering buying or selling in the area, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime with questions.

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

Suburban Philadelphia Delaware County PA Market Update

March 7, 2009

So – How are we doing  today in the Suburban Philadelphia – Delaware County PA real estate market after the first two months of 2009? – basically OK

The raw numbers don’t look good.  The number of sales in January/ February 2009 declined by 28% compared to the November/ December 2008 rate, dropped by 33% compared to Jan/ Feb 2008, and by 47% compared to the average month in 2008.   This obviously does not look good but looks better when you recognize that there was a 22% drop for the same period as we went from 2007 to 2008. 

Radnor BarnIn addition, after experiencing an average county wide price decline in Nov/ Dec by 8.5 % compared to the average 2008 price, the price has remained stable at $240,000 through the first two months of 2009.  There were also 1361 new listings in this period, down 26% from 2008, and 661 properties that received accepted offers, down 30% from 2008.  This has resulted in an increase in average days on the market from 73 in 2008 to 96 days in 2009.

Finally, the average list price of new units listed was $311,000 versus average sold price of $240,000.  As noted in earlier posts, this is basically evidence of the larger relative activity in the lower price ranges.  As we saw earlier, the luxury market remains challenged in this environment.

Bottom Line:  The warning signs are still out there as we see more inventory, longer days an the market, and lower sales.  The key statistic, though, may be that the prices countywide may be becoming a bit more stable.  If we can hold the price and increase sales, which may result naturally from both the time of year and the trickle down impacts of the stimulus bill, we could see a more stable and building market as we progress through the year.  The key component remains the return of consumer confidence.  If Washington continues to show zero leadership on important issues and continues its attacks on the consumer, we could continue to see a stalled market and a return of declining prices.

If you need more details on your particular community or want to know about your property, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

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

Local Finds: Hedgerow Theatre & Players Club of Swarthmore

March 5, 2009

New shows are ready to debut at both the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley PA and the Players Club of Swarthmore in Delaware County Suburban Philadelphia.

hedgerowcr1Now in its 85th season, the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley continues its long tradition of outstanding theatre.  Housed in a former 1840 grist-mill, this was the first resident repertory theatre in the country and and “earned an identity as “The Mother of all Philadelphia Theatres.”  Continuing its long history with George Bernard Shaw, “Arms and the Man” just opened March 3 and has its official Opening Night this Friday, March 6.  Set in 1885, this is “one of Shaw’s comic masterpieces on the perils of love and war.”  This should be an excellent production and with only 144 seats, there truly is not a bad seat in the house.

In addition, March has a bit of an Irish flair with the St Patrick’s Cabaret being held March 17th.  This show will highlight the resident players and will include the step dancers from the McHugh School of Irish Dance.    On March 14, the Children’s Series continues with “Charlotte’s Web”.  Looking ahead, the World Premiere of “The White Room” by Nagle Jackson will begin its run on April 17.  The Hedgerow also has several upcoming classes including its Performance Showcase Class beginning March 10.

players-club-w-brThe Players Club of Swarthmore also has several upcoming shows.  Bus Stop is set to open March 12.  ” The bus driver is real good friends with the waitress, the cowboy fancies the small-town chanteuse, the professor gone to seed has his eye on the sweet young thing, a snowstorm is howling outside and the sheriff just stepped out.”  This is running through March 28.  On March 6 & 7, there will also be a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s “Heartbreak House“.

This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy some entertainment and both theaters offer some great options.  Take advantage of all the area has to offer!

Wallingford PA SEPTA R3 Regional Rail Station

February 22, 2009

Wallingford PA R3 Regional Rail StationWelcome to the Wallingford Station on SEPTA‘s R3 Regional Rail Line connecting Center City Philadelphia Pennsylvania with Media/Elwyn in Delaware County.

This  is the only R3 Regional Rail stop in Nether Providence and is one stop west of Swarthmore and the second stop east of Media. It is a great location for suburban commuters in the area with easy drop off/pick up access.

The stop itself is located in a largely residential area just east of Providence Rd/Route 252.  Route 252 is one of the major north-south routes in the county beginning in Nether Providence and continuing through Newtown Square up towards Paoli in Chester County.  There is adjacent parking but this is a popular stop with relatively limited parking so this is a better drop off location for local commuters.  South Media is just to the northwest, Furness Park is to northeast, Wallingford Elementary School is just to the south, and the Wallingford Township Office is southeast.  For a better feel, take a quick look at the video:

The prices for real estate in Nether Providence have held up fairly well.  After rising from an average sales price of $286,000 in 2005 to $326,000 in 2006, prices have been settling downward to $320,000 in 2007, $311,00 in 2008, and $307,000 over the last six months.  This is much better than many areas in Delaware County.   Activity has also dropped a bit from 198 homes sales in 2006 and 199 home sales in 2007 to only 163 sales in 2008 and 64 properties sold in the last six months.  There are currently an additional 14 properties under contract at an average list price of $341,000 and 97 properties on the market for an average list price of $391,000.

As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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