Posts Tagged ‘Suburban Philadelphia’

Happy Easter to All!

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Had the Chance to Enjoy a Great Sunrise along the Delaware.

Sunrise Over The Delaware River Easter 2011

Glen Foerd PA Boat House

Easter Flowers PA

Enjoy the day, the good weather, your family, friends, and the extended Holiday weekend.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc – Newtown Square,PA/Bear, DE
Office: 610-225-7400/Cell: 610-618-0808

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!

Willistown Knoll, Willistown Woods, and You

March 1, 2009

Sometimes the best location is just down the road a bit, but you just didn’t notice it.   Willistown Knoll, Willistown Woods, and Worington Commons are centrally located but still provide the feel and immediate access of Chester County and Delaware County country living.  

These back to back communities located in the southwest corner of Willistown Township offer an incredibly convenient location.  They are adjacent to the West Chester Pike  just west of its intersection with Route 926 along the Delaware County / Chester County border. Willistown Woods Willistown Township Pennsylvania This location in southwest Willistown Township provides direct access to West Chester just minutes to the west, to Delaware via Route 926/Street Rd and then 202 south, Southern Delaware County and Media by Route 352, and to Newtown Square, the Blue Route, and all points east on West Chester Pike.

Willistown Woods was the original development built in the early 80’s with over 200 units.  These townhomes located off West Chester Pike have always been a popular option.  Pricing is very reasonable and prices have drifted down recently making them even more affordable.  Eight units sold in 2008 for an average sold price of $253,000.  This was down about 6% from the average in 2007 and over 8% from their peak.  There are currently two units on the market starting at $242,000.

worngtrhsboardJust off the entrance to Willistown Woods is Worington Commons.  This is a smaller, less expensive alternative to its neighbor up the hill built in the late 80s.  The community  of about 60 units had only one sale in 2008 for $211,000 and there are currently two units on the market starting at $210,000.  This pricing is in line with the last couple years as the pricing has remained in the $205-$210 range since 2005.

willisknollsAbutting Willistown Woods over the crest of the hill is Willistown Knoll with its entrance off Route 926 / Street Rd.  This community was also built in the late 80s.  The homes here tend to be more spacious and the community boasts more common ground and a more open flow resulting in an higher average sales price of $309,000 in 2008 (10 units sold).  This is actually up just slight from sales average between $297 and $301,000 from 2005-2007.  There is currently only one home on the market for $318,900.

All three communties offer a great opportunity to own a home that is within easy commuting distance of most of the major population and work centers in the region while still retaining some of the original Chester County country feel that surrounded them when they were originally built.  They remain a great choice.

( All statistics fromt the TrendMLS system are believed accurate but not guaranteed.)

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.)

Darby Borough PA – Settlement in the Foundation

February 20, 2009

Darby Borough has been one of the most stable real estate locations in Suburban Philadelphia and Delaware County.  It is also one of the least expensive areas often appealing to a wide variety of home buyers as well as to investors looking for solid investments.  With this steady demand and support, the prices in the area have remained almost flat for the last several years.

The Darby Free Library Needs Your Support!

Darby has a long history and has always seen demand for its housing due to its convenient location adjacent to Philadelphia and close to the Philadelphia International Airport.  Over the years though, its housing has not kept pace with some of the current trends.  Row homes remain the most common housing, but there has been a lack of new investment resulting in much new growth and development moving further west through the county.  This has worked out well with Darby being able to avoid the wide price variations seen in other Delaware County locations, and prices have remained remarkably stable until recently.

This stability may be coming to an end as prices seem to be settling quite rapidly.  In 2005, the average sales price was $61,000. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, the average sales price rose and stayed between $68,000 and $69,000.  Only in the last six months have we seen prices begin to pull back to an average price of $61,000.  In addition, the average list price of those homes currently under contract(13 homes) is only $54,000 anticipating a further decline in the average sales price.

Darby Borough PA Row Homes We have also seen a rather dramatic increase in the average days on the market (DOM) and corresponding decline in overall activity.  In 2005, there were 155 sales with the average DOM equal to 49, in 2006 there were 184 sales with 56 DOM, in 2007: 156 sales with 57 DOM, in 2008: 99 sales with 73 DOM, and the last six months saw 31 sales with 81 DOM.  Finally, today there are 78 homes still on the market with an average list price of $76,000 and 131 DOM.  Although activity has increased since the October stall, there is still potentially a years worth of inventory on the market.

Bottom Line: This could be a warning sign for Darby and the rest of Delaware County.  As higher end sales prices have drifted down over the last couple years, we have continued to see strong continuous demand supporting the bottom of the market and putting a floor under these prices.  Should this drop continue, we could experience another step down across the county.  The inability of this administration to generate any confidence in the financial markets is beginning to show up dramatically at the local level and could be a warning sign for additional problems ahead.

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

Gardening Resources in Suburban Philadelphia

February 18, 2009

Summer SkySpring is on its way and now is the time to plan and prepare for the new season. Whether it is for your garden, yard, or another property, there are many resources at your fingertips in Delaware County PA.  If you are considering a sale of your property this year, this is an incredibly important but often overlooked step in preparing your home.

The Delaware County Penn State Cooperative Extension offers many resources at no or minimal cost. The extension office is located off Paper Mill Road just east of the Blue Route at the Baltimore Pike exit in Springfield. The main office is in the original Lewis House but there is also an adjacent newer Environmental Center to the left of the parking lot.

The Delaware County office has adapted the traditional agricultural extension programs to serve the suburban/urban residents of the county. Their primary areas of focus include the 4-H/Youth Development Programs, Family Living & Child Care Professional Development, Home Horticulture & Urban Gardening, and Agrilculture/Commercial Horticulture Programs. “The Delaware County Penn State Cooperative Extension is dedicated to providing research based information to help individuals and families in solving everyday practices”.

Spring FlowersSome of the most useful information can be found through the Penn State Master Gardeners of Delaware County  program. If you have any questions, free home gardening advice is available through their volunteers. They are available in the extension office from 9-12 Tuesday and Thursday mornings during growing seasons and Tuesday mornings during the rest of the year and can be reached on their “Hort Line”: 610-690-2671 or email: In addition, they have their Home Gardeners’ School in April and a continuing series of Gardening Talks (next talk on March 14 on Hostas) on the second Saturday of each month for a small fee at the Environmental Center.

Another important program for kids is the 4-H Clubs. These include Agriculture Clubs, Veterinary Science Club, Horsemanship Classes, the Teen Council, and several additional programs. Some clubs are neighborhood or community centered groups but they also have access to the 4-H Farm and Educational Center at the Garrett Williamson Foundation on Bishop Hollow Road in Newtown Square.

You can also receive training and information through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In addition to their world class Garden Show, they have many additional programs throughout the city and region. Two that are applicable to Delaware County residents would be their Garden Tenders and Tree Tenders classes. The Garden Tender Courses are taught downtown, but the Tree Tenders hold classes in Philadelphia as well as the four adjacent counties.

There are additional resources available throughout Suburban Philadelphia from local schools, colleges, and retail businesses that you may also want to consider. To fully enjoy your property, prepare now and you can enjoy the fruits of your labors all summer long. If you are considering a move, this is one of the best things you can do to “stage” the exterior of your property in preparation to putting it on the market.

Lawrence Park PA Remains a Solid Choice

February 10, 2009

Lawrence Park Pennsylvania Split Level HomesSince development began in the 1950s, Lawrence Park has remained one of the most popular communities in Marple Township.  It is situated just east of Lawrence Road, north of Sproul Road, and west of the Blue Route, I-476.  Lawrence Park Shopping Center was built at the same time and still anchors the corner of Sproul and Lawrence Roads.  Just to the south lies Lawrence Park Industrial Park with a mix of commercial and light industrial businesses and further south is Cardinal O’Hara High School.  It is just minutes from the I-476 Marple Broomall exit providing easy commuter access throughout the region. 

The community was originally planned with approximately 1200 homes and was developed by Ralph Bodek – one of the leading developers in  suburban Philadelphia at the time.  Split level designs predominate but there are a variety of other floor plans available throughout the community.  In addition, there are condos and apartments adjacent to the single family homes affording a wide choice of housing for anyone moving into the area.  The development is also part of the Marple Newtown School District with the Wilmer F Loomis Elementary School conveniently located in the center of the community.  Next to the school is the Lawrence Park Baseball fields which are the home to the South Marple Little League.

Lawrence Park PennsylvaniaReal estate values have held up very well over the years and continue to be relatively stable even in this market.  As we have seen in most areas, prices for the single family homes here declined from an average price of $317,000 in 2007 to $302,000 in 2008 paralleling activity declines from 38 sales in 2007 to 20 in 2008 (in 2006 there were 31 sales at an average price of $310,000).  Today there are seven active homes on the market with an average list price of $350,000 and three pending sales with an average $294,000 list price.  This has been a very strong price range in Delaware County.

With its location just west of Philadelphia, Lawrence Park continues to be attractive for people looking for more space in a pleasant suburban location but still within easy access to all the region has to offer.  With this position, even in this economy, homes would be expected to hold their value relatively well as compared to other developments.

If you need any information or have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.

David Henke

(All information from TrendMLS is believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Union Ave Foreclosure in Upper Darby Lansdowne

February 1, 2009

Almost every discussion we have today in real estate eventually turns to short sales and bank owned properties.  We’ve all heard the radio ads and the cocktail chatter of finding your dream home for $29.99 per month with no money down.  The reality can be quite different.  Yes – there are some great values out there but the low prices often simply reflect the condition.

Union Av Lansdowne Upper Darby PAAs in every market, the suburban market just west of Philadelphia PA does have its share of foreclosure listings.  The condition of these bank owned properties run the gamut from move-in condition to gutted shells.  To demonstrate the wide range of properties currently available (and the conditions found in these properties), I will be taking video of the interiors of some of the local foreclosures to provide you with a better feel for the market.  These homes have all been listed in our office with Danielle Mateu who has worked with several institutions for years in the foreclosure market throughout the Philadelphia region.

The first is Union Avenue in Lansdowne Pennsylvania (Upper Darby Township).  This property is a great twin listed for $84,900 with 4 bedrooms and 1 bath.  As with most bank owned property, this twin is being sold in as in condition and there are no utilities currently in the property.  Any potential buyer must be preapproved and/or have proof of funds before any offers will be presented.  Although not shown in the video, it does have a finished basement with a separate laundry area (since the utilities were off, it was too dark to shoot in the video).  The home has a nice open floor plan with hardwood floors throughout.  On the second floor, there are three bedrooms and a bath with a potential fourth bedroom in the finished third floor.  I think the rest can best be shown by the video (don’t worry, I’ll be more stable and efficient in the future):

As for the local real estate activity: looking at the immeditate surrounding areas in Lansdowne, Upper Darby, and East Lansdowne, there are 36 twins and row homes currently on the market with an average list price of $118,000.  There are an additional 5 properties currently pending (avg price $99,000), and 19 homes have settled since October 1 at an average list price of $96,000.  In all of 2008, using the same criteria, there were 62 sales in the area with an average settled price of $97,000 so the market in the immediate region has remained fairly stable and Union appears competitively priced.  These properties have run the spectrum from small row homes to large gracious Victorian twins.

So thank you for taking a look.  Next week, I’ll add a foreclosure in Tredyffrin Township currently listed for $649,900 to provide you with an upper end property for comparison.

As always, if you have any questions, need any additional information, or would like to view any of the homes, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Radnor Goes Green

January 30, 2009

Last night Radnor held the Kick Off Meeting for it’s Sustainability Series: Issues in Sustainable Living and Growth in Radnor Township.  This introduced the first in a series of topics that will be presented approximately every two months throughout the year covering a wide range of Green topics.  The series is hosted at the Radnor Township Municipal Building on Iven but the presentations are also aired live on Comcast Cable Channel 10 and Verizon FiOS Channel 30.

Green LeavesSponsored by the Radnor Conservancy, the League of Women Voters of Radnor Township, and the Township of Radnor PA, the meeting started at 7PM with the topic: Green Building 101.  Four presenters were included for the evening introduced by Elaine Schaefer of the Radnor Conservancy.  In order of appearance, they covered:

What is Sustainability and Green Building?
by: Mark Janiczek, Green Builder and Community Leader
How Green is Green? Measuring Standards and Practices
by: Brenda Gotanda, Chair, Radnor Environmental Advisory Council
Promoting Green Building – Overview of State/Local Programs
by: Lorna Rosenberg, Environmental Protection Agency
Making It Real in Radnor, a Success Story
by: Leo Bernabei, Radnor Township School District

It was an excellent series of presentations, highlighting the roles of various players in the area and how to measure the impacts/success of various programs.  This provided a good basis for understanding some current green issues and what is being done locally in Pennsylvania and regionally.

Thank you to the sponsors and presenters for a great meeting.  The next topic is currently scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 7-9 PM and will cover “Alternative Sources of Energy: Wind, Solar, and More.

Pierre’s Coat Drive for Project H.O.M.E.

January 28, 2009

Mark your calendars today.

WMMR and Acme Markets are again teaming up to support “Pierre’s Coat Drive for Project H.O.M.E.“.

Project H.O.M.E. (Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, Education) empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness, address the structural causes of poverty, and attain their fullest potential as members of society.”  Project H.O.M.E. is headquarteredProject H.O.M.E. Philadelphia PA at 1515 Fairmount Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130 just eight blocks north of city hall.  It’s revitalization efforts are focused in the North Central Philadelphia community known as the “St. Elizabeth’s/Diamond Street” neighborhood, and Ridge Avenue commercial corridor, but the project has multiple locations centered around north central Philadelphia.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to visit with Lindsay Giblin at Fairmount Ave who coordinates Project H.O.M.E.’s in-kind donations.  Within the week they will also be opening the Women’s Winter Emergency Respite which will offer shelter, a drop-in location, warm meals, and social services.  To prepare for the opening, they are still looking for blankets, towels, breakfast foods, coffee, tea, sugar, and new socks/underwear (preferably in larger sizes). Please contact her anytime at 215-232-7272 ext:3058 or by email @ for more details.  

Over the course of the next three weeks, Pierre Robert and the WMMRmy will be accepting donations locally at three Acme Market Locations:

Sat 12-2 Jan 31: ACME Markets Bala Shopping Center 121 East City Avenue Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Sat 12-2 Feb 7: ACME Markets 920 Red Lion Rd. (Red Lion & Bustleton) Northeast Philadelphia, PA
Sat 12-2 Feb 14: ACME Markets 175 Route 70 Medford, NJ

They are looking for and will be collecting new or gently used coats, blankets, hats, scarves or gloves that will go directly to the homeless in our hometown.  Please give generously – all items are a great help.  It’s a rough time of year and this is a great way to give back to the community and help those most in need. 

WMMR Rocks!  Thank you Acme & Support Project H.O.M.E. today!

(If you may be interested in volunteering contact Erin O”Brien at for more information.)