Expect More New Real Estate Listings to Hit the Market Soon

Even though it’s mid-February, expect to see the busy Spring real estate market start to pick up very soon. If this year is anything like last year we should expect to see more new real estate listings go on the market in Roxborough and Manayunk in March than at any other time during the year. The chart below shows the new listings by month for Roxborough and Manayunk in 2017. The number of new homes on the market nearly doubled in March compared to February. What does this mean for home buyers and sellers?

 

2017 New Listings by Month Roxborough Manayunk

Continue reading “Expect More New Real Estate Listings to Hit the Market Soon”

The Best $5 Lunch in Center City Philadelphia | Shah Best Halal

You can’t walk a block in Center City without coming across a great restaurant. But, there’s also some lesser known spots that are definitely worth trying. Around the college campuses in the city you’ll find a huge variety of food trucks, but in Center City you’ll find smaller food carts along most of the main streets that shouldn’t be missed.

Continue reading “The Best $5 Lunch in Center City Philadelphia | Shah Best Halal”

MLK Day of Service | KenCrest | 2018

For the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service this year I was joined by local volunteers to do some painting at one of KenCrest’s community homes. KenCrest provides an array of services for people with mental challenges and autism. Their community homes provide housing and services for clients with these special needs. It’s great to be able to help such a great organization.

I’d like to thank my fellow volunteers who came out to help with the project. One of those volunteers, Michael Gebhardt (The German Painter), is a professional painter who’s done work for many of my clients so it was great to get to work side by side with a pro on this project. Of course, his expertise and professional equipment were extremely helpful, too.

We had a great time volunteering and we were able to get more done than we had hoped. Michael repainted a bed

room for a new resident who will be moving in soon while the rest of us repainted baseboards, heaters, and window sills throughout the first floor of the house. All in all, a great day! Thank you to KenCrest for having us and thank you to Michael, Hui Sy, and Janet for joining me for the 2018 MLK Day of Service.

Guide to Family Friendly Halloween Activities in Roxborough Manayunk 2017

Halloween Ghost Trick or TreatLooking for family-friendly Halloween activities and events in Roxborough and Manayunk? Check out the guide to what’s happening in the neighborhood . . .

Annual Trunk O’ Treat at the Roxborough YMCA

Friday, October 27th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Candy donations can be dropped off at the Welcome Center of the YMCA. For more information, including info for those interested in decorating their cars, please visit the YMCA Trunk O’Treat Facebook Event Page.

Halloween in Manayunk

Saturday October 28, 2017 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Events include a children’s and dog costume parade beginning at 10:30 am at Pretzel Park, Trick-or-Treating along Main Street, and and corn maze at Venice Island.

More info: http://manayunk.com/news-and-events/events/halloween-in-manayunk.html

Halloween Fall Festival in Pretzel Park

Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Come to Pretzel Park for Pumpkin Painting and other Fall activities in the park including a dance performance by Merge Dance Studio,  and musical performances by VEnt, Rk$tdy, and Nothing Wrong 4. The Farmer’s Market will be open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Donations of non-perishable canned food items will also be collected for the North Light Food Bank.

More info: http://www.friendsofpretzelpark.org/2017-halloween-fall-festival-in-pretzel-park/

Spooky Movie Night at the Andorra Library

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

The Andorra Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia will be offering an alternative to trick-or-treating on Halloween with a showing of a PG spooky movie. Wear your costumes!

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1446152172104922/

Kendrick Rec Center’s Trunk or Treat

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm

Get your costumes on and come out to Kendrick Rec Center for their 2nd Annual Halloween Trunk or Treat. There will be candy (only for those in costume) and live music!

More info: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208482417977587&set=a.10202371423046533.1073741827.1821406604&type=3

Mommy and Me Halloween Extravaganza Workout

Tuesday, October 31 from 10:00 am to 10:45 am

Goals Fit Personal Training will be hosting a costume workout on Halloween morning at the Roxborough track (4701 Pechin St). The workout will include a Best Costume contest!

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/139469826697711/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%224%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

The Haunt on Valley Ave

Tuesday, October 31 starting at dusk

Check out this annual haunted house at 7344 Valley Ave on Halloween Night! In addition to the scary haunted house, donations of canned goods will be collected for Philabundance. So come get scared and help neighbors in need.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/113675175991332/

The Roxborough Manayunk Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project helps kids with Diabetes and food allergies find homes that offer treats other than candy. You can participate by having non-food treats available on Halloween and placing a teal pumpkin in front of your house (teal pumpkins are available at Target for about $8 or you can paint your own). You can find more information and register your home as a participant at The Roxborough Manayunk Teal Pumpkin Project.

Add to the List

Do You Know of Other Halloween Events for Families in Roxborough and Manayunk? Comment below and help add to the list . . .

 

 

Things to Do this Fall near Philadelphia: Milky Way Farm and Creamery | Chester Springs, PA

Milky Way Farm

 

About Milky Way Farm

Milky Way Farm is a 103-acre family farm that offers plenty to do. We took our toddler daughter and my parents there for a visit in early October and hope to go back again soon. If you’re looking for a great Fall day trip for the family, definitely put this one on your list.

Milky Way Farm Vegetable Stand

Vegetable Stand

The Farm has a large parking lot so parking was easy. Parking and entry were free when we went. As you enter the farm there’s a vegetable stand and several boxes of different varieties of apples available. We ended up coming home with a stalk of Brussels Sprouts, a football sized sweet potato, and an assortment of other veggies that looked too good to pass up.

Farm Animals and a Corn Maze

The main area of Milky Way Farm has a number of stands with pumpkins and gourds and corrals with goats and sheep. My daughter found herself a small gourd that she wouldn’t put down so we came home with that, of course. Off to one side of the main area is access to the corn maze.

 

Pumpkin Patch at Milky Way FarmPumpkin Patch

On weekends, the Farm offers a free hayride to their pumpkin patch. On the ride, one of the staff gives a tour of the farm and how things at the farm work. Our guide also talked about the various types of gourds and their uses (I had no idea there were so many types). Our toddler loved roaming around the pumpkin patch and picking her perfect pumpkin (one that Grandma had conveniently placed for her).

The Creamery at Milky Way Farm

On our way to the Creamery

The Creamery

After checking out the pumpkin patch, it was time for the Creamery. Our pumpkin patch guide told us that milk companies buy their raw milk and return to the cream to the farm for use in their ice cream. If you go for no other reason than their ice cream it will be worth the trip. It was some of the best that I’ve ever had.

Getting There

Milky Way Farm is located at 521 E Uwchlan Ave, Chester Springs, PA 19425. The farm is about 35 minutes from Roxborough, 45 minutes from Center City, and 30 minutes from Conshohocken.

 

Comments

Would you recommend Milky Way Farm? Do you have other recommendations of Fall day trips in, or near, Philadelphia? Please comment below . . .

Success Stories: New Homeowners in Glenside!

New Homeowners in Glenside

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

The Glenside market is tough for buyers right now so I’m especially happy to have helped these new Glenside residents with the purchase of their new home as they move from the city to the suburbs. Their purchase had a number of moving parts and challenges, including competing offers, but they had the best offer (though not the highest) and we were able to get them into their house.

How did they get the house even though they didn’t have the highest price? By offering some excellent terms we were able to make an offer that set the sellers minds at ease when it came to the possibility of the home sale falling through. In the end it made the difference and landed them the home.

Glenside is a suburban community in located in Montgomery County, PA. Glenside has areas in three different townships and school districts. The community is about a half hour drive from Center City Philadelphia (on the rare occasion you won’t hit traffic). It’s also served by the regional rail train line to Center City with it’s own train station. Keswick Village is a popular destination in the neighborhood for shopping and dining.

The most common homes found in Glenside are 3-4 bedroom detached homes with about 1700 square feet. The majority of homes in Glenside fall in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range.  The median price is $265,000 (as of 10/2017).

Congratulations to Glenside’s newest residents!

More Info

Click here to read about other client stories. If you’re thinking selling your home and/or buying a new home and would like to talk, please email me at jon@jonmillerhomes.com or call me at 215-839-6034.

Search Homes for Sale in Glenside, PA

Success Stories: 2601 Parkway Condos in Fairmount

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

Last week, my clients bought their new home in Philadelphia at 2601 Parkway Condos. After living in Brooklyn, it was time to relocate to be closer to the kids and the grandkids who live here in Philadelphia. At first, there were plenty of things up in the air. Getting familiar with Center City’s neighborhoods was the first challenge so we toured condos in Old City, Society Hill, Rittenhouse Square, and Fairmount to get a feel what the neighborhoods offered. Fairmount turned out to be the top contender since it’s a little bit outside of the hustle of Center City but has plenty of shops and restaurants.

The entire family was in the living room with us when the decision to make an offer was made. They all agreed it would be a perfect new home (and that moment with all of us in the living room will be one that will always stick with me).

The unit was a newly remodeled 2 bedroom with an amazing terrace overlooking the Fairmount neighborhood on one side and the Philadelphia Waterworks and University City on the other. The building has a shuttle bus to get residents around the city, a community room for large gatherings, and a really nice gym. The condo association has an office in the lobby which makes it very easy to reach them, as well.

Wishing them all the best as they move to Philadelphia and into their new condo!

 

DIY Project: Building our Backyard Patio

By Jon Miller, Realtor®

Not all projects go according to plan. This seems to be especially true for home improvement projects. But, with a great team of willing friends we were able to build our back patio and finally, after 4 years, get some use out of our backyard. Here’s how we built it . . .

 

We bought our house in 2012. It was a fixer-upper, to say the least. Within 24 hours of going getting our keys we were tearing down the wall between our kitchen and dining room. We remodeled the entire first floor in about 2 months (with MAJOR help from my in-laws that included a temporary relocation to Philadelphia and all 4 of us living in our 736 square foot 1 bedroom apartment for about 6 weeks, but that’s another story). The backyard was a complete mess. My plan was to re-do it within our first 6 months. 4 years later, on a bit of a whim, I started the project. In August. During a heat wave. On a timeline.

How to Build a Patio

To build a patio, you need to excavate an area a few feet bigger than the patio will be down to about 18 inches deep. Once excavated and flattened, lay down a plastic sheet or weed barrier fabric, fill the area with about a foot of crushed stone to make a solid base. Add a few inches of leveling sand on top of that and make sure it’s nice and level, then add the paver stones on top of it. It sounds pretty easy until Home Depot drops off seven pallets of materials on your curb (we don’t have a driveway, but are fortunate enough to have an alley which allowed us to get the materials to the backyard without going through the house).

Materials

To build our 14′ x 14′ patio, the supply list included approximately . . .

  • 180 bags of crushed gravel
  • 140 bags of leveling sand
  • 100 16″ x 16″ paving stones

My plan was to excavate the area myself and carry it all back on my own over a period of a few days. I was expecting about 3 pallets which would have taken up a street parking space, but for a day or two it wouldn’t cause much of an issue. On Thursday morning, I started the excavation. Then the Home Depot truck showed up with 7 pallets of materials, 4 more than I had expected. That’s a couple of parking spots which meant I had to get it out of the street asap.

I had been digging for a good 5 hours and got about 1/5 of the area excavated. Way behind schedule and already exhausted from digging, it was time to call in the cavalry. At 4:00, I called a few friends in the neighborhood who thankfully had the availability and willingness to help me out (oh, and it was going to rain in two days so it needed to be finished before then). Within a few hours, 3 friends had come over and we were able to get the entire area excavated.

By 8:00 pm, we had carried all of the base layer gravel to the back and had it tamped down and ready for the leveling sand to go in. By 9:30, we had carried most of the sandbags to the back. By then, we were all exhausted and it was time for tacos and beer. It was a lot of work but we had managed to get 90% of the work done in one day (so, with a little better planning this could be a weekend project).

The next day I was able to bring the remaining sand to the back and get that leveled. The best way to level the sand is to use a screed, but that requires a second set of hands so I had to get created. To level the sand, I tied a piece of rope to a 4’x4′ post and dragged it behind me, an idea inspired by the way baseball infields are groomed between innings. After that, my neighbor offered to help me carry the paver stones to the back and install them. Installing the pavers is actually the easiest part if the base is prepared well. Fortunately, this went fairly smoothly.

After two solid days of work (and the help of 4 friends), the patio was complete. The only thing to do after that was to put in some decorative edging and find a solution for the car-sized pile of dirt leftover from the excavation.

 

Lessons Learned

If you want to build your own patio, look into having a pro do the work. It’s certainly going to cost more, but it would be nice to sit back and watch it happen rather than to do all the work. But, if you’re like me and enjoy doing these projects on your own, know what you’ll be getting into. If you’ll be asking friends to help it will be best to have them lined up in advance. The project really can be done in a weekend but having 3-4 people to help will be critical. Or, just buy a house that already has a patio. There’s something to be said for a move-in ready home.