Home Maintenance: How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

Are you ready for cooler weather?

Image Each fall, there are some important home maintenance tasks that you can do to save energy, make your home safer, and reduce the chance of a costly wintertime home repair disaster. Here are some of the most important things you should consider doing before colder weather hits:

Check your carbon monoxide detectors. Install units if you don’t have them. If you do have them, make sure they are working properly.Carbon-monoxide leakage from a gas furnace can be a real health and safety hazard. Inspect your fire detectors while you’re at it, too.

Reverse your ceiling fans. Warm air rises, so switching your fan’s blades so they run in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat will push warm air back down into the room. This can save on heating costs, especially in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings.

Caulk around windows and doors. Caulk doesn’t cost a lot, but can make a real difference in terms of energy savings throughout your home

Divert water away from your home. It’s easy to add extensions to your home’s downspouts so that water runs at least three to four feet away from your home. Doing so can prevent too much water from pooling near your foundation and entering your home.

Want to learn more about other fall maintenance tasks that can save you money and headaches all winter long? Check out this informative slide show.

Haunted Attractions of Philadelphia

Time to get spooky!  Its Halloween in one of America’s most haunted towns!  Hayrides, haunted houses and parties-  Visitphilly.com has listed their top picks for Halloween fun.


Terror Behind the WallsFairmount, Philadelphia

September 21- November3

Terror Behind the Walls at the Eastern State Penitentiary has been rated the top haunted house in the country by AOL.  The historic haunted prison is the setting for a high-tech haunted house, using Hollywood-style special effects and having over 200 performers.


The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular- Sesame Place

September 29- October 28

Great Halloween fun for the kids! Sesame Place has two not-too-spooky mazes, a character hayride, and three Halloween shows.  You and your kids can also pose for a photo with your favorite Sesame Street friends dressed in their Halloween costumes (weekends, September 24- October 30)


Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour- Philadelphia

Daily through October

The Spirits if ’76 Ghost Tour is 75 minutes and takes walkers down a frightening path of cobblestone streets to visit the 20 most haunted attractions in Historic Philadelphia, such as Carpenter’s Hall, Old Pine Street Church and Cemetery and the Benjamin Rush House.  On October 9 and October 23, actor Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on “The Munsters” will be greeting guest.


Halloween at Franklin Square- Philadelphia

Through October

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October, Franklin Square’s 18-hole golf course transforms into Spooky Mini Golf- complete with eerie lights, music and surprises at dusk.  On October 22 and 23, Families can pick and paint their own pumpkins and on October 29, celebrate during the inaugural Pumpkin Fest.  The kids can show up their costumes on the Trick-Or-Treat Trail on October 29 and 30.


Halloween at Laurel Hill Cemetery– Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia

The month of October

Laurel Hill Cemetery has plenty of spooky events during the month of October.  October 26, 27, and 30 have Halloween Flashlight Tours where visitors will make their way through a maze of gravestones and sculptures throughout the elaborate Victorian-era cemetery.


Ghost Tour of Philadelphia


When night creeps in, secrets of America’s most historic and most supernatural city are revealed.  The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia is a candlelight walking tour through Independence National Historical Park and Society Hill. Reservations are required.


These are only a small portion of  the Spooky attractions the Philadelphia area has to offer this Halloween, for the complete list visit their site.


The Mickey Pascarella Group is not responsible for selling you a haunted home. If you do find your home having a few paranormal visitors, we may not be able to help you get rid of them, but we can help you sell that home, and find you a new one!

Philadelphia Magazine’s Design Home-2012

When I walk around the residential parts of the city, I always catch myself looking through the windows of other people’s homes.  Not in the “Peeping Tom” sort of way, I have just always had an interest in how others decorate their homes.  I liked getting a sense of how others live.  I even ask for tours if my friends’ places when it’s my first time visiting or if they just remodeled.  It is another reason why I love to check out  open houses on the weekend- to not only get a glimpse of someone else’s home, but also the opportunity to walk through it!

If you ever want the opportunity to walk through a mini-mansion on the Main Line, now is your chance.  Philadelphia Magazine’s 11th Annual Design Home is open for tours now through October 14th.  Partnered with Bentley Homes and Tom Bentley, this year’s home will showcase a “right-sized” home.  This 6,000 square foot estate is sophisticated while also having functional living spaces. In the heart of the Main Line, this “reality dream home” for today’s buyer is located in the Bentley Homes desirable Worthing community, on a 32-acre wooded cul-de-sac, bordering Willows Park.

While the home will have luxurious designs, it will have unique, livable floor plans and room features.  It is tailored to meet the specific needs and lifestyles of today’s modern, multi-faceted family. It has creative living spaces that are appealing to the eye and comfortable to live, work, and play in.  The home has his and her studies, an expansive kitchen-dining-family room, a lavish bedroom suite, and an impressive playroom that would be the envy of all the neighborhood kids.

The home is open for tour now until October 14th, and 100% of the ticket proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.  You and your friends can do a simple, plain tour or you can attend one of the special events listed here.

For more information and pictures of this year’s Philly’s Design home visit Philadelphia Magazine’s site here.

If you would like to find your own “right-sized” home, we at the Mickey Pascarella Group are always here for you, just visit our site or call us at 215-238-5713.

Philadelphia in the Fall

I can’t think of anything better than taking nice stroll through Rittenhouse Square on a crisp fall afternoon.  The leaves are changing color, creating a beautiful backdrop for the city and the temperature is not too hot, yet not too cold; its sweater weather, my favorite!  All the local breweries have their fall beers on tap, pumpkin spiced lattes are back in season and I cannot leave out pumpkin pie.  I think it’s safe to say fall is my favorite season.

If enjoying the autumn scenery is your thing, visitphilly.com composed a list of the top spots to view the fall foliage.  Pack a lunch and grab the family to take in the gorgeous fall colors:

Bucks CountyDelaware Canal State Park; Washington Crossing Historic Park

Chester County- Longwood Gardens; Marsh Creek State Park

Delaware County- Brandywine River Museum; Chaddsford Winery; Tyler Arboretum

Montgomery County– Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary at Mill Grove; Valley Forge National Historical Park

Philadelphia- Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Gorge; Morris Arboretum; Schuylkill River Trail;

For the complete list and a more detailed description on all locations view the article here.

Another thing associated with fall is football, and you can’t have fall in Philadelphia without also mentioning the Eagles.  Lincoln Financial Field is a wonderful place to spend a fall afternoon on a Sunday.

Right across the parking lot is the Wells Fargo Center, the home of the Flyers, whose season starts in October.

As mentioned earlier, fall beers are on tap and the Philadelphia Brewing Company offers tours on Saturday afternoons and generous samples for a small fee.  I see no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Fairmount has a lot to offer in the fall.  Eastern State Penitentiary has their annual Terror Behind the Walls and most of the Fairmount restaurants have dinner deals for all the terror seekers.  Some of the restaurants include London Grill, Jack’s Firehouse, and Rembrandt’s.

These are only a few things the Philadelphia area has to offer in the fall.  Experience it yourself, whether it be in city of Philadelphia’s countryside for hayrides and pumpkin/apple picking.

As always we are always here for any of your Philadelphia Real Estate needs, just visit our site or give us a call.

Construction Begins on New Pedestrian/Bike Trails in Philadelphia

Some news stories just immediately get you primed for Spring (the 60+ degree weather in early March helps, as well). For me, it’s the Phillies playing their first Spring Training games this weekend, and the addition of four new pedestrian and bike trails coming to the Philadelphia area! Uwishunu.com has got the scoop on several of the new trail extensions, including the Schuylkill boardwalk (pictured right) The Port Richmond Trail along Delaware Avenue, the 58th Street Greenway connectng the Schuylkill River Trail to Southwest Philadelphia and more! (view the full article here).

Philadelphia is continually doing its part to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. And as the weather gets warmer, expect to see more and more bikers out there taking advantage of many of the new bike lanes. So remember, bikers- be courteous! Take advantage of the bike lanes and don’t ride on the sidewalks. And drivers- If you need to merge into the bike lanes be sure to always check your mirrors to see if there are any approaching cyclists. Enoy the beautiful Spring weather, Philly!


Philly Weekend Links: 8/26/2011 – Hurricane Edition!

So maybe Hurricane Irene is going to wash out this Saturday. There are still plenty of fun to be had in Philly this Friday and Sunday!  Everything from beer and brats in Fishtown, Dinner at the Art Museum and a Yacht party on the Delaware river. Here’s where you can find the best events in Philly this weekend! Enjoy the links and stay safe!

  • Happy Hour at Frankford Hall, Monday – Fridays from 4pm-6pm: Frankford Hall, Stephen Starr’s recently opened German Style Beer hall in Fishtown is now offering happy hour Mondays through Friday until 6pm. Stop by and enjoy some authentic German beer, Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst and more! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, Frankford Hall is one of the best beer gardens in the city. Check out Frankford Hall’s website for more info.
  • Granite Hill Tiki Dinner at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Friday 8/26 at 6:30pm: Yes, Granite Hill is another Stephen Starr restaurant, but this event was too good not to include in the links. Granite Hill will be hosting a tiki dinner, paying homage to French artist Paul Gauguin. The restaurant will be serving tropical cocktails and a lush Polynesian style buffet. Check out the Art Museum’s website for more info.
  • Rum and Reggae End of Summer Bash, Sunday 8/28 at 5pm: The legendary Philadelphia restaurant the White Dog Cafe will be hosting a rum and reggae filled evening cruise aboard the Ben Franklin Yacht. For just $55 diners will get an all you can eat buffer prepared by head chef Eric Yost, as well as unlimited draft beer and rum punch. Not to mention a three hour tour aboard the yacht, plus live reggae music from Cultureal.  Tickets are available online.

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Sell Your House Right Now

Although this tough market may not seem like the best time to sell your home, you actually have a really good opportunity to make a great deal even in this down economy. If you are thinking about selling your home, you should do it right away and take advantage of the many benefits available. Before it’s too late.

  • Although you may be selling low because of the economy, this will afford you an opportunity to buy low as well. Essentially your loss is nothing more than a paper loss and if you play your cards right, when the economy turns back around you’ll be in much better shape than how you started.
  • There are a lot of really great service you can get utilize in the form of tax credits. The government, in order to help boost the economy, is offering an $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit as well as an array of energy tax credits that can make necessary home improvements a smart move.
  • Another benefit of this down economy is the help many people can get through down-payment assistance programs.

Now is the time to sell. All these great deals are in place right now so if you’re thinking about sell, don’t wait!

If you’d like to find out the worth of your home go to http://www.mickeypascarellagroup.com/sell/ for a FREE custom home evaluation.