Why Buying A Home Of Your Own Beats Renting

coupleWhich is better, buying or renting? If you’ve been wondering whether to take the step toward homeownership this year, consider this:

Today’s low mortgage rates are hard to beat. Rates this low dramatically reduce the cost of homeownership. In fact, it’s hard to overstate the importance of today’s low mortgage rates in the buy-rent decision. Take a 30-year home loan valued at $250,000. At 8 percent, the mortgage payment would top $1,800 per month At 4 percent, the monthly principal and interest payment would be less than $1,200 per month. Today’s low mortgage rates are giving families a rare opportunity to lock in low rates — and low monthly payments — that they can enjoy for years and years to come.

You get to build equity. When you pay rent, you are paying your landlord’s mortgage — or adding to his or her bank account. When you’re a homeowner, you can create equity by paying down your mortgage balance over time and by benefiting from any increase in home values.

You get a tax deduction. If you rent, your landlord get the tax deduction. When you own your own home, you get the opportunity to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes.

You get freedom. Your landlord probably has a bunch of different rules that keep you from doing things like painting or other home improvements. When you own your own home, you get to make your own rules!

What’s In Store For The Housing Market in 2014?

Housing Market

Wondering what is in store for the nation’s housing market next year? Expect another upbeat year for residential real estate, according to the National Association of Realtors. The association predicts home prices and sales will continue to increase in 2014.

All economic signs point to a continued housing recovery nationwide, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Yun predicts the national median existing-home price to increase by a healthy 6 percent in 2014. Existing-home sales are forecast to hold steady at about 5.12 million in 2014, with new home sales expected to reach 508,000 next year, up from 429,000 in 2013.

What’s in store for the Philly housing market? In the Philadelphia metro area, the housing recovery continues to gain strength. Home sales and prices are rising, and that trend is expected to continue next year. Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2014, but are forecast to remain near historic lows.  All in all, 2014 will be a great year to buy or sell a home.

What are you waiting for?

Philly Spring Clean Up Can Help Sell Your Home

It’s that time of year again- The return of the Philly Spring Clean Up! Each year Philadelphians gather together to clean up their town. Just listen to some of these stats from the 2011 Philly Spring Clean Up:

  • 12,000 Volunteers
  •  1,240,360 pounds of trash removed
  • 28 parks and 17 recreation centers cleaned

(Stats from philly.com)

As a Philadelphian, it always gives me a good feeling to see so many people care about our town. And as a Philadelphia realtor, I always advise my clients looking to sell a home in Philly, to take advantage of this time of year. Traditionally, Spring is the busiest time for real estate, with more buyers coming to the market and getting serious about finding a home. But that also means there are more homes on the market and potentially less money in your pocket! Giving your Philadelphia home a thorough cleaning in time for Spring can also be a great chance for you to get  your property ready to sell. The right kind of minor improvements can make all the difference in terms of foot traffic and bringing in more potential buyers. Here’s a few easy tips for how Spring cleaning can sell your Philadelphia home:

  • The Devil is in the Details: I’ll admit it- When I clean my home, there are certain dark corners and hidden spaces I tend to overlook. But here’s the difference- If you’re selling your Philly home, potential buyers will be poking around behind the fridge and in every closet. While you’re already cleaning your home, be sure to put some elbow grease into those hard to reach places.
  • Shiny, Happy People:  Springtime is bright, green and lively. Your home should reflect this. Make sure you clean all your windows, as well as add a few smaller touches (potted plants, a bright coat of paint on the doors) that reflect the season. Minor projects like this will make a huge difference for when you take pictures of your home to showcase it online.
  • Beautiful inside, Beautiful Outside: In a city as walkable as Philadelphia, the most important improvements you can make is on your home’s exterior. Many of the buyers that I work with will spend Saturdays and Sundays touring a new neighborhood they’re interested in, just getting a feel for the area. If they see the “For Sale” sign out front of your property, but hate the look of the home, they won’t bother seeing the inside.
  • It’s Not Your Home: While you’re scrubbing the floors and dusting the window sills, Spring cleaning also gives you a chance to “de-personalize” your home. Removing items such as family portraits allows your potential buyers to imagine themselves starting their new lives in your property.

Want to learn more about selling your Philadelphia home? Email me: mickey@themickeygroup.com




5 Signs You’re Working with the Wrong Philadelphia Realtor

Not all Philadelphia realtors are created equal. When choosing the right agent to sell a home, find you a new home or both, you want to make sure that you’re working with the very best. A good Philly realtor will be able to easily and quickly guide you through the process, as well as save you (or help you make) as much money as possible. But when it comes to researching a realtor, there’s only so much you can learn by checking out their website. So here are 5 signs you may be working with the wrong Philadelphia realtor:

  • They Don’t Know the Neighborhood:  Sure, Philly is a big city with plenty of neighborhoods, but a good realtor will know the area- Either because they’ve done business there in the past or they’ve done their research before your appointment.
  • They’re part-time Philly Realtors: There are plenty of realtors out there that treat this business a side job. When truth be told, real estate is very much a full time gig. You wouldn’t want to work with a part time lawyer or doctor, would you? Think of it this way- would you want to work with someone who only spends a few hours a week focused on helping you, or a full time agent who eats, breathes and sleeps Philly real estate?
  • The Realtor Doesn’t Listen:  A big part of what’s made me a successful Philadelphia realtor is the ability to listen to a clients needs. The buyers we work with only need to see 5 or less property before they find their dream home. The reason being that we listen to what they’re looking for, and only show them properties that meet their criteria. If you’re agent keeps showing you homes out of your price range or that doesn’t have the right number of bedrooms, he’s obviously less interested in making you happy and more interested in making the sale.
  • They’re Unethical: Most realtors out there are good, honest people just trying to make a living. But like in any profession, there’s a few rotten apples that spoil the bunch. An unethical realtor may try to steer you towards misrepresenting your home, or force you to work with their mortgage lender or home inspector. Most agents have preferred partners that they will suggest you work with, but remember- the choice is yours, not theirs. Part of why I’ve had success as a Philadelphia realtor is that I’ve remained transparent and honest with my clients. Full disclosure is the name of the game for two reasons- It results in more referral business for my team, and frankly, it’s the right thing to do.
  • They Don’t Have time for You: There are thousands of realtors in Philadelphia– so why would you work with one who doesn’t return your phone calls, emails etc.?  The realtors of the Mickey Pascarella Group schedule time each week to follow up with their clients, and each client is never taken for granted. It’s a stressful process selling and/or buying a home, and it’s our job to make it as easy as possible. Obviously everyone gets busy from time to time, but if your agent is updating you (or even returning your messages), why would you pay him for his services?




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Changes Happening in Society Hill Real Estate

The Society Hill real estate market has usually been one of the most consistently strong in Philadelphia. Society Hills is surrounded by Old City, Penn’s Landing Queen Village and South Street, making it one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the city. Tourists and new residents alike flock to Society Hill for it’s many great restaurants, bars, theatres and events.

The real estate market of Society Hill is generally strong, but is seeing a number of different changes in the area. The neighborhood is full of history, featuring the largest collection of 18th and 19th Century homes in the United States. The neighborhood has so much to offer, so let’s take an indepth look at Society Hill real estate:

As shown above, the median listing price of Society Hill homes for sale is $694, 870. Short sales and foreclosures in Society Hill make up only 4% of the real estate market. The median age of homeowners in Society Hill is 38. 34% are married, and there are only 366(out of 6,337) homes with children (That’s 5.7% families in Society Hill). So what does this tell you about Society Hill? The neighborhood is geared more towards young professionals and college students who are looking to enjoy Philadelphia nightlife(it would also explain why Society Hill is home to so many trendy restaurants, clubs and bars). Young people who have just entered the work force and college students love the neighborhood because of its close proximity to public transportation, it’s central location and being able to walk to everything they need. The Society Hill real estate market reflects this. Luxury condominiums with convenient amenitied and restored townhomes make up a large percentage of the neighborhood’s inventory.

Click the Link for an In-Depth Society Hill Real Estate Market Report

The Society Hill real estate market is one of the higher price points in Philadelphia. The area is perfect for young people who are have got a little bit of money to spend or college students who enjoy city living.

Interested in This Neighborhood? Click the link to see Society Hill Homes for Sale

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Fairmount Home for Sale: 20th and Brandywine (Video)

Luke Kedziora takes us on another property tour. This time we’re looking a beautiful Fairmount home for sale. Featuring three bedrooms, a one car garage, outdoor space and so much more, this is easily one of the best homes for sale in Fairmount/Art Museum Area. Check out the video below:

If you’d like to learn more about this home, give us a call at 267-702-5608 or visit us at http://www.themickeygroup.com

Interested in Fairmount/Art Museum Area? See all available Real Estate in Fairmount

Philadelphia Real Estate Testimonials: Glen & Kathy (Video)

Our clients Glen and Kathy were nice enough to film a Philadelphia real estate video testimonial. They told us all about their process with the Mickey Pascarella Group and how they found their Art Museum Area condo:

Interested in Working with the Mickey Pascarella Group: Email mickey@themickeygroup.com or give us a call at 267.702.5608

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