There has been a lot of press about the improving national unemployment rate. The job market in various fields — namely construction, some manufacturing and energy production — have seen marked improvement. This is good, but this has not translated in jobs in Philadelphia.
The regional (Philadelphia five-county, Southern New Jersey; and Wilmington, Del.) unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, which is .7 percent greater than the national average. The rate for Philadelphia County is 10.1 percent – second highest in the area. Only Salem County, N.J. has a higher rate at 10.7 percent. Salem County is a very rural area that has a significant amount of farm land and one of the smallest populations in the state. continue reading »
Q: I really want to buy a home in the Northeast but the absolute most I can afford is $100,000. I really don’t want a fixer-upper or anything that “needs TLC.” What can I get for that price and where should I be looking?
A: In the Multiple Listing Service Trend, there are 268 homes listed for sale today in Northeast Philadelphia for $100,000 and under. Out of those homes, there are 116 active listings that are noted as “Average +” continue reading »
The house at the end of my block has been abandoned for several years. I remember hearing it was up for Sheriff’s Sale at one point, and I thought for sure someone would have snagged it because it was a nice house when the people who owned it lived there. I heard they got divorced. Over a year ago, the bank who owns it now sent people to come clean it out and they posted a notice in the bow window too far away for me to read. A “For Sale” sign suddenly popped up yesterday. What took them so long? What happened and what will happen now?
The most likely scenario is the owners defaulted on their mortgage and subsequently, the mortgage lender foreclosed on the home. Perhaps they owed too much to sell it and didn’t consider their options. If what they owed was too high of a price to pay off the mortgage, the Sheriff’s Sale probably wouldn’t have been able to procure a proper buyer. So the bank then took possession of the property. These types of homes are considered “distressed” properties. continue reading »
High unemployment rates over the past several years have made the job market very competitive. As a result, many people opted to stay in jobs that they did not like or were over qualified for. Employers,
unsure about the condition of the economy and the demand for their goods/services, have been operating at less than full capacity. Some have filled the demand for their work with overtime or part-time staff rather than hire full-time employees. If the environment has improved in your field, or a field that you considering switching to, and you are thinking about a change, you should start the process with both eyes open. continue reading »
My fiancé and I are looking to buy a house, but we have very little money to put down. Her parents have agreed to help us out with a down payment, but I am not sure how much we will need. We are looking in the Northeast under $200,000. How much do you think I will need?
A: The first thing you should do is talk to a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. The amount of money you will need may vary by lender and depends on a number of factors, like which loan you can qualify for, and even your settlement date. If you are unsure of how much you will need, ask your mortgage lender. continue reading »
Q: I am looking for a home in the Far Northeast. I have noticed that there are several homes for sale on the same street. I would like to see one of them because the pictures look great online, but I am worried there is a problem with that street or something. Should I just avoid it?
A: Just because there are several homes for sale on the same street, does not necessarily mean there is something “wrong” with the street. It could simply be a matter of bad timing on the block and neighbors find themselves in the same situation of selling their home at the same time. You should also take into account that there can be up to 30 homes on the same block at times when you are considering row homes. continue reading »
Is your house like mine in that you feel like you have paperwork everywhere?
The end of tax season is a good time to get your financial house in order. Reducing your paperwork clutter can give you a feeling of organization and control and can help you get you pointed in the right direction to do some real financial planning. There are several things you can do that can have immediate impact in helping you de-clutter continue reading »
Q: Please give me good news. I really want know about the market in Northeast Philly 19152 zip code. If there is good news, I might be able to sell my house. It has been on and off the market for a couple years with no luck.
A: Location, condition, price. Those are the three things that motivate a buyer to buy a particular home. And, for the right price, any home in any location or condition can be sold. continue reading »
Q: I signed an agreement of sale my house in Normandy last week and will go to settlement on June 14. I figured that would be enough time to find a house to buy. Today I made an offer a house in Levittown, but the owner of that house wants to go to settlement May 31 because he is buying a house in the Poconos. I need to sell to buy, and I already found out I can’t get a bridge loan. What else can I do?
A: Bridge loans used to be an option, and may still be for some, but you don’t see them as often as you used to. Buyers who had a house to sell and needed to make settlement before the house they were selling could get the loan in advance from their mortgage lender. It’s great. . . until the buyer of the home you’re selling doesn’t make it to settlement because they didn’t get funded for the mortgage after all. Then it’s a disaster. continue reading »
Columnist Stacey McCarthy has the week off. Today, we’re running her post from this time last year.
Q: I am so excited! I make settlement on my first home in Holme Circle on Friday and I don’t know how to get the bills in my name. I want to make sure I have all my bases covered, so I want to call the utility companies asap. Who do I need to call? And will the seller’s bills already be paid off?
A: Congratulations! Owning your first home is very exciting. One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is the seller’s utility pay-offs. The title company you use to make settlement will make sure the seller’s utility bills are paid up. continue reading »