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The Somers Real Estate Blog

Your Voice in Philadelphia Real Estate

By The Somers Team | Agent in Temple, PA
  • Large Development Opportunity in Northern Liberties Area

    Posted Under: General Area in Philadelphia  |  August 1, 2010 5:12 AM  |  4,683 views  |  No comments


     171-79 W Jefferson Street (Jefferson and N Hancock)

    Photo Gallery

    Calling all Developers! We have a RARE opportunity for you to build 17 new construction homes, apartments, or condos on this 110 x 141 sq foot plot of build-able land in the Northern Liberties Area.

    Currently there are several successful and high-end homes and condo conversions on the same block such as the (SOLD OUT) Steel Factory Lofts and smaller developers improving homes at Jefferson and Hancock Streets. Located in walking distance to shopping, public transportation, entertainment at The Piazza, the Crane Arts building, and minutes from Center City. There are no existing plans or zoning approvals. Owner is very motivated ! All offers will be submitted.

    Discover more about Life in Northern Liberties



    Remax Access, Northern Liberties

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  • Philadelphia Luxury Rental- Live/Work Ny Style Factory Loft

    Posted Under: For Rent in Philadelphia  |  August 1, 2010 5:01 AM  |  5,618 views  |  2 comments

    1 Bedroom Condo Unit for Rent in Northern Liberties

    Call The Somers 215-400-2620, RE/MAX Access, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia

    1147--53 N 4th - Unit 4D Photo Gallery

    Northern Liberties is the home of the Cigar Factory Loft Condominiums, offering you the life style you have been looking for. We invite you to visit this 1 bedroom condo for rent in Northern Liberties.

    Enjoy this 4th floor's sprawling open layout with exposed brick walls and gigantic factory-sized windows. 12+ foot timber ceilings and hardwood floors are a perfect setting for a variety of furniture, an inspiring live/work setting, quiet reflection, or a place to host memorable social gatherings.

    The appliances are modern brushed stainless steel, beautiful cabinetry throughout topped by sleek granite counters, and 2 luxury baths. There is a laundry room and plenty of storage.

    Other features of this 1 bedroom condo unit for rent in Northern Liberties include a common elevator and secure deeded parking in the covered garage.

    Walk to your favorite restaurant, cafe, and shopping.

    This condo has one bedroom but can be easily converted into a two bedroom. There is a one year lease with first, last, and security required. Utilities are separate and all electric.

    Discover more about Life in Northern Liberties

    The Somers Team of Philadelphia



    Remax Access, Northern Liberties

    Feel free to subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with our latest posts and information on the Philadelphia Real Estate Market.  You can also sign up to receive the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog via email.

  • Old Kensington/Northern Liberties: A Condo Owner's Perspective

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Philadelphia  |  August 1, 2010 4:57 AM  |  4,749 views  |  No comments

    What’s Life in Old Kensington Like? A Client Writes in.

    A few years ago we helped client Taylor Picone buy a gorgeous Factory Loft at the Steel Factory in Old Kensington. He wrote in to thank us and to let us know that life in Old Kensington has been very exciting and  extra convenient to all of his favorite spots. Thanks, Taylor!

    Dear Somers:

    Thanks for taking an interest in hearing from the local folks about the neighborhoods in the area. So far my past two years in Old Kensington living in the Steel Factory Lofts has been a great time. The area has really begun to flourish and there is never any shortage of great places to eat, drink, socialize, and take part in the ever exciting events of Northern Liberties and Fishtown. The Piazza at Schmidts is host to a variety of restaurants and bars from the classy Apollinare, to the great food at Darling's Diner 24 hours a day, and there is always a great seat at PYT to watch the Phillies game on the Jumbotron. Just across the street is Liberties Walk, host to great shopping and one of the best coffee spots in the city, One Shot Coffee, which is a great place to stop before or after your professional quality hair cut at DNA Salon just next door.

    Not to be forgotten are all the great local Fishtown bars that each offer their very own unique personalities and plethora of drinks. Visitors to Philadelphia should never pass up the opportunity to see really Philly culture at The El Bar on front street where they can grab a quick Philly Special (Beer and a shot of whiskey for $3) while cheering the in season Philly sports team to victory. Looking for local live music? Try a night at Johnny Brenda's on Frankford and Girard, always a host to great local artists and some pretty famous ones, too!

    A great location for Temple students with plenty of public transportation assets within walking distance that within minutes can get you to downtown Philadelphia with access to museums, South Street, Boat House Row, and plenty of other sites.

    Overall, living in the Old Kensington/Northern Liberties area comes with all the perks and culture of a tight nit local Philly community while providing you great access to popular tourist areas. A combination of great food, drinks, scenery and people. The budding community of Old Kensington/Northern Liberties is a great place for any age and any profession.


    Taylor E. Picone
    1st Lieutenant, FA

    Here are two awesome opportunities right now in the Old Kensington neighborhood:

    3 Bedroom New Construction Home for Sale in Northern Liberties – 2,205 Square Feet of Luxurious Living Space

    Attention Developers! Rare Opportunity to Build 17 Homes in Northern Liberties

    Explore more about Life in Old Kensington. Ready to search for Old Kensington properties?

  • Everything You Need to Know About Realtors Can Be Learned On Sesame Street

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Philadelphia  |  February 28, 2010 7:22 AM  |  4,790 views  |  1 comment

    Everything You Need to Know About Realtors Can Be Learned On Sesame Street

                                       Bert Ernie Sesame Street

    Everything you need to know about Realtors can be learned on Sesame Street.

    Signing, Selling, Listing, Buying... it is all like kindergarten stuff if you think about it. On Sesame Street, when I was a child, I learned about the word "cooperation". It was a big word for my vocabulary back then, and amazingly enough it remains a big word in concept for me as an adult.

    Cooperating in the process of Real Estate is probably the most elementary and at the same time sophisticated way of of practicing in the industry. The Listing Agent and the Buyer Agent share some of the same responsibilities. They both must meet ethical responsibilities (doing the right thing) and fiduciary responsibilities (duty to act in the client's best interest). That is the elementary stuff. We learned about doing the right thing and acting in other people's best interest on Sesame Street, right? But it becomes a sophisticated process when the duties between the 2 types of Agent Relationships are practiced out in the field. Those two roles, when put to the test, will reveal two very distinct people. Like Bert and Ernie, or Kermit and Miss Piggy, for lack of a better Sesame Street duo.

    I imagine you know all of this stuff. But for those unfamiliar with the different skill-set or tools needed to be successful at either job, here is a simple overview:

    Listing a home for sale takes a special kind of agent. A Listing Agent must have mastery of Marketing Real Estate. It is almost a separate profession that requires experience, effective tools, knowledge of how to use those tools, financial backing for advertisements and Internet exposure, on top of knowing the Real Estate market and having solid negotiating skills.

    A Buyer Agent must master Buyer Agency. They must possess the obvious skills including market knowledge, negotiation, etc., but the most precious thing of all is that the Buyer Agent must invest countless hours to their client. They must commit to you, get to know you, and be continuously available for you to be physically there to drive you to countless listings until you have found your dream home. Weekends, late nights, wind, rain and snow. How may people do you know that will make that type of sacrifice for someone? A Buyer Agent has a very intense job and it takes a special person it do it well.

    When a buyer's agent brings an offer to purchase a home to a seller's agent, we call them cooperating agents. Cooperation is a nice word. I admit, if it were not for Sesame Street, I may not have such a deep affection for this simple word. But for you, as a consumer, if you are aware and educated about the differences between the two jobs and what their jobs involve, you will be able to tell the difference between a really good Listing Agent and a really good Buyer Agent... even if they can not!

    "You Know, cooperating can pay off!"

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  • The Darling's Diner Story: A Cheesecake was Born. Philadelphia

    Posted Under: General Area in Philadelphia  |  February 5, 2010 5:24 AM  |  4,842 views  |  1 comment

    The Darling's Diner Story: The Cheesecake was Born

    The thing that makes a local restaurant so special is their story. Darling's Diner and Famous Cheesecakes, located at N. 2nd and Germantown Avenue, at the Piazza in Northern Liberties is a great restaurant and has a great story. Ryan and Kara in the photograph (below) are an illustration in a simple snapshot of how Darling's serves up a delicious meal and a delightful atmosphere every day. The decor is a mash-up of Silk City meets Stephen Starr. But atmosphere and good food do not create themselves. So, we decided to find out what the story was behind all of Darling's good stuff, especially the cheesecake.

    Harry Arnold admits he was born to be in the restaurant business. Thinking back at all of the years he had spent in the food service industry as a busboy, a server, a bartender, and reminiscing about pushing around his fair share of dessert carts, Harry happily admitted, "I really can't imagine myself doing anything else!"  Harry is the co-owner of Darling's Diner and Famous Cheesecakes. As we sat chatting in his diner over a piece of his insanely world-rocking chocolate mousse, Harry's confessions continued. "I had never cooked a thing in my life, but then one day I decided I wanted to try my hand at it."

    The very first dish Harry ever tried to cook was cheesecake. By the fourth try, his chef friends knew he was on to something. "They really liked it!" As a waiter, in the back kitchens of Chickie and Pete's in South Philly, a restaurant that banned all desserts, he was turning his coworkers onto his secret cheesecake concoction. They loved his delicious recipes. Harry's friends and anyone who had the good fortune to taste one of his cakes wanted more. The more people tasted, the more they got hooked on his perfectly created recipes. Harry began to realize that he too was hooked. "I was addicted to the feeling I got when people said they loved my cooking." And so it was, Harry's career was born.

    Darlings Diner

    Breakfast at Darling's...retro grub for the modern set

    Many people encouraged Harry to open a restaurant but his brother John was the man, the "pillar", who really stepped up to the plate as a business partner and investor. The two men opened a tiny 6 seat cafe with a chalkboard menu at 20th and Pine Streets in Philadelphia and within the first year of business they received the Best of Philly Award for desserts. A year later they opened a second store behind the Franklin Institute just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on 21st Street.

    Business was cooking for a couple of years, though it was not always a sweet ride for Harry and John. Their big plans to move to a third location went sour when the stock market crashed and burned. John was devastated and Harry was in shock. But you know what they say, when one oven door closes, another opens and pretty soon they were planning the menus and hiring the staff for Darling's new location at the Piazza in Northern Liberties.

    If you have not been to Darling's Diner yet, STOP what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go there! We mean it! What are you waiting for? We will see you there soon!

    Darling's Diner at the Piazza is located at 1033 N. 2nd Street in Northern Liberties. For more info, visit their website at www.darlingsdiner.com

    darlings cheesecake

    Have you met Darling's chocolate cheesecake?

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  • There is a neighborhood in Philadelphia with your name on it!

    Posted Under: General Area in Philadelphia  |  February 5, 2010 5:17 AM  |  4,874 views  |  1 comment

    There’s a Neighborhood in Philly with Your Name on It


    Your neighborhood is in here !

    You're moving to Philadelphia, a city of neighborhoods. But which one is right for you? People from out of the Philly area are asking that very same question every single day. Ask a different person in Philly and they have a different answer for you. Who do you listen to? How do you research the neighborhoods you're interested in?

    We think Philadelphia is a big city, but it's composed of small, distinct neighborhoods. Philly offers you the big New York feel, but this city does take a much needed beauty rest now and again, unlike the Big Apple. According to Wikipedia, we're the fourth largest urban city in the nation and the largest city in Pennsylvania. So, in our opinion you can still be a big fish and not get lost in the crowd. On the flip side, if you want to get lost, there are so many fantastic neighborhoods to choose from, 87 zip codes to be exact.

    If you are moving into the Philadelphia area from another city, state, or country, finding the best neighborhood can be a daunting task. You can search by neighborhood here.

    If you have a friend or contact who lives in the city already and has a lifestyle that is similar to yours, they might be able to give you the best heads up. Depending on your age, income, interests, and method of transportation, you should be able to narrow down the options.

    Try to find the best neighborhood based on your “price point”. This is what you can and want to afford for a home whether you plan to rent an apartment or house or to own a condo or single family property in Philadelphia. If you have a bank pre-approval or an idea of what amount of money you want to spend on your new home, that will likely open up some neighborhoods and close doors to others. Let’s face it, some of us can live like the rich and famous and many of us just settle for watching the lives of the rich and famous on TV.


    Once you narrow down what neighborhoods or zip code you can afford, you can cut that list to the subdivisions that meet your most important needs. My guess would be if you are a single person into the social scene, you’d be gravitating toward the hip and progressive neighborhoods like Northern Liberties, Fishtown, the Art Museum, and Passyunk Square. If you have kids and your family is your biggest priority, then finding a neighborhood that provides a public or private school that you like for your children will certainly impact what neighborhood you choose.

    One of the best ways to research neighborhoods is through local blogs. Make sure what you're reading is current. You might read an article about a Philadelphia neighborhood somewhere that was written years ago and is no longer up to date. Change happens quickly in Philadelphia neighborhoods, so if someone you know visited Port Richmond a couple of years ago and gave a less than glowing review, don't take their word for it. Do the research and come to your own conclusion. Plan a trip and visit so that you can get a feel for the area. Try to hit as many neighborhoods as you can on your home-scouting tour.

    There are many great neighborhoods in Philadelphia and with a little exploration, there will be one that is absolutely perfect for you. If you can determine a price point that makes you comfortable and then identify what factors are most important to you in a neighborhood you will be able to collect the names of a few good neighborhoods and do a little more research about them. I am certain the web can lead you to some answers and open up a few new opportunities for you. Oh and of course, find a knowledgeable Realtor that knows the area you are looking. A Realtor can have a wealth of information about buying, renting, and living in Philadelphia. Please visit my blogs offering 3 Tips For Relocating.

    Feel free to subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with our latest posts and information on the Philadelphia Real Estate Market.  You can also sign up to receive the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog via email.

  • Getting to Know Pennsport, Philadelphia.

    Posted Under: General Area in Philadelphia  |  February 2, 2010 8:29 AM  |  4,900 views  |  1 comment

    Getting to Know Pennsport, Philadelphia

    Where is Pennsport and what is going on there? Ask around and you will find that not many people are quite sure. Most can tell you that it's the place to go watch the Mummers Parade.

    Pennsport is one of the Philadelphia subdivisions that are considered an "up and coming" neighborhood. Located just south of Queen Village from Washington Avenue to Snyder Avenue and between south 4th Street and the Delaware River, Pennsport is a fantastic area with a ton of history as a port town.

    Today I decided to get an inside perspective from one of Pennsport's residents, Denise Lopez. Denise and her husband Pat Lopez and their 3 beautiful children have been living in the area for about 15 years. So, I consider her an authority and a good source into what life is really like in Pennsport.

    Me: Give it to me straight, Denise. What is your favorite thing about living in Pennsport?

    Denise Lopez of Pennsport

    Denise: First, I really enjoy the convenience most of all. I can go shopping for the family, pop onto I-95 with ease, go to Jersey in a snap, and enjoy Center City because it is all so close to our house. My second favorite thing about living in Pennsport is that there was a variety of schools for me to choose from for my kids. I had 3 picks including public school, parochial school and a charter school. Plus there are great local art and music programs. That is important to me.

    Me: So, where do you go to just hang out in the neighborhood?

    the witch bistro

    Denise: Well, I like the three local spots. Witch, Valentinos, and Ugly American. With names like those, who can resist? They are fantastic spots and all in walking distance from our home. My family enjoys the park at south 2nd and Reed. It is a "spray park" and the kids love it in the summer.

    Me: Is there anything else you can think of that you believe is worth sharing with folks who are not familiar with Pennsport?

    Denise: Yes. The great thing about this area is that there is a new wave of folks moving in. I volunteer at the library at Snyder and south 2nd Street. I see a lot of new faces. It is exciting. People can find a great starter home here or something a little more expensive and the best part of it, it works! It is a really tight South Philadelphia neighborhood.

    Living here is great because we are so close to the Delaware River. We see every fireworks display, special event, and music venue featured at Penns Landing. The Mummers actually dance down my street every New Year and the Mummers Museum is right here in Pennsport at south 2nd and Washington Avenue. The Italian Market is a must see for everyone, even tourists. It is located at 9th and Washington and it is an amazing experience for people who have never been to our outside market.

    It really is a great place to live.

    Me: Wow! Thanks for sharing all of that with me Denise. I know I appreciate it and I am sure those people who are looking to learn more about Pennsport will find your thoughts extremely insightful.

    Looking for a home in Pennsport? Search our Pennsport listings here.

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