Home Buying in 19152>Question Details

Iamtdr, Home Buyer in Northeast Philadelphia...

First Time House Buyer - Why Are 4 Houses 4 Sale on 1 Block

Asked by Iamtdr, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA Mon Feb 11, 2008

I saw a house that I was pretty interested in but I noticed 3 other houses on the block are for sale too. I made about 4-5 drive bys on the property but have yet to find a good reason for all the up for sale signs. There is a creek behind the house which makes me wonder if the block suffers from flooding. Any advice for a 1st time buyer? I'm currently looking in NE Philadelphia 19152 by Holme Circle.

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Bill Lublin’s answer
If you're looking in this type of area, you are averaging as many as 50 houses on a block. Having 8% of them for sale is a result of a couple of things.

One is that there is a large aging population in the Northeast because the homes were good for people to raise families in, and then inexpensive enough for them to stay in after the children were grown.

The second is that there is about 9 months supply on the market instead of the balanced amount of 6 months inventory. That means a good selection for a potential buyer, and with rates as low as they are, now is a great time to buy a home.

Please see the link below to see my blog where i discuss this alittle further. or go to my company website at http://www.c21ag. com . As Philadelphia's largest Century 21 firm, with two offices not 10 minutes from where you're looking we have plenty of agents with good information for you. If there were something unusual in the block causing sellers to want to move, there would e far more then four homes for sale.

Just take your time, choose a good agent who is local to the area, and buy your next home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Some times, that's just the way the timing goes with real estate. Perhaps a company is moving and alot of the employees live in the same neighborhood. Perhaps the neighborhood is aging (owner wise). 3 homes on one block that are up for sale really should not bring up and warning bells. Now if half the block is being sold, perhaps something IS going on.

As a first time home buyer, the most important thing to do is to relax. Most first time home buyers are very nervous about that first sale. Cautious? Absolutely. Whether you are buying a new home or one that's over a hundred years old, it will never be perfect for you. A little, or at times, a lot of work may have to be done to the property before moving time.

I've been to an open house in a brand spanking new $400K home. It was pouring out and also inside. Water was coming in right around the windows, every one of them. But it was a brand new house. (Side note, best time to see a home is right after a good rain.)

Hope this helps.

Terrence Charest, e-Pro
Century 21 Associates
905 Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
Ask the sellers. But don't ask them "why are you selling?" ask them why are there 3 other houses for sale on the same block. They are more likely to say "well, I don't know why they are selling but the reason we are is.. " that way compared if you ask them why theu are selling.

You could also look up (or have your agent look up) what mortgages those people have/had, ie, maybe they have an adjustable rate mortgage which is due to reset soon and need to sell or some such. Look into tax increases or perhaps some other changes which might effect people's desire to sell.

Keep in mind though, in some markets average time on market for houses sold is 6months+ So it's not that uncommon to see several houses for sale on the same street/block, not because there is somethign wrong with that street, but because it just takes longer to sell so the chances of that happening are much higher now than 2 years ago.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
This is a good point...lookup FEMA's website...and look for your area and check the flood elevations.
Web Reference: http://iansellsnola.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
I would say that most likely it is simply a matter of too many sellers wanting out before there homes lose value. Of course, by everyone listing at the same time, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy...
Web Reference: http://www.askthebigguy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
My parents live in 19152. Here's my 2 cents and I know the realtors will jump on me. Simply put, the market is at it's peak and everyone knows it. Only 8 years ago prices for twins were under 100K and now some people actually have the nerve to ask 250K+ for mediocre houses. The median income in the area isn't all that high, the population is old, Holme Circle/Rhawnhurst is not near anything big and it baffles me greatly why it's so overvalued considering the neighborhoods just south of it are pretty much the ghetto. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm VERY bearish on Lower and Middle Northeast Philadelphia for buying right now. I know other parts of Philly will be more resilient, but I can forsee SoCal/Florida style crash at least in places like Fox Chase, Rhawnhurst or Mayfair. I wish someone would explain it to me (hey, my future inheritance could depend on it!) :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
The market is at it's PEAK!? NFLfan...where have you been the past 2 years? Hiding under a hockey puck?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
I lived in Holme Circle area nearly all my life. I don't know of any flooding in this area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 9, 2008
Yes, my advice is to knock on the neighbors house and ask them. You will only find this info by asking. No realtor or outside site can tell you this. The neighbors may be able to give some insight.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
The answer in my opinion is pretty simple. There is a decent amount of inventory out there and there are many blocks that have several houses on the market. I specialize in NE Philadelphia - it is very common right now to see several houses available on the same block in Holme Circle, Rhawnhurst, Burholme, Mayfair and Castor Gardens.

I would look at it as opportunity since as a buyer you have more leverage and the people that are selling are forced to bring down their listing price or accept a lower deal in order to compete with their neighbors per se. Sure, it makes sense to do a little extra due diligence as far as driving by in the evening and on weekends but the answer in my opinion is more due to the simple suppy / demand economics equation.

Also, see my website belowe for other helpful hints. Good luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2008
I agree with Mikem. I have family living in the Holme Ave area. They have lived there for years and there has never been flooding that I know of . I would find a realtor that you have confidence in ( I can give you the name of the realtor that is the specialist in that area) and have him find all the information he can for you on the homes that are on the market. Have him show you all of them and run comps for the area. He or she should also be able to tell you if the homes are in a flood zone. If you like any of the homes put in an offer that is contingent on inspections. Have a home inspection, Wood destroying insect and Radon inspection completed on the home. It should cost approximately $500 and is well worth it if the inspector is thorough (get recommendations for the inspectors ). If anything bad comes up on the inspection and the seller will not correct the problem you can get your deposit back and go find another home. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
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