Trulia Community - Advice from neighbors and local experts

Find Your Community
We couldn't find that location. Please try again.
Get Expert Advice

Remodel & Renovate in 19131 : Real Estate Advice

  • All43
  • Local Info0
  • Home Buying24
  • Home Selling7
  • Market Conditions0

Activity 39
Thu Mar 11, 2010
Timothy Garrity answered:
I can help you get in touch with someone, Zeres. I have over 7 years experience in the mortgage industry and now work for a start-up RE company in the Temple area called Brown McKinney (off Girard & 16th). We specialize in working with investors just like you.

I know plenty of lenders in the area, so just let me know what you're looking for and I'll help. Email me at for more information.

... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Feb 16, 2010
Zeres asked:
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 12, 2010
Are you looking to renovate an existing home, or are you constructing on a lot? That will help you decide exactly what kind of loan you need. If you are buying an existing home that needs to be rehabed, you could get a 203k loan, which is an FHA renovation loan. Construction-to-perm loans are much harder to come by these day. Most likely you would have to find a local lender that has a construction program. ... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Mon Feb 15, 2010
Robert Greenblatt answered:
Hi Ti. Depends on the comparable homes in your neighborhood and the price you want for your home; assuming you are flipping the home. If you are remodeling for yourself, and plan to stay there for a long time, make it comfortable for you and your family. If it is a flip, it is usually easier to sell a home with 3 bedrooms. Bathrooms don't need to be big....but it is always helpful if they are "very" nice. Sometimes it is possible to built a small closet into a corner of the bedroom.

~Robert Greenblatt
Keller Williams
Cherry Hill, NJ
... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 22, 2009
Sean Dawes answered:

As far as repairs go, have you looked into FHA 203k renovation loans? What happens here is the estimated repairs are lumped into the mortgage so the 3.5% down still remains the same. Now the home must appraise for that after repair value but its another option to consider.

I would suggest contacting Robert LaPierre at as he is a mortgage professional in philadelphia who is familar with these loans.

Sean Dawes
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Jan 24, 2010
Michael Cohen answered:
you should be able to do a nice reahab, for 50-60 per square foot. It depend on what you are looking for.
$75/ft if you go to the wood.
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Tue Oct 13, 2009
Patrick Thies answered:
If you plan on keeping the home and making it habitable then you are going to need to replace the foundation. If the house is in dire need of repairs besides the foundation, then it may not be worth the money to do the foundation. You need to decide what is the best use for the house and land. ... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Wed Sep 30, 2009
Winnie asked:
I live in South Philly and because there isn't much outdoor living space, I am considering adding a roof deck on my house. I would like to know how much it would cost to build one...
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Tue Oct 27, 2009
PH answered:
Dear KLF,

If you're doing it for your own enjoyment, go for it! We shouldn't just bed down in our houses at the end of the night but genuinely enjoy their amenities while we live there. Will it pay off for you seems to be your question.

The best return of any remodel is kitchen and bathrooms. Period. What your deck may do though is not improve it's VALUE but rather improve its SALEABILITY at the end. Two homes near each other and all things being mostly equal if they sell for the same price and one has a roof deck and another doesn't, most people would chose the one with the roof deck. They may never use it, but people buying homes will think, "oh, we will have the coolest parties out here!"

Important note, if you're getting it done, get quality work done with all the appropriate permits and don't skimp. If someone sees a roof deck on a home they are thinking of buying and it looks like the roof deck is going to fall right through the roof, or it's faded or warped, or it's such a monstrosity rather then being a beautiful simple deck that fits with the surrounding neighborhood, you may cost yourself a sale.

I'm not in your area but I have professional associates in the area. If you would like a recommendation to one to perform a free market evaluation of your home before you get started, just drop me an email or give me a call.

Pamela Howell
Technology Committee Chairperson
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sat Jul 7, 2012
The Hagley Group answered:
the link below should can search by city and zip. this comany is actually loacated in PA

Search is in the blue box on the upper left of the page
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Sep 11, 2009
Sean Dawes answered:
Your property is zoned R10. Below is what that means basically.

14-211. "R-10" Residential District.

(1) Use Regulations. The specific uses permitted in this district shall be the erection, construction, alteration or use of buildings and/or land for:

(a) The uses permitted in "R-9" Residential Districts, subject to all qualifications imposed on such uses.

(2) Area Regulations.

(a) Lot Width and Area. The minimum lot width shall be 16 feet, and the minimum lot area shall be 1,440 square feet;

(b) Occupied Area. Not more than 70% of the lot area shall be occupied by buildings on intermediate lots and 80% of the lot area on corner lots;

(c) Open Area. The open area shall be not less than 30% of the lot area on intermediate lots and 20% on corner lots, and shall consist of at least the required minimum rear yard, in all cases, plus such other front yards, side yards or open courts, as shall be required to equal an area not less than the total open area required;

(d) Building Set-back Line. No building set-back line shall be required in this district;

(e) Front Yards. Front yards shall not be required in this district;

(f) Side Yards and Courts. When side yards or courts are used or required, except inner courts and open courts between wings of the same building, which are governed by the provisions of §14-231(1) , they shall have the following minimum widths:

(.1) Single-family dwellings and duplex dwellings, 5 feet (subject to exception for existing buildings, see §14-104(12) ) ;

(.2) Multiple dwellings and buildings other than dwellings, 8 feet;

(g) Rear Yards.

(.1) The minimum depth of a rear yard shall be 9 feet;

(h) Rear Yard Areas.

(.1) Single-family dwellings shall have a minimum rear yard area of 144 square feet;

(.2) Duplex dwellings shall have a minimum rear yard area of 244 square feet;

(.3) Multiple dwellings shall have a minimum rear yard area of 344 square feet, and shall have an additional 100 square feet of rear yard area for each additional family more than 3 families.

(3) Height Regulations.

(a) The maximum height of a dwelling shall be 35 feet above the average ground level at the base of the building, but in no case over 3 stories;

(b) The permitted height of non-residential buildings shall be 35 feet, except that one foot of additional height may be added for each additional foot the building sets back from all lot lines; provided, however, that the maximum height of any such building shall be 60 feet (subject to the provisions of §14-231(2) ) .

(4) Off-street Parking. See Chapter 14-1400 of this Title.
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sun Jul 27, 2014
Michael N. answered:
The short answer is it depends. Are you going to live in the property? Is it going to be a rental or are you going to buy, fix and sell?

Try calling 5-6 contractors and get bids from your contractors after they've seen the property. ... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 13, 2009
Ti answered:
Did you ever get an answer to this question? I am considering doing the same thing. Did you do it? If so, how did it turn out and roughly what did it cos if you don't mind?
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 9, 2009
Bonn asked:
I am considering to convert elderly aunt's house to a duplex since it is too big for her to live. What steps should I take in terms of permits etc. How long would it take to have zon...
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 30, 2009
Hi Lindsey,
How long have you owned the property?
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Jan 27, 2011
Terrence Charest answered:
Well, that is a very good question. Good new - bad news.

Good news: Here's the site to go to -

Bad news: It's something you would have to ask them.

Zoning changes can be a lengthy process. Just do your homework and make sure everything is done properly. Complications can stall things for a long time.
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Thu Jan 15, 2009
Tina D'Amato answered:
I will forward this to my banker and see if he can help.
If it does I will contact you. Do you have an e-mail address you can forward to me?
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Wed Oct 4, 2017
Carol Cei answered:
Hi, Frederick,

In most cases, the city will not care if you use a commercially zoned property as a residence. Most of the zoning codes allow for more than one use.

The problem will come with financing. Typically, if a property is zoned commercial, you have to get a commercial loan. That would mean a higher interest rate and more money down. You will also pay higher appraisal fees for your loan because a commercial appraiser has to do the assignment.

The appraiser would have to find other properties with commercial zoning that have sold and then prove that the residential use did not negatively impact the value. Years ago, I sold a residential home on a street that had a commercial zoning. It was very tough but we did get it done because there were homes on most of the street, but the street was located in the commercial zone in Warminster.

Unless you think you would have some future commercial use for this property, it would be much easier to go out and find a residentially zoned property if you only want to use it for a residence.

Good luck. You can contact me if you have any other specific questions.
... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Sep 2, 2008
Chris & Stephanie Somers answered:
Mike, I like the way you think. I have thought about Brewerytown myself and have talked about it with a lot of the investors I work with. For now, I think Brewerytown has a long way to go. The statistics were skewed that Brewerytown had significant appreciation as it all came from Brewerytown Square. For now, there are just so many board ups. I think the timefram to invest in this area would need to be minimum 5 years. It would be good to pick up a property or two and keep as a rental until the area turns around.

Instead, what I have been recommending to clients has been Old Kensington (19122) - see our website page on this neighborhood at:

In addition, am much more bullish on everything closer to the river - Fishtown, Port Richmond, Bridesburg...etc. You are right that No Libs has seen that development - but the development is really just beginning in the other areas.

To me, Brewerytown is much riskier. Although the wildcard would be with that risk, there could be greater reward too.

For more info about us, visit our website below:

Good luck in your search and let us know if we can be of any help. Also keep an eye out for our lanch of an investment site for Philadelphians - will be hot and one of its kind !
... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
1 2
Search Advice