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Property Spotlight: 1851 Germantown Avenue

Prime Location:

There are three gorgeous units available within this property located at 1851 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia. Germantown Avenue is a major roadway that conveniently leads directly into Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and I-95. Within walking distance, tenants have access to all of the necessities: grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and religious establishments.  

Updated Appliances:

Each unit provides a modern design coupled with luxurious amenities. All three of the available units are equipped with brand new kitchens and bathrooms that feature granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and state-of-the-art marble tiling. 

Spacious living:

The open floor plans within the units create a sizable environment that is perfect for entertaining guests. Additionally, the large bedrooms and bathrooms make for a comfortable living situation.


The luxuries of this property do not end with the design of the units. Tenants in any of the units will have their own washer and dryer and free access to the gym within the building. Street parking is abundant on Germantown Ave; you won’t have to park around the block or far from the building. 

Take a look below at the available properties within our 1851 Germantown Ave property.

UNIT #1 – 2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms

Click here for a virtual reality tour of unit #1!

UNIT #2 – 1 bedroom & 1 bathroom

UNIT #3 – 2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms

Renovation vs New Construction

When considering a new apartment or commercial facility for rent, it’s important to weigh the benefits between a renovated building and new construction. Renovations keep historic values alive while new construction destroys it. Additionally, new construction has proved to be less sustainable than pre-existing engineering and oftentimes is much less cost-effective.  

At GM Holdings, we appreciate the beauty and stamina that comes with the historic architecture of Philadelphia. We understand the obligation that comes with bringing an older, abandoned building back to its intended glory. That is why a great portion of our available properties are restorations and overhauls of historic buildings. Read on to further understand the benefits of renting/buying renovated versus newly constructed properties in the Philadelphia area.

Reconstruction holds intrinsic value

Rather than demolishing and rebuilding old and potentially historic buildings, renovating and rehabilitating them will provide a positive impact for the community and potential buyers. Historic and older buildings are assets to a community’s aesthetic. More often than not, newly constructed warehouses and apartment complexes will look out of place in a neighborhood with historical architecture. The culture of a community is preserved when they have a distinct presence of historical times and residents can take pride in the history of their new property.

Buildings and homes should reflect the history and style of its neighborhood and community. New construction not only looks out of place, but it also has significantly less architectural detail and charm that many older homes include. When renovating, the architect and builders can combine modern fixtures with the existing foundation. When blended with the exposed brick, stone or wood from the original building, our modern finishing touches from renovation are aesthetically pleasing and appealing to young professionals looking for life in the city. 

The benefits of renovations do not stop at artistic and cultural value. Our available restored properties offer durability that can not be found in today’s new construction processes.   

New construction

Many people believe that the older a structure is, the more structural problems it contains. However, this is not always the case. The houses and warehouses in Philadelphia are over 100 years old and are still standing solid. This speaks to the quality and durability of the original construction.

Current technology has produced a number of different materials and methods used for new construction. These components and practices are much less costly than traditional ones for construction companies, but their ineffectiveness ends up costing the tenants more money in the long run for repairs. When new apartment and office buildings in the city are not built with good-quality, durable materials they are not built to last; this leaves them fickle and prone to foundational problems. Conclusively, buildings that are built too fast and with much less emphasis on long-term quality are not the best route for potential buyers.

If not done properly, some materials used in new construction rot or corrode in wet weather or deteriorate in hot sunlight. When done cheaply and swiftly, some of the most important features within the new construction suffer. Plumbing, heating and cooling technology require time and proper materials; they are likely to fail after a while under any conditions, simply because they are not built to last anymore. Using the adequate materials, as they did for older buildings, can make a huge difference as to how long a building will stand and how often it will need repairs. This is why restoring historic buildings are a much safer bet; they have already been vetted by years of functionality. 

What you get is not necessarily what you pay for

Just because your brand new apartment or commercial space look state of the art, does not mean it is. As previously mentioned, new construction is being built with substandard materials and practices. They are put up at cheaper rates and finished faster than ever; plus, they are being rented and sold at exorbitant prices that do not reflect their physical value. The faults in new construction will ultimately cost you more in repairs than buying a structurally sound renovated space. In the end, with new construction, you are likely paying more for something of much lesser value both physically and historically. 

There is no need to splurge on brand new construction, in fact, you should not. As you can see, there are many more benefits to renting a renovated historic lot rather than brand new construction. Not only will you have the allure and charm from the original historic architecture, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are living and/or working in a space that is built to last. Check out all of GM Holdings’ available properties and see what our historic renovations in Philadelphia have to offer. 

Looking for Office Space in Philadelphia?

Find Office Space in Philadelphia

Locating commercial real estate available and choosing an office space that best fits your company’s needs can be an important and daunting task. A major expenditure of this type should not be rushed, and making a final decision takes comprehensive research and patience. You may choose to search for properties on your own, either in person or using the internet, or you can partner with a company like GM Holdings, LLC to help you through the process of finding your perfect office space in Philadelphia.

Determining Your Needs

Businesses each have their own unique needs to maximize productivity, which their office space will need to accommodate. The first step to buying or leasing a new office space is figuring out exactly what your company needs most. Not every company can utilize a space like the Sterling Paper Factory on Castor Ave, a massive 200,000 sq ft renovation project, but some larger companies may require significant square footage like this to conduct regular operations. Create a checklist of “must-have” features for your ideal office space, such as your budget, estimated square foot per employee, optimal location, accessibility to target customers, and workplace features like kitchens, conference rooms, loading docks, or green spaces. Remember to account for the future growth of your company when determining how much space you require to make sure that you don’t need to relocate as your business expands. If you find a place that satisfies all requirements but needs one or more of these workplace features, GM Holdings will work with you to develop custom build-outs to make the property your own.

Conducting the Search

Patience is the key to finding the best office space for you. The current commercial real estate industry is growing in Philadelphia, as a major tax abatement aims to stimulate and expand the office space market. Prices will be competitive, so leasers have the power to be selective. Ensure that you are looking at properties in multiple areas at multiple price points to develop an idea of which spaces will best fit your company’s needs. For example, if your company was looking for a 3,000 sq ft office, you would be inundated with options online and from real estate brokers. You could choose a custom-built space in a new office complex on Fox Street in Northeast Philly, as it offers competitive features and location. However, you could determine that an established updated warehouse of similar size in Northwest Philadelphia would best meet the needs you outlined, prioritizing price and proximity to I-95. Comparative research and a solid understanding of both what you need and what you can afford will lead you to the prime location for your new office. 

Choosing an Office Space

Before you can make your final decision, you’ll need to review and negotiate your lease. First, understand the three types of leases for commercial office spaces: Full Service, Net, and Modified Gross. 

  1. Under a full-service lease, the landlord is responsible for all expenses associated with the property, including taxes, insurance, maintenance, and any other services required for upkeep. 
  2. Net leases occur at three levels, dubbed net, double net, and triple net (NNN) respectively. Net leases require tenants to pay for property taxes in addition to monthly rent, while double net leases include both taxes and insurance. Triple net leases leave tenants responsible for tax, insurance, and maintenance, but often feature a lower rent charge to account for expected costs, evident in properties like this. This type of lease allows for the greatest tenant autonomy over the property. 
  3. Modified gross leases add a portion of monthly property tax, insurance, and maintenance costs to the tenant’s rent at a fixed rate, dividing the financial responsibility between the owner and tenants with no risk of hidden expenses or changing rates.

Once the type of lease is determined and monthly expenses are reviewed, you must negotiate the base rent, length of the lease, terms of use, reasons for termination, and future changes to the contract. By discussing and reviewing specifics about these items in your lease contract, you ensure clarity moving forward. 

Regardless of how you find it, new office space is a major investment for any business. It is sure to take time and effort to locate and negotiate a property perfect for your organization, and if you choose to enlist the help of a real estate management company like GM Holdings, LLC, we can ensure that we’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure you get the best deal on your dream office. 

Apartments with Parking in Philadelphia

Apartments with Parking in Philadelphia

Parking in any big city is a production. In Philadelphia, it’s an expensive, risky feat. For starters, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) are arguably the most well-organized governmental agency in the city. If your car is found parked a few minutes over your allotted time, there’s a good chance you’re going to receive a ticket. You can’t tell what the parking regulation signs are saying? You’re not alone! The signs are so jumbled and confusing, it’s like they’re trying to trick you. If you’re thinking about avoiding PPA and their tickets by parking in a public garage, you’re looking at $18-$40 in garage fees depending on where you are and how long you stay. PPA isn’t the only threat brought by parking on the city streets. Sideswipes, break-ins and getting stuck between two parked cars who don’t care if you have room to get out are all you have to look forward to. Read on to learn more about finding apartments with parking in Philadelphia.

The Solution

Lucky for you, we have a solution. Located at 3450 J Street, the J Street Lofts offer everything city dwellers could imagine in one building. The newly constructed lofts offer a large garage for residents to park. Keep your car off the streets and out of the overpriced public garages! When you sign on to lease an apartment in the J Street Lofts, access to the private garage is included in your rent. If you don’t own a car, you’re still in the right place. The lofts are just a couple blocks from the train station.

J Street Perks

The lofts include more than just exclusive parking and public transportation walkability. When you rent an apartment in the J Street Lofts you can expect numerous luxurious perks at an affordable price.

You’ll never have to worry about security in these lofts. There will always be a security guard in the lobby, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The building is accompanied by a large, outdoor patio that is perfect for entertaining your guests, meeting your neighbors or simply relaxing in the sun. Also available to all residents is a spacious gym equipped with cardio machines and free weights. 

Inside your apartment, you can look forward to spacious rooms with modern designs. The large windows provide ample natural light during the day and a stunning view of the city at night. 

Our Properties 

Safe, affordable and elegant. Take a look inside GM Holdings’ available properties that include private parking and many more amenities.

1822 E Glenwood Ave Unit 105 – Just Leased!

This gorgeous, clean-cut 1 bedroom apartment is conveniently located within walking distance to the train in a gated community. You can enjoy a spacious bedroom with a full bath, large closet space and windows for ample sunlight. Connected your grand living space is a full kitchen that has a bar style countertop and updated appliances. There is a large gated common outdoor area for all tenants to use as for entertaining, socializing or relaxing. Each lease comes with a parking spot in the gated lot for your convenience. All properties are under 24 hour security and surveillance for your comfort and safety. 

3450 J Street Unit 210

This stunning bi-level apartment allows you to stretch out. It offers a full kitchen with luxurious quartz countertops and stainless new appliances; perfect for entertaining friends and family. The exposed brick walls compliment the modern fixtures to create an elegant, industrial design. The large windows provide lots of natural sunlight in the living room. Upstairs on the second floor you will find a size-able bedroom that contains enough space for a king bed and an office desk. The bathroom on this level has updated appliances and a spacious shower.

3450 J Street Unit 201

Take a look inside one of our gorgeous units in the J Street Lofts. Unit 201 is an expansive 1 bedroom apartment that is located within walking distance to the train. Some of the many perks that come with renting an apartment in the J Street Lofts is the in-house washer and dryer and private parking. The unit also comes with access to the gym and large common areas both indoor and outdoor to meet all of your entertaining needs. The lofts are secured all day, everyday of the year by certified security guards, ensuring that you are able to and feel safe within your own apartment. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with parking at their home in the Philadelphia area, GM Holdings has the solution. Our gorgeous and affordable units have private parking garages as well as security guards and private gyms. Don’t miss out on these one-of-a-kind units, they are going fast! Call us today to schedule a showing or visit our website to view the rest of our available properties for rent: (215) 425-4475.

What to Consider When Moving to Philadelphia

What to Consider When Moving to Philadelphia

Living in Philly

 “City of Brotherly Love” is a fitting title for Philadelphia, a vibrant and welcoming community known best for its rich historical background and passionate sports fans. As the 6th largest city in the United States, Philadelphia offers a wide variety of opportunities and resources to residents and visitors alike. Moving to a new city can be a daunting task, but figuring out the right place for you can be easy if you ask the right questions.

Where Should I Look in the Philadelphia Area?

Philadelphia has a plethora of great neighborhoods, each of which offers distinct value to homeowners.

North Philadelphia features affordable, up and coming neighborhoods like Fishtown, Brewerytown, and Northern Liberties. Here, residents can find cozy new restaurants and breweries among the many newly renovated commercial buildings and living spaces that line the streets. 

The Center City neighborhood is truly the heart of Philly. Neighborhoods like Rittenhouse, Chinatown, and Old City attract visitors and homebuyers of all demographics with national historic sites, an extensive high-end shopping district, and a wide variety of culinary and entertainment options. The area is safe and easy to navigate on foot or using public transportation, is home to many of the largest employers in the city, and hosts several exciting events throughout the year, including Made in America and Center City District Restaurant Week. 

Despite the classic tale of the Fresh Prince, West Philadelphia is home to some of the most beautiful views in the city. West of the Schuylkill, Fairmount Park is the largest green space in the city. The park has over 2000 acres of land and stunning views of the Philly skyline from afar (We’d recommend Belmont Plateau!). The Centennial District boasts the Philadelphia Zoo, while University City acts as the central hub for young adults at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. This area is an excellent option for young adults and nature lovers who want to experience Philly without sacrificing the outdoors OR their budget.

South Philadelphia offers a large variety of experiences and communities to homeowners. Containing the famous South Street, Italian Market, and sports complex, visitors and residents fully immerse themselves in everything that makes this city special. Grab a Jim’s cheesesteak, Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries, or Ralph’s veal parmesan while exploring the diverse, progressive environment and gorgeous public and private art venues. 

Apartment Hunting in Philadelphia

If you’re looking to move to Philadelphia, or already live in Philly and are looking for a change of scenery, hit us up! We have beautiful apartments available in a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods, including Harrowgate, Fishtown, and Northern Liberties. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, contact us and we’d be happy to help you find your new Philly home.

Working in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an industry leader in energy, life sciences, healthcare services, financial services, manufacturing, and many other critical fields. With the highest number of biomedical engineering degrees in the nation, as well as America’s top business school (Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania), Philadelphia is a booming economy with job opportunities in many industries. (

 The Commute – SEPTA

Philadelphia is (unfortunately) not exempt from the challenges of densely populated urban environments, especially frequent construction and limited parking. Getting to work, or any destination, can be a daunting task in a new city, so understanding its public transportation options is vital. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) consists of a regional rail system to nearby suburbs and destinations in the Great Philadelphia Area, public bus and trolley routes within the city, and rapid transit subway lines running North-South and East-West, intersecting at City Hall. Purchasing passes and tickets for these services is easy to do online and at the stations, so get busy finding your way around!


For families with children, education is a significant factor when deciding where to live. Philadelphia has many school districts for K-12, along with exceptional universities for higher education pursuits. Central High School is one of Philadelphia Public School’s best within the city, along with Lower Merion School District outside of West Philly (alma mater of Kobe Bryant!). For exceptionally high achieving students, the Julia R. Masterman School is one of the most prolific secondary education institutions in the state (

For college students, Temple University in North Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania in University City offer valuable higher ed opportunities in a multitude of disciplines and majors. 

Port Richmond Neighborhood Guide

Port Richmond Neighborhood Guide

Port Richmond is bounded by Frankford Creek and the Delaware River on the northern and eastern. Lehigh Avenue borders it to the south and Frankford Ave to the west. The neighborhood is primarily called home by blue-collar, family-oriented people who have lived there for generations. But, this quiet community is quickly evolving.  Read on to learn everything you need to know about the neighborhood in our Port Richmond neighborhood guide.

Port Richmond Cost of living

Because it is generally cheaper than Fishtown and much less crowded, it is quickly becoming a hub for young professionals that need to commute into Center City for work. The rental market is valuable in Port Richmond as many newly-renovated, one-bedroom apartments go for $800 a month. For example, The Loom Philly is a previously abandoned warehouse that has been restored and turned into contemporary studio apartments and small offices. 

If you’re interested in buying a home, you won’t have to shell out a lot of money. Also, the median sale price for a three-bedroom, one-bath home a mere $165,000, giving young families financial flexibility. 

Cultural Value

Another pull towards this community for young people is the cultural diversity. Maryann Trombetta, President of the Port Richmond’s town watch- describes the neighborhood as, “a diverse mix of immigrant groups (Polish, Irish and Italian) whose rich ethnic traditions and cuisines contribute to the area’s vibrancy.” All walks of life are welcomed and celebrated in this community. The mesh of ethnicities in Port Richmond has attracted many new faces who are looking for a safe haven in our seemingly divided nation. 

Things to do in Port Richmond

A walkable downtown has been created by new small businesses such as Bait & Switch, an award-winning seafood spot and the River Wards Cafe, joining established favorites like Tacconelli’s Pizza and Serpico, a fine-dining hot spot. You certainly don’t need a car to enjoy yourself in this neighborhood. You also won’t need one to get to work. The train and bus route will get you anywhere in the city in 30 minutes or less. With affordable housing, diversity and lots of great bars and restaurants, the easy public transportation system is the cherry on top of Port Richmond. 

Average Rent in Philadelphia

Average Rent Cost in Philly 

Currently, the average cost of rent for an apartment in Philadelphia is $1,591 and the average apartment size is 797 square feet. Compare that to the huge rent prices in a city like Chicago, Philadelphia is seemingly an affordable place to live. With that being an average, there are obviously places far below and far beyond both of those numbers. Studio apartments are going to be below the average price, one-bedroom apartments will be about the average, and two+ bedrooms will be above average. Let’s take a closer look at what rent and living looks like in a few of Philadelphia’s most popular neighborhoods

Fishtown and Northern Liberties 

The average rent in these neighborhoods is $1,858 a month. Fishtown and Northern Liberties are on the rise as some of Philly’s most desired neighborhoods for young hipsters, professionals and students. The community is on the up and up thanks to new residential construction that is moderately priced. If you’re into music or beer, the rent is worth it; both neighborhoods boast breweries and legendary music venues like. 


With an average rent of $1,919 a month, Fairmount is home to the more established family or individual. When you think of a city, you don’t think of plush, green parks. That’s why living in Fairmount so attractive. Not only are residents a Septa stop away from the excitement of Center City, most have an easy walk or ride to the park. Other contributions to the increasing rent in Fairmount include attractions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row and the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Old City

Old city is arguably the most historic town in Philadelphia. It still has some 18th century cobblestone streets and it sits next to independence hall, where our country’s Founding Fathers declared our freedom. Because its borders are the Liberty Bell and Penn’s Landing, and it has beautiful, brand new construction, the average rent is $2,190 a month. The uppity district is filled with clothing boutiques, art galleries and farm-to-table restaurants. 

Rittenhouse Square and University City

Two of the most sought after communities in Philly are Rittenhouse Square and University City. Both have rents that average about $2,400. Because Rittenhouse is so close to the main drag of Center City and the Reading Terminal Market, it’s no surprise that the rent is expensive. University City, the heart of West Philadelphia, gets its name from harboring Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. It’s proximity to the schools makes it a coveted location for diverse youth. 

Kensington and Harrowgate

Some of the cheapest rent in the city can be found in Kensington and Harrowgate. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in these neighborhoods is $768 a month. These prices are due to the poor public school system. If you aren’t raising children, it may be a great idea for you to move into either of these communities. You will find that you are saving money and the commute into Center City is effortless.  Although both neighborhoods are being quickly revitalized, eliminating crime and new residential buildings don’t happen overnight. 

A Guide to Renting in Philadelphia

Everything you need to know about renting in Philadelphia

Finding the perfect place to rent isn’t always easy, but there is hardly a neighborhood in Philadelphia that doesn’t have something to offer. Whether money is not an issue or you are living pay-check to pay-check, all renters have to deal with landlords, security deposits and insurance. This renters guide will take you through the ins and outs of renting in Philadelphia.

Neighborhoods in Philadelphia

If you are already familiar with the city and know where you want to live, you can skip this section. If you don’t have a clue, a fun first step is to take this quiz that matches you to a neighborhood in Philly based on your income and favorite activities. The next step is to visit the neighborhood you’re matched with. Ride through it in a trolley, on your bike or walk around it. 

Take note of what you love and what you don’t. Ask yourself questions like: Are the people in the community-friendly? What will my commute to work look like? Is there a grocery store or farmers market nearby? Finally, can I see myself living here? If the cons outway the pros, move on. There are plenty of other neighborhoods to explore in Philadelphia.  

Finding a place you love

Once you know what neighborhood you’re going to rent in, you need to find a home! During this process, you are likely thinking of three main factors; price, quality, and location. If you are trying to save money, you will probably need to sacrifice either quality or location. 

Gentrification has brought many new beautiful residential buildings into the city of Philadelphia. These buildings come with increased rent in and around the building. Luckily, there are still good deals out there! Depending on the quality and location you’re searching for, rent will usually range from under a grand to upwards of 3,000 a month. Your best bet is to browse sites like Rental Beast, Trulia, Zillow and Padmapper. These sites allow you to search by size, price, and amenities. 

It’s all fun and games until you find the house you like and have to start paying your landlord.  

What your landlord is responsible for

If you know someone who has rented in the past, I’m sure you have heard horror stories about greedy and lazy landlords. It’s important to know what you’re entitled to when it comes to renting. Tenants have the right to a safe and habitable environment. Below is a list of basic requirements your landlord is responsible for in Philadelphia. 

  • Heat at 68 ̊ minimum October through April
  • A flushing toilet in a room with a closeable door 
  • Running and hot water
  • A smoke alarm 
  • Taking care of leaks/water damage
  • Exterminating insects and vermin before you move in

Knowing what your landlord is legally accountable for will give you leverage when you need them to fix or replace something within your complex. For a complete list of your rights as a renter visit the City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing. If your landlord refuses to adhere to these prerogatives, you should file a claim with Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections. Another tip here is to rent through a good property management company that will take care of maintenance for you.

Security deposits

Prior to moving in your landlord can charge you up to two months’ rent, according to Pennsylvania’s landlord-tenant laws. A security deposit is your landlord’s insurance in case you damage the property or skip out on rent. If you don’t meet the lease’s requirements, your landlord is entitled to withhold your deposit or deduct from your return. So, be sure to read your contract before signing it and once more before moving out.

The good news about the deposit is that it’s refundable if you hold up your end of the leasing agreement. The landlord is obligated to return your money in full no more than 30 days after you have surrendered the property. Surrendering the property implies you have removed all of your belongings from the grounds and have returned the keys. 

The benefits of renters insurance

Although another bill to pay may be a tough pill to swallow, imagine the cost of replacing all of the items in your house should disaster hit. While your landlord is responsible for the payment of a repaired leak, they are not obligated to pay for damages to your personal property due to said leak. That’s where renters insurance comes in handy. Renter’s policies can be purchased from several reputable insurance companies such as Geico, Allstate, Progressive and State Farm.   

The policy is pretty straightforward; your renter’s insurance will cover the losses from the contents of your home up to the amount you are insured for. It will also cover your liability for damages you are responsible for. For example, if you overran the bathtub and flooded your bathroom, that’s on you. But, if you have a decent renters insurance policy, you’re covered and ready to start renting in Philadelphia.

Welcome to Philly, make yourself at home! 

Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Guide [2019]

Real estate taxes can be complicated, especially figuring out exactly what you owe, and why. We put together this guide so you can quickly get up to speed on Philadelphia real estate taxes without skimming through a 74-page PDF from the Department of Revenue.

A property tax is a municipal tax levied by counties, cities, or special tax districts on most types of real estate – including homes, businesses, and parcels of land. The local governments impose these taxes fund school districts and make industrial repairs.

So you’re looking to move into Philadelphia, how much is this going to cost you?

Tax Rate and Property Assessment

The market value of the home determines the property tax. The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) will establish the value of the property and from there, you will be responsible for 1.3988% of the assessed value. The OPA assess properties based on their size, age, location and use (home or business).

The tax bill is issued on the first day of the year and payment is due before/on March 31. However, if you pay before the last day of February, you are entitled to a 1% discount. For example, if your property is assessed at a $250,000 value, your annual property tax will be about $3,497. At this value, paying before the last day in February will save you around $35.

If you disagree with the assessed market value of your property, you can file an appeal with the city of Philadelphia.

It would be who of you to pay your taxes on time if not early. Should you fail to pay your property taxes on time, the city will charge you with interest. The additional payments will accumulate at the rate of 1.5% per month, beginning April 1 until January 1 of the following year. If you find yourself withholding payments until January 1st of the following year, the city of Philadelphia is entitled to:

  • A 15% addition to the principal balance
  • Register your taxes as delinquent
  • Liens are filed (A lien is a notice attached to your property telling the world that a creditor claims you owe it some money)
  • Begin the process of selling your home

Tax Reductions

With rates as low as 0.90% within the state of Pennsylvania, Philly is certainly not the cheapest county to own property. Fortunately, if you qualify as low income or are a senior, the city will work with you on the amount and date of payment.

Installment plans can be made for residents who are in the lowest tax bracket based on their monthly income. While you are typically supposed to have the payment in by March 31, those who are eligible can pay their property taxes through installments over 12 months. You do not qualify for the above installment plan if your household income per-person is greater than the amount below.

Specifically for seniors, the city of Philadelphia will freeze property taxes. If the rate of property tax increase, seniors can pay the rate they originally purchased the house with. You are entitled to a property tax freeze if you are:

  • A person 65 years or older
  • A person who lives in the same household with their spouse who is 65 years or older
  • A person aged 50 years or older who is a widow of someone who has reached the age of 50 before passing away

Tax Exemptions

Similarly to property tax deductions, some people in Philadelphia are exempt from paying this tax completely. Non-profit organizations with storefronts are not required to pay a property tax. Also, in order to encourage the rehabilitation of neighborhoods, Philadelphia offers abatements during the duration of construction. The city is also sensitive to catastrophic loss. If a fire or natural disaster affected your residence or business, you are not obligated to pay a property tax while it’s being repaired.

Just about anywhere in the world, the newer, bigger and more luxurious your property is, the more you will pay. The same is true in Philadelphia.

How to Stage a House Properly

How to Stage a House Properly in 5 Simple Steps

Moving is one of the most stressful parts of life. By completing these 5 steps before prospective buyers view your home, you can rest assured you are putting the best version of your house on the market.   

Staging a house is a strategic process that involves cleaning and rearranging the inside and outside of your home. Some of you are probably thinking why do I need to stage my home when I will be emptying the place before anyone moves in? The answer is simple: a staged home invites buyers to envision themselves living in the space. If your house is a mess and smells like kitty litter, buyers will be distracted from its genuine value. Even if you keep a tidy household, it’s not ready for buyers to visit.

While it can be a bit time consuming, it is well worth it. The National Association of Realtors reported that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market. If that fact is not compelling enough, the same report shows that staging increased the number of money buyers offered between one and five percent (compared to similar homes on the market that weren’t staged).   

1. Bye, Bye Clutter

Say goodbye to the refrigerator magnets and picture frames. Decluttering your home is the first and foremost step to a perfectly staged home. This does not mean shoving all of your clothes and knick-knacks into the closets and cabinets – buyers look in there too!

  • You should remove all personal items that are not pristine or necessary (dingy bath towels, greasy cookbooks, etc.)
  • Clear all of your surfaces; this gives the potential buyer space to imagine what they’ll put there next. (You can leave a bowl of fruit in the kitchen or a candle on your bedside table, for example.)
  • Remove any furniture that is not required, or may be out of place. (Take your desk out of your dining room.)

If purging all of your ancillary household items sounds like a nightmare, think of it as a head start on packing!

2. Deep clean

After your house is decluttered, the next step is to do a deep clean. Start by opening up all of the windows to get fresh air circulating throughout the entire house. Nothing will put off a buyer more than an unfamiliar must. Odors from pets, food, and bathrooms should all be eliminated.  Spraying a mild air freshener is always a good idea, too.

With a fresh scent in the air, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. From the grout in your shower to the streaks on your windows, every surface in your property should be sparkling. Bathroom/kitchen appliances and all countertops should be spotless. You’ll need a dust rag and a vacuum for the finishing touches. If you have a large home, it’s worth hiring help!  It’s important for potential buyers to feel they’re moving into a space that has been maintained.

3. Curb appeal

Although it is not always the right thing to do, humans will naturally judge a book by its cover. This means potential buyers make their first impressions of a home before they enter. If a buyer pulls up to a visibly unkept exterior, they won’t be as enticed to see what’s outside. Here are some things to keep in mind when increasing your home’s curb appeal.

  • Mow the lawn!***
  • Power-wash your house and walkways.
  • Clean your windows.
  • Make sure your street address number is visible.
  • Trim overgrown bushes.
  • Plant flowers.
  • Add a welcome mat!

4. Optimize your space

You decluttered in step one, so the room that used to hold all your random unpacked boxes and racks of clothes should already be empty. Now you need to turn that unused room into a functional space. This does not have to mean designing an entire room! Don’t be afraid to keep it simple by adding a chair and desk. But you can make your home stand apart from the others even more. It’s as easy as throwing in some free weights, a jump rope, and a yoga mat to stage a home gym. You could also put down some large pillows, a shag carpet, and hanging string lights to emulate a meditation room. The possibilities are endless for this one.

5. Finishing touches

The hard part is over; the junk and gunk are gone, your exterior is gorgeous and you have repurposed the storage room. The final step to staging your home is critical. When you think you have everything just right, do a final walk through, looking at everything through a visitors lense. Be certain that all closets and cabinets are organized, all bookshelves are dusted and carpets vacuumed. Standing house plants in the entryway, flowers in a vase on the dining room table, and a plate of homemade cookies on the kitchen counter are the perfect finishing touches to your staged home. Oh, and don’t forget to take out the trash!

While it might cost you a few bucks, staging your home for potential buyers will profit you in the long run. With proven decreases in time spent on the market and increases in offers above the listing price, staging your home is a must.