Clash of the Real Estate Titans: Zillow vs. Trulia

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Zillow.com and Trulia.com are the two most popular real estate websites, where the majority of consumers go when they’re trying to find a home to buy. What you’ll find on both is syndicated information — listings copy written by the realtor; photos provided by the realtor; info about number of beds, baths, etc. But each portal, as they’re called, ups the ante by supplementing syndicated information with customized features: maps, lists of homes that have sold and how much they’ve sold for, property history, neighborhood amenities, etc.

As with the travel industry, consumers can now do much of their research online, which changes the role of real estate brokerages. For many consumers, an independent brokerage is no longer the first stop along the home-buying journey.

Companies like Zillow and Trulia don’t necessarily think of themselves as being in the business of real estate. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, describes Zillow as a media company. In his first-quarter earnings call in May, he said: “We sell ads. We don’t sell houses.”

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Jaw-dropper of the Week: $12.5M in Loveladies

Photo via Joy Luedtke Real Estate LLC

Photo via Joy Luedtke Real Estate LLC

Talk about exclusive: Not only is this Gym Wilson-designed house in Loveladies; not only is it oceanfront; not only does it have Viking/Sub Zero and Miele appliances; it even has an espresso bar and martini bar. Then there are the materials: limestone, marble, onyx and glass tile in the bathrooms; granite and stainless steel in the kitchen; Brazilian Ipe for the deck outside; glass walls and California glass for the deck rails; carved cherry wood for the full-sized elevator. And whatever material makes a room soundproof for the movie theater.

That’s just for starters. See the gallery below.

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For Sale: Home in Lizzy Haddon Neighborhood Has Dodge Ball Court

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The Lizzy Haddon neighborhood in Haddonfield is named after Elizabeth Haddon, the town’s co-foundress (her father bought the land in the late 1600s, but sent her to claim it when she was just twenty years old) known for her commitment to the flourishing community.

Haddon is said to have served as a clerk during women’s meetings for close to fifty years, while also being a pillar of charity for the poor and sick. Her public persona today is tied up with that generous image along with a notable frankness that is interlaced just right in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Elizabeth,” a poem depicting Haddon’s good deeds and her proposal to John Eustaugh.

Neighborhood history aside, here’s the house info:

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Haverford Modern: Is This a Hecto-Oxagonal-Geodesical-Solaris Home?

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TREND photo via Christopher Real Estate Services

This home, built (quite clearly) in 1974, has that era’s California modern thing going on, but also a few contemporary touches you’d see in a home today, like the glowing red sink. Though it was previously marketed “as is” after a foreclosure, it seems to have been spiffed up quite a bit, with a kitchen featuring the following: “Italian Pedini cabinetry, silestone/quartz countertops, porcelain floor tile, a conduction cooktop, chef’s gourmet range hood, two stainless steel refrigerators, a large island, double convection oven, several glass door pantries, a butler’s pantry (with additional cabinetry, sink and second fridge) and a glass backsplash.” Updating the kitchen can’t fail.

More technically, there’s a new HVAC system and a pool surrounded by a new paver patio. But the photos really demonstrate what the house has to offer. Gallery below.

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Spruce Street Gem Built by Stephen Girard with Private Park Entrance

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

In a city where founders left history on practically every block in some neighborhoods, Stephen Girard still stands out. The guy stuck around Philadelphia during two separate yellow fever outbreaks to help the sick and dying. And then he personally bailed out the government to ensure the Americans would win the War of 1812. He provided for the city’s orphans in his will, establishing Girard College (for background on the school’s eventual desegregation as well as a fascinating story about the perimeter wall, check out Hidden City). Society Hill still bears reminders of the philanthropist, especially on Spruce Street.

This enormous home was built by Girard in 1831 and has since been restored and preserved. The listing claims in excess of 4,200 square feet but the agent’s notes tell us it’s closer to 5,200 square feet. In short, it’s huge. There are plenty of period details (the usual plaster, pine floors and winding stairs found throughout Society Hill). Our favorite is the actual King of Prussia marble in the fireplaces.The home itself has four bedrooms and four full baths.

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Multimillion Dollar Clothier Estate Back on the Market

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This home — once called Selkirk — belonged to Lydia Clothier and her husband when the Main Line was dotted by many opulent Clothier family properties. Later this estate went through a religious conversion, becoming the Faith Bible Presbyterian Church in 1966 before returning to its secular life as a personal residence.

With eight bedrooms and seven baths, the home is just shy of 9,000 square feet and has 13 fireplaces, a sauna, pool, tennis courts and gardens. Like many grand estates, it’s been a tough sell. Buyers often wonder about upkeep and operating expenses, and sellers are often reluctant to go beneath a certain number. In this case, after all, it’s a historic property. It’s tough to swallow the notion that one can’t get an original asking price.

The current owners listed it for sale initially, according to Public Record, in 2010 for $2,495,000. The price came down in July 2011 to $2,345,000 and stayed right there as it went on and off the market through January 2014. Now it’s finally reduced to $1,950,000, a reduction of $395,000. Will this do the trick?

Gallery below.

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Almost Sold: $1.2M Hexagonal Home in Wynnewood

105 cherry lane wynnewood pa

Designed by late Philadelphia architect Henry Magaziner (son of the famous Louis Magaziner), this five-bedroom home was put on the market in April at $1,395,000, according to Realtor.com. Now it’s listed as pending sale at $1.2 million. Located on 1.6 acres, the unusual home features several unique details, most notably an eat-in kitchen with a skylight that looks like the portal to a midcentury modern spaceship. The home is rich with skylights and glass walls.

Below, a gallery of the home.

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5BR Center City Home for Less Than $1M

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach- Center City Walnut

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach- Center City Walnut

This home has a lot to offer for a five-bedroom, single-family Center City home priced under a million bucks. To wit: several fireplaces; a yard; one-year prepaid gated parking; a separate au pair suite with a full kitchen; multiple skylights, including one that leads to the roof via ladder; a covered portico balcony with great views; plenty of storage space; period details like tile and wood built-ins and hardwood floors; central air; a wood-burning stove in a bathroom; and a circular kitchen.

Why a circular kitchen should appeal is a mystery, but I find it very attractive. I suppose if I were a good cook, rather than a proficient microwaver, I would like the way a circle could facilitate a certain order to my food prep. But as it is now, I simply find it a comforting architectural detail. Like I kind of want to sleep in there.

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Spectacular Ceilings in Anglecot Condo

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

Built in 1883 by Wilson Eyre Jr. (you know him from the Penn Museum and the Swan Memorial Fountain), Anglecot was once a grand single family home. It’s now a grand multi-family dwelling that has been carved into nine very distinct condominiums. Unit B sold last fall. Now Unit D is on the market.

The condo is stretched over three floors of the mansion. It includes three beds and three full baths as well as a powder room. Ceilings on the main living floor are jaw-dropping, likely because what is now the living and dining area was once the ballroom in the original Anglecot configuration. The downstairs also includes two tiled fireplaces and a wall of built-in bookshelves. The galley kitchen features one of two skylights (the other is on the third floor in the studio). The master suite is accessible by a spiral staircase and includes a dressing room, sitting area and Juliet balcony.
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Local Real Estate Agents Give to Delco SPCA After Selling Homes

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Who knew house-buying could help guys like Tamale and Olive Oil?

Well, here’s a healthy dose of heart-warming information: Two real estate agents and one buyer’s agency have a partnership with the Delaware County SPCA wherein they donate a portion of property sales to the animal society.

According to the Delco SPCA’s Community Partners page, Sharon Goodspeed of Long and Foster gives to the organization each time she completes a sale with a “referral client from a volunteer, employee or someone who has adopted from the Adoption Center,” while Keller Williams’ David Slaughter gives a portion of his commission for every property he sells.

The home we chose to showcase is one represented by Linda Walters, owner of Sage Realty in the Main Line, who is committed to giving the non-profit $200 for each person who uses Sage to buy a home priced at $300,000 or more. It’s a Bryn Mawr property with tons of new features, among them a cedar shake roof, baths, and first floor addition with mudroom, laundry, and extra pantry.

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