If you’ve walked around Philadelphia’s older neighborhoods, you’ve probably seen the medallions affixed to the front of older houses. Some have four hands, clasping each other at the wrist. Some have a tree or a little wagon. These are fire insurance marks, used to identify the houses insured by each company.
Fire insurance in this country started in the 18th century. Because Philadelphia was so awesome back then, many of the most successful early attempts at fire insurance happened here, and each insurance company developed a very distinctive logo.
Don't miss the open house this weekend at 21 Green Gable Ln. in Newtown.
If you’re shopping for houses this weekend in the city, suburbs or at the shore, you’ll want to add these open houses to your must-see list. 904 Brushtown Road, Gwynedd Valley Open House: May 5, 1-3 p.m. Grand estate home with high ceiling, tumbled limestone foyer and sweeping staircase. Price: $2,650,000 Bed: 5 Bath: 5.2 [...]
At long last, the saga of the City vs. the Cradle of Liberty chapter of the Boy Scouts is over. The Scouts have owned one of the most beautiful buildings on the Parkway since 1928, but the City only started waging legal war against them since 2008. From the Daily News, emphasis ours:
In its suit five years ago, the administratino argued that the Scouts were violating the city’s anti-discrimination policies by operating on city property and refusing membership to homosexuals.
Sì, è vero, ma ora è tutto finito because a settlement has been reached. It’s pretty far from what the Scouts initially wanted for the improvements they made to the building, which was in the millions. But it is $825,000, which ain’t chump change.
The name may recall the online greeting card company JibJab, but HomeJab has a more serious purpose. Cousins Joe and Chris Jesuele have started a business together that provides real estate agents with an online hub for professionally produced property videos. Though neither of them would put it this way, most YouTube real estate videos are pretty terrible–grainy, shaky, with awful music and camerawork that makes it hard to get a sense of the property. Yet many realtors will tell you video is a key part of their marketing, even if they just repost photographs in a video format.
Enter the cousins, whose family has real estate in the blood. Chris’ grandfather from Italy was a homebuilder, Joe’s grandfather built houses, and Chris’ dad is a real estate investor. They started building houses five years ago in Northern Liberties and found that video worked wonders, even during the recession. In fact, they ended up selling every house they built in less than 60 days.
Exquisite Albemarle was once part of the legendary Main Line Estate Ardrossan Farm.
SPOTLIGHT LISTING: Legendary Main Line Estate If you have $25 million burning a hole in your pocket, may we suggest spending it on Albemarle, an exquisite 17-acre estate in Villanova with a pedigree more impressive than most people. The property was originally part of 750-acre Ardrossan Farm—a legendary Main Line estate owned by Col. Robert [...]
The cat challenging that pedestal to a staring contest is our favorite of the photos.
The national real estate website Estately, based in Seattle but with a virtual outpost in Philly, is highly attuned to the best and worst of listings photos. Philadelphia has not disappointed. In fact, Estately blogger Ryan Nickum has a Tumblr account devoted to Philadelphia basement bar photos. Yesterday, though, he explicated in almost hermeneutical detail [...]
Since 2007, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has, in the interest of bringing peace to the world, been taking his six-story-high giant rubber duck across the world and sailing it in harbors and rivers. So far, he’s hit Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Auckland and Amsterdam. Right now the duck is delighting people in Hong Kong harbor, including toddler Yu Kwan Yee who said, “The duckie is swimming.”
Where will the duck go next? It’s obvious: Philadelphia.
It’s true, Hofman hasn’t mentioned Philadelphia–or indeed the U.S.–at all. But it just seems so intuitive. Perhaps this can be added to the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Until then, enjoy the below video of the duck in action.
Last week we reported that City Council–having repeatedly asked the mayor and the Office of Property Assessment to detail how it came up with the new property assessments–finally got an answer in the form of a 15-page document (embedded below). Chief tax assessor Richie McKeithen warned Council that it wouldn’t make sense to anyone other than…well, him, maybe. But it seems some Council members read it anyway, including David Oh, who feels it’s incomplete.
“It’s kind of like providing a recipe on making a salad, and generally saying ‘you chop up some vegetables, you mix em together and throw some dressing on it.’” said Oh. “You can’t duplicate that. We need to be able to verify what was done in order to verify it’s within acceptable standards of assessments.”
Realtor Q &A: Main Line Housing Market Industry vet Tom Lowy has been in the real estate industry for 9 years, selling homes along the Main Line, from Bryn Mawr to Malvern. We had the chance to talk with him about the Main Line home market and what buyers and sellers can expect. How would you [...]