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How to Navigate Philly’s Most Competitive Neighborhoods for Homebuyers

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Whether you’re looking for new construction in Point Breeze, ready to take on a renovation project in West Philly, escape to urban bliss in Fishtown, or live maintenance-free in a trendy condo, Philly real estate is hotter than ever for every style homeowner. There are no shortage of ‘hoods with a unique personality, but when everyone is hunting at the same time, it can be tough to lock down your perfect match.

That’s where Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associates can help when it comes to helping you make competitive offers, ask the right questions and be matched with your dream home.

Best for building from the ground up: Pennsport and Point Breeze

“There are a lot of young people moving into the neighborhood so there’s a growing demand for more coffee shops, restaurants, and brunch spots,” says Coldwell Banker Preferred agent Harkeet Chadha. “It’s slowly but steadily changing the area.”

Chadha works consistently with listings in several trending South Philly neighborhoods like Point Breeze, Pennsport, and Graduate Hospital. While he says that most homebuyers in these parts of town are young professionals, he’s also seen a growing number of ‘empty nesters’ looking for investments that bring them back to the city.

“Homes are new, have tax abatement, modern amenities, all the cool tech features, builders warranty, and are close to public transportation,” says Chadha.

Buyer advice: Slow and steady won’t win the race in South Philly. These homes move fast, with many selling in pre-construction.

“TV shows give buyers a false notion that low-balling sellers is acceptable–maybe in some slower markets, but not in a hot market such as Philadelphia,” Chadha says. “Align yourself with an agent who has knowledge about the area, it will give you a slight advantage over your competition.”

Rehab heaven: West Philadelphia

Need some space? West Philly, University City, Overbrook and Grays Ferry are great locations for families who want a little more square footage but want to be within walking distance to work and public transportation.

“Plus, if you work for the University of Pennsylvania or Drexel University, both employers offer a home buying incentive,” says Coldwell Banker Preferred agent Dee Greene Hill.

Dozens of homes in the area have the potential to be strong investments over the next five to 10 years. Over the past year, home values increased six percent in West Philadelphia to a median of $334,000 (an all-time high for the neighborhood) and home sales were up 24 percent.

Buyer advice: “Reach out to an agent as soon as you start thinking about purchasing a home–even if it’s six to nine months away,” says Hill. “You want a knowledgeable and experienced person in your corner–especially in a competitive neighborhood.”

Diamonds in the rough: Go off the grid

“Neighborhoods like Fishtown, Kensington, Passyunk and Point Breeze continue to generate buzz on buyer’s lists, but many house hunters are being more strategic about buying toward the borders of those neighborhoods where they see development taking place,” says Coldwell Banker Preferred agent Katie Easterly.

Buyer advice: “You have to find ways to stand out from the competition,” says Easterly, “sometimes that’s as simple as showing up ready to play ball.”

She recommends working with a real estate agent to learn as much as you can about the current market, develop realistic expectations, and have negotiations ready in the back of your mind.

Ready to assemble your dream team? For more insider information on how you can get started on your home search in the Philadelphia area visit, Coldwell Banker Preferred online at coldwellbankerhomes.com/philadelphia.