4 Amazing Development Opportunities!!

Not yet on the MLS

1713 S. 9th Street. Passyunk Square. Huge 2 story corner home with GARAGE, deck, 4 bedrooms and two baths. Needs updating but in great condition! Asking $225k

1318 S Opal, Point Breeze, $79k. Two stories, needs complete renovation.

1320 S Cleveland, Point Breeze, $89k. Two stories, needs complete renovation.

14 lots in Northern Liberties, fully approved for town homes with garages and parking. $150k each!

Contact Jim Onesti for more info. 215.440.2052 or jonesti@mccannteam.com
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors & The McCann Team. 215.627.6005

Meredith School District HOME/ and or LOT for sale!! 627 Catharine!!! NOT IN MLS. Build your Dream home

Build your Dream home in Bella Vista/Queen Village, in the Meredith School District…

17 x 75 foot lot for sale with zoning approvals to build a 3-story, 3000 square foot custom home  $399,900

OR   cropped-jim-81111-030.jpg

Our Builder client will build you your dream home, total sale price $999,900

Contact Jim Onesti, McCann Team, Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors for details!!

215-440-2052   215-627-6005

jonesti@mccannteam.com

Jim Headshot Flyers & Print

Pro’s and Cons of Refinancing… www.PhillyRealEstateInvestorDeals.com

2Up in the air about refinancing your mortgage?

That’s okay. Refinancing, which is essentially the process of paying off your existing mortgage with a new one, isn’t the right option for everyone. And for this reason, it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons.

By doing so, you can determine if you’ll actually benefit from refinancing.

For example, you could be lowering your interest rate by 25 percent, but if that comes with thousands of dollars in closing costs, it could take a long time to break even, says Shashank Shekhar, a loan originator with Arcus Lending in San Jose, California.

Not an easy decision is it? To help, we’ve hashed out the pluses and minuses of refinancing to see if it makes sense for you and your financial situation.

[Think refinancing is right for you? Click to compare rates from multiple lenders now.]

Keep reading to learn more…

Pro #1: You Could Score a Lower Interest Rate

This is perhaps the biggest pro of refinancing your mortgage: a lower interest rate.

Of course, you’ll need to first qualify for the lower rate, but if you do – you could be saving a lot of money. In fact, even an interest rate that’s a half percent less could garner a good chunk of savings.

Just consider this example from the Federal Reserve, which compares the monthly payments on a 30-year fixed-rate loan of $200,000 at 5.5 and 6 percent interest.

Monthly payment @ 6 percent: $1,199
Monthly payment @ 5.5 percent: $1,136
The difference each month is: $63
Over 10 years, you will save: $7,560

Now, imagine the savings if you could lower your interest rate by 1 or 2 percent…

[Want to lower your interest rate? Click to compare rates from multiple lenders now.]

Con #1: Refinancing fees

Getting a lower interest rate sounds great, right? Of course it does. But like most things in life, there are costs that come with refinancing  – and these costs could really add up.

“It is not unusual to pay 3 percent to 6 percent of your outstanding principal in refinancing fees,” according to the Federal Reserve, which adds that fees could include an application fee, loan origination fee, an appraisal fee, and more. “These expenses are in addition to any prepayment penalties or other costs for paying off any mortgages you might have.”

A prepayment penalty, in case you’re wondering “is a fee that lenders might charge if you pay off your mortgage loan early, including for refinancing,” according to the Federal Reserve.

So, before you refinance, you’ll want to do some research and make sure that the refinancing savings will outweigh any and all fees.

Pro #2: You Can Shorten the Length of Your Mortgage

What exactly is the benefit of refinancing to a shorter term mortgage, you ask?

For starters, shorter-term mortgages – like a 15-year mortgage versus a 30-year mortgage – generally has lower interest rates, according to the Federal Reserve.

What’s more, the shorter your mortgage term, the sooner you’ll be out of debt and the less interest you’ll have to pay in the long run.

For example, the Federal Reserve says to compare the total interest costs for a fixed-rate loan of $200,000 at 6 percent for 30 years with a fixed-rate loan at 5.5 percent for 15 years.

Monthly payment Total interest
30-year loan @ 6 percent $1,199 $231,640
15-year loan @ 5 percent $1,634 $94,120

While the total interest savings are indeed significant, “The trade-off is that your monthly payments usually are higher because you are paying more of the principal each month,” says the Federal Reserve.

[Ready to switch to a 15-year loan? Click to compare rates from multiple lenders now.]

Con #2: If You Move Out of Your Home Soon, Refinancing Could Cost You

Planning to move out of your home in the next few years? If so, it may not be the right time to refinance.

Why? Because if you move soon after you refinance, “The monthly savings gained from lower monthly payments may not exceed the costs of refinancing,” the Federal Reserve says.

If you will be moving – and you still want to refinance – the Federal Reserve suggests using a break-even calculation, which could help you figure out whether it’s a smart decision.

Unfortunately, sudden changes like job relocation or a divorce may be out of your hands.

But if you do sense that the future in your home is a bit unstable, you may want to hold off on refinancing.

Pro #3: You Could Switch to a Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM)

Cheat sheet: an interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) remains the same for the life of the loan, while an interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) adjusts periodically based on an index.

And if you currently have an ARM, now is a great time to refinance to an FRM.

In fact, with rates at historic lows, an average of 3.39 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage as of November 1, according to federal lender, Freddie Mac, there may not be a better time to refinance.

“Given the uncertainty in the real estate market and the historical low rates on offer now, I always advise my clients to go with a FRM wherever possible,” explains Shekhar.

So, to avoid any uncertainty with your mortgage payments, you may want to refinance and lock in today’s record-low rates.

If you’re still unsure, then consider this: If you stick with an ARM and rates go up in the next few years, will you be in utter regret?

[Think a fixed-rate mortgage is right for you? Click to compare refinance mortgage rates now.]

Con #3: If Your Credit Score is Bad, Refinancing May Yield a Higher Rate

Have you struggled to make your last few credit card payments? Has your credit score suffered as a result?

If so, refinancing may not be in your best interest, especially since a bad credit score often means having a higher rate when you refinance, explains Shekhar.

“For every 20 point drop in credit from 740, you pay higher in closing cost, interest rate, or both,” says Shekhar. “In some cases, your closing cost can increase by 2 percent or more.”

As you can see, a bad credit score could definitely work against you during the refinancing process.

So, before you refinance, it might be a good idea to try and improve your score by paying credit card bills on time and keeping balances low on your credit cards, according to myFICO, the consumer division of the Fair Isaac Corporation, which provides a global standard for measuring credit risk.

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More Changes Coming To Philadelphia’s Zoning Code ?

Additional Changes Proposed to Philadelphia Zoning Code Will Affect Developers and Property Owners
Philadelphia’s first new Zoning Code in decades, effective on August 22, 2012, was the culmination of a more than a four-year reform process, involving many stakeholders.  Elliott Greenleaf’s Rich DeMarco was a integral member of the Zoning Code Commission that prepared the new zoning code. The new Code is expected to streamline the zoning process and spur beneficial development in Philadelphia.

In the last two weeks, Philadelphia’s City Council began hearings on additional significant changes, which will affect developers and property owners, including City Council Bill Number 120656. This Bill significantly alters dimensional and parking requirements for multi-family dwellings within two very common zoning classifications that permit multi-family use, RM-1 and CMX-2, rendering it difficult, if not impossible, to construct triplexes on lots within these classifications. Because of the commonality of substandard lot sizes within the city and within these classifications, the changes in this bill will cause numerous new projects to require zoning variances, resulting in numerous cases requiring Zoning Board review. It would also encourage the construction of unfeasible duplexes with overly large units, especially if the developer wanted to proceed “over the counter.”

This proposed changes moved out of the Council’s Rules Committee with a favorable recommendation on October 31, 2012; however, a critical amendment offered by the Building Industry Association (which proposes to lessen the adverse impact of the changes) was not voted on by the Committee, and must be submitted on the Council floor at an upcoming Council meeting. The passage of this amendment will be critical to mitigating the Bill’s adverse impact on development.

Property owners in Philadelphia with plans to construct multi-family dwellings on their lots should immediately become familiar with Bill 120656.

The REAL, Real Estate Recovery is in full swing!!!

Great article from Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors CEO, Larry Flick  http://blog.prufoxroach.com/2012/10/26/fall-winter-2012-chairmans-report-its-real-its-now/

It’s Real…It’s Now!

It’s real.  Our real estate market has definitely turned the corner. Year over year pended sales have been ahead each month since April 2011, and home prices leveled out at the end of that year as well.

Data aside, the activity we’ve seen in 2012 shows that the pent-up housing demand from those five challenging years is now being unleashed. As we move forward, I believe our economy and real estate market will continue to grow at a slow and steady pace. Why?

  • Over the past five years, many potential buyers experienced life events, both good and bad, that would have prompted them to buy a new home. They held off because they were concerned about the economy and how it might affect their employment or future earnings. Now, homebuyers are overcoming these hesitations, gaining confidence, and deciding it’s time to find the house that meets their present needs.
  • Consumers are now confident that prices have stabilized.
  • Interest rates are unbelievably low, and will rise as the economy improves.

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Home Prices rebound to 2003 levels!!!

Great news!  RISMedia has reported that it’s officially the summer of 2003!  Well, at least according to the average home price.  And signs of a stronger market today, mean a step in the right direction- a direction in which even Realtors outside of the top metros are seeing results.  Read the following article written by Zoe Eisenberg to get a better understanding of what this means for you, pricing and interest rates, and the market.

“More great market news came through yesterday: According to S&P/Case-Shiller, in July, the average home price rose to the same level as those seen during summer 2003, when the housing boom first started its journey toward the 2006 peak. While this may not signify that we are currently standing on the cusp of a market boom, it does show a significant turnaround, and perhaps hints at a definite end to real estate’s bleak streak.

The recent S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index showed that in July, prices increased by 1.5 percent for the 10-City Composite and by 1.6 percent for the 20-City Composite.

This improvement marks the third straight month that prices rose in all 20 major markets followed by the index—which covers more than 80 percent of the U.S. housing market. Additionally, numbers show that if not for a .06 decline in Detroit in April, there would have been a four month improvement streak.

When compared to a year earlier, the index proved to be up 1.2 percent, an improvement from the year-over-year change reported for June. This marked the first month that prices were higher than they were the previous year.

“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a recent release.

“Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”

Buy Investment Real Estate with the funds in your IRA !!!!!!

Your not limited to buying stocks, Bonds and Mutual funds in your IRA. you can open a Self Directed IRA. continue to contribute to your IRA for the tax benefits but unlock those funds and buy a Triplex or a property to fix up and flip!!!!!

A self-directed IRA is the lesser known of IRA options and requires account owners to make active investments on behalf of the plan. To open one, an owner must hire a trustee or custodian to hold the IRA assets and be responsible for administering the account and filing required documents with the IRS.

Similar to other IRA accounts, owners can invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds, but they can also invest in things that investment houses like Charles Schwabb, Fidelity and Vanguard don’t offer, like small businesses, boat slips, storage units, parking lots, land and homes.

Investors may still be leery of investing in the housing market, but real estate investor Scott FladHammer, says real estate can be a good long-term investment and generate higher returns than the stock market.

Investing in real-estate also provides a lot of options. “Owning real estate can be very rewarding, especially for people who are investing in what they know,” says Amy Gates, an independent advisor offering investment for Trust Advisory Group.

But the process of using a self-directed IRA to jump into investing in real estate requires preparation and caution.

“The move can make sense in certain circumstances, but only when the investor fully understands both the positives and negatives and the requirements involved,” cautions Ken Himmler, president of Los Angeles-based wealth management firm Integrated Asset Management.

Interested investors should seek legal advice, as well as input from an accountant and real estate agent for a well-rounded picture. They should also be familiar with the rules for the type of IRA they’re using. Whether it is a Simple IRA, Roth or Traditional IRA, SEP or Solo 401(k), contribution limits still apply, and there are penalties for early withdrawals.

Here are five things to keep in mind when considering investing in real estate through a self-directed IRA.

It takes time. Gates advises devising a timeline based on the account-opening process, transferring or rollover of assets and finding the actual investment.

It normally takes two to three weeks to open an account at a typical brokerage firm, and you’ll need to find a custodian who will hold real estate inside an IRA. The down payment must come from IRA funds, so rollovers may be required.

When a real estate investment is contracted, the IRA account holder reviews and signs the purchase agreement and then the custodian must approve it and release of funds to the title company. All of this takes time, so it’s prudent to learn as much as you can before jumping into a decision.

You cannot take advantage of IRA investments until you retire. You can’t use the fund to pay off your mortgage or live in or use the property you buy as an investment in the self-directed IRA.

“You buy it because it is anticipated to appreciate in value, plain and simple,” Gates says. You also lose the depreciation tax deduction that you would otherwise receive on an investment property.

Your spouse, immediate families or companies you have a 50% interest in cannot be involved. While it is possible for the property to be held as tenants in common, an IRA is an individual account—and you must avoid any conflicts of interest.

Self-dealing or enabling a transaction that is beneficial to you on the other end is strictly prohibited. You also cannot use the IRA as collateral for a loan; it should be treated like other retirement accounts.

It’s a lot of work. “While late-night infomercials highlight the potential benefits, many investors don’t fully appreciate or understand the reporting and administrative requirements involved in using a self-directed IRA to buy real estate,” according to Himmler. For example, the investor should not be doing the work on the property, especially because he can’t get reimbursed.

All expenses, maintenance, taxes and insurance are paid from the IRA. If there are association dues or golf memberships, those all must be withdrawn from the IRA. Finding tenants and contractors may take time, and every penny in and out must be approved by the custodian. FladHammer recommends having a reputable property management company in place to navigate the day-to-day duties.

All income from the property is tax deferred. That includes rental income and capital gains, Gates says. If you plan to be in a lower tax bracket at retirement, this is quite beneficial. You can also make tax deductible contributions to the IRA.