Philadelphia’s 10-Year Tax Abatement Program

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Philadelphia’s tax abatement has benefited not only current and new homeowners, but also the city and its finances. It creates jobs, encourages development, attracts new homeowners, benefits owners of existing properties and more. Some may be wondering, what is Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement exactly?

The tax abatement simply put means that if you make improvements to a piece of real estate in Philadelphia, you won’t have to pay the additional taxes the improvement causes until 10 years later. For example, if you own a home in Philadelphia that is currently valued at $150,000 and you want to redo your kitchen, which will increase the value of your home. After it’s finished, the city’s assessors come to the conclusion that your home is now worth $25,000 more, for a total value of $175,000.

With the tax abatement, the additional $25,000 value is not taxed until 10 years after the recalculation; therefore, you would be taxed as if your home was still worth $150,000 for another 10 years.

This can be extremely beneficial for new construction. A structure is seen as an improvement to a property. So, someone who owns newly built and abated property will only be taxed on the value of the land for the first ten years after the property has been built. This results in a significant tax break, considering the owner would only be paying 10-20% of what their tax bill would be without the abatement.

 

 


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Final Phase of Section 1 Now Opening

 

 

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Final Phase of Section 1 Now Opening

Philadelphia, PA – Siena Place is now entering the final phase of section I, and it’s still a great time to buy one of their popular Bella or Elena floor plans. Siena Place is a luxurious, townhome community in Packer Park, one of Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhoods. Under Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement program, homeowners will save thousands on annual real estate taxes. Please consult salesperson for details. This sweeping community of brand new brick townhomes offers city living with the amenities and conveniences you’d find in a suburban neighborhood, such as driveways and plenty of green space. All residences feature attached or detached garages, spacious owner’s suites, outdoor balconies and decks, and large eat-in kitchens. This new home community is in a convenient location to get to center city and offers six beautifully designed homes. Home prices start in the lower $400,000s and offer lots of luxurious living space. For more information about Siena Place, contact John Kriza, community sales manager, at (215) 339-5390.

The stunning Bella model starts from the mid $400s and offers 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and an attached one-car garage all in 2,896 square feet. The first floor features an open floor plan combining the dining room and living room areas, which is perfect for entertaining and daily living. The kitchen includes 42” high wall cabinets, spacious granite countertops for preparing food, and an attached breakfast area. Ascend to the second level, and you’ll find three bedrooms, one full “Jack and Jill” bathroom, and a convenient laundry room. The spacious owner’s suite is on the third level, which features a wet bar, 2 walk-in closets, a 12’ x 16’ deck, and a luxurious owner’s bath with double vanity sinks.

The fabulous Felicia model starts from the low $400s and is 2,716 square feet and offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 1 half bath, and an attached 1-car garage. The first floor features an open floor plan, and a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and 42” high wall cabinets, as well as an attached breakfast area, which is perfect for entertaining and daily living. Ascend to the second level to the owner’s suite that includes a spacious sitting area and is attached to a 19′ x 15′ deck.
Siena Place is both energy efficient and low maintenance. All homes are Energy Star Certified and have energy efficient appliances, saving you money and assuring maximum comfort. You’ll also be able to spend more time enjoying your new home as snow removal (in common areas) and trash removal are included, making Siena Place a unique community in this part of the city.

Siena Place is ideally located with respect to great Philadelphia sports & cultural facilities, restaurants, shopping, places of interest along with attractions, museums, history, and more. The Packer Park area is a historical part of the city that is experiencing growth as new communities, restaurants and retail areas move into one of Philadelphia’s most desirable and established neighborhoods.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact John Kriza at (215) 339-5390, or e-mail sales@sienaplace.com. Siena Place is open Monday through Saturday from 11-5 and Sunday from 12-5.


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Home Insurance 101

home insuranceIt is important to know the do’s and don’ts of home insurance in order to get the most out of your investment. Here’s some home insurance 101 to help know what is covered and what is not covered.

First thing’s first: Talk to multiple agents. David Thompson, an instructor with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents in Tallahassee advises people to speak with multiple agents and that the biggest mistake consumers make is buying a homeowners policy solely because it has lowest annual premium.

Know what IS covered:

If your home and its items were damaged or destroyed, generally your policy would cover “replacement cost” which is an estimate of what it would take to repair or rebuild it and to replace your belongings.

Replacement cost is typically calculated from insurance companies’ formulas and they have a number of ways of arriving at those formulas, Thompson said. The homeowner will supply basic information and the insurers will add in other current cost data.

Along with the structure and contents, insurance generally offers a certain amount of liability protection  someone is hurt in a slip-an-fall accident in your home. It also should cover living expenses if you’re unable to live in the home because of fire, etc.

Standard policies usually spell out what is covered such as fire, theft, hail, lightning, etc.

Know what is NOT covered:

Policies don’t often cover damage from floods, sewer backups, earthquakes and a few other unfortunate circumstances. Separate coverage for such events may be a good idea, especially if you live in a flood-prone or earthquake-prone zone.

Hurricanes are a special category unto themselves and the deductible (the amount the policyholder pays out-of-pocket before the coverage kicks in) is not usually a set amount; typically, it’s based on a percentage of the insured value, up to 5 percent.

If you’re planning to operate a business from your home, your business equipment most likely wouldn’t be covered in a homeowners’ claim.
In covering your possessions, insurers suggest that the best thing you can do for yourself is to take an inventory of what you own and update it constantly. Standard policies have limits on how much they may pay for your items, so if you have particularly valuable items such as furs, jewelry, etc., you may want to consider purchasing a “floater” or “rider,” which is separate coverage for those items’ full value.

 

Consider your deductible:

Policies usually have a deductible amount, so if a loss occurs, it’s a sum the policy holder would pay before the insurance coverage kicks in. Deductibles are commonly $500 or $1,000, but they can vary. The higher the deductible amount, the lower the premiums will be.

Some policies may have a “percentage deductible.” For example, if your house is insured for $100,000 and you have a 2 percent deductible, then $2,000 would be deducted from the amount of your claim if the house is a total loss.

 

For the full article on home insurance 101, click here!


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Owners Focusing on Home Improvement

 

remodelingHome owners are expected to increase their home improvement spending expenses in the next year and recent increases in home equity are partially behind that expected flow. Also, an increase in recent home sales activity is a good sign for the home improvement market, since recent home buyers usually spend about a third more on home improvements than non-movers, even when controlling for age or income differences, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity.

The LIRA projects annual spending growth from home improvements is expected to increase 4 percent by the first quarter of 2016. The predicted flow of remodeling in the coming years is driven by a rising number of older adults who will want to outfit their homes with more age-in-place home features as well as projects stimulated by an aging housing stock.

LIRA


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Tips For Moving Into Your New Home

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Settling into a new home can be a big adjustment. Moving involves a lot of planning and effort to make the process as smooth as possible. Once you get into your new home, there are a few tips to help you settle in more quickly and flawlessly:

1. New Address: It is important to file change of address forms with the post office so that your mail is sent to your new address. It’s best to do so before you move to make sure you don’t have the stress of missing important mail, and so bills in need of payment are not prolonged. You will also need to update your address in other places such as on your drivers license, voter registration, credit cards and for any subscriptions you have.

2. Store Important Documents: With all the chaos and clutter of moving, many things can get lost or temporarily misplaced in a big move. Be sure to keep important papers safe such as moving van documents and real estate papers.

3. Security: A lot of people may want to consider getting a security system if their home does not already have one. Also, consider changing your locks or make sure that they are changed before you move in. If you home is being built for you, most construction workers don’t put in permanent locks until right before you move in, but it doesn’t hurt to double check.

4. Double Check Repairs: Many repairs will have been taken care of before you move in. If there are any missed repairs, check that each item is attended to. A burned out light bulb, a chipped outlet cover, or a spot of touch-up paint that’s needed are typical items that can show up during a final walk-through.

5. Home Owners Association (HOA): It’s important to review your HOA rules, since each community’s regulations are slightly different. Find out what you can and can’t do in terms of renovations and decorations. Your HOA rules can also help you find out what the trash and recycling collection schedule is, as well as many other important details.


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6 Important Buying and Selling Tips

 

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Whether your buying or selling a home, there are always important factors you have to keep in mind in order to get the best bang for your buck. Here are some important tips to guide you in the process of buying or selling your home from Property Brothers:

1. Know the Hidden Costs of Buying a Home: Aside the cost of buying the actual home, you may have to pay for land transfer fees, mortgage costs, home insurance, legal costs and title insurance. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for a list of all the estimated closing costs to prevent any unexpected charges.

2. Never Skip the Home Inspection: Whether you’re purchasing a fixer-upper or a brand new home, never overlook the home inspection. The seller will most likely cover the cost of any problems that come up, but if you’re putting in an offer, get an inspection so no one can take the property from you and to make sure the home is a worthy investment.

3. Get to Know the Neighborhood Before Buying: The neighborhood in which you live can make a huge difference in buying a home. Taking a walk through the neighborhood where you find a house you like can give you an idea of how noisy it is, the traffic density and what your neighbors are like.

4. Don’t Fall For Love at First Sight: Tour at least 10 homes before making a decision on which one you want to buy. This will give you the chance to find out what you like and dislike to make sure the home you choose is the perfect fit for you.

5. Put Safety First When Remodeling a Home: For safety while remodeling, you need glasses, masks and gloves. Go down to the circuit breaker and make sure you shut off any electrical in the wall. Finally, just stop every once in a while and investigate inside the wall where you’ve opened it up to make sure there are no other surprises.

6. Simple Staging Tactics Go a Long Way Toward Making a Quick Sale: It is important to depersonalize your home. Put away your knickknacks and family photos and make sure there’s no clutter. Make sure your house sparkles by giving it a good cleaning. The little things make a huge difference in selling your home.


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