Smooth Sailing for Northeast Philadelphia Real Estate

By: Rick Titus

Early signs look as if 2008 will be a solid year for the Northeast Philadelphia real estate market. Low interest rates and media accounts of a trepid market have many buyers considering a new home purchase in 2008. Sellers, who have suffered through a lackluster fall and winter can look forward to this increase in buyer interest. While the pendulum still looks to be on the buyer's side, a combination of factors will allow for a smooth transition into the spring market.

For home buyers with good credit, borrowing money is as cheap as it has been in years. Interest Rates on a 30 Year Fixed mortgage continue to hover not far off of 40 year historic lows. Even borrowers with not so perfect credit or limited down payment money are finding FHA mortgages are still allowing them to realize their dream of home ownership. While the days of buyers being able to buy a home with 100% financing may be over for the foreseeable future, FHA's 3% of the purchase price requirement and lower mortgage insurance than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still mean a large number of buyers will be able to get into their first home fairly easily.

Northeast Philadelphia continues to be an excellent value for 1st time buyers as well as trade-up and downsizing home buyers. With a wide variety of home choices ranging from under $100,000 to over $500,000 or more, the Northeast offers something for everyone regardless of their stage in life. The vast majority of home sales in the Northeast occur in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range. Buyer's can choose from rowhouses, twins, condos, and singles.

The majority of home buyers in Northeast Philadelphia tend to be 1st time buyers. This makes the Northeast the lifeblood of the entire Philadelphia Real Estate Market. In order for a seller to trade up to a new or bigger home they often must first sell their existing home to cash out the equity. Philadelphians moving up to high end homes sometimes have a daisy chain of 3 or 4 levels of contingent sales in order to get into their new home. It all traces back to that original $100,000 to $150,000 transaction in Wissinoming or Mayfair. A robust Northeast Philadelphia real estate market translates to overall robust Philadelphia and Suburban homes sales.

Media reports and a slower winter sales season have caused sellers to be more willing to negotiate over price. The days of putting a home on the market and having multiple offers within a few days will not return in the near future. Instead, realistic pricing and good home prep will be the key to getting a home sold within a month or two of it being put on the market. Reasonable sellers that put a little elbow grease into getting their home ready should have little fear of the home not selling. While no one can predict the future, I am quite optimistic that 2008 will be a solid year for the Northeast Philly Real estate market.

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