Is Now a Good Time to Buy??

Is now a good time to buy??

Is now a good time to buy?? 🤔 🏡

In such an unusual year, many of you are still trying to figure out if now is the right time to make a move. I’d like to share with you a couple of the sentiments that I’ve been hearing.

1. Its likely prices will go up because of inflation. After an unprecedented government stimulus, expect inflation sooner or later. Investing in real estate is a great hedge against that.

2. Interest rates are at historic lows — but don’t take that for granted. Requirements and rates will worsen at some point.

3. There’s real value in comfort and security right now. What matters more to you: trying to time the bottom of the market, or finding the right home that’ll make you and your family feel comfortable and safe during this time?

4. Try to avoid the “wait and see” mentality. Nobody buys at the bottom — and knows it. Focus on quality as your priority: the best deal on the best match that meets your needs for years to come.

If you’d like a more tailored look at how the market is playing out in your desired neighborhood, just contact me today!!

Stephanie MacDonald Team

Serving Greater Philadelphia, The Mainline, Center City and South Jersey

Preparing Your Home for a Virtual Tour


Technology is helpful in so many areas of life, even real estate. Twenty years ago, if someone were moving across the country, they’d have to wait to buy a house until they arrived to start their new life, or they’d have to buy a home without seeing it in person beforehand. Both options would cause extra unwanted stress on top of moving to an unfamiliar place. Luckily, with the rise of technology, virtual tours are here to save the day

When it comes to creating a virtual tour, don’t panic. Your real estate agent will be there to guide you through the entire process. An agent may help to schedule a videographer to come to your house or utilize software like Matterport to create a virtual tour of their own that can be added to the listing. Real Estate Agents can also use FaceTime or other apps to
give their customers a tour of a house that doesn’t include a virtual tour of the listing.

There are a few ways to prepare your home before filming a virtual tour. Start by turning on all the lights in your home and opening the blinds or window coverings. You’ll need optimal lighting to get the best footage, so your realtor will most likely schedule filming in the morning or late afternoon. Take time to clean your house before the virtual tour and remove all clutter and any furniture you don’t want to be seen. Your realtor will help you with a simple staging of your home beforehand so it looks presentable in the video. The great thing about staging for a virtual tour is you’ll only have to keep it that way for a couple of hours before you can put everything back where it belongs.

Once the virtual tour of your house has been edited, it’ll be ready to show potential buyers. Your real estate agent will show you the final footage and add it to your listing. Anyone interested in taking a virtual tour can easily watch it online to get a good idea of what to expect in person.

When you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home, a virtual tour can be a great way to get more people to see it and secure a buyer in less time than a traditional open house. Not only does it give potential buyers a first glimpse, but it also ensures that only people who are seriously considering purchasing your home request a tour or show up to the open house

Ready to make your move? Give us a call and let’s chat—we’d love to help you make your real estate dreams a reality!

The Best Places to Cool Off Around the Main Line Area This Summer

Ah, summertime around the Main Line: warm rays, blue skies, and hot temperatures. While we do enjoy all of the sunshine that comes with the season, sometimes you need a little relief. Luckily, the area has plenty of swimming holes, pools, and lakes perfect for cooling off!

Whether you’re willing to take a quick trip out of the city or prefer to stay close to home, here are a few of our favorite swimming spots around the Main Line.

Bellmawr Lake

A dock at a lake.

Located just 16 minutes outside of Philadelphia, Bellmawr Lake is one of the most popular swimming spots around the city thanks to its convenient location and affordable admission fee. In addition to the lake itself, there’s also a soft white-sand beach, beach volleyball courts, a water slide, horseshoes, and picnic shelters.

An added bonus: You can also grab a drink at the on-site beach bar, and enjoy a game of mini golf once you dry off!

Atsion Recreation Area

A man grilling by a lake.

Another short trip from Philadelphia (just 45 minutes away), the Atsion Recreation Area is home to Atsion Lake, a 100-acre body of water surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to swimming in the lake, you can also rent canoes and kayaks from nearby Pinelands Adventure or hike around the two trails around the waterfront.

Feel free to pack a picnic and some cool drinks, and use the picnic pavilions and grills to enjoy some lunch. Other amenities around the area include playgrounds, athletic fields, and a concession stand. Be sure to get there before the park reaches capacity!

Clementon Park & Splash World

A girl in a water slide.

Part theme park, part water park, wholly fun—Clementon Park and Splash World is just outside of Philadelphia and offers tons of attractions to fill up your weekends. The water park has three different thrill ride slides, a giant wave pool. a lazy river, river rapids rafting, and a kids’ zone.

Since daily admission includes access to both the theme park and water park, why not hit up the rides after you dry off? From roller coasters to ferris wheels and everything in between, you’ll find plenty of rides for all ages.

Dilworth Park Fountain

People running through a fountain.

Located in the heart of the city, the Dilworth Park Fountain features a thin layer of water constantly replenished by three-foot-high bursts of water, interspersed throughout the large expanse of pavement.

The city uses rainwater collected on-site to keep the fountain filled, making it a fairly self-sufficient system. If you’re walking around the city and working up a sweat, then the Dilworth Park Fountain is the perfect place to get your feet wet and cool off!

Find Your Home around the Main Line

No matter the season, life around the Main Line is truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re thinking of buying a home here, take a look at our in-depth community guides to learn more, browse our buying resources, and use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options.

Once you’re ready to get started, just give our team a call!

Celebrate Independence Day around the Main Line with These 4th of July Events

The Main Line and Philadelphia area played a pretty important part in America’s history…so Fourth of July around here is kind of a big deal! From parades and festivals to food and fireworks, the communities around the Main Line are pulling out all the stops for Independence Day.

Still looking for holiday plans—or wondering how many celebrations you can visit in one day? Check out our highlights!

Wawa Welcome America

A crowd of people at a concert.

When: June 29th – July 4th

Where: Various locations

What: Wawa Welcome America is a huge, multi-day festival featuring free concerts, outdoor movie screenings, free museum admission, community block parties, multiple fireworks shows, and more. It all concludes on the night of the 4th, with fireworks and live performances from artists like Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor!

Narberth Fourth of July Celebration

When: July 4th, 10am

Where: Narberth Playground

What: The biggest yearly celebration in Narberth—and maybe even the biggest Fourth of July event on the Main Line—the town hosts a day full of activity. The morning starts off with a baby parade, sports contests and games, and a pie eating contest. Then, after a little break, things resume around 7pm with live music and fireworks!

July 4th in Phoenixville

Fireworks in the sky.

When: July 4th, 9:15pm

Where: Friendship Field, Fillmore & Franklin Avenue, or Reservoir Park

What: This year marks the 20th anniversary of Phoenixville’s Fourth of July celebration, where you can expect a dazzling fireworks show and on-site vendors (water ice, fries, and other tasty treats will be available).

Patriots in the Park

When: July 4th, 11am

Where: Valley Forge

What: Valley Forge was the site of a major encampment of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and the Patriots in the Park event is all about celebrating and remembering that history. Throughout the afternoon, you can enjoy tons of crafts and activities, live demonstrations, guided tours, and more—not to mention a pop-up beer garden!

Garrett Hill-Rosemont July 4th Parade

A man with his daughter on his shoulders.

When: July 4th, 10:45am

Where: Conestoga Rd & Williams Rd

What: Bryn Mawr’s most popular Independence Day event, the Garrett Hill-Rosemont Parade will feature bikes, floats, special characters, and more. After the parade, there will be festivities in Clem Macrone Park, including live entertainment, inflatables and rides, kids’ activities, and food and drink vendors.

Tredyffrin Township’s 4th of July Celebration

When: July 4th, 7:15pm

Where: Wilson Farm Park

What: Over in Wayne, the Chester County Band will be playing a set of lively patriotic music, followed up by a brilliant fireworks show at dusk. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and chairs, as well as their own food and drinks—although there will be vendors on-site!

Celebrate on the Main Line

There are plenty of reasons to find your home in a Main Line community, and the passionate and active community is certainly one of them! No matter the year or season, you’ll always find something exciting happening on the community calendar.

If you’re interested in buying a home on the Main Line, take some time to explore our community guides, browse our buying resources, and use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options. Once you’re ready to get started, just give us a call!

Going Green: Eco-Friendly Updates to Up Your Home’s Value

Eco-friendly and energy efficient upgrades aren’t just good for the earth—they’re also good for your wallet! While tried-and-true value-boosters like updated kitchens and bathrooms and new flooring still boost your price, energy-efficient additions are in, and people are willing to pay extra for them.

If you’re looking to boost your Main Line home’s value and save some in the long term, here are the best eco-friendly updates to make before selling.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows.

While replacing your windows can be a little pricy—ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $20,000 based on the number and quality of windows you choose—your savings will more than pay for it. According to a recent Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling, replacing 10 of your windows with vinyl upgrades can add almost $11,000 to your resale value.

Along with windows, replacing your door can be a much more affordable choice, but it won’t net as high of a return.

Solar Hot Water Heater

Solar hot water heaters are an energy-efficient alternative to a regular hot water heater and can decrease your water heating bills anywhere from 50% to 80%.

Many times when buyers are seriously looking at a home, they’ll ask the owners for recent utility bills. Handing over a bill that’s less than half the cost of what’s expected not only gives you a huge leg up on the competition, but it also makes your home more valuable.

Insulation

Replacing your insulation is one of the more affordable options for upgrades, coming in at just over $1,000. But when you’re reselling? New insulation—in just your attic alone—provides a 116% return on investment.

Other insulation options include your walls and basement, and these options will also up your home’s value and save money on heating and cooling bills.

Solar Panels

A solar panel.

Obviously, solar panels are going to be one of the most expensive eco-friendly upgrades. A decent portion of the profit from solar panels comes after they’ve been installed for a few years, so it might be an update you make early on in home-owning.

If you do opt to install, the average added profit for a medium-sized home with panels is just under $30,000. Plus, homes with solar panels typically sell 20% faster than those without. Of course, if electricity prices rise or are already high where you live, then you can expect that number to be a little bigger.

Smart Technology

A smart thermostat.

Smart tech in the home is one of the most popular current trends. In fact, 70% of millennials—AKA one of the largest home-buying demographics this year—say that they specifically look for homes with smart technology.

When it comes to being eco-friendly and energy-efficient, smart technology offers a few options. Smart thermostats can help regulate your home’s temperature and save your money on bills. Smart lighting can turn on and off based on when you’re at home or in certain rooms. Best of all? These are some of the most affordable upgrades, but will make your home rise above the competition.

Ready to List Your Main Line Home?

Now that you know what it takes to boost your home’s listing price, it’s time to get ready to sell. Explore some of the resources my team has to offer sellers around the Main Line, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started!

Award-Winning Restaurants to Try around the Main Line this Month

A few days ago, the annual James Beard Awards were hosted, honoring the best chefs, restaurants, food journalists, and more throughout the United States.

The awards are some of the most prestigious recognitions in the culinary world, often referred to as “the Oscars of the food world,” and Philadelphia brought home one of the highest honors. From the Outstanding Restaurant winner to several top-ranking nominees, here are the top restaurants around the Main Line to check out this month!

Zahav

Chefs in a kitchen.

The big news of the awards’ night: Philadelphia restaurant Zahav took home the title of Outstanding Restaurant, making it the best restaurant in the entire country.

Specializing in Israeli cuisine, Chef Michael Solomonov has brought the flavors from where he was born to the city where he was raised. Grilled duck hearts, branzino, chicken shishlik, fresh laffah—the menu offers a variety of traditional flavors combined to make unforgettable dishes.

Vetri Cucina

Pasta.

Tucked in an intimate townhouse on Spruce Street, Vetri Cucina chef and Philadelphia native Marc Vetri snagged a nomination for Outstanding Chef. Although the award went to a Raleigh-based chef, Marc Vetri’s dishes at Vetri Cucina can’t be missed.

The restaurant’s specialty is handcrafted pastas and creative flavorful combinations, inspired by Vetri’s years of working in top Italian kitchens—not to mention the truly unique atmosphere.

High Street Hospitality

A scallop.

Nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur, Ellen Yin of High Street Hospitality runs a number of eateries around the city, including Fork, High Street on Market, High Street on Hudson, High Street Provision, and A.Kitchen + Bar.

Coffee, pastries, and croissants. Roasted scallops, whole black bass, and potato gnocchi. Outstanding wines, Sylvetta arugula, and bison tartare. Each restaurant has a different specialty, with a focus on sustainability and local ingredients.

Royal Izakaya

Sushi.

Chef Jesse Ito, nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year, is only 29 years old but has already made a name for himself on the culinary scene. His restaurant, Royal Izayaka, is known for its Japanese fare and inventive sushi combinations.

On the menu, you’ll find sushi like salmon skin rolls, yellowtail rolls, and salmon sashimi, as well as other dishes like yaki curry tofu, pork belly, and chashu buns.

Vedge

Roasted veggies being sliced.

If you couldn’t guess from the name, Vedge is all about vegetable-based dishes. Run by Chef Rich Landua, a nominee for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, Vedge has been serving up fresh dishes for almost ten years.

The Vedge menu is seasonal, and while it is vegetable-centered, even meat-eaters will find the flavor combinations to be mouthwatering. Applewood smoked tofu, asparagus carbonara, eggplant braciole, stuffed avocado—is it time for dinner yet?

South Philly Barbacoa

tacos.

The last Philly restaurant on the list of nominees, South Philly Barbacoa‘s Chef Cristina Martinez also snagged a nomination for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. An unassuming little restaurant near Passyunk Square, South Philly Barbacoa regularly boasts lines that wrap around the block.

With highly affordable prices, authentic tacos and tortillas, and a wholly unique atmosphere, you won’t want to miss the flavors and experience that South Philly Barbacoa offers.

Explore Life around the Main Line

Award-winning restaurants are just the beginning of what life around the Main Line has to offer. Big-city amenities, suburban peace and quiet, tight-knit communities, and so much more—don’t miss out on your chance to find a home here!

When you’re ready to get started on your real estate journey—or if you have any questions about the process—just give the MacDonald Team a call!