The Lion's Den

News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Category Archives: Chestnut Hill


Yes, the spring real-estate market has sprung…

Regardless of what time of year it is experts agree that staging one’s home is important when listing it for sale. They’re right. In my experience, the benefits of staging are two-fold. Firstly, when listing photos are taken, staged homes’ photos tend to turn out more appealing. The extra effort absolutely translates to the photographs. Secondly, when potential buyers walk through that front door, a carefully curated home will leave a better impression than an interior that has not had any special attention. As a real estate photographer, I deeply appreciate it when a seller has staged their home. However, staging goes beyond a good vacuuming/dusting. The devil is in the details, as it were. Continue reading

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Tucked away in Chestnut Hill, the Vanna Venturi House.

One of our newest listings is garnering a lot of press this week. Melanie Stecura of our Philadelphia office listed the Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood. The availability of this house for the first time since 1973 is causing Continue reading

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Donald Pearson, chairman of Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, announced that established Chestnut Hill real estate agents Continue reading

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If you’d like to get acquainted with the most popular neighborhoods in Philadelphia, here’s a quick intro to the city. Neighborhood videos will be posted shortly for those who want a deeper look at life in Society Hill, Rittenhouse Square, Chestnut Hill and more.

Philadelphia from Kurfiss Sotheby’s on Vimeo.

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AVI, the Actual Value Initiative, is the City of Philadelphia’s effort to overhaul its property tax system.   It is a hot-button issue in the city as property owners were mailed their new assessments beginning  in mid-February.


This re-evaluation has been a long time coming: Many properties’ assessments bore little relationship to their actual market value, and some assessments were completely off-kilter compared to similar properties in the same neighborhood or even right next door. Quite a few properties had not been formally reassessed since the 1980s. Knowing that they paid quite a bit less in property taxes than residents of other major cities (but more in wage taxes), many Philadelphians seemed happy to back-burner the issue.


No longer can anyone hide, however. As this map shows, certain neighborhoods (look for the red on the map) will see significant increases in their taxes beginning with property taxes due in early 2014. Many of these are places that have gentrified in the past 15 years — Graduate Hospital, Point Breeze (still on its way), Northern Liberties, and others. For those property owners who are shocked by the numbers in their reassessment, it is up to them to act and work to prove that a property’s market value is being over-estimated. Proposals to provide tax relief are in the works, and a homestead exemption is already available. The homestead exemption is explained here.


For a more complete, easy-to-read overview of the AVI initiative, please see this report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.




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