The Lion's Den

News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Category Archives: Rittenhouse Square

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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PHILADELPHIA, PA: Donald Pearson, chairman of Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, announced that Stephanie Biello has joined the company’s Rittenhouse Square office. is a licensed broker in Pennsylvania and has sold many millions of dollars in residential real estate since obtaining her sales license in 2002.


Stephanie Biello, Associate Broker

Stephanie Biello, Associate Broker

Based in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., but with direct sales experience in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square and East Falls areas as well, Stephanie began her career with Coldwell Banker, eventually moving into sales management with DeLuca Homes. As the New Luxury Home Sales Manager for the Coventry Meadows community, she honed her research and sales skills, consistently meeting or exceeding sales goals. In this role, she also guided buyers through the many decisions required in the home-building process and brought them to settlement.


Stephanie also has experience successfully selling luxury condominiums in Philadelphia, having been the New Luxury Condominium Sales Manager for a signature property on Rittenhouse Square where she achieved $25,000,000 in sales in a difficult economic environment. During her tenure, she received the 2010 Best Real Estate Deal in Philadelphia Award.


More recently, Stephanie served as the Community Sales Manager for Hilltop at Falls Ridge, a Westrum Development Company enclave of 128 luxury condominiums and town homes in East Falls. There, she injected new energy into the sales effort by implements new marketing strategies and revitalizing the community’s appearance and sales center.

Stephanie has been very active in continuing education, completing additional courses in real estate law, real estate finance, property valuation, real estate investment and a range of other topics.


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