Ten States Where Healthy Living Rules

run-750465_1280We are well into the new year, and there’s no better time to examine your commitment to get in shape. Whether you resolved to eat well and work out in 2017 or you already lead a healthy lifestyle year-round, residing in a state where healthy living is popular can help you achieve your goals. The leading states in health and wellness are scattered across the country, which means you can work on your well-being from a variety of places that you can call home.

Consider just some of the reasons why healthy living rules in the following 10 states:

  1. Hawaii: Hawaii is the top state for healthy living with its high levels of physical activity, low rates of obesity and smoking, and wide access to health care.
  2. Vermont: Vermont is ranked second for healthy living because of its low smoking and drinking rates coupled with the highest high school graduation rate in the United States and widespread health insurance coverage.
  3. Massachusetts: Massachusetts ranks third for healthy living thanks to its low smoking and obesity rates alongside its highly educated residents who make healthy choices.
  4. Connecticut: Connecticut is ranked fourth for healthy living because its residents enjoy high incomes and, as a result, improved health.
  5. Minnesota: Minnesota ranks fifth for healthy living with low rates of obesity, diabetes, and poverty as well as high levels of education and physical activity.
  6. New Hampshire: New Hampshire is ranked sixth for healthy living, as the majority of its residents are considered to be in good or excellent health, while also avoiding obesity, premature death, and life-threatening illnesses.
  7. Colorado: Colorado ranks seventh for healthy living because it residents have high rates of education and physical activity as well as enjoy the country’s lowest rates of obesity and diabetes.
  8. Utah: Utah is ranked eighth for healthy living thanks to its high reported levels of physical activity and record-low rates of smoking, drinking, and diabetes.
  9. Washington: Washington ranks ninth for healthy living because of its healthy behaviors, including exercising outside of work and eating fruits and vegetables.
  10. New Jersey: New Jersey is ranked tenth for healthy living because its residents lack unhealthy behaviors, like smoking, and have low risks for premature death.

If you want to take the next step toward getting your life on track, consider the lifestyle in these 10 states where healthy living rules. Avoiding bad habits, eating well, and focusing on fitness are excellent ways to transform your lifestyle and embrace the best version of yourself. Healthy living is possible no matter where you live, so begin making changes today and start treating your body with the care.

If you’d like to discover these and other locations across the states where healthy living is popular, please contact me for more information.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

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Is This Your Situation: Preparing to Put Your House on the Market This Spring?

    1. Eliminate clutter. Have you had a pile of mail sitting on your kitchen counter for over a month? Is your junk drawer overflowing? A little untidiness is OK, but too much may turn off buyers. Spend some time decreasing clutter on surfaces and shelves.
    1. Prepare for the move. That doesn’t mean you have to box up your silverware and use plastic cutlery, but sort through the basement, attic, garage and closets to decide what you’ll keep, toss, donate or sell. Consider renting a storage facility to box up items you don’t use regularly, in order to make your home look and feel larger and neater.
    1. Make any necessary repairs. Fix any leaky faucets, and oil any squeaky doors. You don’t have to repair every last thing that is broken. Request a consultation and I’ll tell you what you should do to make your house more sellable.  I can even bring in a home inspector to assess your home’s value.
    1. Freshen up the interior. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can liven things up. Cleaning windows, carpets, blind or curtains will also do wonders.
  1. Gather the paperwork. Get your paperwork in order that details the repairs and maintenance you’ve done on your home, such as roof fixes or HVAC inspections.

There are many things you can do to get your house ready to sell this spring. For more tips and advice, do not hesitate to contact me.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

5 Design Tips for Loft Space

Your typical loft goes something like this: built-in storage, the bed located in the living room and tiny furniture to accommodate the small space. But there are ways to get the most out of your space, even if there’s not much of it. If you live in a loft, take a look at these five design tips for maximizing space while creating a stylish environment.

Complimentary Furniture 

When you live in a space where each room blends into the next, it’s important to have furniture that creates cohesiveness. You can have eclectic furniture as long as it is intentional and there is a clear style – otherwise your loft will feel like three different styles and spaces. Mid Century modern furniture is a great style that will pull your entire loft space together.

Blended Color Scheme

When you can view your entire loft in one cursory glance, having all of your colors work together is crucial. You want your loft to have colors that complement each other and are harmonious. This will make your loft feel cleaner, more chic and cohesive. One way to highlight your loft’s small size is to throw in color schemes that do not work well together.

Define Rooms

Use area rugs to define each room, but make sure that you are not using rugs that are too small for the room. Choose area rugs that are big enough so that all of the furniture fits on it. You can always place a smaller rug on top to add some softness and color. In your dining area, get a rug that is large enough to pull your chair out from the table without going outside the rug’s parameters.

Utilize Space

In lofts, closets may not be enough space for all of your stuff. You may need to build your own storage shelving, closets or cabinets from floor to ceiling. Even if building the storage is pricey, it will make your life easier while living in a loft. Utilize dual-purpose furniture pieces as well. Choose an ottoman that has storage or purchase a bed that has built-in storage underneath.

Install a Loft Bed

Maximize your vertical space by installing a loft bed. This will also give you privacy in your bedroom. Use a space saving ladder to climb in and out of your loft bed to give you even more space.

For more ideas on designing your space, contact me today.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

What’s New From Viking And Miele

You’ll find cleaner lines, quicker cleanup and improved performance in the newest products from luxury appliance makers Viking and Miele.

Viking’s Latest

Professional 7 Series Range

This 23,000 BTU monster features eight, elevated surface burners; LED lights on a control panel and a grease-accumulating trough for quick cleanup.

Professional French-Door Double Oven

Forget the double door oven you’re used to. This new model has three doors that provide total access to the oven’s interior. The top two doors swing to the side, so you don’t have to bend over the oven door to check the roast.

Professional Built-In Refrigeration

Pick from 12 finishes that let his fridge blend seamlessly into your cabinetry. Plus, this new refrigerator boats spill-proof shelves that contain drips; bright, energy-efficient LED lighting; and an air purifier that helps eliminate airborne bacteria, mold and odors.

Miele’s Latest

M Touch 30-inch Convection Oven

This new convention technology features “Moisture Plus,” which automatically injects a burst of steam into the oven. Use it to give bread a crisp crust and to make your meat particularly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Generation 6000 Coffee Systems

This novel whole bean coffee system includes a sensor that adjusts the spout height to different cup and glass sizes to eliminate splashing; makes two cups of coffee at one time; and has an “EasyClick” milk container you can store in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

K30000 Refrigerator-Freezer

This lovely has stainless-steel rimmed drawers; LED strips that make food easy to see; and a humidity-controlled drawer that keeps food fresh four-times (reputedly) longer than the average fridge.

When it’s time to remodel or upgrade your kitchen, before you call a contractor, contact me and we can discuss which projects are likely to have a good return on investment.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

Philadelphia’s Top 5 Sales In January 2018

The top 5 sales in Philadelphia last month totaled over $13M.  Number one on the list was a 7,100 Sq Ft townhome on Delancey St in Rittenhouse Square.  Following was a stunning tri-level penthouse at The Ayer condominium in Philadelphia’s Washington Square neighborhood.  The Ayer penthouse was the home of former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

To view the listings click here.

  1.  2101 Delancey St.
    Rittenhouse Square – 19103
    $3,750,000Delancey St
    Photo courtesy of BHHS Fox & Roach – Rittenhouse Hotel
  2. The Ayer – 210 W Washington Sq Unit #PH
    Washington Square – 19106
    $3,000,000The Ayer
    Photo courtesy of BHHS Fox & Roach – Rittenhouse Hotel
  3. One Riverside – 210 S 25th St #1503, Philadelphia 19103
    Fitler Square – 19103
    $2,595,000one-riverside.jpeg
    Photo courtesy of Dranoff Properties Realty, Inc
  4. Van Pelt Mews – 111 S Van Pelt St
    Rittenhouse Square – 19103
    $2,228,270Van pelt mews
    Photo courtesy of BHHS Fox & Roach – Rittenhouse Hotel
  5. Symphony House – 440 S Broad St #2802
    Avenue of the Arts – 19146
    $1,790,000Symphony-House-5To inquire about buying or selling a home in Philadelphia, contact me today.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

What Affects Your Home’s Value Most?

Sellers are looking to get the maximum amount for their home, and some have an inflated idea of what to expect when finding the value of their home. Do home renovations truly give you a big return on the investment? Take a look at these important factors that impact your home’s value.

Location: Place Is Everything

You know what they say – “location, location, location!” The location includes factors such as the price of nearby homes, the quality of the school district and the sense of community. Many people seek out communities with walkable amenities. For millennials, it is important for them to be in the center of the action and within walking distance of the places they need to get to. 

Layout and Size

Homebuyers used to compete for homes with ample square footage, but many have fallen out of love with large homes. With larger homes come more housework and more maintenance to keep up the home’s grand appearance. The layout is a big factor because even if you don’t have a 3,300-square-foot home, an open concept can make your 2,000-square-foot home look just as spacious.

The number of bedrooms has a big influence on a home’s value, so think hard before you put up a wall to separate one room into two. Fewer but larger bedrooms increase the value of homes.

Age and Condition

Older, historic homes and new, modern homes are traditionally more valuable than homes built in the middle of that timeline. As homes get older, they generally lose value, but there is also that point where homes become so aged that they have historical value. Along with the age of the home, the condition of the home also matters. Buyers are more willing to pay $20,000 more for a home that is in excellent condition than they are for a house that needs $5,000 worth of work.

Putting in the Right Upgrades

Renovations can positively affect your home’s value, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. Although, if your home is over-the-top improved compared with other homes in the neighborhood, it can actually hurt your property’s value. Hire an appraiser to prepare a feasibility analysis to help you determine the impact renovations will have on your home’s value.

Unless you live in an upscale neighborhood where built-in wine cellars and chef’s kitchens are considered normal, you may want to save the money on expensive finishes and go for the more basic options. You should also be sure to keep a record of the repairs and upgrades to show potential buyers that the home has been well-maintained and taken care of.

Contact me today for more helpful tips to increase your home’s value.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

5 Tips for Winning Negotiations with Your Contractor

Big home improvement projects can leave a big hole in your pocket, but you can lower your costs by negotiating the contract price and terms. If you are looking for ways to save money on home improvements, take a look at these five tips for winning negotiations with contractors.

Research

Always make sure to verify contractors’ credentials and experience before you hire them. If you are comfortable working with a contractor with less experience and less time in the trade, you may be able to secure a much lower price. Just understand that there may be a quality and timeframe tradeoff. You can also research the costs of the materials needed for the project for a bargaining chip. A material cost list will help you decide whether or not the contractor is charging higher prices for the supply portion of the project.

Shop Around

It’s hard to tell whether you are getting a great deal on your home improvement project without having anything to compare the price to. Get at least three comparable bids or estimates for the project. Contractors may be willing to lower their cost or negotiate particular terms in the contract if they are competing for the work. Make sure to provide the contractor with as many project details as you can and read each estimate thoroughly.

Buy Your Own Supplies

Many contractors offer to buy the supplies needed for the project and tack the cost onto the estimate or bill you for them later. Contractors often buy supplies from the same supplier, meaning they may not be getting them at the best price. Save yourself money by offering to buy the supplies yourself to make sure you are getting the best deals.

Timing

The cost of your home project will depend somewhat on the season you want the work done. You might be able to save money by seeking estimates during a slow construction season when contractors will be more willing to negotiate the costs. If you live in a cold climate and you want to add a room to your home, consider calling contractors for an estimate in the winter. The work may not be able to start until warmer weather, but you may be able to lock in their winter rates.

Approach the Contractor as an Ally

If you approach the pricing as if the contractor is against you, this will establish a hostile relationship. Treat contractors as allies and they will work with you to find the right price for your budget. Show them respect and ask for changes that may help you save money on the projects. For example, you may be able to find less expensive countertops or a different type of flooring at a better rate.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you comparison shop for a home contractor. For even more ways to save on home improvements and repairs, feel free to contact me today.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

17 Essentials You Need in Your Kitchen Renovation

As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. For those who frequently entertain, you know the one place guests gather in the most is the kitchen. So, when it comes to reviving or remodeling the central artery, form and function are critical, but what about the extras?

It’s easy to focus all of your attention on the design and appliances, but this is also the time to integrate other upgrades that make your kitchen special. Here are 17 additional items to ponder.

  1. A pass-through space from the kitchen to the entertainment zone to save time and prevent dropped dishes.
  2. A dedicated ice maker for cold and blended drinks. These are very handy in the summer months.
  3. Charging stations for electronic devices via outlet strips or an exclusive counter top space. Reduce clutter and frantically searching for your phone or tablet.
  4. Consider a beverage fridge for adult beverages or the kids’ favorite flavor.
  5. Recycling drawers to keep plastics and cardboard out of sight until pickup day. Also, trash drawers keep it out of sight and away from kids or pets.
  6. Additional electrical outlets, either in the wall or power strip form are always helpful.
  7. Changing out lighting for more energy efficiency versions, such as LED lighting, which costs less to run and doesn’t produce as much heat as traditional bulbs.
  8. An on-counter air switch for the garbage disposal. There is no electrical connection from the disposal adapter to the air switch button – a rubber airline connects the appliance with the control.
  9. A conversation inspiring sink is never a bad idea. We often hear the benefits of having a farmhouse sink.
  10. Additional seating options for guests and the kids. An extended countertop as a breakfast bar is one example.
  11. Patterned floors add dimension and visual interest; you can even choose vinyl in unusual patterns.
  12. Skinny cabinets for baking sheets or cutting boards.
  13. Rolling racks or a lazy susan adds more storage options for corners or remaining space.
  14. Self-closing drawers for future finger safety. These are the choice for families with toddlers.
  15. Touch faucets are must-haves for chefs who regularly juggle ingredients or raw proteins. Plus, they are fun to use.
  16. Warming drawers or double ovens mean no portion of the meal is served cold. They are particularly useful when cooking for large parties.
  17. Toe-kick drawers that take up the space between your standard bottom cabinets and the floor. These add extra storage to the kitchen and eliminate the need to sweep dust bunnies.

If you have questions about home renovations and property value, contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

Secret Luxury Real Estate Cash Buyers to Be Outed

For the first time, the United States Treasury Department is taking action against the practice of shell corporations being used to protect the identities of all-cash buyers of luxury real estate. In an effort to reduce the flow of illicit money, the Treasury Department is now identifying and tracking these secret buyers. The trial program will run from March through August in select markets. If it is successful, the Treasury Department is considering making this a permanent requirement throughout the U.S.

The government efforts are part of a larger initiative that is focusing on money laundering in real estate. In recent years there has been a rise of shell companies being used by foreign real estate buyers to hide funds in the purchases of multimillion-dollar homes. Real estate professionals in the luxury market often were neither aware of who the homebuyers were nor legally required to know their identities.

To combat this practice, title insurance companies will be required to discover and report to the Treasury Department the identities of buyers. This information will be compiled into a database that will be available to law enforcement.

The markets where this program is slated to begin are high-end luxury real estate locations in Manhattan and Miami. In Manhattan, the new rules would require the reporting of buyers’ identities for properties with sale prices of over $3 million. In Miami, the rules would require the reporting of sale prices over $1 million. New York City’s finance department already has a rule in place where shell companies that buy real estate must report their identities to the city, but the new rule will be greater in scope.

No More Secret Identities

The effect on the real estate industry will be multifaceted. The new requirements for reporting will primarily have an impact on title insurance companies. It will be challenging in some cases to report identities, as buyers who are shielding illicit funds often layer shell corporations and further mask their identities by using the names of lawyers and other nominees. Title companies that do not comply and shield information will face penalties. Ultimately, the Treasury Department is seeking the actual owners, or beneficial owners, behind the shell companies.

There are some concerns about how this practice will affect the real estate market. In some situations, clients wish to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, and in other cases shell corporations are being set up for tax or estate-planning purposes. There is a possibility that the rules will hamper the sale of properties listed in the specified price ranges.

For information on buying or selling a luxury property, contact me today.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

4 Questions to Ask the HOA Before Buying a Home

So you’ve found your dream home in your dream  neighborhood, but there’s just one thing…there’s an HOA. Before you sign on the dotted line and purchase a home with an HOA, there are a few questions you should ask to ensure that you will be happy with the home and the HOA.

What rules are there?

Potential homeowners should request a recent copy of the HOA’s rules before deciding on moving to the neighborhood. You can ask your real estate agent to obtain a copy or you can contact the HOA directly. HOA’s can restrict your home’s paint colors, landscaping, and so on, so it’s important that you know the exact rules before purchasing the home to make sure that you are willing to abide by them.

When are payments due and what do they cover?

Homeowners who own homes with an HOA must pay dues, typically monthly, quarterly or annually. It’s wise to learn how often assessments can increase, by how much and how the organization collects delinquent assessments. HOA fees normally cover things such as trash collection, snow removal and maintenance in common areas such as playgrounds and pools. As a potential homebuyer, you’ll want to find out the specific details from the HOA before purchasing the home.

What is the HOA’s annual budget, does the community have a reserve fund and how does the budget compare to other communities?

HOAs need to set aside money for long-term maintenance, repairs and replacements. If the HOA doesn’t have an adequate reserve fund, then you may be charged extra dues or experience an increase in regular assessments when major projects are in the works. As a potential homebuyer, you’ll want to know what the HOA’s financial situation truly is.

What is the history and current state of the HOA?

Does the HOA have a history of litigation or charging special assessments? Do they have ongoing issues with residents? You should review minutes of previous HOA meetings and learn who runs the association as well as talk with current residents in the community to get a feel for the type of environment. Don’t just talk to one person – talk to as many residents as possible to make sure that you are moving into a great community that you can call home for a while.

Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a home without doing research on the HOA. If you blindly go into the home buying process and don’t do your research, you may find that you are drowning in HOA fees and that you are in a community that no one is happy in. Talk to residents to learn how they feel about the community to determine whether you would be happy living there and if the HOA fees are worth it.

If you have questions about buying or selling a home with an HOA, contact me for more information.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com