5 Signs Its Time To Sell Your Home

As a homeowner, it can be difficult to envision parting with your biggest investment. There’s a great detail of sentiment attached to your home, and many memories you have made with your family there. But things change in life and there will likely be a time when you find that selling your home is the smartest choice. Here are five signs that this time has come:

You Feel Cramped

If you have lived in your home for quite a while and had children since living there, you may feel like you have simply outgrown your space. This is perfectly normal and not a bad thing at all. As your family grows — whether it’s literally, emotionally or both — you will need a home that fits your current needs now compared with those of the past.

It Feels Empty

On the flip side, your home could just as easily begin to feel too spacious. This is especially true if your children have grown up and gone off to college. Even if you don’t have kids, many people buy a large home thinking they’ll love the extra space, only to find themselves later longing for something cozier.

Your Commute Has Changed, and Not for the Better

It doesn’t take a full-on relocation to throw off your daily commute. A perfect 20-minute drive can easily turn into an hour or more before your eyes if you get a new job or if your company moves offices. If this happens, it’s more than a good enough reason to consider living elsewhere. After all, your commute is a big part of your daily life.

Money Is Tight

If you are spending more time crunching your finances than you once were, it’s probably a sign that your mortgage is stretching your budget thinner than it should. There’s no reason to feel upset or embarrassed about moving to a more affordable home. Doing so can be the difference between going into debt and getting back on solid ground.

You Don’t Love the Neighborhood

All the research in the world won’t tell you whether a neighborhood is truly a perfect fit for you and your family. It takes living there every day to decide whether you want to continue to invest in a neighborhood. Variables such as barking dogs, construction and crime are also difficult-to-predict factors that can force you to move elsewhere.

There are dozens of common triggers for selling a home, and these are just a few. Remember to focus on what’s important to you and best suits your finances.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, contact me for a no-obligation home evaluation.

agent_photo_120_1476534012Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved

6 Foods That Help Boost Your Metabolism

Everyone wants to boost their metabolism, whether they are looking to lose weight or gain muscle. While engaging in regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism, there are several nutritious foods that can do this work too and keep your body running smoothly.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a tasty snack and filled with antioxidants, but what does this actually mean? Oxidation occurs when your body is under stress. This process breaks down certain chemicals, causing free radicals to build up in your body. These can cause long-term harm, but antioxidants can drastically reduce the occurrence of oxidation, keeping your cells healthier and your muscles lean.

2. Whey Protein

Whey protein is a popular way to increase your protein intake. This supplement can help your body produce muscle building amino acids as well as give your immune system a boost. It can be mixed with oatmeal or many other breakfast foods to give you a great, healthy start to your morning.

3. Spinach

Green vegetables such as spinach are filled with important vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis in addition to improving brain function and motor skills. Spinach is a great addition to a meal of healthy grains and lean protein or can be mixed into a tasty green smoothie.

4. Almonds

Almonds are one of the most nutritionally dense nuts, including high levels of vitamin E, fiber, protein and lots of good fats. This makes a handful of almonds a great snack that will keep you full for a surprisingly long time.

5. Salmon

Fish is often included in lists of healthy foods because of its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are great for your cardiovascular health, decreasing the occurrence of stroke, heart attack and arrhythmias. Cold water fish, such as salmon, are particularly high in omega-3s. Salmon also has a particularly high concentration of selenium, vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorous and magnesium. Baked salmon can be a great addition to your lunch or dinner.

6. Oatmeal

While sugary instant oatmeal is not a particularly nutritious choice, slow cooked rolled oats are high in fiber and other nutrients. This food is full of important vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, selenium and magnesium. When eaten regularly, oatmeal can help to lower your cholesterol and even out your insulin levels. This is because oatmeal slows the digestion of starchy foods, helping to keep your blood sugar levels more consistent – a huge benefit for diabetics. Eating oatmeal for breakfast has also been proven to decrease your risk for heart disease.

Including these foods in your weekly meal plan can help to ensure that you are filling your plate with nutritious foods that will boost your metabolism and help you achieve your fitness goals.

Do you have any healthy lifestyle tips to share?

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

Getting Started With Juicing: Choosing The Right Juicer

Plants truly do heal and by juicing to remove the pulp before you consume them, you receive an instant infusion of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your bloodstream.

On average, a 16oz serving of juice is equivalent to 2 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.  For most of us, the likelihood of drinking one glass of juice is much higher than the likelihood of sitting down to a 2-pound plate of vegetables.  This is where the power lies.

To get started on your juicing journey, it helps to understand the two main types of juicers.

1.  Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are great for those just starting out.  They use centrifugal force to extract juice and are fast, fairly easy to clean and because they have a large feed tube, most produce can be juiced whole which eliminates the need for pre-chopping.

These juicers are also among the most affordable, basic models from Cuisinart and Breville can run as low as $75-$150.

One disadvantage of the centrifugal juicer is oxidation.  When juice is expelled through centrifugal force it is exposed to oxygen which leaves it vulnerable to rapid nutrient loss.  Consider how quickly an apple turns brown when exposed to air, it’s the same concept.

Again, if you are just starting out this type of juicer will serve you just fine as you beign to experiment with different recipes and learn to incorporate juicing into your regular routine.

2.  Masticating or Cold Press

This next type of juicer is for those who have committed to regular juicing and are looking to retain more nutritional value than found with a centrifugal model.  While cold press juicers can require a bit more of an investment upfront,  you’ll find that they are well worth it.

Rather than extracting juice through centrifugal force, masticating juicers use a blade to first grind the produce into a pulp before pressing it through a strainer.  The juice and pulp are expelled separately and the juice is less vulnerable to oxidation.

These types of juicers also produce less waste, which is important if you’re spending money on high quality, organic produce.  You’ll want to use this method to ensure you squeeze every bit of nutrients from your pulp.

On the downside, masticating or press juicers is require a little more prep time.  The feed tube is typically smaller and requires the produce to be chopped before juicing.

They can also be on the pricier side.  A good masticating juicer will run $250-300, but if cared for properly it will serve you for years to come.  I personally have a Champion juicer, which has been running solid for over 10 years.

When bottled properly, the juice from a press model can stay fresh for up to 3 days. Many of the juice bars selling bottled juice are using commercial grade cold press juicers, which offers a great convenience for cleansing and enjoying the benefits of juice on the go.

If you do buy juice instead of making your own, look for an unpasteurized product. One quick check you can make: If the shelf life is longer than 3 days, it has been pasteurized. Pasteurization kills all the good stuff in the juice and you will be left with little more than flavored water.

Whichever way you choose, getting started is the first step.  It takes time to incorporate juicing in to your schedule, but you’ll find in time, the process will become easier and more convenient to maintain.

The result is worth the effort.  Once you experience the increased energy and health benefits of juicing, you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

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

1706 Rittenhouse: Philadelphia’s Premier Luxury Condo

For the past two years, 1706 Rittenhouse has held the record for the highest residential sale in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

Last summer, sales in the building totaled nearly $14 million dollars including a 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath residence on the 25th floor which sold for $7.3M.  The sale was Philadelphia’s highest for 2016 next to the $14 million dollar penthouse which sold at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in June.

Currently there are just three units available at 1706 Rittenhouse ranging from $5 to $7 Million.  Each residence is a full-floor offering panoramic views of the city.

To learn more about the residences at 1706 Rittenhouse, contact Heidi Logan at hlogan@HeidiLogan.com or visit www.HeidiLogan.com/1706-Rittenhouse

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent working in Center City Philadelphia.
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What You Need To Fix In Your Home Before Listing

It is understandable that you might not want to put a lot of money into the home that you are leaving, but many things that might just be a minor annoyance to you will be a total deal breaker for your potential buyer. More than one-third of sales fall through due to home inspection, environmental or appraisal issues. Taking care of these problems before you list the house can help to ensure that the sale will go through without any major hiccups.

Another deal killer can be cosmetic factors that take away from the home’s appearance. First impressions are very important, so cosmetic issues can take away from the overall appeal of the home and turn away buyers that might otherwise be interested in the property. Many buyers want a home that is move-in ready. They will not want to replace hardware or re-carpet a room right after they purchase the home. Here is a list of 3 things you must fix before putting your home up for sale.

1. Paint and Dated Wallpaper

Many sellers think that they might avoid removing dated wallpaper by lowering the price of the home or providing prospective buyers with an allowance to have it replaced. However, this is not usually an effective strategy since many buyers might not have an additional budget for repairs or they might not want to start a home improvement project right after they purchase the property. It is better to take care of the home’s appearance before you list it—even though that is not usually the most convenient option.

2. Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of home fires, so your potential buyer and home inspector will want any issues promptly addressed. Fortunately, many electrical issues are fairly simple to fix. Replacing a circuit breaker or rewiring an outlet is a simple task for most experienced electricians and should not cost you too much money in the long run. Most electrical repairs will cost between $200 and $1500 depending on the scope of the problem.

3. Necessary Roof Repairs

Continual poor drainage or simply just age can cause long-term damage to your roof. If your home has any bent, broken or curled shingles, it is a good idea to replace these right away—before the problem spreads. Damaged shingles can result in leaks and water damage. If the issue is not addressed, you will end up needing a new roof sooner rather than later. Replacing an entire roof will cost you upwards of $10,000, so it is best to take care of smaller issues as they arise.

If you take care of these three common issues before listing your home, you should have no problem going through with the sale once you find a buyer.

For more information on preparing your home to sell, contact me at hlogan@HeidiLogan.com.

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

Should You Go Grain Free?

You probably have at least one friend that has decided to eliminate wheat and/or other grains for health reasons. Maybe you’ve considered doing the same yourself, but are unsure if it is the right decision. While grain-free diets work for some people, it is also possible to live a healthy lifestyle that includes grains. Keep reading to learn more about what a grain-free diet actually means.

Medical Issues 

Several health problems can make it difficult or even dangerous for individuals with these conditions to include wheat or other grains in their diet.

The most commonly discussed grain allergy is celiac disease. This condition entails a severe allergy to wheat, one that can cause long term damage to the digestive system if wheat is consumed, even in small doses. However, there are many other people with less serious wheat sensitivity who may only need to reduce their consumption of grains to feel their best.

While cutting out wheat eliminates a lot of commonly consumed foods, there are lots of other grains that are safe, such as quinoa, millet, teff, buckwheat and amaranth.

Alternatives to Wheat

Due to its relatively high protein content, quinoa is commonly touted as one of the healthiest grains. In fact, it is quickly becoming known as a superfood. It is typically grown organically, making it a popular choice for other health conscious individuals. This grain is also high in fiber and contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, lysine, manganese and B2. While this grain originated in South America, it is so easy to grow and cook that it is now eaten all over the world.

Paleo Diets

Many individuals choose to follow diets that restrict or eliminate their consumption of grains. One such example of this is the paleo diet. These diets are meant to mimic the diets of early hunters and gatherers. As such, they are heavy in vegetables and animal proteins and light in sugars and other processed foods.

Many people experience success in following a grain-free diet while trying to lose weight. A grain-free diet eliminates most of the processed foods that commonly line the pantry. Cutting out these processed foods has huge health benefits, lowering most people’s sodium intake and cutting back on the amount of refined sugars that they consume.

If you are interested in adopting a healthier diet, try going grain-free. You will be pleasantly surprised by the multitude of results from weight loss to improved levels of vitamins and nutrients in your body.

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

Is This Your Situation: How Do I Know If My Asking Price Is Too High?

If your house has not sold and has been on the market longer than the average number of days for your area, price may be the issue.  There are a few signs that can indicate your price is too high and it may be time for an adjustment — let’s take a look at a few:

1. No Showings

One indicator that your price may be too high is that you have no showings. Look at data from other homes for sale in your area.  Your agent should be able to tell you what the average number of showings has been for your price range.  If you are not seeing the same amount of activity then chances are your price is too high and potential buyers are being deterred from taking an initial look.

2. Feedback From Showings

If you are getting a decent number of showings but still no bites, it’s likely your agent has received feedback indicating why.  Feedback from the buyer’s agent will often indicate when the price is too high. While this can sometimes be used as a negotiation tactic, if an offer doesn’t follow, then the feedback was probably sincere. Also, if you are seeing multiple feedback reports stating the price is too high then it is a definite indicator that it’s time to make a change.

3. New Comparables

There are several factors that influence how your initial listing price was determined.  Most likely one of them was recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. Comparable sales are often taken within the last six months, however the market may have changed by the time you’re ready to sell. If another comparable property sold in your area since your listing was active, then it may be wise to re-evaluate your asking price against the most recent sale.

4. Lower Price Competition

If new houses have come on the market since your listing went live and are similar to your property or feature more amenities, they may hurt your asking price. You may be forced to lower your price in order to compete. On the other hand, if a property comes on the market and it has more to offer than yours but is priced similarly to your home, this is another indicator that you are priced too high.

5. You Didn’t Listen to Your Agent’s Advice

Often, sellers may feel their home is worth more than what their agent recommends and choose to list high.  Choosing to list higher than your agent’s recommendation can hurt you from the start.  While sentimental ties and personalized upgrades may cause the value to be higher in your opinion, the only thing that matters when selling a home is what the market indicates and what buyers have shown they are willing to pay.  Most of the time your agent should understand what is happening in the market and their advice on pricing should be taken seriously. If you decided to list at your own price and it has not sold after a reasonable number of days on the market then you may have overpriced your home.

To see what your house is worth or discuss pricing strategies further contact me directly.

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