Originally National Rolling Mills, the site of  Uptown Worthington by O’Neill Properties gets its name from Worthington Steel which acquired National Rolling Mills in the 1980’s.

The site has been under development for several years.  Most recently a new Target and Wegman’s opened in 2010.  O’Neill Properties, which is suing Citizens Bank over financing, will turn over part of the site on Matthews Road to PNC Bank for a new branch to open next year.  Also, O’Neill has changed the original plan to include 753 apartments instead of luxury condos.

Here’s the piece from the Daily Local News about the most recent changes to the development:

“Bank, Apartments coming to Uptown Worthington”

Think for a minute about those things in which we take pride.   Those of you who know me personally know that I’m fiercely proud of several things.  Chief among them:   a proud Villanova and Conestoga graduate;  a proud Catholic and  Italian;  my integrity and sincerity.

But there’s an intense pride in our geographic associations that unites us.  I’m not only a Chester County native–I’m a Pennsylvanian.  I’m part of that humble  colony created by William Penn on his vision of “Greene Country Towns.”  I share the pride of those noble ideals that were so successful and helped create our great industries that changed the world–Philco,  Atwater-Kent, Bethlehem Steel, The Pennsylvania Railroad,  Smith-Kline, Rohm & Haas, and Sun Oil just to name a few.  I share the pride of our world famous institutions–the Philadelphia Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, and of course Pennsylvania State University.

Every Pennsylvanian knows the pride I’m talking about.  You don’t have to be a Penn State grad to feel the pride of Penn State’s world famous football and academics.  You don’t have to be a Penn Stater to feel the intensity of walking toward Beaver Stadium on any game-day Saturday with 100,000 people.  Anyone who’s been to a Penn State game knows the feeling.  On that day we’re all Penn State.

And so too today we’re all Penn State.  This is a tragedy we all feel.  And through all the headlines, frenzied Facebook posts, tearful phone calls from friends, and cable news coverage, I keep saying to myself:  “just one phone call could have prevented  all this suffering.”  When Mike McQueary  showed up at Joe Pa’s house on a Saturday morning nine years ago after witnessing that horrible crime why didn’t they just call the state police?  Just one phone call would have spared so many others from suffering.  Anyone–ANYONE that knew about this could have made one phone call and prevented it from happening again.  Why were they all protecting Sandusky?  What did Sandusky have on them?  Paterno, Spanier, McQueary, Curley, Schultz or one of the (probably) many others that knew about this could have made that phone call.  But they didn’t.  They protected their own interests and did not care about the suffering of innocent children.  There are no words to describe how despicable that is.  And it should be punishable.

All of these men were supposed to be leaders.  That means to lead–by example–preferably.  But instead they’ve been an example of depravity.  Paterno, Spanier, and McQueary should have resigned immediately in order to lead by example–but instead we have this morning’s headlines.  Nothing can return the innocence of the children abused at the hands of the evil, sub-human Sandusky, but bringing these men to justice could serve as a deterrent.  And it would help to restore my faith in humanity.

I never thought I would have to feel shame in saying that I’m a Pennsylvanian.  But today, unfortunately, we are all Penn State.

West Chester Area School District is honored by the College Board

West Chester Area School District is honored by the College Board

“Pennsylvania led all states with 34 public school districts” honored by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement courses while simultaneously “maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning” high scores on AP exams (emphasis added).

In Thursday’s Daily Local Jeremy Gerrard reports that once again another Chester County school system has achieved a nationwide honor.  Trevor Packer senior vice president of the College Board said:  “The West Chester Area School District has achieved something very remarkable.  It managed to open the doors of the AP classrooms to many more students, while also increasing the percentage of students earning high enough AP Exam grades to stand out in the competitive college admission process.”

Chester  County led the list of Pennsylvania schools with 9 of the 34.  You can click the picture above the read the article as it was printed or read the article online here:

“West Chester Area School District on AP Honor Roll”

I’m sure you’ve heard it at some point.  “Location, location, location.”  It’s a cliche right?  YES!  Because it’s true.  No other single determinant of property value is as important as location.  And in our area one of the most important determinants of a location’s quality are the schools.

It’s not not too often that I agree with all the points on a generic list of “Home Buying Tips” but this list from CNN/Money Magazine is a good compilation of important things to know.  I especially like this list because number five is . . . you guessed it–location.  Actually number five is “Buy in a district with good schools.  But good schools make a good location.  And I especially like that the author writes:  “even if you don’t have school-age children.”  This is important because a good school district has universal appeal and property in that district will always be more marketable.

This list also has some other valuable advice.  I’m happy to share it here:

CNN/Money: “Home Buying Tips–The top ten things you need to know when buying a house.”

Homes subject to an HOA have grown tremendously in popularity in the last decade.  Most new developments are subject to an HOA.   Single family homes, twins, condominiums–any style property can be part of an HOA.   In Pennsylvania the Uniform Planned Community Act 5407 and 3407 provides some protection for buyers.  Under the act a buyer must be provided what we call “the 5407.”  This is a collection of documents that detail the nature of the association, its finances, and most importantly, its rules.

Under the act a buyer has the option to cancel the agreement of sale and receive their deposit back.  It is my recommendation that buyers look very closely at the rules of the association.

I’ve sold many properties with an HOA and every time I’ve spent time talking to the buyers about what it means to be part of an HOA.  Here’s a piece from Yahoo Finance that describes “10 Things a Homeowners’ Association Won’t Tell You.”

10 Things a Homeowners’ Association Won’t Tell You.

No comments

What does the “housing bubble” mean to consumers?  For sellers it means there is excess supply in the market.  That means there is fierce competition.   As anyone who has taken an Econ 101 course knows, more competition means lower prices.  But a competitively priced property will sell quickly.

For buyers it means the best time ever.  More supply and lower prices.

Here is Mark Thornton’s very succinct explanation of the housing bubble:

The Housing Bubble in 4 Easy Steps

No comments

Interest rates are at historic lows.  And with more homes on the market buyers have a tremendous amount of choices.  It’s a great time to buy!  Here’s Chairman Larry Flick’s report:

Chairman’s Report

“Government is like a baby–an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other” –Ronald Reagan