It was time to trade an Old City condo for a townhouse large enough to accommodate their three growing children. But dentist Brad Pirok and veterinarian Maya Pirok had been spending considerable capital building up their practices, and so were in the market for a mortgage that took their situations into account.
The results of a fourth quarter 2015 survey by the Home Projects Council, a group of home-improvement experts, suggests that homeowners interested in reducing the costs of projects around the house should replace "do-it-for-me" habits with improved do-it-yourself skills.
Houses in the Philadelphia region generally remain affordable for buyers, foreclosure search engine RealtyTrac reported Thursday. In fact, just 43 of 456 U.S. counties analyzed by RealtyTrac exceeded their normal historic affordability levels in the first quarter of 2016. In the same three months of 2015, 10 counties of the 456 exceeded normal affordability levels, the report said.
This is what I will describe as a who-does-what and what-to-do column. Among the roughly 1,350 homeowners surveyed nationally in late December and early January for TD Bank's first Home Equity Sentiment Index, 56 percent of the respondents said they believed that their home's value had increased, and 60 percent said they would tap that rising equity to finance renovations.
Alan J. Heavens has been writing about real estate and home improvement for 27 of his 36 years at the Inquirer and for most of his 49 years as a reporter. Author of three books, he was "The Gadgeteer" on the Discovery Channel's Home Matters and president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.