Main Line and Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Buying versus Renting

A report published by economist Jed Kolko of Trulia in March of 2013 states that on average it is 44% cheaper to own a residential property than to rent a similar property in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US. In Philadelphia, it is 40% cheaper to buy than to rent. The report considers the following in arriving at this conclusion:

  • Similar homes in the similar neighborhoods were compared, not the average rent and average sale price of homes overall.

  • Initial and future costs of renting and buying were considered including maintenance, insurance, taxes, price and rent appreciation and inflation

  • One time costs such as closing costs, security deposits, etc. were included as well

  • The initial set of assumptions were that a buyer put down 20%, took out a 3.5% 30 year mortgage, was in the 25% tax bracket and itemized deductions on their income tax.

The prices of owning and renting were...

Where to go for home improvement supplies

Where do you go when you need nails, screws, bathroom tile, drywall, etc? There's a dizzying array of choices. For example, there are the neighborhood hardware store such as Berwyn Hardware or Jacob Low Hardware in Havertown. Amazingly, a fair number of these are still around. There are of course the big box home improvement stores e.g. Lowes and Home Depot. Tweener stores such as DMI Home Supply in Ardmore and Fisher's Hardware in Drexel Hill combine traits of big box and neighborhood stores. Let's not forget specialty stores such as Beatty Lumber in Upper Darby or the Tile Shop in King of Prussia.

So, where should you go?

Well, it depends. On what you're looking for and what's important to you. Below is a list of the different types of home improvement stores and their characteristics. Let me make clear that these are my impressions and not based on statistical analysis of any kind. Hopefully, this list helps you decide. This is a topic that generates endless conversation...

Favorite Main Line Restaurants (Non-BYO)

Tina and I tend to frequent BYOs. That said, there are of plenty of restaurants we enjoy that serve liquor. I'll be expanding this list as time goes on.

  • Yang Ming
    1051 Conestoga Rd  Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. 610-527-3200.
    Among the premier restaurants on the Main Line and unquestionably the best known 'Chinese' restaurant, Yang Ming never disappoints. The food is delicious, distinctive and reasonably priced; the setting is elegant and there is room to accommodate a group of any size; the service is excellent; the drinks are precisely mixed and the wine list is extensive. One could carp that the parking can be challenging or that it can take a while to be seated but with so many other things right, why would you? Try the Caesar Salad with Asian Pear, the Spicy Wild-Peppered Lamb or the Mongolian Lamb.