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Category Archives: Settlement Checklist

Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage


The excitement of purchasing a new home can sometimes cause buyers to rush through the mortgage application process.  Organization and planning is an essential part of the application process. It is important to understand that certain mistakes can slow down the road to settlement.

RISMedia published a comprehensive guide to the mortgage application process when buyers are under a home purchase agreement.

1. No Preapproval

Before even starting your home search, make sure you apply for a preapproval. This gives buyers an idea of how much they can afford in terms of a mortgage.  As well as what kind of mortgage (FHA, Conventional) they qualify for.

2. Changes in Credit Behavior

Overusing credit can have a severely negative impact on your credit score and mortgage approval.  Opening and closing credit cards, overspending and applying for new credit along with the mortgage application can raise a red flag in the process. According to RISMedia, these behaviors can affect both your FICO credit score and credit utilization ratio.

3. Skipping blank pages

In mortgage application paperwork, there are often blank pages included. Those pages are intentionally left blank and should not be thrown away or left out when sending signed paperwork to your lender. This omission can certainly hold up the process or even worse invalidate your application.

4. Skipping over the fine print

Purchasing a home could be the biggest investment of your life. Don’t become lazy when it comes to going through mortgage paperwork. Although it could be time consuming and tedious, reading the fine print will ensure that you understand the terms and conditions. Being thorough also gives buyers the opportunity to ask any their lender any questions that may arise.

5. Lying

This is an absolute no, no. Exaggerating and lying about income, assets or employment on a mortgage application can put you at significant risk for mortgage fraud. Honestly is always the best policy, especially when it comes to mortgages.  This mistake comes with huge consequences that you definitely want to avoid.

6. Not updating your records

This is a perfect time to get your records in order and verify credit scores, employment history and assets.  The information of all of these items will be required for the mortgage application. It is better to be organized in advance versus waiting until the last minute.



Just Sold: Queen Village New Construction

Center City Listings represented both the sellers and buyers of a gorgeous, Queen Village new construction home!

Property Address: 767 S. 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Sale Price: $860,000
3 bedrooms/4.1 baths

Rarely available, Completely Upgraded, New Construction, in the heart of Queen Village!! This light filled corner property is perfectly designed with 3 bedrooms plus a finished basement/bedroom. 4.5 baths, 1 CAR PARKING, and an approximately 450 square foot roof deck with panoramic views from the Ben Franklin Bridge to the City Skyline! Enter into a stunning, sun drenched open first floor with 10′ ceilings, half bath and a state of the art kitchen!! The second floor boast two oversized bedrooms, two full baths and a laundry room! The third floor has a full Master Bedroom suite with walk-in closet, oversized seamless glass shower, Jacuzzi style bath and double vanity. This home has been fully upgraded with 8′ solid doors, hardwood floors, audio/visual throughout and security cameras at the front and rear entrances!! Tax Abatement Approved. Located in Meredith School Catchment.

Mortgage Update: Trident Mortgage

Check out this week’s mortgage update from Trident Mortgage.

Conflicts around the globe has pushed rates down to their lowest levels of the year. The financial markets have kept holdings in the safer investments like bonds and cash; this helps keep rates low. So much for all the rising interest rate predictions of 2014! We are still seeing a high volume of purchase activity throughout the Philadelphia area so hopefully these buyers are capitalizing on this latest dip in rates. The market does remain fairly volatile. A carefully timed rate lock at the outset of the executed agreement of sale is still advisable. The rates remaining at these lower levels has been a welcome surprise!

One of the unfortunate things that happens to us friendly neighborhood loan officers is we issue a pre-approval to a prospective home-buyer, give the good news to their Realtor, send them out there to find their dream home…only to find out once they execute an agreement that something critical to their financial picture has changed. When this happens it creates numerous issues for all parties involved and ultimately could lose the buyer their dream home. Here is an article I saw this week that is a short and simple hit list of what NOT to do once you’re pre-approved. It is quick but valuable advice to all our pre-approved buyers out there.

Trident Mortgage Rate Sheet 8-10-14

Jason F. Griesser, CMB
Sr. Mortgage Consultant
NMLS# 137179
Ph: 215-440-2073 | Fx: 610-650-5611


Sunday Open Houses: Passyunk Square

Check out this Sunday’s open houses in the vibrant Passyunk Square neighborhood of South Philadelphia.

Passyunk Square is vibrant neighborhood located in South Philadelphia. This up and coming area has flourished with real estate and business development. Along East Passyunk Avenue you can find award-winning restaurants, boutiques and other small businesses.  Passyunk Square is a very walkable neighborhood with many amenities close by including the ACME supermarket, several special shops and restaurants.  Spend your day strolling along the Avenue, checking out the specialty shops and boutiques. Then Passyunk Avenue delightfully transforms into a great nightlife spot with some of the area’s top bars and restaurants.

Featured Open House: 1814 S. Juniper Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
2 bedrooms/1 bathroom
Interior Square Ft: 1,024
2014 Taxes: $2,236
Lot Dimensions: 14 x 48

Located one block from Passyunk Avenue, this bright beautiful home has been completely renovated, boasting an open concept main floor. The kitchen has new stainless appliances, new oversized kitchen sink, new granite countertops, including granite peninsula with counter seating. The original inlaid hardwood floors have been restored and refinished. The finished basement has brand new wall-to-wall carpeting and plenty of extra storage. The second floor offers a generous master bedroom with custom built walk in closet. The fully tiled bathroom with oiled bronze finishes includes a Jacuzzi tub. Central AC, new roof, new plumbing, new electric make this the best deal in HOT Passyunk Square. The large yard includes corner planter.

Listing Description and Photos Courtesy of SRS Real Estate.

907 Greenwich Street
3 bedrooms/1.1 bathrooms
913 Federal Street
3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms
1313 McKean Street
3 bedrooms/2.1 bathrooms
1310 Tasker Street
3 bedrooms/1.1 bathrooms

If you are interested in purchasing a home, please contact the Center City Listings team today!

Just Sold: Rittenhouse Square Condo

Center City Listings represented the seller of a beautifully restored Rittenhouse Square condo.

Property Address: 1716 Pine St Unit 4F, Philadelphia, PA

Beautiful 2 bedroom 1 bath unit located on the fourth floor of a restored condominium building in Rittenhouse. This sun-filled unit features hardwood floors, great Center City views, skylight, beautiful fixtures, recessed lighting, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, maple cabinets, full tile bath with antique vanity w/ marble top. This unit has a laundry closet with washer/dryer hook-up (in the unit) and additional storage space in common basement and a private door to fire escape. Don’t miss out on this incredible Rittenhouse opportunity!

If you are interested in selling your home, please contact Center City Listings today!

Just Listed: Temple University Area Townhome

Temple University Area Townhome
1335 W. York Street, Philadelphia, PA 19132
4 bedrooms/2 bathrooms

Beautifully rehabbed 4 bedroom property located just off of Broad St and near Park Avenue on Temple’s campus. This home is rented out through 2015 at $2,000 per month. New roof, heating system and air conditioning systems all installed in 2013. Home also has outdoor space in the rear of the property.

Just Sold: 1 Bedroom East Falls Condo

Center City Listings was happy to represent the seller of a charming 1 bedroom, East Falls condo located at 4000 Gypsy Lane, Unit 636.


1 bedroom/1 bathroom


1 BEDROOM CONDO W PARKING! Gypsy Lane Condominiums-secure, bucolic community within a hillside forest w low condo fees. HUGE 1st floor unit w excellent sunlight exposure & convenient parking. LIVING & DINING:: Extra Lg, ideal for entertaining w new H/W flooring. KITCHEN:: Eat-in w Classic beadboard cabinetry, butcher block counters, newer appliances w high-end slide in range & farmhouse sink. FOYER:: Coat area w seating, Stackable laundry closet leading to BATHROOM:: newly updated w Travertine porcelain tile & matching vanity. BEDROOM:: Enormous bedroom w Huge window & Expansive wall-length closet! AMENITIES:: 24 hr security, High-quality Gym, Pool, Grilling & Picnic areas, Tennis courts, Community room & Nature trails. CONVENIENT LOCATION to 76, 676, Route 1, or Kelly Drive. Minutes to Fairmont Park, Center City, Main St or Chestnut Hill. Near PCOM or Philadelphia U!

east falls condo

Sunday Open Houses: Italian Market & Bella Vista

Happy Memorial Day! If you are celebrating this weekend’s holiday in the city, don’t miss out on the open houses in the Italian Market & Bella Vista neighborhoods.

Featured Open House: 740 Medina Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Sunday 5/25: 12-3pm$265,000
2 bedrooms/1.5 bathrooms

Home located on a quite tree-lined street that is low traffic and directly across from Paolone Park, a common garden area for residents. Close to the Italian Market and Passyunk shops. Living room area has exposed brick walls on either side and exposed wood beams supporting high ceilings. There is also a 1/2 bath off the kitchen. Granite countertops with an extra large eat-in kitchen and hardwood floors throughout. The 2nd floor has two large bedrooms and an updated bathroom. New roof installed in 2012.

Listing courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach – Walnut

924 S. 11th Street 301
3 bedrooms/2 baths
719 S Schell Street
3 bedrooms/2.5 baths
729 S 12th Street 101
1 bedroom/1 bath
729 S 12th Street 201
Studio/1 bath
729 S 12th Street 300
1 bedroom/1 bath
745 Clymer Street
4 bedrooms/2 baths
924 S 11th Street 101
2 bedrooms/2 baths
924 S 11th Street 201
2 bedrooms/1 bath

Sunday Open Houses: Queen Village

Check out this Sunday’s open houses in the fabulous Queen Village neighborhood.

Featured Open House: 201 Queen Street, Unit 8, Philadelphia, PA 19147
12-1 p.m.

This is a gorgeous three bedroom, bi-level condo located inside of the Acme Piano Condominiums. It features over 2100 sq-ft of space with 2.5 bathrooms, large outdoor deck, a master suite balcony and 1-car garage parking. This beautiful condo is located in a prime area of Queen Village and in the Meredith School catchment. The upgraded kitchen features granite counter tops, tile backsplash, maple cabinets and Stainless Steel appliances. Master bedroom suite is also on this floor, and offers carpeting, two sets of California style double closets, private terrace and private bath with tile floor, double vanity with maple cabinetry and granite countertop, two medicine closets, water shed and sliding doors to stall shower.  This home is immaculate and a must see!

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach – Walnut

759 S 4th Street
210 Carpenter Street R
132 Kenilworth Street
412 Bainbridge Street D
305 Pemberton Street
840 S 3rd Street
121 League Street
523 Queen Street
1031 S Randolph Street
916 S 2nd Street
321 Fulton Street
737-39 S 5th Street 2nd Fl
909 S Bodine Street
928 S 2nd Street
784 S 6th Street
870 Independence Ct
526 Christian Street F
114 Kenilworth Street
503 1/2 Fitzwater Street
850 S Front Street

Just Sold: 1203 S. 53rd Street

Center City Listings represented the seller of a gorgeous home located at 1203 S. 53rd Street.

1203 S. 53rd Street

Beautifully refinished 3 bedroom home in Southwest Philadelphia! As you enter the home, there is a cozy, foyer area complete with new carpeting and windows that bring in natural sunlight. The main living room area boasts of a fire place and gorgeous hardwood flooring that leads into the spacious dining room. The kitchen features new wood cabinets, tile flooring, Stainless Steel appliances and a gorgeous tile backsplash along the countertops. A beautiful wood staircase leads you to the second floor hallway that is complete with hardwood floors. The Master bedroom is fully carpeted and features a bay window and closet space. Bedrooms 2 and 3 are fully carpeted as well with lots of natural sunlight, windows and closet space. The full bathroom features beautiful, high-end tile work complete with a claw foot tub/shower combo. Full, unfinished basement. The front of the home has a nice patio area that is perfect for gardening. As well as the back of the home features a nicely sized enclosed yard space.