Olympic Rings and Valentine’s Hearts- This Weekend in Philadelphia and the Southern New Jersey Shore

 

Your own little athletes have plenty of opportunities to get into the Olympic spirit this weekend. Or, if you’re in the mood for something more romantic, take one of several opportunities to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the help of the many unique festive events in the area this upcoming weekend.

Olympic Fever

February 9 (all day)

Bucks County Children’s Museum

New Hope, PA

Get a case of Olympic fever at the Bucks County Children’s Museum. Come and enjoy Olympic themed crafts with your visit to the museum.

Toddler Olympics

February 9 10:30 AM

Ventnor Branch Library

Ventnor, NJ

Dress your toddler up for a silly-good time participating in these Toddler Olympics. With multiple events such as baby bowling, a teething ring toss, a toilet paper roll torch relay, and even an awards ceremony! Your toddler will love this chance to show off their own athletic ability.

Black History in Food and Folklore with Michelle Washington Wilson

February 10 2:00 PM

Pleasantville Branch

Pleasantville, NJ

Come and listen to stories of traditional African folktales, a slide show of notable Africans dating back over a thousand years, and delicious traditional food to sample. This event is the perfect way to kick off Black History month.

Toys R Us Heroes Needed Build and Play Event

February 10 12:00 PM

All Toys R Us Locations

Your hero loving LEGO fan will receive a free hero mask at this free event and will even receive a 40% off coupon for a LEGO set. For kids ages 6 and up, come and create while celebrating your child’s favorite heroes.

Kennett Chocolate Lovers Festival

February 11 12:00 PM

Kennett High School Gymnasium

Kennett Square, PA

You get to enjoy chocolate treats all while raising money for United Way of Southern Chester County. Come and sample delicious chocolatey treats with your Valentine for a great cause

Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra- February Concert

February 11 3:00 PM

Upper Darby Performing Arts Center

Drexel Hill, PA

This month’s Landsdowne Symphony Orchestra Concert features work of Brahms, Bates, and Prokofiev. Enjoy an afternoon with the symphony with your sweetheart.

Free Family Sundays at the Delaware Contemporary

February 11 1:00 PM
Delaware Contemporary

Wilmington, DE

Create “Works of heART” with the help of the artists at the Delaware Contemporary. The theme for this week’s family Sunday is creating random-acts-of-kindness in honor of Valentine’s Day.

PECO Family Jams

February 11 12:00

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia, PA

This week at the Magic Gardens, you can create paracord crafts with your family. The crafts at this event are inspired by the book This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson.

 

Want an Edge on Rising Mortgage Rates? Buy NOW!

Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, but they’re quickly on the rise once again. They are expected to reach numbers that are higher than they’ve been in a few years, and are climbing fast. Rates have gone up to 4.28% in recent weeks, and appear to continue to progress upwards.

This sort of information can be scary if you’re considering buying a home in the future. How should you translate numbers like that for your family’s needs? What does this mean for your dreams of purchasing a new home?

The best way for you to jump ahead of the mortgage rate increases is to buy NOW!

A Steady Increase

Rates will continue to rise, according to the Federal Reserve. There’s no sign that they’ll be dropping again for a while. These rising rates mean that waiting will cause your interest rates to rise substantially versus what you could find right now. By pulling the trigger now, you can avoid a much higher rate in the future. You’ll lock in a rate that will be substantially lower than your friends who will wait a year or more to purchase.

While the temptation to “wait it out” is strong,  there’s no indication that waiting will mean rates will be any lower. In fact, the trends indicate that the rates will only continue to climb higher than they’ve been in several years. By purchasing now, you can lock in a rate that will cost you less and give you an edge over the higher rates on the horizon.

Beat the Competition

The Spring housing market is just around the corner. Spring is historically the busiest time for buyers. By speeding up your purchase timeline, you can avoid the competition and secure your new home before the market goes berserk. You can save yourself from potential bidding wars and lock in a lower interest rate before they climb further.

Shopping for a home now makes sense for several reasons. You’ll be able to find the home your family has dreamed of without the competition brought by other buyers. You can purchase now free from the added stress of the spring season in real estate, all while locking in a rate you’ll be glad you secured a few months from now.

How to Make Your Move

It’s clear that now is the best time to go ahead with the purchase of your next home. But where do you start? Give us a call here at The Silva Group. We’d love to guide you along this journey. We can help you find the home of your dreams in record time so that you can reap the benefits of this exciting time in the market and get ahead of these rate increases. Give us a call today!

A Super Weekend in Philly and the Southern New Jersey Shore

As you may have heard, the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl! We’ve got a guide with plenty of fun watch parties all lined up for you. Plus, we’ve got other great activities in the days preceding the biggest game of the year.

Boy Scouts of America Expo

February 3 10:00 AM

Hamilton Hall
Mays Landing, NJ

The theme for this year’s expo is “Discovery!” Come and see what these exceptional young men have discovered this past year. While you’re there, enjoy watching the kids participate in the exciting pinewood derby race.

Stinky Kids: the Musical

February 3-11 (various times)

Walnut Street Theatre

Philadelphia, PA

Follow the funny story of Britt, as she and her friends embark on an epic adventure to get a hunk of gum unstuck from Britt’s hair.

Barber Shop Quartet

February 3 1:00 PM

Avalon History Center

Avalon, NJ

The women of the Cape Shore Chorus are warmed up and ready to sing favorite American songs with their killer harmonies.

African American History Month

Through February 28

National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA

With special exhibits and programming, the National Constitution should be a destination this year for your Black History Month commemorations.

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World

Opens February 3

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Learn about the ancient adaptability and unique life of the crocodile species. Learn interesting facts about the species and how they’ve managed to survive for so many years at this fascinating exhibit.

Super Bowl Tailgate Block Party – St. Stephen’s Green

February 4 11:00 AM

St. Stephen’s Green

Philadelphia, PA

This family-friendly Super Bowl tailgate will shut down 17th Avenue. Enjoy face painting, corn hole, a costume contest (even for dogs!) and plenty of other fun while cheering for the Eagles!

Super Bowl Tailgating- The Fillmore

February 4 3:30 PM

The Fillmore

Philadelphia, PA

Come and enjoy this all-ages watch party event on Sunday. Feast from the mouthwatering buffet and enjoy giveaways and live broadcasts from the event.

Friends and Fam Game Day- Punchline Philly

February 4 4:00 PM

Punch Line Philly

Philadelphia, PA

Watch the Super Bowl at Punchline! Purchase a buffet ticket and reserve your seat for this exciting viewing party.

Super Bowl Viewing Party- Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest

February 4 6:00 PM

Delaware River Waterfront

Philadelphia, PA

Featuring all you can eat provided by Chickie’s and Pete’s, humongous 12 foot screens, and an open bar. Enjoy cheering for the hometown team at this watch party inside the heated lodge at Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest.

 

Is Your Home Remodel Really Worth It?

If you’re thinking of ever selling your home, chances are you’ve considered some remodeling projects. Whether it’s updating, demolishing, or reconfiguring, you hope the work and money will pay off when you sell your home someday. However, the National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Study revealed that thirty-five percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home. 

How do you know for sure a remodel is worth it?
We’ve done some digging to determine just how valuable these projects really are. If you’re considering any of these renovations, take a look at what they might actually be worth in the long run.

Judge a Book by its Cover

Curb appeal projects are overall one of the greatest ways to recoup your remodel dollars this year. Whether you replace a tired garage door, landscape your front yard, or add some decorative veneer stonework, the year-over-year value increase on these projects is trending upward. Replacing a garage door ranked the highest return project this year, with a 98.3% cost recuperation. A focal point for most homes, garage door upgrades are proving a project worth investing in according to the Key Trend in the 2018 Cost vs. Value Report.

Think Minor, Not Major

It might seem smart to think big in terms of a kitchen renovation, but think again. Before you fancy yourself as one of the HGTV demolition goddesses, take this into consideration. This year, minor kitchen renovations (updating appliances, cabinet fronts, hardware, etc.) showed that they recuperate on average more money than major renovations (appliances, brand new cabinets, adding an island, etc.). A minor remodel recoups 81.1% while a major one only recoups 59%. Save yourself the cost and headaches and stick with a minimally invasive remodel instead.

Don’t Add, Just Update

Master bathroom additions might seem like a great way to make more money when you sell your home. But they only recoup about 59% of their value. Spend your renovation budget on a much higher yielding bathroom remodel. Update tile floors, fixtures, and the toilet to recoup an average of 70% of your dollar.

Know the Value of Materials

Adding a deck was ranked one of the highest returns. But it also ranked as one of the lowest. What’s the difference? A wood deck has a recuperation value of around 82%, while a composite deck recoups only about 63%. Consider your material choices before starting a project to ensure the best return when you sell your home.

By doing some research and making smart moves, your remodeling dollar can be recuperated wisely. Consider these trends before you start your next home improvement project and see just how much of a difference it makes when you decide to sell.

The Silva Group is comprised of the Philadelphia area and southern New Jersey Shore’s  best and brightest in the real estate industry and we are here to help you with all your real estate needs. We are experts in our field and are here for you. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Winter Fun and Festive Events This Weekend

Embrace the chilly fun that’s to be had in these last few weeks of winter, and see just how much more the groundhog predicts for this year. Philadelphia and the Southern New Jersey Shore have theatrical performances, races, and even a Chinese New Year celebration for your enjoyment on the weekend agenda.

Lambertville/New Hope Winter Festival

Through January 28

Various Locations

New Hope, PA

Enjoy a full day of fun for all ages. Whether you’re interested in a bird walk, puppet theater, or ballet performance, this festival has something for everyone.

Groundhog Day Festival

January 27 10:00 AM- 1:00 PM

John Heinz at Tinicum

Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate the possibility of Tinicum Tim seeing his shadow or not at this festival. Learn more about the exciting mysteries of nature and enjoy free crafts and food while you’re at it.

Chinese New Year Celebration

January 27 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Penn Museum

Philadelphia, PA

Join friends at this event ringing in the Chinese New Year. Enjoy storytelling, crafts, and calligraphy demonstrations, topped off with the lion dance and parade. 

Creative Coloring for Adults

January 27 1:30-3:00 PM

Pleasantville Branch Library

Pleasantville, NJ

Sooth your mind with the help of paper and colors. Escape to a colorful world of your design alongside others at the Pleasantville Branch Library.

Orchid Extravaganza

Through March 25

Longwood Gardens

Philadelphia, PA

Lovers of flowers enjoy this breathtaking exhibit. Meander through the 4-acre conservatory and see all the beauty that these gorgeous flowers can showcase.

Wassailing the Apple Trees

January 28 1:00- 4:00 PM

Terhune Orchards

Princeton, NJ

Pretend you’re British for a day and participate in this historic tradition. “Wassail” the apple trees and wish them good luck for the upcoming year. Follow the fun with live music and a bonfire complete with marshmallows for toasting.

Seafarin’ Saturday

January 27

Independence Seaport Museum

Philadelphia, PA

Learn about flying fish this week at the Independence Seaport Museum. Follow up your education about invasive species by crafting your own fish windsock!

Blue Cross Riverrink Waterfront

Delaware River Waterfront

Philadelphia, PA

Spend a day enjoying all that winter has to offer. Enjoy the ice rink, food, and fun for every member of the family at this festival.

Princess and the Pea

January 28 (various times)

Media Theater

Media, PA

Why oh why is that persnickety princess complaining again? Enjoy this musical based on the classic tale of the princess and that bothersome pea at the Media Theater.

Indoor Auto Racing

January 26-27 (various times)

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall

Atlantic City, NJ

Get your racing fix and watch old rivals at it again. Have a blast watching this year’s race from the indoor comfort of Boardwalk Hall.

This Suburban Philly School District Ranked #1 in Pennsylvania

Business Insider has ranked the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District as the best school district in Pennsylvania. It’s not hard to see why. This Pennsylvania school district boasts quite a few benefits that are gaining national recognition. From low teacher to student ratios, higher teacher loyalty, and higher than average proficiency, this school district has lots to be proud of.

  • The district is home to 6,000 students from 8 different schools in eastern Chester County outside of Philadelphia.
  • The student to teacher ratio is an impressive 15:1. Lower than the national average, students in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District are given more individual attention, resulting in an exemplary education experience.
  • 97% of the district’s students graduate from high school. Nationally, the average is 83%, proving that the district’s approach to education is not only working, but it’s working well.
  • The average teacher has worked in the district for over 15 years. With a higher than average salary for local teachers, this district boasts a loyal and invested teacher base.
  • 72% of the district’s students are proficient in math and a whopping 88% are proficient in reading! With such high proficiency numbers, it’s easy to see why the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District excels amongst its peers.
  • Tredyffrin/Easttown School District boasts an average SAT score of 1300 and an average ACT score of 30. Not only are the students graduating in this district, they’re also adequately prepared for college.
  • While most of the country spends an average of $12,239 per student, this school district spends an average of $17,464 per student. Not only are the teachers investing in the lives of their students, it’s obvious that the district is as well.

It’s easy to see why Business Insider has chosen Tredyffrin/Easttown School District as it’s #1 in Pennsylvania. Here at the Silva group we’re proud to serve homeowners in this esteemed school district and are excited to see what’s in store for the future of the schools and their students.

Join Stage and Ice Adventures This Weekend in Philadelphia and the Southern New Jersey Shore

Whether you’re in the mood for a stage production, art and stories, or some calming craft time, there’s plenty to enjoy this weekend. Go explore all that Philadelphia and the Southern New Jersey Shore have to offer with these fun events. 

The Phantom Tollbooth

January 19-21 (Various Times)

Wolf Playhouse

Bryn Mawr, PA

Enjoy this play and watch young Milo on a whimsical adventure. Follow him as he’s tasked with saving princesses from the Land of Ignorance.

Disney on Ice Reach for the Stars

January 18-21

Boardwalk Hall

Atlantic City, NJ

See all of your children’s favorite Disney characters on the ice at this magical event. Join favorites like Rapunzel, Elsa, and, of course, Mickey at this breathtaking show.

Glory of Stories

January 19 10:30 AM

Delaware Art Museum

Wilmington, DE

Help your child fall in love with museums. Enjoy a story and then an introduction to a piece of art designed especially for children.

Crafternoon

January 20 1:00 PM

Brigantine Branch Library

Brigantine, NJ

Keep the creative parts of your brain in good working order. Join this event to take part in multiple crafting opportunities in a group setting.

Finders Keepers

January 20 12:00 PM

PHIT Comedy at Second Stage

Philadelphia, PA

Kids love comedy too! Take the kids to this family-friendly improv show. The entire family will enjoy an afternoon of giggles and fun with PHIT Comedy.

Pilates

January 20 9:30 AM

Mays Landing Branch Library

Mays Landing, NJ

Keep your body limber and toned with this Pilates class at the Mays Landing Library.  Participate in a fun strength and conditioning workout at this group event.

Build Your Own Terrarium

January 21 10:00 AM

Linvilla Orchards

Media, PA

Build a beautiful terrarium to view a world of plant life in your home. Create your own terrarium or add extra supplies and transform your creation into a fairy garden at Linvilla Orchards.

Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Through February 4 (Various Times)

Walnut Street Theater

Philadelphia, PA

Murder and intrigue abound in this play adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles by Ken Ludwig. View just 5 actors portraying 40 different characters in this hilarious stage production.

 

 

 

One of the Best Moves You Can Make Before Buying Your Next Home

The time has come for you to find your next home. There are plenty of points on a to-do list that you’ll check off. You’ll find the right agent, choose your perfect neighborhood, and make a list of the features you want in a home. All of these are great steps!

While the best move you can make toward your next home purchase may not sound extremely exciting, but it’s arguably one of the most important.

Get preapproved for your home loan.

Today’s market is becoming more and more competitive. Buyers are learning they need to stand out. Often, multiple buyers will vie for the same home. Mortgage preapproval gives you, as a buyer, an edge.

Preapproval shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. It can make your offer stand out from other, less serious, potential buyers. It shows that you have done the work and secured the money to move forward with a purchase.

Not only will preapproval give you an edge as a buyer, it can also give you a more realistic idea of your home budget. Knowing exactly how much money you’ll be able to spend on a home will manage any expectations you have going into the home buying process. It can eliminate wasted time viewing homes that are outside of your actual budget.

In order to start the process of preapproval, you’ll need to decide upon a lender. By working with experienced agents like us here in The Silva Group, you can get matched with a tried and trusted lender. Seeking out a lender is a scary prospect for most people, and working with your agent’s trusted lender can give you some peace of mind.

A lender will determine just how much money you’re preapproved for by looking at the 4 C’s: capacity (if you’ll be able to make payments), capital (what you have that can translate into cash), collateral (the type of home you’re looking to buy), and credit (your credit score). These factors are the equation a lender will use to determine what type of mortgage you can qualify for.

Once you’ve got your preapproval in hand, you can set forth on the more exciting parts of the home buying process. You will have confidence that many other buyers won’t have. You’ll be able to walk into homes knowing exactly what you can and cannot spend. It will speed up the process and make you more attractive to sellers.

Preapproval may not sound exciting at first, but it is arguably the best move you can make to start the exciting process of your next home purchase.

Dinosaurs, Dr. King, and a Daddy Daughter Hike- This Weekend in Philadelphia and the Southern New Jersey Shore

This Weekend in Philly and the Southern NJ shore is packed with events. Theater and music performances are scheduled alongside opportunities to explore what nature has to offer. There are even events to aid in reflection as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Monday. Enjoy all that the area has to offer this weekend.

Dinosaur Days Closing Weekend

January 13 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM

The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

Don’t miss out on the final weekend of this exciting exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Participate in an egg drop challenge, create a cretaceous craft, or learn about the perils of being a dinosaur homemaker with the Nest Sweet Nest event. Dino lovers will enjoy learning and participating in this event’s final weekend.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.

January 11-13

Dominick A. Potena Performing Arts Center

Margate, NJ

Eugene A. Tighe Middle School is presenting this beloved musical on stage. Come join the adventurous and bookish Belle on her journey to free her father from the clutches of the Beast. And witness a love story unfold in the process. 

Day Off Camp: Nature Ninjas

January 12 8:00 AM- 3:00 PM

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Philadelphia, PA

Your kids will love an opportunity to learn the art of tracking and navigation at this camp. In addition, they’ll learn about animals that thrive in the winter weather while exploring the forest. This event promises a day full of adventure for your curious kiddos!

Dads and Daughters Hot Chocolate and Hike

January 13 10:00 AM- 11:30 AM

Tyler Arboretum

Media, PA

Take a trek through the arboretum and experience an unparalleled daddy-daughter bonding opportunity. Learn about animals as you traverse the grounds of the Arboretum then head back inside for a delicious cup of cocoa to finish the day.

Knitting Club

January 12 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

Egg Harbor Township Branch Library

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

All ages are welcome to this knitting club. Bring your current WIP (work in progress) to engage in some lively conversation and a wealth of shared knitting knowledge alongside other yarn enthusiasts.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

January 15 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia, PA

Create art for MANNA to deliver alongside their meals for those in need. Join others as they honor Dr. King’s legacy at this event.

Create a Snowman Sign

January 13 10:30 AM- 11:15 AM

Brigantine Branch Library

Brigantine, NJ

Get crafty and create a cute snowman sign to adorn your door through the rest of the winter season! Just because Christmas is over, your home shouldn’t be without adorable décor. Craft alongside others at this workshop to create a hanging snowman sign you’ll cherish for years to come.

MLK Tribute Concert

January 15 1:30 PM

Girard College

Philadelphia, PA

Honor the prolific Dr. King and his legacy at this free concert. With works such as Barber’s Adagio for Strings performed along with lines from Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Although the event is free, tickets are required.

Discovery Camp at the Franklin Institute

January 12 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

The Franklin Institute

Philadelphia, PA

Participate in exciting hands-on learning opportunities. With an interesting theme for each camp, your kids will love a day away from school at this camp. (They might even learn a little something. But don’t tell them!)

 

Where to Warm Up with the Very Best Cocoa in Philly and The Southern NJ Shore

It’s cold outside! Warm up from the inside out with some delicious hot cocoa. We’ve compiled a list of the very best spots to grab a sweet and delicious cup of cocoa in the area. So get out there and start comparing some of these insanely delicious hot chocolates. We’re pretty sure cocoa might just be the best internal heating system you can find when the weather is this chilly!

Best Cocoa for History Buffs

Shane Confectionery

Warm up with a soothing cup of cocoa and a side of history. This chocolate shop in Old City serves up some of the best super rich drinking chocolate style cocoas that were loved in years gone by such famous historical figures as Thomas Jefferson.

Best Cocoa for Vegans

Hip City Veg

If you love a cocoa but don’t love dairy, check out this spot! Partake in the delicious warmth of cocoa without the animal products you avoid at this spot.

Best Cocoa for Francophiles

J’aime French Bakery

If you want to pretend the streets of Philly are actually the streets of Paris, then check out this bakery. Grab one of their signature treats alongside your delicious cup and pretend you’re living life like a true Parisian.

Best Cocoa for Comfort

The Little Lion

This Southern restaurant makes the best southern food around. They’re no stranger to comforting classics. Follow up a delicious meal with a cup of their S’More Hot Chocolate to transport yourself back to fun times around a campfire.

Best Cocoa for Indulgence

Ventnor Coffee

This spot in Ventnor City is crafting a cup of hot chocolate worthy of the title “Ultimate.” Topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a drizzle of delicious sauces, this cocoa will satisfy your need to indulge and warm you to the bones.

Best Cocoa for Spice

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor

Spice up your cup, literally! Finish a meal at this Venezuelan spot with a cup of their cinnamon spiced cocoa. Transport yourself to sunny Venezuela while you sip this intensely flavorful cocoa.

Best Cocoa for Alongside a Cannoli

Anthony’s Italian Coffee and Chocolate House

If you haven’t tried the cannoli at Anthony’s yet, you’re in for a treat. Grab a cup of cocoa alongside your cannoli and settle in for a sweet and decadent vacation.

Best Cocoa for Chocoholics

Max Brenner

Of course every single location on this list makes cocoa for chocolate lovers. But if you want your hot chocolate in a location specializing in the art and craft of chocolate making, head over to Max Brenner for a cup of their delicious brew.

The Silva Group is comprised of the Philadelphia area and southern New Jersey Shore’s  best and brightest in the real estate industry and we are here to help you with all your real estate needs. We are experts in our field and are here for you. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Exceeding Expectations

"There is no one else I would trust with this difficult process. These guys are top notch all the way. They know their business extremely well and the outcomes prove it. Very easy to work with. We are truly grateful to them."A. Isabella

From the beginning to the final signed documents, the Jeff Silva TEAM is with you all the way. Their professional and courteous staff will go out of their way to resolve any issues that you may encounter with your home finding venture. I really enjoyed working with them and the best part was how Quick and painless it was to close.S. Armstrong