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Fall Events in Philadelphia in 2019

If you’re spending time in Philadelphia this fall, you’re in luck! There are plenty of events to enjoy, from outdoor adventures to performances, artistic endeavors, and more. No matter how you like to spend your time, you are sure to find something to do in Philadelphia in the autumn. Check out some of the biggest events coming to Philadelphia this fall. 

Philadelphia Fringe Festival

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival comes to Philly for two weeks in the beginning of September. Philly Fringe features experimental and avant-garde theatre pieces from artists across the Philadelphia area. This festival models itself after the longer, famous Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Check out some innovative theatre pieces from local artists! 

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs nation-wide from September 15th through October 15th this year. In Philadelphia, festivities begin with the Feria del Barrio, a celebration of Latin culture, art, and music. Hispanic Heritage Month continues with a Puerto Rican Day Parade, Mexican Restaurant Week, and other celebrations of Hispanic culture throughout the city. 

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

Philadelphia is home to Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison that once housed famous criminals like Al Capone. The penitentiary is now used for historical tours, but in the fall, they give haunted tours. The Terror Behind the Walls tour at Eastern State Penitentiary is a Halloween-season favorite in Philly, and one of the most famous haunted tours in America. 

Center City District Restaurant Week

Every early fall and winter, Philadelphia’s Center City District holds Restaurant Week. A range of popular, upscale, high end Philadelphia restaurants across Center City participate. Each restaurant offers a prix fixe three-course menu for $35 a person, and some restaurants also offer a prix fixe three-course lunch menu for only $20 a person. Philadelphians eat at their favorite restaurants or those they haven’t had a chance to try for a reduced, fixed price. 

Philadelphia OutFest

OutFest, a celebration of the National Coming Out Day Festival, returns to Philly this fall. Philadelphia OutFest is the largest celebration of its kind, taking over Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. This block party spans over 10 blocks, and features drag shows, bar specials, food, music, shopping, games, and live music at a main stage. In 2019, Philly OutFest is scheduled for Sunday, October 13th. 

Philadelphia Film Festival

The Philadelphia Film Festival is back in 2019 for its 28th year. This festival lasts for 10 days, and features both local and foreign independent films, from short films to feature-length films and even animated movies. The films are shown across various venues in theatres across Philadelphia. 

Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 

The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta is one of the most famous Regattas in the country, attracting rowers ranging from amateur level to Olympic rowing teams. This year will be the 49th year of the Regatta, which brings in both rowers and spectators. Spectators can watch the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta on either side of the Schuylkill River, either on Kelly Ave or Martin Luther King Drive. 

Philadelphia Marathon

The Philadelphia Marathon is the last big event of the fall, as runners gather to journey on 26 miles of exercise. The race goes through Old City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art area, and along Boathouse Row. This exciting race will attract runners from the Philadelphia area and even from around the country. Smaller races take place during the same weekend in November.

What is Philadelphia Famous For?

Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the United States, home to many historical sites and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia houses citizens of a wide range of cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles, and the city is known for its diverse population. While Philadelphia may be home to endless stories, it is well known for a few key facts. Learn what Philadelphia is most famous for, and how the rest of the country and the world knows the City of Brotherly Love! 

Philadelphia Historical Sites

One of the things Philly is most famous for is its rich history! Philadelphia was where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and it served as the unofficial first capital of the United States during the Revolutionary War against Great Britain. The Liberty Bell resides in Philadelphia, along with the Betsy Ross House, the National Constitution Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, and many more historical landmarks and museums. Many tourists and educational tours come to Philadelphia for its major role in American history.

Philly Cheesesteaks

The Philly cheesesteak is one of the city’s biggest claims to fame. Across the country, restaurants offer a “Philly cheesesteak”, but anyone from Philadelphia will tell you that you can’t get an authentic one outside of the city. Philly cheesesteaks are known for their thinly sliced meat, top-tier Philadelphia-made bread, cheese, and the option for your sandwich “wit or witout” fried onions. Cheesesteak shops all over Philly contend for the “Best Cheesesteak” title, but the most famous contenders include Pat’s Steaks, Geno’s, Dalessandro’s, and Jim’s Steaks. 

Philadelphia Sports Fans

Some will call them violent, others call them passionate. Philadelphia sports fans get a bad reputation around the world for a few unseemly episodes. All the way back in 1968, Eagles fans famously pelted snowballs at the halftime show Santa. In 1999, when J.D. Drew refused to sign with the Phillies, the fans threw Duracell batteries at him during his next appearance in the city. Philadelphia sports fans have had a few other incidents involving booing players, cheering for injuries, and fighting. Despite some bad incidents, the stigma against Philly sports fans is mostly blown out of proportion. 

Philadelphia Murals

The city of Philadelphia is a mecca for art, and one shining example is the Philadelphia Mural Arts project. Philly has over 2000 outdoor murals adorning the walls of the city. It has been called the “Mural Capital of the US”. The restoration initiative by Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art initiative, creating anywhere from 60 to 100 new public arts projects each year. 

Philadelphia Fast Facts

Philadelphia is famous for so many things, so we’ll give you a few more fun facts about Philly: 

Philadelphia is a city of firsts: it is home to the nation’s first zoo, the first daily newspaper, the first hospital, and the first medical school. 

Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest continuously running English-speaking theatre in not just the country, but the whole world. 

Philadelphia is home to the most Impressionist paintings in the country, second only to Paris world-wide. 

Philadelphia’s Italian Market is the world’s oldest and largest outdoor market, and has remained the same for over 100 years.

Reasons To Live in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the biggest American cities – it is the fifth largest in population size, and for good reason. Living in Philadelphia has plenty of perks, whether you’re a history buff coming to the city for its rich history, a student taking advantage of the top-tier universities, or you’re just looking for a fun place to live. 

Philly gets a bad reputation sometimes for its rowdy sports fans, but Philadelphians are incredibly proud of their home. Check out the top reasons to live in Philadelphia before you plan your move!

Affordability

Philadelphia isn’t the most affordable city in America by a long shot, but when you consider all the benefits, resources, and possibilities in the city, it’s surprising that the cost of living isn’t higher. Compared to similar cities like New York, Boston, Washington D.C., or Chicago, Philadelphia is a very affordable option. If you’re looking for the benefits of a major city with a reduced cost, Philly is the city for you. 

Green Space

Philadelphia offers the allure of a big city without feeling like you’re trapped in a concrete jungle. Philly is home to various parks, from one-block treasures like Rittenhouse Square to expansive, forested areas like Fairmount Park. Smaller sanctuaries like Rittenhouse or Washington Square are situated throughout the city. Just outside of the city, there are ample suburban parks, hiking trails, and National Parks to visit if you need some time away from the urban sprawl.

Top-Tier Universities

Philadelphia is home to plenty of top-rated colleges and universities. The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, is situated directly in Philadelphia. St. Joseph’s University and Temple University are found in Philly, along with Jefferson University, Drexel University, La Salle, and many more. Philly is known as a great city for higher education. While there are ample educational opportunities, the city is far from a college town, and it is not overrun by rowdy college students. Philly is also known for its medical schools, and some stats suggest that 1 in 6 doctors in the United States are trained in Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia Food

Philadelphia is a great town for foodies, with ample exciting and innovative eats across the city. One obvious claim to fame is the Philly cheesesteak, which restaurants across the country try to mimic. Aside from stereotypical Philadelphia foods like cheesesteaks, pretzels, and water ice, the city is home to great restaurants, all-star chefs, and more. Many upscale restaurants run by famous chefs are scattered throughout Philadelphia. There are also abundant hole in the wall places for great food at a reasonable price. 

Living in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an exciting place to live for its residents, and it could be for you too! Aside from the cost of living, greenery, education, and food, there are endless other reasons to live in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love has no shortage of culture, entertainment, and fun to be had.

What are the Duties of a Property Manager?

Landlords often turn to property managers to help them handle their rental properties. Property managers have experience dealing with rent, tenants, maintenance, and more, so they are great assets for landlords that are in over their heads. If you’re new to real estate, you may wonder what a property manager actually does. 

Property Manager Duties

Rent Management

One of the most basic duties for property managers is handling rent. It is their duty to set a fair rent, based on the local market and similar properties in the area. Rent may also need to be adjusted year-by-year based on inflation, home value, and the real estate market. 

Aside from setting rent prices, property managers typically collect rent each month. Today, most property management companies have online portals for paying rent, although some may operate by physical checks still. Property managers set clear due dates for rent and enforce late fees to ensure timely payments. 

Tenant Management

It is also the duty of the property manager to find, screen, and handle tenants. Property management companies help to market their properties and fill vacancies. They have the right experience and know how to screen tenants, from criminal background checks to credit and income checks. A property manager can handle leases, collect security deposits, and deal with tenant move-in and move-out dates and procedures. 

Property Maintenance 

Property managers also handle tenants when it comes to their maintenance requests and other complaints. It is their duty to receive and respond to maintenance issues in a timely manner, handling any repairs. Most property management companies have maintenance staff for upkeep of their various properties, although they may also outsource maintenance to contractors. 

Legal Responsibilities

A good property manager should be well-versed in state and federal landlord-tenant law. They must ensure that properties comply with rental and housing laws and regulations. Their legal role also comes into play when executing leases. Property managers take on evictions and landlord-tenant disputes over termination of a lease. They also often help landlords understand and file taxes on their investment property. 

Record Keeping

Finally, property managers keep detailed and thorough records for the properties they are in charge of. They manage budgets for their services as well as for any repairs or costs to the building itself. Property management companies should keep records of income and expenses, inspections, repairs, insurance, all legal documents including leases, and rent payments. Keeping all of this information together is important for both the landlord, tenants, and the property manager themselves in case any issues arise with the property. 

What Else Does a Property Manager Do? 

Some property managers take on more responsibilities, like clearing sidewalks or offering preventative maintenance. The details of their duties should be spelled out in a contract with their landlords or investors, as well as in the lease for tenants to understand their services.

6 Skills You Need to Succeed in Property Management

Working as a property manager can be a great, lucrative job in real estate. Whether you’re looking to work for an established property management company or you want to start on your own, there are certain skills that all property managers need. The duties of a property manager include rent management, tenant management, maintenance, legal duties, and more, so you may have to wear many hats as a comprehensive property manager. Hone these skills to become a successful property manager. 

Property Management Skills

Organization

It is vital that property managers stay organized. Managing leases, rent payments, expenses, maintenance, budgets, and much more can be a handful even for one property. When managing multiple properties across multiple locations, all of that paperwork is multiplied. On top of that, some property managers help with property acquisition, sales, taxes, and more. 

Managing every aspect of a property means taking on a host of responsibilities, so it’s important to keep everything organized. The best property management companies have fine-tuned systems to keep them organized. 

Communication

Property managers act as a liaison of sorts between tenants and property owners or investors. It is extremely important to keep clear and open lines of communication between both parties so that everyone is on the same page. If a tenant has a question about a lease, the property manager must convey that question to the landlord to work out an answer and get back to the tenant in a timely manner. Keeping constant communication is the key to happy tenants and property owners. 

Attentive Customer Service

Along with communication, property managers should provide stellar customer service all around. Staying attentive to both tenant and investor needs will help prevent any complaints and keep both parties happy. If you promise a 48 hour response to maintenance requests, stay true to that promise. 

While you may not be available to answer questions every hour of the day, try to respond within 24 or 48 hours to show that you value customer satisfaction. A tenant portal can be helpful for providing answers to frequently asked questions, as well as create an organized system for handling questions and requests in a timely manner. 

Legal Knowledge 

You certainly don’t have to be a lawyer to be a good property manager, but you should have some knowledge of tenant-landlord law and rental and housing laws in your area. Stay up to date on any changes in the requirements for property managers, landlords, and regulations like building codes. If any issues come up, it’s helpful to have some background knowledge. While most businesses may also have a lawyer for serious cases, knowing the basics of property law can help ensure that your properties, tenants, and landlords comply with any relevant legal requirements. 

Budgeting Experience

Property management companies may have an accountant on-staff to handle company budgeting, but some basic budgeting skills never hurt when it comes to property management. Property managers have to set, adjust, and collect the rent, so keeping a detailed budget can help you stay on top of rental charges. Budgeting is also important when it comes to repairs and maintenance fees. Every business needs budgeting, but this skill is especially important for property management. 

Firmness and Flexibility 

As we mentioned, communication is vital, but it’s also important to communicate the right way. Property managers should always be respectful, of course, but there are times when they will need to be firm and other times where they can allow some flexibility. When it comes to rent payments or tenant issues, a firm hand may be needed. The rent has to get paid, and tenants defaulting on rent may need warnings or eventually eviction notices. 

On the other hand, some flexibility may be allowed for certain cases. Rent is serious, but if a good tenant has never been late before and needs a few extra days, it’s okay to be reasonably flexible. Learning this balance is a skill that experienced property managers must learn over time.

How To Become a Property Manager

Are you interested in a career in property management? Working as a property manager can be an interesting and lucrative job, but the path to this career may not be clear. Since there aren’t property management degrees from colleges, what steps should one take to pursue this career path? Learn how to become a property manager and the experience it takes to become successful in this field. 

What Degree Do You Need To Be a Property Manager? 

Technically, you do not need a college degree to be a property manager. You can work at a property management company with as little as a high school degree, although many prefer hiring candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. If you’re interested in becoming a property manager after college, consider majoring in business administration, real estate, or another business, finance, accounting, or administrative major. 

Do You Need a License to Become a Property Manager? 

The answer varies state by state, but generally speaking, yes, you will need a license to be a property manager. Most states require property managers to hold either a property management license or real estate license to legally handle documents and transactions relating to leases, rent payments, eviction, and more. 

A license is necessary so that property managers can show that they have a certain degree of knowledge about landlord-tenant law and property management practices. Research the property management licensing requirements for your state to figure out how to get licensed and what requirements you must meet. 

What Specialized Property Management Certifications Can I Pursue? 

While you must comply with state laws in terms of licensing, there are other specialized certifications for property management that you can pursue as well. Most certifications are not legally necessary, but they can help you land a job at a property management company or convey a sense of legitimacy. Obtaining special certifications can open up new opportunities if you’re looking for a job. If you own, or plan to own your own property management company, extra certifications will show potential clients that you are professional and committed to learning the ins and outs of your industry. 

Some certifications you should consider pursuing include a CPM, Certified Property Manager certification, an RMP, Residential Management Professional certification, a CMCA, Certified Manager of Community Associations, or a CAM, Certified Apartment Manager. These certifications show your commitment to continued learning in your field, and while they are not necessary to become a property manager, they can be beneficial. 

How Do I Get Started in Property Management? 

If you’ve pursued a relevant degree, received the proper licensing, and even obtained other certifications for property management, you are well on your way. Breaking into any field can be difficult, however, and property management is no different. 

Begin like you would for any job search: apply for entry level positions if you have little or no experience. For an entry level position, you likely won’t need licensing yet. You can also kickstart your career by starting in real estate. Many property managers begin as real estate agents, so if you have your license you can get experience and learn more about the industry by working as a real estate broker. 

Property management is a great field for those with an interest and the right skills. Learn more about property management on our blog!

Do I Need a License to Rent My House?

If you’ve recently moved, you may be interested in keeping your former home and renting it out for profit. Maybe you’ve made a recent real estate purchase and are looking to make improvements and profit off of tenants. Will you need a license to rent your home? In short, yes, you will probably need a license, although laws vary by state. Learn more about how to rent out your home. 

Landlord Licenses

In most states, you will need some type of license to legally rent out your home. It varies state by state and even city by city, so research real estate and rental laws in your area. In some states, collecting rent without a license is illegal, and could result in serious fines, so it’s important to check first. You will likely need either a rental license, business license, landlord license, or a combination. 

Building Permits and Inspections

You will probably have to contact your local municipality to change the status of your home and inform them that it will become a rental property. In most locations, you have to file a building permit with the local authorities. A government inspector will come out to perform a routine inspection to ensure that the home is suitable for occupancy. You may have to make certain changes to correct any violations that the inspector finds. 

Landlord Insurance

Insurance is another consideration – you’ll have to change or add to your insurance policy, from homeowner’s insurance to renter’s insurance. Rental insurance will very likely be pricier than homeowner’s insurance, so you should be prepared for that cost. 

Renting Out Your House: Tax Implications

There are tax implications that you will need to consider when converting your home from your place of residence to a rental property. Tax codes can be complicated, so you may want to speak to your accountant for help navigating the process and to learn how to correctly file your taxes. You will have to report your income as a landlord as taxable income. 

There are also tax deductions you can file as a landlord. Since your home is now a business of sorts, you can file for deductions on costs like repairs and maintenance, mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, homeowner association fees, and utilities. Under most tax code, you cannot file deductions greater than the total sum of rent received that year, although there are exceptions. 

Managing Your Property 

Profiting off of your former home by renting it out is an attractive concept, but actually managing tenants, rent payments, maintenance, and more can be a handful. If you have a full-time job outside of this, it can be difficult to manage all of the responsibilities of a landlord. 

Hiring a property management company can take that weight off of your shoulders. With a property manager, you can still profit off of your property without having to worry about managing tenants, collecting rent, and the many legal aspects of renting your home. If you’re looking for a property manager, contact Property Management Group today.

Best Neighborhoods to Live in Philadelphia

philadelphia - skyline

The City of Brotherly Love has experienced a huge amount of growth in the last few years, with up and coming neighborhoods freshly populated with hip bars, coffee shops, and much more. If you’re looking to move to Philadelphia or looking for a new neighborhood to call home, these five locales are top-rated for walkability and easy commutes, restaurants, nightlife, safety, and access to various businesses, activities, and more.

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Bella Vista

South Philadelphia neighborhood Bella Vista is a favorite among residents and visitors to the area. Home to Philly’s Italian Market, Bella Vista has no shortage of restaurants and eateries. This South Philly neighborhood encompasses three parks (Bardascino Park, Cianfrani Park, and Hawthorne Park) and a stretch of the popular tourist and shopping destination, South Street.

Bella Vista is a safe urban neighborhood known for great restaurants, coffee shops, and nightlife. The cost of living in Bella Vista is affordable compared to more affluent Center City areas. Both affordability and charm make this neighborhood a popular choice among young professionals, with an easy commute to Center City by bus or Broad Street Line. A low crime rate also makes this diverse neighborhood a great choice for families.

Washington Square West

Washington Square West is located in Center City, but with open spaces like Washington Square Park the urban is balanced with spacious green areas. The neighborhood surrounding the park is known for beautiful old brownstone buildings, hip restaurants, boutiques, and small businesses. Washington Square West also has a thriving nightlife scene, with abundant trendy bars and some of Philly’s most popular clubs.

Washington Square West has historically served as a home to Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community, but this neighborhood is diverse and welcoming to all. Its location in Center City offers a short commute to the rest of the city, with access to various bus routes, the Broad Street Line, and the Market-Frankford Line. Still, many residential blocks keep Washington Square West from feeling too urban, making this one of the favorite neighborhoods to live in in Center City Philadelphia.

Old City

Old City is Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhood, containing historical landmarks including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Betsy Ross House. Situated on the Delaware River and neighboring Center City East, Old City’s charm lies in its history, cobblestone streets, and tiny brick alleyways. If you’re not a history buff, Old City is also full of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and more, many of which are located on 2nd Street.

Old City is a short walk from Center City, with ample public transit options as well, including multiple bus routes and the Market-Frankford Line. This neighborhood is also home to Penn’s Landing, a popular destination for seasonal festivities, concerts, and a waterfront park. Old City is one of Philadelphia’s most family-friendly neighborhoods, with a great combination of urban living and old-world charm.

Manayunk

Manayunk rests on the Western edge of Philadelphia, west of Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River. This hilly neighborhood is named after a Lenape Native American word meaning “where we go to drink” which was a reference to the river in olden times. The name is fitting, however, as Manayunk is known for its many bars and restaurants that make up a bustling happy hour and nightlife scene.

Popular for its small-town feel in a big city, Manayunk is home to many small businesses, specialty shops, boutiques, and galleries. You’ll have to drive 20 minutes or take a Regional Rail line to get into the city proper, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Manayunk itself. While there is not a college directly located in Manayunk, many college students, post-grads, and young professionals flock to this neighborhood.

Fishtown

Fishtown is Philly’s cool, hipster neighborhood. Formerly an industrial fishing hub, many old warehouses and industrial spaces have been converted into trendy bars and lofts. Gentrification has led to an influx of young people living in new condos and renovated row homes. Fishtown is known for its art and music scene, and the vibrant neighborhood attracts some of Philly’s best artists.

Fishtown hugs the Delaware River, but various bus routes and access to the Market-Frankford Line makes commuting to the rest of the city an easy feat. This up and coming neighborhood is full of activities, from trendy bars (often featuring live music) to dog parks to concert venues, casinos, and more.

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