In this local area highlight, MortgageCS CEO Ben Stucker visits the happening Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia! Along with Realtor Yadi Toledo of the ST Realty Network at eXp Realty, we’ll take a look at the local housing market, unique neighborhood features, and more.
Yadi shares all about what to expect from this walkable, conveniently-located neighborhood that offers entertainment and amenities galore! Hear what she has to share as both a real estate agent and lifelong resident of the area. If you’re searching for a home in the Northern Liberties or the surrounding Philly neighborhoods, check out this video and see what this highly sought-after area has to offer for young professionals, families, and investors alike!
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Ben Stucker, MortgageCS: (267) 391-7425
Yadi Toledo, ST Realty Network at eXp Realty: (215) 313-1512
All About Northern Liberties (Video Transcript)
Ben Stucker (00:34)
What’s up, everybody? Ben Stucker here from MortgageCS with Yadi Toledo. Yadi, what’s up?
Yadi Toledo (00:39)
Ben Stucker (00:40)
We’re here in Northern Liberties today to learn a little bit about this community. So, Yadi, I’m going to pass it over to you first. Tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us a little bit about where we are.
Yadi Toledo (00:50)
All right, so I am a realtor with ST Realty Network at eXp. I’ve been in the business for just over five years, and right now we’re standing in the Piazza in Northern Libertied, as you mentioned, home of the former Schmidt’s Brewery. Yeah, like, you see a little bit of it still back there. It was at one point the largest brewery in Philadelphia. So a little tidbit on that.
Ben Stucker (01:13)
Very cool. So tell us a little bit about where we are right now. I’m looking around, I see apartments, I see a Starbucks over there. There’s a playground, there’s a stage behind us. There’s parking, it looks like. Where are we?
Yadi Toledo (01:26)
We’re in the Piazza just off of Girard Avenue on Second Street. So you’re correct, there’s a lot of shops here. There are some apartments up there. And there’s also a pool right behind us. Little playground for the kiddos, coffee shops, restaurants.
Ben Stucker (01:46)
And you’re familiar with the area? You live around here?
Yadi Toledo (01:48)
I do, yes. I am about a five to ten-minute walk away, also right in the neighborhood.
Ben Stucker (01:53)
So do you ever come here on the weekend?
Yadi Toledo (01:54)
Oh, I do. Maybe a little too much. Lots of restaurants, fun. One of my favorite places is El Camino. Right over there you have North Third, just on Third Street. So that’s a good spot to go and visit.
Ben Stucker (02:07)
And just walking down, I see the restaurants. I can kind of see them through here. There’s lights, there’s trees, there’s umbrellas. We’ve got that big yellow awning, it’s a huge – what’s that, a brewery there?
Yadi Toledo (02:17)
That is a brewery.
Ben Stucker (02:20)
A lot of breweries here. It seems like a very fun area for nightlife.
Yadi Toledo (02:22)
It is. So lots of entertainment. I mean, you really have a mixture here. You have some families, you have some young professionals. So it’s a nice place where everyone can come together. As you see, like I mentioned, there is a playground for the kiddos, but then you also have the pool there where people come and gather who live in the buildings and just have a great weekend during the summer.
Ben Stucker (02:41)
All right, Yadi, so you are a real estate professional and we are here in Northern Liberties. We want to learn a little bit about this environment. Every community is different. It is now towards the end of June in 2022. So we’ve come off this crazy cycle of FOMO for buying homes, right? And now we’re sort of entering a little bit of a different time. So tell us about Northern Liberties. Tell us about the real estate market here. What should someone expect as a buyer in this area?
Yadi Toledo (03:09)
So as a buyer in this area, you can expect competition. It is a very desirable neighborhood as we touched on, for families, for young professionals. Everyone wants to be here. You have your townhomes, your traditional row homes. You also have some condos that are coming into the city and being built. So there’s something for everyone here, but there is some competition just because we’re seeing a little bit of a slowdown on the inventory of what’s becoming available at this time. So just be patient. What you’re looking for is out there. It just might take a little bit of time and you have to really align yourself with someone that’s going to know how to make your offer stand outhen when you are ready to submit an offer.
Ben Stucker (03:54)
Great. Talk to me about the prices here. What should I expect if I’m looking for maybe a condo, what would be a normal price range? Maybe for a two-bedroom condo? And then how about townhomes?
Yadi Toledo (04:03)
Yeah, I mean, honestly, the median price point in this area is about $500,000. So, yeah, you can go from I mean, there are obviously some lower price points here, but we go all the way up to a $4 million price point, so there’s a wide range. When I said that there’s something for everyone here, I wasn’t kidding. So if you’re looking to move into the area, you can certainly find something. But I would say in the $400,000 range if you’re looking for something entry-level, like a one-bedroom or two-bedroom.
Ben Stucker (04:35)
Okay, great. Now are those mostly condos that would also have an association fee of some type? And how are the association fees?
Yadi Toledo (04:44)
Yes. I would say that they’re pretty decent in comparison to other sections of the cities where condos are popular. Anywhere from maybe $200 a month on up. And of course, that would depend on whether the building has amenities to offer you if there’s parking and things like that.
Ben Stucker (05:04)
Great. All right. Yadi. So we’re here in Northern Liberties and we’re looking around. What are some of the things if I’m a buyer right, and I’m looking at this area, what are some of the things that I’m going to find ideal about living?
Yadi Toledo (05:15)
Yeah, I think what residents love is truly just how accessible it is to different areas. You can just jump on the Ben Franklin and head over to South Jersey. So we do have people here who work across the bridge and just want that easier. Commute. You can jump on 676, you can jump on 95. You have the Market Frankfort L line close by. You have the trolley system on Girard Avenue. Actually, you have two points of access to the Market Frankfort line. You have the Spring Garden stop, and you also have the one on Front and Girard. And you’re really not too far away if you wanted to walk to the Broad Street line as well. And then just lifestyle. I mean, what’s not to love. You have restaurants, you have boutiques, you have coffee shops, playgrounds. You have Liberty Lands, which is a nice local green space where there’s a community gardens there. So lots to offer, whether you’re just looking to have a great time with friends or if you have a young family and you want to just have a nice sense of community in your neighborhood.
Ben Stucker (06:18)
I think accessibility is so important, right? Especially over the last few years with the pandemic now it’s like, where can I live? Where I can still get out and go places and be social, but outside or just different places, right?
Yadi Toledo (06:30)
Absolutely. If you wanted to stretch your legs and go for a walk, you can eat. Like a lot of people are working from home. You can just head outside, go work in a coffee shop. You can actually sit out here and work. You can go to a park.
Ben Stucker (06:43)
Alright Yadi, so how about first-time buyers? Is this a good neighborhood for first-time buyers?
Yadi Toledo (06:48)
Absolutely. I think, like with anything, it’s just being very realistic, just really honing in on what is super important for you to have in your space. I know everyone has that long wish list, like great amenities and parking, and that might not be realistic for the first time around. You might have to settle for street parking, which is fine. You can actually get permits through the city and you can park on the city streets and you don’t have to adhere to the time frame. You might circle a little bit to find your spot, but it’s still workable. Right, so just being realistic with what that goal is and not to switch topics a little bit, but there are some really great neighborhoods around Northern Liberties, so you’re really close to Fishtown, right across Girard Avenue, you have Old Kensington. Both neighborhoods have really seen a bunch of growth in the last ten to 15 years. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for in Northern Liberties, maybe it’s just a matter of being creative and seeing what you can find close by
Ben Stucker (07:53)
And those neighborhoods are just a five-minute walk from here, right? So it’s kind of the same, but different, but close enough?
Yadi Toledo (07:58)
Exactly, and you’re still close enough to have access. So I know that a lot of times when I get my first-time buyers, or just buyers in general, they’ll start off with their search in Northern Liberties, and if they can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, they do tend to venture out. So I think the important thing there is just stay realistic and don’t get discouraged because there’s something for you close by.
Ben Stucker (08:20)
That’s great. All right, Yadi. Talk to us about real estate investing in this area, or real estate investors, or how should we be thinking about properties that someone might want to invest in in this area?
Yadi Toledo (08:31)
I think it’s no secret there’s been a lot of development in this area from big-time developers taking up blocks and doing condos and apartments with it. So I think a good strategy for an investor in this community would be maybe you purchase, you owner occupy for a bit of time, and then as you transition into a larger space or you outgrow that space, then you hold onto it as a rental because there’s always people looking to rent. So that’s one strategy that you could go with if you’re an investor.
Ben Stucker (09:04)
Yes. Especially with the close proximity from a community perspective, right?
Yadi Toledo (09:09)
Ben Stucker (09:09)
You can gather professionals from basically anywhere south Jersey, anywhere in Philly, and you’re good to go.
Yadi Toledo (09:12)
Ben Stucker (09:13)
And I came down from Bucks County today, which is still was only 25 minutes away. It really wasn’t bad at all. So even if you’re working up north a little bit, from here, it’s easy. Right up 95. Alright Yadi, thank you so much for your time talking about the environment and talking about the real estate environment for buyers and for investors. Let’s talk about you. Very cool. So this is where we get to brag a little bit about you. So we’ve had the pleasure of working together on multiple occasions. You are an absolute professional, you crush it at what you do. So we all appreciate that, and your clients appreciate that I’m sure. But talk to us about this area and you. What’s your connection to this area? What is it that makes you as an agent, really a superstar in this particular area? Because I know you are you, so now you’ve got to tell me what it is.
Yadi Toledo (10:00)
Alright, so like I said earlier, I have been in real estate for about five years, but I’ve actually lived in this area my whole life. I won’t tell you how many years that is… so I think – not I think, I know that’s what I have to offer clients that are looking to purchase in this area. I go for my morning walks, my evening walks. I do my socializing in this community. I hang out at the local bars or restaurants. So really I just have my finger on the pulse of the community, I guess you could say. I live here and I can tell you and share special anecdotes about it or just tell you, give you some insight on where you might want to see within Northern Liberties.
Ben Stucker (10:51)
Yes, I think that’s so important, right? Because when you’re thinking about a house, you’ve got the inside. The place is one thing, right. We look at these great pictures of the great kitchen and the great bathrooms, but as soon as you walk outside or as soon as you look out your window, what are you seeing and how is that going to change over the next year or two years or five years? Or how has it changed and what’s the trend like in the community? So those are things that you can really share with people as far as, hey, this area would be great, but this thing is happening so if you’re cool with that, then that’s the place to go, right? So sort of things like that.
Yadi Toledo (11:21)
Yeah, I agree. And I think one of the biggest things that a buyer always says when they’re looking is, yes, they have their criteria. They have two bedrooms, they want parking, whatever the list is. But they also share little pieces as we’re going through and touring different properties, they share little pieces about their lifestyle and how a neighborhood or a community will work within that lifestyle. Do they like to do brunches on the weekends? Do they want to avoid crowds? So just having someone that is locally-based, I think, provide some of that information. I can tell them what Second Street is like on the weekend. I can tell them if that’s what they want, more quiet, kind of what pockets to stay within.
Ben Stucker (12:06)
Alright, most important question: if I’m buying a house, what is the single most important thing that I need to know now, in June 2022?
Yadi Toledo (12:17)
I think in June 2022, and probably before and after, the biggest thing that you want to do as a buyer is to make sure that you’re building the right team. I always tell that to prospective clients when we’re on our initial calls. Your Realtor, your lender, that’s your team. You want to make sure that you’re working with people that are responsive, that their communication style works for you, that they have experience, they’re efficient. So just really do your homework, make sure you’re connecting with the right people, and you’ll be set up for success.
Ben Stucker (12:51)
Great piece of advice coming from Yadi. Thank you. Thank you for that. Yadi, we really appreciate your time today. It’s so great to chat with you here in Northern Liberties in Philadelphia. As a reminder, just all the information, it is June 2022. So it may be a very different market in 30 days from now, who knows? But for now, we had a great time learning from you. So thank you so much.
Yadi Toledo (13:12)
Ben Stucker (13:12)
And any closing remarks from you?
Yadi Toledo (13:15)
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. And MortgageCS is amazing, so if you’re looking for a lender, please reach out to Ben and his team.
Ben Stucker (13:25)
Yeah, thank you so much. And we’re going to put contact information for Yadi at the end of this video. Give her a call. Philadelphia, now, you also work up in Bucks I know, right?
Yadi Toledo (13:34)
I do, I have, yeah.
Ben Stucker (13:35)
Okay, so give her a call if you’re looking for a fresh perspective and you absolutely will not be disappointed.