Welcome to the Solo Real Estate Blog
Philadelphia, like no other place I know, is a city defined by neighborhoods. From tony Rittenhouse Square to the gritty charm of Kensington, no two communities are alike. With so much history and so many different cultures, our city’s rich urban fabric is what people love about living in Philadelphia.
In the over fifty years since Solo Real Estate was founded however, the City of Brotherly Love has experienced dramatic change, going from post-industrial decline to a thriving information-age city, and I’d like to think that I experienced and participated in this transformation first hand. I’ve always had an interest in historic urban communities, and as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture in the late 1970s I had the good sense to take some classes from John Milner, an architect specializing in historic preservation. Little did I know this class would come to change me in ways I couldn’t yet imagine.
My final assignment for Professor Milner’s class was to research a neighborhood and evaluate the potential impact of adding it to the historic register. I chose to focus on the Northern Liberties, as Solo Real Estate was already active in the area and had several agents living, selling and rehabbing the affordable housing in a place which they characterized as the Wild West. As I walked the streets and talked to residents new and old about their community, I fell in love. Here was a neighborhood full of empty lots, abandoned housing and lots of character – Orthodox churches with their onion domes, the extra-wide 2nd Street commercial corridor, turn-of-the-century warehouses in need of restoration and a growing population of new arrivals looking for affordable housing. Eventually, I finished my research and moved on to other projects, but never forgot about the neighborhood. My husband Angel and I saved up our money and bought shells, fought the banks who were redlining the area for financing and began the process of rehabbing and ultimately moving in, raising a family and seeing a neighborhood reborn with all the good and bad it brings.
Since falling in love with my little slice of Philadelphia, I’ve dedicated myself to helping our clients find their own place to call home. Finding that community in which to invest ourselves is no easy task though, as it requires us first to ask ourselves who we are and what we want to become. These conversations, whether in graduate school, on the stoop or online, are what fuel our city’s redevelopment and the wellbeing of our urban fabric.
With that in mind, I am happy to announce the creation of Solo Real Estate’s Blog. This site will host local news, features and commentary all from the perspective of our talented, tight-knit collective of real estate professionals. We hope that by encouraging dialogue and sharing information that we can enrich and expand the conversation that is so important to the continued success of our city.
We invite you then to join us in this new phase in the history of Solo Real Estate as we share with you our passion for Philadelphia and its colorful, endlessly-fascinating people and places.
Deborah E. Solo
Solo Real Estate, Inc.